Thursday, December 24, 2009

Versus 3: Suicide Squad vs Thunderbolts

Okay, so the Suicide Squad was a riff on the Dirty Dozen and the Thunderbolts, at least what I've read of them (the Ellis and Diggle runs), are a riff on Suicide Squad. But pitting the Ellis team versus classic Squad members, who would win?


Behind the scenes. The Squad has Amanda Waller, while the T-Bolts have Norman Osborne.

On the front:
Suicide Squad: Rick Flagg, Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Count Vertigo, Nemesis, Nightshade.

Thunderbolts - Songbird, Venom (Mac Gargan), Bullseye, Penance, the Radioactive Man, the Swordsman, and Moonstone.

Who takes on who, and who wins?
No editorializing. I'm leaving this up to you folks to decide.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Versus 2.6: Boyz II Men Edition: Batman (Dick Grayson) Vs. Captain America (James "Bucky" Barnes)

They are and quite frankly, always will be, the standards to which others are held to.

Dick Grayson, when he donned the Robin costume, became a first in comics; the teen sidekick.

Soon, he was followed by others but none had more of an impact than James "Bucky" Barnes, sidekick to The Sentinel of Liberty, Captain America.

The years passed have brought great changes to both.

Dick Grayson was allowed to age, eventually becoming leader and co-founder of his own team, The Teen Titans while also becoming a skilled crimefighter, martial artist and master detective. Deep divisions formed in the father/son relationship of Batman & Robin, prompting Grayson to embark on his own path as Nightwing. Following the recent death of Bruce Wayne, the time came for a successor and the choice was a clear and easy one: the student has become the master, leading a new Robin on a path pointing towards adventure.

Bucky was the ultimate Marvel sidekick, smiling, full of promise. Bucky, while fighting The Axis with The Captain, went on to form his own group of junior crimefighters, The Young Allies. At a crucial point towards World War II's end, Bucky and Cap, in an attempt to stop a Nazi experiment, sacrificed their lives in doing so. Bucky was given an honor few comics characters in death received: he was allowed to die and stay dead, a hero. That was until The Winter Soldier Saga where we learned that Bucky had never died and had spent The Cold War years as a pawn and assassin in the thrall and service of the Russian government. Bucky with help from Nick Fury and Iron Man was later liberated and set on a path that led towards what was once theunthinkable; Bucky Barnes living to become Captain America.

So, Second Printers, knowing what's become of these two former sidekicks turned mantle bearers, in a knock-down-drag-out, who would walk away "The Man?"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Versus 2.5 The 80's (DC)

Of the three, who screams "80's DC COMICS" more? Blue Devil, Booster Gold or Blue Beetle?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Second Printing Promises...


Because we respect your time too much.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Versus 2.4: Captain Carrot (DC) Vs. Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham (Marvel)

So, Second Printers, who would emerge victorious from this "Crisis of Infinite Furs?*" (See what I did there? It's a play on words. *heh* Genius. )

*Count yourselves lucky I didn't go with "Crawfish of Invertibrate Furs."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Versus 2.3 The Trinity (Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman) Vs. The Big 3 (Captain America, Iron Man & Thor)

It's simple.


Marvel's Mephisto and DC Comics' Darkseid team-up to take over everything.

Marvel's The Watcher and DC's Lords of Order can only send one team to champion the cause of good.

Who will it be?


Batman: The Darknight Detective; master tactician, trained in mind and body to, quite possibly, be all that is humanly possible.

Superman: The Man of Steel; heralded as THE most powerful and resolute of DC's superheoes, he's played a major hand in the salvation of the universe many times over. His will to keep his adopted home safe from harm is matched only by his frequent ally...

Wonder Woman: The Amazing Amazon; daughter of the Greco-Roman pantheon of gods, she's easily one of the DC Universe's most powerful characters, she also may be its most well-trained superpowered hand-to-hand combatant. Has shown a willingness to make the hard decisions the other two simply couldn't.


Marvel's BIG THREE:

Captain America: The Sentinel of Liberty; due to enhancement from the Super-Soldier Serum, he is the ultimate soldier and the Marvel Universe's go-to tactician, possessing a will and instincts hardened through numerous battles and wars.

Iron Man: The Golden Avenger; Tony Stark, futurist and genius inventor of one of the Marvel Universe's ultimate weapons, The Iron Man armor.

Thor: God of Thunder; centuries old god-warrior, possessing a strength matched by a very, very few. It was with his name on their lips that many a warrior would ride off into battle.

So, Second Printers, the question is: Having to choose, who would YOU want to champion the fate of all, DC Comics' Trinity (Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman) or Marvel's Big Three (Captain America, Iron Man & Thor)?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Too Many Comics!!!!

Don't worry, we've got new posts in the works but today I need something from you:

I have nearly 1,000 comics I just need gone! Don't wanna sell 'em. Don't wanna do eBay. Children's hospitals most likely won't take them and I don't want to recycle them.

I need room and just want them gone with the least amount of processing and mailing possible.

Any organizations you all know of that'll take them off my hands? And can it be counted as a tax-deductible donation?

Any help would be awesome.

Thanks in advance!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Versus 2.2: Ben Urich (Marvel) VS. Lois Lane (DC)

You're a nobody with a big secret.

You're on the run and THEY know who you are.

You were the wrong person at the wrong place and now they are coming after you. If what you saw gets out, a chain of events unlike any other will come about.

The fate of two universes is in your hands. Reputations will be ruined, empires will crumble.

IF you live long enough to tell the tale.

THEY are after you, the ones who work to keep the type of secret you know amongst THEMSELVES.

You need to tell someone the truth. The truth about what you saw, what you heard.

You need to tell someone you can trust, someone you can trust to tell the people the truth. You need someone who'll report, not sensationalize. You need someone who can be trusted to give it to the people, plainly, without exaggeration. No embellishment of details. You need someone to explain the immediacy and gravity of the situation while getting across just how it'll affect each and every single person alive and you need do it now.

THEY are coming down on you and you have just enough time to tell ONE PERSON of what is to come. You dial a number, a voice on the other end answers. Your story is about to come to a close but the voice on the other end lets you know the truth will live on.

