Thursday, April 8, 2010

Comic Book Review Power Rankings for 04/07/10


It's Thursday and that means another heaping helping of your favorite comic book countdown, the Comic Book Review Power Rankings.  This week we've got some goodies on the menu in one of the most entertaining weeks for comics this year.  Which comics will have you coming back for more?  Could it be Rankings's favorite Red Robin?  How about World War Hulks?  Will you want more of Jonathan Hickman's SHIELD?  The only way to find out is to hit the jump!

For the uninitiated, the Comic Book Review Power Rankings is a countdown from worst-to-best of my weekly comic book haul. Before reading the issues, I preRank them based on the creative team, previous issues, solicitations, and gut instinct. The final Ranking number is based upon how the issues actually turned out. I attempt to keep everything as spoiler free as possible, but keep in mind that there may be the occasional minor spoiler that I overlook. As always, I can be reached via responses to this thread or at ryanreviews@gmail.com.

Before we get into the Rankings this week, I just want to once again remind everyone that Friend of the Rankings, Steve Bryant, has a Kickstarter going to help make more of his amazing Athena Voltaire comics a reality. If you’ve never checked out Athena Voltaire, you should. If you have, you’ll know that the world will be a better place with more of the character’s high-flying adventures in it. If you’ve got a minute, check out the site and if you’ve got some extra cash, please consider donating!


07. WORLD WAR HULKS #1
Written by Various
Art by Various
Letters by Various
Cover by John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, and Dean White
preRanking: 07

World War Hulks #1 is an anthology of six stories that follow various major and minor characters spinning out of the recently completed Fall of the Hulks storyline. As with most of Marvel’s anthology comics, your mileage is going to vary from story to story.
• The issue kicks off with Jeff Parker and Zach Howard exploring the current status of Rick Jones’s life as “A-Bomb.” This is a solid introduction to how things are going with Jones that had me surprisingly interested despite my lifetime hatred of the character. The biggest problem the forced relationship between Jones and his girlfriend, which really lacked the necessary gravitas.
• The second story hypes up Glenn Talbot through Bucky retelling of a fateful encounter between the two. Harrison Wilcox doesn’t breath much life into this very dull story, though the biggest problem is the painfully stiff and unnaturally rendered art by Ben Oliver. It is really hard to believe this one was colored by the otherwise spectacular Veronica Gandini.
• Scott Reed’s “Cosmic Hulk” story was the least interesting story in the book and featured perhaps the worst characterization of Betty Banner that ever read. Oddly enough, this also featured the best art in the entire comic. I loved how well Aluir Amancio, Terry Austin, and Val Staples came together to capture the feel of the Silver Age here. I cannot wait to see more work by Amancio.
• I’m really not sure if there was a point to the Doc Samson story by Paul Tobin and Ramon Rosanas. I get it, Samson is a jerk. It doesn’t help the crux of the story is built upon a “brains vs. brawn” concept that never develops the way Tobin clearly wanted it to.
• Harrison Wilcox and Ryan Stegman reunite for the most well-rounded story, which was a continuation of their Red She-Hulk story from recent issues of Incredible Hulk. Wilcox does a good job of making She-Rulk sympathetic while Stegman kills on the fun action.
• The final story follows Deadpool and introduces Hulkpool. In other words, it pretty much sums up why the oversaturation of Deadpool these days is detrimental not only for the character, but also for Marvel in general. Deadpool is best in moderation, folks. Beyond the ill-advised concept, there is really nothing memorable nor offensive from either writer Jeff Parker or artist Ig Guara.
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Verdict: Check It. Most astute readers already know what they are getting into with books like World War Hulks #1, as these post-event anthologies are usually filled with ups-and-downs and rarely ever truly justify the investment. This issue is more of the same with some stories that are simply forgettable, a few that our downright deplorable, and a handful that are actually pretty awesome. While there are stories that are worth avoiding, it is worth checking out the issue for the Wilcox/Stegman She-Rulk story and the simply dynamite art from Aluir Amancio, Terry Austin, and Val Staples on the Cosmic Hulk story. IF youa re anything like me, you’ll be clamoring for a reunion with this art team after checking it out.


