Saturday, January 28, 2006

NextWave #1 Review - Spoilers, Quite Possibly

NextWave #1 was not the greatest English-language comic book ever published. That being said, it was, however, an incredibly fun read. Warren Ellis is seriously immersing himself in the silly here, and it is very enjoyable. The concept mirrors in some superficial ways Robert Kirkman's current Marvel Team-Up "League of Losers" storyline, but takes it to another, more hyper-weird, level. Ellis has deliberately chosen characters that he would feel free to desecrate. The highest profile team member is the former Captain Marvel, a character who I had a certain fondness for during her tenure with the Avengers, but I can't honestly say I've thought about her in the past 10 or so years. Which makes her perfect for Ellis' purposes.

Stuart Immonen, who I first discovered when he joined the line-up on my favorite run of the Legion of Superheroes (the 5 years Later series), has modified his art style to such an extent that it as if the comic is drawn by a neophyte artist who just happens to share Immomen's name. His former, almost Adam Hughes-ian style has been warped into a cleanline animation-inspired technique. whatever he's doing, it's quite good, and serves the story perfectly.

In fact, what NextWave reminds me of is nothing so much as the old Freakazoid cartoon. It's a very random, very anarchic Saturday morning cartoon of a comic, with more that enough jabs at Marvel continuity to satisfy the "Zombie" consumers. I don't really have quite so much familiarity with old Marvel comics, but I enjoyed the book all the same.

Between this and X-Factor, I'm starting to be slightly impressed with Marvel's current output. You have to ignore anything that ties in with a current or upcoming crossover, but there are quality books to be read.

This is a book tailor-made to satisfy the Comic Blogging crowd. And it does so with style and energy.

Oh, I liked the running away song. Sue me.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I'm A Lazy Blogger

I haven't posted much of anything this week, mostly because I haven't read much of anything. I spent most of my downtime watching Band of Brothers on DVD. BoB is awesome, but didn't really spark any blogpost ideas for me.

Hopefully I'm not hitting a wall or something. Maybe I won't panic yet... I mean I haven't even read or even picked up any of this week's comics! Nextwave is supposed to be good, right?

Lately, all I feel like reading before bed is my beloved Showcase Presents: Superman volume. But I'm almost done.. so there is a little panic growing.

Any thoughts on what I should pick up next? I'm thinking something in a Showcase or Essential. Mybe the Iron Fist or Luke Cage volumes? Or should I go indy? Or maybe it's finally time to crack and pick up the Cerebus: Church & State phones books.

If most of my floppies weren't in storage, I think it'd be time for a Starman reread. That always seems to cleanse the palette and reinvigorate the spirit.

Hitting a slump sucks, y'all. Blech.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Results Are In!

No, I'm not talking about the new Conservative minority government in Canada (because that's a bit depressing), but rather the winners of the Comic Bloggers' Poll 2005!

Go see if your favorites prevailed here.

(...and if you have any familiarity with this blog, you'll know that I am mighty pleased with the results....)

Big thanks to Chris Tamarri of Crisis/Boring Change, who put the whole thing together and tabulated the results, and to Ed Cunard of The Low Road for corroborating. Oh, and they deconstruct the results here.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Go East, Young Man!

Ragnell, while plugging my Infinite Crisis 4 review and sending a boatload of traffic my way (thanks!), has gotten very excited about the prospect of James Robinson returning to Opal City for some future project. She throws out a near-staggering number of possibilities for what that future project might be, all of which I would buy without reservation (hey, it's James Robinson and DC's greatest fictional city. Yes, I said greatest. Eat it, Gotham.).

But here's what I want from James Robinson, and it doesn't even really involve Opal City. I want Robinson and Tony Harris to finally produce the oft-mentioned tale of Jack (Starman) Knight's trip to China with one of the poster-eaten time-displaced persons. I remember hearing about this story before the original Starman series ended, and we were promised that eventually it would be released, probably in the form of a graphic novel.

Well, I'm tired of waiting. Now that Robinson is back in the saddle, writing a Batman mega-arc for 1YL, it's time to pressure him to finish what he promised us. I understood when he ended Starman. Heck, I even approved. It was great to see a writer with such a definitive story-arc planned out for his creation, especially in the realm of corporate-owned superheroes. But the thing that made the loss of the monthly Starman book hurt a little less was the knowledge that there was at least one more story to come.

