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mygif

Speak for yourself. You’re clearly not reading Hickman’s run on Fantastic Four, and I’m buying Hercules in singles and started doing this immediately after reading the first Hard Book, and given that that was set during World War Hulk – ironically written by the author of Incredible Hercules, and atrociously boring – I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having.

So, Herc. I know that it’s ruined by other people liking it, and it sells “merely okay”, but ask yourself “without word of mouth and generally really good quality, how much *would* a *HERCULES* comic actually sell?”

The only reason I wouldn’t be disappointed with a premature end to the Morrison All-Star Batman and Robin is that I liked All-Star Superman precisely because it was self-contained and had an ending.

Also, at this point, I consider a number of Dark Horse, Wildstorm (I know, DC owns it) and Image titles close to unmissable. But that’s another story.

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DistantFred said on November 30th, 2009 at 9:43 am

So, what is it about Agents of Atlas that you don’t like?

It’s generally solid so far, if a bit guest star heavy.

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mygif

wait, how does being smart give you good motor reflexes and hand-eye coordination?

You see, the brain controls your muscles. Alternatively, lots of video games and sports. (There are studies that show that surgeons, for example, benefit from video games which give them a steadier hand.)

Incredible Hercules does a good job merging two separate tastes (Greek Mythology and the buddy film) while being faithful to both of them.

On a side note, I’d argue about Invincible Iron Man or Batman and Robin being good. The former has the issue that several of its characters (Maria Hill, Tony Stark) are pushed as deserving something resembling sympathy while not being particularly deserving of said sympathy.

Batman and Robin’s problem has been Morrison’s obsession with freaks; it feels like he’s more interested in showing off his ideas for bizarre villains than actually having an interesting story. (I’ll give him credit for Scarlet’s arc, as she seems like the one character from his run so far that will have lasting appeal.)

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mygif

I *love* Invincible Iron Man. And if someone asks why, I would like to point them towards the last few issues of the World’s Most Wanted arc. If you aren’t at least a little moved by the e-mail Tony sends to Maria Hill as his brain is slowly being erased (in which he hopes that he can talk to Steve Rogers about everything that’s going on) then you are probably one of those people who took Civil War *very* personally.

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@Ilan
Batman and Robin won’t end “prematurly” it will end at 12 issues just like it was intended to from the beginning.

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Required Name Here said on November 30th, 2009 at 10:23 am

Re: Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo’s Buck Wild Comics Blog

That’s the worst name I ever heard

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mygif

@Probe, “precisly” my point. It’s just one arc.

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mygif

I swear, I must be the onl person who likes Power Girl, which I put in the light/fun category. If you can stop looking at her chest and actually READ the book it is just too much fun, especially the mentor relaonship she has with the new Terra…

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mygif

Ugh hate hate hate Batman and Robin.

But you really are missing out on Fantastic Four. Secret Warriors isn’t as good, but is also worth at least a look.

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mygif

So, what is it about Agents of Atlas that you don’t like?

The fact that it’s cancelled, for starters.

I must be the onl person who likes Power Girl, which I put in the light/fun category.

Power Girl for me goes in the “competent” category. There’s nothing bad about it at all, just like there’s nothing particularly bad about Secret Warriors or Green Lantern or any of the Avengers books other than the utterly pointless Dark Avengers. But I don’t see the point of celebrating something that aims to be okay and succeeds.

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mygif

Is Agents of Atlas cancelled, per se, though, MGK?

I thought it was cycling through some mini-series (X-Men, Avengers, the Uranian solo book) and then would return with either a vol.3 or return to vol.2 numbering, sort of like how Criminal is operating.

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mygif

Oh, and I will go to the mat for the quality of Ultimate Spider-Man anytime, anywhere.

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mygif

I demand a link to Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo’s Buck Wild Comics Blog.

But amen to the “trained to choose ‘importance’ over ‘quality'” business. The best comics at DC and Marvel have consistently been those featuring minor characters who haven’t been utterly codified over decades by fanboy expectations, with the exception of Morrison’s Batman (and even that struggles a bit), but fanboys won’t buy them because Spider-man just married the Hulk or whatever and that requires them to buy 15 other boring titles.

I wouldn’t mind the superhero comics fanboys buying crap if they would use their time in the comics store to pick up some of the other non-Big Two, non-superhero books out there. But they don’t. In fact, they seem to get angry at the very suggestion. Capitalism has more or less reached its ideal in superhero fanboys: mindlessly loyal consumers who will buy anything foisted on them if it bears the right brand name, and who will actively fight for the corporations against individuals.

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mygif

Isn’t Batman and Robin the poster child for ‘importance’ over ‘quality’?

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malakim2099 said on November 30th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

One thing I would note…

In this day and age of comics, being “perfectly acceptable” is rather “Incredible.”

