Friday, July 28, 2006

Fly On The Wall, Vol. 4: Avengers vs. Quesada

SETTING: Joe Quesada's Office

PLAYERS: Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Captain America, Joe Quesada

JOE Q: (on the phone)...that's right, Colbert Report at 11, NPR at 4, dinner with those Hollywood guys at 8...right... musk. Lemon-scented. Got it.

(The door is kicked in. Into the office burst Thor, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, and Captain America.)

JOE Q: What the hell is going on here?

CAP: Funny, Joe, we sort of had the same question.

JOE Q: Wha- what are you talking about?

HAWKEYE: We're talking about our lives here, Joe. They suck, and it's your fault.

ALL: (stare at Quesada)

JOE Q: You mean---

HAWKEYE: I mean that you've fallen down on the job. Let's start with killing me.

JOE Q: Hey! Technically that was her fault! (points to Wanda)

WANDA: Yeah, but YOU told me to!

JOE Q: But we brought you back, didn't we?

HAWKEYE: (nocking an arrow) I don't know, Joe. Did you? Did you REALLY bring me back?

THOR: And whither thy explanation for the most odious lack of Odinson in thine comics of late?

ALL: (silence)

JOE Q: What did he say?

CAP: He'd like to know where you've been keeping him.

JOE Q: Hey! He just came back on the last page of Civil War #3, didn't he?

HAWKEYE (drawing bow): Joe, pretend just for a second that we live in a world where everyone is NOT a moron.

JOE Q: What's that arrow you're aiming at me?

IM: Oh, that? That's the arrow that splits into 25 pork chops that attach themselves to your body.

JOE Q: (gestures to Wanda, who is chanting) And what's she doing?

CAP: Summoning starving wolves.

AVENGERS: (grin)

JOE Q: OK, OK, look, it's not like I haven't done some good things for you guys too, you know! Tony---you've haven't had a profile this big in 20 years!

IM: (rolling eyes) Joe, I haven't been this much of a DICK TO MY FRIENDS in 20 years! Tony Stark, traitor and asspipe! Thanks a BUNCH, Joe! What's next, hyping the Fantastic Four by sending them on a nine-state killing spree? (Chest beam starts glowing)

JOE Q: So, you've been talking to Millar, have you? Damn you, Stark! That was supposed to be a Wizardworld Chicago exclusive!

SPIDEY: You know, I'd like to say something here---

JOE Q: Now, just a minute---

CAP: How many books does he sell, again?

JOE Q: (silence)

(A faint sound of howling wolves)

CAP: That's what I thought. Go ahead, Pete.

SPIDEY: Thanks, Cap. Ahem. Anyway, what I was going to say is, I, um, don't think that this whole "everyone knowing who I am thing" is going to work out.

JOE Q: Why not?

SPIDEY: Well, mainly because everyone will know who I am.

JOE Q: (stares)

SPIDEY: And that's bad...(looks expectantly at Joe Q)

JOE Q: (stares)

SPIDEY: ...because I have ... you know... enemies...

JOE Q: (stares)

SPIDEY: ...and a fam---oh, forget it. (Turns to Thor) He really isn't all there, is he?

THOR: Nay, poorly-costumed arachnid with gold wingtips.

SPIDEY: Really, call me Pete. Or Peter, or---hey! Was that a dig at the costume? Everyone hates the costume. (Sighs) Heck, I hate the costume.

JOE Q: Listen, I understand your plight, and I truly sympathize---

WANDA: ---ieiunium lupus vultus pro caro---

IM: I don't mean to put the pressure on, Joey, but I hear howling.

HAWKEYE: You ready to become the other white meat?

JOE Q: C'mon, guys! You're heroes, remember? You're the good guys! You can't do this to me!

IM: (grinning, leaning over the desk) Actually Joe, these days I'm... how did you put it in the interview... conflicted. (Aims rapidly heating repulsor ray at Joe)

THOR: I say to thee, Thor cares not for bad editorship, and even less for those inclined to cage the God of Thunder in a GODDAMNED DESK DRAWER for two years and then pull him back out as a SHIELD lackey clonebot!

ALL: (silence)

THOR: I... um...

ALL: (stares at Thor)


ALL: (cheer)

SPIDEY: Man, I just can't get enough of that.

HAWKEYE: Totally. There was this fight with Ultron one time---

CAP: Guys, back to the business at hand, please.

HAWKEYE: Right, Cap.

JOE Q: Listen, if you would all just calm down I think we can come to some sort of an agreement here.

ALL: (huddle and consider the offer)

CAP: (turns back to Joe) Alright, we're listening.

JOE Q: (leans in and whispers) I can give him to you.

IM: What? Who?

JOE Q: You know. HIM.

HAWKEYE: (lowers bow and arrow) Him who?

JOE Q: The guy doing all these crazy things.

SPIDEY: Oh, Lord. I knew it. Osborn's back. This is all my fault---

JOE Q: No no no, check this out.

(Removes toupee. Protruding from his skull is a miniature pulsating microchip.)

CAP: Stars and bars, what in God's name is that?

IM: Let me take a look. Using my Stupid New Powers™ I can instantly jack into the wiring to determine its purpose.

JOE Q: (sweats)

IM: Good Lord! Someone's implanted a microchip that appears to render the subject completely oblivious to incoherent superhero storytelling and characterization!

HAWKEYE: Sweet Hannah's Polka-Dotted Negligee!

ALL: (stares at Hawkeye)

HAWKEYE: Cut me some slack, alright? It's been awhile since I used a catchphrase.

THOR: Canst thou divine the odious object's creator?

IM: I see the maker's signature etched in the wiring...B ... M... B.

CAP: This bears further investigation. Alright Joe, you bought yourself a little time. We'll be back.

JOE Q: Thanks, guys. But don't let him know that I'm the one that sent you.

WANDA: Can I stop chanting now?

CAP: Sure.

(howls die down)

THOR: Think not, mortal, that this gets thou off thine hook. As sworn protector of thine stories, thy callous disregard for thine properties assures you of no quarter.

JOE Q: What?

HAWKEYE: C'mon, Thor. I have a feeling that this isn't over.

IM: You seriously have an arrow that makes pork chops?

HAWKEYE: Totally.

IM: Sweet. Got one that makes whiskey?

HAWKEYE: Canadian or Kentucky?

IM: Have I mentioned I'm glad you're back?

(The Avengers file out of the office.)

JOE Q: (Looks around, picks up the phone, dials) Hey, it's me. They're on their way. Yeah. Very close. I think it's time. Pull the trigger on Operation Are You Kidding Me.



Previous Installments

Fly On The Wall, Vol. 1: JLA
Fly On The Wall, Vol. 2: Marvel Writers' Meeting
Fly On The Wall, Vol. 3: One Week Later

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cautiously Optimistic

OK, so I haven't gotten my comics this week (Batman, Captain America, and Godland), and there's been precious little time to update our little blog, and I didn't even do a San Diego: Snark Edition, thanks to the lack of actual news and excitement around Comic-Con.

Instead, I'll talk about the Iron Man movie, and how against my better judgment I'm getting excited about it. Come on, how many times do I get to talk about Iron Man? Three, maybe four hundred? Sheesh.

I'll be honest, part of this comes from the fact that growing up I was absolutely convinced there would never be a shot in hell of me seeing Iron Man on a big screen. Not when Marvel was content to license crap like this, this, or this. So a great deal of my enthusiasm is due to the fact that my most favorite hero is finally getting a shot at the silver screen.

