Matt Martin

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HOUSEOFMThe “M” is for “Mediocre”

House of M #1 Marvel Comics – Brian Michael Bendis (w); Olivier Coipel (p); Tim Townsend (i) Well, I guess this means summer is officially here. DC started its tent-pole summer event about a month… [more]

Earthboy JacobusThe USMC vs. the Commie Space-Insects

Earthboy Jacobus Image Comics – Doug TenNapel (w/a) Earthboy Jacobus, the newest graphic novel from creator Doug TenNapel (whose previous works, Creature Tech and Tommysaurus Rex, were excellent), is an odd book to even attempt… [more]

Fantastic Four #527Optic Verve Strikes Back

Fantastic Four #527 Marvel Comics – J. Michael Straczynski (w); Mike McKone (p); Andy Lanning (i) I’ll be real honest: I’m not a huge JMS fan. The part of his work that the majority of… [more]

35715-5397-39882-1-sin-city-the-big-faA Trip to Sin City

Frank Miller is the man generally credited for taking Batman and returning the character to his roots (through his groundbreaking works The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One) as a take-no-prisoners hard-ass. For a… [more]

Avengers 500“Lacking on Every Level”

Avengers #500 Marvel Comics – Brian Michael Bendis (w); David Finch (p); Danny Miki (i)I almost didn’t review this, for a couple of reasons. Here’s the score: No matter what I say, for good or… [more]

Guardians 1Guardians: A Marvel #1 Worth Guarding

Guardians #1 Marvel Comics – Marc Sumerak (w); Casey Jones (p); David Self (i)Let’s be perfectly clear on one thing before we start: Marvel puts out entirely too many books in any given month and… [more]

Batman #629Batman Flounders, Richard Dragon Amuses, and Spider-Man 2 Gets Some Snarky Comments

Just a couple quick reviews and a little something “special” at the end this week. Batman #629 DC Comics – Judd Winick (w); Dustin Nguyen (p); Richard Friend (i) Gotham City’s criminal underworld is currently… [more]

The Gray Area #1The Gray Area in Black and White

The Gray Area #1 Image Comics – Glen Brunswick (w); John Romita, Jr. (p); Klaus Janson (i)John Romita is one of my favorite artists of the Silver Age. I’m also of the opinion that his… [more]

Ex Machina #1Getting Under the Hood of Ex Machina

Ex Machina #1 DC Comics / WildStorm – Brian K. Vaughan (w); Tony Harris (p); Tom Feister (i)I must say, I’ve been nervously looking forward to this book for the past two months. I’ve been… [more]

Superman #205The Fall of Hype: Astonishing X-Men and Superman

Astonishing X-Men #1 Marvel Comics – Joss Whedon (w); John Cassaday (a)Well, I can’t envision any scenario where this book isn’t the most reviewed title of the week from the online comics community; there’s just… [more]

adv of supeOf Adventures of Superman and Invincible

Adventures of Superman #628 DC Comics – Greg Rucka (w); Matthew Clark (p); Nelson (i)Y’know what I am so fucking sick of? Superman: The Indecisive Candyass. Last Son of Krypton? How about Last Hand-Wringing Pussy… [more]

Spider-Man #2Of Spider-Man and Action Comics

Spider-Man #2 Marvel Comics – Mark Millar (w); Terry Dodson (p); Rachel Dodson (i)Man, it is not often that I see a book transition from “promising” to “pointless” so quickly. To recap, last issue, after… [more]

Firestorm #1The New Firestorm

Firestorm #1 DC Comics – Dan Jolley (w); Chriscross (p); John Dell (i)It seems like everyone has been clamoring for a Firestorm relaunch for the longest time now. Frankly, I’ve never been able to figure… [more]

Spider-Man #1On Mark Millar’s Spider-Man

Spider-Man #1 Marvel Comics / Marvel Knights – Mark Millar (w); Terry Dodson (p); Rachel Dodson (i)It’s not often that I look at a solicitation text, roll my eyes and absolutely WANT to dislike a… [more]

Supreme Power #9Power and Masculinity: On Be a Man and Supreme Power

Be a Man Top Shelf Productions – Jeffrey Brown (w/a)Last year, Jeffrey Brown released Clumsy, his debut graphic novel (or rather, I think it’s his debut) through Top Shelf. It was an enjoyable read, in… [more]

Mighty LoveSweet Love, Suicidal Depression, and Racism

Mighty Love DC Comics – Howard Chaykin (w/a)Howard Chaykin seems to be one of those rare, completely polarizing figures in the comics industry. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who was familiar with his… [more]

