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General Comics Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by Doctor Oak, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Similar to the General Gaming Discussion Thread, this topic is intended to cover the multitude of various comic book related discussions that might struggle to keep a topic to themselves going here.

    Please note that this is for western comics only. Manga discussion is more suited to its own topic.

    First of all, for anyone vaguely interested in the Ultimate Marvel universe, it might be worth having a look around your local comic book store for some back issues for Ultimate Spider-Man. This week sees the climax of the Ultimate Death of Spider-Man storyline and the beginning of the end of this 'season', as it were, of the Ultimate Universe. The comic line relaunches this August and September with a new look and a whole set of new on-goings, including a new person behind a brand new Spider-Man costume. It's not a reboot, or a reset, but it will be a good jumping on point for new readers, and give the line a well needed kick up the arse as well.

    Insert here my standard response that you should still give thought to picking up the line from the very beginning and set about picking up the first bunch of Ultimate Spider-Man volumes and at least the first Ultimates series.

    On top of that, there's the obvious bigger relaunch this summer. But it's increasingly turning into such a massive clusterfuck that it's hard to believe anyone will profit from this venture.

    DC relaunches its entire line this August, with fifty-two new #1s in all of its on-goings. While it initially seemed that they were simply abandoning all the canon up to this point and going into full reboot mode, that is not the case. Instead, everything that happened before, still happened. It just happened in a different time frame - within the past 5 years, between the setting of Nu!Action Comics #1, where Superman is revealed as the DC Universe's first super hero, and the 'modern' setting of books like Justice League #1, where everyone is already established as a super hero.

    This means that stuff like The Killing Joke still happened, and Barbara Gordon did get paralysed as a result, but is now not paralysed and is Batgirl again. Somehow.

    Batman Inc not only still happened, but the rest of the Batman Inc series will continue next year, completely disregarding everything happening this summer.

    And Superman did everything he's done in the past 70 odd years, just in the space of 5. And is suddenly not married to Mary Jane Lois Lane any more.

    In other words, it's basically Quesada's One More Day clusterfuck of a retcon, and is probably going to fail just as hard. It's not about resetting everything back to day one to make it easier for new readers to get into, it's about seeming that way, while making an even bigger mess of their canon and overwhelming new readers anyway with the sheer volume of new titles and confusing continuity status.

    And what appeal is there to existing readers when their favourite characters and stories have been messed around with so much just for a cheap editorial gimmick.

    If this entire thing isn't reset as a J.R. style dream sequence within a couple of years, I'll eat my hat.
     
  2. WHAT?!

    Oh my goodness. This is just terrible for someone who loves the recent storylines, even Spider-Man ones like the Clone Saga and that one where he gained 'stingers.' A new Spider-Man? I hope that new person brings in something unique, like what happened with Dick Greyson and Jason Todd.

    As for the reboot of DC, that is where the WHAT?! comes in. They're destroying all the continuity, all the history, and are cramming a ton of action into an impossibly short amount of time. Yes, in a way Superman is a Gary Stu, but at least Lois Lane gave him some humanity.

    Overall, I'm just shocked.
     
  3. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    @Secad: They're not getting rid of everything. :x They're essentially choosing what they want to keep and weeding out the needless things to make it a more cohesive continuum. But yeah, the heroes will apparently be younger (yet Damien is still alive and Robin XP), and thus somethings like Clark and Lois will be taken away for the time being. The only redeeming thing about a new Supes is that Grant Morrison is writing it (All-Star Superman FTW!), so I trust him to write a damn good story...even though I won't be reading it. |D

    Anyways, they aren't necessarily retconning out The Killing Joke (unless DC really wants to continue to spit on Allen Moore :x). I mean Bats already came back from a broken spine, so why not Babs too? :'D Right?! D: Gail Simone is writing the Batgirl books so I have good faith that they will be terrific and hopefully they take advantage of the fact that these are comic books and they can b.s. up a cure for her spine. XD Official blurb about the book: "Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl – and she's going to have to face the city's most horrifying new villains as well as the dark secrets from her past." So it would seem that they are going to address the whole "lolparalyzedwut?" thing early on (and a possible confrontation with The Joker perhaps?).

    Not really disregarding. As I said above, this is not a "wipe the slate clean and start from scratch with origins" reboot. They are simply cleaning up the backstories and convoluted continuum of the heroes to make things more accessible (plus if you want to get into a series and see that the issue number is 1 or some other number very low you will feel more inclined to read it as opposed to issues in the 900's :x). I'm very glad that they are keeping Batman Inc around (which will be renamed Batman Leviathan when relaunched in 2012 following the events of Batman Inc 10 in August), as it has been a very interesting take on Bruce and fun character development. Grant Morrison has been changing the character in recent years and I've been enjoying it (I'm just pissed they're taking away what he did for Dick, but at least they didn't erase his time as Batman from history :x).

    Speaking of Batman Inc...lolwut at Batwing getting his own series. XD The only selling point at the moment is "He's black! Look at us being diverse! :'D". Thus far he's been in about three pages worth of Batman Inc and virtually nothing is known about him. Nothing that makes me want to go pick up his book and read it. We get this and Captain Marvel, The Atom, The JSA, and Wally West are just sitting around in limbo without books. What the hell DC. It's cool if you want to add some diversity, but when you're making a huge relaunch with only 52 titles, try and make them count for something. Don't just throw a title at a character that has been around for 3 months or so and we know nothing about.

    Okay, enough about the reboot for now. :x

    I've been recently collecting a few DC series in trade. I have the first five volumes of the third run of Teen Titans and have been loving it thus far (but what would you expect with Geoff Johns writing it ;D). I'm still like 9 volumes behind, plus a bunch of issues that haven't been collected yet, but I'm hoping that with the reboot I will be able to catch up with where things ended before the restart.

