Wednesday, April 25, 2007

iHaul (Wk 16)

or a sample of what i uhm, appropriated last week.

with covers by Chris Bachalo and Greg Horn, how could i resist? then i puked. seriously, it had a nice premise: superhero does good, runs into problems, then loses his core and soul? will he find his inner gravitas to rise above? sometimes, yes, sometimes, no. and the answer to that question defines whether you are a hero or not. the use of multiple art styles is a pleasant diversion, because the flashbacks look better than the current events.
this whole thing is, in a nutshell, is the story of Spider-Man. except Webhead will go on forever while the title character, Flare, doesn't. oops, did i give the ending away?

David Schwartz, Sean Wang, Guru e-FX
covers by Chris Bachalo/Greg Horn

secret lovers, yeah, that's what we are

Red Sonja continues the fight for female empowerment, with even just her myth and a mask sufficient to allow a mistreated housewife of a brothel owner to rise up and free the other hos - excuse me, 'wenches' - in said reputable establishment. this is both good news and bad news for the Cho Seung Huis of the world. good news is that the downtrodden he allegedly represents stood up against the bullies. the bad news is such women would have no compunction (and would be well within their rights) kicking him in the balls if he starts stalking them. you know, for not being ready for that jelly.
RED SONJA Annual #1
Michael Avon Oeming, Stephen Sadowski

"i already told you - don't ever call me a nappy-headed ho!"

credit a man for sticking with what he likes to do best. after championing and writing She-Hulk for the past few years, Happiest Man on Earth Dan Slott is reaping the rewards - better sales, better name recog and more high profile gigs (Avengers: The Initiative). and he's still writing She-Hulk and its still interesting an funny (though Kirkman's Ant-Man is closing in). Jennifer took a break from her legal duties to fill in for her missing cousin (due back oh, next month?) and beating up all his enemies (with S.H.I.E.L.D. help, of course). Slott doesn't skimp on the details and has an unerring eye for characterization. next up: what happens when Jen finds out the guy she just slept with sent her cousin to outer space to die?
Dan Slott, Rick Burchett, Cliff Rathburn

Q. who has Tony Stark
NOT slept with??? A. Bruce Banner?

ok, let's hear DC Veep and Man Around Town Dan DiDio say it: "there wasn't enough space in 52 to tell this story ...", so yeah, we get a 4-issue slugfest on top of the regular series. i mean its 4 issues of Black Adam taking on the whole DC Universe (minus the Big Three, who're still M.I.A. as of this story). 52 was a stroke of genius, to build crossover upon crossover (just like Marvel's doing with Civil War and WWHulk), but WWIII is hurt by the "various artists" approach - i would have preferred one guy doing it (Rags? Phil? anyone?), which leads me to believe that they never anticipated this back when they started 52. cough up your $10.
Keith Champagne, Pat Oliffe, Drew Geraci,
Andy Smith, Ray Snyder
John Ostrander, Tom Derenick, Norm Rapmund,
Jack Jadson, Rodney Ramos

World War Hulk was over before it even began

since Marvel hasn't killed off most of its second-rate characters yet, here's another chance to do so. its the reverse-Thunderbolts: former superheroes, trying to avoid putting on the costume (they should! unless they've registered!) but failing miserably. spinning off Brian Vaughan's acclaimed Runaways (but those were new characters), The Loners (they were probably going to name it 'Losers' except that DC already had a Vertigo title with that name) is a loose band of has-beens and never was-es, trying to stay one step of the addiction that is superheroing. of course, they fail immediately. let's wait till some die: that'll sober anyone up. or not.
C.B. Cebulski, Karl Moline

Superheroes Anonymous was not a good idea.

make no mistake here: these are two of my favorite comic book characters, regardless of how badly they've been written or treated. or rewritten. admittedly, i haven't followed much of the two since the WildStorm Universe sort of lost its appeal. or maybe i just need to reimmerse myself. so here we have two badasses squaring off (which is the whole point when they pitched the idea), but the whole premise seems so "... eh?". guess i'll have to continue reading to see if they really do some damage, and not just to each other. or to current and future readers.
Chuck Dixon, Ryan Benjamin, Saleem Crawford


so that Trident guy was actually Karate Kid from the 30th Centruy Legion of Super Heroes? the 'Seven Soldiers' is a future Justice League? and its a huge mystery that necessitates a crossover/team-up with the JSA?


