Wednesday, August 27, 2008

golden fate

good news: someone had the guts to finally move our merry band of mutants out of New York.

bad news: their new city is just as expensive.

welcome to the City by the Bay, X-Men.

hotshot writers Ed Brubaker (Captain America, Criminal, Daredevil, Sleeper) and Matt Fraction (Iron Fist, Invincible Iron Man, Punisher War Journal) kick their X-Men project into high gear with "Manifest Destiny", essentially a reboot of the franchise, a major component of which is the relocation to the Left Coast. it is, in their words, their campaign to wrest control of the Marvel Universe from the sexy hands of Brian Michael Bendis, who is still in the driver's seat because of his scintillating 5-year setup into Secret Invasion.

the X-Men, being a long-running major title, needs a reboot just like any computer. following events of Decimation and Messiah Complex, New York has just been too harsh to the mutants. finally proving himself worthy of his years of experience, Cyclops breaks the shackles of uncertainty and leads the X-Men out of the immense shadow cast by mentor Professor Charles Xavier by starting afresh in San Francisco. this is like me jettisoning Winblows out of my PC and replacing it with Linux.

look, i don't even recognize Scotty anymore.

long-hair? smiles? wow, you've come a long way, baby.

if you need further proof:

we never saw him as confident in leading a team and knowing he's banging the babe, as he is right now. for that i thank Joss Whedon (Astonishing X-Men) and the current writing team, who's been building the storylines to this moment.

of course, every "first" issue of an X-Men reboot needs an appearance by their longtime nemesis. in this case, they had more than one.

they celebrate their relocation by "innocently" crashing a performance art event in downtown Frisco celebrating "mutant kitsch" with three decommissioned Sentinels as props. since it comes with the territory, you can dress any way you want and no one cares. and the X-Men like it like that.

trouble is, with Magneto making an appearance (who somehow repowered himself, and manages to control the Sentinels to attack them), their cachet with the local city fathers might dwindle way too soon. speaking of the Magster:

he's still with this savior thing? isn't he so 1991?

anyway, it turns out he had technology which mimicked his powers, provided by the always-enigmatic High Evolutionary. there's this big robot (bigger than the Sentinels) called the Dreaming Celestial (leftover from events in Neil Gaiman's Eternals mini-series) standing just outside San Francisco, and Magneto provided the distraction so the High Evolutionary could obtain something from it. to what end is yet to be told.

flush with cash thanks to Warren Worthington III (a.k.a. Angel) - who must be secretly doing DoD and NASA contracts to be this mega-rich, rivaling only Tony Stark - the X-Men build a new spanking HQ, excuse me, a "mutant community center" out of abandoned underground military bases. even with the lack of Sh'iar technology, the X-Men still get their creature comforts. smug with his new toys, Cyclops then proceeds to paint a target on their backs.

you see that smile on Emma's face? it just smacks of "you never had it this good, Jean Grey, and he's mine now!"

speaking of Jean Grey, despite San Francisco's tolerance for the absurd, there are still those who think backwards. a new member, Pixie, gets beaten up by a group calling themselves the Hellfire Cult, and barely escapes with her life.

* just to note: that seems to be a Rogue sighting. i thought she was backpacking in Australia.

the Hellfire Cult are just a bunch of homo sapiens, who get their kicks beating up defenseless mutants and sympathizers (same shit, different city). what's surprising is their leader - or rather, their instigator, is quite a familiar face (and one i never liked, even back in his Hellion days).

and a much bigger surprise is sprung when Manny is revealed to be a BDSM puppet who likes being worked over by someone called the ...

oooooohhhh ... if that's some kind of Jean clone, i smell catfight!

with most of the characters tagging along with their fearless leader, i hope there'll be better coordination with the other titles:
- X-Men, now X-Men: Legacy, where Professor X just manages to prevent a Sinister takeover of his body and mind (with some assistance from Gambit and Sebastian Shaw); he has things to tell Scott, and i can't wait for the upcoming confrontation ("what the hell did you do to my school??").
- X-Factor: with the team moving to Detroit (?) and putting down roots for their investigative agency, i don't expect much interaction between Jamie's group and Scott, given Jamie's independent outlook. but he's going to be a daddy soon, so i expect Siryn to be walk out that door and take shelter in San Francisco. plus will Layla be trapped in the future forever?
- Astonishing X-Men: the lateness of this title in its first two years caused the events depicted in it to be ignored largely in the mainstream Marvel Universe. with new writer Warren Ellis drawing the road map, it could be more of the same but at least the characters were closely coordinated with what Brubaker and Fraction are doing.
- Cable: still has the baby, with Bishop still out there. when Nate returns, there'll be a crib waiting (assuming Scott gets through the Ikea instructions).
- X-Force: seems to be loose term now, referring to the ad-hoc team led by Wolverine for black ops missions.

