Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Andre Braugher in General

From Blackfilm.com:

"On the heels of Variety briefly reporting that Andre Braugher has left an episodic role on NBC's ER for a role in the Fox sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, many fans were wondering which role he would play. Would it the The Puppet Master or The Silver Surfer? Yes, the latter is a bit of a stretch. Blackfilm.com has learned that Braugher will play the role of the military general in the sequel. Filming is scheduled to start on August 31, 2006."

What does this mean? Well, while no eyepatch was specifically mentioned, my guess is this:(Thanks to my tea-drinking, redcoated, limey friend Ross for bringing this story to my attention.)

Chris' Reviews 8/23-ish

As promised, 3 weeks worth of comic reviews, most of which are sure to infuriate! (Mainly because I seem to have the exact opposite opinion of everyone else about most of these.) As always, Massive Spoilers Ahoy!


Yes, I liked Identity Crisis. Yes, I liked this issue. No, it didn't have any punching. Yes, it had a lot of in-character narration. Yes, a lot of people are going to not like this. And I'm not sure why, although Greg Hatcher from Comics Should Be Good shares his reasons.

Quite honestly, the "who gets in" issues from the old Avengers and JLA were always the most interesting for me as a kid, so I'm delighted to see one here, especially since it's a really well done one. Red Tornado gets a lot of screen time, and the flashback panels with Kathy Sutton are a nice touch as well.

Also, Mr. Miracle's opposite twin (Dr. Impossible?) decapitates two of the Metal Men. Sweeeeeeeet. Bonus points for a "Hush Tube"!

(Side note: I am in fact one of those people with a double standard --- or 'humans', as I call them. It's OK to kill robots. Every. Single. Time.)

In fact, in seeming response to bloggers who posted about how Red Tornado's entire purpose seems to be blowing up, it's a major plot point here! Take THAT, comicsblogoweb!

So we get what anyone who's remotely familiar with Meltzer's work probably should have expected: a set-up issue with good character bits, no action, and a hint of a deeper mystery. Also, I quite liked the art.

Best Moment: Batman and Superman's immediate rejection of Supergirl as a League member: "No." "No." Funny, because that was the same reaction I had when I saw the panel.

Worst Moment: The Red Tornado/Deadman conversation was plodding. But hey, Felix Faust showed up at the end!

Comic Book Goodness: I'm giving this one a solid 3/5. Maybe I'm a sucker, but there were more than enough nods to the various eras of JLA-ness to keep me happy, and as I said: I really think Meltzer's characterization of the Big Three works. Between liking this and Identity Crisis, I am now officially a comicsblogoweb leper.


Captain America and the Falcon team up to take care of a white supremacist group that's using Ultimate Arnim Zola (who's an AI program in the Ultiverse) to concoct a Super Soldier Death Powder to, um, make Super Soldiers. Intercut with flashbacks to Cap's WWII adventure wherein he took down --- shock! --- Zola's Super Soldier back in the day, and saddled with a
heavy, heavy message on race relations.

This was at times clunky and hard-to-follow, but I can't deny that this made for some compelling reading. From Cap's monologue on just how he's still painfully aware that he's got a 60-year chunk of history missing to Falcon's refusal to be the subservient soldier under Cap's command, there are a few really interesting bits of characterization.

Also, Cap and Falcon get a sweet ride in a Trans Am, and said panel is overflowing with cool-osity.

But the race message (which is admittedly hard to do well in comics anyway) drops thuddingly every time the action heats up. And the beginning would seem to give away the end of Ultimates 2 (not that we were predicting anything differently anyway).

But I really enjoyed Ryan Sook's art in the flashbacks, Mike Deodato's art in the present, and the cover. So it wins on those counts.

Best Moment: "So, for the permanent record, do not treat me like your Step-and-Fetchit noncom ever again. Understood?" --- Falcon to Cap

Worst Moment: This was my first exposure to Ultimate Falcon, so, I didn't know those wings could decapitate folks. Huh. Also, ew.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Interesting vignette, decent action and good art. Probably would have been better if it hadn't tried to be so "Message"-y.


