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TONY'S ONLINE TIPS
The After-Poll Report (04/02/02)

You may have noticed there were no new questions posted on the TONY POLLS page this past Sunday. The cause of this was equipment failure; I was under the weather last week and my computer decided it might as well get sick, too. Everything and everyone was up and running by Friday, but I opted not to play catch-up.

Today, you're getting the after-poll report you normally would have gotten on March 26...while the poll questions which were posted on March 24 will remain active for an extra week. We will have new questions on Sunday, April 7...and a new after-poll report the following Tuesday.

Here are the results of the TONY POLLS questions which posted on March 17, garnished with a bit of commentary by yours truly and served with a dessert of your e-mailed comments.

******

The big news that week was Peter David's open letter to Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada where he offered to write CAPTAIN MARVEL for next to nothing to prevent a price increase. Were you buying the title previously to this?

No.....114 votes (62.98%)

Yes.....67 (37.02%)

I haven't been buying CAPTAIN MARVEL or, for that matter, many Marvel titles. But I have a friend who buys most of them and then lends them to me to read.

******

If you answered "no" to the above, did Peter David's letter make you decide to sample CAPTAIN MARVEL?

No.....82 votes (70.09%)

Yes.....35 (29.91%)

I voted "yes" on this one. In fact, I plan to read David's run of the title to date AND order subsequent issues.

******

Do you think Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada should accept Peter David's offer?

Yes.....127 votes (74.27%)

No.....44 (25.73%)

As we now know, Jemas and Quesada turned down David's offer AND agreed to hold CAPTAIN MARVEL at its current price. I thought that was way cool of them until Jemas added the bit about writing a new Marvel book called THE MARVEL to compete with David's series. After six months, the poorer-selling of the two titles will get the ax. In other words, what I thought was the Marvel brass showing a bit of welcome support for a talent who has been part of Marvel for close to two decades has been revealed as another Jemas side-show. I shake my head in disappointment.

Jemas and Quesada have done a remarkable job in turning Marvel around. There are more good Marvel books now than there were a few years ago. Why they feel the need to pull this "we're so bad" kind of stunt over and over again is beyond me.

We know Jemas can talk trash, but his abrasive style isn't why the readers are buying Marvel books. They are buying them because they enjoy them. All the juvenile antics accomplish is to turn off other readers who might otherwise be more favorably disposed to buy Marvel books.

What's the goal here? Producing good comics that sell well? Or feeding executive egos?

If Jemas has a terrific idea for a new comic book, more power to him. I'd love to read it. But if it really is such a terrific idea, why does he need this stunt to sell it?

Anyway, getting back to the actual question, I voted against Jemas and Quesada accepting David's offer. I don't like the idea of writers taking pay cuts on work-for-hire assignments under any circumstances, especially for a company which doesn't have a great reputation for rewarding such loyalty.


******

Would you continue to buy a title you enjoy if its price was raised a quarter?

Yes.....173 votes (95.58%)

No.....8 (4.42%)

I voted "yes" on this one and wasn't particular surprised by the outcome of the vote. My readers tend to be older and a tad more affluent than many comics fans.

We may be old fogeys, but we have money and we're not afraid to spend it. A word to the wise.


******

Which of these Peter David comics titles is your favorite of his comics writing?

Incredible Hulk.....58 votes (33.72%)

Atlantis Chronicles.....16 (9.30%)

Supergirl.....16 (9.30%)

Young Justice.....15 (8.72%)

Aquaman.....14 (8.14%)

Spider-Man 2099.....11 (6.40%)

Star Trek (various titles).....11 (6.40%) X-Factor.....7 (4.07%)

Sachs & Violens.....5 (2.91%)

Spider-Man (various titles).....5 (2.91%) Dreadstar.....3 (1.74%)

Soulsearchers and Company.....3 (1.74%)

Action Comics Weekly: Green Lantern.....2 (1.16%) Captain Marvel.....2 (1.16%)

Spyboy.....2 (.16%)

Haunted.....1 (.58%)

Other.....1 (.58%)

This was an easy choice. David's INCREDIBLE HULK kept my interest better than any version since Stan Lee and Roy Thomas were chronicling the lives of Bruce Banner and his other self. I like a lot of David's other comics works, SPIDER-MAN 2099 and SUPERGIRL being particular favorites, but his INCREDIBLE HULK run was a heck of a long and thrilling ride.

******

This one was a repeat question with a twist. For the second time, voters were asked to name their favorite ongoing Marvel book. However, this time out, any X-Men titles that were included on the first go-round were ineligible this time out. This allowed me to add Marvel titles which hadn't made the first cut.

