Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Ok here's a book that I thought I'd like but it turns out I love. The premise is that a group of heroes have a good thing going by having a contest to award the role of Gallant Girl to an up and coming young heroine.
The star of this book, is good enough to win the role BUT it tuns out that the winner of the contest is gonna do all the work and the actual Gallant Girls is gonna get the credit.
This generally sucks for our young heroine until the book's Batman like figure offers her the job of his sidekick, in order to stick it to the establishment.
It's clear that our heroine has the brains and talent to hold her own but she lacks a) experience and b) a group of media flacks who are gonna spin her story just the right way.
The style of the title is similar to a Michael Avon Oeming book and the allegories are all recognizable. My one issue is that I would have liked more of an introduction to the characters involved in this first issue but this is a minor complaint.
I really do like it and I can highly recommend it.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Now I don't know if DC intended it but they they have taken a character who was capable of vying for the award for DC's Most Tragic Character in Terra (the original) and passed her legacy on in a way that may result in a very cute Brave and the Bold style team up title.
If this is the case then I like it. This new Terra comes off as some sort of Geological Guardian who is just the poop when it comes to knowing what pisses off the under ground inhabitants of the world. She's like Aquaman for Dirt Dwellers.
So far we've seen guest appearances by both Dr. Mid-nite AND Power Girl. This is a score on two fronts for me.
I enjoy Amanda Connors art and have for years but I always feel like Palmiotti and Gray have a little something to show me over the long haul.
So far so entertaining and that's all we can ask.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Third Coast Comics - Diversions
Yes America, you can run a comic shop in a way that defies what we have learned about comics shops from the 70's to the Simpsons.
A week ago the Loyola Phoenix stopped by interviewed me. I did my best to communicate our mission without specifically calling out those who haven't really figured it out or the big boxes who sort of almost have it right. Opening a brink and Mortar may seem nuts to some folks I think we can turn out good stuff. The Loyola Community might think so soon after they have the Third Coast Comics Experience.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Shazam (Capt. Marvel)
Jimmy Palmiotti Dressed As Johnny Cage may be a hidden character.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Your result for The Supervillain Archetype Test...
Ambitious, Intelligent, Calculating
The Megalomaniac is the most prestigious of super-villain classes. If anyone is ever going to rule the world, it will probably be you.
Your main goal in life is power and domination, you have the tools to do it, and you know it. Megalomaniacs are intelligent and forceful, and they tend not to let their emotions cloud their judgment. Most of the time. They are usually found, or not found, working at the top of a huge structured organization, though many prefer to work by themselves.
The Megalomaniac has but one flaw, but its an invariably fatal one; arrogance. He knows that he can take over the world, and he isn't afraid to let you know, often elaborately and in great detail. They often do not foresee the fly in their ointment, because they do not want to admit that such a fly could exist.
Sample Megalomaniacs: Dr. Doom, Lex Luthor, Ras al'Ghul, Kang the Conqueror, Emperor Palpatine, Brain
Monday, August 11, 2008
I see who your "Enigma" is. He's Quizmaster, the anti-matter Riddler.
We've already seen the anti-matter Earth "revise" certain details to reflect DC-Earth. In your JLA run, Power Ring was "revised" from a white man to a black man to reflect John Stewart's membership in the League.
And since on DC-Earth, the Riddler is nominally a good guy these days, then Quizmaster must be a bad guy. And those burns on his face were no doubt caused by the Qwardian invasion.
Well played. Now let's have Gravedigger's grandson show up again.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Metamorpho, like the Doom Patrol and Ultra the Multi-Alien, was a response by some DC staffers to the surging popularity of Marvel's freak/monster heroes--The Thing, the Hulk, the X-Men, etc.
Most of the top brass at DC were a bit mystified by Marvel's early success. One editor--Mort Weisinger I believe--was heard to remark "I guess kids like ugly art these days."
But some forward-thinking guys at DC (Bob Haney, Bob Kanigher, Arnold Drake, and others) saw the appeal of the tragic, outsider heroes Marvel was coming up with, and attempted to work the same magic at DC.