So, my question to you Second Printers is this: Who would YOU choose to be the person answering on the other end?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Versus 2.1: The Cabal (Marvel) Vs. Villains United (DC) Featuring A Very Brief History Of Villainy

Borrowing liberally from Graig's clever VERSUS thread:

Marvel's Cabal versus DC's Villains United.

The debate has gone on for decades: which company, DC or Marvel, has the better villains?

DC? DC probably could lay claim to the first villain superstar team in 1947 with the aptly titled, Injustice Society.

Nowadays, DC on any given month brings you, The Joker, Sinestro, Lex Luthor, Black Manta, Lady Shiva, Deathstroke, Darkseid, just to name a very few.

Marvel, the younger, comes with the likes of the Doctor Doom, Loki, The Kingpin, The Red Skull, Magneto, Bullseye and The Hypo-Hustler...

Just making sure you're staying with me.

All incredible, all an individual danger to any hero or team who would dare challenge them.

In the mid-1970's DC Comics gave us an assemblage of villains so awesome, so evil, the could only call themselves THE SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS featuring A-list characters from DC Universe such as Lex Luthor, Bizarro, Gorilla Grodd and villains so far down the scale of "suck" they were virtually from conception, black holes of creativity such as Capt. Stingaree.

The idea of a secret society of villains was revisited in 2005 leading up to the events of Infinite Crisis and comprised of six of the DC Universe's most tactical and evilest of minds: Lex Luthor, Talia al Ghul, Black Adam, The Calculator, Dr. Psycho and Deathstroke. This team saw varying degrees of successes leading up to an all-out assault on Metropolis so vicious it took every available hero in the DCU to suppress it.

On the Marvel side of things, to my knowledge, the first truly great gather of villains occured in Avengers #6 with the formation of THE MASTERS OF EVIL, comprised of characters from the Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Marvel comics.

The Masters have used characters such as Dr. Octopus, The Scorpion, Whirlwind and Ultron in their continued efforts to defeat The Avengers.

Therein lie the problem, their motivations always seemed to come from more of a need to simply defeat The Avengers than anything else.

Until someone asked the question; "Where do you go once your enemy has been defeated?"

Answer? The Thunderbolts.

Recently, in the wake of the death of Captain America the former Green Goblin, Norman Osborn wrested control of counter espionage group, S.H.I.E.L.D. from the grasp its former head, Iron Man, Tony Stark and set his sights not just on the US but the world, forming The Cabal consisting of five of Marvel's current heavy-hitters, Emma Frost, The Hood, Prince Namor, Dr. Doom and Loki.

So, Second Printers, which of the two groups would be victorious in an all-out six-on-six battle for global supremacy?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Versus 2: Supervillain Lex versus Corporate Lex

I got directed last week to the joint blogging of Geniusboy Firemelon and GraphicContent and their analysis of the Superman 2000 pitch which Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Mark Miller and Tom Peyer made back in 1999 in a failed vie to take over the quartet of Superman titles running at the time. It's interesting reading through and through, both the look at what could have been, as well as Chad Nevitt and Tim Callahan's assessments thereof.

One particular point that really drew my attention revolved around Lex Luthor. From the pitch:
Though even he doesn’t consciously realize it, every iota of Luthor’s self-esteem was pinned to achieving that most lofty goal: to be considered the greatest man who ever lived. And he was on his way--until Superman appeared and outclassed him, triggering the scattershot sociopathic tantrum that is his criminal career.

Here’s another secret. Luthor's Lexcorp empire? All the corporate-baron stuff we see him doing routinely? Six minutes of his day, maybe less. He’s not the Kingpin. He only pretends to be.

Nevitt, in his assessment states:

I'm actually not a fan of the idea that Luthor only spends "six minutes of his day, maybe less" on Lexcorp, but I've always found that aspect of the character to be far more interesting than Luthor as supervillain. One thing I thought the creative team of Jeph Loeb, Joe Kelly, Joe Casey and Mark Schultz did right was making Luthor president since that demonstrates the level Luthor plays on, which is one entirely different from other villains.

I couldn't agree more. But it seems the current PTB at DC don't agree, as over the past few years, starting with the atrocious "Batman/Superman: Public Enemies" (both the comic and its animated adaptation) they have been utterly keen on bringing back the early 80's rocket-suited Luthor, and many writers with their "Superfriends fixations have been chomping at the bit to toss him in a purple jumpsuit. Though I haven't been reading it, I'm pretty sure Geoff Johns has once again retconned in the young Clark/Lex Smallville rivalry where Superboy is responsible for Lex losing his hair. Correct me if I'm wrong, just spare me the details.

John Byrne's de-powering of Superman in 1986 was right for the time, and in the midst of Reganomics, a corporate villain was apt. But that was then, this is now. Wait a tic, given the Wall Street shenanegans of recent years, an evil corporate supervillain is exactly what we need. But really, think about it. Superman isn't stupid, he's the son of a farmer, yes, but also the son of a scientist. He's able to view the world on a molecular level if he chooses, he can view people on any spectrum, he understands the world both scientifically and emotionally. But one thing Clark isn't is cunning. He, unlike Batman, isn't thinking steps ahead. Superman has generally always been reactive rather than proactive, and though he can see the world in a thousand different ways, he just can't see the world like Luthor can. Luthor can manipulate the world through his corporate structure. Through globalization and international laws of trade he can affect things in an manner that's vague and, in a sense, intangible. What Luthor can do, Superman would have a hard time to follow. Bruce Wayne might not even be able to see it. If Luthorcorp is a privately held company, which it most likely is, Luthor can keep the books off the public record and really get away with doing whatever he wants. How can the Man of Steel battle economic disruption? He can't. Through this kind of maneuvering Lex can have his way with the world outside of Superman's near omnipotent grasp.

Compared to that we otherwise have a Lex Luthor who is trying to destroy an indestructible man, time after time, going after the big red "S" with munitions and kryptonite, physical attacks that have proven time and time again ineffective. What if Superman developed Kryptonian-enhanced Rogaine® and Lex could grow his hair back? Having taken away Luthor's raison d'etre could they be friends again? I think, (especially given the interaction between Lex and Superman in All-Star Superman) that this kind of "mad scientist" Luthor doesn't inspire any fear in Clark, just pity and sympathy. Corporate Luthor, on the other hand, scared him, because he was playing a completely different game.

