Two Guy Talking About Comics: Ultimates #1, FF #8, Uncanny X-Force #13, Batman Inc #8, And More!

AARON GLAZER:
It’s a Hickman and Batman kind-of week! Ready to talk about it, Grey?

 

GREY SCHERL:
You know it bro! It’s also important to note that this is the LAST week of the old DC Universe!

 

AARON GLAZER:
Well, the medium DC Universe. The old DCU is long gone. Let’s talk the other line that relaunched first, Ultimates #1.

GREY SCHERL:
I broke my Ultimate line ban to buy this book, and while I enjoyed it, I’m not sure it fully justified it.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I liked it. It’s a day in the life of Ultimate Nick Fury, dealing with a ton of crisis.

 

GREY SCHERL:
That part was cool, I just don’t know how I feel about the Ultimate Future Foundation.

 

AARON GLAZER:
We get cool Asgardian vs. European Captain Corps action.
And some really great lines, notably from Clint Barton.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Hickman is doing a better job with Ultimate Clint than anybody has done since Millar made him into an uber bad ass in Ultimates 2.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I do agree that I’m concerned about Ult FF, but that seems like as good an explanation for a new Spidey as any, no?

 

GREY SCHERL:
To an extent, the Ultimate FF needs to really deliver some pay off or else it will read like Hickman is just trying to work in what he knows he can do into this story.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I don’t think that’s a concern. There’s a long-term build plan here – the mandate, according to him, is do stuff you can’t do in 616.

 

GREY SCHERL:
That’s why I’m giving him some faith, but if Ultimate Secret Warriors and Ultimate his version of SHIELD show up, then I’m throwing in a towel.
Even if those do sound kinda sorta really cool now that I say them outloud.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Ha, so, it’s good set up. Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m giving it a 7.5, and also want to address that Esad Ribic did a far better job on art than I was expecting. I wasn’t sure how he’d pull off a book like this, but I was impressed.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’m giving it a 7. It was good!

 

GREY SCHERL:
So what’s next on our list?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Let’s stick with Hickman for FF #8. We’re finally back with the main plot as the villains and Reed go after the other Reeds and deal with a mess of a war.

GREY SCHERL:
It was better than the last few issues, far and away.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Reed planning for the betrayal and Doom being generally Doomish – awesome.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I love all the villains in FF uniforms.
My favorite part of the issue though was Val’s timeout.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Can’t argue that. The kids are great and I love that they’re essentially getting their own book.

 

GREY SCHERL:
For as little as Millar really did for the Fantastic Four long term during his run, the complete overhaul of Val has led to nothing but awesome.
Hickman, on the other hand, gets big props from me for bringing back Nathaniel Richards and making him fit so naturally despite that nobody has managed to make him work since….ever.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Ha, yes, it’s been just a great all around piece. I only have I issue – Peter doesn’t really feel like he fits.

 

GREY SCHERL:
He fits in perfectly when it happens in Spider-Man, but he’s felt tacked on here since the third issue.

 

AARON GLAZER:
He’s just around, not doing much.

 

GREY SCHERL:
He’s bolstering sales by being Spider-Man. Same thing he does in the Avengers books.

 

AARON GLAZER:
True, but I’d still like him to do more.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I agree, if you’re going to have him in the book, use him.

 

AARON GLAZER:
He’s used extremely well in New Avengers, but in core Avengers, he’s a tag along.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m going with an 8, and then I’ll throw in that Steve Epting’s return to this book is much needed, and that the cover is proof that Daniel Acuna should just do covers.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’ve got a 9. I really loved getting back to this plot. It’s among my favorite books.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Next up?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Wouldn’t be much of a two guys without an X-Men discussion. What happens in Uncanny X-Force #13?

GREY SCHERL:
The last part of our return to the Age of Apocalypse, and Remender makes it very clear that he read the series and remembers it fondly. There’s some wonky dialog, but it feels like an “Oh shit! End of the world!” kind of story with everyone being more than willing to sacrifice themselves to save another world altogether. on top of their own.

 

AARON GLAZER:
They didn’t make it clear anyone was returning with Logan’s team, though.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m fine with that, it gives them something to do next issue.

 

AARON GLAZER:
It felt a bit cheap.

 

GREY SCHERL:
If they blow the proverbial load of “Look! AoA characters in 616!” at the end here then they dilute the actual climax of the issue in favor of forcing in an extra cliffhanger.
The actual cliffhanger of the issue works so much better than any “Look! It’s Nightcrawler!” moment that could have possibly happened, and to be fair, revealing him and whoever else comes over here would have felt cheap to me given the Dark Angel stuff finally coming to a head.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Who else do we think made it back?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I think just Nightcrawler and Rogue, though Sabretooth could be interesting.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’d really like Sunfire. He’s a really fun character in AoA.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Jean obviously stayed behind, and with Shiro and Remy we saw two very clear cut deaths, and apparently Kirika doesn’t have a healing factor.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I could see Shiro showing up again, though I don’t know why.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I took him being stabbed in the chest right before the teleport as a reason why we wouldn’t.
Plus, mainstream Shiro has the AoA look and doesn’t get used, so why bring over another one?

