Monday, March 15, 2010

Darker Image #1


It's only darker because you'll turn out the lights so that you don't have to read it.



61 comments:

BloodySharpie said...

This review seemed a little shorter than your other reviews (to me at least). O.o

Oh well, at least there's more 90's Kid. :D

PS- Get well soon!

Lewis M. Smith said...

You know it's bad when even 90's Kid thinks it's dumb.

All I can say is thank God guys like Robert Kirkman have turned Image around for the better.

Strannik said...

From what I understand, the series was called "Darker Image" because it was supposed to feature darker, more "mature" stories than what Image usually did back then.

As for Deathblow, I am personally kind of partial to the much-maligned Alan Moore version of the character, but that's a whole other bag of WTF.

MFlorian said...

It's weird that Maxx got so popular. What little I know of the concept makes no sense, either.

I think someone pointed out that Maxx, with his single claws, appears to be giving everyone the finger.

I can also understand the name "Deathblow", but it's still pointless.

What was the deal with Image comics, anyway? Did anyone think these stories and characters were good? Ever? It's just so much nonsense.

How did they manage to sell anything?

Evilkritter said...

You brought this upon yourself!

The phrase "with extreme prejudice" is often misused, tinting its meaning. Another way to phrase it would be "with extreme care", or "with extreme precision". So "terminate with extreme prejudice" would mean killing ONLY who/what you are supposed to kill, and nothing else. Now people use it to mean "use excessive force" despite that being contradictory to the original meaning.

Nice work on this review, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Damn, you dodged a bullet there. People frakking love The Maxx. XP

Have you ever read Youngblood Judgement Day? It was written by Alan Moore and it's a three-issue series of him taking a poke at Liefeld (with Liefeld's permission no less!).

Oh, and what do you think about the comic/movie Kick-Ass?

Sorry, last thing: did you know that The Incredible Hulk comics actually became lighter and softer during the 90s? Yeah, it still had the weird art style but ungodly weird muscles kind of work for The Hulk. Guess the writers were sick of doing dark depressing Hulk stories by the time the 90s rolled out.

Anonymous said...

i thought the whole point of image
was dark comics

SynjoDeonecros said...

From what I've been able to research, "terminate with extreme prejudice" is a play on the business term "terminate with prejudice", which means that the employer is letting an employee go without the possibility of being rehired by the same employer or for a similar job. So to "terminate with extreme prejudice" simply means that the person is not only fired from their contract and is not going to be picked up for future employment, but is also not going to be able to seek out any other employment, since they're, y'know, dead.

And "Deathblow" is a legitimate term; it's a mercy blow meant to finish off someone who is mortally wounded, but not dying any time soon. So, as a name, it would describe a character sent out to put certain individuals, companies, etc. that are dying out or aren't useful to the societal norms out of their misery. Though with Liefeld, I doubt it would've been that clever.

Allie said...

Don't you ever kind of wonder what the creators think of these comics now? I mean, I'm sure they still think that they are under-appreciated works of genius, but do you think the years of rotting away in comic book store clearance racks and constant mockery from sites like this have chipped away at that ego just a bit? God, I can only hope.

Anonymous said...

i've been following your show for a while now, and i have to say i really like it, so this isn't really criticism. but anytime you mention Image, you make a point to say something like "its cute that they try and make us beleive it all exists in the same universe with youngblood" or something along those lines. well, that actually seems like a good idea, to me anyway. what exactly is your beef with putting all these characters in the same universe?

also, great and funny review, as always.

Alex Sritar said...

So wait, both Lobo and Cable were in that comic? Why and how?

Image was trying a little to hard to make there comics exist in the same universe. What''s wrong with keeping them their own thing? Wasn't the whole point of Image comics being creator control? Wouldn't it be easier to control if they all exsisted as their own thing with maybe a small refrence to other titles? And what was with the POUCHES!?

Anonymous said...

Great as always :)

rizzo said...

