Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Terry Moore is Back

And boy is my wife happy...

He's basically doing a new series called Echo, Mary Jane Loves Spiderman or something for Marvel and Runaways, besides.

Essentially, the Spiderman thing will matter to my wife but I'm wondering how long it will take before she realizes that Peter Parker's life has ALWAYS been a SiP level soap opera but that she is now forcing her self to read about it by just because Terry Moore is delivering the goods.

It's like being forced to have to watch WWE programming just because Ira Glass has become a writer on Smackdown.

She should like Runaways. There is no reason not to like it even before Terry Moore comes on board. It's got little girls with super strength, space aliens of indistinct gender, magic involving blood and, a telepathic Dinosaur.

You people should be all about it just because i wrote that.

I got no idea what Echo is all about BUT if that book is late, I'll probably be raked over the coals bad enough to make me travel to Texas to hand Terry Moore that ass whupping I wanted to give him that year at Wizard World Chicago when my wife and a friend of hers stood in line while Terry Moore signed every damn comic in some dudes short box and talked to some woman for like an hour, who happened to have many life affirming moments while perusing the pages of SiP.

Honestly, Moore could have broken sooooo many ethical tenets if he'd just gone into counseling comics geeks instead drawing comics.

Not that I want him to change vocations. I just want him to approach his current one with regards to what my wife goes through when he slacks. I don not want to hear all about the rigors of making comics either. Those damn brits can jam out the ultra violent magi-porn at the drop of a fucking hat just to make sammich money when the muse is preventing them from giving us issues of Fell or Planetary.

Yeah Ellis, I'm looking at you, so why can't Moore, just so Wifey doesn't think i've instructed Diamond to hold up shipments of the book until keith Giffen returns to the Legion of Superheroes?

At any rate, fans of Terry Moore can rejoice...HUZZAH!!! The King is Returned to f'n Gondor but if he takes a break to find himself, I will bust the ass of whichever fan stands in my wife's way as I turn her loose on him at Wizard World.

You can also just read all about it here as opposed to hearing me rant about Terry Moore all week...

The Venture Brothers

OK, the only reason I am making this post is as a public service announcement to all of you who make have totally slept on the Venture Brothers show.
This show is the shit and if you like Jonny Quest back in the day (as opposed to whatever they were doing in the 90's) you'll f'n love this shit.
Unless you have a problem...
Seriously Brock Samson is a true cartoon bad ass, the likes of which have not been seen since Sgt. Slaughter beat the crap outta that guy with the wings in GI Joe: the Movie.
Dean and Hank Venture are Idiots. Really. Just...Idiots but they bring the funny.
The best stuff is actually almost anything surrounding Dr. Thaddeus Venture, from his financial status to his less than stellar past.
I love the villains too. The Monarch may have some sort of contractual obligation to appear in every third episode but each appearance is better than the last and you will find your self cheering for Dr. Girlfriend...but you will also wince at her voice.
Or netflix it or something. Just do it. Then go and watch more Linda Carter...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Next Up: Wonder Woman

We bought Season 1 of ABC's Wonder Woman show. Was it as camp as we remember? Was Lynda Carter as hot as we remember? Was Lyle Waggoner? Find out with us!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Moon Knight Reloaded: Counterpoint

Part 3 of 3: Under the Hood

Regarding Moon Knight #13: KUDOS to Charlie Huston for not only illustrating the "Old Testament" attitude we were speaking of earlier, but also for seeming to back up my next point.

Denny O'Neil, who wrote Batman in the 60s and edited Batman in the 80s, famously declared that Batman disguised himself as Bruce Wayne, not the other way around. He also said lots of other rubbish like Batman is impotent and he never caught his parents' killer, but that's an outraged rant for another day.

As Batman has Millionaire Bruce Wayne (and on occasion, Matches Malone), so Moon Knight has Millionaire Steven Grant and Jake Lockley (and Marc Spector, and Khonshu, and in the Ultimate Universe, a little girl with no eyeballs). Pretty much the primary way writers express the "Moon Knight is CRAZY" concept is by emphasizing his many identities.

Um...yeah. What say we leave the multiple-personality shtick to Bruce Banner, ok?

So who's really under the hood, Mr. Moon Knight? Jake Lockley?

You can't fool us. That's just how you pose as your own stoolie to the get the word on the streets. Steven Grant?

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Nah. That's how you infiltrate high society and finance your operations. Are you the Avatar of Khonshu?

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Nice try. You'd have to be an idiot to fall for that one. But are you Marc Spector, ruthless mercenary and killer?