(Side note: And part of me really, really wants to say, "See? I TOLD you he was cool! I told you, you bastards! MWA HA HA HA HA!)

(Additional Side Note: Of course, the people I say this to will probably point out that in the comics Iron Man is a complete assmunch right now, so... thanks a lot, Marvel.)

Anyhoo, here's why I'm optimistic:

1) The villain is the Mandarin. Outdated bigoted caricature, or mysterious Chinese madman wielding alien jewelry? YOU make the call! I'm all for this, since Mandy is one of my most favorite old-school Marvel villains (for obvious reasons).

Plus, it's not like Ol' Shellhead has the most well-known rogues' gallery. There are some real stinkers in there (I'm lookin' at you, Unicorn). Start with Mandy and then move on to Whiplash, the Melter (just guess what HIS superpower is), Titanium Man or Crimson Dynamo.

(See? I'd be surprised if more than twelve readers recognized any of those names.)

2) While the design hasn't been finalized, check the poster here.

That's right, the return of the circular Uni-beam on the chest. Adi Granov, thank you. It's little touches like this that make me think we're on the right track here.

3) They're starting off in the bulky gray Whirlpool refrigerator armor, telling the origin, then whipping out the red-and-gold weapons platform in the third act. This is brilliant. Hopefully they spend a decent amount of time on the origin, since it's key to understanding why Tony builds the IM suit and decides to become a superhero.

4) It's going to have a Tom Clancy/James Bond-ish "feel". I'm not quite sure what that means yet, but I'd like to think that it hearkens back to the days when Tone would be attending a conference in Switzerland, making backroom deals and dinner dates by day and whipping out the armor and punching bad guys in his off hours.

5) Two words: suitcase armor. No, it hasn't been said officially yet, but if I could just hear from somewhere that there will in fact be the Suitcase Of Multiple Dimensions that contains his armor folded up neatly alongside his socks, I will pre-order tickets right damn now.

6) They're not starting off with the whole alcoholism bit. God willing the first movie is good enough, the plan is to gradually introduce it in a logical way through two other films. Bravo. The last thing we need is Iron Man's screen debut to be a "message" movie about the Evils of The Demon Liquor.

(Sigh. It's OK to be optimistic occasionally, right?)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Chris' Mini-Reviews 7/19

Better late than never, what ho! So, I got a pile o' comics last week, and if nothing else, maybe I can convince you to pick up some issues you might not have gotten last week! In fact, maybe I'm getting soft, but I read a lot of great comics this week --- mostly by the Big 2! (Alternatively, there's nothing I can do if you already bought the crappy ones. Such is life.) As always... Massive Spoilers Ahoy!

(And incidentally, 2GBC reached another milestone: we are the #1 Google search result for "massive spoilers ahoy". I know, I'm killing comics. But I figure if Marvel can do it pre-release, I can damn well do it post- release.)

CIVIL WAR #3: So finally we get a payoff pitch, as we see the two opposing factions fighting each other. Before you condemn it as fluff, consider the fact that it took House of M 7 friggin' issues to get to this point. In fact, I'm kind of appreciating the fact that Millar gave us a money shot this early in the series, as I'm now firmly convinced that for any type of thoughtful discussion of the issues you'll need to read the tie-ins, and the actiony-Earth-shaking-status-quo turning events will be this series' concern.

And that's fine with me.

Nice bit of retconning with Tony Stark/Emma Frost booty calls (which --- face it --- is perfectly in character for both), and we get Stark throwing a classic IM haymaker at Cap. Points off for making me actively dislike Spider-Man, but all in all a good fight issue. And no, that's not really Thor at the end, but it's nice to see McNiven drawing it (and props to Dexter Vines, as well). CBG: 4/5.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #0: It's the History of Bruce, Clark, and Diana, as we see the closest moments between the three over the course of New Earth continuity. And it's really well done. These are some very human moments between these larger-than-life characters, and not only do we get Superman winning a betting pool, but we get Batman breaking down during Clark's death AND Batman surreptitiously sneaking a Themysciran library book ("I'm borrowing this.")

At times funny, touching, and revealing, Brad Meltzer sets the stage for the new JLA by showing us the ups and downs of the Trinity. OK, so the narration time-frame jumping makes little to no sense (Tomorrow. 3 Days from now. Yesterday. Who cares?), but this behind-the-scenes clip show is a purist's dream.

And yes, the fact that we now know that the OYL Wonder Woman is in fact Diana seems to take all the air out of the WW relaunch, but the fact that the WW book is already 3 months behind schedule makes that kind of irrelevant anyway. Full disclosure: I did in fact like Identity Crisis, despite the ending. CBG: 4/5.

X-FACTOR #9: I was worried about the effect that Civil War would have on Peter David's excellent series here, but he's handling it in character and in style. Layla Miller mentions casually that she knows that she and Madrox will be married someday (with an absolutely priceless panel from Dennis Calero showing Jamie's reaction), Madrox is forced to make a decision regarding the Factor's stance in the whole Civil War hoo-ha, and it's all done seamlessly. Plus --- we get the Astonishing X-Men v. X-Factor, and in a "fight" scene that could be read as a metatextual rejection by PAD of the "celebrity" comics, X-Factor plants their flag in the ground as protectors of mutants and ex-mutants. I read this comic 5 times, and liked it better each time. CBG: 4/5.

HAUNT OF HORROR #3: Dear Sweet Jesus, this was a bad comic. Despite initial enthusiams, I backed the wrong horse on this one. (Of course, I also bought 20 issues of New Avengers. The lesson, as always: don't underestimate my ability to buy shitty comics.) Anyhoo, there's a Biggie-Tupac retelling of Israfel, a latter-day grown-up Columbine at a high school reunion, and a rote retelling of Berenice. Nothing to see here, and even the art isn't enough to make this worth purchasing. Move along. CBG: 1/5.

AQUAMAN #43: Hey hey, we get some answers here, as we learn that Arthur is in fact related (kinda) to Orin of Continuity Past, the Sea Devils and King Shark join with him to go rescue Mera, know what? It doesn't matter. It's a horrible jumping on point, but my interest that flagged with last issue is revived again, as Kurt Busiek ties the knots tighter around our would-be hero, gives King Shark a personality, and starts to make some sense. Oh, and astonishingly, Tony DeZuniga, whose art is Goddamn KILLING Jonah Hex, inks Butch Guice here and actually makes Guice's art look better. I have no explanation for this. If you're new to the relaunch, don't start here, buy the previous three issues as well. CBG: 3/5.

CASANOVA #2: OK, so this issue is a tad clearer than last issue, and is relatively self-contained. (In fact, I think this issue would have made a better #1 than the last, but then again, Matt Fraction's the one who's getting paid to write comics, not me, so what do I know?) Anyhoo, there's a mission against robot naked ladies, orgone, and a supervillain, and wonderful Gabriel Ba art. I also thought Fraction's insight at the end as to the creative process making this issue made fascinating reading, and was probably worth 2 bucks all by itself, but that's just me. Not for everyone, but if you're enjoying Nextwave or Godland (and I can't imagine why you wouldn't be), this one's for you. CBG: 3/5.

SHADOWPACT #3: OK, I wouldn't have predicted a 3-issue arc, but given the timelines and the need to kick this team into action OYL if the book is going to take hold, I understand it. The Pact defeat their nemesises (nemesi?) in a clever way, make a nod to the glaring continuity error that the book was saddled with, and hopefully set the stage for their role as a magical-enemy-commando-squad for the DCU.

