25 June 2008

In OMAC, Kirby Envisioned A Future Where You Can Own A Lifelike Sexbot

Creepiest panel in their entire book. And it's on the very first page. Oh sure, he called it a "Build-A-Friend" model. But we all know what they really were. A talking, walking, sex-bot. That Kirby was a visionary, wasn't he?

was also probably the first comic to feature that "hero calmly walks away while everything goes all Kablooey behind him" scene that is so popular nowadays in movies starring Nicholas Cage:

Cool, huh?

Jack Kirby's OMAC: One Man Army Corps. Buy a copy NOW!

24 June 2008

Justice League of America: The Injustice League HC (DC, 2008)

Pros: Dwayne McDuffie....and that's it in the "pros" column. Pulling McDuffie on board as writer of JLA is this fan's dream come true as McDuffie wrote some good stuff when he was on the 'toon version of Justice League.

Cons: Ed Benes. He can draw, sure, but looks like he went to the Jim Lee School of Static Art. Lots of "poses" and not much fluid movement. I almost decided to drop JLA from my trade collecting because of him but decided to give Dwayne McDuffie a chance first. I'm beginning to regret my decision. Gratuitous ass shots, boob shots. Damn, McDuffie deserves a better penciller! Benes didn't design Black Canary's and Wonder Woman's costume, I know, but can he pose them less like pin-up models and more like super heroines? I much prefer Mike McKone's pencils on the Wedding Special included here as the first chapter.

Though I welcome Dwayne McDuffie as the new writer of JLA, I have to concede that the tales collected here aren't his best. Luthor forms the "Injustice League Unlimited" (ugh!) and kidnaps several of the JLAers, including Batman...how the hell did that happen?, but not before ambushing and almost killing the new Firestorm. I thought they had killed him (Cheetah sure thought so) but he turns up alive and well later on. Superman and Black Lightning goes to the rescue, Batman frees himself and the rest of his captured teammates and they all beat up the bad guys. It ends with Batman shanghai-ing Firestorm into joining the League.

My overall opinion of this collection? Meh. Not as bad as the last JLA trade collection but not very good on its own either. Slightly disappointed with McDuffie but I think I'll wait for the next JLA collection before deciding to continue or drop the title for good.

23 June 2008

Italian Spiderman Ep. 5: The Chase!





Aaannnnnddd here is Episido de Cinco:

Booster Gold: 52 Pick-Up HC (DC, 2008)

Pros: real fun comic. Booster Gold goes time travelling with "Rip Hunter" across DC's history and tries to right some wrongs. Booster inadvertently helped make DC history by suggesting to Sinestro about setting up a corp, making Hal Jodan the greatest Green Lantern by persuading Guy Gardner to go home and make peace with his dad and causing the lightning bolt that gave Barry Allen super-speed. Also, Ted Kord is back! However, the world must not know he is alive but that doesn't bother me. Blue and Gold are back together again. Yay!

Cons: If you're new to DC, boy, is this book not for you. Seriously, this entire book is a fanwank and not newbie friendly at all. Which is a pity because there's some good, old-school superhero adventures in here. Go back and get Batman: The Killing Joke, all four volumes of 52, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Countdown to Infinite Crisis (that one-shot where Blue Beetle died), Infinite Crisis...oh, heck. Just get all DC's big-event books from the past twenty years before picking up 52 Pick-Up. Paul Levitz will thank you.

Or you could just pick up all four trades of the new Blue Beetle currently available instead of this book and I will thank you. Either way is good.

22 June 2008

Out Of Context Sunday: Batman Can't Count

See, this is what riles me up. It's bad enough DC editors apparently don't talk to each other but it seems they don't even edit their own books. Or maybe Batman just can't count. Or maybe the fourth ninja is like invisible-Ninja but Batman can see him because he was wearing his infra-red Bat goggles or some shit like that. Or maybe...maybe...erm, the moonshine he was sniffing made him all drunk and he saw one extra ninja. Maybe.

Nope. No invisible-Ninja. Just bad editing.

From The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul hardcover collection by Morrison and Dini.

20 June 2008

Friday Night Fights: Classic Edition Round 10

Hey, Robin! How's that anger management course working out for you?
Good to know!

You know who channels his anger productively? Bahlactus!

17 June 2008

I'm Catching Up On Queen And Country

Been reading Greg Rucka's spy thriller. Finished the first volume of the "Definitive Edition". Halfway through the second volume. Kick ass awesomeness all around but I wish he had one consistent penciller though. Different artists bringing in their own interpretations of the cast for each storyline can be a tad annoying. Especially if that person's style isn't really up to your liking (*cough*Carla Speed McNeil in vol. 2*cough*).

Very "talky" book with lots of office politics, as it should be for a book about a governmental spy agency but when it comes to action and suspense Queen and Country does not disappoint either.

Can't wait for volume 3.

15 June 2008

Progress, Father? Or Change? Let's Talk...


From Silver Star HC by that krazy kat Jack Kirby.

