Sunday, November 30, 2008

George Perez is My Friend

I've always enjoyed comics illustrated by George Perez, but I've never gone out of my way to seek them out until recently. After purchasing the Crisis on Infinite Earths trade paperback recently (and reading this 1985 classic in English for the first time), I decided it was time to beef up my Perez collection, so I bought the New Teen Titans Archives (which I'll be reviewing in the near future) and the four-volume collection of Perez's Wonder Woman. (Watch out, JLA/Avengers, I'm coming for you next.)

So anyway, this is my first time reading George Perez's Wonder Woman--the first twenty-four issues collected here in Gods and Mortals, Challenge of the Gods, Beauty and the Beasts, and Destiny Calling--and I'm impressed. Besides the fact that the art is beautifully detailed, as anyone familiar with Perez would expect, the stories do some amazing things. After the universe-reshaping Crisis on Infinite Earths, Perez was charged with reinventing Wonder Woman from the ground up, as if this were her first appearance in comics, and the fact that this version of Princess Diana of Themyscira is more or less the version still being used twenty years later attests to his success. Here are some reasons why I think he succeeded:
  • Wonder Woman is not just a book about a strong woman, but rather a book about strong women. The opening chapter of the second volume, narrated by four female members of the supporting cast, highlights this strength. Perez and his scripter, Len Wein, bring us into the minds of such varied characters as army lieutenant Etta Candy (notable for being the only overweight woman in comics, ever), history professor Julia Kapatellis, and teenager Vanessa Kapatellis. And then, of course, there's the title character herself, her mother Queen Hippolyta, and an entire island of Amazon warriors.
  • Every great fantasy story needs a well-developed world, and much of these volumes is dedicated to creating exactly that. Not only do we see the history and culture of the Amazons developed in more depth than they had been in the previous forty-five years of publication, but the gods of Greek myth become a central part of this world, moving the stories in directions both new and completely natural to what had previously been part of Wonder Woman's mythos.
  • Speaking of those Greek gods, the mythic scale of these stories really hit in volume 2, Challenge of the Gods, wherein Wonder Woman is charged with completing a series of tasks in order to protect her people from the wrath of Zeus, who is pissed because she didn't want to be his consort. Everything about this story is something that could easily have been written by Homer, right up to the final task Diana completes, which is itself the completion of a well-established myth about another hero given impossible tasks by the gods.
  • Perez takes one of the least logical of superhero costumes and makes it make sense. Wonder Woman's battle armor has a history behind it and a purpose for its existence. And when she's not fighting she wears other clothes--not secret identity clothes, because she has no secret identity, but just the kind of clothes you'd expect an Amazon princess to wear for whatever the occasion, whether she's delivering a diplomatic address or hanging around the house.
  • Wonder Woman not only rejects Steve Trevor--the man previous versions of her had pined over for decades--as a romantic interest, but after a brief crush and a kiss from Superman, decides she's too good for him. Well, actually, he decides she's too good for him and she's too modest to phrase it that way, but it's pretty clear that's what's going on. She makes me want to stand up with Destiny's Child and sing "Independent Woman."

(Note the above page is written and illustrated by John Byrne in a crossover with Action Comics, but it's still George Perez's Wonder Woman.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nice Omega Level Powers, Sorry About Your Penis

I've always been the hardcore Spider-Man guy (well, until recently--that was a baaaad breakup) but I can't say the same about X-Men. When I read X-Men comics, I read Grant Morrison's run, Joss Whedon's run, Warren Ellis's new run, and the occasional "event" like Deadly Genesis or Messiah CompleX. I won't buy anything with an X on it unless it's popular. I'm like the kid who only listened to Green Day on the radio and pissed off all the other kids who really liked Green Day because he gave them a bad name--and then I went and cut off the bottom hem of my pants to look like a skater and told everyone that I was "totally sad for Kurt." And I tried to pretend I didn't still have my collection of pogs and slammers and I got the Official Marvel Swimsuit Edition for... ehm... dark purposes. (Your tour of the early 90s is now complete.)

Anyparts. I read Messiah CompleX and was impressed, but, man, meh, mewooooo... the only part of it that hadn't been done before was the reduction in mutant numbers, and that started in House of M. Well, Cable being an actually interesting character--that was new.