that dripping sound you just heard would be me, wetting in my pants, and wanting my own Legion Flight ring. especially after that closing panel shown below.

did i mention i just wet my pants?
Brad Meltzer, Shane Davis, Matt Banning

now i can die in peace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

we'll keep on fighting ... in the summer

just announced ... the return of The Champions!

well, it ain't your grampappy's Champions, that's for sure. but helmed by Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson ... ooooooooooooooooooo.

can't recognize any of them, but if Internet rumors are to be believed, the personnel of this team will be drawn from civilians who have powers based on the Greek Gods (the one who gets Dionysius' power should be an alcoholic and gets all their opponents drunk). the catch: those powers can be taken away if you cross the line (like getting drunk), and someone else will take your place. i imagine there's a long queue of volunteers, so you'd better keep that job or else Joe the Creepy Neighbor will.

this seems like another Stark/Richards experiment to me. L.A., look out!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

harry potter and the unstoppable force

picked up a stack of last year's New Excalibur (which is just really X-Men UK) written by the legendary Chris Claremont (who's now a shadow of his former self, really). coming off the House of M storyline where a lot of mutants lost their mojo, the irascible Peter Wisdom tries to rebuild the team he once had (back when he was still banging Kitty Pryde, a.k.a. Shadowcat). anyway, their first adventure has them going up against a dark version of the original X-Men team. and among the new Excalibur members is the reformed Juggernaut, half-brother to X-founder Charles Xavier.

mostly the stories were just okay; Claremont at his best, matched the verbosity with exciting action and intrigue. i don't get that here (or maybe i just miss Alan Davis). he never was the same after returning to the Marvel fold. its probably why he gets bounced around the X-universe, not really writing the real team anymore (or maybe he refuses to, so why does he still hang around?). the best X-writing right now for my money, is Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. yes, that Joss Whedon.

my point is, Claremont has to resort to gimmicks like the one below, to get my attention and merit a post on this blog.

Juggernaut running around Platform 9 3/4

New Excalibur #3

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

iHaul (Wk 15)

a sampling from last week.

a blast from the past indeed! i owned the first issue of Marvel's adaptation of Kipling's The Jungle Book (with that gorgeous Russell cover shown on the left), but i never got to see how they finished it. although opening it a few days ago, i couldn't help but hear "Bare Necessities" as sung by Baloo the Bear in the '67 Disney film (i also had the soundtrack record, sorry). this isn't a dumbed-down version. with the mag's recent revival, this means happy times ahead!
Marvel Illustrated: The Jungle Book
Gil Kane/Jo Duffy
P Craig Russell

contrary to reports, Wolverine was born in India

you know the feeling you get when you watch a movie, and the actor playing the villain is someone you really, really hate? or at least you start hating the character so much because of the actor's portrayal? and you're foaming at the mouth, and bile is dripping off your tongue? that's how i feel right now with Eric O'Grady, the jerk who's running around in the Ant-Man costume. i want to kill him. not because he gets to peep in womens' showers. just because. if i feel this way, that means Robert Kirkman is yanking my chains good. damn you, Kirkman!
The Irredeemable Ant-Man #7
Robert Kirkman/Cory Walker

that's it; Homeland Security is a farce!

Extremis notwithstanding, i don't see Tony Stark being able to do a outstanding job managing S.H.I.E.L.D. as Dum-Dum already points out. but the man can't help himself - he has to make a choice sooner or later: move the chess pieces around or do the damn job himself. and we all know we'd rather have him do the job himself. especially if the Mandarin gets back into the thick of things. but just thinking out loud: i know he's a classic villain and all, but isn't it time for new things?
Iron Man #16Daniel/Charles Knauf,
Roberto De la Torre, Jonathan Sibal

"no, fool. i am The Fookien. or was it The Cantonese? wait ..."