    I'm also grabbing volumes of Batman & Robin (because Dick and Damien are just such an interesting dynamic duo and will be sorely missed come reboot time), Birds of Prey and Secret Six (Gail Simone stuffs~). I'll probably do the same thing with these series that I'm doing with Teen Titans. Plus, this way, if they decide to wipe away the reboot in a year or two and go back to where things were before the reboot I will be all caught up. :'D Assuming that they simply pick up where they left off. XD

    But yeah, I'm currently giving DC's extended universe a fair shake (although for the most part I'm still not straying too terribly far from Bats XP), as I feel like because it is not as well known it is often considered to be far inferior in every way to Marvel. But really, it's not. They both have their great titles, and their duds. A lot of it depends on the writers, and DC has a few of my favorites at the moment; namely, Johns, Simone and Morrison. :3
     
  4. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    There's a lot of speculation that Steve Rogers will abandon his shield to take up Spidey's position for whatever reason. Mostly due to the fact that he's absent from the new Ultimates team launching in September and the closeness/new-found respect/possibly guilt he's found with Peter Parker in the past few issues. He's definitely in no small part responsible for the events that will finish the Death of Spider-Man story this week.

    I have my severe doubts that Peter Parker's actually going to die - although all three of the covers for this week's issue do make it believable. That said, this is the universe that's properly killed off Cyclops, Wolverine, Magneto, Prof X (and, really, the majority of the X-Men in total) and Wasp. Aside from Thor and Beast, the Ultimate-verse has pretty well stuck to its mandate of "dead means dead". If they were ever going to pull this off, it could only be in this universe.

    Anyways, DC Wise:

    And also a much more confusing one. It's just baffling that they're selling all these comics as a brand new start, but keeping them tied to a shitton of established backstory anyway. You wanna know the backstory for how Barbara Gordon got paralysed so she could magically get better all of a sudden? Go spend more money on buying the Killing Joke. You wanna know what the hell all this Batman Inc stuff is going on in this new Batman series? Go dig through all that death of Batman stuff and catch up, bitches.

    It's just far less of a strong jumping on point than they're really making it out to be. Especially with the frankly overwhelming volume of new books hitting at once.

    I'm just finding this reboot/relaunch/whatever to be decreasingly interesting. At first it was kinda like "oh, cool, is this a new line to go with that fantastic Earth One Superman book last year?". Nope. "Oh, ok then, is it at least going to be a brand new fresh start?". Nope. "Well, can I at least just jump into the new Batman book?". Nope - not unless you wanna buy up all the previous books to give it any sense and/or pick up half a dozen other comics every other week 'cos they're all vaguely Batman related, to the point where you don't know who the majority of these characters are anyway.

    In general, it's gone from something I might be interested in to something I'd just happily avoid.
     
  5. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    In response to you saying that fans need to go out and pick up all these books: Ideally, that would be what DC wants and would offer the best way to know what is going on. But people can just as easily do what I did to catch up with a lot of things in the Batman universe, use the internet. There are full wikis dedicated to major heroes (and sure, they may not always be the most clear and cohesive things, but they can obviously give you the major points). Plus, there are about a million other free things on the internet that can be used to catch up on stories.

    But yes, I agree with you that having to grab so many issues from different series to keep up with Batman is annoying (although I feel most will be standalone for the most part and only come together for big stories that involve characters from both books). What I'm most worried about with that is that if in Batwing there is a good amount of things having to do with Batman Inc (Leviathan), seeing as I will not be reading this book. :T

    Also:
    I was glad to find out that by "properly" you meant as in they stayed dead and not as in that their deaths were done proper justice, because for many of the X-Men they were not. Ultimatum was horrible for how they so needlessly killed off so many characters without giving a damn. Just taking beloved characters and saying "well, he's dead. Look how terrific of a villain Magneto is! He's killing characters with ease and we don't give a damn about the fans and whether they feel cheated about the whole thing~". And Prof X be killed by Magneto just seemed odd for their relationship. :\ Plus, Wasp being eaten? WTF Loeb? O_o

    And as for Steve Rogers being Spidey...that just seems very odd to me. :x I get that he would be able to use the webshooters, what with them being devices and whatnot, but he wouldn't have any of Peter's other abilities. I still need to finish catching up with the Ultimate Universe. >>
     
  6. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    I wish I could just forget that pretty much everything that happened in Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum ever happened. It's a pity they're really not in the position for that.

    What's more confusing is that Loeb's work since Ultimatum hasn't actually been that bad. New Ultimates was a fairly solid story and Ultimate X has been pretty good, despite the shoddy release schedule (which, apparently, is going to be ironed out and finished in time for a new Ultimate X-Men on-going in September). If he could manage this all along, what the fuck was going on before?
     
  7. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    Yeah, I was surprised that Loeb wrote those so poorly. He's written some of my favorite Batman stories (namely The Long Halloween), so he's clearly a competent writer when he wants to be, but I guess he has Frank Miller syndrome going on; write some great stuff that the fans love and get you more jobs, then lose touch with the characters and the fans and slowly spiral into insanity. :x Thankfully Loeb is not as bad off as Miller, though.
     
  8. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Ultimate Spidey #160 hit today, finishing the series and beginning the end of the Ultimate Universe as we currently know it.

    And they did it. They completely killed off Peter Parker, in a heroic battle against the Green Goblin to save pretty much everyone he cares about. Of course, now the whole world also knows he was Spider-Man, which is sure to have repercussions - especially if he ever comes back from the dead (and I still expect that, one way or another, he will).