I think I liked Maxx because it was the kind of series that kept you thinking it might have some answers next episode/issue. You knew it never would, but you'd have to check it out because it just might. It was definitely leagues deeper than any of the other Image stuff at the time, though I guess it's probably pretty pretentious in hindsight since it never actually went anywhere.
The other two were total crap. The best thing about the Cable cameo is that Rob just erased one of the lines of the X on his uniform and threw him in there...I bet it was a direct copy/paste job.

Great review as usual!

J. J. Ramsey said...

So that "I need scissors! 61!" line was from a game? I hadn't realized that when Spoony had said the line, he was making a reference.

CMWaters said...

Huh, and here I always thought The Maxx was just a TV series that was parodying superhero shows (ala The Tick, but even more WTFing...which considering some of the stuff from The Tick is a surprise).

The only reason I can think of why all the pouches is because the outfits that they wear don't have pockets, and they need to have somewhere to put their car keys and loose change. That doesn't explain the belts on the boots though.

As for Maxx's mask...while I have seen worse masks in wrestling, at least those masks were usually used for comical reasons and not a somewhat serious character like Maxx (somewhat being the operative word).

Incidentally, I know it would never happen, but I would love to know what an interview from you to Liefeld himself would be like.

And now a question (and I didn't look at your upcoming shows so sorry if it's there)...any new Top 15 lists coming up anytime soon?

Slade Dreizehn said...

I made a character that had a 'ship' that was a gun... okay, so it was more like a hover bike. Still, I think my idea was better only in that it was actually involved with the character's powers (though one could call bullshit on the sort of power she had ^_^ )

for those interested: http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h55/SladeThirteen/heartslines.jpg

... T3T now that I look at it again... Dear god, I must have been channelling liefeld... oh wait, no. more 'anime/manga' then jackass. (ala junk force and the like).

Anyhoo, great work again, lInkara.
I always get something out of every episode.

this episode's leason: The Hair, man, The Hair!

Chaltab said...

Some great jokes, if still a bit heavy on the nerd-rage towards the end.

What makes me scratch my head is how did these people not understand that Lobo is a parody? Everything about him is over-the-top ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

wanted to see you reviev this for a while!

James said...

I thought this was okay, though it seemed to be a little lighter on jokes and heavier on nitpicking. Though the jokes you did use were hilarious.

Cutie said...

alright a new episode!

Cameron said...

Awesome. You did a comic i own. ok, maybe not awesome. i'll go with sad.

Mags said...

Gnnh! Aaaahhh... you just had to play "Happy happy joy joy" in this video, didn't you? I can't stand the song yet I know it will be on constant loop in my head all week. This sir, means war. Now where did I put my war pouches?

Death... Blow... really? I'm very tempted to make a dirty joke, but I don't think you'd like that.

I don't know why, but I expected Linksano to show up at the end. Speak of the devil, has anyone drawn fanart of him yet? I'm tempted to draw some myself, but I'd like to do a full body drawing. I only know what he looks like from the waist up at this point. Care to fill me in?

Radar said...

Bloodwolf Mormon hunter!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Dallas in California?

Mountain King said...

What is with the 90s and this ludicrous trend to give everyone "gunz" three times bigger than someone's head? Is every character, and I use that word so loosely I'd be surprised if it could ever be applied to anything again, over compensating for the obvious cliché?

It's no wonder almost no one from those times have survived, it's a wonder comics weathered the decade. pointless comic, fun review.

Mountain King

PS I was looking up the wiki for The Maxx just as you said how confusing it was. Your right, it makes almost no sense and the clips from the cartoon remind me of Aeon Flux. Another example of the "We'll confuse you to the point of insanity and then say if you don't like it it's just because you're too dumb to understand" story telling used in the late 90's.

Travis said...

I have a collection of the first 5 or so issues of Savage Dragon. I thought it was pretty cool except the final issue where a Savage Dragon falls in love with a woman, sleeps with her, and she's then shot and killed the next morning.

The comic had some good points though. I liked concept of a super hero working as a police officer, and the amnesia plotline could have made for an interesting story. Though, according to wikipedia, his orgins were never explained until 2005 and sound really dumb.

Anyway, I was wondering if there were any Image series you like or liked when you were younger.

TheGoose said...

