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The Comic Book Thread
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Old Jun 8, 2007, 01:58 AM Local time: Jun 8, 2007, 01:58 AM #1 of 81
The Comic Book Thread

I know there are at least a few comic book fans floating around these boards, so I think we ought to have some discussion and stuff about our favorite monthlies and graphic novels. So have at it!

----

I've recently gained a rekindled interest in the comic books that I used to read as a kid. Going back and looking at some of the stuff that I still have around in boxes, I have to say that I'm just not really all that entertained by old Spiderman and Batman books.

I have to admit that I pretty much favor the X-Universe compared to any other. I've been doing some research on Wiki and other corners of the web and I've unfortunately found that the resounding opinion of many comic-book connoisseurs is that the X-Universe is also one of the most muddled and inconsistent, which has me pretty sad.

I've read through all 21 issues that are currently available of Astonishing X-Men and I'm more than blown away with how great the storyline and artwork is. Unfortunately it seems that the run is likely to end soon, but I want to continue with the X-Men particularly (and I wouldn't mind seeing some of my other favorite X-Men, like Nightcrawler and Storm). I've come to the conclusion that I likely ought to start with the New X-Men series, which is what I intend to do ... unless anyone has a better suggestion!

I'm also willing to take any other suggestions for some good monthlies or graphic novels that I should read that don't require years of back-knowledge to understand. Some of these stories have been going on for so long that it's just tough to get back into the game.

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Old Jun 8, 2007, 02:02 AM Local time: Jun 8, 2007, 01:02 AM #2 of 81
Guru, go grab Kingdom Come by Alex Ross. What the world would be post-Super Man generation, with a slew of young superhumans who don't have the call to humanity their parents did. Great storytelling. You can jump right in. Also, if you have an eye for non super hero books, the trade paper backs of Strangers in Paradise are great, as is the massive graphic novel: "Blankets."

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Old Jun 8, 2007, 04:45 AM Local time: Jun 8, 2007, 01:45 AM #3 of 81
Agree to what Deni said. Also The Dark Knight Returns.

I've personally followed Ennis' rendition of The Punisher, yet am truly a fan of his one-shot work "Born" which narrates Castle's pre-Punisher days in the fields of the 'Nam. That, Kingdom Come and DKR are apparently my most-read and most-liked graphical novels.

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Old Jun 8, 2007, 06:20 AM #4 of 81
Everybody knows that The Authority is some of the best stuff out there.

The Ultimate universe (Marvel) is pretty solid as well. Especially Ultimate Spider-Man.

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Old Jun 8, 2007, 08:34 AM Local time: Jun 8, 2007, 09:34 PM #5 of 81
Fables, a series by Bill Willingham published by Vertigo (a DC Comics imprint) comes highly recommended.

I was speaking idiomatically.
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Old Jun 8, 2007, 10:43 AM #6 of 81
I've been doing some research on Wiki and other corners of the web and I've unfortunately found that the resounding opinion of many comic-book connoisseurs is that the X-Universe is also one of the most muddled and inconsistent, which has me pretty sad.
That's a fairly accurate statement. It's for that reason, and others, that I haven't really enjoyed the X-Men in a long time.

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I've read through all 21 issues that are currently available of Astonishing X-Men and I'm more than blown away with how great the storyline and artwork is.
Well, I wasn't blown away by it. In fact, I think only the first arc was great. But perhaps if you like that, you might enjoy Whedon writing Runaways or perhaps some of Cassaday's past work, such as Planetary.

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Unfortunately it seems that the run is likely to end soon, but I want to continue with the X-Men particularly (and I wouldn't mind seeing some of my other favorite X-Men, like Nightcrawler and Storm). I've come to the conclusion that I likely ought to start with the New X-Men series, which is what I intend to do ... unless anyone has a better suggestion!
Whedon and Cassaday are leaving Astonishing X-Men after the current arc. Nightcrawler and Storm will both be appearing in a soon-to-start Morlocks-related arc in Uncanny X-Men. I hear good things about the standard X-Men title and X-Factor, but the characters and premises don't do much for me. Maybe you should check them out. As for New X-Men, it mainly focuses on teams of students at the school, like an expanded New Mutants. So, if that's what you want to read, then I'd definitely go for it. And I might also suggest Avengers: Initiative, since it's a simiar idea, but it's fairly bogged-down in Civil War fallout.

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I'm also willing to take any other suggestions for some good monthlies or graphic novels that I should read that don't require years of back-knowledge to understand. Some of these stories have been going on for so long that it's just tough to get back into the game.
My favorite monthlies right now are Dynamo 5, Justice Society of America, and Brave and the Bold. If you want titles "that don't require years of back-knowledge", I highly suggest the first and somewhat recommend the third.

