Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #80

Mon, December 14th, 1998 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

MARVEL'S JAMES BOND

...and, no, I don't mean the comic series based on the short-lived James Bond Jr. cartoon. Nope, I mean Kurt Busiek's IRON MAN. Tony Stark is just James Bond with the uber-gadget: The Iron Man armor. He jet sets around the world, gets the beautiful women, lands himself in trouble, and uses sophisticated gadgets. Stark is, I dare say, a bit smarter than Bond. But Bond holds his liquor better.

IRON MAN #12 is a pretty darn good wrap-up to the first year's storyline. We even get the return of Rumiko, the Bond girl from about issue 4 or so! Yay!

Sean Chen's art is, while a little off in spots, still nifty. He gets the story told, which is all that counts. It's really important in a double-sized issue like this, after all, which is a lot of talking heads.

I REMEMBER WHEN. . .

When I first started reading comics back around 1989, it was predominantly Marvel Universe comics. Spider-Man, Captain America, the Avengers. And I was brought back there this past week by Erik Larsen in WOLVERINE #133, in which a whole lot of forgotten Marvel heroes show up to try to beat up the out-of-control Wolvie. This includes Solo, a character Larsen created, and even Cardiac, who I believe Mark Bagley created with David Michelinie when they worked together on AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. It might have been Larsen, though. I'm a bit unsure.

The plot itself is something horribly cliched and straight out of a bunch of older comics, and even a Star Trek episode or two, most likely. But Larsen pulls it off with a sense of humor, drama, and a lot of dark fun. There's also a neat little twist at the end of the issue as we discover who the prison warden is. Very nicely done.

Jeff Matsuda's art gets better with each issue. His stuff leaves room for the colorist and inker to work. It's not overly cross-hatched. It's cartoony, with lots of action.

NEWHOO! NO MORE

Last month, Netscape bought out NewHoo! and renamed it the Open Directory Project. Basically, it's like YAHOO!, but in the open source vein. Instead of using a central group of people to edit and organize the links like Yahoo! does, the OSD uses volunteers. Currently, there are over 5,000 people working on this project. This allows the number of editors to grow as the web grows, thus scoping better than something like Yahoo!. It allows people who are knowledgable and interested in a given topic to be editing the listings, and thus providing a better perspective on the list of links. Overall, it's just a darn good idea.

And I signed up last week. I'm editing or co-editing a couple of sections, but the one most relevant to PCR would be Arts/Comics/Reviews. I like to think it's something I have some vague knowledge of. I had more review links in my bookmark file than the ODP had listed total, so it seemed like a good category for me to take on. I wanted to invite all of you to come visit it at

http://directory.mozilla.org

and suggest any links I may have missed. After all, like much of the web, it relies on a certain community spirit to make it work.

And in case you're curious, I'm also co-editing the brand-new Home/Entertainment/DVD, Arts/Comics/Fanware/Image, and Shopping/DVD/Region 1 sections. The Image Fanware page will be undergoing a massive facelift when Wildstorm defects to DC officially at the beginning of the year.

So please come and visit, suggest any links you might find missing, and join up.

You should also start to find buttons to NewHoo! popping up around the pages on the PCR web site. It will be the exclusive search engine supported by PCR. (Yeah, I know, big whoop. =)

(Actually, the more I think about it, the more I'm unsure: It may still be called NewHoo! But the newhoo.com URL links to the mozilla.org site, and all the banners call it Open Directory Project.)

UNREAD BY MILLIONS

I write a weekly review column, but I've barely read any comics lately. I've been holding TRANSMETROPOLITAN back until the current 6 part "Year of the Bastard" storyline ended. Now that it has, I should go back and read it. I have a pile of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS & STORIES and UNCLE $CROOGEs sitting in a box, unread. I just haven't been in the Duck mood lately. And continuous rumors of the line's impending demise doesn't help any.

LOBO is officially dead. I wasn't a regular reader, but it was enjoyable. The good news is that Keith Giffen, creator of Lobo and sometimes contributor, will have anew book out from DC early next year which I'm looking forward to. It's called VEXT, I believe.

DEAD-POOL is rumored to be dead. If so, that's a shame. A damn crying shame. I'd give up all the rest of the X-Books before I gave up that one.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: SENTINEL OF LIBERTY is likewise rumored to be canceled, but I probably won't miss it all that much if this rumor does pan out. The first issue was great, but the rest since then haven't been anything to drive to the store.

I haven't read anything past chapter two of the "Search for Xavier" storyling running in X-MEN and UNCANNY X-MEN. I'd drop the books when Seagle and Kelly leave them, but for the fact that Alan Davis will be drawing a few next. I'd buy the phone book if he illustrated it.

Chris Bachalo's art has really started to bug me lately. I've tried to be supportive, but it's just gotten ugly - a cruel parody of itself, or at least how I remember it as once being.

Adam Kubert's art, though, is brilliant.

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