Linkara, have you ever thought of doing your own comics podcast?

I've never read the Maxx, but I am interested in reading it. I've heard Sam Kieth is a great writer and artist. Also, I've hes done a good job writing interesting women characters.

Rattrap007 said...

good review man. But you missed a reference. Seinfeld had an episode where they are going to see a movie. The made up title of the movie is "Death Nlow"

Falcovsleon20 said...

Y'know, with all these reviews Linkara has been doing of Image comics, I just thought of something. Didn't Image do a crossover with the Archie comics-verse version of Sonic the Hedgehog at one point? Sounds like that would be a good choice to rip a new one, doesn't it?

BTW Linkara, I share your opinion on Maxx. It IS weird. And this is coming from a guy that understands (well kinda) 12 Ounce Mouse of all things.

Axel IX said...

DEATH BLOW!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkwJ_Iyvilk

ShadowWing Tronix said...

"From what I understand, the series was called "Darker Image" because it was supposed to feature darker, more "mature" stories than what Image usually did back then.

...

I'm not sure that's possible. Then again, the last Image comic I picked up was G-Man, which unless they produce another mini will probably BE the last Image comic I pick up. :) G-Man was awesome!

Jer Alford said...

BTW, the complete Maxx animated series is now available on DVD exclusively on Amazon.

Hebe said...

Wouldn't you rather all the stupid be contained in a single universe? It beats multiple stupid universes, I think, and makes a certain amount of sense.

Paul S. said...

I remember how "Darker Image #2" used to be something of a running gag in Wizard Magazine where at one point they printed a history of Image comics saying something to the point of "8 years and no sign of Darker Image #2."

I'm kind of disappointed you didn't try doing The Maxx's voice from the MTV show.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

"Y'know, with all these reviews Linkara has been doing of Image comics, I just thought of something. Didn't Image do a crossover with the Archie comics-verse version of Sonic the Hedgehog at one point? Sounds like that would be a good choice to rip a new one, doesn't it?"

I actually have that one (one of the "Sonic Super Specials"), and it actually isn't that bad, as crossovers go (so judge on a curve). You do have some kind of Fox and Mulder analogs trying to find out what the Sonic cast was doing in the Image Universe, which was silly. They used the current "kid in armor" version of Shadow Hawk (although it didn't seem to be possessed like I've seen in previews for the actual comic), Spawn has "there to be there" cameo, which seems odd for a kids comic...all said, it wasn't a horrible story. I'm not sure it's actually AT4W-worthy.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Deathblow a Wildstorm character?

MintWhelp said...

Obviously, that Blood Wulf... Blud Wolf? Blud Wulf? Erh, him, he's Vegeta's secret idiot brother, hence the upstraight hair and giantic widow's peak.

And of course, as a bureacrat, Seymour needs as many pens, clippers, erasers and staples as you humanly can, hence the pouches.

I bet he can arm a full copier from all the spare part he's got there.

Truly a hero of any pencil-pusher.... if he didn't die, of course.

Actually, I guess the comic world needs a Super Bureaucrat... OK, not really, but taking in mind the most dumb ideas of the 90s, I can't see why that one didn't exist.

rdfox said...

...so I'm the first to wonder if Rob named Deathblow, given how close it is to, y'know, DeathSTROKE?

Mel said...

Wow, I knew nothing about this comic, but I knew just by the tone of your voice it was Liefeld.
The part where 90's Kid says he wishes thta Blood Wolf's mohawk should be a weapon- freakin' hilarious.
And just because I'm a nerd, Strong Mad from Homestar Runner dressed up as The Maxx for Halloween one year. That's all I know about The Maxx

Strannik said...

What was the deal with Image comics, anyway? Did anyone think these stories and characters were good? Ever?

Oh yeah. The letter columns and all the hype over Image United proves as much.

How did they manage to sell anything?

Because, when they were released, they were new, innovative and edgy. It's hard to see it now, but I can definitely see how it appealed to 90s teenage boys. By all contemporary accounts, most of the Image fans that showed up at conventions were younger fans who were just getting into comics, which is why DC and Marvel was so keen on emulating the Image style. Now, lots of those Image fanboys are writing well-regarded superhero comics. Just ask Robert Kirkman.

