The Roundtable

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


IDW to re-launch the TRANSFORMERS comics license [Details: Here]

JASON “OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM” BEREK-LEWIS: This is certainly a win for IDW, but does the brand retain its pulling power? I know very little about Transformers, I owned a few of the toys around 1986, but the title doesn’t really appeal to me. But, there are a lot of heartbroken fans out there, decimated by Dreamwave’s collapse, so this is good news for them!

IAIN “OLD MACDONALD HAD A HANGOVER” BURNSIDE: Hell yeah. They won’t get the top-selling spot that Dreamwave managed now that the whole ’80s nostalgia thing has died down, but there’s still a sizeable market of saps like me that will continue to snap up any TF books on the market. Who knows, maybe we’ll even draw in some newbies once the new movie comes out? And there’s still the big question of exactly what books IDW will be doing… GENERATION 1 is a must, but how far after that do they take it? Dreamwave certainly didn’t help themselves by flooding the market with ARMADA/ENERGON, THE WAR WITHIN, MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, MICROMASTERS, G.I. JOE crossovers, and many other random things… Though I still bought ’em all 馃檪

JAMIE “OLD MACDONALD HAD AN S.T.D.” HATTON: Although IDW is getting a huge boon from this…

I predict an Autobot Zombie Massacre by issue #10.

ANDY “OLD MACDONALD HAD THOUGHT ALL THE COOL KIDS WERE DOING IT” LOGAN: Did any of you wonderful chaps from the States ever get the British TRANSFORMERS issues? Written by Simon Furman, and pencilled by (among many others!) Dan Abnett and Geoff Senior? Man, those stories were great! It was a weekly series over here, and we used to get re-prints of the American stories, interspersed with the – far superior in my humble opinion – British ones. In fact, G.I. JOE was the back-up story, making the title a weekly slice of comic heaven…ah, those were the days. I’ve got them somewhere, scanned onto two CD-ROMs, I think. The original British prints were really flimsy and have long since gone to that great paper chase in the sky…

*sits back, closes eyes, and dreams of when all this was fields and songs had proper tunes with lyrics that actually meant something*

IAIN BURNSIDE: I’ve got those CDs too. Terrific stuff. And I agree, the UK strips were tremendous fun. Titan has reprinted a whole bunch of them in oversized TPBs; I’d highly recommend starting out with the Target: 2006 story and moving on from there!

PAUL “OLD MACDONALD HAD NO IDEA SHE WAS ONLY FIFTEEN” SEBERT: Not too surprising considering that IDW does a lot of licensed stuff (MGS, 24, CSI) but I was expecting this license to go to Gold Key.


RUMOUR: DC out to get John Romita Jr. on an exclusive contract [Details: All the Rage]

PAUL SEBERT: Does anyone with the money not want Romita on a proper contract? Tokyopop would sign him to an exclusive contract if they could.


RUMOUR: Ed Brubaker & Trevor Hairsine working on a big X-Men project [Details: All the Rage]

PAUL SEBERT: Hmmm… I’m going to go out on a limb and guess Wolverine is involved in this one somehow… call me crazy.


DC solicitations for August 2005 [Details: Here]

PAUL SEBERT: “DETECTIVE COMICS #809
In Part 1 of the 4-part weekly shipping “War Crimes,” crossing over with BATMAN, the truth about “War Games” is revealed! Now one of Batman’s former supporters is out to tear him apart!”

Because we weren’t appalled enough by War Games… let’s bring Steph Brown back as an evil cyborg zombie with Magic Powerz in stompy fun power armour? Why not?

“BATMAN #644
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli & Sandra Hope

The jaw-dropping conclusion of the 4-part “War Crimes!” Batman faces two of his deadliest enemies: criminal mastermind Black Mask and the maniacal Joker! Don’t miss the shock ending that will remove a long-standing character from Batman’s life forever!”

This issue the Joker dies… really. We mean it this time. Honest!

*Rolls eyes*

GOTHAM CENTRAL #34

On a brighter note… DC’s finally combined my two favorite things. GOTHAM CENTRAL and Bart Allen.

