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It's Avengers Day, but I’m going to start off with a confession - I wasn’t too interested in the Avengers from my first impressions. I’ve typically been drawn to the underdogs, thus the X-Men or Doom Patrol or whatnot, so the bright, government approved and packed with tier-one powerhouses Avengers just didn’t grab me. Yeah, I know that there have been iterations that haven’t been partnered with the government, or haven’t had major league players, but I wasn’t familiar with them when I began reading comics in 1990.

One of the first Avengers stories I’ve read, though, retains its place as one of my favorites, and proved why the Avengers fully deserve to be called “Earth's mightiest heroes." I'm thinking of the climax of the Korvac Saga, Avengers 176 or 177. I had picked up the trade paperback collection because the Guardians of the Galaxy guest starred in the storyline, and I'm sticking with blaming their 1990s series with getting me into superhero comics, and Marvel in particular.

The Korvac Saga has a couple of points that raised it above my expectations. Firstly, the villain isn't an idiot. He'd gained ultimate power, and then concentrated on hiding himself to give him time to acclimate to the powers. Secondly, the villain wasn't evil. Arrogant, yes, but like most of the best written villains, he had some good intentions. Actually, in a reversal of the typical story trope, he became more mellow and nicer as his power increased. I'm not saying he was a friendly kitten, but by the end he was a far cry from the angry, power hungry cyborg that he'd started out as. Thirdly, all the little adventures the team had had the Korvac subplot developed had nothing whatsoever to do with him. He wasn't fiendishly manipulating them every step of the way, which is how most of these sorts of stories go. Hell, they were beneath his notice. The climatic confrontation of the story wasn't the result of intricate plans on either side. No, instead the heroes pretty much stumbled upon him as he was hiding out in suburbia... and then carnage ensued.

This was a pretty powerful group of Avengers, featuring not only the big three (Cap, Thor, Iron Man), but also Vision, Wonder Man, Hercules, Beast, Ms. Marvel, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and more. Still, even their combined power was vastly outclassed by their opponent, Michael Korvac. Korvac slaughtered them in mere moments in the kind of one-sided battle rarely seen. If he hadn't been taken by surprise, and if he'd had more of a chance to acclimate to his powers, there probably wouldn't even have been a fight. But as the Avengers pressed in he struck back in the only way he knew from his harsh life, with death. And they did die. The big, shiny, so-powerful-it's-not-fair heroes actually lost.

But they went down fighting. And that was what saved them. Despite the fact that they had no hope of winning and were seeing their allies and friends easily struck down, they remained dedicated to fighting for freedom from Korvac's fascist rule. Witnessing their unwavering determination, and the growing horror in his lover's mind towards his violent acts, Korvac killed himself and resurrected all that he had slain. So the heroes did win, they won by example. That's what defines a hero, and it's what defines the Avengers to me.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Which Green Lantern is Batman's favorite GL?  Which Flash?

To segue, I'm really enjoying Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  A lot of the Timm-era shows worked hard to make the silver-age DC villains make sense and seem imposing within a modern context.  B&tB's lighter tone lets them look as cheese-tastic as they were meant to be.  Also it throws out plenty of great references to elseworlds stories.  Jeff Bennet is an awful Joker though.
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you liked Exiles prior to Claremont, well, ruining it, then do yourself a favor and pick up the new series. Jeff Parker nails the mood of the original series by Judd Winnick with a brilliant mix of humor and serious danger.

I'm not a fan of the cover by Bullock, but the art inside by Salvador Espin is much better and also reminds me of the old stuff.
 
 
 
 
 
 
A couple of mainstream comic-based DVDs have come out lately, and though I purchased them immediately I have failed to report on them. That is fixed now.


Hulk vs.
It contains two short movies, one is around 45 minutes and the other around an hour. The stories are Hulk vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs. Thor. Neither one, though, is really much of a Hulk story due to the co-starring character garnering most of the story.

First off, Hulk vs. Wolverine is the better of the two, not slowing down for a moment as it earns its PG-13 rating in spades with the most brutal animation I've seen in an American piece since Heavy Metal 2000. It also features an extended sequence beautifully ripped from the pages of Barry Windsor-Smith's glorious Weapon X graphic novel. And for all that it will please fans of Wolverine, and not appeal to people that aren't, Deadpool steals every single scene he's in with brilliantly hilarious dialog and line readings as well as wonderfully frenetic animation. The price of the set was paid for with the glory of Deadpool, because, as the writers/producers wisely said, there's no way the joyfully sadistic madness of Deadpool could ever be done justice in animation done for television. Overall, the character designs by Jeff Matsuda worked perfectly and the voice acting was all top notch. 