If you haven't read it, I'll save you 25$. SPOOOOYEEEOYYYYYEEELORRRRR

At the end Bishop betrays them and kills Professor X. When I was about eleven, there was some big question story thread about one of the X-Men betraying them shortly in the future Bishop came from. Jim Lee knew where that one was going, supposedly, before he jumped ship to make Dan Quayle an alien in WildCats. I think it became such a big deal that Marvel ended up making Professor X the traitor through Onslaught because everyone kept asking. Which made no sense. But this kind of did. Bishop actually went back in time to kill this kid. Thanks for resolving a plotline from 1991.

So then I got Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire. Yeah, so Billy Tan draws him a good space opera, and this had all the makings of one, and was using an X-Force character, Warpath, and I'm all about the X-Force love for some reason even though the early issues of that comic were so self-parodical you couldn't parody them. (The Fabian Nicieza/Greg Capullo run had potential until they had to bring Cable back, and then the John Francis Moore/Adam Pollina "road trip" story was great.) Plus they had Nightcrawler, who is totally underused lately in the trendy books. (Why did Morrison, Ellis and Whedon use Wolvy, Cyke, Colossus, Kitty and now Storm but not Nightcrawler? He's the best one!)


Okay, I like that Brubaker is giving the love to the fans who have been reading for a while and tying this into the earlier runs on the books. Except I didn't feel like I knew anything about Havok, Polaris, Rachel Grey or James Proudstar until I read the summaries at the end--and then all I knew was how they were before. The only character who changed a little bit in the course of this story was Vulcan, who Brubaker invented just a few issues ago in Deadly Genesis. Everyone else just kind of talks about stuff and does stuff and chases Vulcan around. Rachel Grey makes out with a Shi'ar. But it's all so very flat and had so much potential.

I actually fell asleep reading Uncanny #500.

X no longer marks the spot. Neither does Spider-Man. I'm feeling rather depressed about marvel.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Batman Ripped

(a mildly spoilerish review of Batman 681)

At first the end of Batman 681, the much-anticipated end of the six-part "Batman R.I.P.," felt too much like a cop out to me. Ever since the title of this story was revealed a year or two ago, the unanswered question has been whether Batman really will die. This issue leaves that question frustratingly unanswered.

The more I've thought about it, though, I've realized it was probably the best way to end the story, by process of elimination. Here are the other ways it could have ended:
  • Batman is either physically or mentally incapacitated by Dr. Hurt and his Club of Villains, to be replaced by another man in the cowl, which would be lame because it was already done in 1992's "Knightfall."
  • Batman decides he needs to take a break after all this craziness and asks someone (probably Nightwing) to take over for him for a while, which would be lame because it was already done in 1995's "Prodigal."
  • Batman is killed in such a way that we see the body only to be inevitably brought back from the dead in some nonsensical sort of way because really, DC can't permanently kill Bruce Wayne, which would be super lame because it's already been done with Jason Todd in 1988's "Death in the Family" and 2004's "Under the Hood" (and with every other comics character that has ever "died").
So I guess I'm okay with the ambiguity. Let the other characters believe he's gone for a while--from some "R.I.P." tie-ins that apparently take place after this issue, I don't get the impression that any of them really believe he's dead either--and then we won't need Superboy Prime punching the walls of reality to explain his inevitable return.

What "Batman R.I.P." comes down to is Grant Morrison's version of "Knightfall." In "Knightfall" a previously unknown villain put together a master plan to break Batman and succeeded. Grant Morrison's Batman, though, never loses. Grant Morrison's Batman thinks of everything. You may think your master plan has broken him, but that's only because he wanted you to think so. Grant Morrison's Batman may not be so blatantly cocky as Frank Miller's Batman, who walks around proclaiming "I'm the goddam Batman" to anyone who'll listen, but you know he's at least thinking it.

You think you can break me? I'm the goddam Batman.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thyear in Review, part iii


Click now to check out Annie Poon's Me Good Me Bad. Although the first book doesn't arrive anywhere (it's only the first book after all), it's well worth the five bucks and hey --- how many comics do you read that were written and drawn by someone with a film in the New York MoMA's permanent collection? Feel that indie snob pride.

