The Roundtable

NOTE: The individual opinions of each Roundtable contributor are their own, and is not representative of anybody but that contributor.


DC to release an Absolute edition of BATMAN: HUSH [Details: Newsarama]

WILL “CHEWIE” COOLING: I might (despite what Floyd tells me) finally buy this… this would seem the obvious format for such an art-centric story.

NICK “BOBBA FETT” PIERS: Figures. They’ll put out an uber-expensive hardcore edition of this story but not release a one-book TPB like, oh, I don’t know, most companies would have?!

Being the sucker that I am and wanting a frigging single collected edition of HUSH, I’ll probably be buying this. But goddamn DC. Why couldn’t you just have traded the whole thing in the first place? You did it for LONG HALLOWEEN and DARK VICTORY, which just as long, if not longer.

PAUL “PALPATINE” SEBERT: Man, DC’s really trying to milk this cow dry.


Some eager-beaver fans have made a “Restored International Cut” of Superman II [Details: All the Rage]

NICK PIERS: Oh. My. God. DONNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (in a Burnside “Vaughan” kind of way).

And that phase three in the trailer. That couldn’t possibly be digitally remastered with little special effects digitally put in, is it? Because seeing bullets bounce off of Zod was freaking awesome.

Ah, it’s fan-made added effects. Still pretty cool.

And I just actually read the article to see that this is a fan-based DVD, not Warner Bros. Damn them. There’s probably going to be no chance of getting this.

MATT “MACE WINDU” MORRISON: It says they are going to be copying it and sending it around the world… so I imagine that one way or another you’ll probably be able to get this at the booth at the comic con that sells the Roger Corman FANTASTIC FOUR movie and the complete series DVD sets for THE FLASH and BIRDS OF PREY…

JASON “QUI-GON JIN” BEREK-LEWIS: While I am not a fan that follows DC comics, Superman I and II remain among my favourite ever superhero movies.

This sounds wonderful, but I doubt that I’ll be able to get hold of this, living over the edge (shameless plug!!) as I do.

PAUL SEBERT: Oh this sounds seriously cool… but can it top that limited 2-disc director’s cut of was released a few years ago? Think not.


Tony Bedard talks SPIDER-MAN: BREAKOUT [Credit: Comic Book Resources]

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: Cool! I’m looking forward to this so much! Believe it or not, SPIDER-MAN: BREAKOUT will be the first mainstream Spider-Man title that I have read since the death of Ben Reilly – The One True Spider-Man! (Unless you count 75 issues of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN!)

I love Spidey when he is under pressure and this sounds like exactly what this storyline will bring. I still don’t know too much about mainstream Marvel Spidey, so this was a must add to my pull list! I hope it lives up to my expectations…

NICK PIERS: Ah, this is ramifications of NEW AVENGERS, yes? And it’s a new Spider-Man mini-series? When we have three or more (if you count Ultimate, too) already? I don’t seem to care.

IAIN “DARTH MAUL” BURNSIDE: Meh. If it’s not Jenkins, Slott or Kirkman writing Spidey then I’m really not interested. Well, except for Ultimate Spidey of course. I dread the day when Bendis leaves that book.


DC solicitations for July [Details: Here]

NICK PIERS: I find myself uninterested by a lot of this batch. It seems to me that even more things are going to be crossing over with each other. JSA is going to crossover with this, that and the other. Wonder Woman is becoming the crossover queen, etc. Everything involving the word “Crisis” is starting to crossover like mad. It’s giving me more reason to just stick with SEVEN SOLDIERS and Vertigo stuff as far as DC is concerned.

A few things jumped out at me, though:

– First part of ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN. Colour me… meh, vaguely interested.

– A continuation of Rucka’s Superman in TPB form. Considering my absolute love for Rucka, I may pick these up. I meant to pick up the first one, but never got around to it.

– Warren Ellis on JLA CLASSIFIED. Hmm. May have to at least check this out.

– New Y and 100 BULLETS. Oh yeah.

