Saturday, September 29, 2007


we all knew the Batman is capable of doing some really hardcore stuff, but pushing a broken kid, whose parents had just been murdered, to make a choice between vengeance and justice at that age? that's cold.

in All Star Batman & Robin #7, Batman finds the thug who killed Dick Grayson's parents and personally hand-delivers him to his adopted (hungry, confused, angry - and axe-wielding) ward.

this is after going through a bunch of goons like a hot chainsaw through a ton of butter, not needing sticks and stones to break any bones - his fists and feet do just fine. this display of raw manly attributes (flying rodent costume notwithstanding) makes a groupie out of Black Canary, a talkative statuesque Irish chick who doesn't get into any action (except that tongue thing with the Bats ... "her tongue's a little bit sandy ... she's a smoker ... i haven't kissed a smoker in weeks ...") despite what the cover might convey.

and despite having such a hottie for a groupie, Bats takes his boorish act to the extreme. having the word "goddamn" in one panel really reminded me that this was a Frank Miller Batman book. his Bat-works is Christian Bale's Bible, and you know that dude is hardcore too, when it comes to his craft. i'm not surprised if this was a cover-up (you know that that technician was dealing drugs ... kidding!).

a car? i thought the "Batmobile" meant his cellphone.

since the next issue of this series will probably come out in 2008, and i'm stuck in a hopeless endeavor related to my day job which will probably result in me panhandling on the streets soon enough, Bats expresses my feelings to a T.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

devil woman

"The Widow"
v2, #61-64
Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev

yeah, took almost two months to finally spare some time writing this post. let's face it, i'm not getting paid for this gig. its just my muse and my amusement, you understand (and i'm not even doing a good job of it). now if some dumb VC will just throw money at me just to write crap articles, i'd quit my day job right now.

speaking of jobs, i don't envy Matt Murdock's. his night job is interfering with his day one, and somehow the two get intertwined so tight he can't tell one from the other (or do one without compromising the other). and the only thing that's probably making the whole thing sweet and worth doing just served him annulment papers.

geez. i hope i never received this kinda document. not without a prenup.

leave it to Foggy to deliciously poke the knife in, without too much malice.

"Mr. Murdock, there's a Britney on line 2, and a Lindsay on line 3.
oh, and a Ms. Hilton has made an appointment at 2 PM."

like he didn't have enough agita in his life, his fellow good guys set into motion an event to kick off this story arc.

and everybody in my office thinks i'm much more gorgeous than Brad Pitt.

except for some mutants, most of the female villains in the Marvel Universe or elsewhere are Victoria's Secret bombshells with latent psychoses. not content with their looks, they need to dominate the world as well. anyway, the Avengers take Madame Hydra in, but the Bulgarian politicos lodge a complaint because the takedown was made on their soil - they want to try the hottie in their own country (why bother? someone's gonna spring her anyway). the CIA director, not wanting to make waves on an election year, tries for a compromise. you know how these things work.

"but i actually call her Mistr- er, never mind."

Nick Fury is tasked by the DCI to track down Natasha, but if you thought he's just gonna roll over and sell his agents down the river, think again. he forewarns our Russian uberspybabe through high-tech machines appropriated from Steven Spielberg's warehouse.

"alert! we predict O.J. will commit armed robbery in ... 2007!"

not being clairvoyant (hell, he can't even see how his actions screw up the lives of everyone around him; exhibit A: Foggy), Matt is still annoyed that he's still tabloid fodder, which gives Foggy more ammunition. Foggy represents us readers, who can't resist torturing this so-called 'Man Without Fear' (let's see him try exposing his retinas to those paparazzi shots of undieless celebs).

truth to tell, i can read a 6-issue story arc of Bendis' Daredevil with just these two jawing back and forth and still won't get enough of it. how about it, Chris Giarusso?

we actually haven't seen Matt do any work since the White Tiger case. have you? he always has "issues" and has to go home. all those Armani suits gone to waste if they never see a courtroom. but of course, 'going home' isn't all that bad if you have someone waiting for you ...

this shyster has all the blind luck in the world

who else would be waiting nekkid in Matty's apartment, except the slutty Black Widow. now what if Milla and Matt never broke up? that should make things interesting, circa the Peter Parker-Mary Jane Watson-Felicia Hardy threesome of the early 90s. to Matt's credit, he doesn't jump onto the bed.

