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December 30, 2008


Pat Curley

Agree on Iron Man; it was splendidly done, with just enough inside jokes and reasonably true to the original (with Afghanistan replacing Vietnam). Disagree somewhat on Dark Knight; although there was far too much philosophizing I enjoyed the heck out of it.


Great choices, Mark. Your word choices for Millar and Hitch are more than apt. They're a prime reason I haven't bought a single new comicbook in over a year now. Instead, I opt to engage in buying those noted in your #5 under "The Good!" ;-)

Chris Mullen

I have to disagree with you on Dark Knight. it was one of the best movies I've seen in years, but I have to agree with you on Morrison. It seems like he's become a celebrity comic artist like Frank Miller and Rob Leifeld before him. The DC Universe wouldn't suck so much right now if Grant Morrison was giving his A-game, but he's apparently just throwing out incoherent philosophical gobbledegook and calling it "deep."


Mark, couldn't agree with you more about Iron Man vs TDK. I thought Ledger was otherworldly, but the movie was riddled with plot holes and Batman came across as a jerk with an idiotic voice that completely took me out of the movie. And I really like Bale as an actor.

Downey owned, the movie never let up and they threw some bones to the IM Fanboy (which I never was). Plus, I really enjoyed watching a superhero movie where I rooted for the hero.

I want to like Millar but he's all idea and poor execution.

Bruce Lombard

First time commenting here. I think your blog is awesome! Great insight, great seeing all those old comic book covers.

I totally agree with you on the "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" films. I hope Marvel Studios can keep it going with its upcoming "Thor" and "Captain America" movies (along with "Iron Man 2") as they lead into "The Avengers." I loved the cameos at the end of each film that connect the Marvel Universe.

I disagree on "The Dark Knight" though. It was probably too long. They should NOT have killed off Two-Face (he should have been saved for the sequel). But otherwise, I thought it was great. I am on the fence about Bale's "Batman voice," but I think it is necessary to differentiate himself from his Bruce Wayne voice (like Kevin Conroy in "Batman: The Animated Series" ... though Bale certainly pales in comparison next to Conroy, who rules).

Anyway, again, great blog!


Iron Man is just a terrific movie, one I loved even more after seeing it on DVD. It really accomplishes a lot, too. It's a superhero story for grownups, but not in a pretentious way, and delivering plenty of action and adventure.

I also love, incidentally, the way the final battle is very much a battle between two engineers. Who are earnestly trying to kill each other, but the problem is that their heavily-damaged extremely experimental prototypes can't *do* anything! It's a simple notion, but I loved the frustration when Stane could kill Tony Stark if he had, oh, a gun, but can't do anything because Tony messed up his targeting system.

I like the Dark Knight, but at the same time think it's highly overrated. For me, the central problem is that *most* of the time, the movie wants to be a serious, real-world crime story, with elements that fit the real world, or at least look somewhat plausible. Which is all well and good, but then you've got this central unexplored premise that the Joker is able to effortlessly plant huge quantities of explosives wherever he needs them. (Curiously, the movie seems to support "9/11 Trutherism" indirectly, as it's evidently pretty easy to secretly cause the controlled demolition of a huge building full of people....)


I think they're shooting themselves in the foot here. I honestly do cut back when prices go up. I have a budget of how much I have in mind to spend, and if the price goes up, I walk out with less. Either that, or I buy cheap back issues of old comics that were better written anyway.

I enjoy the experience of a monthly story, but for 4 bucks, I'm going to do more "waiting for the trades".

If The Big Two were smart, they would follow the example of the manga publishers like Shonen Jump. Imagine if you could buy a big fat book that had the latest episode of New Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, and three or four others. Personally, I wouldn't mind if was printed on cheap newsprint, either. Heck, pack it full of ads, even.

Ivan Wolfe

I'll disagree on Dark Knight as well, but agree on all the rest (more or less, there are minor quibbles such as: I actually liked Ang Lee's Hulk and I enjoyed the most recent one, so I see no reason to like one over the other or disparage Lee's version - but overall you're spot on).

This was the year I dropped Fantastic Four. In the middle of a story arc. I have no idea how it ended, nor do I care. Miller & Hitch ruined what had been a great comic.

Dean W.

A couple of responses:

- Ironman really surprised me. I never found him that interesting in the comics, yet I really enjoyed the movie. I had a similar experience with Hellboy - loved the movies, but never really fell in love with the books.

- Jeff Johns is my favorite writer right now. He just tells great DC stories, period. I think to some extent, the "criticism" is right on - he is re-creating the silver age. But to that I say so what? I guess if I was 17 and wanted to defend my generation of comics, I'd be irked, but I'm 37, and quite frankly, I miss the good old days. I miss the days of comics being superhero stories, not endlessly boring pages of character development. Johns tells great superhero stories. If I do have one complaint, it's his "fight" story telling. His battles are usually straight energy blast/ big punch affairs, with the characters rarely relying on their wits to win out in the end. A perfect example - After the great GL Rebirth story, the Lanterns win by shooting Parallex "really hard" with their rings. I kinda felt cheated on that one.

-I saw the DK before reading your review, and saw it again after reading your review. I liked it the first time, didn't love it, but liked it. Now I never see movies a second time in the theater, but the folks from work were going and I tagged along for my second viewing, expecting to be bored. Strangely, I actually found myself liking the movie more upon the second viewing. I expected myself to pick it apart, but instead, I appreciated it more. I wish it were more kid friendly, but overall, I thought it was a good picture.

-Final Crisis - I'm actually considering not buying the two final issues. It's just been an absolute snoozefest for me, to the point I really don't care about the outcome. With the exception Darkseid, I really never got the whole New Gods thing. I think most comic fans feel the need to like the concept because if they don't, they are stepping on their beloved Jack Kirby. I thought identity crisis and infinite crisis were below average, but this thing makes them look like Shakespeare.

-Cover prices - this one jumped the shark for me a long time ago - I'll get the occasional major event story (final crisis this year, unfortunately), but just trades off of Amazon for me (and paperbacks at that). I just can't pay that much for 1/6th of a story. And alot of stories today feel almost falsly streched out so they can be collected in a trade later. Short 1 or 2 book stories based on action can work - Paul Dini's excellent work in Detective comics showed that. I feel if creators are dictated a 2 issue maximum, the stories may actually feel worth the cover price.

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