Give me the bald, overweight, cigar-chomping Boss Hogg-style Lex Luthor over the Purple and Green Luthor any day. It may not make for better fight scenes, but if you want drama, intrigue, and a real nasty rivalry that's what he delivers.
So Second Printers, I've had my say, which do you prefer and why?
Supervillain Lex Luthor or Corporate Lex Luthor?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Versus 1: DC Cosmic vs Marvel Cosmic

In the past four or five years both DC and Marvel have really, really stepped up their game when it comes to their planet-hopping, space-faring characters. Both have long histories exploring the cosmos but the unity of vision, the sense of "one universe", has never felt so tight.

DC had two mainstays of the galactic scene, the first being the futuristic Legion of Super Heroes. In the late 1980, with the "Invasion" event, the aliens of the Legion were brought into the modern day and made a threat. Thus was introduced the "L.E.G.I.O.N.", an intergalactic for-hire police agency which became the main thrust of interstellar trade at DC for years.

The other, naturally, was the Green Lantern Corps. The GLC, self-appointed guardians of the universe, who had their opposites in the Qwardians, and their compliments in the star sapphires of the Zamarons, and their competitors with the Darkstars. But the Green Lantern Corps invariably wound up earth-bound, numbers were constantly being reduced, down to only one in the mid-1990's.

It was recently, however, that the universe at large started getting a spotlight and it started with the "Adam Strange" mini-series that preceded "Infinite Crisis", paving the way for the "Rann-Thanagar War" and leading into the space-faring heroes (Strange, Animal Man and Starfire) of "52". Oddly enough, Jim Starlin, the chief wrangler of Marvels starbound heroes for many years (decades, even), took the reigns, bridging together the end results of "52", "Countdown" and his own strange adventures of Captain Comet, The Weird and Hardcore Station. Tony Bedard has picked up from here and forged ahead with the L.E.G.I.O.N. revival, "R.E.B.E.L.S."

Of course, the real thrill in the DC Universe has come at the hands of Geoff Johns and his revival of the Green Lantern Corps. With his impetus, all the noteworthy Green Lanterns (until recently) lived and worked in harmony. Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner co-existed and belonged with a unified purpose as space police, the real innovation was taking that literally, giving each lantern an assigned partner, and then extending the Corps to not just having an opposite in the Yellow Lanterns, but a full spectrum of Corps. Are they the police force, firemen, paramedics, army, navy, and marines of the galaxy?

Over at Marvel it started with "Annihilaton". Forget the Infinity Gauntlet/War/Crusade etc. (sorry Starlin), Keith Giffen came in and gave a bunch of tired played out characters new life, taking an old, sad Fantastic Four villain and turning him into a universe-level threat. With "Annihilation", Giffen crafted the grandest space opera perhaps comics had ever seen, (yes, even bigger than "Atari Force") while at the same time distancing the space heroes from the remainder of the Marvel Universe, then embroiled in a civil war, forging a new universe, so to speak, that wasn't so "Earth" centric. Mini series were spawned prior to the big event, giving Drax The Destroyer, Silver Surfer, Ronan the Accusor and Nova - especially Nova - brand new life.

It was Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning ("DnA")who ran with Nova and really made him something special. Richard Ryder became part Firestorm, part Green Lantern (more Kyle Raynor), taking the best of both and really going somewhere new with it. In the first year DnA created Knowhere, a space station at the edge of the universe built on the insides of a decapitated Celestial's head. Think Deep Space Nine or Babylon 5 with a Doctor Who cheekiness, and you have something special. Throw in a telepathic Russian cosmonaut dog as head of security and you have something awesome.

DnA spearheaded the next Annihilation wave, "Conquest" which reintroduced Adam Warlock amongst many other cosmic players. While Conquest's story may have faltered, the off-shoot was a revived "Guardians of the Galaxy", also by DnA, a second ongoing Marvel cosmic book which pointedly showed how the writers have a firm grasp on the spacier side of the Marvel U, even negotiating the Skrull's secret invasion with masterful form, using it as a launching pad for the "War of Kings", wherein the Inhumans take to the stars, overthrow the Kree, and wage war with the Shi'ar, creating a fault in the universe that threatens to destroy all life.

I'm a DC boy from way back and while I find the advances in the mythology of their space characters to be perking upwards, specifically around the events following the Sinestro Corps War leading into Blackest Night, the continuity hasn't been particularly tight with Johns' Lanterns obviously hogging the spotlight, but I'm finding Starlin's role in developing the DCU space adventures to be just as interesting as his "Infinity xxx" stories of 15 years ago, which is to say not at all (to me at least). Johns is a "superstar" writer and while he has time to synch with Green Lantern Corps writer Peter Tomasi, he's too busy toying with Legion and Superman and Flash and Smallville and the Shazam movie to coordinate the non-GL galaxy. The events elsewhere in the DCU generally seem less important, and thus less interesting.

True, the universe is a massive place and to have one consistent thread operating throughout might seem less than logical, but looking over at Marvel and what DnA are doing, they're making it work, making it matter, if not perhaps to the other Marvel U titles like Daredevil or Amazing Spider-Man, but it matters to their little corner. In the same way the mutant titles really operate within their own continuity, DnA have sectioned off the space titles to their own realm and are growing it as its own entity (in general over the past decade, Marvel has become really good at compartmentalizing their universe).

So what say you Second Printers? Which are you fancying more and why?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I've Come Down With A Case Of The Hopefuls

Hopeful #1: After reading Flash: Rebirth #5, if there's any justice in that world, I'm hoping Kid Flash (Bart Allen) gets a taste of his own medicine and gets Iris West ("Uh, the NEW Impulse") as his new sidekick.

Hopeful #2: When Bruce Wayne inevitably makes his return as Batman, Dick Grayson will continue on his role as Batman, taking on adventures that require more leaping across giant typewriters in abandoned warehouses. Seriously, why can't Batman be a legacy character ala' The Flash, Green Lantern, Wildcat where two generations of hero carry the name, simultaneously.

Hopeful #3: Kyle Rayner becomes recognized as the greatest Green Lantern of all time.

Hopeful #4: Since Black Canary isn't being used in the Justice League anymore and Oracle and Huntress are fairly free it's time for a Birds of Prey reunion.

Hopeful #5: Hawkman returns in an all-new series titled, HAWKMAN, where the back-up feature is The Atom.

