Pick of the Week

July 26, 2006 – Astro City Special #1: Samaritan

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Size: pages

Story by Kurt Busiek
Art by Brent E. Anderson
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Letters by John Roshell

Published by Wildstorm/DC Comics | $3.99

Before I get started, I still stand by my Pick last week. I enjoyed that book a ton. Anyway, on to this week. Conor was supposed to do the Pick, but he had a work thing to go to, so we thought Josh could do the Pick, but oh wait, he’s at the same work thing. So that leaves me doing the Pick of the Week two weeks in a row and most likely pissing you off again.

I had ANOTHER big week, with 13 total books. When will it end? It’s breaking me. Who am I kidding? I love it. While perusing the shipping list this week, I thought for sure Daredevil #87 would have been the pick and it came close, but while reading it, I had a hint of a feeling of anti-climaticness. After the con, we had pretty much figured out the identity of the rogue Daredevil, so that was a “oh right, of course” (I bet at one point it WAS Hawkeye though!) and then the twist at the end… was just that, a twist. But it didn’t blow me off my chair. Strangers In Paradise #83 tugged at my heart strings, but I couldn’t bring myself to write why. Even The New Avengers #22 with the tale of Luke Cage and the registration act made me cheer, but not enough to sing its praises here. Nope, folks, I went with the book that I bet you forgot about.

It’s funny, because during the con, I found myself recommending Astro City to many people. Every time I saw Kurt Busiek, I wanted to walk up to him and ask, “Where is it!?!?” I don’t really care about Aquaman or Superman, rather I want to be back in Astro City, easily one of the best books of the 90s. But I didn’t. Mainly because I didn’t really want to have the rest of that conversation. Can you say, “Awkward”? But I had the notion. That said, I had no idea this book was coming out. I even missed it in the Shipping List.

As I strolled the wall at my local comic shop, I did a double take. An Astro City book? A new one? No way, that’s gotta be a trade. No, it looks like an issue. My god! It is new, it is new! (say that last bit with the same cadence as Threepio when in Jawa sandcrawler when he’s reunited with R2. Yes, I’ve still got the stink of geek from the con on me. It’s hard to shake). So I snatched it up like it was a filet mignon.

As you know, I read my books in order of my excitement level, and yes, I read this book first. Before all the Civil War books, before 52, even before Strangers In Paradise #83. And it did not disappoint. You see, like 10 years ago, there was an image of a villain from the Astro City world. It was printed in some throwaway Wizard special, but someone scanned it and it made its way onto the internet. So for years, this image of the villain, who looked as if he has something to do with magic, just taunting us. Taunting us with the stories we have yet to read with him. Well, finally, Busiek and Anderson gave us a 40 page origin story of The Infidel, Samaritan’s arch nemesis.

The great thing about Astro City is explained very simply on the inside cover of this book, “What you need to know before reading this issue: Uh, nothing, really. Dive on in, the water’s fine.” It’s a humorous take on the serious issue of continuity. With all the continuity of the X-Men and the DC universe, its a relief to not even need to know anything about the characters. In 40 pages, they tell the story and tell it in a way that is completely understandable, yet relates as a classic superhero story. Which makes it accessible for anyone, which in this day and age in comics is a good thing.

Now, I have read every issue of Astro City, so I knew who Samaritian was. One thing that always made me wonder about Samaritian was his rogues, if any. The stories we’ve read of him are very similar to Superman, but slightly different. Not a carbon copy, but the idea concepts are similar. You can’t deny it. But what I felt was missing with Samaritian was that he had no Luthor. There was no threat. So these 40 pages of Samaritian’s nemesis, and his origin as well as his tales of conflict with Samaritian scratched that itch nicely.

If you’ve never read an issue of Astro City, do yourself a favor, pick this up. Then go and pick up the trade paperbacks. It doesn’t even matter which ones. Any of them. You’ll thank me.

Ron Richards
Who knew I was this controversial?

Did you read Astro City Special #1 : Samaritan? Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!


  1. Well, I’ll go ahead and make the first comment have nothing to do with the pick of the week. I didn’t read it…

    I did get Frontline #4, Amazing Spider-Man #534, Batman #655, and X-Men #189.

    Frontline and Spider-Man are continuing the trend of telling us all that registration is wrong. In Frontline Ben Urich says nothing pro-registration while Sally Floyd tells us all that it’s “unconstitutional.” I personally don’t see how training and certifying heroes as legal law-enforcement agents contradicts the constitution. Anyways, Spider-Man draws us closer and closer to Peter’s inevitable switching of sides. We’re almost halfway through Civil War and we’re still not seeing the other side of the issue. I’m loosing hope. I have yet to read New Avengers #21, which I said I would in previous discussions. I will get to it tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, I must honestly say, I have no idea what is going on in X-Men. No clue whatsoever. Maybe it’s just because I’m new to comics, but the whole thing seems random and thrown together. The art is as confusing as ever. I’m seriously thinking of dropping this book just to save myself the 3 bucks a month.