In this issue, we learn that Diana's new role as Agent of Whatever was supplied to her by Batman (more about this later), Tim Drake's known the whole time where she's been, Cassie gets pissed about it, then Giganta shows up wearing Donna Troy as a necklace (heh) and Nemesis, Cassie, Tim and Diana try to take down Giganta, Cheetah, and Dr. Psycho.

Just as Diana's ready to transform back into Wonder Woman via an absolutely WONDERFUL Lynda Carter twirl-around, she's stopped by Hercules.

I had several problems with this comic.

First off, the idea that Batman gave WW a new identity after she's made so much out of finding out who she really is kind of counterintuitive. "Having trouble discovering what you're really all about? Here's a fake ID, made-up past and new job in which you get to live a lie!" Also, apparently her time during the year off didn't provide the answers she was looking for? Disappointing.

I didn't go back and read issue #1, but I forget why all the bad guys are looking for Diana.

I'm not well versed in the DCU's version of Hercules, but here's hoping he's much like the Marvel version (e.g., strong, arrogant, and a little bit naive). Someone feel free to illuminate me!

But the biggest problem here is... drumroll please... lateness. We already know that Diana's going back to being Wonder Woman thanks to Justice League of America. So it becomes a question of "when", not "if", and I naively thought that there was a real chance for a status quo change here. (Not that I was rooting against Diana, but that question was a story hook for me.) So my interest level in seeing Diana not being WW for the rest of the arc is greatly diminished.

Best Moment: The twirl. Man, what a tease!

Worst Moment: I still can't get over the Batman-supplied new life. I thought that was SO not the point. I thought we were looking at a more independent, free-willed WW who's determining her own fate from now on.

Comic Book Goodness: 2/5. Serviceable art, but I just can't say I'm interested in Diana Prince: Agent of Whatever --- once she's back to being WW and can be the focus of her own book, I'll jump back on. Maybe I'll give the next issue a shot. I dunno.


Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray's relaunch of Heroes for Hire starts us smack dab in the middle of the action, as we're introduced to Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Tarantula, Humbug, and Shang Chi.

(Black Cat is also a member, but for some reason she doesn't get her own text-heavy explanatory splash page like the others.)

The setup is fairly simple: these folks are hired guns, hunting down bad guys for cash, and don't answer to anyone but themselves.

Of course, this being a Marvel comic, it's saddled with Civil War baggage. Surprisingly, it ends up being the closest any CW-related comic I've read has come yet to actually discussing the issues that Marvel so desperately wants us to think about.

Bottom line is that HFH decides to go all "Wyatt Earp on the criminal underworld", but won't be hunting down heroes. Which is cool with me.

Not as funny as I'd have expected, but there's not a lot wrong with this comic --- plus I gets me some Shang Chi! (I have a completely irrational fascination with Shang Chi. I cannot explain this.)

So here's hoping that P&G can keep the 70's-action-flick vibe going in subequent issues, with the snappy dialogue and mercenary nature of the team taking center stage. Personally, I'm confident it will, and this cheesecake-and-punch laden comic is a guilty pleasure already.

The other thing I like about it is this is a perfect opportunity for Marvel to bring in B- through D- List characters on a rotating one or two issue basis, since they can be hired and fired at will.

Best Moment: HFH is referred to as "Kung Fu sex bombs". Nice bit of self-awareness there. Plus: the explanation of why Humbug is a valuable member of the team (insect spy network).

Worst Moment: Paladin and Orka show up that the end (yeeesh), but I think they were just contracted for a specific job, so hopefully they won't be back next ish.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. I can dig it; trashy fun.



In what I greeted with derision and scorn upon hearing it announced, I hath found humility and a lesson.

That lesson?

Don't underestimate my ability to misdirect snark.

Holy hell, I loved this comic!

It's all-out war between the Annihilus/Thanos axis and, well, pretty much the rest of the galaxy as an older, war-torn Nova and Drax, Ronan, and Starlord (F#$% yeah!) fight valiantly to mount some sort of resistance. Helped by former heralds, no less. Yep, those heralds.

Oh, and Galactus shows up at the end and gets his world-devourin' ass kicked by Aegis and Tenebrous.