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I submit that Marc Spector was dead inside long before he started wearing a cape. I submit there is nobody under the hood. And that may be even scarier.

A man who has no sense of self at all. Every face he shows is a tool, a step to carry on his mission. He is unknowable, because there is nothing there to know. He's a blank slate; only the mission of vengeance matters. I find this direction intriguing. However, it requires the supporting cast to carry the emotional load. Fortunately we have Frenchie and Marlene, and perhaps Doc's idea of "The Moon Knight Family" has a use after all. I say if you're going that way, the answer is move him into the realm of The Shadow rather than Batman. The earliest days of The Shadow, mind you, not the radio bastardization--back when he was an unknowable force operating behind the scenes, as his agents wondered just who that manipulative bastard was who gave them their marching orders and saved them from certain death.

Well, readers? What's your counterpoint? Who is this Moon Knight, and why has he endured this long?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moon Knight Reloaded: Counterpoint

Part 2 of 3: How do you solve a problem like the Moon Knight?

Villains. Moon Knight. This is an uphill climb. Still, Daredevil had pretty much nothing in the way of bad guys until Frank Miller stole Kingpin & Punisher away from Spidey and threw in a couple of hardcore assassins. What then can we steal for Moon Knight, who spent a lot of his career fighting a mercenary, a bunch of corrupt businessmen, and a werewolf?

Let's free associate. Moon...Knight...wolves howl at the moon...phases of the moon...moon sign, Sun sign, rising sign...knight to queen's bishop 4...Egypt...disguises...false faces...vengeance. Hmmm.

A vigilante who dealt vengeance on "criminals" with intense random violence. He was a crazy man, who only appeared during a full moon. He was...a LUNATIK.

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But that was just one face, one phase, of a more complicated man. Another face was a suave sophisticated fellow, Harrison Turk.
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But his true self was the evil wizard king Arisen Tyrk, arch-enemy of...the Man-Wolf.

Not bad for a start. We can do better. In Moon Knight's first solo story in Marvel Premiere, he fought the lame-ass "Conquer-Lord" (less said about him the better), who put him in a chessboard deathtrap. Let's remove everything from that last sentence except "chessboard." We can steal a page from Alpha Flight (who'd notice?) and bring in...the BRASS BISHOP and his CHESS SET.

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Oh dear. They're a little TOO "Batman" don't you think? King Coal?! Overknight?! Its a wonder they didn't have a guy named Pawn Cocktail. We are getting closer though. It's nice to have MK go against a group, have him outnumbered, make him the underdog. Yes...a team. Ya know, for a guy who isn't supposed to play well with others, he did manage to be on two super-teams. First a cup of coffee with the Defenders. Then a brief stint with the West Coast Avengers.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHey that's weird. He was on both teams just long enough to fight ZODIAC.

A-ha. now we're getting closer. Corrupt businessmen criminals, colorful outfits, ruled by the movements of the Sun and Moon. Now, all we need is someone to lead them. The world doesn't need another robot double of Nick Fury's brother though.

Fortunately, I have found another candidate. A real mastermind. Cruel and sadistic. Likes disguises. Always looking for vengeance on the world that created him. And best of all he looks like a GOD DAMN WEREWOLF.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

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Man-Beast, or Super-Beast. The Bastard Son of Wundagore Mountain. Evolution gone wrong. Tough enough to go mano a mano with Thor and Adam Warlock. Smart enough to create an army of animal-men (say...aren't most of the Zodiac animals?). His first words were "I live...AND I HATE!"

But why lead the Zodiac? Why not? Look at this guy's history. Put all of his insane plans together and you've got a guy whose sole motivation is f*cking with people for the hell of it. He fancies himself the modern-day Satan (back when Warlock was the Counter-Earth Jesus). He disguised himself as the Hate-Monger for a whole year in the 70s, and why?! BECAUSE HE COULD. Don't believe me?

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Ok, I admit it. My number one reason is still that he's a FRICKIN' WOLF MAN. Wolf man + Moon Knight = GOLD. You can't argue with science, folks.

Oh and what's that Egyptian deity with the head of a dog? Oh yeah, that's right: SET the Lord of Evil.

PS: Just to have some more Egyptian trappings around, steal OZYMANDIAS away from the X-Books.

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Cheers. In part 3 we look at Moon Knight's "multiple personality" shtick and see if it's worth saving.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Moon Knight Reloaded: Counterpoint

Part 1 of 3: "Bite Me, Doc"

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Adding more Batman trappings to Moon Knight? Is he gonna be a parody character forever?

