It’s so easy to blow up your problems, it’s so easy to play up your breakdown.  It’s so easy to fly through a window, it’s so easy to fool with the sound.  Life’s the same, I’m moving in stereo…  Life’s the same, except for my shoes.  Life’s the same, you’re shakin’ like tremolo.  Life’s the same, it’s all inside you.  Life’s the same, I’m moving in stereo…  Life’s the same, except for my shoes.  Life’s the same, you’re shakin’ like tremolo.  Life’s the same, it’s all inside you!



Previously, on Everything:  Hey, wait a minute, there’s no birthday party for me in here!



AA1.gifAgents of Atlas #4:  The Agents’ past and future adventures are suddenly tied together by the presence of Captain America (James Buchanan Barnes) in 2009, and the discovery of a frozen Cap and Bucky (Jack Monroe) in 1958.  The wonderful character work continues, as the mystery of the Phantom Pilot is resolved (thanks to a time loop and a little detective work from Jimmy Woo and Bob Grayson) and Captain America decides that the Atlas Foundation has been free long enough, and musters his New Avengers to give them the smackdown.  Two art teams, equally skilled, handling Jeff Parker’s deft scripting equals an enjoyable twenty minutes.  One of the most underrated books from the Big Two, Agents of Atlas continues to impress.  4.5 stars.






Bo1.gifThe Boys Thirty:  Anyone who has been reading this title knows that Billy Butcher has hidden depths, but this issue reveals that there’s more darkness than even he expected.  Voight-American dumps a dozen preschoolers in the freezing ocean, Mother’s Milk takes the unpleasant duty of telling Silver Kincaid’s uncle that she’s dead, The Female succumbs to her urge to kill, The Seven find out that the game has changed, and The Frenchman comes within inches of disembowelment.  As for Butcher, he returns to FBI Director Rayner (who put them on the G-Men case through manipulation) and lays down the law while giving her the business.  “You put any o’ us in the firing line…  I’ll kill your husband.  I’ll kill your two little kids.  An’ then I’ll $&@$in’ kill you.”  This line is delivered while rogering her from behind, mind you.  Disturbing stuff from start to finish.  3.5 stars.





DA1.gifDark Avengers #4:  The former Thunderbolts have a bad day and end up fighting each other as much as Morgaine LeFay, while Doom and Osborn brook the timestream to beard the dragon in her lair.  Von Doom pulls a fast one (since he can’t kill her in the past, or the present, he sends her to the distant past to let her fend for herself) while Osborn mourns for the lost Sentry, showing that he may have a soul after all.  Doctor Doom wiggles his fingers and restores his castle, Brian Bendis still can’t write magical incantations that don’t sound ludicrous, Captain Marvel Boy seems to be out of his depth, and the team heads home to find…  Sentry, whole and intact, with a gaze that leaves Norman’s blood cold.  Great ending to kinda iffy overall issue, but still compelling stuff in the Brave New Marvel U.  3 stars. 






FCR1.gifFinal Crisis Aftermath – Run! #1:  Years ago, the Beatles wrote a song with the line “a dirty story about a dirty man.”  This is the pathetic and unpleasant story of a pathetic and unpleasant man, as the Human Flame beats up and innocent nurse, starts a shootout in a playground, dupes his sweet and mostly innocent wife and daughter, and shoots flame out of his nipples.  Those are his highpoints, incidentally, as the low points include crossing Russian drug thugs, stealing his wife’s car, and setting himself on fire.  It’s weird fascinating to watch, like amateur night at a bad strip club.  It’s disgusting and wrong, but you can’t look away.  If the main character doesn’t get his just desserts by the time we’re done, however, I’m going to have little use for this series.  3 stars. 






MZ1.gifMarvel Zombies 4 #2:  The new Midnight Sons (Morbius, Son of Satan, Werewolf By Night, and Jennifer Kale the Atlantean witch) get serious, blowing up a cruise ship to stop an infection of alien zombie fishmen (you kinda had to be there) while the Hood does Hoody little stuff.  The Night Shift goes into battle, but Morbius and company tear them up, and the zombie plague goes airborne and eats the villains alive.  Deadpool (zombie version) and Simon Garth break loose and the issue ends with Dormammu (the power behind the Hood’s hood) offering Jennifer an offer she can’t refuse, with power for the preying.  It’s not a bad issue, but it’s a little slow, and too little happens for me to give it full honors.  More Deaderpool and Simon will suit me just fine.  2.5 stars. 






