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The Watchtower - A thread for all comics


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Well, Strangers In Paradise finished. Wrapped up nice and neatly and, I don't know... a little unsatisfactorily. Probably just the thing of never really getting what you want (or don't even know what you want) out of a long-running series. Even though the ending seemed to do exactly what was necessary it still felt a bit forced and rushed to me.

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Anyone used to read these? I was re-reading some of these Pete Loveday Russell strips recently - and I still think they're pretty good.

Yeah, I've got four or five of those up in the loft. The guy must have been a damned good self-promoter to get them into our comic shop in the late 80s (or early 90s, whichever it was). They weren't bad - stuck in the past, really, but they carried their stories well over a high page count and had some funny and insightful moments. You'd have to be a dedicated hippy-hater not to find some good in them, and it's nice to see them remembered.

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Yeah, I've got four or five of those up in the loft. The guy must have been a damned good self-promoter to get them into our comic shop in the late 80s (or early 90s, whichever it was). They weren't bad - stuck in the past, really, but they carried their stories well over a high page count and had some funny and insightful moments. You'd have to be a dedicated hippy-hater not to find some good in them, and it's nice to see them remembered.

I always liked them, but later comics descended into a long lecture on the morality of growing hemp and why we should. They weren't very interesting as a result. The earlier stuff was pretty good though.

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Hooray! I've found a comic that I'm happy to buy. I know that that reads like a bit of a wanky thing to say in this thread, but I've really wanted to have a comic that I can get every week/month. I tried a fair few about a year ago (52 was just starting) and nothing stuck. This time I tried Star Wars Rebellion, starting with issue 6 (which seems to be at a break in the story, with new characters and stuff, so it's a fine time to join) and it's great!

Hopefully the habit will get me into comic shops often enough to learn of other treasures I can enjoy. Already, I've found out that there's a Dark Tower comic, I'll be getting the TPB of that.

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Yeah, against all odds, Young Avengers is extremely entertaining. They have a great team working on it too.

I love Young Avengers too but surely that's being a little optimistic. The fiasco with Heinberg on Wonder Woman makes me think that by the time we see "season 2" of Young Avengers Captain America will be back from the dead and Mark Millar's 1985 will have been successfully repitched, published and collected in hardback.

Oh and Cass if you love Runaways and like Young Avengers then avoid Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways like the fucking plague.

You have read the Vaughan issues of Runaways, right?

...

Anyone else get Martha Washington Dies? How disappointing was that. Luckily I found a signed as new copy of Give Me Liberty the other day and that still holds up. Definitely my favourite of Frank Miller's work.

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Is Hellblazer any good these days?

I haven’t read it regularly since the Ennis/Dillon days. I borrowed a trade from a friend when Constantine went to prison for a crime he didn’t commit and I thought it was terrible.

Actually, Andy Diggle is shaping to be quite good. A real return to the arrogant bastard Constantine days. He's just started his run, check it out

I kinda gave up when Azzarello came on board too and the issues I picked up with Denise Mina did nothing for me. Need to pick up a few of the Carey trade though, I really think a British writer makes all the difference with Hellblazer

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I've started picking up the Complete Judge Dredd case files. It's suprising to me just how many I remember from way back. What's even more suprising is how many bare up as stories.

It's nice to see some old Steve Dillon artwork too.

Still a fantastic read (and at the mo' Waterstones are having a 3 for 2 thing, so a good time to snap 'em up I say).

What I'm worried about though is whether they'll carry them on when it gets to 'proper' coloured Dredd - some of the scans they've done of the few pages that were coloured in the original comics are really terrible.

Ah well, that'll be a while to come I suppose.

Sheesh, I've got to pick up the Nemesis and Strontium Dog ones too!

Too Much!

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Oh and Cass if you love Runaways and like Young Avengers then avoid Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways like the fucking plague.

You have read the Vaughan issues of Runaways, right?

Yup I thought I'd avoid it noticing that Vaughan wasnt writing it.

And yes I've read all of Vol 2 by Vaughan, just need to read the beginning of Runaways. Joss's current run aint too shabby though.

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Where do you guys get your comics from?

I've got right into the Walking Dead via scans, which is naughty I know, but I loved it so much I simply have to get bang up to date with it. I need to get the most recent issues, any good online stores?