Hulk vs. Thor is, well, so-so. It was worth watching for the refreshingly serious take on Loki. I was expecting a high pitched voice somewhere between Skeletor and Snidely Whiplash, but was instead treated to a voice quite evilly Kevin Kline in tone. It was also nice to see the Warriors Three in action (they've been a favorite of mine since the X-Men's Asgardian Wars saga), but overall it was missing something. And that something was a sense of peril. Dude, it's Hulk versus a bunch of gods, are you really worried about anyone in this equation?

The 2-disc edition has a lot of making-of pieces, interviews with the crew and voice actors, and a bit on Jack Kirby that are well worth checking out.


Wonder Woman
Kerri Russell did a better job voicing the Amazon princess than I expected, but I wouldn't have picked this DVD up if it hadn't been for Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor and Alfred Molina as Ares. And Nathan Fillion made me love it. Really and truly, the man got a deliciously amusing role with line after line that had me laughing out loud. Sure, they would have been amusing said by anyone, but Nathan made them, well, wonderful. He's dreamy.

I don't know if current WW scribe Gail Simone was responsible for all of the comic gems, but it was nice to see her as part of the project. The animation was mostly good, with a few moments of greatness, while the voice acting was consistently well done. The 2-disc edition has some good featurettes, including ones on the creation of Wonder Woman as well as Wonder Woman throughout the years. Worth the extra price for the comic book nerd.


Punisher War Zone
I liked the second Punisher film from a few years back, but it wasn't perfect. I really like Thomas Jane as the Punisher; I liked the way he acted and moved, and I loved his voice. He was the perfect representation of the Ennis and Dillon version of the Punisher. I also loved the housemates, seeing as they were taken directly from Ennis and Dillon's glorious Welcome Back, Frank series. But the movie took far too long to get through his origin - PWZ does it in a still flashback and a 20-second recap of one character telling another. The TJ Punisher film also went so far with what happened to Castle's family that it could skew audience members to root for him, which isn't the point. You're supposed to see him as having gone off the deep end; if that isn't communicated, then it is failing. The film also suffered from an overlong and over-complicated payback scheme. The real Punisher knows that when he kills people they are going to hell so there's no point in torturing them here; his typical m.o. is to just slaughter everyone between him and his target, and then take out his main target without a second thought.

Additionally, John Travolta sucked as much as he typically does.

Punisher War Zone fixed all the problems of the previous film, but also got rid of most of the intentional humor. Dash Mihok provides a vast majority of the intentional humor with his portrayal of Detective Soap, another character from the Ennis and Dillon run. I'm not saying the movie wasn't funny, I'm simply specifying "intentional humor" because I wasn't sure that I was supposed to be laughing at a vast amount of what left me laughing. The violence was so absurd it reminded me of some sort of bizarre amalgamation of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead, the Dirty Harry genre of ass-kicking loners, and The Three Stooges. Chew on that for a moment. Punisher may take a hit and keep on ticking, but almost everyone else pops like an overripe melon smashed by Gallagher.

Meanwhile, consider that if the TJ Punisher was the Ennis and Dillon Punisher, then his one goes back to the eighties and nineties Punisher with the ultra tight-lipped, ultra bad-ass, kill 'em all style featured in the comics by Carl Potts, Chuck Dixon, and Steven Grant. His first kill is only seven minutes into the movie but his first word isn't spoken for almost another ten. On top of that, the bulked upped, padded-for-battle costume worn by Ray Stevenson is straight from the pages of Punisher: Year One (a great but often over-looked tale by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Dale Eaglesham), and his slicked-back black hair and prominent widow's peak make him look exactly like the original illustrations by John Romita Sr and Ross Andru.

Stevenson's portrayal of an unstoppable mass murder is a believable one, this man looks and acts like he could kill anyone. Seriously, anyone. Even Robot Nixon. Becca didn't buy his emotional moments with the young girl in the movie, but it got me, who's familiar with the softer side of Frank Castle, hook, line and sinker. Still, his tough-guy deadpanned lines like "Sometimes I'd like to get my hands on God," are priceless pieces of movie cheese.

