Dark Avengers #3 and 4: There is no Void!

Dark Avengers is becoming a friendly neighborhood fan-favorite here, a lot like the Thunderbolts, and it's for the same reason too: it's just a bunch of bad people who are superheroes who really shouldn't be superheroes.

I love that kinda crap, mostly because there's so much black humor in the titles. You see Osborn parading gallantly in red, white and blue armor in one panel, and in the next panel BAM! he's slamming some poor schmo's face into a tabletop. Hah.

Ever since he saved the world, he's been given charge of its new defenses, including the Dark Avengers, and hey are just a fantastic team.

Dark Avengers #3
by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato

Even though it cost 3.99, this comic book was pretty awesome. Morgana le Fay casts a bunch of spells on Dr. Doom and sets the entire Avengers into chaos here.

Now that's what I call teamwork! In the meantime, Norman Osborn and V. Von Doom, Ph. D, run away and try to travel back in time to get back at her. All in all, these guys suck at being superheroes.

Strangely enough, the issue opens with a flashback: Osborn undergoes some talk therapy with the Sentry, and tries to help Sentry out with his secondary "The Void" identity. It almost, maybe, kind of. . . . makes Osborn out to be a good, compassionate, caring guy?

com-compassio -- whoa! Had a little head rush there. Better just finish this up. Dark Avengers #3 was pretty awesome. . .
. . . and no. It wasn't just because Ridley, Captain of the Space Pirates had a supercool cameo.

Dark Avengers #4
by Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato

The Morgana le Fay arc concludes here, and this comic book still costs way too much, but it's just so freakin' awesome.

Dark Avengers #4 is SUCH a comic book. Dr. Doom lays the smackdown and casts a spell that forces Morgana back into time -- to 1,000,000 BC in fact!

And after that, Professor V.V. Doom uses the freakin' Cosmic Cube to pull his castle from a different time and erect it on the ashes of his old one.
Because Doom is pimpin' like that.

There are some great lines that really reveal the team dynamic between the Dark Avengers.

There is so much snark between everyone on this team! I love it.

Read all of my Dark Avengers reviews:
Issue #1: the perfect middle finger
Issue #2: Norman Osborn, noble knight
Issue #3 and 4: There is no Void!
Issue #5: starring Tommy Lee Jones

Thunderbolts x Deadpool in: A BEHEADING

Who ever thought it'd be so fun to put a team of hateful people together and tell them to try to assassinate an insane, smart-mouthed mercenary with way too many gadgets on his hand?

Not me, that's for sure! That's why the crossover between Thunderbolts and Deadpool is so darn enjoyable. The plot twists are great, the black humor is great and the explosions are explosive. There's even a "romance" in it!

We can thank Daniel Way and Andy Diggle for all these, and we'll be wrapping up the last half of their "Magnum Opus" today!

Deadpool #9
by Daniel Way and Paco Medina
"Magnum Opus," 3 0f 4

This issue was pretty awesome. So many things happen here, but the best part is we get HILARIOUS flirtation between Black Widow and Deadpool. It is so great, 'pool even goes so far as to rent a plane and fly a banner that says "BW (heart) DP? CALL ###-####"

Rest assured, there's a big fight too, and the fight tactics are actually really interesting. This feels like a video game, but funnier and insane-er. Crossing over with Deadpool was a great way to introduce Andy Diggle's new team of Thunderbolts, and he is just the lightheartedness that the grim team needs!

I can't wait for the next, and last, part of the arc.

Thunderbolts #132
by Andy Diggle and Bong Dazo
"Magnum Opus," 4 of 4

This is a truly awful comic book with awful individuals.

And I mean that in the best sense of the word. Deadpool shoots himself, with terribly gory and hilarious results; Ant-Man crawls under 'Pool's cancerous skin; Norman Osborn even has an episode!
"You owe me your lives! Every worthless last one of you!" Oh Norman, you're so quotable.

The black humor is great, and it makes all the awful gore easier to swallow. The ending is like something from a sitcom, if sitcoms involved decapitation, and blood, and shooting yourself, and going berserk on a random guy and slamming his face onto a tabletop.
Oh Thunderbolts. You're such a great comic, even if you're desensitizing me to awful, awful things.

Deadpool x Thunderbolts in: Crazy? Crazy like BADGER!

