The Roundtable

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

SUPREME POWER to be relaunched under Marvel Knights next year [More: Millarworld]

NICK “OPTIMUS PRIME” PIERS: I think in some ways, this is a good move. True, the series has been built on some mature ideas like nudity and apparently very graphic violence (in the fight scene against the first villain but I haven’t read that issue yet). I mean, the nudity of Zarda was a running joke for a few months.

But! I think that it’s not good when a series needs to sell itself on those merits. It’s a great read without the graphic nature and I don’t see why half of it was needed at all. Heck, it’s similar in many ways to RISING STARS, which I believe (don’t quote me on this) did not contain too much in the way of graphic nature like that.

IAIN “RAVAGE” BURNSIDE: Hmm… Yes and no. The Zarda nudity thing was both gratuitous and in keeping with the character, so it’s a bit hard to judge. Other than that there were a few swear words (mainly from Nighthawk, again in keeping with his character) and some rather unsettling artwork, mainly from the meta-human serial-killer guy but that’s about it as far as MAX content was concerned. All the rest was nothing more ‘adult’ than what’s in a lot of mainstream comics anyway. Still, the setting and the way in which these adult themes were handled was more than enough to overcome the shock-value aspect. Certainly nothing felt as controversial as, say, the Light/Dibny rape from IDENTITY CRISIS. The whole thing just made SUPREME POWER a bit more unique and really helped it to stand out from the crowd. Do we really need another watered-down JLA knock-off team? I don’t know. I love this title so far and would love for it to continue, but this whole thing reeks of Marvel deciding to give it a temporary sales boost by getting another #1 issue on the stands…

WILL “STARSCREAM” COOLING: I never got that excuse… of course the nudity was in keeping with the character… the guy who wrote the titty shots created/developed/reimagined her. It’s like justifying sex in porn movies – it’s all in keeping with the characters. Well, duh, but what does that say when you’ve got a load of nymphs?

I also I don’t see why its difficult to judge, I mean as a MAX book we get tits and that brown paper bag it comes in is always useful.

John Byrne is in line for a JSA CLASSIFIED story [Credit: All the Rage]

NICK PIERS: I’ve heard that BLOOD OF THE DEMON doesn’t completely suck but I’m going to have to wait to see and hear more about what Byrne and the unnamed writer have in store before judging any further. The fact that it’s set in WW2 makes me intrigued.

Creators feel the pinch of Dreamwave’s financial collapse [Details: All the Rage]

NICK PIERS: I only bought the first GENERATION ONE trade and it was fantastic. I’m not a huge Transformers fan but enough to appreciate it and was glad to see it make a comeback. If only the He-Man return could’ve made a bigger impact.

Sadly, a lot of this happened so fast that it made people’s head spin. I think part of it was the company just trying to do too much, too fast. I could be wrong in that, though. A friend of mine is a bigger TF fan than I am and was quite saddened to see the company fall so fast. I can’t help but agree with him.

IAIN BURNSIDE: There were a lot of good people at Dreamwave, and a lot of great talents too. Sadly, it would seem that Pat Lee falls into neither category.

But hey, if you can find it, I’d recommend you check out the first trade of THE WAR WITHIN for some more Transfun 馃檪

Marvel releases a free comic book for US military troops [Details: Newsarama]

WILL COOLING: Poor US Troops, first Al Franklin, then J Lo and now this. Now I finally realise why they all praised the terminally unfunny Bob Hope. Still, if anything is bound to get them in a murderous rage it’s getting a Bendis book about a big fight against evil aliens (memo to BMB – you are not Mark Millar and Rob Liefeld’s bastard child! That’s a good thing! So stop trying to be!!!)

IAIN BURNSIDE: I wonder how many of ’em will actually know what became of the Old Avengers…

PAUL “WHEELJACK” SEBERT: I read about this in USA Today and it seems like a really nice favour. Comics have been given as gifts to US Troops ever since WWII and it’s kind of nice to see this tradition moving on.

Still the ceremony seems like a bit much, and I too can’t wait to see the Daily Show’s coverage of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Spidey. I hope the ceremony ends with Spider-Man and Captain America figuring out that Rumsfeld is really a Doombot and foiling his evil plot.

