Yes, Wednesday evening, the end of Rob and Amanda’s broadcast day. However, as I was dying from a head cold over the weekend (and have since miraculously recovered), I’m turning in my homework a bit tardy.

I first heard about the Womanthology project shortly after their fundraiser wrapped up in 2011. If you’re unfamiliar with Womanthology, it all began with a tweet from artist Renae De Liz asking if her fellow female creators would be interested in creating and publishing an anthology to benefit charity. By the end of that day, over 100 contributors had taken up the call, and shortly thereafter, IDW came on board as publisher. The project quickly coalesced into the 300 page anthology, Heroic, with over 150 female contributors whose experience levels ran the gamut from professional to beginner.

I finally picked up Heroic this summer and have been all “what the hell took me so long” ever since. I have been slowly working my way through the volume, and although I’ve only reached the halfway point, as soon as I saw the announcement for the Womanthology: SPACE series, you’d better believe I was on the phone with my local shop to pre-order it.


EDITOR’S NOTE: I can give you all spoilers by changing the chemistry in your brains.

Avengers Academy is a book that landed on my pull list because the owner of my local comic store, where they know me by name and ask me not to tell the paying customers that I intend to tell law enforcement that they favor books with pictures of children in spandex ass pants, decided to take a liberal interpretation when I told him I wanted to add “Avengers” to my subscriptions. It was a book that I didn’t particularly want when it launched, considering that the book’s predecessor, Avengers: The Initiative really did nothing for me. But over the years, the character-driven stories by writer Christos Gage have grown on me, taking the book from its initial charity buy I was too lazy to tell my local comic store owner to drop from my pulls to one of my must-reads when it drops… just in time for it to be cancelled as part of the Marvel Now relaunch (Because Marvel doesn’t reboot! Because DC reboots! And if someone tells Marvel Editorial that DC’s front office personnel regularly use the bathroom, Marvel’s brass will learn to love walking around with a load in their pants!).

And that cancellation is a Goddamned shame, because Avengers Academy #37 is a really good comic book. It wraps up a storyline that was an exceptional part of the Avengers Vs. X-Men event by consciously not being a part of that event, places a solid focus on the characters and their motivations while not skimping in any way on the action, and delivers one hell of a satisfying conclusion to the event that reminds us just how young and conflicted some of these characters are. And it shows us a character dying too young, in a puddle of his own blood, for no good reason at all… kinda like the book itself is gonna go in two months.


There is nothing more heartwarming in this world than seeing a childhood friendship grow into adulthood, turn into a productive working relationship, lead to an amicable parting of the ways as one friend pursues his dreams of producing professional comics work for page rates while the other turns their mutual prior work into a license to print money, then meet again in a Federal courtroom with mutual exclamations of affection like “[You are] a proud liar and fraudster,” and “[Your] lawsuit is ridiculous,” all before concluding in that most beautiful of Hollywood of endings: with one friend writing a check so the other can feel free to fuck off and die.

Or, in other words: Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore have settled their lawsuit over profits from and ownership over The Walking Dead.


With this past summer’s excitement over The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, combined with its mild anticipation of The Amazing Spider-Man and what has turned out to be its complete and utter apathy over Dredd 3D, it’s easy to forget that there are other comic book movies in the pipeline. Sure, we’ve got Iron Man 3, but let’s not forget that the sequel to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, titled counterintuitively as The Wolverine for some reason, is supposedly in production.