    Was a good end to a fantastic series. Looking forward to seeing where they go from here with the whole Universe now.
     
  9. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    Well, if he does come back to life then I'm sure Mephisto would be willing to help him out. |D

    But really, I'm hoping that they keep it the way things are with Peter. If dead is supposed to mean dead, let his sacrifice mean something and be used as a beacon of what hero is and inspiration for other heroes in the Ultimates line going forward. Although, weren't they going to essentially relaunch the universe now? :x
     
  10. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Nope, just the books. Continuity is as it is and follows on directly from this issue of Spidey. It's basically been confirmed that Peter's death acts like a kind of 'Uncle Ben' moment for someone else, presumably picking up the Spidey name as a result. Although it could also just refer to his clone, Jessica Drew, taking her position on the Ultimates. Won't really know for a couple of months yet, I guess.
     
  11. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Double post, so ban me. This week's solicitations included the finale of Ultimate X (at last) and the beginning of a 'reboot' for Archie's Sonic.

    Ultimate X has turned out to be a great story, building up some great characters and some great developments for the Ultimate Universe. Until this issue, I really wasn't sure how we got from Ultimate X #4 to the new Ultimate X-Men series in September. Now, everything is made clear. Mutants no longer see themselves as 'homo superior' (what's left of them, anyway) and the new 'X-Men' are simply a new superhero group out to save all humanity - including what's left of the mutants (which seems to hint at Storm and Colossus having been captured at some point). The reason we can have people like the Human Torch and the Hulk on team (yes, the Hulk) is because, with the revelation that mutants are just a result of the super soldier experiments throughout the years - they're pretty much in the same boat as anyone with powers in the Ultimate Universe.

    So, yeah. A surprisingly solid series, despite delays. The hardcover is due out pretty damn soon, so worth looking into before September, I'd say. Considering it's been so late, it's not really got anything to do with ANYTHING else that's happened since Ultimatum, so you can leap right from Ultimatum to this to the new X-Men in September if you wanted.

    In Sonic related stuff, I've never actually bought or properly read Archie's Sonic comics before, so I figured it'd be a good idea to pick up this Sonic Genesis mini-series they're doing to be as good a jumping on point as any. I'm a bit disappointed that it's not really as comprehensive a reboot as I'd like. For one thing, the 'Genesis' part of the story only lasts 4 issues, after which the series goes back to dealing with the events of issue #225 - in which Robotnik apparently reset the world somehow and killed off Sally.

    In 'Genesis', the Archie cast is reintroduced pretty swiftly - meeting Snively, Boomer, Antoine and Sally all before we meet anyone from the actual Sonic games other than Sonic and some badniks. Never having been a fan of these characters, in either their SatAM or comic forms, I can't say it's all that endearing to me, the way that they've done this. The writing wasn't exactly strong, either. Not terrible, but nothing on the level of STC's Nigel Kitching when he was on form.

    Whether I actually pick up issue #229 when it comes out is gonna be really up in the air, but I think I'll definitely get the other 'Genesis' books. Dunno if I could really recommend it, to be honest - but I'd consider it worth a look at least.
     
  12. Just asking a comics question: Has anyone read "Powers" by Michael Avon Oeming and Brian Michael Bendis? Is you haven't, what the heck are you waiting for?

    These comics are some of the best I've read, and there are genuinely fascinating concepts.

    Also, Nick Fury, I've met Samuel L. Jackson, and while I met him, he was in costume as Nick Fury. heh.
     
  13. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    [​IMG]

    It's funny 'cos it's (probably) true.

    Also, the popular bet is now on Ultimate Ben Reilly to take up the webs - meaning that if true, for the first time (although there have hardly been many of them) there will be a black Spider-Man. Of course, this is the same universe that turned the stereotypical white, mid-western military man, Sgt Fury into the coolest man on the planet (who also happens to be of the darker skin tone), so it's not exactly without precedent.

    That said, it has got one popular small comic retailer in hot water for some rather stupid remarks:

    http://graphicpolicy.com/2011/08/01/the ... t-problem/
     
  14. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Well, Marvel's spoiled the reveal a day early again - which kinda ruins the point of them polybagging the issue, really, but whatever.

    I've managed to avoid it thanks to some deft forum rules at CBR, and will continue to do so until tomorrow. Anyone who spoils it here will get banned so hard they'll fall off the whole damn internet.

    I am glad, though, that there was a definite reveal. I was a bit concerned (especially by solicits for Spider-Man #2 saying "Who's behind the mask?") that they were gonna cop-out of the actual reveal and keep it going for longer, but this is good. It'll give us a chance to get used to the idea of this new guy running around in the webs before the series starts proper.

    And now, to avoid the whole Internet for a day and a half. Bye.
     
  15. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    Yeah, I find it kind of pointless to have this big campaign counting down to the reveal of the new Spiderman and then to simply let the cat out of the bag early (I've seen the spoiler, by the way). Personally I always find things like this to be bad for business. Because there will be people who are interested to see who the new hero is, but now won't buy it either because the surprise and intrigue is gone, or simply because they don't like the choice. Comic book companies can't really afford to hurt their own sales, as far as I'm concerned.
     
  16. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    [censored]ING BBC SONS OF [censored]ES

    Couldn't get my comic today, so will have to wait till tomorrow, which meant another day of avoiding places on the internet where comics are typically discussed.

    So, I go visit the BBC News website as I usually do, and what's the top news story on THE [censored]ING BBC NEWS HOME PAGE? A GREAT BIG [censored]ING SPOILER FOR SPIDER-MAN.

    [​IMG]

    (Note: I originally posted this on another forum that censors naughty words. I can't be bothered rewriting it.)
     