But really, it depends on what kinds of stories you like. Generally, the well-liked graphic novels and trade paperbacks are gritty or metaphysical stories.

What kind of toxic man-thing is happening now?
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Old Jun 8, 2007, 11:09 PM Local time: Jun 8, 2007, 11:09 PM #7 of 81
Whedon and Cassaday are leaving Astonishing X-Men after the current arc. Nightcrawler and Storm will both be appearing in a soon-to-start Morlocks-related arc in Uncanny X-Men. I hear good things about the standard X-Men title and X-Factor, but the characters and premises don't do much for me. Maybe you should check them out. As for New X-Men, it mainly focuses on teams of students at the school, like an expanded New Mutants. So, if that's what you want to read, then I'd definitely go for it. And I might also suggest Avengers: Initiative, since it's a simiar idea, but it's fairly bogged-down in Civil War fallout.
I've picked up some CBRs of New X-Men starting arouned issue 110, and it basically is focusing on Jean Grey, Beast, Cyclops, Emma Frost and Professor X around when Genosha is destroyed, at least so far. Is it the later issues that turn focus away from the main team, or is it just focusing on these characters now because of the Genosha thing? So far really nothing about new students or anything like that.

I'm also getting back issues of Uncanny, but there's a lot of them.

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My favorite monthlies right now are Dynamo 5, Justice Society of America, and Brave and the Bold. If you want titles "that don't require years of back-knowledge", I highly suggest the first and somewhat recommend the third.
Dynamo 5 looks like its pretty good. Thanks for the suggestion ^^

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Old Jun 8, 2007, 11:27 PM Local time: Jun 9, 2007, 12:27 PM #8 of 81
I'm liking the geopolitic shtick of "Checkmate" v2, but be warned that it does require some prior knowledge of the Infinite Crisis variety.

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Old Jun 9, 2007, 11:20 AM #9 of 81
I've picked up some CBRs of New X-Men starting arouned issue 110, and it basically is focusing on Jean Grey, Beast, Cyclops, Emma Frost and Professor X around when Genosha is destroyed, at least so far. Is it the later issues that turn focus away from the main team, or is it just focusing on these characters now because of the Genosha thing? So far really nothing about new students or anything like that.
There was a time when the title "X-Men" was renamed "New X-Men" for as long as Grant Morrison was writing it. When he left, the comic returned to the name "X-Men". Soon thereafter, Marvel relaunched the series New Mutants as New X-Men: Academy X. When the current creative team came on, the "Academy X" was dropped, making it the current, ongoing New X-Men. Sorry for the confusion.

But reading Morrison's New X-Men is probably a good idea considering it involves many of the same characters as Astonishing, which is sometimes considered a continuation of New X-Men.

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Dynamo 5 looks like its pretty good. Thanks for the suggestion ^^
It's a litte more expensive than regular titles, but it's worth it.

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Old Jun 10, 2007, 11:04 PM Local time: Jun 10, 2007, 11:04 PM #10 of 81
I'm noticing that as I read through New X-Men (which is actually, just X-Men, I guess), that about every 6-9-12 issues, the art style is changing pretty drastically. Sometimes the penciler is changing, but sometimes it's not. Is this pretty typical of most comics? I can understand the actual artist changing, so therefore the art style changes. But do pencilers often explore different varieties of drawing when they're working on a long-running title?

In some ways it's cool (especially if you weren't enjoying the style of art they had been using), but it's also kind of off-balancing the continuation of the story, for the art direction to switch (sometimes drastically). I don't remember this happening a lot when I used to read comics regularly back in the late 80's and early 90's. And then I came back to comics by reading Astonishing and the penciling has been all done by Cassaday since the get-go, so I was just a little curious about this.

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Old Jun 13, 2007, 08:23 AM #11 of 81
I'm noticing that as I read through New X-Men (which is actually, just X-Men, I guess), that about every 6-9-12 issues, the art style is changing pretty drastically. Sometimes the penciler is changing, but sometimes it's not. Is this pretty typical of most comics? I can understand the actual artist changing, so therefore the art style changes. But do pencilers often explore different varieties of drawing when they're working on a long-running title?
I going to say that that is definitely not typical. There are cases where an artist didn't quite work like normal, leaving the art incomplete or sketchy, but it's rare that an artist changes their actual drawing style in the middle of a story.

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Old Jun 13, 2007, 08:34 AM #12 of 81
It might be the inker/colourists that change and cause such a noticeable difference.

BTW, New X-Men and X-Men are separate titles. New X-Men deals with the younger students at the Academy, while X-Men deals with the squad of mutants under Rogue's command. Both titles are excellent.