There is one thing Doc and I are agreed on: Moon Knight is Old Testament. From Marc Spector's rabbinical dad to Khonshu the Egyptian god of vengeance, Moon Knight is all about an eye for an eye. This is how he can stand apart from the other street-level Marvels wandering New York City. He doesn't need colorful bank robbers, Spider-Man has that covered. He shouldn't be beating up mobsters, that's daredevil's job. Playing bodyguard for cash? There's at least 5 guys who've done the "Hero for Hire" bit. And the Punisher took all the guns.

Let the punishment fit the crime. With Moon Knight, killers get killed. Thieves have something precious taken from them. Combined with his crazy reputation, all the other Marvel heroes think he's that dude from "SAW."

That said, wreaking Mikado-like vengeance on petty criminals will get boring after a while. So this m.o. is just in the background. What epic battles should a Moon Knight have?

Quick, name as many Moon Knight villains as you can in 10 seconds.

Time's up. Right now you're amazed MK was ever popular. He's got fewer quality bad guys than Daredevil! He's gotten by for decades on a COLD look and Batman's gimmicks.

What are the building blocks of his rogue's gallery? In the next installment, we look into the past to find themes for the future...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Moon Knight Reloaded: The Moon Knight Family

Ok so me and Thad were talking and as often happens, a character comes up who we feel could use some working over. As usual Thad and I were of 2 diffent minds of how to do it so we are presenting our ideas here.
Here's Mine, The Moon Knight Family.

Moon Knight was basically created to be Marvel's Batman and I think there is nothing wrong with that. I just want to carry the idea as far as possible. He has the cool look but no real personality. He's Marvel's resident crazy guy. Like...all those other crazy guys...

I think he needs a stable of guys to help him on his mission and give him life. The same way Batman is energied by Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, Catwoman and Oracle.

He already has Alfred in the form of Frenchie and a slew of cool gadgets like the Moon Copter.

He needs a Nightwing and a Robin. I nominate Silver Sable and Darkhark.

He's had dealings with both and Sable proved her skills by being able to capture the Moon Knight once and setting him up to stand trial in some banana republic or some crap. Everyone likes Darkhawk too and I can't tell you why. He flies, throws stuff and has a funky amulet and a cool helmet. I think he reminds me of that masked rider guy from Team America (the comic, not the movie).

At this point he needs a Batgirl but I'm going away from the theme slightly by using the Ethos of Moon Knight himself. The instrument of the Egyptian God of vengeance needs a mummy but Marvel is lacking in decent mummies these days soooo, I'm giving him this guy:

Yes, it's Frankenstein's Monster and yes, he is choking out Iron Man. Good enough for me...
After that all the man needs is to fall in love with the absolute wrong kind of girl and he's done except for his villains which I'll let Thad suggest.
Here's the wrong kinda girl though:
He needs Sabra as a bad girl pal and I'll post some semi relevant stuff about her from the Marvel site, leaving out a bunch of stuff about her joining all this mutant stuff. She was much more interesting in Union Jack's limeted series.
Ruth Bat-Seraph is an Israeli national who, along with her family, was taken to
a special community by the Israeli government when her genetic mutation
manifested. Bat-Seraph was subsequently studied and eventually became a member
of the Mossad's Super-Agent program. A highly trained special operative and
police officer, which became her cover identity, Bat-Seraph has since lost her
first-born son in a Palestinian terrorist bombing.
I give you all the Moon Knight Family!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

EW Spotlights 'Black Dossier'

October 16, 2007
The Entertainment Weekly Website includes a four-page preview of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier ($29.99), which Wildstorm will release on November 14th, and which promises to be one of the best-selling graphic novels of the fourth quarter (if not the entire year).

EW's Jeff Jensen puts the new graphic novel in the proper perspective with his first sentence: "Long before it became known for being a terrifically crappy movie starring Sean Connery, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a terrifically acclaimed comic book franchise created by one of the medium's most revered scribes: Alan Moore, the British writer behind Watchmen and V for Vendetta."

Jensen lays out the basic conceit of the LOEG series ("the entire genre of Victorian fantasy fiction treated as if it were a cohesive world akin to the Marvel superhero universe"), summarizes the plotlines of the first two books in the series, and then provides some insights into the somewhat obscure literary references (for Americans) included in the full color four-page Black Dossier excerpt ("the Greyfriars School is a nod to a series of popular mid-century stories about a British schoolboy named Billy Bunter"), though he doesn't mention the more obvious allusion to Richard Hannay and The 39 Steps (John Buchan's novel that was made into a hugely popular Hitchcock film in 1935).