the New X-Men are presumably going to be herded back into the fold. there are future developments pending for Forge, Magik, Hellion, that nano-Sentinel that nearly killed them. but the biggest may be the resolution of the issue of that renegade Summers brother that now owns the Sh'iar empire (and holds Alex, Lorna and the other Starjammers captive). will this be major component of next summer's War of Kings storyline? also two words: Kitty and Pryde.

Uncanny X-Men #500 of course, has a bunch of covers, but i still like the Greg Land one slightly over the Dodsons' all-female variant and the Alex Ross and Michael Turner versions (seems like a re-used cover as all characters are still stuck in their '90s rags).

Greg Land in particular, has broken out in a big way, after his stint in Supreme Power, providing gorgeous interiors to complement his already-impressive covers. i expect him to be in this book for awhile, though just like John Cassaday, Bryan Hitch and others who take a lot of time in drawing, i also expect delays. plus, Land has his stumbling blocks when rushing, just like this:

if Land can do interiors, how much money would it take for Greg Horn to do the same? paging the Marvel powers that be.

though they have written moments where they tip their hats to the past, Messrs Brubaker and Fraction have made it clear this is the first step towards the next 500 issues. i'm all aboard on this trip.
Uncanny X-Men #500-501
Ed Brubaker/Matt Fraction/Greg Land/Terry Dodson/Jay Leisten/Rachel Dodson/Justin Ponsor/Joe Caramagna

Monday, August 25, 2008

u got the look

which Sinister look do you like best?

Beckham poster boy?

cultured geentelman?

mullethead bum?

fanboy loser?

flat top Colossus?

... or maybe ...

just maybe ...


even Archie would say, "Va-VA-VOOOOM!!!"

and on that note, maybe you prefer this:

wait, that's not Mr Sinister.

what?? noooooooooooooo!!!!

in news that could cause the world to implode if true, the next Catwoman is gonna be ...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

kiss kiss bang bang

The Joker has his own fatality [Mortal Kombat vs DC]! click on pic below to watch. []

might be interesting enough to buy .... hmmm. would they have Power Girl and Black Canary? yes? sold!

you hit like a girl! #11

i should have submitted one of my YHLAG posts to Bahlactus' Friday Night Fights (which inspired these anyway), but ... oh well.

for this edition, we have Ms. Marvel, Skrullbuster.

Ms. Marvel #29
art by Adriana Melo/Paulo Siqueira/Mariah Benes

Thursday, August 21, 2008

let's get to the chorus!

and this, kids, is why Final Crisis seems unreadable to me. wait for the trade paperback. no, wait, download it just like i do (oopppss ...)

here's Libra's gift to you: a handful of ... nothing.

screen capture, part 5

continuing our fantasy list of favorite comicbook storyline-turned-movies!

i want the movie industry to make films for us geeks. there are only two conditions - throw money at everything and write it close enough to the source material. some of them may need an origin movie first, but either way, this is a fantasy casting call for my favorite TPBs.

check out the previous posts:
10. Invincible
9. Empire
8. Ultron Unlimited
7. The Authority: Circle
6. Superman: Red Son
5. the JLA Martian Trilogy

Mark Millar/John Romita Jr./Klaus Janson/Paul Mounts/Rus Wooton/Chris Eliopoulos/Randy Gentile

once upon a time, legendary X-scribe Chris Claremont had the idea to turn stalwart X-Man Wolverine into a villain - he was supposed to be brainwashed by ancient cult of assassins known as the Hand, converted into their personal killing machine, and have him bedevil the X-Men (and the Marvel Universe) for a year or so. internal politics and other agendas prevented this story from taking place, and Claremont shelved the whole thing.

in 2004, Mark Millar took over writing duties for Wolverine, and he dusted off that concept. the results were the Enemy of the State/Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. storylines. and what a ride it was. the Hand got their uh, hands on Wolverine, turned him against the superheroes who mostly wet their pants, except a few.

