Sardoween IV is this Saturday night!

It’s that time of year again where nerds and dorks fit in. This year it’s Occupy Wrigleyville.
You can run around as a Hobbit and no one will make fun of you!

Saturday, October 29 · 8:00pm – 2:00am
3714 North Clark St
Chicago IL

This year Sardoween will be held at Trace in Wrigleyville.
This could be where you start or end your haunted night.
My good friend Teddy Baseball will be tending bar that night and judging the costume contest.
The winners will be announced at 10pm!
There will be 3 winners for best costume.

This is a free event, all you have to do is be over 21.
Hope you can stop by.

Justice League is DOOMED with this trailer

The Justice League: Doom trailer hit the YouTube universe a few weeks ago but I wanted to get your opinion of the trailer. This is the first DC animated film that doesn’t get me too excited. It looks like another episode of the Justice League on Cartoon Network, not a movie.

Justice League: Doom will be a loose adaptation of the Mark Waid series, “JLA: Tower of Babel” where the Legion of Doom are formed to eliminate the Justice League using protocols created by Batman to take down the group should its members ever go rogue. The movie was adapted and written by Dwayne McDuffie right before his death in February 2011, and is directed by Lauren Montgomery. [33] It is set to be released in early 2012.

The film will feature Tim Daly, Kevin Conroy, Susan Eisenberg, Nathan Fillion, Carl Lumbly, Phil Morris, Olivia d’Abo, Alexis Denisof, and David Kaufman reprising their roles of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan / Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Vandal Savage, Star Sapphire, Mirror Master, and Jimmy Olsen from Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights respectively. Michael Rosenbaum, who voiced Wally West on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited will now voice Barry Allen.[34] The film will also feature the voice talents of Bumper Robinson as Cyborg, Carlos Alazraqui as Bane, Paul Blackthorne as Metallo, Claudia Black as Cheetah, and Grey DeLisle as Queen of the Royal Flush Gang. Steven Blum has been cast for a role. The character designs were done by Phil Bourassa (Young Justice) and storyboards and animation are overseen by TMS Entertainment. – From

What do you think?

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

3 page preview: Wolverine & the X-Men #2

Marvel Comics released a 3-page preview of Wolverine & the X-Men #2 Thursday afternoon.

Marvel also announced a link to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning ( and are social media active with #XMenRegenesis for twitter. Where readers of the book can leave comments or questions.

What are your feels on the X-Men changes?

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax Trailer

What!? The Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax trailer just brought back my childhood. I thought I lost it but it’s right here.

The 3D-CGI feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic boy who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O’Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted’s wise Grammy Norma. -jagfilm youtube

The Lorax hits theaters March 2, 2012.

What did you think of the trailer?

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

They forgot to color Dr. Doom?

Marvel Comics released the connecting covers variants for Fantastic Four #601 and FF #13 Thursday morning.

Giuseppe Camuncoli is the artist on the cover and this cover is supposed to represent the bold new direction of the Fantastic Four.

This is a very solid cover but it looks like they forgot to color Dr. Doom. This cover would have really popped if they add the green to Doom’s cloak. Doom being a team player doesn’t make sense either. Doom looks like Optimus Prime fighting the hate virus.

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”jonathan hickman” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Review: Mighty Thor #7 – Surprise, Odin loses an eye

The Mighty Thor #7 is about the untold story of Odin and his brother Cul. How Cul becomes the Serpent God of Fear and how Odin loses his eye and the coming of the prophecy of the world tree.

This book is well written and there is so great dialogue between Odin and Cul. Pasqual Ferry’s art is top-notch. The coloring by Frank D’Armata really makes Ferry’s art shine.

The problem with this book and with the Mighty Thor series is continuity or quality control. There is a panel that takes place before the dawn of time in this book and it has Juggernaut, Thing and Absorbing-Man as heralds of the God of Fear. How can this be? Before you blow up your brain trying to figure time travel pause for a second. Is it that hard to create new concept characters for six panels. You already have the designs. One of the other heralds looks like Hulk but he/she is a different color and you can’t tell for sure and the same for the others. Even if you left out the Thing’s rocky look and used his body type.

I wouldn’t find this an issue if it was the first time, but I made sure to reread the Mighty Thor series before issue seven and found several continuity problems. Thor would have a beard and then he won’t. Thor would have armor on, then it would be off. I know that sometimes artists draw pages out-of-order but Fraction might need to communicate better with his artists and make sure the details are straight. The problem when a book is for teens plus and that adults catch these things and expect more when your spending your own money.

