Monday, June 29, 2009

stupid bots

the best take on Transformers 2; all hail the Mighty God King!

drive-by readings: Astonishing X-Men #30

Astonishing X-Men #30 (Marvel)
Warren Ellis
Simone Bianchi
Andrea Silvestri
Simone Peruzzi
Morry Hollowell
Chris Eliopoulos
so this is all what it comes down to? a crazy Forge wanting to take a war to aliens in another universe? if you ask me, it was Warren Ellis himself trying to expand on his scientific ideas after spending too many hours in the pub. thank goodness for Twitter and Hank McCoy's badass half-alien girlfriend in space. speaking of "Hank", the characterization of Scott "Don't Call Me Slim" Summers from leader-with-a-crutch to a-real-leader-period is complete, as he makes it quite clear that he doesn't have much use for looking back to the past as much as he has towards the future (well, let's see how he deals with the Dark Reign). its Scott Shady now, and you know that man makes Emma Frost tingle all over (despite those girly lips on the cover). yeah, baby!

well, damn, they're are uglier than Sam and 'Berto!

let us pause for a moment in memory of Forge. until they bring him back in X-Men vs. Transformers. or something.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

drive-by readings: Dark Avengers #6

Dark Avengers #6 (Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis
Mike Deodato Jr
Will Conrad
Rain Beredo
Cory Petit
Rafa Sandoval/Roger Martinez/John Rauch (variant cover)
the more i read Dark Reign, the better it gets, but that's just me. Norman Osborn looks more and more like Tommy Lee Jones, if they make a movie out of this, you'd better get him to play the role. i probably could watch a whole two hours of the Cabal and the Dark Avengers arguing and rattling sabers and exchanging punches with Osborn. that's a compliment, Mr. Bendis. well, it works because readers have a sense of history of these characters, and you know the underlying tension and where they're coming from.

Osborn is on the verge of a breakdown, putting out fires and trying to keep his array of strong-willed associates in line. despite his advantage of being a psychopath who can deal with other crazies, i expect his Green Goblin persona to pop out anytime (i bet it will be on national TV). good thing he has the increasingly-looking-like-the-Baroness Victoria Hand (Osborn's Maria Hill) to keep things under control. he gets into a tiff with Namor over some Atlantean terrorists, and the latter's refusal to do anything with it drives Osborn to send the Sentry to "kill 'em all but one". this will have ramifications down the line because Bob realizes Osborn has been stringing him along for his own ends, and not sincere about helping him deal with the Void, as Osborn promised.

although the cover seems to have nothing to do with the meat of the issue (Noh-Varr is technically missing after knocking boots with Moonstone/Karla Sofen/"Ms. Marvel"), Dark Avengers is the best among the Dark Reign titles (as it should), and should really bring back the fans who left at the end of Secret Invasion.

drive-by readings: Immortal Iron Fist #27

Immortal Iron Fist #27 (Marvel)
"The Fall of the House of Rand"
Duane Swierczynski
Travel Foreman
David Lapham
Timothy Green
Juan Doe
Javier Rodriguez
Nate Piekos
Kaare Andrews (cover)
Ariel Olivetti (variant cover)
i'm not sure who the best rich dude playing superhero in the 616 universe is: Tony Stark or Daniel Rand. between the two of them, they should've solved cancer, AIDS and the Israel/Palestine question by now. instead they've been distracted saving us from bigger world-beaters (true) time and time again, and now they've both been stripped of their companies. Danny still has his secret ID though, and despite the opportunity to do so, his list of conquests is modest, definitely not in Tony's league, and unlike Tony, he's ready to take the next step as a responsible human being. wait, Tony Stark just sent a text message saying he too, will settle down as soon as he takes care of that Green Goblin maniac running the USA.

back to Danny: his recent adventures have left his company vulnerable and as a result, his net worth has shrunk to Vern Troyer proportions. i would have preferred that Swierczynski painted a few more details as to the tumbling of Rand Inc., but that might be a boring exercise to some. i'm sure the destruction of his building (no insurance?) would qualify as a huge event and should be referenced in other Marvel books. i also liked the neat interspersing of flashbacks of an 8-year old Danny coming to grips with defining a relationship with his dad, building up to this point when he'd be in the same shoes. Luke Cage provides the support as a best friend would, and this is one of the enduring friendships in the Marvel Universe i'd never want to be broken, harking back from their Power Man/Iron Fist days.

