Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More Pull Lists Than You Can Shake A Stick At!

Ta-Da! A Post!

In the spirit of Kevin Smith, I’m actually going to sit down and write something I promised to. If only I could take all my writing cues from the Bearded Wonder, I'd finally bust out of this two-bit blog and into the big-time!

Anyway, my life in upheaval and my work schedule as it was, I sadly found little time for comics in the past week. Thankfully I made it down to Comicazi on Wednesday night and raided my box, and here are the results!

Not only the Pull List for two weeks ago, but the Pull List for last week and this week as well!


- Ultimate Spider-Man Annual;

I'm excited to see the return of annuals! I was always eager to shell out the extra few dollars for a bigger comic that was almost always had a self-contained story with important twists. The first Amazing Spider-Man Annual was awesome, as it had the birth of the Sinister Six, which is still the coolest super-villian team around, no matter what happens in Villians United.

In this issue, we find out who Spider-Man's new girlfriend is, after the rather harsh way he cut M.J. loose. Day-um. They've blacked her image out from the promo covers, but I'm hoping it's Ultimate Kitty Pride. Her version of Collosus is playing for the other team, so she's got to look for love somewhere else, and where better than your Friendly Neighborhood Spidey?

Aaaaaaaaand... That's it for the week? More like “Weak...” C'mon, Marvel/DC/Image/Oni... get on the ball! The only other thing that even caught my eye was Justice League team of Giffen, DeMatties and Maguire on The Defenders. I wasn't terribly excited about the first issue, which was odd, as I've read and re-read Formerly Known As... and I Can't Believe It's Not... about a hundred times now.

At least we got a new Batgirl and Birds of Prey, so The Lady will be happy when she next gets her comics.

P-P-P-P-PULL LIST! Late Version! - 08/24

- Adventures of Superman #643;

Superman… can be a very dull character. Aside from being the very icon on which other Super-Heroes are based, Big Blue is also a little too powerful. When a character flies through the sun to clean his costume, what drama is there? What challenges are there he can’t simply right with his god-like powers? I guess other people felt that way, so he got seriously powered down after the last Crisis.

Wait, no, second to last Crisis.

Soon to be third previous Crisis.

Way to name your events, DC.

Anyway, since this journal should probably be called “Gay For Rucka!”, it’s not a huge surprise to the lot of you that I do pick up Adventures when it comes out in trade format. But since I got suckered into picking up all of the Sacrifice arc like the rest of you rubes, when this follow-up hit the shelves, I scooped it up.

Thankfully, in spite of my complaints and Rucka’s apologies, I really like the Sacrifice storyline. It’s a little violent, but violence in comic books is nothing new, and when you’re dissolving the trust between The Three Musketeers of the DCU, bold strokes are neccissary.

This issue is almost entirely talking heads (not the band), so we get some damn fine characterizations. Superman is filled with shame, confusion, and more of the flawed morality that fuels his distrust Wonder Woman. Batman is completely self-assured and over-confident as usual, but his regular brooding and contemplation are replaced with a blinding fury. After the shockingly brutal fight between Wonder Woman and Superman at the climax of the story, this third act wind-down of talking heads is quite welcome.

- The OMAC Project #5;

Omac is my favorite of the Countdown miniseries, a good mix of suspense and spy-fiction and now big-time Super-Hero action. The penultimate issue features the reuniting of Giffen’s Justice League, and it’s a blast to see them duking it out with the Omacs. I can only hope that Booster Gold’s new square-jawiness is the result of his two best friend’s deaths (That’s right, I’m counting Skeetz!) and not a new direction for the character. I’m not looking for a stubbly, trench-coat-wearing Booster, thank you. That being said, I’m excited for what this has been leading to, and the last page makes me tingly with anticipation.


It’s odd.

Normally big crossovers turn me off. They seem like big money-making schemes and make me nervous that things will be shaken up in baaaaaad ways afterwards. See: What I wrote on House of M. But now… Now for some reason I’m really into everything leading into Infinite Crisis. I think the execution has been well thought out, and now that everything’s coming together I’m excited for new issues again. I always enjoyed getting the next part of the story, but with this I’m craving the next issue to see where this is going. In case you’re not sure, Casey Like.

- Teen Titans #27;


I just don’t know what anyone is thinking by publishing this.

Did someone want to punish Gail Simone? Did she wrong someone in some way that she deserves having her writing, which never dips below par and sometimes shoots into excellence, cursed by this creature’s pencils?

