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Week 103: One More Year Later

Douglas Wolk

It’s almost a year after 52 ended–as of this Wednesday and DCU Zero, the next cycle of DCU stuff is about to begin, and I’m a lot more curious about that than I was about virtually anything in the Countdown era. (The line in this week’s DC Nation column about how Countdown‘s goals “met with various levels of success” is a delicate way of putting it.) But before that starts, I thought I’d take one more look at the afterlife of the series I spent a year writing about. 52 opened up a bunch of possibilities, opportunities and resources for the DCU setting, and the last year has not been kind to many of them. Here’s what’s happened with each…  Read More…

I Dismember Halloween: Douglas jumps the gun on 10/31

Brian Hibbs

Since I’d thoroughly enjoyed 52, and especially the storyline that involved Renée Montoya and the Question, Greg Rucka was kind enough to pass along some photocopies of the first two issues of 52 AFTERMATH: THE CRIME BIBLE: THE FIVE BOOKS OF BLOOD. (I may have the title wrong: some sources say “Lessons” rather than “Books,” and I haven’t seen a finished copy yet.) The first one, drawn by Tom Mandrake, comes out today; despite the fact that she’s not mentioned anywhere in its tripartite title, this is the new Montoya/Question story, and it’s really satisfying to see Rucka writing her again. For those of you who didn’t follow 52, one of the odder additions it made to the DC universe…  Read More…

Hibbs wobbles into 5/23

Brian Hibbs

It seems like I keep starting each week’s set of reviews, but never quite finishing them lately? Gonna try (since it is such a small week) to get through virtually everything by this time next week… COUNTDOWN #49: 52 was always, always, without fail the first comic I read each week. And, three weeks in, its the same with COUNTDOWN. But, I’m reasonably confident that won’t be the case a month from now — I’m really not feeling it. (You know there’s something wrong when Doug Wolk’s chosen successor starts his second issue review with “Well, that wasn’t very good at all, was it?”) I may need to go back and look at the start of 52 again, but it…  Read More…

Is there a natural "Countdown" joke for the title? Hibbs starts 5/9 off.

Brian Hibbs

52 was special in a way because it was the “first of its kind” — I think a pretty significant percentage of the comics buying population “bought into the experiment”‘ that is to say, once you reached, say, Week 12 or so, you decided whether you were “in for the year” or not. That’s pretty much what my sales charts say — there’s peaks and valleys (and some absolutely unexplainable dips, but wait for those until I have all 13 weeks I’m capturing on 52, before I present the data, probably in a Tilting), but the through-line of week-to-week sales is really remarkably strong. I really really thought we’d lose half of the readership between #12 and #30, and that…  Read More…

52 Weeks Later: Hibbs on What Was Wrought

Brian Hibbs

52 WEEK 52: So, I have to admit I am a little torn. The final issue of 52 is kind of two different things, really. There’s the full-length (or there about) “multiverse, multiverse, who-has-the-multiverse” story, which seems almost tangential, and largely irrelevant to the narrative through-line of 52; then there’s the Epilogue-to-the-series bits where everyone (who didn’t get one last week) gets their happy ending. The latter mostly makes me happy — especially the Ralph sequence, which is pretty much exactly what I asked for weeks ago (yay, me!) — but also goes far in underlining some of the narrative problems of the series: situation A, B and C are all resolved while skipping over some of the “how”, and…  Read More…

Too Much Crossover: Hibbs starts 4/25

Brian Hibbs

52 Week 51: Ah, the end is nigh. Quite a number of “happy endings” in this installment — Buddy and Adam and whatnot — and the solid point to the grand finale, in the form of the New Mister Mind. Frankly, I always liked the big glasses and the radio around his neck myself. Maybe I’m crazy, but the last few issues have been fairly satisfying, and I’m thinking we’ll get a “good enough” resolution in… six days, sheesh. A lot of it is going to depend on just how the resolve the central “52” mystery (exactly 52 parallel worlds seems to a) miss the point of parallel worlds (that wouldn’t even be three seasons of SLIDERS, would it?), and…  Read More…

Bunny or No Bunny: Graeme runs at some more 4/4 books.

Graeme McMillan

I really need to look at calendars more often. It’s Easter already? Where’s my egg? 52 WEEK FORTY-EIGHT: If Richard Corben and Phil Jiminez had a baby, it would be Darick Robertson’s art in this issue, which manages to jump back and forth over the line that separates looking rushed and particularly stylized. We’re in the rather rushed end-run of the series, now, and it’s coming more into focus that things aren’t going to really come to a complete conclusion in the next four issues -Intergang may be trying to turn Gotham City into Apokolips (It’s the fire pits that gave it away, even though commentators over at Doug Wolk’s blog think that they’re actually Lazarus Pits), but I can’t…  Read More…

Sky-Blue But Stinking of Vinegar: Jeff’s Opening Reviews for the 04/04 Books.