Don't be fooled for one minute: this is a war comic, narrated as such by Nova and very intensive with the cosmic smashy-smash.

But it's all brilliantly done, and feels more like an episode of Band of Brothers than anything else. Did I mention that Giffen promised us SpaceKnights? Hell yeah. This is exciting, action-packed stuff, and it's hard not to feel like very bad things are going to happen next issue.

Now if we could just figure out why Marvel keeps pretending this series doesn't exist.

Best Moment: "They took down Galactus. God help us." --- Nova

Worst Moment: I can't decide if the fact that Drax the Destroyer's costume consists of slacks, shoes, and no shirt is incredibly cool or incredibly dopey.

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5. Great work.


IRON MAN #11 --- Yep, I was more or less right, which is just fine by me. This ish does the reveal nicely, and features a cool takedown of the Sentry by IM (overloading the Cloc thing to give Bob a nervous breakdown), a nice fakeout with an I-should-have-seen-it-coming Tony-less armor, and momentum for the last ish of the arc, in which Yinsen activates the Iron Mega-Robots mentioned in the first issue. I'm not lying when I say that as a fan if the next issue doesn't falter, this will have been the best IM story in three years. CBG: 4/5.

BATMAN #656 --- Everyone else seems to like this comic a lot more than I do. It's one big fight with ninja Man-bats in an art museum, yes the pop-art backgrounds are clever, yes the name "Jezebel Jet" sucks (what, "Tramp Steamer" was already taken?), but overall so far this is a less compelling Batman read than Detective. I can't explain why I don't like this more. CBG: 2/5.

SECRET SIX #3 (of 6) --- A little emotion, a little humor, and scads of betrayal mark the halfway point here, as we see that Vandal Savage has been acting the puppetmaster, the team stuggles to sort things out, and bonds between comrades are put to the test (figuratively and literally). Good stuff, all round. CBG: 3/5.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #3 --- Holy Compression, Batman! A 3-issue arc! And one that wraps up nicely, as the mystery and motives behind the warrior-killing is exposed (and makes sense), the Hill Street Blues vibe gets even stronger, and Guy Gardner gets a deserved vacation (one that if future covers are any indication will not go well). Top-notch story and art, and quickly becoming one of my top 5 comics. CBG: 4/5.

FELL #6 --- I won't say anything that I haven't said before; this is just an excellent comic. Either you're buying this or you're not. I am, and glad for it.

They're Coming

Review later this afternoon, dammit. I promise.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

5 Random Thoughts

1) I've been New Avengers-free for 4 months now! Nope, haven't even had a second thought about picking it back up again. Does it still suck? How did that Collective hoo-ha end? These are questions a younger, more foolish Chris would have paid 3 bucks to find the answers to!

2) I tremble at the pile of comics waiting for me tomorrow (3 weeks worth). Tremble, I tell you.

3) While I'm asking, did The Flash get any better?

4) Why yes, I will be getting Justice League of America. Of course, I realize that by doing that I'll be condemning myself to prefacing every single review of that comic with "Listen, I liked Identity Crisis, OK? Deal with it."

5) Thanks to all who commented in my Y/Fables dilemma. And the winner, by a slight margin is Fables. I feel good about it because A) I can read Y for free thanks to Jake, and B) I confess to not liking Ex Machina, which weighed heavier than you'd think in the final analysis. Fables seems more up my alley. Thanks, all!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Preview Review - X-Isle #2

Another preview copy from Boom! Studios reviewed here, and another comic that I haven't had any exposure to thus far.


I gather from the opening sequence that a group of scientists hired a couple of mercenaries to sail to a "lost island" of sorts, only to have their ship sink, and now they're, um, shipwrecked.

The only catch is that apparently there are giant Tremors-like worms with teeth and tentacles on the island, and God knows what else.

(Actually, having read this issue, I can tell you EXACTLY what else in two words: "People-Smooshin' Trees". It's tres coolamente.)

What I do know is that the magic formula of Lost Island + Monsters + Band Of Intrepid Heroes And Antiheroes is pretty much already set up for 75% success, and Andrew Cosby and Michael Alan Nelson don't do anything to screw that up.

(Darn, that sounded like faint praise, didn't it?)