as if i didn't like this issue enough, this is where i learned that they're gonna be issuing out Immortal Weapons one-shots for each of Danny's new pals (starting with Fat Cobra). excuse me because i need to change my pants.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

drive-by readings: Berserker #1

Berserker #1 (Top Cow)
Rick Loverd
Jeremy Haun
Dave McCaig
Troy Peteri
Dale Keown (cover)
anybody with a berserker's rage will identify with this new series from Top Cow. Farris Jorn and Aaron Bural are two diverse people with something in common - they can be sparked to go in a murderous rage given the right (unfortunate) conditions. Farris works with his girlfriend Eva in a metal factory, and always gets pushed around by his asshole of a boss (who likes harassing Eva), resulting in some sweet evisceration, the kind any hard-working peon would love to perform on their own idiot bosses. Aaron just wants to pull up stakes and leave town with his girl Courtney, but a terrible incident during a wrestling match triggers a series of unfortunate events, not the least of which is a separation of head from body of a supporting character, i won't tell you who. lurking in the background are two competing organizations, Aasgard and Midgard (whooopee - laying the Norse stuff a bit too thickly, eh), vying for the services of talents like Farris and Aaron.

the pacing could use a bit more polishing; otherwise, this seems to be an interesting (if ultra-violent) book with a nice premise. if it turns out to be a hit, a movie could be in the pipeline (property's owned by Divide Pictures owned by - cough, Heroes are an X-Men ripoff, cough, cough - Milo Ventimiglia).

drive-by readings: Skaar Son of Hulk #12

Skaar Son of Hulk #12 (Marvel)
"Skaar: Son of Hulk"
Greg Pak
Ron Lim
Greg Adams
Elizabeth Breitweiser
Jeremy Eliopoulos
Ed McGuinness (cover)
booted out of his own book, i barely kept up where the hell the real green Hulk was. there was a Red Hulk (Rulk) running around and they fought a couple of times. then there was Skaar, his child with Caiera, now artificially-grown to manhood and ready to take on his dad. ho-hum. well, do you expect anything less than earth-shaking fistfights? of course not. maybe this could be World War SkaRulk! where is Norman Osborn in all of this? shouldn't he be laying the law down on these two?

maybe Hulk #600-601 would renew interest in the character, as the unbeatable partnership of Hercules and Amadeus Cho trumped their old pal on the popularity scale.

Friday, June 26, 2009

drive-by readings: Dark Reign - Elektra #4

Dark Reign: Elektra #4 (Marvel)
Zeb Wells
Clay Mann
Mark Pennington
Matt Hollingsworth
Cory Petit
Lee Bermejo (cover)
it had to happen eventually right? Elektra vs Bullseye in the World Series of Hurt - so far, its still Bullseye 1, Elektra 0. well, make that 0.5, because an injured Elektra manages to stab Bullseye with his own arrow, and the jerk threw in the towel and ran away from the ring.

say with all the crap the Hawkeye costume got (skirt?), it's a kind of weird to have Bullseye wearing it in perverse honor in combat. Clint Barton, you better take back that costume when this is all finished. also, can anybody tell me what comic shows anyone firing a bullet manually - i should think the Punisher or Quentin Tarantino would've done it by now, because it looks so cool.

why is there an issue remaining in this series? because there's still that matter of the 82 million dollar bounty on Elektra's head and who put in that order. i reckon Wolverine should be able to help in that regard.

drive-by readings: Guardians of the Galaxy #15

Guardians of the Galaxy #15 (Marvel)
Dan Abnett
Andy Lanning
Brad Walker
Victor Olazaba
Jay David Ramos
Chris Eliopoulos
Salvador Larocca (cover)
past the fisticuffs resulting from being caught in between hostile Sh'iar Imperial Guard and the angry Inhumans/Kree, this issue merely rates an OK overall. sure there were some nice moments, like Warlock cutting loose (yeeech), the ad hoc Guardians always finding a way despite being overmatched, and of course Peter Quill's deadpan-in-the-face-of-death quips. i still give kudos to the writing team for managing the story and the schedules well - this should be a terrific trade paperback.

you know what might've prevented the War of Kings? a Michael Jackson concert. word.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

why am not watching Transformers 2

they're (still) not my Transformers. boy, are they still friggin' ugly. nothing's changed since the first movie. like it was going to, anyway. Michael Bay still owes me $12.

you're already suspending our disbelief. why not make the robots a bit ... i don't know, less looking like a walking junkyard??


this is so not like #4 on this list.

ugly scans from Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen official movie adaptation #2

drive-by readings: Secret Warriors #5

Secret Warriors #5 (Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis/span>
Jonathan Hickman
Stefano Caselli
Daniele Rudoni
Dave Lanphear
Jimmy Cheung/Justin Ponsor (cover)
well, this is what the S.H.I.E.L.D. gig turned out to be. Nick Fury goes into paranoia overdrive, manipulates a few heroes to take out Latveria, gets disgraced and quits, comes back with new super recruits to repel the Skrull Invasion (like that helped), sees his old outfit decommissioned and rebuilt into Norman Osborn's public army, and now all this time he's been fighting a regenerated Hydra. if he got paid by the hour, that's USD35M @ $1K/hour in back pay, not counting medical benefits. he's still underpaid by Wall Street standards.

