Tuesday, June 29, 2010

DC artists are Russians

front and center: Joe Bennett (БЭНЭТ); below: Jack Jadson (ЛЖаДСОН). and others i can't make out.

the motherland vill triumph!!!

Justice League: Generation Lost #4

Monday, June 28, 2010

up and down

drive-by readings

Superman #700 (DC)
"The Comeback"
James Robinson
Bernard Chang
Dan Jurgens
Norm Rapmund
Pete Pantazis
"Prologue: The Slap Heard 'Round The World"
J. Michael Straczynski
Eddy Barrows
J.P. Mayer
Rod Reis
John J. Hill
Gary Frank/Brad Anderson (cover)
have not been following the Man of Steel that closely after All Star Superman ended, save for some peeks at War of the Supermen, and i was kinda turned off with the whole let's-bring-back-the-Kryptonians thing. turns out they're all gonna be whacked anyway. but still.

the lead story from outgoing writer James Robinson, has the long-awaited reunion between Lois and Clark. if anything, i was happy for the two of them, and i haven't felt like that in a while. you take these two for granted too much.

there's a fill-in story (but doesn't feel like one) by Jurgens in the early years when Robin disobeys Bruce Wayne's orders and goes after some gunrunners, and his bacon gets saved by Superman (along with his geometry assignment). its weird to see Dick in his classic child-molester-attracting duds, but hey, that's part of history multiple Crises can't erase.

what really intrigues me is new direction set by Straczynski, who takes over the main book and will set the tone for the Superman stories to come (who isn't excited about Paul Cornell putting Lex Luthor on center stage in Action Comics?). in this prologue, Superman attends a press conference in the aftermath of War of the Supermen, and his previous dalliance with the idea of New Krypton, and a distraught woman slaps him to everyone's surprise (this recalls a similar incident in the Marvel Universe where a woman spits on Tony Stark during Civil War). Superman hears her story out, and though its an unfair burden, seeks out the meaning of what is "important" in the scheme of things and as the premier superhero of the planet. where this takes him will shape how he will be reacting to the DC Universe from hereon.

my first project: Ultimates 3.

yes, Jeph Loeb is going to make you watch the death of Wanda and the Tony Stark sex tape and the Blob eating Janet on your TV soon! hwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

the weekly hits

Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark (Image)
Ryan Ottley/Jason Howard/Cliff Rathburn
what we learned: a Sea Bear. a Grizzly Shark. eating people anywhere. that's all you need to know.
oh shit moment: just imagine any moment you could be doing your own thing, then suddenly you're wondering why your head is at ground level and the rest of your body's just ... gone.
what's next: really? you want this to be an ongoing? well ....

Batman: Streets of Gotham #13 (DC)
Paul Dini/Dustin Nguyen/Derek Fridolfs/John Kalisz/Sal Cipriano
what we learned: the Carpenter turns the tables on the Director just in time for Batman to clean up. despite the cheesy dialogue because of the nature of the story, its entertaining. by the way, how does everyone manage to show up at the right time for the board meetings to remind Thomas Eliott of his place?
oh shit moment: nothing much to shit your pants about. although Jenna Duffy has been warned off by Bats, she can't resist the lure of the job of assembling for dangerous people (which means that hauling supercriminals off to jail never works).
what's next: what is Hush up to?

Hulk #23 (Marvel)
Jeph Loeb/Ed McGuiness/Mark Farmer/Morry Hollowell/Richard Starkings/Herb Trimpe/Dave McCaig/Tim Sale/Dave Stewart/Dale Keown/Sal Buscema/Brad Anderson/Ian Churchill/Edgar Delgado/Leinil Yu/Gerry Alanguilan/Marte Gracia/John Romita Jr./Klaus Janson/Emily Warren/Dean White/Jason Keith/Mike Deodato/Rain Beredo (variant cover: Adam Kubert/Laura Martin)
man, i'm tired typing all those credits, but its the only way to give those nods as Blogger's 200 character limit for tags (booooo!) kinda put a damper on the party, and it was a rocking one.

Green Arrow #1 (DC)
J.T. Krul/Diogenes Neves/Vicente Cifuentes/Ulises Arreola/Rob Leigh (covers: Mauro Cascioli, Ethan Van Sciver/Hi-Fi)
what we learned: despite him being kicked out of Star City, Ollie Queen can't help himself and still hangs around. and conveniently a "magical" forest has sprung around the city, giving him cachet to play a man in tights. oh, someone offed his best friend Nunocerda. now Ollie has to throw away his special Nunocerda arrow.
oh shit moment: uh, Ollie stealing food from the rich to give to the poor? yeah. or his stepmom takes his company back.
what's next: team up with his pal Hal and beat up some rent-a-soldiers.