Dominic West's portrayal of Jigsaw is as over-the-top as any comic book villain put on film, but he was outshone by Doug Hutchison's performance as Jigsaw's brother, Loony Bin Jim. LBJ is an original character for the film, a cannibalistic psychopath that quite literally bounces off the walls. You may remember him as Tooms from a pair of classic X-Files episodes, and he's just as creepily crazy here. It would have been nice to see Jigsaw and LBJ play off each other with different forms of insanity, but the inclusion of LBJ in the story did help give Jigsaw moments of vulnerability that the character wouldn't have shown to anyone other than his dear brother.  

Good movie? Hell no. This isn't winning any awards whatsoever. But it is a good time and heavily true to the source material of a decade past.

Don't bother with the single disc version, its only features are that it includes both the widescreen and fullscreen versions, as well as the theatrical trailer. The 2-disc version may be hard to find (I had to hit two Best Buys on the day it came out to score a copy), but it features thirty-some minutes of behind the scenes footage, most of which is pretty good, and a director's commentary. Admittedly, I haven't listened to the commentary yet. There was some controversy between the director and the studio, so it could be pretty good... or it could be a boring wankfest like the vast majority of commentaries.
 
 
 
 
 
 


We need more artists!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Got a few comic fandoms in here for ya.

{3}American McGee's Alice
{15}Angel Sanctuary
{4}The Dark Knight
{9} Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

Tease
3} 17} 22} 28}

(Follow the caffeine jets...)

Don't forget to credit!
x-posted around
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hey, as a new member I'm saying hi and I have a question; are comic-related graphics allowed for posting? I make icons from time to time and was wondering if I could post them here.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Hi, if you're interested in drawing comics, please check out my livejournal comic jam community here:
http://community.livejournal.com/longestcomic/
The rules are simple. Post at least one panel and at most three, adding to the current storyline.

Thanks for reading.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sometimes I'm truly embarrassed to be a Marvel Comics reader.

Case in point... the tackiest costumes ever created!
Tacky costumes

No, those aren't fan-made costumes, I give a lot of slack to fan-made costumes because that's putting some effort in. (Besides, it's fairly obvious these women aren't fans.)

No, these are officially licensed costumes, soon for sale wherever you find slutwear.

Marvel is all proud, but I can't do anything but shake my head at the fact that these are skimpier and less realistic than the ones in the comics.

Plus, they also denied all nerd-cred by going for the recognizable hero names instead of the female characters that the costumes are in some cases obviously based upon.

Let's look again...
Tacky costumes
1. Emma Frost. The top is based on her current costume, but the mini-skirt takes it down to streetwalker level. (Yes, Emma has worn worse than this, specifically during Grant Morrison's run, but the current costume has pants.)
2. Spider-Man. Really, Spider-MAN? What little there is there looks more like Spider-Girl's outfit. Sure, she has her own series as the daughter of Spider-Man, but I guess they figured they'd jump for a known name instead of making sense.
3. Spider-Man's black costume. Again, if Marvel wanted to at least pretend they weren't sell-out whores they should have called this one Spider-Woman or Arachne.
4. Captain America? What? Why? What? Huh? Ow! Brain hurts. Sure, she's kind of obscure, but they still could have said it was American Dream (see below) instead of confusing straight men everywhere.
5. Finally, Black Cat. Where's the catsuit? She supposed to wear a goddamn catsuit! Instead, this is the little black dress that couldn't, and what it couldn't do was keep her hoo-hah covered. Why the hell does it curve up to the side? What it up with that cut?

I won't even go off at this point about the sad fact that the models are all blondes and look like they've been mass produced.

Links -
Marvel's glowingly overblown coverage features lots of pictures and, for more horror, a video. Four out of five of the models are barely awake, while the fifth one (Black Cat) acts like she's used some recreational pharmaceuticals. http://marvel.com/news/comicstories.4409.SDCC_%7Eapos%7E08%7Ecolon%7E_Marvel_Fashion_Show_Recap

And a less biased view of the "event."
http://io9.com/5032255/marvel-brings-con-good-taste-to-standstill-with-fashion-show

Since she's more than a tad obscure, here's a pic of American Dream (yes, the name is lame) -
American_Dream_Shannon_Carter
 
 
 
 
 
 
Have you read Mighty Avengers #15 and New Avengers #42 yet?

