Archive for August, 2008

Playing with the Comic Books Application on Facebook

August 31st, 2008 by Martin co-conspirator and friend Stephanie invited me to the Comic Books Application on Facebook a few weeks ago now, and I’ve been playing with it a little bit each week. It’s an interesting way to keep track of your pull list, and to browse comics that were released the past (or current) week. It’s also set up to keep track of your collection if you use it that way, and allow for easy discussion of individual comic book issues, which each have their own page, and generally browse comics by creator, series, or publisher. (Doubtless there are more ways to browse the issues as well.)

I posted a few weeks ago in the forums, and the developer Chris has been really responsive and helpful. He even added some of the features I was asking for, which goes quite a ways toward convincing me that this thing is going to be around and maintained into the future.

You can add the Comic Book application to your facebook profile to show your friends what you’re reading, or just to check out all the cool features I’ve listed above.

UPDATE: I’ve just created a page for on Facebook. Stop on by and become a fan, why don’t you?

ReadComics Podcast #015

August 30th, 2008 by Martin

Today Florence, Jason and Marty talked a whole lot about Robert Kirkman’s video editorial about how to save comics. We also talked about Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, Avatar and self-published comics. Other mentions included Runaways, Xmen, Archie, Power Pack, Richie Rich, Marvel Adventures, Hack Slash, Ex Machina, Brian K. Vaughn, Narcopolis, Jamie Delano, Ultimate universe, Michael Straczynski, Book of Lost Souls, Rising Stars, Little Brother and Cory Doctorow.

Listen to Podcast Episode #015 (28.5 MB, 62 minutes)

No Heroics

August 29th, 2008 by jason

I just saw the trailer for a new series starting in the UK in a few weeks, No Heroics.  It looks like a cross between The Office and Cheers with a little bit of Hancock thrown in.  The trailer is entertaining, but it’s long enough that they could’ve thrown in all the good stuff from the series.

Of course, having a sitcom like this, as well as movies like My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and even Hancock means that we’ve crested the wave, and now are sliding in to the time when a genre becomes a parody of itself.

It’ll start airing on ITV in the UK on 10 September, and is produced by Tiger Aspect, who have a long history of television comedy (League of Gentlemen, Dame Edna, Mr. Bean).

UPDATE: Click here to watch the trailer on YouTube.

Northlanders, Issues #1-8

August 28th, 2008 by Martin

The first issue of the next Northlanders arc came out today, and I decided not to get it.

As those of you who have been paying attention will already know, we chose Northlanders for our very first Comic Book Book Club. This was several months ago now, and just after the sixth issue of Northlanders had been released. I had somehow neglected to add Northlanders to our pull list, so it wasn’t until today that I finally had issues #7 and #8 to finish up the story.

Read on for a spoiler-filled analysis of the series so far, and especially the last two issues of the first story arc. (more…)

Casey Blue: Beyond Tomorrow, Issues #1-4

August 27th, 2008 by Martin

Unfortunately, I have to say, the jury is still out on Casey Blue for me.

Issue #4 came out last week, and before last night I had basically been collecting these without reading them. I liked the art, and had been hooked by the first couple of pages of the first issue (labeled “Now”) where it’s revealed that Casey is watching her own funeral. Then we jump presumably before the funeral (for a single page labeled “Then”), and then jump again to the main story line where Casey is a normal high school girl who plays volleyball. (This story line is labeled “In-Between”.)

Interesting enough premise, but in four issues, we have yet to return to that “present day” when Casey watches her funeral. We’ve figured out a bunch about who she is and why she’s a violent killer, although most of that is hearsay from a woman who tells her to “trust her instincts”. Let it suffice to say that we still really don’t know what’s going on.

At first after reading them, I was happy with these purchases, but in retrospect, while I was totally engrossed, not enough is actually happening, and I think my satisfaction with Issue #5 may determine whether I drop the series from my pull list.