The other day I walked into an actual comic book shop (Forbidden Planet) and picked up Walking Dead #38. It's great to be reading it 'properly' now, except that I can't stand the wait for the next issue :D

Hopefully #39 will be out soon. I might get #37 as well, then I can carry on with the comics and fill in the gaps with the TPBs at some point.

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I love Young Avengers too but surely that's being a little optimistic. The fiasco with Heinberg on Wonder Woman makes me think that by the time we see "season 2" of Young Avengers Captain America will be back from the dead and Mark Millar's 1985 will have been successfully repitched, published and collected in hardback.

I haven't been following the scene recently, so I didn't know about any of that. It'll be a shame if we don't have those guys working on Volume 2 of the Young Avengers though.

Actually, Andy Diggle is shaping to be quite good. A real return to the arrogant bastard Constantine days. He's just started his run, check it out

I kinda gave up when Azzarello came on board too and the issues I picked up with Denise Mina did nothing for me. Need to pick up a few of the Carey trade though, I really think a British writer makes all the difference with Hellblazer

I tell you why that is- Azzarello isn't that good a writer. Probably the most overrated writer in comics in a longtime. It was his run that stopped me picking up Hellblazer as a monthly title. Which was a real shame.

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Anyone else get Martha Washington Dies? How disappointing was that. Luckily I found a signed as new copy of Give Me Liberty the other day and that still holds up. Definitely my favourite of Frank Miller's work.

Miller has been shit for a decade now, and after reading the travesty that was The Dark Knight Strikes Back, I have no hope left that Miller will regain his past form.

One idiot reviewed it on Silver Bullet and said that he didn't understand the references, didn't like it and wasn't sold on the prior installments. Jesus. Can you imagine someone reading DK2 and then avoiding Dark Knight Returns as a consequence? :D

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One idiot reviewed it on Silver Bullet and said that he didn't understand the references, didn't like it and wasn't sold on the prior installments. Jesus. Can you imagine someone reading DK2 and then avoiding Dark Knight Returns as a consequence? :P

If they're a "reviewer" for Silver Bullet I could. That place is one step down from the boards at Newsarama sometimes.

DK2 was a piece of shit though.

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Is Hellblazer any good these days?

I haven’t read it regularly since the Ennis/Dillon days. I borrowed a trade from a friend when Constantine went to prison for a crime he didn’t commit and I thought it was terrible.

I liked Carey's run a lot. Strong main storyline harking back to the "Constantine and a band of mystical misfits (and Swamp Thing) against a universe-threatening entity" days of old. And entertaining one-off issues and side stories.

I have just bought one of the paperback Slaine collections. I've been put off buying them in the past because of confusion over which stories came where in the series. Then I saw a collection with the same cover as the other recent 2000AD editions (complete Dredd case files etc) so I guess they are reprinting them all. The book I found was volume 2 and I don't seem to be able to find volume 1 anywhere even on Amazon. I hope they get up to publishing The Horned God in this edition though.

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I liked Carey's run a lot. Strong main storyline harking back to the "Constantine and a band of mystical misfits (and Swamp Thing) against a universe-threatening entity" days of old. And entertaining one-off issues and side stories.

I have just bought one of the paperback Slaine collections. I've been put off buying them in the past because of confusion over which stories came where in the series. Then I saw a collection with the same cover as the other recent 2000AD editions (complete Dredd case files etc) so I guess they are reprinting them all. The book I found was volume 2 and I don't seem to be able to find volume 1 anywhere even on Amazon. I hope they get up to publishing The Horned God in this edition though.

I think you need to grab the Horned God in as big a size as you can really - Pretty much the last time Bisley's work was good (or at the very least when he actually seemed to care about the work he did - despite him being an utter, utter cunt).

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I've started picking up the Complete Judge Dredd case files. It's suprising to me just how many I remember from way back. What's even more suprising is how many bare up as stories.

It's nice to see some old Steve Dillon artwork too.

Still a fantastic read (and at the mo' Waterstones are having a 3 for 2 thing, so a good time to snap 'em up I say).

