Category: Comic Book Reviews



What is Oldtron Podcast? Comic books, comedy…ish…yet another brand for this four year audio adventure across AIN’T IT COOL NEWS, POPTARDS and…that’s it really. We’re good, but not that good. I’m Rob Patey. I’m hosting Mark Miller. We have been known as Optimous Douche and Ambush Bug, but we’re not proud of it. Happy wedding Jadles,  come back soon.


Save as (right click to take on go)


  2. VALIANT BOOK OF DEATH: HARBINGER (4:30): Joshua Dysart – w, Kano – a
  3. (FUTURE BOOK) JUGHEAD #1 (12:20) Chip Zdarsky – w, Erica Henderson -a
  4. ARCHIE #3 (17:15) Mark Waid – w, Fiona Staples – a
  5. Christmas 1978 with Uncle Drunkell Miller (24:40)
  6. (FUTURE BOOK) GRUMPY CAT #1 (33:35) Ben McCool, Ben Fisher, Royal McGraw, Elliot Serrano – w, Steve Ui, Michelle Nguyen, Ken Haeser, Steve Ui – a
  7. News…ish Alert…ish, Dynamite Gets Feministic…ish (43:37)
  8. JUSTICE LEAGUE #44 (52:10) Geoff Johns – w, Jason Fabok – a

Please share, please hire us, please talk to us or @robpatey or @mark_l_miller.


What is Oldtron Podcast? Comic books, comedy…ish, but most importantly it’s a sign of respect. Since the short, but sturdy stick of our usual geeky podcast tripod,  JD, is taking a break I don’t want to sully his poptards brand with my editorial flippancy. If I Rob Patey be behind the editing, OLDTRON PODCAST should bear the shame.

Yes, this is Spoiler Alert. But worse.





  1. Eeeeeemails (3:19)
  2. MIRACLEMAN BOOK FOUR: THE GOLDEN AGE #1 (15:18) Neil Gaiman – w, Mark Buckingham – a
  3. ALIENS & VAMPIRELLA (21:10) Corinna Bechko – w, Javier Garcia-Miranda -a
  4. MOCKINGBIRD #1 (27:00) Chelsea Cain – w, Joelle Jones – a
  5. TOIL & TROUBLE #1 (32:00) Mairghread Scott – w, Kelly & Nicole Matthews – a
  6. PLUTONA #1 (40:40) Emi Lenox & Jeff Lemire – story, Jeff Lemire – w, Emi Lenox – a
  7. WE STAND ON GUARD #3 (49:35) Brian K. Vaughan – w, Steve Skroce – a

Please share, please hire us, please talk to us or @robpatey or @mark_l_miller.



This week, Zentangler and more importantly mom for common sense, Cari Sultanik, #ASKSROB about this war on women of wonder and lunch: 

WONDER WOMAN LUNCH BOXRob, please help me understand why this Wonder Woman lunchbox has been banned from school because it promotes violence?

Is the definition of violent characters truly “those who solve problems using violence.” Who else would you suggest this school ban on this child’s lunchbox because they are “violent characters” by their definition?

Great Question Cari,

Let’s dissect the facts as reported by my nemesis at Comic Book Resources (I can’t deny it’s a better comic site than the one I write for, so I hate them).

Revealed on Imgur, a friend’s daughter received a letter from school stating she could no longer bring her Wonder Woman lunchbox to school as it violates the school dress code.

ROB RESPONSE: I AGREE! Lunch boxes will barely cover your child, and they chafe. No child should EVER wear a lunchbox to school. Isn’t there a charity stopping this act?

The real rub comes down to what the school defines as “violent characters,” which are “those who solve problems using violence. Super heroes certainly fall into that category.”

ROB RESPONSE: Oh, so this has nothing to do with modesty and shame and everything to do with schools now acting like Congress with piss poor tangential riders on bills or laws.

