Pick of the Week

12.20.2006 – The New Avengers: Illuminati #1

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Writers – Brian Michael Bendis & Brian Reed
Artist – Jim Cheung
Inker – Mark Morales
Colors – Justin Ponsor
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit

Marvel Comics – $2.99

This was a rough week! I could have made several picks, and the top 2 both contained the word “Avenger.” And neither of them really had anything to do with Civil War, which I’m pretty much ready to be done with. Conversely, I could have written twice as much here about why Frontline was the book that frustrated more than anything I’ve read this year. But enough of that! What’s this about Illuminati?

Pure and simple, this was a great Marvel comic. I was having fun reading it. There was action, and big superhero fighting. There were quips and jokes and wisecracks. It felt big and significant. It had skrulls! But what really sent this over the edge was the thing I’m sure haven’t seen for a while, if ever:

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Black Bolt.

The king of the Inhumans is carrying a big ol’ stick. This is a man who personifies Teddy Roosevelt’s most famous quote. And you NEVER get to see him actually use his power. They just hint at it. But when you need to send a message to the invading Skrull hordes, I defy you to find a better candidate in the entire Marvel Universe to deliver it.

With this particular gathering, you really have a very interesting, very powerful group of characters. I really think that you’d be hard pressed to put together a more complete group of the best Marvel has to offer in terms of a group of people who can’t be beat. And looking at the characters on the cover, I’m noticing how varied these guys are in personality, and how putting them together is a stroke of genius from a storytelling point of view. None of them have anything in common with one another. None of them have a particularly strong affinity for anyone else in the group. There aren’t any partnerships. If anything, they’re all just acquaintances who agreed that they had to work together. The clash of their various personalities, which are all well defined, can be used for endless stories, and interesting character interactions.

Then, they take that concept one step further, and go back to core Marvel history, and show the readers that these guys were involved all along, but no one knew about it. And unlike in the origin of the Sentry, the story actually works in this instance. There might be people out there who balk at tinkering with the official history, I think it’s happening in exactly the spirit in which Stan created this universe, and hence doesn’t feel forced at all.

Like a nerdy fat guy who happens to get a girlfriend who is far too attractive for him, Joe Quesada needs to draw up a contract for Jimmy Cheung, and lock that shit down. I’ll be honest, that I’m not sure this was even his best work, but compared to some of the other art I saw this week (52, Frontline, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Cheung is going to be very much in demand very soon. His work is just good comic booking. From the epic space battles, and the punching, and the alien torture of Reed Richards, it was all strong.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit, there were logical flaws in this book, and bits of it didn’t quite make sense to me, but overall, this was the one book I read which I wished was longer. Normally, I dread the appearance of a new mini-series, because it’s just one more book I have to pay for, but this is a mini I can get behind. At least until it starts getting into the Civil War stuff. Unless Black Bolt is the one to end the whole mess. Fingers crossed.

Josh Flanagan
Who says nothing happens in a Bendis book?
josh@ifanboy.com

Did you read The New Avengers: Illuminati #1?
Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!
This was a rough week! I could have made several picks, and the top 2 both contained the word “Avenger.” And neither of them really had anything to do with Civil War, which I’m pretty much ready to be done with.

Comments

  1. The new Illuminati issue was thoroughly awesome, I agree, and it might’ve been my favorite this week if Casualties of War hadn’t come out. I’m a big fan of the whole Civil War thing, though, so my “ready for it to be over” feeling is more “I can’t wait to see how it ends.”

    Overall, though, I can’t disagree with you. Illuminati was a fucking *great* book and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the mini.

  2. I liked seeing handicapped Xavier again. It just felt right, like going home after a long vacation…I’m getting all teary eyed just thinking about it.

  3. i loved seeing tony stark not be a complete asshole. i thought the characterization was good all around, given the limited space allowed to each member of the illuminati. i also smiled at the appearance of *SPOILER* Thor, even if it ended up not being real.

    new avengers 26 was very very pretty. the entire issue felt like one of those surreal dream sequences. just great.

  4. Illuminati was great I agree, but I also liked New Avengers and I really like FF, for the first time ever I though Bemm Grimm was a great leadin character he was hillarious, come on you gotta love the french JLA(anybody else pick that up) and “IL EST TEMPS DE BATTRE!”

  5. Oh and two more things Penace is Speedball and was that really Wanda?

  6. I wrote this off as a reprint. Glad it aint.

  7. I’m with you that it was a great week for comics, Josh.

    Casualties of War: Iron Man/Captain America was really great. However, halfway through I realized that nothing substantial could come of this issue, it just has to be sort of a recap of Civil War and the timeline; anything big is going to happen in the main books. However, the writer of IM/CA understands these two men unlike any other writer who is doing Civil War right now. And that made it a great read, real insight into the characters and their motivations and Tony didn’t come off as a total jerk.

    I also read Iron Man #14 and really enjoyed that too. I’m starting to think that even though Tony may be a jerk who is convinced that the ends overjustify the means, he is really the most interesting character to come out of Civil War. He’s not just fighting those who oppose him, he’s fighting his inner demons. There’s conflict, there’s subconscious stuff going on. At least in these two books all this has a chance to come out.