bad enough that there is an Amazo, they had to create a child too. why don't they just create millions of Amazos? or weren't they called OMACs? wait, that would be too easy. this Amazo Jr doesn't even know its a robot. and he even goes against his programming. oh the irony (pun intended)! so what's the JLA to do if he refuses to be bad? why, we'll see in the next 4 issues of course. these things do not end with a simple $2.99.
JLA Classified #37Peter Milligan, Carlos D'Anda

how I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again

on the release of Nova #1:
(emphatic expression of relief!)
on his 24/7 spacecop duty:
(vulgar euphemism!)
on his amazing powers and his supercomputer 'sidekick':
(expression of amazement with overtone of disbelief)
on his encounter with more Annihilation bugs:
(guttural shriek of abject terror!)
on the fact he just crash-landed back on Earth and is about to go against S.H.I.E.L.D. and Iron Man:
(vulgar oath!)
(vulgar oath!)
(vulgar oath!)

sorry, you had to read it.
Nova #1Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning,
Sean Chen, Scott Hanna

how can they get your point if they're 'dead'?

this is the original space cop, Nova. take notes. you'll need it. but wait, he has some girl problems. yeah, you could learn from that too. GL always had this hate/love/hate relationship with Star Sapphire. or whoever that girl was. anyway, the Sapphire gem possesses Hal's ex Carol Ferris (for the nth time) but quickly abandons her for Cowgirl (who?), whom Hal has some affection for. we can't blame Hal for feeling like Michael Douglas, but hey, doesn't anyone want a threesome at some point in their lives? ok, forget i asked.
Green Lantern #18Geoff Johns, Daniel Acuna

Hal Jordan shows what he learned in the afterlife

Sunday, April 15, 2007

only the earth girls are easy

the rest of it ... ahhh, crap.

back in 1968, the world was on the edge, because another World War could erupt at any moment. and just to make things interesting, the Silver Surfer choses that time to cruise the skies. of course, he's just out to grab some fresh air, and he doesn't give a hoot about world politics. but to these puny humans on the ground, that's tantamount to invasion of air space. so much for having friendly skies.

don't turn around, uh-oh-oh. the commissar's in town, uh-oh-oh.

"accursed Oriental comrades"? what th-? everyone's a racist. and a comedian.

and where the in the world is Peiping? a twin-city type, an amalgam of Taipei and Beijing?

such hospitable behavior vexes the Surfer, who just lost his job as Galactus' Herald, because he defended Earth along with the Fantastic Four, preventing his master from having a midnight snack.

just in case this Surfing shtick doesn't work, Norrin Radd hones his stage acting chops

speaking of which, in the upcoming FF2, i look forward to seeing this scene. hopefully.

Silver Surfer #1

Friday, April 13, 2007

iHaul (Wk 14)

a sampling from last week.

well, look who's back. and look who's gone as well. Andy Hartnell soldiers on, without J. Scott Campbell, who really draws the definitive DG. the girls are once again called into action, looking for the mysterious (huh?) Master Key, which supposedly shouldn't fall into any hands (except DG's). on the opposite side, there's another badass femme fatale on a collision course with Abbey et al. think for a moment if Greg Rucka or Mike Bendis wrote this. and then we'll holler: Mr. Campbell, please come back!
Danger Girl: Body Shots #1Andy Hartnell, Nick Bradshaw,
Jim Charalampidis

i thought that was what they meant by 'boob tube'

never read much of this Joe Q-Jimmy P creation; suffice it to say, she was part of the Bad Girl revolution of the mid-90s (all you fanboys drool and wave your mint collection). but just like DG above, if you're going to bring back the character, give it the visual ooomph it deserves. and Vampirella and Lady Death are still around, right? can't you throw money at Adam Hughes? or Terry Dodson? so we have Jane getting tattooed (literally) and ending up in the middle of a firefight between a stupid punk and dealers and cops. next!
Painkiller Jane #0Jimmy Palmiotti, Lee Moder

ok, i have no excuse for this

i have three words for you: Too. Many. Avengers. is this your version of martial law? who's to say the E.U. won't form its own superhero army? will superhero boot camp be the answer to loose cannons? as long as the government has an agenda, i don't care how noble Tony Stark's intentions are - this isn't gonna work. what happens when they need to go against the government? will they stage a coup d'etat? i'm sure these questions have been churning in the mind of the happiest man on Earth, Mr. Dan Slott. hi, Dan!
Avengers: The Initiative #1Dan Slott, Stefano Caselli

what happens, indeed?