I'm ready to read that story.

Related posts:
James Robinson Surfaces!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Infinite Crisis #4 - Mild Spoilers Abound!

Well, I finally enjoyed an issue of Infinite Crisis. I was beginning to think that there wouldn't be a single part of this sprawling story that I would find satisfying, but I honestly had very little complaints after reading this issue. What made the difference? A decided reduction in self-serving "meta-commentary" on the sorry state of the current DCU, and a big jump in plot and character.

There were a lot of highly enjoyable moments in this issue, from the Brotherhood of Evil's deployment of Chemo onto Bludhaven, to the welcome appearance of a number of much-missed speedsters. I think this series is finally hitting a comfortable groove, albeit maybe a few issues too far into its seven issue run.

There was also a fair bit of gore in this issue, supplied by a seemingly unlikely cast member. The carnage did manage, to my recollection, to be restricted to characters that no reader is terribly likely to call a favorite, which seems a bit coy (although I personally prefer them killing off d-listers as opposed to somebody I might actually miss).

If Geoff John's can keep the lid on his "DCU is too dark" rants for the remainder of the story, and just tell the story, this might turn out to be a decent read. This issue put the cataclysmic events occurring in the DCU front and centre, and also put the heroes involved on a more proactive path, rather than the previous issues "What is happening!?!" vibe.

Dan DiDio's latest "Crisis Counselling" (found here) contains the following bit of info that might be of interest to 7S fans:

?: Does Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers: Zatanna book take place before or after Crisis? Does Seven Soldiers factor into Crisis at all?

DD: We have positioned Seven Soldiers as post-Crisis, running simultaneously with 52. Anyone think otherwise?

And, a bit later, something I quite appreciated reading:

?: Will the Crisis have any major effects on the Starman legacy? Or on Opal City? Now that you have "terminated" Black Condor (in a rather disrespectful way, I must say), that city is without a hero.

DD: That’s a question only James Robinson can answer.

I'm still kind of killing time until 1YL, but this issue did give me some thrills, which is certainly more than I expected.

Related Posts:
Infinite Crisis #2 - Spoilers Abound!
Infinite Crisis #1 - Spoilers Abound!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Superman Ragdolls the JLA Up and Down the Street

I have purchased two of the super-keen DC Showcase Presents phonebooks thusfar; Superman and Justice League of America. I was a little wary of the JLA volume, as I had read some reprints of early JLA in the past (mostly in those 70s 100-page giants), and the stories always seemed remarkably lifeless.

I orginally thought that the problem might have been the editorial restrictions involved in using a number of characters who were appearing in their own solo titles. You couldn't very well change or expand upon the Flash in any significant way without causing major problems within his own book. The same could be said for Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. I wouldn't really put Batman and Superman in this category because they were so clearly not allowed to participate in JLA adventures for more than a couple of panels. As I read the Showcase JLA book, it became a running joke to see how quickly and ham-fistedly the two DC icons could be sent off-panel ("Batman and I will head to deep space to make sure no other aliens come to earth." Um, ooookay, then).

However, regardless of the logistics of writing solo title characters in a team setting, the problem remains that Martian Manhunter and (I believe) Green Arrow were not headlining their own books during this period, and they were treated just as shabbily. I've read about 300 pages of the book so far, and MM and GA are written in exactly the same way as every other character in the book. There is virtually no difference (besides the obvious cosmetic variations) between any of the JLA members.

They exist in the story only to serve the exposition, it seems.

And it is deadly boring to read. Deadly boring.

Every story moves along like it's on a railcar track. *click click* Initial conflict. *click click* Split into teams. *click click* Discover simple solution to conflict. *click click* Final panel pun or barb. *click click*

The Superman book, however, is one of the most enjoyable reads I've had in quite a while. The characters, while not exactly complex, at least have traits that are contant and unique (i.e. Lois is sneaky and lovelorn, Jimmy is headstrong and ineffectual, Perry is gruff and steadfast, and Superman is, well, a dick). I think the shorter story length helps as well. Silver Age story logic is tenuous enough at 8 pages, it's a little naive to try to get it to hold up for 20-odd pages.

Plus, the Superman stories are almost aggressive in their imagination. The cover reproductions included in the Showcase volume basically dare you not to read the story inside. "Superman has a lion's head? Th- f**k?!? Gimme that!"

