Ok, this is really only one email and not multiple emails like the title of the post suggests so sue me. Every week I email IronMuskrat to see what books he bought and whether or not he’d like to do a review for us. Before I even got the chance to email him this week though I found this waiting for me in my inbox. I thought it was entertaining and informative enough that I would make a post out of it (with some minor editorial edits and changes) and share it with all of you. -J.

Subject: Preemptive Strike
From: IM
To: J.


Just picked up a few books today and thought I would do a preemptive strike and tell you what I thought about them before you sent me a email.

Doomwar #1 – yeah I know this one is old news, but I really felt the need to go back and get it to fill in all the details that left me scratching my head reading issue two. First of all, since when is a variant cover just the original cover in black and white? JRJR original cover was bad enough in color, but in black and white it is undecipherable. Cover aside, it was a very strong issue that did fill in a lot of details that made reading issue two a lot more enjoyable. Mayberry writes a very strong story, one that you really do need to read from the beginning, I have a feeling the whole series will be like this, this event isn’t one where a casual reader will be able to jump into at any point. The art by Scot Eaton was good, but the inks are very dark throughout the book, almost to the point where I felt I had to put some light on it to see all the details. But overall I agree with you and Elliott, this is the best new series of the year so far.

Detective Comics #863– A very interesting issue, although I feel that in the end , not a very successful one. Both Batman and Batwoman are hunting different killers that appear to be almost identical in behavior and the type of crimes they are committing. Their investigations run parallel to one another and are (again) almost identical in method and how they turn out, although they never meet or appear to connect with each other in any way. I guess that my biggest issue was with the story. Both stories are so similar that it seems a bit redundant to me and since neither Batman and Batwoman ever interact in this book, I don’t really see the point of the two stories being included together. I think Rucka has done a very strong job filling out Batwoman as a strong character and a hero, it seems silly to do a side by side comparison to show just how similar she is in methodology and ability to Batman. This story was pretty good, but in the end I felt a little insulted at the idea that Rucka felt the need to show me just how similar Batwoman is to Batman in such a heavy handed way.

Now the second feature was much better experience for me, I really have been enjoying the Question /Huntress stuff and this issue is no exception. I will avoid any hysterical ‘The Question needs her own book!’ talk. But as a backup feature in Detective Comics it is a joy to read and when Vandal Savage shows up at the end I did get a little surprise and a chill up my spine that I did not get from the main feature.

And there was a Flash preview that I didn’t give a shit about, sorry, never been a big Flash fan.

Fantastic Four #577– I have to give Hickman credit, he is taking his time with this story and doesn’t seem to be giving a shit about losing any attention deficient fanboys who might be incapable of following along for the long haul without a baby being thrown out a window or a woman being abused or killed. I did have a hard time following along with this issue, the learning curve this time around is steep and I will probably be spending a little time on Wikipedia tonight researching some of the stuff that was going on here. My biggest complaint with this story arc so far is I am starting to wonder if this is really a Fantastic Four story? For the most part the FF have been spectators in everything that has happened up to this point. Something happens, the Fantastic Four show to investigate what is happening and they spend the rest of the issue watching events unfold or having things explained to them. The FF just seem to be very passive so far up to this point, not really acting on the events that are unfolding around them. The cliffhanger at this end of this issue was very cool and should spell the end of the Fantastic Four being tourists in this whole story arc and taking a more proactive role in dealing with what is happening on the Earth and on the Moon. Eaglesham’s art is very solid as usual, but I did notice he is drawing the same ‘Reed Richard’ type face on a couple of different characters. No biggie though…

I really like what Hickman is doing here, but I just want to see more from the Fantastic Four other than them standing around looking like tourists.

Blackest Night #8– Shit what can I say about this book? It was a disappointment for sure, but I am still trying to pin down the biggest source of my disappointment. I mean the book is filled with a lot of cool individual moments, John’s is the master of writing WTF moments that make comic fans squeal with glee and Reis’ art is top notch as usual. So why did I feel so disappointed at the end of this event?

1. That’s enough Geoff Johns!

Johns spends way too much time here jerking off the fanboys and not enough time explaining what the fuck is going on, that’s cool up to a point. But John’s is like that person who is trying to give you the best blowjob ever, but they spend way too much time doing a bunch of silly shit that feels good but does nothing to finish the job, in the end you just want to tell them to stop fucking around and just put it in their mouth. Ok, that was a little graphic, but John’s basically spent two issue putting Sinestro out there as a White Lantern to rile up the fanboys, only to unceremoniously dump him when he wanted to move on to other cool moments. You have to ask yourself, why even make Sinestro a White Lantern if it did nothing to move the story along or do anything to resolve the event?

