Saturday, March 22, 2008

Born The Wrong Shade of Blue

Source: Wolverine #62 (Marvel Comics)
Read more!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Blazing Bras of Justice!

A new take on the suffragettes' burning brassieres movement, Amazon style!

Source: Justice League: the New Frontier Special #1 (DC Comics)
Read more!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Behind Blue Eyes - The Who

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

--Because some songs come randomly when you least expect them and hit your soul like a sledgehammer.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vote For Panel of Week 11 2008

Xander proved to be the surprising clear winner of the Buffy Panel voting with a 56% lead!

This week we're back to normal scheduling and a selection from Marvel and DC:

Panel A
All in the name of Science! (Marvel Adventures Hulk #9)

Panel B
Wonder Woman Tribute on the Khun Homeworld (Wonder Woman #18)

Panel C
Logan's Bad Habits (Wolverine #62)

Panel D
Place Your Bets Now! (Amazing Spider-Man #554)

Read more!

Super-Team Try-Outs

Boy, ever since the Boys came out, it's so hard to get a spot in a decent super-group!

Source: Infinity Inc #6 (DC Comics)
Read more!

Monday, March 17, 2008

DC Capsule Reviews Week 11 2008

Bit late on delivery this week, as DC plays between extreme highs and lows!

This week in DC: Black Canary is a ho', Booster Gold destroys the future, noone remembers Jimmy Olsen, Superman redecorates, Nemesis joins a harem, Wonder Woman puts the moves on (did anyone suspect she had moves?), Terra throws rocks, and Vandal Savage decides to hit any villain with a uterus within planetary distance. Seriously, that's a lot of nookie.


(Judd Winnick / Cliff Chiang)

Greatly uneven issue, starting off with the titular couple in disguise as an obese Russian Crime Boss (more Looney Tunes than Mission Impossible in its plausibility) and his whore (hey, all she had to do was fake an accent), as the search for the abducted comatose Connor Hawke goes on. They get found out (duh) and escape through a getaway van driven by Speedy - in full costume! At least she still has a role in the title, even if it comes hand in hand with a personality extraction. The second half of the issue picks up the pace with a tremendously well choreographed action sequence from mr Chiang; a spacecraft is tailing Mr & Mrs Arrow on their motorcycle (Arrowcycle?), so Canary shifts forward with a backflip to the driver's seat (still on a moving bike) for Ollie to shoot their pursuers down. Pretty Eye Candy!



(Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz / Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund)

'Blue and Gold' part 2. Having just rescued Blue Beetle from his death scene in Countdown to Infinite Crisis (the good old days where the countdown to the event was a single issue), Booster and his buddy return to the present to discover they've changed the flow of time (oops), making Max Lord and his OMACs chieftains of the world. No matter the big picture, it only takes a little note like revealing Green Arrow with Hawkman co-leading the Resistance to make this a heckuva cool What If. Fans of the old JLI series will rejoice at a couple of familiar faces (and claws) showing up, along with one of the most fondly remembered headquarters of that era. Meanwhile, Rip Hunter reactivates the Supernova identity, Booster gets one step closer to getting conceived and his daddy reveals his alliances with a shocker last page. Traditional DC action adventure for the modern reader.



(Kurt Busiek / Renato Guedes & Maghalaes)

'Shadows Linger' part 1. Busiek started his run off with some amazing stories and concepts for the Man of Steel, but it only took less than a year for the plots to deteriorate to conventional superheroic drivel. The Super-Family moves into a new swanky appartment, Mon-El makes a present-day appearance after his return to official continuity in last year's annual, and Superman is attacked by Paragon (whatever you can do, he can do better). Guedes proves to be a stellar Superman artists, if only they would stop playing music chairs with him and let him get comfortable with a regular job on a Super-title.



(Scott Beatty & Christos Gage / Wes Craig)

One more month around the Wildstorm Universe as the Wild Girls go up against whatever's left of the Wildcats team: Grifter and Zealot. It's a rooftop catfight, Coda-Style, with Backlash and his goons closing in armed to the teeth and the stage set for next issue's Big Bang on Caisen Gamorra's island. If you were ever any sort of Wildstorm fan you're going to get a kick out of this title. It's really got me hopeful for the imprint's future.



(Paul Dini & Adam Beechen / Keith Giffen & Tom Derenick)

The extended Challengers team make it to JLA HQ with the dying Karate Kid only to discover they've all been erased from reality! Only, nothing else seems to be out of place? As time paradoxes go, this one is pretty boring. Tom Derenick keeps getting regular work here, in yet another sub-standard issue. I've seen him do quality work before for Marvel, I'm not sure if it's just a matter of selling out for speed over quality and the DC paycheck here, but the art here is unacceptable for such a seasoned pro. Utter rubbish of an issue, move along.