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”Matt Fraction” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Review: Deadpool #45

Deadpool #45
Writer:  Daniel Way
Artist:  Salva Espin & Guru eFX

What happens when the recently-deceased chick who was your therapist/stalker has a freezer full of your dismembered body parts?  [Oooh!  Oooooh!  I know!  One of the most bizarre murder cases since Jeffrey Dahmer?] 

Actually, they thaw out and heal back together into an evil twin with two right hands.  Or at least that’s what they do when you’re Deadpool.

For most of the issue, Daniel Way contrasts what the real Deadpool and Evil Deadpool are doing on their journey from England back to the States.  The issue opens with Evil Deadpool hijacking the private jet of an unnamed [and rather douche-y, might I add] billionaire.  Meanwhile, the real Deadpool is hiding in the belly of a freighter and eating dog food.

As Evil Deadpool decides he doesn’t want money as much as he wants to set the billionaire on fire and throw him out of the plane, the real Deadpool is having a crisis of conscience.  It turns out the freighter he is on is full of kidnapped women from Eastern Europe.  Realpool takes out the traffickers as Evilpool kills the jet’s pilots and flight attendant.  You get the idea.  [And teary eyes when you see the “Good travels, daddy” written on one of the pilot’s lunchboxes.]


Sometimes, a new artist can be a jarring switch, but Salva Espin’s début as the book’s artist isn’t too much of a departure from Carlo Barberi.  Way’s 30-issues-and-counting story of Deadpool trying to find a place to belong or figure out how to die continues to feel fresh without backtracking over the same material.  Seeing how dealing with an evil twin of himself makes Wade further explore his conscience as this story arc progresses will be interesting.

[Coming November 16:  Flying-On-Fire-Guy #1!]

Story:  9/10
Art:  9/10 

[amazon_link id=”B005YDB4VM” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Deadpool #45 on Amazon[/amazon_link]

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #1

Wolverine and the X-Men #1
Writer:  Jason Aaron
Art:  Chris Bachalo & Tim Townsend 

The dust from the climactic showdown between Wolverine and Cyclops during Schism has settled.  Feeling that the young mutants among the X-Men needed a chance to be children and not warriors, Logan has returned to Westchester with Beast, Iceman, Kittie Pryde, Gambit, Rogue and Rachel Grey to start a new school in the place of the destroyed Xavier School.

Of course, he named it the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.  Who else would he name it after?

The first issue of the all-new, all-exciting Wolverine and the X-Men opens with Professor Xavier touring the newly rebuilt school, giving Logan his advice on being a headmaster and offering warnings on the ups and downs of being in charge of a school for teenage mutants.  Is that Doop in the background at the school’s front desk?  I know a few people who will be overjoyed that writer Jason Aaron found a way to bring him back.

The rest of the issue revolves around Logan and headmistress Kitty Pryde giving inspectors from the New York State Department of Education a tour of the facility, essentially serving as a primer on the book’s cast.  Various panels show Idie Okonkwo, Rockslide, and Anole in a psychic self-defense class with Rachel Grey, and Husk teaching “Introduction to Mutant Literature.”

Toad is shown as the school’s janitor, trying to tell Logan of some, ahem, structural issues with the school that Beast built.  Of course, it’s not a good time to point these things out considering the inspectors are there.

The inspection continues to spiral down until Iceman finally tells Logan that there’s a kid at the gate who wants to see him.  That kid turns out to be Kade Kilgore, the 12-year-old Black King of the new Hellfire Club who masterminded the events leading to the falling out between Scott and Logan.  Aaron establishes Kilgore and the Hellfire Club as this book’s first major villains in the following panels, as the pint-sized profligate promises to destroy all that Logan has built.

I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with Bachalo’s work over the years, primarily about proportion and being able to discern what’s going on in some panels.  Why is the 12-year-old Kilgore the same height as Logan?  I know Logan’s supposed to be somewhat on the short side, but the same height as a 12-year-old?  Aside from that and not being quite sure what was going on in the last page of the issue, however, I really enjoyed the art.  It was up there with his “Shed” story arc from Amazing Spider-Man last year.

As a first issue, this issue covers all the bases a series début needs to.  Aaron plants a lot of seeds for future plotlines and introduces readers to the book’s major players in the least confusing manner possible (which is especially important in the character heavy X-books).  The diagram in the back-breaking down the Jean Grey School’s faculty and students is a nice touch, as well as the mock-up of a class list brochure.  Choir with Professor Doop?  Sign me up.

Story:  9/10
Art:  7/10 

[amazon_link id=”B005YF92TQ” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Wolverine and the X-Men #1 at Amazon[/amazon_link]

Marvel goes digital with Avenging Spider-Man 1-3

Marvel Comics announced Wednesday that Avenging Spider-Man issues one, two and three will all come with a code for a free digital copy of the book.