Warren Ellis updates on his Apparat 2 books [Details: Ellisarama]

WILL COOLING: Sounds good… hopefully Ellis will be able to stay awake whilst writing these as opposed to the obvious boredom that infects every page of his Marvel work. Now if only we’d get that damn collection of the first set.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Hey, anything that references Zatoichi can’t be bad.

I too would love a collection of Apparat 1, though given that Ellis has been known to be even more belligerent than me in the past this will probably not happen anytime soon. So, failing that, does anybody happen to have a spare copy of SIMON SPECTOR they feel like throwing this way?

WILL COOLING: Now ULTIMATE SECRET #3 is delayed until September despite the script being done, art being done and all being hunky dory in the House of Ideas.

Well… an Ellis book being delayed. An Ultimate mini-series being delayed. I am both shocked and surprised at this unexpected development.

“JAZZ” COREN: Damnit! I mean, I’m not shocked or anything, but what the hell? Both of the really good Ultimate minis keep getting delays (this and ULTIMATE IRON MAN). What’s the reason for the delay?

WILL COOLING: Nobody knows… it’s all a mystery… but the words “couldn’t manage a piss up in a brewery” spring to mind.

Gail Simone & Rob Liefeld to do two-issue fill-in on TEEN TITANS [Details: Robarama]

PAUL SEBERT: WHA? HUH? I thought last month’s issue was the April Fools edition of Wizard…

JASON “OMEGA SUPREME” BEREK-LEWIS: Well, I’m a huge Rob Liefeld fan, and I know how much he loves the Titans, so I am guessing this must mean a lot to him. Also, this will get me reading some DC when I am usually a Marvel Maniac!

ANDY “SHOCKWAVE” LOGAN: Sorry – did I misread that – you’re a huge Liefeld fan?

I thought those people were just an urban myth…

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: No, it’s not an urban myth! Yes, I actually enjoy his characters and his art for what they are – fun superheroics!

Rob’s stuff always brings a smile to my face. And, besides, I met him at Wizard World LA in 2004, and there is no other creator who gives so much time to his fans. I spent most of the day at his booth, talking to Rob and other creators. The sketches that he turned out for fans were incredibly detailed – he spent over 1/2 hour sketching one of my favourite Liefeld characters – for free!

Rob’s actually a decent guy and doesn’t deserve most of the flak he gets…

ANDY LOGAN: Fair point, well presented, sir.

Sorry, I was only teasing then, just seemed too good an opportunity to resist.

PAUL SEBERT: You know I’m kind of torn on Rob Liefeld.

As a person I admire the guy’s exuberance, his love of the medium, and the fact that unlike a certain Image founder he’s never really rested on his laurels. I’m happy he’s a big Titans fan and getting to work with his favourite characters.

And on the other hand… let me just say this much about the preview image posted in this month’s Wizard. Well how do I put this politely…? It’s a seriously off model, anatomically dubious, poorly shaded, impossibly posed, gaudily coloured example of hyper-realism gone horrifically awry slapped against computer-illustrated splotch impersonating as a background.

If you aren’t so hopelessly awash in ’90s nostalgia that you are oblivious to all aesthetic and stylistic advances within the medium in the past 15 years and still consider this to be good art, I advise you to please get your eyes checked for severe myopia.

In fact the only thing that this cover really succeeds in is serving as one of those “What’s wrong with the picture” illustrations… for starters…

1. Bart Allen has no waist
2. Wonder Girl has bigger breasts than Starfire
3. Superboy is approximately 3 feet tall.
4. Cyborg’s robot parts appear to be tank-top and Cable-shorts
5. Robin has aquamarine hair
6. Superboy and Kid Flash have Tyrannosaurus Rex arms
7. Neither Superboy nor Kid Flash have necks
8. Wonder Girl’s top appears to be translucent
9. Cyborg’s right knee is distinctly larger than the left
10. Kid Flash’s hair is normal and not in a bowel cut.

I am not saying this because it’s popular to dump on Rob on websites and forums; I am saying this because this art is bad, bad, bad. And I’m going to ask the store I frequent to drop TEEN TITANS from my pull list for two months, unless Rob actually does something that shows the potential he once showed in the pages of HAWK & DOVE in 1989.