06. BATMAN AND ROBIN #11
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Andy Clarke, Scott Hanna, Alex Sinclair, and Tony Avina
Letters by Patrick Brosseau
Covers by Frank Quitely and Andy Clarke
preRanking: 06

• I’m developing a real love-hate relationship with Batman and Robin. Every time I get so sick of Grant Morrison’s coasting and self-serving qualities as a writer, he reins it back and does something that I love. I swear I’ve dropped this title at least five times in the last year.
• In this issue, Dick continues his search through the catacombs of Wayne Manor while Robin and the mysterious Sexton find themselves attacked by 99 Fiends and Talia al Ghul unleashes a really horrible plot.
• This issue is full of solid action and fun twists and turns. Morrison keeps you guessing form start to finish.
• I think it is really funny that Grant Morrison is now writing Damian like all of the other Bat-writers are. This issue marks a major turning point in his approach to the character that is so much better than what we’ve seen before.
• The issue falters when Morrison starts throwing out ridiculous lines like “You see the sign of the Double You?” and “And I, Naberius, Dog of Hell. A Marquis of the Third Hierarchy.” This doesn’t impress me or make me feel like you are smart. This is distracting from the flow of the story with faux-high concept nonsense.
Andy Clarke’s art is pretty solid throughout. You get good details and solid movement.
• There are some major consistency issues. Damian’s jaw line shifts throughout, as does Talia’s appearance, and the character scale shifts a bit.
• There is a splash page of Batman running that looks horrible. It is the worst page in the comic, but because it is so big and bold, it is also the most memorable.

Verdict: Check It. This issue was really close to earning a Buy It verdict, but the flaws are too noticeable and too jarring to justify it. For Clarke, it is just a matter of tightening up his consistency and, honestly, not drawing that horrible splash page. For Morrison, however, it is all about quitting when he is ahead. There are flashes of his trademark brilliance all over this issue, but he tarnishes it by falling back on his unnecessary inserts and nonsense writing.


05. UNCANNY X-MEN #523
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Justin Ponsor
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover by Adi Granov
preRanking: 05

• Following from the opening to Second Coming last week, this week’s Uncanny X-Men finds Hope and Cable still on the run from Bastion’s forces, while the violent truth about X-Force puts Cyclops in hot-water with his fellow X-Men.
• The first thing you’ll notice is that Cable and Hope written different than they have been in the few issues of Cable and various tie-ins I’ve read before this. Cable is now a drill sergeant jerk-type, while Hope is ridiculously naïve. Of course, once the action kicks in, both are perfect soldiers.
• The hairbrush incident was sweet though, even if it ties into the other point. That gave the story a lot of heart.
Matt Fraction’s pacing is really solid throughout the issue, building tension with every scene as it rockets towards the action-packed conclusion. You get a great single issue by its own merits, but it also leads into the next chapter well.
• The art by the Dodsons is very clean and consistent. It looks exactly like you’d expect from them. They don’t have many off issues.
• I don’t care for how thick the outline of the characters are, as it gives the book a “Colorforms” look at times by building a disconnect between the characters and the background. That is very distracting.

Verdict: Buy It. I’m not a huge fan of how Fraction writes Cable and Hope, as it is a bit too simple for my taste, but otherwise this is a really solid issue from start to finish. Fraction’s character writing is solid, while his tight plotting is just phenomenal. When you add in a stellar art effort from the Terry and Rachel Dodson, you’ve got a very enjoyable issue that is a great follow-up to last week’s Book of the Week, the X-Men: Second Coming one-shot.