According to David Gabriel, Marvel’s Senior VP of Sales initial orders for Avenging Spider-Man #1 are over 100,000 copies.

What do you think? Does a free digital version of the comic make you want to buy? Where you buying this  book already? If you buy it, will you even use the digital copy?

Written by ZEB WELLS
Art & Cover by JOE MADUREIRA

GET MAD! This is what you’ve been waiting for! The return of legendary artist Joe Madureira (X-Men, Battle Chasers) and fan-favorite Spidey writer Zeb Wells in a brand new, highly anticipated, monthly Spider-series that teams the wall-crawler up with some of the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe. In our first issue, Spider-Man and Red Hulk take on a Moloid army during the New York Marathon! Stay safe until November because you’ll want to be here!

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”zeb wells” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

New 52 Review: Aquaman #2


Written by: Geoff Johns

Art by: Ivan Reis and Joe Prado

Review Score: 7 / 10

After a solid first issue from Geoff Johns , this issue of Aquaman moves by at a very slow pace . In fact not a lot happens story wise this issue. We see the carnage that is left after the Piranha looking creatures introduced last issue have had their fill of “food”. This prompts a local detective to track down Aquaman so that he can lend his unique skills to the investigation. The quieter scenes inside of Aquamans lighthouse apartment with Mera are good. You can tell she is completely enamored with him and you believe that they truly belong together.

This leads Aquaman and Mera to go and investigate the crime scene and all hell breaks loose. Again Reis and Prado knock the art out of the park with this book. The action scenes are all framed perfectly and there is a great sense of weight with each movement and attack . The creatures themselves are full of great detail including several tears in their skin and a very cool slimline yet grotesque body.

My biggest complaint is that these Piranha creatures continue to have only one motivation  , which is to eat . The ending however does show that they may have found their purpose for coming ashore now, and that is Aquaman himself. It ends with us being teased a future in which we will learn more about our antagonists and that’s just enough to make me hooked for the next issue. There is solid work continuing to be done here and I’m hoping for some answers come next issue .

Mike DeVivo

Follow me on twitter @pandasandrobots


[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”geoff johns” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Review: The Walking Dead #90

The Walking Dead 90 Cover

The Walking Dead #90
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard

“We Are The Walking Dead!”- Rick Grimes, Issue #24

They must be, cause there sure aren’t any zombies to be found in this issue. Usually, I wouldn’t be okay with such madness, if it had been in any other zombie medium. But with Kirkman at the helm, you’re sure to get a great character pieces.

This issue, like always, follows directly after the cliffhanger of the previous book.  Which in comparison to dozens of other past issues, this one is fairly light. The community, that Rick and company resides in, are beginning to fear them as they’ve shown a heavy dose of violence (competence) to recent life-or-death situations. As our gang is well oiled in almost every post-apocalyptic scenario imaginable (note to self *Not Possible.) this sheltered community fears they’re abrasive-ness and their will to survive in any given situation. They’re the alpha dogs and of course Rick nails the point in. The whole time Rick spouts a speech, stating that he doesn’t want to kill anyone that came before him, but he wants to protect everyone, while holding a gun dead to the face of the communities instigator. Don’t get me wrong, I believed every word that Rick said, just someone should have pulled him aside and said: “This is kinda why they fear us”.

As I’ve said before, there is not one zombie to be found in this entire issue; so kudos to Robert Kirkman for scene after scene of progressive character development. Like I’ve said in past reviews, I can’t help but get excited when I know the writer of a comic has passion and is excited as well to work on a project. This goes doubly for Kirkman as he is the creator and writer since the beginning of this series. So every character feels completely genuine to me. I never doubt if Rick is acting out of character, or if Carl is jumping in front of the wrong bullet. Some issues can get redundant, with minimal characterization. But then you get issues like this one and you can’t help but fall in love all over again. I can only hope that when Kirkman is finished, that Image Comics allows him to put the series to a close… and we’ll always have the television show which has endless material to play in and if you’re not watching AMC’s The Walking Dead, shame on you.

Charlie Adlards art is what we’ve seen issue in and issue out. He hits all the emotional beats, as he’s greatly improved drawing proportionate faces, which adds to weight of the drama. Though I’d say his backgrounds have taken a slight hit from the latter; but with great dialogue, the focus on the close-ups proved effective throughout the book.

This issue ends with yet another cliffhanger; not of terrifying proportions, but on the note of love. A love I’ve been dying to see come to pass! Cause again, with Kirkman at the helm, it just feels right.

