Saturday, April 4, 2009

Comic Book Moments of the Week for 04/01/09

Flash: Rebirth dominates the Moments of the Week with lots of specualtion on who the mystery villain is and critiques over character portrayals.

My moment of the week would have to be some kind of toss up between the hilarious Mini-Marvels from the Marvel Assistant-Sized Special and the Thing's olde English clobbering time scene from Dark Reign Fantastic Four.

The anti-moment of the week could go to any number of moments. There's the horrible, horrible Black Billy appearance in Justice Society of America or Jay Garrick claiming Barry made him the Flash in Rebirth or Cable's suggestion to gut and kill his friend, Deadpool, in Cable or even Bishop's masterplan for killing Stryfe in that same issue.

Hit the jump for the moments and feel free to let me know if I missed any major happenings this week.


Couldn't find the context of this scene, but it's fairly obvious why I chose it - Gorilla-Man getting caught in the gas and M-11 cleaning up the mess.

Sentry needs to be like this more often.


I feel like busting out the Mini-Marvel's 'Spider-Man Remasked - we don't know who he is again', but I've got some Mini-Marvel goodness later in the moments, so I'll refrain from pointing out the absurdity of post-OMD Spider-Man comics.



THIS? This is Bishop's master plan? He expects Stryfe, the most powerful telepath/telekinetic in the world, to use a handgun to kill Cable and he's going to then shoot that all powerful telepath/telekinetic in the back? The same telepath/telekinetic that's covered in a full metal bodysuit that will more than likely protect him from any bullets fired? The same one that could stop said bullets with his vast telekinetic powers? My head hurts.


Saw this ad in the Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary issue. Captain America #50 is in May and #600 (ugh, razzafrazza renumbering) is in June, so not related to those. The Marvels Project was my next guess, but it's set to start in June, so don't see it being that either. Are we going to see Steve Rogers back this summer once the renumbering comes back?


Ben Grimm with a monacle and ye olde English speech? That's gold, Jerry. Gold.


Pretty easy to tell Robert Kirkman wrote this series.


Not reading the Doom & MOE series, but that's one funny recap page.


There have been all kinds of crazy theories revolving around the mystery villain from Flash Rebirth #1, ranging from The Rival, the Reverse Flash, Zoom, Cobalt Blue to just about every Flash rogue possible.

My pick? The angles of all the shots in the opening were low angle shots and we even see the villain reaching upwards for various chemicals on the shelf, which implies either someone very short, which this person isn't, or someone in a wheelchair. We never actually see a wheelchair here, but he's shown standing up at the very end, implying he was down for the lightning attack.

Therefore, I think it can be no one other than the crippled Dr Zolomon, better known as Zoom. He's one of Johns' favourites, has motive against Flashes, was recently depowered in Rogues' Revenge, also written by Johns, and the uses the Reverse Flash costume, which sets him up as a good 'Sinestro' for Barry and the rest of the Flashes.

No, he damn well did not. There are a million better ways to say Flash brought you out of retirement, such as, "Barry brought me out of retirement". He did not make you the Flash and you were a hero long before he existed.

Johns' post-Rebirth #1 interviews implied, to me, that he didn't even write this scene with the intention that Bart is upset his mentor and father figure, Max Mercury, didn't come back and that it was just a internet fan mouthpiece for people that don't agree that Barry is the be all and end all.

Interesting articles framed on the walls. Not a huge Flash follower, so not sure if they always feature such odd decorations for their homes, but maybe some kind of foreshadowing of who the mystery villain is? Mr Element/Dr Alchemy was shown earlier in the issue talking about how he wonders if Barry is still made about what he did to an unnamed "her".

The Black Flash was a character from Grant Morrison and Mark Millar's short lived run on the title. Basically death for all speedsters. Wally outran him and there was talk about Black Flash being the same as the New God, Black Racer, in Final Crisis. Combined with the death of Savitar (see next moment), did Barry become the new Black Flash?

Savitar bit the dust, literally, in this issue simply by having Barry touch him. Combined with the Black Flash's 'death', is Barry the new version of death for scarlet speedsters?


