Monday, May 28, 2007

free MJ!

aside from Harry Osborn turning into a hero (at the behest of his own "Alfred the Butler"), the other pet peeve i have over Spider-Man 3 (and i slowly realized that over the years) is that Kiki Dunst is no Mary Jane Watson.

i mean, this statuette is more stunning and has more personality than Kiki.

Kiki has nothing on this va-va-voom! (and that term used to be exclusive to Betty, which in the Spidey canon, is Gwen Stacy, as opposed to MJ's Veronica)

too bad, there's a waiting list. is that because they're auditioning her for Spider-Man 4? why do you need to audition her? she's a lock, dammit!

i realize that the statuette has created such a furor among feminists and female fans, and made national news, but c'mon ... its just a statue. there were more scantily-clad and provocatively-posing female comic characters in last February's NY Comic-Con. and i don't even mean the porcelain ones. i didn't see anyone raising a howl of protest. they're still publishing Vampirella, right?

thanks, Adam Hughes, for saving us from Kiki Dunst. can we digitally edit the upcoming Spider-Man 3 DVD and replace the Dunster with your creation?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

on your mark, get set ... no.

Fallen Son: Captain America
Jeph Loeb/John Romita Jr./Klaus Janson

three deep into the self-contained introspective stories after the death of Cap, Fallen Son: Captain America examines the effects on the long-lost Hawkeye (has there been any, any solid explanation at all how he came back from the dead? no? figures.). right off the bat, the moment he shows himself to Tony Stark, he gets sucker-punched.

Luke Skywalker needed S.H.I.E.L.D. treatment after getting raped by wampas

finding an opportunity to bring another hero to the fold, Tony nudges the always-impulsive Clint Barton into possibly donning the uniform and the Shield. after much screaming and scheming, Clint does agree. but only for a spin.

as i see it, Tony has a point, but its difficult to roll out a new symbol of the American Dream, especially if the previous one had size 25 ones. even one who could capably fill them admirably. why not roll out an armored Captain America robot, Tony? that could assuage your guilt. but nah, it wouldn't work.

we get teased by what could be when Clint shows up in full costume, accompanying Tony to stop two renegade teenage heroes, the Patriot (grandson of the black Cap, Isaiah Bradley), and "Hawkeye" (Kate Bishop, whose costumed identity was offered to her by Cap himself, after Clint's disappearance.

of course, the black guy starts cussing. i mean, how typical is that, Jeph Loeb?

after listening to them (and enduring a skirt costume joke), Hawkeye/Cap lets the two go, to Tony's consternation (his record in attempting to capture the renegade Avengers is now 0-12). they have a final discussion, again putting Tony's sterling reputation in the mud.

reminds me of that time when all Avengers got to live in Camelot-ian times, courtesy of Morgan Le Fey's magic tricks (thank you, Kurt Busiek!), with Hawkeye trying to convince Iron Man to see it from the point of view of the regular guys, but gets dissed.

by the way, with Hawkeye being the latest, how many Cap substitutes has Marvel tossed out there already? actually, the whole exercise is fun, pitting fanboy against fanboy, with their own frothy opinions on who could be the next.

here's Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, going up against super neocons in the Punisher War Journal.

America ... Fuck Yeah!

this is MVP (Michael Van Patrick) a sort of super athlete with perfect genes (revealed to be the grandson of the inventor of the original Super Soldier serum injected into Steve Rogers). too bad he got killed in the first training mission in Avengers: The Initiative. God who knows whose keeping a sample of his DNA right now, for future use? as maverick/hack auteur Carlo J. Caparas would say, "God Save Us!"

this is what they mean when they say you need it like you need a hole in your head

and we still haven't gotten into the reborn Bucky Barnes yet (a.k.a. the Winter Soldier, a.k.a. Captain America's Boy Toy), who, as per Captain America #26, wants to whack Tony Stark.

speaking of Tony, i think he had a quick fling with Katie Couric, she of the $15 million salary and falling ratings, with his inclusion of colonoscopy in standard physical exams of suspects.

so far, the Fallen Son series has been an enjoyable one, and i'm looking forward to the last two (Spider-Man and Iron Man).

Saturday, May 26, 2007

comic book tomatina

with Rotten Tomatoes coming out with its Comic Book Movie Countdown, i thought i'd go through the list and see where i'm at (owned = i have a copy), what i agree with, and what takes me down a notch (stacked against the rest of the geek universe). as usual, i'll try to sneak in a snide comment or two. and i'll try to be honest as possible.

94 Son of the Mask
the worst of the dreck ... probably destiny for Jamie Kennedy.
not owned, not watched.

93 Elektra
wha-?!? how is this worse than Catwoman?
owned. watched. sue me.

92 Catwoman
all that Oscar cachet goes down the drain. someone should have spliced out Charlize Theron out of Aeon Flux and rewrite the whole thing.
not owned. not watched.

91 Garfield
better read than seen.
not owned. not watched.

90 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
somewhere, somehow, a great premise goes awry. no wonder Alan Moore and Sean Connery washed their hands off of this.
owned. watched. copy lost.

89 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties
not owned. not watched. say, was J-Love in here too?