All quibbles aside, Jensen provides an excellent introduction to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novels, which should interest additional readers in what is already one of the most popular graphic novel series in the marketplace today.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Top 10 Heroes in Hats - #7 - Uncle Sam

Now I don't know how many of you realize it but one of the best things to
come out of DC and the Infinite Drama was a new version of the Freedom Fighters,
led once again by Uncle Sam. This new version of the Freedom Fighters are
updated versions of the old Golden Age team only this time there are other
updated versions of GA characters added like the Red Bee, Firebrand and Miss

They beat ass and here's what you need to know.

I copied this stuff from wikipedia to save time.

The earliest version of the Freedom Fighters was assembled on December
, 1941. This
group, however, failed in its attempt to stop the devastation at Pearl
. Neon the Unknown and Magno were
killed. This version of the group was a retcon and their deaths were
depicted in
the pages of Roy Thomas's two books
chronicling that era: All-Star Squadron and
the Young All-Stars.
I know this doesn't sound like ass beating but it had to happen and
everyone has to start somewhere.

The DC version of the characters were said to reside on the parallel
of "Earth-X," where Nazi Germany eventually won
a prolonged World War II due to a Japanese Empire invasion
of California and successful
Nazi nuclear weapon development (which implies that the successful Allied attack on Peenemunde
never happened in this world).

Since the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Freedom Fighters have been based on the main DC Universe Earth, and were all members of the All-Star Squadron.

A fourth, more modern version of the team appeared as an auxiliary
of the new Justice Society of America. The Human Bomb, Black Condor and Phantom Lady were killed by
the Secret Society of Super Villains in Infinite Crisis #1. Damage was
critically injured, Iron Munro was not there for some reason, and the Ray was captured by the Psycho-Pirate, and connected to Alexander Luthor's dimension-altering tower.

Current team

A new team of heroes debuted in the limited series Crisis Aftermath: The
Battle for Bl├╝dhaven, and later featured as Freedom Fighters members in the
miniseries Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, which premiered in July 2006.
This team consists of new incarnations of the Phantom Lady, the Ray (Stan
Silver), the Human Bomb, Doll Man, Bigfoot, Destroyer and Face.

It is part of S.H.A.D.E.,
a secret American government agency chartered under the USA
, led by Father Time.

The new team conducts assassinations and other illegal acts against criminal
and terrorist organizations.

As issue #1 of Uncle Sam and the Freedom
Fighters begins, the team is tasked to capture the revived Uncle Sam, who is
in the process of forming his own Freedom Fighters team; Sam subsequently
recuits the S.H.A.D.E. members to his cause, openly disapproving of their
use of deadly force (although they continue to kill people even under Uncle
Sam's guidance). [1]

This version of the team is based on notes by Grant Morrison. Uncle Sam is
portrayed as an almost Christ-like figure, returning from the dead, with the
new Firebrand filling a John the Baptist role.

Father Time is shown as aiding in Senator Frank Knight's being secretly
murdered in the midst of his successful campaign for the Presidency of the
U.S. and replaced by a sentient robot double, Gonzo the Mechanical Bastard, who proceeds with an agenda to implant RFID chips in every U.S. citizen by law and control them to bring chaos to the world through war.

In Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3, a team created by Father Time
called First Strike
attacked the Freedom Fighters but not before being stopped by the new Black

It is worth noting that this Black Condor is essentially a flying, head busting version of almost any character played by actor Danny Trejo. He does not fuck around. He is not the weak little float around the skiy version of the Black Condor previously seen in DC Comics.

In #4, Condor manages to weaken First Strike long enough for the Freedom
Fighters to fight back. Human Bomb kills one First Strike's members,
Propaganda, and the team heads back to S.H.A.D.E. headquarters.

In #7, The Freedom Fighters face off against the Cosmigods as Uncle Sam calls
them. In the midst of the battle the traitorous Ray is confronted by the
returning Ray Terrill. As predicted Gonzo turns on the newly rejuvenated
Father Time, who proceeds to give Uncle Sam the evidence of to prove Gonzo's
true identity. Sam presents the evidence to the world, and seemingly the
final battle between First Strike and the Freedom Fighters begins.

In #8, The Freedom Fighters engage in battle against Gonzo's metahuman
taskforce at the Washington Monument, and quickly gain support from the
civilians. The public eye are now seeing them as real heroes, which was
later revealed to be part of Father Time's plan all along.

OK, feel free to call bullshit here. I know I did. It read more like the writer really wanted to keep Father Time available as a back ground DC guy but it was a swerve worthy of Vince Russo.