  17. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    So, I finally got to read it. The issue itself was pretty disappointing, especially since you need to read Marvel's spoiler release just to even know the new kid's name (Miles Morales). Considering it was bookended by two non-reveals, the only really big part of the whole issue was the return of Reed Richards and the seeming creation of the Ultimate Future Foundation.

    The move to make Spidey a 'mixed-race' character kinda reeks of editorial PCness, to be honest. When Nick Fury was made into a black man for the Ultimate Universe, it was very matter of fact. That's just who this new character was. In this case, it's been blown up and hyped so much that this new character is very specifically of these races that it feels forced. Especially since our first interaction with the character himself is just him revealing he's not white.

    Could have been handled far better, but I'm looking forward to seeing what Bendis does with the character himself.

    Although, I really do have to say that having a black guy behind a black spider-man costume is just fucking tacky. What's next? An asian Yellow Ranger? Oh wait...

    Edit: Just have to say that although the third story in Ultimate Fallout #4 sucked balls (yes, let's take 5 pages to tell us something we already knew just by sitting around and talking!), the art is ridiculously gorgeous. Saved it from being a complete disappointment at least.
     
  18. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    Yeah, I feel like that's one of the big things that the big comic companies are trying to do. They are essentially try to force racial diverse characters onto the fans with the one selling point being just that, they are not white. I would be fine with this stuff if it was all about the character and who they were first, and they just happened to be black/asian/latino/etc.. They need to make the race a part of the character, not the focal point. I know I wouldn't buy a book simply because of the race of a character, I'd buy it if the character is interesting and well developed and is well written.

    I haven't read the issue, but I heard that when in costume Reilly sounds and acts just like Peter did. I absolutely hate when they do something like that. It just seems like a cop-out of a character change. Obviously there is still plenty of time for them to change this, but if not then it pretty much stands that the only reason they killed Peter was to introduce a minority into a key role. Which just doesn't seem quite right to me. :\

    But as I've said before, at least this isn't as bad as the new book Batwing from DC. I mean, the relaunch starts with 52 freaking books, so you'd think they'd do all the biggest and best ones. Instead they decide to give a launch series to a character who's been in three pages of a Batman expanded series. Nothing is known about the character other than that he is African. Seriously, I'm all for diversity, but again, why would I or anybody care to buy a book that's main character we know nothing about? There are plenty of good black characters that could have been given this spotlight: Cyborg, Jon Stewart, Bumblebee, or Firestorm (although he does have a book, but it's with the original Firestorm too).

    Plus, a Cyborg series would really show his growth from being in the Teen Titans, to being the Leader, to ascending to the ranks of the "big heroes" in the Justice League. And now he's even a featured member of the Justice League relaunch. A series for him would have been nice for a character like him. Plus DC would have gotten their diversity.

    [me=Sir Red]walks off still ranting about comic companies throwing diversity in just to be politically correct[/me]
     
  19. Glad I stumbled upon this as you might not know I'm am a huge fan of Hellblazer and its lovable anti-hero John Constantine. Does anyone want to discuss anything Hellblazer related
     
    #19 charmander91, Aug 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  20. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    So, Fallout is over. Here's a quick summary of what's been set up for the relaunch:

    - The World Tree has started growing on Earth as well as Asgard, connecting the two physically as part of Odin's plan to renew both worlds.

    - Tony Stark has joined the Ultimate version of the Illuminati, taking his brother's place.

    - Reed Richards has returned from the N-Zone to form the Children of Tomorrow, the Ultimate version of the Future Foundation - but with a more sinister twist.

    - A 13 year old black/hispanic kid from Brooklyn called Miles Morales has taken on the name of Spider-Man

    - A reporter has gotten her hands on the fact that the Government inadvertently created the Mutant gene and the news is about to go public

    - Kitty Pyrde has taken Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake to the Morlock caves, which have been abandoned since Ultimatum. They initially go here to give up on the whole super hero thing and hide out from the world - but the new X-Men books indicate that they're not going to get their way with that.

    - Jean Grey (now known as Karen) is trying her best to keep control of the Hulk, at Fury's request. She's struggling, though, and it's hinted that one day, her control will fade.

    - Captain America feels responsible for Peter Parker's death (and Aunt May smacked in upside the face for it) and has quit the Ultimates and possibly the identity of Cap all-together.

    - Gwen Stacy has gotten herself a new look, in the same way as EVERYONE in the Ultimate Universe, by cutting her hair and dying it black, and her and Aunt May are off to live in France in Tony Stark's villa.

    - Mary Jane has been writing a book about "How the World Killed Spider-Man", but decides to not publish it after Fury admits to her that he loved Peter as a son and he considers it his fault he's dead.

    - Nick Fury is finding his return to being top cop of the world as a tough one. He's been instructed to expand the Ultimates program by 30% (with 3 new Triskellions across the world, including the original one left in Iran and the new one built in NY, as well as two secret orbital stations) AND cut his budget by the same. New world threats are building up and he's being stretched too thin to deal with them.

    - Quicksilver is going insane, hallucinating that the dead Scarlet Witch is instructing him from beyond the grave (though the body of the woman he's having sex with at the time, of course) in a way that will "make father proud", while doing a deal with a business man to sell him mutants as slaves.

    - Rogue sees the recent events as a sign of the end of the world and has recently just blown her cover.

    - Storm and Colossus are being detained by the US Government following Ultimatum and Quicksilver refers to Storm as being 'lobotomised' presently.

    Next week sees the launch of the new Ultimate line, with Ultimates #1. The week after that is Hawkeye #1. Both should be great jumping on points if you've never read the books before, or just haven't been a regular reader of the line before. Two weeks later is Ultimate Spider-Man #1, followed by Hawkeye #2 and Ultimate X-Men #1 a fortnight after that.
     