Hopeful #6: With Nemesis, King Faraday, KOBRA, Checkmate, S.H.A.D.E., Cameron Chase, The D.E.O. & Peacemaker all running around out there, it's high time for a comic focusing on DC's vast espionage portfolio.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kyle Rayner: Adult.

It's all fiction, right?

In my four years of writing "Seven Hells!" I came to appreciate the absurdity of the comics medium. No... I came to love it. One of the things that made comes fun was re-reading old comics with a "supposedly" adult's eyes.

One of my favorite things to do was the taking of comics panels, decades in circulation, and re-purposing them, mining them for every ounce of subtext and innuendo contained within the gutters of the comics page.

And it was fun. We were able to make them ours.

And then, one day, I can't explain why, not so much.

And then it was on to something else; and that's when he came along.

That kid. The one who took the other guy's place, the usurper. The one who wasn't on The Superfriends so he's not the real one. The pretender. The one who got the ring because he happened to be in the right place (alley) at the wrong time.

Kyle. Rayner. The Lantern of the '90's. The "grunge" Lantern.

Kyle Rayner, for nearly one full decade, the only Green Lantern.

Last week, his time as a character was brought to an end and I must say, I am not unhappy for one reason and one reason only:

He went out the way he came in; simply doing what comes right. Simply doing whatever it takes to keep The Corps going.

He did it, initially, by taking the ring and the responsible of being the sole Green Lantern. With Green Lantern Corps #42, it was sacrificing himself to keep the central power battery intact, an act ensuring that the Lanterns would be able to fight on.

Once again, he did what was right.

Four years ago, I started making fun of Kyle on a weekly basis in a little thing called "Kyle Rayner: ADULT." It started out as an exercise in writers subliminal or overt (mis)understanding of who he was as a character. What we got mainly was a Kyle who would be portrayed as "green" in ever sense of the word.

At the time, it was comedy gold. Every week, as I worked hard to make fun of Kyle, without knowing, I came ever closer to understanding the character of Kyle Rayner. Rash. Selfish. Unsure. Oblivious. Cocky. Imaginative.

Kyle Rayner was YOU as if you'd been handed the last, most powerful weapon in the Corps lineage and use it to the best of your human ability.

In his first outing, he experienced horror as his his then girlfriend was killed while he wore the Green Lantern ring.

There was no Corps, no Guardians of The Universe to guide him through this. Still, he went on.

When The League needed a Green Lantern, he filled the role and the tradition of a Justice League Green Lantern. He did this on a team where he had to live up to and live down the legacy Hal Jordan had left behind.

In his time as Green Lantern, we saw him learn, grow, love, respect and ultimately, earn respect. Kyle, as a character, was allowed to become something many others never became: human. Kyle was a human character. He worked hard to simply be OK and sometimes shocked himself by doing more than he thought he could. He, not by circumstance but by deed, became THE Green Lantern. He became MY Green Lantern. In the eyes of many, he became OUR Green Lantern.

If this truly is the last we see of Kyle for a while, I'm OK with that and for two reasons; he died a hero's death. He got what deserved.

Second? It's all fiction. Right?

"Would I have killed Blue Beetle? No, I wouldn't have, but I'm not the guy writing it. It's not like they went out and took the guy out back and shot him. Any one of us could get a call a month from now saying, 'Bring him back' and you type 'Blue Beetle walks in the door' and everyone goes, "Oh, he got better!" - Keith Giffen

Saturday, November 14, 2009


So last year, I decided to pick up the first few issues of a series called 'Kick-Ass'. It was an interesting idea, but it had the same problem most Mark Millar comics have, which is to say that it relied on over-the-top, shock and awe style narrative as substitute for, you know, actual story telling. I quickly stopped reading.

Well, I guess the powers that be and I don't see eye to eye on this one, because apparently 7 issues of young people getting beaten within an inch of their lives has 'blockbuster' written all over it. I'll assume many of you have already seen this:

There's a chance this movie could end up being good, since it appears that Mark Millar didn't write the screenplay. But there's been a lot of talk among comic fans about how the print arm of the DC and Marvel entertainment empires is simply R&D for other mass market material. With 'Kick-Ass', we have a film that was probably developed at the same time as the comic, rather than having a comic inspire the film. Are we glimpsing the future of the industry here? Or is this just an example of people who think they have a clever idea trying to make as much money as possible? How the hell did this happen?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lady Cop: The Movie

In the words of Ghostface, "Her face glow like I was exposed to sunlight. She's happy, her hair, toes and nails is dumb right."

I spent the better part of two years blogging about a fictional comic book character with a particularly unnerving knowledge of VD.

Yes, you may know her as Liza. Or Chief Liza Warner to some. To those who love her, she will always be known as LADY COP.

DC Comics keeps focusing on dumb crap like Blackest Night and R.E.B.E.L.S., leaving our beloved Liza Warner to rest her sweet l'il concussed head, waiting for the chance to take her rightful place in history as the first newly elected surgeon ever to fight crime while wearing a McGruff The Crime Dog suit.

So, until DC Comics fans wake up and stop drinking their newest flavor, Blackest Night Kool-Aid, we will just make our own damn fun, won't we?!?

With The Batman movies having become a summer staple and Green Lantern soon to join it, the next character in line to receive the Hollywood treatment simply should be Lady Cop, bikini wearing ambassadors be damned.

While no actress could ever truly encompass the skill needed to portray a killer blonde devoid of a sense of self-awareness and overt sexuality, while carrying a HUGE nightstick, we'll give it a try.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Unsung Heroes Of Comics: Peter Tomasi

Before writing titles such as Nightwing, The Green Lantern Corps and The Outsiders, he edited some of my favorite titles. It's not every day an editor can make you take notice of his name.

He can when he's the editor who shepherds writer Geoff Johns onto JSA, pulls a pre-Identity Crisis Rags Morales onto Hawkman along with the previously mentioned author, cementing the JSA and its' related titles into the franchise it's become today.

He did it again with the Will Pfeifer-penned H-E-R-O, an adult take on the Silver Age "Dial "H" For Hero" concept producing one of my all-time favorite single issues, H-E-R-O #11, the story of the DC Universe's first "superhero."

Along the way he helped restore, along with Geoff Johns, Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps to glory and beyond, giving it the momentum needed to become what it is today: the engine that is DC's "event" title, Blackest Night.