In fact, Cosby and Nelson's dialogue rings true in a B-movie-afternoon-serial kind of way, which is exactly what this comic book felt like. And that's just fine by me.

X-Isle #2 also has nice art thanks to Greg Scott in the Pablo Raimondi/Dennis Calero kind of vibe (and I REALLY like that style, so maybe I'm biased), but there's a single complaint I have (and this is directed to every single comic book artist working today).

Note to Comic Artists: I have reliable information that indicates there are more Black actors in Hollywood than Samuel L. Jackson. Feel free to use any of them for photoreferencing instead. I'm sure they won't mind.

There. That said, Scott's art does a great job setting the atmosphere of the jungle and the facial expressions really drive home the immediacy of the situation.

NOTE: This comic is on the shelves as of 8/30.

Best Moment: People-Smooshin' Trees! Can you dig it?

Worst Moment: Really, folks, would it kill you to use, say, Morgan Freeman? Denzel? Omar Epps? Taye Diggs? ANYONE?

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Appropriately horrific, action-packed, ooky, and has that "group dynamic eating itself" vibe throughout. It's a little bit Jurassic Park, a little bit King Kong, a little bit Forbidden Planet. I'm not sure there's anything radically different than anything we've seen before, but I'll be picking this (and issue #1) up for at least a couple more issues.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Readership Assistance Requested

OK, dear readers, I swear upon all that's holy I am FINALLY getting comics on Friday.

Stop laughing!

In addition to the gazillion books I have waiting for me, I've decided to man up and pick up something "critically acclaimed", as the hoi polloi say.

But I need you, dear readers, to help me decide which. I've narrowed it down to two choices:

1) Y: The Last Man

PROS: I loves me some post-apocalyptic sci-fi weirdness. I've heard rumblings of monkeys, vampires, and Shakespearean allegories. What's not to like there? Plus, BKV's work on Runaways is quite good, so there's a plus as well.

CONS: I hear the series is wrapping up soon, which will annoy me if I start to like it. Also, the trades seem to be only 4-5 issues apiece.

2) Fables

PROS: High concept gimmickry about fairy tale characters certainly is a good premise. Plus, the reviews I've read seem to indicate that there's a highly political element to the book, which sounds fascinating. Plus, I have yet to hear one single person call this comic "bad".

CONS: I can't think of any off the top of my head. Feel free to let me know if there are any.

I also briefly considered Fear Agent (too erratic on the shipping, but I'd pay 4 bucks just for the covers alone), Noble Causes (no good reason for not buying it, but didn't sound as good as the two above), and Wolverine: Origins (I am, of course, kidding).

Anyhoo, my big plan is to pick up the first two trades of either Y or Fables, and see what the big deal is. Readers, please assist in this decision in the comments section!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Egregious Oversight


It has been pointed out that in our OYL blogoversary post, we left out a much-deserved vote of thanks to the comics blogger that went out of her way to get Randy and myself two signed copies of Civil War #1 by Steve McNiven, and shipped them to us at personal cost.

That would be the esteemed Redhead Fangirl.

Thanks ever so much, and please; I exhort you to read her unique redheaded/librarian perspective (she founded the Comic Bloc Legion; that counts for a LOT).

Thank you so very much, and keep up the great work.

Speaking of Delays...

...where in holy hell is Seven Soldiers #1? Are we still on for October-ish? Anyone? Anyone?

Chris' Thoughts on Civil War Delay

We begin with the always-quotable Mark Millar, from Newsarama:

Millar Choice Quote #1: "I absolutely never expected them to work their entire publishing schedule around an art delay"

Like they did, say, with Ultimates v1 (at least, that was the story at the time).

Millar Choice Quote #2: "Sure, it's horrible when a book we want is a little late..."

Seven friggin' weeks? That's not "a little", that's "way behind".

Millar Choice Quote #3: "...I can live with a few weeks if it means getting Steve McNiven every issue."

Once more: this is not a 'few' weeks; additionally, let's all calm down. It's Steve McNiven, it's not like we're waiting on Michelangelo here. He's good --- but not "delay 3/4 of our entire line waiting for him" good.

