Thursday, February 26, 2009

godot never arrived

after you tease us with this:

you end up with friggin' press con:

and they never even fought! yeah, because the Dark Avengers went over to Latveria to get their asses handed over to them by Morgan Le Fay. that wouldn't have happened if they got roped into fighting the real Avengers. that's the explanation! way to go, Bendis!

New Avengers #50

Monday, February 23, 2009

drive-by readings 023409

Guardians of the Galaxy #10 (Marvel)
Dan Abnett
Andy Lanning
Brad Walker
Victor Olazaba
Wil Quintana
Joe Caramagna
Clint Langley (cover)
i love team books. and i love team books that feature fractured teams that come together a lot more! Rocket Raccoon successfully leads the Guardians in a snatch-and-grab of erstwhile leader Starlord right from Blastaar and his hordes. i'm salivating at the part where Warlock, Gamora, Drax, Heather and Nova rejoin them in time for War of Kings. DnA hasn't let us down so far, and i expect greater things down the road.

Sunday, February 22, 2009



now do me one better!!

drive-by readings 022209

Thor #600 (Marvel)
J. Michael Straczynski
Stan Lee
Olivier Coipel
Marko Djurdjevic
Mark Morales
Chris Eliopoulos
Laura Martin
Paul Mounts
Christina Strain
David Aja
Matt Hollingsworth
with reprinted material from
Jack Kirby
Vinnie Colletta
Artie Simek
Thor celebrates his 600th issue with a bang - and banishment. Loki's subtle manipulations since he switched genders has now borne fruit and causes the Thunder God to leave Oklahoma, i mean Asgard. can you imagine beating up your grampa? man, that's sick. to wash off the bad taste, Chris Giarusso serves up a hilarious summary on everything that happened since this title's reboot. and Stan the Man hits us with a back-up story detailing Thor's relationship with mere mortals, illustrated by David Aja (whom we need drawing a lot more - please come back to Iron Fist). fun, fun, fun.

oh, and here's a cheer and toast to JMS for his Oscar-nominated Changeling. hope you win at least one of three.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

drive-by readings 022109

Dark Avengers #2 (Marvel)
"Long Live H.A.M.M.E.R."
Brian Michael Bendis
Mike Deodato Jr
Rain Beredo
Cory Petit
wow. i mean, WOW. two issues in, and i already have a perverse admiration for this loony "team". damn you, Bendis. as hyped weeks ago, the Dark Avengers first mission is to rescue Dr. Doom, who's in a lover's quarrel with Morgana Le Fay, who in turn gets "(un)headed" (heh.). Bendis' knack for people talking at the same time is in full display as always, though sometimes its like teenagers yakking (and posturing) all the time. i can't wait 'till the backstabbing begins. maybe it was a good thing they brought Osborn back (gaaaaaahhhh! schism!). who else can manage all these strong-willed assholes in the first place?

Invincible #59 (Image)
Robert Kirkman
Ryan Ottley
Cliff Rathburn
FCO Plascencia
Rus Wooton
and i thought i hated Superboy Prime. this Powerplex character made me want to beat him down a la Chris Brown (k-ching!). what a whiny jerk. he's a caricature of an '80s villain who has no other train of thought except "i will have my revenge, you will pay for your crimes!" serves you right for killing your own family, asshole. i think Kirkman got into a mood hating this kind of jerk and wrote a story out of it, gnashing his teeth all the way. if anything, he sets up a future - if annoying - villain to pester Invincible.

