So yeah – turns out they were talking about Spider-Man.

Yesterday was the retailer’s breakfast at New York Comic Con where The Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Slott announced what the hell “Superior” stood for, and apparently he then turned right around and told USA Today that, following the sooper seekrit events of the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man #700 – which will mark the end of that title, at least until someone at Marvel realizes there’s money to be made in releasing a book with the words “Spider-Man” and “800” on the cover – he will be writing a book titled The Superior Spider-Man about… some guy in a Spider-Man suit.

A guy who might, or might not, be Peter Parker.

“I’ve always been the omniscient hand that’s been protecting Peter Parker and Spider-Man, and not letting anything too bad happen to him,” [Slott said]. “And now I’ve become this cruel god. There’s something exciting about that, about going, ‘Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha, here is what’s going to happen to you, Spider-Man!’ And it’s drastic and it’s big and it’s exciting and it’s never been done before.”

So here’s what we know: Slott says that in The Amazing Spider-Man #700, Doctor Octopus has only one day to live, and he knows that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, and he is going to do something unfriendly to Pete. And whatever that thing is, it is going to lead to a somewhat darker Spider-Man.

So what do you have in mind, Dan?

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A little busy here watching a couple of white guys argue over being second in command, all while sorting through the early news coming from New York Comic-Con (Turns out “Superior” actually stands for Superior Spider-Man, and Scott Snyder and Jim Lee are gonna be doing a Man of Steel book, but we’ll address those in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, how about video of a real leader? One who inherited a society in crisis and implemented some old fashioned law and order? I mean, of course: The Batman.

Batman from the upcoming second act of the animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and this video has the good stuff: Batman versus Superman. Batman doing… actually, who gives a shit? It has some Batman versus Superman. You’ve wanted to see it in motion since 1986. And it beats the living shit out of watching two rich guys call each other scoundrels.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: If we can’t save the Earth… you can be damn sure we’ll spoil it.

It is never a promising sign when the very first page of a new comic book is so confusing and misleading, it forces you to flip back from the middle of the book to the beginning to understand what the hell is going on.

Welcome to Uncanny Avengers #1, a decent book with some good dialogue that, unfortunately, opens with the storytelling equivalent of a dude putting down his beer, picking up an M-80, shouting “check this out!” and blowing off all his fingers.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Rob here. Last night, while I was working feverishly on my Batman #13 review, Amanda watched the pilot for CW’s new Green Arrow based show, Arrow, and liveTweeted her impressions.

Having read her feed to catch up, well… the good news is, apparently there is plenty of room for improvement!

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Scott Snyder spent a lot of his time at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con hyping his Death of The Family storyline as one of the definitive Joker storylines of all time… and at the time, it sounded like an awful lot of hype. Here’s what I wrote about his comments at the time:

“It really is our Killing Joke… this is an explanation of what makes The Joker special as a villain.”

“He will rape and kill… and do everything to break you,” Snyder said. “[We wrote The Joker] the most fucking twisted we possibly could.”

All of which sounded promising, but let’s face reality: there ain’t a comic writer alive lucky enough to get to write the main Batman title, with The Joker as the villain no less, who ever said, “The Joker? Fuck that guy. He’s no K.G. Beast, I’ll tell you what. So yeah; I fucking phoned it in… what’s that? Yeah, it’s spelled L-O-B-D-E-L-L…”

So the hype kinda slid off my back at the time, but now it’s three months later, and Batman #13, the first issue of the Death of The Family crossover, is out in comic stores. And sure, there’s been a lot of excitement over the story, and yeah, the owner of my local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me not to ask the paying clientele if they want a dose of my “Joker Venom and / or Happy Juice,” told me, “That’s the way The Joker should be written,” when he handed my my copy… but it’s all just hype still right? That’s the question I asked myself when I opened the book an hour ago, and…

Son of a bitch. Now that’s The Joker.

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Apparently Marvel realized that their one-word teaser, “Savage,” was about as inscrutable and murky as Crystal Pepsi, so they figured they might as well make things official.

Frank Cho will be writing and drawing the Marvel Now new series Savage Wolverine. Not to be confused with The Savage Hawkman from DC Comics; that book was about an angry guy with metal claws who liked liquor, but he could also fly, making it totally different.

