Wednesday, January 30, 2008

So, is it Kitty Pryde in "That's Our Wolvie!" or Wolverine in "That's Our Kitty!"?



Now, as I understand it, the above is the cover of a new book coming out called Wolverine: First Class, which details the wacky misadventures of Kitty & Wolvie back when she said things like "Gosh! He's kinda neat-lookin'!" and he said stuff like "Grrrrrr, I'm flamin' pissed, bub! *SNIKT*".
(You know, more so than now and without any irony.)

I must admit that, at first, I didn't see any need for this book. Upon reading the solicitation copy for issue two and seeing the cover, however, I have seen the light. Look now, so that ye may also understand:


WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS #2
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Penciled by ANDREA DI VITO
Cover by LEONARD KIRK
The good news: Kitty's managed to figure out Wolverine's birthday and has arranged a surprise candlelight dinner with the love of his life, Mariko Yashida, as his present. The bad news: The reason Wolverine never tells anybody about his birthday is that every year on that date Sabretooth shows up to dice him into cutlets. And Kitty has put Mariko within Sabretooth's grasp!
32 PGS./All Ages �$2.99


Do you get it yet? This isn't going to be some generic, boring mutant slugfest - it's a wacky sitcom!

Every issue will showcase the lovable yet ditzy Kitty, who means well but keeps making wacky mistakes that cause HILARITY to ensue. Or is it the gruff yet lovable Ed Asner-like Logan who throws a monkey wrench into our plucky heroine's life? Either way, I'm incredibly excited by this very concept.

Let's just imagine issue 22, shall we?

WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS #22

Kitty's in deep trouble this time! She went and made a date with both Peter Wisdom and Piotr Rasputin for the Homecoming Dance! Will Wolverine's "final solution" to the problem mean that Kitty's going to be shy one suitor - forever? Guest-starring Scott Baio as Douglock!




Not to mention the Very Special Annual!

WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS VERY SPECIAL ANNUAL #1

Trying to keep her grades up, fighting Sentinels to stay alive AND singing in the school talent show isn't easy - so Kitty Pryde starts using Kick to give herself an extra "boost"! Can Wolverine show her that drugs are "flamin' bad" before it's too late?



See? IT ALL FITS PERFECTLY.

Mr. Van Lente? You are a freakin' genius, sir. I am SO looking forward to this.

It's an Ambush!

You all can keep your One More Day, your Messiah Complex, your Sinestro Wars, your World War Hulk . . . 'cause I just got word that a certain bug's coming back. An AMBUSH BUG.


From the Newsarama Interview:

Newsarama: From your seat, how did this project get rolling? Was this something you pushed for?

Keith Giffen: No! No! It wasn't even my idea to put Ambush Bug in 52 - that was the big four. I pretty much figured the character had run its course. And with comic books being taken so seriously... I mean, look at this fervor over Spider-Man's marriage being dissolved by internal decree. Comics are taking themselves so seriously; I just figured the Bug had a nice little nostalgic twang to it.

And out of the blue -- and I really mean out of the blue; I was not expecting this -- Dan DiDio and Jann Jones called me up and said, "You want to do Ambush Bug? Six issues?" And I was like, "You're really asking?" [laughs] And they said, "Yeah!"

Apparently, they kind of agree with me.

NRAMA: Agree with you?

KG: Yeah. They brought it up that comics are taking themselves way too seriously, and it's time to thrash them around a bit and remind people why comic books are supposed to be fun.





NRAMA: What do you hope this brings to the DC product mix?

JJ: Simply, the return of Ambush Bug.

NRAMA: But is this series going to be in DC continuity?

JJ: This six issue series will take us from Identity Crisis all the way to Final Crisis. We will see how the presence of Ambush Bug has affected the DCU in ways you could never imagine. ...

...
Keith Giffen: [laughs] But basically, the premise of the six issues is that we're going to try to zero in on each of the six DC events. We'll start with Identity Crisis, then working our way through Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown to Final Crisis, and Final Crisis.

In case I have not made them abundantly clear, my feelings on this news can be summed up via this photograph:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Feeding the Comics Jones

Things I plan to buy this week:

Y: The Last Man #60 *sniff*
Avengers: The Initiative #9
Daredevil #104
Mighty Avengers #8
New Avengers Annual #2
Ultimate Spider-Man #118
Black Summer #5

And I debate finding and buying the following (recommendations yea or nay would be most appreciated):

Suburban Glamour #1-3
The Sword #1

How about all of you? What's on your lists this week?

Freaks and Geeks, DC-style

Admittedly, I'm not as familiar with DC as I am with Marvel . . . but does anybody else wonder if the Teen Titans consider the teen members of the JSA to be like the nerds who volunteer to run the projector? You know, the kind that remind the teacher whenever she forgets to give homework? I'm just saying.

Seriously, think about it:

Live lives full of hormones and violence, rocking out while being completely unsupervised in their Giant T-Shaped Building -




Live their lives at the Superhero Old Folks Home or at home with their parents, listening rapturously to their elders' story times and wondering why their noses keep getting browner and browner -



Don't make me angry, Mister McGee


This has been making the rounds for some time but I thought I'd link to it anyways (via Blog@Newsarama & elsewhere) -

All 117 Reasons Dr. Banner Transformed Into the Hulk on the TV Show.

My personal favorites include (but are not limited to):

50. Receiving a speeding ticket

115. Trying to help his friend for the episode, the midget wrestler known as "Half Nelson", by climbing into the ring for him, only to be clobbered by a large, beefy wrestler who practices numerous combination moves on David, in spite of David (and Jack McGee)'s numerous cries of "Stop! You don't know what you're doing! You're making me ANGRY!"

38. Placed in a small room with a ravenous black panther

102. Coming to the aid of the gumshoe in the garage who is being beaten up for not minding HIS own business, and getting beaten up himself, kicked under a low riding sportscar that has been jacked up for repairs, and whose jack is removed so that the car can fall on David. Gumshoe's reaction, in voiceover narration: "It was a big green thing, and it definitely wasn't happy about something."

24. Being tied up and fed soup by an elderly Japanese woman who doesn't understand words like "You've GOT to cut me loose!"

