Saturday, January 31, 2009
Comic of the Week: Savage Dragon #144
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this issue. Just Dragon dealing with his officially dead wife really, but I was very impressed. Erik Larsen tried a new way to catch up on things for the up coming reboot next issue. It’s basically jumping from moment to moment/day to day and it was absolutely great. We got some disturbing moments like the “Rex doesn’t have a penis” from his new bride. We also saw Angel give Malcolm a kiss. It…aren’t these 2 brother and sister? I know this Angel is like from another dimension or something. But still…it’s creepy. Though really this was an awesome issue, more cameos from characters like Spawn and Shadowhawk which was great and I really loved the hell out of this issue.
Moment of the Week: Shadowhawk needs to stop calling: Savage Dragon #144
A running gag through this issue is that Shadowhawk kept that medallion he stole from Solar-Man’s layer and whenever he wants some help, Dragon, Invincible, Witchblade and spawn all show up to help. Most of the time he’s just a pain in that he’s dealing with his own baddy and he accidentally brings them to him. This is the only time though that they where actually needed it. It was brilliance and I loved it. Seriously, if Valentino doesn’t ever do a Shadowhawk mini again, at least let Larsen write it?
Cover of the Week: Justice Society of America #23 by Alex Ross
These Faces of Evil covers have been an odd thing. While in the case of Detective #852 and other comics, the covers are awful and it doesn’t really work out that well. Though in the cases of a capable artist like Alex Ross, the scheme works out perfectly. This was a tough decision between Black Adam and Catwoman. Both had 2 amazing covers, but Black Adam wins for the lightning effect and that badass look on his face.
Now these next few days are a little busy. Tomorrow is Month’s End and following that an advanced review of Scarlet Veronica #3 (more on why it’s an advanced review then though) and Tuesday is The Week Begins. I got last weeks comics today so expect them either reviewed separately Wednesday or allotted with this week’s upcoming comics should I get them. But that’s all for tonight, have a great weekend.
Friday, January 30, 2009
The Drawing board is our latest article here at New Age Comics and it’s exactly what it sounds like, about artwork. Mostly appreciation of course, though in the case of…some artists I will not be as appreciative and complimenting on their style. For this is a place of admiration and critique. I should mention this now, Drawing Board will be Bi-Weekly and, as you can guess since it’s on Friday, taking the place of Collection Spotlight. Though Collection Spotlight is still around, it will simply be every other Friday, such as next Friday we have a CS then the Friday after this a new Drawing Board.
Choosing the first artist to be spot-lighted in the Drawing Board was tough. I have several artists I am already eager to talk about, but for the sake of he’s a big favorite of mine I’m going with Clayton Crain to start things off.
Now the banner for New Age Comics should tell you that I’m a fan of Crain’s work. After all, I’ve got 2 head shots from 2 of the comics he’s signed for me. In case you don’t know it’s the one on the left and the one on the right, with Gunslinger Spawn in the middle.
Clayton Crain uses digital artwork, in case you couldn’t tell by now, along with his hand drawn images. First he draws them then he goes over them digitally. The process itself, I am unaware of how it all works. I can only figure that it involves spending many hours on the computer getting it all done.
One reason I like Crain’s work so much is that he has an incredible eye for detail. One that could rival his former employer, Todd McFarlane. Crain used to work on Curse of the Spawn for a while, showing incredible detail as well there as many artists who have worked on Spawn, have shown before. Though in 2004 he began a job with Marvel and illustrated Peter Milligan’s Venom vs. Carnage mini-series.
After a while he took on the Marvel Knights mini-series Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation. Written by Garth Ennis, this book brought the popular hero Johnny Cage back from purgatory.
Only 2 years later he returned to Ghost Rider, as did Garth Ennis, in the mini-series Trail of Tears. A personal favorite of mine as a big fan of Ghost Rider and an incredible story, with equally incredible artwork. Crain’s level of detail and the sick moments written by Garth Ennis told a rather bloody, but at the same time appropriate, Ghost Rider tale.
Crain has also done work for The Sensational Spider-man along with Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa on writing. He helped tell Spider-man tale through the Civil War and was there when the web-head went back in black.
Together they ended the Sensation series (pun fully intended!) with #40 (#41 was a useless chapter in the equally useless OMD story) wit the great story “The book of Peter” in which Spider-man talks to God about being Spider-man. As someone who has tried hard and distanced himself well away from religion one would think that I’d hate this storyline but really, it was incredible.
Sacasa’s incredible story of Spider-man’s faith and sadness was done incredibly well thanks to Crain’s detailed artwork. The storyline gave a shining ray of hope that still shines despite Spider-man’s current circumstance. It was an incredible story and if anyone ever has the chance to pick up this issue of that once great comic, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s great for anyone who loves Spider-man.
But now more about the artwork of Clayton Crain. As mentioned prior, his attention to detail is incredibly impressive and he remains able to do strong storytelling and not lose the classic look of characters like Venom and Wolverine while giving them such strong detail and doing such great work.
He was prior a Young Gun of Marvel’s artists at the time such as Billy Tan and Lienel Yu where. He currently is the main artist for X-force and from what an announcement a couple years back said ,every now and then he and Ennis will do a different Ghost Rider mini. Though it looks like Trail of Tears was their last one unfortunately.
That’s all I really have to say on him. He’s a great artist, at least in my opinion and I really dig his work. I’ve met him in person, got some comics signed by him and he’s a cool guy.
So that’s it for our new Bi-Weekly/Replacement post in The Drawing Board. Next up? Dustin Nguyen!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Batman #685 *Most anticipated comic*
Written: Paul Dini
Art: Dustin Nguyen
It’s funny that the spotlight is of Catwoman taking over an issue of Batman, seeing as she had her own ongoing series just a few months back. Well, not so much funny as sad…but anyway. This looks like more Dini/Nguyen greatness, the preview looks great and Nguyen draws one hell of a Catwoman. Though really I wish she’d kill Hush in this issue. I’m sure a lot of people don’t want Hush to die, or at least Catwoman to kill, but it’s not exactly like she wouldn’t do it. She’s killed before and I doubt she’d really go nuts over killing again. Besides, Hush is a villain that only Dini has been able to make work, I’d rather the character not pollute any other stories anytime soon.