Story: 9.5
Art: 8.5

And to send you all off, check out what my boyfriend bought me this weekend:

Rick Grimes B&W Variant - McFarlane Figures

That’s right, be jealous. =]

Follow me on Twitter @ddsuperbatnix

Review Double-Shot: Amazing Spider-Man #672 & Venom #8

Amazing Spider-Man #672
Writer:  Dan Slott
Art:  Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado, Victor Olazaba & Karl Kesel

Venom #8
Writer:  Rick Remender
Art:  Tom Fowler & John Rauch

When we last saw Flash Thompson in Venom #8, he was at the bedside of his just-deceased father with his blogger-journalist-girlfriend Betty Brant.  The drama of his father’s ailment played out over the past several issues, with Flash wondering why he should care.  After all, his dad was an abusive drunk who, if you think about it, is the cause of Flash being such a douche earlier in life when he was the constant high school tormentor of now-friend Peter Parker.

Anyhow, as Betty hands Flash a letter his father wrote to him in his last lucid moments, he receives a call from good ol’ Uncle Sam letting him know that Venom is needed to kill the Queen (who was revealed several issues of Amazing Spider-Man ago to be the true villain behind Spider-Island).  Flash gives Betty — who of course doesn’t know that her boyfriend is secretly moonlighting for the government as Venom because, hey, he got his legs blown off in the war — the excuse that he needs to run off to find a safe evac point for her.

As Flash goes off to fight the Queen, the contents of the letter are displayed in captions throughout most of the rest of the issue, revealing that the elder Thompson actually regretted his actions as a father and was, indeed, proud of his son.  Unfortunately, the letter will never be read because it falls out of the Venom suit mid-battle and lands in a fire.  Sorry, Flash…Looks like you’ll have to go through life still believing your dad was an alcoholic asshole who never cared about you.  Although it feels like this gets played out often in storytelling, it’s a nice plot device that Remender is wise to use in this situation.

The fight between Venom and Queen shuffles through a lot of dominance double-entendres until eventually, the now-cured Captain America (remember, he was the Spider-King for a bit) shows up to aid Venom and remind the Queen that there are laws against public fornication in the city of New York.

This leads us right into the beginning of Amazing Spider-Man #672.  Part of the brilliance of how this event has been set up is that you don’t have to read every tie-in to get it.  If you aren’t following Venom, the opening pages of ASM essentially recap the last moments of Venom and Cap’s fight with the Queen before she mutates into a giant spider beast (complete with weird, random boobs!).

Fade to Peter Parker and his clone, Kaine — who he cured in the last issue — still in Horizon Labs as they hear people approaching, namely Mr. Fantastic and Pete’s Horizon Labs coworkers.  Pete takes off the Spidey suit and gives it to Kaine because the scruffier clone of Peter Parker is just going to be confusing to everyone.  There’s some great back-and-forth between Pete, Kaine and the rest of the supporting cast as they round the corner to find Pete standing next to Spider-Man, as Mr. Fantastic, the Avengers and Mary Jane are the only ones who know he’s Spider-Man.

After this issue, and pending any random surprises, I think it’s safe to say everyone has a good idea of who the new Scarlet Spider is going to be.  Of course, putting Kaine in a Spidey outfit and having him run off to save the day with Pete would also be a good way to confuse readers.

As Peter, Kaine and several Marvel heroes try to stop the now-giant-spider-creature-with-weird-boobs Queen, Mary Jane says something to Peter that leads to him realizing how to save everyone.  Essentially, being in mental control of all the spider monsters she’s created from the entire population of Manhattan Island has made the Queen a god, so if Spider-Man somehow cures them all, she becomes much less powerful.

I won’t spoil anything any further, but it’s really quite ingenious of Dan Slott to keep pulling up random plot points from past issues.  It really gives the book a feeling of consistency.  He deserves even more praise for continuing to throw fuel the “Restore the Peter/MJ Romance” fires.  (Seriously…Pete forgot entirely about current girlfriend Carlie Cooper after she turned into a spider monster, and instead of going off to find her after he cures everyone, he has a moment with Mary Jane on top of the Empire State Building.)  He’s building up some good potential conflicts and drama here.

If anything, the only thing that really jumbled this story up was the overall amount of characters.  With so much going on at one time, it sometimes makes things a bit jumbled and harder to follow.  Venom flowed a bit better this issue because its felt more focused, but this is not unexpected in an event storyline, where you have a macro-focused main book and micro-focused tie-ins.

Ramos’ work continues to pop, as well, and that’s equally due to the fantastic coloring of Edgar Delgado.  The same can be said for the Fowler/Rauch team over in Venom.

