How low on the video game totem pole do you have to be for Wildstorm to claim there's no room at the inn? Army of Two low, apparently. This one's a video game set in a world where the military have been unceremoniously replaced by two guys with tribal tattoos and the ass-in-the-air sexy librarian type woman they ignore, which, if you think about it for more than a second, is a story vomited out by the Gods of Manga as prototype for a thousand and one yaoi plots. This being an American mainstream enterprise designed to appeal to the game's presumably homophobic fanbase, the closest it gets to romance is when the hot girl scowls out a "don't be sexist" because one of the Extremely Tribal Guys has offhandedly referred to her as "pretty." Sound advice, as long as you ignore that this girl's entire existence is predicated on supplying a couple of steroid cases with an endless line of people they get paid to shoot at. What's next? Being reprimanded for using the word "doll" while skullfucking Neo-Nazi corpses? Skateboards!
Batman # 695
Harder to read than any Batman comic has a right to be.
The last issue of Titans featured a female character moving all the way to Florida because a bartender flirted with her, a decision she made in an attempt to exert some control over her own life. In a surprising twist, this issue is actually a bit worse than that one, choosing as it does to not even tell a story, but to fill in the boxes on a gigantic Titans Mad Libs card. "How does [Titans character] feel about [previous development in non-Titans comic book]." That's repeated over and over again, giving every cast member a chance to ejaculate their own asinine explanation for how much Red Arrow's life is completely fucking over due to the fact that he lost his arm. (The best part is how these claims are mentioned around Cyborg, a character who has spent the entirety of his various appearances attempting to show that losing one's body parts does not, in fact, render them in any way less human or valuable.)
Amazing Spider-Man # 617
Javier Pulido's work on the back-up story is exceptional, the sort of quality that points to how repulsive it is to pretend that the lionization of super-hero writers--at the expense of their artists--is anything more than an ugly black mark on a product that already comes bearing more than its share.
There's some pretty fantastic pages of Conan destroying people with a sword in this little one-shot, and some of the even-better-in-black-and-white original art shows up in the back as well. If you read comics correctly--throwing away all of the year's previous issues as soon as Dick Clark stroke farts out a God Bless Us--than your life probably has an absence of Conan being predictably Conan in some valley setting where one man really can save-then-ruin everything. But if you've been dusting some cardboard storage items full of bloodletting for any length of time, you can just ignore this one for failing to explicitly detail the whole "lamentations of their women" part of Conanological Studies.
Adventure Comics # 6
While its written by he-that-shalt-bring-gore, this comic wallows in a completely different type of gutless murk, that being faux sentimentality. If the Promise Keepers were going to write comics, they'd read like this. All its missing is a part where Superboy explains that gay people are just "confused."
Ever have trouble sleeping, so you just lay there making up a fantasy where you've won $200 million in the lottery, but instead of focusing on all the drugs and prostitutes, you start fantasizing about what sort of house you would pay an architect to come up with, and that makes you wonder if maybe you'll have to rent a nicer apartment while you wait for the house to be built, but then you start thinking about whether or not you want to move all your shit twice, and then before you know it all you're doing is thinking about which pair of scissors you might take with you because fuck it if you're going to repack multiple pairs of scissors a second time instead of thinking, rightly, about all the coke-filled harems that those millions could provide? That's pretty much what happened with Absolution. Christos Gage had the audacity, the courage, a veritable shingles of seeping creativity, to ask the question: What it would be like if the Punisher was blessed with hard-to-draw-attractively super-powers? But then he just couldn't stop himself from focusing his attention on what kinds of conversations that the Punisher would have when he felt sorry for himself.
Turns out this little paycheck doesn't have an ending planned to go along with its lack of original ideas. It's just going to be lots and lots of John McClane being thrown into alt-Hard scenarios, the first of which was "What happens when porno star terrorists attack booze cruises in homemade submersibles", and the answer turned out to be "Speed 2 on a smaller boat, no leeches, much faster route to same resolution." Also: big hair. Also: this is an ongoing? Also: more bad guys should look like this bad guy.
The best part of horrible DC comics is knowing that, eventually, every single one of the irritating non-characters that populate its pages will be depicted being raped or eviscerated, probably in an issue of Justice League. The worst part of horrible DC comics is realizing that you're actively excited about seeing the rape and/or evisceration of cartoon characters, because really, you're looking forward to reading something where the Guardian cries in an alley and Superman keeps saying "if I'd only been paying more attention" and Batman says "it's okay, everybody makes mistakes" and Lois Lane's tears keep getting on her keyboard so she starts snapping at Jimmy and eventually says "no, no i'm not mad at you i just...oh god, oh god, no, why, i don't understand this life anymore, everything's getting smaller, everything's getting meaner" and then there's this big pan out to the entire planet, with Hal Jordan saying "they were the candle that lights the world" and Kyle Rayner's hand brushes his and then they just hold each other weeping until the sun rises over one of those fancy planets only they can go to. This is the comic equivalent of washing your hands until the skin cracks wide open to reveal the maggots inside.
Catwoman # 83
If somebody cuts out your brother-in-laws eyes and makes your sister watch, and then that same somebody force feeds your sister the eyes, and then they kill your brother-in-law, and your sister ends up insane in an asylum somewhere--you'd probably want to kill the person who did that. It seems highly unlikely that you'd feel guilty about it, but maybe that's the part of Catwoman where you're supposed to suspend disbelief. (When you watch a play, "suspend disbelief" usually means accepting that the poorly put together plyboard castle is an accurate representation of where Hamlet lives. In super-hero comics, "suspend disbelief" is the term used when somebody is offended that somebody else called Catwoman stupid.)
Here comes Mustachio! Veering as close to Patrick Duffy in the shower as anything has in years, this issue of Iron Man unleashes a ceremonious spunk in the direction of its recently concluded 300 issue "World's Most Wanted" story arc, which was a gigantic time bridge based off a blueprint called "this character makes really good plans that always work out because of his near super-human planning skills", namely by saying that, nah, all that shit about how restart buttons on magic shields that one hits with magic hammers with the magic strength of friendship didn't pan out, so fuck it, maybe uncut rawdog magic will, because yeah, magic, that's the hammer that never misses the nail.
Punishermax # 3
Steve Dillon can draw the hell out of 97 year old tits, that's for sure. oh shit that's weird to say isn't it
-Tucker Stone, 2010