(Note to DC: the formula for this book is simple. 2-3 issue arcs revolving around defined missions, given a regular hangout at the Oblivion Bar, with the Phantom Stranger acting as The Chief. In other words, it could be the DCU-magic equivalent of Marvel's X-Factor, and episodic-TV-watching slaves like myself would eat this up). Ahem. Oh, and the cover with speech balloons makes this old-timer's heart sing. CBG: 3/5.

ANNIHILATION: NOVA #4 (of 4): Wow, this series has done 3 things I didn't expect from any comics coming out of this "event" (I use "event" in quotes because Marvel treats this like the plague, and it's not been that bad, really).

1) Change to status quo? Check. That would be Quasar's heroic death.
2) Sets the stage for a big friggin' deal? Check. Annihilus is now PISSED and comin' for Earth.
3) Makes me interested in a hero I previously couldn't give two shits about? Check. Abnett and Lanning have made Nova a character with personality, a mission, and a humorous sidekick that doesn't feel tacked-on, and given us a cosmic scope to boot. I have absolutely no reservations about recommending this entire mini to anyone. Even Kyle Rayner fans. ESPECIALLY Kyle Rayner fans. CBG: 3/5. CBG for Overall Series: 4/5.

CHECKMATE #4: Greg Rucka's super-powered spy thriller gets more powered and more thrilling, as the Checkmate squad on the ground deals with the Great Ten from China, and the political maneuvering gets dangerous back on familiar soil. Amanda Waller sells Alan Scott up the river, Sasha, Fire, and the August General in Iron (shades of Iron Fist!) get some great moments, I am hooked. The fact is that this comic has gotten progressively better with every single issue, and fewer compliments are highly paid from me. If it makes a difference, I also find that Jesus Saiz's art has gotten better each issue as well. CBG: 4/5.

UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS #1 (of 8) : OK, so I bailed on Battle for Bludhaven with issue 3, but the Brave New World preview was enough to get me curious about this mini. And I'm damn glad. Because even though I have little to no love for the original incarnation of this group, Palmiotti and Gray did a GREAT job of

A) introducing us to the new Ray, Phantom Lady, and Dollman in a way that introduces them just enough to care about them
B) Setting the stage for an ideological clash between security and liberty (sound familiar, Marvel?), and
C) giving us a badass antagonist with a ri-Goddamn-diculous name of Father Time.

The best part here was actually sympathizing with Dollman, and making me want to see him succeed. And no, I don't think you have to have read a single issue of Bludhaven to understand what's going on here.

Jimmy/Justin, if you're listening, the only missing ingredient is: "Next issue: Uncle Sam kicks ass...for Freedom!" CBG: 3/5.

SDCC: Snark Edition coming tomorrow!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Mighty Avengers--- I Need an AA Group.

Alright, I had heard rumblings that there was a second Avengers series in the works.

I was very excited, since I really don't care for the New "Not" Avengers. Bad group, bad team, not the right writer for the series. Art has been decent. (My brief moment of niceness.)

I was dreaming of candyland shakes, and faucets of milk chocolate, and heroes fighting the good fight against Kree or Galactus or hundreds of Hulks. Something that the Avengers can really sink their teeth into. Hell, even another JLA crossover.

Please, note the "WAS" above.

And then I find that it is going to be written by the SAME DAMN WRITER!!!!!!!!!!!!
No offense BMB, you just need to put your talents on a different title.

The Mighty Avengers and The New Avengers. Both!!


Great. Now I get TWO junk titles that I used to have a lotta luv for.

Why Marvel? Why do you do this to me? To us?

I would rather see it as an aspiring writer book. At least I"ll get something different.

However, will I pick it up? You know it will be very hard for me to not pick this up.

Can someone please start an AA group for me? Avengers Anonymous, where we can all meet and hope for something better, talk about better days, and for me, offer repentance for the first 20 issues of the New Avengers that I bought.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Randy Reviews July 19 Releases

Hello and Greetings to the masses

I bought lots of books. I have lots of thoughts on some, not so many thoughts on others.
And, there will be some spoilers in here- but only for two books- that being the Top 3 of the Week.
And, I was torn between the top 3. They were all stupendous.
Starting with just some bullet reviews
GArrr...picture uploading not working today. Funny how it worked yesterday.... Mebbe I'll upload pictures later whence I get home.

10. WitchBlade #100
I bought it because it was issue 100. It wasn't a terrible story. I liked the past "holders" visiting. Although I swear I saw that in Buffy. Neat little fight. Sacrifice made. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Not bad. It was pretty. I"ll give it that.
Rating: 2/5.

9. The Sadhu #1
I figured I"ll give each one a chance, see what they do. I like the premise and the setting for this one- Colonial India, fighting the English. Not sure on where its going from here, as I was a bit mixed on the plot, doing a "wha just happened" a couple of times.
Rating: 2/5

8. Uncanny Xmen #476
It picked up some. Was it stellar? No. I'm giving Ed some time here, because this book was a total mess. Cleanup duty can take a bit. I"m also not very familiar with the characters, but since I'm not a mutant reader, I accept that. It had some nice fights, and the team not being "a team", so was a nice little change of pace.
Rating: 2/5

7. Eternals #2
Its just kinda weird how they all seem to forgot who they were, or how only some forgot who they were and just kinda ignore what they are. Weird, but interesting. I think the big blowup-realization is soon forthcoming, but I"m still waiting to see why this is all happening now. I haven't found a big menace that needs them to come out of their...retirement?
Rating: 2/5

6. Catwoman #57
I really was very turned off by the cover, even though I know its a spoof. I wasn't really keen on the events of the past issue. But, this issue carried itself well and resolved the issue, but damn, this event from the last issue better not be a damn repeat storyline. If so, just move in with Bruce. Please. The fight was grand however. The end was fantastic.
Rating: 3/5

5. X-Factor #9
This was another excellent book this week. Once again, Layla steals the show in this one. Shocking, shocking dialogue between her and Madrox. I was left with a slightly creepy feeling though too. The X-men show up hunting QuickSilver, and the X-Factor team makes their stance be known. And, I liked it. Alot. The only bit I thought was a bit slow was the section on Madrox helping someone out. C'mon, I"m not going to spoiler that.
Rating: 3/5

4. Justice League of America #0
You know what, I didn't expect too much. But, it was a lot better than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed the synopsis of the "Big 3" through history, and there were a couple of FANTASTIC moments. Also, after reading Brad's interviews, I was even more psyched to read this, and it only encouraged me to be excited to read the JLA. Well, that and the fact that New Avengers sucks. Go JLA.
Rating: 4/5

3. Manhunter #24
OK, I was not excited about the OYL reboot for this title. I thought it unecessary and really interfered with what was going on.
I was wrong.
The reboot, though it took a couple of issues, has been fantastic after that first ish. We get a little more seasoned Kate, a little more mellow about the whole vigilante thing. The cast of characters is better developed, and they are fun themselves.
And the first arc, though involving the now overused Dr. Psycho, ended here exceptionally well.
Yes yes, he breaks free while the verdict is being read, and Manhunter needs to find a way to stop him from freaking everyone out. Oh my, does she ever. She bites his tongue, and then she stabs him in the head with part of her staff that's all lit up, shutting him down basically.
Man, I was busting up when she bit his tongue.
The verdict- not telling. Lets just say Kate may be taking on more clients soon.
Superb Book. And no, not because I"m trying to hype the book to get past issue 30. It really was a good read.
Overall Rating: 5/5