Amazing Spider-Man.....29 votes (18.35%)

Avengers.....23 (14.56%)

Black Panther.....18 (11.39%)

Captain Marvel.....18 (11.39%)

Ultimate Spider-Man.....16 (10.13%)

Thunderbolts.....10 (6.33%)

Alias.....9 (5.70%)

Fantastic Four.....6 (3.80%)

Spider-Girl.....6 (3.80%)

Thor.....4 (2.53%)

Incredible Hulk.....3 (1.90%)

Daredevil.....2 (1.27%)

Deadpool.....2 (1.27%)

Peter Parker: Spider-Man.....2 (1.27%)

Iron Man.....1 (.63%)

Punisher.....1 (.63%)

Spider-Man's Tangled Web.....1 (.63%)

X-Men: Evolution.....1 (.63%)

Other.....6 (3.80%)

The winner and runner-up didn't change in this new version, nor did my own vote for AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Two of the three most requested additions (BLACK PANTHER, CAPTAIN MARVEL, THUNDERBOLTS) did very well here, pushing ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN from third to fifth place.

******

Which of these is your favorite ongoing DC title?

JSA.....61 votes (36.97%)

Green Arrow.....20 (12.12%)

Flash.....12 (7.27%)

Detective Comics.....9 (5.45%)

JLA.....7 (4.24%)

Batman.....4 (2.42%)

Birds of Prey.....4 (2.42%)

Catwoman.....4 (2.42%)

Green Lantern......3 (1.82%)

Nightwing.....3 (1.82%)

Batman: Gotham Knights.....2 (1.21%)

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.....2 (1.21%)

Wonder Woman.....2 (1.21%)

Adventures of Superman.....1 (.61%)

Batgirl.....1 (.61%)

Superman.....1 (.61%)

Superman: The Man of Steel.....1 (.61%)

Action Comics.....0

Robin.....0

Other.....28 (16.97%)

I voted for DETECTIVE COMICS. However, as I catch up on my DC Universe reading, that vote could be subject to change. As with the Marvel vote, I received e-mails expressing disappointment that favorite titles were not included among the listed choices. It's likely I'll run this question again a few months from now, omitting some titles to make room for others.

******

Which is your favorite ongoing Batman group title?

Detective Comics.....43 votes (30.28%)

Birds of Prey.....27 (19.01%)

Batman: Gotham Adventures.....17 (11.97%) Batman: Gotham Knights.....11 (7.95%)

Harley Quinn.....10 (7.04%)

Catwoman.....9 (6.34%)

Batman.....7 (4.93%)

Nightwing.....7 (4.93%)

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.....6 (4.23%) Batgirl.....2 (1.41%)

Robin.....2 (1.41%)

Azrael: Agent of the Bat.....1 (.70%)

I voted for DETECTIVE COMICS again. But, having since read the first story arc of the CATWOMAN series, it's possible my vote will be different if I run this question again.

******

Which is your favorite ongoing Superman group title?

Supergirl.....62 votes (54.39%)

Superman.....24 (21.05%)

Action Comics.....12 (10.53%)

Adventures of Superman.....9 (7.89%)

Superboy.....4 (3.51%)

Superman: The Man of Steel.....3 (2.63%)

I went with SUPERGIRL on this one.

******

It's CELEBRITY BOXING! Who would you most like to see Tony Isabella go three rounds with?

Bill O'Reilly.....23 votes (14.94%)

Tom Green.....17 (11.04%)

Judge Judy.....13 (8.44%)

Howard Stern.....12 (7.49%)

Justin Timberlake.....12 (7.49%)

Oprah Winfrey.....10 (6.49%)

Tonya Harding.....9 (5.84%)

Geraldo Rivera.....9 (5.84%)

Jerry Springer.....7 (4.55%)

Frankie Muniz.....4 (2.60%)

Regis Philben......4 (2.60%)

David Letterman.....3 (1.95%)

Ray Romano.....3 (1.95%)

Vanilla Ice.....2 (1.30%)

Andy Richter.....2 (1.30%)

John Ritter.....2 (1.30%)

David Schwimmer.....2 (1.30%)

Noah Wylie.....2 (1.30%)

Danny Bonaduce.....1 (.65%)

Other.....18 (11.69)

This was a tough one for me. I thought I'd make it easy by leaving off actual politicians, but, as it turned out, I kept going back and forth between Bill O'Reilly and Howard Stern. I cast my vote for the latter.

O'Reilly is a nasty piece of work, but Stern is one of those creeps who can and has lowered the bar for the entire human race. I've never understood what people see in his show.