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mygif

I’d call Herc more “a heck of a lot of fun, as well as good.” I almost lost it when he and Thor were battling (while dressed as one another — long story), and Herc gives Thor’s exposed nipples a tweak with a big purple NERP! sound effect.

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mygif

“because Spider-man just married the Hulk or whatever”

I’d by that. Especially if it gets Hulk into a wedding dress.

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mygif

Two things.

One, of course Internet comics blogs aren’t going to be of much use in promoting a comic. That’s because they’re only read by passionate and devoted comics fans, and there’s only about 150,000 of those left, tops. I know this is one of those whacky, crazy, batshit insane ideas of mine, but maybe advertising should promote to people who aren’t already walking into stores demanding your product? Not hating on you here, MGK, because I know that’s not your fault. I’m just saying, is all.

And two, I won’t buy an Iron Man comic until Civil War has been retconned away. Brainwashing, evil clone, telepathic body swap, I’m not picky, but I have no interest in reading about Iron Douchebag. Any time someone tells me about some horrible suffering he undergoes as a result of his decision, I say, “Gee, that’s a start, but…”

The dude sold his best friend up the river. Oh, and his best friend? Was a guy who punched Hitler.

(This is also why I don’t read Batman comics. The second it was established that he created Brother Eye, he went from “Batman, Darknight Detective” to “Batman, Guy Who’s Directly Responsible For Several Hundred Deaths, Including That Of At Least A Few Superheroes”. Kind of hard for me to keep viewing him as a sympathetic character after that.)

(And yes, I know it’s Dick Grayson at the moment. I also don’t read Batman comics because I can’t afford Batman comics. :) )

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mygif

John,

Granted I’ve only read MGK’s version of Civil War (and of course the legit Avengers tie-ins) but you’ve no interest in reading about a guy trying to redeem himself for past mistakes?

Isn’t that the whole point of somebody like, say, Spider-Man?

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Allegretto said on November 30th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

From DC i’d say you’re forgetting R.E.B.E.L.S.

Unless you dont read it, in which case you should give it a look.

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mygif

We have to disagree on Invincible Iron Man. I thought the “Five Nightmares” arc was okay, but “World’s Most Wanted” was the most overblown, incredibly drawn out (that shit was reaching Maximum Carnage levels of way-too-long)boring ass arc ever. I stopped at part 8.

Also doesn’t help that whatever inking technique Larroca’s been using since the onset of the book makes his art look a lot crappier than what it is.

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mygif

Here’s the thing about Hercules, and why I think a lot of people have glommed onto it. Before this book started, I had absolutely zero interest in Marvel’s Hercules as a character. But Pak and Van Lente really drew me in, fleshed out the character and made him likable despite clearly marking out his flaws. Maybe you don’t think the book is “great” rather than “good,” but I’d definitely argue that it has the best characterization of any book on the stands. I think that sort of “building from the ground up with a guy no one initially cared about” is what’s really made Hercules a favorite with the people who read it.

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mygif

How can you have a post about Incredible Hercules without mentioning the fact that it has the BEST sound effects in all of comic-dom. I sometimes just go back and re-read all the sound effects. I don’t know if it is the writer(s), artist(s), or letterer, but someone better get an award for that work.

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mygif

I always ask myself: Why is Ultimate Spiderman not on the list of the “comic bloggers” I read? It has been, since issue one, a fantastic series, with strong characterization and interesting and fun storylines. Together with Star Wars: Legacy, I consider it to be the consistently best book on the market.

Is it because Brian M. Bendis is writing it? There seems to be a lot of unreasonable hatred towards him, although he is one of the best writers out there ( as long as he isn’t writing an event comic. Those tend to be too long and be too open-ended. But still better him than Mark Millar… ).

I already wondered how Ultimate Spiderman could not be on your list of “starter comics”, but I guess you have your reasons…

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Tim O'Neil said on November 30th, 2009 at 6:55 pm

About Amadeus Cho – yeah, at first I thought it was just one of those “things” that we’re supposed to accept, his inhuman coordination and reflexes. But there was a revelation in a recent issue regarding Cho’s, um, well I don’t want to give it away if you’re waiting for the trade, but let’s just say he actually has a reason for being more powerful than just a really smart guy should be. He’s got a very powerful patron.

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mygif

Well, the MGK list of starter comics specified that he was excluding ongoing series, so that explains that.

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mygif

One more book I’d suggest in the “Good” category: Booster Gold. In particular, the Blue Beetle back-up. I did miss it when it wasn’t there this issue. I get why having Booster and Jaimie involved in the Blackest Night cross-over is good commercial sense, and may keep the book going for longer but I’d really rather not read it.