– SUPERMAN/BATMAN bookends. Nice idea. Too bad they look ugly as sin.

– Superman 13″ figure. See above comment about the bookends.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Frank Miller on Batman is like George Lucas on Star Wars… People will bitch about all the little things but they’ll still go and spend their money on it out of fanboy obligation/geek hero worship. Bring it on, I say. Hopefully they’ll actually start releasing proper trades of the ALL-STAR books rather than the shoddy treatment that befell HUSH, FOR TOMORROW and NEW FRONTIER…

And really, does the world need 16 Batbooks in one month? And that’s not including the JLA stuff either. I know the X-books are bad for this sort of thing but at least they’re playing with a wider scope…

JLA/Cyberforce? What the heck is a Cyberforce? It sounds like a Transformers dance troupe…

Warren Ellis just isn’t enough to get me to continue to buy JLA CLASSIFIED in the wake of Grant Morrison and Guy Gardner, especially as I fail to see the point in such a title existing in the first place. Ditto for JSA CLASSIFIED. I just hope this doesn’t signal a trend that won’t stop until we get G’NORT CLASSIFIED in addition to a G’Nort monthly.

Actually, can we get a G’Nort monthly? Pretty please?

And what is with those JSA CLASSIFIED covers? Yuck. The one with the JSA in the background looks like a drunken Riverdance audition. I assure you that Cyberforce could pull off a better dance without breaking a sweat.

Ah, LEGION… Nick, if you’re after a DCU book that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Crisis (well, as far as we know…) then you really have to give this one a shot. Every issue is a winner and it’s easy to just hop on board regardless of continuity. Several pairs of thumbs up to Waid, Kitson and Thibert for this one…

The cover to SEVEN SOLDIERS: ZATANNA #3 is making me want to do things… such things… ohhhh dear…

They’re still making AUTHORITY books, huh? Kinda redundant by now, surely… Sort of like when the Sex Pistols reunited a few years back…

And, as I seem to say every month, go check out THE INTIMATES. And… VAAAAUUUGHAAAANNNN!!!!!

Ooohhh, new Jill Thompson digest!!!

TRIGGER is dead, huh? Well, I guess that solves my indecision about whether to drop it or not…

WILL COOLING: Forget Batman All Stars, July will be a month for digging Diggle with SLIENT DRAGON starting (GIANT ROBOTS + Len Yu =DROOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and, and the fantastic news that Colin Wilson is guesting on LOSERS.

Yum, yum

PAUL SEBERT: SILENT DRAGON looks pretty badass… but I’m more excited about Kaiju Beast Boy on the cover of TEEN TITANS GO!


The Valiant characters go up for auction with Acclaim’s assets [Details: Here]

NICK PIERS: Never got into Valiant at all but maybe someone can pick up the pieces of this.


Tom DeFalco on the state of play in the MC2 universe [Check: This]

NICK PIERS: I bought the first Spider-Girl digest and trying to get the next two but my store is stupidly slow. I loved it though and I’m glad to see the MC2 still going strong.

IAIN BURNSIDE: See; now I’m just going to have to go back and hyphenate that Spider-Girl for the column 🙂

[And I didn’t! Ha! Rebellious in the extreme, that’s me!]

Ah well, I don’t care. I’ve got Zatanna as my background…. oh; such things there shall be…. oh yess…. ohhhh yessss….


DC discontinues their Humanoids and 2000AD deals [Details: Here]

PAUL SEBERT: Sad news indeed but I can kind of see how these titles just weren’t selling. Hope DC’s CMX line is doing better.

WILL COOLING: Well maybe if DC had advertised the bastards then they’d have sold.


BATMAN #638 sells out, back for second printing and variant cover [Details: Here]

TIM “LANDO CALRISSIAN” BYRNE: The sell out is as expected, but I am particularly annoyed by these second printings which give away the big ‘reveal’ of climactic issues such as this one. BATMAN #619 was another example of this. It shows DC almost assuming that you have already read the issue when you buy the alternate cover. In other words, they are openly admitting that they are hoping their customers buy two copies. Grrrrr….