Millar Choice Quote #4: "This has been the biggest book of the millennium so far"

Um, what?

Right then, we move on to Steve McNiven's words at the 'Rama, in which he cowboys up, takes responsibility, and generally says the right things. I can't find much fault with his position here --- it's not like he asked Marvel to push back everything.

I guess my own feelings can be summed up thusly:

1) The conspiracy angle (that Marvel's doing this because they're changing the story because nobody's on the Pro-registration side) doesn't hold too much water, because A) people are generally liking the series anyway, and B) I get the feeling that Millar would be the first one to trumpet the fact that he's out-brilliant-ed himself and is making an even better story.

2) The sheer gall of Marvel to try and make up for this by --- wait for it --- wait for it --- soliciting MORE Civil War books is unbelievable.

Right after this:

CIVIL WAR FRONT LINE 10 (AUG062037; $2.99) moves to 1/4/07
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 537 (AUG062018; $2.99) moves to 1/4/07
FANTASTIC FOUR 542 (AUG062045; $2.99) moves to 1/4/07
CIVIL WAR 7 moves to 1/17, Not yet solicited
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 538 Not yet solicited
FANTASTIC FOUR 543 moves to 1/24/07, Not yet solicited

(That's January, folks.)

We get this:


BLACK PANTHER 23 CW December 2006
BLACK PANTHER 24 CW January 2007
BLACK PANTHER 25 CW February 2007
CIVIL WAR FRONT LINE 11 February 2007

Wow! Three new CW-related Black Panther issues AND a one-shot? Thanks, Marvel, that'll be JUST what I'm in the mood for this winter!

3) The only reason I'm even talking about this is because darn it, I was actually LIKING Civil War. But as I mentioned in the comments on Randy's post, I sort of assumed going into it that it would be delayed at some point. Seven weeks, though? Good God!

4) Finally, it's dirty pool to the retailers, I think, by announcing this the day before it was supposed to ship. I'm not a retailer myself, but I can't see how this can be any good for any of them.

Why hasn't Quesada come out with a statement on this yet? Interesting.



I see November dates. January 07 dates?


Well, its not the first time I've dropped mini's during the series.
And its certainly NOT the first time I've dropped buying comics.

What a silly little industry.

I thought Microsoft was bad about getting products out on time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

2GBC: One Year Later

My, oh, my.

It's been awhile, hasn't it?

I mean, since we launched 2GBC. In fact, it's been one year exactly.

2GBC was a product of two things: me being a loudmouth, and me being a

Blogging was, of course, inevitable. And a year later, Randy and I are still writing opinions, mouthing off at people who have jobs I'm jealous of, ensuring we'll never work for Marvel or DC, and providing free spoilers to the masses.

If there's one thing I'd like to take credit for (other than convincing Jake to start up Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge), it's for rigidly adhering to our stated posting goal of "quasi-daily".

And so, we have no special features here for our little blogoversary --- no clip show, no podcast, no interview --- heck, even our reviews this week will still be late. (I know, I know. Shut up.)

So, instead of all that, I'd just like to say thanks.

Thanks to Dave, Scipio, and Devon, who inspired (for better or for worse) us to make a go of this whole "blogging" thing.

Thanks to Joe Quesada and Dan DiDio, who manage to publish some highly entertaining comics, oftimes despite themselves. (See? I knew I couldn't keep the snark out forever. Oh well.)

Thanks to Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis for ... um ... you know.

Thanks to Ragnell and Kalinara for encouraging broader perspectives.

Thanks to Comics Should Be Good for being, um, good.

Thanks to Kelvin, our very first commenter ever.

Thanks to Jeff Grubb, Warren Spector, and Allen Varney for sharing their memories of writing Marvel Super Hero gamebooks.

Thanks to Warren Ellis, Gail Simone, Peter David, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Dan Slott, Ed Brubaker, Joe Casey, Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, Paul Dini, Grant Morrison, Kurt Busiek (Hi, Kurt!), Greg Rucka, Keith Giffen, and, um, Gail Simone again, for writing some outstanding comics.

Thanks to Jake and Randy, two of the best friends a guy could ever have. Without them it would just be 1GBC, and "1GBC" just isn't as catchy.