Hopefully by now, my little past Thunderbolts posts have gotten you acquainted with the comic.

Yeah, those. What Thunderbolts is about is, well, a bunch of superheroes who really shouldn't be superhero-ing. They are a bad group of bad people, and it's pretty fun seeing the discordance between their roles and their actions, because these guys just hate each other.

And it makes for good comics! Recently, Stormin' Norman Osborn recruited a new group of 'bolts to take down and assassinate Deadpool, the merc with a mouth, for Secret Invasion purposes.

Deadpool #8
by Daniel Way and Paco Medina

"Magnum Opus" 1 of 4

Deadpool is insane, Osborn has insane tendencies, how can it not work!

Well, a lot of ways. The page space here is wasted with a pointless hallucination, and the story doesn't go anywhere. There are some good jokes in here, but it's just not worth 3 bucks.
Thankfully, the second part is a LOT better!

Thunderbolts #130
by Andy Diggle and Bong Dazo

"Magnum Opus" 2 of 4

New artist Bong Dazo has a cartoony, way of drawing anyone in a costume, which works here, because the entire point of the Deadpool-Thunderbolts crossover is to bring a little humor and fun to the grim Thunderbolts.

Here, they actually fight, 'bolts and 'pool and the result is great. There's a great plot twist in the middle, and Deadpool has an ingenious way of taking down each unique member (one is intangible, another is a tank, another is an ant. . .), and it can be pretty funny too!

Soon enough, he gets to the leader, Black Widow, or former Russian spy Yelena Belova. Just as he's about to shoot her in the head, she takes off her mask and says, "Well? what are you waiting for?"

It gets at the heart of the crossover: to bring a little humor to the Thunderbolts!

My favorite member of Andy Diggle's Thunderbolts has got to be Yelena. It's adorable how she butchers English phrases.

Oh Yelena.

Reading Truer than True Romance

Ahoy-hoy guys. We're gonna do something really strange today and review a trade that isn't by a comic book publisher, but an obscure fine arts company in NY.

Truer Than True Romance
by Jeanne Martinet

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: You remember those crummy romance comics back in the 50s? You know, the ones where everyone is so darn pretty and the girl, after pages of emotional torture and anxiety, always gets the guy?

Yeah, that messed up other people's views on love too. Including Jeanne Martinet, so she decided to take the original art for some old stories, and put her own twist on it with her own dialogue and narration. A love story on a coast city turns into an investigation by the E.P.A. on the toxicity of the local fish. A girl who's stood up at the airport becomes a girl who refuses the freedom that checking her bags will allow her. Twists like that!
WHAT I LIKED: Some of the twists are really fun to read! You can tell Jeanne had a lot of fun with some of these. My favorite was the coast city one, where everyone just wandered around the city, because their brains had been messed up by the fish so poorly. They didn't know where their home was!
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Other twists are a little forced. It can be hard to take a story out of context for 8 whole pages after all!

EXTRAS?: There are little faux advice columns after some stories, with people asking an "expert" for love advice. It's a great touch that reinforces the retro-feel of the book, but it's even more hit-or-miss than the stories.

Jeanne also makes an introduction, explaining the motivation for the book -- romance comics screwed up her notion of love, so she thought she'd get back at 'em!

FINAL THOUGHTS: This entire thing is just making fun of comics, and really, where isn't the fun in that?

It's nice to read a book that isn't geared for sweaty teenage boys, or sweatier balding men. The girls aren't written for exploitative purposes; they're written for satire. That's not much of an improvement, but it's quantum leaps above stuff like "Marvel Divas." Just ridiculous.

one more week!

If you haven't noticed the supercool banner to the left, now is the time guys!

Because it is just one more week to Free Comic Book Day. Yay!

It's an event so exciting, it's even garnered the likes of Hugh Jackman:

The more you know, kids. The more you know.

Check for the nearest comic store near you! Enter your zip code at Free Comic Book Day's site. Easy schmeasy.


Batwoman totally forgot to bring her floss!!!!

Quick! To the drug store! From JH Williams's cover for Detective Comics #855.


What happens when Emma Frost whacks you in the face?

Clearly, cute yellow stars evaporate from your face. Um, you might bleed too.

from Matt Fraction/Terry Dodson's Uncanny X-Men #507.

SloOmp!: the mind-boggling debut of 15-finger Freddy!