While JSA and Green Lantern are the titles that most would point out as the most important of his stint as a DC Comics editor, in my mind, his most lasting legacy is his choice to install writer Will Pfeifer and artist future Green Lantern Corps cohort Patrick Gleason as the creative team on Aquaman, as they produced a six-issue run on how Aquaman and more importantly, comics should be done.

To me, what stood out the most about Tomasi's editorial stint was this: you could tell he was helping create books that he'd want to read. This intelligence and consideration shown on every page just as it does today in his own comics writing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Silver Linings: Strength - UPDATED

He can change the course of mighty rivers with his bare hands.

Pretty impressive. Once I saw him turn a lump of coal into a flawless diamond by squeezing it in the palms of his hand.

That is superstrength and all the argument needed to make Superman the strongest person in The DC Comics Universe.

To back it up, at the 3:45 mark, here's the logic I'd have used at seven years old...

I never noticed how rape-y Superman's utterance of, "Don't fight me, Mother Earth," truly sounded until just now...

Moving on...

So? Who's The Second Strongest Person In The DC Universe?

Vote early, vote often!



Friday, October 30, 2009

Silver Linings-UPDATED!!!

In the DC Universe, we all know who's the greatest of any one thing:

SHAZAM! is The World's Mightiest Mortal.

The Flash, The Fastest Man Alive.

Batman, The World's Greatest Detective.

So what happens when you're second to the best? Where's your recognition?

We here at Second Printing respect the technique needed to stand out in a universe full of "bestest" of any one thing. Yes, we celebrate it!

With Batman, undoubtedly, being the greatest martial artist of The DC Universe,... Wait for it....

So, in a rolling feature, much like DETECTIVE: COMICS, we'll ask you the loyal reader to decide the second best, starting with:


Feel free to explain why you came to your decision in the "COMMENTS" section.




Friday, October 23, 2009

Pillars of The Comics Community

Full disclosure:

I'm weird that way.

I've never really had a desire to write Superman. (No one's asked lately either so, we're good.)

Batman? Hell, everyone's got a Batman story in 'em.

Spider-Man? When I was younger I'd have pegged this as my dream book. Teen, smart-ass with superpowers. Now?

The current problem with Spidey's that if you wanna live through him, you have to do so through a twenty-something guy who can't pay his bills and has an open invitation to live with his auntie.

"Hey, kids! COMICS!"

So, a question I was asked the other day led me to this post.

The question asked was, "Devon, why don't you write comics?"

The answer was sorta threefold:

"Um... because," and seriously, it seems that unless you've written for TV or film, or done novels, or published independently, you don't have much of a shot.

The other was, to me, the more interesting reason:

"Well, on any given day, I have more Krypto The Superdog stories in me than Superman stories."

I simply am in love with supporting characters.

If you were crazy enough to let me write any book I'd want, I'd come back the next day with one full year's worth of Krypto plotted and it would be glorious.

I know it's sort of wrong to assign "humanity" to an animal but I guarantee you, you give me Krypto and I could redefine your very understanding of the word "humanity" using a fictional, cape-wearing dog who shoots lasers from its eyes.

I could. I know the story engine power of a superdog.

That interests me more than the idea of figuring out who Superman will fight in January.

Lois Lane? Phhhphpt!!! Don't get me started!

There are so many stories to be told with these characters. They live in-between the panels and are called into action depending on the needs of the story...

and that's what excites me as a comics fan. The untapped storytelling potential of the supporting character. Sadly, the strength of the supporting character lies in its limitation: the edict put upon them to simply enhance and usually nothing more. They serve to hold up the hero's humanity, acting as a sounding board for the hero's worries and more often, a marker for the hero's journey. Where Superman and Batman are the meat of the story, a Jimmy Olsen has become the steaming, cheesy potato on its side.

That sort of saddens me. If you could watch three seasons of a Veronica Mars, could you not read the monthly adventures of a Lois Lane or a Jimmy Olsen?

Could you not? Seriously?

If anyone needs me, I'm here. At this blog. ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Unsung Heroes of Comics: Will Pfeifer

For over five years, I've been part of a comic book review collective with Devon and numerous other talented writers (we're on hiatus now, but will return soon) and during that time I've come across more than a handful of reviews from the gang that made me say "hmm, I need to check that out". Will Pfeifer's run on Catwoman was one of such, covered by a few of us in a more than favourable light, including Devon's bittersweet review of the "final" issue (more on the "final" in a moment). Hell, at one point I even picked up a random issue myself (#59) to review just to see how accessible it was, noting "writer Will Pfeifer has multiple balls in the air, and he skilfully juggles them, creating interesting character and plot turns, fitted underneath on-point dialogue and a general sense of knows-what-he's-doing-ness." And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Will Pfeifer in a nutshell. A criminally underrated talent who weaves intricate, yet immensely enjoyable and accessible stories that are endlessly readable, filled with solid characters, some incredible action and an alternating sense of cleverness and excitement.

In the same year (2006) that I sampled his Catwoman, I had also amassed the complete run of HERO, the comic book series based on the Dial 'H' For Hero concept which Pfeifer wrote 22 issues of, ending in 2005. I still insist it's one of the greatest superhero epics I've ever read, funny, exciting, and utterly imaginative, just what comics should be. There's a circular nature to the structure of the series which is best left discovered, rather than told, and it's absolutely brilliant. Also 2006 saw Captain Atom: Armageddon conclude, in which Pfeifer brought a recently 'sploded Captain Atom (from the Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" storyline, iirc) into the Wildstorm universe and masterfully used him as the paragon of the DCU, contrasting starkly against the Wildstorm hordes, and highlighting exactly what the differences in the two universes were, without beating you over the head with it.

I've been trade-waiting on the Catwoman series for years now, having picked up three of the four Brubaker trades that were made that are criminally out of print (pun intended). I'm still missing "Crooked Little Town" and the completist in me hasn't wanted to move forward without it... that is until I realized that there's a huge gap between the last Brubaker trade ("Wild Ride", "volume 4" ending with issue 24) and the first Pfeifer trade ("The Replacements", "volume 5" starting with issue 53), and that "The Replacements" picks up at the "One Year Later" jumping on point that followed Infinite Crisis, making it as good a place to start as any. And so, in recent months I've reprised my interest only to find that like the Brubaker trades, the Pfeifer Catwoman trades are by and large out of print and it's not so easy to collect a set of five. "The Replacements" ("volume 5") and "The Long Road Home" ("volume 9") are the most readily available of the trades but the middle three have been a pain to track down, and I'm happy to say, after scouring a dozen book stores (used and new), a comic convention and comic shoppes in Toronto I've just completed my set and am now gleefully working my way through them.