X-Factor #40 (Marvel)
"Slings and Arrows"
Peter David
Valentine De Landro
Pat Davidson
Jeromy Cox
Cory Petit
Peter David told me not to tell.

well, it involves guns, and priests, and nuns, and lies, and despair writ large.

not to mention the art has picked up a bit, and it should, considering David's writing.

but seriously, he told me not to tell.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Dick hitting on a bigger dick

ok, ok, the title was way out of line ...

a souped-up, or should we say Suped-up Batman lets the power get to his head, a cliche as he likens it, and goes wild in the dispensing of justice in the world. everything's black and white, when he used to operate in shades of gray.

and he gets a boot in his smug face courtesy of his former ward.

of course, Dick only gets so far before The SuperBat administers a beatdown worthy of Chris Brown (k-ching!).

by the way, isn't it when you say "pick someone your own size", it means you're on equal terms with the person you're saying it to, because that person was bullying somebody smaller?

if so, Dick is wrong because Bruce is a bigger dick than him. am i right or am i right?

quitting the lame comedy routine now ...

Superman/Batman #55

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Peter Parcheesi

don't look now, but this Brand New Day thing is growing on me (gaaahhh! schism!). putting the marriage breakup aside (a retcon to save his identity, really, much like Marvel doubling back on Morrison's Magneto-as-crazy-Xorn), the Spidey Braintrust is putting its mark on the character, sending him back to his roots as a lovable wisecracking "loser". remember when he used to earn a few bucks for his photos, then have to bail out Nathan Lubensky with his gambling debts? now he still gets bad press (even with JJJ out of the picture), the stream of villains never end, he gets beaten to a pulp and arrested, and his mortal enemy is in charge of his universe. that'll make going through roughly a hundred inmates with a broken shoulder seem like a walk in the park. all for what? to save his cop roommate, who might not be all that clean anyway.

at least he still has his friends eh?

Mr. Wilson

damn, i've been seeing too much of this guy lately! i just breezed through Passengers and Lakeview Terrace on my Archos and i had no idea he was the guy playing Nite Owl. [via cbr]

i don't know why Namor or Aquaman kvetchs

... about ruling Atlantis ...

because in the Image universe, there's really nothing to do down there!

they just need to pull out that trident from their ass, and go out and do something productive. relax. no one's gonna touch your family jewels undersea kingdom.

Invincible #58

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

it does not compute

ohhh, look who got Extremis-ed and OD'ed with the Phalanx virus!

is this the apex for Calculator, a one-time DC punching bag who once had a keypad on his costume to figure out schemes that would save his sorry ass from utter defeat?

i preferred him as cunning scheming information mercenary who lived and breathed data like air and lived on the fringes of law and order, selling to the highest bidder, but more often than not sympathetic to the lunatic fringe. in short, the dirty Oracle.

please don't turn him into Brainiac.

Birds of Prey #126

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

drive-by readings 021709

I Am Legion #1 (DDP/Humanoids)
"The Dancing Faun"
Fabien Nury
John Cassaday
Laura Martin
Justin Kelly
so this is what John Cassaday has been really up to, in between years of penciling Astonishing X-Men (24 issues in 4 years!). Je suis légion, a trilogy originally issued by Euro publishers Les Humanoïdes Associés, has been translated into English via Devil's Due, and Cassaday also lends his scintillating pencils to the project (and maybe a future directing stint?). I Am Legion, a phrase long associated with demons and their ilk, is a fitting title to a tale of mystery involving demonic possession, supernatural weapons and freedom fighters, set in the backdrop of WWII-ravaged Europe. this would look like a Hellboy story, but the protagonist detectives have no superpowers, only their wits and experience. up against Nazis and a demon jumper, they'd better pray to all still be alive by the time this series ends.

Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #1 (Radical)
"Read Me First"
Steve Pugh
Warren Ellis
alternate covers:
Stjepan Sejic
Alan Brooks
Luis Royo
only from the fertile mind of Warren Ellis would there be such a future where the undead coming back to haunt us as wandering electrostatic wraiths ("blue-lights"), and we actually need to employ specialists (DecExs - Detective Exorcists) to deal with the problem (Peter, Ray and Egon unwittingly started the tradition). Alice Hotwire, a cyborg with a personality befitting her name, is the department's top DecEx, but nobody likes her or her devil-may-care attitude. With more blue-light incidents taking place, having battle lines being drawn between the angry immigrant population and the police department adds fuel to the fire. Steve Pugh turns in some nifty artwork, though we'd like to see Stjepan Sejic do the interiors for an issue at least.