What I'm worried about though is whether they'll carry them on when it gets to 'proper' coloured Dredd - some of the scans they've done of the few pages that were coloured in the original comics are really terrible.

Yeah, I've not read 2000AD for a long time but I keep almost buying some of these. I still have a load of the old Titan reprint books from aaages ago somewhere. The Rebellion 'Complete...' books don't seem particularly great quality - I guess they're kind of equivalent to a Marvel Essential put together with a bit less care - but it's great that the material is still available. I think that my interest is largely nostalgia but I'm more hopeful that something like Nemesis will still be interesting today than most of the superhero stuff from the same kind of era.

It's been a great few weeks for trades - Nextwave vol 2, Sidekick, Meltdown, Phonogram, Ultimates 2 vol 2, The Boys (is it actually out?) and some others that I've forgotten.

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DK2 was a piece of shit though.

It was perfectly enjoyable once you accepted that it wasn't DKR and wasn't trying to be.

While I agree he has jumped the shark a bit, All Star Batman and Robin is amazing just for how completely batshit mental it is. So bad it's great.

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It was perfectly enjoyable once you accepted that it wasn't DKR and wasn't trying to be.

Except, no offence, but it really wasn't even enjoyable then. It looked like ass, felt like two stories stuck together with the second half made up on the fly and was pretty much a rushed unsatisfactory mess. And it was clearly, clearly trading off the rep of DKR. Otherwise it'd have been called Frank Miller presents the Justice League of Bastards versus Capitalism and Bizarro 60's Dick Grayson.

While I agree he has jumped the shark a bit, All Star Batman and Robin is amazing just for how completely batshit mental it is. So bad it's great.

Again no offence but that's pretty much the standard defence I've heard rolled out for it time and time again. "It's a biting satire on how the comics industry saw DKR. Frank's secretly taking the piss out of his readers. It's so bad it's good." It really isn't. Either he's high and suffering from serious psychological issues or it's a cynical exercise in seeing how many people will pay money for a piece of paper Frank Miller's wiped his ass on and how long they'll wait for the opportunity to do it. Jumped the Shark's putting it mildly. Love chunks. Love chunks. Love chunks. Fuck me. I compare that to the double page splash with Martha making herself stop crying after her first firefight and I weep.

It's not like I'm adverse to thick-as-all-get-out mindless over the top macho entertainment or anything but for fuck's sake if this stuff had Chuck Austen's name on no one would be popping up to defend it.

Sorry Kensei. Not attacking you personally. Just want to make that clear.

It's been a great few weeks for trades - Nextwave vol 2, Sidekick, Meltdown, Phonogram, Ultimates 2 vol 2, The Boys (is it actually out?) and some others that I've forgotten.

Meltdown was pretty cool (wouldn't have felt out of place in an Astro City collection) but I still kind of wish it had been the X-Men story it was supposed to have been. I know Sunspot isn't exactly an A-list X-Man but it might have made the story feel a little less generic. That's purely a minor niggle though.

Nextwave is pure sex in a book though. God, I loved that comic. Kick! Splode!

...

Did anyone read The Nightly News? I thought it was something pretty unique (and it's got me psyched about author/artist Jonathan Hickman's other projects... hell I even bought Legion of Monsters: Satana for his Living Mummy back up strip) but I heard it compares pretty badly to Brian Wood's Channel Zero. I loved Demo but I think DMZ's kind of meandering so I wonder if anyone who knows his work better could give a more informed appraisal.

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I'm thinking about getting some graphic novels to read on holiday, problem is, there's a few I'd like to dip my toes into. I'm by no means a hardcore comic fan, but I do enjoy reading them. My brother has been reading Essential X-men for about a year so I always have a look when he's finished his copy. For myself, I was enchanted by the Phonogram concept for a long time before its release, but wasn't as impressed by the comics themselves. I'm currently reading (and loving) Silver Surfer:Requeim, and looking forward to getting The Order on its release.

As graphic novels go, I only own 300 and Civil War and want to expand. I just need some of you guys with a bit of passion and savvy to point me in the right direction.

I really like the look of Runaways, is volume 1 the best place to start?

Something I've been meaning to look into is the Hulk as a character. Any kind of graphic novel with an origins story/the human side of the Hulk?