COREN: Man, that’s not the Titans that were just fighting Dr Light last week. Maybe it’s because I’m more used to the current art, but that just looks wrong, very, very wrong.

But on the bright side, Hawk and Dove appear in some of the preview art, so there is a good side to it, I guess.

ANDY “LAZERBEAK” CAMPBELL: No offence, Paul, but I think you’re a bit off-base about Liefeld’s TEEN TITANS piece.

1. Bart Allen has no waist

Yes he does, but it looks a bit different from the perspective from which we’re viewing him.

2. Wonder Girl has bigger breasts than Starfire

Starfire is farther back than Wonder Girl, so it’s hard to compare, actually.

3. Superboy is approximately 3 feet tall.

Perspective, sir. If somebody is in the distance, they appear smaller (duh!).

4. Cyborg’s robot parts appear to be tank-top and Cable-shorts

No argument here!

5. Robin has aquamarine hair

Again, no argument from me.

6. Superboy and Kid Flash have Tyrannosaurus Rex arms

No. Again, it’s the perspective they’re being viewed from.

7. Neither Superboy nor Kid Flash have necks

Ditto the above.

8. Wonder Girl’s top appears to be translucent

I don’t see it. Oooh…that was a play on words, wasn’t it?

9. Cyborg’s right knee is distinctly larger than the left.

Perspective once again. If someone is running, the closer knee will look larger.

10. Kid Flash’s hair is normal and not in a bowel cut.

I wouldn’t say his hair is normal. I wouldn’t say it’s wind-swept. And I’m not sure what a “bowel” cut is, but it sounds like a condition that keeps you in the bathroom a lot.


PAUL SEBERT: Judging from my perspective it’s still a freakin’ pile of crap and Rob hasn’t learned to draw foreground and background pieces beyond a fourth grade level.

ANDY CAMPBELL: Haha…fair enough, fair enough.

NICK PIERS: I’m deeming this the “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!” moment of the year. The only thing that would make this announcement any more shocking and fans planning on not buying those two issues would be announcing that Chuck Austen was writing as opposed to Simone.

Is it just me or does Liefeld use the same damn poses for every single cover? I mean, look at the cover with Hawk & Dove on the cover. Cyborg’s pose is the exact same Cable pose that Liefeld always, always used. Has this guy ever thought of maybe trying to improve his style to try not having so many fans that absolutely loathe him?

I suppose, if they were to bring back Hawk & Dove, they had to have Liefeld involved in some way. Look at the bright side; at least he didn’t do the art for the Dr. Light arc where they made their grand return.

IAIN BURNSIDE: If they wind up soliciting an Austen/Liefeld book then I’m going to bonk you on the head with a frying pan, Piers…

JAMIE “JETFIRE” HATTON: You know what this is? This is the really hot girl hanging out with the fat kids so she looks better. All of the A-list is working on the core COUNTDOWN books, and so far they haven’t been disappointing… maybe not uber-thrilling but not disappointing. So to make COUNTDOWN look that much better they go “Hey, let’s put the bottom barrel on a book that people kinda like…” thusly – Liefeld.

PAUL SEBERT: The blog Fandom Wank has set up a thread discussing the debate among Rob Liefeld’s supporters and his critics, highlighting some of the funnier replies on Newsarama’s message board.

Just one last observation of that TEEN TITANS cover. I mean its one thing to have a vomitous green and blue splotch as a background, but does it have to be the same damned vomitous green splotch he used multiple times in the X-FORCE mini-series?

Also, if you scroll down to Idiosylph’s post, there’s a much more involved look over Liefeld’s anatomical absurdities than I could ever compile complete with an illustrated diagram.

Idiosylph, I salute you.

WILL COOLING: Dammit, how dare an artist draw humans inaccurately? I mean, I demand realism and naturalism in my comics. There’s nothing worse than something unrealistic getting in the way of my enjoyment of Superman flying up into space to defeat Darkseid. Absolutely shocking!!!