And the piece de resistance -


108. Having several clay pots broken over his head in the middle of the now-burning room (why is the room always burning?), and then knocking an entire case of same clay pots onto same head, and then, while lying very still and struggling not to get angry, having his pants catch fire.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

16 Reasons Why I Should NEVER Be Allowed to Write 'The Legion of Super-Heroes'


(with apologies to Mightygodking)

1. Pages 1-22 of Issue One would be as follows:


PANEL 1 - MATTER EATER LAD is sitting at a long table, shirtless. In front of him are the following items: six bowling balls, a toilet seat, a tennis racket, a Commodore 64, two handguns, four shotguns, a big pile of dirt with farming implements in it, six pairs of high-heeled women's shoes (each in a different color) and a cage containing a terrified ferret.

PANEL 2 - MATTER EATER LAD licks his lips - long span of drool should be visible, running down his neck and face: "MATTER."

PANEL 3 - MATTER EATER LAD picks up bowling ball with one hand, pinches left nipple with the other.

PANEL 4 - CLOSE-UP on MATTER EATER LAD'S MOUTH as he eats bowling ball.

MATTER EATER LAD: "UUUUUHHHNNGGGGHHH. CHOMP. MRRPFFF! HRRRNNN, CHOMP . . . MATTER! MATTER!"

PAGE 2 - REPEAT PAGE ONE LAYOUT. This time, use the shotguns.

2. Duplicate Boy and Triplicate Girl? They'd be sent to work as janitors.


Brainiac 5: "So, instead of being just one useless person with no powers, you can be five useless people with no powers. Wow, that's awesome. Here's five mops. The Space Toilets on Level 60 are backing up."

3. Duplicate Boy and Triplicate Girl will be okay with being janitors. Why? Because they're totally doing it. Like, all the time.

That's the whole story of issue 5. They kiss in my story. Like, A LOT.

4. Also, Timber Wolf? Gay now.

Deal with it, fanboy.


5. Saturn Girl and Shrinking Violet will kill a man and then go on a cross-universe crime spree in a flying car together.

In the end, they'll fly into a black hole together while holding hands, grinning.

6. Forget Supergirl, Superboy or Jimmy Olsen - it's time for Ambush Bug and The Legion of Super-Heroes!


Versus an army of Brother Geeks!


7. Pages 1-22 of Issue 2 would be as follows:

PAGE ONE

PANEL 1 - CHAMELEON BOY is sitting quietly at a table with STAR BOY, eating Future Toast and drinking Space Juice.

CHAMELEON BOY: "So, I've been thinking about getting into male modeling-"

PANEL 2 - KARATE KID kicks open the door!

KARATE KID: "KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAH!

STAR BOY: "Hey, what are you-"

PANEL 3 - KARATE KID Karate Chops CHAMELEON BOY to death, smashes table with fist. Juice glass is sent flying vertically into the air.

CHAMELEON BOY: "But why- ACK! *gurgle*"

KARATE KID: "KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAH!

PANEL 4 - STAR BOY stands up, gets Karate Kicked to the face . . . TO DEATH.

STAR BOY: "No! Not my NOSE! *gurgle*"

KARATE KID: "KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAH!

PANELS 5 & 6 - KARATE KID pauses, catches falling glass of Space Juice in an outstretched hand with a Karate Catch. Drinks it down, then throws glass into the wall, shattering it. Assumes Kung-Fu stance.

KARATE KID: "KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAH!

PANEL 7 - KARATE KID runs back out the broken door.

PAGE TWO - REPEAT PAGE ONE LAYOUT
This time with Ultra Boy and Element Lad. I'll write some new dialog or whatever later.

8. Issue 9 - Bouncing Boy reinvents Crunk, poppin' n' lockin' and breakdancing for the 31st Century.

But disaster strikes when Supergirl headspins through an entire planet! Can the LSH stop this by Stomping The Yard?

9. Clearly, have never actually read a single issue of The Legion of Super-Heroes.


Does that JLA thing count? You know, with Dream Girl and Dr. Destiny and the multiple Batmen? No? Okay then.

10. Issue 7 - Supergirl, Superboy and Krypto steal everyone's flight rings, then proceed to fly around them in circles going "WOOOOOOO!" and play keep-away.

Later, Cosmic Boy cries, walks off muttering "21st century people are such assholes."

11. In shocking issue 10 reveal, The Fatal Five all revealed to be several hundreds of generations removed descendants of The Jackson Five! Decide to kill the Legion with upbeat R&B.

TITLE CAPTION: "Murder - As Easy as A, B, C, 1, 2, 3!"

12. Sun Boy and Shadow Lass VS. Kid Quantum and Princess Projectra! In Future Mexico!


. . .for no other reason than I want to see them running around in Luchadora masks and yelling their names.


13. Issue 11 - Forget that Justice League crossover: Dream Girl now finds herself in the 1970's!


She has zany adventures and learns about life, love and disco from a young Black Lightning and John Travolta.


14. Seriously, I've never even watched that new cartoon show version they've put out. I'm just ganking names off of Wikipedia at random here. I suppose I should YouTube the cartoon . . .




*blinks* . . . I take back what I said about Timber Wolf and replace his name with Brainiac 5.

15. Would have Light Lass and Phantom Girl spend all of issue 25 talking about how LSH's utopian society was achieved via the judicious application of Socialist Health Care, Environmental Protection, Science free of regulation by Religious Officials (i.e. the total, actual Separation of Church and State) and most importantly, the forceful overthrow of corrupt American government leaders in the early 21st Century.

Oh, and I guess they'd also fight some robots or something.

16. Infectious Lass teaches your kids about STDs! With visual aides!


You know what? Alien pustules on alien genitalia don't even have to look like anything naughty, even if that's exactly what they are. Take that, Comics Code Authority!

Haiku Reviews for 1/23/08

Since they seemed quite popular last time 'round, please enjoy another set of my patented Haiku Reviews!*
*patent pending


Look, there are SPOILERS -
So if you haven't read these
You should do that now.


She-Hulk #25 - Peter David & Shawn Moll plus backup story artists - C+

Jen whines, sulks and snarks
Living in a trailer park
"My Name Is She-Hulk?"

BONUS HAIKU for the Back-Up Stories
:

Juggy sex? 4th wall?
Taunting the fandom's tacky
Funny! But tacky.

Crime Bible: The Five Lessons of Blood #4 - Greg Rucka & Diego Olmos - B


If I ever hit
On a woman with no face
Send me to Arkham

Young Avengers Presents - Patriot #1 - Ed Brubaker & Paco Medina - B+

Patriot and Kate?
Warlock and some Bucky too?
Past due, but good start.

Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash #4 - James Kuhoric & Jason Craig - C


. . . I never once thought
I'd see Freddy Krueger steal
A line from Watchmen.

Marvel Zombies 2 #4 - Robert Kirkman & Sean Phillips - C-

I'm also quite shocked
That zombie superheroes
Could become boring.

