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Honestly, I have no idea for a title — Hibbs on 7/3

Brian Hibbs

BOYS #57: I really have nothing to say about this issue (other than “I’ve become generally bored with this title, and the only thing that keeps me reading is Hughie and Annie’s relationship”), but how…. bizarrely  ironic, maybe, that this cover came out the same week as ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4? Still, an EH comic.

FLASHPOINT #4: Again, not a ton to say — this is competently executed, but it really isn’t buttering my bread, if you know what I mean? —  but on the meta-level, there’s something, again, ironic about the notion that the universe is about to have its reality rewritten by the only true Saint of the Silver Age, who effectively has a form of Alzheimers?  Also? I found something kind of genuinely creepy about the editorial at the back of this week’s DC books explaining “why” people should buy DC comics in August. *shudder*. A perfectly OK single issue.

FLASHPOINT BATMAN KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE #3: This, on the other hand, was 32 flavors of fucked up and wrong, and darkity-dark-dark, and I kind of really really liked it. It’s funny, you could really say this is at least as dark and wrong as, say LEGION OF DOOM, but that nebulous ol’ “craft” makes a difference, doesn’t it? I thought this was VERY GOOD.

INFINITE #1: I think a story so dependent on Time Travel requires an artist of a certain subtlety to capture the difference between a “young version” and an “old version” of a character. Rob Liefeld is not that artist. Did I mention that HAWK & DOVE is the only one of the DC 52 that I have no series-based subs on, whatsoever? I thought the set-up of the comic is clever enough, and there’s a sold premise here, but for me, Liefeld’s art is a game-breaker. EH.

MYSTIC #1: I have no particular affection for or nostalgia about the CrossGen books, so I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this debut issue — the art suffers a bit from “everyone has an open mouth expression all the time”, maybe — but I thought the writing was crisp, and the premise somewhat interesting (though there’s something about the stratified society, and just how these girls are really able to know as much as they do, that didn’t add up to me), and I certainly would like to read more. Solidly GOOD.

PUNISHER #1: I don’t know. There are so many wonderful things being done on the “Max” side of Punisher, that a book starring the character square in the Marvel U needs something incredibly outstanding to interest me. I love Greg Rucka’s writing normally, and this seems like it might be more “p0lice procedural” than anything else, but after putting it down, I found that nothing stuck with me here at all. I’d rather have another issue of Jason Aaron’s run, I guess. EH.

RACHEL RISING #1: You got to admire Terry Moore for launching ANOTHER new series less than two months after his last one (ECHO) ended — not just that, but to be doing it in a completely different genre (Horror) this time through. Though, from the first page it looks like it is taking place in the SiP universe anyway. I thought this was a GOOD first issue, largely marred by the last page, where I kept thinking that two pages must have stuck together or something, because that last beat wasn’t a “come back for more next time!” one.

ULTIMATE COMICS FALLOUT #4: This has been such an uneven, purposeless series, with nothing in this issue having much of anything to do with the first three issues at all. The Spidey segment was fine, but nothing that would lead me back to the ongoing, in and of itself. My largest problem is that this spidey doesn’t seem sufficiently different (insecure, nervous wise-cracking) from Peter Parker, though let’s be fair, there’s not a ton one can do in 8 pages. Well, no, that’s a lie, there IS a ton you can do in 8 pages, but that’s not within Bendis’ skill set, that I can see. Oh, speaking of Bendis! Man, I get the shuddering creeps everytime I see that photo of him in the Architects double-spread — he looks like a drag queen whose wig has fallen off! Anyway, yeah, this reader will RAPIDLY need to see something that differentiates this Spidey from Peter Parker.

The Reed Richards story was somewhat amusing from the POV of having an anti-Future Foundation from the writer of FF, but it took me a few pages to realize that this was Reed, as he really looks very little like even Ultimate Reed.

I thought the last story was adequate, but I’m really starting to think that Nick Spencer might be completely over-rated. The art was nice, though.

Overall, an OK issue, I guess.



That’s my thoughts, what did YOU think?


26 Responses to “ Honestly, I have no idea for a title — Hibbs on 7/3 ”

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking about the over-rating of Nick Spencer.
    Morning Glory started well but I think I might become tired waiting for the payoff of all the stuff he is putting on in the meanwhile (maybe it works best in TPB but at the moment I’m seriously thinking about taking notes to remind me what’s happening from one month to another).
    War Machine’s story is painfully slow (and the Fear Itself tie-in didn’t help), in the point one issue it took four or five balloons from Rhodey’s staff to recap all the plot and the rest was hard to follow for me even if I’m on it from #1. And I could say quite the same for T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.
    Clever bits of dialogue here and there but I don’t like his storytelling so much. For honesty I don’t want to be critical on Spencer, but all the hype that followed him made me harsher I think..
    ps. Sorry for my probably-not-so-good English! And kudos for your site from Italy Mr. Hibbs!