No? Come back when you haveCollapse )
(Continuing on without spoilers...)
The truth is, I think, that Bendis is just doing too much.

He got on my nerves a little with some total BS in Avengers: The Illuminati. Most of those issues worked well, but the Infinity War issue and the Secret Wars II issues just flatly contradict way too much stuff that went since. I get the impression that his only familiarity with the two events was through the main series and he didn't bother to do any further check. I can overlook minor flubs, but when somebody is contradicting an entire series (Warlock and the Infinity Watch) then they're off base.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Hulk. Incredible Hulk. There’re some back issues I want to get.

In the late 200s of volume one Banner’s mind became dominant in the Hulk, he was pardoned for the acts of the Hulk, and he proudly fought beside the respected heroes. But Banner’s fear of the beast within, helped along by some nocturnal prodding from Nightmare, led to the emergence of an inarticulate monster that can truly be called The Savage Hulk. This unstoppable engine of destruction took on everybody in the pages of Incredible Hulk #300, and the Earth was only saved by Dr. Strange transporting the Hulk to “The Crossroads of Infinity.” I want The Banner Hulk stories, but have to determine where that starts, through to what I have, which is Hulk’s return to Earth in the 314.

Over the years, the Hulk has gone through numerous personality changes.

In the sixties he was what I refer to as The Thug Hulk. This version spoke about himself in the first person and had the nasty, short-tempered mean streak of a Mafia leg-breaker. He could sometimes be goaded into doing good, but not always. His main concern was with self-preservation, stupid humans be damned. Sure, he was a founding member of The Avengers, but by the third issue his was actively battling against them.

As the sixties wore on into the seventies, the Hulk’s mind slowly devolved into The Child Hulk. This is probably the most well known and longest existing version, the one that just wanted to be left alone but when angered would throw a tantrum and yell “Hulk smash!” That’s right, this is the one that spoke about himself in the third person, declared the Hulk to be the strongest one there is, was easily misled by anyone that told him they were a friend, and loved baked beans. Don’t ask. Suffice it to say that this version was not only a founding and long-standing member of the Defenders, he was the version that the television show was based upon (albeit they made him even less articulate) which is why he is the most well known Hulk there is.

The Child Hulk was eventually replaced by the aforementioned Banner Hulk in the mid-80s, which is not to be confused with The Smart Hulk, aka The Professor. The Banner Hulk, quite simply, was the Hulk with Banner’s brain. Simple as that, folks.

Then there was The Savage Hulk. People often refer to The Child Hulk as The Savage Hulk, but they are quite different. The child may throw violent tantrums, but in the end he was looking for a place to belong. The savage hated everybody and everything. Add to that the fact that The Savage Hulk couldn’t even string two words together and you see that this is a different monster.

Banner was separated from the Hulk in an effort to save him, which didn’t do anything to improve the creature’s disposition, and resulted mainly in threatening to kill both of them. When Banner and the Hulk were re-integrated a new Hulk emerged… a Hulk that looked more like the first one… The Gray Hulk, aka Mr. Fixit. (The Hulk was gray in his first appearance, but the printers had trouble keeping the color consistent so he was changed to green in the second issue without any in-story explanation.) Mr. Fixit harkened back to The Thug Hulk, but he was smarter, craftier, and more willing to work with people. He actually worked for a time as a bodyguard for a Las Vegas casino owner. Not only was he smaller and weaker than any of the previous incarnations of the Hulk, but his transformations were dictated by the rising and setting of the sun as opposed to Banner’s stress level. Mr. Fixit loved the night life.

Eventually their mind started to fragment with Banner, Mr. Fixit, and The Child Hulk all fighting for control. Doc Samson, psychiatrist of the super-hero set, tried to integrate them all into a single personality. It was later revealed that the personalities didn’t actually merge, just that Samson found a previously unknown version and brought it to the top. This version was the main Hulk of the 90s, The Smart Hulk, aka The Professor. The Smart Hulk was not, as some people have thought, the Hulk with Banner’s brain. The Smart Hulk had Banner’s intelligence, but he also had The Gray Hulk’s craftiness and The Child Hulk’s enthusiasm. The Smart Hulk reveled in what he could do. He was as at home planning with the eggheads as he was pounding things with his fists, or even using advanced weapons to blast enemies from a distance. This was a Hulk of many means that didn’t show the temerity of Banner, the callousness of Mr. Fixit, or the mental limitations of The Child. He loved what he could do and was the Hulk 100% of the time. That is, until he met the Maestro.