The Order #7 - Matt Fraction & Barry Kitson - B

Hellrung and Namor
Face off David Mamet-style.
. . . No, it's good! Really!

Astonishing X-Men #24 - Joss Whedon & John Cassady - A-


Some of this felt off
But a planet-sized bullet?
TOO AWESOME FOR WORDS

The Ultimates 3 #2 - Jeph Loeb & Joe Madureira - C+

Jeph Loeb's Ultimates,
Bob Saget's Aristocrats
"Whoa . . . THAT GUY did THIS?"

(note: above Haiku link INCREDIBLY NSFW due to language)

Wonder Woman #16 - Gail Simone & Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson - A

Pegasus! Nazis!
Talking Albino Teen Apes!
Miss Simone? You WIN.

World War Hulk: Aftersmash! Damage Control #1 - Dwayne McDuffie & Salva Espin - A+

I can't believe it!
Funny Damage Control's back!
Just three issues? Nertz.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kitty Pryde is a walking, phasing anime cliche



Look people - let's all please stop the bitching about this upcoming X-Men Manga. The people writing it are superhumanly nice and prone to creating adorable art.

More to the point, there's no superheroine more perfect for a manga style digest than Kitty Pryde. While I've never been much attached to the character, one way or the other, Kitty Pryde in a shojo just makes freakin' sense. She's always been just one Sailor Scout outfit away from being a Japanese archetype (and sadly, that sort of outfit would be better than most of her in continuity ones).

Need proof? Let's go down the list, shall we?

Name or code names that are cute to the point of absurdity?

Check.

Mischievous yet helpful pet?

Check.


Magical weapon she can summon out of nowhere
?

Check.

Rarely, if ever, seen without her important neck jewelry?

Check.


Pwns all comers despite her improbably young and inexperienced nature
?

Check.

Super bad-ass ninja skills?

Check.

Falls in love with a dark-haired, older co-worker?



Check and DOUBLE CHECK.


Insanely over-sexualized by a bunch of fanboys who really should know better than to letch on a fictional teen/early twenties girl
(not to name names but seriously, c'mon, stop it Schmis Schmlaremont. And yes, even you too, Choss Chedon.)?

Sadly, check (see also the "naughty schoolgirl" picture I've used at the very top of this post to illustrate my disturbing point).

You know, I could go on and on but really, I think the case is closed.

Don't you?

Haiku Reviews for 1/16/08

To make up for my rambling reviews of last week, I now present Haiku Reviews! Let's get these out of the way before I buy yet more comics today, shall we?

SPOILERS Exist Here
None in great detail mind you
Because it's haiku


Marvel Comics Presents #5 - various - B

Blade nukes Korea
Rucka's Widow appears too
And there's dinosaurs!

Fell #9 - Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith - B+


Evocative art
Belies a brief but tense tale
Put this out more please

New Warriors #8 - Kevin Grevioux & Jon Malin - C-

Look, it's Ms. Marvel
With poorly drawn Hitler youth
Subtlety? What's that?

CheckMate #22 - Greg Rucka & Eric Trautman & Chris Samnee - A

C'est bon assassin
This Mademoiselle Marie
Au revoir Miss Chace

Booster Gold #6 - Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz & Dan Jurgens - A

Look, TED'S back! HOORAY!
I don't care why or how long
Just let me bask please.

Angel: After The Fall #3 - Joss Whedon & Brian Lynch & Franco Urru - A+


I'm not ruining
The last page of this comic
HOLY FUCKING SHIT.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Conservation of Awesome

So, it has come to my attention that Marvel is canceling the best new series to come out of all this Initiative/Civil War Malarkey. Yes, after only 10 issues, The Order is going away.



*moment of silence for the best comic to feature the punching of bears in jetpacks that I have ever read*

I was enraged but then realized that a new and funny version of Damage Control by it's original author, Dwayne McDuffie, was coming out this very Wednesday. Presumably this will redress the idiocy that occurred in Wolverine where they were made to be the bad guys. More importantly, it will make me laugh and sing with pure joy (I pray).



All of this then falls under my most depressing law . . . "The Conservation of Awesome".

The Conservation of Awesome
clearly states that there is a finite amount of Awesome in the world, so if one Awesome thing happens, another Awesome thing must suffer as a result.*
*For further proof of this theory, please see Buffy Season 8 Vs. Runaways, The Order Vs. Nextwave, so on and so forth.

Yes, the lack of The Order makes my soul grumble with fanboy rage. Still, tomorrow morning, I'm going to be able to read more funny from the man who dared to bring us Wolverine getting a pie in the face from Groucho.



And that alone, my friends, makes the pain so much less.

Y: The Last Hulk

Between severe insomnia and busy workdays at Teh Factory O' Suck, I've been slacking in my blogging. I can tell from my comments section how deeply upset and betrayed most of you feel and I apologize to you, my loyal fans.

I have, however, managed to create a fake preview for the final issue of Y: The Last Man involving a very new direction with a very large green man. Please go see it and enjoy my hard (okay, minimal) work!

Failing that, please enjoy this AMV of Jonathan "The Cake Is A Lie" Coulton's song Code Monkey that neatly encapsulates my battle with General Malaise (of the Insomnia Brigade):

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Superteen Battle Royale - Your Thoughts Please?


VS


ROUND ONE: Classic Teen Titans line-up versus Modern Runaways line-up - who wins?

Given our familiarity lies mostly with the animated series, Kay and I based a team for the Titans on that model - which turned out pretty evenly matched.

Raven Vs Nico, Starfire Vs. Karolina, Robin Vs. Chase & Old Lace - these all seem like pretty uneven match-ups on paper. On the other hand, I fully believe that Victor could take Cyborg, Xavin could take down Beast Boy and Molly Hayes could surprise Wonder Girl or Kid Flash into outcold-land. If we vary up these match-ups, things could get even more interesting.

In the end, we both leaned towards the Runaways. This was mostly because they A)have the stealthy lack of costumes going on, B)have the son of a Skrull Warlord who's willing to kill people (yes, Xavin hasn't been shown killing anyone but c'mon, (s)he's a freaking Skrull Warlord's son, people), C) Molly Hayes sucker punched the Punisher - doing the same to Robin isn't outside the realm of possibility.

While we didn't think it'd be a rout, we felt fairly sure it'd turn into at least a draw. Also, I just plain love to imagine the Titans being utterly befuddled by these kids without costumes who fight dirty. Now, if we were talking modern age Titans with Devil Boy, the Martian telepath and more importantly, Ravager and the royally ticked off Wonder Girl, I'd probably be singing a different tune.