88 Batman & Robin
out of the ashes of this crapfest, George Clooney became a dreamboat political activist, Ah-Nuld became a progressive governor, Uma Thurman went out and killed Bill, Alicia Clueless became a vegan and Chris O'Donnell's career died on arrival. director Joel Schumacher took two years to recover, and his best years were left in the rear view mirror.
not owned. watched (in cinema). eyes burst in flames.

87 Pathfinder
have no idea what this was.
not owned. not watched. should i download?

86 Virus
not owned. may have seen this (back when we used to rent VHS tapes). no recollection whatsoever.

85 Monkeybone
no one seemed more adept in shooting holes in his profession than Brendan Fraser. he seems to have indulged in more artsy/weird roles than most, crippling what could have been a great solid drama/comedy/action star career. does anybody remember any notable film he made since Bedazzled and The Quiet American (Crash was an ensemble piece)? no wonder they're rolling out The Mummy 3 in 2008.
not owned. not watched.

84 Judge Dredd
not a fan of futuristic police judges. somehow i can't think of this character without thinking of Sly.
not owned. not watched.

83 Alien vs. Predator
owned. watched. just for the heck of it. and the chance to see Sanaa Lathan dismembered.

82 Bulletproof Monk
American Pie in Vancouver! somehow that might have made a better movie.
owned. watched. copy self-destructed.

81 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
a movie that should be thrown into the sun. or should at least been packaged with mortar rounds used by American troops in Iraq.
not owned. not watched.

80 The Crow: City of Angels
without Brandon Lee, this franchise is crap.
not owned. not watched.

79 Fantastic Four
wha-?? what do you guys want? a script rewrite? yes, let's do that. but please keep Jessica Alba. please. please!

("sir, please step away from the keyboard. now.")

owned. watched. and will keep watching. along with Into the Blue. and Honey. and Dark Angel.

78 Steel
an affront to the character. but in fairness, Steel has only been fleshed out and better written in recent years. this came out of the hype of replacement Supermen when the original Big Blue "died".
not owned. not watched.

77 Supergirl
not owned. not watched. why? let's put in a blonde Jessica Alba and we'll talk.

76 Blade: Trinity
not owned. not watched. but maybe i should. if only for Ms. Biel.

75 Appleseed
not owned. not watched. must download.

74 Tales from the Crypt - Bordello of Blood
not owned. not watched. could make a nice time-killer when bored.

73 The Punisher
wha-? why?? does anybody not like Thomas Jane? or Will Patton? ok, Mr. Garth Ennis, i think you should have taken a bigger hand in the script. two things i'd like to point out: casting Rebecca Romijn as the mousy Joan was a mistake, but i'd watch (almost) anything with Rebecca Romijn; and the fact that the 1989 Dolph Lundgren clunker didn't even make this list is a sigh of relief (it should have been #95).
owned. watched. copy plays once in a while.

72 Ghost Rider
wha-? ok, maybe they should have stolen the current GR storyline, where Johnny Blaze escapes hell and has to kill 666 incarnations of Satan. maybe in the next movie.
not owned. not watched.

71 Superman III
Richard Pryor? fuckkkkkkkkkkkkk!
not owned. not watched.

70 Howard the Duck
only for fans.
not owned. not watched.

69 Spawn
Spawn was the bee's knees back in the 90s. until it dawned on fans that there was no end in sight. didn't they learn from Ghost Rider? only Martin Sheen, John Leguizamo and to a degree, Melinda Clarke (The O.C.! nyahahahaha!) escaped the carnage.
owned. watched. sue me.

68 The Mostly Unfabulous Social Life of Ethan Green
not owned. not watched.

67 TMNT '07
this ain't 1990 anymore, toto.
not owned. not watched.

66 Art School Confidential
finally, something i've been meaning to check out. maybe this Fall.
owned. not watched. yet.

65 Richie Rich
i think i like the books better. and i liked The Good Son better.
not owned. watched. i think.

64 Dennis the Menace
better read than seen.
not owned. not watched.

63 Barb Wire
Pam Anderson's handlers decided she should come out with a sex tape once this movie tanked.
not owned. semi-watched.

62 The Shadow
The Bloviator playing a second-rate Batman? actually Baldwin would have made a great Bruce Wayne. just not the action figure.
not owned. semi-watched.

61 Men in Black II
the best thing about this is the dog.
not owned. watched.

60 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 - The Secret of the Ooze
ninja, ninja rap!
not owned. watched. free tickets, dude.

59 Tank Girl
i missed out on this one. or ... did i?
not owned. not watched.

58 The Phantom
whouldathunk? Billy Zane almost goes down with the Titanic, but Catherine Zeta Jones did go down on Michael Douglas.
not owned. watched.

57 Casper
not owned. not watched.

56 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Movie
cowabunga! oh the stupidity of youth.
not owned. semi-watched.

55 Daredevil
note: Bullseye is an over-the-top maniac. Colin Farrell was just doing his thing. seriously, could have been better. and yeah, that Ben Affleck almost-sneer is too distracting. Matt Murdock deserved better. the best thing that happened was when the two leads hooked up and got married.
owned. watched. sue me.