    Anyways, on the DC side. My first DC comic book. Batman. I really liked it. It seems like a good place to jump in. The beginning had me a bit confused, but they explained everything pretty well later (except whether the Joker is dead from being shot in the head or not). I look forward to the next issue. Despite IGN giving this issue a bad review, I think that of the comics I bought this week, this would be my pick.

  2. Rechecked Batman, Joker lives. I’m unobservant. Doh!

  3. All the books I got, great reads.

    Frontline-I liked it but it’s feeling repetative to me now, with six issues left in this series, I want something to happen that is meaningful to Civil War rather then a bunch of people going, “Wow can’t believe that happend.” or, “Why is this happening?”

    Young Avengers/Runaways-I enjoyed this, I know nothing about either team and went in thinking I’d be a confused, but this felt like it matched well with a new reader to either YA or R.

    New Avengers- Loved it, pulled at the heart a bit with the Luke/Jessica talked in the beginning, this was a great part of Civil War and had me cheering for Luke Cage in a way I haven’t in a long time.

    Batman – I’ve read “Son of the Demon” which is a supposed pre-tale to this story. DC said that “Son of the Demon” was not in continuity but the great thing about having a “Crisis” anything goes. So I’m waiting to see with this goes.

    Wolverine- Can’t say enough good things, great read, just so good, and feels like a great undercurrent to Civil War.

    Black Panther- I don’t read BP normally, and wouldn’t have picked it up if it wasn’t part of CW, it was okay, but made great with a fight between Spider-Man and Man Ape in the end, that was great.

    Finally, ASM- Just continuing the good reading happening during CW.

  4. What about Dardevil? I’m going to go ahead and say it. Brubaker’s DD is better than Bendis’. Ok. There, I said it. And this week was the topper.

  5. Dom, Brubaker’s been good, but it’s only been like 4 or 5 issues. It’s a little early to say its better than Bendis, which as of now is a historic run…

  6. ” I must honestly say, I have no idea what is going on in X-Men. No clue whatsoever. Maybe it’s just because I’m new to comics, but the whole thing seems random and thrown together. The art is as confusing as ever. I’m seriously thinking of dropping this book just to save myself the 3 bucks a month.”

    I felt the same way. It was near the top of my pile and before I finished reading the rest of my books, I went back and read it again. A second read didn’t make it any less confusing. I really didn’t have a problem with the art last issue, but it really bothered me with this one – it really compounded the confusion.

    Batman #655 was better than I expected. Alfred coaching Bruce on how to be “Bruce Wayne” was a nice touch, especially after this month’s Detective touched on Bruce’s uneasiness with not being out dressed as the bat.

    Of this week’s Civil War titles, Wolverine #44 was tops. ASM #534, New Avengers #22 and CW: Young Avengers/Runaways were all good but in a filling in the blanks left from the main Civil War book kind of way, while Wolverine’s telling a great story that’s spun out of CW, instead of trying to fit within it. On the flipside, I think Frontline keeps getting worse with each issue. It seems like all the effort’s going into the Civil War/Real World parallel stories (which I personally have not been enjoying) and the rest of the book is getting a quick once over. (“Let’s have Ben Urich and that other reporter talk about how bad registration is.” “But we did that last issue.” “Yes, but that conversation took place in a bar. This one will be on a street corner. And for the Speedball story, let’s have him tell someone that’s he’s not to blame.” “But he did that last issue.” “Not to his mother…”) Frontline #4 will probably be my last Frontline buy. God give me the strength…

    DD & Cap were solid reads, but I have to admit that I think I’m starting to develop a bit of a fanboy crush on Brubaker – he can do no wrong.

    I also picked up Action #841, mainly because I thought the cover was cool. I didn’t get all the way through it – I wasn’t very impressed. I am going to go back and read it again tonight, though because it was the first book I read after my second read of X-Men #189 and I think I had a lot of residual sourness going on.

  7. I really enjoyed Daredevil, which still sort of amazes me when I think about it; if you’d told me before the Bendis Revolution that I would one day have several years of DD comics and follow the character religiously, I’d never have believed it. None of the twists blew me away, true. Both of them were things that I thought might happen; I was just glad to see them actually happen. I had suspected the “what” of the last page, but the “how” was a nice surprise.

    The last two pages of Wolverine answered a question I should have thought to ask about the Stamford incident but hadn’t considered. It is, in a way, an international incident. Very interesting angle. Of course, why the world leader in question wouldn’t take up the matter with the U.S. president instead of creeping around in the Big Sur underbrush, only the writers know for sure.

    I still have half my stack ahead of me; I saw Front Line at the top of the pile and said, “Iiiiii’ll get to the rest tomorrow.” That ought to tell me something.

  8. Don’t know that anyone else read the Birds of Prey this week, but the last couple pages have me very interested/excited (Spoiler space below)
    I’m extremely curious as to who it is running around in the old Batgirl costume.

  9. I had a ton of books this week, but I totally missed the Astro City special. I’ll have to go back and get it next week.