Thanks to my family, whom I love dearly.

Thanks to everyone in the comicsblogoweb --- not just those fine folks over on the sidebar, but those whom I haven't added from sheer laziness (yet) --- I am continually astounded and the number and difference of perspectives you get these days in the 'web. Nice work, everyone!

And finally, thanks to every single person who ever read a post here at Two Guys Buying Comics. If no one was reading, I wouldn't be writing, because I'm a shameless narcissist like that.

Extra-special-super-Kryptonian-irradiated-spider-bite-thanks to anyone who ever commented here (even you, Anonymous) for contributing to the discussion.

So here's to 2GBC:OYL! And here's to another fine year ahead of us!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Reading Rainbow

One book that changed your life:
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. A lot of people think of this as a "drug book," but to me the overwhelming theme is "if you act like you know more than other people, other people generally let you get away with whatever you want."

One book you've read more than once:
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I've read it about five times and should probably do it again.

One book you would want on a desert island:
How to Get Off a Desert Island in Three Days Without Even Trying.

One book that made you laugh:
The Onion's Finest Reporting, Volume One. The story about the bear raping the zookeeper written as a "lighter side of the news story" made me laugh so hard I couldn't close my mouth and wound up drooling on myself.

One book that made you cry:
I can honestly say this has never happened to me.

One book you wish you had written:
Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. I'd be a billionaire.

One book you wish had never been written:
The Bible

One book you are currently reading:
What's the Matter with Kansas?

One book you have been meaning to read:

Tag five people:
Make me.

Literary Meme

Thoughtfully tagged by CalvinPitt, my own contribution to the reading meme:

One book that changed your life:

Changed my life? Hm. Looking back on it, the first book I remember reading that made me say "Hey! This whole 'reading' thing may have some merit to it!" was Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister. Not only was it the first book that made me actively seek other works from the same author, it fostered a love of reading and, of course, hard-boiled shamuses and
duplicitous dames.

One book you've read more than once:

The Face On The Cutting Room Floor, by Cameron McCabe. Written in 1937 or thereabouts, it's British noir set in the seamy underworld of pre-war London filmmaking, and it's got atmosphere so thick you could caulk windows with it. Also has nice narrative trickery, and the whole thing captures the noir spirit perfectly.

One book you would want on a desert island:

Connections, by James Burke. Part history, part fascinating vignettes that essentially trace the history of applied science, as Burke shows how (for example) Neolithic grass-woven baskets provided the foundation for (eventually) the Atlas rocket, by way of air conditioning, Copernicus, postal service, and other innovations. I cannot recommend this book enough to everyone. Funny, engrossing, and the way that inventions and history are connected by chance meetings, mistakes, and coincidence is enough to make you marvel at the fact that sometimes we humans are more lucky than good.

One of the best books ever.

One book that made you laugh:

Of course, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. I first read this when I was 12, and having reread it many times since, it never fails to make me laugh every friggin' time. You know a joke's good when you know exactly where and when it's coming and it still elicits laughter; this book has about a bazillion of those. Nothing else Adams wrote (including the sequels) ever came close to the absurd genius on display here.

One book that made you cry:

Are you ready for this? H.M.S. Ulysses, by Alistair Freakin' McLean. Call me crazy, but this by-the-numbers book about a British destroyer and her crew on a tour of duty during World War 2 had me bawling at the end [MASSIVE SPOILERS AHOY] when the captain and crew decide that the only way to win the battle is to ram the Ulysses into the German fleet and sink her. I swear, it was like losing a family member when that ship sank. *sniff*

One book you wish you had written:

As soon as I finished reading The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison, I thought to myself, "Ex-thief blackmailed into working for police in a far-flung future with gizmos, heists, mystery, humor, and shifty moral codes? Dammit. There goes about 250 book ideas I had." Although I would have left out the part where everyone speaks Esperanto in the future. Maybe.

One book you wish had never been written:

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck. I had to slog through this book in high school and a couple of times later for various reasons. I cannot help the fact that I find this book to be about as interesting as Bruce Jones' Hulk, i.e. not very. Woo! Dust Bowl farmers! Immigrants! Misery! Depression! Stultifying fatalism! It's anti-interesting!