  2. Who dares question the greatness of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents? Issues #1-#6 are pure comic-book-goodness I tell you! I was writhing on the floor in joy after reading them! That or I suffer from seizures. No, I just checked and those meds I take are for my high cholesterol, it was definitely because the comics made me light-headed with sheer pleasure. I’m being a little hyperbolic for humor’s sake and am not trying to pick a fight, I just think its a pretty cool comic.

    To be fair to Mr. Diego, Nick Spencer has been quite hyped however and I have been hating Iron Man 2.0/War Machine since the Fear Itself tie-in started but enjoyed it a fair amount before that. I never tried Morning Glories so I can’t comment on that.

  3. Dear Mr.David (aren’t we the truest of gentlemens? :-) ) I really liked your joyful description and neither I want to pick a fight, so I must admit that I’ve been unfair on Agents due to my short comment, the first arc was surely the best part of the run. Maybe.. retro-coolness isn’t just my type?
    I apologize to you, Mr.Spencer and to the Gods of Comics for my daringness (I love hyperboles too).
    Wish you the best for your cholesterol.

  4. I’ll say that I thought T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1 was one of the worst first issues I’ve read in a while — not really getting to the point, or drawing me back to the next one, whatsoever. The issue about Lightning (#3, was it? or was it #2?) was pretty genuinely great (even if it contained, literally, zero plot), and the others have been, IMO, middling.

    I have pretty much loved the issues of INFINITE VACATION released so far, though.


  5. The only Nick Spencer I’ve read has been the first three or four issues of IRON MAN 2.0 (which were pretty awful) and his SECRET AVENGERS stuff (which was worse). Keep hearing good things about MORNING GLORIES, but given that I haven’t enjoyed anything I’ve read by him so far, I can’t bring myself to take the plunge.

    And now onto bashing another highly touted creator! I, too, thought the new PUNISHER book was fair-to-middlin’ at best (yes, I’m from Texas, why do you ask?). You’re absolutely right, Mr. Hibbs – Jason Aaron has been KILLING it on PUNISHERMAX, and a second title is really going to have to bring an A-game stronger than this one does in order to compete. I'[m usually down for Bru’s procedural stuff, but here it just comes across as weak sauce. I actually favored the back-up story a LOT more than I did the feature. At least that has a reason for the Punisher not to have any dialogue.

  6. I knew I couldn’t have been the only one creeped out by that Bendis photo; fey Uncle Fester is not such a good look for him.

  7. PUNISHER was dull. The character is in full swing, has been since 2000, we don’t need the Man in Shadows act all over again. And that bit in the second half, the interview or whatever, was terrible.

    I don’t read BOYS in singles, but I have to concur that it has gotten quite boring.

    BATMAN KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE was good, yes. Imagine if Risso had joined Azzarello on WONDER WOMAN? Talk about a revamp.

  8. I’ve only read Spencer’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and the Jimmy Olsen back-up. T.H.U.N.D.E.R.’s first arc was great but the second hasn’t been as good. Jimmy Olsen however was fantastic. I think it may just be a case of over extending himself. He seems to have a lot going on, how many books is he writing?

  9. @Diego–I do admit having a strong love for retro and faux-retro stuff, liking it even more than real retro. For instance I’m really liking the Marvel Mystery Men comic which is a modern take on the old Pulp comics. Maybe that is why T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents has been so big with me? I also enjoy eating at the Johnny Rockets restaurants as they are just like the 1950s without the racism, sexism, or war…so basically the way conservatives like to remember the past.

    @Hibbs You didn’t feel T.H.U.N.D.E.R. much? I dunno why, but I have just loved it–first issue included. This is a tad bit abnormal as I agree with you maybe 60% of the time. I gotta get to the shop and get that Flashpoint Batman comic’s last issue, it would work as its own Elseworld’s book too its so good based on those earlier two issues so far alone. I’m just scared the end of the mini ties in too much with Flashpoint to a degree where the series wouldn’t be able to stand on its own and I could give it to a friend and say, “Here’s Batman done awesome,” along with a copy of Dark Knight Returns and what Grant Morrison has done with Batman.

    @ bongoes–Jimmy Olsen was the bomb with Spencer writing it! Although Nick Spencer has indeed been doing a miserable job on Secret Avengers, so I can’t even defend him on that. Maybe he is writing a bit too much and getting spread thin as I’ll admit the 2nd arc of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents is good in my mind, but not as awesome as the first arc. He’ll be busy with some more Ultimate comics soon–like the X-Men one.