    I didn’t find Daredevil anti-climatic; I thought everything came together quite well. I plan on sitting down this weekend with the whole story arc. I was shocked by the twist. I don’t want to ruin it, so I hope that I don’t spoil it by saying it brought a smile to my face. I, too, have a Brubaker crush. And Captain America continued rolling along. Brubaker’s books are so good. I’m glad they haven’t made him drop his plans to fit into Civil War.

    If I had a pick of the week, though, it would have been New Avengers #22. That book actually welled some emotion up in me. When Luke tells Jessica not to turn on the TV… good stuff by Bendis. And Yu’s art worked well in the story.

    I also really liked the first issue of Morrison’s Batman run (my crush on Morrison exceeds that of my Brubaker crush). What I really like about DC’s new take on the Batman books is that they compliment each other pretty well, or at least they look like they are going to. Detective was small and intimate. This was huge, bombastic even. The Bruce Wayne party scenes were laugh out loud funny. I was blown away by Kubert’s art. He’s perfect for a big super-hero book like this. I hope this team goes on an extended run. The only thing that held me back on this one was that DC’s been telegraphing the “cliffhanger” in spoilers for so long, that this issue seemed like set-up. Good set-up, but hopefully the story will pick up.

    I also really liked 52, but ASM, X-Men (can I just read the scripts for this? I think Bachalo is only confusing me), and Wolverine were just a’ight. And Action Comics sucked. Where’s Donner?

  10. It’s amazing how many good books came out this week, isn’t it? I’m reading this thread and I see you all talking about Wolverine, Daredevil, Batman, Amazing Spider-Man, 52 etc…maybe I’m still high from the con, but we’re in a very good time for comics.

    As far as some of the comments:
    – Donner (and Johns) start on Action Comics in September.
    – Daredevil was anti-climatic for me because a) we figured it out over the weekend and after talking to people at Marvel and the twist at the end made me groan. It was still awesome though.
    – X-Men sucked. Uncanny right now is way better than adjectiveless and I blame Bachaolo
    – It’s hard to find a bad book in the Civil War lot, and New Avengers choked me up too a little towards the end.

    SO many good comics…

  11. Hi guys,
    i have a review up for this week’s issues of Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil, I wanted to share what i thought on this board without taking up alot of room, so Ron told me to post a link here. Check it out and feel free to tell me if i’m horribly wrong.


    you may have to sign in, but that only takes like a second. (i’m trying to figure out how to delete that feature on the board. SORRY!)

  12. I’m guessing that the unconstitutionality (is that a word?) of the Registration act comes in its total neglect of a person’s right to privacy. There’s more to it than that, for sure, but that’s the basic premise.

    About Frontline: I haven’t gotten this week’s books yet, but I’m to the point where I don’t care about the reporter stuff at all, and just want to skip to the part about Speedball. The sleeper cell storyline might be interesting. The first part of the story caught my interest.

    But the reporters and the somewhat forced attempts to tie it to real life at the end do drag the book down.

    Can’t wait to read the Runaways/YA crossover.

  13. This is the third week in a row I’ve flipped through the eventual pick of the week in the shop without buying it. I’ve heard lotsa good things about Astro City, so I checked it out, but I thought I wouldn’t know what was going on–doh. Sounds like I was wrong again.

    It was another strong week–doesn’t it seem the best titles are bunched in the 3rd and 4th weeks of the month?–and Daredevil, Batman, and 52 were all very good. Frontline was better than last week–sleeper cell story has piqued my interest–but overall just okay.

    I haven’t gotten to Cap or New Avengers yet, but so far Amazing Spider-man would be my pick. Now I’m not sure we learned too much new, if anything, or I don’t know where exactly the story fit into the overall Civil War timeline, but the moments between Spidey and Cap were really good–mostly, though, I would pick it on the strength of Ron Garney’s art. This was by far his best issue yet, the splash pages and battles were sharp and brilliant, they had that classic superhero style that I like so much. ASM has been the best of Civil War tie-ins for me.

  14. I wish I was still “in the know” about Astro City. I had begun reading it when I was yougner (maybe…10? 11?) but since I wasn’t a regular comic reader back then, I suppose I dropped it.

    As for the rest of the books this week, I was really surprised too see who the FAKE Daredevil was. I honestly had not considered him…Bravo Brubaker, Bravo.

    Wolverine’s Civil War tie-ins have been good so far…but I felt that this one was totally a waste of space which could have been put into 3 or 4 pages of a single book.

    Also, sorry if i’m mistaken…but i don’t remember the “Death” issue of Runaways coming out yet…So I was kind of taken ‘off guard’ by this first issue of “Young Avengers/Runaways”. I was also kind of mad that their meeting is so freakin’ cliche: Heroes meet, misunderstand each other, fight, make up. It’s really quite annoying too see two good teams wasted on such a redundant plot device.

  15. It’s never too early to say Brubaker’s run is better than Bendis’. Especially since no one thought it could be followed.

  16. I have to agree with this pick of the week without question. Astro City, when boiled down to their essence, are why we read comics. I have no idea why this title has not been snatched up by hollywood and made into an HBO series!!!!