Two books from Marjane Satrapi passed my eyeballs this year, Embroideries (which made me fear what women may speak of when left unsupervised) and Chicken with Plums (of which I'm still not sure of my opinion). If you know Persepolis then you know she's worth reading and these two are excellent.

Thomas Ott is someone I've been interested in for a long time, but not until this year did I actually read something of his. The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 is a twisty timetravelly metaphysical loopdyloopy somethingerother and whatever I made of it, this much is certain: More Ott please.

Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell is a wordless tale that tastes like a morality tale but never really lets you know what its agenda is, so it can be appreciated as belonging to any agenda you like, or none at all. It that a merit or detractant? Sounds like a personality test to me.....

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon is another wordless wonder, but this one is more charming and more immediately friendly than any other that's been discussed in this series. It's a good safe choice if you're looking for a graphic novel for a doubter who doesn't want to be pandered to but isn't ready to accept greatness yet. Which sounds like damning with faint praise..... Not meant that way, I assure you, Ms Varon. You've a lovely book here.

Anyway, now I'm caught up sufficiently and no more of these balf-haked posts. Buy one of these books for a lonely friend and send me the residual.

Or something.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Madman Atomic Comics Volume 1


The cover of this book, in big letters, screams "EXISTENTIAL EXISTS!" I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I think it's accurate.

This is one weird book.

For instance, my favorite part (artwise) is the section where Madman and his guide travel through dozens of artistic styles in the search for truth. One minute their in a Peanuts strip, then they look drawn by Herriman. Or Kirby! Or Tex Avery! Look, they're straight out of Popeye! No, Tintin! Lil Abner/Lulu/Nemo! Archie! Dr Seuss! Sendak! That one New Yorker guy! Prince Valiant! Groening! Crumb! And so on. It's a tour de force of comic history, but (on first read at least) distracting from the story at hand. Perhaps when I read this again it will mean more. Hard to say.

Madman through Comics History

If you've been following my relationship with Madman since I first wrote about him, you may well know that I've been anxiously awaiting his LDS-templesque marriage for some time. It arrived on the final page of this volume but in such a perplexing manner, I don't know how I feel about it. As Allred says himself in some afterwordy notes, I just don't know if it "is a happy ending, or a numbing tragedy". Curse you, Allred. I've a long ways to go before volume two arrives and I have a strict not-paying-for-single-issues policy. (Which, I might add, may well be vital to the health of my marriage.)

Madman's Wedding

One problem I met in this volume is the sudden appearance of the Atomics superhero team. Their backstories were not part of the Gargantuan and so their appearance here didn't fly. In part because they didn't behave like developed characters and I didn't know them from before (ie, they are not my friends). In fact, some of their lines are ludicrous, as if the author merely needed to give them all a speaking role as per union regulations, or he just had more characters on stage than he could handle at once. Perhaps this is part of the Atomics' manner of interaction, but I don't know them so I can't say.

Madman and the Atomics need better lines

I will say this: I appreciate ambition (of which plenty is on display here) and I trust Allred enough to keep reading. I trust that he will arrive somewhere after a full book with little but upheaval. I'm still willing to be impressed, my mind blown, but that experience is on pause until the next volume of Madman Atomic Comics comes out.

I will strive to be patient.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thyear in Review, part ii


One of my great shames is how little Eisner I've read. I'm working on remedying that (at the shameful rate of about one book every three years) and this year I read his autobiographical The Dreamer. It's a nearly autobiographical account of his early years in the comics business. It's short, sweet, a nice introduction if you need one.

My experience with the Allred's Madman Gargantua was quite different from Ben's. I don't have longstanding friends in comicdom and so I am always open to new ones and, now, Madman is one of my best friends. It took me some hundreds of pages to really figure him out, but once I did, it was delightful to hang out with him. Expect more Madman reviews from me in the months to come.

Who doesn't love Tony Millionaire? Sock Monkey: The Inches Incident is like a cross between the most vulgar Sock Monkey stuff and the kids' book. You get a sense of its madness but don't get inebriated just by turning the pages. It's been too long for me to compare it fairly to older Sock Monkey, but the insanity of Mr Millionaire is on glorious display in this cozy volume.

Tony Millionaire, to sea

Halo and Sprocket Volume 1: Welcome to Humanity by Kerry Cullen is the funniest book I've read this year. Hilarious. Brilliantly so. I want to drive to San Jose just to kiss SLG's toes for publishing this book (and to buy volume two). It's that good.