12 June 2008

Because Blue's Been Taken and Red Would Be Awkward

But calling the book CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE is just fine and dandy.


Panel from Young Avengers HC by Heinberg & Cheung

11 June 2008

All New Atom: The Hunt For Ray Palmer...Or Why You Should Buy It

Y'know, All New Atom isn't a bad comic book. It has weirdness galore which I like. Like this panel:
A disembodied head overdosed on canned cheese? Gold!

How about this:

Jetpack Hitler! Jetpack Hitler,people! How can you drop a comic book that has a ridiculous cameo by a Nazi ever?

You want hot reptile on reptile action? Who doesn't? All New Atom aims to please with this:

And have I mentioned, the Head? He loves him some 1970s sitcom.

And yet All New Atom never achieved the numbers it deserved and DC recently announced its cancellation. Shame. So get the trade instead. All the above panels are collected in The Hunt For Ray Palmer!. Already gathering dust at a comic shop near you!

09 June 2008

The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day HC (Marvel, 2008)

I went into serious comic collecting because of Spider-Man when I was reading his reprinted stories in Marvel Tales back in 1984 and I dropped out of the hobby also because of Spider-Man when Marvel introduced the Spider-Clone storyline. I knew then how my mother felt when they brought Bobby Ewing back into Dallas. It was that "WTF?!" feeling that just turned me off from the whole comic collecting hobby. And it was Spidey what did it! Man, did that fact hurt. It was like catching your best friend sleeping with your girlfriend or worse, seeing him treating her with respect. It was a sin most unforgivable. When I started reading collected editions of comics in 2005, I picked up a lot of titles but no Spider-Man. He was still untouchable. Oh, I picked up an Essential or two and I also bought that Red Sonja team-up book but trades of his monthly titles were passed by on the bookshop shelves with nary a glance. I'm a sad individual, I admit. Love me, don't judge me, okay?

So why did I check out Spider-Man: Brand New Day, Spider-Man's latest hardcover collection of his now three times a month comic book? Well, mainly because of curiosity, boredom and some good word of mouth from the cybernets regarding the new direction Marvel's taking Spidey to. I know all about the hoopla that went on with One More Day. There were fanboys who were burning their copies of Amazing Spider-Man, guys tearing off the pages and wiping their butts with it and I could see why they were upset. So was I. It was not the fact that Marvel's Joe Quesada thought that Peter Parker was stuck in a rut and some major overhauling had to be done to make him interesting again. It was the manner that Marvel took. Break off Peter's marriage with Mary Jane in order to save Aunt May's life, how? With the help of Mephisto, Demon Divorce Lawyer, of course! Gee, what a neat message to send to the kids. Got a problem? No sweat, just make a deal with the devil. That's what Spider-Man did! Frederick Wertham was right!!

Anyway, all that was so they could start fresh with Spider-Man: no wife, no girlfriend, no money, terrible luck, living with Aunt May and best friend is still a very much alive Harry Osborn. That would suck hard if not for one new rule: all new villains. I'm not sure how long the "no-old-rogues" ban is imposed on the book but I hope it stays there for a while. There are just two major villains in this hardcover edition which collects Amazing Spider-Man #546-#551: Mr. Negative and a menace called Menace who looks to be the new Goblin. Mr. Negative is exactly what his name describes. He is a monochromatic mob boss wannabe intent on taking over the entire city's criminal operations. He is also later revealed to be Aunt May's co-worker (supervisor? boss?) at the homeless shelter she volunteers at. I actually prefer him over the new "Goblin" or Menace (not really his name but since he's a menace that's what they call him). I prefer Mr. Negative because Spider-Man's famous villains aren't so much the mad scientist bent on world domination but rather the street gangsters and the hoodlums who want to take over New York, one borough at the time. Plus, enough with the Goblins already! In this book, Mr. Negative's attempt at eliminating the entire Maggia family is foiled by Spider-Man but the hero has to give a sample of his blood in return for a gangster's kid's life. How this ransom will be used by Mr. Negative in the future will be a most interesting development to read.

Menace on the other hand just wants to kill the candidates running for mayor. See? Boring, though it's unfair to say so at this juncture since practically nothing is yet revealed about Menace's plans.

There's also a new mysterious heroine, Jackpot, who is used by Marvel to jerk around the fans on whether she is or not (Mary Jane, that is). On the job front, Peter is still freelancing for the Daily Bugle but it's no longer called that. Now it's the DB! after Mrs. Jameson sold the company to Dexter Bennett when J. Jonah Jameson ended up in hospital due to a Peter Parker-induced heart attack (he had it coming, in my opinion).

Do I like it? Yes, I do. I didn't want to but I do and lying about it would just be petty. I stayed off reading Spider-Man for more than ten years so I don't know whether this new direction is any different in tone from say, the JMS-penned stories. Was Spider-Man still the wise cracking hero under him or did JMS make him more brooding and introspective? I enjoyed Dan Slott's run on She-Hulk so seeing his name in this book made me go all gooey. Slott can do no wrong...so far. He shares writing credits with Marc Guggenheim who takes over the second half of the book and Marc's stories are ever so slightly darker than Slott's but in a good way.