He tricked Gonzo into believing that S.H.A.D.E was against Uncle Sam, while
in truth he was preparing the Freedom Fighters to help combat a major threat
in the future. Father Time captures Gonzo and turns him into an 'Orphan Box'
in the shape of a pair of spectacles. He plan to use it against Gonzo's
creator, the Shadow Demons. All of the metahuman taskforce members disappear
into the timestream along with Father Time shortly thereafter. A week later,
the new President appoints the Freedom Fighters the new directors of

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Top 10 Heroes in Hats - #8 - The Question!

Oh like you thought it'd be anyone different. It had to be the Question.
Just look at the guy, he has a faceless mask, rumpled coat gloves and a suit you could be buried in.
You have to repect him. He doesn't really have powers but the version of him that appeared in Justice League Unlimited was priceless for it's conspiracy theory nut job personality.
In DC continuity, this version of the questions is no longer with us but it's comics so he'll be back soon enough.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Ok, we can jump for joy at this next bit of news. I know I'm excited and this guy isn't even listed in my Top 10 heroes who wear hats either.

Here's the story from Newsarama...

The graphic novel collection of author Frank Beddor’s Hatter M (with art by Ben Templesmith) goes on sale in just a few days (9/26), and Newsarama has a first look at the trailer. Click on this link or on the cover image to open (or right-click either to download) the Quicktime clip. And if you’re not yet familiar with the world of Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars, following is some information provided by the publisher…

”In geo-graphic novel #1 Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan searches our world in a mad quest to find the lost Princess Alyss of Wonderland. Meticulously assembled by the true believers of the Hatter M Institute for Paranormal Travel this collector’s edition hardback illustrated with the realm jumping art of Ben Templesmith will contain a multitude of mind boggling ephemera and extras including concept art illustrating Templesmith’s creative process. As you turn the pages of Hatter’s first adventure take heart in the knowledge that the world is much stranger than fiction.”The publisher also provided this more detailed synopsis…

”Put to rest any delusions or disinformation you may have of the tea guzzling madman of faux literary history and prepare to expand your consciousness as the saga of Hatter Madigan and his relentless search for the lost Princess of Wonderland unfolds on these pages.“In Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan was ordered by Queen Genevieve to take Princess Alyss and leave Wonderland after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd. But while escaping through the Pool of Tears (the portal connecting Wonderland to our world), crushing centrifugal force pulled them apart and Alyss was lost. In this geographic parallel adventure, Hatter finds himself in Paris, France in the year 1859 shockingly separated from the child he had been sworn to protect.

“Unbeknownst to Hatter, Alyss had exited a puddle in London, England. Lost and alone, she was befriended by an aspiring author to whom she told the surreal, violent, heartbreaking story of her young life only to see it published as the nonsensical children’s fairytale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But Carroll had got it all wrong. He even misspelled her name! Alyss had trusted Lewis Carroll to tell the truth so that Hatter would find her and bring her home. Instead, Hatter must endure a non-stop quest, crisscrossing the globe for 13 years in search of the lost Princess.

While formidable with blades, a moment must be taken to introduce his signature weapon, the Hat. Woven and blocked from a material not available in any realm except the origins of wonder, the Hat, when hurled by his expert hand, instantly unfolds into a circle of blades to attack or defend. “The mad odyssey begins here…”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Top 10 Heroes in Hats - #9 - Zatanna

OK, I'm not sure I buy Zatanna as a hat wearing super chick mostly because of all the years I read her adventures with the JLA where she had that strange lobster hair clip.
Essentially she's hear now because of her huge resurrgence as the hard luck sorceress of late from DC's Indentity Crisis and Seven Soldiers series.
She also has the benefit of having a power that is both visually interesting and annoying as hell at the same time. She speaks her spells backwards. I'm also willing to say that she's generally sort of distracting in a...Power Girl sort of way. Between her and Black Canary, there wasn't a pair of fishnets in the DCU that wasn't already accounted for. They must have cost $40 a pair.
She comes from a magical family as well. Zatara, her father taught her the whole backwards speak schtick and she has a cousin, Zachary Zatara who is a snot nosed punk who once joined the Titans off screen and then annoyed the piss out of them.

JLA MOVIE: News we can use!!!

September 20, 2007
Variety is reporting that director George Miller (Mad Max) will helm a big screen live action Justice League of America film, which Warner Bros. is projecting as the studio's 'tentpole' offering for 2009. Casting has already begun for the film, which will likely be shot in Australia, and which Warners is anxious to get in the can before potential strikes that could cripple production next summer. The production of a JLA movie means that Bryan Singer's Superman sequel will be pushed back (Singer is currently busy filming Valkyrie with Tom Cruise in Germany).