Alpha Flight #12 March Comics

Alpha Flight #1 Marvel Comics – Scott Lobdell (w); Clayton Henry (p); Mark Morales (i)Alpha Flight is one of those titles that, during the periods that it’s not being published, people seem to think they… [more]

New X-Men #153New X-Men Feeling Old

New X-Men #153 Marvel Comics – Grant Morrison (w); Marc Silvestri (a)Well, it’s almost over. Grant Morrison’s semi-historic run on the formerly adjective-less X-Men is in the final stages, this issue being the penultimate moment.… [more]

4 #1More 11 February Comics

4 #1 Marvel Comics – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (w); Steve McNiven (p); Mark Morales (i) Not so long ago, the comic book market barely needed one ongoing Fantastic Four book. Suddenly, it needs three. So, based… [more]

Aquaman #15Aquaman’s New Direction

Aquaman #15 DC Comics – Will Pfeifer (w); Patrick Gleason (p); Christian Alamy (i)Ah, Aquaman. Monarch, superhero… subject of more failed relaunches than just about any other hero imaginable. At this point, there’s not much… [more]

300px-Coup_d'Etat_1Coup d’État: Sleeper

Coup d’État: Sleeper DC Comics / Wildstorm — Ed Brubaker (w); Jim Lee (a)Internet, prepare your flamethrowers. Ready? Here we go: This is one of the single dumbest comics I’ve ever read. And apparently I’m… [more]

Weapon X #16Optic Verve X-Travaganza!

Just for the sake of doing something different (y’know, like me reviewing more than one book a week), I thought I’d take advantage of the fact that four books with X’s in their titles all… [more]

planteary 18On Planetary #18

Planetary #18 DC Comics / Wildstorm – Warren Ellis (w); John Cassaday (a)Maybe you didn’t notice, but most mainstream comics stopped having letter columns on their back page a year or two ago. For a… [more]

Catwoman #26On Catwoman’s New Direction

Catwoman #26 DC Comics – Ed Brubaker (w); Paul Gulacy (p); Jimmy Palmiotti (i) Kinda torn here, to be perfectly honest. The thing that initially caught my eye about Brubaker’s Catwoman (because it debuted in… [more]

Robin121An Advance Look at Bill Willingham’s Robin

Robin #121 DC Comics — Bill Willingham (w); Rick Mays (p); Aaron Sowd (i)I’ve never made a secret of the fact that though my fanboy fanaticism rarely rears its head, when it does, it’s usually… [more]

Sgt._Rock_-_Between_Hell_and_a_Hard_PlaceAzzarello and Kubert’s Sgt. Rock

Quick apology to my folks at I’ve been basically without a computer for about the last ten days. First the Blaster worm took me down, and then Windows ME refused to reinstall my cable… [more]

Caper_Vol_1_1Caper #1 Reviewed

Caper #1 DC Comics — Judd Winick (w); Farel Dalrymple (a) In late 19th-century San Francisco, a random act of violence leaves two young, inner-city Jewish boys (Jacob and Isadore Weiss) fatherless and distraught. Faced… [more]

Sword of Dracula #1Optic Verve Spooktacular 2003

This column is published for one reason and one reason only: my girl’s favorite holiday is Halloween. Well, that and the fact that I’ve been looking for a reason to do a horror-themed column. Now,… [more]

Batman_620_coverComics Published 22 October 2003

Batman #620 DC Comics – Brian Azzarello (w); Eduardo Risso (a) Man, I love 100 Bullets. I’ve said it about a billion times before, but it is literally the book that made me start reading… [more]

Walking-Dead-1Comics Published 8 October 2003

The Walking Dead #1 Image Comics — Robert Kirkman (w); Tony Moore (a) I have no idea how I didn’t catch this book when it was solicited. I love Stephen King’s The Stand. It’s probably… [more]

Captain America #18Comics Published 24 September 2003

Going for three weeks in a row here. Pretty promising, if I do say so myself.There would probably be a lot more reviews here this week, except that I recently had to reformat my hard… [more]

gun Theory 1Comics Published 17 September 2003

Bit of good news (I suppose) for the readers (reader?): I quit my job.Which, naturally, means I’m back to managing the comic book store. Which, at least theoretically, means that reviews should be getting kicked… [more]

Fantastic Four 503Comics Published on 27 August 2003

Where have I been, you ask? It’s a long story, full of excuses and bullshit, but mostly, when you break it down, I’ve been lazy. I started a new job, one away from the easy… [more]