why would Natasha seek Matt's company? well, boys and girls, its a tactic called 'hiding in plain sight'. anyone makes a move on her, they'll be made. you just need some bait. Mr. Investigative Journalist Ben Urich himself provides the circumstance, cajoling Matt (and by extension, Natasha) to stop the criminal Jigsaw from doing something horrible and stupid (like his face). which in NYC, lands you in the tabs.

the CIA director feels Fury misled him and thus decides to do what any other patriotic American with enough power would do ...

"not legally allowed to conduct operations ..." - hogwash! there are other ways, right?

let me ask a quick question to anyone in the know: does the CIA hold office at the Pentagon? i thought they were in Langley?

while you're nibbling on that morsel of information and trying to find the answer, let me distract you with another gorgeous reason why i love Alex Maleev. someday the walls of my room would be just Maleev splash page murals.

the Punisher may have taken his face, but the Devil and the Widow took his voice

exhilarated and thrilled by working with his ex once again, like any red-blooded male would, blind or not, there could be ... consequences that involve mutual consent. so Matt takes steps to protect himself (he's a lawyer, natch) ... by signing the divorce papers. home free!!!

however, things don't turn out the way we expected (hahaha perv!), because Matt does love Milla and a quick tumble in the hay isn't gonna make him feel better. a visit from a just-bailed out Jigsaw doesn't either. Jigsaw thinks Matt is the Kingpin, therefore pays a visit, you know, out of r.e.s.p.e.c.t.

not finding anything rewarding at work, Matt decides to have coffee with Natasha, and surprises her that he got married. like everyone who wasn't invited to the wedding (believe me), she goes through fits of disbelief and annoyance and sarcasm.

which now brings us to the million dollar question:

obviously, she is here to ... flirt?

Natasha comes clean or was about to when they're interrupted by sniper fire. an assassin named Quinn (hey, that's a nice movie title) wants to bag them, his pride and ego making him confident enough to take on two of the world's best martial artists. this is most likely the "there are other ways" part of the equation. to his credit, he catches Daredevil unaware.

memo to Matt: its been years since the Punisher used
this tactic on you - haven't you learned by now?

in the real world, somebody's gonna unmask a mask eventually. in comics, there's always a last-second save.

almost taken by surprise, the Black Widow retaliates and introduces Quinn to John Woo-style ass kicking.

too bad, Quinn manages to break away, and Natasha goes back to check on her man.

she might as well have sung, my thump, my thump, my little lady thump

Matt realizes that Quinn wasn't sent by Jigsaw, therefore his presence is due to this hot mass of sexy femaleness in front of him (as much his senses would allow to define it).

with all the years of building a character, you finally get to have these moments without making you feel you are reading fiction - thank you, Mr. Bendis, for fleshing out a really human Matt Murdock.

ok, now that Matt has established that some very bad people are out to get Natasha, he also establishes that some very bad people are out to get him ... having the cojones to barge right through his front door.

former members of the A-Team looking for their erstwhile pilot

to add insult to the injury of having his domicile violated, Matt is forced to call 911 and gets a lot of attitude (well, i kinda laughed here. sorry.).

but oh, Matt has not lived this long without being resourceful. this is a man that came back from the dead. and this is a man that has numerous hot ex-girlfriends (a few of them a little murderous, but hey, you can't win 'em all). one of which gets away with totally insulting a notorious gangster, in French no less. i guess the bad guys were scrambling to remember what they read in this article.

Natasha distracts/decimates the gang long enough for the cops to arrive, to Jigsaw's infuriation. the boys in blue, just like the criminals before them, get distracted as well, but at least they manage to put the handcuffs on and escort Jigsaw to the car.

how does he know? because he read this.

a hilarious sequence thrown in by Bendis - some call it genius - is how he manages to inject Howard the Duck in the story. we expect to have Conan, the Micronauts, and the Shogun Warriors be mentioned in passing soon.

Nick Fury comes through in the clutch, ferreting out the rats who stole information from S.H.I.E.L.D. and used it against Daredevil. hooking in Quinn, Fury brings the full meaning of his last name straight up to the CIA.