  8. I didn’t get a copy of Illuminati, but I may try to track one down tomorrow. Or see if they get it in next week. So far I’ve only read New Avengers and 52 and I must say, I turned back and looked at the Wanda/Clint makeout page ala Klimt several times. Great design, beaut illustration. Can’t wait for ish 27.

  9. Yup, Cheung’s art is great, he got me on to Young Avengers despite the fact that it was writen by the same guy who did the frigin O.C.!

    Oh, yeah.
    Criminal #3 anyone?

  10. The Illuminati waas great. I picked up like 13 book this week and that was the best of the lot.

    A quick comment about Casualties of War: Iron Man/Captain America:

    Did anyone else while reading this think-My god, this issue reads like two former lovers getting back together to review their relationship to determine whether they could/should get back together or not. This did not read like two leaders of warring factions coming together for one last chance at peace or whatever. Reminded me of Brian Wood’s Demo #8: Mixtape. I guess I was expecting a more…heated debate, not a sentimental stroll down memory lane. I felt ill after reading this, kind of like I felt after seeing X-Men 3. This just flat out sucked but I liked the nods to past continuity.

    The bit in Iron Man about Tony using Extremis as a solution to Peter’s spider sense was brilliant!

  11. Wanda/Clint makeout page ala Klimt

    That was really cool and I’m so glad that someone else picked it up. There were actually two pages in a row where as soon as I looked at them I thought immediately of Klimt.

    I didn’t get to the store last night and tonight is crazy too so I’ll be going on Friday so I only got to read part of my ‘stack’.

    Illuminati was really good and probably my best so far. I really like Namor in small doses when he’s written right.

    New Avengers 26 was really good too but for me it was mostly the art. Alex Maleev is so goddamn talented that I lack the words to properly describe how I feel about his work.

    Ms. Marvel #10 was good. It’s getting better as they get further from CW. She was difficult to read during her cw arc.

    Thunderbolts 109 really made me glad that Ellis, Deodato, Bullseye and Venom come in next issue. It was a bullshit ‘clean up mom’s coming home’ type of issue.

    Union Jack #4 was awesome. Again. The whole mini has been. I’m stopping here though because I’m the only one in the world that reads it so why bother?

    X-Men First Class #4 was really good. I’m starting to be able to read this without pissing on it. At first, there were things about it that bothered me. For instance, it’s set in between issues of the original 20 or so issues of X-Men but it takes place in the present. They have the internet. Yeah

    Fables #56 was their Christmas issue. It didn’t suck as much as most do. That is not to say that it was good.

    Cable & Deadpool 35 was cool. More good than bad but not as good as it’s been recently.

    IM/CA Casualties of War: what can I say? I thought it was terrible. Nothing happened and the story went nowhere. The only positive was that it was one of the only semi-positive characterizations of IM in a while. It was just kind of stupid though. It kind of felt like they were only doing it to recap events to this point which is kind of funny because CW just came to IM last issue and CA 3 issues ago, and even then those haven’t really been too much about CW. It feels like they did this with readers of the two series in mind that aren’t reading CW. Like, there’s a continuity shift coming and they want the ‘under a rock’ people to be able to embrace it.

  12. Like a nerdy fat guy who happens to get a girlfriend who is far too attractive for him, Joe Quesada needs to draw up a contract for Jimmy Cheung, and lock that shit down.

    Clearly that’s very funny

  13. This was a good week for comic books… even the Civil War tie ins weren’t awful (Front Line doesn’t count anymore…)
    I do like how in two books (Casualties of War and Iron Man) both major players (Cap and Stark, respectively) were accused of using people’s love for them to their advantage (Cloak and Dagger idolize Cap, Peter idolizes Stark, it’s a vicious cycle my friends!). And Front Line was just crap… as usual… only 2 more issues and then my completist genes will stop causing me pain.
    Checkmate, Criminal, and 52 were all good (as usual), Teen Titans was eh (the second book of my stack that had a scene in the Oblivion bar… I thought this place was exclusive or something), but overall, I totally agree with the POW. I actually didn’t buy it at first, got home, realized I forgot Teen Titans, and then went back and bought Illuminati as well since i figured it was fate or something, and the art looked cool.

    Also… Black Bolt has used his powers on the page before. In the last issue of Son of M, when he says “War” (of course in small letters), and blows everything in Genosha to high heaven (it was a sick spread too, showed a helicopter coming down and everything…)

  14. Sadly, I only got two books this week, Criminal and Ultimate Spider-Man. Criminal, of course, was great and USM took a turn for the better. Didn’t the new collection from Fables come out this week? I’ll have to hunt it down.

  15. Josh – loved the Arrested Development allusion. “You’ve gotta lock that down” is a favorite of mine. Along with George Bush does not care about black puppets.

    Anyway, on to the comics.

    I wasn’t going to get Illuminati, and then I did, and IT WAS AWESOME. This was super-hero Bendis at his finest. I can’t say more about Jim Cheung’s art that hasn’t been said. He’s in a class along with Cassaday and McNiven right now as far as Marvel artists. And Cheung, more than any of the others, seems like a quintessential MARVEL artist.