04. ULTIMATE X #2
Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Arthur Adams, Mark Roslan, and Peter Steigerwald
Letters by Richard Starkings and Albert Deschesne
Cover by Arthur Adams, Mark Roslan, and Peter Steigerwald
preRanking: 03

• This week’s Ultimate X introduces the book’s “newest” cast member, Karen, who is really a familiar face on the run.
• This is a really solid introduction to the character. I dig that Jeph Loeb introduces her through the eyes of a man that loves her. Loeb harvests emotional resonance as this is so heartfelt that it is almost impossible not to become engaged in the character.
• Its also a really good choice in using Mystique and Sabretooth as the villains to “out” Karen. The Ultimate Comics relaunch is going to bring new readers, so it is a good choice to choose characters that these readers will have immediate familiarity with.
• The character writing from Loeb is very solid. Much like last issue, this is a vast improvement over his recent output for Marvel.
Arthur Adams does his usual magic here. You get simply fantastic storytelling, strong consistency, and great expressions throughout.
• The only problem that I have is that Karen looks extremely weird when her lips are closed. When you add in the very poor inking around her eyes, this makes her look like a doll at times. I really do not like that at all. The lips are Adams’s fault, but I think the problem with the eyes is the fault of the inker.

Verdict: Buy It. This is a great introduction to the character of Karen and is just as intriguing as the first issue of this series. I really don’t know where this book is going, but I’m excited to find out as Loeb and Adams have done a great job of laying the foundation with these strong characters.


03. RED ROBIN #11
Written by Chris Yost
Art by Marcus To, Ray McCarthy, Mark McKenna, and Guy Major
Letters by Sal Cipriano
Cover by Marcus To and Ray McCarthy
preRanking: 02

• The Batgirl/Red Robin crossover continues this week as the duo make a stand against the League of Assassins, meanwhile things get a bit too intense for Tam Fox.
• This issue is a perfect mix of action and character work with fantastic pacing. Chris Yost really hits all the right notes with this, making it an incredibly enjoyable read.
• I love how perfectly Yost handles the characters. He has a fantastic understanding of the personalities in the Bat-family and how they interact. It’s a shame that he is leaving this book after next issue—its an even bigger shame that DC hasn’t snagged him to be a driving force in this franchise.
• Excellent pacing and tight plotting are paramount to this issues success. I especially loved the way the montage of potential victims closes out the issue. That is perfect denouement.
• How awesome is Marcus To? Just as Yost perfectly captures the voices of this issue’s large cast, To perfectly captures their appearances. There isn’t a character in this issue I wouldn’t mind seeing him draw full time.
• I loved the sense of movement and impact here. That really helps sell the action.
• I would easily consider purchasing any one of a number of pages in this comic. That, to me, is a perfect sign of how good it is! I want this comic on my wall!

Verdict: Must Read. Red Robin continues its run as, by far, the strongest comic in the Batman franchise at the moment. Chris Yost and Marcus To not only put together a great issue here but also prove that they have the chops to take on any character in the franchise. They’ve only got one issue left, which is a huge bummer—let’s hope there are more team-ups with this creative team to tackle these characters somewhere down the road!


02. SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #5
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank, Jon Sibal, and Brad Anderson
Letters by Steve Wands
Cover by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson
preRanking: 01

• It seems like forever since the last issue of this miniseries came out. That is really unfortunate, as this has been one of DC’s best books in some time.
• As positive public opinion of Superman is being culled by Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen at the Daily Planet, Lex Luthor makes a surprise team-up with General Lane to take down Superman.
• Pretty much everything about this comic works and works well, but at the center of that is the brilliant character work from Geoff Johns. Johns absolutely nails the voice of every single character in this issue, capturing them at their most iconic.
• You don’t often see Luthor and Lane teamed up together, but it works really well. They make a great match in their xenophobic hatred of Superman.
• The scenes between Lois and Clark/Superman were simply fantastic and worth the purchase of the issue alone. There is an incredible amount of heart here.
• I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating. Gary Frank is the best Superman artist since Curt Swan and this issue is yet another example of why.
• Frank utilizes great expressions on top of his already iconic takes on the characters. His designs are the new standards for the Superman family.
• Frank is also no slouch when it comes to storytelling. He uses a very cinematic approach and a strong sense of realism that doesn’t betray standard superhero conventions. With Frank you get the best of both worlds!