speaking of renumeration, how is he gonna pay the salaries of some twelve hundred ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. loyalists, whom he just deployed to attack a former base to retrieve their helicarriers. of course he knows this is also to draw Hydra into the open, thereby multiplying their opponent-to-good-guy ratio like around 10 to 1. make that 20 to 1 'cause Hydra's guys are kinda superpowered too. hazard pay? what hazard pay? its easy for Fury to say "if it was gonna be easy, it wouldn't be any fun now, would it?", because he has the goddamn Infinity Formula running through his veins. prick. maybe we should change the title of the book to Nick Fury: Secret Warrior, as Daisy and the gang are only shown in one panel all issue.

i'm guessing Stefano Caselli's strength is not splash pages that need some detailed backgrounds. he's done a great job with Avengers: The Initiative which netted him this gig, and i like his action shots, although sometimes the faces look alike from one to the other, giving you the sense that it was rushed. otherwise, this is still a solid issue (and series overall), with Marvel making good use of its rich library of (albeit perpetually-resurrected) characters.

drive-by readings: Daredevil #119

Daredevil #119 (Marvel)
"The Return of the King, Part 4"
Ed Brubaker
Stefano Gaudiano
Michael Lark
Matt Hollingsworth
Chris Eliopoulos
Marko Djurdjevic (cover)
hey, who's playing who here? Daredevil throws in with the Kingpin to fight off The Hand, and now the Fat Man is dealing with Lady Bullseye? WTF??

wasn't it just yesterday that Matt Murdock was taking his lumps when Brian Michael Bendis was writing the title? it seems like ages now, and Matt hasn't even taken a break. oh wait, he did when he had his multiple one night stands with Dakota North! i'm not sure how he is not talking to himself yet, the way Wilson is talking to his dead wife Vanessa. oh, that's right - Master Izo is just a figment of his imagination!

to make things worse, his friends never let him down, so a distraught Foggy asks Dakota for help so she goes and follows Turk to lead her to the Kingpin. of course she gets caught. so for Marvel's resident ladies-man-who-can't-catch-a-break, its just another day in the office (apparently, he now has his own "Commish Gordon"). hey, he could've just accepted Nick Fury's offer to become a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. oh wait, look how that turned out.

drive-by readings: Amazing Spider-Man #598

Amazing Spider-Man #598 (Marvel)
"American Son, Part 4 of 5"
Joe Kelly
Paulo Siquiera
Marco Chechetto
Amilton Santos
Jeromy Cox
Chris Chuckry
Chris Eliopoulos
Phil Jimenez/Andy Lanning (cover)
gaaaaahhhhh! my eyes!! i need an industrial-strength eyeball washer after that ghastly cover. now i don't wanna be a daddy no more. damn you, Phil Jimenez!

last issue, we were made to understand that Norman Osborn shot Spider-Man (dressed as Venom) in the head, after getting caught infiltrating Avengers Tower. turns out here that the Venom costume as provided by Reed Richards is much tougher than most and saves Peter from another embarrassing unmasking (see: War, Civil). however, Osborn figures out the way to beat the unstable molecules based on Tony Stark's notes (the loser mandated the use of Oscorp technology post-Skrull Invasion, but here he is copping from StarkTech. tch. loser.). good thing Harry comes in to save the day ...

speaking of Harry ... well, what can i say? either he's the most unstable, unreliable dude in the world or he's just naive like its 1999. there's no room for any other characterization. somehow the revelation that that "Menacing" baby is not Harry's is thumbs up in my book, as Marvel puts the adult spin on these stories responsibly and not coyly like Ultimates 3. whether we can admit it or not, the Spidey brain-trust has slowly righted the ship (post-Mephisto deal).

drive-by readings: Dark Wolverine #75

Dark Wolverine #75 (Marvel)
"The Prince, Part 1"
Daniel Way
Marjorie Liu
Giuseppe Camuncoli
Onofre Catacchio
Marte Gracia
Cory Petit
Leinil Francis Yu/Laura Martin (cover)
Marko Djurdjevic (variant cover)
the darkest part of this Wolverine knockoff getting the Dark Reign treatment has to be, without any doubt, the coming aboard of romance novelist Marjorie Liu to script Daken's adventures along with Wolverine: Origins scribe Daniel Way, the gleeful chronicler of Marvel's nastier characters. is this why we get a sex scene straight out of Zane's playbook? not that i read Zane, mind you. honest!

