Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ladies And Gentlemen, Iron Man Is...

...Robert Downey, Jr.

Reactions in real time:

1) What?
2) Huh.
3) Isn't he kind of goofy?
4) But wait, he knows tortured addiciton, arrogance, and success at an early age like nobody else.
5) Sonofabitch, I forgot, this guy can act when he tries.
6) Man, I hope he tries.
7) Robert Downey, Jr. --- F#@$ yeah!
8) Goddammit, Iron Man Movie Makers, you've made yet another move to get me excited about the movie.

Well played, Favreau. Well played.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Civil War #4: Worse Than You Thought

It's come to my attention that some of you out there may still not realize exactly how bad Civil War #4 is. Thus, 2GBC presents Civil War #4: Page By Page. Keep in mind that I was actually liking the series up to this point.

PAGE 1: Previously, on Civil War... you get the picture. And Hercules getting thrown up in the air by a big lightning bolt. Amusingly, the credits list this issue as having editors. I can find no evidence to support this.

PAGE 2: Full-page splash of CloneBot Thor doing his best Headbanger's Ball metal-thrashing pose with Mjolnir.

PAGE 3: After Falcon introduces himself to CloneBotThor, Dagger points out that everyone thought Thor was dead, to which the Mark Millar God of Thunder displays his predilection for Steven Seagal movies by uttering, "No, Dagger. That would be YOU." Then he throws his hammer, which apparently is enough to send four heroes who weren't standing THAT close together ass over elbows.

PAGE 4: Dagger speaks for Marvel fans everywhere, pointing out "We've got to get out of here. This is REALLY REALLY WRONG...". ThorClone calls us all wretches, hits the ground and more heroes go flying. It should be pointed out that on this page RockerThor has creepy glowy eyes.

PAGE 6 and 7: We officially wave goodbye to Continuity and Characterization as Cap and his allegedly broken jaw resorts to name-calling, Iron Man "safely" puts everyone's brain into "shutdown", and IM uses the phrase "tough old bird" to describe CAPTAIN FREAKIN' AMERICA, which is a bit like saying "That Sentinel's kinda big."

Sue Storm, ever the voice of the reader: "Oh, Lord. This is HORRIBLE. I can't even LOOK..."

(Side Note: Of course, this Cap has a broken jaw and regenerative teeth, so what do I know? Tony could have grown a tail, feathers, and a third eye and I wouldn't have even blinked at this point.)

PAGE 8: A freshly-singed Hercules throws a building on Iron Man, which apparently let everyone's brain turn right back on and a fight commences again.

PAGE 10: Hercules, in the middle of bench-pressing Iron Man, tells Falcon to go get Cap, who is either having a building fall on him or a giant stone foot is stepping on him, I can't tell which.

PAGE 12: Oh, look, SHIELD's here. Goliath throws a truck at them, talks smack to Arnold Thorgenegger, and then gets ventilated courtesy of a lightning bolt through the chest. Accompanied of course by an "I don't THINK so" by StupidThor, who apparently just lurves the movie Commando (insert Jeph Loeb joke here) .

PAGE 13: Holy crap, Goliath's dead and Sylvester Thorllone explains "You ARE all going down." Bonus Points to Steve McNiven for tempering our grief over Bill Foster's death with Dagger's torn uniform that exposes butt-cheek. This is wretched.

PAGE 16: ThorDude gets ready to zap the resistance into... um, wherever things go when they end up on the bidness end of a lightning bolt. At the last minute, they're protected by a force shield from Sue Storm, and this is the last time in the comic Sue does anything that makes remotely any sense.

PAGE 18: The resistance get they asses outta there via Cloak, and Reed Richards... my God, I can't even type this... sigh. Reed activates Cloney McClonealot's shutdown sequence with the code "Richard Wagner 1813-1883". Get it? Because he wrote the Ring trilogy! (No, not the one with Hobbits. The other one, with valkyries and such.) Reed then has a priceless expression as if even he can't believe he came up with such a stupid code.

PAGE 19: Sue tells Reed to shut the hell up, and from the looks of things he'll be sleeping on the couch tonight, boy! (Remember that, it's important in a few pages coming up.) The Watcher looks at them all like he just found out there's still 3 issues to go of this. Also: Peter Parker has doubts!

PAGE 20: Back at Avengers Tower, someone who looks very much like Reed Richards is drilling into NakedThor (Hi, Googlers!) via the ear. Think THAT panel will make a lunchbox any time soon? Oh, and Millar shows his knack for clumsy characterization by having Pym say "Do you really think I'm so remote--- so detached --- that this wouldn't have some kind of IMPACT on me?" Um, no, Hank, that wasn't implied at all, but since we had to show you being conflicted, we thought we'd just throw that out there. Also: Parker has more doubts!