2. Annihilation Nova #4 of 4
DAMN! That, my friends, was what a space comic is supposed to have. Alien armada attacking fleeeing ships, the defenders go on the offensive to get said ships to safety, the defenders kick some ass, meet the big gun, sacrifice themselves for the overall good and safety of those around, and then, then want to kick more ass when its all said and done. Its like a grand ol Space Opera.
This book ruled. Totally. This has been by far the best mini of this series, and of the year so far. Absolutely. And, the art was sharp to boot- it seemed to improve with each issue.
Nova goes on the total offensive and starts laying waste to the fleet, and finally Quasar joins in the fun. Annihilus finds that two supers are causing all the havoc, and brings them to him basically.
Quasar dies. Yes, he is dead. As far as Marvel heroes die that is. He melted man. He frickin melted!
And then Nova takes on Annihilus. And then it looks like he starts to melt. But he does better than that.
And in the aftermath, Nova lives. Drax and Cammi live.
And Nova. He wants to fight a helluva lot more.
You go Nova. You go.
Rating: 5/5. Overall Series Rating: 5/5

And the #1 book of the week:

Civil War #3
Many people may laugh at me for this. I don't care. Here's why:
1. The entire hype/ads of the series has been Iron Man vs. Cap. We actually get to see the fight in this issue. The book has the hype in it for once, unlike I think the rest of Marvels Events. And it is an ugly, ugly fight. And, most importantly, I don't have to WAIT for issue six to get the fight. I already have a great, great fight. And I know that there is more to come. Thank you Mr. Millar.
2. I got a fight, and I got great dialogue and tricky tricky along the way. Look, you can do fights and dialogue and plot development at the same time. Imagine that? Thank you Mr. Millar.
3. I get Thor. NOW, I am not fooled. I know that this is not THE Thor. Why do I know this?
a.) Did you see Thor talk any smack before laying down the smack? Nope. Has anyone ever seen Thor not talk smack before a fight? I know I havent', and I've read alot of Thor.
b.) When is the last time anyone, and I mean anyone, has controlled Thor? Yes, he may listen to leaders, like he does in the Avengers, but control him to the point that they did in this issues?
c.) Like Thor is going to blast Cap (well, his forces at least), without talking to "thy most courageous mortal he hath ever had the pleasure to fight side by side with, as comrades"? Fuck no. You ain't fooling no one Mr. Millar.
And if you turn this into a clone of Thor, you are a big fat cheat sir. Robot, sure, much more reasonable. You ain't cloning a god. That's just silly talk.
4. Dr. Strange is actually mentioned, finally. Granted, he wussed out and left the country. Wuss.
5. Hell, I loved the smackdown that Reed got from Black Panther even. That so rocked.

How do I want this to end? The Thor robot goes crazy (maybe the SHIELD Psi's are controlling him, but if Enchantress/Morgan Le Fay couldn't hold him in sway, they ain't got a chance), and all the heroes join forces to start trashing it, start to lose and the real ass Thor shows up to lay down his own brand of SMACK!!! Besides, they are going to need Thor around when Hulk comes back, cuz Hulk is going to beat some people when he comes back.

Rating: A hearty 5/5

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Say Anything You Want


This is a TOTAL F%*# Yeah!!! Moment!!!!!!

Thanks, Guy!

In reference to my last post about the panel from Green Lantern Corps #2 that tells you everything you need to know about Guy Gardner, Guy LeCharles Gonzalez from Comic Book Commentary has helpfully provided a scan, which I present to you now:

Hats off to both Guys!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Chris' Reviews 7/12, Pt. II

Part 2, as promised.... Massive Spoilers Ahoy!


OK, so Guy Gardner and Soranik Natu are investigating the most recent murder in a string of warrior-killings scattered throughout the sector, while Rannian Lantern Vath seeks some counsel from Mogo, The Green Lantern Planet.

(Incidentally, Mogo is one of the Ten Coolest Concepts In Comics Ever.)

The investigation appears to go south when a hotheaded prince accompanies Guy on an interrogation and kills the informant, and Natu is ambushed and apparently killed, as we see Guy present her coffin and proclaim that she's dead.

There are three things that made me really enjoy this issue:

1) Soranik Natu utilizes her medical background to do some nice deductive work during the autopsy of Lantern Myrrt, which is just fanTAStic. It seems to me that it would be all too easy to let the GL rings do most of the exposition and plot hammering on a title like this, and Dave Gibbons not only manages to avoid this but uses a character's established background to do it.

2) Guy protects a princess from laser blasts by creating a ring construct of a 50-foot tall version of himself, arms crossed and smug smile across his face. That one panel right there tells you everything you need to know about Guy Gardner. (It's times like this I wish I wasn't a 'ghetto blogger' and had a scanner to show you this panel.)

3) The further characterization of this series as a police procedural with really, really kickass weapons and memorable characters. Which is, you know, just about 100% of what I want in a Green Lantern Corps series.

Frankly, Gibbons throws a lot of alien names, planets, and whatnot around, and while at times it's a bit confusing, it also adds to the sense that we're working on a cosmic scale, and that's just fine by me.

And no, I don't think for one minute that Natu's dead. It's gotta be a setup, otherwise DC will have made a colossal waste of one of the most interesting new characters introduced in the last year. (Not that that's above them.)

Best Moment: That Guy Gardner panel. Must...get...scanner.

Worst Moment: It's sometimes hard to tell what's going on and who is who during the battle and funeral scenes; not sure if this is Gleason's fault or a result of the fact that there are just some confusing things happening in the script.

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5 for GLC fans, 1/5 for everyone else. This initial arc carries a LOT over from the Recharge miniseries character-wise, so if you haven't read that then you're probably still wondering what's going on here. The good news is that the Recharge series was seven kinds of excellent, so you shoud read it anyway.


As I mentioned yesterday, Boom! Studios sent me a preview copy, and having never read either the one-shot or issue #1, I was coming into this comic cold. I knew the general premise --- alternate universe superhero version of a slacker from our Earth comes here and meets his slacker self --- but not much else.

I enjoyed this a whole lot.

99% of this issue takes place at a psychiatrist's office, where Slacker Milo and Captain Valor have decided to seek help to reconcile their differences. It's a dense read, as almost all of this is talking.

But it's good talking. Much of it is funny, and it sounds a lot like you'd expect people in this situation to sound. Aided by Joe Abraham's unique ability to capture facial expressions the precise way they'd look at the exact point in time they're saying the most important piece of whatever dialogue they're saying, Giffen and DeMatteis manage to catch up new readers and immediately invest them in what's going on.

There's just a whole lot to like here, from the comedy bits to the moments of real insight (that, thankfully, are usually immediately followed by more comedy bits).

I'll definitely be buying #3, and incidentally this is loads better than that overrated Defenders miniseries from last year.

(I'm just sayin'.)

(And yes, I still feel bitter about that miniseries.)

Best Moment: Having had enough, Captain Valor takes Slacker Milo and deposits him on a polar icecap surrounded by penguins. That? Was funny.