    Astro City is hands down one of the best super hero serials ever created. I stongly suggest that if you have never tried them, please do so immediately. It doesn’t matter which TPB you grab, there is no “hard-lined” continuity. You will quickly gobble them up.

    The Freaky Tiki

  17. Dominic’s got a point! But I think i’m going to wait a little while until I cast my vote. Bendis unmasked Matt, gave him a new wife, sent him to jail, and did one of the coolest scenes ever, where Daredevil took down Kingpin and drove him through a FUCKING, WALL.
    Brubaker’s gonna give him a run for his money though. No doubt about it.

    I just wish that Daredevil was way more popular. I mean, come on, this ENTIRE volume of Daredevil, we’ve had great writers/artists. Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada, Bendis and Maleev, and now Brubaker and Lark. Daredevil is probably one of, if not THE best comic books out there on the market today.

  18. Thank you spidermav. And just so we’re clear, I love Bendis. That was not a dig at him in any way.

    I say Marvel needs to make a new Daredevil movie. But good this time. Also, Bendis needs to write it. They also need to get a really good director like DC did with Batman Begins.

    “And thats all I have to say about that.”

  19. I think that Daredevil could have been a really great movie. If they did the right stories, everyone could enjoy it. We could have ‘Born Again’, some of Bendis’ run (including, ESPECIALLY, the underboss story) and then the whole Ryker’s prison arc. If they played it right and took some creative liberties ala Spider-Man, it could totally be successful.

  20. Just wanted to say something really quick about the whole Constitutional/Unconstitutional thing of the Regerstartion act. I think the thought of it being unconstitutional spoke to me in New Avengers this past week, were Jessica Jones who hasn’t been an active hero since…(in marvel time) a number of years has to sign up. And Ms. Marvel says they won’t bring her into duty because she’s a mother. Nothing about being inactive for (blank) years. It seems it’s the forcing of people to sign the act, active or not. Which told me that basically the goverment would dictate the who/what/where the heros would fight and for what purpose. That they might be able to bring in an inactive if it was called upon and arrest said person if they did not comply. I guess that’s what I got out of New Avengers this week…maybe I’m looking to much into it heh.

  21. To follow up on the Act thingy…

    I’m not to thrilled about the whole thing either but read and enjoy the books anyway. So, even if you don’t want to use your powers, you have to sign up? And what is being considered as having a superpower? Would Batman be forced to sign up even if he has no powers? What about ugly mutants that don’t do anything? Does Chase, who is just a friend of powered teens, have to sign up? Whay if I can juggle tennis balls, or speed read, or do silly magic tricks, should I sign up, even if I don’t fight evildoers?

    Ahhh… questions and nitpicks, what else is there….

  22. At the risk of bringing much more heated debates to this mini-Eden of a board, the discussion of the Act’s legality makes me think of some of the real world’s recent history. We had a gigantic national tragedy, the legislature responded by proposing and passing a flurry of tough new laws like the Patriot Act, some of those laws were written in anger or had little to do with the tragedy at hand and passed without a lot of debate (or even being read by many legislators) and then when people “on the ground” started interpreting those laws overzealously folks looked around and said, “HeyοΏ½ that doesn’t even sound constitutional!” The heroes of the Marvel universe are in the first weeks of the “natural overreaction” phase; when you look at this week’s New Avengers, you’re looking at literally the first time anyone’s ever tried to enforce that law.

  23. If I may add to Jimski’s post. Civil War has had a lot of fun little real world current events twists. I particularly enjoyed it this week when Tony showed he was aware of Spidey’s (or do we just call him Pete now?) spider sense. That somehow the suit has been sending out info that Peter is aware of. I took that as an analogy to the real world wire-tapping stories from not too long ago.

  24. Speaking of his spider-sense, since when did the spider sense become directional? I didn’t think that was his ability. But apparently, he can tell what direction the danger is coming from. Has it always been that way?

  25. I would have to re-read that part of the issue, but maybe the directional skill has something to do with the tech in the suit. Maybe he sensed danger and then sensors in the suit were able to focus on what and where the threat was coming from.

    I am stretching for an answer, but maybe.

  26. I think historically spider-sense is one of those things that works the way the story needs it to work. Apparently lost to history (along with web fluid) is the old “spider tracer,” which let Spidey use his spider-sense to track a villain’s precise location all the way to Jersey because it was coated with danger.

  27. I’ve read previous stories where he knew what direction the danger was coming from, like he knew when to jump or to duck, or what not, so it has to be somewhat directional.

  28. I almost took that directional dodging as involuntary movement. I mean, it passed by the editors and all that. They’re really stretching Peter. I mean, he’s now hunting superheroes, fighting crime, teaching class, and being Tony Stark’s number 2. At least Jonah finally let him go. That would have been too much.

  29. I gotta say, the part in Amazing Spidey where Cap asks Spidey to switch sides, and Spidey says too himself that all he’s ever wanted was the respect of people like Cap. That whole part I was just hoping he would side with Cap. Then what happened next just broke my heart. Stupid Spidey. Make me wait longer for him to jump ship.

    And is it just me or did it look like Cap still had his disguise mustache on when he was in the sewer?