"well ... uh ... actually this is my BDSM outfit. heh."

X-Men Legacy #237 (Marvel)
Mike Carey/Greg Land/Jay Leisten/Justin Ponsor/Cory Petit (cover: Adi Granov)
what we learned: aren't you glad they resurrected Doug Ramsey? and they say diplomatic and linguistic skills are useless in battle. suspiciously, Colossus' broken arm is not shown at all.
oh shit moment: two for me: Magneto bleeding for the X-Men once again in a very long time, and Hope having the balls to threaten the de facto leader of an endangered species. really.
what's next: bring on Bastion!!! (i wonder if Scott Lobdell or Pascual Ferry is reading this crossover?)

see, if only Jean was that frisky ...

Fantastic Four #580 (Marvel)
Jonathan Hickman/Neil Edwards/Andrew Currie/Paul Mounts/Rus Wooton (cover: Alan Davis/Mark Farmer/Javier Rodriguez)
what we learned: Toys R Us is actually a front for Arcade (no longer a premiere X-villain) and the Impossible Man is an NYC gadabout with a semblance of social responsibility (you mean to say no one mistakes him for a Skrull?). much more interesting is Reed's Future Foundation, where a disparate young cast of characters is mentored by Mr. Fantastic to generate ideas for the betterment of mankind. no, not the wrestler.
oh shit moment: the Future Foundation's first project: to cure Ben Grimm! ok, not a total cure, but its a start. the Thing's inability to become human and the subsequent frustration of trying to be normal is a Marvel tradition. Jonathan Hickman, just like Ed Brubaker and that Bucky thing before him, is poised to upend the apple cart.
what's next: don't call him Rocky no more! no, seriously, please let this not be a dead end. Ben needs this as much as we fans do.

Avengers #2 (Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis/John Romita Jr./Klaus Janson/Dean White/Cory Petit
to get to the future, they need a binoculars. then a ride. so they ask Space Ghost Penis to help. then (less than) Wonder Man shows up angry, disappears. then some Horsemen show up, also angry. next issue, they fight.

Secret Warriors #17 (Marvel)
Jonathan Hickman/Alessandro Vitti/Imaginary Friends Studio/Dave Lanphear (cover: Jim Cheung/Mark Morales/Justin Ponsor)
what we learned: smelling blood in the water, Nick Fury unleashes all his teams on the warring Hydra and Leviathan. the narrative though is post-event, as Dum Dum and Jasper Sitwell are grilled in a secret meeting convened by the UN Security Council. oh, and there's a party and Steve Rogers feels like a 20 year old man again.
oh shit moment: Howling Commandos silenced forevermore?
what's next: Howling Commandos silenced forevermore?

Thunderbolts #145 (Marvel)
Jeff Parker/Kev Walker/Frank Martin/Albert Deschesne
i commend Luke Cage for taking the task of running Marvel's rehab program and facing threats with a bunch of guys who might just stab him in the back, front, side or wherever they please. nanites or no nanites, something bad's gonna happen.

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (Marvel)
Grant Morrison/Yanick Paquette/Michel Lacombe/Nathan Fairbairn/Jared Fletcher (covers: Andy Kubert/Yanick Paquette)
what we learned: some people might scoff at at the whole Final Crisis/Batman RIP thing as poorly-conceived non-permanent-event ripoff. that may be so, but it allowed us to have Batman & Robin and the Return of Bruce Wayne. in his trek back from the past, Bruce gets involved with Blackbeard the Pirate and upholds his legacy as the Man of Bats in the most amazing way.
oh shit moment: a dazed Bruce takes the cape and takes on the buccaneers with the Bat People. whooooooooo!
what's next: Jonah Hex! Cowboy Batman! yeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaaawww!

Wolverine: Weapon X #14 (Marvel)
Jason Aaron/Ron Garney/Jason Keith/Matt Milla/Cory Petit (cover: Garney/Morry Hollowell)
what we learned: this Deathlok is a murderer revived as a killing machine (what's new?). but there's a conscience there somehow.
oh shit moment: the future human resistance decides to go after the civilian identities of the Deathloks in the past - while they're still kids.
what's next: Peace, 'Lok!!

Joker's Asylum: Killer Croc (DC)
Mike Raicht/David Yardin/Cliff Richards/Rodney Ramos/Jose Villarubia/Patrick Brosseau (cover: Francesco Mattina)
what we learned: despite the fear you have for Killer Croc as he chased you down the sewer tunnels of Arkham Asylum, there are bigger and viler beasts among men that you need to be more afraid of. and oh, did Francesco Mattina switch to DC already?
oh shit moment: we knew were it was going but the betrayal was painful nonetheless.
what's next: i think i need to check out the other Joker's Asylum titles i missed.

