EDITOR’S NOTE: This final review of last week before the comic stores open contains… I’m not sure “spoilers” is the correct term… howsabout “reckless speculation?” Nah, we’ll stick with spoilers. We’re fucking OG that way.

So being an American hero runs in Battle Scars protagonist Marcus Johnson’s family, and people think his father can’t die. That conventional wisdom is that those statements mean the smart money’s on his dad being Nick Fury… but since plot credit to this book includes Matt Fraction, it really could be anyone. Because no one can die in a Marvel comic by Matt Fraction.

Battle Scars has been the most – if not the only – interesting spinoff from the Fear Itself event, the story of an Army Ranger whose mother was killed during that event, and who returns home for the funeral to find he’s extremely popular with S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America, and Taskmaster. In this third issue of the six-issue miniseries, Johnson discovers that he is also popular with everyone in the Marvel Universe with a gun and a Swiss bank account. This month, that includes Deadpool, and thank God, because he almost never appears in comic books these days.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review contains spoilers. But considering the comic this review is about wipes away just about the last persisting effects of the entire Fear Itself event storyline, it’s not like it fucking matters. However, you have been warned.

You want to talk to God? Let’s go see him together. I’ve got nothing better to do.”

Indiana Jones

The story in this comic book is horrible. It steals shamelessly from better comic stories by better writers, attempts to simulate depth by rehashing a philosophical point conveyed better in an 80’s teen sex comedy, and blows away any lasting effect of the Fear Itself event with a storytelling device that every writer since the ancient fucking Greeks – even the lowliest and worst hack –  has said, “Yeesh, I’d better not end it that way. The audience would kill me.”

It’s Wednesday, and it’s several hours past whiskey o’clock, and you know what that means:

That’s right, it is the end of our broadcast day.

But with a weekly take that includes the new Justice League, Batman, X-Factor (Which we routinely love but have never yet reviewed), Atomic Robo, DC Universe Online Legends (Which pleasantly surprised us last month), and… Jesus Fuck; is that another fucking Fear Itself book? Oh, Fraction…

Well, either way, it’s a lot of books, and we need time to read them before we tell you if you should.

See you tomorrow, suckers!

EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s Wednesday, so let’s slip one more review in before the comic stores open with this week’s books. And this review contains spoilers. But it’s no big deal, because the spoilers in this review have already been spoiled. And sacked. Oh wait, I’m American – I meant teabagged. Whatever. Anyway…

Life Model Decoys are android body doubles that are sold to S.H.I.E.L.D. by Stark Enterprises. Which is owned by Tony Stark. Who is Iron Man. And would presumably recognize one of his products. Particularly when wearing his Iron Man armor, which is all sensory and shit.

So when expert spymaster Nick Fury decided to hide the fact that Bucky Barnes was not actually killed in Fear Itself #3 but instead was apparently just resting, he chose to replace him with a Life Model Decoy. And make Tony Stark, while wearing the aforementioned sensory-and-shit Iron Man armor, the first person to whom he showed said decoy in service of this fraud.

With logic like that at hand, it’s a shame that Fear Itself #7.1 writer Ed Brubaker isn’t writing issue 7.2, so we could see Fury trying to convince Thor that Mjolnir is a buttplug.

Teaser for Marvel's Winter Soldier #1, written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Butch GuiceWe’ve talked a lot here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives about the formula of event comics: new costumes, giant battles, and the death of at least one character. Some creator boasting that the event is so big it will “change everything” and will “break the Internet in half” remains optional. For now. Rob Liefeld still has to submissively piddle at the end of each event. Rumor is it’s in his contract, along with the whole “coprophagia” clause. But this is no time to be making up stories about Liefeld, this is serious business. We’re talking about death here.

One of the two big deaths in Marvel’s Fear Itself event was the death of Bucky, Captain America’s old World War II sidekick who took over Cap’s mantle after Steve Rogers was killed in (say it with me!) a big crossover event in 2007. Bucky, who was also killed during World War II, was the victim of the new Red Skull, who tore his arm off… probably at the direct order of Joe Quesada, who figured out that it would probably be a bad idea to have a different guy as Captain America in the comics than in the multi-million dollar blockbuster movie of the same name. He apparently realized this several months after the movie was released, and several years after most of us understood that “Bucky Cap” sounds like euphemism for some kind of French Tickler-type device, but that’s not important right now.