maybe we should keep this Dark Reign ball rolling for awhile, as we never had this kind of tension in an Avengers headquarters, probably since Hank Pym built a robot to "rescue" the Avengers from. or when Wonder Man started banging the Scarlet Witch, right under the nose of a reconfigured Vision. or when Clint started banging Jan. you get the idea. Daken + Bullseye (Hawkeye) + Venom + Ares + Norman Osborn = it boggles the mind that they haven't killed each other yet.

this is a terrific jumping on point for new readers, who should have at least a passing familiarity with Wolverine (who technically has been pushed aside in his own book for awhile). Daken is a deliciously nasty piece of work, who has his own agenda (don't they all) not exactly running parallel with Osborn's. but then again, what's his goal? it's not just to supplant Osborn, or kill his dad ... there has to be something else.

hey, Marvel - when you decide to kick these bad guys out of the house ... you better make it count. i want blood. i want teeth kicked in. i want skulls caved in. you hear me, Joe Quesada? and no copping out either. i don't want the Beyonder suddenly appearing and waving them all off out of existence. or Uatu tripping on his own two feet and crushing Venom with his big head. i want real heroes drawing blood! blood i say!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

drive-by readings: Gotham City Sirens #1

Gotham City Sirens #1 (DC)
Paul Dini
Guillem March
Jose Villarubia
Steve Wands
JG Jones (variant cover)
now that Birds of Prey has been taken off the board, DC tries the same tack with the Bats' female Rogues Gallery - Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn team up to ... wait, what exactly are they teaming up for? definitely not to roast marshmallows and exchange slumbooks. do girls still make slumbooks? anyway, bad girls wanna have some fun but not before getting into a fight first with ... Crossbones?! what is Crossbones doing here?? is he fleeing arrest after a prison break for his role in killing Captain America? oh, that's not Crossbones?!

i have to say that if i bought stock in Guillem March, i would have lost quite a bit on it after this issue. his covers were fantastic (well, in an immature fanboy-ish kind of way), but it doesn't seem to translate well to sequential pages. he seems to be a fan of manga with the whooshing motion of body parts, conveniently or purposely distracting you from the lack of details. is he trying to be Rob Liefeld? beyond the boobs and butts ... you can only hold our attention so long.

thankfully, writer Paul Dini neatly ties in the events from months past (this is still a Batman tie-in, after all). Pamela and Harley need to know why Selina is not the same Selina she was prior to undergoing open heart surgery courtesy of Hush. and yeah, they want to know Batman 's secret identity. pure light-hearted fun. i just think March should rethink his approach here, because this book has potential.

drive-by readings: Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1

Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1 (Marvel)
"Utopia, Part 1"
Matt Fraction
Marc Silvestri/Michael Broussard
Tyler Kirkham/Sheldon Mitchell
Joe Weems/Marco Galli
Eric Basaldua/Rick Basaldua
Jason Gorder/Sal Regla
Jon Sibal/Ryan Winn
Frank D'Armata
Chris Eliopoulos
let me first say that for this "important event", Marvel couldn't even put together a stable creative team (writer+penciler+inker) that it becomes "Marc Silvestri and the Top Cow All-Stars and then some" (no offense, but it is that). which is why the art suffers. Silvestri hits when he's on, but this ... this isn't one of those moments ... hoooo-boy. thank goodness for the pencil assists. no, not really. and oh, what's with the cliched 'villain standing victorious over prone protagonists' cover? that's what we get? nobody had a better idea??

so, the story: we turn the clock back to the late '80s/early '90s when people in the 616 USA used to hate mutants with fervor (a theme so ably resurrected by the X-writers). even San Francisco is not a safe haven anymore, as riots have been breaking out between the humans and mutants. Norman Osborn thinks Scott can't handle his troops, therefore dispatches his own, and imposing martial law in the Bay Area (really? no Prez Obama or Congress to curb his enthusiasm?). considering his backroom deals with Emma Frost (who's been keeping this from her fearless stud), this is probably where the X-Men gets divided and they'll have to move back to New York. or Amsterdam.


sorry for the spoilers - but holy crap!!! this is the most intense comicbook violence i've seen since Invincible #62.

and Kirkman has the balls to make us wait another month?

Kirkman: yes.