Secret Six #6 (DC)
"Compound Fracture"
Gail Simone
Nicola Scott
Favi Pina
Doug Hazlewood
Jason Wright
Sal Cipriano
just when you think you're comfy with this title, Gail Simone pulls the rug out from under your dainty baby feet. after surviving the encounter with Ragdoll's sister (ugh), someone in their ranks turn traitor and really mess up everyone else (i think you have an idea who that can possibly be). the next issue better be worth it, and someone better be shot dead. you feelin' me? wait, they're all not dead, right? which means everyone comes back for the big reveal ...

Monday, February 16, 2009

drive-by readings 021609

Bad Dog #1 (Image)
"Old Monster, New Tricks"
Joe Kelly
Diego Greco
Thomas Mauer
this looks to be like the vehicle for Mr. Long Island Joe Kelly to kvetch and vent on the world. our two protagonists, Lou - a werewolf who refuses to turn back into Michael J. Fox - and Wendell - a foul-mouthed ex-preacher who's lucky to be 5' - work as low-rent bounty hunters in hot Arizona. despite being cheap labor, the oddball pair roll through life full of exploding SUVs, pub crawls, filthy epithets, a horny employer and the occasional bounty hunting rivals (and the occasional dead bounty). with some memorable dialogue and characters (a talking head? in a fridge?), Bad Dog wants to desperately to be on celluloid, at least with someone who graduated from the Quentin Tarantino school of filmmaking.

Batman #686 (DC)
"Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? Part 1: The Beginning of the End"
Neil Gaiman
Andy Kubert
Scott Williams
Alex Sinclair
Jared Fletcher
since this was written by Neil Gaiman, we probably should expect to expand our minds while doing some peyote - wait, that was Grant Morrison. whatever. Batman's enemies attending his funeral? surreal. here we have two people detailing how they killed (or helped kill) Batman - Selina Kyle and - gasp! - Alfred Pennyworth, who's been secretly the Joker all this time! ok, what the hell's going on? well, we'll just let Batman figure that out next month. but he's dead! you say. is he?

Jersey Gods #1 (Image)
"Jersey Gods"
Glen Brunswick
Dan McDaid
Rachelle Rosenberg
Rus Wooton
Mike Allred
at last! heroic titans based across the Hudson! the NooJerseyans quake in their shoes as they now become targets for mass property destruction just like NYC is. case in point, the Cherry Hill Mall, where Zoe, a Jersey girl with an iffy track record for boyfriends suddenly finds herself in the middle of a battle between Gods - the heroic Barock (the white Obama!) and the hulking Loki-like Minog (formerly named Kylie). why did they choose Jersey to be their battleground? uh, maybe because it needs to be wiped off the map? (sorry!) this reads like a cross between two Kirby creations - the New Gods and the Eternals (can someone explain to me how can characters have any sort of conversation in the vacuum of space?), with a splattering of some unused Kevin Smith scripts. that's not a diss, as long as it keeps us interested. and hey, what's the deal with the cover not really showcasing any of the main characters?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chris Powell needs Akeelah

except his spelling skillz, apparently.

wait, does spelling in thoughts count?
(so we can lay that on C.B. Cebulski or Cory Petit.)

and what does this have to do with War of Kings?
from War of Kings: Darkhawk #1

Saturday, February 14, 2009

drive-by readings 021409

Cable #11
"Wasteland Blues"
Duane Swierczynski
Ariel Olivetti
Jamie McKelvie
Joe Caramagna

This series gets more depressing as we go along. Cable's broken time machine can only keep jumping into the future, and that future progressively gets bleaker and bleaker. seriously, i needed to eat some chocolate after reading this. or play some Viva Pinata. anyway, Hope (the baby now grown up a bit) deserves a lot better than piggybacking with Nathan (and without chocolate!) to the future that contradicts her name (i'm sure Duane has a plan. right, Duane?). she also deserves not to be drawn like a seven year old with an adult head. thankfully, Jamie McKelvie restores some order in that regard.