54 Batman Forever
speaking of over the top, only Val Kilmer wasn't like that here. he's actually more confused like he walked into the wrong movie set.
owned. watched.

53 Constantine
not having read the books, i'm still sitting on the fence. but if i could sit through The Fountain, i think i should make the same effort for Rachel Weisz.
not owned. not watched. waiting for a discount somewhere. or maybe i should download.

52 Azumi
interesting. hmmmm.
not owned. not watched.

51 Timecop
somewhere, sometime in the past, i seem to recall this was a date movie. eeewww.
not owned. watched.

50 Blade
was cool at that time. i challenge you not to rock during the blood shower rave scene.
owned. watched.

49 Annie
Annie is for pussies. kidding, Annie fans.
not owned. semi-watched.

48 Josie and the Pussycats
actually beats Blade, Constantine, Batman Forever and Daredevil. a Tara Reid movie. wow.
not owned. not watched.

47 Uzumaki
this reminds to dig up the DVD.
owned. not watched.

46 The Addams Family
i only recall the MC Hammer song. sorry.
not owned. not watched.

45 The Princess Blade
there is such a thing?
maybe owned. not watched. maybe its in my collection, masquerading as The Princess Bride.

44 Blade 2
i seem to recall this had less vampires than a papal congregation. but its Guillermo Del Toro, so why should i resist?
owned. watched.

43 Popeye
not owned. not watched.

42 Creepshow
not owned. not watched.

41 From Hell
why is everyone beating on this? its just one suggested version of the Ripper. and Johnny Depp always plays anti-establishment figures. and if you don't like Rollergirl, you're gay!
owned. watched. dvd croaks. need new copy.

40 Heavy Metal
again, better read than seen. was this the one with Julie Strain? ("no!" says the chorus line)
not owned. not watched.

39 X-Men: The Last Stand
although people seemed to like this, its obviously written for movie audiences. because if there was justice in this world, my grandkids would be watching X-Men 25: Return of Magneto.
owned. watched.

38 Ichi the Killer
no idea. must download.
not owned. not watched.

37 Mystery Men
not interested. but maybe ...
not owned. not watched.

36 Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
watched the first one, and the sequel is waiting for me.
owned. not watched. yet.

35 Spider-Man 3
they killed off the wrong character - Kiki Dunst must die!!! you have the perfect replacement in Dallas Bryce Howard. and what's with the emo poster boy Peter Parker? at this rate, we'd rather have Topher Grace switch roles for Spiderman 4. and can't you just see Dr. Connors itching to become The Lizard? bring on the Sinister 12!
watched. will be owned.

34 300
what else can i say? release the Director's Cut DVD already!
watched. will be owned.

33 The Rocketeer
at one point in time, Tim Dalton was bandied about to play the role of a possible high-flying superhero. here he's the bad guy. hooray then for Robert Downey Jr.
not owned. semi-watched.

32 Hulk
in this movie, director Lee revved up the Angst. hehe. always wanted to say that. but am eagerly awaiting the Louis Letterier version.
owned. watched.

31 Dick Tracy
not a fan of suave cops talking into watches.
not owned. semi-watched.

30 Swamp Thing
not a fan either. is this the Marvel or the DC shit?
not owned. not watched.

29 Barbarella
somewhere, somehow, a bloated and burping Simon Le Bon surveys all that he rules.
not owned. not watched.

28 Addams Family Values
not owned. not watched.

27 Batman
#27 only? why? Michael Keaton was the only one who could pull it off (prior to 2006). and until Heath Ledger proves otherwise, Jack Nicholson still owns the Joker character. so how could Batman Returns rank higher than the original? prior to this, you only had the campy Adam West (who's now comedy material in Family Guy). and did you ever listen to the radical Prince soundtrack? what's going on here?
owned. watched.

26 The Mask
ah, the days when Cameron Diaz was really pretty. or maybe pretty made up.
not owned. only because blank Memorex DVDs suck. watched.

25 Flash Gordon
do you remember the scene where the hero and the girl do it in the rocket ship? and the orgy scene in the emperor's palace? wait ... did you say Flash Gordon? yeah, thumbs up!
not owned. watched.

24 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
already a cult classic, written by no one else but the great Paul Dini.
not owned. watched.

23 Batman Returns
a bit too depressing for me. maybe they should have cast Joe Pesci as the Penguin, just to enliven things up. "What do you mean I'm funny? Funny how? What's funny about it? You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?"
owned. watched.

22 V For Vendetta
yeah, yeah, am late. i will, i will. i promise.
not owned. not watched.

21 Akira
blew me away. still does. too psycho.
owned. watched.

20 Over the Hedge
great, great fun. not just for kids.
owned. watched.

19 Superman II
can they remaster this on HD-DVD or Blu-Ray? and have like 3 alternate endings?
not owned. watched.

18 The Crow
matched with a killer soundtrack i still play to this day, The Crow instantly got hip cred with the tragic death of Brandon Lee. no matter how much they might fuck the franchise up, this one will stand the test of time.
owned. watched.

17 Superman Returns
not being sold on the gayness of Brandon Routh, i just resolved to get the DVD when i do get an HDTV.
not owned. not watched.