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Old Jun 13, 2007, 08:54 AM Local time: Jun 13, 2007, 06:54 AM #13 of 81
Grant Morrison was probably the best thing to happen to X-Men. It's a real shame about the circumstances surrounding his run. On the subject of the artist delays, I don't know what Quietly was up to, but I do remember that being the time period of Marvel shoehorning in several new artists. I don't think that applies to New X-Men, I'm really just stretching for an answer here. I can say that I'm glad Morrison continued on with fill-in artists, over giving us The Ultimates treatment of anti-climactic and shoddy writing, with attempted compensation via splash pages.

On the subject of X-Men, I'm torn between Carey and Brubaker's work on their respective X-Books. And god help you if you're enjoying New X-Men Academy. That book is a fucking disaster. Though Joss Whedon's pop dialog is often over the line as far as cute goes to me, I do find it the lesser of two evils. "Two evils" being what I feel are the weaker of the X-Books out right now.

I can pick up Mike Carey's X-Men for what has been a rather action packed ride (I love Chris Bachalo's pencils, though I would call his work on it his best) and Brubaker's exposition is just tops. I'm usually more of a fan of slugfests, so admittedly I have a bias toward what Carey has been working on. Unfortunately, it rolls into the whole "Endangered Species" event and I'm pretty fucking tired of that sort of thing.

The internet isn't broken in half, but I'll forgive Bendis considering he's still more than just competent, and these crossovers are probably designed with "It prints money" in mind.

Eh, moving on, Matt Fraction's Punisher and Immortal Iron Fist are highly enjoyable, check your pulse if you have been ignoring them. Especially Iron Fist. Witchblade has actually been enjoyable under the hand of Ron Marz. Though he did change the owner of the Witchblade in a move similar to the whole Hal Jordan to Kyle Rayner event, he did turn the book around.

Moving away from the big two, my favorite comics out right now are Fell (Warren Ellis apparently saves his "A-Game" for this book) and Casanova (this one was recommended by a blog, most of my current pulls save for Fell are, and I haven't been disappointed). I'm getting into the short, self-contained stories these two comics represent. Both have excellent bonus content, showcasing art or how stories were put together, the ideas behind each issue.

More importantly, they're good comics. That's what we want, right?

I was speaking idiomatically.
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 04:22 PM #14 of 81
Iron Fist is FANTASTIC. I love that book. Almost everything Brubaker touches these days turn into solid gold. Uncanny X-Men would be my least favorite of his current titles. If I were to rank the X-Men books from best to worst, it'd go something like this: Ultimate, X-Men, Astonishing, New X-Men and Uncanny. New X-Men is a very solid title, I don't know why you dislike it so much. Uncanny started to bore me early in the Shi'ar arc, but the upcoming mega-crossover stuff looks like it's going to kick the book back into high gear.

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Old Jun 14, 2007, 04:46 PM Local time: Jun 14, 2007, 02:46 PM #15 of 81
New X-Men is a very solid title, I don't know why you dislike it so much.
The body count. I remember checking into X-23 and it basically revolving around "horrible things that happen to X-23." I really can't stand how a book about young X-Men can be so hopeless and contain so much death. The stories and the way they are told manage to be a turn-off to me, though I don't want to come off as a prude and blindly bash it I just can't recommend it. I can't make what I said earlier less abrasive, though I do want to say it really is hard for me to endorse or even be passive about the title. It is everything, I feel, that a comic of that nature shouldn't be. They're teenagers and I'm pretty tired of seeing this kind of stuff. I mean, Geoff Johns and Young Justice comes to mind when I think of New X-Men Academy.

And I completely forgot about Ultimate X-Men. Of all the Ultimate books, I found it to be the most inconsistent. I mean, my thoughts on Mark Millar aside, it was just hard to get seated in and read whole arcs. It just felt all over the place. I was interested in what Kirkman was going to do with Cable, though admittedly the whole "Future Wolverine" thing was a curve ball I wasn't quite able to deal with. What do you think of the book? Why so high on the list? Inquiring minds and such!

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Old Jun 14, 2007, 08:21 PM Local time: Jun 14, 2007, 08:21 PM #16 of 81
I've been reading some back issues from recent Marvel Universe storylines like House of M and and I'm just now starting in on the Civil War event, and I've gotta say that they're quite enjoyable. I loved the artwork in the House of M titles. And so far, Humberto Ramos' art in the Wolverine titles for the Civil War event is quite excellent too.

Although I imagine that I'm enjoying the titles more than a general comic book fan might just because I have a special fondness for the X-Men. Although I started reading some circa-1990s Uncanny and I really couldn't get in to them as much...I can see why people aren't really all that high on the series.