You could say Rex Mason was the "Ben Grimm" of Silver Age DC. Running afoul of an artifact called the Orb of Ra, he was transformed into a misshapen freak with the power to change into any element. He has a troubled romantic interest in Sapphire Stagg, because (a) he's a freak; (b) Sapphire's dad, Simon Stagg, is a megalomaniac who hates Rex; and (c) Sapphire's dad's manservant is an unfrozen caveman who wants to kill Rex and take Sapphire for himself. OK, those might be the sort of tragic elements you might find in a Marvel comic. But we're putting a square peg into a round hole here, and I'll demonstrate why Metamorpho was never an A-lister among DC readers. His comics haven't been big sellers historically, and this issue--despite reuniting Metamorpho's original creative team of Bob (Teen Titans, Brave & the Bold) Haney and Ramona (Aquaman, Brenda Starr) Fradon--was no exception.
You know, originally, his power was to change into any element found in the human body, but it's a rule at DC that if you hang around long enough your power will probably increase exponentially. It's how Superman went from leaping tall buildings to pushing planets out of orbit and breaking the time barrier. It's how Wally West became the personification of velocity, Wonder Woman became Goddess of Truth, Billy Batson turned into a super-wizard, and Booster Gold became guardian of the timelines. It's what DC does.
OK, see that? Right there, Metamorpho is a pansy by the standards of Marvel heroes. He can just put a mask on! Can Ben Grimm just put a mask on? No, because he weighs like a ton and he's as wide as an SUV. Nightcrawler had a holographic image inducer, but he used it once in a blue moon. Nightcrawler ain't got nothing to hide. Put a mask on Rex Mason and bam, he blends into society. When trouble strikes, he pulls it off and assumes his secret identity of The Element Man. You know, just like damn near every other DC hero.
Side note: Are you thinking Sapphire tends to say, "Rex, honey, let's do it with the mask on."
OK, what the hell's this plot? Some ghostly Frenchman is wrecking historical landmarks in Washington DC. He's Dr. Destinee, but no relation to the JLA villain Dr. Destiny, who predates this story. During the War of 1812 he approached President James Madison with a mysterious "chemical warfare" device he found back when Napoleon invaded Egypt. Um, yeah.
When the Brits burned Washington DC, Destinee was killed, but his ghost haunts the city still. He's attacking national monuments in order to distract the authorities so he can retrieve the device from its hiding place. The authorities have been pretty much powerless to stop him, so concocting an intricate plan to distract them suggests a penchant for plot-padding worthy of a Scooby-Doo villain.
Anyhoo, in a mad chase for clues that will probably be ripped off for the plot of National Treasure 3, Rex and Destinee intercept each other at the secret hiding place only to find that Simon Stagg has beaten them to the device and is going to use it to...steal the gold out of Fort Knox?
I just want to point out that Metamorpho NEVER bothers to arrest Simon Stagg and take him to jail, EVEN when he does something like, oh I don't know, melting all the gold in Fort Knox.
Dude. This isn't like the post-Crisis dynamic between Superman and Lex Luthor. Simon Stagg doesn't even bother hiding the fact that he does dangerously illegal things on a monthly basis. I mean, this seems to suggest that wealthy people are above the law or something, and we all know that's not true.
Anyways, Destinee and the device are apparently destroyed in the pool of boiling gold, and Metamorpho explodes his way out by turning into flammable gas. The end.
So where is he now?: Since this story, Metamorpho joined Batman & the Outsiders, died, came back, joined the Justice League, had a kid, died, came back, accidentally duplicated himself, and joined Batman & the Outsiders again. That may seem like a large number of deaths, but I'm told that in an upcoming issue of JLA Red Tornado will die in every third panel.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This is the reason why heros give their sidekicks masks and should be hangin out with normal folks. You'd never see Robin doiing this shit even for the cheap yuks.
You know why? Because Robin, as soon as he got the mask, would understand that if he ever came face to face with Uncle Adolf, he's supposed to knock him the fuck out.
Jimmy Olsen on the other hand? He lost his damn mind the second Superman gave out his cell phone number. Now you can find Jimmy off on Alien Worlds, turning into turtle people or wearing the Satanic Helmet of Hate or some other nonsense all the damn time!
Even Speedy just went and shot heroin. He didn't try to sell the shit. THAT would be a Jimmy move.
"Hey Superman's not around...I think I'll hang out with these fellows over here from the wrong side of the tracks and sell blow! Wait til Lois gets a load a me!"