  30. I think JMS is really doing his best Marvel work at the moment on ASM and aside from the first 8 Rising Stars issues, possibly his best comic work overall.

  31. EW JMS! ew ew ew ew ew ew ew

  32. I started reading Amazing again the month JMS started. “That Babylon 5 guy? Well, people really like Babylon 5; guess I’ll check it out.”

    Since then, his writing has been like a pendulum for me. I really liked the Romita period, gradually grew to hate the Deodato-Sins Past-Other period, and now can’t get enough of the Civil War stuff. I can only presume that, at this rate, we’re about six months away from JMS unveiling Spidey as a Skrull pederast and me dropping the book again, but in the meantime I am enjoying the ride.

    I actually followed X-Men pretty well and enjoyed it more than I expected. Mind you, it made a better chapter than a book, but what else is new?

    I am officially not reading the back section of “Front Line” anymore.


    What the hell?? Vietnam as interpreted by Paul Jenkins as interpreted by Billy Joel?
    (throws cards on table) I’m out!

  33. Just to through in my two cents: DD was anticlimatic to me as well, but mainly because the climax was last issue and this was just falling action that wrapped up everything. It’s good to tie up the loose ends but this issue lost some steam because it was just loose ends; that sort of thing should have been dealt with last issue. Again, thank you decompression of storyarcs to fit in a TPB.

    ASM #534 was a phenomenal book. Spidey stories are best when he’s trying to do the right thing when he’s not sure exactly what the right thing is. I found this issue extremely compelling because he is one of the few heroes who is conflicted and having to weigh both sides of the issue. Ron Garney is definitely stepping up the art too, I hope he’s able to stay on for a while.

    Enjoyed Powers #19 too, seems like a slow start but also a classic start. It’s amazing how every arc starts with a dead superhero but somehow it hasn’t gotten old yet. And, wow, we’ve come a long way from issue #2 where they obscured Retro Girl’s naughty bits, yowza.

    Finally: Star Wars – Knights of the Old Republic #7 was pretty good too. I was so close to dropping this series until #6 made the whole thing much more interesting. I still am holding out hope for something really good to come out of this series.

  34. Yeah, I think JMS has hit his stride as well. I’ve always liked his interpretation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (as of late especially), but I think his Icons book, Book of Souls, is really fantastic as well. I’d say its some of his best stuff, if not his best.

  35. I just remembered one of the problems I had with this week’s issue of Spider-Man. Civil War #3 left us with a cliffhanger with Thor coming back. We’re all wondering what will happen next. Well, now we know that some of the heroes got captured by Iron Man, but Captain America and some others got away. It just ruins some of the magic. Also, what was with the Thing plugin? Was it really necessary to put him in there just so they can tell us to read Fantastic Four?

    Anyways, it was still a good issue overall.

  36. I didn’t mind the plug, it reminded me of reading through the Essentials. I think Marvel would be better off drawing more fun stuff from the silver age like that sometimes.

  37. “I didn’t mind the plug, it reminded me of reading through the Essentials”

    Except the plugs used to be a panel, not a page.

  38. I really enjoyed 52 this week. Lately I haven’t . . . But the last two weeks have been good. I thought the intro of Isis was well done.

    I didn’t like Batman as much as I thought I would. I’m not sure why. Sometimes I feel discombobulated reading a Morrisson book. And I hate Man-bat. So, someone is running around in a Batman costume shooting people? Isn’t that what’s happening in Nightwing? I liked Detective SSSOOO much more.

    I haven’t really read Astro City in a long time. But I love this site because it always leads to something new to think about.

    I want X-Men to be good cause I’m a big fan of Northstar. But I think the art is confusing. When Bachalo did Generation X way back when, he wasn’t that confusing to read. I think his inker really helped. I still enjoyed it though. I may be the only one. πŸ™

    ASM was great. I keep hoping Peter would switch sides but reading about his confliction really made sense as to why he’s sticking with Tony. And the foreshadowing about his Spider armor was enlightening. Tony knows Peter has spider sense now and that was a spooky twist. What is that pesky Iron Man up to anyway?

    Does anyone read Blue Beetle? I keep buying it. Next month the secret of the armor is revealed. I’m still confused by the armor, so I hope the answers are really coming.

    And I LOVED New Avengers cause Jessica Jones is just the best character ever. It was a great issue. But if I were Luke, I would’ve split with Jessica and my kid. My kid would mean more to me than anything else. That wouldn’t work for Luke as a character, but I’m just saying.

    Did anyone see the new issue of Wizard? (I just can’t stop buying it. I’ve been reading it since I was in high school.) It’s got a new size? Very cool promo pics of stuff in the new format. It’s always a waste of money but I can’t stop!

  39. “Except the plugs used to be a panel, not a page.”

    Maybe, but if you add all of them up, it’d be a page πŸ˜‰

  40. No slight to Astro, DD or any other great issue this week, but nothing comes close to New Avengers. This is the best Avengers read in memory.

  41. I’m a huge fan of those asterisks about what’s happening with other characters. When I was young and first getting into comics, those were what got me to read new titles. It always feels like a nice throwback.