Jeff Lester

Writing comic book reviews on Easter Sunday morning? I cannot tell if I am to be admired or pitied on this, one of our more deeply confusing holidays [cue the whole Jesus/Easter Bunny/salvation/colored egg thing, done to death by thousands of stand-ups, here). Hats off to Dave Robson, who told me he was going to spend Easter morning watching Grindhouse. I can only hope this will become a trend that will transform the face of the holiday, and 100 years from now parents will have to explain how looking for Easter eggs and watching “Hobo With A Shotgun” ties in to the story of Jesus…. 52 WEEK #48: Montoya becomes The Question and it’s highly OK but I was really…  Read More…

My Country ‘Tis of Thee: Hibbs starts on 4/4

Brian Hibbs

A couple from this week, then: 52 WEEK 48: The inevitable comes true, though the cover obviously telegraphs it. Ultimately, I tend to think this is a mistake — there’s few enough strong supporting characters in the world that MOntoya becoming a mask isn’t the choice I would have made; but it does work well within the context of both the story, and her own personal arc. I was a little annoyed that “Gotham burns” (Again?!? How can ANYONE in that town afford property insurance?), and there’s also something a little strange about Robertson’s art, with it’s big open page gutters — at first I thought “is he drawing on the wrong sized paper or something?”, but no, many of…  Read More…

What I Read and How I Read it, Part I: Jeff and the 3/21 Books.

Jeff Lester

First, is it wrong to be a prayin’ man about an action movie? Point of Impact is one of my favorite sniper dude novels (although I’ve loved all of the Swagger books by Stephen Hunter) and I’m kind of worried about its adaptation, Shooter which came out this weekend. I mean, they certainly could’ve done worse than getting Mark Wahlberg for the lead (at one point, our man Keanu Reeves was attached, which would’ve been awful) but I’m worried about the director Antoine Fuqua who’s done at least one good action movie (Training Day) and at least one absolutely turdy one (King Arthur). Have any other Point of Impact fans seen Shooter? Will I hate it? It’s times like this…  Read More…

Yes, I’m really posting before I go to work today: Graeme, 3/21 books, etc.

Graeme McMillan

You know what I’m surprised that I haven’t seen this week? More outrage about the latest New Avengers solicitation (which, if you haven’t seen it, is this: “No hype! No BS! The most important last page of any Marvel comic this year! Do not miss it!” That’s it, apart from the credits and other infomation about length, price, etc.). It was only, what, three years ago (two years ago, maybe?) that the comics internet was falling over itself in outrage about the claim that House of M #3 would break the internet in half, so the near-total silence about the New Avengers line (which even starts “No hype! No BS!” just to bait people) has to be some kind of…  Read More…

I’m still alive on Saturday

Brian Hibbs

I felt fine again on Friday morning, but by noon or so I wilted again. Spent a couple of frustrating-to-Jeff hours in the store trying to catch up on stupid-mundane tasks (like refilling quarter boxes and starter sets), but then went home and collapsed again for like another 16 hours. So far today I’ve had a full day trying to just get caught up on losing 3 days of work (and, really, being a small business owner who is locked into a 7-day cycle because of product release, that’s a big big big loss of time), even at 80% capacity, so I hope you’ll forgive me for just talking about one funny book. Which will be 52 week 44 It’s…  Read More…

Hibbs on 2/28 (part 1)

Brian Hibbs

Oddly (not really), now that I have this week’s comics, I don’t want to talk about last week any longer. On the other hand, I promised. So… I’m going to start writing about this week’s books, at least what I’ve read so far. My intention, this week, will be to write daily posts, each covering 4-5 things, then by the end of the week I’ll have it pretty much all done. One possible road-block: WonderCon is this weekend, so I might slip on Friday, but otherwise, let’s see if I can handle 7 days of blogging this time out. 52 Week 43: The last couple of issues have had a density that I was bemoaning early on — here we…  Read More…

How I Won The War (And Lost The Universe): Jeff’s Reviews of 2/21 Books

Jeff Lester

I’m being so damned slow Graeme’s already posted his other reviews since I started this entry, so lemme just dive in (although if everything works out, you should see Dick Hates Your Blog over there in our blogroll): 52 WEEK #42: For a storyline I didn’t care about, I thought this was a Good issue with some strong art by Darick Robertson–it’s good to see Ralph look like an ectomorph again, if nothing else. I’ll leave it to the rest of you who actually cared about Ralph’s storyline to make the call on whether it actually worked or not, but I thought it was worth picking up on art and readability alone. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #538: Both Hibbs and Graeme thought…  Read More…

Graeme fights a Dragon!: Reviews of the 1/31 books.