There is so much wrong with this fight scene, of which I'm only showing the ending to. Namor literally tore Tony's Extremis Iron Man armour to shreds in the Illuminati specials and took him out without breaking a sweat, but is shown wailing on this old armour without so much as denting it and is quickly overpowered and choked out and left to suffocate in some oil? Ugh, don't put characters in these situations if you have no logical ways for them to escape.

If Namor can't beat Iron Man, The Hood's Z-list team of Team Rocket knock offs that lose to the street level Avengers every second Tuesday are not going to cut it.


Does someone at DC hate the Marvel Family or something? Why the hell are they crapping over everyone like this? Is it because they have 'Marvel' in their name?

After the amazing job Tomasi and Mahnke did on getting Black Adam his word back in their amazing miniseries from a year or so ago, it's been one trainwreck after another with his inclusion in Countdown and now this JSA storyarc, which sees both Adam and Isis depowered and turned to stone. Not sure what the point of any of this was. Don't care who the mystery villain is either.


After last week's Hank Pym bashing goodness from Iron Man, he continues the Iron-dickery with this awesome letter to Hawkeye. I included the next panel with Dr Strange simply because he looked so cool throwing up the horns.

That is the best recap of Hawkeye's first appearance ever.


Say what you will about the 'cartoony art' of this series, but I really liked the layouts for this panel with the top down look and the use of the dot colouring for flashbacks earlier in the book (which I couldn't find a decent scan of to post).

Also, the reveal about the timing of Mockingbird's abduction and how she filed for divorce the last time she saw Hawkeye before the abduction was a nice way to end a great issue.


Someone's been playing too much Bioshock. Big daddy might be angry. Lawsuit anyone?


It's a little subtle, but you can see Yo-Yo's arm flying off in the background there. Not sure if she lost both arms or not though.

Not content with maiming Yo-Yo, Gorgon was ready to kill a god, Phobos in this case. Really liked Gorgon's dialogue here.

Howling Commandos anyone?


Everytime I see this panel, I can't help but laugh. The panel before it, Gorgon (unrelated to the Secret Warriors version) was shouting like a madman about killing every last one of the Shi'ar and then is calmly talking about his broken leg and how a war would help.

Will Gladiator finally make a decision to betray his emperor or is he just going to let Vulcan kill Lilandra? I'm sure we'll see some other reason for Vulcan to spare her, but, for the first time ever, Gladiator's actually becoming an interesting character to me, so I'm curious as to how his story will play out.

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Andrenn said...

I was tempted to pick up Destroyer but it's another book I'm waiting for the Trade. Looks cool though.
Oh god, Dr. Doom is the only villain that could get away with a Shaft montage.
Really shocking to see Mockingbird and Hawkeye pretty much split from here. I doubt their relationship will pull through and if it somehow does, I'll be shocked. Great twist though for the end of this issue.

Eric Rupe said...

For the Cap teaser, someone earlier pointed out to that it could simply be Captain America: White since it hasn't finished yet.

Salieri said...

A friend of mine leant me "Uncanny X-Men - Executions" Vol. 1 & 2 a while back, a Chris Claremont effort, which were my first ever X-Men comics. They featured a scene exactly like that last moment, to a T, except Gladiator was forced to tear off the naturally-grown bird-wings from Lilandra's sister, Deathbird, by the new Emperor - Chas "14 Sailors Later" Xavier.

It was an interesting little sub-plot, actually - most of the Starjammers, including Xavier, and some of the X-Men, were behaving in a really odd manner, having been replaced by a maniacal faction of these green reptile-people with knobbly chins and pointy ears. Oh, and their leader had long wavy hair and monologued a lot. 'Sk' something. Tip of my tongue...

Matt Ampersand said...

"M'lday, 'Tis the Clobbering Hour" is genius. I am really glad that Hickman is going to write FF after Millar is done.

Aaron Kimel said...

