28 April 2008

Please Don't Let It Suck (Re: Iron Man Movie)

Oh God, please don't let this movie suck. It looks great, sure. But I've been lied to before. Oh please God, please don't let this movie suck. Thank you.

27 April 2008


When Dr. Doom rips out a large one, everyone takes cover.

From Astonishing Tales #6 (collected in ESSENTIAL SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM UP) by Larry Lieber and George Tuska

25 April 2008

Friday Night Fights: Classic Edition Round 2

You know the rest...

Lots more old and new school punches at Bahlactus' crib.

Classic Spider-Man story retold by Stern, LaRoque and Wiacek from Essential Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man

24 April 2008

Civil War - The Touchy Feely Ending

Cue the "Aawwwwww..." soundtrack.

Uhhmm, yeeaahhh...y'know, as much as I agree with many others that Marvel's Civil War could have been written better, this alternate ending is way too much of a
Care Bears moment for me.

Us fanboys are so hard to please, huh?

From What If? Civil War trade paperback collection by Brubaker, Grevioux, Gage.

22 April 2008

Great Moments In Comics History No. 5: Snowblind

In issue #6 of Alpha Flight entitled, "Snowblind", there is a fight scene between Alpha Flight's Snowbird and Kolomaq, an embodiment of winter. So what follows are 5-pages of absolute white except for captions and word and thought balloons. At first, I thought John Byrne was taking the piss but upon reflection it was quite clever. They are fighting in a blizzard after all. Click to enlarge.

From Alpha Flight Classic trade paperback.

20 April 2008

Get Your Paws Off My Comics, You Damn Dirty Apes!

From Comic Book Resources.com: "Quesada explained that based on a fan's suggestion at a previous Cup O Joe, Marvel will go bananas this fall with MARVEL APES."

This might make me go back to collecting comics on a monthly basis again. Look, it's Iron-Ape, Captain Gorilla, Spider-Ape...although he has a tail so that makes him a
Spider-Monkey. What's not to like? If you don't like comics about simians then the terrorists have won. Why do you hate America?

Oh, lighten up. It's just a comic book. About apes.

19 April 2008

Batman #522 (DC, 1995)

This is my all time favourite story featuring Waylon Jones better known as "Killer Croc". It appeared during the run of one of my favourite creative partnerships in comics ever: Doug Moench and Kelley Jones. How do you pronounce "Moench" anyway? Is the "O" silent? Is it a soft "c" or a hard one, making it sound like a "k"? And Kelley Jones is a guy (I wasn't quite sure back then. I know better now). Anyway, if you see Doug Moench's name in the credit box you can bet Kelley Jones handles the pencil work. These two are just perfect with each other like Stan and Jack, David Michelinie and Bob Layton, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, John Byrne and himself.

In this issue, the concluding part of a two-part story, Moench and Jones attempt to give Killer Croc a somewhat happy ending. In the previous issue, Croc escapes from his cell in New Arkham and tries to find the "wet dark" which he believes will be his home. In #522, Killer Croc eventually ends up in the Louisiana swamp (the "wet dark") and he's happy. Until Batman arrives. Natch. Croc's an escaped convict so he must be brought back to Arkham, so goes Batman's reasoning. Unknown to both of them, Killer Croc is in the swamp because he was summoned by none other than the Swamp Thing himself.

Kelly Jones draws a cool Swamp Thing.

Swamp Thing sees in Killer Croc a kindred spirit and wants the best for him. He summoned Croc into the swamp so that he could live his life peacefully, away from humans. Batman doesn't agree because he's Batman but with Swamp Thing in full control of every sentient life in the swamp ready to kick Batman's butt if they have to, Batman doesn't have a choice but to give in and let Killer Croc go.

And that should have been the last time we see Killer Croc. It is such a nice ending for that character and DC should have made it a rule, "Killer Croc stays in the swamp from now on." But noooo! They kept bringing him back, his latest appearance being in the Salvation Run mini-series. Pity.

Some people don't like Jones style claiming it "not real enough" or "too cartoony" but I like it. It has shades of Jack Davis in the facial expressions of the characters and I also like Jones version of Batman, with the 3 feet long Bat-ears and the massive overflowing cape this side of Todd McFarlane. Doug Moench's and Kelly Jones' run on Batman should be collected in a deluxe hardcover or something because it really was one of the great collaborations in comics in the 1990s (and nothing much of quality came out of mainstream comics in the 1990s). Please, DC?