Oh, and the single greatest story I've read so far has involved Superman, after the apparent death of Clark Kent in an explosion, forcing Jimmy Olsen to let him move in as his roommate. Because, you see, Superman had to pretend he and Clark were roommates after all sorts of Superman's things were found in Kent's apartment. It apparently never occurred to Superman that he could just get his own place or something.

These stories may be dumb, but they are never, ever boring. If you are bored by the Superman stories contained in this volume, then I envy you the kind of daredevil, adrenaline-junkie life you must lead. You'd have to be an intergalactic rodeo clown, or an undersea octopus wrestler to find these gems dull.

And I am neither, so I think they are awesome.

But JLA? You are deathly dull, and will be heading on over to my Sequential Swap tradelist, STAT.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Spyder-Mann Iz Teh Extreem!!

Here's a new image of the Iron Spider costume... and that's right, kid... he's got a hanglider-jetpacky thing!! Woot!

Dammit, that gaudy thing is growing on me. I hope they give him a skateboard or a scooter next! MARVEL ROOLZ!

(feel free to dig throught this jokey, scripted-sounding "Joe Fridays" interview with Joey Q for more details on "Iron Spider" and Civil War. Not too many details, mind you.. just enough...)

Seven Soldiers Resources

For those of you who, like me, picked up the 7Sv1 trade paperback this week, and are getting ready to dive headfirst into the highly-entertaining madness that is Grant Morrison's latest work of comic beauty, here are a couple of links that might be of interest:

Barbelith is home base for Grant Morrison enthusiasts (or Granties, as we are called. Fine, I made that up.) Although, It seems you now need an invitation to join. Details on how to get one here. Barbelith is definately the place to go for indepth discussion threads on the latest 7S releases. Plus, there are countless threads on other interesting topics to boot. It's the rare message board that is both enthusiastic and (predominantly) civil.

Barbelith is also responsible for my primary 7S annotations resource. It's set up like a Wiki, which makes navigation very simple, and it seems to be updated with remarkable speed and accuracy.

If Barbelith doesn't do it for you, you can always use this page of annotations, but it is a GeoCities site, so be prepared for banners and outages.

I've got my tpb ready to go, and a freshly printed out stack of the Barbelith annotations on the side table, and I'm looking forward to taking some time this weekend to read through the collected issues a couple of times. An initial run just to enjoy the series as fun comic book escapism, and a second, slower read to appreciate the convergences, connections and references (aided by those handy-dandy annotations).

I also finally picked up the DC Showcase Presents Superman phonebook. Wow, did somebody say this weekend was going to be "off the hook"?

Because it is.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ryan Sook Off X-Factor

Well, apparently Ryan Sook is leaving the new X-Factor book following its fourth issue, after which he'll only be contributing covers to the series.


I'm still going to buy and enjoy Peter David's X-Factor, but I am very disapointed to see Sook leave. It looks like Dennis Calero will be the new regular penciller, and I'm looking forward to seeing a full, non-rush job issue of his pencils.

Word comes from the SookGallery Yahoo Group (which I joined to ask just this question). So, nothing official just yet, but that seems to be the case.

Hmm... maybe Sook can work with Grant Morrison on another Zatanna miniseries or some other special project if the monthly grind is a little too hectic? Just planting seeds, people...

How Could I Stay Mad at You, Seven Soldiers?

To those who might be wondering, yes, I will be stopping by ye olde comic shoppe to pick up a copy of Seven Soldiers of Victory vol. 1. Yes, I still maintain serious reservations about the collection strategy, but that ship has sailed. 7S is my kryptonite, and I am powerless to resist.

I can't wait to have this whole sprawling explosion of a mega-mini-series on my shelve. Four complete volumes of Grant Morrison opening a main vein and spraying raw creativity all over the page. I want to take peyote, Buddy Baker-style, and read the comics on a hilltop during a thunderstorm. Wearing a tin foil helmet I found in a dumpster behind a Freemasons meeting hall.

I'm going to cut every seventh page out of each volume, then arrange them on the floor of a rooming house where a redemptive brigand was murdered with his own locket, thus releasing the full magickal power of the text.

Or I might just read it every once in a while, each time finding some new connection to savour and enjoy.

I haven't decided yet.

Reveal Yourselves, Infidels!

