Name: A.J. Howard


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    a.j.howard09's Recent Comments
    February 7, 2013 8:43 pm I thought Mike Johnson had done a pretty decent job with Supergirl. He and Asar put out what I thought was the most consistently good DC Comics on the rack. While it was never a 5, it was often a 4, and never a 2. Really intrigued by Ales Kott on Suicide Squad though.
    February 1, 2013 11:23 am Yeah. Filled to the brim with cliche and cheeziness. "And just like that, blinking with astonishment - I died" is probably the most eyeroll inducing caption box I've read in quite a while. There is no reason for this comic to exist. It doesn't offer a new take on Moore's work. It just fleshes out a minor character with the most boring cliches you could imagine. It's not only derivative of Watchmen, but also completely rips off Darwyn Cooke's Minutemen mini. Just a complete cash grab by DC not worth the paper it's printed on.
    January 14, 2013 2:56 pm Well, the "old enemy" is going to be Sublime, who is a Morrison creation, but I don't thin you can blame creators for going with a headline villain for the first arc of a volume.
    December 26, 2012 3:02 pm Quick question, did you guys consider how the issue works as a piece of standalone storytelling or just highliht individual issues? Not saying that ony one and done's should be considered, but a lot of these seem like culminations that lose impact if you have'nt read the preceeding issues. For instance as much as I loved the whole "Forever" arc,, I thought Fantastic Four #605 (Reid visits future Fantastic Four iterations, included a mbearded Thing), was a better single issue.Not that I'm complaining, just curious.
    December 13, 2012 9:03 pm It's stuff like this that makes you realize that publishers must dreaming of the days when digital readership is sufficient enough to all but abandon monthly floppies. I can see the need for reprints for the first few issues as readers sample an issue or two, then drop out, but that pre-orders were down for the seventh issue of Saga after six straight sell-outs? Dealing with an independent publisher? That's just arrogant complacency. I understand it's getting tougher and tougher to run a shop, but it seems like a lot of behavior you hear some of the things some brick and mortar shop owners complain about, and it seems like they are people looking to be coddled by the industry. For instance, look at the reaction when DC stopped waiting until 2 PM to sell same-day digital books. Seriously, how many people nationwide still went to the comic shop because they couldn't wait until the early afternoon to read the latest issue of Legion Lost? Was it even in the triple digits? But the reaction of some store owners make you think that DC was deliberately trying to put them out of business. I why people love the Wednesday store experience. It's something I didn't grow up with, but I can see the charms in it. I root for the little guy. But I worked in a local bookstore in a growing area throughout high school. You know how much help from publishing companies that store got when Book-A-Million and Barnes and Nobles started popping up close by, or as Amazon got more and more popular. Zilch. That store is still open today because the owners were smart and aggressively promoted and featured the things that made them better than the other alternatives. I get that it's tough, and sometimes you can make the right moves and it just doesn't work. And while complaining still works, go for it, more power to the whiners. But know that publishers are probably relishing the day, which is much sooner rather than later, where they don't have to listen anymore.
    December 10, 2012 4:08 pm Good point. I think us "sophisticated" fans (I do read comics wearing a monocle and a top hat) tend to overestimate the effect a creator will have on sales. But you look at sales numbers, and you see that creator prestige only has a limited correlation to sales. It's kind of weird being a digital buyer, because your only encounters with comic fans usually conform to your tastes. Reading this site, you kind of have to remind yourslef that there are tons of people out there who would trade a Greg Rucka book and two Jeff Parker books for a Daniel Way book. Whose main qualifiers of worth is how "badass" something is, not interesting. But hey to each his own. That being said, I think Gail had something to do with Batgirl outperforming expectations. I don't think the run was her best work, often it was just good enough to keep picking up. But she knew the character. Simone's Batgirl of the few titles skillfully that balanced past continuity with the chance for a fresh start, not particularly in plot development, but in character work. And while Simone's fans might overestimate their own numbers, I think they're large and aggrieved enough that the title will tak a significant dive if DC just brings in someone Bob Harras worked with 20 years ago to write the book.
    December 10, 2012 2:39 pm @wallythegreenmonster I'd say that 95% of the NBA's league-wide marketing is built around the superstars. It's never Lakers vs. Thunders; it's Kobe and the Lakers vs. Durant and the Thunder. Comics Equivalent of Sports League's Marketing NBA: Scott Snyder! Jim Lee! Superman! It's the Man of Steel!!! NFL: Yaaaaayy! Comics! NHL: Please, will you buy this comic?????? Please!!!!! I'd say that DC's strategy best resembles college sports. You know, the sport where they don't have to pay the talent.
    December 10, 2012 2:28 pm I got into reading monthly comics last September with the New 52. As the months went by, and I started widening my selections, I noticed that there seemed to be a huge talent gap between DC and Marvel. With a few exceptions, it seemed like every new talent that had emerge over the past decade was writing exclusively for Marvel. I didn't find the mass writers at DC bad, they were just workmanlike. I don't mean that derisively, most of the books I read tended to be good, but unexceptional. Over the past few months, this talent gap has been widening, and it's not necessarily because Marvel has gotten better. DC seems to be shedding any writer that writes with any distinctive qualities. I don't follow characters at all, I follow creative talent. A few months from now (after Batman Incorporated wraps, DC is only going to have four writers on their monthly titles that pique my interest: Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello, Geoff Johns, and Jeff Lemire (honorable mention to China MiƩville). Gail Simone, Judd Winick, and Paul Cornell are let go. I'm not saying that everything these folks produced was gold, but at least it was distinguishable. It felt lived in. A similar list for Marvel would have Jason Aaron, Rick Remender, Brian Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, Kieron Gillen, Mark Waid, Matt Fraction, Dan Slott, Nick Spencer, Paul Cornell, Jeff Parker, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Brian Wood, and Greg Pak. No corporate publisher is without their issues, but that list has to tell you something.
    December 7, 2012 4:43 am This series is like Citizen Kane if Charles Foster Kane was a superhero whose powers were hightened senses, super-fertile sperm, and the most dominant red-head gene in recorded history. And I guess night moves as well.
    December 6, 2012 3:20 am I've really enjoyed this entire run. The only negatives I can sympathize with are the art inconsistencies, and I think that's even been over-emphasized. However, up to now, I've appreciated the title as a collection of great issues, more than a single, overarching story. This is the issue that changed that. Even without the benefit of a second reading, this issue really helps you put the narrative threads together. Morrison's storytelling has been somewhat Lynchian, in that you really don't know what the fuck you're seeing until well after you encounter it. Granted, that may not be the most accessible form of storytelling, but it's been intellectually engaging in a way few DC super-hero books are. If the next two issues follow up, I think Action will earn a spot in the Morrison pantheon. You had to go along for the ride for over a year, but Morrison has built up enough capitol to earn that trust. And it's not like he wasn't telling really interesting stories along the way. It's going to be dismissed by people who gave up after the fourth issue, and that's a shame. Really, this run has developed in a manner similar to his Batman one. I think some people had certain storytelling expectations coming out of the relaunch and were judging this book for what it wasn't. The lack of consistent quality on the other Superman book might have exacerbated the problem too.