The Roundtable: A Nexus Event In Two Parts

LOGAN: I was never a rabid Austen hater, although his Exiles run and the (very) occasional X flash of brilliance aside, I wasn’t a huge fan, either. I had what I personally feel is one of the worst reactions a writer can get from his audience – ambivalence.

Actually, that’s a fair point, while we’re on the subject – what IS Chuck Austen up to now? What title(s) is he writing? Is he still in the industry? The last thing I can recall seeing his name attached to was a very brief JLA run…

JEFF: Chuck is writing a Manga called Boys of Summer. It’s about a college freshman with raging hormones who immediately falls for the baseball coach’s daughter. I found it funny with occasional moments of seriusness, but I felt that the first book suffered a little from pacing. By the end of the first volume I was JUST beginning to feel like it was going someplace. Unlike, say, Ranma 1/2 which grabbed me very early on.

As I understand it, Chuck actually began in manga, so it’s not as weird as it might sound. πŸ™‚ And I personally think he got a bad rap, especially by the internet types (you know, like us). I didn’t always agree with everything he did, but at least he tried some things that were, in my opinion, novel. I don’t think anyone else had tried to make Warren Worthington III interesting or useful since…the early Archangel days? Maybe? By comparison I can think of writers better beloved by the masses who have had worse runs on prominent titles. Busiek’s JLA was downright awful. But nobody was sending him death threats in his email, as I heard Chuck was getting. People HATED him. I don’t hate Fabian Nicieza, I just have been REALLY unhappy with much of his Thunderbolts (though it’s been getting better since #101). I don’t HATE Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Bendis or even Frank Tieri, though they all have writen things I strognly disliked. But for whatever reason, people hated Chuck Austen, the man. And they don’t even know him. If I were him, I’d go to Japan too, take a load off, get back to just enjoying the process of writing, and then write some terrific piece of X-Men or Batman lore and publsih under an assumed name. The trade paberback solictiation in Previews would read: “Hot new writer Anthony Carlson brings you the biggest event in the last 20 years, and completely changes the DCU (or Marvel) forever. This isn’t a gimmick, this is just as good as comic writing gets.” And then like Spidey the publisher reveals that Mr. Carlson is actually Chuck Austen. Hopefully the haters will just explode in their parents’ basements so the mess can be hosed down the drain with the laundry suds. A lot of people will say, “Really? Chuck Austen? No kidding? I never thought he was THAT bad anyway.” And the Roundtable and our stalwart readership will say, “Yeah, we knew it all along. Chuck is good people. But what the Hell is Ritter’s problem with Grant Morrison?” And like all great questions throughot history, such as “Evolution or creation?” or “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?” the world may never know.

PAUL: I never quite understood the folks who made hating Chuck Austen a national
pastime, as the all interviews I’ve read the guy came across as a genuine fanboy who really enjoyed what he was doing. If the guy took a Ron Zimmerman-level of agression against fanboys I could understand but… well I don’t. I hate to admit it, I’ve got a degree of affection for Chuck as he’s written some of the most unintentionally hilarious comics in recent memory. I mean a how can I hate a man who introduces a super villain duo named Sodom and Ghomora who have the power to turn people into salt? Or a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet featuring psychotic hillbillies in mechanical suits of armor? Now if only he got around to doing some talking gorilla stories…

JAMIE: Now here’s a funny point.

Are you talking about Uncanny X-Men – because he did it with the family Gutherie too?

Hey, to each his own, I’m sure he has a Watchmen-like masterpiece inside of him waiting to be unleashed. I just probably won’t buy it to find out.

PAUL: Yeah.. I was reffering to his last arc of Uncanny X-Men, which inspired me to break down into giggles when I was thumbing through it in trade form at the book store.

Back to soccer or (European football if you will) and it has been slowly but surely growing in popularity in the middle and high school years for a couple of decades now. I think the reason it isn’t as popular in the US as in other countries is that it seemingly doesn’t translate to television as well as American football or basketball. This is one of the reasons baseball’s popularity has slowly trickled down over the years, as baseball’s slower pace lent itself better to radio. I think another problem is that a lot of novice watchers of the sport have a hard time understanding the rules and strategies involved.