Invincible #63

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

drive-by readings: Invincible Iron Man #14

Invincible Iron Man #14 (Marvel)
"The Shape of the World These Days"
Matt Fraction
Salvador Larocca
Frank D'Armata
Joe Caramagna
Marc Silvestri/Joe Weems (cover)
Tony Stark has been reduced to a Road Runner being chased all over the world by the Coyote named Norman Osborn. its ultimately for informational, not gastronomical, reasons, as Osborn wants the data in Tony's head (and he don't have no stinkin' backup, smart man). Tony wants to wipe out the data, but he has two things going against him: (a) wiping that amount of data needs a lot of power and (b) doing so would make him dumb as a rock.

hey, i like his new look - military crewcut sans moustache (hello, ladies), which is why he almost gets punked by his old Russian frenemy the Crimson Dynamo. yes, Tony's in Russia to marry a nouveau riche petro-millionaire Russian cougar. no, he needs to get a Stark plant deep in the Siberian heartland to do his thing. little does he know Madame Masque is hot on his trail, and not because she thinks he's off philandering again.

lest we forget Tony's other flames (two of whom he's sent on errands), they're all here: newest one-night-stand Maria Hill, the Black Widow, and Pepper Potts, now armored up and reuniting with her boss (Matt Fraction still wants to turn Pepper into a superhero, after being turned into a semi-Oracle in The Order, then cyborg-ized early in this series).

and oh, Don Heck thanks you, Matt, for the tip of the hat.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

drive-by readings: Captain America #600

Captain America #600 (Marvel)
"One Year After"
Ed Brubaker/Paul Dini/Roger Stern/Mark Waid/Stan Lee
Alex Ross/Butch Guice/Howard Chaykin
Rafael Albuquerque/David Aja/Mitch Breitweiser
Kalman Andrasofszky/Dale Eaglesham/Al Avison
Frank D'Armata/Edgar Delgado/Matt Hollingsworth
Marte Garcia/Paul Mounts
Todd Klein/Joe Caramagna/Chris Eliopoulos
the landmark 600th issue arrives, with all the hype building up for some time back, with the intent on putting fans and non-fans alike on the edge: how is Marvel bringing back its greatest super-hero? (Spider-Man just looked at the chart of incomes generated by Marvel properties and snickered) the answer to that is coming next month actually. for now, we have a lead-in anniversary issue of sorts, containing previously-published work and new stories examining the support characters in the Captain America mythos - Bucky, Sharon Carter, his Avenger pals, mortal enemy the Red Skull, Tony Stark (via proxy - but is it him really? i thought he was M.I.A.), Crossbones and Sin, the crazy 1950s Cap, Elijah Bradley, even the alternate-Earth "Bucky" Rikki Barnes. but my favorite has to be the return of Bernie Rosenthal, whom Steve squired during my early reading days.

of course, the meat of this comic lies in the fact that Sharon may have found a way to bring Steve back to life (ooooh, do tell), and this seems confirmed by the fact that Sin refers to something about his death that the general public doesn't know. oh yeah, do tell!

Friday, June 19, 2009

drive-by readings: War of Kings: Ascension #3

War of Kings: Ascension #3 (Marvel)
"The End of All Things"
Dan Abnett
Andy Lanning
Wellinton Alves
Scott Hanna
Nelson Pereira
Guru eFX
Cory Petit
Brandon Peterson (cover)
holy crap, i didn't see that coming. yes, i may be a doofus, but screw you, this is my page. this is also why DnA have revitalized Marvel's cosmic titles in the last 3 years, and made for better entertainment than the crossovers happening in terra firma. deftly springing off from War of Kings #4, Chris Powell rightfully takes back the Darkhawk armor, but at the completely wrong time (you sly foxes, DnA!). so what's the point of gaining the advantage of knowledge over the Fraternity of Raptors (includes the ones from Toronto), when everyone thinks you're just a bully who shoots women for fun?

and hey, somebody answer this for me, as even Google is confused. is it Wellinton Alves or Wellington Alves?

drive-by readings Capt Britain & MI13 #14

Captain Britain & MI13 #14 (Marvel)
"Vampire State, Part 4"
Paul Cornell
Leonard Kirk
Ardian Syaf
Jay Leisten
Craig Yeung
Brian Reber
Joe Caramagna
Mico Suayan / Morry Hollowell (cover)
along with Guardians of the Galaxy, this title does not disappoint month after month. kinda reminds me of early-Grant Morrison JLA. this month we learn that Dracula has not really taken over the Earth yet, and our heroes have laid such an elaborate trap, with writer Paul Cornell using previous plot devices to their clever advantage. a great aspect of this rebuilt Excalibur is the inclusion of B-list characters that make sense (Blade, the Black Knight, and now Killpower), and this is the team that it should have been years ago (no dis to Chris Claremont and Alan Davis). and with another cliffhanger on hand, i hope it draws in more readers than before.