2. Black Hand did what?

Ok, so Black Hand is the anchor for Nekron and when his link is severed Nekron cannot exist on Earth. So why exactly does all of those White Lantern rings start coming out of his mouth when he is brought back to life? Is he now the anchor for the White Entity? I mean even though William Hand is brought back to life, he is still a crazy fucker with a huge hard on for death. This might be something of nitpick, but it goes to my third point.

3. Nothing is resolved or explained.

Nekron is sent back to the corn field but otherwise unharmed or dealt with. Black Hand is still alive, but held by the Indigo tribe. The Anti-Monitor is back, along with a whole bunch of heroes and villains. Barry Allen and Hal Jordan even have a conversation at the end of the book basically saying nothing has been resolved or explained.

You know after almost a year of the Blackest Night event, I would expect a little resolution to everything that has happen. Instead we just get what amounts to a huge reset button, I really thought Johns was going to do something really deep here, exploring the nature of death in the DC universe or the lack of anything resembling a permanent end for characters who die and come back, sometimes multiple times. Instead we get what looks like a cheep stunt for a wholesale resurrection of DC characters who have died over the years, free and clear, with no attempt to explain what happened. Instead of Blackest Night giving some clarity to the DC Universe it has just made things even more confusing and I am pretty sure that was not the original intention.


  1. Deemar says:

    Damn you musky!

    I’ma have too buy Doomwar

    Damn you! πŸ˜‰

    • IronMuskrat says:

      Doomwars is good stuff Deemar, I won’t say don’t buy the trade, but it’s a good read for sure!


  2. Deemar says:

    This issue of Detective was kinda confusing, I know Kate is a compentent crimefighter, but c’mon he trying too Grant Morrison’ her.

  3. Venom829 says:

    For Blackest Night #8, I’ll have to disagree with you IM. I read the summary online (due to not having a comic shop), and I felt that the ending would be very satisfying to me, and I cannot wait to buy the hardcover on July 7th πŸ™‚

    • IronMuskrat says:

      That’s fine Venom.. I won’t say it wasn’t a good ending.. but I guess I was just expecting a lot more in the way of explaining why everything happened the way it did.


      • You weren’t the only one expecting that IM.


        • Locusmortis says:

          I haven’t read it yet (damn you postal system!!!) but I always get a bit riled up when I hear the expression “but they didn’t explain it enough”, I didn’t need Final Crisis to be explained to know what was going on and I’m far from a DCU know-it-all. I think sometimes its good that comics makes people work hard, I’m sure I’ll review Blackest Night #8 for my next column (which is forthcoming, I just came down with a bad cold this week which knocked things off track)

  4. Deemar says:

    So IM no happy finish for Blackest night?


  5. Johns perposely left things unexplained so he can explain them in Brightest Day. At least that’s what he said.

    • Deemar says:

      Johns pulled a Bendis

      • Venom829 says:

        Not reall, Johns gets back to his unresolved issues, Bendis lets others clean up the mess (Matt Fraction-Iron Man, Thor, Dan Slott-Amazing Spider-Man)

        • Luiz de Mello says:

          Imo he just doesn’t care for them, nor does Marvel heads. Other writer with a bit more of common sense (don’t need much, really, he has none) try to at least cover the stinking stuff he leaves behind when they assume the books he was writing.

      • ...dj...sweet says:

        That was my first thought. Such a Bendis answer.

    • IronMuskrat says:

      If that is then case CBD, I feel a little cheated. Blackest Night was the biggest event in quite some time for DC. If in the end all I get is a ‘Check Out Brightest Day’ to see what happens.. is a little sucky for me . I will be checking out Brightest Day for sure, but I think I should get a little closure after the whole Blackest Night deal without having to pay for the next big event.


  6. vegedge says:

    wanna see bendis and fraction getting shot in a comic..


    dreams can come true.

    • SMARTASS8 says:

      Hell yeah!!!

      Oh wait, you said “in a comic”. My mistake.

      (yes, I am kidding and do not think someone should actually shoot these 2 “writers”)

    • Deemar says:

      That is sweet!

      Although I like Fraction poor guy

    • JMenjivar says:

      even in his death throes matt fraction slays me.

      i love that mans writing. maybe im in the minority here, but me and michael chabon cant be completely wrong about him.

      but really i thought that scene was funny, im not a bendis man, but credit where credit is due, the boys always pushing his product!

  7. vegedge says:

    you are right no one should shoot anyone. but passing somekind of restraining order saying they can not be within 500 feet of a keyboard, comic shop, my pull list or a college where they can teach others terrible writing habits, yes.