I like the introduction of all new villains for Spidey and I sincerely hope that some if not all of them are well written enough to stay on in his rogues' gallery for years to come. I loves me some Venom and Electro but these guys are so overused it's not even funny anymore. Besides, isn't Venom in Thunderbolts now? Yeah, keep him there.

Spider-Man: Brand New Day is a great jumping on point for new readers and for old fans like me who stopped reading the Spider books years ago. Fans who never left the book may grumble and gripe about the deal with the devil and the consequences to twenty years of continuity but really, at the end of the day, it's just a comic book about a mid-twenties man with the proportionate strength of a spider swinging all over New York City punching costumed villains. And that's what we all want from our superhero comics: unadulterated fun.

That's not to say I think the marriage break up was necessary though. In fact, I don't see the point of the retcon other than to gain publicity and boost sales because none of the Brand New Day stories could not have been written if Peter was still married to MJ. They're works of fiction. Just work around the marriage, writers.

Oh, well. I'm not Editor In Chief of Marvel Comics so what do I know? Joe Quesada wanted a single Peter Parker so now we have a single Peter Parker. For what it's worth, Marvel has regained one long lost Spidey-fan who left in the mid-'90s. Let's see how long I'll stay this time.

Damn you, Joey Q!

08 June 2008

Italian Spiderman Episode 3 - "It's For You, Crocodillo"

Episode 3 of Italian Spiderman. Let's get down! Ow!

Also check out
Episode 1 and Episode 2.

In this episode, Italian Spiderman lies in bed while some women writhe seductively around him, compels a chicken to lay an egg and a pack of smokes just by staring at the bird. He also strangles a crocodile with a telephone cord in his kitchen. No, really.

07 June 2008

Friday Night Fights: Classic Edition Round 8

It's another Friday Night Fight hosted by Bahlactus although it's already Saturday morning over here. But it's still Friday over at Bahlactus' universe so here's this week's contender: Plantman

Don't you be messin' with Plantman, woman!

From Essential Defenders vol. 3

05 June 2008

Trades I Read Recently: Aztek & The Question vol. 2

This guy's dead, right? He's not coming back or anything in Final Crisis is he? So why bring out a collection of his cancelled series now? Oh yeah, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar...before they were considered super-hot in the biz. Aztek: The Ultimate Man came out around about the time I was getting sick of the whole comic collecting hobby. So I missed out on a gem here. Aztek is this guy conditioned to be a superhero by a super secret group who are all into South American mystical stuff and whatnot. They are waiting for the return of a big bad guy and they predict Mr. Baddie will make an appearance in Vanity City. That's where our hero is based.

The pencil style of N. Steven Harris isn't really to my liking but it quickly grew on me. It's not bad. It just reminded of an early Giffen, who I think is much better at plotting than pencilling. But overall it's okay.

Aztek only lasted 10 issues which is a shame 'cause Morrison and Millar clearly had plans for this guy. Lots of threads remain loose but what we do get here are some entertaining adventures of a guy who believes he's way over his head but tries to do the right thing anyway. I guess not all superhero comics that came out during the '90s were crap. Oh, and Batman makes a cameo. Like he always does with a new comic in order to boost sales. Didn't work here, unfortunately.

Volume two of the man with no face. The Question: Poisoned Ground sees Vic Sage go up against a drug dealer who wants to quit (and looks a bit like Wolverine), a Mikado quoting vigilante, saves his kidnapped friend, have a quickie with his ex-girlfriend for old times' sake, gets kicked a lot, gets punched a lot, gets drugged a lot, gets stabbed a few times, defeats a guard dog by breaking its neck, kicks someone in the balls and fights a gun toting rabbit and a cat (he got drugged a lot, did I mention?). Lots of noirish stuff in here. No wonder the fanboys didn't like it. Not enough of the spandex brigade. But if you loved the '80s Green Arrow by Mike Grell, you'll love the Question.

03 June 2008

L'il Civil War

From Rich Johnston's Lying In The Gutters column: L'il Civil War!

Aawww, Spidey's so adorable in that last panel.

Will they resolve their differences by issue's end? Or will someone receive a paintball in the chest?

Next issue: L'il World War Hulk - that kid you banned from the playground because he looked different? Yeah, he's back to bite your arse!

02 June 2008

Italian Spiderman Ep. 2 - "Ueiiii!!"

Are you still down with the Italian Spiderman? Are you? Are you???? Episode 1 is here. Or, you know, you could try this new thing called YouTubey or something like that.

It's a good thing they invited a scientist to that party, huh?

01 June 2008

Out Of Context Sunday

Save lives and get into Patty's pants. That's just how you roll in Vanity City.

Out of context panels from the cancelled-before-its-time Aztek: The Ultimate Man #9 by Morrison, Millar, Steven Harris and Champagne. Now available in trade paperback.