Wonder Woman does use violence to thwart violence. If you are abut to be punched you don’t pull posies out of your pocket (unless you are Zantanna and they have sleep spores in the posies). WE ALL USE VIOLENCE.

Does this lunchbox promote violence though? No, she’s smiling. This was a time Wonder Woman used smile, guile and pinup good looks to save the day. She also has used intelligence, cunning and quite recently the inbred female trait of hypocrisy to get Clark Kent to do as she says not as she does (it was an argument on whether you put all the toilet paper up or down on building they reconstructed after Parasite attacked).

Sounds to me like the school board and decision makers:

A) Get off on the power trip most educators like to have over weak minded children because real adults are too mean to work with HARUMPH!!!

B) Have a broad goose to gander policy on banning creativity and imagaanitive hope

C) Never read a fucking comic book in their life and get all of their info from the 700 club.

Violence simply is. We don’t need to promote it, we just got it as a species. I’ll never condone a picture of someone getting shot on a lunchbox, but a cartoon punch? Yea, I’m ok there. Is it violence? Sure. Is it violent? No. And you are nothing but a politically correct asshole too mired in black and white or yes and no thinking to live in a world I acknowledge. Certainly in charge of civic services.

Myopic. Stupid. Wrought with policies that trip over one another. Public Education (also most Catholic Schools at this point).

Sorry kids, we tried.



That’s’s right kids, another episode of your least favorite moment in audio and comic booking. Email comments and complaints to


AMBUSH BUG (MARK MILLER) AND I (ROB PATEY a.k.a. OPTIMOUS DOUCHE AIN’T IT COOL NEWS) embark on the following time coded journey.

  • Tweets & FaceBooks of the Week & Mini FABLES Review | 2:00
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #43 | DC Comics | Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok | 5:25
  • BOOK OF DEATH II #2 | Valiant | Robert Venditti, Robert Gill, Doug Braithwaite | 18:36
  • SECRET WARS BATTLEWORLD: HOUSE OF M #1 | Marvel | Dennis Hopeless, Marco Failla | 29:00
  • SECRET WARS BATTLEWORLD: HOWARD THE HUMAN #1 | Marvel | Scottie Young, Jim Mahfood |36:10
  • Christmas 1983 with Uncle Drunkel Miller | 42:50
  • SECRET WARS BATTLEWORLD: SECRET LOVE #1 | Marvel | Michael Fiffe (I), Felipe Smith (II), Jeremy Whitley, Gurihiru (III), Marguerite Bennett, Kris Anka (IV), Katie Cook (V) | 51:00
  • WELCOME BACK #1 | Boom Studios | Chris Sebela, Jonathan Brandon Sawyer | 1:01:00

Download to take with you EVERYWHERE!!!!!




A brief divergence this week from the usual Ain’t It Cool News Spoiler Alert review crew Podcast. Without our excelsior producer, JD, Mark Miller (aka Ambush Bug) and I gab endlessly about THE COVENANT #1, GROOT #1, MIDNIGHTER #1, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #1, BROKEN WORLD #1, OMEGA MEN #1, SECRET WAR #1, & AIRBOY #1! This week, we slathered on that sweet, sweet jack@$$ery extra thick free of charge!


Download with right click magic

ASK ROB RETURNS: The Rise and Fall of Superheroes

A college student looking for thesis quotes recently tapped into my comic knowledge and over opinionated word salad with these comic book conundrums:

  1. Do you believe the current influx of comic movies or superhero genre films is a fad or something that will continue for the unseeable future. If you think it will continue, do you believe the films continue to adapt over time, fitting the culture and evolving?
  2. Why do you think comic properties are suddenly becoming so popular and profitable?

rob-patey-sad-faceGreat Questions Little Fella,

The superhero has already become passé as we see from the struggle in the big two comic companies to support ongoing continuity of story and character. The Bible never reached issue 900, because as we saw from modern day Jesus, Superman, when a comic becomes that long in tooth the character must change. For the uninformed, Action comics 900 was bemoaned because Superman essentially said America could no longer be his chief interest when the world is so connected. 