I really dug DR:FF, but I have to admit I was a little confused. When Sue & co. got thrown into the above-mentioned medieval world, they were just playing roles, oblivious to the weirdness of it all. When they become AWESOME PIRATES LATER (how could you not mention that?) at least Ben is fully conscious of his time-traveling status. What gives?

And did anyone else look at Cap kissing Iron Man in one of the alternate Civil War histories and think it was Tony Stark before you read Reed's text? I thought, "Wow. Yeah, that would stop a war."

Steven R. Stahl said...

Think what you will about the quality of REUNION, but the apparent timing of the abduction (circa AWC #90, 1993, based on online comments from McCann) shows that McCann doesn’t understand how the Marvel timeline works. According to his rationales, the Skrull imposter would have died only ten issues later (AWC #100) without having time to do much of anything. Still, in the dialogue, Morse and Barton act as if years have passed with her held captive, as if the 15-16 years since AWC #90 was published related to her time in captivity. But, since the entire timeline is only ten years long, she would have been held captive only weeks to months.

That might not be a major issue, but it shows how inexperienced McCann is as a writer and how, after apparently junking the idea of relying on Mephisto as an explanation, he came up with something even worse. It’s a bit strange to see you sarcastically comment on silly plot points in various comics, and then praise a series that has a nonfunctional premise. The way Mockingbird was resurrected doesn’t work.


Kirk Warren said...

@Aaron Kimel - I think it was because of the kids turning on the power to the backups / failsafes and Reeds going further into the simulations/other universes that caused the two divergent universes to collide into each other. I'm not sure if Thing knows he's timetravelling/whatever this is, but just that his current reality (the old english stuff) bumped into the pirates stuff. DOnt think he's aware the former is also wrong. But could be wrong on that too.

@Steven R. Stahl - I can't comment on the timelines of the issues involved, as I didn't read those issues of Avengers West Coast, but it's hard to fault with a sliding timeline that Marvel uses either.

I'm not sure how you don't figure years have passed though. It's been a good several years since then, even with the sliding timelines. The last few events / status quos would easily count as a year each (Disassembled, Civil War, Initiative, WWH, Skrulls, current Dark Reign) and that doesn't include the stories from the 90's.

I'd wager it's been 5+ years since then and I know 5 years ago my cellphone had an original gameboy-like screen that was like 10x10cm, if that, an antenna I had to pull out and was the size of a small brick. With all the crazy stuff superheroes go through (Clint died and came back to life recently) would make for some crazy stuff over that time gap.

As you said, I think the timeframe stuff is not a major issue and you're just overthinking it trying to fit it in. Continuity is only good as long as it serves the story. When you let it hinder it over smaller details for characters with 60 years of history, you might be letting inconsequential things dictate your stories.

About Mephisto, I"m not sure what you are referring to there. Is it the Thunderbolts Annual from the 90's? I can't recall the exact details of the story, but Clint went to hell to free her soul or something I think. I'm a big fan of the original Tbolts run, but always found that annual clunky and out of place in context to everything else they did in the firs t75 issues. I have no problem ignoring it/just chalking it up to Mephisto messing with Clint.

I'm also not sure how this marks McCann as inexperienced (he's edited for years despite his first official writing job, if I'm not mistaken). I'm pretty sure he didn't make the call to bring Mockingbird back and is only following up on the return from Secret Invasion. Bendis seems to be the one with plans for her in New Avengers.

I'll admit I didn't read many Avengers issues with Mockingbird in it from before her 'death', but the dialogue has been fun between both her and Hawkeye and the story has been hitting the right points for me (found out about abduction, learned about her breaking up with Hawkeye/divorce, had some fun action sequences and are working towards the overall goal of this AIM/dirty bomb plot).

I suppose it would come down to what you consider 'silly plot points' though. Comparing her return to Barry Allens, Mockingbird's changed from what little I did know about her, but not in such a jarring way as the now 'grim and gritty' Barry who doesnt seem the slightest bit happy about being alive and the addition of the random 'my parents are deeeeaaaadd' origin / reason for being the Flash part when he originally lamented leaving his parent's behind in Crisis on Infinite Earth's when he first 'died'. No one is ramming Mockingbird down my throat either and her troubles with being back in the land of the living are shown through the post-traumatic stress disorder-like one panel flashbacks, helping smooth over the slight personality quirks in her compared to how Barry came off (I'm also not trying to turn this into a Mockingbird vs Barry debate either).