Poor form, DC.

- Daredevil #76;

Sooooooooooo excited for this new story-arc. The last one was definitely a mark in the miss column, but I can forgive it if this, the last of the Bendis Daredevil work for now, pays off the way I hope it does.

This story covers the year Matt Murdock took over as Kingpin, and I can not wait to read it. Flipping through it, I saw Milla, my favorite of the Matt Murdock love-interests (I know, blasphemy in the Church of Frank Miller), and I yet again saw a panel of Ben Urich getting stabbed through the chest with a sai, so, you know, already the makings of a classic.

Current Comics! My Word, What A Strange Thing This Internet Is! - 08/31

You know, for a man who spends a great deal of his ch-ch-change on c-c-comics, I don't really get many each week. My ample budget for trades must suck most of it. I probably shouldn't say budget as that implies a more structured spending than going "OOH! PRETTY!" and plopping down fifteen to twenty dollars.

- Flash #225;


Sorry, I was having a Freddie Mercury moment, mustache and all.

This is, sadly, scribe Geoff John's last issue on the book he arguably made great. I was never into the Mark Waid work on the character, an odditity considering how much I enjoy Waid's other works with Wally's predecessor in JLA: Year One and The Brave and the Bold. It wasn't until the Blitz story that someone pointed me the way of John's Flash. Zoom was on the cover, and that's all it took for me to pick it up. Scott Kolin's artwork was his usual flashy, silver-agey excellence. The man draws people like Captain Boomerang in an unappologetically silly way to the point they look cool. For other examples, check out a highly underrated Avengers miniseries, Earth's Mightiest Heroes. This was Kolin's last story on the book, but as I've praised it for in the past, instead of just picking someone who could draw the Flash well, the book picked artists based on what kind of story Johns wanted to tell: Alberto Dose's noirish, bleak pencils for when Wally was lost without his alter-ego and then finally to Howard Porter's more modern-style pencils, his best stuff since the early days of JLA.

Now Johns is the one leaving the Speedster, and he's going out with a bang. And Fwsssssh, and a Boing! and a FRZZZZZZZ and whatever other noises the various Rogue's powers make while they're tearing up Keystone City. The final chapter of Rogue War hopes to pay off on the return of a key Flash villian, tie up the war, unleash some new slash old foes for future villains and point to Wally's role in Crisis. It was some of the best tights fights you could find for a long, long time... you'll be missed in this corner of the DCU, Geoff.

- Wonder Woman #220;

Wonder Woman in handcuffs!

William Moulton Marston Marston would be proud, that nutty bastard.

This ish has everyone's favorite buxom amazon dealing with her actions in Sacrifice. I think the difference between this and last week's Adventures of Superman will be Wonder Woman's lack of moping and more defending her convictions. She didn't seem bothered at all by what happened, and in one reader's opinion, she shouldn't be. Proud to see they're choosing to explore the darker side of superheroics in someone who isn't the Punisher or Superman. As long as good ol' Greg Rucka brings it back and keeps it true to the character like he's been doing, it'll be on my favorites every month.

- Powers #13;

That's right, breath deep. It's that time of the month, when you push aside New Avengers... dig deep through the piles of unsold House of M's, Scrooge McDuck Style, and emerge triumphant with pure Bendis goodness. Fresh air at last.

I love Powers. The stories aren't always the most original, but they shouldn't be. They're bouncing off our expectations for the super-hero genre, so when things go as wrong as they do in the world of Detectives Walker and Pilgrim, our familiar footing is pulled right out from under us. Plus I'm a sucker for any dialog that could be described as "Mamet-Esque" yet still somehow retains it's own voice.

This issue starts a new story-arc, and deals with the rather gruesome events of the previous arc. If you haven't been following along, plop down some dough for the first trade, Who Killed Retro Girl, or if you're feeling particularly saucy you can get the new hardcover Marvel just put out. You won't be sorry for long.

- The Ultimates 2, Vol. 1 - Gods and Monsters TPB;

If Michael Bay got ahold of the Avengers, a brain and a fair dose of wit, The Ultimates would be his baby. It's violent, it's MTV "sexy", but what makes it work is that it's completely self-aware and heaps on the irony higher than the Hulk. It does have an unfortunate tendency to ship late, and after the first series' final issue shipped, I swore that I'd only buy it in trade, as the high-octane pace this book tends to keep can be ruined by it's late shipping schedule.