While logical, this does break the very foundation of a character who was inspired to give us hope in the face of a great oppressor. In a world where terror reigns supreme, and our greatest fears are the unexpected, a mind reader serves as amore soothing balm than some man in his underwear willy-nilly scouting the skies for danger.

Even the Marvel characters, the baby-boomer contribution to Americana’s new titans, are feeling the buckle of age with their first reboot of time (after many undeclared ones over the years). What was once the hip and cool comic choice with; super-keen Spider-Man, groovy X-men and happening Hell’s Kitchen characters, and awesome Avengers are no longer needed when Nerds are now cool, different is now the norm and the powerful are the object of envy as opposed to inspiration. 

Do collars change the hero?

Superheroes are like zombies, vampires and every other blip on the radar of our existence, a coping mechanism. The cape arose as religion waned throughout the 20th century, to supplant our saviors and inspire the now watered-down term, “hope.” 

These super legends will wane, because if you transform too much, the metamorphosis births them anew regardless of branding.

As for delivery to the masses and a superhero summer movie schedule in the foreseeable future, what do you consider that time period to be? The marvel machine is scheduled into the 2020’s. When the X-Wing flies into a portal and crashes eon Graymalkin lane. hell they could go into the 2030’s. Then Warner Brothers needs to do their half-hearted competitive attempt at thwarting that revenue stream. They will throw at least a trilogy into the fray and given their slow dev times, those movies will chug past the teen years of this new millennium. 

On question two, Superhero movies have taken over the cinema, simply because of technology. For years I have tried to make others see a comic book come alive as I did when I was four and bought my first Richie Rich. Panels, words, images flow seamlessly and scream alive in the minds of comic readers; those of us who also read books and see the world come alive. 

Example of people with no imagination.

As a being who lives in imagination more than Jackie Paper’s friend Puff; words, images and movies are all the same experience for me. My mind is so jacked, I literally have a movie screen playing all day in my head.  Some, actually many people, can not take the same figurative leaps of imbuing life into story. For the spoon-fed of this world, the stories we have read for years needed computer graphics for the telling. Look at early CG, like the 90s Fantastic Four movies, and tell me if it was at all believable (even in the context of the time). Then look at the Fox attempt a decade later, with better graphics and you tell me which is more immersive and plausible. 

Fantasy is a hard aesthetic distance for many to cross, they keep it at arm’s length because it can never be. For those individuals, superhero movies are new and finally of interest. They are a crutch into a genre that would have been impenetrable when the stories were first coming alive on the page.  


SUPERMAN EARTH ONE 3 REVIEW (or how I learned to stop worrying about universal continuity)

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Adrian Syaf
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Optimous Douche (Rob Patey by birth and stuff)

For fast feasters who want the slugline before their lunchtime grab and quick gab store run, this quips for you:

“While the loss of Shane Davis for the more “grounded” (ZING) Syaf pencil of realism over hyper realism, it’s an exact match of tonality for the plot of Straczynski’s third foray into the hardbound full-arc world of Earth One.

About a year after the close of Volume 2 (comic time), Clark is still;

  • Career setting with the shit hours and anemic salary of a cub reporte
  • Juggling the jealousy of the twenty-something love triangle with Lois and himself in underarmor
  • Desperately seeking to dull his Kryptonian awesome so humanity isn’t a foreign species…
  • The object of affliction for Team Luthor (now man and wife instead of traditional bro and sis). These were the good villains this time, the ones driving sense, reason and pragmatic world mechanics I need to make the entire landscape worth of abandoning my aesthetic distance. Their love is hawt, their genius total science-fiction bullshit plausible (only Neil Tyson would get assed up) and motivation for going after Supes appropriately new age sociopath induced. Shame we end the book with only one left alive. Pretty baller though it was the one I wanted for fun in Volume 4. After all the female of the species is more deadly than the male. Said Rudyard Kipling, lead singer of the one hit wonder group “Space.” (little lesson how the class of 2030 will actually search engine cull answers with that joke).