I imagine you probably have more experience with the character or different concepts of how continuity should be adhered to than myself that upsets you in regards to how they are being handled. I meant to get to your comment on the actual review, but ended up sidetracked with the War of Kings primer and couldn't properly address it, but if you wish, I don't mind to continue here or through email if you want to talk about it more in private (so as to not sideline the moments of the week).

Steven R. Stahl said...

I’ve noticed an increased tendency among reviewers and casual commentators to treat the premise of a story as a minor point or something that can be dismissed entirely -- an extension of the statement, “There are no bad ideas, only bad execution.” People who claim that are wrong when they’re talking about storytelling. Three issues into am arc, if the premise for the story is invalid, the characters will sill be motivated by and responding to the elements in the premise. It doesn’t matter whether individual panels or sequences have good dialogue, the story as a whole will still be a piece of junk because of the lousy premise.

In the case of REUNION, it shouldn’t have mattered how enthusiastic McCann was about Mockingbird or whether he was a buddy of Bendis’s. The character Mockingbird was indisputably dead, and multiple stories had been written, based on that death. Everybody involved, from McCann up to Schaefer and Brevoort, should have taken that death seriously and worked around it via the metaphysical route if they had to, instead of treating it as something minor that could be sidestepped clumsily

Everything McCann has done with Morse and Barton thus far can be dismissed as irrelevant nonsense because of the storyline’s blown premise. McCann can claim inexperience, but Schaefer and Brevoort don’t have that excuse.

Then, when you look at what Bendis, et al., are doing with Dr. Strange in NEW AVENGERS, disregarding Strange’s published history and apparently setting up the Hood to be the new Sorcerer Supreme, when the character has practically no idea what sorcery is, Bendis, et al, are grossly insulting Marvel’s readership. What they’re doing, though, can be attributed to Marvel Editorial basing its policies on the “no bad ideas, only bad execution” philosophy. They’re probably assuming that six months or a year from now, it won’t matter how absurd the idea of the Hood being the Sorcerer Supreme is, that fans will be accepting that and reading the stories as individual issues and panels. I see that as the people at Marvel treating the readership as idiots to be suckered out of their money.


Kirk Warren said...

The premise of the story for Reunion, though, is that of a Mr & Mrs Smith like adventure between the recently returned Mockingbird and her former/current (depending on how you look at it) husband, Hawkeye. You can hate the fact she was returned in SECRET INVASION by Bendis or Marvel dictate or what have you, but her return happened and is something that is simply being followed up on here. As far as comic book revivals go, it was as good as the next and I'd rather they use plots like this over metaphysical nonsense like Green Arrow or Hal Jordan's revivals any day.

Going into this story, though, there's an objectivity you should have as you can't change the fact she's back and the writer is working under the shared universe pretense that she is back. It would be like hating Battle for the Cowl simply because I disliked the way they killed Batman (I actually do disagree with his use of the gun, regardless of the situation) isntead of judging the story on its own merits.

The premise of this story, under this shared universe, then would ignore her revival or any distaste I may or may not have for it and focus on the actual premise - that this of her trying to deal with the messed up things she's experienced, the idea she was abducted and repalced, the lost time, woman out of time feeling and her attempts to make her life feel normal again by forcing herself back into the spy / SHIELD role and trying to get away from Hawkeye due to her mixed up feelings and the way being around her constantly reminds her of the abduction.

In that regard, I like the issue and where the series is going in reestablishing her. It's stand alone story that starts with a faulty premise, like a Loeb written murder mystery that could not be perpetrated by the actual murderer at any point in the following 12 issues of his 'story' or other absurd premises. McCann had to work within the established revival of the character and his writing shouldn't be debased upon something he didn't write in my opinion.