Halo and Sprocket

I'm making regular and honest attempts to read manga and learn to like it. I hate hate hate the difficulty in reading each in a zillion volumes to get one story, but the volume one I read this year that most made me want to give over my life to volume-searching was The Drifting Classroom's by Kazuo Umezu. I won't actually do that of course, but Umezu is now on my list and I'm anxious to find single volume stories of his. His diversity and weirdness both appeal to me and I want more more more. Something with a walking eyeball, perhaps.

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall made me glad I gave Bill Willingham's baby another chance. It wasn't great but it wasn't unworthy of the Fabels hype either. It makes me hope that there is true excellence in here somewhere, if only I keep looking. Any suggestions on which Fables volume to read next?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best. Cliffhanger. Ever.

From Justice Society of America Kingdom Come Special: Magog #1, backup story by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins

Thyear in Review, part i


I haven't done much since joining this blog because I haven't finished reading much (in my approved area of expertise) since joining. Mostly, comicswise, I've been reading DC stuff I borrowed from Ben. But as I do finish things, I will be reporting on them.

In the meantime, I will present you with a three-part report on the best indie stuff I've read this year (although there is one Vertigo title included). Not all of it was new this year (if you expect me to only report on what's cutting edge, you'll need to get Fantagraphics and SLG and so forth to start sending me stuff for free. I'll be happy to pick it up at Comic Relief if that's more convenient for you guys.)

This issue we'll start with a look at a kids' collection edited by that legendary comix pair Spiegelman and Mouly:

Strange Stories for Strange Kids edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly
    This collection wasn't as slambang awesome as I expected, but overall it was pretty good and some of the pieces were excellent. It's a good gift to introduce kids into comics other than Superman and Garfield. (Although, if they much read Garfield, please wean them to this as soon as possible. Incredibly, a book will soon be published. Sort of makes you rethink everything you ever thought about Jim Davis, doesn't it?)

Barnaby by Crockett Johnson
    Strange Stories included the opening to Johnson's newspaper comic Barnaby. It's a testament to how much newspaper comics have changed over the years that I can't even imagine how this strip was published back then. But however it fit in the holes left by advertising, it's wonderful and brilliant and it's highly upsetting that Barnaby is out of print. I hope Fantagraphics, which is doing such marvelous work with Krazy Kat and Dick Tracy and even Dennis the Menace for heaven's sake will pick up Barnaby soon and give us the tale of a young boy and his chainsmoking fairy godfather in beautiful hardcover.

    Barnaby excerpt

Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz
    Speaking of Fantagraphics's volumes of newspaper comics, we can't forget their greatest service, the reprinting of every Peanuts ever. Holy crap these books are beautiful and fun and sometimes even moving and yes you should buy them all for your personal library even given our current economy. No question.

The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories by Nicholas Gurewitch
    It's borderline impossible to give justice to the broad expanse of PBF wickedness, so click this one and browse some more:

    Perry Bible Fellowship

Before we go this time, let's look at some comics best known for winning some serious award in the field of lit for the under-18 crowd.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
    This book reads more like watching a movie, and it's alternations between single-spread images and prose is unlike anything else I've read. It's bound to be an important part of the discourse on what comics is and where it's headed, so read it now and don't be left out.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
    This is a new addition to my basic recommendations for all people trying comics on for the first time. This book is astonishing and pulls stunts only comics can pull. Read.

I know these are just bitesized blurbs, but if you're looking for good reads, these will meet your needs. Expect more year-in-review from me soon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've Got a Horse in My Pants, and I'm Not Afraid to Use It.

I thought Sir Apropos of Nothing would be a good bet. Peter David, adapting one of his own books into a comic, yes? Peter David, the funny guy who writes X-Factor, wrote Hulk and an eearlier X-Factor and the only sadly forgotten 2099 comic, Spider-Man 2099? But it ended up being kind of boring. Except for the joke at the end about Stephen King's Dark Tower. Pete, you're slipping.

So I just re-read Grant Morrison's X-Men run. I like how when you read a Grant Morrison run on a superhero, you go from "that's so cool" to "that's... uh..." to "WTF is happening in this damn comic?" to "The alien brain rays have made me a man now, and I must father three-armed progeny."

