28 September 2008

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

It's Ramadan. I'm fasting and can't be bothered to write about comics right now. Plus, in a few hours from now I have to catch a plane to go back to my hometown. I'll be bringing loads of trades with me. Be back in a week.

22 September 2008

The Brave & The Bold: The Book of Destiny, a short review

Something seems to be missing in this collection. I did not find it as enjoyable to read as I did the first book, Lords of Luck. Interestingly, chapters three, four and five features two separate team-ups each, all revolving around a mysterious villain called Megistus whom we don't see until the end of the book. Prior to his appearance, we are presented with the heroes running around in different eras fighting agents of Megistus and trying to find artefacts that Megistus wants but the heroes do not know what for (but since he's a villain, it must be for nefarious reasons).

I don't know whether it's the brief team ups (Blackhawk & the Boy Commandos could have been a cracking story if it had more pages to play with) or maybe my disinterest with some of the guest stars featured (Metal Men, Diah H for Hero, the Silent Knight (who's he?)) but Book of Destiny was, dare I say it?, a bit boring.

Book 2 has no Batman. Or Lobo. That's why Book 1 was more enjoyable.

Though it has this sweet splash page of Wonder Woman and PG finally realising that they have feelings for each other (only works when page is taken out of context, natch).

15 September 2008

Even Dinosaurs Can't Take Down Rick Flag

I don't know why dinosaurs need sharp stone-age thingies to fight. They're dinos! The have teeth and claws and stuff. Sure, looks like these have evolved but still...makes no sense.

That doesn't mean this panels aren't awesome, though. Kicking dino ass is always awesome in comics.

(From Suicide Squad: From the Ashes by John Ostrander, Javier Pina & Robin Riggs)

12 September 2008

Friday Night Fights: Ladies Night Round 6 - For Real, This Time!

I have been lax with this blog of mine, I admit. But never for Bahlactus. I try to attend his bouts whenever I'm able and I'm able tonight, baby!

Apparently, plug is the sound you make as you shove your arm into an eye socket. Who says comics aren't educational?

(From SCUD, The Disposable Assasin: The Whole Shebang by Rob Schrab)

08 September 2008

Marvel Girl Hates Flying Monkeys

Because the last thing you need in your hair are flying monkeys. Good to know Marvel Girl has her priorities right.

(From X-Men First Class: Mutant Mayhem by Jeff Parker & Roger Cruz)

05 September 2008

Friday Night Fights: Ladies Night Round 6 - Workout with the Widow

No. No snappy captions or anything. Just keep staring at Black Widow's derriere. Take your time.

Updated: Round 6 has been postponed till next week. Bahlactus has spoken.

03 September 2008

Herbie Goes to the Devil (Herbie Archives, Dark Horse Books, 2008)

There's this new hardcover comic book going around. Well, it's new to me. Herbie Archives features a 1960s comic starring a sleepy-eyed, overweight, lollipop sucking boy with superpowers and it's probably one of the most fun comic I've read this year. It's so surreal I love it. Let's look at one of Herbie's adventures, shall we?

Herbie Popnecker tangles with Satan. Does he win? Do you really need to ask?

All is not well at the Popnecker's. Dad just lost his job and mom thinks Herbie can help them by getting a job himself. Seriously? Herbie? Look at him. Dude's enjoying his lollipops while lazing around in a hammock. Silly mom.

Meanwhile, down in Hell, Satan's accountant has some bad news for his boss. Hell isn't getting enough souls. People must have been very good back in the '60s. So Satan throws a dart at a map of the USA and comes up with a name: Herbie Popnecker.

"Uh-Huh. And you're the devil." Nothing fazes Herbie, not even a horned red-skinned man in a cape.

So Satan tells Herbie that he (Satan) has been getting some bad press for the past million years. He's a nice guy actually and to prove it Satan gives Herbie a free sample of his powers. He makes Herbie into a movie star, no strings attached. That didn't go too well, though. Herbie is transported to the set of Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor but instead of making out with her, as per the script, Herbie prefers to suck his lollipop.

Then he remembers his recently unemployed father:

One dubious contract signing later:

Missiles plant? Mom Popnecker=Republican. But no, the business is a lollipop factory which is akin to giving Auric Goldfinger the keys to Fort Knox and telling him to help himself. And Herbie does. He does nothing else but suck 'pops at his dad's factory. Until the day arrived when Satan came to collect. So what does Herbie do? Goes to Hell quietly and instigate a strike!

Can't have the imps of Hell on strike. Who will run the furnaces? Satan is so frustrated that he rips out the contract for Herbie's soul and tells him to get out of Hell. But what about dad's lollipop factory? Won't that be gone now?

Well, all's well that ends well. Even Satan can't get the better of Herbie Popnecker.

(From Herbie Archives vol. 1 from Dark Horse, a book every comic book fan should have in their collection. Because I say so)

01 September 2008

Superman: Last Son HC (DC, 2008)

This book is one reason why I wait for the collected editions of comics so I can read the entire story in one go. Last Son was so beset with delays, mostly from artist Adam Kubert, that DC had to put it on hiatus for four issues while Kubert got his groove back. In the end the story had to be wrapped up in an Annual.

Geoff Johns and his old Hollywood boss Richard Donner were probably thinking, "Hey, Hollywood! This is how you give Superman a "son"!" when they wrote Last Son. They decided to bring General Zod, Ursa and Non from the Christopher Reeve Superman movie into Superman comic continuity when Superman finds a shuttle with a young boy in it and is shocked to discover that he's a Kryptonian. Before Clark and Lois can pass the boy off as a relative, the boy's real parents arrive on Earth: He is actually the spawn of Zod and Ursa but unlike his parents, he's not a megalomaniac bent on world domination. Yet.

Superman has to team up with Luthor to defeat the escapees from the Phantom Zone and downtown Metropolis gets destroyed yet again in the ensuing battle. Oh, multi-coloured Kryptonites are also introduced here. Or is that re-introduced? I'm not up to par with my Superman mythos, sorry.

One of the issues collected here (the Phantom Zone issue) is in 3D and glasses are provided. My first experience with 3D in comics was a Batman graphic novel back in the 80s and the effect in Last Son is the same as it was for me when I read that 3D Batman book: bloody annoying. Oh sure, it looks nice with all the "special effects" but ultimately pointless.

I honestly thought the story would end with Lois and Clark adopting "Christopher" so the poignant ending...so not expected. I'm one of those people who hates it when a junior version of a superhero is introduced in my pop culture but Last Son works mainly because it did not end happily ever after. But I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing Christopher Kent again in the not too distant future*.

Good job by Johns, Donner and Adam Kubert.

*Or then again, maybe not.