ReadComics Podcast #014

August 24th, 2008 by Martin

Another conversational podcast with Susie, Florence, Marty and Jason. We talk about the recent announcement that there will be a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story (via Neil Gaiman’s blog), various superhero movies, Batman in about a million forms, Fear Agent, Walking Dead, Persepolis and Embroideries (by Marjane Satrapi), Ex Machina, women comic book artists, Fan Fiction, Animal Man, Bratgirl, Batdude and Throbbin’ (and other superhero porn), Top 10: Beyond he Farthest Precinct, Ultimate Comics, Ultimatum, Ultimate Origins, Ultimate Galactus, Gay Comic Geek, The Clockwork Game, a bevy of game-related webcomics: The Order of the Stick; Penny Arcade; PVP, Control Alt Delete; Dork Tower; Full Frontal Nerdery, Deisel Sweeties, Rising Stars, Strangers in Paradise, Echo, Terry Moore, Spider Man loves Mary Jane, Dark Horse Presents, and comic book reviews in general.

Listen to Podcast Episode #014 (36 MB, 78 minutes)

Fear Agent, TPB 2 & 3

August 23rd, 2008 by Martin

Fear Agent is awesome.

Peppered with quotes from Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain), the second and third trade paperbacks in the Fear Agent series collect issues #5-10 and #12-15 respectively. (Although originally, 12-15 were known as Fear Agent: The Last Goodbye #1-4.)

Do you remember when I got all whiny about the first trade, and how it ended in a cliffhanger? Well, volume #2, My War ends with another doozey. And guess what? Volume 3 is one long flashback! I don’t know when I’ll be getting Volume #4 from the library (since it came out relatively recently, there are a few people in line in front of me). Interestingly, Volume #4 doesn’t even collect Issue #11, which technically came before all the issues in Volume #3. According to Wikipedia, Issue #11 and #16 appear in an (unnumbered) trade paperback called simply Tales of the Fear Agent. While I’m waiting for Volume #4, I’m going to see if the library has that one. (Confused yet? I certainly was.)

The best kinds of cliffhanger don’t actually leave the hero hanging on a cliff. They actually change the tone of the story you’ve been reading. It’s more like you realize that the protagonist has been hanging from a cliff for a while, and he (or she) just didn’t know it. This was the kind of cliffhanger that Volume #2 ended with. Volume #1 was more of the hanging on a cliff kind.

Although the artist is different in Vol. 2 than in Volumes 1 and 3, Jerome Opeña does a great job of picking up where Tony Moore left off, and the style is so true to the way Moore started it that I honestly didn’t even notice.

Fear Agent continues to make us love and hate the main character (Heath Huston) in equal parts. He makes incredibly stupid mistakes, and thinks a bit too much of himself (and only himself) for my tastes. He’s also completely a hick, and mostly dumb as a pile of rocks. Still, it’s all quite fun watching his life (and planet!) fall apart around him. And you get to blame it on aliens!

I’m happy to report that, in spite of yet more “want to read more” type frustration, there is continued happiness and enjoyment. (The Clemens quotes also kick the series up a notch in my book.) I’ll report back when I’ve read the rest of the series.

Addicted to War

August 21st, 2008 by Martin

Addicted to War: Why the US Can’t Kick Militarism, is available now in its entirety online, is a history and criticism of US militarism and military policy.

Apparently this is being used in some schools as a history textbook, and I can attest (from what I’ve read–so far just the first 10 pages out of 77) that this includes a ton of interesting quotes, citations, and even some photographs, in amongst the illustrations. I used to have a copy of The Cartoon Guide to Physics laying about somewhere, and I guess I’m reminded of that because this is also non-fiction and written in a similar matter-of-fact style.

It looks like author/illustrator Joel Andreas has only really ever written political comics. I think it might be interesting to write a “long-form comic books and politics” blog post sometime, but I am not particularly qualified.

Having the book online is really just a self-professed ploy to get you to purchase a physical copy, so if you really like it, go ahead and buy a copy or fifty. (They sell boxes of 56 for $175.) I found out about it from True Majority, where you can buy a single copy for $8.

Life Sucks

August 19th, 2008 by jason

I checked this out from the library, the new graphic novel by Jessica Abel, co-written by Gabe Soria, and drawn by Warren Pleece, after having seen it on the shelf at the comic shop.

Fortunately my loathing for Romero-esque walking dead doesn’t apply to vampires. I enjoyed this a lot, with it being kind of a cross between Buffy and Clerks, with a bit of teen dramedy thrown in. The idea of being immortal not really being a good thing, in that you might just end up being stuck in a shitty-ass dead end job for all eternity, kind of spoke to me in my current work situation. And apparently opening convenience stores is what a Central European immigrant does, whether they’re an all-powerful bloodsucker or not.