They don't disappoint. I'm reminded why the series landed on my radar in the first place, and it's not that I'm a Catwoman fan. It's all about Will Pfeifer. Every ounce of energy I've expended is more than worth it for the rather incredible, shockingly so, events of Pfeifer's story. To wade into his Catwoman trades is to find Selena Kyle adopting a new name, giving birth to a baby girl, her protege Holly donning the costume and fighting crime alongside Wildcat, her grizzled P.I. friend Slam Bradley losing a battle with the bottle, an obsessed cop trying to nail her for the death of the Black Mask, an obsessed Angle Man (yes! Angle Man!) trying to do the same, a necessary intervention by Zatanna, and the introduction of the new and absolutely ingenius Film Freak, which if you've ever made your way to Pfeifer's blog you'd know is a maniacal reflection of the writer himself. And that's just the "The Replacements". It carries on even more in-depth into "It's Only A Movie" ("volume 6") wherein the Film Freak becomes one of the most clever serial killers in the Bat-books in recent years.

Whilst still writing Catwoman, Pfeifer did a fill-in issue on the new Wonder Woman series when other-media writer Allan Heinberg dropped the ball and the relaunch became something of a laughing stock. Pfeifer's issue dealt with how Wonder Woman was seen as a symbol of strength for women who were survivors of domestic abuse. It was a well crafted, intelligent, and most of all an honest use of a superhero facing an intangible, real-world opponent. Compared to what came before, and Jodi Picoult's maligned story that followed, it was a tragedy that Pfeifer wasn't handed the series.

Equally, when John Rogers finished his brilliant run on the re-launched Blue Beetle, a well-suited Pfeifer stepped in for two issues only to have the series handed over to Matt Sturges (who has done a fine job but I was looking forward to Pfeifer's layered take on Jaimie and co.).

And who's written the absolute best Aquaman storyline in the past decade? Will Pfeifer's "American Tidal" story in which San Diego fractures off the mainland as a result of an earthquake and sinks into the ocean. The man has ideas.

Of course, most fans, perhaps even more than those familiar with his Catwoman work, will likely remember him for Amazons Attack the maligned "event comic" that wasn't and likely shouldn't have been. It was poorly received and, from everything I've read (as I didn't stay with it beyond the first issue myself) poorly executed, marred by bad timing, having been bumped from it's original publishing date to a period in the DCU history where it just didn't make much sense, and its editorially-forced cross-overs into other series annoyed fans more than anything. We haven't seen Will Pfeifer's name in a new comic since August of 2008 when Catwoman ended, and I think Amazons Attack is the reason why. Should he be blamed? Was it his bungle? Hardly. Karl Kesel, Geoff Johns, John Byrne are only a few of the writers that have put together rather unfortunate DC "event" books that failed, yet their names didn't go missing from comics racks. And, really, the recent and awesome Secret Six storyline was partly borne out of AA, so it's not all a failure.

In January, DC is resurrecting a handful of cancelled titles to tie into the "Blackest Night", bringing them back for one more issue. Catwoman #83 will be appearing on comic stands on Jauary 13 written by Fabian Nicieza, with art by Julian Lopez and Bit. It's solicited as "Catwoman faces a dead villain that she was responsible for killing – the original Black Mask!" The murder of Black Mask, and emotional effect it had on Selena was a key element to Pfeifer's run, and that he wasn't asked to return to write it is shameful (understandable given the business of comics, but still shameful). At frist I was glad that at least Pfeifer's artist for 30+ issues would return as well, only to realize it not David Lopez, but Julian, leaving yet another bitter taste.

Will Pfeifer's blog post regarding the end of Catwoman stated "I don't have anything else lined up right now, but I'm guessing it's just a matter of time. And when I hear about my next project, I'll make sure you hear about it, too." I only hope that it's not too long before he's back in the fold. Will Pfeifer is a true unsung comics hero.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Everything I Learned Was From Getting A Lot Of ASS

The titles that led me to become the huge DC Comics fan I am today?

Who's Who In The DC Universe, Crisis On Infinite Earths and the comic that started it all for me, All-Star Squadron. As a young kid, there was nothing better than the sudden rush of information and the sense of discovery that every issue seemed to bring.

Who knew there was such a thing as The Golden Age?

In the grand scheme of what we know as The DC Universe, as it stands today, ASS (a better acronym you'll never find) was its corner foundation.

Recently, caught in a wave of nostalgia, I bought the first year's worth and...

How the hell did I ever become a DC Comics fan.

This stuff was pretty impenetrable, an American comics history lesson taught by the guy who wrote Conan The Barbarian.

Lots of character introduction and story-wise, just a bit all-over-the-place.

"Hey, Roosevelt needs us."

"Let's go get Robotman."

"Hey, Robotman! Wanna fight Nazis?'

"Sure! I hate Nazis. Let's go to Philadelphia and find Liberty Belle, she hates Nazis, too!"

And that just may be the problem I have reading The All-Stars as an adult is the over-explanation of everything.

Writer Roy Thomas takes a lot of care in explaining the various threads and connections to the WWII period in which these DC Comics mainstays were created. While its fascinating, it slows the storytelling down to a crawl, leading me as an adult to wonder what I saw in these comics.

As I read further, I felt my resistance dropping, simply coming to appreciate exactly what it was I was seeing:

Someone's simple love of comics. And something even greater. (More on that in a moment.)

The realizations that:

Yes, there was a Robotman before there was a Doom Patrol Robotman. Plastic Man as a cornerstone of comics' Golden Age. The wanting to address Aquaman's long, continuous comics history, yellow gloves and all. The belief that even The Red Bee should have a place at the heroes table.

With characters occupying a space in one of history's most infamous of times and origins comprising varying degrees of nebulousness, Thomas was charged with making sense of something that had been ignored for quite a while at DC Comics:


All-Star Squadron was the book that taught me about inter-connectivity and the role it can play in fiction and most importantly, history.