Graeme McMillan

Apparently, my mother-in-law was the least of my worries last weekend, as I instead ended up sick and sneezing and coughing for more or less the rest of the week, feeling sorry for myself only when I realized that being too sick to work also, occasionally, means that I was too sick to really concentrate enough to do that much else as well. So that long review I’d wanted to do about all of the Essential Fantastic Four books? Covered in mental snot. Attempting to read the crayon-laden pornography that was Lost Girls? Lost to the much-easier task of watching Top Chef reruns (Ilan won? What?). It seemed that my apathy was matched by this week’s releases, though, which is…  Read More…

The Intervention: Jeff’s Review of the 1/21/07 Comics.

Jeff Lester

You know the deal. Your friend calls you, makes plans to meet them at a bar for a few drinks and, when you show up, you realize that not only did they get to the bar early and begin drinking without you, they showed up five hours early. Now, your friend keeps making out with the stranger next to them (who is toothless and looks like Curly Joe Besser in a platinum wig) and, after trying to start a fight with you when you point out they have what you think might be vomit in their hair, you realize your friend has a problem. And if you’re lucky you can make your friend realize it too, before they drive away…  Read More…

Hibbs has an hour & talks about 1/21 books.

Brian Hibbs

I totally don’t have time for doing reviews…. like ever, which is why I hardly ever post, but here I find myself with about an hour and I don’t feel like doing any REAL work (or playing a brief bit of MARVEL: ULTIMATE ALLIANCE — jeez, I suck hard at “traditional” video games), so let’s try to pretend that I post content to this blog, too — shall we? 52 WEEK #38: A downer of an issue after the last page of last week (I’d probably be happy if the last 14 weeks were ALL about the yellow aliens, to be honest), but at least it does seem like some of the threads are starting to come together. This issue…  Read More…

Back on the Chain Gang: Jeff’s Reviews of 01/17/07 Books

Jeff Lester

Wow. New York. Actually, that’ll probably be another post later in the week, but god damn, did that town knock me on my ass. Since I got back last week, I’ve been laying low and taking it easy but it’s probably time I get back into the swing of things and, since this week was so low-key, the time is right. You’ll probably also get another post on some of the trades I’ve been working through…maybe. I’ve been so deeply annoyed by that first trade of Paul Jenkins’ The Sentry (which I picked up super-cheap) that a long, hectoring screed will be in order. And finally, for those of you who remember me talking about Secret Writing Project X about…  Read More…

Would Sir or Madam like to start with a restaurant review?: Graeme’s review of the 1/17 books.

Graeme McMillan

Before I start, I just have to say this: If you’re in San Francisco and you like the cheeseburger, then get your ass to Nopa on Divisadero and Hayes. It’s the best cheeseburger in the city. The rest of the food is pretty damn good as well – you can add to your impending heart condition by having the bacon, onion and gruyere cheese flatbread starter like we did, and their doughnut hole dessert is very nice indeed – but that cheeseburger. Man. 52 WEEK THIRTY-SEVEN: Well, this is obviously the real end of act two, then, with a couple of reveals (including, possibly, just why last week’s death of Animal Man was so underwhelming – It wasn’t meant to…  Read More…

I don’t want to live in a War that’s got no end in our time: Graeme’s reviews of the 1/10 books.

Graeme McMillan

First of two sets of reviews this weekend – I got sent a couple of previews that I want to write about tomorrow, but right now, let’s deal with the books that actually appeared in stores this week, shall we? 52 WEEK THIRTY-SIX: This is a really good issue to show what works and what doesn’t about the whole series. The big action scene that ends with the death of a beloved character? It just doesn’t work. The execution is underwhelming; rushed, with art that just doesn’t sell the action at all (partially, interestingly enough, because of the coloring, I think. Imagine the same artwork in darker colors) and a weird lack of sincerity – It feels as if the…  Read More…

Out With The Old, In With the 01/04 New Comics…

Jeff Lester

Aw, I feel sorry for you. Hibbs and I shot the shit for a couple hours on Friday and even though he was far more engaged, critically sharp and emotionally invested in the week’s comics, he probably won’t be posting because he’s got the kid, the family and the store. On the other hand, I will be posting because I’ve got potentially a free hour or two on my hands even though I’m kinda indifferent to this week’s releases. But I’m gonna be in NYC with Edi next week and that’s definitely gonna keep me from posting then, so… 52 WEEK #35: If you ask me, somebody flinched and made the book’s first real cliffhanger a non-event. At the end…  Read More…

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