  21. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Ultimate X-Men #1 has moved back to its original date of the 14th September, meaning that from this Wednesday, there will be at least one new Ultimate comic every week until October, where there's presently a week's break - but that may change if they bring X-Men #2 back a week too.

    This site (http://www.ultimatecomics.cba.pl/) is a really good source for keeping track of Ultimate news, dates and covers. I definitely recommend it. :)

    Anyone picking up the new Ultimates #1 this week may wanna keep an eye out to see if it's signed by Stan Lee (as with Hawkeye next week).
     
  22. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    Just read The Ultimates #1 and I must say, it was a pretty good start. A whole lot of mayhem going on around the world and introduces a new threat. It also brought up a lot of questions and didn't answer a god damn thing (but I guess that's what makes people come back for me, isn't it? ;D). I'm just waiting for the whole group to come together and kick some serious ass.

    Also, there was a whole heaping amount of political talk in this issue and not enough focus on the actual team members (yeah, you got some limited characterization from a few of the characters, but this issue was really all about setting up some grand story more than it was about the actual characters) or their interactions amongst one another. But there is time for that to come.

    The other thing that bugged me is that this is a #1, and the whole universe is supposed to be in a sort of relaunch mode and yet if you are a new reader (which I sort of am to the Ultimate Universe) then it's really hard to jump in because there is already an insane amount going on that you have no idea about and is overwhelming. Rather than at least trying to ease the reader into things they are thrust right into world-wide turmoil and war and invasions galore. It's all a bit overwhelming.
     
  23. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    I think even for a standing reader, it's a bit much. I think that's kinda the point though. You feel overwhelmed, because Nick feels overwhelmed. There are a few ties back to recent continuity (the Asgard situation is pretty much an extension of the Thor mini's storyline, even if it's essentially a prequel to the first Ultimates, Tony's remote access thing is something he nicked from Mysterio during the run up to Death of Spider-Man, the reason we know Nick is feeling stretched is 'cos we saw in Fallout the Government is dicking him over), but for the most part, everything here is completely new for all readers.

    They did much the same in the 'relaunch' after Ultimatum. They started off hitting the ground running with a whole load of new plot threads and stuff set up 'off camera' that kinda puts all readers in the same position of not really knowing the full picture. It's not ideal, but it's workable.

    The biggest issue with the Ultimates, though, is that Hickman - as great a writer as he is - is quickly becoming infamous for being really into set up. This whole issue was very much set up for the rest of this arc - and that may seem rushed, since this arc is only another 3 issues long.

    I think the real 'jump-on' point is going to be Spider-Man. Everyone is going to be in the same position of meeting Miles for the first time and seeing the world through his eyes for the first time. With the Ultimates, there's a bit too much to cover in one go without it interfering with the story - which is why, I'm assuming, Hickman will be playing out the 'intro' to these characters and the world for new readers over the whole arc.

    We should maybe think of this first issue as a 'cold opening' throwing us into the deep end, only for the follow-up to begin tying things together. I just hope it doesn't put anyone off for being too much up-front. I think they may have benefited from putting Spider-Man out first, rather than the Ultimates.

    Edit:

    It's a very new and different way of handling the Ultimates (or its follow-ups, Avengers, New Ultimates), seemingly turning into a proper on-going now.
     
  24. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    The, possible, news of Ultimates being an on-going definitely excites me. With it being an on-going series it presents the chance for the characters to really develop and evolve more as a team, as opposed to only showing up for major event comics and the like (as they did before).

    I was planning to only pick up The Ultimates books, but I'm thinking I'm going to give Spider-Man a try and see how it is (Plus Bendis is pretty damn good). I'm just hoping that they don't tie a massive, continuous story-line through every book in the line. Crossover events are fine for that, but if the entire universe is essentially one big story told across several books then it just pisses me off and feels like a big "fuck you" to the fans are they are being forced to buy extra books just to see what is going on with a one/a few hero(es). At the moment it /seems/ like they will be off doing their own things, simply with general events effecting them in all the books. (Although one thing that I'm kind of annoyed about is that it would seem to get resolution on what is going on with Hawkeye that was introduced here one would have to buy the Hawkeye miniseries. :\)

    God damn it, though, I want to see Thor and Captain Britain kick some serious ass next issue! D:<
     
  25. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    I see no reason to see getting the Hawkeye mini as a bad thing. :X A Hawkeye mini is one of the best things to come out of this entire line in a while.
     
  26. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

  27. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    [me=Sir Red]chuckles at this comic[/me]

    Honestly looking at all the "replacements" the only thing that strikes me is that they are all from mainstream Marvel and DC (where death is simply a revolving door) so the characters are just going to come back in a matter of time and eventually take their role back. With Spidey it's not the same. As with practically everyone in the Ultimates Universe, dead means dead. So we're not getting Peter back and Miles is the new Spider-Man.

    I haven't read anything with Morales yet so I can't judge the character, but I'm just hoping that he brings something different to the table in terms of personality than Peter. He already has more or less the same powers as Peter, we don't need to same personality too. I don't want it to be where when he's under the mask it just feels like Peter got a new costume. I want to be able to tell from reading the book that he's inherently different.

    My reasoning for that is that when comic book companies kill off one of their major heroes they inevitably replace them with somebody new; somebody to take up their mantle. In cases like Dick Grayson being Batman, and Bucky being Captain America it just feels right. They were their sidekicks and allies for years and earned the right to grow up into those roles (obviously for those in the know it's bittersweet to see them do this as you know it's only a matter of time before it's all ripped away from them in one way, shape, or form). Their ascension to major hero is a gradual and grand one and it just feels right (with arguably the best one that I can think of being Wally West becoming The Flash, plus he got quite a bit of time to carry that mantle before Geoff Jones decided to rip it away from him recently).