Granted perhaps at heart the biggest problem might be the centuries old divide between the US and Europe that formed following the American revolution. Cricket gradually mutated into American baseball, rugby & soccer gradually changed into Football, and Basketball’s a uniquely American creation. Though advances in technology and the web have shortened distances between people, a cultural divide still exists as people on both sides of the pond are still used to watching and playing the games they grew up with.

LOGAN: Interesting, thanks Paul and Jeff, that was really enlightening, I
appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Before I get back on topic, just wanted to say that I thought there’s a delicious irony in what Paul said about soccer not catching on bigger in the States. In this country, the reason why American football and baseball have never captured the imagination is because it’s felt they are both played at too slow a pace and there are too many rules and stats to easily understand! I guess it’s true what they say about two countries seperated by a common language, huh? ;o)

I live, breathe and sleep soccer, as do many people in this country, but having said that, I also love American Football. The battle of wits and strategy is just as fascinating to me as the physical nature of the game. I’m a St. Louis Rams fan – I’ve supported them, in fact, since they were in Los Angeles and getting their tails handed to them by the 49’ers on a regular basis! I did get the chance to see the Blue Jays play when I was in Toronto a few years back, and I have to say that experience of actually being at a live baseball game – the atmosphere, the beer, the food, the smells, etc, beats watching it on television hands down. I still struggle to watch a baseball game live when they’re shown on late night tv over here, though – it doesn’t grab and hold my interest enough, but if I had the chance to go and watch a game live, I would jump at it. I will watch basketball if it’s on, and I must confess to having a soft spot for Orlando Magic for no other reason than I like their name (how sad is that?!).

Anywho, back on topic – go Connor Hawke! I’m a massive Green Arrow mark, and think the character of Connor Hawke is potentially the next big thing in the DCU. He combines the best bits of his Dad’s charm and wit with the same fighting skills and bad-ass potential as Nightwing. In fact, in a fight, I’d pick Connor to take Grayson…but that’s just my bias towards a character I’m excited to see get his deserved turn in the spotlight.

As for Thor – meh, colour me uninterested. I’ve never felt any connection or sympathy or understanding to the character – for me, he’s Marvel’s equivalent to Wonder Woman – an “icon” that I just don’t care about. Maybe that will change, maybe not.

I think this is a golden age for certain Marvel Heroes at the moment. I’ve been reading comics for about 20 years or so now, and as far as I’m concerned, Captain America, Iron Man, The Avengers, Spider-Man and Daredevil are as good as they’ve ever been during that time. In fact, Captain America and Daredevil in particular, are more interesting, gripping and layered than they’ve been at any other time since I started reading them.

The only dark spot is the pathetic state of the “X” Franchise. Having said that, with Carey and Brubaker coming on board, I have hopes that they can finally, finally, FINALLY come out of their long-time funk….but I won’t hold my breath…

JEFF: Logan, if you like DD and Cap in particular, than we’re in the same boat: hoping against all hope that Brubaker keeps his streak of pure awesometasticness alive in the “X”. Mike Carey will do aight too I predict. And I’m in St. Louis, if you ever have Rams questions send me a separate email! πŸ˜‰

PAUL: To be quite honest… I think the mainline X books are in such a cluttered state that they may be beyond repair. Morison couldn’t do it, Peter Milligan couldn’t do it, I doubt Brubaker despite his excellent skills can do it.

JEFF: Frankly, I think Morrison is a big reason why they’re so screwed up. Not THE biggest reason – Claremont has that honor. But Grant didn’t help much. Funny, the last guy to come in and kinda straighten things out was Scott Lobdell, and they practically ran him out of town for it.

BTW, Frank Tieri doing Excalibur? Gah. First Claremont and then Frank, Joe Q’s personal ball-washer. I never thought I’d say it, but I’d rather Fabian Nicieza took it over. Fabian might not hit on all cylinders all the tie, but he’s not the hack Tieri is either. His Wolverine run was unforgivable. And nothing else he’s written has been any better. Must be nice to be the EIC’s drinking buddy. Maybe if I wasn’t allergic to alcohol I’d be able to get a gig doing…well, all the Marvel characters I like are too obscure to have a title. So nevermind, let the hack play on Excalibur.