Now, the winner of this battle have to take on the most vicious teen team we could think of - Gail Simone's revamp of Gen13.


Now before you scoff, these aren't the same cheesecake-y scamps from the early 90's you may think you know. Every one of them just saw their foster families murdered in front of them Batman-style, because the guy who cloned their bodies and raised them to be a certain way THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUNNY. Each of them knows they're freaks of nature and aren't terribly happy about it (save Zen Grunge and Rasta Bobby but their anger still simmers deep down). They're all smarter, more paranoid and willing to kill if need be than their previous incarnations (well, poor Roxy's certainly more prone to violence at least). Grunge killed a version of Apollo, for heaven's sake. Whichever team you choose to stand against them, I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of a long, brutal battle.

Even Kay and I were uncertain about who would win what. At least I'll get to see a match-up of sorts between the Gen13ers vs the Titans in the upcoming Wildstorm/DC: Dreamwar.

The funniest part? After all this teen blogging, what I'm most excited about in the upcoming DC/Wildstorm thing is the JSA Versus the Welcome to Tranquility beat-down.

As Giffen himself so neatly puts it: "Geriatric wars, man! [laughs] Any book that's got old people pounding the shit out of each other -- c'mon! It's worth the price."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Y: The Last Party


Now, more than ever, do I wish I lived on the West Coast.

Joss Whedon is the keynote speaker at Brian K. Vaughn & Pia Guerra's wrap-up party for Y: The Last Man? And all proceeds go to the CBLDF? As they say here in the Americas - Fuck, yeah!

Man, I'm extremely tempted to use some vacation time and add to my credit card debt just to attend this.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Trogday! So Speaks FIN FANG FOOM!!!

I know a lot of you are posting about Wonder Woman and Spider-Man and you know what? That's excellent of you. I applaud and thank you all.

But today, my friends, is Trogday - the day we celebrate the birth of Trogdor the Burninator. His legend is celebrated in song, games and even the final episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Still, this is a comics blog, not a Trogdor blog . . . so behold the best Dragon creature comics have created! Behold FIN FANG FOOM!*

*Please Note: K. D. Bryan has not actually read any comics with Fin Fang Foom in them besides Nextwave. This is okay because Nextwave is officially the only comic a person ever needs to have read in their entire lifetime.

Fin Fang Foom can see your SOUL


The Ladies LOVE Fin Fang Foom and Fin Fang Foom loves them right back - by putting them in his pants.


Fin Fang Foom is sometimes orange and bigger than Thor - LITERALLY


Fin Fang Foom breaks down borders between nations - ALSO LITERALLY


And best of all? Fin Fang Foom once saved Christmas. Suck on that, Puff the Magic Dragon.

Yes, Fin Fang Foom is immune to all things . . . save trash talking from Magneto!



Oh, and robots. Not so good against the robot guys. Or iron men, if you prefer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Characters Wanted

In a recent e-mail to Occasional Superheroine, I got pretty high and might about why I preferred Marvel to DC. Marvel has the characters I care about, I said, the damaged messy ones that piss me off or make me laugh. DC just had the icons and the big stories.

I stopped and thought about this today . . .

The last time I was furious about a character dying besides Layla Miller was when Big Barda went out without a fight in a kitchen. Before her, it was Knockout and before her, it was Sue Dibney and before her, Ted Kord.

The last time I got really annoyed at a character's new direction was Catwoman, then Wonder Woman (no longer - thank you Miss Simone), then the dissolution of the Secret Six.

The last time I cheered at a character's return - actually pumped my fist in the air and said "Fuck, yeah!" - was Ice. I also misted up at her reunion with Fire.

No character infuriates me or makes me quite as happy in terms of pure character arc as Batman and his passive-aggressive relationships with his Batfamily.

Yes, Emma Frost, Deadpool, Jamie Madrox, Jessica Jones and Spidey are the ones who are my favorites. They'll always be my top five.

But I think I definitely owe DC an apology.

Or at least need to send a retraction to Occasional Superheroine.*


*That and I forgot to include Y: The Last Man on my list of must-reads . . . but that's another kettle of fish.

Things I'm Buying This Week

Booster Gold #6 - Meet the Beetles begins here, apparently.

Checkmate #22
- Love, love, love this series. Greg Rucka roxxors my soxxors. He's even started a secret blog for this series, to the delight of us superhero spy nerds everywhere. I still miss Queen & Country but this eases the pain greatly.


Marvel Comics Presents #5
- I have a fondness for the old series and I've liked this new version quite a bit. The Hellcat and police detective stories have been very good, even if the others haven't really made me jump up and down with glee. In any case, I wholeheartedly encourage any series that gives more of a chance for new writers and artists to really get creative and put out 8-page shorts.

New Warriors #8 - I'm liking this series more than I ever planned or wanted to. It's just damned interesting to see the Initiative being fought with guerrilla style PR tactics. Plus, Jubilee gets to be the 2nd-in-command of something, which is awesome. Not as awesome as Team Jubilee would be but hey, I like Night Thrasher, so I'm okay with that.

Fell #9 - I've been waiting for this one. Fell's my favorite Ellis comic currently on the shelves and it's cheap too! Try a copy today, whydonchya?

Angel: After The Fall #3 - I'm not as into the art on this "Angel Season 6" comic as I am into the art on "Buffy Season 8" but Brian Lynch & Joss Whedon are clearly having fun. I'm liking it a lot but I'm not loving it. The 'in media res' nature of the storytelling isn't helping me very much when it comes to getting fully into the story. Maybe it's because Buffy didn't end on such a huge honkin' cliffhanger? I dunno.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The 3 Biggest Rules of Comics Blogging

DEEP PRETENTIOUS POST FOLLOWS:

I was thinking today and I realized that my OMD song post might have come off as snide and dismissive towards fandom in general. Given that I'm writing a comics blog, I think that's sort of unforgivable in terms of hypocrisy. I'm a huge, unapologetic fan of comics. I wrote my Senior Thesis on "The Growing Acceptance of Comic Books/Graphic Novels as an Art Form". If it weren't for comic books, I wouldn't be here and, dorky as it may sound, I mean that in every sense of the word.

So, the blogging? My major criticism of online blogging about comics isn't about the devotion of the fans, which can be beautiful and is always sincere in it's passion. It's about the basic realizations most people who blog about comics for any reason seem to miss.

A lot.