18 April 2008

Friday Night Fights: Classic Edition Round 1

Yet another ethnic minority gets trampled in the workplace by "The Man" (out of context panel from Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex vol. 1 by Arnold Drake and Tony de Zuniga)

Bahlactus, on the other hand, is an equal opportunity ass-kicker

15 April 2008

The First Secret Invasion: DC's Millennium

Written by Steve Englehart
Art by Joe Staton, Ian Gibson and others
Cover by Joe Staton & Mark Farmer
The 1988 8-issue miniseries MILLENNIUM is collected for the first time! The Guardians of the Universe have left our dimension behind - and in their absence, the deadly robotic army of Manhunters threatens the survival of the DC Universe!
Advance-solicited; on sale August 6

Yup. Even DC's done it back in the late '80s.
I even wrote a review of it here.

13 April 2008

The First Secret Invasion: Legacy

So who the heck water their crops with milk?

The Srull-Cows! The Skrull-Cows from Fantastic Four #2. It was their milk that the farmers of King's Crossing were using to water their crops. But why use milk?

So there you have it. The people of King's Crossing have been drinking "Skrull milk" and unknowingly swallowing Skrull DNA, turning themselves into shape-changing zombies. And now they want everyone to drink, eat and breathe good ol' Skrull DNA and be "One of Us. One of Us. One of Us." But they didn't count on the Fantastic Four foiling their plans like FF always do.

Legacy from Fantastic Four Annual #17 (also collected in Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne vol. 3) is a nice coda to what happened to the first Skrull invasion of the Marvel Universe. Stan and Jack were still experimenting with writing superheroic sci-fi adventures when they wrote that issue of Fantastic Four in 1962 and it showed. Turn the bad guys into cows and never revisit that loose end again? Thankfully, a talented writer like John Byrne remembered that detail and wrote a fitting epilogue to that early adventure of the Fantastic Four.

09 April 2008

The First Secret Invasion: What Happened To The Fourth Skrull?

Yesterday, I asked what had happened to the fourth Skrull from their "first" Secret Invasion back in FF#2. Well, apparently he escaped. He even escaped the notice of the FF. Even Reed Richards didn't notice that only three Skrulls were turned into cows. Pffftt! Some genius he is!

Anyway, Skrull agent no. 4 turned up in the pages of the Avengers during the Kree-Skrull War saga.

What better way than to disguise yourself as a politician. Perks, adoration, women, free food and the chance to destroy some superheroes. Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and men (and Skrulls) often go awry.

And there ends the career of the missing Skrull agent from FF#2 back in 1962. You can read all these and more in Avengers: The Kree-Skrull War trade collection. The story was okay. No big shakes, I thought. But Neal Adams put pencil to paper on several issues. That's got to be worth some of your attention, right?

08 April 2008

The First Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2 (Marvel, 1962)

So you think Secret Invasion is original, do you? Wrong! It's been done. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby wrote the Skrulls' first ever "Secret Invasion" in Fantastic Four #2 back in 1962. And it only took them a single issue to tell the story. How's that for compressed storytelling?

FF #2 opens with members of the Fantastic Four causing mischief all over New York. Sue Storm steals a gem, Thing destroys an oil rig (or a military installation, I can't tell which and Stan doesn't elaborate), the Torch melts down a solid marble monument and Mr. Fantastic cuts the power supply to the entire city, the cad. All this is done in front of the unbelieving eyes of the public and we soon find out why. It was a quartet of Skrulls who what done it!

So where are the real FF? They're hanging out in an "isolated hunting lodge" where they find out what happened from the radio.

Check that out: The Torch is packing heat. He knows how to take care of a threat...just shoot the buggers. Also, "the Torch is packing heat"? Ah-hah! Ah-hahaha! Oh, my ribs!

But young Master Storm also comes up with a plan. "Since there are four no-goodniks out there imitating us", he says, "why don't I create a ruckus around the city as the Human Torch to flush the other three out and I could infiltrate their secret headquarters." There is a flaw in this plan of course that any 5-year old can see. How can the FF be sure that only three bad guys will come out when they find out there's a Human Torch out there causing havoc? Won't the evildoers sit around together in their hideout and when they see the Torch in the sky, won't they say, "Well, all four of us are here. So that must be the real one. Leave him alone. The human soldiers will shoot him down."?