PAUL: Well I’m not going to defend everything Morrison did with the franchise but well… he introduced a lot of new ideas, characters, and concepts that alas I wish were more fully realized. Really I’d rather read his stuff than say… Operation Zero Tolerence any day.

As for Frank Tieri’s return… well how can you not be exicted about the return of the man who gave the world “Apocalypse vs. Dracula?!”

JAMIE: Yeah Claremont fubar’d it – Morrison fubar’d it (And yes, he introduced lots of great ideas that were shoved in without reason or rhyme POOF THEY EXIST!!!!! Bothered the piss out of me) – Milligan has been tepid, neither screwing anything up, nor making much sense.

Brubaker has a long journey ahead of him, but I think he will at LEAST bring us to a comfortable status quo. Now if people would stop wanking over the Whedon run, which, admittedly is good, but it’s not the greatest book ever written, and it’s completely out of continuity – but that’s another tirade..

LOGAN: I’m a huuuuge fan of Brubaker, but I’m worried about his first story arc…do we really need a multi-part story about a third Summers brother trying to exact revenge on the Shi’ar Empire? I can’t see how re-hasing the tired “Shi’ar vs threat from Earth which involves the X-Men” is going to help get the franchise back on track…it’s been done, it’s been played out, it’s OLD…

Mike Carey’s line-up for his X-Men title is at least a stab at doing something different, although at first glance, it looks similar to the very last X Factor line-up before the recent relaunch…but we’ll see how he does.

Either way, I’m prepared to give both titles a shot – mind you, who am I kidding? I was never going to drop either title anyway. X-Men was the title that first got me into collecting comics, and as sad as it is to admit, I would have dropped both titles a long time ago if I wasn’t such an anal retentive completist who was terrified of leaving gaps in his collection. I’m sorry fellas, but I’m exactly the sort of loser who Marvel relies on to keep buying the title’s no matter how bad they get…. *sits back, prepares to get flamed*

JEFF: Ah, Logan me lad, I read Thunderbolts. Fabian knows me by name. I’m a total glutton for punishment. It could, *COULD* I say, be construed as hypocracy, because I always tell people to speak with their wallets. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. But then I haven’t liked Thunderbolts since shortly after Fabe took over in Vol.1 and I’m still buying it. So what do I know? I know Fabian’s finally squeaking down the right track. I hope he oils up the wheels and roars the T-Bolts back to prominence. I guess that’s why we suffer through the down years. The Cap-Wolf and the Clone Saga and the Wolverine:Origin shit. We always hope to be there when it gets better. We’re a hopeful bunch. Same with me and my other passion – Pro Wrestling. Vince McMahon has no damn idea what he’s doing anymore, but I tune in anyway in the HOPES that I’ll get lucky and a good WRESTLER like Benoit or Angle will suplex him into retirement.

KEVIN: Oof.

I know I’m waaay behind on my Roundtable (I had a 24 hour workday end 11:30 AM Tuesday) but I do KNOW the answer to the soccer question…

Soccer (or football anywhere but here in the USA) doesn’t stick for a variety of reasons, and before you FIFA fans get all up in my business, keep in mind I love soccer and played it as a youth and coached youths as an adult. I’m NOT knocking the game. I’m just illustrating why it doesn’t find an audience in this country.

a) Three competing major sports. Football, Baseball, and Basketball are more publicized, more accessible, and more profitable than soccer. You could make an argument for hockey, but as it requires ice and is the national sport of our neighbor to the north, I didn’t.

b) Soccer is the most difficult game format to follow for TV. Basketball, football, both have time outs. Baseball has half innings and resets between plays. It’s tough to broadcast a whole soccer half because either you chop the game into bits (destroying momentum of the event) or you do product placement (much less profitable than real comercials). The USA really IS a TV nation. Breaking the format of 10 minutes of show, 4 minutes commercials, repeat, is really difficult.