SUPERGIRL #1

If Peter David ain’t involved… I ain’t interested.

SUPERMAN #220

Didn’t Kon-El just shave his head in the pages of TEEN TITANS? He must have super hair-growth powers.

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #22

Oh no! Am return of Bizarro Superman and Bizarro Batman. This book been delayed for few months, but that ok. That mean it shipping early on Bizarro World.

DC’S GREATEST IMAGINARY STORIES TPB

The crowd at Superdickery.com are going to love this.

FLASH #225

Awesome, Awesome cover… with just about every Flash villain ever.
Although really if you were going to throw in an Impulse villain… why Inertia instead of White Lightning?

HAWKMAN #43

Because half a dozen folks on Geoff Johns message board demanded it… The Return of Golden Eagle…

TEEN TITANS #27

I’m sorry Rob fans… but if you think this is a good cover, well then you’re blind and must be reading the Braille edition of Previews.

POWERPUFF GIRLS #65

Power Puff-chibis?! Too much cuteness… growing weak…

WILDSIDERZ #1

There’s more Glowy on the cover of this book than most publishers put in a year. God bless J. Scott Campbell and the power of glowy.

JASON BEREK-LEWIS: I think I have said it before, but with the exception of SUPERMAN/BATMAN #1-3, I haven’t read any DC books since about 1998. So I’m as surprised as I can be to say that I am looking forward to the new Jim Lee/Frank Miller BATMAN & ROBIN title, as well as Rob Liefeld’s run on TEEN TITANS!

SUPERGIRL is another book which has piqued my interest. I know nothing at all about this character, but I really enjoy the work of Jeph Loeb and Ian Churchill…

“OLD MACDONALD HAD A FIRST NAME” COREN: Bah, Liefeld’s more than horrible, but I think we’ve covered that one to death.

There are some things coming out from DC this month that do look great, mostly in the Wildstorm and Vertigo lines, but for the most part Paul was right. Marvel’s utterly kicking DC’s ass based on these previews.

PAUL SEBERT: Well putting aside my personal taste… putting Rob on the Titans just strikes me as a stupid business decision. TEEN TITANS is one DC’s few titles to consistently land in the top 25 sales wise. Liefeld’s X-FORCE mini-series from last year was one of the only X-related projects from last year to sell so damned poorly it hasn’t been released in trade yet.

And yeah, I know there was a time when Liefeld sold the highest-selling first issue in the world, but well… there was also a time when Vanilla Ice had the number one song on the charts.

KEVIN “OLD MACDONALD HAD HER, HAD HER, YEUCH, WHO HASN’T HAD HER?” MAHONEY: Hey, any reason to bash Rob Liefeld (other than 501 jeans) is a good one. As far as previews go… normally I don’t read them. But in DC’s defence the upcoming JSA #76 has the best painted rendition of a non-white superhero ever. Marvel’s teasers might be outclassing DC’s lately but I’d take a framed litho of that Mr. T. portrait any day… off of someone else’s wall if necessary. I thought the FLASH cover was gimmicky, and the teaser for VILLAINS UNITED makes me think I was right about the book being a disappointment. But then, getting preconceived notions of future product is why I stopped looking at previews/trailers!


JMS discussed his upcoming FANTASTIC FOUR run [Details: Here]

PAUL SEBERT: JMS’s Spidey run has had it’s ups and downs over the years… but I’ll give just about anything from the guy that saved us from Chapter 1, The “death” of Mary Jane, and Howard Mackie’s particular brand of madness a shot.


RUMOUR Spider-Man 3 and 4 are shooting back-to-back [Details: Here]

MANOLIS “OLD MACDONALD HAD THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST FIXED” VAMVOUNIS: I’d just like to state for the record to everyone present that Iain is the gayest “straight” guy I’ve ever met, and he couldn’t keep his slimy sexy paws off my booty all Friday night! That’s that, please continue…

WILL “OLD MACDONALD HAD A BUCKET AND SPADE” COOLING: You do know that when you stuff his hands down your own trousers that it doesn’t really count? Lol

IAIN BURNSIDE: I would go on a rant to defend my heterosexual honour, but my head is filled with too much pain to make any sort of sense. I’m just relieved I can fall asleep without worrying about some rampant Greek getting over-familiar… and trying to dislocate my shoulder again!!!!

