Friends, heroes, villains – lend me your ears!  I bring you tidings of yet another comic review column!  But since I’m writing this, it makes it all that much better.

So I’m TJ and I am the newest member of the Ideology of Madness writing staff.  I figured I would take this first issue to tell you a little about myself and what I’ll be doing.  First, I am a geek – like my father before me, with all of the the power and responsibility that entails.  Mainly, I think it means that I’m supposed to act like an ass whenever “geek” news comes out, but honestly, I can never muster up the energy.  The other thing I’m supposed to be good at is introducing people into the wonderful world of spandex and capes – especially now with superhero movies being so popular.  I try to do that as much as I can and from time to time, I’ll point out a book or an issue that is a great jumping on point for readers.

Each week, I plan to give a rundown on the books I have read, giving my opinion (sometimes loudly) and a rating.  I’ll get to the ratings in a minute, I think you’ll enjoy them and that they are a least a little unique.  This won’t be every book that came out that week  – I don’t have that kind of time or money or drive.  It may also be a series that I’m catching up on, so I might review issues one through whatever all at once.  And you also might get the occasional book that I missed last week, but picked up this week.

I will also talk about the news – each week, I will give a rundown on important things that I think happened this week.  I will not comment on rumors – so unless it’s been confirmed that Tom Hardy is going to play Nova in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I won’t say anything about it.  And how do we know it’s been confirmed?  When the studio or the actor says “Yes, that’s happening” in a non-sarcastic tone of voice.  I will also try to keep up with the latest announcements from the major studios, but God only knows how hard that is these days.

In addition to the news and reviews, I’ll have two more sections in my column: Chopped and In Memoriam.  Chopped will be those series that I’ve given up on – they may be really bad or just not for me.  Either way, I will no longer be reviewing them.   In Memoriam, on the other hand, will commemorate those books that left us too soon… or stuck around way too long.  These books were cancelled by their publishers and will no longer be around.  I’ll give you an issue count, a start and end date, and an overall rating on the book.

Now, on to my rating system!

VillanWorking from the bottom, we have: THE VILLAIN.  Books with this rating are so bad, I wouldn’t recommend them to is my worst enemy.  So why am I reading it?  Well, it was probably a tie in to something else or one random issue that was just really bad.  If it’s an ongoing that gets two of these in a row, you can almost bet that it won’t be on the list next month.  That being said, I will try not to give rating this to many books, it’s the nuclear option that you just don’t want to pull out.  But sometimes there’s a book that just deserves it (cough, cough – All-Star Batman).


Anti-HeroNext up is: THE ANTI-HERO.  This is a book that I didn’t care for or is just annoying enough to talk about.  Individual issues are more likely to fall into this category than anything else or maybe “event” books that are heading on that inevitable downwards spiral.  Other people might find these books enjoyable, but they’re just not working for me.  And this is where I’ll let you know why.  Books that revolve around anti-heroes like The Punisher (which I actually haven’t read the latest run of) or Mr. Fraction’s run on Hawkeye (which I just don’t get the critical praise for) are great examples of this.


SideKickAfter this comes: THE SIDEKICK.  Sidekicks are books that are simply ok.  They’re not good, they’re not bad, they’re not weird – they just are.  They have taken shelf space in your local comic store and that’s really all they’re good for.  If you have it in your pulls anyway or you’re a fan of the character or concept, you’ll probably pick it up without really thinking about it.  But if you miss it, you most likely won’t even realize it until the next issue comes out.  I enjoy books enough to keep picking them up, but not enough to keep talking about them.


HeroNow we have: THE HERO.  These books have everything going for them – good writing, good art, a good team with a solid grasp of the character.  These books are worth your time and money and should be read.  They may not be instant classics, but they are probably the best on shelves this week.  A series that gets this rating is well worth the money.  And some of the best examples of this are Batman, Superman, Avengers, and New Avengers.


SupermanThe top rank, though, that all books should aspire to in my system is: THE SUPERMAN.  Even those that don’t like him can acknowledge the impact that Superman has had on the industry (like creating it for example).  He is the example that all other heroes strive for and when their books achieve it they need to be recognized.  Comics that get this rank are the best I’ve read and you should be reading them.  If you’re not, you’re missing something truly incredible.  Like THE VILLAIN, not many books will get this rating, but some are truly deserving (like All-Star Superman or The Multiversity).

There is one more rank that I’m going to be using.  This rank will be even rarer than even THE VILLAIN or THE SUPERMAN ranks.  You may even forget it exists sometimes.  This rank will be solely reserved for those books that just defy logic.  These will be books that I’ve read multiple times and still just don’t get.  I’ll let you determine if that’s good or bad, but for me they were just so far out there, I couldn’t put them in any other rank.  I will call them: MR. MXYZPTLK.

So, that’s it for this week.  I didn’t want keep you for very  long this time – I just wanted to give you an idea as to what to expect from me.  Next week, I’ll post my first set of news, reviews, and other things.  Until then: KLTPZYXM!


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