I thought I'd lay out what I think are essential rules of comics blogging, if only to help people understand where I'm coming from.




1. The comic book you're seeing previews of online that has you furious or sad is always a part of a larger story - one that's already in progress.


The problem is twofold.

First, you're not reading the whole issue, which may or may not explain the part that's upsetting you in a reasonable manner. Which, let's face it, rarely happens - Batman & The Outsiders anyone? - but still.

Second, by the time you've seen the preview pages for "Aunt May Vs. Ted Kord's Corpse Special - Final Intercrossover Crisis Day #1 (of 7)", the comic book writers and artists have already written #2 and probably most, if not all, of parts 3 and 4 - while having plotted out the whole thing beforehand.

This isn't Jason Todd in the 80's. Your Internet complaints about the story can't really change that much of the story or direction. Unless the internet presents a unified hiss of loathing or a really concise, intelligent argument, the writers will not change the ending they've been building to with a serial narrative.

Does this mean you shouldn't complain? No, but it means you should complain constructively and be realistic about the chances of your complaints changing the story. The only writer/artist I've ever seen apologize and change a scene that offended his readers was Adam Warren. When somebody wrote a post entitled "Actually, Empowered Sucks Now"*, crossposted it to Scans Daily and sent a letter to him. Warren responded in this way, saying in part - "In any event, in the second printing of EMPOWERED vol. 2, I’m going to redraw those three panels."

Now, Adam Warren isn't writing strictly mainstream stuff - in fact, it's naughty stuff that's likely to offend some people (you can read a typical 8-page short for free somewhere on Dark Horse's Torturous Myspace Page). I love his work, personally, but I can see how many might misinterpret it and how he has more freedom than say, J. Michael Straczynski. The thing is, even if you like Warren's work or not, you should respect him for doing this.

Brian Michael Bendis took a lot of heat recently for a sequence in New Avengers, in which Tigra is viciously attacked in her own bedroom and offers minimal defense. He didn't respond with a promise to rewrite the entire scene in future trade form and an apology. Instead, he responded with the thinking that violence against Tigra was just as acceptable as violence against Namor the Sub-Mariner, in a "Fish Man" allegory that rankled some people. Now, would it take away the original, unintentional insult to fans of Tigra and many comic book reading feminists? No, but it would show a degree of class and appreciation of the opinions of fandom, rabid as they often are, that would impress me. But there's a reason this doesn't tend to happen, which leads me to Rule 2 . . .

*Side note - even though I got her to agree that the ending of Empowered, Vol. 2 actually moved her to the point of tears, she refused to believe the work had any merit or, heavens forbid, that she might be overreacting. *facepalm*



2. You do NOT own your favorite Superhero. The writers and artists you hate rarely, if ever, own their favorite Superhero. A Superhero character is almost always a money-making property owned by an evil corporation.

We don't own them but we love them. We can influence their directions only minimally unless we somehow become their writer and even then, they're still owned by a giant corporation who sees them just as a brand name. It's a frustrating quandary for any fan.

My friend Kay, a former exotic dancer, points out that believing that Marvel or DC is writing just for you, the fan, is like thinking the stripper really loves you. I prefer her other metaphor that reading superhero comics is like marrying a junkie who has no plans to go clean. You have wonderful times, you have faith things are going well and suddenly he's vanished with your TV Set and left your Uncle stabbed in the stomach on the floor. You can never, ever fully trust them to do right by you.

Listen - if novelist Greg Rucka can't even write a back-up story where he jokingly implies Batman is gay for DC Comics while he's employed as the writer of Detective Comics because the editors say no, who were in turn told by the corporation who owns Batman to say no . . . your blog demands that So-And-So stop writing Captain Awesome out of character or that Superb Girl's new costume gets changed aren't gonna hold a lot of water.

The trick to acceptance is this - comics are a fluid medium and superhero comics even more so. The writer and/or artist you hate and all their story arcs can be replaced with one you love at any time or vice versa. This is the rule that is hardest for me to remember and accept because it seems like this is the rule we can violate the most.

If we stop buying the comic when a certain writer starts ruining the character *COUGH*JodiPICOULT!*cough*, the megacorporation that owns the character will notice the loss and fire that person. Such universal revilement is rare, however, in the world of fandom and people will often chug along until the writer, editor or artist feel that they've reached a natural stopping point. Controversy sells a book - always remember that - so sometimes a debate gives the megacorporation more excitement and more press, which means more money.

The junkie knows we still love them and will always come back to them. DC and Marvel keep taking our televisions and selling them for smack every time we hope it's going to get better instead of locking them out. We can prove them wrong but I don't see it happen very often.

Me? I just leave my junkie girlfriend comics until they look like they've cleaned up and gotten into rehab, if only for a little while. I'm still waiting on you Exiles, darlin'.



3. Blog smarter, not louder.

I never fully understood the phrase "'Tis better to light a candle instead of curse the darkness." until I read Internet Message Boards.

Think about this: if the sheer volume of fanpeople who bitched about a random comic book problem donated just one nickel a piece towards taking out an ad in Variety or a billboard in NY, could you imagine the impact that would make? Can you imagine all the money people would get raised?

Alas, that doesn't happen often, if at all. It's just a lot of sound and fury most of the time with very little logical critique or positive suggestions. A lot of fans just assume internet criticisms will translate into bad sales as if by magic. Sad to say, it's rarely so. The sheer volume can - and has - made positive impact on a few people but it's still noise.

(BTW - "Write your own book" is not a positive suggestion. If you asked me to help you solve a math problem and I told you "Write your own math test instead.", I wouldn't be helping you. I'd be an asshole. You see how that works now?)

So, please, blog constructively. Think before you post. Realize that the characters you love are both yours and not yours at the same time. And lastly, try to think of a way to convince people who've never even read a comic before why this particular bit of story/art or decision is a bad idea, based on basic story principles.

Anyways, that's just my two cents. Hope this helps any people I may have alienated with my tongue-in-cheek bitter loathing of all fandom (including my own dorky self).

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Everybody DANCE!

Lois Lane is not happy about this shocking turn of events but, given current continuity, Lana Lang is jumping up and down with glee about Clark's newfound attraction to insect ladies:



In the meanwhile, Spider-Man clearly wins the Avengers Dance-Off:



Not to be outdone, Venom attempts to dance as well, with far less graceful results:



Batman and the Joker didn't plan to dance but Mr. Mxyzptlk seems to have turned them both into the Artist Formerly Known As Prince:



Meanwhile, Supergirl wanted to go dancing but her new, crotchety, alcoholic Foster Mother wouldn't let her go out dressed like that. While I certainly agree it's high time somebody set boundaries with her, her Mom's being way harsh. I mean, it's not like she's wearing the tacky belly shirt and mini-skirt combo, lady!*:



*Loss of Geek Cred Confession: I have not actually seen the Supergirl Movie and therefore have no idea who the grouchy old lady is. Anybody care to explain?