According to Variety the JLA movie "will likely feature Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Aquaman," but it is unlikely that Christian Bale and Brandon Routh will appear as Batman and Superman in the new JLA movie. The live action, special effects-laden JLA project is still not a sure thing since according to Variety Batman helmer Christopher Nolan wants it delayed, and with so many superhero roles to fill the project, which is based on script by Kieran and Michael Mulroney, is so very complicated and casting-dependent that, according to Variety, "even those deeply involved in the project are holding their breath until production begins."

However Warner Bros. badly needs a major production to beef up its summer 2009 schedule and is excited about the screenplay, while Miller, who recently directed the $375 million hit Happy Feet, currently has plenty of mojo with the studio.
To all of this I will say good luck getting it off the ground, not because the cast is too big and cumbersome but rather because Christopher Nolan thinks it's too complicated. Someone should tell Nolan that Marvel just crapped out 3 X-Men films and 2 Fantastic Four films. Lets not think big or anything...

Manga hit Death Note to Adult Swim!

September 21, 2007
The Cartoon Network's late night Adult Swim block has confirmed via a message on its discussion boards that Viz Media's Death Note anime series will debut on Adult Swim on Saturday night, October 20th at midnight (ET, PT).

Adult Swim's Saturday night lineup, which follows the Cartoon Network's Toonami block, is the prime venue for anime on American TV. Typically a series like Death Note will appear on the once-a-week Saturday slot before (potentially) moving to a nightly rotation on Adult Swim.

Viz Media is planning on releasing the first Death Note DVD a month later on November 20th, in both a standard edition ($24.98) and an edition that comes with a limited edition figurine ($39.98), and the appearance of Death Note on Adult Swim should boost sales of the Death Note DVDs. The second volume of the Death Note anime series is due out on December 18th and subsequent volumes will be released on a monthly basis.

The Death Note manga, which finished its run with the publication of Volume 12 in July, remains extremely popular. The first volume in the series has sold over 35,000 copies in the bookstores so far in 2007, more than the initial volumes in any other manga series except Naruto and Bleach, an indication that the series is gaining new readers. The airing of the Death Note anime on Adult Swim (and Viz Pictures acquisition of the two live action Death Note movies, which will be released next summer, see "Viz Gets Death Note Live Action Features") should keep the Death Note manga in the top ten in sales through 2008

Monday, September 24, 2007

Top 10 Superheroes who wear hats - #10 - Texas Twister

Oh like you never wondered....

Coming in as strong as possible for the 10th best hero in a hat is...


Drew Daniels was rounding up stray cattle near the Reynolds Power Plant when a tornado touched down near the site's waste storage area. Daniels found himself in the path of the raging tornado and was soon swept up into it as it hit the power plant. Daniels was overcome by the nuclear winds and instinctively tried to escape and found that he was able to generate a tornado around himself and fly out of the nuclear tornado. Daniels decided to test his new found powers out by halting the nuclear tornado from doing any further damage and easily dissipated the storm. Now that he had powers, Daniel decided he was going to make something of himself instead of being a cattle handler, headed East to New York City to make his mark on the world.

Yes...this does indeed mean that the guy was involved in an accident involving a radioactive tornado. I'm sorry but that is just BRILLIANT!!! Read on...

While performing at a local rodeo show, the Texas Twister was enveloped in a glowing red energy field and teleported to a vast arena along with all other super-powered hero from every nation on Earth. They would soon learn that the cosmic gamesman known as Gamesmaster and Death were playing a game of life and death, and the heroes where chosen to be the pawns in the game. The Texas Twister watched helplessly as each side chose twelve heroes to use as pawns. As one of the many not chosen to be used, Texas Twister and the others remain behind in the arena and only watch. After the game was over, all the heroes were placed back where they were teleported from, finding that only an hour had elapsed. \

Yes, this also means that Texas Twister was like the "first alternate" in a battle between the guy who embodies xgames of chance throught the universe and DEATH! That means he has to be important. At least he was picked. Not everyone can be Jordan because someone has to be Will Perdue. What?


The powerful winds mixed with the radioactive material from the waste site and radiation from the power plant, caused Daniels to be infused with radioactive air molecules, giving him the ability to generate tornadoes at will. He can use his powers to propel him into the air, giving him the ability to fly or hover. His skin is denser than normal and prevent unwanted heat loss from wind-chill factor. His skin is harder than human and resists friction and airborne particle abrasion.


