Thursday, October 11, 2007

Vote for Panel of the Week 10.10.07

Each week I'll be posting the 3-4 most memorable panels from the week and putting them up for a public week-long vote. The winning panels gets posted on the sidebar and earns boasting privileges over lesser panels...

Last week Darth Homer's D'OHHH was heard through space, gathering 52% of your votes!

The week didn't provide too many laughs, apart from the hilariously bad Action Comics and Wolverine. But once more, you are the judge! (Disclaimer: we wouldn't want Master Whedon to be mired because of the company he keeps this week, DHP#3 was excellent as usual)

PANEL ABizarro Panels Always Am Boring (Action Comics #856)

Panel B
Dude, Where's My Earth? (Dark Horse Presents #3)

Panel C
Silent But Deadly (Wolverine #58)

Panel D:
It's funny because it's not, really (Wolverine #58)
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

WSAD: The Goonies sequel

WSAD (World Sean Astin Day) continues with news of a sequel to the sexy actor's first famous feature, the Goonies!

“Steven [Spielberg] and Dick [Donner] and all the powers that be … they really feel like the thing that made the movie strong was that it was about kids, so they really want to make the next movie about kids…the next generation of Goonies. And they’ve had a hard time tackling that.”

Like Feldman, Astin sees the passing of the torch concept to be a logical progression for the franchise. “I have three children,” he said, “and Corey’s got a kid now [too]. So as we now all have kids who are coming into the age that we were when we made the movie, it’s more likely to me that they’ll figure out how to design a story that will satisfy the older audience in terms of connecting with the original 1985 Goonies, and then [also] create this new thing.”

The original cast return as grown-ups, passing he torch to their kids, under the same writer and director as the classic feature. I'm still unconvinced. When has this sort of nostalgia+DVD sales sequel notion ever proven succesful? Has Bewitched taught us nothing?
Source: MTV blog
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Speaking of Sean Astin...

I declare today World Sean Astin Day (W-SAD).

How could I have been so blind all these years! I never really made the connection till I wiki'ed him today for the week's O.W. entry.

So, Sean Astin got from this cute 'aww' thing (the Goonies):

to this adorable short-pint mug (Lord of the Rings)

Ok, interesting growth, but still only cute.

Until this:

(adding fuel to my growing belief that everyone looks 10 times hotter in a beard, and that there ought to be a pro-facial hair law protecting against close shaves)

This photo has ignited an intense interest in Mr Astin's 'artistic career' here at LYSAD central. He will heretofore be in such esteemed company, as mr Seth Rogen and mr Ryan Reynolds.

Stay tuned for more as the story develops. Meanwhile:

Sexy beardiness!

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Orange Wednesdays: Sean Astin

The fourth in our regular Wednesday series of specials, starring Sean Astin, of Lord of the Ring(tone)s and Goonies fame.

If you're lucky enough not to live in the UK, you have been deprived of one of the greatest movie theater inventions since buttered pop corn:


These are sponsored by the Orange mobile company and feature a different actor every few months trying to pitch their movie idea to the committee, only to have them -- well, you just watch.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wolverine #58

Writer: Mark Guggenheim
Artist: Howard Chaykin

Marvel Comics

It's tough to review this issue while adhering to Marvel's no-spoilers rule for advance reviews.

First of all, let's make it clear, this is not a good issue. It's quite ironic as well, since this lukewarm return of Guggenheim on the writing chair was preceded by the greatest Wolverine story in recent memory, Jason Aaron's single issue, which was used as a mere fill-in.

So Wolverine is dead again. Only, not physically dead, just brain-dead. Big change. No fret, Dr Strange is on the case! And boy does Guggenheim manage to make a mess of this guest appearance; he arguably writes the worst Dr Strange in memory, complete with cliched oneliners, bad jokes and stale dialogue, especially during the meeting with Tony Stark. I've included several examples to prove my case.

Dr Strange meets the (brain)dead Logan in the afterlife bar, and shares a few drinks while drowing their sorrows in exposition. Strange reveals why Logan is able to stay alive after so many brushes with death (the most blatant being during Guggenheim's last stint on the title), and what changed now to make him a vegetable. I found the former (main) explanation completely superfluous, relating to a random battle Wolvie won back in WW1 against a surprise opponent. The latter reason for falling in the veggie state was equally unconvincing; it more or less hangs on the thin thread of believing Atlantean whatshername chick who was introduced (and killed) last issue made such an impact on Logan (more so than, say, Jean Grey, Silver Fox or Mariko, who he had each known for years) that his grief kept him from jumping back to life again.

There is strong competition for worst issue of the week, but at least Wolverine has gorgeous Howard Chaykin art going for it, along with several scenes of gratuitous full Logan nudity.


