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I think you mean "Brudder" Voodoo, man.

What the fuck is that guy even still DOING here?! It's 2009!

"No, the only people (also virgins) buying Thunderbolts are people (nerds) who remember that there was some time period where Warren Ellis had the characters do something where the characters didn't all talk like Spider Jerusalem and that seemed really exciting at the time, becuase hey, range & Warren Ellis."

What about people who remember that there was some time period where Kurt Busiek had the characters do something where the characters were FUCKING AWESOME? I mean, srsly. None of those awesome characters have been in the book for years, however, except for Songbird, who is the most underrated badass in comics.

I thought Zodiac would be another unreadable crossover garbage, then I saw the name "Joe Casey" on the cover. Imagine my surprise that it was really good. Have no idea where this one is going, which is pretty neat.

Also: Dark Wolverine, surprisingly not-sucky. Have to admit I did not see that one coming. But the fact that the book is basically about Daken gaslighting Bullseye is pretty cool - not a lot of books about supervillains as merry pranksters.

I should probably mention that I am totally NOT KIDDING about that Songbird thing. I still have daydreams where Captain America FINALLY asks her to join the Avengers a la Avengers Forever. Perhaps Songbird was Busiek's baby as much as Luke Cage is Bendis', but dammit if he didn't sell the character. He sold it so well old-skool Bolts fan are STILL waiting for her to get her due as something more than Norman Osborne's patsy.

OK, I should shut up now. I have spent way too much time thinking about this.

Well, I was going to buy that Melvin the Monster book because I love John Stanley...but now I want some of that Hedda Gabler action too.

You've seriously gotta improve your writing. This is getting silly. I mean, look at this sentence you've barfed up:

"One of the things they do in super-hero comics to confuse the reader into believing that a character absolutely no one on Earth cares about, including said character's creator and family, is to put the character up against a villain that is portrayed to the reader as being a horrifically big deal, a villain of such terrifying power that it would be insane to believe that any hero on the planet could defeat them."

What is it we're being "confused into believing" about the character? All this verbiage, and you forgot to finish the thought! Maybe if you wrote shorter sentences, you'd be able to keep track of them in your head. Or maybe you should try reading through these posts before posting them.

man what the fuck.

T: Ha on Zodiac/Dark Wolverine, exactly. Don't know if they'll stay good now that they've been lost the low expectations going on, but both of those comics can get pretty far on the art. As always, I'm impressed that old Avengers comics inspire such rabid love, and yet: I don't know why I should care about Songbird.

J: Enjoy!

A: I know!

C: Exactly!

M: Yeah, guess I should fix that. Do me a favor and keep taking it personally though. Yikes, you.

That's the ol' Asperger's talking.

Well, that's an interesting question, to which I don't have a good answer. The fact is, affection for a character like Songbird is dependent on knowledge of / affection for 10+ year old stories.

They were very good stories, mind you: the premise of the original Thunderbolts book - a premise long since abandoned - is that the team was composed of villains who had pretended to be heroes for a while, but whom basically decided they actually liked the idea of being heroes and tried very hard to change themselves for the better. Keep in mind this was the late 90s - a particularly fallow and cynical period in which a book like Thunderbolts, being an essentially hopeful, character-driven melodrama, could really thrive.

In the space of about fifty issues or so Songbird went from being a Z-list supervillain - she started out as a pro wrestling-themed villain with sonic powers named Screaming Mimi, which is about as lame as it sounds - to a powerful, confident and assertive heroine, and additionally, one of the very few who didn't walk around with her tits hanging out like a Nelly video. (Imagine that - a superheroine with a B-cup! It boggles the imagination!) But because Thunderbolts was never a prime franchise and was actually canceled twice, and additionally because the character's patrons - Busiek and Nicieza - moved away from the company for a while in the early 00s, she was more or less stuck in limbo. So instead of joining the Avengers or striking out on her own, she's stuck as the last remaining remnant of the original concept, even though her personality and character arc do not in any way fit what the book has become. It stopped making sense a long time ago why she would have stayed with the team when she could have joined any number of less psychotic organizations. However, it seems Diggle might actually like the character, to judge from her appearances to date in his run, so who knows.

So, basically, yeah: in order to care about Songbird you have to have a good memory for a fairly obscure patch of late 90s continuity. If it took me three paragraphs to explain the character's core concept, it's no surprise she's not popular since most of the audience for the current Thunderbolts probably have little or no recollection of the original run. It would be lazy writing if the book depended on this knowledge to ingratiate the reader with her current status quo, but as it is the character's original premise isn't even mentioned anymore, leaving the reader to wonder if Ellis ever even read the original series or just plugged her in as "generic heroine #6" from central casting.


Tucker, you should check out the miniseries, Avengers Forever. Busiek/Stern writing. Pacheco/Merino on art. Hella good. Great Songbird stuff.

Avengers Forever is like the pinnacle of continuity-porn-as-story, it being the first comic I ever bought with extensive footnotes on the back cover. But it's drawn real pretty.

Mory. I have something to tell you.

When I'm with other people, I know who I am: I'm not them.
But when my life consists of sitting at a computer 12 hours a day, who am I not?
And when my self-reflection is writing this blog, which keeps pulling more and more of myself into it indefinitely, then how can I be anyone?

I really dug the Busiek/Nicieza T-bolts, too. I'm pretty sure I didn't care about Hawkeye or the Avengers before it started, but he was pretty awesome by the end of it. Tim's absolutely right.

Nicieza wrote a good Captain Marvel, too. I love the bit where he takes Monica Rambeau's codename again and they get into it.

Chris, why are you quoting my blog? Sorry, I don't get it.

No, it's cool, I'm just making fun of you.

so Wolverine is gay now?

Speaking of Monica Rambeau, why isn't NextWave still being made? Stuart Immonen should only be allowed to draw NextWave at Marvel, anything else is just wasting his talent.

I LOVE me some Nathan Fox, but I'm not sure the Human Torch should be drawn like he's missing teeth- kind of harshes his status as a hot dude who gets all the babes. Remember the days when DC would just draw over Jack freaking "The King" Kirby's version of Superman's head because it didn't fit their ideal, well-marketed version of Superman's head? Yeah, maybe Marvel should have had someone white out the gaps where it looks like Johnny Storm played a couple seasons in the American Hockey League.

Damn, you're on this week, Tucker.

I picked up The Spirit for some reason (Oeming), and you nailed it on that one. It's got some nice images, but the story is so damn standard. How many pages did there need to be where a guy describes the gangs, their styles, their territories, etc? I haven't been reading that series since Darwyn Cooke left, but it seems like the problems are really showing through. There was a reason Eisner limited the stories to seven pages. Cooke managed to find a way to make issue-long stories work, but it seems like everybody else should give up trying. Make each issue a jam issue, with three teams doing short stories; that would be the way to go.

The Spirit's cancelled, with Brian Azzarello doing a Doc Savage mini. I mention the Doc Savage mini b/c Doc Savage will be in an alternate universe where he'll interact with the Spirit, Blackhawks, and some others. I think I remember them wanting to get the Shadow, too. Not sure if that's happening.

But yeah, it's Azz, so it'll be cool. Rags Morales is drawing.

this has been one of my favourite reviews to read this year.


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