COREN: It’s not just that Liefeld isn’t drawing people accurately (he isn’t, and he’s doing far worse a job than most do, let’s be honest here), it’s that he’s turned the Titans into his stock characters. Cyborg could pass for Cable the way he’s being drawn, everyone suddenly gets muscles where they haven’t had any (and shouldn’t), the list goes on. It’s one thing to take a few liberties with reality, it’s another to ignore everything and just draw things your way in every venture you do.

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: Sorry Coren, I don’t think that’s an issue. I mean, every artist, every writer has their own interpretation of characters. Yes, Rob’s interpretation of all comic characters has a distinctive style – it’s his signature!

PAUL SEBERT: Yeah… I have no deal with unrealistic art styles, heck some of my favorite artists draw in them (Takashi Miyazawa, Humberto Ramos, Mike Allred, Kyle Baker, etc.) it’s just good artists tend to have a level of logic and consistency to their work.

Rob, on the other hand, just seems to be taking everything that’s unrealistic in the standard post-Neal Adams hyper-realistic art style and cranking it up to 11 to the point that you have characters like Bart Allen wielding muscles like Hulkling, which would be hilarious if he was intentionally doing this as a comedic deconstruction of modern comics. But unfortunately it isn’t.

WILL COOLING: Maybe he doesn’t get out much and bases his perception of the human anatomy on WWE wrestling?

Peter David replaces Mark Waid on the new FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN series [Details: Here]

PAUL SEBERT: Sad to see Mark Waid dropping the project for personal reasons but, hey, PAD has quite a history with the ol’ Webslinger, I’m assuming he’ll do a fine job. I’ve found PAD’s work somewhat uneven over the years (really he’s got some ‘splainin’ to do about SLOBO) but I’m glad to see he’s working on Spidey again after having a hell of a run in the ’80s.

NICK PIERS: This is going to blow both JMS’ and Millar’s runs completely out of the water. I’m excited all to heck for this not only for being a big time PAD fan but for loving Wieringo’s work on FANTASTIC FOUR. Great to see Marvel acknowledging his talent.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Just when I think I’m finally getting to a sensible number of books on my pull-list, they go and get me ridiculously intrigued over something like this… Damn you, Marvel!

JAMIE HATTON: We have Peter David on a new Spidey series…

We have Mark Waid on a mini-series (SPIDER-MAN: HOUSE OF M)…

We have JMS on the flagship title…

I’m in frickin’ Spidey-heaven.

Greg Pak & Greg Tocchini to do 1602: NEW WORLD book [More: Here]

NICK PIERS: Honestly, I only read the first issue of Gaiman’s original series and planned on waiting to get the hardcover. Sadly, finances have stopped me from doing so just yet. Still, it just seems like 1602 was meant to be a self-contained story more than anything. I doubt I’ll be checking out the sequel.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Ditto. Apart from anything else, 1602 wasn’t even a particularly good story (though it did look stunning).

JAMIE HATTON: Pak knocked PHOENIX: ENDSONG out of the park, but I’m not sure that 1602 deserves a sequel. It was good, and it was fun, and it was a great Marvel Elseworlds, but is the concept deserving of further exploration or didn’t Gaiman say enough?

Hey, I’m not knocking the House of Ideas for trying, but I’d hate to see it get panned when it was Gaiman’s Marvel child.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Of course it doesn’t need a sequel. They’re just hoping the hype and the 1602 name (and a vague mention of Neil Gaiman wherever possible) will be enough to attract people to this superfluous book. However, they are at least giving it to Pak as part of his sustained main-event push rather than giving it to another Big Name, so it’s not an entirely evil decision. Only moderately evil. Diet Coke evil. I’m currently drinking Diet Coke… Mmmm… Diet Coke… If only it was vanilla flavoured. Dammit! Give me some vanilla flavour! Nothing better in this world than Vanilla Diet Coke… Mmmm… Vanilla Diet Coke…

Now that was a thoroughly pointless exercise in product placement if ever I saw one.

Drink Diet Coke!

WILL COOLING: What are you – f**king crazy!?!

Cherry Coke is the best type of Coke on the market!!! Bar none!!!

As Jesse would say – you know nothing you f**king cunt evil “Bendis is s**t” bastard!!!