drive-by readings: Dark Reign: Mr Negative #1

Dark Reign: Mr. Negative #1 (Marvel)
"The Last Stand of Mr. Negative"
Fred Van Lente
Gianluca Gugliotta
Andy Lanning/Justice
Dave Lanphear
recent Spider-Man nemesis gets his own Dark Reign treatment, as it is impossible for him to be operating without the blessings of my neighbor, The Hood. of course he doesn't need any stinkin' blessings, and the inevitable showdown occurs. not surprisingly, Spidey gets in the middle (this should be before the events of American Son, right?) and he's in for a blackout surprise as he doesn't know that his Aunt May's employer, Martin Li, is actually Mr. Negative. i bet the outcome will be that Negative gets driven out but will return to haunt Peter for years to come. for somebody so named, i think he's bursting with confidence in himself.

drive-by readings: Herogasm #2

Herogasm #2 (Dynamite)
Garth Ennis
John McCrea
Keith Burns
Simon Bowland
Tony Aviña
Darick Robertson (cover)
we didn't learn much from this issue, except ... wait, we learned a lot from this issue, and they're all unprintable. yes, little boys, move along now, nothing to see here. don't you see the Mature Readers label? geddouddaheah.

and on that note ... we look forward to the Boys crashing the party next issue. snort up.

drive-by readings: X-Men: Legacy #225

X-Men: Legacy #225 (Marvel)
"The Retreat"
Mike Carey
Phil Briones
Brian Reber
Corey Petit
Daniel Acuña (cover)
big whoop: Charles Xavier takes down the annoying, way-past-their-15-minutes Acolytes (finally) without firing a shot. well, of course, he's just the damned best telepath in the whole wide universe and he's pretty much indestructible, despite getting bullet surgery in the brain, among other things. its pretty much how this should go down (if you want to live in the past, go read X-Men Forever). Mike Carey ties up the strings after the events of Deadly Genesis/Messiah Complex, though am not sure since when did Exodus start talking like a modern American man. so whether he follows up on change we can believe in (as Charles prods him to), we don't know. and when Norman Osborn is on the scene, expect no good to come out of it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

please do not take these out of context

even though they're begging to.

the 2nd issue of Power Girl has Kara going toe-to-toe with the Ultra-Humanite (basically a supergenius brain who keeps transplanting himself into powerful bodies, after watching pro wrestling in the '90s). the way the layouts, dialogue and themes go ... is it just me, or is the whole thing some kind of sweaty, creepy, weird mating ritual?

the UH wants to put his brain in Karen's body, for the selfish purpose of near immortality of course. but that already smacks of gender bending and fetishism. male brain? female body? especially a wolf-whistle-inducing female body??

this is supposed to be a fun comic after all ... especially with the title character sporting a pair of humongous funbags assets. lots of sly references would be the norm, despite the title initials being "PG" but there's no such restrictions on the front cover.

yes, i may be reading too much into this. look at this shot:

for once, its the animal doling out the abuse. but the look on UH's face, and his proximity to the mountains ... lordy.

let's see some dialogue:

yes, yes, a sick monkey indeed. if you didn't know the UH's intentions, you'd think he was some kind of a jealous psycho stalker, the one that needs to be served a court order.

here's another: "surrender your body to me ..."

huh. a jilted lover, i suppose. man, these pages drip testosterone. or something.

the sweaty mating ritual continues. grappling, punching, kicking ... its like a masochistic dance. now we see UH behind PG. which is not a bad place to be (wink, wink).

and for the coup de grace ... a victorious UH, bracing himself with his arms over a prostate and beaten PG ... awww c'mon!!

but wait, there's more! how did UH get this way? of course he needs to have his origin story for new readers, because the old one kind of needed some Advil to go along with it. turns out he had a sexy diabolical assistant who introduced him to the ways of love ... WHEN HE WAS ALREADY IN A GORILLA BODY!!!!!!


trans/crossgenderism, rape, bestiality ... they're actually slipping one right by us. but what do i know? youse guys are the experts. and the much more mature. as in Victor.

one little tidbit: Adam Hughes signs his covers with "AH!", while Gene Ha signs his with "HA!" so if they do a cover jam, i expect it to be signed as "AH-HA!"

thank you, i'm here all week.