 New threats come with:

  • Zod. Not a fan here. I will admit I am suffering from Wilfred Brimley levels of home delivery insulin for Zodabetes thanks to all the damn resets over the past decade. He’s bad, he always will be bad, for fucks’ sake why Zod why are you a boomerang. Outside of Terrence Stamp chewing the scenery in pleather parachute pants I have always been tepid to the oneness of him. JMS sweetens the well to deliver my #2 favorite rendition of this 2-D staple by making him an active participant in the E1 deliberate destruction of Krypton versus the standard natural disaster. Zod was in bed with Tyrel. Joe wrapped it in pretty prose, but given my girlish squeals towards other Zod can basically go fuck himself, glad he’s gone too.
  • World government cabal. Good call on taking a tip from New 52 Earth 2 on the inception of this pragmatic approach to governance with a populace that can cross borders literally by jumping. From the bible to Star Trek global unity will present itself when there is a sentient species different from us beyond skin color or proclivity towards hummus, weed, absinthe, communion wine or abstinence. A species gots to hate and Superman is a realistic target. Their use of the Luthors to devise a Superman stopper used the confrontation from volume one in well played comic continuity fashion (also Joe threw in some suggestive swinger ideas that were lady lady guy hawt). Only their acceptance of Zod when he offers a team-up made me lose respect. I really think he was an editorial force with the way the IQ points plummeted at the blind acceptance of an offer to side with a devil you don’t know versus a clearly powerful but innocent fresh doe. Yeah, Supes trashed Metropolis in Vol 1, but he was also grabbing kittens from trees and other good deeds soon after.
  • I like Lisa, I really do. Awesome Clark found the Pretty Woman who is more attractive and less grating than Julia Roberts in ever way. I can live with the slow burn Lois build. I totally dig Rumspringa, ask my parents about me taking the 90s to ‘matriculate” college. I…swear I am not a prude. I am also not a complete romantic like Clark and I have had my heart properly weathered by the sharper sex. He and Lisa cross past the friend zone, a task made much easier when Lisa discovers Clark’s work clothes. Sorry, I just can’t imagine a world where I could sit there and hear my significant other blowing a guy for rent and not feel inadequate over I may not be tipping as much as he does.

Notice my ordering there? My narcissism always puts random orders in the control of what resonates and affects me most. I played slapsies above and bitch “slapsies” with my actual review of “grounded” in SUPERMAN, but faults with that series were editorial and timing – not execution. Editorial knew the end was nigh so “rock out with your cock out” trumped a planned out schedule. SUPERMAN EARTH ONE has all of those great elements of Clark exploring his feelings for Lois without the editorial dive bombs of, “Hey Joe, can you have Supes skip over to Max Lord’s secret lair pick up Ted Cord’s brain and then do a vertical lift up to the Tower for a very special bedtime story about how Sue Dibney was whacked because Dr. Light perpetrated a crime of unspeakable assault on the soul.” All my words, not Joe’s in any interviews we’ve done.

MULTIVERSITY GUIDEBOOK COVERI meander because I know JMS cares about this craft, and really any fan of Superman has all they need with the concept of EARTH ONE: A-Listers running free. Quality is assured and if you have a modicum of fandom for the creators, the characters and/or faithful and clever refreshing of nostalgia any EARTH ONE title is a no brainer on a solitary read level. Light commitment so that the friend or co-worker who always goes, “wellll, I loved comics, but there’s so many, I don’t know where to start, my co-worker sits next to me and mumbles all day about mobile security and how his email box keeps flooding with poorly formatted emails every Tuesday at 4PM heralding marginal comic news for the next day…” Fine, parts of that are the poor data dude who sits near me, but any casual naysaying on commitment or confusion of continuity can be bludgeoned with EARTH ONES’ thick binding. SUPERMAN like BATMAN and TEEN TITANS also pays no lip service to its universal counterparts, so grab a Bat, Cape or Titan and don’t worry about missing any vital beats cause or cross sell performance objectives to feed larger KPIs.