COREN: Two Spider-Man’s shooting at once? At least it’ll end up better than the second and third Matrix movies. And more little bits to confirm Sandman will play a role in one of the movies to boot. I can’t wait, this franchise has been nothing but quality so far.


Image solicitations for August 2005 [Details: Here]

COREN: Man, Image is really pumping out the quality in August. There’s so many good ongoing series they’ve got going now, or coming up, it’s just great. I’m glad to see a publisher that isn’t Marvel or DC do well.


Dark Horse solicitations for August 2005 [Details: Here]

COREN: And speaking of, I’m not usually a fan of Dark Horse, but then they get two books that really interest me. I didn’t even know there was an Aeon Flux movie coming, but if it brings the book back, I’m all for it. And then right after his first run on ASTONISHING X-MEN ends, they snag Whedon to do SERENITY (a.k.a. Firefly the movie). Add in Bruce freaking Campbell writing a book and August is looking pretty good for Dark Horse.


EXCALIBUR cancelled with issue #14 [Details: Here]

JAMIE HATTON: Doth my ears deceive… is Marvel realizing that Claremont is done?! Bless them. And bless you, Tiny Tim!

IAIN BURNSIDE: But how could they resist more exciting stories with bondage and mind-control and Warrior-approved dialogue?? Heathens! No towel for you!

ANDY LOGAN: Thank God for that – the sooner the stain of Chris Claremont is removed from present ay comic writing, the less tainted the memory of his glorious past is going to get. Claremont is in serious danger of becoming like a punch drunk fighter who’s taken too many shots to the head but refuses to sit down and retire – a shambling embarrassment to himself and his industry. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but as somebody who was turned onto comics in the first place by the stellar writing of the man, it hurts my heart and head to see the sort of dross being churned out in UXM and EXCALIBUR these days.

PAUL SEBERT: Well this title hasn’t attracted a following and has garnered some pretty bad reviews but still… 40,000 copies? That’s like 8 times as many copies as BLOODHOUND was selling when DC pulled the plug on that book.

Honestly I have a lot of respect for Claremont… but what they need to do for the guy is either give him a behind the scenes job, or a book that keeps him from meddling with mainline continuity (sort of like DeFalco on SPIDER-GIRL). I don’t want the guy out on the street, but he really shouldn’t be holding the keys to the X-Franchise either.

Maybe he should have been the one instead of McKeever to do MEGAMORPHS. Just picture the MegaMorphs battling it out with William Stryker’s army of Giant Mecha-Priests.


Kelsey Grammar will play Beast in X3 [Details: Here]

PAUL SEBERT: Great casting but can we get David Hyde Pierce to play the evil AOA Dark Beast in X4?

COREN: So that means it’s either Kelsey G’s voice only or an animatronic CGI thing like Golem right? ‘Cuz Frasier in a fur suit might be a great name for a ska band, but man it would look dumb onscreen.

JAMIE HATTON: Okay, I couldn’t have picked a better name for this voice. Given the character is going to be all CGI, we don’t need to know if Grammar can fight – but his voice is ideal. My concern is with ANGEL, JUGGERNAUT, BEAST, and GAMBIT all on the billing of this film it’s starting to feel a bit full. Especially if STORM, JEAN, WOLVIE, ICEMAN, and ROGUE are all in it too. (Not to mention XAVIER and MAGNETO) and we haven’t even considered villains.

Not good. Not good at all. I smell Batnipples.

IAIN BURNSIDE: Tsk. Next you’ll be telling me that there are too many X-Men books on the market.

But still, Sideshow Beast! Me likey!

COREN: I’m gonna have to disagree with Jamie on things getting too full. Cyclops having a role is still up in the air, and they actually have cast a villain. No way is Juggernaut going to show up as a hero in this movie. If anything, he’ll be the lynchpin of whatever squad of bad guys Magneto throws together (in which case, more heroes could be explained as being needed to take out the extra villains). I think so far that Mystique and Juggernaut are confirmed, with a possible return of Sabretooth and/or Toad rumoured.