PAUL SEBERT: Bah… I enjoy a nice Coke with lime even it is swill compared to the nectar of the gods, Jones Vanilla Cola.

Oh, and those new Dark Chocolate Star Wars M&Ms are choco-licious.

WILL COOLING: I remember watching a brilliant documentary about when they changed the recipe of Coke. Technically it was a business documentary but there were some brilliant anecdotes about rural America that was just so sweet and twee; just crazy stuff like the women who started stockpiling Coke, the guys who started the campaign to get the old recipe restored and the upset caused by Coca Cola delivery men as they lost their former status. Just made me go ahhhh like any proud mother (country) would.

TIM “ULTRA MAGNUS” STEVENS: I fully support the Cherry Coke as king initiative. Also, Diet Coke has a flavour reminiscent of battery acid.

How I know that… that’s another story all together.

WILL COOLING: Nothing wrong with battery acid… now diet battery acid on the other hand…

P.S. If anyone says they like Dr. Pepper over Coke (or Pepsi) I’ll kill the bastard. Now that truly is the devil’s piss (well after Guinness).

DARON “UNICRON” KAPPAUFF: Bring it on, little girl, I honestly drink nothing but Dr. Pepper. I can’t stand Coke, and am not a big fan of Pepsi either. Dr. Pepper rules!

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: Can’t say I ever enjoyed Dr Pepper (It lasted about 5 minutes in Australia, it never took off here!). But Guinness is another matter entirely – it’s like a meal in a glass!

WILL COOLING: That’s been left on the side for three days!!!

And Daron, you’re wrong… Dr. Pepper is an evil perversion of Coke/Pepsi with a sickly sweet taste that makes even me wanna gag. I mean, wanting to take over the world and enslave the human race is one thing but “only” drinking Dr. Pepper? You sick, disgusting bunny.

JOHN “MEGATRON” BABOS: I wasn’t aware we had some many Nexus staffers who know what battery acid or urine tastes like to allow for the comparison to Dr. Pepper.

Dave Gibbons & Patrick Gleason to do GREEN LANTERN CORPS: RECHARGED
limited series
[Details: Lanternarama]

NICK PIERS: I’m officially and wholeheartedly excited to see this. I love the Kyle character a hell of a lot more than Hal since that’s who I’ve grown up on.

I’m not a big fan of how Kyle has been treated over the last couple of years but it’s been in build up for Jordan’s return. Having Kyle and Guy creating a new Corps is going to be damn cool.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Guy Gardner = me buying the book.

Robert Kirkman discusses MARVEL TEAM-UP [Check: It]

PAUL SEBERT: This is one of my real guilty pleasures. It’s a blast to read, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I love Scott Kolins’ art. Also it’s really nice to know that Kirkman’s having fun on this project.

NICK PIERS: Haven’t read the book but from everything I’ve heard, this is a really fun book. If there isn’t a TPB of this out already, I think I’m going to break down and buy it when it comes out.

Plus, you know I have to support TEH K1脙茠脝’脙炉脗驴脗陆脙茠芒鈧∶冣毭偮甂M@N!!!!

Um. Kirkman.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Well, you’re in luck. MARVEL TEAM-UP VOL. 1 – THE GOLDEN CHILD, is due out next month! It collects the first six-issues and features Spider-Man, Wolverine, X-23, Hulk, Dr. Strange, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man (um, kinda), Dr. Doom, Nova, Sunfire, Cardiac, Black Widow, Nick Fury and a Naked Fat Kid, and is tremendous fun. Plus, I’m getting the INVINCIBLE HC so you owe me one 馃檪

And to the rest of you, I say – read MARVEL TEAM-UP!! ‘Tis good!!

Bendis introduces Layla Miller, the most important character in the Marvel Universe [Details: Laylarama]

COREN: Ugh. I hate Bendis. This whole interview feels like a great big Bendis fellatio session, with Bendis himself being the biggest participant. I want to give this a chance less and less as time goes on.