At that point in my life, I had no idea of the scope of the second World War. Living under a Cold War generated mentality, I never knew the unthinkable had happened and that America was once allied with... *gasp*... Russia! I had no idea what The Spear of Destiny was much less its importance in Western/Judeo-Christian history.

These are things I learned about while reading the shared adventures of men and women who wear tight clothes and fire heat blasts from their eyeballs.

When you really think about it, you really have to ask yourself, "How the hell could I NOT have become a DC Comics fan."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This Is Awkard...

Full disclosure: This post is not about comics. If you're looking for thoughts on Adventure Comics or Blackest Night, this is not the post for you. But I have to get something pop culture related off my chest.

Here goes... I think it's possible that the show 'Glee' was literally created with me in mind. I hate those bastards at Fox... my hatred for them burns like the fire of a thousand suns, but they've got themselves a winner with 'Glee'. It's no secret that I love teen drama. I watch 'Gossip Girl' and '90210' and somewhere in my apartment there's a season of 'Degrassi: The Next Generation' on DVD. But none of those shows capture my imagination like 'Glee'.

Now, I would never ever tell anyone what constitutes good taste. I'm the guy who defended Joe Kelly's run on 'Supergirl'. But I would at least like to offer some explanation as to why I like the show. Allow me to quickly break down the elements of this show that make Big Mike such a fanatic:

1.) Dark Comedy - 'Glee' has ridiculously good cred as a satire. Jane Lynch is stellar as the evil cheerleading coach, and even the sympathetic characters provide us with a bitingly comedic look into the darker side of human nature. The show also uses funny cutaways and other tricks that are reminiscent of great shows like 'Arrested Development'.

2.) Not-So-Dark Comedy - Like I said, the show has great cred as a satire and a dark comedy, so at the same time it also has a little bit of wiggle room to be at times cheesy and uplifting. It's also cool because you never know which way a certain plot thread is going to go... it could end really happily or it could all go to hell in a handbasket... makes the show unpredictable even in its cheesiest moments.

3.) Songs and Dancing - I was watching 'Hitch' tonight with my fiance, and I realized that the only reason I like that movie is because they dance during the closing credits. I also really like the dance to 'Hey Mickey' at the end of 'Bring It On.' Short story long: Songs and dances are awesome. The rendition of 'Don't Stop Believin' in the 'Glee' pilot? Chills, man... chills. And let's not even get started on the episode where the football team dances to Beyonce. Brilliant.

I did not expect to like this show. I hate Fox networks and everything they stand for. But those evil bastards managed to carve together a show that just works for me. I know this has nothing to do with comics, but frankly, I started going to grad school at night a few months back, so I pretty much don't read anything that doesn't involve math. So in order to compensate, I watch more TV than a man my age probably should, and I gotta say it: 'Glee' is my favorite show.

Please, Second Printers... tell me I'm not the only one.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogging is....

time-consuming but rewarding. Look for new posts soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Unsung Comics Heroes: Joe Kelly, Part 4

Across the world, evil is met with regret and one hero has emerged utterly without fear. In Gotham, The Joker pleads for a death sentence and The Manhunter has taken his leave. As the world is turned upside-down, The League calls J'onn back out of retirement, looking for help, only he comes back devoid of one thing:


The League returns from a mission and is forced to witness, in my opinion, one of the most visually stunning images in comics history:

A battered Superman, phased through and INTO the marble of The Justice League meeting table.

It doesn't take Batman, The World's Greatest Detective to know that only one (person) could do this to The Man of Steel and he is one of their own.

The Martian Manhunter has been unleashed.

Where other writers focused on just how "human" The Manhunter could be, Kelly brought into focus on just how not-of-this-world he truly is. The visual artist Doug Mahnke provided of J'onn grilling hot dogs in a polo shirt played to this in spades. In the baffled faces of The League, one sees just how much of an enigma The Manhunter's always been. The sight of him presented in that most American of images, the male at the grill, only serves to bring this point home.

He's a 7' green alien with a pronounced brow who chooses to where a a bright red harness, blue briefs and swashbuckler boots. I am none of these things but if I appeared as any of the above, I believe most would hesitate to embrace me. Let's face it, he's weird and that's what makes him glorious while holding him back.

In J'onn you have the entirety of The Big Three and more:

He's the equal in strength to Superman and sharing alien origin, notched but tenfold.

He has the regal bearing of Wonder Woman.

In his guise of John Jones, detective, we have skills that compliment Batman and as The Manhunter, the somber solitary nature brought on by loss, only thousands of times over.

J'onn J'onnz in his being all has nearly made himself irrelevant. And what Kelly did was exploit this, sending a clear message that if unleashed, J'onn J'onnz, The Martian Manhunter is and always has been a thing unto himself and more importantly, the character find of 1955.

In those Space Age roots, that could have been a problem.

With Kelly, it was turned out it was always what it should have been: an asset.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Unsung Comics Heroes: Joe Kelly, Part 3

So what does the guy who wrote the ultimate Superman do?

Write the... ultimate Martian Manhunter story?

Let's face it, the Martian Manhunter has never exactly been known as a story engine. His main function, since days of the BWAHAHA-Justice League has been to be "the heart" of The Justice League. What that mostly entailed was being... in The Justice League.

And talking about the human condition.

Or lifting the stuff Superman or Wonder Woman aren't lifting at any given moment.

Or using his Martian vision on stuff.

That is to say, The Martian Manhunter has become to The League what the hat became post-Kennedy inauguration, a lovely piece used to accent the ensemble but wholly unnecessary to complete it.

Until Joe Kelly and one story. J'onn J'onnz, The Martian Manhunter's one weakness has always been fire, the reasoning being that all heroes need some sort of weakness for a villain to exploit i.e. Superman and Kryptonite.

So, what happens when a hero conquers his weakness and goes on to become what he is: the most powerful member of The Justice League.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Unsung Comics Heroes: Joe Kelly, Part 1



When you think of the big name writers of the last ten years who comes to mind.

Top of your head:







Each great writers, all have told tales most could hold up as "quintessential" reading material.

All have worked on big name characters and walked away having told some great stories but out of the names mentioned few have told a story most could hold up as "the definitive superhero story."