Power Girl #2

putting your best chest forward

because, they want you to focus on the upcoming comic, yes?

drive-by readings: Batman: Streets of Gotham #1

Batman: Streets of Gotham #1 (DC)
"Ignition" / "Strange Bedfellows"
Paul Dini
Dustin Nguyen
Derek Fridolfs
John Kalisz
Steve Wands
Marc Andreyko
Georges Jeanty
Karl Story
Nick Filardi
Sal Cipriano
Paul Dini re-teams with his ex-Detective Comics cohorts Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs on Streets of Gotham, which seems to be more from supporting characters' POV. with the new Batman and Robin still gaining traction, Gotham City seems to be always in freefall but never completely flatlining. and why bother with the city really? does it have overflowing coffers of gold that everyone wants a piece of it? i'm sure Gotham qualifies as one of the cities with the highest crime rates (and that was with Batman). with such a rosy outlook, one would pull up stakes and move elsewhere. its a miracle people still live in a place where you could get bombed by the Joker or get ripped in half by Killer Croc any given moment.

so for this moment, we have B-lister Firefly setting everyone afire because, hey that's what he does. so Gotham's burning again. Commish Gordon keeps a steely silence in the face of it all, and just keeps doing his job (how old is he? 73?). with the narration flowing smoothly between heroes, villains and victims, Dini keeps us engaged, and eagerly awaiting the next issue. didn't care much for the Manhunter backup story though.

by the way, this is only one of two new Batman series being written by Dini. the other one is called Gotham City Sirens, which features more Guillem March. hubba-hubba.

drive-by readings: Executive Assistant Iris #1

Executive Assistant Iris #1 (Aspen)
"Risky Business"
Dave Wohl
Brad Foxhoven
Eduardo Francisco
John Starr
Josh Reed
this title may suffer from too many syllables in the long run - can we call it "Ex-Ass Iris" instead? jokes aside, one of the last few properties co-created by the late Michael Turner has some promise. who wouldn't want your boombastic vava-voom personal secretary to be your personal bodyguard as well? (not to mention, your personal ... mmm-mmmm.) scripted by chicks-and-sharp-things writer Dave Wohl (Witchblade), this comic is practically selling itself to be a movie starring Zhang Ziyi. you saw that line of people beating down Mark Millar's door for Kick-Ass? c'mon, let's make it happen people!!

so what are they doing for an encore?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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[thanks to snap judgments]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

enlighten me ...

... o geekz of the InterWebz.

how does Namor talk through water again? and in an intelligible way?

you can see the bubbles from below so don't tell me he's not in water.

oh and hey, where's that webbed thing that used to be under his armpits? or does that appear only when he's flying?

also, let's see what Namor is actually saying on the cover (considering that watery thing that muffles sound):

Namor: "you cannot keep me from my cousin's puppies!!!!!!!!!!"

honest to God, that's what happens in this issue.

Agents of Atlas #6

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

drive-by readings: Amazing Spider-Man #597

Amazing Spider-Man #597 (Marvel)
"American Son, Part 3 of 5"
Joe Kelly
Marco Chechetto
Chris Chuckry
Joe Caramagna
Phil Jimenez (cover)
the thing i like about Dark Reign, being more of a theme rather than a crossover event, is that it can work on so many levels of the Marvel U. and with Norman Osborn taking charge, the largest impact should be on the Wall Crawler's life, with that being the injury while the ascension of JJJ as NYC mayor as the insult.

trying to save his bestest friend Harry (who as history shows, isn't worth saving most of the time) from his psycho dad, Peter masquerades as Venom to penetrate Avengers Tower, all by himself. before you say "how stupid is that??", believe me, he already knows, judging by the two arrows protruding from his calves, courtesy of Bullseye/Hawkeye. this title has had its fair share of great cliffhangers and this is no exception.

the whole premise of American Son is that Norman wants his own "Captain America" or symbolic figure to legitimize his reign, so to speak. the problem is whether ultimately, Harry would take the job anyway, regardless of the gun his dad is holding to his head. Spider-Man just goes in anyway. you gotta give the man props.

hang on, Spidey; Captain America's coming back. or so they say.

so is Otto Octavius. i think. with some recruits from the Minority Report.

drive-by readings: X-Men Forever #1

X-Men Forever #1 (Marvel)
"Love - and Loss!"
Chris Claremont
Tom Grummett
Cory Hamscher
Wil Quintana
Tom Orzechowski
loosely labelled as the "Screw You, Jim Lee, Screw You, Bob Harras" Project, X-Men Forever looks like more of Marvel's continued appreciation of Chris Claremont's contributions by giving him more sandboxes to play with, as long as those sandboxes do not interfere with the current incarnation of the team he built from the ground up (cough, cough John Byrne, cough, Dave Cockrum cough cough).

picking up from the events of X-Men #1-3 (with #1 being the best-selling book of all time), the X-Men find themselves tracking down the tastefully-named Fabian Cortez, who in 99% of the time would be a fey loser, except this time he managed to kill Magneto. or so they think. they get ambushed, and they get their asses handed to them. huh, that never happens. especially not by someone named Fabian Cortez.