And lastly, a dance for Wonder Woman and her fans, who are having a pretty rough week. This one's for all of us who are saddened by the recent turn of events. Please, enjoy this completely non-sexualized Wonder Woman dancing with pure joy:

Another conversation with Kay OR At least SOMEBODY'S happy about this

Me: "So, in attempt to connect with the "comic book's fanbase", they turned him into an unemployed guy in his 30's who still lives at home with his elderly Aunt."

Kay: *laughs for a whole minute straight*

Me: "Oh, c'mon, it's not that funny."

Kay: *still laughing* Yes! YES, IT IS!"

Insomnia sometimes nets beautiful results

If you hunt around the music site of one Kelly Fenton, you'll find incredibly wonderful jazz pieces . . . based around recent DC Comic books (and other great stuff besides, including a kick-ass version of Blue Skies).

I'm especially fond of Infinite Crisis and Villains United I & II.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rambling Reviews for 1/10/08

This Week In Review - Our heroes fail to beat up Nazis in the Past, Different Concentration Camp Operators in the Future, Symbiotes in the Present, a Blonde Guy in A Blue Suit and, most heinously, Someone Who Thinks That Reality Television is an Art Form.

No! Not The Spoilers! NOT THE SPOILERS! AIIIGH, They're In My eyes!

The Twelve #1 - J. Michael Straczynski & Chris Weston - B+

Wow. That's a grand opener.

For those of you who haven't heard of this comic, it's the story of 12 Marvel WWII superheroes, both meta and non, who get put into suspended animation by skeevy Nazi scientists. The Nazis are killed by Commies before they can enact their evil plans, leaving these Marvel Golden Age sorts frozen. They're found and woken up 60 years later in 2008, without our friend Captain America around to help them with culture shock. A depressed General not only offers them all the money they want but asks them to be superheroes again in a world that's gone messy and ugly. A flashforward in the last two pages suggests this naive plan will not go so well. It's a trifle Watchmen-esque but that's by no means a bad thing.

The art is lovely and full of little details. Nazi Supervilains in portrait form, details on coins and ears, and oh, the differences in people's eyebrows. It's a sad sign that I'm so easy to please but I dug the attention to detail a lot.

The comic loses some points for having just one female character, Black Widow (no, not that one. Or the other one), who subsequently gets groped by skeevy Commander Nazi Scientist while she's out cold. On the other hand, her power, her look and her origin do seem rather bad-ass. This original Black Widow gained the power to kill evil men with just a touch by making a pact with THE DEVIL. \m/
. . . Which maybe just goes to show people that I find a 90's style origin in 40's style clothes to be strangely cool. Maybe I'm lame. *hangs head in shame*

X-Factor 27 - Peter David & Scott Eaton - C-

I am very displeased by this crossover nonsense. It's like shoehorning 2/3'ds of the Lord of the Rings movies into Double Indemnity.

Let me start by saying that I usually love X-Factor. Film noir is one of my favorite genres. I can relate to Jamie Madrox's internal struggles and self-doubt. The characters are all messy, complicated and secretive. They're the outcasts who live in the real world while the Mansion Mutants have their high soap operas. Until recently, the word 'superheroes' hasn't even really applied to these characters, which I kind of love.

And then there's Layla. Layla Miller is one of the most compulsively interesting characters created in recent memory. Put aside her intriguing power and ability to creep out people way more powerful than her - she's a non-sexualized teen girl who's often more self-sufficient than the adults around her. Christ, she's like the Anti-Supergirl.

If I had kids, I like to think they'd turn out like her - self-sufficient, smart, unique and funny. Of course, if they were my kids, they'd also end up annoying the crap out of people and being smart-asses. So again, I totally love Layla Miller.

. . . In this issue, she just blew herself and Jamie up with a grenade while in an alternate future that may or may not exist, leaving her dead at worst or stranded at best. Jamie wakes up and this means another of my favorite characters is left with a stupid facial tattoo which marks him as the victim of an idiotic crossover. The solicitation copy for future issues of X-Factor implies that Layla may come back but I'm not holding my breath. Bastards.

Really, the only reason this issue gets more than a D- is because Wolverine stabs that Lady Mastermind girl - who's so horribly disproportionate it makes my eyes bleed - right through the torso, just underneath where she's using double-sided tape to keep her ridiculous implants in place. Plus, it looks like Mystique's killed Mr. Sinister, so at least there's one less villain in the world I can fail to take seriously because of their name. Hooray!


The Mighty Avengers #7
- Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley - B-

Look, Bendis my friend - I like decompression done right. I do. I like superheroes talking to one another when they're not hitting people. Really, I do. I know you probably tired yourself out with all that awesome punching of robots and shrinking of Greek Gods and kick-ass what-not in the last arc. You could and should take a breather. It even makes sense story-wise.

But really, man - if you show me a promo of Wolverine getting possessed by a Venom symbiote three months ago? Then give me a cover where Symbiotes are eating the Avengers? Don't give me a comic beyond that cover wherein Tony Stark and your imaginary girlfriend Spider-Girl play the "who's a Skrull, where's a Skrull" game for 11 pages of my 22 page comic . . . with just 4 measly pages of symbiotes.

The baby symbiote was awesome, though, I give you that. Plus, points for Wonder Man going back to the "W" uniform instead of the red leisure suit and Wasp being snitty about it. That was fun. If you will please stop writing Ares like the guy that girls warn each other about in High School, all will be forgiven by next issue.

The Boys #14 - Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson - A-

I've been so wordy in my other reviews that I feel the need to break this down for you in speed form. Here's a short form version of things that happen inside, so you can decide if this is the comic for you:

- An overweight, hairy Russian Superhero cannot run fast due to his erection in constricting spandex pants.
- A man who looks like Simon Pegg from Sean of the Dead makes a man cry at his feet in fear.
- Heads attached to garishly clad would-be supervillains explode en masse.
- An evil blonde guy in a blue suit fails to get punched in the face.
- And a plane is destroyed with an exploding vibrator.

Yes, yes, this is my guilty pleasure comic. Darick Robertson's one of my favorite artists, OKAY?