    For me, though, the pick would have been Checkmate or Criminal. Checkmate is so good – please buy it if you are not already. I love reading Sasha Bordeaux again; I didn’t know how much I missed that character from Rucka’s Batman run. Her showdown with Sarge Steel was riveting. How does Rucka manage to make the politics of fictional policing agencies fascinating?

    As for Criminal, Sean Phillips rocks. I don’t know it there is another artist that lays out a page so well. His use of the panel size to show passage of time to the reader is so well-used. My Criminal complaint – what’s up with the word balloons? They seem so big and distracting. It’s been bothering me since issue 1

    And I’m still enthralled with 52. And now, because I care about Renee and the Question, I care about Batwoman. But when the hell do we get the Nightwing/Barbara Gordon break-up story? (unless it was in Birds of Prey – I don’t read BoP).

  16. Oh crap, I just realized missed Ultimate Spider-man.

    I’ve only read half of my comics so far, but I’d say Illuminati would also be my pick. It was fun for all the reasons already stated but, surprisingly, so was Fantastic Four. JMS is very similar to Peter David in that he can use meta-fictional humor to poke fun at comics. The Thing leaves the U.S. to protest Civil War and then has team-up with the Justice League of France. It wasn’t uniquely clever, just well executed. This kind of comic book is why I am not totally disgusted with JMS. He can write decent stories, but then he also falls flat a lot. Like in the last issue of FF. When I get one of his comics I am hoping its going to be great, but I fear it will be terrible, which is why I am not all that excited about him doing a new Thor series.

  17. Also… Black Bolt has used his powers on the page before. In the last issue of Son of M, when he says “War” (of course in small letters), and blows everything in Genosha to high heaven (it was a sick spread too, showed a helicopter coming down and everything…)

    Yeah, I knew it would be something I hadn’t read. Still….awesome.

  18. I wish this website would remember my info longer than 20 hours. . . ::sigh::

    Yes, Black Bolt rules. Finally, we get an answer to “What would happen if Batman finally just killed the Joker?” Well, OK, not that answer, but an idea along the same lines. It was war they want, and it was war BB gave them. LOVED IT. Others, I know, didn’t feel the same way.

    The CW IM/CA thing stunk. It was a clips show made for comics. Nothing happened. The art was stiff. I give Gage credit for one thing, though — he’s done a better job at trying to rationalize Tony Stark’s behavior better than any of the Big Name Marvel writers have so far. Of course, that rationale is “We need to register superheroes because when they’re drunk, they might kill someone.” Oh, well. . .

  19. I think Illuminati is the best book I’ve read this week, but then I am only 2.5 books into my stack so far. I expected it to be a lot more talky than it was, lots more behind the scenes scheming and plotting like last time, but then I turned the first page, and punch punch shoot kick talksplode!

    When Black Bolt does get to talksplode something, what do you think he says? Do you think he twists the knife by destroying your entire neighborhood by saying something asinine or insulting?

    “Watch out; the Inhuman is unleashing the destructive power of his deadly voice!”

    “DUCKIES.” BOOOOOOM

    I read New Avengers, but I’m still not really sure how it ended if you know what I mean. What happens to Clint next, and why do I have a feeling the next issue won’t tell me?

  20. Duckies

    LOL!

    There’s a whole routine to be gotten out of this.

  21. talksplode

  22. I am not sure what is being sold here, but I will take two.

    http://tomztoyz.blogspot.com/2006/12/sexy-foreign-dc-superheroes-tv.html#links

  23. Hey, somebody give Ron a message for me.

    SQUAWK!

    He’ll know what I’m talking about.

  24. Thanks Horatio – message received

  25. Illuminati rocked indeed. BB FTW!!! And I’d pay big bucks for that original 2 page spread of the ship exploding.

    New Avengers was awesome. I thought it would be a cop out but the art would have made up for any lame story and it was not to bad either.

    Criminal was cool. I knew Old Man Alzheimers would be a great character. He’s about to really screw things up.

    Was anyone elsed depressed by Cable/Deadpool?? Not an average C/D, but I’m not bitching, different is better I guess.

    FF was a laugh riot however. Totally out of left field but was really good.

    The CW tie-ins were meh. War Crimes with The Kingpin was kinda refreshing tho. I like when the bad guy screws the other bad guy but the good guy still wins ?:

    Good week tho.

  26. I like this column but he didn’t read iFB pick so we can’t compare opinions. Oh well. I haven’t read it yet either but I will now that it has gotten so much praise.

    http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/index.cgi?column=tbp&article=2676

    Yeas I watched oz. It was cool. And yeas I spelled it that way on purpose. I’m from the south after all.

  27. Anyone else think that Old Alzheimers doesn’t have Alzheimers at all and he’s running a game on Soul Patch? (Sorry, can’t remember the guy’s names.) I mean, he gives the guy free drugs and everything.

  28. This is totally unrelated to comics but this makes Iron Man vs. Captain America look like a friendly game of shuffleboard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d32577Hom08

  29. I’m actually proud of myself this week…I didn’t go and buy EVERY Civil War related tie-in. Hell, not even one Civil War book.

    And yeah Gaumer, Cable and Deadpool was a TAD bit on the depressing side…rather than the upbeat hilarity it should be on a regular basis.

    Also, Teen Titans was pretty good too. I liked getting to know the story behind Kid Devil, especially with his recent appearance in the Titans Tower in 52.