It makes for a good modern vampire story, although the goth club came across as a little too cliched for me. But I really liked all the various representations of the vampires, from the club of shop-keepers, the spoiled-brat surfer, to our hero, the vegetarian pacifist. Warren Pleece’s art also seemed very natural, and fit well with the story. It’s realistic, with a subtle feel, and makes the idea of the convenience store clerk being a closet vampire believable.

I want to check out some of Abel’s other stuff now, like La Perdida, and I have to start getting together with Mike to try some of the lessons in Drawing Words & Writing Pictures.

Marvel Zombies fan film

August 19th, 2008 by Martin

This fan film is not for the weak of stomach.

Originally found by Rurik on Bam! Kapow!, where you can find some other fan films. (Not as many, of course, as you can find on youtube, where there are literally hundreds.)

Repo, TPB

August 18th, 2008 by Martin

I think I’d seen one or two of the individual Repo issues on the shelf, but hadn’t collected them, and I really knew absolutely nothing about the series before I read this trade paperback yesterday. I wasn’t disappointed, but neither was I blown away.

First of all, I thought the art here was absolutely great. It’s pretty standard comic book art, drawn in a very clear and unambiguous style. The artist is Rob G, who has collaborated with writer Rick Spears on at least one or two other projects previously.

Of course it was the themes that drew me in, a near-ish future where clones are fighting for their civil rights, and hover-cars are the norm. There was an evil seeming rich guy growing a clone of himself so he can have a heart transplant. The clone is “liberated” from the hospital, and he puts a bounty out on it such that every “Repo man” in town is after the thing.

As the comic progressed, I felt like things got less and less interesting. They really didn’t “take a stand” on any of the issues that were introduced earlier in the comic. (Racism, civil rights, etc.) In fact, by the end of the story, nobody really has any moral legs to stand on, and the clones who are fighting for their freedom are pretty much written off as dumb, or anyway not strong enough to survive. (The book is pretty violent, and the end turns into an intentionally comical bloodbath.) In fact, if the book had any message at all, it was survival of the fittest. That and maybe “laws are meant to be broken”.

Again, this was definitely a fun read. Expect your suspension of disbelief to be in high gear, and don’t expect anything too enlightened, and you should enjoy it just fine.

Dead Space, animated comic

August 16th, 2008 by Martin

What’s up with all the animated comics these days? I watched the first episode of The Watchmen on iTunes, and then a week or two ago I noticed this (available for free) in the Playstation Store on my PS3. So far I’ve downloaded the first four, but only watched the first three.

Dead Space is a video game that’s going to come out later this year, but to market it, they’ve gotten Ben Templesmith and Anthony Johnston to do a comic book prequel. Sounds like it’ll be a six-issue run. Art by Templesmith, who did Fell and 30 Days of Night, among other pretty things.

The animated version of the comic is just okay. I think I’d probably like it more if I were reading the comic rather than hearing it spoken. That having been said, the voice acting isn’t terrible, and it certainly could have been worse. I think one of the things I imagine being hard to do about any animated version of a comic book is the pacing. I would assume that’s why it feels like we’re always looking at the same image for far too long with the animation basically having to be on the screen as long as it takes to “say” the printed words.

Anyway, I might want to try and track down this comic, because I do really like Ben Templesmith’s artwork. You can read an interview with Ben Templesmith about Dead Space over at Newsarama.

ReadComics Podcast #013 – Book Club #2 – Omega the Unknown

August 15th, 2008 by Martin

This podcast “issue” was recorded at our second ever ReadComics Book Club, where we talked extensively about Omega the Unknown, both the recently finished series, and also the “Classic” series from 1976. There are tons of spoilers, as we discuss plot points and compare and contrast the two series. Our regular podcasters Florence, Martin, Jason and Mike were all present, along with two new voices, Derik and Dave.

Listen to Podcast Episode #013 (28.4 MB, 62 minutes)

Echo, issue #5

August 14th, 2008 by Martin

I loved this issue for a lot of different reasons.

But an Einstein quote printed in the inside of the front cover has been making me think about it for days:

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” –Albert Einstein

The first time I was reminded of it, I was totally confused. I’m in the process of reading the novel Iron Sunrise, by Charles Stross, and all of a sudden the quote is utterly relevant, and I start paging through the book looking for it. I didn’t remember at first that it had been from this entirely unrelated source.