The Texas Twister is an expert horse rider, lasso thrower, and sharpshooter.

Say it with me...EXPERT - LASSO - THROWER

This guy is bad ass and I like him. In the movie about his life, the part of Texas Twister shall be played bt Sam Elliot

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Simpsons to get Clowes, Spiegelman and Moore

This may be the episode that makes be smash my TV...

First allow me to say that it is possible that I should be discussing Dan Clowes being published in the NYT. I am not going to discuss it because I really don't care.

Dan Clowes Comic in 'N.Y. Times'Appearing on 'The Simpsons' in October
September 12, 2007
Starting this coming Sunday (September 16th), Daniel Clowes' new comic strip,
Mr. Wonderful, debuts in the "Funny Pages" section of The New York Times
Magazine replacing Megan Kelso's Watergate Sue, which has finished its run. Mr.
Wonderful, which Clowes loosely characterizes as a "romance," is his first major
comic work since his stunningly brilliant The Death Ray, which appeared in 2004
in issue #23 of Eightball.
Now you can forward it to your hipster friends and discuss it. I'm like that old NFL ex D-Lineman...ok...maybe ex DB, who doesn't want to read about...Young girls finding their way in a balnd suburbia and making sad but true statements about life until Steve Buscemi comes along and tries to seduce one of them.
No. I want to read about the cool investigator chick who gets assigned to solve a murder in a polar ice research facility in Antarctica. She has guns and hates her job and has guns.
Oh and I'll read Captain America. I'm not reading Dan Clowes. I don't care if he wrote the menu at the IHOP at Western and Howard. It's not for me. I tried.

Now then, the part I do care about:
Also, on Sunday, October 7th, Clowes, Art Spiegelman and Alan Moore will all
"appear" in an episode of The Simpsons in which Comic Book Guy's old school
comic store, The Android's Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop, is facing stiff
competition from a new pop culture emporium, Coolsville Comics & Toys, run
by a hipster character named Milo (voiced by Jack Black).
Here's the deal. We all know how this goes. For years, Comic Book Guy has been taking it on the chin for every comic boook geek stereotype in the damn book. Most of them are actually deserved because if I walk into 5 comic shops in this town, 4 of them have guys who rule their little imaginay kingdoms and walk around with a plastic hammer of Thor, looking authoritataive.

The part I'm interested in is the Coolsville shop opening up and the hipster lovefest that must ensue if it involves Alan Moore, Dan Clowes and Jack Black.

I hate the Comic Book Guy and I hate the Hipster (Milo). There is no middle ground here. I'm hoping Spiegelman is there to cause physical damage to Alan Moore. My real problem is that I'm
not sure the Simpsons is really trying hard enough to make fun of everyone. I don't know if the Hipsters will get that they are being made fun of because, for many of them, life began with the Watchmen or at the very least, with Miracleman.

And of course Jack Black is Milo. Jeremy Piven is a tool from what I hear so why would they use him? Actually I thought the episode where Homer went gay was the hipster comics episode too. "Bzzzzzap!"
The only way the point could br driven home further is if Milo wears a different bowling shirt in every frame, only drinks PBR and they play Sparta in the background, the whole episode.
I think it could use a derelict Jack Kirby and set design by Chris Ware too. I need a drink...
Oh yeah, the article also said this stuff and I would read Frankenstein!
In addition to his comic strip in The New York Times and his appearance on The
Simpsons, Clowes fans can look forward to his cover for the new Penguin Classics
edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which is due out on September 25th.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Top 5 Dead Heroes (Marvel)

Ok, I'm bored so here are my Top 5 dead superheroes, starting over at Marvel Comics.
I'm listing guys who I see as probably remaining dead so Captain America will nto be appearing on this list. I was gonna do 10 but I got tired....Ready?

5. Icarus -The other guy with the wings in the X-Men...

Sure he looks like Tommy Gnossis in this picture but basically eh was the 3rd member of the Guthrie family to learn that he was a mutant. I like that all the Guthrie kids were mutants. Cannonball, Husk and then Icarus.

Icarus could fly and apparently he had a healing factor too which kept him from actually dying when he would try and off himself. He was eventually shot and killed though but I don't think he's coming back.

4. The Anarchist

OK it's an odd pick but I love to talk about the failure of comics to give us characters of color who matter. Here's a guy who was essentially the "Tarzan" of American race relations. He was raised in Alaska by white folks and had an OCD hand washing thing because he secretly couldn't deal with being black.

Trust me folks, it's not as easy as it looks. Everytime Tiger Woods wins a trophy, Michael Vick shoots a dog. Every time James Earl Jones is spoken of with great respect, OJ goes and tries to pistol whip a guy in Vegas.