I'm sorry.
Sort of.
Okay, not really.

Gen 13 #16 - Simon Oliver & Sunny Lee - A

Who is Simon Oliver and how did he get so good?

Back when I was in High School, I loved the goofy adventures of Gen 13 and so did all my friends. Hell, I still want a stuffed Queelocke. But the one adjective I never thought I'd apply to Gen 13 back then was "cerebral". Adam Warren, Gail Simone and now Simon Oliver have proved me wrong. Crazy, stupid, it's-not-even-funny wrong.

Caitlin Fairchild has always fascinated me as a character because of what's so often left unsaid by her. With the exception of Simone and to a lesser degree, Warren, nobody's touched on how her unwilling transformation from plain nerd to over exaggerated caricature affected/relates to her self-esteem or self-image. In every book with a good writer, she's been written as aggressively intelligent and naive but that's been the upward limit of her personality.

In the course of this story and the recent reboot in general, the Gen 13 teens are made aware that they were preprogrammed, manufactured genetic products, created by a lunatic. Every one of their cells was designed for a purpose by someone else, which is something that seriously fucks with their heads.

Of course, when they arrive in New York, each character runs away to embrace the new people they meet as an escape from this inescapable truth, unaware that their movements and friendships are being recorded by IO as part of a scam. The reality TV loving asshat I mentioned way, way above in the title of this post is the maestro and happy as a clam . . . except for the problem presented by Caitlin. Fairchild can't help but overthink everything, which is both her saving grace and her downfall. She's the polar opposite of this version of Grunge (whom I love as being as smart as Caitlin, if not smarter in this iteration - just of a totally different philosophy).

Caitlin figures out men are secretly filming her - for reasons other than the obvious one of her being a ginormously endowed redhead in a spandex top. While I assume she hasn't bought normal clothes like the others because of her justifiable paranoia, this was the one glaringly false note in the issue. Alas, nobody will listen to her and later on, in another twist I didn't see coming, we get to realize that DV8 may be sneaking into the story as well. DV8 was my introduction to Warren Ellis and therefore has a warm spot in my dark, cold heart. So, as you can guess, this pleases me greatly.

This is also a comic where one person uses a chainsaw and another quotes a poem by Shelley. Pure rockage, folks.

Seriously, pick this series up from the beginning while you still have a chance to find the trades or cheap back issues.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Various bits o Modern Art - Stan Lee style

100 artists created paintings to honor Stan Lee, with wild and wooly results. Go and enjoy my personal favorites, Magneto with Ducklings, Pulpy X-Men and Golfing Heroes. And bonus points for the Mr. Fantastic Kirby Homage, Dr. Strange Vs. The 50's and the impressive Scarlet Witch self-portrait.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

One More Day . . . IN SONG! Plus, a serious PS.

I said I wouldn't blog about this but c'mon. At this point, I've seen people sharing their thoughts on OMD in blog form. I've seen them sharing their thoughts OMD in Photoshop Form and in comic spoof form. I've even seen them sharing their thoughts through the inexpert use of Fire.

But you know what I haven't seen? I haven't seen anybody share their thoughts in song! So here goes nothing. These two gentlemen will introduce you to the tune -


Now that you know the tune - sing along!


Hold On (Past Brand New Day)


I know this twist (I know this twist)
Why do you lock yourself up in your hold list?
No one can change Marvel except for you
Don't ever let Joey Q. step all over you
Just close up your wallet and your mind
Isn't it so cool to bitch this way online?

So One More Day's gone and made you want to turn around and say goodbye
Until then fanboy are you going to let them make continuity go awry?
Don't you know?
Don't you know things will change
Things'll go away
If you hold on past Brand New Day
Can you hold on past Brand New Day
Things'll go away
Hold on past Brand New Day

You could complain
Or are you addicted to all the pain?
You've got Quesada to blame for your unhappiness
Oh, baby! "It's magic, we don't have to explain this!"
Letting your e-mails pass him by
Do you really think your blog's going to change his mind?
(No, noooo!)

So One More Day's gone and made you want to turn around and say goodbye
Until then fanboy are you going to let them make continuity go awry
Don't you know?
Don't you know things will change
Things'll go away
If you hold on past Brand New Day
Can you hold on past Brand New Day?
Things'll go away (just four more years and they'll go away)
Hold on past Brand New Day

I know that you're in pain
But you hold on
past Brand New Day and
Act like you're insane
Yeah I know that there is pain
But you
hold on past Brand New Day
and you
Act like, act like you are insane

So One More Day's gone and made you want to turn around and say goodbye
Until then fanboy are you going to let them make continuity go awry
Don't you know?
Don't you know things will change
Things'll go away
If you hold on past Brand New Day
Hoooooooooold ooooooooooooon

Don't you know things will change
Things'll go away
If you hold on past Brand New Day
Can you hold on?
HOLD ON!



PS. On a more serious note, ladies and gents, I lived through the Spider clones and Aunt May's fake death. I stopped buying Spider titles after that and held to my guns until the creation of Ultimate Spider-Man. Still, don't go by my crazy example. This too, will pass, my fanpeople. It's insulting and completely ridiculous but trust me - it'll pass. Plus, I like Dan Slott and feel bad for him right now. This is like some terrible Monkey's Paw thing where his innocent lifelong wish to write Spider-Man was granted by the devil or something.
. . . ooh, situational irony.

If all of you are still p.o'ed - show me. Get off your duffs, really get out there and protest! I double dog dare all of you grouchy bloggers to start picketing outside Marvel's offices . . . dressed as Spider-Man and MJ in her classic Wedding Dress. You heard me.

Even if there's just two guys or two girls - hell, especially if there's just two guys or two girls - that'll make the news. Failing that, please show up to every convention you can in pairs, wearing Spidey & MJ Wedding outfits. It'll be both romantic, a powerful statement and a way to dissolve the stereotype that girls don't read comics - all at the same time!

Seriously, people. Actions speak louder than photoshop, fire or idiotic song parodies.

What I Bought Last Week

I know that this is the day most people tend to put up their "What I'm buying tomorrow" notes. Since I'm a maverick who plays by his own rules, I will instead put up my reviews of last week's stuff!*


LAST WEEK IN REVIEW - Here's an Ellis, There's an Ellis, And Another Little Ellis, Fuzzy Ellis, Funny Ellis, Ellis Ellis, JOSS

SPOILERS! Avert Your Eyes!

Four Warren Ellis comics in one week with just one Joss Whedon chaser? God help me. I may as well just ingest massive amounts of peyote and then try to read Wired while orally pleasuring a Suicide Girl.
. . . which actually sounds like a pleasant weekend. But I digress.