Then later I was thinking about the first Fear Agent TPB that got me all in such a tizzy last week, (I do, finally, have TPB 2 & 3 waiting for me to read them) and I realized the quote is relevant there also, although it’s a bit more of a stretch. Maybe this is just the month for time travel and death in hard science fiction for me. But surprising that it would come from Echo, which, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with time travel (thus far) whatsoever!

Other reasons that I loved this issue: The pacing has really picked up. Things are happening fast. Also, the characters! Such interesting and varied characters have appeared that I immediately want to know their backgrounds and stories. Almost badly enough to permit time taken away from the incredibly fascinating story that is unfolding. In general, this issue is more of the same, and by that I mean REALLY REALLY GOOD. I know I tried to read Strangers in Paradise at some point long, long ago. That was well before I’d read many comics, and I just didn’t get into it. Echo is so good that it makes me want to try again.

WATCHFRIENDS — Superfriends/Watchmen Trailer Mashup

August 13th, 2008 by Martin

Someone calling himself Vic DiGital said it took him about a day to create this awesome mashup. (Link via my new favorite blog, Topless Robot.)

I Love Led-Zeppelin: Panty-Dropping Comics By Ellen Forney

August 12th, 2008 by Martin

After reading this book, I’ve decided that I love Ellen Forney.

This collection of her short and endearing comics is both clever and just incredibly fun. About the first fourth of the book is dedicated to her “How To” series, in which she “sets to comic” someone (presumably an expert) giving advice about something. Some notable examples are how to become a call girl, how to avoid getting caught while smoking pot, and how to twirl your pasties (in alternating directions, even). The rest of the comics are split up into rather arbitrary sections called “More Short Comics”, ’92-’94, and Collaborations. Everything in the book is good, but in very different ways. It felt to me like the main thread holding the entire work together is Ellen Forney’s finely crafted sense of humor.

I’ve been meaning to write this review for weeks now, which is really more a reflection of how good the book was to me than anything else. I wanted to make sure I did it some kind of justice. But I’m sort of just giving up trying to live up to the book with my review. That way lies madness. I’ll admit though, that I wasn’t really all that excited to read the book at first. I probably wouldn’t have even bothered if not for having seen some of the naked girls over Florence’s shoulder while she was reading. Well, that and the provocative subtitle. And while yes, there is some nudity featured here, this really wasn’t the lesbian erotica that I expected. At least, not most of it.

Ellen Forney and I Love Led-Zeppelin are both mentioned by name in the first chapter of Reading Comics, by Douglas Wolk as an example of why right now is really the golden age of comic books (rather than the 1940s and early 1950s). I agree with his assessment. This comic book, and others like it, are proud testaments to the greatness that a single comic book creator can produce in this era. There are many reasons to read this book, (for one thing you might learn something), but deciding you want to see why Douglas Wolk thinks this is the golden age of comics isn’t a bad one to start with.

It’s not like you need more reasons to love Ellen Forney, but she also has a pretty sweet blog, where she posts used to post her “Lustlab Ad of the Week” comics. These are were little comic renditions of personals ads printed in The Stranger (a Seattle newspaper). She’s only just announced that the series was cut. They were (at least some of them) also collected into a book called Lust last fall. Newsarama has an interview with Forney about the collection.

Space Circuses

August 11th, 2008 by Martin

I have finally finished reading Space Circus, written by Mark Evanier and drawn by Sergio Aragonés. I’ve been writing this post for almost as long as I’ve been reading it. (Like a week or so.) Unfortunately, the comic was just okay. The art was (mostly) fantastic, and there were fun little things to look at in the background of the panels on almost every page. (My biggest qualm with the art, and this is pretty nitpicking, was that Aragonés, like most artists, has no idea how to draw people juggling. Generally the objects either just get scattered in the air above someone’s head, or they get drawn in a giant circle or arc from one hand to the other. I’m a juggler, so this bothers me.) Anyway the story was pretty mundane, in spite of its rich and enjoyable premise: basically about a boy who accidentally stumbles onto the Space Circus space ship while they’re making repairs on earth after having been set upon by space pirates, and the hilarity that ensues. Except, unfortunately, there is less hilarity than expected, or desired.

But I did manage to enjoy this anyway, and along the way I wracked my brain for additional references to circuses in space. (I did some web searching too.) More space circuses after the jump. (more…) — best geek webcomic EVER

August 9th, 2008 by Martin

I realized this morning, while catching up on the latest xkcd, that we don’t have any xkcd entries on yet.