    It doesn't, however, feel right when a hero is killed off in an event and "shakes the very core of the universe" only for somebody who has never been around before to suddenly pop in and say "hey guys, I'll do his hero work! I have pretty much the exact same powers as him, plus a few more that one of the writers came up with but couldn't figure out how to write the original hero having~ :'D". That's just /such/ a cop out to me. It cheapens the death greatly in my opinion. Rather than exploring a world without the hero they immediately go "hey, did you know that he/she had a child with the same powers? You didn't~? =O Well they did, apparently. Or they were cloned...alternate universe version of them? Um...>>;; Yeah, we just wanted to make money off a major death but really not shake things up too much. Don't worry, we'll effectively retcon this out in two years or so. :'D" At the moment I'm getting this sense with Miles (minus the coming back thing). Peter dies and he immediately pops up; young teenager with Spider super powers. Never known of before this, but we're just supposed to accept this. I honestly always just feel a bit cheated when they do this approach and honestly it's made me a bit of a jaded fan. Whenever a hero dies I pretty much just say to myself that they'll either be brought back soon, or replaced with a week cop-out so they don't have to change anything (I'm looking at you, Marvel multitude of clones and time travelers/alternate reality versions of people! D:<).

    Also, another thing that annoys me is when there is an iconic hero that dies off that got their powers through some unique and incredible way and they are wholly special. Then they die and it's all "whoops~ this person has the same powers and will be doing their job now. |D" It's one thing for the Green Lanterns or the Giant Men, because those powers are bestowed upon them (Plus Pym is an asshole in any and every universe he's in so it's always nice to see somebody take his job) through some outside way. With the Lanterns they are chosen to be a part of the massive Corps, and with the Giant Men (in Ultimate Universe, at least) they are part of S.H.I.E.L.D. and thus given the powers in much the way that Pym gave them to himself. With those it's more understandable for the powers to be passed down and around and for their to be multiples of, but not with the iconic figures that are stand-alone heroes. For their to be somebody with the same powers who pops up randomly only when the other hero dies...just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    [/rant]

    Well that got a bit out of hand there. :x I'm not saying that I don't like Morales, he's just an example of what Marvel and DC seem to do a lot of with their hero deaths and it really bugs me. :\
     
  28. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    It's my understanding that the first arc of Ultimate Spider-Man actually takes place both before and after the Death of Spider-Man. The concept basically being that Miles falls into these powers somehow before DOSM and after that happens, he's inspired to take on the mantle. Bendis made a point that Peter's death will be some-one else's "Uncle Ben" moment - basically implying that Miles presumably feels guilty for not being able to save Peter when he was in a position to.

    To that end, it does seem (maybe) that Miles was actually there in Queens that night (for whatever reason):

    [​IMG]

    I think it's fair to say that Miles' existence is pretty much an executive decision - not a story one. However, Bendis has taken Ultimate Spider-Man to some pretty fantastic heights over the past 10 years with Peter Parker, and I don't really see any reason to assume that he won't be capable of some great stuff with Miles over the next 10. If anyone can turn an annoying decision into a great story, it'll be him. I just hope people don't get too turned off if he doesn't (and probably won't) manage to address everyone's various concerns about him in that first arc.
     
  29. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    That's a concept that I actually really like. Alludes nicely to Peter's classic backstory and sets the stage for Miles. I just find it funny that so many people in the Ultimate Universe seem to be blaming themselves for Peter's death. XD You think, if that many of them feel like they could have saved him, one of them would have. :x

    But yeah, I don't doubt that Bendis will write a great series with Morales and really bring him into his own as a hero. I just think that it will take several arcs before Miles is truly allowed to stand on his own feet and be his own hero, for multiple reasons. I mean, they have to address his origins and beginnings as Spidey, and then his first interactions with key figures in the universe as well as setting his new status quo. It will take a bit of time, but once this is done (and it should all be laid out nicely amidst some nice action and stories) we'll really get to experience Miles as /the/ Spider-Man of the universe and I feel like that's the time that any comparing to Peter that people want to do can start. (Again, that's why it's easier with established characters taking over, we already know them and their story so getting the new status quo for the book happens quicker and we can get to the meatier bits much faster :x).
     
  30. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    So, Ultimate Hawkeye hit the shelves today.

    This is the book I was most looking forward to from the relaunch. While I think there's a lot more meat to come in the next 3 issues, I definitely wasn't disappointed in seeing Hawkeye take his place at the forefront of the Ultimate Universe.

    Really looking forward to what looks set to be a full-on action adventure for Clint in the rest of the series.

    It also really helps make sense of Ultimates #1 - to the point where I'd actually say it would have been better to start with Hawkeye instead.

    Sadly, USM #1 has been pushed back again to the 14th - so there's no new book next week. That said, with all the attention DC will get next week, I'm not surprised Marvel pushed back USM. Both sets of #1s are going to be the biggest comic events in a long time.
     
  31. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Double post, because I can.

    I decided, since it's a time of experimentation in the comics world this next month or so, that I should join in with a little experiment of my own.

    So, I bought this week's new Justice League #1. Digitally.

    The new DC 52 obviously brings with it day and date digital versions for every single comic - which is an impressive endeavour in and of itself. So, if there was ever going to be a time to try out official digital comics AND the DCU, this week was that time.

    I'll deal with the digital reading side first.

    The app I used was Comixology (the standard one, not the DC branded one), and was using it on my Nexus One.