Wolverine/Power Pack #4 (of 4)
"Alex Power: Master Ninja"
Marc Sumerak
Dave Sharpe

the Power family mosey over to Japan, because Alex has been chosen to be contestant on a Japanese gameshow "Ninja Master". talk about exciting. and silly. of course, since the title of this book says so, they end up running conveniently into Wolverine (again), who's - guess what - fighting ninjas. the battle provides Wolverine to dispense ol' grampa wisdom to the kids, which in turn Alex uses to win the Ninja Master competition. at least in the eyes of his family. always a fun read, i hope there'll be more Power Packs coming our way soon.

Adventure Comics #0
"The Legion of Super Heroes"/"Origins and Omens"
Otto Binder
Al Plastino
Geoff Johns
Francis Manapul
Brian Buccellato

reprinting the now-classic (and also somewhat corny) Adventure Comics #247, where Superboy first meets the Legion, the rebooted series, ostensibly starring the Legion of Super Heroes, leads off with a #0 and contains a backup story by DC superwriter Geoff Johns. in the former, Superboy is recruited by the Legion and made to pass a series of tests. take note that they went back to the past to recruit him and he travelled back with them. they should loan Cable a time machine! so, back to future: Superboy only fails because there were other emergencies that delayed him, and thus he's rejected and subjected to jokes. it turns out they were just joshing him and he actually made the cut. this tells us that in the future, jerks will still abound and won't be eliminated in the evolving gene pool. of course, i was more interested in the backup story, where Luthor uses Brainiac to get out of prison. operating with that assumption proves disastrous, as Brainiac has other plans and forces Luthor to work for him. oh, and did i mention a dead Super -being might be involved?

Friday, February 13, 2009

is Boom! trying to pull a fast one?

apparently, written by one-half of Steely Dan, no less.

did i miss Civil Warrior? Hulk: Warworld? Secrets of War? Conquest or Annihilation?


so that's what Spiderman Editor Stephen Wacker looks like! (guy on your right)

Wacker's Weekly Webbing column for Newsarama has been the butt of jokes for his Marvel colleagues during the Dark Reign panel (he did show up but i was way in front so i couldn't see). they adamantly stated it should be renamed as the "Daily Wacker". (cue laugh track)

he couldn't be in for the latest one, but he left a teaser image. of course, that's all just a tease. y'know, because he's a ...

oh, baby, you're pretty ... ugly.

blame Norman Osborn for your ghastly Valentine!

Amazing Spider-Man #586

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Corps values

a tale of a kid and Julie Schwartz [via cbr]

ultimate Joker?

whether or not Heath Ledger wins the Oscar Best Supporting Actor award on February 22, would you join this petition to retire the Joker character from future Bat-movies out of respect to Ledger's dead-on performance?

i won't.

with all due respect to these Ledger fans, and to the man himself, may he rest in peace, the Joker is a rich character integral to the Batman lore (and whether we see it that way or not, is the polar opposite of Batman). the comics will never run out of Joker stories, but denying that character to potentially-good Dark Knight sequels will do a disservice to the Bat-fans, and the moviegoing public in general.

i myself would rather have Ledger be alive today and stand onstage at the Kodak Theatre for a marvelous evening holding that trophy aloft, and reprise the role in a year or two or whenever, and topping himself. i'm sure, being an actor who never sits on his laurels, given the global reaction to his performance, Ledger would drive himself further to equal or surpass this performance.

or he may chose to decline the role (if he feels he can't do justice to it), in which case then, we may put the unlucky bastard who takes the role under such intense pressure that he effs up.

or that unlucky bastard, mindful of what the role means and the brief legacy that comes with it, plumbs the depths of his soul and rises with a spectacular Joker performance that even Heath would stand up and applaud.

all i'm saying is, why deny us the Joker?