So, erm, it's Delurking Week or somesuch. I actually am not even sure if I have any lurkers, but if I do, please feel free to make yourselves known.

...yes, even you in the back with the silly hat. Everyone counts during Delurking Week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ladies And Gentlemen....

Presenting Spider-Man's new, post-The Others look..... I give you...... Iron Spider!!!!

What? What's everybody laughing at? Damn it, Tony Stark designed this suit. Um, Tony F**king Stark? Maybe you've heard of him? IRON MAN?!?

Screw it, I give up.

Sweet Jeebus that's ugly....

(discovered via The Great Curve)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Why I Love Transmetropolitan

I tore through the final 3 tpbs of Transmetropolitan last night. I should preface that by saying that I've read the first 7 books in the series multiple times over the past few years, but just never got around to picking up the final volumes. Embarrasingly, I think the main reason that I didn't buy them, was that the covers for the Transmet tpbs are just similar enough in color and design that I was constantly terrified of buying a volume I already owned. I could never remember whether the last one I had read was volume 6 or 7.

And ever since a sad day as a 13-year old when I accidently brought home two separate copies of X-Factor #42, I've been paralyzed with the fear of Redundant Purchasing.

Anyways, my neuroses aside, I did finally get around to finishing up the series. And I believe it is Warren Ellis' strongest work to date, and may well stand as his strongest work, period.

What stuck with me most, upon placing my copy of One More Time on the carpet next to my bed, was the incredible sense of momentum that Ellis and Darrick Robertson were able to sustain. The final four volumes of Transmet are frantic, even frenzied, in pace. There's a lot of running, and exploding, and scheming packed into those pages. Spider Jerusalem's impending descent into pseudo-alzeimer's spurs a full-bore assault on the sitting President, as Spider and his "filthy assistants" try to wrap up business before it becomes too late.

The script and art are working together in complete synergy at this point in the run, one of the benefits of having a permanent (in the real sense) artist. Where Robertson was occasionaly guilty (and I'm sure this was either motivated or encouraged by Ellis) of grotesquery for its own sake, he is now fully involved in the process of making the City seem a real place, especially necessary when the opening arc of Dirge (volume 8) only works if the reader can feel horror at the City's betrayal by it's "keepers".

Ellis clearly has very strong feeling about the role of journalism in society and politics. Luckily for the reader they are engaging feelings, and he has created the ideal setting to take those ideas and jack them up to 11, as it were. Spider is repulsive, but cannot be bought. Ellis refuses to give us an easy protagonist, and he rarely rewards his characters for the positive choices they make. I think Ellis wants us to recognize that true journalism has a cost, that integrity cannot go unpunished when the corrupt are controlling the situation.

I also enjoyed reading an Ellis book where the lead character embodies the best of the "Ellis Archetype", while shedding some of the more grating characteristics. Spider, like most Ellis protagonists, always knows more than both the other characters and the readers. He's arrogant, but usually right, which only serves to make him more infuriating. However, contrary to many Ellis stand-ins, he is also repugnant and undeniably unattractive. In both manner and hygiene, he repels all who come into contact with him. The only thing that makes him tolerable, the only reason that he is able to maintain the services of any of his varied supporters and aides, is his unshakable tenacity in "getting the story out". Nothing else matters to Spider, and in a milieu where almost the entire populace has resigned themselves to being mistreated and abused by those with power, be it politicians, pimps, or corporations, that makes him a crucial presence.

I think Transmet is an important story. I think it has a lot of valid things to say about the role of the journalist as the last bastion of accountability when all other avenues have been blocked. But more than that, I thinks it's an enjoyable story. I love a comic series that has a beginning and an end. Especially an end. Superhero comics are fun, and some can be really great, but they are all inherently limited by the need to leave something for next month. Nothing can ever truly be resolved, it's simply shelved until the next writer want to take a crack at it. It can weaken the creative team's ability to tell the story they want to tell.

But in creator-owned books, such as much of the Vertigo slate, there are no such restrictions. Ellis and Robertson were able to tell the story of Transmetropolitan in exactly as many issues as they felt the story warranted. These are the books that stick around on my bookshelf, to be pulled out once a year or so for a full reread. The trades of Transmet, along with those of Preacher, The Invisibles , and Sandman, are books that I value.