Now let’s talk about EARTH ONE and CONVERGENCE

If you didn’t read MULTIVERSITY GUIDE BOOK go now. Convergence I believe will bring forth a world of 52 comics wherein the New 52 merely exists as the larger whole. EARTH ONE for the correlation challenged will be another sliver. Insert etc here for likewise on Capt. Carrot, tiny robot corpse toons, Batman Beyond and the Nazis triumphant universes.

We have all been led to believe a “sort of” lie in that the New 52’s mentally handicapped heroes were supposed to be granted the closest parking spot as main continuity because they are what being reborn a hero is all about. I can now appreciate its existence as the guidebook describes it for heroes in their prime, but not beyond the definition of puberty. Sorry, but there are no fine lines between inexperience and incompetence. Awakening does not absolve being an asshole. Danger from within is sometimes more palpable than from galactic Giants. Also, get your upsells to trades, cartoons, movies and paying the salaries for unimaginative minds in WB Frog Tux’s to gobble market demographic reporting out of my comic universe damn it.

I’ve known these “truths” for awhile now because I read a

Fuckton of comics and I work in marketing (The devil’s second favorite profession behind my second career choice of lawyer). Your lexicons to this revelation have been laid before you. There has been a multi demographic play at multiple wallets since Batman Beyond told kids to come back, we have a world where BATMAN’s back got better and Superman is not in an extended coma. Yay, some more revenue until Superman wakes up and the rest of the world thinks we don’t know the definition of dead…kind of like a child…kind of like rest of 90s world sees comic books.

I don’t hate the New 52, but it is an arid play at introducing super-heroics when held against the weightiness afforded Earth One titles because of instant arc gratification and being able to deliver whenever your artistic big guns damn well say it has reached perfection (and puny editors actually can cower in fear without loss of share holder value). SUPERMAN, BATMAN and TEEN TITANS are all true awakenings and we can grow with them in real time as I once did with Kevin Arnold on the Wonder Years. Earth One can pace slow burn because it is not the testing ground for the best selling monthly<Trade<Cartoon<TV Show<Movie Fodder formula or da cheddar as douche bags would call the ultimate goal of money. Ultron went from comic to movie fast, go look at sales charts of comics than my fellow fools of non-paid focus grouping to see why so much expedience up the revenue chain. Good businessmen, even businessmice always double down.

Rob Patey Comic MemeFinally, with CONVERGENCE and now Marvel awakening to the continuity conundrum of forever people, we are blatantly being told instead of absolute certainty of pivotal numbered issue consequence, “just go pick a fucking continuity and we’ll fill it with titles based on eeny-meenie-miney-mo of gun shy retail preview picks based on zero information unless you buy into a value-add marketing program with the distributor (I’ll write a separate post on that cardboard news-stand revenue tie to premium order placement and ultimate sales, let me know if you want to hear it).

Well, maybe Marvel will be safe since this is their first time letting the universe asshole completely prolapse before trying to shove it back in. The first repack is usually factory seal fresh like CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. It gets loser with each repack though and slips out more quickly and more often when abused. See how quickly we needed to have a CONVERGENCE tuck after the FLASHPOINT PROLAPSE. In

20 years Marvel too will just tell you to go read this new Earth 617 where X-Men now wheel chair race at the Xavier 55+ Community for Broke Ass Mutants.