Savage Dragon #144
Written and Art: Erik Larsen
I’m seriously surprised at how long it took for this issue to come out. Larsen was on a Bi-Weekly roll and I was loving it. Still that doesn’t ruin the issue or anything I just was really eager to see where we go now from the reveal of Jennifer’s death. I’m hoping this issue is more Savage Dragon and company dealing with the reveal and interactions with each other, then the public bitching out poor Dragon. Still, either way, should be an awesome read as Savage Dragon is a great and solid book.
Ultimate Spider-man #130
written: Brian Bendis
Art: Stuart Immonen
I was ready to drop this book. Despite how good it’s been, there isn’t too much sense in reading a book tying in to a series if you’re not reading that which it ties in to. That rather defeats the purpose of a tie-in, it’s to add more to the ongoing story. Still, I’m hoping Bendis can do a good job of keeping this farther away from Ultimatum and more in it’s own secluded interesting aspect of the events of Ultimatum.
Amazing Spider-man Extra #2
Written: Dan Slott and Zeb Wells
Art: Chris Bachalo and Paolo Rivera
I may or may not pick this up. Of course for the Anti-Venom story as Anti-Venom was one of the few good things about
Final Crisis #7
Written: Grant Morrison
Art: Doug Mahnke
I’m considering if I’ll get this or not. From the preview it looks god awful really, more jumbling mess from Morrison. Though Mahnke’s art looks seriously great here and I’m impressed that DC got this out on time. I’m also not so sure if Batman is dead, so I may pick up this issue just to see if he is or not. Then again, I’m not so sure. I may, I may not.
That should be it for this week of comics. Now just to let everyone know, yes, Secret Warriors is now on the pull list and I am stoked for it next week. Now expect a new Bi-Weekly post to start up as of Friday. But you’ll have to wait ‘till then to find out what it is.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Comic of the Week: Dark Avengers #1
Bendis actually surprised me with this issue. I had some hopes for it but I had never guessed it could be this awesome. Though as I’ve said a few times, Bendis is excellent at starting off a series with a bang. This is his specialty almost. Though I’m not sure of the series can keep the magic going, Mighty Avengers’ opening arc sure didn’t, but this has a ton of potential and for that I’m excited in wanting more. Bendis gave a near perfect issue #1 as it hooks me as a reader and leaves me wanting more.
Moment of the Week: NO BABY FOR YOU! X-factor #39
Oh my god…Peter David is an evil genius. When I first read the online spoilers, I was horrified then disgusted. Then I was emotionally gripped and shocked, then I was impressed beyond belief. While I don’t feel the overall issue was as good as this moment, oh my god, Peter David is a ****ing genius and I both love and hate him for this. Yes, the baby is no more! It was a child fathered by Jamie’s dupe, so the son of a dupe is a dupe, so Jamie accidentally absorbed him. Now Syrin wants him dead (for good reason, mind you) and it looks like ol’ Jamie is about to hit rock bottom hard. I feel for the guy, things finally look up, you’re a father, then your kid gets absorbed into you? Hey man, it happens. Jamie should have known his kid was doomed the second he saw that Marvel logo on the cover to X-factor. Marvel Universe, a place where no babies are allowed, no matter how cute or touching they may be. Let that be a lesson to all you fans who ever get your hopes up for this kind of shit. Not going to happen.
Cover of the Week: Dark Avengers #1 YG variant by Marko Djurdjevic
I love the Young Guns variant stuff that Marvel does every now and then. I saw this at my shop for 10 bucks, wanted to buy it, could have bought it. Didn’t buy it. But man, just look at that depiction of Iron Patriot, and Normal looks wicked as all hell. I wish Djurdjevic would get a job as the full time cover artist for Dark Avengers like he was with Thunderbolts.
So end’s another Week’s End. Sorry I couldn’t find a scan of the baby-absorption. But trust me, it’s a heart wrenching scene. I read through the issue at the shop a little bit and I was stunned at how intense it was. So yeah, that’s it for Week’s End, have a great weekend everybody!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Also for anyone who has noticed, yes, we will be doing polls every now and then. Expect most of them to be 10 days long usually. Our current one is on if you think Batman is really dead. I have my doubts, but we’ll leave the opinions to the polls. If you have any future Poll ideas or suggestions, feel free to let me know and I may make a poll on your suggestion.
Now onto the reviews!
Mighty Avengers #21
Written: Dan Slott
Art: Koi Pham
Opening Comments: Dan Slott sets to accomplish a lot in his first issue of his run on Mighty Avengers. Rarely does a new run on a book make a 4 dollar price tag worth it, but it seems that Slott has done one of those rare instances of actually making it more worth then what it costs. Coming off one of the best new books of the millennium, The Initiative, it’s hard to image this wouldn’t be awesome on some level.
Story Comments: The opening with Vision and Stature was a great way to kick things off. The tone is light hearted to an extent in that it shows us their relationship, we get a couple of quick sweet/funny moments, and then things get rolling.
My biggest problem with this story right away is an “end of the world” plot Slott cooked up involving magic and crazy shit. I like end of the world stuff, but this is rather over doing it! The only reason we see these disasters is to show that the other Avengers can’t handle this and that we need the Mighty Avengers to do so.
The scene where Jarvis and Herc catch up was nice. Though I felt it dragged a little and the comedy wasn’t really working like Slott wanted it to. I also didn’t really like his showing the other teams in that they seem to be dying, or at least being injured bad, I think he overdid it with the magical deaths and that was frustrating for me.
This issue has a lot going for it, we see many things but the most important is Scarlet Witch assembling heroes to work for hank Pym. We see Hulk, Iron Man, U.S Agent, it’s nicely done. A rather rag-tag team when you’ve got U.S Agent and Herc on board, but still nicely done.
Another majority of the book is spent with Hank Pym speaking with Herc and Jarvis, as well as Jocasta. Now I want to mention the Hank/Jocasta developing relationship. It’s an interesting idea on Slott’s part to try and create a new relationship off an old one’s base, but at the same time, a tad creepy nonetheless.
We see Pym go from cowering scientist to team leader in a short span. I felt Slott would have been better off developing Hank’s new role through this 3 part story arc really rather then him just accepting it right off the bat.