The Maestro is a future version of the Hulk. Even more specifically, a future version of The Smart Hulk, that was strong enough, smart enough, and insane enough to kill off all the other super-powered beings on Earth and take over. After meeting the Maestro, The Smart Hulk began to constantly question his motivations and emotions. This eventually led him to fear his anger so much that upon being enraged he would transform into The Savage Banner. That’s right, The Savage Hulk’s mind in the body of puny Banner. Unfortunately he wasn’t smart enough to realize that he wasn’t as strong as he used to be and suffered a bad head injury. This injury carried over when he transformed back into the Hulk, and The Smart Hulk grew increasingly paranoid, delusional, and moody. He was well on his way to actually becoming the Maestro when The Onslaught Incident occurred and Banner was again separated from the Hulk.

While Banner was off in the Heroes Reborn Universe (an essay from the past), the Hulk left in the Marvel Universe was pretty much a less talkative version of The Thug Hulk. He preferred to speak through actions, and was smart enough to plan ahead (he saved an island from flooding only to keep the populace their as insurance against a wholesale military attack against him). Like the previous time, he eventually started dying due to being separated from Banner.

Banner returned in time and they remerged, but the Hulk remained essentially the same while continuing to battle with Banner for control.

Aside - It’s difficult to know which Hulk it was during Bruce Jones’ run as he was more concerned with his intricately complex plots than he was with the Hulk’s personality. Much of the time Banner was in control, even accessing the Hulk’s strength while still in Banner-form, but from time to time The Savage Hulk, or perhaps just an enraged version of The Thug Hulk or The Child Hulk, emerged.

Some of the other versions have popped up, even including The Professor and Mr. Fixit, but for a majority of the time, even through Planet Hulk and World War Hulk, he’s been the new, less talkative version of The Thug Hulk. Just because he’s big, strong, and quiet don’t mistake him for The Savage Hulk or The Child Hulk. There is a lot going on behind this Hulk’s eyes, but he prefers to speak with action. He will speak, and can speak in complete sentences if motivated to, but he’d more often rather make the point with his fists. He can plan, though, and come at challenges from angles other than straight on, which is something neither the Child nor the Savage could do. And he’s also got an advantage over Mr. Fixit and the Professor. Mr. Fixit was limited in his strength while the Professor feared loosing control, but this Hulk can get enraged, and continue in a rage that boosts his strength to impossible levels because, as the saying goes, “the madder Hulk gets, the strong Hulk gets.” This Hulk is one scary badass.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iron Man is one of my least favorite of the early sixties Marvel heroes because he lacked easily discernable motivation (Ant-Man suffers the same problem). I'll admit that Iron Man is the only early sixties Marvel hero whose actual first appearance I have not read, but recall how often characters' origins were retold in the early days and you'll know how unimportant that is.

I know his origin. He was injured by shrapnel from a Stark industries built landmine while in Vietnam. He was then captured by the Communists and forced to build weapons for them while his health was attended to by another captive. Lo and behold he tricks his captors by building the first version of the Iron Man suit and kicking their asses.

Fine, cool, that makes sense. What doesn't make so much sense is why he kept putting the suit on and battling assorted villains. Was it just the thrill of it?

Spider-Man had dead uncle guilt issues. Daredevil was trying to prove himself to his dead father. Dr Strange was atoning for a life of selfishness. The X-Men were about mutant rights, while the Hulk was simply trying to survive. Thor was typically battling threats from Asgard, but then again, did he need much more motivation to fight than being a viking war god? And the Fantastic Four, well, they were (and continue to be) kind of like the gang in Scooby-Doo. Reed's all inventing stuff or investigating stuff while the others tag along because he's the only one that actually brings in any money.

(Then there's Ant-Man. "Look, I can turn small. I'll become a super-hero!" Yeah, Ant-Man confuses me more than Iron Man. Iron Man's just missing clear motivation. Ant-Man was suicidal.)

Stan Lee admitted that he created Iron Man as a challenge. Martin Goodman said that the only reason the Marvel comics were selling so well was because they were these wild, anti-establishment figures that appealed to the kids. In response Stan introduced, during a time of rebellion and strong anti-war sentiment, a character that was not only part of the establishment, but also part of the military industrial complex. I'm thinking the fact that the true origin of the character was to spite Stan's boss probably has something to do with his paperthin motivations. (If you press me, I'll pull out the book and quote directly from it, I just don't feel like it right now.)

