Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bad Iron Man Design Choices, Pt. 1

So, as much as I dearly love the classic Iron Man, there are some design choices that, shall we say, are better left in the past. To wit:

Why yes, Billy. Those are in fact ears on Iron Man's helmet. No, Billy. We shan't speak of this again. At least not until we get around to the ill-fated decision to have his nose on the helmet.

Oh, crap. I guess we've gotten around to it.

(Side Note: The Crimson Dynamo doesn't fare so well there, either, what with the 15-inch TV head and corrugated steel skirt.)

OK, Billy. It's time to rest now, and pretend that we revere anything in comics published before 1980.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Un-Content Posts Continue!

No, I don't have comics from last week yet. I do however have two other things for you:

1) Join me at Atomic Comics' Pop Culture-Palooza this weekend, where you'll see me doing my best Mr. Furley impersonation for our team, which is Three's Company-themed. Don't ask. I should warn you, however, that my Mr. Furley impersonation is second to none. Really.

2) Homer Simpson as the Hulk, featuring Stan Lee. Enjoy.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Make Mine Movies!

Interesting article in the latest Fortune magazine about Marvel's film adventures, with a little bit of history and some insight into the personalities involved. Avi Arad certainly has no love lost for Marvel Studios, and there are some interesting quotes from Stan "The Man" Lee, and some good info about new Marvel Studios head man David Maisel.

Also, yay Iron Man!

P.S. Thanks to all who helped out on the birthday thing yesterday. I went with Runaways vol. 2 (she already had vol. 1 in digests) and the Marvel Encyclopedia. Both were huge hits!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Readership Assistance Requested

OK, all, here's the deal.

It's my daughter's birthday today.

She wants me to get her something comics-related.

She loves, loves, loves the DC Encyclopedia.

I'm thinking about getting her the Marvel Encyclopedia, but I haven't had time to leaf through it to see what it's about. I've heard rumors about rampant typos, omissions, and that sort of thing, but can't confirm myself.

My question: Will the Marvel Encyclopedia fit the bill? If not, what are some other suggestions? She likes things in color, and wants something sizeable, and is not opposed to reference materials, or older stuff. Hawkgirl, Zatanna, Batman, and the X-Men are referred to as "faves". The kids and their lingo these days.

Help me, comicsblogoweb. You're my only hope.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bleeding Readers

OK, I know I promised an update, but this is the last week of school for the kids and things are batshit insane, I tell you.

Not insane in the good Nextwave-kind-of-way, insane in the Joker-just-killed-a-box-of-puppies kind of way.

Back later, promise, for the six of you who are still left.

P.S. Ultimates #2 13 should have come with a cover that read "Even Mark Millar Isn't Interested In This Anymore". It's not even bad enough to be interesting, which is a bigger crime than being downright rotten.


Monday, May 21, 2007


Holy crow, but did I have an awesome weekend camping in southern Arizona, or what? I'll tell you all about it, and what the hell it has to do with comics, in the next post. For now, a shower is called for.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sacred Cow, Medium Rare Please!

Right, so, about that whole Batman: Year One thing.

And yes, I realize that I'm about to critique a 20 year old comic without saying anything that hasn't been said before somewhere. Just another day in the comicsblogoweb.

A friend of mine recently saw Batman Begins, and was duly impressed by it. I mentioned that the movie used some elements of Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, and he asked to borrow it.

Being the Ambassador O' Comics that I am, I lent it to him, but decided to give it a quick reread just for old times' sake.

Yeah, that was probably a mistake.

Because Batman: Year One is deeply, deeply flawed as a comic, moreso than I remember it being when I first read it oh, about 15 years ago.

The main problem for me is, B:YO doesn't have much of a plot, per se. I mean, there's no real throughstory for our titular (Hi, Googlers!) hero, it reads like more of a series of interesting vignettes that take place over Bruce Wayne's first year as Batman.

And I guess on it's own merits that's OK --- maybe even the point --- but it's terribly unsatisfying as a story. Miller's noir dialogue is pitch-perfect (no surprises there), but it's shouting in an empty room; there's no purpose, no narrative momentum to carry these moments forward. And that, friends, does not a good comic make.