Then we come to the main villain/cause of all this nonsense. It’s more magically tied and that explains no doubt why the Scarlet Witch is involved. I like Marvel, Marvel has some cool magic stuff from time to time but I don’t really care for how Slott uses the villain here and I found it incredibly boring for an opening story arc villain. Then again, so was naked female Ultron.
The end of the comic is what sinks it nicely together. Hank and Wanda meet up finally as she’s gotten the heroes, now he need only take the reigns. Slott writes a good Scarlet Witch to say the least and I admit I really hope she’s a regular cast member and on board for a long time.
Now the final page where the Avengers as assembled was pure greatness. Writing and art, this was a powerful splash page and it brought this issue perfectly to a close and to lead into the next.
Overall it’s a strong opening to what will hopefully be a strong run as far as the writing is concerned. Slott clearly loves writing these characters as each as their own affectionate touch and it works out very nicely. While this arc doesn’t really look all that great on the fact that we already know Cthon, the main villain, will lose, it’s still a nice opener to what will hopefully be a great comic.
Art Comments: Koi Pham is a mixed bag artist, like John Romita Jr. in that sense. Give him the right story, characters and writer and he can draw an amazing story and hit every ball out of the park. Give him a bland story and the story matches the art. So was the case during Secret Invasion.
Here his art is energetic, much cleaner and it’s damn near stunning in some cases. While he still seems insistent on adding too many lines under the eyes at times that doesn’t change that this is some seriously great stuff. Better then his Incredible Hercules work a year back.
Final Comments: Mighty Avengers might as well have gotten a new #1 start as this feels like a completely different book then the thought bubble infested Mighty Avengers prior to this. Slott has given a strong start, despite some faults here and there, that I enjoyed greatly as both an Avengers fan, and comic fan in general.
Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Dark Avengers #1
Written: Brian Bendis
Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Opening Comments: Bendis knows how to start off something with a bang. He’s one of those writers who just knows exactly what to do to grab your attention and keep you staring until the comic falls out of your hands. Dark Avengers is a great start to something that has enough potential to be one of the best new books of 2009.
Story Comments: the story to issue #1 of Dark Avengers is fairly simple really. It assembles the team for their upcoming mission that starts as of #2. To some that may sound boring, after all the action here is little to none really and it’s just Norman going around and recruiting people.
The main plot of Dark Avengers first arc, outside of their assembling, seems to be the villain Morgan Le Fay. She was a great plot from Mighty Avengers that I’m glad to see Bendis returning to. Though really there isn’t much I can say on her, at least not yet.
From start to finish Bendis seems to use issue #1 as the perfect place for anyone interested to get on board and check out this book. We see every single member of the Dark Avengers as their revealed, Hawkeye as Bullseye, Venom as Spider-man, Moonstone as Ms. Marvel, Osborn as Iron Patriot and Daken as Wolverine. That along with 3 power hitters such as Noh-Var, Ares and Sentry makes one hell of a wicked strong team.
Though really what is so nice about this issue isn’t the team assembling, but how they assemble. Bendis writes all these characters very nicely and it’s refreshing when compared to his often frustrating attempt at pop culture jokes and poor humor. Here he demonstrates a powerful diverse character group. No one sounds the same or has the annoying back and forth talk that is so dragged that I have to check where the word balloons begin to see who it is talking.
I also liked the scene of Dr. Doom being dropped off at Latveria. We get somewhat of an homage to the Iron Man movie when one of the soldiers enthusiastically asks if they can take a picture with him. Doom’s stone response is priceless and it’s stuff like that which reminds me why he’s such a great character and even more so that Bendis writes him so amazingly well.
Overall each moment of an Avenger joining was great. Even the character of Daken was handled nicely where he isn’t his usually annoying self as seen in Wolverine: Origins. Characters all have great moments, my favorite being how Bendis handles Ares. He makes Ares seem like a smart brute, in that he doesn’t blindly support Osborn but still has his idiot moments, such as complimenting the new Ms. Marvel.
This issue was stuffed with plenty of great moments I could go on about, but really lets wrap it up with the final reveal that Iron Patriot is indeed Osborn. It was something we all saw coming, and I’m not disappointed at all. If anything, I’m just more excited to see how Osborn feels being a super hero.
To sum up this opening issue, Dark Avengers #1 was pure greatness. While not 100% perfect, as some moments did drag a bit such as the Ms. Marvel/Osborn confrontation it was still a great read. I can’t deny that maybe not everyone will love it, but for anyone interested they should know that it was, to say the least, a great opening issue.
Art Comments: Mike Deodato turned in the work of his career with his run with Warren Ellis on Thunderbolts. I doubt anything in the future will top that, at least not soon, and Dark Avengers keeps that true. We do get a few odd moments such as Venom looking really creepy with his neck and Ms. Marvel looking a little off but still he turns in great work as I’d hoped. The shadowy mood to the art is creepy at times, such as in Venom’s cell, but works perfectly either setting of dark or light. He turns in a great job here for art and I look forward to what he does in the series future.
Final Comments: I’m not sure everyone will love Dark Avengers. Despite a great start and some great art, not everyone loves the Avengers franchise and I doubt this would ever change their minds. Still, for me personally it was an incredible start, really. But now what’s crucial is if Bendis starts strong, and continues strong. If so, then we’ve got New Book of the Year material. If not, well, at least we got an awesome start.
Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5
Written: Todd McFarlane and Brian Holguin
Art: Whilce Portacio
Opening Comments: How long can you keep fans interested while dangling a piece of cheese on a string at them? Todd McFarlane seems to think that 4 issues of rather monotone build up and suspense can justify this new direction. I’d like to compare Spawn Endgame to Mighty Avengers #21. In one issue Slott has given us our heroes, our villains, our set up and things are looking good. 4 issues into Spawn and I’m still grasping at thin unreachable straws.
Story Comments: I won’t go into as much detail as I usually do as Spawn was once again a fairly thin read with not much weight to it.
Now through the issue Jim sees himself becoming Spawn more and more. First it’s just his hand, then he starts having visions of the Ghost Rider Wannabe he killed last issue. It’s some interesting developments and it leads into Jim fully becoming Spawn at the end of the issue.
Now before this we get a few interesting moments. Jim’s new doctor speaking with his old one was a great moment as Holguin knocked the telephone moment out of the park and it was a cool moment to read. Though really I think it’s just saying that Jim’s doctors where originally a bunch of attention starved pricks.