PAGE 22: Hank looks like he's about to cry, and he doesn't understand why fabricating an all-powerful God of Thunder resulted in someone's death. Couldn't have seen that coming! Also: Parker has doubts! Again!

PAGE 24 + 25: Back at Resistance HQ, Luke Cage --- he of the unbreakable skin, mind you --- is wearing a band-aid, Cap's saying that by getting their asses kicked they just picked up another twenty supporters, and Tony's numbers are dwindling. Nighthawk points out that Goliath just got waxed, and half their army is in the Richards Penitentiary For Wayward Heroes.

Cable immediately quits because he's scared of Thor, which... huh? Cable and a few others walk out on Cap, which somewhat takes the shine off that whole "We just picked up 20 new guys!" elation earlier in the panel. Cap reverts to a six-year-old and essentially says "Let 'em go, we didn't want to play with them anyway, and WE'LL show THEM by getting a bigger treehouse! Nyah!" Nighthawk unsuccessfully tries to convince us that Cap's willing to get everyone killed so they don't have to work for the gubmint. Good LORD.

PAGE 26 + 27: Some dude in a ski mask that I don't even care who he turns out to be is watching the quitters mentioned above. At Goliath's funeral, Tony shows what a great guy he is by pointing out that Bill Foster's funeral was all-expenses paid by Stark International! Plot Device Mom Of A Kid Killed In Stamford shows up and gives Tony her son's Iron Man action figure in a ham-handed attempt at convincing us that Tony's actions might be justified, and draws pretty much the worst parallel in history by comparing Tony to a cop who shoots someone pointing a gun at him.

(No, it doesn't work.)

PAGE 28: Because Peter Parker has the gall to be comforted by MJ and Aunt May at the funeral, Reed thinks he's up to something... because, you know, Reed Richards has always been a distrusting, paranoid doofus. Meanwhile, Sue's writing a letter to Reed explaining that she's joining "Cap's SECRET AVENGERS team". They're really known as the SECRET AVENGERS? When they're not secret in the least? I guess we can officially throw Reed in the Broken Characters pile with Tony now. God, I hate this comic.

PAGE 30: Susan Storm, deciding that she can't support Reed, packs up and leaves her kids in the care of a now-fascist paranoid mad scientist who has the parenting skills of a carburetor.

Read that last sentence again.

Yes, it's that dumb. Sue Storm: another character for the pile!

But remember when we all thought Reed was going to be sleeping on the couch? NOPE! Turns out she doesn't want his last memory of her to be a bad one, so she cooks his favorite dinner, gets him his favorite wine and does the horizontal bop one last time. She and Johnny drive off inconspicuously in Johnny's bright red car with the "TORCH" license plate.

PAGE 29: Back at Avengers HQ, in direct contradiction to Cap's estimate earlier, Tony and Reed discuss the fact that actually, no, THEY'RE the ones losing numbers, and Cap's team has the advantage! Get it? Both sides think the other one is stronger! Har! This has all the gravitas of a Three's Company episode.

PAGE 30: In the final nail in the pro-registration side's coffin, they've hired Venom, Taskmaster, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike, and co. to be the new Thunderbolts and help them corral Cap's Kooky Gang. Really. No, I'm serious.

The only thing missing now is a blurb at the end saying "NEXT ISH: TONY STARK, BABY-EATER! PLUS: REED RICHARDS PUNCHES NUNS!"

That's it. The good news is I won't be buying any more issues, I'll be getting them for free. The bad news is that I'll still read them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tell me why....

that the comic powers-that-be ignore the other six continents on the Earth?
Ignore that 78% or so of the Earth is water?

I'm sure this has been discussed over and over in the blogosphere....but I wanna know.

Reading the discussions and theories around Civil War, that the heroes are going to Canada. Daredevil is following up a storyline in France.
Doom....yummy. they reall count, since it sucks?
Black Panther....see Excalibur.
Maybe that's another reason I enjoyed Justice League International so much.

Anywho, does all the crime only happen in NYC? Hasn't anyone heard of the treasures at the Hermitage? The art museums in Germany, Italy, Egypt? Singapore is a financial center of the world. Doesn't China have all kinds of money now?

Is it because the majority of readers are in the US? Is it because 3/4 of the population of the US will probably say the capital of Canada is Toronto? (Yes, its Ottawa) Or that France is south of Russia?

C'mon Marvel, DC...the world doesn't revolve around NYC. I'm just tired of seeing NYC get pummelled....over and over and over, by the same old peeps.

Oh well, sorry, just ranting some. I love me some geography, just wondering why it all don't go global. Everything else is.

Randy, currently located in India, out.