Claremont uses this chance to put his unused stories right out there, which was the intent all along. the Scott-Jean-Logan love triangle is right there on the forefront, and it looks like Logan will be dead next issue, which could be a convenient excuse for his real body to disappear and be reborn as a Hand assassin (wait, Millar did that already). by the way, why is Gambit called "Remy Picard"? was that the intent all along? to be named after the character played by the actor who was going to play Professor X?

i'm not sure who the audience for this book is. those who lived the Claremont/Lee years have moved on by now, so why would they want to do a What If alternate branch at this point? new readers following the current (convoluted) X-storylines may not remember this period, and would be more confused without a Wikipedia.

Monday, June 15, 2009

and so here we are.

welcome back ... Steve?

drive-by readings: Buck Rogers #1

Buck Rogers #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
"Future Shock, Part 1: One Giant Leap ..."
Scott Beatty
Carlos Rafael
Carlos Lopez
Simon Bowland
John Cassaday and Laura Martin (cover)
considering my only exposure to daredevil spaceman Anthony "Buck" Rogers was the early '80s TV show ("Chicago, Chiii-cago..."), and also that Robot Chicken episode, i'm not familiar with the whole mythos and had to check Wikipedia (heh.) turns out the guy predates even Flash Gordon and Dan Dare, with only John Carter of Mars debuting earlier in 1912. Dynamite has to be commended for taking classic characters (Lone Ranger, Zorro, Green Hornet) and breathing new life into them. ok, so new audiences take note, the basic premise is still the same: hotshot space pilot in current time gets lost (space warp?) and lands in future, where new exciting adventures commence.

just like before, the man out of time encounters a familiar character, Col. Wilma Deering (of course. Erin Gray fan reunion!) garbed in an antigravity suit with a gun. Buck still doesn't get it that he's not on his Earth anymore, and the appearance of an armored walking bear should have made him realize this. of course, he gets vaporized into somewhere else before seeing the bear talk (and even has a name. "Ursunius"? why not "Yogi"?). well, they still got my attention. let the adventure begin.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Djimon Honsou, is that you?

i guess James Earl Jones wouldn't do the character justice anymore at this point.

Friday, June 12, 2009

drive-by readings: JSA vs Kobra #1

JSA vs Kobra #1 (DC)
"Engines of Faith, Part 1: Bad Religion"
Eric Trautmann
Don Kramer
Michael Babinski
Pat Brosseau
Art Lyon
Gene Ha (cover)
so this time, the JSA wants to bring down the vicious terrorist organization led by Cobra Commander ... whoops, wrong Cobra. foreshadowed in the Faces of Evil gimmick (the Kobra issue was actually one of the more interesting ones), Kobra comes back from a sabbatical and ready to take their place as the eminent terrorist organization in the world. screw Al Qaeda and that Cobra. this Kobra is upping the body count.

a suicide bomber nearly takes out Mr. Terrific, despondent as he is with his personal issues. i like the fact that his role in Checkmate comes back to bite him, as some shady arms dealers operate with Checkmate's blessings (including post-hynotic commands) in hopes of catching bigger fish. of course, this does not make Powergirl happy. but that could be a good thing, because when she's mad, she breathes heavily and in a heaving manner, and - ah forget it. anyway, you know how hard is it to deal with religious zealots, and the Society will have their hands full on this one. and oh, welcome back, Don Kramer.

drive-by readings: Deadpool #11

Deadpool #11 (Marvel)
"Bullseye, Part 2: Let The Healing Begin"
Daniel Way
Paco Medina
Juan Vlasco
Marte Garcia
Cory Petit
Jason Pearson (cover)
Deadpool is such a fun character he can work with almost any Marvel property (i mean they paired him with the dour Cable and even that lasted like 50 issues). they should probably do straight up Deadpool vs. ??? stories from now on. the only downside to that is that it might get monotonous as we know Deadpool never dies (hello, Wolverine) and there'd be no lasting resolution. shit, that wasn't a good idea after all. but anyway, 'Pool vs. Bullseye? that box office gold, right there. no need to pull any punches here. in fact, Bullseye holds the advantage for most of it until the last few pages. that's when our resident wacko mercenary skewers Bullseye with a hook for uh, beating his meat. seriously.

drive-by readings: The Boys #31

The Boys #31 (Dynamite)
"The Self Preservation Society, Part 1"
Garth Ennis
Carlos Ezquerra
Hector Ezquerra
Simon Bowland
Tony Aviña
Darick Robertson (cover)
finally! from the opening storyline where we were introduced to the Seven (the ethically-challenged version of the JLA), i was waiting for this throwdown. in a set up that kind of echoes the death of Luca Brasi, one of the Boys get taken down. and that made me really sad. dammit, i want a lot of asskicking to happen because of this. no more name taking, Billy Butcher. by the way, Garth, nice work on retelling an alternate version of Hal Jordan's origin.