WILL COOLING: Remember the mid nineties when everyone thought/said that Marilyn Manson had his third rib removed so as to be able to do that (i.e. give himself fellatio)? Anyone remember the mid nineties when Manson was still sexy and interesting instead of some boring shock jock in drag? Anyone read Al Franken’s brilliant piss-take of O’Reilly’s books and his talk of something called “fellatio”? Anyone sick of these constant questions? Why? Is it ‘cos I is black(ed haired)?

MIKE “GRIMLOCK” MAILLARO: I don’t see what’s wrong about being excited about your own work. As far as I am concerned, it’s contagious. HOUSE OF M interests me, while INFINITE CRISIS’ lead-ins make me never want to read another DC book ever again.

PAUL SEBERT: Dunno what Coren is so worked up about. Maybe it’s Jesse in disguise.

To be honest, I once met Bendis for a couple of minutes at the Pittsburgh Comicon a few years ago, and he’s one of the most modest guys I’ve ever met. I, on the other hand, probably came across as the goofiest gushie-est fanboy worshipper on the earth.

Anyway, this interview helped re-establish why I’m interested in HOUSE OF M (which I sincerely hope involves Mr. M from DISTRICT X); if anything because unlike the gaggle of writers on DC’s various big summer books, Bendis is sincerely trying to put some more characters to play with in Marvel’s Toybox.

Meanwhile over at DC they just seem to be wondering “gee which C-Tier character can I kill next?”

WILL COOLING: News just in: Paul Levitz and Dan Didio actually resigned from DC comics 18 months ago and were replaced by the Fury!!!

It all makes sense now.

Btw, its 30 years since the fall of Saigon (the TV told me)…geez, you’d think the Americans would jump and down reminding everyone how Vietnam gave China a bloody nose in 1978-9 to lesson the embarrassment (tell ya, Vietnam was the Cold War Piedmont…kinda). Must be liberal bias in the media, lol…

More importantly it’s Dr. Who tonight…with the muthaf**king Daleks. Oh geek heaven!!!

We will exterminate! We will exterminate! We will exterminate!

IAIN BURNSIDE: Oh no, it’s the weekend… Will’s been on the happy juice again… This is never good 馃檪

WILL COOLING: Shut up, bitch!!! I own your ass!!!


IAIN BURNSIDE: While we’re vaguely on the topic, Dr. Who was bloody awesome last night. If you only watch one episode then you really have to watch this one. Or, if you’re in the States, take the necessary steps to get to see it, such as moving to Canada or pushing the legal boundaries of the Internet.

Not that we would condone that sort of thing.


COREN: Sure, a new character is nice and all, but it sounds like they’ve set up yet another uber-character who will be nigh unstoppable. They have a tendency to do that a lot, then have the stories this new character is in fall flat.

Plus, do we really need more Wolverine? I mean, NEW AVENGERS is gonna be bad enough, but now he’s a lynchpin of HOUSE OF M too? What next, he’s really Holocaust’s half brother?

PAUL SEBERT: Hey, Wolverine’s a flavour that goes great with everything… he’s like
chocolate or Julius Schwartz-era-DC Gorillas. Guaranteed to raise sales every time.

For the record, I wish DC still put talking gorillas on all their comics covers as opposed to Batman.


Oooh, that’s a sick image…

Marvel and Stan Lee settle their lawsuit [Details: Pulse]

KEVIN “HOT ROD” MAHONEY: Hey! Stan is the Man! That it’s only $10 million would be my gripe. He deserves more, but you could say the same of so many creators that sweated out the birth of a character in one medium to get diddly when the money rolls in using another medium.

PAUL SEBERT: I’m pretty sure Stan can live comfortably on only that amount of money. Provided he doesn’t start up another internet company or pitch a cartoon to Spike-TV.

WILL COOLING: No…he must end up penniless that’s the true way of the artist…make a fortune off your greatest hits then loose your fortune in a downward spiral all whilst wearing a beret!!! And a stripped blue and white top! Maybe lobbed an ear while your at it.

Also, if I was Marvel I’d capitalise on Lee’s obvious thirst for movie stardom by offering him the lead in a movie of his choice in return for rewriting his contract. I mean just imagine Stan Lee as Luke Cage, Hero for Hire!!!

Dollar signs are in my eyes as we speak…so excuse the typos cause I can’t bloody well see!!!

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