  30. Holy shit. I had heard about this and I actually searched for it this morning but I couldn’t find it. That’s awesome

  31. thanks for the link horatio

  32. I still have to read the other half of my stack, but I have to pop in and say that Alex Maleev is incredible. Every other page in New Avengers, I (seriously) muttered aloud, “How the fuck does he do all this?” I’m so amazed by his stuff. His work has incredibly solid anatomy and likenesses, but it’s all still imbued with his own style that just awes me, this issue especially since he worked with some different color tones. Definitely one of my artistic inspirations.

    I wasn’t wowed by the writing or anything, but I don’t care. That art was amazing and totally made the issue.

  33. So do you guys think Wanda remembers everything, something or nothing at all? She says she doesn’t but that doesn’t mean anything when you’re psycho and you can warp reality. There is something Maleev puts in her that makes me think she remembers it all and knows a lot more that she isn’t going to share. Especially, in the scene when Clint is waking up from randomly passing out. I guess, “Let it go,” has something to do with it too. Good stuff in this issue.

  34. I read illuminati, and it was better than i expected, but then i didnt expect much. there was some other good books this week like fables, but the best ive read has to be Teen titans, which is out of left field for me. i usually dont even pick this up but after seeing edde in 52 i was intrigued, and god was it awsome Ive picked up some trades and i dont tink ive ever liked geoff jhons on this title this much before. it even makes me want to go read shadowpact.

  35. “Anyone else think that Old Alzheimers doesn’t have Alzheimers at all and he’s running a game on Soul Patch? (Sorry, can’t remember the guy’s names.) I mean, he gives the guy free drugs and everything.”

    That would be so great. Now, if this isn’t what happens, I might be disappointed. Great call.

  36. Illuminati was indeed a pleasant surprise, I wasn’t expecting such straight-up superhero fun. New Avengers is maybe the prettiest book of the year, I’m not sure it even needed words–in fact, it might have been better without them. I’m not 100% sure what happened, though I think there’s something in the closet that Hawkeye opened. But it was so gorgeous, the plot felt beside the point.

    So Bendis writes both these books, and gets to work with Cheung and Maleev–ya think the other writers think he’s hogging all the art talent?

    A surprising last-minute bout of common sense led me to leave both of the CW one-shots on the shelf. As it turned out, Iron Man itself had plenty of Cap interaction to satisfy–in fact, I think this was one of the strongest CW tie-in issues I’ve read, a nice balance of character and action. Worthy of POW consideration for me.

  37. “I think there’s something in the closet that Hawkeye opened.”

    The dead body of Agatha Harkness, perhaps?

    That was a pretty book. I love my Maleev.

    “A surprising last-minute bout of common sense led me to leave both of the CW one-shots on the shelf.”

    I’ll second that. It was the first time in months I was excited after reading my Marvel comics, and guess what, not a CW cross-over among them. Ron, can you make an “I’m with Brubaker” banner?

  38. To anyone who read F4, did you notice where they mixed up the characters? They had that big introduction to all the French heroes and mentioned the Phantom Stranger and the Blue Light, who roams the Louvre at night. The a few pages later, the Thing asks this Fantome guy about roaming the Louvre at night. C’mon, editors. Get your stories straight.

  39. It stands to reason, of course, that the month I finally get my fill and drop JMS FF every single solitary person on iFanboy.com logs on to talk at length about what an effing riot it was. If only there were some other way for me to read it.

  40. I never thought I’d be sticking with an FF book for more then a few issues. But with JMS doing (I feel) an overall good job, and then a possible new FF in the horizon…

    Damn your Marvel for interesting change! My wallet weeps due to your moves. Touche’ Marvel…Touche’

  41. To Aaron. Completely picked up on the character mix up in F4. Idk if i like F4. I wanted it to be a “Fantastic Four” book not “THE THING: Goes to Paris.

    Illuminati was Incredible. The Art(which really bugs me if its not done well) was phenomonal. Black Bolt is F*cking awesome. Got a lot of books but I can’t imagine any other being the pick.

    IF YOU HAVENT PICK UP ILLUMINATI #1 YOU NEED TO RIGHT NOW!!!

  42. Of all the crazy shit I’ve said in my life, this surprises me the most(or near to it anyway): FF 541 was actually pretty good. I am amused

  43. While reading my comics, I came across the ad with the new Thunderbolts team and had a revelation. Mike Deodato is the new Rob Liefeld.

  44. I haven’t seen the ad yet or at least I didn’t notice it but bubbly muscles do not a Liefeld make

  45. I wasn’t all that impressed with that Thunderbolts art. I think it was a combination of the pencils and the inking that makes me dislike it. Take a look at some of his other stuff.

    http://www.glasshousegraphics.com/creators/pencilers/mikedeodato/

    I like most of it.

  46. So I got to the store finally last night. I’m part of the way through the remainder of the remainder of my stack.

    Iron Man 14 was cool. I have a problem with the character names though. Was it not enough to have a guy named Happy Fucking Hogan? They needed one named Pepper too? Who’s responsible for this nonsense? They need to be given a lobotomy by a guy named Dr. Silly McNipples

    CW War Crimes was great. I’ve also been a pushover for the Kingpin though so maybe my opinion is biased. Seeing him screw IM like that even though he had help from CA(and wtf by the way) was awesome.