c) The American statistical bent is unsatisfied with a game that is mostly art and spontanaiety. Each of the 3 major sports has become HIGHLY quantifiable over the last three decades. Individual and team statistics abound for them, making player and team comparisons very complete and even a bit at a glance. Soccer has shots, possession time, goals scored, and save percentage. That doesn’t tell either a devotee or a layman HOW the team plays. I watched the pre-game show for the Italy-Ghana game and other than mentioning that Ghana had never made the tourney before, but had almost like 11 times over the past 50 years, the commentators had zero information about them. Tune into even a laughably bad American baseball game ten minutes prior to its start and even an idiot will know who on each team is hitting, which team has a better defense, the records of the starting pitchers, etc. The unschooled opinion is that adult Americans find soccer boring; the real story is that soccer is so unpredictable and fluid that they can’t understand the nuances and get excited about the routine things that MIGHT pay off without watching a bunch of games or playing the sport themselves. When Italy hit the crossbar in the 1st half, the real soccer fans in my vacinity went nuts. The other folks were apathetic… after all they didn’t score. No one ever went broke underestimating the taste or attention span of the American public, but the opposite sure isn’t true!

d) Soccer really is an international affair and while America is a melting pot of many nations, we keep to ourselves except for the Olympics, Ryder Cup, and sharing the big three with Canada. It’s cool that certain leagues in Europe involve many different nations; it’d just never play in America. Whether it’s racism, or the fear of entangling alliances, or what, I just can’t see the American public playing nice with European or Central American sports teams. And to get swept up in the trades, histories, and rivalries of soccer, one would have to take interests in teams in many other nations.

I like soccer, it just doesn’t fit my TV,

AND NOW, REAL COMICS CONTENT…

Huh. I really really like Connor Hawke. He’s one of DC’s few thinking feeling heroes. I think of him as the anti-Hal Jordan in many ways. Any spotlight time he gets works for me, even if I think the direction is wrong (why make the 2nd best martial artist in the DCU get better at archery?). In a no-gadgets fight, I too think he’d take Nightwing, and I love both characters. Between this and Guy Gardner getting not one but TWO places to shine, I’m a happy happy DC fan.

I also am digging the new Blue Beetle series. The fact that Jaime skipped OYL too is a great hook. I like his family, and while his friends are in completely different places OYL, that has made them MORE interesting, not less. I’m not really sold on the armor design myself, but the writing is hooking me pretty well, especially the old-but-well-done I don’t know how this thing works at all shtick.

I have no opinion on Thor. I think that he’s too powerful for most Marvel Universe adventures, and that usually forces writers to do weird things to his mental state or bond him with someone who’s a bad fit to make things interesting. I think Thor can have a solo Asgard/space set title, and I might care about it if it were done well. But then again, I’m a fan of Beta Ray Bill and might be biased.

JEFF: Nicely said Kvin. I wish I was that lucid following a 24 hour workday. πŸ˜‰

And for the record, while I don’t care to watch or play soccer, I love playing the FIFA games on PS2. I don’t have any soccer games at the moment, but I hear the Winning 11 series is pretty great and I’m thinking of getting into those. I know, I’m weird, but I have alwas enjoyed video game soccr much more than the real thing.

If I ever get to England for a vacation, I’d like to catch a Premiere League match just to take in the atmosphere. I gotta think it’d be like going to a Yankees or Cubs or Red Sox home game.

One thing Thor lacks is an accessible Rogue’s Gallery. If he’s going to be based in Midgard, he needs more to do than just rotating between The Wrecking Crew and Absorbing Man. He needs a villain who can otwit him more than ot brawl him. One comes to mind: DOOM. He obviously wants the hammer (FF Civil War), he’s got knowledge of magic, I’m sure his strength is augmented by the armor though I wouldn’t expect him to go toe-to-toe with the Thunder God. But Doom would be a grat opponent. And there could be some really great verbal excanges between Doom and Loki.

On the other side, it seems everyone I’ve talked to or heard mention it has enjoyed the Son of Asgard series, which really is a Conanesqe sword and sorcery romp. I wonder if there’s enough interest in that sort of book to keep a Thor title that stays in Asgard and explores the mythological aspect of the character going over the long haul.

PAUL: I think another aspect to take into account is that the NFL (and to a lesser degree the NBA) has done a really masterful job of packaging and presenting their sport for television. If World Cup soccer is going to take off in the U.S. it’s going to need a little more pizzazz in it’s TV production. They may take a lesson from NASCAR which has drastically grown in popularity in recent years as it’s television broadcasts now often has as much to do about the personalities of the various drivers as it does the actual racing.