Verdict: Must Read. I really cannot think of any Superman story that I have enjoyed more than Superman: Secret Origin and this issue is just one more reason why. It is full of bold iconic interpretations of classic characters interacting in an energetic and engaging plot that kept me enthralled from start to finish. I’ve never been very taken with Superman comics because I’ve found the character to be pretty dull—now it will be hard to get into any Superman comic because it is going to pale in comparison to this one!


01. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dustin Weaver and Christina Strain
Letters by Todd Klein
Covers by Gerald Parel and Dustin Weaver
preRanking: 04

• Promising massive retcons and loads of mythology, Jonathan Hickman’s SHIELD was easily the week’s most hotly anticipated books. Once preview pages of Dustin Weaver and Christina Strain’s art popped on the internet, the buzz got even louder. I can tell you now, as high as most expectations were for this book, they probably weren’t high enough.
• The issue is a crash course in the secret history of SHIELD, from its inception with Imhotep through the arrival of the first Celestial in China to Galileo’s confrontation with Galactus and beyond.
• In the midst of this, we are introduced to Leonid and his father, who evidently have a history with the organization, though chances are it won’t be as interesting as the appearance of Leonardo da Vinci, Agent of SHIELD.
• This issue absolutely demands that you read it multiple times to appreciate it. There is a ton going on here and it won’t all stick on the first run through. I must have read it 5 times last night and most of those were in a row, without breaks.
• This issue is not going to sit well with purists. Hickman rocks the boat early and does not stop. Nothing is sacred and you need to be prepared for that, otherwise you are going to hate this. From the looks of most reviews I’ve read today, that seems to be the only real problem most readers have with this one.
• There loads and loads of crazy concepts in this issue. Hickman is clearly letting his imagination run wild and the end result is a mishmash of Warren Ellis-esque ingenuity and Grant Morrison-ian rebelliousness.
• In a lot of ways, this issue reminds me of Ed Brubaker’s run on Immortal Iron Fist. Anything can happen with the legacy of SHIELD now and you’ll find yourself hoping and praying that we’ll see individual stories for each historical incarnation of SHIELD.
• This issue is all about wowing the readers and it excels in that regard. Now the big question is where Hickman takes us not that he has our full attention.
• Dustin Weaver and Christina Strain are brilliant here. I love the way they mix up their styles throughout the issue, giving the issue a dream-like quality that works well with the sense of wonder in the script.
• There is an amazing amount of detail in this issue. It is almost shocking how much Weaver puts into each panel. I would not be surprised if that leads to delays further down the road, but for now I’m just loving every bit of it.
• Much like the writing, there is a sense that there are no rules with the design of the art. Weaver’s imagination has about as many limits as Hickman’s, which shows on almost every single page.

Verdict: Must Read. The hype surrounding this issue was pretty huge, but the creative blows that away with a take-no-prisoners approach to Marvel mythology that simultaneously flies in the face of everything you thought you knew about the Marvel Universe and captures the sense of wonder that makes Marvel’s Silver Age comics so timeless. This is a beautiful book that is going to be divisive, but if you can stomach the retcons and playful approach to history, there was no other book that could even come close to this one this week.


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42 comments:

CATR's Chris said...

I haven't read Red Robin 11 yet (I will), but so far, this crossover with Batgirl is not working for me. Each book's mood and feel is so different from the other that it tastes weird when you put them both together.

Radlum said...

What the hell? A Loeb book is better than a Morrison book? Am I in a parallel universe where the South won the Civil War or something like that?
Anyway, sarcasm aside, I have yet to read Ultimate X, but if you say it's that good then this could mean that Loeb is on the way to redemption which could be a great thing since he used to be at least an ok writer.

Ivan said...