    I finally got a copy of The Nightly News #1. That was really good. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything like it and today at least that’s enough. Looking forward to reading #2 over the weekend.

    FF 541 was good. I can’t believe it. I’ll actually eat the crow that I deserve on this one. I completely expected it to be a total piece of shit, as I think anyone would after 540. It was not. One thing though, Ben Grimm gets $100M from Reed(Happy fucking Hannukah indeed) and the govt decides to take it and he’s like ok fuck it I’m still going to a foreign country even though I only have $3K on me. Can somebody say get my fucking lawyer on the phone?

  47. Yeah, I liked that Deodato Joker too. The second issue of Nightly News was just as good as the first. I can’t wait for the third.

  48. The second issue of Nightly News was just as good as the first

    I literally don’t think that I’ve ever read anything like it. It was refreshing which is odd considering the subject matter. Did you catch the inside of the back page in #1? The writer writes this thing about how some people need to be killed. I was like, huh wha? Then they had the thing for the contest where the winner gets to be killed in the book where he stuck in the whole Image isn’t really comfortable with this desclaimer.
    And when did Paul Wolfowitz become the president of the World Bank(from the graphic)? Is that real? Did he think his public image was too positive? Jesus how did I miss that? It’s kind of an odd choice for a person who’s villified worse than a baby seal clubber in the media

  49. I missed both those points in the first issue of Nightly News.

    I need to keep a longbox under my work desk. Put the past six months worth of comics in it and when I post on here I have the issues handy. Wait… that would definately get me fired.

    Back to Nightly News, I am most impressed with how the layout is designed. There are some pages with panels, but what I get a kick from is how the story is layered. Images on top of other images and the story just comes forward. I’ll have to go back and check out the stuff you’re talking about from the first one.

    Yeah, Wolfowitz became president of the World Bank around the time of the London Bombings last year. I think.

  50. “One thing though, Ben Grimm gets $100M from Reed(Happy fucking Hannukah indeed)”

    I thought 1) Ben Grimm had come into a fortune of his own, on JMS’ watch 2) Reed wasn’t especially rich anymore.

  51. Wait, Jim Cheung’s art in Illuminatti not his best work?

    What is then?

  52. I loved Illuminati it totally gave me the kid thrills that comics still need to deliver, even with an older audience. BlackBolt’s a frickin’ stud! “Duckies”…classic, Jimski.

    I thought New Avengers was brilliant. A story you could give anyone and the art was gorgeous. In fact, I read that and I thought that this is something I think my wife would dig. Then I read the Illuminati and got my ifanboy fix. No chick stuff, here. Boys don’t like love, we like stuff that gets blown up, Reed’s face stretched a football field wide and Skrulls. Just ask Namor.

    Can’t wait for the show and the inevitable Frontline beat down. AWFUL. Get ’em, Josh.

  53. The layout on Nightly News was really bold and non-traditional. Loved it.

    thought 1) Ben Grimm had come into a fortune of his own, on JMS’ watch 2) Reed wasn’t especially rich anymore.

    Is it time to for me to throw up the crow? Is JMS not reading his own books? Eh time to go Christmas shopping

  54. Have you guys seen the Potato Head family reenactment of Dick in a Box yet?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=p5JgKYJM0FY

  55. While Illuminati was a fun read I would have to give up my P.O.W. to Criminal #3. With Check-Mate #9 in a close second.

  56. I only need to say that the ifanboy year end special better have a healthy (HEALTHY) dose off The Wire when it comes to the best of television in 2006. More than Grey’s Anatomy and 24 let’s say. For some reason I just felt compelled to express this opinion. Best show on television? No. Best show on television in the past 30 years? Absolutely!

  57. I officially can’t watch The Wire; it has become what my friends and I call a “prom night,” or something that has been so hyped and oversold that it can only be a bitter disappointment. Everyone– everyone– says it is the Best Show Since Pictures Moved, meaning it is inevitable that I would watch it and say, “Well… it’s… I guess it’s pretty okay. I mean… shrug.”

  58. Illuminati was awseome but my pick of the week purely for the art has to go to new avengers 26. that book was beautiful from begining to end. i even showed it to my non comic reading girlfriend who also thought that it was incredible. (she is a huge fan of gustav klimt though so that may have helped). Bravo i say 10/10!

    And also, Happy christmas to all of you!

    Ron, Conor and Josh, thanks for a great year of the most entertaining podcast around. keep up the good work and I’ll definately keep listening!! All the best guys.

  59. I liked illuminati. Is this a mini or ongoing?

    I didn’t think to much of the story in New Avengers 26. The art was well done but the story was not good. Hawkeye wake up in the snow with no explanation, he get to genosha with no explanation. He meets Scarlet Witch in two seconds who has no memory and they start making out? It’s just stupid. The story’s simplicity reminds me of the way comics were when I was a kid, which is fine, but the content is adult. So it doesn’t work for anybody.

    FN spider-man was fun. Girls 20 was as good as the rest. This story is suposed to stop at 24. I’m looking forward to seeing how it end up.