In fact, what I was most surprised at was the fact that Jim Gordon is by far the most interesting character in the series, which is odd seeing as how it isn't titled Commissioner Gordon: Year One. In fact, Gordon's the only one that actually comes off as being a "real" person, with depth of character and dramatic conflict.

In other words, Bruce summoning bats with a frequency emitter is cool --- but Gordon agonizing over betraying his pregnant wife resonates. The former makes for a great splash page; the latter makes for a great character.

And I guess that's my issue; I didn't remember Batman being this devoid of character in this series. Bruce is still largely a cipher, despite the "finding-my-way" dialogue and asides with Alfred.

Oh, and Selina and her annoying sidekick? Unnecessary and wholly irrelevant to the already paper-thin plot.

Look, there are some really bright spots to this comic. David Mazzuchelli's artwork (and the Richmond Lewis coloring specifically) does some amazing things on the page, and if it's murky in places, well it's Gotham, innit? And as I mentioned, Miller's self-doubting noir internal monologues are best-in-class (at least, they were back when this was written anyway, before Frank Miller morphed into Crazy Uncle Freddie Who Probably Shouldn't Be Left Alone With The Children Because, You Know).

But I think part of the reason I liked Batman Begins so much is because it actually bothered to string a plot to tie around all these moments that Miller gave us; structure to the narrative; and, of course, Michael Caine.

(Side Note: Michael Caine immediately ups the watchability rating of any movie he's in, even --- particularly --- the shitty ones. This is fact, and not up for debate.)

So I'll calmly and quietly (shaddup!) accept the fact that Batman: Year One isn't quite the sacred cow that a lot of people make it out to be (few comics are, really).

Still. That whole bat-summoning thing? Awesome.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

New Joe Mondays 5/14 And Stuff

Hey howdy, all! Three pieces of news:

1) New Joe Mondays is up over at Atomic; I must say, either someone's telling Joe to shut the hell up or Newsarama's getting smarter about the questions they're feeding him, because there hasn't been much to pick on Joe about in the columns in recent weeks. A refreshing return to form this week, though.

2) Thanks for patience during the hiatus --- a series of unfortunate events sidelined the ol' blog, but things are settling down now. Expect the usual snark and insanity.

3) Reread Batman: Year One, and it didn't go well. Expect a quasi-hatchet piece on that experience later this week, after which I'll probably be considered a leper in the blogosphere. Fun!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Where Are the Lunatics?

Waiting for a full moon? Perhaps a waning moon? Maybe looking for inner peace high on the frozen tundra of Greenland?
Nay, nothing as thought provoking as those.

Chris has been having computer issues for a couple days now, and hopes to one day overcome his technical challenges to once again entertain the masses and stick it to the powers that be.

Randy has been lost in a morass of work, personal issues and, he wishes, inner peace on the frozen tundra of Greenland, or at least a soothing hot steam in Iceland.

So, ergo, short hiatus, to return very soon, hopefully in the next couple of days.
Remember, reading is good. TV is bad. And um, don't stick your fingers in power sockets.



Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Just May Explode With Joy

Here's the red and gold armor forthcoming in the Iron Man movie:

It's a perfect blend of three things:

1) Old school --- The circular uni-beam on the chest, the hip-pods, and the repulsor rays in the hands.

2) New school --- the facemask, the shoulder pads, and the actuators.

3) Designed for live-action --- the thing looks like a SUIT, for God's sake, that someone could actually wear and be convincing in on the screen.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: this whole "favorite hero being brought to the big screen" thing is going FAR better than I ever, ever thought it would.

This is either the culmination of 20 years of prayer finally paying off, or an elaborate practical joke that can only end in the senseless destruction that fanboys can inflict when truly disappointed.

But man. Squee x 10.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Excused Absence

Hey all, just a quick note letting you know that Mrs. 2GBC's father passed away earlier this week, which is why there haven't been any updates recently. We'll be back on Monday for reals this time, barring any random insanity from Randy.