Simply put, xkcd is the best webcomic for internet-related “geek” humor out there.

I remember the first time I read the “sandwich” comic (you won’t get it if you don’t know what “sudo” means), I had to explain it to florence because I thought it was so funny. Of course, Florence, not knowing what sudo meant until I explained it to her, did not really think it was all that funny. Reading through some of the archives with her, she did admit she liked some of the others. I believe that may have actually been my first exposure to xkcd. It’s possible I’d seen some of the others in email forwards or other contexts.

XKCD is written and drawn (mostly with stick figures) by Randall Munroe, who was a physics major and worked for NASA before he started writing xkcd full time. Here is a relatively interesting interview with Munroe posted on Wikinews.

Dr. Who-ible

August 8th, 2008 by Martin

My friend doc pop (aka Doctor Popular, aka Drown Radio) drew this awesome cross between Dr. Horrible and Dr. Who. I hope he doesn’t mind that I post it here. I just had to share.

Fear Agent, Volume One: Re-Ignition

August 8th, 2008 by Martin

“ARRRRRRRGGGH!” That’s the sound that I make when I finish a comic that is really, really good, and yet ends in a cliffhanger. Also, it is the sound of kittens dying, and angels losing their wings.

I ask myself: Isn’t this why you prefer to read trade paperbacks? So that you have a complete story at the end? And then the frustration rises, and I cry a bit, then I make the sound again, “BLARRRRGGGGGGH!” (This time with more of a blubbery noise, because of the crying.)

Fear Agent is awesome. That is why it is so hard to hate it. Or perhaps, like a good relationship turned sour, that is why it is so easy to hate it. Someone yoda-like once said “Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to anger. Anger leads to suffering.” That person was probably talking about the end of the first Fear Agent TPB.

OK. Perhaps I should get to what I liked about the comic — Nay! — what I so LOVED about the comic! Namely, it was the subject matter. There are space ships. And space stations. And planets with fallen civilizations. In general, this is pulpy science fiction at its best, in comic book form. Lets take our protagonist, Heath, for example. He’s an Alien Exterminator / ex-space-military, with his own space ship, who also has a drinking problem. Oh yeah, and he kicks all kinds of ass. And by this I mean alien ass, robot ass, and any combination thereof. Oh yes, it’s awesome.

I just hope the library has the next TPB tomorrow morning when I go there. Because I’d hate to have to make that noise again.


August 7th, 2008 by Martin

Townscapes was fantastic. Its four stories (although the first is only a few pages, and serves more as an introduction than anything else) share this in common: They all feature a white haired man with mystical powers who does something fantastic. Actually, the man may not even be white haired in all the stories. Regardless, something fantastic happens, and most of the time you think he did it.

I think my favorite of these was the one about the city that just starts to float. One morning everyone wakes up and the town is just floating six feet (or so) off the ground. There is a military base relatively near by, and everyone (at least partly correctly) blames it.

This is another comic translated from the french, and it solidifies my opinion that there should be more of them in general. It almost makes me want to brush up on my french to the point of understanding, so I can import everything else these two have ever created (and the rest of the Sky-Doll series, and the rest of Valerian).

The art, while gritty and sometimes quite drab, is also absolutely beautiful. I think it is the first full length thing that Enki Bilal fully illustrated. (Do you say illustrated when it’s a comic?) Regardless, it doesn’t look like your average comic, it feels more like a horror comic to me somehow. But the subject matter, while sometimes borderline horror, is really more fantastic.

As an aside, I’m also reading Reading Comics, by Douglas Wolk, right now, and suddenly I’m all self-conscious about the language I’m using to describe comics. Am I describing things in the context of comics, or in another context? I think I tend to skew toward literary depictions of the comics, and tack on something about the art as an afterthought. Perhaps this is because I was an English major in college, or perhaps because I’m more of a reader than an art connoisseur. After all, this is, so maybe that’s ok.

El Gorgo: 1

August 5th, 2008 by Stephanie

El_Gorgo_Issue_01_Page_01.jpgEl Gorgo by Mike McGee and Tamas Jakab

El Gorgo is published online in a standard 28-page (well, really 56, being a double digest and all) format, in PDF and Comic Book Archive formats.

And it’s…. well, I’ll be honest. I just don’t know what to make of it. Is it satire? Is it campy?