What the hell is a "Cosmic Hulk"?

btownlegend said...

I've been praising Red Robin since the start. I never thought Yost was all that at Marvel...still his Tim Drake works. A shame he's leaving. Hopefully, they keep Tam around in the future.

TheDonAbides said...

It took me out of the story when he referred to himself as Leonardo DA VINCI! Ryan the Iowan notwithstanding, he never would have done that. It's an identifier that arose more than likely not in his lifetime. Other than tht, I thought it was a great prelude issue.

brandon said...

One of the annoying things about SHIELD is that the second issue isn't slated to ship until June. I'd like to see some sort of consistent schedule but I fear the worst.

PMMDJ said...

Ivan, you're my hero.

Ryan Schrodt said...

@Chris - If you've been enjoying Red Robin on its own, you'll dig this issue. It works really well with the series as a whole, even if it doesn't gel as well with the crossover.

@Radlum - Ultimate X isn't quite up to Loeb's DC standards, but it is close. If he keeps this up, he could be back to old form (FINALLY).

@Ivan - Cosmic Hulk is apparently a gamma powered Robot Hulk. It is pretty stupid, but the art on that story was dynamite.

@DonAbides - I totally get what you mean on that. There are a few other inaccuracies and minor things that can pull some readers out, but I think as a whole SHIELD is still tops.

@Brandon - Seriously? Ugh. If Weaver is going to continue drawing to this detail, the book is going to face massive delays. There is no way around it. They need to have him alternate with another artist or have someone else draw flashbacks like they did on Immortal Iron Fist.

Dickey said...

Oh God let me jump on the SHIELD love. Coming from a historians perspective this is my wet dream. I'm almost tempted to start annotating these issues.

Hickman did make a more egregious screw up than the Da Vinci thing at the beginning of the issue though. The last pharaoh of the Second Dynasty that the Broods killed was Khasekhemwy, as was correctly written. But he died around 2686, not 2620. So Imhotep did not live, much less serve, at the same time as him. Imhotep was the vizier under Pharaoh Djoser in the other half of that century, still serving as a renowned polymath and intellectual in the years after Djoser's death. So basically Hickman was correct in placing Imhotep alive during the Brood attack, but completely off base with Khasekhemwy.

One last note, Demo was once again stellar this week. Absolutely the cutest issue of a comic I've read since Phonogram ended. If you're not picking it up, please do.

Daryll B. said...

Ya know what guys I rather have Shield on a 6 week to every 2 month schedule than have it promised monthly and have it go all "Ultimates" on us....BTW My fanboy continuity issues are screaming at it, but this SHIELD is well written and drawn compared to some of the regular crap I pick up that I'll gladly accept the torture.

So has anyone actually asked HOW exactly Hope will be the "savior" or "destroyer" of the mutant race yet? Is she a walking Legacy Virus? Is she like Storm in X-Tinction Agenda and with a touch, gives mutants back their powers? Or are we going to give Jean Gr...um I mean "Hope" the bloody Phoenix and remain in this stupid rut all over again?

How can Chris Yost write Red Robin this good and at the same time be responsible for X-Force????

Daryll B. said...

And I totally hit post before I added this in:

Alternate Wild West Marvel Universe Earth = Cool

Said Earth being overrun by zombies = Cooler

Throw in Machine Man and his "special" sidekick for the mission = A $%**$^$%* Geek Out Moment

Fred Van Lente + Marvel Zombies 5 = PRICELESS

(next issue Killraven and the Martians! I can't wait to see the puns the "sidekick" comes up with on this one!)

Nathan Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nathan Aaron said...

They should just put SHIELD on a bi-monthly schedule. Comic companies used to do this, I'm not sure why they stopped. I mean Dakota North was a bi-monthly book for Heaven's sake, and it was Dakota North!

That way we get all the quality without compromise. And personally I'm always about quality over quick turn around.

Anonymous said...

Very surprized Morrison's Batman and Robin is not the best issue this week. The man is a genius. I can't take these ratings seriously.