AARON GLAZER:
Oh I got that too, but it felt sort of like a false reveal. What the hell happened to Blink after Exiles, by the way?

 

GREY SCHERL:
She’s still doing Exiles stuff off panel, though that does raise the question of why Creed is back.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right? I want more Blink!

 

GREY SCHERL:
Well, look no further than New Mutants after Regenesis.

 

AARON GLAZER:
What makes you say that?

 

GREY SCHERL:
The fact that 616 Blink was in the teasers for DnA’s run along with Nate Grey, and they’ve said that they’re going to be using her after Regenesis.
Possibly in a villain role, but definitely in some role.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Wow, it’s pretty much everyone I like in that book – Nate, Cypher, Dani! Great stuff, especially with Blink.
Also, isn’t Nemesis dead?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Nemesis is dead, though I presume you’re referring to the very obvious Nemesis in the cliffhanger?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yes.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I believe that could be the 616 version.

 

AARON GLAZER:
There’s never been one of those, has there?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I just looked him up and apparently there has been, the son of Apocalypse and Famine who has been kept hidden by Clan Akkaba and Dark Beast.

 

GREY SCHERL:
So yeah, I think we’re seeing the 616 Nemesis!

 

AARON GLAZER:
Wow, that’s so random. Okay then. How the hell do X-Force have any chance in hell against him?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I would presume the AoA character we don’t see.

 

AARON GLAZER:
That’d work. And who else is with Dark Beast and ApocArchangel?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I really do want to see Warren stay a villain for a little while, if not just for the potentially awesome costume design.

 

GREY SCHERL:
The characters with them look like the Horsemen we saw on the moon in the first arc.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I think. I mean, they look familiar, but I don’t recognize them.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I wonder if one is Mikhail…

 

GREY SCHERL:
Whatever happened to him?
Alright, so apparently we haven’t missed anything with the Nemesis stuff, I just found the preview pages for next issue and he straight up debuts there, origin and all in the first five pages.

AARON GLAZER:
Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
It gets an 8.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’ll agree to that. Very good and a bit memorable.

 

GREY SCHERL:
The X books have been all around better in the past few months across the board then I’ve seen in a while. Really the only skippable book is Gischler’s X-Men.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I concur. Know what other line has been great? It’s our next two books.

 

GREY SCHERL:
The Bat line!

 

AARON GLAZER:
Batman Incorporated #8.

GREY SCHERL:
I reviewed this the other day, and I’ll reiterate it here, I really dug Internet 3.0.

 

AARON GLAZER:
A lot of people have complained about the art – I thought it was fine. A bit lifeless, but in a way I wasn’t again.

 

GREYSCHERL:
The art would have bothered me on a normal issue of this book, but given that the entire thing happened inside of this VR world, I felt it worked nicely.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I do have one problem with this issue – it didn’t feel like the last before a break.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I know that the Batman/Batgirl team up was supposed to come out before the Relaunch, but I’m guessing there were some delays.

AARON GLAZER:
This didn’t feel like anything that comes before a relaunch.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I think that the next issue is going to come out before years end, but then again, they said “This Fall”.
Either way it will be out sooner than the promised return date of next year.

 

AARON GLAZER:
True, likely because they fell so far behind. And what about the big villain reveal?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Interesting yet not unexpected, Grant loves doing stuff like this.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right – but I do hope we’re done with William Hand.

 

GREY SCHERL:
You mean Hurt?
Black Glove is a completely different franchise.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Yep. And good. Jezebel Jett’s in both, though (Black Glove and Leviathan)?

 

GREY SCHERL:
She went from one to the other in a Bruce Wayne revenge attempt, I can dig it.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Okay, that works. Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I’m giving it a 7, it was a good issue, but like you said, it didn’t feel like it was going on hiatus.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’ll give it a 6. It wasn’t special, but it was solid and I liked the reveal.
Finally, we finish with Batman: Gates of Gotham #5.

GREY SCHERL:
I actually sat down and read the entire mini earlier today.

 

AARON GLAZER:
And?

 

GREY SCHERL:
It was interesting, it had some of the same elements that made me love James Robinson’s Starman so much.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I liked the parallel story and really liked that they used Dick, as Bruce would have been too… whiney about his family legacy.

 

GREY SCHERL:
It felt like a natural fit for a Batman story, but it didn’t feel like what I’ve come to expect out of a Batman story….not unlike what Snyder did on Detective Comics.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Well, he is the tie between the 2 books.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Snyder gets a lot of mileage of Dick Grayson, and after reading this I have a lot more faith in Snyder’s co-writer, Kyle Higgins, who will be writing Nightwing in the relaunch.