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mygif

Blue Beetle was a pretty great comic while it lasted. I’ve been reading it in trade (just finished the third).

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mygif

How can you have a post about Incredible Hercules without mentioning the fact that it has the BEST sound effects in all of comic-dom.

Well, the best since the passing of Don Martin, anyway.

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mygif

I wanted to say that the world needed somebody to create “Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo’s Buck Wild Comics Blog”, but that basic sentiment has already been expressed. Damn it. :(

With all the great word of mouth (screen?) “Detective Comics” has been getting, I’m on the verge of adding it to my pull list. All I need is one more person to tell me to read an issue and it’ll seal the deal.

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Tales to Enrage said on November 30th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

One of the things I like about the Incredible Hercules is the deeper themes that you can see, but which aren’t forced down your throat by “important moments.” Like the idea of the entrance to the underworld being a casino.

Is it meant to make you consider weighty topics like mortality and such? No. It’s supposed to be fun. But the creators do have heavier themes in there, they just don’t let them overwhelm the entertainment so they can be read as a “serious comic.”

And I think that’s part of the reason you see people praise Incredible Hercules so much-they get to see those themes without feeling like they’re being beaten with them. It’s a fresh take on mythology that places it in the modern world, without trying to turn all of the Greek figures into completely modern people, or claiming that new gods are coming up to replace the whole Greek pantheon.

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mygif

iHerc’s probably my favourite comic month-in, month-out. “Sacred Invasion” should be pretty much the textbook on how to do both an epic and an event tie-in.

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mygif

Rob: Read an issue. If nothing else, the artwork is amazing.

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mygif

I hate to be replying just to add another “You forgot about”, and it is far, far to early in the day to say anything for sure, but the first issue of SWORD shows promise. In general, agreed.

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Mary Warner said on November 30th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

I keep reading about how great Incredible Hercules is, but I still haven’t bought an issue. I’ve thought about it several times, but it’s really hard to talk myself into it. The problem is Hercules has always been the dullest significant Marvel hero (the Black Panther and Black Knight come close). I just can’t comprehend how a book about Hercules can possibly be as good as people claim it is. I’ll probably read one sooner or later, sometime when I have money to spare, I guess.
Is Invincible Iron Man really a good series? I thought the first issue was awful. The only other one I’ve read,#9 seemed okay, but not worth buying on a regular basis.
I think the New Avengers has been really good, for the most part, but sometimes you have to wait a few months and then read three or four issues together to really get the feel of a good story, because Bendis stretches is out quite a bit. (I’m surprised nobody ever criticises him for this.)
A few people here mentioned Fantastic Four. Is it really that good now? I’ve been scared to buy it yet, because I don’t know if Mark Millar’s damage has been repaired yet.

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Mary Warner said on November 30th, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Bret’s comment wasn’t on here yet when I started writing mine. I just wanted to say he’s right– the first issue of SWORD does show promise. (I’m not wild about the premise, though. I don’t like huge top-secret organisations with unlimited budgets and super-advanced technology. I think they clash with the more real-world elements of the Marvel Universe. I know, there’s a lot of other stuff that doesn’t fit, either, but some things bug me more than others. Anyway, the fact that I don’t like the setting means the fact that I love the writing is even more significant.)

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mygif

Huge and Top Secret are usually self-contradictory in the real world. SWORD is good, but it’s early. Give everyone a couple more issues before we decide. :)

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mygif

I’d call Herc more “a heck of a lot of fun, as well as good.” I almost lost it when he and Thor were battling (while dressed as one another — long story), and Herc gives Thor’s exposed nipples a tweak with a big purple NERP! sound effect.

See, that was one of my least favorite recent moments in Herc, just because it totally took me out of the story for a “oh, I see what you’re doing there” moment. Pak and Van Lente do it a little too often for my taste, which is one of the reasons I can’t quite call Herc excellent.

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mygif

Bendis stretches is out quite a bit. (I’m surprised nobody ever criticises him for this.)

You must be new around here. By ‘here’, I mean ‘the internet’.

I’d say the two biggest complaints about Bendis are (in no order): 1) his use of the same speech patterns for every single character, and 2) his stories get dragged out too long with little happening.

Unless that was a form of sarcasm too subtle for my eyes.

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mygif

I think X-Force should be on the list if only for the gorgeous art. The storyline itself is good, though, perhaps a bit too densely plotted.

And Uncanny is better now than its been, well, since Morrison.

But then I remember MGK saying that X-men books aren’t his cup of tea, and so, I guess that’s that.

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mygif

I’m reading and enjying both, and I can’t really understand how you say Secret Warriors is merely competant, and Invincible Iron Man is good – I’d put it the other way around, without a doubt.