16 X-Men
i still remember that night i pissed in my pants in a Lake Mary cinemahouse. ah, happy times.
owned. watched.

15 Sin City
sometimes, some films are meant to be savored later. and yes, i know, Jessica is in this and why the hell did i procrastinate? i hate myself already. happy now?
not owned. not watched. yet. emphasis on the YET.

14 Ghost in the Shell
still a cutting-edge classic.
owned. watched.

13 Hellboy
just like Sin City, something to be savored later. yes, i just used my birthday discount in Borders for it.
owned. not watched. yet.

12 Oldboy
yes, yes, yes, i'm downloading it right now!!! stop it! stop it!
not owned. not watched.

11 Road to Perdition
just when we thought he was full of himself in Castaway, Tom Hanks pulls us back in! didn't everybody cheer when Jude Law got whacked too?
owned. watched.

10 Metropolis
wha-? i must have dozed off on that one. clicking on Demonoid right now ...
not owned. not watched.

9 Superman: The Movie
putting Christopher Reeve's best-known star turn on the Top 10 is just right. R.I.P.
owned. watched.

8 Batman Begins
a pretty low ranking, despite its critical acclaim. i expect the next one to go higher. and please, no more Katie Holmes. how about Katee Holmes?
owned. watched.

7 Men in Black
the epitome of fun. back when Will Smith was still one of the guys. now he makes people cry (if The Pursuit of Happyness won't make you, you're the Grey Gargoyle!).
owned (VHS). watched.

6 A History of Violence
highly enjoyable. and not just because of Maria Bello, okay?
not owned. watched. waiting for the DVD sale.

5 X2: X-Men United
dark is good. we really can't have Jean Grey dying on the moon, or Magneto inducing a stroke, but this is okay (again, by movie-going standards). but the creme here is the Wolverine-Lady Deathstrike throwdown. imagine all the pants soiled in cinemas everywhere. including mine.
owned. watched.

4 Spider-Man
placing twice within the Top 4 is just good karma for fans after years of suffering through clones, dead relatives, bad costumes, and more clones.
owned. watched.

3 Ghost World
admittedly, i never saw this. i will rectify that. soon.
not owned. not watched.

2 American Splendor
indie success! but not for run-of-the-mill comic geeks.
owned. watched.

1 Spider-Man 2
just before going out to watch the third installment, went out and got the 2.1 version. this will be cool eye-candy when i get my HDTV in ... 2010?
owned. watched. loved.

Friday, May 25, 2007

the cat's meow

Fantastic Four #546
Dwayne McDuffie/Paul Pelletier/Rick Magyar/Scott Hanna

hands down ... the Black Panther is the best strategist this side of Batman!

Tony Stark may be the best inventor and futurist, but his ego could be his downfall. Reed Richards may have a better scientific mind than Tony, but he lacks Tony's charm and social skills (plus he's pussywhipped right now - see below). Hank Pym may have the drive and brains to rival those two but his morals are even shakier (showing you the Exhibits could take all day; just one word: Ultron). and these guys just put Captain America on the crosshairs of a sniper.

among the heroes who never bowed down to the Superhero Registration Act, King T'Challa seems best suited to lead the rebels. he has superhero cred, and he has street cred. he's royalty, he's insanely rich, and he's also a genius. he's sneakier than the best chess grandmaster. plus, he's bangin' a weather goddess. never has an African nation been so proud.

here in FF#546, up against Galactus and the Silver Surfer, what can a mere mortal do? why, run away of course. but only to grab a few things, like two brass amphibians that shift time and space. i betcha Stark didn't know he had that!

back in the fight, the Black Panther uses cosmic power-siphoning armor to get the Silver Surfer to his own level. i mean, that's fighting dirty. and T'Challa has no problem with that. i bet just like Batman, he has devices and contingency plans ready to take down every super-powered being in the known universe. or even the DC Universe.

the Black Panther levels out the playing field, and the FF save the day. like they always do. Reed would be proud to have brought the Panther in as a stand-in. outstanding writing from Mr. McDuffie. too bad Gravity didn't want to be the Protector of the Universe. i guess that venerable and powerful entity just couldn't be a kid from Wisconsin.

so for all you life noobs (e.g., fresh graduates) out there, make sure you're adequately armed to go into the battlefield that is the rat race. here are some words of wisdom from the wise king himself:

if that is so, who would be the mother? just asking, your highness.

jokes aside, o wise king - about Darfur ...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

what th-?!

if this is a sign of desperation to kick up sales for Heroes for Hire, it'll probably work. for awhile. and then every month would be bondage/tentacle stuff.

c'mon, guys. without the story, titillating covers only go so far.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

gods and monsters

The Ultimates #13
Mark Millar, Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary

oi! finally! not being satisfied with an issue #12 ending, they had to make a #13 ... and it took them 100 years to finish it. i was already expecting Blohan to O.D. before they came out with this.

and you know what? for all the time it took, it seems too forced and hurried and anti-climactic. i guess Mark Millar's attention wandered in between issues, and he just went ... "hmmm, how do we finish this storyline off? oh i know! let's toss in the Asgardians and trolls and frost giants and Bifrost and all the crazy Norse mythological crap and make it a big all out slugfest! let's tax Bryan's so-called 'widescreen' art talent!"