Kirk Warren said...

Oh, and about the Dr Strange stuff - I can't agree more. Bendis should not be allowed near the character or anything magic related. It's just insulting and the nonsense goes back as far as the earliest uses of the character and his cloak not working under certain conditions.

David Hodum said...

My 2 cents: Bishop is going to try to shoot Hope, not Stryfe. He is probably resigned to the idea Stryfe will kill him, but he just needs a window of opportunity to 'take his shot'.

Steven said...

Cable doesn't have any powers at all anymore. Little less the vast powers that he used to have, which he could rarely use without the techno-virus in his arm overtaking his whole body, hence all the big guns the character is famous for. Lost the powers altogether in the Cable/Deadpool series I believe.

The retconned divorce between Hawkeye and Mockingbird is almost, but not quite as, stupid as mister power and responsibility making a deal with the devil. It's all a bit to daytime soap opera. Lame.

as far as the Flash, Jay Garrick's lines were a reference to his character's revival in Barry's comic and how that has been translated in the current non-parallel universe way. Barry was the start of what is the modern DC universe.

As far as the parental retcon, I suppose one of the many times the universe has been rebooted could be used to explain the change. My biggest problem with it actually, is the it reminds me way too much of Geoff John's background story for Hunter Zolomon, the current Zoom.

Kirk Warren said...

@Steven - I didn't claim Cable had powers. I was referring to Stryfe, Cable's clone who does not have the techno virus. Bishop is saying he will simply shoot Stryfe in the back after he's finished with Cable.

Anonymous said...

"I’ve noticed an increased tendency among reviewers and casual commentators to treat the premise of a story as a minor point or something that can be dismissed entirely."

......And I've noticed an increased tendency among commenters on blogs to treat their opinions as facts!!!! Get over y'self, Steve.


Kirk Warren said...

@Pete - Now, now, while that one quote from Steven may have sounded like an indirect insult, he did back up everything he had to say with examples of what he disliked about the issue. I don't mind people disagreeing with me or posting negative comments as long as they remain civil about it, which Steven has always been, even in previous comments where we've disagreed.

Salieri said...

It occurs to me that even if J.T. dies in Secret Warriors, presumably he'll just come back, like his progenitor, as a Phantom Rider.

It also occurs to me...that they didn't have monocles in the 16-17th Century! I know it's a cool look for Ben, but it's a bit silly without explanation and sort of disconnects the scene - they could have had some sort of comment about Reed inventing the eyeglass, or something...

Anonymous said...

“There are no bad ideas, only bad execution.” People who claim that are wrong when they’re talking about storytelling.

Kirk, even if he makes solid arguements supporting his POV, it's still his POV. Reading the above would seem that his is the only POV and that makes me cranky (overuse of POV noted and ceased).

Nathan Aaron said...

OH, I love the cartoony artwork in New Avengers: The Reunion! Reminds me of Paolo Rivera, or Marcos Martin! I love that style of cartoony art!

Anonymous said...

Steven R. Stahl - Funny how you say that neither McCann (whose shown to me at least in interviews and the execution) that he's done his homework, as well as Scheafer & Brevoort (the latter who has blogged about how to tell the passage of time in the Marvel U ALL don't seem to understand the sliding time of Marvel, but *you* do? Considering in 1993, Franklin Richards was around 5 or 6, and he's 9 or so now, that's 3 years, not a matter of months, like you say. But, yeah, those guys are hacks & YOU know the real timeline.

And I REALLY don't get people's outrage that "but we've seeeeeeeen Mockingbird in hell/Mephisto's realm!" We also saw Bucky. And HOW many stories have there been with "the dead" and so why is THIS resurrection so blasphemous?

Cynthia Finnegan said...

About the question you posed about whether or not the current regime at DC hates the Marvel Family, the answer is a resounding "yes," including the person who wrote that abomination disguised as a comic book story, then tried to blame his editor for the ending.

"The Devil made me do it" didn't play as an excuse back when I was a kid, and it doesn't play now.

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