One book you are currently reading:

A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin. Heard about this awhile ago, just got into it, and it is all kinds of awesome. It's kind of structured like a Tom Clancy medieval fantasy, with short chapters focusing on different characters, a cast of thousands, and gritty dialogue and settings. I dig it very much.

One book you have been meaning to read:

1776, by David McCullough. I'm a history buff, and the American Revolution has always fascinated me from afar --- McCullough's stuff is written more for the casual reader, but it's always vivid and entertaining.

Tag five people:

Jeez, now I gotta find someone who hasn't been tagged yet? I'll go with Kelvin, Plok, Harvey Jerkwater, Sara, and Googum.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

In One Word ---

Brandon over at Random Panels (another fine blog that I have yet to add to the blogroll because I'm lazy) asks us to play fill-in-the-blank with an old Batman panel.

2GBC's contribution:


Yes, I have but two comics this week, Annihilation #1 and Secret Six #3. No, I haven't bought either of them yet. Yes, I'll be getting them tomorrow.

That said, just caught an interesting interview over at Newsarama with Keith Giffen, author of Annihilation.

And I quote:

NRAMA: "Can you give us a hint about some obscure characters we might see?"

KG: "We're going to see the Spaceknights before it's over!"

***squeals with delight as if Grant Morrison just announced he was doing the scripts for a new The Prisoner TV series***

OK, so the chances are we won't actually see ROM himself (since Marvel lost the rights), but any SpaceKnight action is better than no SpaceKnight action as far as my 8-year-old inner child is concerned.

And I'd be shocked if there isn't a panel at some point that shows ROM, but he's not actually named as such.

Keith, you just sold 6 issues of Annihilation with that little tidbit. Well done.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chris' Mini-Reviews 7/26 + 8/2

I know, I know, late as hell but dammit, worth reading! (Well, most of 'em anyway.) As always, true believers, Massive Spoilers Ahoy!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #20 --- Alright, we've got Lukin/Red Skull's plan coming to fruition, Cap, Sharon, Bucky, Union Jack, and Spitfire trying desperately to stop it, and what we get is a knock-down drag-out fight with Good Guys v. Master Men, a flaming zeppelin on a path of destruction, and Bucky coming to Cap's rescue while Lukin/Skull grin evilly. Oh, and at the end? A big freakin' robot monster! If you didn't like this comic, I don't want to know you. Big, loud, and Brubaker captures old-school Marvel absolutely perfectly here. CBG: 4/5.

DETECTIVE COMICS #822 --- Yep, another Paul Dini comic, another episode of B:TAS. And it's still good. The idea of Riddler being a private detective and a Nigma/Wayne team-up is too cool for school, and if the mystery aspect suffers from a little too much exposition and "telling instead of showing", it's still a knotty yarn that gets its detectin' on. This is absolutely what I want from a Batman comic, and Paul, if you're listening: don't change a thing. CBG: 4/5.

BATMAN #655 --- Grant Morrison's take on the Dark Knight begins here, and it's... um... OK, I guess. Grant, you I dig you, right? Kay? Kay. That said, after reading two issues of Dini's work, it's hard for me to get ramped up for a six-issue arc. I mean, there was nothing horribly wrong with this comic, but Kirk Langstrom kidnapped? Zzzzz. Bruce learning to be Bruce? Isn't that what the OYL cruise was for? OK, the ninja bats at the end were pure Morrisonian weirdness, but I just didn't like this as much as I thought I would. CBG: 2.5/5

THE ALL-NEW ATOM #2 --- The Silver Age goodness gets even better here, as erstwhile Atom Ryan Choi gets to play with his powers some more, the fun supporting cast gets a few moments to shine, there's humor and action in equal parts, and a Giant Many-Tentacled Ooze Of Lovecraftian Doom shows up at the end! I swear, it's like Gail Simone knows exactly what I want in a comic. Unfortunately, John Byrne turns in what may be the most rushed comic ever (next to Infinite Crisis #7), as scratchy art and sloppy finishing do their best to take me out of an otherwise great comic. CBG: 3/5, with the points knocked off solely for the art.

