Goddamn, look at that art! To me, Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver make one of the best comic book teams out there. I consistently love their work seperately and together, it's even better. They must totally feed off each other. CBR has a great Spotlight article on Van Sciver, which you should go read here. I really admire and appreciate the way he approaches comics and how he feels about them--probably a really cool guy to grab food with.
I'm so excited about this title and all you disbelievers can go eat bugs.
That's right. Bugs.
He's four feet tall. Leather-clad. A wee little puppet man, if you will. And? His nose comes off. In the absolute coolest thing I've seen in months, in December, Angel The 1:1 Replica Puppet will hit the shelves for a mere $325.00.
I'm going to be putting out a tip jar with a picture of the advertisement from Previews on it.
Hot damn, look at that handsome little puppet face.
And? And? You can put your hand inside him.
No. Not there.
CBR has another great article with three of my faves, Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba and Becky Cloonan. Good read, I was really excited about all their Eisner wins this time around.
Goddamn, look at that art! To me, Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver make one of the best comic book teams out there. I consistently love their work seperately and together, it's even better. They must totally feed off each other. CBR has a great Spotlight article on Van Sciver, which you should go read here. I really admire and appreciate the way he approaches comics and how he feels about them--probably a really cool guy to grab food with.
Due to my new Campaign For Crotch, I've added some new aspects to the superhero comics I'm reviewing: Crotch Shot and Ass Shot counters. I'm debating a Rack Shot as well, but we'll see. Also added is Gems, which are just specific wonderfuls from an issue I liked.
I'm going to start off with Locke & Key #6 because it was everything a final issue should be. Which is spectacular when you bring in the fact that this winter, it's back (24 issues I think?) with Locke & Key: Head Games. Gabriel Rodriguez banged the art out on this one--he can match Joe Hill's writing so perfectly, keep the creepy coming and the character's expressions are always dead on to the dialogue (see a bad example of this in Ms. Marvel, page 14, I believe).
Jay Fotos on color can't be ignored either, as he does an excellent job with finishing the art and keeping the mood as well.
But the real prize here is the story--this is one of the best final issues I've read in a while, it keeps the suspense and the mysteries up for just the right amount of time and involving every one of the Locke family members in rescuing them from uncertain, scar-faced peril made me immensely happy. And the last three pages just make it rock. A very, very nice 'It isn't over yet, see us in the winter' smack without undoing the resolution we get from the previous pages.
Gems: A 30 Days Of Night poster on in one of the kid's bedrooms. Utter confirmation that girls in wells are still immensely creepy. Little boys seeing the evil no one else does. Best ghostly images ever. Magical Key sex changes are the awesome.
Recommendation: It's too late now, isn't it? So make sure you order the trade and put Locke & Key: Head Games on your pull lists for the winter.
Ms. Marvel #29: I added this one to my grab list because I was so completely rocked by her awesomeness in #28 that I was compelled to see how awesome she was again. Greg Horn's cover aside, I wasn't disappointed. Brian Reed writing, Adriana Melo penciling the first ten pages and Paulo Siquera taking over pages 11 through 16.
I really, really liked the art, but it's clear I like Melo and not Siquera. There's this panel on what I think is page 14--if my counting skills are decent--where she and Agent Sum are talking on the street and suddenly there's a Lord Of The Rings style mob of Skrulls heading towards them. What she's saying is, "And right now, I'd like an easily defensible position" with some Skrully Language Text above the bubble, but her and Agent Sum's expressions look like they're surprised.
Um. Dude, she just spent the better part of two issues kicking a ton of Skrull ass. I'm pretty sure at this point a huge mob isn't going to get her to open-mouth shock. She looks childishly surprised and it does not match what she's saying at all.
Way to strike a pet peeve there. Gragh.
Ms. Marvel's fucking bad--she would've narrowed her eyes, squared herself off and and taken them on. Just saying.
Other than that, though, I really liked this issue. Especially the extremely creepy last three pages. Ritualistic killing = creepy love.
Gems: First page, Ms. Marvel telling everyone to run as the Big Ass Skrull closes in--she looks fucking bad ass. Lightning eyes coming through smoke/rubble. "Alright you gigantic Skrull &%$#". All her thoughts. "Welcome to New York." Wanting to have a Skrull bonfire. Crazy Skrull doing ritualistic killings.
Ass Shots: Ms. Marvel: 9
Crotch Shots: Skrull: 3
Recommendation: I'm adding it to my pull list--over all this is a really well-written female superhero comic with a few art bumps that I can forgive, only for Reed's writing.
Blue Beetle #29: Well, Rogers is credited on the cover, but don't let that fool you, because it's actually Matthew Sturges writing with Rafael Albuquerque doing the art as well as the terrific, terrific cover.
This is Sturges first issue and aside from a few little bumps--only one that really stuck with me, which was just that the Scarab didn't seem to have the same vibe with Jaime as before--I really, really took to his writing well.
Great issue, keeping him funny and clever and as immensely loveable as he's always been.