I'm sure the Anarchist was busting his ass.

3. Guardian (James Hudson)

Hey when Wolverine wasn't willing to be Canada's version of Wolverine, Guardian was willing to step up and AT LEAST be Canada's version of Captain Canada.

You try leading a team composed of Tai Babalonia and Randy Gardner, Tonto, Bigfoot (not the truck because that shit would have been cool), and that chick from Space 1999 with the eyebrows. Yeah, you'd be dead by issue 12 too!

He had a power suit that I think gave him the powers of the Canadian Parliment when it was fully charged. They said he made it for oil exploration and I have to tell you that if he and Shaman wer both alive, Shaman would be calling him all sorts of cowboys.

2. Ant Man - Scott Lang

Who didn't like Scott Lang. He was like one of 2 single dad superheroes in comics. He would show up to the Avengers with the kid. He rocked. I don't think it bothered him that he had another guys costume and name either because as a single dad, he didn't have much time for creativity. He'd have become Captain America if it was oen weekend a month and 2 week in the summer like the reserves and if Cap EVER sat that damn shield down.

1. Banshee

OK, I suppose there are some folks out there who never liked Banshee. Screw you people. The man was from an era when you knew a mutants power by their NAME and COUNTRY OF ORIGIN. That's all ya needed back in the day baby!

The man was calleed Banshee and if you played dungeons and dragons even a little bit, you knew he screamed and flew. He also had a cool accent. He said "Boyo" more than any other Irishman I ever met. That costume is bad ass too. I always dug the wings. I want him back.

The list does look then, I agree but that's because the below listed folks aren't on it.

Cap will be back in a year or so. Thor is already back which means Loki is back too and you can't fucking kill a guy like Moses Magnum. Funk wil never die! Thanos is like a God or something too. He's like the Death God of Funk. How can he be dead? Makes zero sense. He will be back too.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Joe and Willie, Dogfaces

I think Bill Mauldin accurately conveys the humanity of soldiers, and this is one of the most difficult and important things to accomplish. Combat soldiers gain a different perspective on life than we civilians. Bill Mauldin reassures us Americans that we're human beings, wherever we go and whatever we do. Whether we're at home reading his comics in a quiet room or reading them on a dark night in Anzio hearing shells fly overhead, Bill Mauldin quietly reminds the American civilian at home and the American soldier in the field of the one trait they will always share.

Bill Mauldin died aged 81 in January 2003. He spent two years in Europe as a soldier and cartoonist for the Stars and Stripes newspaper. He drew single panel comics about two imaginary soldiers named Joe and Willie who stood for the trials and tribulations of just about every American infantryman fighting Hitler's Reich. His experiences were in the European theater, primarily, and the invasion of Italy specifically, but Willie and Joe walked through landscapes and battlefields all over.

My dad gave me a book of Bill Mauldin's cartoons called "Up Front", published 1944, and in it Bill Mauldin talked about why he was doing what he was doing.

All the old divisions are tired - the outfits which fought in Africa and Sicily and Italy and God knows how many places in the Pacific. It doesn't take long to tire an outfit and many of the divisions that saw their first battle in France are undoubtedly feeling very fagged out right now. Like the men in the older divisions, those men have seen actual war at first hand, seeing their buddies killed day after day, trying to tell themselves that they are different - they won't get it; but knowing deep inside them that they can get it - those guys too know what real weariness of body, brain, and soul can be.

I've tried to put their weariness and their looks into Willie and Joe, who started with them and are getting tired with them.
Bill Mauldin makes no bones about the exceeding similarity of war to hell.

Since I'm a cartoonist, maybe I can be funny after the war, but nobody who has seen this war can be cute about it while it's going on. The only way I can try to be a little funny is to make something out of the humorous situations which come up even when you don't think life could be any more miserable. It's pretty heavy humor, and it doesn't seem funny at all sometimes when you stop and think it over.

Through it all, there's a serious attention to detail; Bill Mauldin knows how to draw guns and equipment, and there's a sway to his postures that I've mostly seen in newsreels and photographs. He does lighting and effects without fanfare; he uses them because that's what's needed at the time.

He kept right on trucking with his cartoons for decades after World War II. There's a deep grief in this cartoon of November 1963.

My scanner is flickering in and out, and all images are probably still copyright Stars and Stripes or elsewhere, so a glimpse is all you'll get. Willie and Joe are immensely likable and resonant, and many enjoyable hours can be spent in their company listening to all the things they had to say.