    There are free comics available to download that will help you understand the format, but the newer, paid ones, obviously work the best in terms of clarity of text and panel layouts. Essentially, each panel is shown one at a time (or each small group of panels, depending on the digital editor's decision of how to break down the page) and you can tap the screen one way or another to go forwards or backwards. It actually makes it a very feasible proposition to be reading these comics on a phone - although having to occasionally switch between landscape and portrait is a bit of a pain. That alone would be a major reason for preferring to read these on a tablet, than a phone.

    Overall, it's a pretty good reading experience that actually manages to add to the format as much as it takes away. I can definitely see a future where people buy all their single issues digitally and then visit a local comic shop for the TPBs to have something to shelve.

    (Also, since the digital prices are in dollars, it actually makes it about 75p cheaper to buy digitally for me - not including the money saved on travel).

    My digital copy also did not come with any ads, but I don't know if that can be extrapolated to other comics or publishers (especially since Marvel won't allow their comics to be released on Android).

    Onto the comic itself, then.

    First up, it's a pretty nice and meaty issue. 29 pages, minus a pair of double-page spreads in the back and a couple variant covers. The art is solid and appealing throughout, making for a vibrant introduction to this new DC world.

    I came at the story from the perspective of a complete DC outsider. I have never picked up a single DC book before (well, ok, I've picked up Superman Earth One, but that's different), and my knowledge of the world and characters within these pages comes solely from their multimedia licenses and the vague concepts you pick up from being a general comic book geek.

    It was, then, a little frustrating that this whole new relaunch really doesn't take the time to introduce these new characters - not even in an extra section in the back. Yes, great pains are made to make you aware just what Green Lantern and Batman (the two starring roles of this issue) can do (with some delightfully entertaining dialogue), but at no point do we get a sense of why. These guys are just out there in the world, seemingly have a varying level of knowledge and understanding of eachother and - as part of the new status quo - are being hunted and chased by the people they're meant to be out to save.

    Of course, with 52 new books covering all these characters, you're pretty much expected to go off and do the work to find that out yourself - but it always sits in the back of your mind when reading this issue.

    Alongside Batman and Green Lantern, we're also briefly introduced to a darker, edgier Superman (which I hope, at least, is going to be reflective of his Earth One incarnation) and vaguely introduced to another character I had to read the 'sketchbook' at the back of the issue to find out was destined to become 'Cyborg' - a character I'm only really familiar with in name for being a member of the Justice League (in some incarnation or another, at least). His placement in the story seemed to be little more than filler, but I expect it was also set up for what I can assume will be the only real origin story we're gonna get in this series arc.

    Also introduced, in notion at least, is Darkseid - who, being a Superman villain primarily, one would probably only really have a vague concept of up to now, since the Superman movies refuse to allow Supes to actually fight a super villain other than Zod. It doesn't take a huge leap of logic to work out that he'll be the villain of this piece by the end.

    Overall, it's a decent read. The characters are written brilliantly - Batman comes off as a snarky ass, Green Lantern comes off as an arrogant ass, Cyborg comes off as a whiny ass and Superman just comes off as an ass. Overall, they're pretty much as you'd expect. :p The dialogue, though, is definitely this issue's strength.

    It has a decent pacing, albeit a bit muddled up thanks to Cyborg's inclusion, but otherwise you get a fairly strong drive from start to finish. As for the ending, well, I don't think there's a geek alive that wouldn't get a tingle in the back of their neck from the idea of Superman and Batman having to duke it out - DC fan or no.

    It's a fair introduction to both the DC Universe as a whole, as well as this new status quo. Of course, things get a lot more confusing next week when the rest of the books come out and we have some set in Justice League #1 '5 years ago' setting and some set in the 'present', where everything there has been resolved already. It's a jarring concept to think of, and is probably just as jarring to read.

    I won't be picking up any of the other new books right now - mostly 'cos I can't afford it, partly 'cos I have no idea which Batman book I should pick up out of the billionty that are out on Wednesday - but I think I'll definitely stick to picking up the rest of this Justice League arc - digitally.
     
  32. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    Just picked up Justice League #1 and Flashpoint #5. Flashpoint was essentially the lead in, as it more or less exlpains why things are different now. As Barry Allen (The Flash) tries to fix the past and restore things to how they were he is informed by a mysterious cloaked woman that "...the history of heroes were shattered into three (timeleines) long ago. Splintered to weaken your (the old DCU) for their impending arrival. You must all stand together. The timelines must become one again."

    Pretty cryptic, but essentially this is setting up for some grander story (whether this leading to initial arc in Justice League, or the a "present" event story.) that will be played out in the new continuum. Flashpoint wasn't a bad arc, it just had a lot of build up and little pay off. It was cool to see the altered forms of well known heroes, though.

    As for Justice League, the interaction of Bruce and Hal was pretty awesome. Those were good characters to start with as they have always been good foils for one another. Hal being the only person who doesn't put up with Bruce's brooding and isn't intimidated by him (hence the whole "overcoming fear thing" about his character). Also, their interactions were fun with Hal basically dismissing Bruce in every way and being a cocky S.O.B. Really, I think that's how a lot of them are going to feel in this arc; a bit full of themselves because they've had it pretty easy thus far and haven't had a measuring stick to see where they truly stand. Hal has already been a bit humbled I think from the punch from Supes.

    Cyborg not yet being Cyborg is an interesting choice, that I actually like, as we'll get his origin story in here (as we really kind of have to, seeing as he doesn't have his own book like the others :x) and see his joining up with the rest of the League.