Bryan: "what the fuck?!"

like there's still real estate to tear up in the D.C. area after the Ultimates-Liberators slugfest. but apparently there still is, as Thor finally goes to toe to toe against brother/mischief-maker Loki, and plays can-you-top-this to the detriment of us mere mortals.

looking as threatening as Mac shill Justin Long, i can't believe Loki brought all this misery to our Ultimate heroes. but i guess that's a manipulator for you. when it comes to getting hands dirty, he pisses in his pants.

that actually reads like something Stewie Griffin might say. don't you see how clever that is??

a little bit harder to swallow is this Jesus Christ pose that Thor's character has been growing into. does this mean the Devil was his half-brother? (put down that scepter, Pope Benedict!)

the best - and hardcore, by the way - part of this finale, is the resolution of the Hawkeye-Black Widow combo. those who have been reading this series would have been awed, like me, when they took down Wall St. and all those alien stockbrokers. and when it turned out Natasha was the traitor (and ultimately responsible for the death of Hawk's family), i was waiting for this inevitable shoe to drop.

or this inevitable arrows to fly. and can you imagine Tony Stark bangin' that chick? now she's so f-u-u-u-gly. nothing brings down your hottie factor like getting beat up by friends that you sold out.

and what about Mr. Playboy himself? Pepper finds his boss despondent and sad over his latest breakup. but never underestimate the power of a buxom blonde bombshell. not bad for an insanely-wealthy genius ladies' man with a tumor.

with all the time they had to finish, Messrs. Millar and Hitch fail to do that with a flourish. in the first place, it was more exciting to have the Liberators get manipulated and beat the crap out of the Ultimates. bringing in Asgardians in an epic fight should have lasted more than 14 pages. what about the Hulk? we see him fighting alongside his ex-buddies, and seems to have reconciled with Betty. and then what? nothing. Cap decides that the team is disbanding and would be better off not being under US supervision. at least some things don't change (Cap's overbearing tone, Wanda's flirting with robots). but overall, i feel they could have put in a lot more material here. and the widescreen art we've come to grow and love from Hitch took a beating. i don't know, i seem to remember the times the guy wasn't this hassled to put out a stellar book.

overall, Millar and Hitch had a great run. let's see if Ultimates 3, with Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness, tops this, even at least for sheer fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

iHaul (Wk 18+19)

hey, there! sorry, last week was just too busy. plus i do have a life too. ummm ... not!

anyway, here's a bunch of notable books that caught my eye in the past few days.

This Fraction guy is getting his legs. don't even get me started with his cool-as-a-dragon-tattoo Iron Fist. a continuing examination of the ramifications of Peter's decision re Civil War, "To Have and To Hold" doesn't yield much action except his rescue of MJ from the clutches of S.H.I.E.L.D. foot agents. interspersed with blasts from the past (story and art from a Spidey era gone by), this one stands up with the best of 'em and won't make you feel it reads like a chick flick with all its sappy goodness (well, maybe some of you cynical geeks who never had a girlfriend - boooooo!).
Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1
Matt Fraction, Salvador Larroca

Peter just added loitering to his list of crimes

two Marvel characters that annoy me and need to be put down for good: Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) and Black Bolt's loony bro Maximus. the former for starting this cold war between the humans and Inhumans, and the latter for figuring in just about every conflict that the Inhumans faced. that being said, it was clever to use the morally-challenged Pietro to start this crap (stealing the Terrigen Mists which eventually winds up in the hands of the US government, who's always the poster boy for the paranoid and narrow-minded). and what's with Black Bolt losing it? i've always been interested with the Inhumans (especially the Paul Jenkins/Jae Lee run), and this one does not disappoint.
David Hine, Frazer Irving

"betcha couldn't kiss like that without killing her huh?"

after kicking myself for not getting Simone Bianchi's autograph at the 2007 NY Comic Con, while he was just walking around most of the time, and they were giving away free copies of #50, i just hunkered down and checked what was this latest Sabretooth-Wolverine scratchfest was all about. the whole thing started with a rehash of the classic claw-popping, face-slashing Wolverine #90. and its already 2007 and we're still having this conversation. deep in Wakanda, someone takes the imprisoned Sabretooth and makes short work of Logan too. and there's this issue of evolution that man came from dogs. like Logan said, "what the @#$%?!?!"
Jeph Loeb, Simone Bianchi, Andrea Silvestri

gone are the days when Vic used to say "you're dead, meat!"

having never seen any of the Child's Play movies (should i?), i'm not sure what made me pick up this indie comic crossover of one Cassie Hack, slasher to the slashers, and that unkillable bastard doll. turns out its a fun piece - i guess we're all closet fans of those slasher movies back in the day. some weirdo chick wants to create zombies and switches bodies with Cassie's strongman pal Vlad in the process. since said chick stole the amulet to do her shtick from Chucky, it goes to the 'enemy of my enemy' scenario. but not before fighting with each other several times. although eventually, that's where its gonna end up. if someone wants to make a movie of out of this, and they get Jennifer Love Hewitt to play the role of Cassie (please, please, please say yes, Jen!), i'm in!
Tim Seeley, Matt Merhoff