Power Girl #13 (DC)
Judd Winick/Sami Basri/Sunny Gho/John J. Hill
i know y'all miss Amanda Conner, but you should give this Basri guy a chance. and a serious story for a change.

Green Lantern Corps #49 (DC)
Tony Bedard/Ardian Syaf/Vicente Cifuentes/Randy Mayor/Gabe Eltaeb/Steve Wands (cover: Syaf/Cifuentes/Ulises Arreola, variant: Patrick Gleason/John Dell/Mayor)
what we learned: the rebellious Alpha Lanterns' recruitment drive is in full swing and it may have added Jon Stewart. opps, i meant John Stewart. dumb keyboard.
oh shit moment: who's behind all this nonsense? no, not Tony Bedard! its the i-wanna-die-but-i-cant Cyborg Superman! paging Dr. Kevorkian!
what's next: paging Dr. Kevorkian!

snaps: Thunderbolts #145

... where we find that it wasn't really Baron Zemo that showed up, it was just the Fixer. oh thank goodness! after being humiliated, the new T-Bolts go on their first mission: to find and capture some runaway Asgardian Trolls, who apparently have been spending too much time on the Internet that they're crashing forums and message boards.

yes, and those smelly geeks and nerds at comic cons too!!

how the hell can he drink and punch at the same time now?

uh oh. traitor alert!!!

imagine what would happen if Moonstone got torn in half by the Hulk!!

Juggy suddenly wanted to eat some dirt, then take a nap.

have you met the Ghost, the floating high tech garbage can?

Friday, June 25, 2010

time out

drive-by readings

Avengers #2 (Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis
John Romita Jr.
Klaus Janson
Dean White
Cory Petit
when we last left the new, improved Avengers, they've been visited by Kang and told that their offspring are messing up the future, and they need to whup those whippersnappers in line. Tony Stark apparently has a lot of shiny things (especially those that are used to wipe out life) except the one gadget to get them into the particular timeline. so they go recruit Space Ghost Penis ... sorry, Marvel Boy a.k.a. Noh-Varr (who's conveniently beating up the Titanium Man), and ask him to build them a thingamadoo.

but oh, he needs a lot of things to build that thing, so like i said earlier:

... including a lot of douchebaggery to spare, apparently.

i mean, seriously, he's been rebooted but he read the files on what he did, and now he's like a reborn chatterbox, cheerful and spry. i mean in his own book, he's mostly subdued but with bits and pieces of his bravado and arrogance still shining through. here in the Avengers, its like he has the insatiable need to impress everyone, be it that he has stuff, or that he's thoroughly capable of building anything.

maybe he should loan some of that confidence to this guy, his one-time pupil (nobody remembers that Iron Spider suit anymore huh?)

seriously. its only in this book that he's not a lovable loser. lovable, but never a loser. once he's on his own, he's like the unluckiest dude in New York City.

question: do they really have to make Thor lift a huge piece of machinery (that apparently has a computer terminal where Spidey's doing some web surfing - hah!) just to show that he can lift tons? apparently, they bribed him with some pizza.

and take note: when Noh-Varr completes his thingamadoo (mere minutes after above panel), it works on its own without that thing that Thor is lifting, or whatever Tony was building. in just six panels. so basically what we're seeing here is Tony is doing something completely unrelated to their magic timeline viewer, and Thor is just lifting stuff to impress someone.

you mean this pony? no, thanks.

ok, so they find their kids timeline, and now they need a way to get to them. but they're interrupted twice. first by an old friend, who somehow lost his mullet, when he smashed into the Tower (any Avengers abode is liable to be damaged or destroyed every 17 minutes - so that one dollar Avengers mansion? Tony's laughing the last at the potential cost of periodic repairs once their rogues gallery start targeting Luke and company).

why is Simon talking like he's never been friends with any of them? is this another characterization assassination, much like when everyone turned into blood-hungry turds during Civil War?

oh, and the second interruption's looking like an Apocalypse with his Horsemen from some alternate future. they keep theorizing Kang may have broken time, and it will be broken everywhere, and this event certainly is some kind of evidence of that. but shouldn't things just disintegrate into chaos rapidly if this were so?

apparently, there's a side mission first before they even get to the future to confront their kids (think of all the Bendisian dialogue that's gonna happen with the adult Avengers talking down to their young 'uns), and i'll bet that before all else is said and done they'll be teaming up against Kang and the Maestro Hulk (of course its always a Hulk). but i really wanna know what's up with Simon (Wanda? Wanda, is that you?).