And I have a lot of books.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Skinny on X-Factor

I've received further information on the Ryan Sook X-Factor art conundrum.  A well-placed source who'd rather stay on the downlow has confirmed that Sook and Dennis Calero will be splitting the art duties for the forseeable future, in order to keep the book on schedule.

While I'm certainly a little disapointed that it won't be wall-to-wall Sook action, it's probably a good move on Marvel's part to keep the book coming out on time.  One thing I would like to see, and it looks like this may be the case, is Sook and Calero alternating issues, rather than splitting the art duties within a single issue.  Their art styles are just too disimilar to blend smoothly.

So, there you go.  Sleep Is For Suckers' first breaking story.  And how crazy is it that I have an "unnamed source".  I feel like Bob Woodward.  Or Carl Bernstein. Whichever one Dustin Hoffman played, I guess.

Oh, I still haven't heard back from Sook himself, though.

Oh, and Layla Miller still sucks.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I've Never Been An Intellectual, But I Have This Look

Had a semi-comic, semi-tragic conversation with Tamar last night while we watched a Woody Allen DVD (appropriately enough, Melinda & Melinda ).  The film contains a number of classic Allen-esque dinner party scenes.  You know, the ones with well-read New Yorkers exchanging bon mots over glasses of expensive wine.

I paused the movie, turned to Tamar, and began to lament our lack of a New York-style social life.  I expressed my longing for the type of  erudite conversation found in Woody's film.  I wanted to be one of those distinguished people laughing and arguing philosophy in the darkly lit restaurants of the Upper West Side.

Tamar paused and thought about this for a second, then answered.

"You realize, of course, that if you were to ever find yourself at one of those dinner parties, you wouldn't be one of the sparkling coversationalists entertaining the table with anecdotes, right?"

I looked blankly back at her.

"You'd be the Woody Allen stand-in. You'd be complaining about the ozone layer, or your uncomfortable pants, or the inherent dangers of walking outside without shoes on.  You're way too neurotic to resist the urge to turn the conversation towards one of your pet peeves. Plus, you'd probably drink a bit too much.  Which, despite your belief that alcohol serves to improve your higher thinking processes, only tends to make you louder and much more likely to inject a slight slur into your speech pattern"

I turned the movie back on, a gloomy expression on my face.

She was absolutely right.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The BBC Owes Me

Here's what I need.  I need the Beeb to start full-scale podacasting most, if not all, of their shows.  BBC Radio was running a test-run, podcasting certain shows, over the past few months, but that experiment has now ended.  Besides, the programs they were podcasting weren't the greatest.  Chris Evans is a twat, that much is certain.

I love listening to BBC Radio, especially their History programs.  In specific, there was this programme about alternate history (name escapes me), where they'd gather a number of experts and pose questions such as "what if the Roman Empire never fell?" or "what if the D-Day Invasion had failed?".  I tell you, there's not much better than listening to BBC Radio while you do the dishes or dust.  Not that I dust, but I imagine listening to BBC Radio would make that task much more pleasant.

In addition to the great History programmes, there's also an entire radio channel full of great Drama and Science Fiction programmes.  The problem is, most of these programmes are longer-form, but broken up into 1/2 hour or hour-long segments.  Which means when I hit the website to get my listen on, and find something that sounds like just the ticket... it's usually part 7 of 12 or somesuch.


So, I have the choice of either finding something else (and it seems like I am never doing dishes on the days when new programmes begin), or I can try to pick up the plot of Perelandra on the fly while listening to episode 8 of 18.  It's a no-win situation.

There is some fascimile of "Listen-On-Demand" available, but either it only archives the past week's shows, or I suck at navigating the BBC Radio website (or both).

See, podcasting would correct all of my difficulties.  I could download any of the programmes I want, and listen to them at my leisure!  Whatever happened to living in the future!

Now, I'm not sure what responsibilities the British Broadcasting Corporation has towards me. While technically not a British citizen, I am a citizen in good standing of a Commonwealth nation.  Therefore, I believe a podcasting initiative should be instituted with all due haste.  For god's sake, they've got Doctor Who radio dramas!

Right, that's that taken care of.  Next up: This American Life.  Might be a bit trickier, as I'm not in the least bit American, and I understand the program needs the iTunes money it charges for episodes in order to subsist.  However, there must be something that can be done for me, if no one else.