I've also been thinking about checking out Teen Titans, to get a taste of the DC world. It looks like it's one of the titles that could hold my attention better than the Justice League characters could.

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Old Jun 15, 2007, 12:49 AM #17 of 81
Anything DC is very continuity heavy. Jumping into TT right now is going to be a VERY confusing experience. Ugh...

Rotor: Ult. X is interesting for me because it's fresh to me. A lot of the characters are very different from their 616 counterparts and some of the plot twists come out of nowhere. Sure it has had it's ups and downs, like all books, but I've enjoyed it more often than not. The current arc with future Wolverine/Cable and Bishop reforming the X-Men and what not is looking to be very, very cool. Also, unless I'm mixing books up, Nightcrawler is currently getting into big trouble with the Morlocks in the Ult. book.

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Old Jun 16, 2007, 12:02 AM Local time: Jun 16, 2007, 01:02 PM #18 of 81
Hey, comics! Howcome nobody mentioned DAREDEVIL?! Anyways, for Marvel, aside from the usual X-books (astonising, ultimate, uncanny, x-men) and Avengers stuff, I also enjoy Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Fist (hells yeah!), Hulk, Punisher MAX, and the new Iron Man looks good. DC is a bit confusing, but I'm reading Batman and Supes stuff, Wonder Woman, JLA, Green Lanter, and 52/Countdown just to get the DC feeling, the other titles are confusing sometimes.

Outside of DC/Marvel, I LOVE Hellboy/BPRD! Get that. Also, get Powers and Fell.

EDIT: Silver Surfer - Requiem is sweet.

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Old Jun 16, 2007, 07:03 PM Local time: Jun 16, 2007, 07:03 PM #19 of 81
I was out and about today and I stopped by the comics shop and picked up issues 1-4 of Dynamo 5. This is really a good book, the characters are all very interesting and it's going to be quite enjoyable seeing them grow up and evolve into their roles more. I'm also pretty curious to see where Maddie's interests lie and what her motivation is behind spearheading the group.

Plus, Scrap is totally hot.

Thanks again for the recco, acronym.

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Old Jun 17, 2007, 08:17 AM Local time: Jun 17, 2007, 06:17 AM #20 of 81
Dwayne McDuffie's going to be writing JLA. Also, Mark Waid is back on "The Flash." Great news, unless you weren't a fan of Mark Waid's previous Flash run, I heard it wasn't well received. I can't think of a reason not to like McDuffie on JLA.

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Also, unless I'm mixing books up, Nightcrawler is currently getting into big trouble with the Morlocks in the Ult. book.
I know that Uncanny has some Morlock related event coming up, I think it's a gray area at this point.

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Old Jun 18, 2007, 07:45 AM #21 of 81
I was out and about today and I stopped by the comics shop and picked up issues 1-4 of Dynamo 5. This is really a good book, the characters are all very interesting and it's going to be quite enjoyable seeing them grow up and evolve into their roles more. I'm also pretty curious to see where Maddie's interests lie and what her motivation is behind spearheading the group.

Plus, Scrap is totally hot.

Thanks again for the recco, acronym.
I'm just glad that you're enjoying it!

I was speaking idiomatically.
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Old Jul 19, 2007, 04:16 AM Local time: Jul 19, 2007, 02:16 AM #22 of 81
I just got myself caught up on Fables again after being several months out, and I'm glad I did. My comics knowledge is by no means extensive, but Fables has to be the best series I've read so far. I can't wait to see how this current arc plays out -- there's just so much potential.

Anyone else a fan of Fables or its spin-off, Jack of Fables?

Link to Vertigo's site, including complete issue #1

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Old Jul 19, 2007, 06:26 PM #23 of 81
I love Fables. I haven't read it in a long time, but I definitely plan to catch up some time in the future. I'm either going to have to re-read most of what I've read or read a summary as I've forgotten most of the details. I can't even remember what issue I stopped on.

Saka, I recommend that you check out other comics in the Vertigo line (just look it up on Wikipedia). They're quite different from your average superhero book and I've a feeling that you would enjoy many of their titles.

How ya doing, buddy?

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Old Aug 1, 2007, 03:26 PM Local time: Aug 1, 2007, 01:26 PM #24 of 81
What websites do you guys visit to get your comic book news? Or what websites do you trust to purchase stuff from? I'm just doing a little research on comic books and trying to see what websites are out there.

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Old Aug 1, 2007, 11:21 PM Local time: Aug 2, 2007, 12:21 PM #25 of 81
www.newsarama.com & www.comicbookresources.com

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