  8. kurumais says:

    .” Instead we get what looks like a cheep stunt for a wholesale resurrection of DC characters who have died over the years, free and clear, with no attempt to explain what happened”

    no offense IM i cant belive you didnt see that coming

    • IronMuskrat says:

      I started to see it coming after issue #7, but I was hoping for more Kurumais. I really was.


      • phil says:

        Oh it came alright, like a swift kick to the crotch and she must’ve had a wide foot cause she got both of ’em (last phrase courtesy of Kingpin.)

  9. vegedge says:

    it has been said on the brightest day info given that the reason for the ressurection choosing those people will be told. just gotta keep readin. which is a lame thing to say but true

  10. Smallmaniac says:

    What’s up with all the penis references as of late? Is it supposed to help us relate to the point you’re trying to get across? Hand and blow jobs sound like devices Bendis would need to use to convey a point. Just be careful you don’t become your enemy.

  11. Chris says:

    I think you misunderstood that Dectective Comics issue (arc perhaps) IronMuskrat. The Bruce Wayne Batman parts were set 10 years before the Batwoman parts. Batman delt with “Cutter” originally, and then when he got out or broke out of prison Batwoman delt with him.

    In the Batman parts Cutter was just some guy who kidnapped a woman who then happened to fall in love with him. They blamed it on Stockholm Syndrome. Then in the Batwoman parts where Cutter has actually become Cutter he has managed to get out of break out of prison. He then meets up with the kidnap victim who is still in love with him. But she’s older now so they decide that he’ll “cut” bits of younger women to make her look how she did when they first met. So the woman in the bandages is the woman who was originally kidnapped. Thats why they didn’t cross paths.

    I hope this makes sense I sort of rambled…

    • IronMuskrat says:

      It does make sense Chris, and to be honest if I had know that reading the comic it would have been more enjoyable for me. I guess this is a case of me not understanding fully what the writer’s intention was from that start( not the first time for sure ).


  12. Luiz de Mello says:

    I got disappointed with BN 8 too. It was not that it was bad, it was that the series was so much better and the end was just too regular.

    And there was the mentioned lack of closure to many of the subplots and subplots that didn’t seem to have a purpose in the end. Even if it was the goal to leave a new scenario for the new event/status quo/whatever it should have closed some important plots inside the very story. The feeling in the end should have been ‘this story is over, but not the stories of the characters and the world around them’, rather than a feeling of ‘continue in Brightest day’.

    Still, it was better than certain other recent stuff.

  13. Bboyce109 says:

    IronMuskrat im gonna have to disagree with your review for blackest Night #8. Yes it felt kind of rushed but it was a very good ending to a comic book event that i haven’t seen in years. Im a DC fan more than Marvel but i have been reading story events from both of them for a while. I was hoping for more resurrections to occur but Geoff Johns only resurrected a dozen or so, Brightest Day will be expanding on why those few who were resurrected, Black Hand captured by the Indigo Tribe, and im sure the reappearance of the Anti-Monitor down the line. The ending was a cliffhanger with the white lantern battery that we no nothing about but it could lead to more resurrections or something else Geoff Johns is planning.

    • IronMuskrat says:

      Most people disagree with me Bboyce =)I guess it just comes down to me not wanting to have to read another event to explain the ending for the previous event. But who knows, I may end up liking the whole package more after the Brightest Day stuff. I am willing to wait and see.


      • Luiz de Mello says:

        On TBP though, that is bad business anyway. One may feel unmotivated to buy BN later on since it already has those GL/GLC tie ins that explains a good part of the story, and they would need to buy that too to get a ‘whole story’, but then they also would need to get whatever comes next too to get a full story to read (and no one likes to buy ‘half a story’, and getting that whole story would be kinda costly).

        For people buying monthly I guess there won’t me much of a change, some will and others won’t get disappointed with the last issue, but no big deal apart from that.

      • Bboyce109 says:

        Yeah i see your point of the never ending events. I doubt it will ever end though, its a never ending circle. If Marvel starts an event DC then starts one and if DC starts an event Marvel follows up right behind them. Maybe one day the cycle will be broken, that day might be when Bendis is fired or retires.

  14. phil says:

    Still I have yet to pick up ish 8 of BN, but from what I’ve seen on a few different vlogs…I’m already ready to impale myself! The only thing worse than these characters coming back from the dead, is the level of acceptance its receiving.
    If I do a video on this, I don’t know if I’ll be able not to use a plethera of expletives to exspress my discontent with this farce of a finale.