(Art Baltazar & Franco)

DC does Mini Marvels, with more emphasis on cute than funny. The kid versions of the Teen Titans (all incarnations at once) are absolutely adorable, but a more Peanuts approach with better pacing and smarter gags would really help this book take off! This issue, various Titans double as cooking apparatus, Beast Boy tries to win over Terra's affections by becoming more like her idol Superman, and the Titans square off against the Fearsome Five for control of the swings in the playground! Still, worth the price of admission just to see the tiny version of Terra use her special powers of picking up pebbles and throwing them at boys.



(Gail Simone / Bernard Chang)

'Ex-Patriate' part 1. Diana performs an ancient Greek Amazon Mating Ritual on the ailing Nemesis, before being ambushed and abducted/paraded to the alien homeworld of the Khund, a space race whose lives and culture are totally obsessed with warfare. Gail is seriously having fun here, and it comes through in the writing. She doesn't take Diana too seriously (which is most writers' usual fault, as they become too intimidated by the character and deify her to the point of non-relevance), but instead portrays her like a smart, self-deprecating and thoroughly heroic warrior woman trying to come to terms with her newfound link to humanity. I wasn't familiar with the Khunds before their appearance here, but Gail's stamp on them is obvious, making them both ridiculous and riveting at the same time, as she plays up the differences between their perception of concepts like beauty, honor and affection, and our own.



(Matt Sturges / Joe Bennett & Belardino Brabo)

The DC villains have been stranded/exiles on an alien and inhospitable planet. Taking a page off LOST Season 4 (look at my swanky pop culture references!) they divide into camps and start attacking each other, with Luthor and Joker acting the parts of Jack and Locke, and Vandal Savage pulling a Sawyer and deciding to repopulate the planet with his seed. Catwoman/Kate is caught between it all, so does the smart thing and betrays the planet's spy: Martian 'Ben' Manhunter who goes down in a blaze of glory. After a slow start this title is really picking pace, and a lot of the credit should go to Joe Bennett proving a vast improvement in the art department from departing Sean Chen.


Read more!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Marvel Capsule Reviews Week 12 2008

New Marvel Swag! Looking through the goody bag this week:

Spidey goes 2nd base on JJJ, Thor and Hercules spend some quality family time, the Order goes south, Iron Fist rallies the troups, HERBIE the Robot gets infected by Atari, Black Panther swipes Cyclops and Deadpool's pinkies go shopping without him.


(Bob Gale / Phil Jiminez & various)

Spidey finishes his tussle with new druggie baddie 'the Freak', a constantly mutating and evolving rat-creature from the sewers with a taste for the Good White Stuff. Can't see the staying qualities of this one, sorry Spider-Office. Meanwhile, the new supporting cast all make quick cameos, there's new potential romances coming from every direction, but still the only tongue action Pete is getting is ... JJJ? The new direction and cast is definitely working for, although the stories so far feel far too inconsequential, it would be great to finally see some of the over-arching arcs start to come together more clearly after 12 issues!



(Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente / Khoi Pam & Paul Neary, Danny Miki)

'Glory of Hera' part 4 (of 4). SHIELD has been a bad girl, shooting down the Hulk, putting heroes in Jail, hurting Amadeus Cho's pet puppy (well, coyote, really), and now the super-genius tot is getting back by infecting every last of their systems with an unbeatable virus. While Hercules is trying to reason with his 'sidekick', and SHIELD fires missiles at their floating base, Half-Brother Ares decides to crash the scene and pummel on Herc because he gets his own ongoing and great marketing push, while Ares' limited series tanked and noone gave a damn. Lots of Greek God on Greek God action going here, coupled with a genuinely surprising (but valid) characterization of Ares and a look inside Hercules' thoughts. Pak and Van Lente have a solid grasp on Herc, playing up the character's human faults more than his Godly Hero aspect. I'd say it's a winning strategy. Khoi Pam still struggles with the art (even with two famous inkers helping with the load); for Marvel to hire Gary Frank to launch this new direction and pay Arthur Adams on covers they surely believe in this move, but Khoi Pam feels too novice for this project. Hercules is supposed to be a big heroic hunka sexy cheese, a GOD, but comes off as little more than a scruffy construction worker.