The Losers 1Comics Published on 25 June 2003

The Losers #1 DC Comics/Vertigo – Andy Diggle (w); Jock (a) There’s a trend in comics publishing to try and translate action flicks into comic books. I’m not talking about licensed properties or movie adaptations… [more]

Sleeper_Vol_2_6_Comics Published on 18 June 2003

Sleeper #6 DC Comics/Wildstorm – Ed Brubaker (w); Sean Phillips (a) Man, this book just breaks my heart. I say that about a lot of books and typically when I say it, it’s referencing the… [more]

Tokyo_Storm_Warning_1Comics Published on 11 June 2003

First off, I should apologize. I realize that there were no reviews this past week and that’s only partially my fault. Through what was nothing short of an outlandish amount of mistakes on the part… [more]

Inhumans 1Comics Published on 28 May 2003

Inhumans #1 Marvel Comics – Sean McKeever (w); Matthew Clark (p); Nelson (i) Another day, another new Marvel #1. I’ve got to say, it’s beginning to get a little repetitive, watching Marvel continue to simply… [more]

new mutants 1Comics Published on 21 May 2003

Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #1 DC Comics – Dan Slott (w); Ryan Sook (a) This is about the exact opposite of what I was expecting from this book. Your typical Batman-related mini-series is generally entertaining… [more]

powers 31Comics Published on 14 May 2003

OK, kind of an apology to start this column off. I know I was slacking for quite a few weeks there, only turning on a review or two. And then lately, it looked like I… [more]

Venom 1Comics Published on 7 May 2003

Venom #1 Marvel Comics – Daniel Way (w); Francisco Herrera (p); Carlos Cuevas (i) Another week, another Tsunami release (I know, I’ve not yet reviewed Runaways and Mystique; they were good though). I’m starting to… [more]

New X-Men 140Comics Published on 30 April 2003

Over the weekend, I read some things that I’d been meaning to get to. Hence, some of the reviews following are not of “new” books. They are, however, fairly recent, so I trust you’ll forgive… [more]

uncanny422Comics Published on 23 April 2003

Three Strikes #1 Oni Press – Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir (w); Brian Hurtt (a) Wow. I’ve gotta say, I was sorely tempted to just leave the review at that. Frankly, I think it might have… [more]

The Silencers 1Comics Published on 16 April 2003

The Silencers #1 Moonstone Books – Fred Van Lente (w); Steve Ellis (a) Moonstone Books is known primarily (at least to me) as a company that produces overpriced, but entertaining, black-and-white noir comics. Those same… [more]

Green Arrow 23Comics Published on 9 April 2003

Human Torch #1 Marvel Comics – Karl Kesel (w); Skottie Young (p); Joe Seung, Pierre-Andre Dery (i) Last week, I thought Marvel’s fledgling Tsunami imprint hit a home run with the debut of Sean McKeever’s… [more]

Wolverine X-Isle 1Comics Published on 2 April 2003

Wolverine: X-Isle #1 Marvel Comics – Bruce Jones (w); Jorge Lucas (a) Well, another day, another Marvel mini-series by Bruce Jones. The last one was Captain America: What Price Glory? and from what I read,… [more]

Zatanna Everyday MagicComics Published on 26 March 2003

First off, an apology to my readers: I’ve been a slackass lately. That’s all there is to it. Reviews have been less than prolific because, quite frankly, there just hasn’t been a lot to get… [more]

Batman Child of DreamsComics Published on 12 March 2003

Batman: Child of Dreams DC Comics – Kia Asamiya (w/a); Max Allan Collins (trans.) The key to a good Batman story, in my opinion, lies in the use of imagery. The notion that criminals are… [more]

Captain America What Price Glory 1Comics Published on 5 March 2003

Captain America: What Price Glory? #1 Marvel Comics – Bruce Jones (w); Steve Rude (p); Mike Royer (i) There’s a method to Marvel’s madness when it comes to their choice of characters to give miniseries… [more]

Amazing Spider-Man 50Comics Published on 26 February 2003

Amazing Spider-Man #50 Marvel Comics – J. Michael Straczynski (w); John Romita, Jr. (p); Scott Hanna (i) Y’know, everyone, it seems, has loved Straczynski’s run from Day One. Well, I haven’t. There, I said it.… [more]

Thunderbolts 76Comics Published on 19 February 2003

Thunderbolts #76 Marvel Comics – John Arcudi (w); Francisco Ruiz Velasco (a) Here’s the basic fact of this book, the way I see it: Thunderbolts is the new X-Force. Now, the real question is, what… [more]

The Courtyard 1Comics Published on 12 February 2003

The Courtyard #1 Avatar Press – Alan Moore, Antony Johnston (w); Jacen Burrows (a) When I pulled the stack of this book out of my store’s weekly shipment today, I had already resigned myself to… [more]