Over the years, layers of complexity have been added to the character, including bouts with alcoholism, anger over his technology being stolen and used by others, and guilt over weapons he designed being used against innocent people. When his origin is retold in the comics today he was now in the Middle East when he was injured, and his captors were terrorists. Oh, and he wasn't really interested in all that military money, he was interested in the other applications he could come up with while keeping the military happy and the funding flowing.

But that's the comics. Let's talk about the movie.

Spectacular.

Lots of slam-bang action, a good helping of humor, and a very, very satisfying amount of character development. Tony Stark is an arrogant jackass. He is at the start of the movie, and he is at the end of the movie. (Robert Downey Jr. has the charisma to make him likable despite this.) The difference between the beginning and end, though, is how his world-view changes and the sense of responsibility that he gains. He changes in a very believable way. If he became a selfless saint no one would buy it. Anyway, that's Dr. Strange's bag. No, Tony changes the way a real person changes when they have to deal with the consequences of their actions. And what makes him a hero is that he does deal with, he doesn't just bury his head in a fog of alcohol and women.

I'm about character, first and foremost, and being true to the original. This is more than that. This is a Tony Stark that has motivation, and is therefore one I can understand and get behind. This is an unheard of case where the movie is actually better than the comic. (Chill out, you Iron Fans, I'm still comparing it to the earliest comics. Don't whip out Demon In A Bottle until they actually confront his alcoholism in the movies.)

The effects are awesome, the acting by Downey and Jeff Bridges is just wonderful to behold, and the whole movie is beautifully filmed. The only negative things I can come up with are that Gwyneth Paltrow was only so-so as Pepper Potts (no big deal) and the score was kinda over-the-top at times (then again, what big Hollywood action movie doesn't have an over-the-top score?).

So, yeah, if you haven't seen it yet you should check it out. Especially before you see Incredible Hulk... which is where Tony Stark shows up next. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Here's a painting of the Thing that I bought recently from a local art gallery.

The Thing

Larger version under the cut.Collapse )
 
 
 
 
 
 
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 - Continuing off of issue 24 of Astonishing X-Men, this super-sized finale to Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s run suffered the same issue as Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do by Kevin Smith. Invariably, and I try not to do it but can’t help myself, the longer I have to wait for something the more my expectations increase. 

Take, for instance, the fact that this story began with Astonishing X-Men #19 that is dated February 2007. That’s not a typo. 2007. They took a year and a half to get out seven issues. What makes it even worse is that the span of time told in these seven issues is only a couple of days, tops. They took a year and a half to tell a fairly brief adventure. 

Add to that we knew something had happened to Kitty since it was alluded to months ago in the other X-Men series. 

So it’s taken forever to come out, we already had a hint of the ending, and even without those negatives it’s just an overall fairly weak finale on its own merits with a significant plot point left unexplained. 

Sorry, Joss, I don’t know what happened, but this is not one of your shining moments. 

Oh, and John really needs lessons on how to draw the Thing. Usually my opinion is that John can do no wrong, but his Thing is as wrong as wrong gets. 

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 makes me a sad panda.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 A couple of recent releases that should not be missed.

ABRAMS
M – A hardcover collection of the classic 1990 painted miniseries by Jon J Muth (Moonshadow, Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown, Sandman: The Wake) that was an adaptation of the classic 1931 film. The film itself was a precursor to all later police procedural, serial killer, and murder-mystery tales of the twentieth century, while the miniseries was an inspiration to countless artists including Alex Ross. Beautiful and brilliant. 

DARK HORSE COMICS
Empowered volume 3 – The third book in Adam (Dirty Pair, Gen13, Iron Man: Hypervelocity) Warren’s graphic novel series about a perpetually disrobed and hog-tied heroine is the funniest thing to hit the shelves since the previous volume. 

DC
Justice League: The New Frontier Special – A fantastic one-shot with ties to a wonderful mini-series that was recently made into a very well done movie. If you’ve never partaken of the New Frontier then give this special a try. If you already know how great the New Frontier is, either through the video or the mini-series, then you should definitely pick this up. Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone, and David Bullock all turn in top notch fun that is worth multiple readings. 