IAIN: Well, that’s the conflict. Football doesn’t have to change for the States and the States doesn’t care if it does or not. Someone should get Vince McMahon to start up his own soccer league, that’d be fun.

LOGAN: Dear God, can you imagine that? Instead of penalty shootouts, you’d have a 22 man battle royal, last man left in the ring wins…hey, thinking about it, that might be kind of fun to watch…

JEFF: Hell yeah! Vincent Kennedy McMahon presents the return of the XFL: Xtreme Football League. But this ain’t your Daddy’s football, no way! It’s European football! It’s Soccer! We just didn’t want to waste the logo we already paid for! Full Contact! Se Renaldo get clotheslined right out of his cleats! See the return of XFL Legend and League Commissioner Pele! Is it a header? NO! It’s a HEADBUTT! Is it a bicycle kick? NO It’s an ENZUGIRI! Slide Tackle? Screw that, it’s a DROP TOE HOLD! And the Championship will be played on a special 4-Way Pitch, where 4 teams battle ot at the same time! The All-Star Game will be played on a field enclosed inside a 40ft high STEEL CAGE! And yo can see it every week on PAY PER VIEW! WHATCHA GONNA DO WHEN THE XFL RUNS WILD ON YOU!!!

Hmmm, maybe I’m on the wrong Roundtable…. ;P

IAIN: The funniest part of that is assuming that Vince knows what a drop toe hold is πŸ™‚

JAMIE: I have only one thing to say to this.. and that’s…

SMASHMOUTH!

JEFF: Can’t recall if anyone mentioned it since we’ve been over on the sports pages, but as anyone noticed that Spider-Man unmasking was the top story on Yahoo’s homepage a little while ago?

I don’t care if SOME of the heroes unmask. The FF have always been public. But certain ones, like Spider-Man, just should never be unmasked. Or if they do it should be an EVENT, not a press conference. (Note: I just got the comics on the way to work and haven’t actually read the issue yet.) But I’d rather see a big televised brouhaha with the Avengers racing to the scene and somebody like Green Goblin or Electro or a longtime Spider-Rogue unmask him in public. Preferably with J.J. Jameson standing right there. Speaking of JJJ, did you guys see the Newsarama article about J.K. Simmons being the voice of the Yellow M&M?!? Who knew? God I’d love to be a voice actor. How much would it rule to be a bad guy on Batman or Justice League? Where was I? Oh yes, unmasking. I get the feeling that someway, somehow, all this will get Zero-Hour/Crisised back out. Kand or Immortus will come in and hit the reset button. Or better yet, the Exiles could come in and FIX it all as the big feature summer event two years from now! How much would that rock? I’m thinking like a Genesis and The Police Double Reunion Show kind of cool!

PAUL: Not to get all nitpicky… but with modern forensics technology isn’t it getting a little hard to buy the notion of a truly Secret Identity? I mean wouldn’t all of those Superhero fight scenes leave behind fingerprints, blood, fibres, and hair samples which could all be traced?

TIM: Well, sure, it would be impossible. It is also impossible to get superpowers from a bomb as opposed to say, dying.

JAMIE: THIS IS GOING TO SPLIT THE INTERNET IN HALF!

PAUL: I just read Annihilation: Super Skrull #3… and am I the only one who wishes Annihilation got the push Civil War did? I mean superheroes debating civil liberties, or superheroes fighting COSMIC SPACE BUGS and an organic Deathstar named the HARVESTER OF SORROWS?

Which sounds more exciting to you?

LOGAN: Haven’t been reading Annihilation to be honest, as I’ve never been a huge fan of “cosmic” stories. I’ve read enough good things about it to tempt into picking up the trade, though.

Having said that, if ever there was a time to give Nova his own series, this is it. He comes back to Earth to discover his friends and team-mates are dead and everything he knew has changed. It gives plenty of opportunity to explore themes of guilt at his own survival when the rest of the team all (except Speedball) died. You’ve also potentially got a determination to put right the wrongs they caused and perhaps even restore some goodwill to the destroyed New Warriors name….maybe even form a “New” New Warriors…or is that just plain daft…?