This video probably explains it all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ultimate Iron Man

I wrote this a while ago for my comics column and didn't post it because it looked too much like nepotism. It's a review of Ultimate Iron Man by Orson Scott Card. Before I post it, though, I want to clarify for all the people who have asked that just because I work for the Orson, I don't agree with him on everything. For starters, Iraq, gay marriage, taste in music, and the true purpose of the goatee. (I say it's a sign of secret allegiance to Satan.)

Ultimate Iron Man

Besides the bladder-bursting special scene, Iron Man turned out to be a surprisingly good superhero movie. I put it up with the Spider-Man and X-Men movies, just below the holiness that is Batman Begins. Our good Chris Bellamy has covered the film in glorious style, so check out his review and let me give the nerd history. (There will be an exam later.)
Iron Man the 60s comic began with Tony Stark the weapons designer, trapped by the Viet Cong and forced to build a bomb. Instead, he built a suit of armor that would keep his shrapnel-laced heart alive. A wizened scientist helped him; someone who had gotten on the wrong side of Charlie. In the end, the old scientist did a kamikaze style attack to buy Tony some time before the armor came online, giving him the motivation he needed to continue fighting evil when his buddy died. If you saw the movie, you know it follows this tactic almost exclusively, replacing the Viet Cong with an Al-Qaeda/Taliban type group.
From then on, Tony’s heart is his Kryptonite and his billionaire playboy lifestyle a way to finance the many suits of armor. In the comics, his alcoholism has also dogged him, and recently, his tendency to run the superhero community like a President with unlimited vetoes.
Ultimate Iron Man is a very, very different take on the hero. It’s so different it’s amazing that it ends up in a similar place, but at the same time, it’s more than worth the read for a fan of the movie. In Ultimate Iron Man, Tony is born an Iron Man as the result of an experimental illness that infected his mother, and tries to survive life as a childhood genius on the run from the law. From the beginning, he is trying to take back the company that has been stolen from his father.
The childhood genius angle should come as no surprise, as the comic is written by a certain Orson Scott Card. You may have heard of him. (Yes, this is the hand that feeds me, and it tastes like chocolate.)
Since Scott prefers that his peons refer to him as Mighty Card, I’ll accede to his royal wishes. His Cardness begins the story with Howard Stark, Tony’s father. Howard has invited a rather attractive young geneticist to help with his latest project: liquid armor. Together they watch as the blue liquid is poured all over a test subject, who then gets smacked so hard with a baseball bat that it breaks. The subject is unharmed. Liquid armor, Howard explains later, is obviously useful stuff, but it eats into people’s skin after the first few minutes. The geneticist has come to help build better bodies to wear the armor—bodies that will regrow the skin that has been eaten away.
At the same time, Howard Stark’s ex-wife is scheming with his arch-rival, Zebediah Stane (father of Obidiah, Jeff Bridges the Dude in the film) to take over the company. While they plan their takeover, the now pregnant geneticist, having become Howard’s new wife, gets bitten by a test subject and infected by the virus she designed to regenerate body cells eaten by the armor.
The virus causes her body to regenerate to the point of killing her. All at once, she dies, the child is born, and the company is bought out.
Tony, the child, is freakishly smart due to the effects of the virus on his growing brain, and in constant pain as well. The only way to save the baby from the pain is by covering him in the blue stuff.
Howard, the father, takes his son and his technology and runs, constantly moving away from his company, which has now been turned against him. Eventually he seems to get the upper hand back when Stane is convicted, but a few more twists remain, especially since this series serves only as a prologue. Most twisty of all, Tony decides that his skin is not enough, and begins building himself an iron suit.
Although this is a comic with some convoluted twists and turns, the Card keeps the dialogue minimal, contributing only to the story and barely giving us time to breathe. I was surprised. From someone who makes a living telling stories only with words, the dialogue in Ultimate Iron Man is sparse. Sometimes it’s too sparse, as in the paragraphs where the black characters seem to be carrying on an entirely different conversation with Tony about race from the one they were having moments before. In those moments, I wish I had some of His Orsonness’ exposition about what the characters are thinking. But most of the time it’s a refreshingly quick read in a medium where writers rely heavily on dialogue.
There are some poignant moments that follow Card’s tradition of self-deprecating humor, like when Howard’s wife, just before dying, weeps at his assertation that he will never find another woman like her. “Idiots who get infected with a virus they designed themselves are a dime a dozen.”
The art is also a mixture of bad and good points. Most of the book is drawn by Andy Kubert, who brings a hulking dynamism to the characters, both good and bad, and whose perspectives are always brilliant, like in the scene where the blue-coated man flies toward the camera headfirst, baseball bat shattering in the background. Some of his details are a bit too sketchy or exaggerated, especially with the extreme close-ups he favors. But almost every shot is a risky, forced-perspective lurch, from claustrophobic facial shots to twisting around an expansive fight scene, giving one the feeling that the series is constantly switching between epic to personal.
The art takes a downturn with the change to Mark Bagley, who is traditionally a good artist for light, cartoony books, and good when inked by someone who gets his clean, bright style. Unfortunately, this is not a light cartoony book, and inker Danny Miki makes Bagley’s work look much too dirty. However, they do manage a brilliant moment where Tony takes his first drink and realizes the inborn pain of his physical life can be washed away… with alcohol. And thus begins life as a billionaire playboy boozehound.
His Royal Orsonness has a sequel series running now, with the very talented Pasqual Ferry, and I intend to pick it up.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Madman is Not My Friend

