Betty & Veronica # 246
People who wear sweatpants in public get to vote, they get to have babies, they get to do all the things that regular people get to do, even though they shouldn't. In the panel above, Veronica may be a bitch, but Betty is a fucking apologist for America's mistakes. One of those things is worse than the other.
The second problem with Doomwar is that it has the same basic plot as Dark Reign, but it doesn't stretch that plot out over a long enough period that Marvel ends up having to publish something interesting like Zodiac to fill the time. See, in Doomwar, when the good guys (Black Panther & friends) realize that a bad guy has taken over a country, they go and get Nightcrawler, make Nightcrawler teleport Black Panther and his sister right next to the bad guy, and then Black Panther's sister kills the bad guy. That's how you're supposed to handle it when bad guys take over branches of the government in a world where the only people that matter wear spandex costumes and can teleport right next to each other.
The first problem with Doomwar is that it has panels like this.
What advertisement is this picture from? Marvel's tracers use it all of the time, but what was the original context? Was it in some magazine about how to get a job working at Marvel Comics? Was it in a magazine about how to get things finished on a deadline? Does it have any other pictures in it? Does it have a Jumble? Could somebody start tracing the Jumble instead? That would be a really great drawing if Wolverine was handing you a beer with a blank label and there was a sentient Jumble sitting right next to him.
This is probably the most poorly written book Bendis has put out, boring and trivial, but mostly due to the way it accidently lampoons the schtick-y, personality driven dialog that Bendis can do well with, like it's some kind of bizarre attempt to create a self-replicating comic book, one that could eventually recycle previous dialog balloons along with its replicated pages, no human hands required. Part of the art's oddness may be aggravated by the simple nature of openly crediting the model--not that she doesn't deserve credit, she probably works hard, models certainly complain about how difficult their jobs are enough for there to be some plausibility to merit the incessant whining--but it just ends up turning the book into HD hardcore. Not because it's pornographic, mind you. There's no giant cocks and slash movie tit jobs, but there's just too much reality on display, too much of the mechanics showing through, and the reaction ends up similar to the way an erection becomes ashamed when the body its connected too begins obsessing over the slicks of viscous sweat, that pubic hair stubble. (If High Definition pornography is going to change one thing, it's going to bring back pubes, because a meat shaft surrounded in bushy tendrils is a hell of a lot sexier than a stubble encrusted ballsack, all neon white and red veined.) Maybe that's the Spider-Woman problem? Reminding the reader, over and over again: this was a lady, he drew a lady, a very real lady, she did these poses, this is a comic, you are a boy, she is a girl, don't you have a Blur album about this very special time, and it's all just a little too much information, something else to clog the brainstem while the tabs are clicked and the disgust begins, and what's next, what else is there, we want out.
With Urasawa's Pluto almost finished, it's high time to start copying & pasting all of the praise for that series with a little dash of find/replace whenever the title comes up. And sure, all the guess-that's-criticism stuff holds--Urasawa reuses faces, he likes the remote/emote stuff a little too baldly--but when it works, it works, and 20th Century Boys works, even if the manga creator character is getting a little too much face time. 20th Century Boys: it has a prison break. Somebody tells somebody that they better get honest about their feelings before the world goes a-ending. Some dude goes over the railing. Beep click, I love you.
Some nice looking art in this, including one of those goofy spiral panel layouts that look like a stained glass window from a science fiction novel. The story is pretty confusing, seems primarily to be about an evil guy living inside a good guy who kills a bunch of people and their dog, but then he has them kept alive in a dungeon where a robot servant whips their souls. There's a big alien that looks like a purple Hagar the Horrible, nano-something-something bullets, oh, and the dog can talk--sure? This is something like part 15 of a 19 part story though, so it's totally supposed to read like this. Some people like it. It seems fine.
Incorruptible # 3
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Jean Diaz
Published by Boom!
If these comics weren't so fucking ugly, they'd be kind of entertaining in the same way that something as ugly as Fables is kind of entertaining. Never very good, never very original, but there's enough moments of subplot curiosity that you'd want to find out whether certain characters are going to fall in love and when others are going to die. Too bad.
Spider-Man 1602 # 5
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Ramon Rosanas
Published by Marvel Comics
The art in this comic looks like it was drawn at a much smaller size and then blown up to fit the comic, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing, just like it's not necessarily a bad thing to copy the Ditko I must, I must, I must increase my bust pick-up the machinery moment, but in the end, that's too many necessarily and maybes for a five-parter. Maybe there's just too many Spider-Man spin-off alt-reality comics? Nah, that can't be it.
Deathlok # 4
Written by Charlie Huston
Art by Lan Medina
Published by Marvel Comics
There's so many fucking love letters to Frank Miller, it's nice to see somebody come along and write one that's express delivery straight to the cult of Howard Chaykin. No, Deathlok isn't as good as American Flagg, it's not even as good as the first Robocop movie, but it sure is expressly designed to make for more shakes of pleasure than those X-Men stories that go on for fifty fucking years.
Azrael # 5
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Ramon Bachs & John Stanisci
Published by DC Comics
Nice religious war here, it's Jews v. Palestinians, in a Gotham City super-hero comic. "I won't tell nothing to a Zionist pig" and "They want to keep us from existing." Fucking wreck shit, tear it down, kill 'em all ball. Looks like hell, this is a great fucking comic. Look at this:
The Astounding Wolf-Man # 21
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Jason Howard, FCO & Ivan Plascencia
Published by Image Comics
Invincible is sort of a piece of shit, but it has nice fights and kissing. This Wolf-Man thing has neither, and all of the characters sounds exactly the same as all of Robert Kirkman's other characters. This comic has fans?
Atomic Robo: Revenge of the Vampire Dimension # 1
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
Published by Red 5
If the shelf is going to be made up of a bunch of Alan Moore rip-offs, no real reason not to have a Mignola jack move sitting up there as well. Does it have to be so obvious though? This thing reads like a deposition in a theft of intellectual property case.
Psylocke # 4
Written by Chris Yost
Art by Harvey Tolibao
Published by Marvel Comics
Blah blah blah, looks like Wolverine has a yearly torture party with some dickhead who doesn't have the courage to kill himself. Psylocke can't even be the lead in the climax of her own mini-series, and while that could be read as a some kind of feminist character criticism, read it like this: fuck Psylocke.
Supergirl # 50
Written by who fucking cares
Some of the art is by Cliff Chiang
The guy who drew all the gross out violence in the last issue didn't get to draw any of this issue, but they did give Cliff Chiang a chance to draw some of the stuff in the back. It looks nice, reads like it was written by an eight-year-old who really likes supergirl a whole lot you guys, but it's not like i'm the audience for this character anyway.
Modern Warfare # 3
The nuTorture will make you want to rape-y rape the ladies. What the heck? His buddy is going to rape some lady, and the only reason he wakes up and says "nah man, raping ain't no way to be" is because the lady has too many keys on her keychain? Is she a janitor? Why so many keys?
Power Girl # 9
It takes a while to read and it made me think about getting an erection. It has a urination scene!
Jumbly Junkery # 8
Pleasant. Has a nice cover, only one story about cats. Some parts are kind of sad.
The Talisman # 4
Stephen King can get his shit published by anybody.
Uncanny X-Men # 521
Are you supposed to feel sorry for Matt Fraction? This comic is fucking heed-eous.
Captain America # 603
So then there's this thing about the wait a second going old school