All that considered, I’ll be surprised if there isn’t some sort of heated debate on message boards about the sex references by Slott and Remender in both books, as well as the boobs on the giant spider-creature version of the Queen.  While the spider-creature boobs did weird me out a bit, the sex references advanced the story and added character depth.  Both of these books carry at least a “T” rating, and there is the entire Marvel Adventures line if you can’t handle that.

Amazing Spider-Man #672
Story:  8.5/10
Art:  9/10

Venom #8
Story:  9/10
Art:  9/10 

[amazon_link id=”B005Y1ZJXI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Amazing Spider-Man #672 on Amazon[/amazon_link]

[amazon_link id=”B005YF72NO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]BUY Venom #8 on Amazon[/amazon_link]

Wolverine & The X-Men teaser image “Things to Come”

Marvel Comics released this teaser image Wednesday morning of “things to come” in Wolverine and the X-Men.

Wolverine and The X-Men #1 hit comic book store shelves today. Jason Aaron is writing the book with Chris Bachalo on pencils. In the press release Marvel Comics also stated that this creative team will be working together through issue four. No word on the teams status after issue four.

What are your feels on the new direction of the X-Men universe?

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”jason aaron” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Our Underwear 11: The Super-Secret Vengeance of Atomic Robo’s Hell in Russia!

In which I present the last week in review (aside from bad Marvel “event” stuff) but dispense with the device of numbering the discrete elements of this piece.

Best comic of the week: Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X #2 (of 5)

Drop everything!
This cover is by the team that did the interior art. How delightfully novel!

Words: Brian Clevinger    Art: Scott Wegener    Colors: Ronda Pattison    Letters: Jeff Powell    Editing: Lee Black

Here’s what a fan can find in Atomic Robo: Excellent art, snappy patter, good gags in the minutiae of background details, fidelity – and even fondness – for the world of science (caveat in next paragraph), near-unparalleled action set-pieces, stylistic bravery, and a self-contained universe that builds upon itself exponentially with each volume. I sincerely believe that the world of Atomic Robo is beginning to deserve comparison to Mike Mignola’s universe of [amazon_link id=”1593079109″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Hellboy[/amazon_link] and the [amazon_link id=”1595826726″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]B.P.R.D.[/amazon_link] in its scope and ambition. In fact, the most apt way to describe the Roboverse might be something like, “The Mignolaverse, but with physics and adventure replacing demonology and horror.” And that is HUGE praise.

The premise itself does need a comics-sized suspension of disbelief. It is: Nikola Tesla created a sentient nuclear-powered robot in secret a hundred years ago. Tesla has become THE go-to guy for steampunk sci-fi unlikelihoods. Off the top of my head, he is a deus ex-machina in [amazon_link id=”B000L212HC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Prestige[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1582406057″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Five Fists of Science[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”1888963204″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]RASL[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”0785144226″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]S.H.I.E.L.D.[/amazon_link], and this. I think that [amazon_link id=”1888963204″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]RASL[/amazon_link] is the only one that gives him credit for both the [amazon_link id=”B000096IAC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Philadelphia Experiment[/amazon_link] AND the Tunguska Event. What the hell, go with it, Tesla invented sentience a hundred years ago, why not? You’d be a fool to miss this fantastic world but for that. You don’t want to be a fool, so that’s settled.

As this issue opens, our hero – Robo – is falling. Credit the cover with truth in advertising on top of its other virtues. Robo had launched into the stratosphere on a mere seven hours notice in a desperate attempt to save some astronauts… but his craft got creamed by a NASA satellite. So, this:

Robo falls
We've all been there, am I right?

Man. Look at that. The struggle and desperation to live explodes off the page pounds ya right in the viscera until what you have left is a totally pounded-to-hell viscera. Ouch! Do I even need to continue? Last week was a pretty flippin’ good week for comics, and this one was the best. You know what to do.

Best re-issue of the week: [amazon_link id=”B000WOVVC0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]DC Comics Presents Superman: Secret Identity[/amazon_link]

Secret ID
Now, that is just lovely.

Writer: Kurt Busiek      Artist (pencils, inks, colors): Stuart Immonen      Letters: Todd Klein

On his Twitter feed, Kurt Busiek opines that this is among his very best work. He ain’t wrong, and considering that he has also written [amazon_link id=”1401229840″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Astro City[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”078514286X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Marvels[/amazon_link], and the Avengers’ [amazon_link id=”0785107746″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Ultron Unlimited[/amazon_link] storyline, that’s saying something. It’s NOT a tale of Kal-El, the last son of Krypton. It is, instead, the tale of a young man who constantly gets teased with “Superman” references because his parents – name of Kent – misguidedly named him “Clark.” Oh, and when he’s seventeen or so, he becomes an actual superhuman. As J. Jonah Jameson might say, “What are the odds?”