The best part of this issue was that Sara was alive and that Jim is currently living with her. Holguin has made a solid relationship for these two, even if it doesn’t become romantic any time soon. Their discussion is the best part of this issue as something about these two talking feels very realistic and solid. It made for an even better read, and I hope this becomes the main relationship of the series even as Jim becomes Spawn.
A moment where Clown speaks to some long forgotten soldier of Hell was more annoying build up. The dialogue was far too cryptic here as it will only make sense when all is revealing about Endgame, I’m sure.
When we catch up with the police on the man who blew his brains out as of Endgame chapter 1, the dialogue is at least better. Holguin knows how to create well rounded characters on their mere discussion and it’s rather nice to see him handling these characters with such strong emotion to the dialogue.
Now the cliff-hanger…it was nice to see Spawn, but by now we should have had Spawn at least in the middle of the issue. I’m not even sure how our new Spawn ties to the reporter, which by the way was a moment that felt very throwaway. I’m not sure how any of this will really connect anymore.
The story here was all right, it was never bad really, but it was more monopolizing time spent building up to something that feels like it will never come. We finally see Spawn at the end of this issue, I’m glad for that, but to be honest if I was one of the many people who jumped on with Endgame, or an old Spawn Fan who jumped back on, I’d probably jump off by now.
Art Comments: Jin Han is gone, sadly. I really liked his coloring as it worked well with Portacio’s incredible art. But I can’t deny that Jay Fotos does a great job as well. Either way the art here continues to be strong and solid work that is worthy of the Spawn title. It doesn’t redeem the slow pacing but still, it’s damn good. The final scene with our new Spawn was promising, in that I’m really hoping this is what we get every issue. A great looking really wicked and cool Spawn as Portacio ends the issue with. The art here continues to be pure greatness.
Final Comments: Spawn Endgame is quickly becoming the biggest waste of cash since Secret Invasion. I can stand waiting, I’m a patient guy, but you can only keep me waiting for so long. Still, things look to be FINALLY going somewhere and I can’t deny that this issue wasn’t poorly written, just slow. Still a good read even if I’m losing my patience here.
Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
And so ends the reviews. Hopefully with a trimmed down pull list I can keep up with my comics more easily now. So you all on Sunday for Week’s End. Expect some X-factor love in it.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This is a cool looking issue. Now I got 188, was nice to see Spawn finally even if just as the comic ends (more on that with tomorrow’s reviews) and I must say this direction is taking it’s sweet time. This cover looks to be a good old fashioned Spawn/Angel fight. Been way too long since we had one of those. It’s like…pizza not having cheese, just wrong. Also, that cover is absolutely amazing, god bless Capullo.
Invincible is a series that you always expect to have a certain status quo in. No matter how bad the shit hits the fan, you always expect the world to remain intact by the end of the day. The same can be said for Marvel or DC, no matter how bad things get you can usually lean on that dependability. Kirkman seems to have realized this and is about to bitch slap that all to hell! Damn…it mentions a lot of heroes are either dead or in the hospital, the world in shambles, not a pretty sounding storyline…honestly, all I’m hoping is Eve makes it. I can see a pretty good foreshadowing of her death. Still looks like an exciting story, can’t wait to check it out.
Savage Dragon #147
That’s an odd cover by Larsen, seems to be going for more of an abstract feel from the looks of it. This is leading into #150 later this year, I can see it a mile away. Everyone is in danger? Dragon back to his roots? Shit is about to hit the fan for him.
That cover gives me a baaad feeling. I like Dani as a character but I’m going to be seriously pissed if she kills Sara. Still, Witchblade remains my favorite comic right now. I’ve been told by Ron Marz that #124 is done and at the printers as we speak which is great! This storyline is looking to be epic. I’m also glad that it looks like that mysterious figure mentioned in last week’s issue reveals himself sooner then 100 issues from now.
Daredevil Noir #1
Of all the characters that could make Noir work, it’s Daredevil. But I’m already missing out on Spider-man Noir adventure as it is. I am glad to see Marvel branching out sooner then later.
All New Savage She-Hulk #1
A New She-hulk…that should be interesting. It’s written by Fred Van Lente so I doubt it could be too bad really. I may check it out, he’s a great writer and the story sounds interesting to say the least. My only real problem is Marvel's insistence on recreating heroes or making new versions of them. It's getting old real fast.
TimeStorm: 2009-2099 #1
I think I’m in the minority of people who absolutely 100% loved Marvel 2099 and everything about it. Was it messed up to a level? Hell yes. But I love messed up. It’s also one of the more under-appreciated things from Marvel’s past. This is a must have for me, no way I can miss out on the return of 2099. This promises the return of Spider-man 2099 and Ghost Rider 2099. How ironic, the best 2 characters from the 2099-verse!
Revenge? Oh hell…I really, really, really hope
You know I’m looking over the X-part of the solicitations and…goddamn, how many Wolverine books can you get out in one month?! I think the Wolverine Movie comes out this month because I’m counting…at least 15 Wolverine books! Jesus Marvel…why don’t you just go stand on the corners of streets begging for money? Oh well…I’m tempted to get Wolverine: Weapon X because it’s rejoining Jason Aaron and Ron Garney and these guys did an amazing job on Get Mystique.
Damn, damn, damn, damn! I want to read this so badly…Stryfe was another thing that was awesome about the 90’s…he finally comes back and I ain’t getting the storyline. Well…I can be patient for whenever the HC comes out. At least…I hope I can.
You Know I’m noticing something else…what’s with all this 8 pages of Director’s Cut crap? Some script and sketches? Yippy. Is that supposed to make me feel better about 4 dollars on one comic? Nice Try Marvel…
Mighty Avengers #24
Okay, call me crazy but what’s the point of saying someone is the main series artist if their not illustrating every issue? I love Sandavol’s artwork but I’m finally enjoying Pham’s and he’s taking a break? Damnit! Well this issue at least sounds great. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch confrontation should be great. I just really hope Pham is going to return in May. I mean just look at that cover! It’s awesome.
Secret Warriors #3
I gotta get this series. I can’t keep watching all these trailers and previews and not think “Must have” from the looks of it. I may have to trim my Pull list even more…*sigh* but this looks great, no way I’m missing out on it.