Sorry for the rambling, but please see we are not only seeing story shifts we are seeing a dynamic sales shift affecting stories. The EARTH ONE in description in the guidebook is some nebulas shit about a newly forming earth that will cool with heroes who are new. In my mind this means they are amoebas waiting to become a multicellular organism…excuse me…a SUPER multicellular organism…or it’s a world every time Superman evolves Vandal Savage has already evolved and merely urinates in the life pool and keeps it all FOREVS EVIL by issue after issue of drinking and then eviling with his golden weapon of PH level off-setting.

See folks, when I can write that sort of off putting mental imagery about a story vehicle I adore at 3:00 AM in the morning when I have a 7:00 AM with APAC and I am still ready to hit the story in a zombie caffeinated fugue state, we and the companies have taken the demand for universal cross continuity beyond reality. Kennedy woke up America from la-la-land and WATCHMEN was our book repository of decloaking the tropes with too much clever irony to back to being able to ever believe in golden age ideals. Let’s remember simpler times in this new a la carte world before us instead of wishing for something we really can’t ever have again and probably wouldn’t want anyway. You know the shit would be polybagged with a cover where the artist can’t draw feet.

Comic Books: Are Gimmicks Grounding Story?



Dear Rob,
What’s your take on all the gimmicks coming out of DC Comics now?
 You seem to be a fan of DC but their constant stunts are killing me,  especially as I feel they are distracting from the core of what makes comics – good story. First a New 52.  Then 3d comic covers.  Then Selfie comic covers (!) and now a scratch and sniff comic (Harley Quinn). 
How about writing some good stories?  Wonder Woman and Batman (Maybe Aquaman) are the only characters that have managed to stay afloat in this new era of gimmicks.  Is there hope for change?

Great Question Foiled,

I’m taking this into two parts, because cover clusterfucks are a different situation than story!

On covers, c’ the fuck’ mon dude, you’re a fellow marketing wonk. Surely you know as well as I do that blurring the lines between quality of product, and presentation of that product are utterly independent factors. We know this because we do it every day for our masters. We don’t lie, but anyone wearing a marketing hat is most certainly an illusionist. Were this the 1970’s, one of us would have a pornstache and be wiggling our fingers like Doug Henning while the other one was picking audience pockets (or we could both have a pornstache, I didn’t mean to limit us).

DOUG-HENNINGAre we really going to begrudge our fellow marketing wonks at not just DC, but Marvel, Valiant and a million indies looking to scalp the same success? We get assed up because we love this hobby, but on the same token the marketer in me applauds each of these companies as kids and noobies come stare at these seemingly magic pages that move as you walk past. I’ll also admit, the comic collector in me becomes a bit less jaded as well because if this is the bait to widen our dwindling club, than so be it.

Now, I will says the chance of sustainable interest in the medium varies by cover:

  •  Valiant 8-Bit cover reminded them of Pitfall, will remember a time when people had to read for fun.
  • DC Pin-Up, Monster, Lego, Insert theme month here the person has a modicum of appreciation for art
  • Marvel Wolverine holo-foil will probably keep coming back every time a new Avengers trailer is released.
  • Looking to scratch and then subsequently sniff Harley Quinn’s beaver is the dude who walked in with his friend and will be blind from either alcohol poisoning or excessive masturbation shortly. Seriously those 4th wall breaking Harley Quinn one shots revel in awful…

So while the purist in me longs for a time back when covers were:

  • Indicative of the story inside
  • Not afraid to use a fucking word balloon
  • And were not a cacophony of color and needless posturing poses.

The marketer in me, the grown up, the suit, the man will not deny the numbers. Scott Snyder’s WYTCHES recently sold 90,000 copies with Image. JUSTICE LEAGUE 1 sold 350,000 copies. “Wytch” was the better story? It doesn’t matter. When you are battling icon to icon, noise and not substance is the key to swift movement.

Futures-End-Superman-1However, sustained interest and the making of comic collectors comes from quality serial storytelling,  and here is where I need to crash the second story in comic’s current house of cards. 