This trade covers the first half of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's second go-around, which features the trial of the Hulk, (sorry, no John Ryhs Davis this time), and the revelation of exactly where Thor comes from... or is it? Ok, so I read them in the store, sue me. Not for everyone, but if you're looking for an Avengers book filled with extreme violence and absurd realism that brings it firmly into the realm of satire, look no further.

- Wha, Huh?
Oh my stars and garters.

Bendis and Mahfood poke fun at pretty much any and everything Marvel. Mahfood seems like the go-to guy when it comes to Marvel tounge-in-cheek, as he did two rather absurd issues of Spectacular Spider-Man wherein the Sandman is a sentient beach who eats people at MTV's Spring Break, one issue of the sadly short-lived and underrated Ultimate Marvel Team-Up with the aforementioned Bendis with a somewhat psychadelic Fantastic Four, and the most bizare issue of Spider-Man: Tangled Web you can (and should) get. Excitement abounds.

So that OPUS is the post I've been working on for the past week and a half, plus a few more paragraphs I'll spare you from for another day or to. Thanks for your patience, I'm hoping to get back on a regular schedule soon.

When I do unleash those paragraphs, I'll review the three trades I picked up last week and give a few words on Bryan Singer's television baby, House M.D., featuring the surly Hugh Laurie.

Until Next Time, True Believers.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Late, Late, Late... Pull List for 08/10

Is there a more universal theme in our modern culture, a theme that stretches into every facet of the fiction we love, than "Work Sucks"?

Unfortunately between my regular job and three job interviews (two in real life, and one via IRC, a first for myself), this is the first time I've been able to put finger to key and pound out another exciting installment in...


- Adam Strange: Planet Heist TPB;

Adam Strange has one of the coolest look in comics. People talk about Superman as being "iconic", and damn if his costume isn't the most frequently copied in the medium, but Adam Strange? He's absolutely classic science fiction. Heavy Buck Rodgers influence, he's rockin' the jet pack, the ray-gun, and the fin on the top of his head. Absolute retro-Spaceman. So when I heard they were updating the look, I got a little excited and very wary. Some updates have been a boon to comics, such as Robin actually wearing pants, or Nightwing loosing the big, yellow collar.

There are however, many, many, bad examples.

Happily this was not the case for our intrepid explorer! In fact, I'm a big fan of the newer look. It keeps everything that made him Adam Strange, that made him scream "OUTER-SPACE!" and updates it to remove the giggle factor so many superhero costumes have (hehe, Superman's got his underwear on the outside!).

This is the collection of the Adam Strange eight issue mini from last year/earlier this year that lead into Raan/Thanagar War, the most incomprehensible of the 4 Countdown mini-series. I've been reading it to get my Kyle Raynor fix, as he's pretty much been bumped from the Justice League thanks to John Stewart and the cartoon, and now also bumped from Earth thanks to the return of Hal Jordan.
Even with my familiarity with Kyle, I still don't know who the majority of the characters are and what they're doing in a war... I'll be picking this up, not only because I was excited about it before, but also so I can re-read Raan/Thanagar and know exactly what's going on.

- JLA #117;

The third part of "Crisis of conscience" by DC's master puppeteer Geoff Johns. He seems to have his fingerprints all over the major players and titles of the DCU leading up to this crisis, with the exception of Wonder Woman, whom Greg Rucka has hoarded all to himself with results that make me all fuzzy inside.

This story lost a little steam with me, since it ties into Identity Crisis more than Infinite Crisis, a miniseries that wrapped up six months ago. To blame is Kurt Busiek's, I feel sub-par, arc on JLA. They took up eight issues fighting both the Crime Syndicate of Earth 2, and the Weaponers of Quard in a story that should maybe have been published when all the happenings in the DCU...Well, weren't.
Dramatic build up my furry blue behind, I think editorial just messed up the schedule.

In this ish, the old school Secret Society of Super villains take the JLA to task for the whole pesky "Mind-Wipe" thing. Also, given chapter two's big reveal, I'm hoping an old arc (#38-40) from Giffen & DeMatteis' Justice League will play a big part. Good old continuity! If so, chapter three will definitely get me excited for the penultimate and ultimate issues...

- Raan/Thanagar War #4 of 6;

Who are these people? What happened to Thanagar? I picked up Villains United and The Omac Project fairly cold and figured it out, but this one... I'll read the Adam Strange trade first.