 

GREY SCHERL:
And I agree that Bruce wouldn’t have been a great fit for this story.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I have more faith, but I don’t know how much he did, really.

 

GREY SCHERL:
In my experience, when a co-writer is brought in under a bigger name, the co-writer does the majority of the actual story while the name brand helps them get started, or even just uses their name to up the fan-value.
Look at Secret Warriors and tell me any of those early Bendis co-written issues were actually written by Bendis.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I understand what you mean, but I’m also not sure Snyder’s a big enough name that that’s what happened. Also, does DC ever do that?

 

GREY SCHERL:
I just checked the credits, the story is by Snyder and Higgins, but the writers are Higgins and another guy.
They’ve been doing it a bit lately, with this and Project Superman both using Snyder’s name to try and launch other talent.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Interesting… who is the other guy on Project Superman?

GREY SCHERL:
You can argue that the backup stories they were doing a year or two ago were doing it too, Nick Spencer’s Jimmy Olsen debuted there and never would have gotten that one shot you loved without being slipped into the back of Action Comics.

 

AARON GLAZER:
That makes sense.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Project Superman is credited as plot by Snyder and Lowell Francis, with a script by Francis.

 

AARON GLAZER:
No idea who that is, but I guess that’s the point.

 

GREY SCHERL:
He wrote a Mouse Guard book and an issue of Rocketeer Adventures.
So yeah, that’s the point, they’re working in new talent.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Ah, okay. Good! Shame they lost Brian Wood.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I have no idea what happened with his Supergirl pitch, but it must have gone horribly wrong.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Clevinger, Langridge and Wood are my big 3 that haven’t had a hit in the big 2 that I’ll follow anywhere.

 

GREY SCHERL:
You can argue that Wood has since DC published DMZ.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Right, but you know what I mean.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Yeah, but I doubt you read his Generation X.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I did actually.
I read the entire run.

 

GREY SCHERL:
That was one of the first real “Why am I reading this?” moments that I came across when I went back to read it a few years ago.

 

AARON GLAZER:
How so?

 

GREY SCHERL:
M-Plate, Gaia, Edwin the Pookah, and Dirtnap on the supporting cast

AARON GLAZER:
Yeesh.

 

GREY SCHERL:
To this day I can’t claim I understood what happened there.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I don’t remember it, honestly.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I do! I mean, I remember those plot points, and possibly a train, and townies…there were definitely townies.
And Synch being beaten into a coma only to come out of it literally good as new within panels.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Ha! Synch… you mean Hope Summers?

 

GREY SCHERL:
To be honest, I have no idea how much of this is still part of Wood’s run, but it’s all flowing back.
Seriously, right?

Editors Note: I actually mixed up Brian Wood with Larry Hama’s run, which was about the time I dropped the book entirely. My apologies to Brian Wood for almost dragging his name through the mud for something he didn’t write. Still, it was a fun mini rant to go on, and I hope you enjoyed it.

AARON GLAZER:
Yes. Wow. Okay, trip down memory lane. Rating?

 

GREY SCHERL:
What book were we talking about again?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Gates of Gotham!

 

GREY SCHERL:
Oh yeah!
I give the mini as a whole an 8.5.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I’ll go with a 9 as a whole, with an 8 for the final issue.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I can’t judge the single issues after blowing through them in a row.
They all bleed together.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I understand.

 

GREY SCHERL:
Want to do a few words about the other Bat appearance this week?

 

AARON GLAZER:
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #13 was good. It didn’t feel like a final issue, which really annoys me… but it was good. Tomasi does a good Batman… and a great Nightwing. Guess which he gets at relaunch?

GREY SCHERL:
He gets the Batman and Robin and Green Lantern Corps, and I’m reading them both.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Me too, but I’d be happier with him on Nightwing.

 

GREY SCHERL:
I might be wrong, but I think Tomasi was a Batman editor for a while.

 

AARON GLAZER:
I believe so, but is that necessarily a good thing?

 

GREY SCHERL:
Just looked his list up, and he’s edited the greater portion of the DC Universe.
In his case I think it works, he has a lot of respect and knowledge of the characters, and he’s shown to us over the years that he’s great at getting voices right.
I’ve read some middle of the road stuff by him, but never anything bad.

 

AARON GLAZER:
Fair, and agreed.

 

GREY SCHERL:
And yeah, this issue didn’t feel like a last issue, but at the same time, the last two issues before it had the same feeling. They read like stock issues that are being put out before they become completely irrelevant and unusable.
Marvel’s recent “From The Vault” one shots are proof of how long an easy to fit in one shot story can sit dormant, and I think this was just DC’s way of clearing up a few of the GL ones.


But hey, if there are two things that Peter Tomasi can do, it’s write Guy Gardner and write Batman, so this issue played to his strengths, despite the relatively pointless nature of it.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,