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mygif

And two, I won’t buy an Iron Man comic until Civil War has been retconned away.

I’d settle for Tony showing remorse, instead of just doubling down on being a smug douche like every issue of IIM I’ve bothered to read.

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mygif

I think the key to Incredible Herc is that it’s got a really solid character dynamic at its core. (I say, despite Cho and Herc having been separated for a while in recent issues.) Both the protagonists are immature, but in different ways, so they’re unprepared for different situations and support each other in others. This makes for the funny as they’re almost always kind of out of their depth, but it also means we get some poignant lessons in growing up now and again.

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Black Rabbit said on December 1st, 2009 at 3:44 pm

During last night’s Saints vs. Patriots game(kinda sounds like a Dark Reign one-shot…felicitations Montreal, by the way), a matchup of two of the best quarterbacks alive, they interviewed a player who’d worked with both men. As close as I can remember, he said, “God blessed both of them with great minds. They can make complicated decisions in a fraction of a second, and they’re almost always the right one. They’re just the smartest guys on the field.”
Granted, the Gods also gifted Drew Brees and Tom Brady with Str, Dex, and Con scores of at least 15, but you don’t qualify for the Elite QB prestige class without high Int and Wis (Wisdom being the province of a particular patron of young Cho). Besides, have you seen the size of the average NFL playbook? It’s as thick as the DSM-IV (not a D&D manual), and QBs are expected to both memorize it and apply it in a split-second, whilst the dogs of war are let loose upon their throats.

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mygif

Rob: Read an issue. If nothing else, the artwork is amazing.

I’m on it! :)

I’d settle for Tony showing remorse, instead of just doubling down on being a smug douche like every issue of IIM I’ve bothered to read.

That’s how I feel too, and not just about Stark. If a character’s been a shitbag in the past, I’d like them to admit they were wrong and not act that way in the future if I’m expected to look at them as a good guy. Don’t just pretend it never happened, and for god’s sake if somebody does bring it up don’t rationalize it, don’t make excuses.

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mygif

My favourite Herc moment has to be his trial when he describes assaulting Constrictor in Dan Slott’s She-Hulk.

Oh how I laughed.

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Mary Warner said on December 2nd, 2009 at 1:13 am

I am new to the internet (I’ve only had it for about a year now), but that Bendis line was a joke. I think I found complaints about Bendis stretching things out the first time I saw a comics website.
And GP, you’re right. Huge and top-secret are contradictory– that’s one of the things that bugs me about those kinds of stories. But if the story is good enough, I can overlook that sort of thing, just as I overlook the fact that nearly every Marvel hero now seems to be a crime-fighter full time without any apparent means of support. (Although that really does bug me at times.)

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mygif

Strikedynamite said:

“John,

Granted I’ve only read MGK’s version of Civil War (and of course the legit Avengers tie-ins) but you’ve no interest in reading about a guy trying to redeem himself for past mistakes?

Isn’t that the whole point of somebody like, say, Spider-Man?”

But redemption requires remorse and penitence, and Tony doesn’t show either of those things. Bad shit happens to him as a direct result of his utter lack of a moral compass, and he goes, “Oh no! Bad shit is happening to me! I’ve got to do something about it!” There’s never any acknowledgment on his part that he is ultimately responsible for his own problems.

Peter Parker agonizes about his moral decisions. Tony Stark assumes that whatever benefits him personally is probably right, too.

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mygif

I’m seeing a problem with defining “good” here. MGK’s list of good comics here is perfectly serviceable, at least for this month (my two quibbles would probably be Thor and Secret Warriors, although Thor could go downhill very fast). But among the discussions, we have people saying that X comic should be preferred over Y comic, due to either the art/writing. Can a comic be good based on one part alone?

Personally Larroca’s art on Invincible has consistently been an annoyance for me, despite managing to make me sympathize with Tony Stark again. Then again, there are comics such as 300 which succeed entirely on the art alone. A final example is Loeb’s and McGuiness’ Hulk run, which despite having great visuals I found utterly unreadable.

So is there a certain level of quality in both the art and writing that must be reached for a comic to be good? Or can a comic succeed with just one exceptional trait?

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Danny Sichel said on December 3rd, 2009 at 3:48 pm

[/i]wait, how does being smart give you good motor reflexes and hand-eye coordination?[i]

It lets you accommodate for your own shitty motor reflexes and hand-eye coordination ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY.

Plus, you get to use every possible surface for ricochets.

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mygif

[…] Chris Bird wonders why we’re at the stage when ‘OK’ is considered a high standard in superher… […]

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benfromcanada said on December 4th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Dude, sorry, but you forgot Deadpool. Everything he touches is gold nowadays.

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mygif

HEATHEN. THOU HAST FORGOTTEN THOR!

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