YES! It’s about ****ing time! I am so stoked for this! All right, more…trimming must be done because there is no way I’m missing on this either! This looks great, it’s been the thing fans have been clamoring for years now! Bendis and Maleev, together again, an ongoing series, and it’s about the best character Bendis has written since he grabbed the MU by the balls. I am so stoked for this! Its…another damn 4 dollars but…it will be worth it!
Ultimate Spider-man #133
I was going to drop Ultimate Spider-man since I’m not getting Ultimatum but…damn…the end? For real? All right Bendis…I’ll play your game.
Dark Avengers #4
All right, it’s fairly obvious that this ties into Morgan Le Fay’s thirst to kill Doom. I’m guessing something like she uses magic and forces the Dark Avengers after him. Should be a good read most notably since Bendis writes an incredible Dr. Doom and I’m sure he’ll be as great as ever in the pages of Dark Avengers.
Marvel Zombies 4 #1
I’m actually bothered that this is coming out so soon. I’m sure it will be great as volume 3 was incredible, but seriously, already? The previous 2 volumes all debuted in October, it was kind of cool to have them like that since it was around Halloween. I guess though that the HC will be available by then though. Still, psyched as all hell for this as I’m a big Midnight Sons guy.
Marvel Zombies 3 HC
Too bad to see Land’s first cover wasn’t used. It was an awesome cover that paid homage to an awesome series and awesome character…awesome. Still I look forward to picking this up and adding it to my collection of Marvel Zombies Hardcovers
Thor: Ages of Thunder HC
It’s about damn time! I thought Marvel would never get this out. And hey, they went with the best of the 3 awesome covers! That’s great! I’m seriously excited to get this and get it on my book shelf as soon as possible.
Spider-man: Torment HC
Another minority I seem to be in is people who absolutely loved Todd McFarlane’s Spider-man book. He seriously hit this one out of the park and I loved it. Again, another book I can’t wait to get my hands on and add to my book shelf.
Spider-man 2099 TPB
I was hoping Marvel would eventually reprint these. Awesome! Now all we need is Ghost Rider 2099 and we’re good. I loved this series as it was a brilliant and wicked take on Spider-man in my opinion. Too bad it isn’t being reprinted as a HC, that would be perfect.
So ends the epic Solicit Commentary. I’m sad to say I won’t be reading Jersey Gods, at least not for a while. But oh well. Look forward to reviews tomorrow.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Mighty Avengers #21 * Most Anticipated of the Week*
Written: Dan Slott
Art: Koi Pham
This was a really tough decision. It came down to this or Dark Avengers. I’ve seen the preview for both, and despite them both looking great, Mighty Avengers looks better. From the preview we can tell Slott read Young Avengers Presents as Vision/Stature are once again confirmed as a couple (YES!) and the Scarlet Witch is back within the span of a few pages. It looks to be a great storyline that I’m excited to read. But we’ve also got Pham on artwork. I was very worried at first, his stuff during Secret Invasion was disappointing. But damn, this looks incredible. I’m excited as all hell for this book, Slott may have finally found his big break that really gets him in the heart of the Marvel Universe.
Dark Avengers #1
Written: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Bendis is great at starting off a storyline. He’s one of those writers that can get you hooked from the first issue, but can either go the way of “great from start to finish” as was the Venom Bomb arc in Mighty Avengers or “great from start weak on Finish” as was Secret Invasion. From the preview, it looks great. Bendis doesn’t seem to be trying to make this a replacement for Ellis’ work on Thunderbolts like I felt he may try and Deodato’s art looks great. The Dark Avengers are the premier team of 2009 as their already going to be showing up in Herc and Thor and of course taking on the New Avengers and that all starts here. I’m psyched as all hell, but at the same time, not sure it will be great. I’ve got high hopes, but not quite as high as I do for Mighty. Still a good looking book.
Written: Todd McFarlane and Brian Holguin
Art: Whilce Portacio
Looks like things are going from bad to worse for Jim judging by the preview. I hope this means that we’ll actually see him as Spawn, doing things as Spawn through out the entire book. That would be great! I’m also hoping for a longer read then last month’s issue as last month’s felt a little too quickly read. Still, loving the hell out of Endgame and really looking forward to seeing what we get from here on out.
Now I would be getting Spider-man Noir #2 and Uncanny X-men Annual #2 but…well, you know. I may try and pick up the Annual still just for my curiosity about Emma and the fact that the art looks stunning. But that’s even if I get some cash by then, I’m struggling to get 10 bucks as it is. But bah, enough about that. So those are the comics I’m picking up this week! Look forward to reviews, hopefully sometime soon.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Comic of the Week: Witchblade #123
Invincible fought hard but just barely missed the mark. Witchblade had Sejic’s incredible artwork and an awesome fight going for it. Also the cliff-hanger was better, leaving me itching for February. Marz and Sejic are an incredible team and Witchblade remains at the top of my list of most recommended comics. Seriously, anyone interested, check it out.
Moment of the Week: Witchblade #123 and Final Crisis #6
I think I finally see what may be the catalyst for the War of the Witchblade. Sara thinks Dani was stupid for using the Witchblade to help Finch and thinks she’s being irresponsible, so she wants the other half back to stop Dani from making a crucial mistake later on. Still this was a great cliff-hanger for this issue and as mentioned above, leaves me psyched for February. With Broken Trinity all wrapped up there’s nothing to hold Sejic’s time and get a delay on the book. I’m really excited for Witchblade in 2009.
All right all right, huge moment I'm sure. Something about this is fishy of course. Already the internet is infected with theories on Batman if he is truly dead or not. Personally I'm not so sure anymore. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, either way Mahnke knocked the art out of the park here and I enjoyed this moment. Too bad it's about all I enjoyed of FC #6.
Cover of the Week: Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #3 by Juan Doe
Leave it to Juan Doe to steal the show. We had some good and cool covers this week but this one stole the cake and ate it. I’m not reading the book and I doubt I will, but damn whoever decided Doe should do covers was a genius. His style and ability to capture realistic looking images along with it is amazing.
So that’s it for Week’s End, probably on Monday expect The Week Begins. Have a great weekend everybody.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Ultimate Fantastic Four
Now I’m not exactly ecstatic to be dropping all these books, most of them I was enjoying and was happy to be reading. But see my LCS has a policy that if you have 3 cards of cardboard in your box, that I have a week to get all the comics out before I’m booted. As of this week I was at 2, though alleviated that a bit.