the story revolved around Wolverine being lured into a trap using a kidnapped Japanese kid, and then killed by a new supermutant known as the Gorgon (who, yep, can turn people into stone). the resurrected and upgraded Wolverine cut a path of destruction through the Marvel Universe to obtain weapons of mass destruction to be used by the alliance of the Hand and Hydra. heroes fell by the wayside and only Elektra (not a simple girl, not yet a Skrull) could go toe to toe with the Canucklehead. until they got Wolverine back, deprogrammed him, and let him loose against the scumbags. final tally: around 5,000 dead (most of them ninjas - that means there's still a lot of those, despite what the papers say).

by the way, whenever you want your favorite (or hated) dead character to be resurrected, talk to the Hand.

casting call:
Wolverine - DUH.

Elektra - oh, what the heck. let's just put that Garner chick back in. she's cute. and deadly. just write a better script, dammit! (somebody suggested that part-Greek Jennifer Aniston - nyet!)

Daredevil - it'll only be a 15 minute cameo, but unless anybody wants to volunteer somebody else, let's stick with Aflac Affleck for now.

Nick Fury - ok, with Marvel going along the lines of using the Ultimate version, there's really no contest. the Hoff or Motherfuckin' Samuel Jackson? do you even need to ask?

DumDum Dugan - by that famous moustache alone, quintessential cowboy Sam Elliott beats Tom Selleck for the role of Fury's second-in-command. let's just forget that he played Gen. Thunderbolt Ross during the Ang Lee-era Hulk.

The Avengers
let's bring back the players from my Avengers movie, plus Morris Chestnut as The Falcon.

Fantastic Four
we have a cast in place - point a gun to their heads if they don't sign up.

despite Wolverine being a longtime X-Man, his compadres don't get much screen time until the final takedown of their berserker buddy. for casting, we have the usual suspects, and some not-so-usual ones. starting with ...

Cyclops - screw that Bryan Singer boytoy James Marsden! we want the X-Men to be led by someone you'd follow deep into the heart of the Nazi Germany - Damian Lewis, report for duty!!

Emma Frost - hey, hey, hey! hubba hubba! hot bod, cold heart. Angie, you're the one.

we bring back the old cast from the three X-movies: that preggy kid from Juno, the one with great chi-chis, the one who recently had a heart attack, the one who has an identical twin brother, and the one who plays rugby instead of hockey.

and if they ever start doing a masterlist of who's playing who, with that long list of merry mutants, let's start with ...

Phoenix - Scott and Jean's time-displaced daughter Rachel Grey-Summers will be played by current hottie Megan Fox (forget those pictures of her bad face day), we need to bring in those teenagers!

Havok - Hayden Christensen is most famous for playing a hotheaded warrior with lots of potential. sounds like Scott Summers' younger brother Alex to us.

Polaris - Alex's longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend (and Magneto-lite) Lorna Dane will be played by Alison Lohman.

Gambit - fan favorite rogue (excuse the pun) Remy LeBeau should be played by the charming and handsome Eion Bailey. a Nawlins accent should be easy for you, n'est ce pas, mon ami?

Dani Moonstar - Emmanuelle Chriqui can pass off for Indian, can she? (she's actually Canadian)

Northstar - the Canadian speedster role goes to ... Tom Welling! don't worry, he gets resurrected after a skewering at the hands of Wolverine.

Dr. Weinberg - responsibility for bringing Wolverine back to the sane line of things falls on Richard Dreyfuss (father of Chucky).

Baron Strucker - i can't believe this is the end of the line for him (all those years leading Hydra, bedeviling the Marvel Universe); neither can Stanley Tucci.

Elsbeth Strucker - a little bit of makeup and prosthetics and Joan Allen will become that creepy old hag who's bumping uglies with that hot stud below ... (yeah, you read that right!)

Gorgon - who else can go toe to toe with the best martial artists and ninjas and have no heart? why Jet Li, of course!

geek goosebump moment:
there'll be a lot but three come to mind immediately:

1) your ninja skills are crap when a big robot is mopping up the floor with you

2) a weary and bloody Logan carves it in stone

3) a lot of rednecks die in Arkansas

how's about it huh? make this damn movie already!!! Michael Bay is already begging on his knees!!

to be continued ...