Comics are no longer printed for comics’ sake folks. When Gen X and before were kids, the sustainability of our favorite stories lived and died by how many floppies were sold. Today, floppies are R&D for the widening of dissemination into more lucrative revenue streams.

The fall of story for profit started with BATMAN BEYOND and trade pacing. If you look at today’s current universes and pacing of titles, the patterns are eminently obvious. We feel anemia in some issues because they are made purposely anemic to stretch out the page count. An editor must look at how these things will be collected for sale on Amazon since so few spinner racks exist anymore. It is the more portable and profitable means to an end. It is also a way to gauge the worthiness of content for animated cartoon, video game or the ultimate score of a movie.

If we look at MULTIVERSITY coming out of DC right now, it is truly the perfect follow-up to the decimation of the universe we saw in play four to five years ago around the time of FINAL CRISIS. The Monitors birthed 52 new worlds, which then instantly disappeared and turned into 52 titles about one earth.

Huh? Makes no fucking sense from a universal story perspective does it?

However, it makes perfect sense for a scared shitless Warner Brothers’ suit who got an M shaped pineapple shoved up their ass when the audiences didn’t give a rat’s taint about any of the 27 plot lines shoved into the GREEN LANTERN movie.

The New 52 was a lifeboat, not a rocket ship kids. As Mickey launches the Marvel brand into the billions of people served mark, DC needed to “youth”anise quickly or be euthanized by the WB corporate den of doom. Look at what changed and what didn’t. GREEN LANTERN and BATMAN were allowed to ignore FLASHPOINT because they were selling well and had movies in play. Look at the deluge of TV series that have come out from CONSTANTINE to GOTHAM. Each of these s steeped in the “freshness” of the New 52 to reach across the aisle at those who need imagination spoon fed to them.

MULTIVERSITY 1 COVERThis spoon feeding not only stymied the real DC New U of MULTIVERSITY, but has also obliterated an oft debated subject of tight universal continuity. With BATMAN BEYOND and the idea of series that live outside canon, publishers could ensure saturation into every demographic. Dark shit was going down in BATMAN during the late 80s and early 90s, and BATMAN BEYOND served up a younger dude who was way less morose and “deathy” than the days of broken backs and hunchbacks in the cave.

From that sincere broadening, we have the tainted “choose your own adventure” continuity we see today. Honestly, I truly believe I am a fool sometimes for reading as much of each universe as I do. Outside of Valiant, no one is doing a flawless cross. Now, DC takes the most hits because they made the most noise with their reboots. I look at Marvel as we close out 2014 though, and they are in just a bad of state as DC was pre September 2011. AXIS was a train wreck in a long string of who gives a fuck events this year that never interwove and now characters are being killed off for the sake of cutting off revenue streams from other studios. Wolverine is dead so that when Fox tries to do a movie in 2022, no 8 year old will know what the shit a Wolverine is.

I applaud the examples you used above for your vested DC interest. They are all great titles and if you look at each of them you will see they remained away from the taffy pulls of bringing the universe back to some semblance of good comic booking versus being a cross-media tentpole.

As for my coverage of books my formula is simple; “Review for those who care about what you say!” When I started reviewing comics for Ain’t It Cool seven years ago, DC showed an earnest interest in promoting my words and interacting with me on the then fetal social media channels. Geoff Johns would drop me a thanks for a review. Dan Didio accepted my friend request on FaceBook and I gathered some true fans for my work in their PR department at the time.

rob-patey-sad-faceDespite my reviews being an equal 33% DC, 33% Marvel and 33% Indie, it was always DC giving me feedback and asking for further reviews and forwarding .PDF comps. Marvel from creators to back office have never given two shits about my thoughts so I stopped trying. I’m not needy for affection, I am needy to effect change in comics. That only happens when the right people are listening.

The record will show, I have never pandered because of comps or favoritism. However, I will ALWAYS give you priority publishing the more time and money you spend in trying to get my attention. I may shit all over the book, which I have done from my beloved DC all the way to the ignore me Marvel, but I will cover it with keyword rich text for SEO awesomemsauce.