So all these books are now on the “wait for the trade” list.
I’m sorry to be dropping so many books, I may not get Thor either but for now it’s staying. But the person who owes me 30 bucks can’t be me until February and the way things are going, I’d be booted by then.
I’d love to return Uncanny X-men back to the pull list sooner down the road, so hopefully at least that one will return.
What does this mean for reviews though, you may wonder. Well hopefully with a bit less on my back, I can get reviews out on a more regular basis and keep up with the pull box a bit easier.
So that’s it for this quick, yet sad, Andrenn Update. I haven’t done one of these in a while and I figured this may be important enough at least to mention in an update. Have a great Weekend and enjoy MLK day, everyone. Expect Week’s End sometime tomorrow.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Final Crisis #6
Written: Grant Morrison
Art: J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco and Dough Mahnke
Opening Comments: A bit of a warning for all expecting my more in depth reviews, I’m going to glide over most of this issue as I found it to be rather meh, and talk about the real reason I bought this book. Batman.
Story comments: Let’s see if I can sum up the rest of the story to this issue outside of the final moments/Batman face-off in one paragraph.
This issue read like a jumbled mess, a boggle device of ideas and moments that where poorly skewed together in Morrison’s backwards attempt to make sense of everything. While some of these moments where nice, such as Mary being brought back to normal made me happy and the opening with Superman was cool, most of it was over the top randomness. The pacing is all over the place and it’s pathetic seeing the name Grant Morrison as the writer. Books like Secret Invasion have done this, of course, but the sheer random shift of tones and moments is crazy and it shows that Morrison was no doubt trying to stuff as much as he could all at once. While the writing itself isn’t terrible or anything, it’s random as all hell and jarring even for someone like me who has read the online spoilers/scans of the previous issues.
Now to the reason I bought the book, Batman’s fate. If you really haven’t read yet, I’ll let the next image spoil it for you.
Did you see it? Take a second look if you have to, Batman is now Kentucky Fried Dark Knight.
The moment that is just before Batman’s death is another death, or so we can suppose, in Darksied is shot in the chest with the same bullet that killed Orion. I must admit, as a fan of Batman, seeing that all of the heroes that would take Darksied down for good, I never expected Batman to do it. It was great.
But does that justify the entire issue? Not at all. One great moment must be joined with at least other good moment and a cohesive storyline. Final Crisis has neither.
The ending I must admit was nice, Superman showing up and, as we saw, holding the corpse of his friend and kicking all kinds of ass. It was a great cliff-hanger and it leaves me on the edge of my seat as to where we go now. I may, or may not, pick up #7
But overall it was an all right story with poor storytelling.
Art Comments: As I mentioned the other day in The Week Begins, I’m a big fan of Pacheco’s art. I wasn’t expecting much, if anything good from Jones and I had no idea what to expect from Mahnke. That all being said…wow…what a disaster.
The art here was horrid at best, while it never goes into Rob Leifiled bad, it still gets plenty bad. Jones doesn’t seem to even be trying more as the only scene that looked good with his art was the Batman scene. Pacheco obviously had to rush his usually superb artwork, and Mahnke was…actually a surprisingly well done artist for the final pages. I’m glad he’s taking over for Jones next issue because he did a great job here. But still, mot of the art in this issue was pure awful and it’s sad to see this as “event” quality art.
Final Comments: A jarring experience with only one good moment in it is not something I would recommend, and with awful artwork, I have no problem telling you that Final Crisis #6 is a book you should pass up. You want to have the comic that entails Batman’s fate? Fine. You want a good read with awesome art? Go pick up Witchblade or Invincible.
Writing: 2 out of 5
Art: 1 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5
Well now speak of the devil, Invincible is our next review!
Written: Robert Kirkman
Art: Ryan Ottley
Opening Comments: Invincible has been a very consistent book for me, rarely is there much bad to say about the book and it’s been really hitting some high points. This issue however doesn’t really deal with too much that’s all that important, and I’m getting a worry that Invincible may be returning to it’s older and more frustrating pacing.
Story Comments: The opening with Invincible and Kid-Omni-Man was nice. A fun little moment between brothers. But really not much to say on it, a nice opening for the comic and setting the light-hearted easy tone of the rest of this issue.
Another moment that I’m going to talk about as well as it’s solution near the end of the book, is Rudy and Amanda. I won’t go too in depth, but it was just a really good moment that Amanda has found a way to use her powers, and from the looks of it, not get younger. It was a nice moment between these characters as well, and I’m hoping this moment doesn’t backfire later on in the series.
Then we get…I don’t know what this is. Some random couple looking at a house. Do I know them? Should I? I’m confused here. I’ve read a lot of Invincible on and off but I don’t recall these people or who the hell they are. One of them looks like a Vilturumite guy from the past. I hate to sound so stupid in the middle of the review, but seriously, what just happened? Who are these two and why are they important to Invincible?
Then we get a random moment with Lethan, ruler of Atlantis (how many companies have to have an Atlantis as well as a ruler to go with it?) which was random and rather confusing to be thrown in the middle of it. I guess Kirkman’s attempt at humor?
When we get back to Invincible and Eve on their “date” they get interrupted by a villain named Killcannon. Sounds awesome. But he’s not. The moment itself was more set up for Invincible finding out why Eve, earlier, went to prison. Invincible will now be working as a security system for prisons, and I believe she mentioned banks as well.
It’s a great idea by Kirkman, Invincible’s attempts to keep the world save have been rather pathetic as of lately with his leaving Cecil’s organization. This should be an interesting little twist, and it leads into the next thing in which Invincible and Eve plan to get their own place.
I fear Kirkman is now seriously rushing this entire relationship for the sake of making up for so much lost time and people crying out for them to get together. I’m as happy as the next reader, but really, jumping to moving in together already? It’s a little odd.
Now there are other moments such as Invincible’s tailor meeting with one hero and Darkwing speaking with another hero. Both good but quick moments, and really, their not too great, their all right but really their not too great. Just all right, the same could be said for Oliver speaking with his tutor and Invincible finding another spying device.