  10. Liking Flashpoint far more than I expected.
    It’s moved quickly and Johns’ Talent for characterization is on display without – so far – his weakness for graphic rendering of limbs or obnoxious characters (superboy prime and zombie firestorm).
    And it’s pretty clear the folks at DC understand the symbolism of having Barry Allen, who ushered in the Silver Age and whose death in Crisis symbolized it’s end, being at the center of this particular event at this point in DC’s publishing history. I don’t think ironic is the right word. I’d say “planned.”

  11. Meant “rending” of limbs.

  12. Boys – Dropped off this one several months back. For the reasons stated in the review. AGREEMENT!

    Flashpoint – Competently done, yes. It also has not escaped this reader how Barry Allen, once at-one with the DC Universe, will now freight the beginning of DCnU. AGREEMENT!

    Flashpoint: Batman – Very much enjoying this one. Expertly rendered and lithely chosen for Azzarello’s gifts. Thomas Wayne: Azz-Bat. So with the reviewer, I am in AGREEMENT!

    Punisher – This Punisher is more inferior and redundant than Aaron’s seamless continuation of The House That Garth Ennis Built. I mean that in best possible way. Again, AGREEMENT!

    Nick Spencer – I have read virtually everything by Nick Spencer to date, awaiting the gleam of can’t-live-without-itness (or was it must-have-itness?) only to find an overwhelming sense of anticipation. Morning Glories is rife with expectation that something will happen that is of some interest at some point in the future of the series. Thus, I think I AGREEMENT!

    Thanks for the reviews.

  13. I screwed the pooch this week and read Flashpoint 4 before Secret Seven 3. Oops.

    Spencer really thrilled me initially with Olsen. It was a refreshing, invigorating take on the character who at around the same time was being used to extremely poor effect by JMS in Superman Earth One. It felt right and awesome. Everything since has felt weak. Like awful weak.

    I point to none other than the estimable JohnK’s take on T.H>U)N%D$E#R@ Agents 7 reproduced here in its entirety because it’s worth it to be reminded that they guy who crammed so much juice into 7 page Jimmy Olsen stories is capable of…

    ((((((“On Victoria”: What if the original Dynamo and The Iron Maiden had shacked up in suburbia? Would a panel consisting of her hand holding a cucumber make you turgid?

    Oh dear, no. I rather think not. Here it is, my nightmare made paper – a whole page consisting of four panels the sum total of which is that a woman on a plane is asked if she wants a glass of water. She accepts. The only useful narrative information transferred is that she is preoccupied and reading a file about The Iron Maiden.

    Enough, already! That’s a whole page up the Swanee right there. You only have 20 of these things now, y’know. Either writers today cannot see the very real differences between ALIEN: THE ILLUSTRATED STORY by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson and ALIEN: THE PHOTONOVEL or they think their readers can’t. You want to do cinematic comics see the aforementioned Goodwin/Simonson masterpiece or read AMERICAN FLAGG! Howard Victor Chaykin didn’t nearly kill his fragrant self breaking new ground just so you could all drive away readers with lazy tat! Nothing personal to all the talented individuals involved but this approach is helping no one because it is AWFUL!”

    Can’t say it much better than that, I’m afraid.

  14. Why, why, why must people take pleasure in denigrating the things I love? Don’t be mean to Nick Spencer and his Agents of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. he’s just a helpless writer! It’s not like he only wrote a few pretty good comics before inexplicably being given a great exclusivity deal with Marvel Comics along with a bucket-load of money and…oh wait.

    On a side-note, how did he work out that when he signed that deal with Marvel they said it was okay for him to keep doing T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents? That was one of the first things he said to reassure us fans of the comic. Marvel must have really wanted to snatch him up for some reason to allow an exception like that–and again, he wrote some good comics but even loving T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and Jimmy Olsen I don’t see what made him need such a sweet exclusivity deal. Maybe Marvel has a machine that sees into the future and somehow knows Spencer is going to write the next Watchmen-level comic of greatness soon. I dunno. If I had a machine that saw into the future I would probably use it for pointless junk like seeing what was happening in comics, too.

  15. Yes the DC editorial is pretty sad. I’m picking up DC comics in August so I can buy the last issues of Secret Six, Jonah Hex, Xombi and Batman Inc (at least for a while).

  16. I think the Punisher (and Black Panther, Daredevil, and Moon Knight) really need a sabbatical, like Thor had before JMS’ run began. The constant relaunching of these characters, sometimes a month or less after the previous series ends makes it hard for new readers to really care about the relaunch.