goodbye, Roy Harper.

t'was nice knowing ya.

thanks a lot, James Robinson and J.T. Krul.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

snaps: Hulk #23

... where everything about the Red Hulk and General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross is revealed. so do you feel like a chump after Jeph Loeb just put you on that rollercoaster ride the last couple of years? do ya??

uhhhh ... that Rolling Stone guy just published your drunken comments, sir.

i guess we know which Friend he didn't like.

seriously?? everyone can just revive everyone now? why is this not being mass-marketed? this spells the death of insurance and big pharma!!!

and here i thought ignorance was bliss.

streaks on his face? i don't even wanna go there.

the Redeemer Armor: because Mysterio and Bob the Uranian just wasn't enough.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal was surprised at the reaction of the Obama Administration.


drive-by readings

Power Girl #13 (DC)
"...What A Difference A Day Makes"
Judd Winick
Sami Basri
Sunny Gho
John J. Hill

whatever the reasons for the departure of much-lauded creative team of Gray/Palmiotti/Conner, they will definitely be missed. but that's not a diss for Judd Winick, who takes over with issue 13. hey, its PG-13, should we be seeing some PG-13 stuff? haha you wish. Winick slightly nudges Power Girl in a less cheesier direction (and i like cheese, don't get me wrong), which is probably the logical thing to do here, as continuing in that vein will elicit unfavorable comparisons.

in one issue, we get Power Girl as far as where she is right now in the DCU - immensely enjoying her day job, the hunt for Max Lord, the forgetting of Max Lord - but the cost of playing superhero may be her company, because when money is involved, you better be on top of things.

Winick balances the flashbacks and neatly intersperses it with current events. i'm glad she's still mentoring Terra after all the crap they went through because of the Ultra Humanite.

Sami Basri's art, which am not really familiar art, is clean and simple. continuity issues aside, this book should be a draw to tweeners and the female comicbook reading demographic. the art itself helps out in this regard. sure, there's still some cheese, but it should not be enough to turn off discriminating readers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Taskmaster loves him some Agents!

shapely Agents of Marvel, that is!

listen, if Steve has Sharon, and Tony has/had Maria (well, pre-reboot), does that mean Victoria will have a fling with the Thunder God? can you say VICTHORIA?

and don't get me started with Nick and Daisy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

tweets after the fact

will be hitting Midtown Comics later for @brianmbendis, @mattfraction, @edbrubaker & @christosgage signing. #heavybackpack

OH SHIT!! @Agent_M Photo: Tonight’s event at @MidtownComics. I hear tell that lines are already forming.

thanks to @edbrubaker @brianmbendis and @mattfraction for the signings. props to @midtowncomics but book limit sucks.

i brought a lot of Bru books but only managed to get my Death of Capt America trade signed (special bec it already had Epting's & Perkin's).

i should've wangled Incognito as an additional book to be signed. didn't even get to joke about @edbrubaker's hat and Eisners. #grumpy

i should've wangled UXM Sisterhood trade as an additional book 2 be signed for @mattfraction. didn't even get 2 say congrats 4 his new baby.

but i got all my @brianmbendis books signed, God bless the man. but didn't even get to ask about the Marvel Avengers retreat.

come to think of it, i didn't get to yell "don't kill Bucky!!!" at @edbrubaker.

Miss Frost, if you're nasty

so when do we get the alternate cover where Jean Grey is about to be bit by a Wolverine?

what would Bruce Lee say??

oh yeah, he's dead. what does he care?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

the weekly hits

Birds of Prey #2 (DC)
Gail Simone/Ed Benes/Adriana Melo/Mariah Benes/Nei Ruffino/Steve Wands
what we learned: someone has successfully set up the reunited Birds, particularly Black Canary, to be fugitives from the law.
holy shit moment: Black Canary and the Huntress throw down on the White Canary, but she barely flinches. also, isn't it weird to have infamous macho Hank Hall standing with the sexy birds - considering Hall is just Guy Gardner with super-strength minus a power ring?
what's next: who's this White Canary? don't tell me someone kidnapped Sin, force-grew her to adulthood and brainwashed her to hate Dinah. also, Oracle apparently realized someone out-nerded her (is it Calculator? nope, he's just been asskicked in the pages of Batgirl, depending on the shipping schedule), and now will debug the program. girl po-wahh!!

avatar of peace and hotness! ay caramba!

