In the lull that follows the movie industry’s summer blockbuster, nigh hangover inducing after the likes of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises, television network CW releases the most recent trailer for its great fall season hope, Arrow. Yes, it’s a new take on Green Arrow. Marketing apparently thought dropping the “Green” would make it sound more bad ass or something. But it’s still got the bones of the familiar story. Oliver Queen has been trapped on a deserted island somewhere on the ocean, north of China, for five years. That’s long enough to grow some stylin’ facial hair, hone his archery skills, and develop a taste for those little crabs that live in tidal pools vigilante justice! CW shoehorns in Dinah Lance (that’s the eventual Black Canary to the five of you who might watch this that are unfamiliar with the comic book) as an ex-girlfriend. We may see Speedy in the form of a druggie sibling. Wonder if the druggie sibling is going to lose an arm and have a child with a super villain? Now that would be bad ass.

Anyway, check out the new trailer after the jump.

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Editor’s Note: The house chimichanga contains carnitas, refried beans and tasty, tasty spoilers! 

This won’t be a long review, but it doesn’t have to be. Because Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #2 is just plain old big, stupid, violent fun. Sure, it’s fun with a conceit behind it that’s straight out of Grant Morrison’s classic Animal Man run from the 80s, but the straight lift doesn’t take away from what is a breezy, kill-em-all shoot-em-up.

This issue continues an Elseworlds-style story where experimentation on Deadpool has altered the nature of the voices in his head, changing them from a constant call for chimichangas and boobies to one to kill every pair of spandex pants in the Marvel Universe. On one hand, this actually leads to a less overtly humorous version of Deadpool – a lot of the fun in a normal Deadpool comic comes from his whacky and over-the-top internal dialogue, whereas here, the voices in his head say things like, “It doesn’t matter. They all have to die.” You know: boring, day-to-day repetitive shit like the voices in my head.

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Archer & Armstrong #1 is a book you’ll probably like if you spent a lot of time camping out during the Occupy protests, or if you’re an active commenter on Pharyngula, because it tells a story that reinforces everything you already “know”: Evangelical Creationist Christians are obese, easily duped tools of the wealthy who are actively conspiring to become even wealthier, even if it means destroying everything and everyone to do it.

It’s gonna be likable to that particular demographic the same way that hardcore American conservatives like Atlas Shrugged – it tells you what you want to hear… but like those Ayn Rand books, just because it gives you a warm, affirming fuzzy feeling about your personal life choices doesn’t mean it’s a good fucking story.

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Editor’s Note: Seeing double? I got two spoilers, one for each of you.

You ever run into an old high school or college girlfriend that you broke up with? I have, and man, it sucks. There’s that whole moment of cognitive dissonance where your brain tries to match the person you knew years before with the older face and new haircut you’re seeing right now, and then you plaster on the fake smile and exchange overly loud and jocular greetings and exclamations of surprise at how long it’s been, and then you exchange stories of who you are now and the things you’re doing, and you promise to keep in touch while maybe exchanging email addresses that you know full well will never be typed into any browser, all the while dealing with the guilty knowledge that the reason it’s been so long is because you told her that you needed space… space to try to chuck the meat to that skank from UMass with the big knockers and the full liquor cabinet in her dorm room. And then you wander away feeling like you’ve had low-voltage elecro-convulsive therapy, and you spend the next day or so kinda moody and fucked-up, trying to get yourself back to normal equilibrium where you don’t feel like a long-term asshole. It’s a terrible experience; it’s one of the primary reasons you will catch me dead before you catch me on Facebook.

I know what you’re thinking: “Rob,” you’re thinking, “What in the ripe fuck does any of this have to do with comic books?” Well, all this emotion I’m describing comes from seeing someone you merely hurt by breaking up with them. Peter Parker, however, in The Amazing Spider-Man # 121, at best failed to rescue Gwen Stacy, if he didn’t accidentally kill her himself in a botched rescue attempt. So when Peter meets and interacts with the still-living Ultimate Universe version of Gwen in Spider-Men #4? I simply didn’t buy it. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

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Yesterday saw the release of Gambit #1, by writer James Asmus. Everyone’s favorite Cajun thief-who-also-has-the-convenient-mutant-power-to-explode-objects has had shots at two other on-going series since his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men back in 1990. Heightening his popularity was his on-again/off-again romance with fellow Southern mutant, Rogue. She couldn’t touch anyone without potentially robbing them of their lives and everything he touched had the potential to explode – how would they ever finally be able to do the dirty mutant boogie? It was a fun, soap operatic diversion from the Scott Summers-Jean Grey-Wolverine triangle, with 90% less angst and 100% likelier chance of exploding heads. How could you not get behind that storyline?

