Matthew Peterson
Author Archive

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.

Army of DarknessMarvelMarvel ZombiesReview

Or – “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, But They Apparently Do Wear Spandex…” There’s an image that takes on a whole new context Post-CW, doesn’t it? But this ain’t our dear Captain America, fellers an’ gals, this is the Earth-2149 version, one Colonel America, and he’s a whole different breed o’ cat. Our Captain America aims to keep innocents safe & unharmed; Colonel America just wants to make sure they’re tender & juicy. It’s a subtle difference, but I think you’ll agree it’s a meaningful one. Major Spoilers Head Ninja Stephen categorized this as a “Good, but fast read…” As

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DCLegion of Super HeroesReviewSupergirl

Or – “Every Issue I Think It Can’t Get Worse… And Every Issue I’m Wrong.” The Legion’s situation can’t get worse, I mean, not the book. The book has been pretty consistently good, with moments of awesome and couple of peaks of Holy $#!+ mixed in here and there… With the Legion’s publishing history being what it is, I greet every issue with trepidation, wondering if this is the one that will tip the balance of the relaunch towards “Make them stop!” but there’s no sign of that, yet. Of course, it has been revealed that issue #30 will mark

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DCReviewWonder Woman

Or – “How NOT To Relaunch Your Core Franchises, Part Deux…” Regular Spoilerheads may recall me using the term “stunt-casting” in reference to certain recent books, notably Flash and Wonder Woman, but the term also applies to Marvel’s “Spider-Man & Black Cat,” “Daredevil: Target,” and to a lesser degree, the cover work of Michael Turner and Alex Ross. I use the term to describe a sales tactic where the selling point of a book is the CREATOR, and not the title/character/team itself. Sometimes it works, as seen by sales, but other times it doesn’t. In my mind, Flash and Wonder

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FreshmenImage ComicsReview

Or – “Apparently, I’ll Only Be Reviewing The Odd Issues Of This Title…” But, really, aren’t they all a little odd?  If you’re wondering what happened to my rundown of issue #2, well…  thereupon hangs a tale:  I decided after my lukewarm response to the first issue (compounded by the length of time between issues) not to recap the rest of Freshman II, a decision borne out by my overall feeling of “meh” when reading issue #2.  So, why am I doing it now?  Remember yesterday when I (jokingly) said I should recap something I didn’t like?  I went through the stack of

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Blue BeetleDCReview

Or – “The Little Azure Scarab That Could…” It may surprise some of our readers to know that Blue Beetle, chronologically speaking, is one of the oldest heroes extant, dating back to August of 1939, a little more than a year after Superman. This means that Beetle predates The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman, and only trailed Batman into print by a month or two. BB had been printed by Fox Comics, Holyoke Publishing, Charlton Comics, and Americomics before being purchased by DC, and even had a relatively successful run as a radio character. Such was his popularity that, when

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Black PantherFantastic FourMarvelReview

Or – “Turner Can Barely Draw Humans, Who Thought He Could Draw Ben Grimm?” There have been a lot of interpretations of the Thing over the years, from Jack Kirby’s original lumpy monster, which then rocked up, and then Joe Sinnott drew the “separate eyebrow” Thing, and then John Byrne rounded him off and gave him a gorilla’s body. There’s a lot of precedent for making slight changes to the Thing. There is NO excuse, however, for drawing him with a separate steam-shovel jaw ala Robotman of the Doom Patrol, especially when the interior art isn’t going to represent it.