Mr. Ledger would not approve.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

nerdgasm, day 3

came in late today, and still had to be shepherded thru the holding area. WTFF??

anyway, still made it in good time; my choices haven't started signing yet. but that's only because ... i kinda put the DC booth on the low priority. the 3 PM Geoff Johns signing was the only one i intended to go to. unfortunately, George Perez was nowhere on the list, which pretty much made 4 big books in my backpack a little more than deadweight (thanks a lot, DC). i gotta change that.

Christina Strain, Sonia Oback and Mike Choi (the latter two are engaged ... as i suspected!)

Claremont: "let me pitch you this deal ... Wanda Maximoff goes insane and she wipes out the mutant population ... wait, i just got a better idea ... she remakes the world first in her dad's image ..."
Bendis: "...."

the Mackster

yes, he is. did he ever show up? he needs to sign my books, like, right now.

Two-Face: "Nightwing! Nightwing! get me out this glass cage, you snotty li'l punk!"
Nightwing: "let me think about it ... ummm, no."

Batman: "say, Dick, isn't that you down there?"
Robin: "the name is Tim, Mr. Wayne."
Batgirl: "i dreamed i was in a wheelchair ..."

"why so serious? it's not like i'm going to be able to make an acceptance speech or anything ..."

nobody watches the Watchmen ... fall over their own feet.

"dammit, guys! we shouldn't have volunteered for this Arctic mission. now we're not included in the movie!"

"ok, ok, i get it. i am blind, dammit? what do hell do i know about style and color combination?"

Colossus: "Kurt, come hug me, you little devil!"
Nightcrawler: "dumbkopf! that's your Ultimate persona, not your real one!"

"no, i don't like Tony Stark. and stop calling me Maria Bulldyke Hill!"

"Ms. Hill and I are just ... friends."

Tony: " .... "
Maria: "ummm ... what he said."

"how many Captains America i must kill before i become king of the world?"

Billy Tan, Juan Doe, Paolo Rivera

V for Vid Lloyd!

if you ever get entrusted with this ...

... be prepared to be charmed, whined at, receive dagger looks and spat upon. due to serendipity, i happened to see the master below doing sketches and ran to the end of the line, then suddenly the DC bouncer handed me the sign. wow. yes, the things i had to endure to secure Jerry Ordway's signature. i am still wiping away spit from my hair.

the weirdest team-up ever.

still my man-crush. wooohoooooo!!! (Ivan Reis in the background)

and there's Marv Wolfman, whose line got closed early and i couldn't get in ... because i was in the Geoff Johns line. ah, crap. that makes one out of three for my Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Eddy Barrows is a Titan

"seriously, Bendis ... you end Secret Invasion with a narrative???"

Todd DeZago, Guiseppe Camuncoli

Tommy Lee Edwards, Dex Vines, and the one and only Chris Claremont (who seems to be crying after hearing Bendis' comments about his pitch early in this post)

Mike Deodato Jr. (Frank Tieri in background ... and you can also see Dan Slott's lovely head much further back)

yay: my World War Hulk TPB is the clear winner in the signings sweepstakes as i got Pak, JRJR, Janson, and Christina Strain, and then ran into Chris Eliopoulos before i lined up for Deodato Jr. i just need David Finch for the covers.

bummer: no George Perez!!! if i knew beforehand that he was gonna appear only on Friday, i woulda brought my Perez books now, wouldn't i?? damn you, DC!

to save some pride, i got colorist Tom Smith for JLA/Avengers (and then completely forgot about Infinite Crisis), and Ordway for IC and CoIE. Infinity Gauntlet came home empty (it already had a Starlin signature from years ago). those four books were already like a third of my body weight.

another year, another Con. next year ... eh. we'll see.