- Villains United #4 of 6;



Seriously, this comic should be called "Why Not to Feed B-List Villains to Monkeys," because in the hands of Gail Simone, they're actually interesting.

In this ish, the villains go stealthy-like, and wear all black outfits, further infringing on the Dark Knight's copyrights. I guess we should have seen it coming, given Catman's love of darkness. Oddly interesting characters like Ragdoll and Deadshot are given depth that they by no rights deserve. Simone deserves an award for making Deadshot seem like more than just a Deathstroke clone, if for nothing else. Always a fun book, if a bit gritty at times, this is the one Infinite Crisis mini that you don't have to know what's happening with Infinite Crisis to both enjoy and understand.

So that's it for me, small week I guess. Sorry for the lateness, on top of the job jibba-jabba, I was without the World Wide Web for a few days. If I had a webcam, heaven forbid, you'd see a brittle shell of a man slowly being brought to life by mother internet's loving grasp.

Sweet cradle of movie and comic news, I feel safe in you once more...


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pull List: A Day Late Many, Many Dollars Short

Hey cats and kittens, I'm here to thrown down my Pull List for Wednesday, August 3rd. I still haven't actually read any of these, as I'm broke as a joke. Tomorrow, luckily, is payday, and for anyone wondering, this...

Is What I like to do With My Money...

I also like to buy comics.
This post is being written while I listen to The Theme From S.W.A.T., which to be honest, is a breathtaking piece of funk.

Here Are The Comics That Get Me All Tingly:

- Serenity #2;

I don't consider myself one of the number of terrifying Joss Whedon fans roaming around free. My friend Jeremy is one of their ilk, and he startles me sometimes with his passion for everything the man touches, especially considering I spent some time talking him into watching a stray episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer here and there on FX. That's right, I love love love the first four seasons of Buffy: TVS, and Angel is no slouch either. It's not going to change the world; it's just quality television. Now he owns every season of Angel and Buffy on DVD, and the man hounded me, literally followed me around and told me to watch Whedon's much-revered Firefly.

I vaguely remember catching an episode on TV (one of the rare instances Fox decided to actually show it), and was not impressed. I'm not going to go into how a canceled television show became a feature film and a comic book spin-off three years later, as the tale is told all up and down the web. FireflyFans.net is a good place if you're interested.

The thing that made me cave into his poking and prodding was actually the trailer for the film Serenity. The trailer looked like a ton of fun, I'm a big fan of Westerns when mixed with another genre (Trigun, The Quick and the Dead, Desperadoes), so I got all excited. I did not, however, want to be lost, so I borrowed the DVDs. I can now say without hesitation that it is Whedon's best stuff, and now The Lady is absolutely nuts about it, too. Maybe later I'll espouse my love for it more fully, but for now just take in that I liked it, and the comic is pretty good too.

A lot of people complain about alternate covers. My feelings are as long as they're shipped 50%/50% or in this case 33%/33%/34%, then it's a great thing. It gives people more choices and they can get the cover that appeals to them the most. In this case, happily, it serves a function! There are nine characters featured in Firefly, and three issues of the miniseries, so voila! Three alternate covers for each.

Issue two features Zoe, Shepard Book, and the cover I want, Kaylee!

She's cute as a button, click and see.

- Jim Mahfood's Stupid Comics #3;

There was a year in high school where I doodled incessantly, trying to design graffiti. I wanted to make art that seemed like it was always in motion, that felt fierce and maleable and too-cool-for-school. I wanted to draw like
Jim Mahfood.

Like a million other Kevin Smith fans, I discovered Mahfood's work in Clerks: The Comic Book one-shot. Oddly enough, since I usually worship at The Altar of Smith, I was more taken by the thick lines, hard angles and dynamic poses of the art than the appropriately verbose word-balloons. So I snatched up everything that was available by 'Food, which at the time was Grrl Scouts, a comic about three lady drug dealers who deliver their goods inside cookie boxes. It was originally put out by Oni Press, but if you don't have it Image has re-released the trade as well as a trade for it's follow-up Grrl Scouts: Work Sucks. Grrl Scouts has humor, wit, social commentary and revolution, sex, drugs, and violence - everything that makes a story great. It also had Mahfood's art, which, if you hadn't caught on, is dazzling. Basically since then I've picked up everything with his name on it, and I don't think I've been disappointed once.