I think it’s both– it’s a campy satire about the amazing adventures of a super-ape/Mexican wrestler/millionaire/novelist time traveling superhero. Yes, really. It is that campy!

But it’s also fun! With references to H.P. Lovecraft to fill in for those needing a bit more “meat” to their storyline, there’s a definite sense of the “potluck storyline” going on here, with an almost ADD-like bouncing in place, time, and character focus. We have eldritch cults, big fancy celebrity events, a love interest, time travel, and, of course, dinosaurs.

How can you not love a Mexican wrestler in a throwdown with a Tyrannosaurus Rex?

Besides, I only need two more UPC codes before I can send in for my Deep Ones sea creatures (advertised in the back of this clever parody).

My only complaint? The PDF is laid out with 2 pages side by side, which makes it hard to read the text without scrolling both horizontally and vertically. This issue is resolved if you read it in the Comic Book Archive format.

Kill All Parents!

August 3rd, 2008 by Stephanie

killparents.jpgKill All Parents!, by Mark Andrew Smith, Marcelo Di Chiara, and Russ Lowery, published by Image.

I can’t tell if it’s a one-off or not, but this clever satire takes on the “standard superhero backstory #1: dead parents.” Featuring a set of superhero parodies you’ll easily recognize, this issue tackles not just the stereotypical backstory, but also the angst, anger, and anxiety of being a super-orphan.

The story itself is a little weak and feels like it was intended to be told in a 4-6 issue series that was then condensed down. But the artwork is very well done, and there are a few clever moments sprinkled throughout the issue. My favorite is the graveyard on Father’s Day, crowded with superheroes paying their respects to their absent dads.

The relationship between superheroes and their parents seems to need addressing in every comic series, whether it’s Superman’s adoption story, Batman’s orphaning, or the single parenting in Buffy. Although the superhero genre often reinforces the status quo, I wonder if it also portrays alternative families in a sympathetic way. Or, perhaps, it’s a reflection of the audience’s wishes and makeup.

I don’t know, but I did appreciate something poking a little fun and whimsy at the situation, and, even more, the way the superheroes respond to the revelation of the true author of their grief.

Jim Lee is a really nice guy

August 2nd, 2008 by Martin

Jim Lee is awesome!!!I stood in line for an hour or so today to get him to sign my copy of Invincible #51 and the first Hush TPB. He was really nice, and tried to figure out what my tee-shirt meant before asking. He also asked if I had any really cool apps on my iPhone yet. (I said yes, but then admitted that I don’t have 2.0 yet because I’m waiting for the jailbreak.) He seemed like a really nice guy.

Bonus links: Here’s an interview with Jim Lee by Geeklabel Radio. (This was just the first Jim Lee interview I found. Lee talks about how he got started and answers some lame questions.) Also, here’s a photo of Jim Lee with Mark Hamill last week at SDCC.

Pretty pictures

August 2nd, 2008 by Susie

First, here is a cute fanart comic of Captain Hammer fighting Captain Tightpants.  I wonder when we will see a Captain Hammerpants?


And here is the twentieth anniversary of Sandman (Neil Gaiman version) poster that debuted at comic con last week

33 artists from the comic’s run contributed.  Geek pop quiz!  Can you identify by name all the characters shown? Bonus points for identifying the artist.  The prize?  Pride in a well trained memory.

Poster legend after the jump

Planetary: Crossing Worlds

August 1st, 2008 by Martin

Planetary: Crossing Worlds is good, universe-expanding stuff.

Basic premise here is that there are 196,833 parallel universes. (How do they know the exact number, exactly?) Planetary and the Authority both deal with these universes on a fairly regular basis. The first story here is a Planetary/Authority crossover, where they deal with some other universe’s bad guys who look suspiciously like other versions of some of the Authority characters. The second story takes place entirely in another parallel universe, one in which the Planetary folks are the bad guys (and also “control” the world), and Batman, Superman and Wonderwoman are little more than two-bit vigilantes. Elijah Snow also looks suspiciously like Lex Luthor. The final story is a Planetary/Batman crossover, but the interesting thing about it is that we visit a bunch of (3 or 4) different Batman Universes, with a different version of Batman in each one. Totally fascinating.

I really liked this TPB, and thought each story got progressively better as the book went on. You don’t really have to know anything about the plots of Planetary or the Authority to “get” these stories, but knowing the characters is probably a pre-req for total enjoyment. And enjoy it you will.