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Comic News and Reviews
6.14.2003 by Scott, every Thursday.

Summer is in full swing here in Montreal, and despite the wonderfulness of our city, as usual, Toronto is giving the rest of us a bad name. The poor taste of that joke aside, I don't think that people who normally like Toronto should stop going there, seeing as how this SARS quarantine thing is, well, quarantined. So avoid Toronto, but do it because it's a stale, sterile, and humourless city, not because of the SARS. Oh, and if you eat red meat, keep eating red meat. To paraphrase the Jackson 5; “Don't let one mad cow spoil the whole herd, girl. Give it one more chance before you give up on love.”

Well, that little idiotic rant aside, we can get to the nitty-gritty, comics. A few bits of news to go over here, and then maybe a mindless review or two. Crossgen comics, who I have been lauding in columns past, have made two big moves this past month. First, they picked up the publishing rights to “Masters of the Universe” from Image, in an attempt to increase their market share in the industry. The sword and tech-sorcery of He-Man should fit in nicely with the rest of their line. Secondly, their uber cool compendia series ”Forge” and ”Edge” were unceremoniously cancelled after volume 13, despite soliciting the books all the way to 16. Well, that upset me, and it's not like I ever bought their monthly issues, so I'm not gonna pick them up now. The appeal to these comics was their “value”, with 192 pages of comic for ten bucks. So they lost me as a reader with that move. See them bawl.

In other news, be on the lookout for another one shot book from Chris Giarusso, from Marvel. Chris, who I had the pleasure to interview last year, is a great guy with a good sense of humour, and his books are cute and funny. When it's out, I'll let you know. Other Marvel news of interest, a new “Punisher” movie is in production, and rest assured, Frank Castle will done the skull logo for this one. (And no, Dolph isn't in this one.)

Books I've read recently include the Wolverine re-launch, Grant Morrison's next arc in New X-Men #142 with guest penciller Chris Bachalo, and Ultimates #10. I know I review a lot of Marvel stuff, but unlike the music crew, the publishers seem to fear putting themselves under my scrutiny. I guess it's my scathing wit which scares them off.

Anywho, Wolverine was good, even though I had read the entire issue in a Wizard magazine a few months ago. I was hoping for some new material in the comic, but, them's the breaks I guess. The re-launch with issue #1 also marks a distinct change in the style of the book, moving away from the action junkie anti-hero of the last run, into a gritty tale of a solitary and lonely guy, seeming dragged into being a hero again. I'd recommend this book, as the story is good, and it's a good jump on point for new readers.

New X-Men #142 was a great issue. Logan and Cyclops in a drinking match at the Hellfire club's strip joint. Commiserating about the women and chatting at the urinal ensues. It's funny and conversational, even there isn't that much action in the book. It's funnier if you're following the book, but you might miss out on what's been going on if you haven't. Borrow this one.

The long awaited Ultimates #10 (I say long awaited because this book is always late) was good. It seemed like too much happened in it's 22 pages. Good dialogue and pretty art couldn't cover up the “hurry up” feel of this book. Maybe it was because the book was months past due that I feel like they were playing catch up with the work, I don't know. I love this series, but this issue left me wanting.

Well, summer hasn't brought all the free time I'd hoped it would, so you can expect updates to be sporadic for the time being. I hope the sun breaks soon, because nothing beats sitting on the deck with a beer and a comic in the sun.

Scott MacIver

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