    I tweeted during my monthly Previews order something along the lines of “Why is THIS Black Panther series going to do any better than the last 4?”

    In other words, as Al Bundy says to Peg on one episode of Married with Children, “How can I miss you if you won’t go away?”

  17. Moon Knight can’t go away! He’s among my favorite characters! I may have dropped a ton of Marvel books, but even if Moon Knight were the worst comic ever and cost $4.99 for 22 pages I would still buy it because I love Moon Knight too much! It’s unhealthy, I know. The only way I would drop Moon Knight is if I only got ONE Marvel comic. Then it would be X-Factor.

  18. Reading that last post by me I’m not sure if people will realize I am both kind of serious and kind of mocking the reason the comic industry milks people for all they are worth–fanboy obsessions with characters. I was being somewhat sarcastic even if I do love me some Moon Knight.

  19. @David Bitterbaum

    No fears, friend. I’m sure we would agree on more than we would disagree. I think I may have been a bit zealous in my “takedown” of Spencer’s work there but everything since the jump to Marvel has just rung false for me. I’ve tried three issues of each series he’s been attached to since and I just can’t get the traction. Sometimes, maybe you only catch fire for certain stories or characters and given a longer period of time he’ll find his place. It echoes some things Jeff and Graeme mentioned in 50.1 about immediately being on the “big stage” (such as it is in the world of comics) of press – expectation – hype machine. No more toiling in relative obscurity on ROM: Space Knight #’s 74 – 87.

    @Brian Jacoby

    I’ve got to say that Daredevil is one of the clearest examples that the property doesn’t really matter as much as the talent of the creative team. It may be something of a cheat to ignore the state of the franchise prior to this new number one but I’ve never been MORE interested in DD than I am now.

    I may be more willing than most to jettison continuity since I had zero contact with the entire Bendis and immediate followers era…

    I think, however, that it’s the point of a number one to take a character that has potential and give him / her / it a new chance at a new readership. The real mistake would be to adhere to the continuity or “story path” that lead to the demise of the book in the first place. It worked on me?

  20. “It echoes some things Jeff and Graeme mentioned in 50.1 about immediately being on the “big stage” (such as it is in the world of comics) of press – expectation – hype machine. No more toiling in relative obscurity on ROM: Space Knight #’s 74 – 87.”

    Insert obligatory comment from cranky old school fanboy about how the people who made ROM #’s 74 – 87 were actually read by more people than anything published today.


  21. Wow guys, I’m flattered.

  22. Hey Nick, I’m the one on your side, even if I said a few tough-love things.

  23. Also, I M on Moon Kmight’s side, as he is crazy and could hurt me if I don’t say I’m with him.

  24. I agree that RACHEL RISING needed a better ending or cliffhanger or something. My immediate reaction on finishing it was counting the actual story pages. Which total 19. C’mon, Terry Moore, you’re one of the Holy Trinity of Self-Publishers. You can throw a couple more pages in your book to let the story breathe. Though if you liked the foliage in his Fables issue, you’ll enjoy the foliage in this.
    PUNISHER #1 does seem surplus to requirements, since much like Marvel’s other post-MAX Punisher launches, it doesn’t compare in quality or relevance. And here the only scene that grounds this in the greater Marvel Universe is when the Punisher pulls the fire alarm at the Cloisters, because he clearly did his research and knows there’s that wedding scheduled where the Spot shows up, and needs to clear the avenging mobsters and schoolkids out. Frank Castle, Crowd Control. Book Him for Your Next Wedding or Event.

  25. I cast one aye vote for a tally of the all the new DCNU books hold orders, store copies, sell thru by month til Jan, and total #1 sales and left overs at years end.

    Don’t know if it’s private data &/or a ginormous pain in the neck to do or ??, but I would love to see this sausage being made.

    Nobody really cares, but I have added one book to my comic fix

    OLD Detective, Xombi, Batman Inc., Thunder Agents
    NEW Batman, Frankenstein, DC Universe presents, Batman Inc., Thunder Agents

    The thing is I think the odds of Frankenstein or DCU presents still being in existence with issues marked #13 in September in 2012 as SLIM and NONE.

  26. David Brothers: as the only credible critic who actually mounted a defense of Jeph Loeb’s atrociously written Hulk run (yes, I AM AWARE OF HOW WELL IT SOLD) you pretty much have revoked all rights to negatively compare anyone else to him. Secret Avengers #12.1-13 and #15 are some of the best Avengers comics to come out in the past decade not written by Christos Gage or Dan Slott. (Sorry, Nick, didn’t like issue #14 at all)

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