Natasha cleans up loose ends back in Bulgaria, although cleaning loose ends is a lot less exciting than the actual conclusion. the reason why the mastermind tried to get the Widow is that he doesn't like her? and how many men has the Widow married anyway? (duh, "Widow", professional) what's the Vegas line on this?

always the teaser. my kinda woman.

the story ends more or less like the last one, with one walking away from the other. but this time, Milla is more convinced than ever that they never should be together.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

when strikes ... the batlust!

ok, no more Robin jokes.

seriously, should we be scared of Batman? yes, we should, but not because he can put the fear of God in us or the scare us to death, but because he can take our women!!!

in Superman/Batman #40, a mind-controlled Superman has Bats on the ropes and his ass is saved by a woman whom he instantly lusts for. he learns later that she is Bekka, the wife of Orion, no less, who's not exactly the most stable of individuals.

Bats is put in situations which require close proximity to Bekka, like the one below where she keeps them invisible as they're being hunted by Darkseid's Parademons. as to how long before they both lose control ... maybe next issue.

does Talia and Selina know about this? lock up your women! the Bat is loose!

Superman/Batman #40
Alan Burnett, Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

the pwning of tony stark

well, it had to happen at some point. Tony Stark reaps the whirlwind (and the thunder and the lightning) of all his actions of the past year, and it sure was ugly. you have your spoiler warning, so i'll just give you some nice bits. you better get Thor #3.

if you think Stark was a jerk during his alcohol binge-ing years, there must have been a unanimous editorial decision to make him the biggest super jerk ever for this decade. consistently, he's been spouting his government policy like a total tool and that doesn't go over too well with Thor (who easily EMPs his armored ass). this is like Superman confronting Batman over his paranoia and cutthroat methods and secret agendas, and getting into a big-ass fight. only this time Superman wins.

poor Tony. lost two of his best friends, lost half of his buddies, lost the respect of almost everyone else who isn't in the Initiative. i'm still not sure that he doesn't have some sort of secret agenda (why else does he keep justifying his actions as something people don't understand?). the only thing going for him right now is next year's summer blockbuster.

in the meantime, Thor finds Heimdall (all hail Olivier Coipel!) in New Orleans, signaling the eventual return of all Asgardians. and be sure to expect Round 2 with Iron Man. we haven't been this excited about Thor since he had his ass kicked by Surtur. or the Dark Gods.

Monday, September 17, 2007

you hit like a girl! #4

in this episode: Marvel's sexiest shapechanger, Mystique.

i suspect that Mystique's reputation as a hardcore villain actually helped her get a 24-issue series, a long tenure for a supporting character. anti-heroes are so popular because there are so many shades of gray in the character that you can explore. plus the public consciousness has the luscious Rebecca Romijn tattooed on it, when asked to associate anything with "Mystique". my only question, is that shapely mother of two her real form? who's to know? who's to say?

the 2-year Mystique run saw her written by heavyweight (non-literally) Brian K. Vaughan and Sean McKeever. it contained action, skullduggery and intrigue, as well as copious amounts of girl-on-girl violence. the creators were clearly channeling the woman in themselves.

in the "Tinker, Tailor, Mutant, Spy" arc, Mystique goes head to head with a mutant girl who can control viruses.

in the stunning conclusion of the series, Mystique finally uncovers the identity of the villain behind the scenes, the Quiet Man (shades of X-Files), only to learn that he's a "she".

of course, Mystique also kicks ass of the opposite sex. like men in uniform ...

or men out of uniform, especially when they get sleazy and creepy ...

or brainwashed musclebound Germanic mutant twins ...

or dodgy chauffeurs.

in keeping with this equal opportunity theme, even quasi-allies like Fantomex and Forge are not spared the occasional slugging.

her former lover Forge, in particular, has to endure both emotional and physical torment from this blue lady. although in retrospect, if i were Mystique, i'd do this too, because Forge just looks real ugly here and he deserves a beatdown for losing his hotness.

Mystique can also do the Indian god thing to double the ass-kicking. although i doubt this can really be effective, because she's a shapeshifter, not a power-mimicker. these soldiers were probably paid to throw this fight.