...so I'm the first to wonder if Rob named Deathblow, given how close it is to, y'know, DeathSTROKE?

It wasn't. It was Jim Lee's character, and he was the one who came up with the name and initial concept.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Deathblow a Wildstorm character?

Yeah, but at the time, Wildstorm didn't exist as a publishing label yet. This was back when Image creators actually tried to maintain a cohesive shared universe, so they emphasized Image as the brand over their own individual studios. Of course, this didn't really work on the long run. Each Image creator wanted to do their own thing and, slowly but surely, each creator his own sub-universes. This is when each creator started to labeling books with the names of their studios. In Jim Lee's case, it was Wildstorm (after his two flagship titles (WildC.A.T.s and Stormwatch). Eventually, he sold all the characters that fell under Wildstorm banner to DC Comics, but that's a whole other can of worms.

Anonymous said...

Actually I think Deathblow had a semi-interesting concept of a grizzled soldier who's risking it all because he's going to die soon and happens to live in a world of super-powered people.

As for The Maxx, I think its weirdness appealed to people, especially oddball, outcast teenagers like myself at the time.

Anonymous said...

The Maxx's inner monologue is supposed to be self important in a "I'm the protector of the Leopard Queen!" sort of way. Then to actually subvert the usual cliche pretentious inner monologue he says them aloud. It's just as strange the other characters as it is the the reader.

The weirdness is probably unpalatable to a hardcore superhero genre fan, one of few cult comic books out there.

anthony said...

Was wondering when you were going to get to the Maxx. Best way the Maxx could be described as, probably near the end of the series, as World as Myth, an idea created by Robert A. Heinlein; or perhaps the Maxx could be something out of Philip K.Dick.

According to the commentary in book one, Sam Keith admits that Maxx is the worst comic he drew and didn't even know what Bill Messner-Loebs or he himself was writing! Also Alan Moore worked on an issue of the Maxx. Check out Sam Keith's other work such as Four Women and Epicurus the sage(also by Bill Messner-Loeb).

Dan said...

I think one of the best commentaries on the 90s Image comics comes in the form of Stormwatch Vol. 2, where Warren Ellis basically in-narrative rips on all the crappy Wildstorm characters.

Good video!

:)

AM

Hound_bound said...

Well, much as I enjoyed the review I cannot help but notice that there was nothing approaching an interesting story in any of those three mini-stories. Books like this make me wonder if "editor" isn't a decorative title rather than a functional one...

Jessica said...

not one of your better reviews Linky, but I blame it more on the source material rather than the reviewer yourself, can only do so much with mediocre crap

funny thing is I had a dream last night were I said the exact same to you, only you had a mullet

caswin said...

Maybe I'm just in the right mood, but I actually thought many of these comics had potential... at least at first. The Maxx genuinely seemed funny, but by all accounts, it branched way, way off. I don't know what to think about Deathblow (although I'm pretty sure that is a legitimate noun), and... okay, any potential Bloodwulf had was squandered by the second page.

Wait, what universe does Bloodwulf in, anyway? We have Lobo, Cable, and... Youngblood references... which means... wait... head... imploding... eyes... going first...!

Frankie Addiego said...

I didn't notice if anyone else mentioned this, but wasn't "Deathblow" the movie Jerry bootlegged in that one Seinfeld?

Mela said...

As for The Maxx, I think its weirdness appealed to people, especially oddball, outcast teenagers like myself at the time.

Same here. I loved it as a high schooler, was convinced that I "got" it, and so on. Now, I'm pretty sure it was just the insomnia and my natural enjoyment of all things bizarre & surreal. Kieth does a lot of that stuff, but it generally got better after "The Maxx" because he gave it more character resonance (heck, I found "Zero Girl" genuinely touching). Still, the TV show gave me the line about the Great Leaping Slug ("It has no natural predators - it's just stupid." SPLAT!), so I can't hate it. I'm fine with surrealism for its own sake so long as people don't get their arrogant intellectual on trying to find deeper meaning and insist that you're dumb if you don't. And this is from an English major. ;p

Shoemaker's Holiday said...