Sure, it’s easy to forget about the old Canucklehead, given that in his last cinematic outing, he met Will.I.Am and allowed him to live, and spent time fighting the only version of Deadpool, The Merc With The Mouth, that nobody wanted – namely, one with no fucking mouth. But this time around, he’s got a new director – no more weirdness from the guy who played “German Champion” in Kickboxer 5, now we have the dude who played Dr. Gold in The Sweetest Thing! Wait, what? *

Regardless, Marvel certainly doesn’t want people to forget that there’s a new Wolverine movie coming out, so earlier today, they released the first image of Hugh Jackman, wearing the claws and about thirty pounds of hair product:


Prior to picking up Sword of Sorcery #0, I knew nothing about Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, because when it debuted in 1983, I was a 12-year-old human being with a limited, allowance-based income, and a penis. With comics 60 cents a piece and three bucks to spend on them, I wasn’t gonna drop coin on a books meant to empower the very people giving me boners just by being around and then laughing when I got one. Besides, despite being a geek since it was a word used to describe a filthy hobo who bites the heads off chickens in a freakshow, I have never been a swords and sorcery kind of fan. I grew up on comic books, The Six Million Dollar Man and Star Wars; I had no need or time for some blonde with a sword and magical powers. Not when I had access to Luke Skywalker. Wait, something there’s not quite right…

Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that, for me, Amethyst is a completely new character. And while I recognize that I, a 40-something guy, am not necessarily the target audience for Amethyst, I thought it was okay. It accomplished a lot in 20 pages, introducing the protagonist and doing a decent job humanizing the character and telling us her background, and explaining how what appears to be a reasonably typical teenaged girl might survive in a hostile environment like Gemworld… even including the gang bang scene. Maybe I should’ve been reading this book when I was twelve… but we’ll get to that in a minute.


Have you read this month’s installment of Catwoman, yet? If you haven’t, don’t. There are a lot of other things you can do with that $2.99 instead of buy issue #0, by writer Ann Nocenti, unless you happen to be an obsessive collector of Adriana Melo’s artwork (which is the only bright point of the issue) or the items that carry the stench of failure, like dollar store condoms.

Selina Kyle has suffered mightily in the New 52 reboot at the hands of Judd Winick, suggesting that Barry Ween is his Jagged Little Pill. If Barry Ween was “You Oughta Know”, then Catwoman was Winick parading around naked exhorting “Thank you, silence”. Selina was a broken mess that owed more of her personality and actions to Batman slash fic than Frank Miller or Ed Brubaker. The announcement that Ann Nocenti was taking over the book at issue #0 was greeted with relief in this household. Surely, the woman who created Typhoid Mary for the Daredevil franchise could come up with a stronger, more bad ass take on Catwoman.

Turns out, not so much.

Spoiled déjà vu all over again, after the jump.


God, The Walking Dead has been a king bummer recently. And I know that’s a hell of a thing to say about a book that has shown in its nine-year history that anyone can die at any time for any – or no – reason at all, but its the truth. Over the past couple of years, we’ve gotten used to seeing Rick and the gang moving from being barely-surviving victims, constantly on the edge of being wiped out, to bad motherfuckers who are not only not to be trifled with, but who damn well know it. It’s been like watching Walter White turn into Heisenberg, only with less mouthy teen using “bitch” as a comma, and no Skyler fucking everything up for everybody.

That all went sideways in issue #100, when Negan took Glenn out with a baseball bat and apparently turned Rick into a simpering pansy. So we’ve spent a couple of months watching people grieve, and Rick apparently coming to terms with the fact that he and his people are about to become bitches for Negan and his Saviors, all while his people are generally whipping themselves up into a screeching hate frenzy to do some revenge murder, utterly unaware that Rick has committed to standard divorce terms: he got fucked, and now he has to give up half his shit and smile about it.

And as in any divorce, there comes a day when you have to tell the kids that their lives about about to inexorably turn to shit because Mommy and Daddy can’t get along. And The Walking Dead #102 is that issue, the time when Rick’s people must come to terms with the fact that they are forever doomed to laboring on behalf of aggressors who they can never defeat, and for whom Rick, who has always protected them, has no idea how to overcome.



First of all, no matter how you feel about Daredevil #18, you’ve gotta admit: that is one hell of a cover. If the goal of a comic book cover is to get someone not already predisposed to the book to buy it (and that is the goal of a cover, no matter what the prevailing wisdom of “What can I get for the original art on the collector’s market” might say), then this one by Paolo Rivera  succeeds. If you’re in a comic store and you see this cover and you’re not interested? Just ask the guy at the counter if you can use his bathroom, because clearly you didn’t go into the comic store because you like comics.