PAUL SEBERT: See if someone really wants to buy two copies and a publisher wants to sell it to them well… it’s not my problem. I mean no one’s forcing me to pick up the alternate edition… and really I don’t find an alternate cover incentive enough to pick up a second copy. At least Marvel’s been putting bonus material in their reprinting.

JAMIE “HAN SOLO” HATTON: The big problem is though, and I agree with Byrne on this – generally speaking a second printing is supposed to be for people who couldn’t get their hands on it the first time. Theoretically, it sold out, so there is someone out there who came to their local store and didn’t get it. They might not even know what the big reveal is. By putting, you know… that guy, on the cover – they’ve blown it for someone.

It’s like putting a huge penis on the Crying Game cover.

Or a sled on the Citizen Kane cover.

Or a family tree on Star Wars.

Just bad juju.

IAIN BURNSIDE: I really hope that Anakin doesn’t actually turn out to be Darth Vader. Swerve!

I think DC is doing the same thing with the COUNTDOWN second printing, making Beetle’s body even more clear to see on the cover. To be fair, this isn’t as bad as ruining a movie (which Jamie just loves, by the way). It’s a DC monthly comic book in 2005. Most people that want it will either have it already or have already heard about The Big Twist or have already put 2 and 2 together from all the clues Winick has left over the past year. By putting Jason or a dead Beetle on the cover, they’re appealing both to the variant cover collectors and to those that might not have heard about what is going on but will automatically be drawn in after the, for lack of a better term, controversial cover draws them in. And that’s Jason Todd and Blue Beetle, not Jason from Friday the 13th or John and George. They are two vastly different comics…

PAUL SEBERT: I just took a second look at the cover.

Holy crap… The Red Hood isn’t who I thought it was. It’s Chris O’Donnell!


RUMOUR: Vinnie Jones to play Juggernaut in X-Men 3 [Credit: Ain’t it Cool]

TIM BYRNE: This could work, but I’m firmly in the ‘expecting the worst’ camp regarding X3 until I can hear something reassuring about the script and director. If those two facets are shaky, the best actors in the world won’t salvage it.

IAIN BURNSIDE: I’ve been leaning the same way but I’m deeply curious about this. Juggernaut? Vinnie Jones? Words fail me. At least Guy Ritchie isn’t involved…

JAMIE HATTON: Bad… bad, bad, bad, bad…

I don’t know Vinnie Jones at all, but I am getting such a heebiejeebie off X3 now it’s not even funny. Unless all of these rumoured characters are going to be nice little cameos (i.e. Colossus) then this movie is becoming the Batman Returns equation – “If we fill it with fan favourites or noticeable names, everyone will be happy.”

I await with trepidation.

IAIN BURNSIDE: I assume you meant Batman & Robin? Batman Returns was an awesome movie. Anything with Michelle Pfeiffer in that outfit is automatically into ‘awesome’ status. Maybe even ‘awesomest’.

JAMIE HATTON: She was a tasty cake, but any of the Batman films following the first one follow suit:

Jack Nicholson equals:

PFEIFFER + DeVITO

JONES + CARREY

THURMAN + SCHWARTZENEGGER

It took two actors to equal the power that was Nicholson. With X3 they are just heaping on the fan goodness – and my worry is it will take away from the story.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Yeah, well, Jack Nicholson made a good Jack Nicholson but not a good Joker…

KEVIN “COUNT DOOKU” MAHONEY: Oy vey! I have now heard everything. Nicholson was perfect casting as the Joker. No other actor of his generation blends intelligence and lunacy as well. Combine One Flew Over with Chinatown, mix in Burton’s Gotham and you get Jack Napier/Joker. I’d be the first person to admit Burton’s Joker isn’t the comic’s homicidal fop/loony but that incarnation would never have made a good movie. The smarter ruthless crime boss with a wild side played perfectly to Nicholson’s strengths. One of, if not the best, comics performance ever.