"this is so NOT the sex doll i ordered!"

if Andy Hartnell wants to hook more readers into this new Danger Girl incarnation, he should do better than this. alright, so we have some nut named Arthur Franco who's holding the Master Key (and i'm the nut who's holding my TV's Remote Control) and threatening the free world (with what? oh that's right ... remote-detonating their nuclear arsenals). and that's why he wants the US President in exchange (if its set to current times, i'm sure its not to preserve Bush's brain for posterity). we also have Johnny back, but he's with the Special Forces and sort of still with Syd. of course the cover has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at all. and the teaser sequences like the on below seem more forced than a natural smile -inducer. good thing i don't have to drop another $2.99 to check out the next issue.
Danger Girls; Body Shots #2
Andy Hartnell, Nick Bradshaw,
Jim Charalampidis

you could say Homeland Security is ... handling things too well.

continuing the Mandarin (re)resurrection, Director Tony has no choice but to conduct an illegal yet necessary covert strike (against his policy of transparency) into the heart of Mongolia to find out what's up with a terrorist who has connections with all the bio-tech terrorism popping up all over the world. too bad he's too late - Najeeb has been dead for awhile and the trail's cold. well, he's dead and also been implanted with some weird alien creature. or something. speaking of implants, the new improved Mandarin seems to have taken piercing to a new level. fascinating political thriller from the Knauf Bros. - kinda like if Tom Clancy worked with Marvel.
Daniel/Charles Knauf,
Roberto De La Torre
, Jonathan Sibal,
Karl Kesel, Cam Smith

stop the presses! T-Stark gets down and dirty.

let me get this straight. M.O.D.O.K. is dying, the cure could come from a DNA bomb, half of A.I.M. wants him dead, the Scientist Supreme most of all, someone in Ms. Marvel's Lightning Storm team is feeding M.O.D.O.K. info, and A.I.M. keeps hiding the DNA bomb in Calabi-Yau spheres, six extra dimensions in space which only Stephen Hawking-types can understand. you got all that? good. because we need the next issue to find out how all things come together. over me. seriously, Brian Reed opens up something for you nerds out there. someone oughta write a Dummies guide soon so you can hide your porn from your mom. or your wife.
Ms. Marvel #15
Brian Reed, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan

right. if this happened, they wouldn't have any stitch of clothing on. duh.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Philippines Invaded! Film at 11!

the following takes place before any of this Civil War nonsense happens in the Marvel Universe.
way, way before.

you'd best believe it when Nick Fury, the famed director of S.H.I.E.L.D., says that A.I.M. has set up a secret base in an island in the Philippines, and its in the best interests of the freedom-loving nations that the Avengers go in and beat them up.

these events happen during the early days of the Avengers, just when the Vision joined the team (after Captain America and his 'Kooky Quartet' era - Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and the Black Panther). the Vision is under clouds of public suspicion, especially the powers-that-be, whose paranoia mirrors the McCarthyism of the times. Fury plays the obedient soldier, putting the Avengers thru protocol but giving them enough leeway because he knows its a team to be reckoned with - loony members aside.

note: for a man who currently has gone underground, Nick Fury pops up in a lot of books these days.

of course, he also needs their help because the Super Adaptoid - a robot who can mimic any superpower it comes into contact with (including the power to fart uncontrollably) - has been hijacked from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody by A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics, those science geeks dressed as beekeepers whose goal is MMORPG domination - cough, cough - i mean, world domination). they intend to clone the Adaptoid and use them as extras for Pierce Brosnan in that museum scene in The Thomas Crown Affair. ok, seriously, they want an army who can be a match for any bunch of superheroes. i mean, just imagine if it ran into the Hulk! (well it probably did, though i have to look up what the hell happened).

so, of all places to hide, A.I.M. decides to set up base in the Philippines! wow, that never happens! wooohooooo! do they pay competitive rates? i want to know.

with the temporary vacation leaves filed by the Big 3 (Cap, Iron Man, and Thor), this Avengers team is led by soon-to-be-loony Hank Pym (a.k.a. the original Ant-Man, a.k.a. Goliath, a.k.a. Yellowjacket, a.k.a. Wifebeater, a.k.a. Who Am I) and the upcoming battle sows the seeds of his getting unhinged. here, he ponders his qualifications and worth as team leader, as they take a Quinjet to kick some beekeeper ass.

first of all, Fury says the bad guys are hiding in a tiny island north of the Philippines. okay, that would be the Batanes islands. i could buy that. then here they say its the Bataan islands. there's no such thing. the Batanes' biggest island is called Batan. ok, let's just give Mr. Casey a pass and say he made a typo.

despite their mandate to kick ass, Avengers know their priorities. they have to protect the Ivatan. i wonder if their notion of 'native' is the same as they see their fellow Americans. i mean i could call the locals in my Brooklyn neighborhood 'natives', no? or 'native' means 'uncultured people as compared to the White Man' so that word would only apply to the American Indian tribes.

and whoah! Hank Pym knows Ilocano! holy shit - stop Page 1!!!