Trouble is, you put a cover like that on a comic book, particularly when the cover is hyping that the creative team just won an Eisner Award for making Daredevil the best continuing series of the year, and you are writing a check that the book itself had better Goddamned cash. So does the story, by writer Mark Waid with interior art by Chris Samnee, deliver the goods?

In general, yes it does. This issue continues Waid’s examination of Matt Murdock’s long relationship with, shall we say, “stress-related personality issues.” It was a trait that dominated the character for so long that Waid has been almost required to address – if you’re gonna decide that a character has simply decided to be less intense and crazy, you almost have to put him in a situation where he would once, well, go bugfuck nuts to see if he can stay less intense and crazy. And Waid is doing that, in a methodical and well-built way… with a couple of nitpicks. Because Matt Murdock might have decided to be less apeshit crazy, but I have promised no such thing.


EDITOR’S NOTE: I pledge allegiance to the spoilers of the Ultimate Comics of Marvel…

If it was really that easy, Bart Simpson would have been the President of The United States since 1992.

I have previously mentioned that the Ultimate Comics Divided We Fall storyline feels, to me, a lot like Wildstorm’s World’s End arc from a few years back: a major publisher making their sub-universe story playground look more relevant by turning it into an arbitrarily violent cesspool to drive large-scale storylines that the characters themselves weren’t weighty enough to introduce with any believability. Stories like this are the zombie apocalypse of comics: create some form of MacGuffin that sends society into turmoil, like a Kherubim attack or the rise of The Children of Tomorrow or a probe from Venus, and let the circumstances allow characters to do shit that you would never accept in a remotely realistic world.

The problems with stories like that is that you need to buy into the circumstances that have broken society. That’s easy with something like Night of The Living Dead – if you can buy the concept of space bacteria making the dead walk, the overrun of society by the zombies is an easy next step. But if you want to buy into the chaos at the heart of The Ultimates #15, even if you decide to ignore the Sentinels going apeshit in Arizona and that most of the northern eastern seaboard is under National Guard control (despite barely seeing any signs of even traffic snarls in Ultimate Spider-Man), you need to believe that the entire West Coast has united under the rule of pastiches of what appears to be Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Now, my day job is in a software company, and I can tell you with some authority that there isn’t a serious techie in the world who would cross the street to piss down either of those guys’ throats if their hearts were on fire. If this happened in the real world, California’s computer systems would die like pigs in a chute as all the real programmers emigrated to Arizona, because I guarantee you that the Sentinels run on Linux. But I’m getting off on a tangent here.


Once again, Wednesday has come and gone, and all we have to show for it is a fresh liver nodule, the weak hope that we can survive another 120 or so hours to get the four-disc Blu-Ray of The Avengers (the definitive edition! You know, until next Christmas, when an eight-disc “Mighty” edition will undoubtedly arrive!, Probably with a teaser trailer for Guardians of The Galaxy! And a working repulsor glove!), and terminal, day job-related exhaustion. Well, those things, and a big pile of comic books. And one of those four things means that this…

…is the end of our broadcast day.

But this is actually a decent-looking week. Sure, we’re still in DC’s Zero Month, which has been kinda feast or famine, but this week we have Catwoman #0 (with new writer Ann Nocenti), and Justice League #0, with art by Gary Frank, and showing us the first actual appearance of the New 52 Captain Marvel (known these days as “Shazam,” but those of us older than 30 know better). We’ve also got the conclusion of Bendis’s Spider-Men, a new Mark Waid Daredevil, the continuing aftermath of Glenn’s murder in The Walking Dead, and the coronation of President America in The Ultimates #15!

But you know the drill: before we can review them, we need to wash off the stink of our respective employers, sober up, and then have time to read them. So for at least the next twelve hours…

See you tomorrow, suckers!