Worst Moment: Realizing that when they advertised on the cover "All-Therapy Issue!" they meant it.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Like I said, 99% talk, but it's good talk that caught me up well, and hopefully there's more action next issue. But then, I get the feeling this isn't necessarily an "action"-type book, and that's OK too.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Randy Reviews July 13

Greetings one and all. Having a great week? Hoping so. Mine is meh, so hoping yers is better.
This week- all of five books. I can count them all on one hand. But since my math sucks, I still use two hands.
Normally, or at least recently, my reviews have gone from a worst to best order.
This week, I don't really have an outstanding "worse" book, or "best" book. None were particularly bad, and only one was really outstanding for me.
So, lets begin shall we:

Snakewoman (or Shekhar Kapur's Snakewoman)
Issue 1
A Snake in the Grass

Week two of Virgin Comic launch. I know I said I wasn't going to get this one, but I'm going to get all of the Virgin Comics #1, because I really like the idea behind them.
So, we get to meet the unknowing-soon-to-be Snakewoman in this first ish. Much like Necromancer and Wraithborn, we get the introduction to the innocent girl who knows nothing of what she "is." Current typical drivel. We get some smutty type cast of characters in the apartment building that she lives in, one being her over-sexed, over-hyper roomate. I for one and looking forward to her death and some point. And I will cheer loudly.
Plot moves on slowly. Girl meets boy. Girl takes boy home. Girl umm...does things to boy. And not in that way. Sheesh, get your minds out of the gutter, please! As per the catch-phrase for the book- "she's killed 13 in LA....blah blah blah. Well, lets just leave it at that, shall we?
It wasn't a great read. My purchase of #2 is unknown. It probably depends upon how many other books come out that week. The art was good though, VERY X-Factorish. Too bad it didn't have the fab writing of X-Factor.
Rating: 2/5. It wasn't stupendous, but it wasn't horrid either. Probably gamble on an ish 2.

Time and Time Again

Once again, not a bad book, but not a tremendously strong read either. Why? Alternate times, alternate universes. I'm soooooo fricking tired of that. Its the Comics U. Its ALREADY a frickin alt u, so leave it alone already. Blah!
So, the scenes with Doctor Strange are really pretty good. Nice to see someone not make Strange not look and act like a doofus. Well, only a tad, but it was very well placed, and fun.
More Warren Traveller, lots of universes and time thingies. By far the weakest of the five issues to date. Until, the ending.
Its a Civil War ending. It leads right into the next issue, and I'm sure all the beans will be spilt in the mini, but oh well. I loved the ending. Now that, that is some suspense. I wanna see what happens. Like now! I wasn't real high on the Civil War tie in for Warbird (even though obviously I was going to get them) but now, if she is torn like I am expecting the FF to be torn, I'm going to enjoy the trip. Its a minor book, Warbird is technically a minor character, but she sure is getting a lot of visitations from big name heroes so far. I"m sensing some good vibes coming.
Rating: 2/5. The ending just not quite enough to bring the meh of the rest of the book up.


Ah Firestorm. One book I can always rely on to tell me a good story. And once again, it continued. Its a solid, good, quaint little bit of storytelling here. Its not earth shaking or moving. Just a kid trying to find himself in the superhero world, and in his own life outside of Firestorm.
I really like the joining with Firehawk. I think that adds mucho potential to the joining. Albeit, short lived. I am starting to pick up on his Gehenna relationship. As this is a final chapter in the recent arc, the next arc picks up Jason exploring who Gehenna is, and STOP IT!!! Not in THAT way. Mind, gutter, out now.
And yes, Martin Stein returns. Did you really expect anything less?
This book continues to work for me. I have not been disappointed with the story yet. The art is still, slugghish, but nonetheless it works. I like how the art is downplayed while Firestorm is staying, and I'll say it, B-listish.
Rating: 2/5. Little lost by the ending, but I think its the Pupil in some way, shape or form. If I used decimals, this would be a 2.5/5. But I don't. Too much math.

Ultimate Fantastic Four
Frightful Part 2

Its pretty. Mr. Land, its very pretty. Thank you.
Its fun. Mr. Millar, its very fun. Thank you.
What a great book. Could have used a little more FF, and less Baxter Building Staffage, but still, wow.
Victor? Victor Von Doom rules in this book. Man, he is just impressive. And, well, quite the prick, but, still, impressively done.
Can he save Johnny? Yep, for a price. WEE-HOO, let the good times begin. I will be picking up the next few, even without Millar and Land. The story alone is going to be that good methinks.
Oh, and the um, zombies break out. Sigh. Looking forward to them going away soon. But man, are they ever the prick too.
Very little FF, lots of Reed and Doom, lots of Baxter Building Staffage, lots of zombies. Like 2 panels of Flame Boy.
But damn, I'm still liking it.
Rating: 4/5. That banter between Doom and Reed is some good stuff.

Annihilation Super-Skrull
#4 of 4

This my friends, was my book of the week.
Now, this series didn't start strong for me. I was turned off by the art, the goofy looking art, and the character, who I really didn't care about. But each book got better. The art stayed consistent, and it grew on me. It really worked for this book, for these characters. It wouldn't work for say, Nova or Ronan. But this was well suited.
SuperSkrull & Friends. Caught. Betrayed. And pissed.
Oh my, don't piss of this guy, ever. Ultimate Super Skrull? A big nancy compared to this guy.
Needless to say, they bust loose. They start to beat the living hell out of the bug dudes. Sacrifices are made, emotions run rampant, and betrayers are, shall we see, given their due. Mackerel Mackerel Mackerel, was R'kin ever showed his due. That was not at all expected what was done. And I cheered. I cheered for the SuperSkrull every bit of the way. I wanted to see him dish out some death after his son getting dun blowed up with the planet. I wanted his allies to dish death with him.
I got all I wanted. I got a climatic ending which was fricking beautiful. And, I got a most suprising ending.
I so hope Nova and Ronan can go out like this. (I didn't buy the Surfer because, well, I don't like the Surfer.) I don't think I was disappointed one iota in this book.
Read it again. Nope. It was fricking good.
Rating: 5/5. It was that damn good. Series Rating: 4/5. Just kept getting better.

Chris' Reviews 7/12 Pt. I

Holy Hell, this was a light week for me, with only 4 comics (no, I didn't end up getting any of the ones I asked for advice for yesterday; my LCS had no copies of either Scarlet Traces, the Scarlet Traces sequel, or Revere, and I flipped through Ghost Rider and immediately decided to wait for the consensus comicsblogoweb opinion).

Additionally, Boom! Studios were gracious enough to send me a preview copy of Hero Squared #2, which like an idiot I completely forgot about until yesterday afternoon, so that was a late addition (but a welcome one --- I'll have more on this later).

But what an excellent 4 comics these were --- you'll only find two reviews here, though, because I need to dedicate Green Lantern Corps #2 and Hero Squared #2 their own post later. Massive Spoilers Ahoy!


I've given Geoff Johns some grief on the blog here, from comparing him to toast to wishing he'd stop wallowing in continuity.

Geoff Johns, as far as I'm concerned, should write Green Lantern for the next 2 years, minimum.

In this issue, he explains Cyborg Superman to new readers, illuminates his devious (and oddly sensical) plan, and deals with the ramifications of Parallax Hal meeting those GLs he betrayed oh so many years ago.

And Goddamn if he doesn't make it work.

There's little plot advancement here --- Cyborg Superman is collecting GLs to fuel a new kind of Manhunter robot to take his revenge on Oa, and ends up capturing Guy Gardner for that purpose --- but there's the satisfying feeling of putting the next-to-last piece in place when you're doing an especially complicated jigsaw puzzle.

Which is to say that Hal ends up having to "revive" a lot of the Lanterns he was responsible for killing and betraying, and not knowing what's going on, they naturally proceed to kick Hal's ass.

Why is this good? Because Johns realizes that this is a very necessary part of Hal's continuity, and that these major ramifications need to be dealt with before we can accept with any sort of confidence that Hal is truly a kickass GL. And it's in character, makes sense, and flows perfectly with continuity.