Teenagers should always be written like this, so I hope another teenager writer is paying attention here.
This issue is kicking off another arc, Boundaries, where Jaime learns what a title fight is and then runs into some border jumpers, gets suckered by a pretty girl's sob story and he ends up needing to track down the guys who have Steroid Super-Juice (not Deathstroke's, they're boys and the Evil Man Juice is Girls Only). This is a wonderful set-up issue and a really good jumping on point if you haven't been keeping up with this book.
The one-liners in this issue were outstanding. Let me say it again: outstanding. Sturges can give lessons on them.
Gems: "Whoa--there are some people who should just not attempt a Power Girl costume"-Nadia. Anything Peacemaker says--all of it can just go right onto a t-shirt as far as I'm concerned. Title fights: when a villain dies and two guys fight for the name. "No way man, I already got the tattoo!" Anything Peacemaker says. Anything. Teenage boys saying, "I don't actually understand what's happening here." Jaime making his own sound effects. Jaime still be excited about having a secret identity. Jaime sucking at being on TV. Jaime. "Magnetist".
Crotch Shots: Peacemaker: 1
Some Fat Guy: 1 (also? underbelly. ew.)
Recommendation: Awesome. Add it to your list if it wasn't there already. I was really, really pleased with Sturges and he should be quite pleased with himself for knocking out a great issue.
Pilot Season: The Core #1. If you haven't read by The Nightly News by Jonathon Hickman yet, how about you get to that this week? Or now.
He does it again and this time it's a sci-fi story. He throws you right into a world that is clearly well-defined (or seems very well-defined), so everything is very believable when offered up.
We're following a human, Asimov Dedeken, as he tries out for Selection to become part of an elite military team, Red Sector and all the way through to the end of his first mission.
Dedeken is immediately likeable--and delicious, ladies--as are the members of his team. As are the mysteries surrounding an intergalactic federation. As is everything about this story, but I'm determined not to get too spoilery.
This is awesome and that's what you need to know. It's all the way awesome and gives me heavy, heavy voting conflict with Jay Faerber's Urban Myths. Basically, I'll vote twice for each and leave it at that. Hopefully no matter how this goes, we can get more from The Core, because I'm outrageously curious--maybe . . . yes, Hickman earns the extra vote because I'm just so damn curious. Fantastic teaser issue--Hickman lays out the world for us with disgusting ease, brings the reader right in and ties it all together with a letter to home but still digging his hooks in so we want more, more, more.
The art by Kenneth Rocafort is gorgeous and perfectly my taste and the center page listing populations and descriptions of part of the core areas is fascinating. His panel work, the way he makes them flow together is just great. Exceptional colors brought to us by Dave McCaig and Nathan Fairbairn.
Gems: All of it. No, really. This book blew me away. Especially Kryssun'Duldin-Wamul, who is a gorgeous non-human female with plenty of attitude and sharp looks. I love sharp girls.
Recommendation: Get it. Then vote for him in August. Hot damn.
I'll post the rest tomorrow morning, as there's a reorder sitting here with my name on it. The rest being, Green Lantern, Joker's Asylum: Two Face, Skaar Son of Hulk, Narcopolis, Huntress and Reign In Hell.
Kirk Warren over at The Weekly Crisis asked me to write an article for a guest blog spot over at his awesome site (God knows why, really) about why I buy the comics I buy. Which was a lot of fun to do and I'm immensely flattered to have been asked, considering the other guys that were asked to do it as well. Very nice and I enjoyed getting a chance to sit at that lunch table.
I'd be totally okay if you went and checked out my Why Do I Buy Certain Comic Books article at his site and while you're doing that, you should read Greg Hatcher and Lee Newman's answers to why they buy the comics they buy. Naturally, they're both really excellent and interesting. Tomorrow and Friday has more guest blogger articles too, so be sure to check back there for them.
Now to go read through all the comments on that Supergirl post (ps JG Jones: I'm so disappointed. Also: It's her looking 'contemplative'? I didn't think anything could make that worse for me, but that so, so did. Jesus on a pogo stick.)
So, there's been a lot of hype over the new Supergirl team and how they're going to make her great and new and different and, as one of them said in a recent panel 'not slutty'. What an idea. And wow, how pathetic is it that 'not slutty' had to be a selling point for this book.
Which is awesome! Totally! See, we women have been just kind of wanting that, so it's really nice to hear.
Except for how I get this in last week's shipment (excuse the flash glare and whatnot):
Feel free to click and examine, I'll still be here when you get back. And by 'examine', I don't mean examine like you would a porn. Though clearly that was the aim here.
I love how 'she won't be slutty' has become a selling point for this title and yet, her promo poster shows her pointing to her mouth like a well-seasoned porn star. No one can say that isn't what she's doing--what the hell else would she be pointing at? What possible other reason is there to pose like that? That's a "put it right here, big boy" face and just a tip--real girls don't do that. Real girls don't do that unless there's something they are bargaining for or are newlyweds.