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
For those of you who hated Spidey3, you now have Spidey4 to look forward to.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Spider-Man producer Laura Ziskin told an audience of theater owners that the fourth installment of Spider-Man’s celluloid adventures is tentatively scheduled to debut in May of 2011. The first three Spider-Man movies currently rank as the top three comic book adaptations in terms of domestic box office success, and the three films have taken in over $2.5 billion worldwide in theatrical showings.
Ziskin told the assembled California and Nevada theater owners that Sony Pictures did not yet have a finished screenplay for the fourth Spidey saga, but writers are working on the project and she is hopeful that things will fall into place. Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi have not been signed for the film, but Sony Pictures “has paid Marvel to renew its rights” to the character.
The Spider-Man movie franchise has clearly been so successful that Sony isn’t going to walk away from it, but mounting a fourth film presents a lot difficulties and could be a very expensive proposition, especially in terms of personnel both in front of and behind the camera. Aside from money the key to reuniting the hugely successful Spider-Man team is a good script--after first indicating that he was walking away from the franchise after Spider-Man 3, Tobey Maguire has said that he could be tempted to return if there was a great script.
If things do fall into place for Spider-Man 4, a May 2011 date could still be dicey since that is the month picked by Marvel Studios for the release of its Captain America movie (see “Iron Man Sequel in 2010”). While there is no guarantee that either film will ready for a May, 2011—if they are, it could result in a very interesting game of debut date “chicken.”
Now I don't know what's left after having Venom and Sandman shoe horned into part 3 so you'd better get ready for both a huge dose of creeping gigantism as Spiderman fights Mysterio, the Lizard, The Rhino, TheVulture and the Chameleon all at the same time.
He'll do it while dating the Black Cat, driving the Spidermobile, wearing the Spider Armor and solving the mystery of his clone, Ben Reilly, played by one of the guys from the Office.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Now this is what any self respecting terroristic arms dealer needs to be wearing. Any man dressed like this can probably make the hell out of a HISS tank or those swank one man helicopter jobs.
Christopher Eccleston, I'm lookin at you!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
1. Um, yeah, that guy? Not exactly giving off a "Destro" vibe.
2. Heavy Duty? HEAVY DUTY?! Are you kidding me? I'm going to ask the same question kids across America asked when the character of Heavy Duty debuted back in 1991:
WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO ROADBLOCK?
For those unfamiliar with the G.I. Joe roster, the post of heavy machine gun expert was filled by two enormous black men with shaved heads. You could tell them apart because Roadblock was the one with a personality and an interesting backstory and tremendous popularity among the fans, and Heavy Duty had NOTHING.
Never mind the uproar over rumors of the downplaying of the Joes' American-ness, the "international strike force headquartered in Switzerland" angle, and the casting of Marlon Wayans in an action movie. You sumbitches picked Heavy Duty over Roadblock, and I ain't havin' it.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Feel it damn you!
If I hear one more complaint, the gloves come right off!
Monday, May 5, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Behold, The Green Team! Second-to-last gasp of the "kid gang" genre. Joe Simon, along with Jack Kirby, had pretty much created the "kid gang" comic what with The Newsboy Legion, the Boy Commandos, Young Allies, and so on. Ol' Joe went back to the well one last time, and like every other comic made during Simon's triumphant return to DC, it was a mind-buggering disaster. Meet THE GREEN TEAM, won't we?
First up is Commodore Murphy (left), shipping tycoon who, when we meet him, is about to purchase the town of ROCKMUCH, Oregon. In his defense, I do admit that "Rockmuch" is a frickin' AWESOME name for a town, and despite having a population of 2, it should be in the forefront of the DC Universe's fictional cities. Wouldn't you like to live in ROCKMUCH? People could ask you, "So, where you from?" and you could say, "ROCKMUCH!" Puzzled, they'd respond, "ROCKMUCH?" and you'd say "EVERY DAMN DAY, MOTHERF*CKER!" Yeah.
I seem to have drifted from the point. Er, next we have J.P. Houston (center), the oil magnate. His job was (1) being token hick and (2) caring more about adventure than oil. Ideally, we should all care more about adventure than oil, but nobody's invented a car that runs on adventure. I bet J.P. does have a car like that, but he's hiding it from the world, the selfish bastard. YOU'RE why we're in the Middle East, J.P.--you and your damned adventu-car.
Third in line is Cecil Sunbeam (right), FABulously effeminate child prodigy Hollywood director. I like to imagine Uwe Boll before his balls dropped. Not to visualize Cecil Sunbeam, mind you; it's just a mental image I like to go to sometimes.