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Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man #24

Writer: J. M. Straczynski
Artist: Joe Quesada

Marvel Comics

Aunt May is dying. Peter has heard the bad news that science can't do anything to save her life, but he's not willing to let go, instead turning to the metaphysical for answers. Peter knocks on Dr Strange's door for answers, but he won't like what he finds out and his desperation will lead him to an ill-advised time-travelling jump tying into an earlier cryptic scene in JMS' run.

Color me impressed. JMS had the whole thing planned for over 6 years before?

All in all, One More Day, despite expectations, doesn't suck! Spider-man's desperation is now tangible and his actions have a real emotional resonance. Better late than never.

Joe Quesada is making his big artistic come back with tihs storyline, and also deserves praise. First, for the amazing quality of the layouts and panel arrangements. Secondly for beating his track record and delivering the issues on time!

The back of the issue reprints MJ's origin along with a very detailed Handbook profile, trying to compromise the actual continuity with the various retcons throughout the years like MJ always knowing Spidey's identity, and Gwen's secret pregnancy.


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New Avengers #35

Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Leinil Yu

Marvel Comics

Disclaimer: the ultra-cool bad-ass alien Venom Symbiote Wolverine figure from the cover does NOT appear in the actual issue. Please kindly wait four months until Mighty Avengers catches up on the shedule.

What does happen in this issue?

The Hood finally makes his bid for the control of the NY crime underground, getting all the super-baddies together and unveiling his grand plan. Bendis has thought things through here, presenting something as preposterous as Hood becoming the new Kingpin as actually realistic. Leinil Yu impresses with his camera-action and sense of space, moving around the table following the Hood as he speaks to the gathered super-villains.

My complaints source from the shortcuts he takes to achieve it, namely using Tigra as the Hood's punching bag to up his bad-@$$ness ratings. Sure, he could beat this former Avenger, but would she really be so helpless that she wouldn't land a single claw on him; then, would a trained and tested Avenger really whimper weakly like that, and practically beg for her life?


Just when I was this close to saying a good word about the disastrous New Avengers line. Better luck next month.


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New Warriors v.2 #5

Writer: Kevin Grevioux
Artist: Paco Medina

Marvel Comics

So the new New Warriors are really M-Day depowered mutant survivors donning tech-suits and new identities to stick it up to the Big Man Tony Stark. That's fine and dandy, but Kevin Grevioux is missing the point when he's dragging the revelation of the secret identities and the team's origins so far.

It's issue 5 now, one of the Warriors has just died, and I couldn't honestly even remember who she is or why I'm expected to care. At this point I don't even remember how many members they actually have, what anyone's name is or their powers.

They can't be very impressive anyhow, since they fail to fight off the Zodiac, but instead sit back and lick their wounds while a depowered ex-mutant waitress goes in alone against them. Death wish, anyone?

Paco Medina's art work is always well-suited for teen adventure books, although it clashes when the writer decides to take a sudden left into grim, bloody and gritty. I also have serious objections towards his rendition of former Morrison New X-Men graduates Beak and Angel, who became such darlings partly because of their average everyday looks and attitudes; now Beak is a muscle-bound idiot on mechanical wings, and Angel is a slim-waisted big-boobed teen bimbo instead of the chubby-assed trailer park trash we learned to love. I'm still waiting on an explanation as to why they would take up this cause when they have 5-7 young babies to raise at home, and noone to babysit for them.

As for the grade, this is probably the lowest I have gone in the last year. Bravo.

(Now please please please cancel this atrocity and erase it from continuity)


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Monday, October 08, 2007

Fantastic Four #550

Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Paul Pelletier

Marvel Comics

The stakes just went from cosmic to ridiculous. The Fantastic Six (Ben, Johhny, Sue, Reed, Storm and Black Panther) are in space, running from someone towards something while fixing a whatsit. Pure cosmic adrenaline rush. Then, they start calling in their guest-stars, as no less than FOUR more Marvel Heroes are called in to help them, lest Eternity is doomed!

Yeah, the stakes are huge, on paper at least.

Unfortunately, McDuffie's script is so super-condensed that it doesn't let the plot breathe and the true scope of what is at stake isn't felt by the reader. McDuffie is obviously so excited to get a short chance at the World's Greatest Comics Magazine (TM) (before Millar/Hitch arrive), that he's willing to get out every FF story he's got in the back of his mind, while he has the chance. In the meantime, he might as well also feature every one of his favourite pet characters, like Deathlok and the now infamous Gravity. Slow down, catch your breath, mate!

Paul Pelletier has slowly climbed up the ladder to one of Marvel's worthiest artists, developing a meatier style which suits the heroic material more. I hope he moves to a similarly high-profile project next.


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