But Busiek rocks the premise from honeymoon to Brigadoon, and Immonen does perhaps the best work of HIS excellent career – yeah, better than [amazon_link id=”0785144617″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.[/amazon_link]  or [amazon_link id=”1603090495″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Moving Pictures[/amazon_link]. The guys inspire each other to heights in this story that is NOT about becoming Superman, but about becoming a man. Except nowhere close to as cheesy as that sentence I just wrote. It’s about friendship and love and trust. And it’s about being a young man and getting captured by the government for the first time, and resenting it.

SID burn
Kind of a 'flames' theme to the images so far, eh? Hey, where's his weiner?

Honestly, I’m an ENORMOUS fan of what DC is doing in their reissues of their most fantastic work of the last two decades in this format, which splits the difference (price-point-wise) between monthly floppies and trade paperbacks. This $7.99 magazine does NOT, as it happens, have the entire series, just the first two issues. You’d never be able to tell. This is a must-own.

Also very good: [amazon_link id=”B005WD4VLO” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: Russia#2 (of 5)[/amazon_link]

BPRD Russia 2
Cover by Dave Johnson - hot damn tamale, last week was a great week for COVERS too, hanh?

Story: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi      Art: Tyler Crook      Colors: Dave Stewart      Letters: Clem Robins

“Every few years, [Mignola and cohorts do some totally awesome Abe Sapien stuff.] Then, five years later, they drop some huge callback on you letting you know WHY it all happened. ” – Me, 10/5/11.

Abe callback
Nailed it! (Okay, okay, The Abyssal Plain came out June & July of 2010. Still...)

Awesome series, awesome world-building, awesome excuse to toot my horn.

Scarface up there is the boss of Russia’s BPRD analogue. He got the job, so he says, because his having been dead for 40 years makes him a natural for paranormal type stuff. This issue demonstrates that he did NOT get the job because of his people skills. Beyond that, I don’t know what to say – what have you been doing with your life if you aren’t reading BPRD by now? You can’t see it, but now I’m slowly shaking my head in disappointment.

I’m digging this series too: [amazon_link id=”B005VSHFQI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Vengeance #4 (of 6)[/amazon_link]

Well, Loki there!

The credits are right there on the cover, cut me some slack.

Another lovely cover, this one by Gabrielle Dell’otto, and one that proves that a picture of nothing but a single character – not even so much as a background – can still be quite un-boring. The angle of the shot, facial expression, color choices, the medium itself (looks painted, I’d say) all add up to Something New on this cover. Actually, I dropped the ball this week and don’t have a Boring Cover of the Week, which is too bad, because I’m sure there must have been another cover of SOME comic last week with just a lone figure that just sucked. Wait, I’m being boring. Sorry about that!

This series is interesting – I still don’t know where it’s going, but I sure as hell want to find out. The forces of neutral continue to take on the forces of evil and, this issue, an uncharacteristically malicious Kid Loki – it doesn’t look to me like Joe Casey and Kieron Gillen are on the same wavelength with future Legionnaire Loki-Lad, but that’s no big whoop – he IS the god of chaos and mischief, after all. He’s earned the right to be mercurial.

Hey, I just heard a suspicious noise from downstairs, I’ll be right back.



Tuesday’s top picks: Mighty Thor #7

Why would I be excited about Mighty Thor after Fear Itself #7, since I wasn’t a fan of Fear Itself from the beginning? Might Thor #7 gives Matt Fraction time to develop and explain a character that wasn’t explained well in Fear Itself. This book might make me like Fear Itself and I really wanted to like Fear Itself. As a reader I want to like everything that I read, I don’t want to see a writer fail. That kind of thinking does no one any good. I want to see Fraction succeed with Thor because Thor is one of my all-time favorite characters. I grew in the Walt Simonson era of Thor, with epic battles, fighting giant monsters. Then the way that J. Michael Straczynski envisioned Thor was brilliant, how gods never die as long as we believe in them. Fraction is trying to do something different and I appreciate it, he just hasn’t found his Thor voice yet. Issue seven of Mighty Thor starts his fourth story arc with the world of Asgard and I wish him the best of luck.

Mighty Thor (2011) #7
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Pasqual Ferry

The critical Fear Itself prequel that couldn’t be told until now! • Discover the true story behind the Serpent & Odin’s past!

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”False” show_border=”False” keywords=”Matt Fraction” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Avengers Origins: Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver #1 five page preview

Marvel Comics released the first four pages of AVENGERS ORIGINS: SCARLET WITCH & QUICKSILVER #1 on Monday.

This is the origin story of how Wanda and Pietro went from villain to hero. Sean McKeever is the author of this book with art by Micro Pierfederici.