The final 2 pages sets up what you would already know from an interview Kirkman did a few weeks back. Hamburger Head (I can’t remember his actual name) has gathered several evil version of Invincible, amassing a small army, if you will. It’s a great cliff-hanger and leaves me excited for next month’s issue.
Overall the story was nice, a tad random though. Nowhere near as jarring as Final Crisis, but it feels like Kirkman had several ideas he just had to stuff into one issue. Rather then spreading them throughout the next few issues. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, that we get them all in one issue, since now they can’t really interrupt the next issues.
Art Comments: I doubt there’s anything I can say about Ottley. The art continues to be great, everyone looks as they should and I’m glad to see Ottley finally being reigned in by an editor. Nothing much to comment on, he does a great job as always and it’s always great to look at.
Final Comments: Invincible #58 was a fairly standard well done book. We had lots of good moments and lots of all right moments. The twist of Invincible’s new career and him and Eve planning to move in together was nice at least. Overall though, it’s just an okay issue and I recommend it if you’re interested.
Writing: 3 out of 5
Art: 4 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
And now a quick Open Fire! Review for…
Ultimate Spider-man #129
Written: Brian Bendis
Art: Stuart Immonen
This issue was nicely done. Though like a lot of comics nowadays, it feels like there was more to do and not enough time to do it. We see Spider-woman return, but it’s rather randomly which disappointed me. Her and Human Torch have a team up, somewhat at least, and take down the Vulture. It was a simple but fun issue.
One thing I have to mention is that it seems Human Torch has a thing for Pete’s Clone…which is wrong on so many levels. But at the same time, a fun twist for the book. If Johnny survives Ultimatum and so does Spider-woman, this could lead somewhere very interesting. The art was all right, I’m not Immonen’s biggest fan but I did like it at least, and Spider-woman looks great.
Overall a good issue, check it out of you’ve been looking for a good place to jump back on.
Writing: 5 out of 5
Art: 3 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Written: Ron Marz
Art: Stjepan Sejic
Opening Comments: As mentioned last time, I find this arc to be rather meh in that while there is nothing wrong with it and Marz’ writing continues to be pure greatness, that doesn’t stop that it’s more or less treading things along until War of the Witchblade, which his disappointing. Still, this arc has been a good read nonetheless and this issue shows it may be more important then we figured.
Story Comments: Picking up where last issue left off, Gretch, the reporter, gets her ass saved by Sara from the Marinette, the villain here. An evil conjuring that is after Sara and has been killing to get her attention. This was a good opening moment as it sets the tone of what this issue is, more action oriented then what most of this arc has been.
Following this, Sara confronts a Mambo about Marinette, finding her, killing her, and it’s a nice moment. Marz definitely understands what he’s talking about and doesn’t seem to be pulling things that seem good out of his head and hoping they work.
We then see what holds the attention of most of this issue, Marinette and Sara fighting. It’s a good battle, not overly one-sided and overall I liked it. Marz balances interesting moments with strong action, as well as Gretch doing some narration over the fight which was a nice touch.
Though now we have a problem. Seems Marz has insisted on foreshadowing, something that’s starting to get on my nerves. Someone summoned Marinette, some man with a can who she does not of. It’s…frustrating to do this right before a big storyline/at the end of another one. If it where the start of a storyline involving the man then it would be fine, but it isn’t, it’s something Marz has done to foreshadow a later story no doubt with someone behind the scenes. Which has gotten annoying that so many stories do this nowadays.
The final scene is with Dani as she accompanies her student Finch, threatening her boyfriend and as the final page shows us, several blades at his body from the Witchblade. It was a great cliff-hanger and it leaves me really excited for the next issue.
Art Comments: Stjepan Sejic is pure greatness. The villain Marinette is a cool design and he obviously had fun painting her because he got to go a little crazy with it and it looks great. But I’m always praising his artwork, it’s stunning and pure greatness as always.
Final Comments: While the foreshadowing was annoying, it’s still a good issue. Though nothing overly exciting as far as plot resolution happens. Marinette just goes away like that. It’s an odd way to end the story. Still, another great issue nonetheless.
Writing: 4 out of 5
Art: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
So ends the reviews. Nothing to post until the weekend with Week’s End really. I’ll say this to close though, Image Comics is doing incredibly well with some of the best book on the shelves. Do yourself a favor, check out some of these great books.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Resident Evil 5
I wanted to open with my most anticipated video game of 2009, RE5. 4 was an incredible experience, completely turning this popular series around and upside down and making it work so well, 5 continues that and from the previews, looks to be an incredible game. Yes, there has been frustrating controversies over this game in that Chris Redfield, the main hero, is a white guy shooting African Zombies. Looking past the bullshit that is idiots looking to stir up controversy, this game looks absolutely incredible. Only a few months away, RE5 looks to be the best in the series yet, I know it’s a tough thought, after all 4 really set the bar high for anything to follow, but 5 looks like it will reach the bar, snap it in half then shove the broken bar down Wesker’s throat.
Fox is now the most frustrating pain in my ass company in all of America. I can take all the stupid shit with American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance and…ugh…THAT but…Watchmen takes the cake. I won’t go too in depth about it if you’re not aware, but to put it simple, Fox seems to have thrown a big wrench in the hopes of all comic lovers who enjoy Watchmen. Now I love this story and was extremely psyched for this movie…thanks Fox, almost forgot about that shitty Daredevil movie you guys made.
More Old Man Logan
Wolverine was one of the best series of 2008 and the streak looks to be alive as Old Man Logan should be closing mid-2009. Delays are always something that kill a good book for me, but this series has been able to survive despite them and for that I must say I am indeed impressed. Is it a little cliché? Yes, undeniably cliché in some aspects, but at the same time it has a great voice for the characters and some crazy fun ideas, and the artwork is absolutely incredible. Should this series be collected by 2009’s end it may just be Collection of the Year.
Battling for the Cowl
I won’t be picking this series up, at least I don’t look to. I’ve never once heard of Daniel as a writer and this could seriously bite DC in the ass for that, though I do like his artwork. At the same time, the idea is so cheesy and dumb, everyone fight to get Batman’s cowl, that it could be a dopey cartoon pitch and work better. It’s ludicrous and I’m sure it will either suck due to how poor it will al be, or only praised for the fact that it’s another one of those hyped comics that everyone is paid to love. Maybe I’m just being a bit too cynical, but with a title called “Battle for the Cowl” it’s hard not to roll my eyes.