In short, this is the perfect character for Johns: riddled with continuity problems, enough leeway to not have to have other DC heroes involved in every adventure, and an established set of "rules" as far as powers and responsibilities.

And it's a prime example of Johns doing what he does best: providing the "glue" that makes all those wacky comics seem to fit together for 22 pages. Well done, sir.

Best Moment: I enjoyed the concept of the "Willhunters", nanites that embed themselves in a GL's brain searching for the exact right spots to control so that Cyborg Supes can manipulate them.

Worst Moment: I still can't not laugh over the fact that Cyborg Superman, a twisted horrific corruption of the Ultimate Superhero, has the first name "Hank".

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5 if you're a GL fan, 2/5 if you're not. For those of us who love the concept of Green Lantern and the GL Corps, it's a great way of connecting the dots. For everyone else, the reaction will likely be similar to that of a hog staring at a wristwatch.


OK, if you had told me yesterday that the latest Iron Man comic would feature the Goddamned Sentry, Tony Stark shaving all his facial hair off and bleaching his hair blond, heavy dependence on Ellis' Extremis arc, and crappy fight scenes, I would have said one or more of the three following answers:

A) Goddamnit. Looks like I'm cancelling Iron Man for at least 3 months.

B) Marvel really is content to let an icon stew in shit until the movie comes out, aren't they? Stupid Marvel.

C) Alan Moore's writing for Marvel?

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this comic.

Charlie and Daniel Knauf take the two supporting characters from Ellis' arc --- Sal, Tony's "mentor" and half-crazy hippie futurist, and Maya Hansen --- arrested for being responsible for unleashing Extremis in the first place --- and make them a necessary part of Tony's supporting cast, as the three of them try to figure out what's making Tony kill unconsciously.

And they do it well, while writing an engaging scene that puts Tony's engineering mind to great use, the way Paul Dini put Batman's detective mind to use so effectively in the latest issue of, um, Detective Comics.

Meanwhile, we do get a lame fight with the Goddamn Sentry at the end (though it ends with Iron Man getting his butt kicked, which actually seems right to me at this point) and we learn that Tony's problem is some low-tech tumor-esque thing in his brain making him kill these people.

And I think I've got this whole thing figured out. If true, it will add a cool twist on Iron Man's origin. If false, well, it's only the 938,144,467th comicsblogoweb prediction that turned out wrong, so no big deal.

Here it is:

FACT 1: Tony's controlling "tumor" is built from low-ish technology, which is to say older.
FACT 2: The "tumor" relies on bio-magnetism.
FACT 3: The person controlling Tony has assassinated people relating directly to the captors in his origin, the same ones who gunned down Ho Yinsen when Tony escaped.
FACT 4: The "tumor" is NOT a result of the Extremis virus.

I think the villain is none other than Ho Yinsen himself.

When operating on Tony lo those many years ago to help him recover, Yinsen realized while watching Stark construct the original Iron Man armor (and performing surgery on him) that it would be beneficial to be plugged into this guy's brain. To that end, he implanted a viral growth, one that when sufficiently grown would allow him to plug into the genius intellect that is Tony Stark.

At first, Yinsen had only the best intentions. But when Tony apparently left him for dead, Yinsen took it personally and vowed that one day he would have his revenge not only on his captors but on the man who abandoned him. Long has he waited for this day.

(Add to that the fact that in the Marvel Universe there's a group of techno-cultists called the Sons of Yinsen, and there's another viable candidate with similar motives.)

Either way, the Knaufs have me interested and guessing about the next Iron Man comic in a long, long time, and that's a good thing.

Best Moment: Tony breaking down under the realization that he is in fact doing the killings.

Worst Moment: My hate for the Goddamned Sentry as a plot device only deepens with this issue.

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5 if you've read the arc thus far, 2/5 if you haven't because you'll be totally lost. As an IM fan, I got armor scenes, Tony being brilliant scenes, and a deepening mystery. Excellent work, guys!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Immediate Readership Assistance Requested

Alright kids, I've got exactly 6 hours before I buy comics today, and I need the collected wisdom of 2GBC readership to decide for me on three comics I'm on the fence about:

1) Ghost Rider #1: While flaming-skull demons in leather who wield chains and spikes atop a vintage motorcycle as the avatar of Vengeance with a capital "V" is undeniably ass-kicking as a concept, for some reason (probably the Gawd-awful Essential I read) the stench of "sucky comics" seems to emanate from this title the way Poison Ivy's leg razor probably smells like fresh-cut grass. To buy or not to buy?

2) Scarlet Traces: The Great Game #1 (of 4): I never read the first series, which was apparently about a war between Great Britain and Mars, in some sort of War of the Worlds-type vein. But this looks intriguing, because A) it's a 4-issue mini, thus not a long-term strain on the wallet, B) it's an alternate future/history, which is so up my alley it's actually been renamed "Chris Alley", and C) the solicit includes this line : "Sequel to the best comic book of all time, Scarlet Traces", know. The sheer attitude of that line just makes me happy. To buy or not to buy?

3) Revere #1 (of 4): Look, they had me at the line "Paul Revere fights werewolves", OK? Plus, it's another mini I could easily dump if it goes south. On the other hand, the whole [Insert Random Historical Figure Here] fights [Insert Random Mythical Beast Here] formula could probably generate about six zillion different miniseries that I would want to read, including "Theodore Roosevelt fights Unicorns", "Jean-Paul Sartre fights the Harpy Queen", and "William Randolph Hearst vs. Zeus", so my impulse to buy Revere is obviously not based on anything rational. To buy or not to buy?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why No, We're Not Particularly Sexist, Why Do You Ask?

So, I'm cruising about the Marvel website looking for blog fodder, when I stop by their Wikipedia-like catalog of the Marvel Universe.


And I see this.

And so, the IGN-ization of Marvel continues.

(Does this count as a feminist post?)

UPDATED: There are those who would give the benefit of the doubt here and just assume that Marvel was looking for a way to put their female heroes on a pedestal and so called them out in this manner. In the interest of fairplay, I thought I would mention that.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Chris' Reviews 7/5

Pretty good week in comics, with only 5 purchases but no regrets! Massive Spoilers Ahoy!


Well, put it this way: it's the closest thing we're ever going to get to another episode of Batman: The Animated Series. And it's really, really good. There's a "gimmick villain" (Batman's words, not mine) targeting Gotham's high society, and Bruce sets out to bring them to justice.
In this issue, we get:

-- Bruce Wayne making the rounds of all the upper-class Gotham hotspots, hobnobbing and making excuses
-- Batman saving a woman from being mugged
-- Alfred throwing a couple zingers towards Bruce
-- A new villain, Facade
-- Bruce doing a smart bit of detecting
-- Narration panels that aren't obnoxious and clearly tell us what Batman's thinking
-- Batman and Robin punching and kicking bad guys and gun-toting mannequins
-- J.H. Williams III drawing the hell out of this comic

I just checked that list again, and I didn't see anything not to like.

But the beauty of it is not only that it's a self-contained story, but that it is refreshingly agenda-free. There isn't some larger story being told, no crossover to support, no metatextual point to be made, it's just Batman and Robin solving a case.

And it's wonderful.

Best Moment: It's hard to pick one. I'll go with Bruce using his mojo to swipe a clue from a reporter in a bar. A good bit of detective work there.

Worst Moment: The art, while I loved it, may seem a bit too detailed/stiff for some.

Comic Book Goodness: 5/5. It's exactly what I want in a Batman comic. Bonus points for having the narration font be the same typestyle from B:TAS.