Matt Ampersand said...

Ahh, I was wondering when someone would bring on the Morrison Hateorade so we can all drink it.

Seriously, I never see this coming from fans of any other author. We may see a comment where someone says "I can't believe you didn't rank this higher!", but never something like "You didn't rank Jeff Parker's book at the top of the list? THIS LIST IS DEAD TO ME!"

What I am trying to say is: get off your fucking high horse. Just because people don't like Morrison as much as you do, it doesn't make their opinions or tastes any less valid.

Daryll B. said...

Wow...Matt..this is the first time I seen you type pissed off....

LOL "Dark" Ampersand....

Ivan said...

We won't like Matt when he's angry.

Lucho said...

C´ mon Matt. It´s only a comic book.
And you SHOULD RANK IT HIGHER ON YOUR DAMN LIST!!!

Just kidding, lol.

Anonymous said...

@Matt, It could mean you they have bad taste? Apparently Cry for Justice is eisner worthy material now.

And Ryan's gushing Green Arrow reviews these last few months are funny considering this era of Green Arrow is without doubt the least creative and most despised run in the history of of the title. I welcome JT KRUL.

Matt Ampersand said...

Haha, wow, I don't normally do angry rants (outside of Twitter).

Anyway, I am just tired of it, because every week where Ryan reviews B&N we get the same kind of comments. Like I said, it only happens when he does not declare Morrison to be the God Of All Comics that this happens. It's a pretty clear trend.

And as for Ryan's tastes, we have some pretty different ranges in the books we read (with some books in common, like the Marvel cosmic stuff and Green Lantern titles), but that doesn't mean that I don't respect his views or value his opinions. Hell, the whole point of having different people on this site is that you get different opinions and different tastes! Everyone is welcome to disagree with anything we post here, that is the nature of the beast. But if you are rude about it, and you are borderline trolling, then yes, I am going to get angry.

Dickey said...

"Since Ryan doesn't always love Morrison's work and Cry for Justice is an Eisner nominee, that must mean he has bad taste." Wow if only I could go back in time to my freshman logic class. We would have had a riot trying to figure out how that statement gets constructed in one's thought process. Lols with all the logical fallacies out the hizzy.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Kirk!

Matt Ampersand said...

Sorry, Anonymous, Kirk looked at us funny, and we put him in the hospital. We are running this show now!

Steven said...

@Dickey - Why would you think that the Marvel Universe's ancient history exactly matches ours? If so, when exactly was Rama-Tut pharaoh? When did En Sabah Nur otherthrow him?

Pedantic nitpicking about ancient history has no place in the reading of super-heroes or their universes.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Dickey, dude, with that sort of knowledge I actually want you to start annotating S.H.I.E.L.D. issues. My explanation for Hickman's time slip is that he preferred it that way and decided to bend the truth to his whims. It's not like most of what happens in the Marvel U, and this particular history are correct, so what's a fudge of a date or two to suit a purpose. Hickman puts so much research into his work I'm sure it wasn't a complete oversight, though if it was, I couldn't care less. This title was awesome and all hype was exceeded.

Though, I will say this, I think future issues will be better as this one seemed to be the perfect intro issue, it covered so much, but he'll knock one out of the park soon and then we'll have to invent a new verdict ranking just for it.

This should also be Eisner material, unless Hit Monkey beats it out...

@Matt - that was like some 'Cosmic Ampersand' business right there, love it. It is pretty true that it's most usually Morrison fans who post this stuff, and usually under anonymous, which sucks, and I don't understand their thought process. You read someone else's review to see what they think, not to hear them state what you think. I have certain reviewers that I know I agree with and so I seek out their reviews to see what I'll most likely think, but sometimes I just want to know what they think. Hannibal Tabu, CBR's The Buy Pile, is one where I so rarely agree with him but I still value his opinion for being his, and go back week after week. He hated S.H.I.E.L.D., and one of his main issues were the historical inconsistencies. I guess that gets him down, me not so much. Though, he got upset about the quote of the king being the son of Horus and Set because they're mortal enemies, I just figured it meant that this dude was so righteous that he was pulling together all sides, perhaps I'm wrong...and to see that CBR reviewer, Greg McElhatton, gave it five stars just tells me that people will have their opinion. You don't like it don't look at it, we'd almost prefer you didn't.