DC Nation is a weekly insert at the end of most DC comic books. Usually it has a little message from the Editor-in-Chief, Dan Didio, and some kind of hype-up for something.
This week's DC Nation was really, really underwhelming. Here's the breakdown:
  1. Hi guys. I don't have time to tell you anything.
  2. Also, I don't have anything to tell you.
  3. Look at this pretty panel of pencil art.
  4. Isn't it pretty?
  5. bye guys.
Really underwhelmed here, Didio.

I got Elephantmen #18 today, but I don't think anyone would understand me if I talked about it just yet, so I'm going to bide my time. That leaves us with a lonely
by Chad Lambert, art by Pow Rodrix, Oscar Bazaldua and Chase Conley

Bloodrayne was a video game with a latex-wearing half-vampire, half-human called "Rayne." She sliced vampires, and Nazis, and sometimes vampires who were Nazis. She shot them too, with a pair of guns. . . powered by blood. She is awesome.

I never actually got to play the video games, and I heard the movies were awful, but the concept is just too high for me to ignore. I admit this stuff is a guilty pleasure for me, since the gore can get so over-the-top, but it's just so fun to read this. Aside from all the little jokes she makes, there are a couple references to some mythologies, which I love to hear.

This series is supposed to "fill in the blanks" for the video games, so there are a couple references that I had to read wikipedia to get. Aside from tha --HOLY CRAP!

She just kicked a guy in the face so hard that his head popped off!!!!!


The second short story does a little questioning of reality, and the third short story has a little cameo:
15-finger freddy!
15 Finger Freddy guys! It's a stretch, but could this possibly be a reference to the blog's very own Foam-Finger Freddy???

Somebody up there likes me.

eh. he's no Batman.

Four months ago, DC decided to use "Batman R.I.P." to shake things up a bit between Detective Comics and Batman. They did two-issue arcs where a writer-artist team did one issue in one title, and concluded their story in the other title.

Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen, for example, did a really good "Faces of Evil" arc that focused on Hush and Catwoman, running in Detective Comics #852 and Batman #685. I reviewed them a while ago.

Neil Gaiman was SUPPOSED to have FINISHED an arc with Adam Kubert a while ago, but "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" got horrendously delayed. Really, Whatever Happened to On-schedule Comics?

Denny O'Neil, though, with Guillem March did a tight two-issue arc on Detective Comics #851 and Batman #684. That's what today is about.

Detective Comics #851 
Batman #684 
by Denny O'Neil and Guillem March

Batman has a great supporting cast. That is fact by now, so really, I don't understand why Nightwing -- the guy who's been Batman's ward for so long that he went solo and even led his own team -- SUCKS so much.

Denny O'Neil was a former editor/writer for Batman, for pete's sake! He pioneered Green Lantern/Green Arrow and added social relevance to comics! I am disappointed that he fails to make Nightwing an interesting character. In the arc, Nightwing is a collection of insecure whines about how he isn't Batman, and how much he sucks without Batman.

It was really formulaic, because after seeing everyone emphasize how cruddy a superhero Nightwing is, even 'wing himself, he ends up beating the bad guy in the end. Maybe it's because I've never read a Nightwing comic, but in this day and age, who wants to read something so by-the-book?

And the bad guy isn't even C-list. He's a Two-Face impostor.
The only thing enjoyable about O'Neil's arc is the dichotomy he sets up in Gotham. It was once a bright city for the arts and philanthropy, but then it devolved into a city of crime and corruption.

In the end, this isn't really about the story. It's about the art, because Guillem March draws everything so darn pretty.

Reading Jack of Fables vol. 2

Spring has sprung, so really, it's just the perfect time to put on your running shoes, and --

read trade paperbacks. Today's is

Jack of Fables vol. 2: Jack of Hearts
by Matt Sturges, Steve Leiahola and Tony Akins

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Jack's adventures continue! Surprisingly, there isn't just one arc in this paperback, but three. Holy Crap. The first is a delving of Jack's past, when he was Jack Frost. It also helps flesh out the Snow Queen in Fables. The second is Jack "falling in love" in Las Vegas, and the third is Jack's further adventures thereafter.

WHAT I LIKED: Okay, get this, but -- there's this lady right? And she takes people's luck, see? And the way she does it is, she slices their skulls and eats the luck right out of their brain see?