Garth Ennis attempts to revive forgotten Silver Age Brit hero Battler Britton, who's a World War II RAF pilot. (Seriously. That's pretty much the extent of the character, from what I've seen.)

This issue sees Britton and his squadron landing in Egypt to train an American fighter squadron. The Yanks and the Brits don't get along too well, as characterized by Stock Character Tension Building Scene #4; you know, the one where men from different military units get in a fistfight because they're, um, from different units. Or something.

Anyhoo, they go on a mission together, the Yanks screw something up because they didn't listen to Britton, and at the end they're assigned to a mission behind enemy lines together.


Will the U.S. and British squadrons learn to work together? Will there end up being a traitor in their midst who puts the mission in jeopardy? Will Britton get shot down at one point and have to punch his way back to freedom?

Only if the rules that apply to 99% of all WWII comics and Alistair McLean novels hold fast here. I'd like to give Ennis the benefit of the doubt, though.

The problem is that there's not enough differentiation between the characters; they're all wearing brown, all talk roughly alike, and none of them show a glimmer of rising beyond the cardboard Sgt. Rock-like stock characterizations we've seen a million times before.

But the aerial sequences were good, and I'm inclined to give this one another issue to see what happens.

Best Moment: The text piece by Ennis after the comic that explains who the hell Britton is and why this series exists. (Although in retrospect, shouldn't that have been done in the comic proper?)

Worst Moment: I seriously lost track of who was who, because all the uniforms looked the same.

(It's like the time my buddy and I got separated at the Pink Floyd concert, and when I called him to find out where he was, he told me, "Look for me at the entrance - I'll be the guy in the Pink Floyd T-shirt.")

Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. I had this book higher rated the first time I read it, but upon rereading it's not particularly outstanding. Still, there might be enough here to stick with. Next issue has a lot riding on it. Nice art by Colin Wilson, too.


Well, this was a weird comic.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it --- but there's a strange vibe here.

The issue is a good first issue, in that it establishes the main characters (Ryan Choi and his supporting cast of fellow professors at Ivy University), has him experimenting with his new powers (Ray Palmer handpicked Ryan and left him his Atom belt; Wacky Shrinking Adventure With Now-Giant Rat ensues), and we see glimpses of the story arc to-be, with an invasion by microscopic aliens being the threat at hand.

Did I mention there's some weird stuff going on here?

First of all, with the exception of a couple of the supporting characters, apparently Ivy University has a strict No Professors Over The Age Of 25 policy in place. I'm not kidding, most of these people looked way too young for their position.

Second, there are some unexplained jumps in logic and time here that it's best not to spend too much time thinking about, like how Ryan suddenly realizes that Ray has been trying to contact him, or the poker game sequence.

(The more I think about it, the more this whole needle thing seems odd. Ray Palmer's thought process must have been, "I need to somehow let Ryan know where I hid the Atom gear. Instead of sending a secure email, or sending a telegram or safe deposit box, I'll engrave anagrams in needles I'll hide in the carpet of my old office! Painful foot wounds will make him a better hero!")

Third, the caption boxes with quotes from famous people (real and fictional) tend to get a little intrusive. Is this a comic book or a Ken Burns documentary?

But it's a good setup, with good characterization and a neat supporting cast. I'm on board.

Best Moment: OK, I'm a sucker for miniaturized people getting chased by giant rats.

Worst Moment: Anagrams in needles, while VERY Silver Age, were a tad silly.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Definitely worth checking out. I'll be pissed, though, if the preview I read in Brave New World turns out to be the end of this story arc.


JONAH HEX #9 -- Something of a misstep here, as upon first reading there's a lot of confusion as to what the hell the first three pages were all about, and it took me a couple times (and the title of the story) to realize that this was a ghost story about exorcising personal demons. A difficult read, but a cool one if you put the effort into it. CBG: 3/5.

SECRET SIX #2 -- Deadshot, Comedy Genius. Seriously, the dude gets all the good lines in this one, and there's a nice bit of characterization in that he shows himself a good friend to Scandal by killing her prisoner so that she won't have to. Also, Cheshire shows back up with her and Catman's son, and the joke that I predicted months ago finally shows up! Excellent series,
excellent characters, plus the Mad Hatter makes cake. CBG: 4/5.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Randy Review July 4 Week

This week, a whopping 9 books. I"m maintaining way too high of an average here nowadays.
However, I am now able to safely drop one of these titles.

I can't get this damn thing to take my image uploads anymore. WTF?? Starting to get a little ticc'ed.

Chris and I had a brief phone meeting. We agreed on one book. One. And I think I bought all the same books (plus some) that he did, minus Detective.

Reviews upcoming.
And, to say the least, I was not pleased by the week.

From Worst, to Best:

Wow. What a downer. Rather, what a letdown. This went out with a fizzle, and not a bang. It was a very chaotic last verse here. Unclear fight scenes, mangled dialogue. Hell, at one point I couldn't tell the Greeks from the Japanese. The ending- pretty much as expected, but was really hoping something cool would happen. Didn't. Weak, by-the-book tale from good to bad to good again. Sigh. I waited how long for this? Bad.
Rating: 0/5. Series Rating: 1/5.

Jonah Hex #9
Gettin' Un-Haunted
Wow, not only did it have the artist that I don't care for, the story was all over the place too, and not in a very smooth way. Thanks for the "what the hell is this Indian shaman all about" portion of the story that is never followed through with. First few pages- what was that about? Same or different girl from later? Or just a "girl representation" for overall? Man, this one was a stinker. Please, please stop using DeZuniga on this book. Always brings it down for me. May be good other places, but in comparison to others working on the book, this is not good. However, every book has a lapse, I feel that this is the Jonah version.
Rating: 1/5

Supergirl #7
Candor Part 2
Aaaaand.....I can now drop this series. Its still pretty, but man, where in the hell is this story going? Its soo...umm..what is it I"m looking for....chaotic. Didn't I use that phrase earlier? I got people who I have no clue who they are, I got Kara going all hallucinatory, I got Powergirl clueless as usual, and I gots fights where I don't know why there are fights. Get all that? I sure don't. This is just not a good book. Pretty. But I"m not buying this one for pretty.
Rating: 1/5

Uncanny X-men #475
Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire
I was hesitant to give this a try. It is a 12 part series. Of mutants. BUT, written by the usually successful Ed Brubaker. OK, I"ll take a gander. It was a last minute grab. And, it was...ok. Now, quite honestly, I think it will take him awhile to clear up the mess that this book has been forever. So he is starting with a real negative. Now, it is the Shi'ar, and I remember some time ago the REAL Avengers dabbling with the Shi'ar somewhere- they even had one of the rejects hanging with them for awhile. (I may be wrong, but I"m at work and at a lack for resources.) So, I can go with the Shi'ar thing. I"m real unsure on this cast of characters though. I know of um, two. So, I still don't know how this is all going to turn out. It was a reasonable start though, and the story flowed for me. It was sensible. And um, it was pretty too. Always helps. And I really like the Wraparound cover. I will give this another issue or two.
Rating: 2/5

Battler Britton
Bloody Good Show, Part 1
Overall, this wasn't a bad book. I get to see Nazi's getting mowed down. I get WWII in North Africa. So that's good. I get cool looking airplanes, though I would like to actually see more of the planes. I love the covers that are upcoming, so I am a lock for this series. It would have to be awful inside for me to not buy these, and it wasn't. There were just a lot of characters and names and I couldn't really make heads or tails of Yanks and Brits. I had a real hard time with that. So I would be asking "why did he hit him" or "why is he spouting off?" Of course, when I read the "British-English", I knew that one wasn't a Yank at least.
Rating: 2/5