    I’m guessing Luke Cage cares just as much about his daughter as you’re suggesting he might not. Having kids changes a man…or so they say.

  42. Why is everyone so down on Bachalo? I’ve followed his work since Shade the changing man and I love his style. I agree sometimes it can be a little confusing and Seth was right that Generation X was probably some of his best work but he’s still way better than Billy Tan.
    I also find the story in X-Men at least as interesting as Uncanny. I don’t know what’s going on yet but I’m trusting Carey to reveal as we go on.

    As for the best book of the week though Gene Ward is right New Avengers was excellent, though my comic shop (in England) didn’t get ASM or Powers yet.

  43. Bachalo lost me when he did Steampunk. It made no sense, NO SENSE!

  44. I reread X-Men yesterday and it made a bit more sense than it did the first time. But I still didn’t really like it. I think I’ll keep reading for one more issue just to see what the Iceman/Mystique thing is all about. I just have this feeling that this is going to be one of those plots where you don’t know why anything is happening until the villain explains everything at the very end, which I find to be a weak way of story telling. Also this arc seems to be lacking in subplot, which is something that should be present in a six issue story. I suppose the Lady Mastermind/Sentinal thing might qualify, but it’s seen very little development so far.

  45. Steampunk did make sense when you read it all at once. It was VERY complex and probably should only have been put out as graphic novels.
    I was really upset when it was cancelled without the story being complete, but I guess I was the only one.

  46. “I’m a huge fan of those asterisks about what’s happening with other characters.”

    Me too. I loved them when I was younger, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more occassionally. I just don’t know if I need an entire page (at least I think it was a whole page – I’m at a conference this week and my books are at home) devoted to it. It makes it seem like an essential part of the story, which it wasn’t. It really felt out of place, and I felt like I got ripped off a page of Spidey story for an add for JMS’s other book.

    Since my books are back home, I’m reading trades tonight: Powers Anarchy trade and the new Fables collection. Does Powers get better? I liked the Retro Girl and Supergroup trades a lot, but this Anarchy one was underwhelming. Sorry, that’s not really about this week’s books.

    “Sometimes I feel discombobulated reading a Morrisson book.”

    And that’s why I love it!

  47. About Luke Cage . . . I dunno’. I wasn’t trying to suggest he’s a bad dad . . . Just that if it were ME, I’d choose to be a father first and a hero second.

    First, it’s a story. Without Luke on Cap’s team, it wouldn’t be the same story. I don’t want him going off to Canada cause I want to see read his adventures in this story called Civil War. Second, there is no right or wrong here. His choices are clear. Stay and fight for right or go and protect your daughter. You could argue the importance of each issue. Very complex for a comic, eh? Fortunately this character is married and his wife can protect his child and he can fight the good fight.

    How do other people feel about the Civil War? I know this is just a story and a metaphor for what’s taking place in the world right now— But I feel very strongly that Iron Man is dead wrong and perhaps the big bad of the storyline. I don’t know how Marvel can ever go back to what it was after this.

    If I were a Marvel hero I would definitely go with Cap. If I was a single superhero parent I would run away to Canada to protect my child who might also develop powers. I wouldn’t want my child to have to register and work for the government without being able to make a personal choice in the matter. I see no morality in complying with the government on this. In ASM Peter said he’s following the law . . . But there are lots of bad, BAD laws in our country right now. I think you’ve got to stand up for what is right before a Hitleresque history repeats itself in a more modern and even more deadly world. And I think Marvel is trying to point out that good people can really make bad, BAD decisions thinking it’s for the best. I’m contradicting myself here I guess. Maybe Iron Man isn’t that bad . . . But I VERY much disagree with what he’s doing.

    Too bad superheroes don’t really exist . . . Cause I think the world really needs a few right now.

    I’ve had too much coffee this morning. Need to get back to the real world. πŸ™‚

  48. I don’t think that it’s everyone with superpowers has to register and work for the government. After all, Firestar was able to retire from superhero work. Therefore, anyone with superpowers who doesn’t want to work for the government doesn’t have to.

  49. Firestar said HERSELF, she retired. It doesn’t mean the government isn’t going to still WANT her too register, but if she stops showing up as Firestar, they won’t have any leads as to who she is.

    It’s not like she sent the government a formal 2 weeks notice, ya know.

  50. Firestar said HERSELF, she retired. It doesn’t mean the government isn’t going to still WANT her too register, but if she stops showing up as Firestar, they won’t have any leads as to who she is.

    Except for those who DID register who knew her identity and could easily tell the government…

  51. Here’s a good question: Why does my issue of Batman say “September 2006” on it?

  52. When was the last time the month printed on a comic actually matched the month it was released in?

  53. uh, 52

  54. 52 even has the day it comes out printed on the cover.

  55. You dont care about Superman or Aquaman? Damn you Ifanboys. I comeback and you hurt me each time.

  56. Darrel- I happen to not care about Superman or Aquaman, but that’s just me. I know for a fact that Conor and Josh care about them quite a bit…

    Have you ever read Astro City?