Fantastic_Four_Unstable_Molecules_Vol_1_2Comics Published on 5 February 2003

Rawhide Kid #1 Marvel Comics/MAX – Ron Zimmerman (w); John Severin (a) Well, it’s here. And since it is, people can finally stop saying “You can’t judge a book until it’s been released!” on message… [more]

The Ultimate War 3Comics Published on 29 January 2003

The Truth: Red, White and Black #3 Marvel Comics – Robert Morales (w); Kyle Baker (a) Man, it is such a pain to review this book. Because of the world we live in, there’s a… [more]

The Filth 7Comics Published on 15 January 2003

Optic Verve makes its triumphant (or generally unnoticed, depending on your point of view) return to the Internet, having taken the holidays off due to lack of Internet connectivity and a general plague of viruses… [more]

punisher-v4-19-2003Comics Published on 11 December 2002

Before I get started, a quick apology to the readers of these articles: this week was a really light week for me, as far as books are concerned. Even worse, next week looks to be… [more]

32-2Comics Published on 4 December 2002

I’m currently snowed in, so badly so that I almost didn’t go to work on Wednesday to get new comics at all. However, the time cooped up in the house should allow for a) lots… [more]

Three Days in EuropeComics Published on 27 November 2002

Hellblazer #178 DC Comics/Vertigo – Mike Carey (w); Marcelo Frusin (a) I’ve stated repeatedly my affection for Brian Azzarello’s work. The incredible job that he does every month (well, theoretically every month, since the book… [more]

31-2Comics Published on 20 November 2002

Daredevil #39 Marvel Comics – Brian Michael Bendis (w); Manuel Gutierrez (a) My goodness… this was absolutely fantastic. Daredevil is a book that’s been hit and miss for me over the past six months or… [more]

24-2Comics Published on 13 November 2002

Ultimate X-Men #24 Marvel Comics – Mark Millar (w); Kaare Andrews (a) There used to be a time that I really looked forward to Ultimate X-Men. During the first two story arcs, I think the… [more]

xstatix 4Comics Published on 6 November 2002

Powers #25 Image Comics – Brian Bendis (w); Michael Oeming (a) Periodically, I like to sit down and make a list of all the titles I buy, month to month. In doing so, what I… [more]

AUG021542_mComics Published on 30 October 2002

St. Swithin’s Day Oni Press – Grant Morrison (w); Paul Grist (a) This is sort of a first for me and the column: my first retro review. I thought it’d be a bigger deal, like… [more]

ff 62Comics Published on 23 October 2002

Fantastic Four #62 Marvel Comics – Mark Waid (w); Mike Wieringo (p); Karl Kesel (i) I’m really torn on this one, because I feel like I should be enjoying Fantastic Four a lot more these… [more]

The_Filth_Vol_1_5Comics Published on 16 October 2002

Spider-Man and the Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #3 Marvel Comics – Kevin Smith (w); Terry Dodson (p); Rachel Dodson (i) My opinion of Kevin Smith’s comic book career is a lot like… [more]

67932-6115-100930-1-strangers-in-paradisComics Published on 9 October 2002

Hunter: The Age of Magic #16 DC Comics / Vertigo — Dylan Horrocks (w); Richard Case (p); Steve Bird (i) Wow…Where to start? I’m rather torn on this one. There was a time, albeit rather… [more]

15-1Comics Published on 2 October 2002

Uncanny X-Men #414 Marvel Comics — Chuck Austen (w); Sean Phillips (p/i) After a while you run out of ways to say the same good things about the same books. I know that problem is… [more]

ff 61Comics Published on 25 September 2002

Before I start, a couple of items of business: I did in fact get a request for me to review Ultimate Adventures #1 and Marville #1, though I don’t think that request was made with… [more]

Cap MarvelComics Published on 18 September 2002

Before I start, there’s something I want to address. As you can see, my first review is Captain Marvel #1, the first issue of Peter David’s contribution to the Marvel “U-Decide” stunt. I thought, very… [more]

new x-men 132Comics Published on 11 September 2002

This past Wednesday was new comics day. It was also my birthday. It was also, as we all know, September 11. Much was made in the media, the American media in particular, of remembering the… [more]

new x-men 131Comics Published on 5 September 2002

As I understand it, this was supposed to be the famous “psychic cat-fight” issue that Grant Morrison promised in an interview several months ago. Even though that promise has proven to be hollow (though, given… [more]


Total Words for All Magazine Content: 143,281