Do we need this story? Are you excited? Is Marvel getting their origins together so that Wanda can go crazy again and kill everyone? The Scarlet Witch is that wild card character that always scares you  because your favorite hero or villain could disappear in a second.

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”True” show_border=”False” keywords=”sean mckeever” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Our Underwear #10 – The ONLY Fear Itself post you will ever need to read!

by John Velousis

Part 1 – Everything that was right about Fear Itself #7 and the event in general (Kinda spoiler free, maybe?)

1. It totally made sense and was pretty cool when Captain America picked up [that one thing.] Right?
2. I dug how Hawkeye looked kinda pissed because he WANTED missing a shot to be a possibility.

FI Stinkeye
Sucks if he's trying to do that thing where you shoot a chandelier so it falls on somebody. Oh, all FI#7 art is Stuart Immonen, and/or Wade Von Grawbadger (who drew with vines?), and/or Laura Martin "with Ponsor & Milla" - Jesus, even the CREDITS are stupid and fucked up.

3. [amazon_link id=”B005CWOQ1K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: Deadpool[/amazon_link] ruled the roost. BIG UPS to Christopher Hastings (W), Bong [!] Dazo (Pcls), Joe Pimentel (Inks), Matt Milla (Clrs), and Simon Bowland (Ltrs).

It happens, you know.

4. [amazon_link id=”078514840X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Journey Into Mystery[/amazon_link] was the big winner among the non-limited series (in theory) tying into FI. I’ll be talking about last week’s issue at length NEXT week, since the next issue drops Wednesday, but Kieron Gillen womped like a MUTHA in Loki’s adventures. My quick take: This series killed the ass off  Superman Beyond 3D, Grant Morrison’s shorter but similarly-themed adjunct to [amazon_link id=”140122282X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Final Crisis[/amazon_link]. Really.
5. [amazon_link id=”0785163891″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: The Home Front[/amazon_link] had a lot of good stuff. I’m a fan of Mike Mayhew’s particular brand of painted photo-realism, so I’m glad to have seen a bunch of that. BUT, his stuff really pops for me when he has garish colors to work with, so it was a li’l bit sucky that Christos Gage had him (and colorista Rain Beredo) draw so many normal schmucks and baddies whose costumes were just black. Anyhow, the series still had plenty of good stuff, with the standout pieces being most of Howard Chaykin’s pages, the awesome American Eagle piece in #5 by Si Spurrier & Jason Latour, and the always-welcome Great Lakes Avengers/Defenders/X-Men/JLI, by Elliott Kalan, Ty Templeton, and David Curiel.
6. [amazon_link id=”0785157018″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt[/amazon_link] (W,A,C,L: McKeever, Norton, Gandini, and Cowles) was a worthwhile read, and it has this:

You say Meta, I say LaMotta.

7. [amazon_link id=”B005PHT6G2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: The Monkey King[/amazon_link] (a Fialkov-Doe-Quintana-Lanphear joint) was more fun than watching Joyce Carol Oates foolin’ around with a monkey. Which I have imagined many times.

That’s the good stuff. Any parts of the Marvel [Publishing] Universe that tied into Fear Itself and were good – the best F.I. moments from Invincible Iron Man or Thunderbolts or New Avengers or whatever – do NOT get especial credit, because they would have been just fine WITHOUT the big event. Well, maybe the MODOK thing from Hulk needed a suitably big world threat to help Ole’ Big-Head learn to love. Hard to say.

Part 2 – The BAD things about Fear Itself #7 and the event in general

1. Odin’s plan was absolutely moronic, unrealistic, cowardly, contemptible, poor strategy, and generally asinine. Nobody anywhere doesn’t think this.
2. Captain America using shotguns to easily blow Nazi red-shirts robots out of the sky. Look at all the piled-up wiped-out robot-VolksWagen things:

Cap guns
That grumpy old dude sure wants them to come on!