NAR1.gifNew Avengers – The Reunion #3 (of4):  Clint Barton and Barbara Morse are deep undercover, trying to figure out why AIM is stealing some of the world’s finest minds, while Clint tries to figure out what’s going on in the mind of his long-lost love.  We find out more about Bobbi’s time on the Skrull world, as she goes rogue, plays spy, and ends up choking someone she thought was her husband to death.  Clint figures out what the AIM goons are up to, but not before a bomb separates them, and Monica Rappacini arrives to introduce herself to an enraged Mockingbird.  “I don’t give a $#!+ who you are.  I only care that you’re going to DIE,” hardcores Bobbi as she raises her weapon.  This series is interesting, bringing Hawkeye back to his old-school characterization, and revamping Mockingbird for the new world with some excellent art…  4 stars. 






No1.gifNova #24:  Robbie Rider is relegated to back-office duty, big brother Richard (no longer the Nova Prime, thanks to the damaged computer matrix of the Worldmind) gets used to a whole new cosmic powered legacy, and the Legion of Super-Heroes arrives…  Wait, crap.  That’s the Imperial Guard.  Kallark (get it?), better known as Gladiator, the greatest of the Guard, easily embarassed the new Nova Prime, and secures the Corps surrender with brute force.  Rich, the new Quasar, undertakes a stealth mission to planet Ego and finds that when Worldmind seemingly took over Ego, the opposite apparently happened.  Rich gets blasted, Centurions die left and right, bad things are in the offing for the last remnants of Xandar.  Here’s hoping that Wendell Vaughn is back to stay, though.  3 stars. 






PG1.gifPower Girl #1:  “By the numbers” is taken as a negative thing sometimes, but when it comes to first issues, I wonder if it’s not too maligned.  This issue sets up Kara, her new status quo, the supporting cast, gives us a glimpse of her as a person and as a hero, makes with the massive property damage, and returns Ultra-Humanite to the fold in a few pages.  Amanda Connor’s art is just so DAMN good that she could be illustrating one of those Hostess ads where Power Girl fights the cosmic hillbilly family and I’d plunk down my 2.99 in jealous glee.  Manhattan is sucked into the sky, and they tone down the pectoral references, giving this that elusive “great jumping on point” quality that so many books shoot for and miss.  Good character, good story, great art.  4 stars. 






Proof1.gifProof #19:   The adventures of Bigfoot in Victorian England continue this issue, and the result is surprisingly fun.   Going by the sobriquet of Gulliver, John Prufrock’s long life allows Grecian and Rossmo to go in a completely new direction.  Julia Pastrana (a real historical personage, I might add) is nearly killed, and various historical and created personalities try to figure out what in the blue hell is going on.  Our main character throws what I believe to be one of his first punches in the series (and the reason why might surprise you) and we meet another young’n of roughly the same species.  This book reminds me of early issues of Sandman in it’s scope and tone, and I think it has the potential to be equally sweeping and enjoyable.  Proof is an enigmatic but likeable main character, and the various “Cryptoids” sprinkled throughout are fascinating in themselves.  4 stars.






SG1.gifSeaguy – Slaves of Mickey Eye #2 (of 3):  So, last issue ended with Seaguy being saved by three duplicates of himself, and we open this one meeting Peaguy (who shrinks) Treeguy (who grows) and Threeguy (who splits off the other two entities in the first place.)  The Seadog moves closer to his inexplicable plan, while Seaguy goes underground, hiding out as El Macho, the greatest of the bulldressers.  (It’s as odd as it sounds, and the sight of a charging tone of beef suddenly wearing a bra, garters and high heels is hysterical and distressing all at once.)  Doc Hero is taken down and Seaguy finally breaks out of his psychic conditioning and leaps into the ocean.  It’s brilliant, creative, unundeniable, unique madness from start to finish, and I have to admit I cheered for El Macho, in spite of myself.  4 stars. 






 Spider-Man – Chapter One #0:  With the Clone Saga madness finally over, John Byrne SM1.giffinally has a chance to return the Arach-Knight to his original greatness.  Unfortunately, there’s a fine line between “back to basics” and “cribbed from somebody else’s stories” and this issue parks across it and pees in the nearby field.  Recounting the origin of the Vulture, the Lizard, and the Sandman with a modern twist, this book is mired in mediocrity and a slavish devotion to aping the style of Stan and Steve’s stories without the charm or creative leaps.  The most interesting thing in this issue is also the most cringe-worthy, in that we’re treated to the revelation that William Baker and Norman Osborn are cousins (almost certainly because they have the same terrible hair. ) It’s not worth the effort, and will likely be retconned away in a year or two anyway.  Hell, even having Peter make a deal with Satan that resets his life to his college days would be better than this.  Thankfully, there’s nobody at Marvel would be crazy enough to pull THAT sort of swerve.  (Not in the THIS century, anyway…)  1 star.