    RE: Dates on comics and 52 – BESIDES 52 πŸ˜‰

  57. Astro City is, to me, a really good version of what the DC Universe could have been, had they taken it in a slightly different direction. It has always been, in its makeup, more similar to DC than Marvel.

    Just for the record, I dropped both Superman and Aquaman, because I didn’t think they were very good. Busiek’s work on Astro City is usually better than his DC work, in my opinion.

    Also, for more Pro-DC/anti Marvel opinioneering, check out the San Diego coverage. 2 tables! AND Joe Q snubbed us more times than we can count! But not his DC equivalent. Oh no!

  58. You people made my fat, gothic girlfriend cry.

  59. i bought a couple of Astro city issues years ago but the schedule is too chaotic. I like the current Superman issue with Carlos Pacheco. You Ifanboys are just too cool for me.

  60. i bought a couple of Astro city issues years ago but the schedule is too chaotic.

    I actually almost sort of agree, in a way. I was introduced to Astro City via trades, and I really enjoyed it and was moved by it, but then when I ran out of trades I found myself getting frustrated wondering if there would be more and when they would appear. It was like

    mole:whack-a-mole::Astro City:shipping schedule

    It seemed less like Kurt Busiek’s series and more like Kurt Busiek’s hobby.

    Still, a sporadic schedule is no reason to deny yourself a good read, especially considering that Astro City is about the friendliest, most accessible, jumping-onningest title out there. I mean, where would “The Ultimates” be if chaotic shipping schedules were some kind of reading criteria?

  61. Astro City is not a good book if you’re into regular monthly titles, this is true. But Kurt can’t give it the attention it deserves, so instead of doing it half assed, he waits until he can.

    But that’s what the trades are for.

  62. Finally caught up…took awhile to read through the (too) many boos I picked up earlier this week.

    Astro City is a good pick but as much as I like the story, I just don’t really like the art all that much. Maybe I am too visual a person, but it just didn’t do it for me. I liked the story, though, but I think the comic that most affected me was the Avengers storyline. Seeing Cage being pulled into this conflict…watching Jessica react to seeing her husband fight back on TV…that was awesome. The world they know is splintering apart, and this really brought it home. The beat with Marvel girl and Jessica–I just thought there were some really well wrought scenes in the book.

    Spidey was off the hook, too. Things are getting serious! His struggle with Cap was brilliant, and for once I didn’t mind a booking being mostly about a fight, considering it was a true struggle, as well. Intense. Very cool.

    I keep reading X-Men and I am still not sure what is what. I like the art, though, so I am gonna stick with it. Maybe it will be like 100 Bullets, where it’s often better to read 5 at a time than one a month.

    Action was good. I like that people don’t trust Supes coming back and how he’s kind of struggling, it seems, with getting tested. I really am looking forward to more of the fallout from these 52 weeks off, it seems like his absence left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.

    I reread JLA #0 and didn’t hate it as much as the fanboys did. I think it works as an anti-issue, in a way. The scene where Superman and Wonder Woman talk about Batman going out was touching and made me feel sad, I admit, that Clark felt Bruce, in the end, hated him. When Wonder Woman just sits there and says nothing is gorgeous.

    Civil War:Billy Joel really irritated me as well. I am kind of over the last four pages thing. Gimme another storyline. Maybe we can get the POV from another reporter in another city? I dunno. But stop it with the little poetic afterwards.

    Very much interested in how Wolverine seems to be the book that is revealing…something? Someone behind the scenes.

    And, finally, read Black Panther and thought there were a few good scenes, especially when Iron Man and Captain, state (again), their views, this time for good, it seems.

    It does seem like there have been many, many pages putting the pieces in place for some kind of critical throwdown, but I wonder if it will ever happen?


  63. I loved the JLA issue

  64. I liked Justice League of America #0 more upon second reading, but I was still disappointed in it. I think Meltzer tried to cram too much continuity in in a way that didn’t make much sense.

    And in a surprising turn of events, Josh quite liked it too when he read Ron’s copy this weekend.

  65. I REALLY liked the JLA. At first, I didn’t get it, but I really liked how it tried to do so much. It was ambitious and interesting. It was a unique take on the relationship between the big three, and I totally dug it.

  66. I’ve read the Astro City stuff that’s at my library. Like 5 trades or so. I like it. It’s not something that I’d ever get monthly, but if it’s kicking around I’ll definitely pick it up. Good reads.

    It’s the storytelling that makes it great. It takes an unconventional way of telling stories about conventional type characters.

    Oh, and the Runaways Death issue came out the week before the Runaways/YA crossover.

  67. I went back to the shop this weekend and picked up Astro City, and it was well worth it. Perfect use of the one-shot format: accessible story and meaningful themes, it’s still resonating with me. Good stuff.

    And for what it’s worth, I’m on the side of loving JLA #0, for all the reasons Josh noted. It’s made me excited for the upcoming run, and I’m not normally a JLA reader.

  68. I stopped by my comicshop two days ago to pick up Astro City (after recommending The Escapist, I trust ifanboy’s picks to buy titles I don’t normally buy) and some boards.