MARVEL
Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death – Long title, fantastic tale. Of course it’s fantastic, Matt Fraction wrote it. Starring the Iron Fist of World War I, it solidifies the history of things in the Immortal Iron Fist series without any dependency on the reader being familiar with that series. Pick this up to give it a shot. 

Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11 #1-5 of 5 – I finally broke down and picked up the entire series, and boy was I glad I did. Hilariously written by Fred van Lente (Action Philosophers, Incredible Hercules) and beautifully illustrated by Francis Portela (Black Panther), the series is purely entertaining from start to finish. This is another brilliantly well-done usage of characters that have been languishing in comic limbo for a while, and that no one had missed, but now I’m hoping for more.

EVIL TWIN COMICS
Comic Book Comics #1 – The makers of Action Philosophers (and numerous other cool things) present a visual history of comic books. Guess what? It’s freakin’ cool. Fred Van Lente (Incredible Hercules, MODOK’s 11, and lots of Marvel Adventures titles) and Ryan Dunlavey only get from The Yellow Kid through to the coming of Jack Kirby in this first issue, but each page is an intellectually and visually interesting piece.

VILLARD BOOKS
Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 – Deceptively brilliant. The art, writing, and story all seem simple on first glance, but aren’t in the slightest. The tale of mice that act as scouts, trailblazers, and protectors may seem the realm of Disney, or worse, Saturday morning fodder, but this isn’t a tale for the young ones. The rats of NIMH may have had their hyper intelligence and pseudo mystical abilities, but the mice of Mouse Guard have guts, and aren’t afraid to use swords, spears, or axes to get the job done. David Petersen uses dialog sparingly, but the etching-invoking art carries the silences and communicates character excellently. The story itself, about a power-hungry traitor attempting to overthrow the established order and the return of a legendary hero, sounds like half the bad stories out there, but instead reads like the classic original that the others are pale imitations of. Buy this book. Now.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Like a bad comics' villain, I always show up out of the blue with no explanation of where I've been. MWAH-ha-ha-HAAH

Weekly Haul 1/16/08

Weekly Haul 1/23/08

Weekly Haul 1/30/08

Weekly Haul 2/6/08

And remember, folks, Brand New Day can drop dead. Thanks, Joe Q, for being an idiot, and saving me money.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some things end (Onslaught Reborn, 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen, Gene Simmons' Dominatrix, Transformers, Beast Wars: Ascending, and Daniel Way's run on Ghost Rider) but other things begin (Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness' new Hulk series and Mark Verheiden & John Bolton's Evil Dead adaptation).

All in all, a good week.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
I don't plan on buying JM Straczynski's The Twelve

Consider it a protest...

since he still hasn't finished Squadron Supreme.

Also, the concept was just done last year with Agents of Atlas. I'm much more interested in seeing more of them.

Anybody else have an opinion?

 
 
 
 
 
 
I keep getting behind in these. I'm sure you're heartbroken.

Ye olde Weekly Haul 12/12/07.

Then there's Weekly Haul 12/19/07.

Don't forget the pesky Weekly Haul of 12/28/07 (warning, contains a long winded, spoilering rant against the ending of One More Day.) 

And finally, the thankfully small Weekly Haul 1/4/08.



Plus, some other back-issue shite.

An order from Newkadia.com, I like them muchly. Find them at www.newkadia.com.

More back-issuey stuff.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well, shuck my corn and call me Wally, I haven't been around in quite a long time. 

Did you miss me? 

Really? 

I didn't hear any crying.

...

Where were we?

Right, Weekly Haul 11/7/07

Weekly Haul 11/14/07

Weekly Haul 11/21/07

Weekly Haul 11/28/07 - yes, it was a Thursday

Weekly Haul 12/5/07

and some back issue buying occurred as well

back issues 10/31/07

back issues 11/23/07

back issues 12/2/07

and th-th-th-that's all, folks.
 
 
 
 
 
 

"No, I'm asking him to choose between sex and Halo 3."

Weekly Haul for 10/24/07

Weekly Haul fo 10/31/07

And some backissue bought 10/20/07

Eat your heart out,

but don't go cryin' to yer momma, fanboy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 "This feels so wrong, and yet... so right!"
 
 
 
 
 
 
"What kind of doctor are you?"

"A Strange one."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, just so you know I still care...

Here's the Weekly Haul from 9/26/07.

And the Weekly Haul from 10/3/07.


Special ultra-bonus super treat: a review of Uncanny X-Men 205, just because I love you. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's time to make the donuts!