A couple weeks ago, Theric graciously lent me his Madman Gargantua, collecting all of Mike Allred's pre-Image Madman comics. I'd heard many good things about Allred and Madman over the years, so I was curious to check it out. I've read a little over half of the 850-page collection now and I must say, it's very good stuff. The charactes are zany, the stories are wacky, and the art is delightfully retro. And I won't comment on Allred's propensity for drawing the title character with a rather largish bulge.

So why is Madman not my friend? Here's the deal: Between gift certificates and a recent birthday, in the past couple weeks I've acquired a dozen or so trade paperback collections of DC superhero comics, which are now sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. Madman Gargantua is gargantuan. 850 pages. And these are not pages with a panel or two of pretty superhero poses and a couple lines of dialogue. Allred's stories are packed with action, dialogue, and inner monologues pondering the nature of the universe. It's taking me a very long time to read this collection.

Meanwhile, those trades, collecting recent unread adventures of my superhero friends as well as not-so-recent adventures that I missed the first time around and will fill in the gaps in my encyclopedic knowledge of the DC Universe, and other adventures I've read before but am anxious to revisit just for the fun of it, call to me from the shelf. And I find myself resenting Madman for keeping me away from them. Which has led me to a realization: I don't read comics because I appreciate the literary qualities of the artform; I read comics because the stories in them are about familiar people and places that have been part of my life for sixteen years now. Heck, probably half of what I read is crap, as far as literary qualities go, but I read and enjoy it anway.

So I've decided to break my rarely-broken rule of finishing one book before moving on to the next, so as not to ruin my Madman experience with the anticipation of other things I'd rather be reading right now. I'll catch up on Batman and Superman and the Justice League, then get back to Madman when I can appreciate him for what he is: a fascinating piece of comics art and storytelling, but not my friend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The snob treads on DC toes

Kate SpencerManhunter Vol. 1: Street Justice by Marc Andreyko et al
    After a four year hiatus, I am back to borrowing comic books from Ben (thank for moving to California, buddy). And although I liked this first one okay, I realized (rerealized?) what it is I dislike so much about "normal" serialized comics. By being constrained to such a specific length, the storytelling tends to suffer. And then this collection just ends at a spot that makes the whole book feel like a prologue. What's up with that? A twelve-dollar-and-ninety-nine-cent prologue?

    The thing is, there's nothing I disliked about this book. It's really just the nature of its form that gets under my skin. (Which is why I nover subscribe for or purchase single issues.)

    That said, I'll probably borrow further Manhunter volumes from Ben (if he'll let me after this review). I just wish we could leave the Dickens Method behind in comics. You know: for me, personally. Because what I want obviously matters more than what the people who actually pay for these things want. Obviously.

Thinking of Astonishing X-Men today

Could Wolverine really survive reentry? I mean, seriously.

In Days of Future Past, he was killed by a simple shot from a Sentinel. Reentry must have burned all his flesh off.

How could his bone marrow get through the adamantium? Is there any organic material left? Space germs?

Help me out here.