    I thought it was a very interesting story, very easy to pick up. But I didn’t think it compared to New Avengers. New Avengers 22 was the first NA book I bought and since then, I’ve picked up two trades and 12 back issues.

    Daredevil was decent, I haven’t been reading it constantly and my comicshop doesn’t have any back issues. I was a little disappointed at the reveal but it makes sense. Still wish it was Hawkeye.

    Amazing Spider-Man was amazing. I loved the internal argument that Peter was dealing with. Plus I love Peter’s sense of honor. Still, I wonder what Iron Man is up to.

    As for what the Superhuman Registration act entails I believe it is anyone who possesses super powers or anyone who opperates as a vigilante.

    I’m giddy about Green Goblin in Civil War now too.

    The reveal in Wolverine when I read it I was just like “duh. they WOULD be involved.”

    And I love drunken Superhero brawls at weddings.

  69. Still wish it was Hawkeye

    Do you wish it was Hawkeye because you really like Hawkeye? Because it makes zero sense, story-wise, for it to be Hawkeye.

    As for what the Superhuman Registration act entails I believe it is anyone who possesses super powers or anyone who opperates as a vigilante.

    Those are two wildly different things which, I think, lead to the central conflict in the story personified in the Jessica Jones argument in New Avengers. Somehow the Act has gone from just registering and verifying superhumans to drafting them into government service. And that’s why it’s so sinister.

  70. It’s drawing a parallel to the fact that when you register to vote, you register for the draft as well. And it’s illegal not to in this country.

  71. Except that there currently is no draft in the US, whereas the superheroes are being actively called into duty by the government.

    Also, everyone knows (God, I hope they know) that when they register to vote they register to draft. But the whole superhero draft seems to be a surprise to some people in the Marvel U.

  72. I’ve just realized how entry level that keen insight of mine is.

  73. I think they should use Frontline to explain the actual ins and outs of the Superhero Registration act.

    The “story” in the beginning of the book with the two journalists with opposing viewpoints is pretty boring. They could at least explain the specifics of the Act. Or at the end. They could have shown the politicians arguing the specifics of the bill: What “superpowers” means? Age limits? etc.

    That and the sections at the end of the books have been constantly boring. I basically pick the book up to see what happens to Speedball…

  74. As for the whole Hawkeye aspect, I wish they had done it as a way to bring Hawkeye back for good. Plus, I always figured Hawkeye would be better at impersonating Daredevil since he always seemed to have superpower archery skills and Daredevil uses geometric awareness and I always figured those two powers were similar. However, I haven’t been reading Daredevil regularly and I didn’t know Iron Fist wasn’t using the billy club. Plus, I like Hawkeye.

    Going back to the SRA. It is called the Super-Human Registration Act so I’m assuming only those with powers are being forced to register. Besides Iron Man, have ANY non-powered people registered? I’m thinking that the act is broken into multiple clauses:

    1. Who Must Register
    A. All Non-Mutant Superpowered Humans
    B. Questionable Registrants:
    I) Non-powered humans acting as superhumans
    (Iron Man, Hawkeye)
    II) Non-human superpowered individuals
    (Thor, Captain Marvel, The Inhumans)
    2. Responsibilities
    A. Goverment Leadership
    B. Elimination of Independent Mavericks
    C. Accountability

    No one is asking the superheroes to go public such as Spider-Man and Iron Man have. They have gone above and beyond the requirements of the SRA.

    I’m assuming that the act states that any and all with powers must register regardless of if they use them. In addition to that, those who wish to continue to use their powers are allowed to but must be government sanctioned. Meanwhile, those who have stopped using their powers must still register but will not be enlisted in government service.

  75. Meanwhile, those who have stopped using their powers must still register but will not be enlisted in government service.

    I think that wasn’t what Jessica Jones was told in the latest issue of New Avengers. I think she was told they probably wouldn’t call on her for a while. Someone can give the direct quote, I don’t have the book here.

  76. Sorry to double post but there is one thing from Civil War that’s been bothering me…

    Where’s the Sentry for all of this? He’s the only new Avenger we haven’t seen. I was talking with my local comicshop guy and he thinks that Thor is Sentry dressed up. Since it seems unlikely that Thor would side with the government and that he would even bother with the affairs of mortals in such a way.

  77. II) Non-human superpowered individuals
    (Thor, Captain Marvel, The Inhumans)

    How does the United States Government have the authority to impose registration on Thor and The Inhumans? They could ban them from entering the U.S. if they don’t register, I guess.

    I also think you need to add a point “D” – because it has been strongly hinted that the government would use the heroes as an army.

  78. The government doesn’t have the authority, hence them being under the “Questionable Registrants” header. I’ll admit, what I wrote is in no means fool proof, I’m at work and too bored to design a brochure right now. Because it is way too hot (No, really, its over 100 in MAINE).

    I hope the act gets explained further. As of right now, it seems like the Illuminati are the only people to have actually read it.

    I’ve been avoiding this thread because I wasn’t able to get the last issue of New Avengers until today!
    That was sooooooooooooooooooooo GOOD!

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