    • phil says:

      Okay I’ve picked it up and I’m more nauseated than I thought I would be. I.M., you likened this finale to something akin to a b.j., but I liken it to more of an emotional a.f. If these initials escape anyone, just think of Ving Rhames in Pulp Fiction with that gag in his mouth. For we few fans that have a problem with this undeading, the only thing we were waiting for was the gimp. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

  15. Dan Griffin says:

    I don’t know why but Seeing Aquaman/Mera and Hawkman and Hawkwoman being happy, and Martian Manhunter being alive made me smile. and a living Deadman made me laugh and i don’t know why. So i have to say i enjoyed Blackest Night #8 alot.

    The Finch Pic for the teaser for Brightest Day is beautiful.

    • littlekingryan* says:

      I liked it for those reasons as well. I felt it had as much resolution as I’ve come to expect from any big event in comics, even moreso than a lot of them. So maybe there’s something to be said for lower expectations.

      • Dan Griffin says:

        I liked that it was a happy ending.

        Plus if you read the Black Hand Diary it sounds like Black Hand the Indigo Tribe is doing some strange stuff to him or he just doesn’t like being forced to talk like them and being alive.

    • Morlock50 says:

      What, no Elongated Man and Sue Dibny?

      • SMARTASS8 says:

        I think now that Deadman isn’t dead, Elongated Man and Sue are now the resident dead detectives. This also lets Plastic Man stay the resident stretchy hero. I’m surprised Blue Beetle or Tempset weren’t brought back either.

        I was happy with every character they brought back(even Osiris) but I wish they left it a little more open ended where they could still squeeze in a few more unknown resurrections. I wasn’t expecting them to, but I was hoping for Pa Kent, Earth 2 Superman, and Ch’p.

        • littlekingryan* says:

          Ch’p! I was looking through a thirteen-year-old Wizard earlier tonight and saw him featured in their Mort of the Month. Bring back Ch’p!

  16. Mike F says:

    I’ve always felt/said from the start that Geoff johns is the most cheesiest, overrated fucking writer ever. NOW people are seeing the light. I mean he’s not as bad as James Robinson or Mark millar but he’s just so cliche and boring and fucking childish man.

    anyway good reviews sir. hopefully for now on, dead will REALLY mean dead and it won’t just be what they said as a way of bringing back all the characters that gave johns an erection before he started writing for them.

  17. Mike F says:

    Of course everyone thinks BN 8 ended so “happily” and “flowery” and “smiley” but yeah all these people who died for a cause came back to life. so duh its a happy feeling, but don’t you feel insulted by it? can’t people write stories anymore where dead means dead and has value instead of “perfect fairytale endings?” idk maybe its just me but even comic book logic should have some realistic logic to it.

    but that moment with superman talking to martian was kinda sweet ^_^ (i’ll be frank, i smiled)

    • Rob F says:

      Yeah but I guess that’s kind of a conceit in comics isn’t it? I mean you don’t read Superman, Batman, etc expecting that the main character is going to die. So as a result more peripheral characters die with greater frequency. Sometimes they have to come back because a writer has a good story to tell. I guess that’s what really separates a comic from a novel so there are tradeoffs. I read the first issue of BN and I was already concerned about how someone was going finish it in 8 issues. In a novel you probably could spend more time explaining everything but a comic has to move forward at a certain pace. At least we know that not everyone came back…

  18. Liquid R says:

    The biggest disappoint i had with BN 8 was, what the f@#$ happen to all the other lanters.
    What did they all just up left,you would think the rage and fear lanterns would start something they’re a holes. And the only reason white lantern was at the end was so they could bring more heros and villians back from the dead.

  19. pilkk90 says:

    i cant believe i was right when i said this event was an excuse to bring dead charectors back, i didnt expect johns to actually do it

    • SMARTASS8 says:

      I really don’t think it was just an excuse to bring back characters since a lot of people enjoyed the series in spite of that. Also, when the whole premise of Blackest Night revolves around the resurrection of dead heroes & villains, it’s not like it’s a surprise. From what I’ve seen online, Johns actually used some restraint since there were a ton more characters that fans wanted brought back in addition to the relatively small number in BN #8.

  20. Pobra says:

    Totally agree with your assessment of BN #8 Musky. A very underwhelming and predictable ending to what was shaping up to be a great and memorable event. *sigh*
    I can’t help but feel like you would have enjoyed Detective a lot more had you noticed the subtle hints in the narrative that Batwoman was dealing with the same person as Batman, the parallels make much more sense and make for a pretty compelling story imo.
    And I’m pleased to say that Hickman has won me over, I am loving Fantastic Four! Something I could never say before. Last issue felt like Hickman was channeling Morrison, love the high concept, sciency stuff and the sort of one and done format that builds to a greater story, can’t wait for the next issue!

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