It's the fourth member, however, who's the true star of the show. This being 70s DC, they needed to make some attempt at social relevance and then fail utterly (see also, every DC comic published circa 1970-1979). Meet Abdul Smith (wait for it), an African-American (wait for it) SHOESHINE BOY on Wall Street. Thanks to a computer error at his bank, the $5 in his account became $500,000 overnight. He quickly invested it and more than doubled his money by the time the bank caught on--thus making the million dollars required for membership in The Green Team.
Boss screamin' in my ear about who I'm supposed to be
Getcha a 3-piece Wall Street smile and son you'll look just like me
I said "Hey man, there's something that you oughta know.
I tell ya Park Avenue leads to Skid Row."
Ah, Sebastian Bach, you make me feel young again. Where was I? Oh yes, Abdul Smith. Just imagine what Grant Morrison would do with this treasure. He'd have a metahuman gene for making money! Wealth as a superpower! Code name: Bankroll(tm)! Who's been funding Cave Carson, the Sea Devils, the Challengers, Rip Hunter, and S.T.A.R. Labs? Now you know!
Anyway. The plot of this comic, such as it was, involved something called The Great American Pleasure Machine.
Yeah. The jokes pretty much write themselves from here on in, don't they? I don't even need to be here. Um, some bad guy tries to sabotage the G.A.P. Machine, thus depriving the 70s of much-needed happiness. But the Green Team saves the day, and guess how!
THEY THREW MONEY AT THE PROBLEM. So...many...jokes...fighting to get out...But let's pause a mo' to take a closer look at the Green Team super uniforms, which needed their own text page:
To sum up, their secret weapon: POCKETS. Deep, deep pockets.
Amazingly, if it hadn't been for the DC Implosion, two more issues of The Green Team were waiting in inventory AND WOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED. You dodged a bullet there, Planet Earth. High five.
So where are they now?: The GT was last seen during Karl Kesel's run in the Superman titles, funding a youth center in Metropolis' Suicide Slum.
A few chapters from now, we'll witness Jack Kirby killing off the kid gang genre for good. But next time, a beloved Silver Age character's comeback fails in the pages of FIS...get used to it, 'cause that kind of happened a lot.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
James Robinson knows. I know. And after this, so will you.
Hello and welcome to the 13 Days of D.C.F.I.S.-mas! Where we'll be dissecting DC First Issue Special.
You could say F.I.S. was the 1970s answer to Showcase. Or you could say it was Bizarro-Showcase. Whereas Showcase brought us the first appearances of the Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern, the Metal Men, Adam Strange, the Challengers, Enemy Ace, Bat Lash, and many other classic DC characters, First Issue Special gave us one character that was actually popular and a lot of one-hit wonders that only people like James Robinson or Gail Simone remember.
"Sounds like a flimsy premise to milk for 13 posts," you say.
"Bite me," I say. Let's begin with the guy pictured above? Who is he? Hercules in a hijab? Samson in a scarf? Conan in a keffiyeh?
It's ATLAS! No, not the titan Atlas from Wonder Woman. No, not the Atlas who puts the first "A" in "SHAZAM." Not Charles Atlas, who can make a man out of YOU (and who can sue you for creating Flex Mentallo). This is the other other other other Atlas. Is he legend or man? Man or monster? Floor wax or dessert topping?
Sword & sorcery is not a genre Jack Kirby really touched, apart from a few pin-ups in Marvel's Conan comics. This comic is Exhibit A of why he didn't do Sword & Sorcery. The King was not really firing on all cylinders here.. It's a pretty pedestrian story of vengeance seeking hero, evil overlord, weaselly sidekick, etc. What is notable about it is how accurately Kirby was able to predict the plot of the Schwarzenegger/Milius film "Conan the Barbarian" nearly a decade before it came out:
You can probably piece together the rest. The boy grows up into an impossibly muscled barbarian, swears to bring down a reptilian cult, befriends a wizened annoying old guy, etc. etc.:
If there had been a next issue, we would almost certainly have seen Atlas tied to the Tree of Woe and go on to kill several mighty warriors with Wile E. Coyote traps. CROM!
OK so where is he now?:Well, apart from some tantalizing cameos in "hypertime" when Karl Kesel was writing Superboy, and standing in the background of Kingdom Come (yeah, him and like 900 others), we never saw much of old Atlas. But James Robinson's bringing him back, just like he dredged up long-forgotten characters like Stalker or the Blue Starman.