Thanks for listening.

Jack Santino said...

After last month's rave, no Jonah Hex?

Ryan Schrodt said...

Wow, I look away for 5 minutes and it gets real crazy around here.

As for my "poor taste," I guess the only thing I can say to that is that you are as entitled to your opinions as I am. I rank the comics based upon my own personal preference, not based upon what I think individual readers are going to think. Do you approach every other reviewer on the internet like this? Do you honestly think that your opinion is more valid than anyone else's? If so, why would you even bother reading reviews?

I do think it is really funny that this only happens when I don't go crazy over a Grant Morrison comic. I can write poor reviews of any other writer without getting any flack. I get it, Anonymous Readers, you love Grant Morrison. You want to marry all of his comics. You pray at his altar. You can get as angry as you want that I don't share your views, but at the end of the day, no one is forcing you to read my reviews or agree with them.

Last week I accused Felicia Henderson of being one of the worst writers in DC history and no one said anything. This week, I said that a Grant Morrison comic wasn't my favorite book of the week and out come the pitchforks. Wow.

@Jack - I did LOVE last month's Jonah Hex and I was really tempted to pick up this week's issue, but I've decided to read them in trade instead of single issues.

Dickey said...

(edit-Jeez, I've rambled on far too long again for a comment, feel free to skip over. Please forgive for the uncalled for history dork out)
@Steven- I feel you read my comments of historical inaccuracies as a dig on his story. It really wasn't, forgive me if it read that way. I just felt like noting the more glaring inaccuracy in his history to go with the earlier comment about Da Vinci most likely not referring to himself as Leonardo DA VINCI. I realize he most like made the change so he could have the dramatic effect of the Second Dynasty ending at the same time of the biggest renowned intellectual of Egyptian history, instead of Imhotep serving during the middle of the Third Dynasty. So basically it's done for dramatic purposes, and I can wholly accept that. It's an amazing story. I'd just like to make note of the real life version of events as compared to the fictional one, especially with an author who is known for his meticulous researching, like Hickman is.

Also, the Greater Wiki tells me that Rama-Tut began his reign in 2950, which comes during this fuzzy time after the Pharaoh Merneith, who we don't even have an end date for the reign, and Den who supposedly reigned from 2975 to 2935. But the dates are more than fuzzy enough to allow for the insertion of Kang. They never completely changed history with him. I'd actually argue that the "realistic" Marvel Universe allows for some scrutinization of their superhero history, because it is supposed to closely resemble ours. So the combination of two figures from two opposite ends of a century is a minor flaw that I feel should be noted. But I am a person who plans to go into a career in history, for others this kind of thing is easier to gloss over. To compare, that's the exact same attitude towards comic continuity. It's just two sides of the same coin, lol. So let's all just roll some up and get along. Like I said earlier, I love this series already anyways, so it's not hurting my opinion of it.

@Ryan L. - Thanks for the compliment, I'm definitely thinking about doing some annotations for it. I'd just need to start a blog or something first. Personally I'm about to graduate a Latin American history major, but I've taken a few upper level courses in just about every area of research but US history, so I have the nice, dorky book, textbooks, and journal papers to provide background on masses of world history.