    As for Batman vs Superman next issue...Supes is going to wipe the floor with him in this case. Batman's greatest weapon is always strategy, and without knowing Superman's weaknesses he won't be able to really do much of anything. Sure, he'll get some hits in and do some sneaky things and then something will happen that will force them to work together, but Batman won't fair too well in this encounter. Which, again, I actually like. They should have Superman beat him down here, and then if they ever have to set up an encounter again between the two it would really show Batman's chief strength at work, his mind. Whether Batman uses Red Sunlight, Kryptonite of something else it would be a much better fight than this one will turn out to be. :x

    I'm excited for next week's slew of comics from DC. I plan to get Batgirl, Detective Comics and Action Comics. Yes, I will be getting a Superman book despite my general disdain for the character. But that's what Grant Morrison's writing will do. Plus, this book will help to effectively establish the basis for the universe.

    Also, I'm glad to find out that the "Five Years" thing is just for when the heroes became known to the general public on a full scale. Quite obviously a large number of them already have their powers and full well know how to use them (which really helps Bruce out, otherwise all of his Robins and Batgirls in five years really makes on scratch their head >>).

    For the Batman book, pick up the self titled book if you wanted to read one. It will probably be the best of the bunch by and large.
     
  33. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    See, I'd originally thought that Batman stood no chance at all - but he did say he'd researched Supes, and clearly knew enough about Green Lantern to not be fazed by the fact he was smashing things with a giant glowy fire truck illusion thing. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he'd already worked out the Kryptonite thing and had some with him.

    If only so they can both get a few licks in before they inevitably have to team up against a stronger foe.
     
  34. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    Hmm, I suppose that very well could happen. I mean, one has to assume that Supes has been running around for well over a decade now based off of him being the "original super hero" and in the Five Years Ago setting everyone else is already established their hero work Superman has to have been around for quite some time. So Batman knowing a weakness or two of his wouldn't be too far fetched.

    Today I went to a bookstore and got Volume 1 of Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" today for only $10. :3 I love that store oh so much~ (plus I got some other books whilst there XD)
     
  35. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

  36. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Just got around to reading Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #1. The Batman story was pretty damn left-field overall. It really, really didn't read like a new beginning at all, but was kind of enjoyable I guess? I just don't really understand what was going on outside of the fact that I clocked onto the fact the Joker was using Batman to get him inside Arkham pretty early on.

    Action Comics, surprisingly, was pretty fun. It's nice seeing Supes as not being completely untouchable, physically or morally (though I don't really understand how he managed to bruise his face, and yet catch a bullet unharmed). The story seemed very much in the same style as Earth One and I can actually see how this title could follow on from it. I will definitely be picking up #2.
     
  37. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    I also picked up and read Detective Comics #1 and Action Comics #1 (along with Batgirl #1). For what they were, I thought both were rather enjoyable, but could definitely be better.

    Detective Comics was good, for Tony Sale. :x I really rather like Sale as an artist, but I'm not sold on him as a writer. The man needs to learn passing, and for his monologue bubbles to not sound so stupid. It's like he's trying to channel Frank Miller in his "Gosh, Batman is such a cool badass and he knows it" style of speech for Bruce. It just seems so odd to me, especially after reading so much of Grant Morrison writing him (who is far superior of a writer to Sale, and even to Miller in my opinion when you look at the quality of all their works over time, but that's an argument for another time). The issue wasn't as bad as I heard some people making it out to be, but it was by no means a fantastic book. And as for the "new beginning", don't look for that to be there in any of the Batman books. Apparently Detective Comics is set around the same time as Action Comics (I believe 5 1/2 years before "Present Time"), and Batman is already at least Six years into his vigilante war on crime (yeah, Batman is much older than everyone else in the new DCU). The other Batman titles will be set in "present day", or namely exactly where things were before the restart (minus all the other Batgirls and God only knows what is going on with the Robins, but 11 at least of Super hero work could possibly make for a few Robins to be run through :x).

    Action Comics was much better than Detective was. Plus it's really just fun to read a story where Superman isn't powerful beyond belief. Sure, he's constantly growing stronger, but it will be a nice march towards the man we all read about in the other books involving him. Also, it will be interesting to see how Superman/Clark's relationships with others grow (namely Lois and Lex Luthor) over the course of events in Action Comics.

    This Wednesday should be a fun day for comics, there is something that I'm grabbing from DC (can't remember off the top of my head, but I will :x), plus after hearing great things about Swamp Thing I'm going to give it a try. Also, Ultimate Spider-Man #1 is coming out so I'll have to grab that.
     
  38. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    Apparently, the reporting that Detective Comics is set in the past was wrong. It's set in the 'present' - which makes it even more confusing, really.

    Anyways:

    [​IMG]
     
  39. Doctor Oak

    Staff Member Overlord

    This week's Batman #1 is by far the best book in the whole of the DC reboot and I heartily recommend it to everyone.

    However, the DC reboot could be more clear in its editorial policies, especially following on from the Comic Con criticism lobbied at it for its sexist hiring policies: http://henchman4hire.com/2011/09/22/sex ... dc-comics/
     
  40. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    I totally agree with you about Batman #1 being the best of the best (although I heard Wonder Woman this past week was really good too). But really, with Scott Snyder writing Batman I expected nothing less than amazing, and he shattered my expectations completely. I will seriously recommend Snyder's run of Detective Comics to people when it's released in Trade (although they would need to know a few things before jumping into that story, namely the whole Dick Grayson as Batman thing). Snyder has written two of the best books in the reboot (Batman and Swamp Thing) and I like to think he'll continue on his path of incredible writing for the foreseeable future.

    And as for the sexist hiring, I'll agree that they hired incredibly few woman. But you also have to factor in how many woman actually applied for the jobs or were not as qualified their male counterparts. (I'm basing this off of what I've previously heard about the subject, I haven't read Alex's link yet :x)
     

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