WILL COOLING: You know who would be a brilliant Joker? You know who?

You sure you want to know?

Absolutely positive?

Hugo Weaving, a.k.a. Agent Smith from The Matrix. Honestly, you should see him in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (about three drag queens crossing the desert). He exudes such a level of bitchiness and range of emotions that would be perfect for the Joker.


DC offers Crisis Counselling guide to INFINITE CRISIS [Details: Here]

KEVIN MAHONEY: I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, the need for a weekly updated precise of the event makes me think it’ll be an intrusive overarching mess, and possibly a waste of time. On the other hand, provided the creators involved do a good job of summarizing the events in lesser known books, that’s less stuff I have to buy to follow the event. Good for my wallet, certainly.

MIKE “JANGO FETT” MAILLARO: This is great for me as I ain’t buying any of this mess until maybe INFINITE CRISIS. This way I can still follow the story.

NICK PIERS: Great idea for those that are iffy about getting involved or can’t afford to get involved in this. There be a lot of big stuff going on and I feel I should be excited, but my thoughts about going with single creative teams like SEVEN SOLDIERS, INVINCIBLE and Vertigo stuff have become stronger as of late.

Still, if I do decide to boycott DC, I can at least keep up with all the stuff they’re doing.

TIM BYRNE: I think this is an absolutely fantastic move. It can be avoided for those with the devotion of monks who want to read all relevant issues, and provides a primer for those who want to only read certain parts of the stories. After all, that is the number one complaint about crossovers… That you have to read average stories in comics you wouldn’t normally read. This solves that problem neatly and effectively.

JAMIE HATTON: Good for them!

See, this is why DC is just making me glance their way more and more this past year or two. It’s a maneuver like that, that is going to help this industry out. I know that sounds way broad scoped, but let me ‘splain.

The Internet has become a huge forum for comic fans. Everyone from the ‘I glance through the occasional X-MEN’ to the ever-present ‘I read only to bitch and complain’ types. The common everyday fan gets lost in that. Hell, a Marvelite looking at DC gets lost in that. I head over to the DC forums and I don’t know an Hourman from a Dr. Fate.

By DC making it so you don’t have to own or possess every single frigging title, and using a readily (mostly) accessible place like their website to do it – they are expanding what a comic company can/should do for their fans. Now, I don’t need to pick up GREEN LANTERN to know how he relates. God knows, the minute I pick it up I’m going to be confused as hell since I’m being dropped mid-thousand issue continuity.

I know who Hal is, basically. That’s all I need to know. The bits that are important to the issues I want to buy are laid out for me on the site.

It makes a huge megalithic crossover seem much less imposing.


BABYLON 5 will return in comic form [Details: Here]

NICK PIERS: Never got into Babylon 5, honestly, but I’m sure a lot of fans are happy to see this.

JAMIE HATTON: I’m intrigued.

Dani is intrigued.

We’re bipping like Kindergartners’ who just got the extra cookie, but we’re holding off from screaming until we see a product. It’s not written by JMS – so there is room for hate.

When it comes out, expect a review.


“Hawkette” to join the Young Avengers? [Details: Here]

PAUL SEBERT: I really like how they’ve actually intentionally given the characters in YOUNG AVENGERS cheesy names to play up the fanboy aspect. I was scratching my head over the project when I first heard about it but… well when I picked up the first two issues it just stunned me over how everything fell into place.

Also reading Jesse’s review of YOUNG AVENGERS last week makes me theorize that the financial success of a comic book is directly proportional to how much Jesse Baker hates it. Baker gave the two issues 2-out-of-10 meaning the book’s a solid financial success but no blockbuster.

I’d like Jesse to write an angry review of Sean McKeever’s GRAVITY next month. McKeever needs the exposure and I’m sure Jesse angrily fuming over the book will get people running to the comic shop just to see what he’s so worked up about.


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