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DCGreen LanternReviewSinestro Corps

Or – “Beware My Power… Making My Exes Go Crazy.” Perhaps more than any other concept, Green Lantern illustrates the kind of changes that have befallen the comics industry since it’s inception back in the Golden Age. The original Green Lantern was Alan Scott, a train engineer who found a magic langern, a quintessentially Golden Age origin. As the influence of Superman waxed and waned, G.L. Scott became first INSANELY powerful, then depowered, then eventually stopped appearing in HIS OWN BOOK (replaced by Streak the Wonder Dog) as superheroes lost their lustre. One of the first concepts revived in the

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MarvelReviewX-Factor

Or – “How Do You Follow Up A Nigh-Perfect Issue?” X-Factor. The term can be used to refer to many things… It was an album by Iron Maiden, it’s the name of Simon Cowell’s internation version of ‘American Idol’ (“Dear Supreme Being: Respectfully, please get Sanjaya off my TV set. He makes my brain hurt, and not in a good way. I would never wish him harm, but the boy barely has the talent to have breakfast without injury. Save him from us all. Love, Matthew.”), it was the nom de guerre of an excrable wrestling tag team based mostly

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Birds of PreyDCReviewSecret Six

Or – “If They’re Really A Secret Six, Why Are They So High-Profile?” That look on Lady Blackhawk’s face, my friends, is known to scientists and students of non-verbal communication as the “Skunkeye” ( also called “Stinkeye”), and it is used to imply that the subject of your scrutiny is so suspicious as to actually reek of illegitimacy. It’s commonly seen in singles bars, at all-you-can-eat buffets, and on the face of David Letterman. “But, Matthew,” you’re asking, “why is Babs Gordon’s dark doppelganger, her nemesis from college, the wicked and abusive power-mongering manipulator Spy Smasher sitting alongside Zinda, Babs’

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Dynamo 5Image ComicsReview

Or – “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone, Whever He Hung His Cape Was His Home…” Many people have pointed out the recurring thread in Walt Disney movies regarding the lack or loss of a mother figure and it’s effect on the resulting stories.  But there is also the obvious, but little discussed fact that a huge number of our favorite comic book stories are predicated on the loss of, lack of, or abuse by paternal figures…  or, to use fewer syllables, they’ve got ‘Daddy issues.’  Witness Peter Parker’s guilt over not saving his surrogate father, Uncle Ben.  The pre-Crisis Superman was so defined

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Iron ManMarvelRetro ReviewReview

Or – “He Wasn’t Always A Huge Tool. Once, He Was A Huge Tool With A Tom Selleck Haircut.” With all the verbal beatings heaped upon Senor Antonio Stark in recent weeks, I decided it was well past time to look at something that predates his characterization as a “futurist” (which seems to be synonymous with the characterization of Batman in the Morrison and Waid eras of JLA: the man paranoid enough to act in a manner completely contrary to heroism in the name of preparation), as well as a time when comics in general were simpler. The occasional would-be

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AvengersMarvelNaked UltronReviewThe Initiative

Or – “Behind The Curve Is Where I’ll Be…” Okay, so I admit it. I’ve been dragging my feet on recapping this title. I was of the opinion that I wasn’t going to cover it at all, until I managed to stay on my daily schedule long enough to actually exhaust what was in the review bag (though not buying last week’s comics due to budgeting catastrophe may have been in large part responsible, as well.) The honest truth is: I’m a big Frank Cho fan. I’m a conditional Brian Bendis fan (though I enjoy him better on his self-created

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CheckmateDCReview

Or – “There Are Eight Million Stories In The Checkmate City…” I actually remember the FIRST time I read a number 12 issue of Checkmate (and I refuse to believe it’s been nearly 20 years, either), an Invasion Aftermath extra written by Paul Kupperberg, with art by Steve Erwin (not the late Crocodile Hunter, mind you) and Al Vey. I liked that series, with it’s attempt to meld the soopahero and spy genres, although I didn’t read it until years after it’s cancellation. (I was completing my run of Suicide Squad at the time, and the crossover issues were compelling.)

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DCJustice Society of AmericaReview

Or – “Y’know, I Loved Kingdom Come As Much As The Next Guy But, C’MON!” With this issue of JSA, it’s official… It IS just me. I’ve had long, involved conversations with the folks at work (including both my fellow counter monkeys, as well as several customers) and to a man, nobody but me is bothered by the amount of Alex Ross in the issues of JSA thus far. They DO agree with me that his covers are less attractive than the variants by interior artist Dale Eaglesham, but aren’t bothered by the obvious thumbprints of Mr. Ross all over

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