JEFF: Paul, are you serious? They called it “Harvester of Sorrows”?!? Wasn’t that a song on Metallica’s “…And Justice for All” album? Geez, did Frank Tieri write it? What’s next? Paul McCartney doing a song about Magneto and Titanium Man? Man, I give up. I’m going to read some quality comics like the Lobdell Alpha Flight or Miller’s DK2 and go to bed. Don’t wake me until Gail Simone and Ed Brubaker pull a coup and topple the Q-Bendis regime.

JAMIE: I’d much rather read superhero comics dealing with superheroes than interstellar guys dealing with giant bugs and tracks off of Metallica Albums. I can go rent Starship Troopers for the other. (Which is an underrated sci-fi flick… just don’t compare it to the book)

JEFF: Daron HATES Starship Troopers and anything Frank Miller (and yet somehow I’m friends with him). Troopers is a pretty fun movie IMO. Haven’t read the book, I hear it pretty great.

On Whedon: I greatly enjoyed his first arc, despite the use of Gerenic Mutant Hater Alien #17 (Ord or whatever he was called). But then he followed it up with Cerebra gone amok. HOW MANY TIMES HAS THAT BEEN DONE? And it’s never that interesting. I was incredibly disappointed by that story. Almost anything else would have been welcome. Reavers, Brood, Impossible Man and Morph from Exiles, Howard the Duck joining the team, ANYTHING else.

TIM: Wait…does this mean Daron and I actually have something in common? Screw Civil War #2…this is this week’s biggest shock!

IAIN: All this soccer talk makes it seem like the rest of the world wants to go outside and play but the USA just wants to stay in and watch the telly. I’m not sure which side would be right.

Anyway, Grant Morrison news! Cos, ya know, Grant Morrison!

Seven Soldiers #1 won’t be out until September… at the earliest…

PAUL: *Singing* o/ Waaaaaaake me up when September ends… o/

Or when this book finally ships… whichever comes first.

EUGENE: I’ve only read a handful of the 7 Soldiers stuff, and none of it really blew me away. I’ll probably pass.

IAIN: And here’s a six page preview of the first issue of his upcoming Batman arc…

PAUL: Hey wasn’t this in last month’s issue of Wizard?

EUGENE: The Batman stuff looks interesting. I’m not the biggest DC guy, but I may give it a try. I do thing the disabled children is a nice touch (and only something Morrison would do).

IAIN: And… because it had to happen…

Snakes On A Plane In A Comic!

JAMIE: May I say for the record – that Snakes… is going to change the way the movie industry does business. Maybe not with as much aplomb as a movie like Snakes – but expect a whole slew of new ‘IT IS WHAT IT IS’ type movies that are buzzed about on the internet before they are given any kind of real hype. The secret underground internet campaign that has only worked on two movies of note (Blair Witch Project & Snakes On A Plane) has legs, and I think the movie industry is going to try and use it.

IAIN: And here’s the cover to Civil War #5

More trouble for Spidey. Except the costume’s different again. And why is Bullseye there? Isn’t he meant to be Daredevil now? And who the hell is Venom attached to now anyway? And what’s Osborn’s current status? And who the hell brought the gun? Jarvis? I hope it’s Jarvis. I want a Liefeldized mini-series of a pumped-up Jarvis shooting the f*ck out of Spider-Man and his floppy little yellow entanglements. And Ben Reilly. Boo-urns.

PAUL: Bullseye’s a hitman by trade, so I imagine it’s perfectly possible that someone might have put a price on Spidey’s head.

Venom last I check is still Mac “Scorpion” Gargan.

Osborn’s still out there, though following the events of the first Pulse arc and Marvel Knights Spider-Man he’s a fugitive, with his criminal identity known to the public.

As for who brought the gun, my guess is eh… Hammerhead. Because Dick Tracy-esque villians get no love.

COREN: Oh, and lastly, Eddie Brock had/has cancer (I’ve no clue if he’s still amongst the living) which is in part what prompted auctioning Venom to charity (yeah, there’s a good plan. Stupid Millar)

IAIN: Finally, the madness continues with the new DC and Marvel solicits for September…

DC:

Including an absolutely tempting New Frontier collection, 52, a supremely teasing JLA #2 cover, 52, brand new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 52, new American Splendor, 52, no sign whatsoever of Seven Soldiers #1, 52 and SNAKES ON A PLANE!