It's totally gross, and even with this, the entire trade is just so fun to read! This is a perfect mesh of romance, whimsy, humor and adventure. Anyone could enjoy this.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: Nothing. I'd love to reread it and get lost in the adventures again.

EXTRAS?: Ehhhhh none. Not an introduction or sketches or anything, although for 15 bucks and 3 storyarcs, that kinda compensates.

I hope the blog doesn't get too many hits from Belgium.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Jack of Hearts capitalizes on a lot of secondary stuff, and there are a couple references to continuity that new readers may not be familiar with. The Snow Queen, for example, first appeared in Fables as a cold-hearted ally of the Adversary. Here, she becomes more dimensional as we see her past. New readers may not have been aware of the Snow Queen's current personality.

There's a new character introduced, in a reference to the first volume too, which makes the entire thing feel like a coherent story. Although I think that anyone could still pick this up and like it, they'd like it more if they read volume 1 first.

Watch out terrorism! There's a new brand of justice!

And her name is Lois Lane. Dig?

Awww yeah, you feel me. Fine lady Miss Lane here, with the aid of Superman, takes down an attempt to nuke America. From Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Superman: For All Seasons, review right here.

I'm beginning to sense a theme here.


They sure have a good time, those Thunderbolts. Even the pumpkin is smiling! From assorted issues of Thunderbolts, from Warren Ellis/Mike Deodato's run to Christos Gage/Fernando Blanco's.

Hm. What a weak week.

Wednesday! Truly, there is nothing better to take my mind off of the quizzes and labs that I have on Thursday than Wednesday comics.

Besides some other stuff, here's the stuff I got today:

Green Arrow/Black Canary #19

by Andrew Kreisberg and Mike Norton

So, in issue 15, Green Arrow saved a woman from her wife-beating husband, but then the woman went all "I LURVE you, Green Arrow." and she's been doing some pretty twisted stuff for Green Arrow since then.

Sound familiar? It's pretty twisted, and there's a lot of fun to be had, but the title's been treading water since issue 15, so I'm really glad it's done.

And what a conclusion it is! Cupid ends up tying Green Arrow to the train tracks -- to get a kiss out of him (hah!) until Black Canary comes in and the usual stuff happens. There were a lot of cool moments here, but my favorite has got to be this:

Where the heck did Canary get those handcuffs?????? Ollie is just as confused too, by the looks of it, although I'd expect more of a smile out of him.

Oracle: The Cure #2

by vanhook, Pasarin and Lopez

For 22 pages, very little actually happens here. Barbara travels to Hong Kong to access some of the "restricted roads" of the internet, and ends up seeing the death of another hacker at the hands of the Calculator.

That's it. I mean, Barbara does some pretty vicious justice on some street thugs (<-- out of character) and gets insulted by some computer nerds, but that's pretty much it.

If it weren't for the fact that there's only one more issue left, I would definitely bail out of this. It just isn't any fun to read, and it's not so much about Barbara Gordon herself.

Also, the DC books apparently had a little preview for Animal Man: The Last Days. It's about, supposedly, the last days of Animal Man, except I'd much rather read Grant Morrison's Animal Man. Luckily though, this doesn't raise the price for the issues.

Not really a spectacular week this go-around. Hrm.

The Thunderbolts: saving the world one masochistic headbutt a time!

I'm sure it occurs to a lot of people that comic books serve a lot of roles. Tt helps some people get by their day with a little fun. To others, it's a little thing to check out after watching a pretty good movie. For even more, it's a reason to make ridiculous blogs.

The most important, though, has got to be the educational value of comic books for children. I mean, come on guys! They're just words! With pictures! There is no doubt that comic books are this valuable, and if I may extrapolate, it also means that kids are gonna find their role models in these goshdarn sequential picture stories.

And truly, no comic book provides better role models than. . .

The Thunderbolts! Government-sanctioned heroes come to save our world!
Here're only some of the ways they keep America safe:

They're mentally stable!

They're courageous!

They respect one another!

They get tasteful action figures!

They crucify their teammates!

They're eloquent!

And finally, what really matters, what keeps us safe at night --

they're committed to justice!

We can all sleep a little quieter now, knowing that the Thunderbolts are here to protect us!

Don't worry guys; America's kids are in great hands.
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