Grimm Fairy Tales
Snow White
As always, this is beautiful art. I find it very crisp and clear and neat. Maybe I just like that better. I dunno. This is a great story too- I love the end of this book. The end of this one has been the most fun since I started reading these. I laughed my ass off. Then it unfortunately got put back on, and it seemed to gain some padding. However, these are not the versions to read to your 5 year old. Maybe 9-10 though. This one...little graphic. Not gory, just um, graphic. But man was it fun reading.
Rating: 3/5

Secret Six
Six Degrees of Separation Part 2
The First Cut is the Deepest
So, there were some really interesting pieces here, and some not so. I really really enjoyed Deadshot. This was his book. All his. Good man. Best lines. But, I didn't care for his family "scene" at the beginning. Just didn't flow right. Ragdoll in the hospital? His fight really didn't seem to be that bad. Why is he in a hospital? Scandal was interesting in her um, questioning of Pistolera. Nice little touch there. And who in the hell CAN"T love the Hatter. Holy Crap, is he a ton o' fun in this. He is superbly written here. But, the partial-antagonist's return, although I liked it, just seemed rushed and clumsy. It just doesn't work for me in this manner. I liked it coming back, but I don't know, maybe I needed something...not necessarily grander, but...bolder? Flambuoyant maybe? This just seemed awfully meek. And, not an ending that is leaving me hanging either. The rest of the books (initial mini, one shot, ish 1 here) had some great and cliffhanging endings for me.
Rating: 3/5.

Devi (or Shekhar Kapur's Devi) #1
My LCBS had one last copy of this, so I took a gander on it. And I liked it. Alot. Not only was it pretty, but it was extremely well written. I find that I am very interested in the topic. I find most mythology fascinating, and the Hindu mythology tucked away and not well expressed, so I was most interested in seeing how this went. Was an excellent good vs. evil fight to take up the first 2/3 of the book, and the interesting topic of "why can't I just kill him?". At least its brought up and not avoided like other books do.I had a hard time with the shift in the middle though. Jumped to real time, and didnt' quite follow it. Didn't know, and still dont' know, who that characeter is. The last page helped alot at least. A fine setup. Its very reminiscent of something else I read not too long ago though...I just can't place it.Anyway, I love the thought behind this. I'm very pleased that they are trying this line of storys to be told. I think its great material and I am onboard for most of it. Probably not Snake Woman, but maybe the first ish.
Rating: 4/5

Atom #1
My Life In Miniature Part 1
What is it with all the books this week jumping around in time. Atom starts out 100 days from now, then on page 2 is Ten Days ago. Can't I just have a Start-Finish of like one day, one hour or something along those lines anymore. Or maybe a Next Day? Sheesh. Do I really need a splash page of some JLA members (will they all be JLA members???) caught 100 days from now, then go ten days back for like, NO REASON??? GAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!Did I mention though that I liked this book? It was a long read. Lots of words. That's good though, because this one needed it. Little too much background on Ryan Choi, but no harm, no foul. I like the cast of characters already, and we haven't seen that much of them yet. As long as that cast of characters were around the poker table that is. Enjoyed the exploration as Atom for the first time. Panic set in as it should have, was nice little touch of realism and emotion.I still dont' get who the bad guys are though. Were these guys a usual foe of Palmers, or someone new being introduced? I like their broken English. Interesting touch.Its well written. Its Gail, so nothing less is expected.I'll try a couple more issues and see if it continues.
Rating: 4/5

That's it for this shortened week. Talk at ya all later. Maybe one day I can upload pretty images.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Just Had To Mention This Right Away...

...even though my reviews won't be up until tomorrow.


Detective Comics #821 might be the best single-issue Batman comic of the last 10 years.


(Seriously. I feel like Paul Dini just gave me a big wet sloppy kiss --- don't tell the wife! :) )

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

All Things Marvel At Heroes Con: Snark Edition

Happy 4th, every one, and hope you had a happy and safe weekend! That said, I saw that apparently there was a convention over the weekend, and so as is 2GBC custom, I'm going to take sound bites out of context from Newsarama's coverage and use them to poke fun at Marvel.

"Winter Soldier will be returning, Quesada said when asked about the character, and suggested that he may be making an appearance in some Civil War related stories."

Winter Soldier? Returning? And in Civil War stories! NO! Shocked! Shocked I am, to find gambling in this establishment!

"Quesada said that while he can’t wait for Spider-Man 3, he’s very excited about Jon Favreau’s take on Iron Man, noting how enthusiastic the director is for the film, and how he’s looking to work with fans on it."

Does anyone else think that Favreau's going just a tad overboard with fan involvement, what with the MySpace, the message boards for suggestions and all that? I mean, I'm all for fan involvement, but stick to your vision, Jon! Beware of drooling fanboys like myself! And what's the over/under on how many days until he posts the "Win A Part In The Iron Man Movie" contest?

(And yes, of course I'd totally enter that contest. Character Fandom Hypocrisy knows no bounds.)

"Quesada said that it’s too early to name particulars, but there are many changes coming for the Avengers. “I can guarantee that you’ll love it…or hate it,” Quesada said."

Well, anything would be a nice change from apathy, I guess.

"Reed tells Peter about his uncle, who was a writer and creator, and was caught up in a McCarthy-esque witch hunt, and as a result, was jailed and saw his career destroyed. When Peter expresses his feelings of how horrible that must have been for Reed’s uncle, Mr. Fantastic says it was, but the law is the law is the law, and his uncle was wrong for not cooperating with the government"

Someone on the Newsarama board already beat me to it, but I'll repeat it here: Reed Richards, Asshole! And isn't Reed's conclusion the exact opposite of what it should be given the story above?

"Asked if Spider-Man’s webbing was organic (as a fan noted the scene in Amazing Spider-Man #533 when an un-costumed Peter Parker webbed a gunman’s hand) both Quesada and Straczynski said that it’s been organic for a while now with the character."


"Straczynski noted that at least one hero will quit the country, and take up residence in Paris."

Because France loves them some immigrants! Seriously, I'm not sure who this is, but how many kinds of awesome would it be if it was Captain America? Answer: 762 kinds.

"Jenkins said that he has many, many more Sentry stories to tell, and as far as he’s concerned, the sky is the limit with the character. It’s up to Quesada and Publisher Dan Buckley as far as how much they want him to do, Jenkins said, but he has stories that would put the Sentry squarely at the center of the Marvel Universe."

Paul, on behalf of the six of us who still love the Marvel Universe: write down those Sentry stories. All of them. Then wrap them up, pack them in a box, then weigh it down with lead, slather the box in chum, and drop it from an airplane into the South Pacific. And we'll forget this whole Sentry character ever existed. OK? OK.

"Look to the pages of Wolverine for Namor’s reaction to Namorita’s death in Civil War #1."

Naturally! Wolverine is always the first place I check for news on Namor! Stupid Marvel.

"There are no follow-up plans for Magneto after his recent appearance in New Avengers, although, Quesada said, if he was going to show up, the X-books would be the safest place to look for him."

Of course, your definition of 'safe' may vary.

"As for the uncensored, MAX version of Frank Cho’s Shanna, the She Devil, Quesada said that he’s fairly certain it’s being done, but is unsure of when it will be released."

Aw, hey Joe, we understand. It's not like you're the Editor-in-Chief or anything, and should know whether certain projects are...oh, wait. You are. Ye Gods! "Fairly certain"?

DC observations later!