WILL COOLING: An aside on superhero movies-whilst on holiday I brought Adam West’s Batman movie largely to piss off one of my room mates who’s a big Batman fan. To mine (and everyone else who was in on the joke) it was a bloody great movie to watch with West’s portrayal of Batman being far more entertaining than anything the ’90s threw up. I know say without a hint of irony that Adam West is the one, true Batman.

Anyone who disagrees is merely a sparrow with machine guns and owes me a ballpoint banana!

PAUL SEBERT: I actually honestly have a deep love of the ’60s Batman series in all of its cheesiness… though I must confess the Batman movie was a bit too much of a good thing.

Still you’ve gotta love the “sometimes you just can’t get rid of a bomb” scene… which is a great metaphor for the perils of ironclad continuity in comics.


Marvel solicitations for August 2005 [Details: Here]

JAMIE HATTON: POWER PACK digest – awesome gifts for nieces and nephews. I’m so there.

And yes. RUNAWAYS HC – that stands for HARDC0R3!

IAIN BURNSIDE: HCs of RUNAWAYS, DAREDEVIL, WATCHMEN and V automatically makes August my most expensive month ever.

And only Joe Quesada would have the grapefruits to release a Directors Cut of DAREDEVIL: FATHER #1. Friggin’ hilarious!

PAUL SEBERT: BLACK PANTHER #7

Yet another HOUSE OF M tie-in. As burned out as I am between HOM and INIFINITE CRISIS it looks like for a couple of months the only titles I’ll be reading are GOTHAM CENTRAL, RUNAWAYS, ARANA, and whatever Sean McKeever is doing.

DAREDEVIL: FATHER #2

Yeah right… next thing you’ll be telling me NYX is shipping.

ARA脙茠芒鈧淎 #8

ARANA, if you couldn’t tell by my review this week, makes me happy. ARANA on a Vespa makes me happier. The fact that this cover is probably a homage to Scooter Girl makes me happiest.

NEW AVENGERS #10

Oh hell yeah… this is gonna rock. Remember kids… every copy of this book you buy only makes Jesse Baker angrier. Let’s see if we can turn him into the Hulk.

GRAVITY #3 (of 5)

Awesome cover for what should prove to be one of the best mini-series of the year. Go McKeever!

FANTASTIC FOUR #530

Not to be outdone by J. Scott Campbell, Mike McKone has decided to fill every square inch of this cover with glowy laser beams. August is going to be the month of glowy!

MEGA MORPHS #1 & #2 (of 4)

Let me get this straight… they re-united Eisner-nominee Sean McKeever with one of the Udon artists from SENTINEL for… this?!

Oh and I love the final line of the preview.

“True Believer, this is the toy-tie-in comic other toy-tie-ins dream of being!”

Take that Total Justice!

Sadly I’m going to have to ad this to my pull list just out of pure WTF factor.

NYX #7

Ok… now you’re just pulling my leg Marvel. Next you’ll be telling me DC’s going to be shipping SUPERMAN/BATMAN #22.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #11

“When Titannus conquers Japan, can even an assemblage of Earth’s greatest heroes be enough to withstand his might? And what are Titannus’ plans anyway?”

An assemblage of Earth’s Greatest heroes includes Nova the Human Rocket? Really?

RUNAWAYS #7

Very, very sweet cover for this one. That’s all I have to say.

AVENGERS: VISION AND THE SCARLET WITCH TPB

Relive a much simpler time… when a woman could marry a robot in superhero comics and find nothing odd about it.

WEAPON X: DAYS OF FUTURE NOW

Frank Tieri and Bart Sears? On the same book… Damn if they threw in Daniel Way it’d be like an assembled revenge squad of my biggest enemies.

Ok… barring the jarring inexplicable existence of Mega Morphs, the Marvel Previews catalogue for this month totally, totally kicked DC’s ass. Not a judgement on the actual comics themselves… but Marvel’s Previews catalogue got me waaaay more excited about their stuff.


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