    You guy mentioned John Byrne. I haven’t seen any of his current art, so I can’t comment on that. But I will say he was at the top of his game from 77-81 on the X-men. His art originally started my comic obsession as a child. I wasn’t reading comics when I was 9 or 10. I was mainly looking a the pictures mainly. The stuff he did then holds up today. Just open any issue of uncanny from 1980. It’s great art. One gripe with new comic art. I don’t like the blur effect they use in some action panels. I’d rather see a clear image.

    Hey iFanboys. Happy Holidays and thanks for the site. I’ve spent a lot of time here in the past year here and that has given my wife one more thing to bitch about. Thanks 😉

  60. Illuminati is a 5 issue mini

  61. while i loved the art in new avengers 26, i thought the story was pretty good too. did bendis really need to explain how hawkeye got to genosha or what he did before he found wanda? the reader doesn’t really need to see a page of clint taking a plane or boat to all the places he went this issue. did he really need an in depth explanation on how hawkeye ended up in the snow? at the end of house of m wanda pretty muched fixed the entire world as she wanted it (no mutants) and i guess that included a non dead clint, and i wouldn’t really like a long winded dr. strange speech explaining to me what i could’ve already figured out.

    in fact the thing i like most about the story is that bendis sticks with the most crucial and relevent parts, and lets maleev handle the emotions and feelings through his art. and when u got a guy like maleev drawing your story, thats a pretty good idea.

  62. I agree that the art was good in 26 and Bendis did a great job on illuminati but as for the story in 26, it was poop…….

  63. Are there any Batman Fans here? I’m new here & not sure what’s going on. The topics start out on 1 thing & then end in another…it’s total chaos!

    Hey everybody, check out this BATMAN fan page!
    http://tomztoyz.blogspot.com/

  64. Jimski some things do stack up with sliced bread. I’ve watched from the beginning when it was threatened to be canceled and it’s hard to imaging you being very dissappointed. Word of advice though: if you ever decide to feed on it start from the first season, otherwise you’re just setting yourself up for confusion and failure. I thought the first maybe 3 or so ever episodes were slow but most all HBO shows are like that. Deadwood started our slow to me as well. Not trying to overhype it but The Wire is really and truly novel-like in its format.

    Mike D

  65. I agree with MD on the HBO shows. I really like almost all of them. And the wire is very good. I’ve seen all the episodes of that show. Deadwood is my fav. If anybody hasn’t watched Dexter on Showtime, you should.

    Bat dude, Yes there are some fans here. I think Conor is a big one, but he should tell you that.

  66. I tend to ignore spammers. It’s a short-coming of mine.

    I haven’t seen any of the Wire yet but I’ve yet to see an HBO show that I didn’t like. I’m really going to miss Deadwood. They found ways to use obscenities that I’ve never even considered.

  67. I finally got through the rest of my stack.

    Deadman #5- Bruce Jones buys himself two more issues. I was really ready to drop it but this issue was pretty good and I can kind of begin to understand it better now.

    CW Front Line #9- it wasn’t the worst thing ever but it certainly wasn’t good. I know PP is tech saavy, when did he become a hacker? Speedball storyline comes out on top again amongst the 3(or 4 depending on how you look at it) but should it ever? no but it does frequently

    Criminal #3 was good. I felt kind of let down though. The first two were amazing and this was good but it wasn’t great.

    Punisher Max #42 was awesome as usual. It was the conclusion of the 7th arc, keep your eyes open for the trade. It was also the second arc with the recently deceased Russian general. Right, that was a spoiler.

    Nightly News #2 was really really good. I’m shocked by how good this book is. Has this guy done anything else? He’s got such a great unique pov.

    Y The Last Man #52 was really good to. I think this ends at #60 and I’m really going to miss it. At the same time, I can’t wait to see how they wrap it up.

    Ultimate Spider-Man #103. The clone saga is almost over. think 1 more issue. I wish everyone would forget the first one and give this a chance. It’s actually kind of cool in places. Judging by the history on this story, that says a lot doesn’t it?

    Also, while I was out Christmas shopping last night, I picked up both of the Ultimate Avengers movies. I’ve already watched the first one and it was pretty cool. I’ll probably watch 2 later in the weekend or something.

  68. I got those Ultamate Avengers movies too (for my son, so he thinks) and I liked them too. Of course being a big Hulk fan I really liked the first one. I just wish they would start doing these in high quality computer animation.

  69. I still haven’t gotten to the second one but that was one complaint that I had about the first. The animation reminded me of GI Joe.

  70. I also thought illuminati was great.Criminal #3 was also very good.I’m still trying to figure out why I still buy civil war frontline.I also felt fantastic four 541 wasn’t much of a civil war tie-in.

  71. Thank you, guys, for suggesting “Illuminati”. I was on the fence about buying it until I saw it made POW, so I got it and really dug it. I’m in for the 5.

    I’ve been so sick of the clone saga, but “Ultimate Amazing Spidey” was actually pretty good this week, but what the heck? Suddenly Doc Ock is Magneto? I don’t know if I’m totally on board with that.

    Also, are there no Jews working for DC? Did we really need 2 shots of a menorah in “52” with the wrong number of candles on it? Who dropped that ball?

    And count me among the big fans of Mike Deodato. I loved his run on The Hulk a while back.