(Marc Sumerak / Ig Guara & Jay Leisten)

The Avengers track down Sabretooth in Wakanda and team-up with new ally the Black Panther-- sporting the Cassaday Cyclops costume from Astonishing X-Men? No, seriously. Lots of old-fashioned action, with Storm and Wolvie taking the lead and the Panther not really getting any screen time despite this being his 'big debut' in the line. The action isn't as fun, the jokes aren't as pithy, dumb Hulk doesn't get any good lines and I'm inclined to file this under 'wasted potential'.



(Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction / David Aja & Tonci Tonjic & Kano)

'The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven' part 6. Iron Fist reimagined as a legacy book and written as if it was a manga, in terms of characters, pacing and plot. The tournament between the 7 cities gets forgotten for a bit (damn shame, the fight scenes were wondrous) as the revolution inside the cities and the organized attack by Hydra on the outside finally collide, as Iron Fist rounds up the other Weapons of Heaven to join him in intercepting the attack. There's only one flaw in this launch: with so many fascinating characters running around connected to the Iron Fist legend (the Golden Age Iron Fist, his sidekick-Danny's dad, their mentor and trainer, his son and failed Iron Fist-the Steel Phoenix, the Prince of Orphans, among others), Danny is starting to look insignificant and foolish in their shadow; then again I get a sneaking suspicion, Danny was never supposed to be an important feature of this title for long. Don't make the mistake of trade-waiting on this, as the plot weaves in and out of each issue to accommodate each of the satellite specials and annuals into each month's issue, making for a special experience that will be lost when they're separately collected in different trades.



(JMS / Marko Djurdjevic)

And on the 7th issue, the Thunder God rested... in a specially ordered Asgardian coffin inducing OdinThorSleep (a Shroendinger half-dead half-alive state) to recharge the divine bunny batteries. JMS does an amazing job of explaining away basic Quantum Physics to comics fans, and using the theory as an organic part of his storytelling. In his half-dead state, Thor's essence travels to the Norse Land of the Dead to visit dear-ly departed old dad Odin and have a heart to heart; JMS explores a harsher side of the Norse God Prince King, revealing Thor avoided reviving Odin to remain king, just as Odin had done all those years ago, shown in a breath-taking flashback action sequence. This is Djurdjevic first full-issue interior art work without his painted style. It's not as flashy as his covers, but his design work and panel structure is still strong and a perfect fit for the mythological story within.



(Matt Fraction / Barry Kitson & Javier Saltares)

The Order started out as the most promising Marvel title out of the Civil War aftermath, but Marvel never gave it a chance, calling for its cancellation as soon as issue 6 was released. This is the penultimate issue, and you can easily see the writer scrambling about to quickly resolve the multitude of open plotlines and threats he had set up for the title. At this point I've lost track of who's allied with who and for what purpose. The art looks as rushed as the plot, with Saltares scribbling over Kitson's breakdowns, and losing cohesion in the characters as the issue progresses. I only hope these characters eventually get a second chance to fame, as Matt Fraction's name gains much-deserved recognition in the mainstream. no point in reading this issue if you haven't before, it's not representative of it's earlier high standards.



(Marc Sumerak & Chris Eliopoulos)

Fun! More short stories starring Frankling 'Calvin' Richards and his pet robot HERBIE 'Hobbs'. This time around Franklin recreates the (fully operational minus an arm) original Iron Man armour, uses a time-controlling doohickey to cheat at Dodgeball, terrorizes the School Fair with the too realistic Volcano Model, and fights off Alien life-forces with his Super-Burp powers. If you've read one you've read them all, to be honest, same quality stuff for the fans of the twosome.



(Daniel Way / Steve Dillon)

'The Deep End' part 3. The creative team has finally hit its stride with this being the best issue of the title yet. Not necessarily good news, considering this is mostly due to Deadpool having every line in this issue and Wolverine running around in a slapstick feral state foaming at the mouth and slashing stuff. If he wasn't in the title on the cover, noone would believe this wasn't an issue of Deadpool's solo book, guest-starring Wolverine to boost sales. Way undoubtedly gets Deadpool (and that leaves him in limited company, actually): the jokes, the violence, the rabbling, the insanity. Look out for a lot of scanned-in panels next week after the book's been out, this issue will give me panel fodder for a month. This shift in focus and theme also finally plays to Steve Dillon's strengths: utterly horrendous violence and splatter used to comedic effect. Maybe Deadpool gets to kick Wolvie off his title after the end of next issue Herc-style, and take over. It would make this fan a happy camper.


Read more!