Oh, hi Chris.

PS: Joe Q. Inhumans. One Word. Please don't forget. And, I'm rooting for Hulk.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It is ON.

I got 4 weeks worth of comics today.

Oh, it is on.

You'll have already read most of them; will that stop me from eating up some blog days with stale reviews?

Hell, no.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tomorrow's Comics... Today!

Incidentally, just to save you all some cash, here's what I realized when discussing Civil War #4 with Jake last night:

I can't shake the feeling that we're in for at least a year, maybe two of shitty Thor comics in which Dippy Clonebot Thor struggles to make sense of who he is, the expectations others have of him, and a journey of self-discovery that, depressingly, will probably not involve Asgard.

I'm just saying.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


OK, quick rundown on 3 completely self-serving items:

1) Thanks to an outrageous plumber's bill, the fact that "a daughter in high school" translates to "I will give all my money to 85 different extracurricular organizations because if I don't then I'm robbing my child of being well-rounded", and the goddamn Federal government, I still haven't got comics, which means I'm on a 4-week withdrawal. So that means that you're going to get opinion pieces for at least another week, after which I'll continue with the usual evisceration/overpraise.

(Side note: my buddy Jake is in the process as I type this of trashing Civil War #4 over at Ye Olde. He and I discussed it earlier, in which he attempted to keep the discussion spoiler free but I aimed low, asking myself "What would the lowest form of hackery be in this situation?"... and guessed two out of the three big events. I'll have more on this later.)

2) I must be doing something right: over the last two weeks I've fallen ass-backwards into three separate paid writing projects, two of which are comics-related. Thanks for your continued support!

3) It's unofficially Fall TV Season Show Review Week over at Artistic Veritas. Our reviews on new and returning shows! Even if you don't watch TV, we need the hits! See? Told you I was shameless. Oh, and for the love of God watch Hustle.

Thanks! More tomorrow, after I get back from parent-teacher conferences, which for reasons I will go into later I loathe more and more every year --- and I actually have great students.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

One-Liner Tuesday

...because I'm in a rotten mood for a variety of reasons. This is something I was thinking about and haven't had time to flesh out my supporting reasons for (and consequently I may be way off base on this one), but dammit, I'm throwing it out there for comment anyway:

Marvel's Ultimate universe and DC's All-Star line would be better served if switched around: the Ultimate universe, with its multiple crossovers and tightly knit "shared" universe, is what DC needs to be effective; the All-Star line, with its focus on single characters telling out-of-continuity stories, is exactly what Marvel needs right now.

(Yes, you people can still have Morrison on Ultimate Superman.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

One-Liner: Friday Edition

Reviews this weekend (no, really! I mean it this time!); meantime, not having been reading Black Panther, I've been following all this hoo-ha in the comicsblogoweb about BP's marriage to Storm, and how it apparently is making for some sucky comics. And that got me thinking...

5 years from now, Joe Quesada will decide with a straight face that Marvel's most eligible bachelor Tony Stark needs to settle down and get married, because "there are some great Iron Man stories that naturally come out of Tony being married --- stories that you can't tell with a single Tony Stark" (or some shit like that); what superpowered being will Stark tie the knot with?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

One-Liner: Thursday Edition

Jonathan Mostow, director of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, has been confirmed as the director for the Namor movies.

Submit your pitch for what would make an entertaining 90-120 minute Namor movie.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One-Liner Of The Day

Weigh in, dear readers, on the question posed below. I know my answer: I'm interested in yours.

Grant Morrison: multifaceted rare talent or overrated smoke-and-mirror artist?

YOU make the call!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Marvel to Baltimore Con: Eat It!

I know I promised short, succinct discussion topics all this week, but...

The attention-grabbing headline of this post is explained at the end.

UPDATED: It appears that these announcements may in fact have been made at the Baltimore Con on Monday night. I'm still unclear on this, but to be fair my attention-grabbing headline may in fact be completely untrue and a vicious lie. Warrants mentioning.

Newsarama's Joe Fridays column finally spilt with breaking news from Marvel, and shockingly, it wasn't all bad!

As one of the six members of the blogosphere who still cares about Marvel, let's look at it, shall we?

GOOD NEWS! Alan Davis has renewed his contract with Marvel, and will be relaunching ClanDestine! That is good news; for those of you that don't remember ClanDestine, Dave's Long Box broke it down once. It was a decent comic, as I remember --- though I can only claim to having two issues.

GOOD NEWS! Marvel is launching a new line of classic novels in comics form. Hey, why not? I loved the Classics Illustrated stuff as a kid, and if it gets comics into the classrooms and in the hands of kids, then why not?

(Side Note: Apparently Last of the Mohicans is being adapted by Roy Thomas, which I'm pretty sure is only because there's a character named "Hawkeye".)