continuing the cash-raking event that is Civil War; Marvel has made out like Tony Stark here - you 'War' profiteers! anyway, does anybody know if Gerry Alanguilan is still alive? because Leinil Yu's art needs him. badly. unless you're slacking off, Leinil. c'mon, do us Pinoys proud once more. at least he's not being a Joe Mad or a J. Scott Campbell. anyhoo, Wolverine has infiltrated the morgue twice already. and each time, he finds out Cap's not there or not alive. just read my blog, Logan. Cap's alive in these pages.
Fallen Son: Wolverine #1Jeph Loeb, Leinil Yu

this is going to happen: someone frames Stark, then they duke it out. $$$!

after years of trying to figure out what to do with that bunch of goofy Canadians, Marvel finally killed them off. but they retained that symbol of hardy Canuck spirit, Wolverine. oh, sorry, i meant Sasquatch. and make him the leader of a final Flight - before the USA thinks they're wimps and take over their country too. bad news: American bad guys are running amok. worse news: Omega Flight is to be composed of expat Yanks. worst news: Scott Kolins is drawing the series.
Omega Flight #1Michael Avon Oeming, Scott Kolins

screenshot of Chewbacca vs. Stormtroopers in the latest Tekken

oy! there's too much cash cows mooing in the meadows. i don't know how they even got Ash and the Army of Darkness in here, but its all for fun, picking up where that out-of-nowhere hit Marvel Zombies left off (Robert Kirkman himself is a 'consultant'). but really, aren't you sick of the walking dead already? i can already foresee them making Marvel vs DC: Zombies. now that's a cash cow! (pssst, Mr. Art Suydam, nice retouch on that classic Jim Lee X-Men cover)
Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness #2John Layman, Fabiano Neves

like the kid in
Meet The Fockers said: "ASH-hooo!"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

steve rogers in the dating scene

how does a man out of time get some? well, in Steve Rogers' line of work, it really doesn't pay to have someone your rogues gallery can use against you (Exhibit A: Ralph Dibny, Identity Crisis). but to his credit, Steve never lacked for female attention, counting among his conquests, WW2 spy Peggy Carter; her li'l sis, the kickass S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter (that's two for one - when are we gonna see the Elseworlds edition where they all get it on? just asking), and the succulent shayna maideleh Bernadette Rosenthal.

but despite his goody-two-shoe image, Cap also isn't impervious to walking the wild side ... or getting a ride thataway.

if this is your first date, you'd better buy a taser

in his pursuit of Scourge, a self-styled vigilante who's actually more effective than the Punisher (more than 30 costumed supervillains six feet under), Cap runs afoul of the Serpent Society, another bunch of supervillains who were performing mercenary services for other underground criminal organizations. the Serpent Society were going after Modok, and Cap couldn't prevent his death. he also couldn't prevent one of their members, bad girl Diamondback, from hitting on him (if only we all had Cap's square jaw).

Diamondback's crush on Cap gets in the way of her work, and the former tomboy finally gets to be a gurl.

in the course of one issue, Cap faces his toughest problem yet - being dead aside, of course - sidestepping an aggressive female admirer.

more likely, she'd want to share fluids, but hey, let's not tell Cap that.

"unhappy childhood"? is that a valid excuse for bad behavior? i bet even Charles Manson used that line of reasoning.

Diamondback couldn't get the word "hunk" out of her mind, and her libidinous thought processes yield two other significant facts:

- she'd do anything for a 'heavy date' with him ... what does that mean? heavy petting?

- she'd "go straight" even ... wait, does this mean, she's a lesbian!? whoa! Cap, get her number!!

Mark Gruenwald, you dirty old man, you!
(just kidding, Sir. you know i love your Squadron Supreme).

and the girl can't help herself. i'm surprised she didn't start undressing once they got to her ship.

Cap, ever the boy scout, tries to calm himself even though his costume was getting a little ... constricting.

personally, i would have liked to see Cap try to get the key back.

getting shot mistakenly by a farmer gave Diamondback one last chance to seduce Cap (at least for today), but Steve's momma taught him better.

eventually, they'd be sharing fluids too, but this landmark issue, best known for Scourge taking out 18 bad guys all at once in the Bar with No Name, is also where Cap and Diamondback's romance first took root.

Captain America vol.1 #319