I'm Just Sayin'…#71

Sigh.

Again, my apologies for yet another belated edition of…

IJS Logo

…rassa-frassin’ day job! Why can’t I get paid doing this?

Anyway, this week’s edition is a special one, and not because this is our 71st column. (Unh! MILESTONE! EAT IT, Deadpool!) Nor is it because I’m feeling a little less alone in the comic book reviewing community, because I’ve finally found someplace else that sees NO GOOD REASON for what it is, as indicated by this review of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN* #606. That reminds me; in keeping with what we began last time, regarding the opening scene from last week’s THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN* #607 – YOU know the one I’m talking about, Willis! – as a rebuttal, I’d like to present this scene from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #494:

Amazing Spider-Man 494

Yeah…muuuuch better.

By the way, if ever you need an update on what’s going on in Spider-Man’s “world” of late, but probably think you’d be better off using your $9 a month for something more satisfying – Wendy’s comes to mind –  be sure to check here periodically. Credit and a shout out goes to “bulletproofsponge” from the Spider-Man CrawlSpace Forums, for going above and beyond in performing this service for exiled and alienated Spider-fans everywhere.

But digressions aside, it’s a special occasion because congratulations have to go out to Messr’s Hickman, Eaglesham and Mounts, for keeping my attention for two whole issues so far of their run on FANTASTIC FOUR!

Considering recent memory, I don’t think that’s anything to sneeze at, people – for one…

Okay so maybe I'm starting to LIKE the short sleeves! Fantastic Four 571-01

…I think that short-sleeved look is starting to grow on me! Also, I have to say I rather liked this exchange between Reed and Sue:

Reed Richards Shutting Her DOWN! Fantastic Four 571-02

Ooooh! Between this and CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN #2, our boy Mister Fantastic has started getting a bit cantankerous, wouldn’t you say? Usually this type of scene goes like so:

Sue: You’re not paying attention to me or your family. Mostly me.

Reed: Susan, I’m kinda in the middle of a sensitive experiment here. Even the slightest deviation could result in catastrophic…

Sue: Uh huh. Where’s Namor’s phone number? I knew I had it programmed in here…

Reed: …coming, Dear.

…or something to that effect. At least, to my memory anyway. Not this time, and I found it pretty refreshing:

Fantastic Four 571-03

Check out Panels #3 and #5. Does Sue look a little turned on to anybody else? You know, despite herself and whatnot? Or is it just me?

I am very interested to see where this whole hanging-out-with-scores-of-Reeds plays, and I wonder if this is going to lead to a brand new addition to the FF’s gallery of rogues…certainly looks like that could be a possibility, considering these guys have an ominous agenda and are not afraid of getting their hands dirty:

Fantastic Four 571-04

…pretty loaded statement there, Reed-Beard. Something tells me the lesson there is that Mister Fantastic doesn’t need Doctor Doom’s genes to have “some Doom” in him…

FF29 Cover

…as has been demonstrated before.

Another thing I found curious, had to do with the opening mega-splash…

Fantastic Four 571-05

…where Reed says, “I helped kill a Galactus on Earth 2012,” and this scene:

Fantastic Four 571-06

Didja notice that? Let’s move in a little closer…

Fantastic Four 571-06b

“The Gauntlet only functions in the universe it comes from.”

Hmmm…does that rule apply to other cosmically and/or mystically powered items? Like say, Mjolnirs, Nega-Bands, Eyes of Agamotto, Cosmic Cubes, King Solomon’s Frogs(es?), and dare we suppose…

FF 571

…Ultimate Nullifiers?

Because I’m wondering if this is a little wrinkle that’s going to come up later in the story – when the inevitable moment arrives, and 616 Reed decides that he wants out of this supposedly benevolent organization of alternate selves? After all, there’s a whole slew of Reeds in that splash page holding up Nullifiers…but the cover…

Okay so maybe I'm starting to LIKE the short sleeves! Fantastic Four 571-01

…ah, that cover could be telling us something else. Namely, our hero didn’t help do anything over on Earth 2012.

Speaking of other brain ticklers…does anybody else find it curious that with the very first issue following JMS’ tenure on THOR, the comic itself is a dollar cheaper? Not that I’m necessarily complaining – wanna lop off another dollar, dollar-fifty? Be my guest! – but I think that’s just some interesting timing, right there.

Oh, hey – quick note: you know how I’ve been going on and on about the Atomic Robo? Cool. Want a great source of Atomic Robo-y goodness on the web? Click here. And enjoy, damn you.

You know, now that I think of it? That should be his tagline. You know how you have SUPERMAN: The Man of Steel?

Superman Man of Steel

And THE FANTASTIC FOUR: The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine?

FF Worlds Greatest

And THE AVENGERS: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?

avengersearthsmightiestheroes

Well, now we have a new one to add to the pantheon – ATOMIC ROBO: ENJOY, Damn You! Red 5, you should get on that. You’re welcome.

Hey, there’s another one! ATOMIC ROBO: You’re Welcome. But I do go on…

And in keeping with the theme of enjoyment, IMMORTAL WEAPONS #3 came out this week, and the focus was on Dog Brother #1 – one I’d been looking forward to ever since the miniseries was first announced.

Immortal Weapons 3 - Cvr

This is my second favorite of the miniseries thus far; #1 starring Fat Cobra easily holds the top spot with equally generous parts action, humor and tragedy. #2 featuring the Bride of Nine Spiders was decent, but I’ve never been much for the horror style. All the same, I bought it and I found it a very satisfying read. But getting back to the story of the Dog Brother, Immortal Weapon of the Under City – this is perhaps the most savagely brutal of the Immortal Weapons introduced into the world of the Iron Fist, and the action sequences convey that unflinchingly…

Terrible Swift Sword of Vengeance

…which I imagine is no accident to his character’s creation, considering he is the anointed protector of those most helpless of the world’s innocents. The message is pretty clear: when it comes to harming an unprotected child, the punishment most certainly fits the crime.

Faith of the Lost Boys

The one scene I found especially interesting was in the wrap-up, where we learn how each Dog Brother gains the title and its power from his predecessor…

Immortal Weapons 3 of 5 (3)

Immortal Weapons 3 of 4

Immortal Weapons 3 of 5 (2)

I wonder if that’s how each Editor in Chief at Marvel winds up with the job (certainly not DC – what continuity?), or is that just wishful thinking for some of our more…passionate fans out there? Mr. Q – I’m lookin’ in your direction, buddy… 😉

And now, our CHI-TOWN SHOUT-OUT goes to Jeffery Stevenson!

jeff

Meeting this guy in person at Wizard World Chicago/Chicago ComiCon was a special treat, because I had been reading his pet strip BRAT-HALLA a few years back when it was featured on MoviePoopShoot.com (now known as QuickStopEntertainment.com) – I think it was after the hilarious MONKEY MAN wrapped, that I became aware of his divinely amusing adventures of the fabled Aesir of Asgard as precious god-children…

Brat-Halla #3: "Odin Claus" (Dec. 23, 2003)

Brat-Halla #3: "Odin Claus" (Dec. 23, 2003)

…but then after I switched jobs, I fell off. Much later, I come to find that not only is it still going strong, but it’s got its own damn site now – one you really oughta check out, by the by! Just click on his name a few lines up, and set your browser to “Bookmark!”

I think that’s all I’ve got for you this go ’round, comic book heads! I’ll be back atcha again next time with more comic book related news, commentary and snark. Til then, I’m Greg Manuel and I’m just sayin’, is all!

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