But that's another story.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Hi Jim! I think you're doing a sworvel job on this Legion of Super-Heroes bandsnee. Just really really flipple. Couldn't be more gronked.
There's just one florging thing.
Can ya tone down the fabbed-up lizzingo? I totally grilk that sometimes pranning some krindled color can establish a worzle, you know, make you really varg that you're in the 31st hoontz. And bandsnee has a fron tradition of it, from "drokk," to "feldercarb," to "sprock."
Unhooberantly, when you infrant a made-up vroz in every florging panel, it's sometimes inplisigent to frim-fram wovenheim what you're prizzling, ya grilk?
So in cranpludle, if we could just get a fnit less of the pseudo-quonchy future-teen plabblegap, I think we'd all mack-a-rinnie mone vowtie pazzotle, and vip spaw naddle bip kreessly. Frimps!
Oh and "Troob Vrix the Leeble!"
Thursday, March 6, 2008
YES!!! It's happening folks and while it won't be perfect, you'd have to be a curmudgeon like Banana Oil to not love these images and how things are going.
This pics are from Director Zach Snyder's blog.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Stan Lee Collaborating on Manga With 'Shaman King' Creator
March 04, 2008
According to the Muhyojo Website (via Anime News Network), Spider-Man and X-Men co-creator Stan Lee is collaborating on a new project for Shueisha with Shaman King creator Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King is published in the U.S. by Viz Media).
Together they are creating an as yet unnamed story that will help to launch Shueisha's Jump Sq. II (Jump Square Second), which debuts in Japan on April 18th.
Jump Sq.II is a spin-off of the Jump Square manga anthology -- and the announcement of the Lee/Takei collaboration was made in the April issue of Jump Square, which was released on March 4th in Japan. While there have been manga adaptations of both Spider-Man and X-Men, this is the first time that Stan Lee has worked directly with a Japanese collaborator, though the exact nature of the collaboration is not known at this time.Ok, this is something
I'm very curious about this. We've seen the Stan Lee take on DC heroes before and that, by many accounts, was a train wreck. This can either be very cool or just too strange to properly and honestly critique.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
For those of you who really like to believe that there was no Episode 1-3 (I count myself and there was no Episode 6 either), here is a project you can get behind.
I hadn't heard anyone complaining about the Animated Clone Wars series and we all know that Jesus won't let people jack up epic cartoon anymore so this has to be a good thing.
Of course if it sucks then it means that Jesus took a day off because he's all wrapped up in Watchmen movie drama.
You guys better start prayin...
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown and some pretty strange Defenders stories are what the man leaves behind. If you were a geek reading Marvel Comicsa in the 70's then you couldn't have gotten by without Steve Gerber.
There hasn't been a decent batch of villains with mix matched heads since...
For those of you who, like Alan Moore, are terrified at the prospect of a Watchmen movie (although for the life of me, I can't figure out why the hell he even cares), Santa may have gotten your letter.
Fox wants it so bad they are willing to go to court for the right to spend 15 Million dollars and be hated by every comic book fan born after 1964 but before 1983.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Here's the press release:
This March YOUNGBLOOD's Joe Casey and rising star Chris Burnham dig deep into the hidden super-villain underbelly of Los Angeles this March in the 120-page graphic novel, NIXON'S PALS."The 'Nixon' in NIXON'S PALS is Nixon Cooper, parole officer to Los Angeles' ever growing super-villain scene," said writer Joe Casey. "This is hard boiled storytelling, basically putting a superpowered spin on what I love in crime fiction by writers like Elmore Leonard and Jim Thompson."Casey is not comparing NIXON'S PALS to Leonard's work lightly. The world of NIXON'S PALS is far from bright, with Burnham bringing a refreshingly unique twist on the conventional grim and gritty super tale.Burnham said, "Not only is Joe the type of writer who lets an artist run free, but NIXON'S PALS is exactly the type of comics I love to draw. It's an insane romp, filled with giant furnance robots, sentient breasts, and a ton of really vile bastards. It's fun for the whole family!"NIXON'S PALS (JAN082057), a 120-page black and white graphic novel for $12.99, will be in stores March 26th, 2008.
Here's a link too with would give you about 5 pages of Chris Burnham's art too.