Cho, best known in the superhero comic book world for his artwork on New Avengers and Mighty Avengers, and his writing / drawing of Shanna The She-Devil (not counting the giant vagina he drew on the cover of Avengers Vs. X-Men #0), is widely-known as a cheesecake guy, and therefore is totally the most obvious choice to write and draw a short, hairy, foulmouthed drunkard (Look, Ma! I’m in a comic!).

What made you wanna take the gig, Frank?

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Let’s get the obvious out of the way up front and confirm that no, Legends of The Dark Knight #1 is by no means required reading. A printed collection of digital-first shorts that DC has been publishing online first since June, these stories take place outside of current DC continuity – sometimes apparently taking place outside of any known DC continuity – and if it weren’t for the involvement of some A-List talent, would appear to be nothing more than DC looking for ways to monetize their backlog of emergency backup stories, some dating back to God knows when – one of these stories clearly takes place back in the Grant Morrison’s / Joe Kelly JLA of the late 90s / early 2000s… although with the setting on the JLA satellite, it might take place in 1978 for all I know.

So do you need to read this book? Hell no; as I said: this feels like DC using their old inventory to scrape four more bucks out of you this week. However, do you want to read this book? Well, if you’re interested in seeing how both some top-shelf and up-and-coming talent view Batman, with absolutely no continuity or ongoing story constraints? It actually is kind of interesting… if somewhat problematic. After all, this appears to be a playground for doing Batman stories, and sometimes on playgrounds, people fall down. And sometimes people are offered free candy and a van ride, but my personal life is none of your Goddamned business, and besides: I’m getting off point here.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: In a world where costumed heroes soar through the sky and masked vigilantes prowl the night, someone’s got to make sure the “spoilers” don’t get out of line. And someone will.

I’ve read The Boys #71 a few times now, and I keep going back and forth on how I feel about it. Because it’s operating on a couple of different levels, and one of them is on the character level. At this point, we’ve spent six or seven years with Wee Hughie and Butcher, and what with this being the second-to-last issue, writer Garth Ennis needs to wrap up the relationship between those two guys, which has gone through older brother / younger brother, to stern mentor / insecure student, to mortal enemies. And this issue accomplishes that, in the standard Garth Ennis fashion of violence and manly bonding. Which is always interesting to read, if it doesn’t bear a lot of resemblance to any male friendship I’ve ever been in; I find we tend to resolve our differences with hard liquor , repeat viewings of Caddyshack and the copious application of the word “homo.”

However, on another level, when Ennis debuted The Boys back in 2006, he promised that the series would “out Preacher Preacher.” And now as we wind into the final couple of issues, it’s becoming apparent that The Boys is certainly following the narrative structure of Preacher‘s conclusion, with two close friends battling each other to a standstill, before coming to a final reconciliation, concluding with the apparent death of the “bad guy,” who started out as the “good guy’s” closest friend. With all of it happening in the shadow of an American national monument, with the relationship between the “good guy” and his estranged girlfriend unresolved and hanging in the balance. From a structural standpoint, the main difference between the second-to-last issue of Preacher and the second-to-last issue of The Boys is that Cassidy committed suicide by sunlight and Butcher did it via rank, threatening douchebaggery.

Maybe they should’ve just watched Caddyshack.

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You know you’ve wondered about the possibility – what if Star Wars and Mexican wrestling had a wacky, spandex and leather wearing baby. Admit it.

What? Just me?

Well, wonder no more. With the advent of Jason Chalker’s La Guerra De Los Luchadores, a show print he created for Art Wars: Intergalactic Art Show, you too can see what would have happened if, as he put it:

I wonder what it would have been like if Star Wars was originally a low-budget Mexican luchador movie?

Check out the awesomeness, after the jump.

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If you caught the United States Presidential Debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama last Wednesday, you heard Romney say that he loved Big Bird, but the first thing he’d do as President would be to defund PBS… effectively firing the poor bastard, leaving him homeless and wandering the streets like any down-on-his-luck wino, muttering to his imaginary friend.

Well, the comment led to “Big Bird” becoming a trending topic on Twitter, a slew of Big Bird parody accounts on Twitter… and the odd response from the comics community.

Such as this little masterpiece by pulp comic artist Francesco Francavilla. Which. Is. Awesome. Check it out.

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