I don't like Tom Green either, but I don't have the heart to take down someone who let Drew Barrymore slip away from him. What was this idiot thinking?

Judge Judy? Truth be told, I sort of dig her. Not to where I'd imagine her wearing a Zatanna costume or anything, but, still, she has some mojo working there.

Justin Timberlake? On general principle, I think all members of boy bands should be subjected to regular beatings.

Oprah and Tonya? They could kick my butt.

Geraldo? He has a gun.

On reflection, I don't think there would be any need for me to take out the other folks on the list. They are mostly harmless in small doses.

People had fun with this question, so I'll probably do a few more like it in the months to come.


******

TONY'S MAILBOX

Our first polls-related letter is from GLENN SUMMERS:

It'd have to be HAWKMAN! The new series is just great.

HAWKMAN wasn't among the listed choice because the new series had just launched. I felt a book should have at least three issues out before being considered for favorite ongoing series.

Next up is STEPHEN LITTLEWOOD

On the question of favorite ongoing DC title, I voted "other" because THE LEGION was not on the list. I have enjoyed the Legion of SuperHeroes through various incarnations for many years now and am finding this latest version as enjoyable as some of the best of previous years.

DIMITRIS SAKARIDIS wrote

Congrats on the website. The articles are great, the reviews are very informative (and entertaining, to boot) and the polls are always interesting. But, really, where do you find the time? Six days a week!

Seriously thanks for the wonderful, insightful, opinionated stuff you've given all these years in CBG and on the web. Keep on doing the good work, man.

On the subject of favorite ongoing DC title, my answer is THE SPECTRE. Lovely poetic writing by J.M. DeMatteis and excellent art by first Ryan Sook and now Norm Breyfogle! What more could a man ask for?

The new Legion title is also becoming a big favorite of mine; I have been a diehard Legion fan for 20 years. If Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Olivier Coipel keep doing such excellent work they may soon be #1 in my heart.

From KURT WILCKEN

I guess I'm feeling a little hypocritical, because although I applaud Peter David on this issue, I'm not going to buy CAPTAIN MARVEL. I rarely get to my comic shop, and when I do, the new titles are pretty much picked over. I'm not sure if I've ever actually *seen* an issue of CAPTAIN MARVEL. In my case, the only way I could pick up a copy to see if I liked it would be to reserve it on my pull list. I'm intrigued enough to want to buy it, but I have an irrational prejudice against adding a title to my pull list unless I'm going to commit to it for at least a few issues. It's irrational, as I said, but if I were a logical creature I probably would less time on the Internet.

At the moment I'm not picking up any Marvel titles, so that question was easy. Of the DC titles I get, BIRDS OF PREY and JSA are my favorites; I had to flip a coin between the two. The Birds won. I also picked BOP for favorite Battitle, although I have to say GOTHAM ADVENTURES is also a favorite in my house. The series is showing its age a little bit--not all the stories are as sharp as in the past--but even weak GA issues are better than a lot of the "real" DCU titles.

We also heard from WILLIE BERKOVITZ

My favorite PAD work is SIR APROPOS OF NOTHING, his original fantasy novel. I'm not sure if you get much time to read, but I highly recommend this. It's a combination of LORD OF THE RINGS and CATCHER IN THE RYE with generous helpings of humor. Or like the Barnes and Noble guy said, "It takes the fantasy genre and turns it on its ear, then gives it a wedgie for good measure."

The question concerned David's comic-book work, but who am I to deny a friend a plug for his novel?

DAVE POTTS writes

For the "Celebrity Boxing" question on your Tony Polls page, I decisively cast my vote for "Other." As for who that would be, I'm not quite that decisive.

I'm leaning towards John Ashcroft. Prior to the bout, perhaps you could have a singing contest.

Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!

My thanks to all who voted on the TONY POLLS questions and who shared their comments via e-mail. If you haven't yet voted on the current questions, just click on the link you'll find elsewhere on this page.

You can catch a new TONY'S ONLINE TIPS column on Wednesday at the PERPETUAL COMICS website

http://www.perpetualcomics.com

Then I'll be back here on Thursday with the TONY'S TIPS column which should have posted Saturday. I felt so guilty about leaving you virtually Isabella-less last week that I'm posting new content every blessed day this week. God help us all!

Tony Isabella

<< 03/23/2002 | 04/02/2002 | 04/04/2002 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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THE "TONY" SCALE

Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

Tony
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TonyTony
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

TonyTonyTony
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

TonyTonyTonyTony
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

TonyTonyTonyTonyTony
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.



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