The Boys #43 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Garth Ennis/Darick Robertson/Richard P. Clark/Simon Bowland/Tony Aviña
what we learned: things get finally sorted out as Mother's Milk gets in the Butcher's face, and Wee Hughie pays a bit o' a price for defending Superduper against Malchemical (who's apparently not as resilient as Metamorpho)
holy shit moment: what would happen if Mother's Milk and Butcher went at it? schism!
what's next: Homelander's up to something. and hey, when is everyone going to find out about Hughie and Annie?

Executive Assistant Iris #5 (Aspen)
David Wohl/Brad Foxhoven/Eduardo Francisco/Alex Lei/John Starr/Josh Reed
what we learned: love exacts a high price, if you're in the business of killing people.
holy shit moment: Iris thinks she can still have her cake and eat it too, but too late.
what's next: beware a woman's wrath, especially if said woman can kill you without breaking a sweat in a heartbeat.

New Avengers #1 (Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis/Stuart Immonen/Wade Von Grawbadger/Laura Martin/Chris Eliopoulos
Basically, a catch-all book for the rest of the Avengers who are not on the main "Big Guns" team. and more likely it will be a team-up book with non-Avengers as well. Bendis dialogue is dead on as usual. putting Victoria Hand as their coordinator/liaison is sure to ratchet up tensions, especially with Jessica Jones. hell, Hand is a lot easier to the eye than Henry Gyrich and Duane Freeman.

Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #1 (America's Best Comics/Wildstorm/DC)
Peter Hogan/Chris Sprouse/Karl Story/Todd Klein/Carrie Strachan
aaaaaaaaaaaaaand he's back. and fighting in a timeline hijacked by Nazis. well, not exactly Nazis. Aryan Supremacists. led by his son, Albrecht. and you thought your life was bad.

Incredible Hulk #610 (Marvel)
Greg Pak/Paul Pelletier/Danny Miki/Frank D'Armata/Simon Bowland (covers: John Romita Jr./Klaus Janson/Dean White)
you know its always attention-grabbing when the Hulk slams down for a groundbreaking appearance. yes, you heard what i said. The. Hulk.

Brightest Day #4 (DC)
Geoff Johns/Peter Tomasi/Ivan Reis/Ardian Syaf/Scott Clark/Oclair Albert/Vicente Cifuentes/David Beaty/Peter Steigerwald/John Starr/Rob Clark Jr. (covers: Finch/Scott Williams/Steigerwald, Reis/Chuck Pires)
what we learned: ummm, Hawkpersons are not in Peru anymore. Deadman is more interesting dead, and something is taking the water out of people and places. or maybe its just Firestorm.
holy shit moment: umm, splash pages with Dove and some Mera-like babe with a water sword?
what's next: i'm barely with this series, only because i want to see the inevitable clash between Aquaman and Black Manta.

Shayera/Kendra will not cut it in Last Comic Standing.

New Mutants #14 (Marvel)
Zeb Wells/Ibraim Roberson/Lan Medina/Nathan Fox/Brian Reber/Matt Milla/Jose Villarubia/Joe Caramagna (covers: Adi Granov/David Finch/Matt Banning/Peter Steigerwald)
what we learned: conveniently, we have Legion on rehab/standby, and with a nifty machine that can project any one of his mutant personalities at will (they have all this fancy gadgetry but they have to depend on the outside world for food. go figure.). meanwhile, X-Force is making headway in shutting down Nimrod Central. also
holy shit moment: not sure if i've seen it before but Colossus having his arm broken? yeeeech.
what's next: Magneto is about to join the fray. finally!!!! (and i hope Hope does too.)

take, this broken arm, and learn to punch again, learn to swing so free.

Crossed: Family Values #2 (Avatar Press)
David Lapham/Javier Barreno/Julien Huggonard-Bert/DigiKore Studios (covers: Jacen Burrows/Paul Duffield/Michael DiPascale/JuanMar)
what we learned: the Pratts have relocated and rebuilt their community in Montana, but its only the winter that separates them from the Crossed.
holy shit moment: how many do you want? the Mormon bishops reduced to their basic instincts? the studying of a Crossed specimen? or that Daddy Pratt is still up to his old ways?
what's next: the inspiration is The Walking Dead, but David Lapham has taken Garth Ennis' horrifying concept of zombies with id gone wild and ran with it. what would Addy do now that it seems like there is no lesser evil?

snaps: Incredible Hulk #610

... where Bruce Banner saves the world again, right before he destroys it. peace will never be in his vocabulary. also, goodbye, Leo?

oh, isn't that father-daughter thing creepy?

Amadeus Cho vs Modok for Biggest Egghead of 2010!!!

always the same mistake: too many dramatics, not enough action. boooooooo!!!

yes, you can also buy it in the Apple App Store for $4.99.

oh, now you want to do something worthwhile??