Gravel #1 - Warren Ellis & Mike Wolfer & Raulo Caceres - B-
William Gravel is a combat magician. This means that he is essentially like John Constantine with Rambo's job description. In this opening issue, he comes back to England from a long hard mission of killing Taliban (much in the manner of a particularly homicidal Invisible Woman), only to find somebody's taken his job. He proceeds to investigate why and how, causing bloodshed and one-liners to ensue.

I've been familiar with the character because I've read his appearances in previous wacky romps: Strange Kiss, Stranger Kisses and Strange Killings - the first of which (if memory serves) had a man with an STD that caused geckos to exit his urethra. Yes, it's that kind of Ellis comic. This is the ongoing adventure of the man who kills people bloody to save the Earth, and specifically England, from dark ugly things that make geckos come out of your pee hole and eat people.

I didn't think much of the issue in comparison to earlier reads with Gravel. Comparatively, it's a trifle subdued. Maybe I'm just numbed to the sight of heads exploding and knifes through flesh from previous comics from British people. Still, while I didn't think the opener was as much of a huge grab as it could have been for new readers, I'm willing to give the series time to build up speed.

Ultimate Human #1 - Warren Ellis & Cary Nord - A

This is the good stuff. Mad Science crackling with a whiff of destruction on the wind.

Magnificent bastard Ultimate Tony Stark gets asked for help from the neurotic people-eating mess that is Ultimate Bruce Banner in controlling the Hulk with Tony's own blood. Tony says yes because he's a decent soul and also, he's bored. They decide to go to Tony's superbase in New Mexico because Warren Ellis loves the American Southwest it's so deserted and full of cool mad science gizmos to test the Hulk. Ultimate Peter Wisdom/Leader appears, much to my glee and amazement, making evil plans in England to get a hold of everybody's blood - which turn out to just be the cherry on the sundae as Hulk goes bonkers past Stark's safety levels and prepares to SMASH.

There's going to be a lot of hitting in issue 2. I am enthused, people. Of course, I was enthused about Ultimate Hulk Vs. Wolverine but hey, this is Ellis, not some fly-by-night TV writer. The man's probably written out the whole thing months ago, come down with yet another obscure English plague that made him spit up blood and then sent in a few dialog revisions while he recuperated by drinking scotch that's older than I am.

I'm going to be sad when he dies.

Doktor Sleepless #4 - Warren Ellis & Ivan Rodriguez - A

The art is lovely. I rarely say this but I wish this comic was bigger, just to catch every little detail of tattoos or mad science no bigger than an iPod. Ellis' dialog is grand too, giving us hints of that old Transmetropolitan "the future is beautifully fucked" operatic discourse. Of course, whereas Transmet was "the future is seedy and ugly but look, we can make something good of it", I get the reverse feeling from this one. More of "Somebody made our future seedy and ugly, let's stab people to feel better about it".

Which isn't a bad thing, mind you.

Thunderbolts #118 - Waren Ellis & Mike Deodato - A+

I rarely give out the A+ grade but I just noticed that they put an Emily Dickinson poem on the recap page. C'mon, dudes. I gotta give it up for Dickinson.

I love this comic. I don't know much about the background of these characters, other than Penance, Osbourne, Doc Samson and Venom, but Ellis has made it so you haven't really needed to. Given his disdain for thought bubbles, I wondered how he was going to tell a story about telepaths taking the team apart from the inside-out. The answer is a bunch of hallucinations that the reader sees as real as the characters. It's an effective, trippy strategy that makes me eager to see what happens in the brains of the more well-adjusted characters like Songbird, Radioactive Man and the sociopathic but rock-steady Moonstone.

Things I also loved include
- Penance getting further Good Will Hunting treatment from Doc Samson. It's nice to see Robbie being told that Stanford could have happened to anybody and Doc Samson not acting like a douche (see Hulk, Planet).
(Anybody ever notice how Marvel's the only company with all the good, helpful therapists? Doc Samson and Emma Frost aren't that many, I suppose, but with Harely Quinn, Scarecrow and Dr. Hugo Strange running around Gotham City alone . . . well, I'm just saying I'm not going to the DCU for therapy. Yes, I know about Doctor Faustus. And that Moonstone herself is a therapist. You know what? Shut up.)
- Venom eating people. I'm a sick, sad man.
- The anti-Thunderbolt posters being snuck into a page or two. It's nice to see all the "real world" reaction shots in each issue. Nothing will top "Stabbity Jones" sharing a panel with Stan Lee, however.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #10
- Joss Whedon & Cliff Richards - B


I wanted to like this one a lot more than I actually did.

This was the issue in which the winner of a contest got to have their face and name immortalized in a Joss Whedon story. I read the story of the winning entry and it melted my dark, cold heart, so I was looking forward to this issue pretty darn eagerly. This is why I feel like the Grinch kicking a puppy just saying I liked it but I didn't love it.

The crux of the story is that Willow and Buffy have to face a demon who lives inbetween realities and delights in showing them how dishonest they've been to one another. We learn what really happened to make Dawn huge, how Buffy's funding the feeding and clothing of a bajillion teenage girls and where Kennedy's been this whole time. Very exposition-y, if pretty to look at.

The major problem I had was that the story cuts don't add to the story so much as make an already confusing tale more confusing. When you've got multiple realities, foreshadowing and flashback revelations, cutting to Dawn & Xander seems almost superfluous.

Also, at one point, Buffy sees Willow schtupping a snake-like demoness and gets surprisingly judgmental. Whatever, you blonde necrophiliac hussy. :P
(One of the things I loved about watching Buffy when it was on air was how, after Buffy lost her virginity to a dead guy and Willow regularly schtupped a werewolf, what got the Christian Right-Wingers outraged was that Willow dared have lesbian sex with a pretty blonde girl. Ah, good times. Good times.)

I wish I'd started this blog earlier, so I could have kvetched about how the otherwise awesome Faith storyline seemed to ignore all the personal steps towards redemption that Faith had made in Angel and Buffy S7 . . . but maybe that's just me being persnickety. Meh.

*Note: My own rules have not been completely formulated yet. I've only had this blog for like a month, people. Get off my freakin' back already. Jesus.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Let's put a smile on that face

I love Teh Interweb. Behold the Adam West trailer for The Dark Knight:



I honestly had a deep, philosophical rant on the nature of comics and fandom but meh. I worked an hour and a half of overtime, so this is all you get tonight.