Oh, and the Ricky Gervais archives at XFM (outside of their last run) are "listen-only".  The f**k?  I want to stick them on my mp3 player for the drive to work!!  I tried to figure out some way of downloading the listen links as mp3s, but I couldn't find a way to do it that didn't involve recording them in real-time.  Which I might be reduced to doing soon.

Sheesh, technology is nothing if not a burden.

(Republic of Replicants gives love to BBCRadio 7 here)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Read, Think, Comment.

There's a column up at Buzzscope that makes some pretty serious allegations of assault by a female comic creator against a male comics executive. I'm hoping to learn more about this story as further details become available, as the story is disturbing to say the least, and is (according to several comments on the Buzzscope column page) indicative of a pattern of degradation towards female creators within the male-dominated comics industry.

I don't really have a lot to say in regards to the column and allegations at this point, as I am unequivicably not someone with any inside knowledge of either the specific incident or even the comics industry as a whole, but I thought it was interesting enough to link to. I found the column through, where the always well-spoken Christopher Butcher and I are currently not exactly seeing eye-to-eye in the comments section.

So, check it out, and if need be, tell me why I'm a moron. (okay.. um.. don't do that. I'm fragile)

I'm, sure there's much more to come in regards to this story, and I hope that the column has the intended effect of pressuring the organization involved to take the complaint very, very seriously. As it should be.

Searching For Ryan Sook.

I've been thinking about it, and I really want to know why there was a fill-in artist working on at least half of X-Factor #2. I used my mad google-fu to trek over to Ryan Sook's personal website , and sent Ryan an email. Here 'tis:

Hi Ryan, I was just wondering what the dilly-o was re: the fill-in artist on X-Factor #2. Your art is one of the main reasons I'm picking up the book, so issue #2 was a pretty big letdown for me, and I'm hoping that you are still on board as regular penciller for the book. Thanks, Jhunt

I'll let y'all know if he gets back to me, and hopefully I'll have news to the effect that he is back on track with X-Factor pencils. I mean, jeez, you can't get me buying an X-book and then just pull the rug out from under me. It's cruel.

So, there you have it... Sleep Is For Suckers: Attempting to Harness the Mighty Power of The Internet and E-Mail, FOR YOU!!!!!

(...the secret ingredient is love...)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

X-Factor #2 - Aw, crap.

Peter David is really putting out a nice little book with the new X-Factor series. He's got a great cast of characters, and a premise that opens things up for almost any type of story he'd care to tell. His dialogue is crisp and witty without becoming precious (which I understand is sometimes a danger in a David-written book). It's definately my favorite Marvel Mutant book since X-Statix.

However, two serious problems with the book rose to the surface with the second issue. Honestly, Layla Miller is a terrible, terrible character and her inclusion is damaging the book. I honestly have no idea why David has shoehorned her into this highly enjoyable book. I mean, Bendis created her, so I could understand if she showed up in New Avengers or one of his other crap titles. But in X-Factor? It just doesn't make any sense. This is a pretty mature, sophisticated comic, and the presence of a sassy 11-year-old girl is jarring.

"I'm Layla Miller. I know stuff."

Do you know how to zip it? Apparently not, judging from her unrelenting nattering in this issue.

The other, less critical problem is the art. Last issue had some really nice Ryan Sook art. Fresh from his stint on the 7S Zatanna book, Sook looked ready to rise to the ranks of the premier comic artists. This issue, however, credits Sook and Dennis Calero as pencillers. Now, I don't know who did which pages, but the whole book was filled with disappointingly sub-par artwork. It didn't look anything like the book I picked up last month. The art had a kind of "pseudo Gotham Central" look to it. It was muddy, and most of the faces looked like grotesque likenesses done with the use of far too much photo-referencing.

I'm certainly not dropping this book, but I hope Sook is able to get back on deadline and put out the level of work he did on Zatanna and X-Factor #1. Ugly art hurts a book, even a book I'm reading primarily for the writing.

Oh, and I hope X-Factor #3 opens with Layla Miller taking a bus out of town. Because I don't know if I mentioned it but she sucks. She's like cilantro to me. Any dish made with cilantro, no matter how delicious the other ingredients are, is going to make me gag. Give Layla "Cilantro" Miller back to Bendis to put in a ninja suit and shoehorn into New Avengers.

Um... please.