although i'd be more impressed with Mr. Casey if he wrote it like:

ukininayo! kugtarac ti bukel yu sica!

okay, not that. let's try it again:

naimbag nga malem, gagayem ken kakabsat. siyac ni Goliath! pummanaw kayu apo! agtaray kayu idyay aplaya sica! ay-ayaten kayu amin!

well, not bad. there was some effort there *lol*. the brilliant Kingdom Come had a Tagalog snippet but Mark Waid mangled that one.

after scaring the 'natives' (none of whom wore leaves) into uh, leaving the area, Hank confronts the Adaptoid clone army, rushing on to engage him from amidst the rice terraces. i never heard of rice terraces in Batanes. its hilly, even mountainous to be sure, but the distinction belongs to Banaue. Mr. Casey and Mr. Rosado seems to have skimped on research. but if anyone can provide photographic (not photoshop-ic) proof of such in Batanes, please do.

wait, that could be Bohol! minus the cultivated layers, it could pass for the Chocolate Hills!

long story short, the Avengers stop the Adaptoid clones and destroy the A.I.M. base, although the real Adaptoid escapes. their government handler still considers the mission a failure (as only they could; think of the Ivatans saved by Hank, you jerks!!!).

back in New York, Hawkeye kvetches about the continuing suspicion of the Vision, and the lack of respect the Avengers get from law enforcement.

the Philippines gets largely forgotten in the rest of the series, but Earth's Mightiest Heroes is a nostalgic read with new angles (kind of what Kurt Busiek used to do - finding new ways to tell old stories).
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #2-4
Joe Casey, Will Rosado, Tom Palmer

Thursday, May 3, 2007

whatchu gonna do ...

... when HULKAMANIA runs wild over you???

yep, i never got to put a post on Planet Hulk, and here we are, post-NYComic Con (never got to post that either, but maybe later), Planet Hulk is done, and Holku is on the horizon, coming back to put the hurt on his so-called friends.

To recap for the uninitiated, the Marvel Illuminati - Iron Man, Reed Richards (Mr. Fan-taaaas-tic!), Dr. Stephen Strange, Prof. Charles Xavier, Prince Namor, and Black Bolt, leader of the Inhumans - banded together to regulate the superheroes. that seemed a good idea at that time - until the Superhero Registration Act and Civil War blew everything apart. Black Panther (King T'Challa) would have been the seventh member of the Illuminati, but he had a more practical and pragmatic worldview. this eventually put him at odds with the Pro-Registration forces headed by Stark and Richards.

which brings us to the Hulk. after another rampage in Las Vegas, the Illuminati decided to end the threat of the Hulk once and for all. lured into a spacecraft, he was launched to outerspace in the hope that he never comes back (well, they tried to cover all bases for that possibility). with friends like that, who needs the Abomination, the Leader or General Thunderbolt Ross?

well, as they say, the best laid plans ... always go to the shitter. here's the Hulk dishing out payback to Stretcho and the Doc.

ok, that was just a figment of his imagination. Hulk's spaceship crashlands in a planet other than the Illuminati intended for it to. in a yearlong epic storyline (thus called Planet Hulk), while the superheroes were at each other's throats back on Earth, the Hulk - intelligent, Bruce Banner-less, and growing stronger every second - eventually rises from a lowly gladiator to ruler of Sakaar (not to mention banging a warrior babe and getting her preggers). just when he thought he got his Christmas wish (love, peace, happiness, the whole 9), the spaceship that brought him to Sakaar explodes (wow, shades of Stamford) and the Hulk is left with nothing except his anger. and his alien comrades in the Warbound.

so what to do ... what to do ... ?

"screw it! Hulk will smash those puny humans! and Hulk has no intention of losing!"

back on Earth, Hulk's cuz Jen Walters (a.k.a. She Hulk) learns of the deception (so all this time she never bothered to look for Bruce) and it righteously pisses her off.

question: if Tony Stark didn't use protection when he shagged Jen, would she get some Extremis in her bloodstream and cellular structure? if so, what would the effects be?

and so Earth-bound goes the Hulk and his (amazing) friends. at least we could consider them his friends, because they even try to put him through anger management classes and plot strategy with him. below is a brainstorming session on how to deal with "blagbult":

does this mean blagbult, er ... Black Bolt will be the first casualty of Big Green Revenge Machine? well, he should end up with a torn larynx at the least.

well, it should be quite an interesting summer - good luck if Marvel lets us off easy. i can hear the cash registers ringing and Joe Quesada prancing at the Park Avenue offices.

with that, all i can say is:

World War Hulk Preview
World War Hulk Prologue: World Breaker

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

iHaul (Wk 17)

appropriated last week.