I have to make note of your mention of H. Tabu's review though. I saw that and had to finally bite the bullet to email a CBR reviewer. His note on Horus and Set doesn't apply to the Pharaoh Khasekhemwy, because he is noted as the first and only Pharaoh to claim the animals of both those gods on his staff. Many scholars speculate he was the first Pharaoh of an united Upper and Lower Egypt, hence the use of both gods. They were antagonists in mythology, but also represented the two regions. Seth and Horus are also the reason they wore two separate crowns at the same time, to symbolize a united empire. I'll stop going on about it, but Hickman was spot on in claiming him the son of both gods. And Gaileo's fight against Galactus wouldn't have been mentioned in history because it occurred during the ten days which were wiped off the historical record during the switch to the Gregorian calendar, right after this fight in 1582. Hence why the comic chose that as the year. So Hickman's research ultimately stands up as pretty solid, contrary to Tabu's claims. Good God bless that series, it's total history major for the win.

Radlum said...

Finally got to read Ultimate X; I disliked Mystique and Sabretooth's appeareance because of the implication that Loeb wants to continue the ending of Ultimatum (Quiksilver and possibly Wanda being the masterminds behind everything) but overall it was...good, quite good, not the best I've read this week (hard to accomplish considering SHIELD was awesome as expected) but it was nice to see Loeb giving "Karen" an interesting development, simple but effective, I'm eager to see if he can make it for the third time with next issue.
By the way, what is going on with that cover? The anatomy and position of the character looks too wierd, reminds me of any 90s Liefeld-inspired female character design.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

@Dickey - yeah, Hickman mentioned in interviews that Galactus came in the ten lost days, but that's not stipulated in the comic, so I can see people getting it wrong, which just makes me feel that people should have some faith in Hickman. He's not a dumb man, at all, so I'm willing to go along for the ride. If people put half of their intellect into useful creation instead of destructive criticism man we'd living on the moon already, ha.

Anonymous said...

There are so many Ryan's here. Anon will come out of hiding if you give him a guess review next week or whenever the next Morrison comic comes out.

One thing you can't argue: When Morrison steps on water, the water holds.

Ryan Schrodt said...

So you want us to reward dickery? Yeah, that'll happen.

Jack Santino said...

Ryan, the monthl Jonah Hex could use the sales...

brandon said...

The irony is that if Morrison knew (or met) any of his devoted followers he'd probably hate them and wish them dead.

I'd like to see an experiment where Loeb writes an issue of Batman and Robin under Morrison's name and see where the Morrison lovers stand on that one.

What I want to know is how come no one comes to Greg Land's defense when Ryan S crushes him. LOL

Lucho said...

@brandon maybe you´re right about Morrison and his fans but the truth is the fans doesn´t matter the writer matters.

I´m a big fan of Morrison´s Batman run until R.I.P. After Final Crisis it´s not the same because I don´t care about Dick Grayson and I don´t care if he dies. He´s just not Batman. Still B&R latest arc and the current one are a great read. Why? Because they are Bruce-related.

I thought Loeb had already done that experiment writing the second arc of B&R that sucked hard lol.

revelshade said...

I'm impressed Morrison's stuff still divides people so violently. How long has he been writing mainstream comics? He's practically a grand old man of the industry now. He has strengths. He has weaknesses. He has quirks (and his quirks have quirks). And they've all been on display since Animal Man and Doom Patrol a million years ago. But say anything about him and somebody jumps out of the bushes and calls you a M-hater or an M-lover.

Well, I love my wife, but I still want to strangle her now and then :) And it's the same with Morrison. I second Ryan's point about M. going for the easy "faux-high concept nonsense" too often. I would call it "weirdness for weirdness' sake", and Morrison has a fatal attraction to it. Too much weird just becomes background noise.

Oh, and I haven't liked the Batman "family" this much since Babs Gordon was a congresswoman. I almost wish Bruce would stay away a while longer.

Ryan Schrodt said...

@Revelshade - I'm with you on the current state of the Batman family. I really like how it stands now and I'm actually starting like Damian now that they are fleshing out his personality.

revelshade said...

Yeah, and I thought I would never like Damian, but now that other writers are using him I think a kind of consensus is forming about his "voice" and suddenly (I love it when this happens) he has become "real" to me. Or maybe I'm just slow.

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