But introducing logic and common sense into a super hero comic book is a silly thing to do. In fact, it is to laugh. So Johnny's plan worked. He is soon picked up by his fake sister and her boyfriend and brought to their hideout...where he is immediately exposed.

The fake Torch manages to subdue the real one but not before Johnny alerted his teammates with the FF flare. The cavalry arrives, they fight the Skrulls, they win. But there is still the matter of the invasion fleet up in space. How to defeat them? Reed Richards comes up with a plan of his own. The mother ship doesn't know the advance unit has been defeated, so why don't we claim to be them, fly into the ship and convince the general to cancel the invasion. Simple, really. And exactly how does Richards plan to convince the Skrulls that the invasion is a no-go??

He shows the Skrull leader pages from a Marvel comic book!! I think I know why the Skrulls are invading the Marvel U. again now. It's to pay back for the humiliation they suffered back in FF #2. I mean, how dumb can you get? "Here, look! Earth's defenses are too strong. They have monsters and creatures from the Black Lagoon. There is no way we can defeat them. Run away! Run awaaaayy!! Hmmm? What? Who is this guy Jack Kirby who signed his name at the bottom of each page, you ask? Oh, no one. Just ignore it and abort mission!"

With that problem solved, the FF goes back to New York and have to figure out what to do with the three Skrulls from the advance unit that they captured. Again, Mr. Fantastic comes up with a plan:

Force them to change into cows, hypnotise them so they'll forget their true identites and then put them to pasture. Brilliant!

But wait...three Skrulls? Didn't they disguise themselves as the Fantastic Four
? Where's the other one then? No one noticed this goof back in swinging '62 and the question was never answered until a decade later.

More on that soon.

07 April 2008

If Shakespeare Had Been Born 400 Years Later...

It's a webcomic featuring this planet's greatest ever playwright in any language, William Shakespeare. In Lego. The rest of this awesomely cool waste of time can be found here.

Following strips are Copyright 2003 David Morgan-Mar. Used with permission. Click on the strips to embiggen.

03 April 2008


Mogo. A sentient planet. Also a member of the Green Lantern Corp. He has the ring and everything. (scans too small? click on them)

When not playing host to a death match between two Supermen...

...or help save fellow heroes from crashing and burning...

...Mogo is getting harassed by a planet killer from the Sinestro Corp

But Mogo first appeared in a short 6-page story written by Alan Moore in Green Lantern #188 back in 1985. It was a typical Moore sci-fi short story with a twist at the end, something which he used to do a lot when he was writing for the British sci-fi comic, 2000AD.

Sure, we all know who Mogo is now. But back then, 12-year old Khairul H. was just as stumped as this bozo. I knew Alan Moore would pull a Twilight Zone-style twist but what? what?

Holy schnike! I did not see that one coming back in '85! Mogo is the planet?! Well, I never! I still regard this as one of my favourite stories in comics. This and other Alan Moore classics are collected in DC Universe: The Stories Of Alan Moore. Grab a copy. You won't regret it.

Scans from Infinite Crisis, 52 vol. 4, Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War vol. 1 and DC Universe: The Stories Of Alan Moore by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Keith Giffen, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Patrick Gleason and a whole lot of other folks.

01 April 2008

Comic Trades I Bought Recently (31st March, '08)

Arrived yesterday from Amazon.com:

Justice League International HC - the BWA-HA-HA-HA! League gets some hardcover love...but no glossy pages. It's the same paper stock they used for the original comics, I heard. (Yes, I heard, because I haven't ripped open the shrink wrap yet. Maybe tonight).

Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition HC): Haven't opened this one yet either. Double dipped because the original GN that I have is showing signs of wear and tear after being read for over 5000 times. Looking to reading it again.
Kevin Church is a bit p.o.'ed with regards to a slight change in punctuation, though.

Superman: Camelot Falls vol. 2 HC - I purposely left the first volume unread on my shelf last year because I wanted the entire storyline collected so I can read it all in one go. Now I can. Yay me.

Ms. Marvel vol. 4: Monster Smash HC - I sometimes feel I am the only person in Malaysia who reads this book.

Spider-Man/Red Sonja HC - It's Spidey's second time teaming up with a red head wearing a chain-mail bikini. A Chain-Mail Bikini, people! C'mon! Yes, it's the only one in the pile that I've actually opened up and flipped through. Nice bonus: Includes their first team up from Marvel Team-Up from way back when by Claremont and Byrne.