Mostly Marvel so far, but I've been trying to make headway into the DC universe. I know a little about the Flash as a character and that he's had a few incarnations over the years. Once again though, I'm unsure where to start with him.

Superman is a character I've never really enjoyed as a superhero (the old "too powerful?" argument), but I've recently become curious about him as a character/personality, but there's so much superman out there. The graphic novel with the Alex Ross cover looks awesome, but is it a good read?

Finally, a comic that I know next to nothing about: Astro City. From what I've read there might be a lot of characters for a newbie to take in, but the style looks really sweet. Worth a look?

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Mostly Marvel so far, but I've been trying to make headway into the DC universe. I know a little about the Flash as a character and that he's had a few incarnations over the years. Once again though, I'm unsure where to start with him.

Well fancy that. DC are just on the verge of doing a Flash reboot following the frankly disastrous fourteen (I think) or so issues featuring the creative duo who wrote the original Flash television show. Mark Waid's on the reboot (for a few issues at least), they're ditching a lot of the nonsense the other two writers have brought in and I think I'll give this a try.

As for Superman, I've never really gelled with the character either but Superman: Red Son (Mark Millar) and All-Star Superman (Morrison/Quitely) are great, particularly the latter. I pray for a deluxe over-sized hardcover of the entire run.

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Finally, a comic that I know next to nothing about: Astro City. From what I've read there might be a lot of characters for a newbie to take in, but the style looks really sweet. Worth a look?

Astro City is a good read. Busiek is a very good writer, and the Alex Ross covers are (as always really) fab. I don't like much of the strip artwork though - well, I think the line drawing is fine, but the colouring and inking on the thing (certainly the early ones I've read) are hideous to me.

But, the writing easily wins through.

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If you want Superman then you can't do any better than the DC Showcase Presents reprints of Silver Age issues. They're cheap and incredible; every story has something completely off the wall happen to Superman; maybe he turns evil for a while, maybe a scientist accidentally ages him into an old man with a superbeard, maybe Jimmy Olsen turns into a gorilla and visits Atlantis. Who knows? There's no angst, no pretension and no fannying around with current world issues or any attempt to present a realistic or consistent world, it's just glorious disposable nonsense from the first panel to the last, and in that last panel everything's reset to how it was, ready for the next bout of madness. And then just when you think you've got a handle on how it all works, they'll throw in a Mister Mxyzptlk story and get really crazy.

Five pounds on Amazon! What a time to be alive.

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Nice guys, thanks so far. One of the guys I work with has mentioned Red Son in the past, and I must admit it looks very inticing. I remember picking up the new Flash in my local Forbidden Planet (but resisting temptation as it was before payday), I might go back to it I think.

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If you want Superman then you can't do any better than the DC Showcase Presents reprints of Silver Age issues. They're cheap and incredible; every story has something completely off the wall happen to Superman; maybe he turns evil for a while, maybe a scientist accidentally ages him into an old man with a superbeard, maybe Jimmy Olsen turns into a gorilla and visits Atlantis. Who knows? There's no angst, no pretension and no fannying around with current world issues or any attempt to present a realistic or consistent world, it's just glorious disposable nonsense from the first panel to the last, and in that last panel everything's reset to how it was, ready for the next bout of madness. And then just when you think you've got a handle on how it all works, they'll throw in a Mister Mxyzptlk story and get really crazy.

Five pounds on Amazon! What a time to be alive.

And don't just limit yourself to that particular Showcase Presents... I've got the Brave and The Bold (Batman team ups) and Metamorpho volumes and they are totally batshit insane.

Like the one where Batman tries to flush out a crook by having Wonder Woman and Batgirl pretend to be in love with him and compete for his affections, then they actually do fall in love with him. Or the one where the Flash dies but gets cured by radioactive sneakers.

Fucked. Up.

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And don't just limit yourself to that particular Showcase Presents...

No, that would be mental. I fully endorse all of them, why not, but especially the two House of Mystery volumes, which are taken from the Joe Orlando era and have some astounding artwork from true greats - Wrightson, Toth, Kirby,Wally fucking Wood... it goes on. Volume 2 has The Demon Within, easily the best horror story DC ever ran prior to Alan Moore's arrival, and one of the best DC short stories full stop.

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