TT1.gifTeen Titans #70:  What’s better than one series struggling to find it’s feet in the wake of Final Crisis madness?  How about THREE series struggling with the same thing, and crossing over in desperate hope of drawing each others smaller audience into a giant audience pool?  Cyborg is free of Jericho (How?  I don’t know, as I don’t read Titans, and don’t wonder enough to spend 3 bucks finding out) The Teen Titans get a jet long enough to wreck it, and Ravager makes her return in fine form.  She also gets a nice moment in a brief fight with Vigilante, taking down the helmeted loony just in time for the plot to give me some sort of cliffhanger that doesn’t make all that much sense.  This feels a lot like the time I watched Saw V without watching Saw III or IV.  I felt like there were references to things I had missed, but nothing compelled me to seek out the missing elements.  1.5 stars.   


WW1.gifWonder Woman #31:  Diana continues her struggle on multiple fronts, Ares makes a power play on Paradise Island, Nemesis is on the mend, and the Olympian and his army of Aegeans clamp down on the world and even take over the UN in a show of force.  Wonder Woman is impressive in fighting the Olympian, and even PUNCHES OUT A NUCLEAR #*$@ING WEAPON, while never being too tough to show her emotions in a difficult situation.  (Gotta love overkill…)  The secret origin of Genocide is revealed (Let’s see if you can put together the pieces: she is made from a corpse, from an alternate future, who was of magical origin and able to wield the Magic Lasso.  Any guesses on whose corpse that was?) and Diana is resolute that she will, and I quote, “put that atrocity it’s ETERNAL GRAVE.”  Interesting, if scattered, but it’s coming togther at last.  2.5 stars.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. May 18, 2009 at 10:52 pm — Reply

    Power Girl #1 – so nice, we reviewed it twice.

  2. May 19, 2009 at 8:36 am — Reply

    Burma Shave.

    (Incidentally, the last couple of RFR’s have had some duplicate reviews as well, sir. It’s all part of my insidious plan…)

  3. ~wyntermute~
    May 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm — Reply

    You guys don’t have instant messengers you can gossip over or something? JEEZ. This whole website is turning into the Stephen & Matthew show~!!! (With Rodrigo on the podcasts; I did not forget.) ;)

    • May 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm — Reply

      Turning into?

      May I call as my first witness, The Year 2007?

      The prosecution rests, your honor.

  4. May 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm — Reply

    Wow, the more I hear about The Boys, the more nauseating it sounds.

  5. ~wyntermute~
    May 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm — Reply

    Yeah, “The Boys” seems to be shock-comix with “storyline” (not a bad one, i’m just putting the term in quotes) tying together all the depravity in a ‘logical’ fashion. If y’all like it, that’s fine. :) I’m just sayin it’s not my thing at all. I don’t like MMA or horror movies either, and judging by popular culture I’m in the minority there too. :D

    • May 19, 2009 at 7:39 pm — Reply


      As always, your mileage may vary. There is more to The Boys than the shock-factor, but one cannot read the book without being ready for a smack in the metaphorical face.

  6. ~wyntermute~
    May 19, 2009 at 9:17 pm — Reply

    Mr. Matthew: Yah, I know it’s just my opinion. No harm, no foul. I just base it on this idea: Would any of the satire or parody, or metacritique, or any other aspects of the “crunchy, intellecty bits” work without the “OMFGMindF#(K visuals”? From what little I know, I conclude “not as well”. It’s like a stand-up comedian who makes REALLY excellent, insightful, and valid points, but who is also so engaged in scatological humor that you cannot see the genius for all the poop inna road. :D How’s THAT for imagery? Oh, and I’ve been around pre-relaunch! I _KNOW_ this is the “S&M Show”… Er…. Wait. That did NOT read like it shoulda. The “M&S Show”? “Matthew Spoilers”? “Major Stephen”? “Meh. Sucks.”? “Me & Silly”? I go now. B-)

  7. Dave
    May 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm — Reply

    Re the Power Girl review: ” ‘By the numbers’ is taken as a negative thing sometimes…”

    That was totally a dig at me wasn’t it? :)

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