(Additional Side Note: Also, since Thomas is writing, look for the Natty Bumppo character to be secretly related to some high-ranking British general in a shocking twist!)

(Son of Additional Side Note: I kid because I love. Roy Thomas rocks.)

UPDATED: I'm a complete moron. The image used was from a 70's adaptation. No news yet on who's writing what. Jeez, I'm completely off my game today.

GOOD NEWS! Nova gets his own series by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who have been doing nothing short of miraculous work rebuilding the character and making him interesting in Annihilation.

BAD NEWS! Marvel's Mighty Avengers will have a crossover with Guiding Light. No, seriously. The soap opera. I'm not even kidding about this. The sad thing is we all should have seen this coming, as it's the logical extreme of Bendisizing the Avengers.

MYSTIFYING NEWS! The Spider-Man Family gets its own bimonthly series from Sean McKeever. Hmm. Will this last longer than 4 issues? Does the Spider-Family (which, correct me if I'm wrong, consists entirely of Aunt May, MJ, and maaaaaaaaaaaybe Flash Thompson) warrant their own book? How is this not just another Spider-Man comic? I'm baffled on many levels here.

PANDERING NEWS! Spidey's going back to the black costume for a "Back in Black" storyline, which Quesada assures us has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Venom is the villain in Spider-Man 3! I'm wondering if he managed to say that with a straight face.

GOOD NEWS! Marvel's summer 2007 event will be written by Greg Pak and entitled World War Hulk. (The title alone is cool on about nine different levels.) Apparently, it's a miniseries (not a crossover), and will basically feature the Hulk vs. the entire Marvel Universe, which in my mind should be the premise of pretty much every single Hulk comic ever, so...sold!

BAD NEWS! Thor will be written by... sigh... JMS. Using ideas from Neil Gaiman, Mark Millar, and --- oh, who am I kidding? This is going to be readable for the first three issues, then spiral down into a mess. Crap. Joe, if you're listening (and I know you're not): you do not need to "reinterpret the character and his universe". It's THOR! Just have the God of Thunder smashing skyscraper-sized holes in bad guys and spouting faux medieval syntax! This is not hard! I can't even talk about this any more.

JUST KIND OF 'EH' NEWS! The Dabel Brothers signed a deal with Marvel for, one assumes, some sort of publishing deal and a Wolverine/Alvin Maker crossover, not to mention the inevitable Blade/Anita Blake miniseries. Eh.

MIXED BAG NEWS! Joss Whedon will take over Runaways when BKV leaves. On the one hand, it marks Runaways as a real, viable property (by today's standards) that may be the first successful new character launch for Marvel in the last 10 years. On the other hand, it's Joss Whedon, which means you'll get 5 issues a year if he can manage to tear himself away from the Wonder Woman movie.

Finally, was any of this announced at the Baltimore Con? Because if it wasn't, I'd think twice about inviting Marvel back next year if they're going to break news on a website instead of at the convention...the day after the convention.

One-Liner of the day coming later.

Monday, September 11, 2006

One-Liner Week!

Because I'm tired and busy this week, the posts this week will consist of one thought, question, or comment on something. Feel free to comment or answer or respond with thoughts of your own.

Today's one-liner:

Why on Earth does JMS get to keep writing Marvel comics, when he clearly can't tell a story without getting wrapped up in his pet themes (get over it, people --- no matter how many of his comics you buy, he's never going back to Babylon 5)?

Friday, September 08, 2006

5 Random Thoughts

1) So, I've started reading both Y: The Last Man and Fables. I'm three trades into each of them at this point, and clearly Fables has me more interested in the next three, while Y has already run out of steam for me. I can't point to anything specific, but somewhere around the theater troupe issues I started losing interest. Plus, there seems to be a really high "people doing stupid things at the worst possible times for the sake of dramatic tension" quotient.

2) All-Star Batgirl? Umm...really? There's a market for this? Huh. Ahead of All-Star Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkman, or, you know.. wow.

3) Omega Flight? See above.

4) Forgoing my monthly Essential purchase this week in favor of Showcase Presents Batman. This was a no-brainer (on many levels).

5) Finally, had a chance to read the Marvel Adventures: The Avengers series, and man, that is some entertaining comics! Ignore the all-ages label; these are just some fine, fine comics period, with the spirit (and fun) of the Avengers intact. Heck, we even got Ultron in issue #1! Kudos to Jeff Parker and team!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Content On The Way!

Geez, folks, sorry again about the lapse, but for whatever reason the fall is the time of year when I find myself with less time than [insert some witty metaphor here].

Random thoughts coming later, reviews tomorrow, and thanks for your patience!