JONAH HEX #10 --- A blessed return to excellence here, as Palmiotti and Gray turn in one of the best Hex stories to date, and Phil Noto does a crack-up job on the art chores. Jonah Hex v. Inbred Swamp Trash v. Alligators? F#$% Yeah! And it's exactly as good as it sounds, with emotional resonance I wasn't expecting. (Of course, I would have bought it strictly for Hex v. Alligators, but that's just me.) If you'd given up on Hex after the last two admittedly disappointing issues, do yourself a favor and try this one --- it's fanTAStic. CBG: 4/5.

BATTLER BRITTON #2 --- Garth Ennis gives me what I wanted here, which is to say more characterization, more aerial fight scenes, and more understanding of the main character, and I certainly can't complain about any of that! Still a solidly "war" comic --- by which I mean that if you're a WWII buff or love the movies/stories about that period, then this is right in your wheelhouse --- so if you're looking for something different, keep looking. CBG: 3/5.

THE CREEPER #1 --- An origin issue, but a really beautifully illustrated one by Justiniano, that gives us the origin of the Creeper (think a chemically-induced Joker at will), an interesting alter ego (Jack Ryder, lefty blowhard), and some nice art. Nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering (next issue: Batman guest stars! I bet it took Steve Niles 30 whole seconds to think that up), but a solid read nonetheless, and again --- nothing really bad here. CBG: 3/5.

MOON KNIGHT #4 --- OK, so Marc's starting to talk to his god Khonshu again, more supporting cast members (Marlene) show up, and so does the Taskmaster. To be perfectly honest, I dig the character so much I know I'll keep buying it, but dammit, we need a fight and we need a fight soon if this series is to establish itself. I appreciate Huston's catering to the longtime fans, but it's time to show us why MK deserves his own series in the here and now. Bonus points for the cool new villain, the Profiler. CBG: 3/5.

FALLEN ANGEL #7 --- The conclusion to Lee's "origin" story, as she takes on a corrupt band of desert tribesmen, confronts the Angel of Death, and kills said angel. Competent, in character and amusing in a fanboy sort of way, but I'm anxious to get back to Bete Noire and the present day. Also: absolutely LOVED the scene of dead-horse-used-as-projectile. I'm just sayin'. CBG: 3/5.

More news later!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


So, this makes the second week in a row that the damn Bank Account Elves have cleaned me out, which means I don't get comics until Friday.


Which means that between no comics-havin' and no free-time-havin', I've got damned little to say about our little hobby.

On the other hand I'm doing "Summer Shows I'm TiVo-ing Week" over at Artistic Veritas, so if you're addicted to my particular style of writing (Hi, Mom!) then head on over there to check it out.


I expect the creative opinionated juices to come back to life towards the end of the week, not coincidentally also the same day I get new comics and my boss comes back from vacation. Meantime, I implore all of you to check out the many fine blogs on the sidebar. I should have something fresh up over the weekend.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Blog Pimpin' + Notes

Hey howdy, just a quick note to point out 3 items:

1) My dear friend Sara has started a couple of blogs, one of which, Curmudgeon Central, is her thoughts, essays, and ramblings about life in general, and you should read if for no other reason than good writing deserves to be read.

The other is Artistic Veritas, which is a book/movie/TV/music team review blog that I contribute to, so if you're interested in my opinions on various non-comic related things like that, you can go there to read.

So, go read both of those, comment frequently, and make her welcome. This I command!

2) Since my boss left me for a 3-week vacation, I'm swamped at work doing his job and my job, which leaves precious little time for comics. Although I did get to use Scipio's line with a VP of development, modified for my use:

VP: Hey there.

ME: Hey.

VP: I see you're reading comics.

ME: Yep.

VP: Shouldn't you be programming our latest website application interface?

ME: Yeah. When the comics get too hard to understand, I go back to web API coding.

VP: Um.

ME: ...

VP: Well, let me know if you run into any problems.

ME: Will do.

VP: (leaves)

Good times!

3) Still haven't gotten my comics from last week, but come payday this Friday there shall come a reckoning, I tell you! I shall bathe in comics! (And not in that ooky serial-killer kind of way, either.)

More later.