Stupid Comics
is more focused on the first three things that made Grrl Scouts great, with a healthy enough dose of the last three to make it still realistic and keep it from getting preachy. These issues are released sporadically, and worth picking up whenever they show up at the shop.

- Gotham Central #34;

Six issues from being replaced by a title called Streets of Gotham, Central is one of the most compelling books I pick up month to month. Both Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker know exactly how to pace a mystery for a monthly comic, better than almost anyone else (I'll get to Brain K. Vaughn in a minute). I don't know how I can praise this book more than I've already done in previous posts... Read it, peoples! This is part two of the Dead Robin story-arc, with a pretty swanky Usual Suspects/Teen Titans cover. At least one book I get this month featuring the Titans will be good... Yeesh. Can't wait to pick up the book, and excited to hear more about Streets of Gotham from Wizard World: Chicago this weekend.

- Y: The Last Man #36;

I told you I'd get to Brian K. Vaughn in a minute. It takes a great deal of guts to publish a comic book monthly that always, always, always ends in a cliffhanger. Luckily Vaughn has the writing chops to do it. The story of the last man on earth traveling from New York to Australia trying to reach his fiance is funny, romantic in both the lovey-dovey and grand adventure sense, action packed, and just plain brilliant.

In this issue, the artist who started the book with Vaughn, Pia Guerra comes back to tell the tale of the aforementioned fiance, who we got brief glimpses of earlier in the series. I'd say that this was a good jumping-on point for new readers, but the first trade is 11.95, a price point so low that it makes an even better jumping-on point.
And to even one-up that, Vertigo makes the first issue available for download right here! What a swell bunch of gals and chaps.

- Metal Gear Solid #11;

Only one issue left of this adaptation of my favorite modern video-game, and the it's, "Snake? Snake?... SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE?!?!"

Ashley Wood
does art chores on it, and it's right pretty. Maybe I should check out Pop-Bot?

- Ultimate Spider-Man #81;

People accuse Brian Bendis of writing "talking heads" too much, and usually I argue fervently with them. The man knows how to write, be it action, comedy, noir, whatever's appropriate. But even I found it a little silly in the last issue when Spidey had a big fight with Ultimate Moon Knight of all people, and then sat down to a slice of pizza and five page-chat with the Kingpin. Still, if I don't like one issue out of eighty then the title's doing pretty good. This one continues the Moon Knight (is it a Moon Knight story?) arc...

That's it for me this week, thank god it's light as things have built up so badly that I'll need a burro or some other pack animal just to get the comics home.

Tomorrow (or next time I get around to posting), SCUMM! A little preview:

The Wonders of Tomorrow!


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Correction, A Rant!

- A Correction

In my last Pull List, I talked about how excited I was about a new issue of The Pulse coming out, as it was a return of Michael Gaydos to the book and praise, celebration, huzzah, ect.

On Monday, I walked into a comic book shop for the first time in two weeks, which for me is much longer than it sounds. Comicazi was in near a job interview I had this morning, so I was doing little skips and hops up the street when I realized that I had an excuse to make the trip to a comic shop! I perused the shelves and what did I see upon the cover of The Pulse #10?


House of M
, you've screwed me again.

It turns out that this month was their "Super Fun Cross-Over Month".

By "Super Fun Cross-Over Month," I mean, "Did we just END a story that crossed over with The Secret War? What is HAPPENING here? Why can't these characters have their own stories with out CRAZY SUPER-PEOPLE CHANING THE ENTIRE WORLD!?" Alias was an amazing stand-alone book, with the occasional "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern/Jessica Jones & Luke Cage" moments behind the scenes of Daredevil, I don't mind that it's about the Daily Bugle now, but... I'd really like it to be about the Daily Bugle now.

So I guess the birth of Jessica's baby is next issue? Soon? I hope.

- A Rant!

A reality-altering mutant has changed the past! The future is NOW, and one of the X-Men's most deadly adversaries has become the ruler of the planet, and only a select few characters really know what's happening! Can the few remaining heroes save us from...
The Age of Apocalypse?!?

Oh... Sorry... The House of M?!?

It's disappointing when a company goes back and mines old ideas in lieu of fresh ones, and it's simply annoying when they're Super Epic Mega Events that effect every and anyone who reads a Marvel comic on a monthly basis. This time around it's just sad, as the House of Ideas apparently ran out, and recycled a 10-year-old X-Men story, but applied it to the entirety of the Marvel U.