Golly, if only they had this amazing “shotgun” technology available in Washington, D.C., which those things supposedly totally destroyed. Instead, all they had available in Washington were tanks, fighter jets, bazookas, grenades, and EVERY PIECE OF WEAPON TECHNOLOGY THAT COULD BE BOUGHT WITH 50% OF EVERY FUCKING AMERICAN TAX DOLLAR FOR THE LAST 40 YEARS.
3. Humanity all simultaneously Not Being Afraid was predictable from roughly one second after we found out that the big bad, The Sears Pants, is powered by human fear.
4. The “death” of Thor while he has a current ongoing series has about as much dramatic heft as the death of Kenny in episode #29 of [amazon_link id=”B00023P49M” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]South Park[/amazon_link]. Also, what did he die of, exactly? Anvilitis? The only question on anybody’s mind is how long Marvel will pay lip service to the idea of Thor being dead. But Thor is immortal – not because he’s a “god,” but because he is a corporate property. A corporate property will not and cannot be made to stay in the grave as long as it can be monetized.
5. Just, in general: Fuck prophecy. Don’t like it. Crap story device, except when Loki wields it.
6. BTW also, Heimdal can suck it. What a tool. He just basically does nothing ever except watch Odin act like the king of all assholes, followed by blindly obeying whatever whack shit Odin demands of him.
7. The dialogue in the main series was bad. All of it.
8. If I gave a shit about continuity, I would point out sloppy errors like Captain America’s un-scarred shield in his new series (or the OBVIOUS problems with aerodynamics this would create), or Cap’s WAY continuity-sloppy appearance in Daredevil. Suffice to say, there’s no clear idea what happened when ANYWHERE. (Can you order Fear Itself, Spider Island, Schism, FF’s War of Four Cities, etc? I sure as shit can’t.)
9. I regard Fear Itself (Main Series), Book of the Skull, Hulk vs Dracula, The Deep, FF, and The Fearless (Issue #1 only, not buying the rest) as a fucking waste of sixty bucks. I spent money on all of this, I don’t get review copies (and probably never will with an attitude like this!)
10. So, here is Sin at the end of the big Fear Itself battle.


Let’s ignore the fact that her face is a red skull because of horrible burn scars that are suddenly smooth. Instead, I want to know if she was jailed in any of the prisons that held Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, or Mohamar Ghaddaffi. Oh, wait a sec, it slipped my mind, those guys – who ADDED TOGETHER killed about 5% of Sin’s headcount as the cause of Fear Itself – got killed the fuck dead as soon as ANYBODY laid eyes on them. Seriously, did Captain America fistfight the entire population of Asgard to keep them from chopping off her head? In what silly-assed world is she alive, other than as an act of a god who has a product to move?
11. This:

FI buy it! BS
FI buy it! Defenders

As dental models.

FI buy it! It's coming
"On my face."
FI buy it! FOLLOW
I hate this fucking word.

Are event comics ALWAYS money-grabs by desperate companies who hope the jump in sales makes up for the rotten aftertaste that never, ever goes away? Hey Marvel, keep searching for the new Jim Shooter, okay?

Part 3 – And now, a word from the medium of comics

And from me. Me and comics, both at once somehow.

Splitlip gets analytical
"So... wanna go to my place?" "... All right." Art: Larroca Color: D'Armata Plot: Fraction

The above is my favorite scene from Invincible Iron Man #509, which I have profaned by replacing Matt Fraction’s  words with MY OWN treatise on What Is Good, which differs shamefully from that of Conan the Barbarian. End of column, thanks!


Real life Spider-Man wedding photo

My wedding photos have just arrived!

We had an amazing photographer, Dan Chen from Dan is a huge fan of comics and  he was really excited to work at Architectural Artifacts in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. My wedding to Margo was on September 10, 2011 (9,10,11).

Dan and I are huge comic book nerds so there is no way possible that we weren’t going to try to recreate the cover to Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. Margo was a great sport and that is why I married her.

To see the rest of our wedding photos and the amazing work of Dan Chen click here:

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

Fantastic Four #600 teaser image with Avengers

Marvel Comics released this teaser image for Fantastic Four #600 and FF #12 Friday morning with caption, “This is not the future we were promised.”

Marvel has released images all this week promoting these two upcoming issues. This is the first image that shows the rest of the Marvel Universe of heroes. Theses book are coming out in back to back weeks starting November 22nd.

Has Marvel over hyped this book?

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_carousel widget_type=”SearchAndAdd” width=”600″ height=”200″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”True” show_border=”False” keywords=”Jonathan Hickman” browse_node=”” search_index=”Books” /]

Journey into Mystery teaser image

Marvel Comics released this image Friday morning promoting the new story arc in Journey Into Mystery, starting with issue 633.

You can see Loki and Son of Satan in the picture. The title of the arc is, “The Terrorism Myth.” Kieron Gillen posted on his twitter account (@kierongillen) that both 632 and 633 are fine jumping on points for those who wish to join us post Fear Itself.

The Comic Vault has just spotlighted Gillen’s work a few days early here, Writers Spotlight: Kieron Gillen’s Phonogram

What do you think of Journey Into Mystery and Kieron Gillen?

Follow Matthew Sardo on Twitter! @comicvault

[amazon_enhanced asin=”0785159223″ /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”078514840X” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”0785152261″ /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”0785147195″ /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”1582406944″ /]