Morrison's ALL-STAR SUPERMAN makes a great case for the title and while Simone is writing what I currently think is the best mainstream title going in SECRET SIX, it has nary a hero in the bunch and has become a beast, in and of itself.

If you asked me to show you everything a superhero comic should be, each and every time, the answer would always be the same:


It's simply a comic that says something. About the state of comics, the state of the hero, the state of the genre and who better to represent it all than the original superhero, SUPERMAN.

From the photo-realism of the Tim Bradstreet cover to the brutal yet heroic interior art of artist Doug Mahnke, this is what I have come to call, "quintessential."

The story opens up with the world enthralled by the actions of the superteam, The Elite, a team known for the lethal brand of justice in which they dispense of foes. Countries across the world embrace their ways and hail them as the new heroes of the 21st century. In a world with a Superman, their feats make him seem passe', archaic. Superman knows their ways to be wrong and quietly stands in defiance of The Elite by standing firm by holding onto his beliefs. The new way seems to have won out as The Elite calls Superman out in front of a worldwide audience. Just as it seems The Man of Steel may have to resort to their tactics in order to stand against this new power, Kelly pulls a brilliant fast one that left this reader, literally, covering his mouth to muffle a yelp.

As the battle's done, Kelly gives Superman the final say, in what I think is the most perfect ending to a comic book ever, leaving The leader of The Elite and the reader with these words:

"Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul, I swear until my dream of a world where DIGNITY, HONOR and JUSTICE become the reality we ALL share-- I'll NEVER stop fighting. Ever."

These simple, eloquent words.

I was well into being an adult as I read them and I felt a shiver go down my spine as he put into words exactly the way I never could about the way I felt about truth, justice and ultimately, what I believed to be The American Way.

It's one of the rare times comics have ever transformed me, spoken to me.

Just as importantly, he brought into clarity why I love the comics medium so damned much.

It is where heroes soar.

Joe Kelly gave us back Superman, he returned to us, our childhood hero.

Better yet, he proved once and for all that he'd never left.

Monday, September 21, 2009

52 Reasons 52 May Have Been The Comics Event Of The Decade

In no particular order:

Grant Morrison's return to the character that helped put him on the map, Animal Man.

52 re-instated Animal Man to the DC Universe.

Adam Strange, Starfire, Lobo and Animal Man as an intergalactic Fantastic Four.

It introduced Batwoman.

Good or bad, DC Comics got actual media coverage.

DC's gracious handling of Batwoman's media coverage.

It had a mysterious island full of evil scientists including Dr. Sivana.

It had Veronica Cale, world's greatest Wonder Woman villain, in it.

Black Adam's wordless dismissal of Veronica Cale on Oolong Island said more about who he is than any thousand words could.

They were going to kill Veronica Cale in 52 but at the last minute, they chose not to do so.

"Who is Supernova" was one of the best comics detective stories ever to be published outside a Batman comic.

Ralph Dibny's acting skills.

Grant Morrison writing Lobo.

Greg Rucka writing The Question.

Renee Montoya was set-up to take up the mantle of The Question.

The back-up origin stories featuring artists closely associated with any given character, example: Adam Hughes illustrating Wonder Woman and Power Girl.

The rise and fall of The Black Adam Family.

Mister Mind?!?

Pound-for-pound one of the creepiest moments in comic book history: Wicker Sue Dibny.

Ralph Dibny outsmarting Neron, something it took the combined DCU to do ten years, prior.

T.O. Morrow's reminding us exactly who he is:

The set-up of Booster freaking Gold's new role as "the greatest hero you've never heard" of within The DC Universe.

The sheer brilliance of Lex Luthor's "Everyman Project."

The utter horror as he deactivates the project over the Metropolis skies.

DC Comics has a Crime Bible. A Crime Bible.

The return of Skeets.

The Great Ten.

Black Adam and American soldier/intergalactic cop Hal Jordan discussing global diplomacy.

Black Adam's use of Terra-Man as an example to all.

The idea that The Persuader is a villain legacy that will last clean into the 31st Century.

Kandor plays a fairly prominent role.

The "nostalgia" of an Isis within a DC Comic.

Ralph and Sue Diby, Ghost Detectives.

Black Adam declares World War III.

The cementing of Black Adam as one of The DC Universe's greatest of super-villains.

The cementing of Black Adam as not truly being a super-villain but a power unto himself.

Booster Gold going back to his old football days and calling his final football play, "52."

The Blimp, Oddman and Beefeater as pallbearers at Booster Gold's "funeral."

The re-establishment of The Monster Society of Evil.

The shock of the death of Osiris.

Proof-positive, once and for all, that you can't just name yourself The Justice League.

Even if it was only for two pages, someone made Halo from The Outsiders a pretty interesting character.

The idea that The DC Universe is bigger than Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman.

It gave us the return of The Multiverse.

The stories told in cover artist J.G. Jones' 52 covers.

52 consecutive issues in 52 consecutive weeks.

DC Comics was seen as being innovative for the first time in decades.

Solid art from people who understood the importance of getting the art in on time.

Keith Giffen's role as storyboard artist gave each issue, no matter who the artist, continuity.

The anticipation of every new issue.

We will never see something of this scope again wherein four of comics' most talented writers, Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Geoff Johns, work together and at the top of their game to bring us one story, over one period of extended time.

We simply didn't know how good we had it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dream Cross-overs

As I was reading the latest issue of the rather great JSA vs. Kobra mini-series last night, I got to thinking thinking that there needs to be a massive inter-company cross-over called Kobra vs. Hydra vs. Cobra where all these terrorist organizations fight one another with Checkmate, S.H.I.E.L.D. and G.I. Joe teaming up to take them out. Shenanigans ensue.

I figure Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Chris Gage should write the thing. This given Rucka's awesom runs on espionage titles like Queen and Country and Checkmate, Brubaker's stellar work on Captain America, and Gage's recent G.I. Joe/Cobra mini.

On art, well, did you catch the latest issue of Captain America Reborn? I can't say I have a fondness for splash pages, but hot-damn if Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice didn't make my jaw slack in awe of the many they included there. They're chanelling Kirby and Sterenko which is exactly what a KvHvC comic would dearly need.

Oh, to dream.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Detective: Comics

My master is no more.

Third time's the charm?

I have lit a fire without a spark.

I have been three and am three, again.