Marvel:

Including Ultimate Clone Saga, a brand-new Blade book, a spin-off from the 1602 spin-off, shitloads of Civil War titles and tie-ins, a second Punisher book, a piss-funny cover to Astonishing X-Men #17, Phoenix coming back YET AGAIN, something about zombies, and the final Bendis Daredevil HC!

PAUL: Wow… September looks like a pretty happening month.

Hmmm on the DC side of things we have more Kurt Busiek goodness on Superman & Action Comics, Batman and The Mad Monk #2 (my favorite cover of the month), Suicide Squad returning in Checkmate, The Son of Batman!, Bishounen Magical Boy Zatara-kun, Paul Dini on Batman, *Finally* a book based on the Krypto the Superdog cartoon, and best of all the New Frontier Hardcover.

Marvel on the other hand has Spidey & Doctor Strange meeting Stan Lee, Ultimate Clones, the return of Dethlok, Araña becoming Ms. Marvel’s Ward, Blade, the end the excellent Freedom Ring, Fing Fang Foom in Marvel Adventures Spidey, and best of all DRACULA VS. APOCALYPSE IN TRADE PAPERBACK!

DC wins this month by a small margin.

IAIN: Also, it seems that we’re getting a sequel to Seaguy called The Slaves Of Mickey Eye… but only because Grant Morrison threatened DC via 52 to make them publish it. Nice πŸ™‚

PAUL: Hey I’m game. The thing with Seaguy is that ended on a note that it pretty much had to have a sequel, but it had such low sales you doubted it would ever happen.

Good work Grant Morrison.

JEFF: Grant Morrison joins B. M. Bendis as the top guys that editors don’t have the balls to stand up to. Take the NY Times, roll it up, swat it across their noses and say, “Bad dog! We don’t publish your little Seaman stories and we don’t get all over the carpet! Bad!”

But what I was really getting on to say was that I just read Civil War #2 last night, finally. I didn’t think it was HORRIBLE by any means, but it didn’t really do much for me either. It felt a great deal like 52, trying to squeeze as many subplots together in one issue as it could. It felt too busy, too cluttered. They impart the sense that there’s a lot happeneing all at once, but no sense that I should give a damn about any one element in particular. Though I did hit upon something that stuck with me: 1) Why would Daredevil be opposed to Registration and working with Cap (and Cable?!?) in La Resistance? The guy outed himself as Kingpin, and even though he never officially stated he was Dardevil nobody believes he isn’t. Same as Captain America for that matter, didn’t he unmask publicly in his title back when John Cassaday was illustrating it? Or wait…does any of that count? Because Daredevil is, yoo know, IN JAIL RIGHT NOW IN HIS OWN BOOK. There’s another guy wearing the red pajamas running around, but I think Cap and Cable would do due diligence to make sure they had the right DD with them. This is the problem with Joe Quesada’s self-professed disdain for continuity. You want to do a big-ass event and cross over into everything from Sipderman to the Care Bears, fine, but don’t ignore continuity. If Brubaker has Daredevil in prison right now, well then sorry, but he shouldn’t get to play with the rest of the Marvel Rebellion. And if you say, “It’s seperate continuity,” that’s a BULLSHIT excuse for your goddamn awful editorial control. I usually prefer Marvel’s characters over DC’s, but DC at least demonstrates an effort to maintain continuity from book to book. If Aquaman suddenly had a hand made of blue water in his own book, he didn’t have a big harpoon in JLA. If Lex Luthor is President in Superman, George Bush is nowhere to be found in the DCU, Lex is the CIC across all the titles. Sinple things like that make the world feel more coheisive. Marvel screws up my suspension of disbelief all the time because I gotta keep stopping and wondering why someone who’s dead, in jail, or retired is suddenly running around with the Avengers or something. Then again, what else would I expect from Millar? He’s never done a story that someone else didn’t do better before him.

And with that, our time is up. Thanks to all of you and to all of them and we shall all meet again very shortly… probably to rip apart Superman Returns in a positive/negative way!