Since then, Gambit and Rogue have gone their separate ways and Asmus’s new story begins with the former thief trying to get his head around the man he is today. “A teacher? A security guard for mutant teenagers? Sympathetic ex-boyfriend?”, he ponders as the book opens. Those readers following the Rogue-centric X-Men Legacy (because they can’t just call it Rogue since books titled after chicks don’t tend to sell) have watched as Rogue has entered into an affair with Magneto and put the brakes on things with Gambit. A bad boy Gambit may be, but he’s still a decent human being and has tried to be as supportive of Rogue’s choices as he can. Still, sometimes it all gets to be a bit much. That’s when a man just needs to step out and cut loose, maybe indulge in a few old habits along the way.

So, will this pitch have legs to carry it as an ongoing series?

After the jump, stuff explodes with spoilery goodness!

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Look, I’m not gonna lie to you: I’m a tad distracted this evening because I’m starting a new day gig on Monday. Which is not remarkable in and of itself, but what is remarkable is that my new boss called me today and said, “You need to get to know the guys. And that is best done over a serious amount of whiskey.”

Still, Amanda and I managed to get to the comic store before getting to the bar where we still currently are, and between the team-building boilermakers and these new comics…

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…it means the end of our broadcast day.

But trust-building falls that I ignored in favor of Jim Beam or no, that’s a damn good take! We have a new Spider-Men, the first issue of Marvel’s new Gambit series, a new Before Watchmen book, and a ton of other good shit!

But before we can review any of them, we need time to read them. So until I’m done trying (and failing) to show my new employers that I’m not a reckless alcoholic….

See you tomorrow, suckers!

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And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s Mightiest Frozen CEO awoke from his slumber and said, “Guys: don’t be dicks. The Avengers is the third-highest grossing movie since the invention of light. Why don’t we hire the guy that, you know… did that, and see if we can’t get lucky and only get a fraction of those profits and make only a third of a billion dollars next time around. Waltos… has… SPOKEN!” Then Waltos made out with death, fingerfucked Minnie, went back into his sarcophagus and lo and behold!

Joss Whedon was hired to write and direct Avengers 2.

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Poor Courtney Crumrin. Just thirteen years old and already jaded, cynical, and so very, very alone. Sure, a lot of kids her age might argue that it’s not a burden with which they are unfamiliar, but they also most likely aren’t battling night creatures and learning magic at the knee of their ancient Uncle Aloysius. Wear all the ripped, black clothing and heavy eyeliner you’d like; you probably didn’t turn one of your classmates into a goblin. What are you bitching about?

Courtney Crumrin #4 wraps up the most recent arc spun by writer Ted Naifeh this past April. Courtney almost makes a human friend at school. Unfortunately, circumstances conspire to create supernatural obstacles for her yet again. Worse, the governing council that oversees the affairs of the coven of which she and her uncle are affiliated have finally had enough of Courtney’s disregard for coven law. Things are looking dire for our heroine.

Caution! Blood thirsty faerie wolves, mind wiping marshals, and spoilers abound after the jump!

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From one point of view, Matt Fraction’s and David Aja’s Hawkeye #1 is a truly crappy Hawkeye comic book. Hawkeye doesn’t appear in costume for more than five panels, and he is getting the shit kicked out of him for each and every one of those panels. Other than those five illustrations, Hawkeye never holds a bow, we never see an arrow, there are no other Avengers, and there is a cab ride instead of a bitchin’ skycycle run.

So yeah: as a traditional Hawkeye comic book, one could make the argument that this is a pile of shit, an experience akin to buying a porno with certain expectations in your mind (and pants), and finding you’ve taken home a 90-minute video of a fully-clothed woman repeating, “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” The elements are there, but it’s not what one necessarily wants from an item of that type.

However, some dingbat could also make the argument that it would be a colossal disappointment to open a box of Cracker Jacks and finding a giant wad of gold bullion – just because it’s not what you expected based on your prior experiences doesn’t make it bad. Rather, Hawkeye #1 is a pulpy, character-driven, street-level crime story that not only made me care about the purple-headed warrior (get it?) for the first time almost ever, but which is arguably the best comic book you’ll read this week.

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And that’s that. Preregistration for San Diego Comic-Con for those who attended as members this year opened at 8 a.m. Pacific Time yesterday… and closed at about 9:20 a.m. thereafter.

Unlike other years, which for us have entailed either obtaining our four-day passes for the currently-starting convention and immediately doing a 180 to get in line to obtain passes for the following year, or, as last year, setting an alarm for 4:30 a.m. to catch a cab to the Hyatt to the right of the San Diego Convention Center… and then walking to the end of the line near the Hilton to the left of the San Diego Convention Center to wait for five hours to purchase the next year’s passes, this was a relatively bloodless affair. Simply log into a particular URL with your favorite Web browser, upon which you pressed the Big Green Button, and were directed to a virtual waiting room, which told you what your place in line was. Every two minutes, the page would update, and tell you how far along you were. All in all, it was simple… except for the fact that it was anything but. Not if you wanted to make sure that you could go.

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