What’s important is that Bucky is dead. He is bereft of life. He rests in peace. His metabolic processes are now history. He’s kicked the bucket. He is an ex-Bucky. And he’s been an ex-Bucky twice. That’s pretty final. Right?

Sure it is. This is Marvel we’re talking about:

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review contains spoilers. It’s a comic book where the good guys win. You have been warned.

Fear Itself #7, the ultimate chapter (Except for Fear Itself 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3, and don’t forget the Shattered Heroes followup) of Marvel’s tentpole event crossover of 2011 (Except for Spider-Island and X-Men: Schism), has everything you want from a book like this: a giant fight scene. Costume changes. A major character death. Iconic characters acting all iconic.

Yep, Fear Itself covers all the bases that the granddaddy of all crossover events, Secret Wars, threw down. It checks off all the boxes that Crisis On Infinite Earths put on the checklist. It mixes in all the ingredients that Civil War put in the recipe.

(Rob: Omit needless words. – Amanda)

Fine. It’s fucking formulaic, okay?

It is Wednesday, and while we apologize that recent posting and this week’s scheduled podcast have suffered due to a brand-new chest cold (Amanda: Rob, stop pretending your alcoholism is virally related and fetch me more Robitussin), we must still announce the end of our broadcast day for the following excellent reasons:

Now that is a fucking New Comics Day take! We’ve got the final issue of Marvel’s Fear Itself (And associated books like Invincible Iron Man), a new Neal Adams’ Batman: Odyssey, Batman and Wonder Woman #2, Mark Millar’s Superior, and…

…yeah, we got weak and bought Catwoman #2 and Red Hood and The Outlaws #2. Because we’re considering a new feature called Circling The Glory Hole for books that sucked once, to give them a chance to, well, suck or be sucked.

But on the plus side, there is also a new X-Factor and Atomic Robo. Which, if they are found at any glory hole, it is because they need, demand and deserve a blowjob.

And also, we’ve got Justice League #2, which apparently ships every six or seven weeks, making DC’s New 52 more like the New 51.57, which is the kind of math rounding I like, because that makes my wang seven inches even.

See you tomorrow, suckers!

We bought some more bourbon, which means here’s another exciting episode of the Crisis On Infinite Midlives Podcast!

Why “The Knockers Of Justice”? There’s actually a reason this time, and it’s Catwoman and Starfire. Plus, “The T*ts Of Justice” just sounded crass for a family site. F**k you; don’t look at us like that.

Other topics include Nightwing #1, Kevin Smith’s The Bionic Man, and Event Fatigue, or: If Wolverine Begins Fighting Cyclops in Schism at 6 a.m., Stops To Fight Juggernaut in Fear Itself  at 8 a.m. and Arrives To Fight With Spider-Man in Spider Island at noon, At What Time Does Marvel Start To Give a F**k About Continuity?

Plus, here are a few links to items we discussed in the show:

Enjoy! Or at least don’t complain too loudly!

Marvel Comics New Avengers #16 CoverEDITOR’S NOTE: This review contains spoilers. How many spoilers? Well, I’m going to include a scan of 9/10th of the last page of the fucking story. The only way to more effectively ruin a climax involves a Donkey Punch. You are warned.

I would like to start by saying, clearly and unambiguously, that I liked New Avengers #16. The story is excellent, the art is spectacular, and the action is almost unrelenting. This is a good comic book. Are we clear?


Because now I am going to rank it out for a little while.

As I mentioned before, I’ve been giving the DCnU books a lot of attention. Babies, even baby comics universes, have a way of being attention stealers. There’s other comic book news happening out there, though. Morgan Spurlock’s love letter to sweaty cosplayersSan Diego Comic Con documentary premiered yesterday. Also, a comic book store owner has come up with a new marketing strategy:

AlleyCat Comics in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood has an unorthodox approach to rewarding frequent customers: Shoppers that hit 50 purchases get to punch a store employee in the stomach.

Excuse me. I have to fly to Chicago. BRB

And, Newsarama has posted some Marvel previews. Here are some of the issues I think I’ll be picking up soon (click through for larger images):