  72. 1 – Jimski, let me also lend my voice in support of The Wire – I’ve been watching since the beginning, and I started getting annoyed with the media hype machine this year, but the show consistantly delivers, and I have a hard time thinking of many stories, whether on film, tv, whatever that are as good from top to bottom.

    2 – I’d like to be a voice of dissent to the praise people are giving to this week’s FF. The thing that drives me nuts over and over again about JMS’s take on both the FF and Spidey is how he seems to sacrifice almost everything else in the stories for cornball jokes. For example, when the first several pages of the book are devoted to a non-sequiter gag about how annoying people on cell phones are. Who’s writing these books, Andy Rooney?

    Even if it was a good joke, I’d be annoyed by the idea that a cabbie in New York would be so nonchalant about having The Thing, presumably one of the most famous people on Earth, a man made of rock, in the back of his cab. I know it’s a comic book and I shouldn’t take it seriously blah, blah, blah – I just wish that my comic books wouldn’t make me feel like a jerk for liking comic books.

    This is something I’ve noticed repeatedly in JMS’s FF and Spidey. I mean, if the vast majority of Marvel comics pride themselves on people speaking and acting generally like people do in the real world (DD, Cap, New Avengers, Alias, Runaways, Ultimates, Young Avengers, Civil War etc) why don’t they in two books as prominent as FF and Amazing Spidey?

    I’ll stop complaining now, thanks.

  73. So I was just thinking about this whole Illuminati thing. What keeps Black Bolt from taking over the universe? This is the group that stops the latest band from doing it each time supossedly right? Black Bolt could kick the shit out of any of the rest of them.

    The Principals:

    Reed Richards: He could keep stretching so that he makes a bigger mess when he gets talksploded so I guess he’s out

    Namor: can breathe underwater. Hmm, sounds like he gets his ass kicked too

    Black Panther: really good at hand to hand, which of course never happens if he gets talksploaded first

    Iron Man: could geet drunk at shoot a laser at him. oooh. no wait, still going with talksplode

    Professor X: could wheel himself into BB shins over and over again while convincing him that it hurts more than it does. Still going with talksplode.

    Dr. Strange: the only real possibility I think in the group to counteract BB with the magics. But the thing is: I think he gets talksploded long before he gets the eye of agamotto out and says his thing and does his little dance. So again I say talksplode.

    It’s a good thing that BB isn’t a bad guy. He could easily take the Earth and then use conquered armies to take the rest of the universe just like Gepetto, no wait wrong universe

  74. yes yes yes new avengers was pretty and bendis sure gave maleev a lot of breathing room to do whatever he wanted, the arts supposed to do the job right? but gee golly i felt underwhelmed, the script was a little vague and sparse and you really can’t justify it with the art (as good as it was) when you have three panels of clint in the same pose on the same page…yes he’s channeling klimt yes its pretty, but that was all it was for me

    illuminati on the hand was so great that i gave it to my seven year old nephew to read…this is what super hero comics should be

  75. “this is what super hero comics should be”

    I’ve got enough room for both. I enjoy that Marvel lets Bendis and Maleev be a little experimental with a book as huge as New Avengers. It’s certainly a hit or miss proposition, but it was my favorite issue of New Avengers yet. And, we got our classic her smackdown in Illuminati in the same week.

    We spend a lot of time talking about how we want the medium to grow, but I also think there is a lot more the genre could do, as evinced by this issue.

  76. so how good is that kree skrull war book that they have on amazon? I’ve never read this story (i’ve never read the avengers outside of ‘new avengers’ but i’d like to start here, I think.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/cart/view.html/ref=ord_cart_shr/103-7318204-1002218

    also is there an atlantis attacks book? is that worth it?

  77. Dude –

    The Kree/Skrull War book is fun, but you have to like Silver Age comics (it’s probably early Bronze, but the storytelling is not like, say, Miller’s Daredevil run – it’s more like Lee/Romita Spider-Man). It’s really dated storytelling, but the raw ideas within are quite fun. You just have to be able to leave your modern storytelling sensibilities at the door. I have fun with that kind of reading, but I have to be in the right mood.

    I remember Atlantis Attacks from the Marvel annuals one summer, and I didn’t think it was very good then, and this is when I thought the new-look Thing was “cool.” Yeah, that’s right.

  78. Some remarks from the podcast:

    1) In the part where Ron made the joke about Hawkeye opening the door up to see a naked Agatha, did Conor/someone else do the old lady bit from Kingpin? Sounded like it … love that movie.

    2) Since Josh brought up JSA #1, can someone clarify a few things for me? I’m still getting into the second/third/etc. tier DC characters right now (Thank you, 52!), so maybe it makes more sense who knows their way around the DCU a bit better:

    a) Okay, what time is it in this book? Is it 52 time, or is it OYL time? Or what? There is that panel late in the book that shows Starman looking at a calendar with dates crossed off–and Wednesday, Dec. 6 is the first one not crossed off, the day the book came out, which would mean 52 time, correct?

    b) (or maybe a part two) So is the World War III thing foreshadowing for the finale of 52?

    c) What’s the deal with Green Lantern’s eye?

    All in all, I still had fun reading it, and I’ll read it again now that I’ve pulled it out.