If Bloodwolf blew up the space station Cable and Lobo were on... does that mean that Liefeld casually killed what I'm told are two of the only good characters to come out of the Dark Age?

NGT said...

Wait, is the girl in the red dress supposed to be the girl from The Maxx? They don't appear to be the same girl, their hair is longer and differently styled. They do have the same sense of low-cut bottoms, though.

Bloodwolf's hair is styled by his pope hat. See, he used to be the High Somethingy of the Triple Fish, but Lobo stole his hat for his appearance in 52. (Seriously, it's exactly the same shape.) I'm not actually upset by the whole weaponized ship exhaust; that's a common hard sci-fi concept, because it could easily work.

I don't know, I rather like the name Deathblow...though not really in this context. (No, I'm not being defensive! You saw nothing regarding the ultimate in personal weaponry in a MGLN setting!...need to be more convincing with that huh?) The problem with it here is that it's not descriptive. The guy has already demonstrated he's not deserving of the title by failing his first shot at a freaking drug cartel. I mean we're not even talking a governmental organization it's a freaking drug cartel and you're not concerned with the rule of law anymore so it ought to be easy to just nuke the higher-ups and let middle management self-destruct the organization through infighting.

Will Staples said...

To be fair, I think "Maxx"'s popularity was because of how weird it was, not in spite of it. It seems like the very definition of a cult series.

Which is not to say I understand it, either.

batpawn said...

I think it might help everyone who's weirded out by "The Maxx" to read this tremendous interview with the fantastic Sam Kieth. You'll see that there is much more psychological and romantic pathos behind it than one might think. Although I definitely agree that some people interpret much more behind it, than there really is. Still, in it's core, it's just an adorable love story.

You all might be interested to check out Kieths other popular comicbook series "Zero Girl", although you should be warned, there is lots of adult content inside of it. In my opinion, it's Kieth's best comicwork to date.

http://www.sequentialtart.com/archive/dec01/kieth.shtml

Angela said...

Someone probably beat me to it, but... basically Lobo Ripoff had a quest to turn in with that guard, just forgot. /warcraftnerd

Anyhow, I always liked the Maxx cartoon as basically being trippy and about mental illness, depression, and psychosis. Am not at all weirded out or upset when others can't stand it or find it just too weird. (And I never did read the comic, I think because the other stories made me go "Bwahuh?" so much.)

Matt said...

I actually own this comic, found it at a "book riot" (fund raising thing, where people sell old books), I saw it was 25 cents and dated 1993 and thought "Wow! An old comic in mint condition, that could be worth something!"

Then I saw it was classic 90s Image grimdarkness.

:(

At least Image is better nowadays...

QuetzaDrake said...

Was going through all of AT4W again out of boredom and I just wanted to make a quick comment to say, wow, noticed that there was some EARLY name/plot-dropping here.

"His Vyce is Conquest", indeed. ;)

Ming said...

Looking at this comic, among other bad comics like Rob Liefeld's Youngblood, all I can say is "Thank God for cool and awesome stuff like Invincible and The Walking Dead."

Jesse Herndon said...

Oddly enough, in the Lobo monthly book about a year after this came out, they parodied Bloodwulf with a character named Bludhound. He suffered from a terminal illness called, you're gonna love this, ROB'S DISEASE, causing his body to vary in proportions widely.

Here's the cover:
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/1812/102603-18356-107714-1-lobo_super.jpg

JerryScott said...

DEATHBLOW! When someone tries to blow you up, not because of you you are, but for different reasons all together! (Seinfeld reference)

PR Thornton said...

Deathblow is now part of the DCU, and you know you've got a stupid name when even Superman, the nicest guy on the planet, mocks it. From Superman Annual #1:
Superman: Grifter, take your friend hiding in the rafters--
Deathblow: Deathblow.
Superman: Seriously?
Funniest line in the comic, especially after seeing this review.

Mateja Kovač said...

Air Whale? First thought: the Wind Fish from Link's Awakening :B