Superman: Spaaaace Heeerrrooooo
So supposedly Superman is taking to the stars and leaving earth. That’s what seems to be the big point of New Krypton. Well as if that wasn’t stupid as it is, he no longer is the hero of Action Comics, the comic that he STARTED from issue #1…ugh, you know, every now and then I think DC is actually a smart company that makes some good decisions, then I see this shit and I just wonder if Didio throws darts at a board and whatever hits is the next big story. I know I’m being negative 2 times in a row, but DC seems determined on ****ing up their 2 biggest franchises. Don’t be too surprised of we get a repeat of the Multiple Wonder Woman crap sooner then later.
Brand New Day was the worst thing in 2008, to me, and I doubt things will improve as #600 for the wall-crawler is closer and closer. I’ll pick up this issue, and you know why? To prove a point. I can just see it now, it’s the most thing of the wedding. MJ is probably caught having a three-way with Uncle Ben and Norman Osborn or something that’s supposed to make us feel better about them not being married anymore. Marvel has made it clear they don’t care about the Spider-man fan base anymore in their piss-poor attempts to reboot the franchise, I doubt 2009 can make it any better.
Spawn keeps Ending his Game
Spawn: Endgame is 3 chapters in and it looks like everything has finally been set up for the rest of the storyline and we can finally go on with Spawn being Spawn. I look forward to seeing what Spawn does here, though at the same time, I’m not too sure. 3 chapters in and it’s degenerated to Check It storytelling but the opening chapter was Must Have material. Will the team keep Spawn down to 3’s or return the book back to 5’s? I’m not sure, but I have high hopes for it.
Marvel Zombies: The never ending story
As happy as I am to have the Midnight Sons back in business, the circumstance of yet ANOTHER MZ series is a tad frustrating. And if 4 addresses the end of 3, which is secretly 1.5 though Marvel won’t admit it, then why didn’t Marvel wait to tell the story of 2 to be the real #4 where #4 would be volume 3 instead of #3 being 1.5 or the actual 2. Marvel doesn’t know what the hell their doing with this franchise it seems. If Van Lente is involved and Walker is drawing, I’m check it out. Besides, more Man-Thing is always a plus.
War of the Witchblade is starting pretty soon here and I’m psyched for it. Witchblade is an incredible series and a real treat to read each month that I highly suggest. This storyline though I’m not so sure about. After all, Dani’s student Finch is supposedly the catalyst for the war…yet all she’s done is kiss Dani. Is she some new villain who plans to seduce Dani and use the blade? (Didn’t that just happen a few issues back?!).Marz really has me guessing and keeps poking holes in my guesses. Damn…is it February yet?
DC: Canceling for the hell of it.
DC is canceling Robin, Nightwing, Birds of Prey and Blue Beetle all in one month. While god awful books like Titans continue to pollute DC fans and comic book fangs in general. I tried the first issue of Titans…something I regret ever even looking at. I feel these cancellations are all severe mistakes on DC’s parts and it’s rather sad to see how little they really care of the fans’ opinions or about the books their canceling.
Invincible and His Amazing Friends
Invincible has been on a role with it’s new jumping on point a few months back. I’ve returned and I’ve yet to regret it. While the pacing is still a little off, compared to some of the damn near sluggish storytelling’s of the past, it’s great. I look forward to the book’s future as it’s finally back on schedule. #60 looks to be a good read and this plot should be cool. My problem is…there’s been a rumor spreading that Atom Eve will possibly die. Talk about cutting off your hand after getting your arm sown back on. Kirkman has been excelling at writing the relationship of Invincible and Atom Eve, it would be sad to see them cut away so soon.
Avengers, Mighty Dark and none too New
By now everyone knows I’m not getting New Avengers and won’t be anytime soon. The book looks great, and if I could spare some extra cash I’d buy it, but at the same time it doesn’t quite hold my attention as much as it’s 2 brother books. Dark Avengers looks to be awesome. I’m hoping Bendis doesn’t prove me wrong and that he can bring that street depth and grit to this title that it deserves, what with having Deodato’s amazing artwork and all. Mighty looks to be interesting as well, I’ve already mentioned my worries with it a while back, the relationships and artwork. Though I will give Slott the credit he deserves, when he’s not making bullshit excuses for Quesada on Spider-man, he’s a damn good writer.
Ultimatum, like seeing a bad torture porn movie?
I’m uncertain of Ultimatum. On one hand, the overall story isn’t awful, but on the other, if Loeb is just hinging on shocking scenes of death and violence, I could care less, amazing artwork or not.
Back in Blue…uh, green?
Savage Dragon was great and I’m glad to be reading it again. A new jumping on point comes next month with the Back in Blue storyline, and to anyone interested, I suggest you check it out.
Black Panther: Here we go again with the guessing…
I’m honestly sick and tired with Marvel’s fascination with rebooting/hyping some comics that either are unnecessarily rebooted or have annoying hype. I could take the SI posters but all these guess posters about who the new Panther is are getting on my nerves. I doubt I’ll check this series out at all.
The Promised land Moses talked about? Yeah, it’s Jersey.
Jersey Gods debuts next month and I must say, I’m excited about it. I love finding new and interesting looking series like this. The art still doesn’t really look all that great really, it looks passable but not to my tastes, but this still looks awesome. I’m not sure if it’s a Mini or an ongoing though.
Thor in the house!
It’s no secret I’m getting Thor now and that I will be from now on. While I’m not 100% sure about this series and a tad skeptical of #600 will bring me into it happy, I still look forward to checking it out.
X-matters of diplomacy
The X-men are tied into Dark Reign, even if they don’t want to be, and it looks to be an interesting tale. The Annual coming out soon chronicles Emma’s involvement with the Illuminati as well as…Namor? Odd that we see so many preview pages with Namor, one even of him kissing Emma, yet he stupidly forgot her at the meeting. Makes me wonder what Bendis was drinking as he wrote that issue…but anyway, the future of the X-franchise is looking up and I have high hopes for it.
And so ends our look at the coming year 2009. It looks to be one hell of a year, a bit better then 08 I’m hoping, both in the world, in America and in Comics.