    3) About the issue with owning it when you bring your girl over–it helps to meet a girl whose dad is huge into comics where the collection of comics and comic accesories is not only accepted but also encouraged. In fact, she brought over her Wonder Woman lamp the other day and it’s pretty cool.

    4) I hope you guys and everyone else on here have/had a great Christmas. Thanks for making the car ride back home go quickly.

  79. Aaron – welcome to the DCU!

    a) You just blew Ron’s mind. It’s impossible to tell. I think it is just best to think of 52 as both as nebulous comic book time. Otherwise, you get a head-ache.

    b) You would thinks so. They’ve been hinting at this in lots of places, and foreshadowing it since 52 Week Six. I think I read it’s in week 49 or something. I’m betting it’s not the big twist, though, since we know about it.

    c) It’s supposed to be green and glowy, but it isn’t in a lot of panels. Editiorial error, I suppose. He lost it in the zeta-beam transport home at the end of Infinite Crisis/beginning of 52. They’ve hinted strongly his remaining eye is actually that of Adam Strange. Theoretically, it hasn’t been fixed, since he was missing it in Checkmate, and that’s One Year Later.

  80. Illuminati was a great read. I love the mix of characters being used. Black Bolt just might be the most powerful character in the Marvel U., outside of Galactus’ heralds. I think his voice had more impact from a storyline aspect than in Son of M #6. In Son of M, everyone knew what was coming, but the U.S. Official (too lazy to look up his name) could not get away in time. In Illuminati, the Skrulls had no idea what they were in for. Great stuff. Looking forward to the upcoming use of the Inhumans in their “War” with humanity.

    I also liked New Avengers #26. Best issue since the Luke Cage spotlight issue. Interested to see where the Hawkeye/Wanda thing might go in the next year.

    She-Hulk, as always, was a very good read. Conan, Red Sonja, and Ion were also good. 6 out 6 good reads for me. Great week. Now back to impatiently waiting for World War Hulk.

  81. Ion were also good.
    So THREE people are buying this book now (not digging on you dude, I’m included).

    Dustin, thanks for the info on Alan Scotts eyes, I was wondering the same. I only read the first three issue of 52 (well, and issue, six, since it had Hal Jordan on the cover), so anything past that is lost on me.

  82. I just got around to listening to it today.
    thanks for the mention on the podcast. I’ve been there a week and i think I love it.
    I’m an OIL ANALYST for CATERPILLAR tractors.
    yey.

  83. Congrats, Dude! That must be a great present this time of year. I hope you really enjoy what you’re doing.

  84. this is really amusing but I don’t know where to put it. english serial killer names himself bishop after the x-men character bishop

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/tm_headline=the-bishop&method=full&objectid=18284135&siteid=66633-name_page.html

  85. If he was Bishop, wouldn’t he be from the future and knowing that he was from the future know that he would get caught? At some point don’t you say maybe I shouldn’t slash those whores because I know from the future that I go to jail and that kind of sucked? Maybe not

  86. I’m an OIL ANALYST for CATERPILLAR tractors.
    Really? I was a scrapper operator for a while. Heh, at 19, too. Almost killed a dog. Needless to say, I’m not anymore (and it was my Pop’s company, too. He really likes dogs).

    Hope all goes well for you, sir!

  87. OK, here in Tokyo I can deal with just reading year old trades, not really having access to the what comes out weekly in the U.S. I see and hear about what came out this week, interesting, whatever.

    But hearing about Illuminati REALLY make me wish I were in the U.S. right NOW with the few dollars in my hand to get that issue #1, and all that comes after it, and f*** waiting for the TPB.

    This sounds exactly like the kind of Old School stuff done modern that I really love. You guys are so spoiled. OK, that’s it. I may have to actually make a trip to that little shop in Shibuya in Tokyo, with the pitiful collection of “Ame-Comi” (American Comics) squeezed in a tiny corner, and tell him what he needs to start putting on his “floppy” shelf (Illuminati might actually be there since its been relatively well publicised). If he reads/understands English, maybe I can even hook him up to iFanboy.

    Must have my Illuminati — with the exception of Iron Man, that’s just about my favourite line up of characters. And Fred, Black Bolt would never talksplode the universe. He’s Kirby’s original wise King archtype, before so many others that came later, the antithesis of Namor’s rant and rumble and think later type. Poor Blackbolt, he wears the weight of the world…

    OOOO boy this book sounds good. At least I have this link to touch my G-Spot and make me wet (TMI?) —
    (link courtesy of Dave Graham above)
    http://tomztoyz.blogspot.com/2006/12/sexy-foreign-dc-superheroes-tv.html#links
    Two? I’ll take all three. Any vid that can redeem a 3rd Catwoman outfit (the leopard coat+hat) and nail all three women characters just makes me wet. (was there an oddly reversed dirty pun there somewhere?)

  88. ‘Professor X: could wheel himself into BB shins over and over again while convincing him that it hurts more than it does. Still going with talksplode.’

    I had a Playstation Game called X-Men Mutant Academy 2 where he did exactly that. And if you filled up his superbar then he shot across the screen at the opponent and the wheelchair started spinning around hitting them in the shins and then lifted them up into the air.

    It’s funnier when you can see it…

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