the warring sides of the recently-concluded Civil War try to come to grips with the death of Captain America the same way: hit something. the Mighty Avengers put the beating on Tiger Shark, while the (former) New Avengers duke it among themselves in a secret poker game (guest starring Ben Grimm). i understand the need to tell these stories, i just don't feel comfortable with the cash register mentality behind it. who am i to complain, right? ("right!!!" says the peanut gallery) oh wait, i have one - grieving or not, Peter Parker is a science nerd - he knows what an L.M.D. is.
Fallen Son: Avengers
Jeph, Loeb, Ed McGuiness


gathering myself after i wet my pants when the JLA/JSA teamed up, i followed Bats, Geo-Force, Sandman and the loony Starman - who may be from the 30th Century, and who has teammates scattered in this timeline - and watched them go up against Dr. Destiny and the nth riot at Arkham Asylum. Geoff Johns steps up to the plate - witness his dead-on Batman and the latter's interaction with everyone else. not like i expected less from Johns - i've only begun to read him, but so far its been a blast. and what else is? oh yeah, the life-size replicas of the whole Legion of Superheroes in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Lightning Lad? Ultra Boy? Timber Wolf? Wildfire? holy crap. my childhood just flashed before my eyes. and i just wet my pants. again.
Justice Society of America #5
Geoff Johns, Fernando Pasarin

"And that's for being campy for 3 years!"

before we go into this whole Ultron-overrides-Tony Stark thing, let me just point out one thing: the Mole Man is always the first test for newly-formed, non-mutant superhero teams. and he always loses. so, back to Ultron. this issue ... well, a few flashbacks, Carol's trial by fire as a leader ("ummm ... Tony?"), and Ares acting stupid (Herc used to do the same, so does this mean Gods act arrogant all the time? no wonder mankind is effed). this seems to be an ensemble comedy piece by Bendis (only Plastic Man is missing ... opps, wrong company), if not for the terrifying things an Ultron can do. and Frank Cho can keep drawing this title until infinity. spasibo, babyyyyyyyyyy!
Mighty Avengers #2
Brian Michael Bendis, Frank Cho

WWCD? throw his shield of course. and then run away.

so Hippolyta has been resurrected? how did she die in the first place? sorry, i haven't been reading WW prior to Infinite Crisis and the Dodson run (yum). or perhaps i've been staring too much at something else. anyway, we're 3 issues deep in the Jodi Picoult era, and should we be surprised that it deals with the Amazon revolution (check the next book below)? this book had scheduling problems and a somewhat jagged flow (thanks a lot, Allan Heinberg). i guess to keep the fans interested, we need a huge ass fight and a crossover. yes, by all means, entertain us! sino ang pasimuno ng Amazon power?? Hip-Hip-Hip, Hippolyta!
Wonder Woman #8
Jodi Picoult, Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson

a birthmark? you mean Wonder Woman isn't ... perfect?! noooo!

what else would empowered women do in their free time? why, kick male ass, of course! and what better place to do this than in the one place that's a symbol of macho male domination - Washington, D.C., complete with its own phallic symbol. Destroy!!!!!!!!!!! the Circe-controlled Amazons wreak havoc on the nation's capital (how does this thing tie in with the current JLA/JSA storyline?). actually, what i'm more concerned about is how they are going to put the national monuments back together. good thing i already visited most of them before these girls went wild.

Amazons Attack! #1
Will Pfeifer, Pete Woods

heh heh ... he said 'guns.'

right here is a beautiful tale straight out of old school but set in modern times. the JSA Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is requested by the shady government organization called, umm, S.H.A.D.E. (led by umm, Father Time) to look up Johnny Mimic, a retired crook who can recreate crimes, and who might be able to solve a high-tech theft. Alan reluctantly breaks his agreement not to bother Johnny, and gets chided for it. turns out Father Time has his own agenda (don't they all) and Johnny makes a sacrifice play to save the day. and remind Alan Scott to never trust the government. hey, Tony Stark won't be too happy to hear that. wait ...
JSA Classified #25
Tony Bedard, Dennis Calero

Alan Scott having enough of Cogsworth telling the wrong time

obviously, this issue reminds me of Preacher - man fights God, film at 11 - except for this one level: God is sore at man because he slept with the Virgin Mary. i know how that sounds, Catholics; put the pitchforks down. its just Robert Kirkman's irreverent take on a holy man taking on evil and having fun along the way. except remove the "holy" part. God confronts the incorrigible Pope Oswald in this issue and gives him the beating of his life - while Jesus and Santa Claus take down a demon by themselves. Battle Pope is always an acquired taste, but i've acquired it smoothly, no problem. hope my parish priest isn't reading this.
Battle Pope #13
Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore

it's God's fault we're all sickos and perverts

watchudoin', Willis? as in Greg Willis, a.k.a. Gravity, the loser who died in that Beyond! mini-series, has been resurrected to be the new Quasar, protector of the Universe. reminds me of Penance, the artist formerly known as Speedball. ok, let's get this straight: the new FF (Sue and Reed get to honeymoon), looking for Gravity's body, run afoul of the Silver Surfer, who wants to feed cosmic being Epoch to his boss Galactus. of course, this doesn't sit well with Ben and T'Challa. turns out Epoch stole Gravity to resurrect him, but Surfer just wants to do his job. punches are thrown and i applaud the Black Panther taking on the Surfer. maybe when he comes back from his feigned retreat, he'll actually beat him.
Fantastic Four #545
Dwayne McDuffie, Paul Pelletier, Rick Magyar

The Protector of the Universe just got Americanized!

wait ... i can't resist finishing with this:
from Amazons Attack #1

uh, oh. the Men of the Square Table won't like that.