For those not following along:
Ahoy, Matey! Spoilers Ho!
The Scarlet Witch, after going nutty nuts and killing a bunch of Avengers, has altered the entire reality Marvel Comics are based on and put her Daddy (Magneto), in charge. Unlike The Age of Apocalypse, which was a horrid wasted landscape, The House of M seems to be a bit of a utopia... unless you're human. "Sapiens" are slowing being wiped out by the Marvel version of evolution, which doesn't mean natural selection so much as it means "LAZOR EYES!" Now it's up to a small group of resistance to put things back the way they were, lead by Hawkeye (Wasn't he... dead?), and Wolverine (Ugh, AGAIN?) who both know something's wrong... for some reason.
End Spoilers!

There are a few things that strike me as odd about all this:

- Why Now?

The dots on DC's pointillist potential masterpiece are coming together across the street, and plans laid down two years ago by the three most influential writers on the payroll are coming to fruition. When all this is going on, and you re-hash a ten year old plot that really was sort of a bore at the time, don't you think there'll be some unfavorable comparisons?

Perhaps that's why they've resorted to hype for a great deal of the publicity involved with THoM. Whereas DC has been able to let the comics do the talking, and let fans see for themselves the plans laid over the last few years, Marvel's epic event is so sudden, and as on of my friend's put it "seemingly knee-jerk" that they can't do that. This has left Joe Quesada and Brian Bendis are sounding more like carnival barkers and snake-oil salesmen of late, with their claims long-lasting effects and things we've never seen before. I'm sure The House of M will also cure all ailments, turn straw into gold, and bring Jean Grey back from the dead as well, fellas. This leads me into my next point...

- Why Should We Believe You Guys?

This story is supposed to change the nature of the Marvel Universe and effect all the characters dramatically, but... it's so sudden. It feels like Daredevil throwing on his Armored Costume, or Superman turning blue and having electricity powers... A gimmick that a company uses to grab some quick sales and attention: something that just won't last. A few things sort of grabbed my attention and turned it that way.

When Avengers Disassembled was published, Bendis had said something along the lines of "this is a story I've wanted to do for years..." Recently he was quoted over at Newsarama saying this (click here for full article):

"After Avengers Disassembled I was in full 'not realizing what I was saying out loud' mode. I said, “You know, Wanda is now the worst fear of the Avengers and the X-Men. She's the worst case mutant scenario... ever!” I thought, you know a couple of my minis had done pretty well and they were asking for others, and I thought this was a damn good idea for a mini. The Marvel gang turned it into this."

So this whole business isn't something they've been cooking up forever, it's an idea that's 8 months old, at the latest. Being 8-months old doesn't make it a bad idea, but as far as Continuity Shattering events go, it loses some credibility.

The other big clue that's putting doubt in my mind is this, The House of M Checklist.

Take a look at it.

In the big event that is "the worst fear of the Avengers and the X-Men", do you see any titles missing? Pre-House of M, Marvel's top selling (top 25), non-Ultimate titles are, in order: Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, Amazing Spider-Man, Young Avengers and Fantastic Four. Bendis' New Avengers also consistently cracks the top ten, but was delayed in May. In April it topped the charts at #1. So out of these, the hottest Marvel U titles, a whopping two are directly involved in The House of M.

Part of me is glad that they're not interrupting the regular books, that you can sort of turn away from it and only buy "House of M: Spider-Man" if you're interested... but that only works if you're reading a hot-hot-hot book. If you're picking up Ed Brubaker's Captain America, you get a sharp stick in the eye as the Winter Solider mystery gets interrupted. See above for my frustrations regarding The Pulse. Even if you are one of the people that just read, say, Spider-Man, Astonishing X-Men, and Fantastic Four, turning your back on THoM, guess what? It'll apparently be affecting those titles as soon as House #8 wraps up! Time to buy the trades!

Really, when it's all boiled down it's clear that my problem with The House of M isn't necessarily the story itself, it's Marvel's handling of it: the hype, the execution, the potential aftermath. Time will tell if it's something I can look back on and enjoy in the future.

This has been the summer of the Epic Event, of the Continuity Cross-Over, with House of M, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, and Seven Soldiers all taking up self space. So I'm saddened as a Marvel fan that in the battle of The Great, The Bad, and The Grant Morrison, Countdown has been pretty good, and House of M sure isn't Grant Morrison.