You say you want good stories, well then go write them my friend. I will never be arrogant enough to believe my views have directly affected the choices made in the industry over the past flew years, but I believe I helped trumpet a public zeitgeist of disdain for choices that helped all of our feelings be heard.

Find your story solace where you need. I recommend EARTH 1 for true impact and full Fryetag’s Pyramid for your money. You simply must wait forever between volumes. In the meantime go to Image. DC’s CONVERGENCE in April will be interesting. If MULTIVERSITY is to be taken literally, we could have a serialized version of EARTH 1 like titles in floppy form. Personally, that will be the end of my time with New 52 or Universe Prime as I believe it is now designated.

Marvel, I can’t tell you. They don’t want to talk to me. So…

Do you want to #ASKROB? Submit your questions in the comments or via email – because this is the face of caring!

THE GIFTED GRAPHIC NOVELS 1 & 2: Sentience, the burden of any beast

the-gifted-books-1-2-comicbook-graphic-novelTHE GIFTED BOOKS 1 & 2 (OGN) December 2014
Writers: Damian & Adrian Wassel
Artist: Nathan Gooden
Publisher: Creative Mind Energy
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool News)

THE GIFTED is simply not for every comic fan. As much as I enjoyed this journey through the first animal’s awakening of sentience, THE GIFTED triggered my inate emotions and beliefs rather than spoon-fed what my reaction should be. There are no words in THE GIFTED, which makes sense. When we first realized our existence outside ourselves, we didn’t say, “Oh, fuck I could die one day? And there’s a thing called the future? Fuck, I can die one day!” Instead, we like the creatures of THE GIFTED, reflected in our eyes the obligations and horror that come with even our limited understanding of this universe.

This is all me. What I saw as I looked at each panel of Gooden’s gifted charcoal landscape were my own beliefs that animals, especially dogs, have already made their first four-legged steps to understanding the abstract as well as the concrete. My long time fan will know that my spirit animal, my guide, my patronus to get into fantasy terms, is the Golden Retriever. My Politically Incorrect Golden stream on Instagram is proof that I consider my good boy Fergus, my son. Again, these are my beliefs that I would never be so brazen as to present as fact for all. I don’t shun any naysayers who look at me and go, “He can’t love you, it’s an illusion based on food and creature comforts.” I will however laugh in their faces when their spouse saunters up a minute later to snuggle in for warmth and then their kid comes up to ask for money for dinner. Ahhhh, amore indeed.

I have to dabble in thoughts and feelings for this review because to look at the plot, this would be a one-sentence wrap-up. “Wolf looks over horizon, wolf goes over horizon, wolf meets man, man is an asshole, and wolf finds other enlightened animals to get some payback.” THE GIFTED deserves more than this, perhaps not the animal rights debate I’m sparking above, but certainly more than a cursory sum of the experience. In all comics, each panel can and should tell a story. However in an age of grand events, universal collapses due to bad business decisions of the past, and the pursuit to squeeze every last dollar out of creativity by creating comics for cross media viability we have essentially lost the desire to innovate. Much like the modern societal norm towards everything, we gorge instead of taste and appreciate.

One cannot gorge on THE GIFTED. This review took me so damn long to complete from UPS drop off to publish, because I saw care and craftsmanship from all parties. I was not going to sully this hard work with a dial-in write up. I carefully looked in each panel for the spark of life to appear: The transition from animal tracker looking to fill its gullet, to tracker seeking a guide to the larger world. The transcendence of knowing that man is both friend and foe. Hell, simply the recognition of transcendence to ruling the world as opposed to simply being part of it and sharing that forbidden fruit of knowledge with others who are close to seeing the spark themselves.

This is my Rorschach interpretation of THE GIFTED, see what yours will be in December (or sooner, I don’t know. I can barely keep track of my own schedule, just go to the website).