It's fucking ridiculous, is what it is, and this is why women in comics bitch.
Granted, a lot of people seem to get pretty up in arms about really, really stupid things that I tend to not agree with, but this one? I'm leading the train, because goddammit, if artists are going to over-sexualize everything with a rack, by God I want some equal treatment. You know what I want?
That's right. I'm going to start my campaign for crotch shots. Yeah, yeah. That's what I'll do. "Campaign For Crotch" with a slogan of, "Men Are Objects Too!!". Did anyone notice Robin's suspicious lack of bulge in his last issue with that fine, fine last page pose? I did.
I'll accept ass shots too, or some fine, fine arm muscles. I want equal fucking objectification. I want my men half-naked with their asses thrust out as they bend over to pick up their weapons. I want superfluous ass shot and crotch shot panels. I want objectification of men all over the issue covers and I want it now.
Combine the whoredom of a teenage girl and a marketing ploy that involves her become a better treated character and mix in a healthy dose of 'This Is The Girl That Wouldn't Touch Me In High School So Now I'll Show HER' and you get my utter disgust. Guys, this is why ladies don't believe anything you say. Just to let you know.
Campaign for Crotch starts now. Who's in?
I randomly tweeted my blog needs a banner, because it did (you're tweeting, right? My mission to get everyone I know tweeting needs to be accomplished).
And so neat, Kirk randomly made me an awesome one with possibly the closest-to-me-picture I think I've seen drawn by Not-Rin and super letters. And now I'm going fidget with my layout to make it match the awesome after my lasagna is done.
A big thank you again for taking the time, you're stellar. (If I read more Spider-Man, there'd totally be more Parkerism for you here, but I don't, so I'll let my commenters and your imagination fill in the gap in a "What Would Parker Say")
but they all had flying crotches front and center.
Pretty sure that's not a nice show of appreciation.
Also: He's adorable, so would've won anyway.
Also note: I never thought I'd need to use 'blog chic' as a tag again. I LOVE it.
Edit: It's such a compulsion to have a pretty blog. It's like doing my hair before I--wait, no, I don't do that. Fine. It's like putting on a bra before I leave the house. The ladies understand.
. . . ladies.
Having kids is a constant opportunity to observe just how stupid we humans are. I get to marvel at how we've made it this far: we have no fur, our soft bits aren't covered by dense bone and we have impulses to eat anything our chubby fingers grasp and then stick said chubby fingers into little toys and get stuck.
Took Bug to the fire house yesterday to have a plastic kaleidoscope removed from his index finger.
I love firemen. Especially three attractive, well-muscled firemen who let Bug sit on the fire engine as they crowded around and debated the best removal tactic. They eventually grabbed industrial cutters and popped the plastic kaleidoscope-y bit off and cut. Bug asked them not to cut his finger off--and added on a 'please' in a fantastic show of those manners I'm attempting to train him into.
I brought them cookies as a thank you--did not bake them, however, because I can't bake. But I bought them expensive, delicious cookies to compensate.
And that story right there? Is actually an excellent summary of how my entire week went. Just in case you cared.
Onto the comics.
Ambush Bug: Year None #1: How was this in any way shape or form not fun? Wonder Chick did everything on the title, but I'm pretty sure that Keith Giffen helped with pencils and plot, Robert Loren Fleming put a little assistance in with writing it, and the colors were given a little oomph by Guy Major.
Jonni DC has been killed and it's up to Ambush Bug to track down the killer! Special Guest Appearances by: The Source Wall-who may or may not have been molested by Darkseid, robbed by the Jackson Five, and seems a wee bit bitter over appearance changes; Cheeks the Toy Wonder (a drawing of a doll); Cecil Sunbeam of the Green Team; Argh!yle--complete with an intimidating metal mask that has nothing to do with his wear and tear; Phantom Stranger Bastard Child #273 and more!
Welcome to the crack, where you can find excellent, excellent lines (and a gravestone for thought balloons) and generally a goofy, great time.
Very fun, very silly. I definitely enjoyed this, especially for Ambush's arguments with his thought bubbles/rectangles/narration. As Chris said over in his No-One-Is-Paying-Attention-To-Us-'Cause-They're At/Stalking-SDCC review post (and he's so right), this is the book for the hardcore DC geeks-others may just read this and fall into 'what-the-fuckery' about it. And I too, fall into the former. I should be mildly ashamed, but I'm still snickering. Maybe later? I shouldn't have laughed at "Stephanie Brown L'il Dickens Power Tool Playkit" but I did. And just for writing about it, I'm laughing again. Poor
Recommendation: Bring on the crack, bring on the Ambush Bug.
Nocturnals: Carnival of Beasts: Dan Brereton wrote all three stories, did the art on Beasts while Viktor Kalvachev did art and lettering on The Scrimshaw Crown and Ruben Martinez did art on Night of the Candy Butcher (awesome title, btw). This was awesome, right? I thought so. The art was on and the stories were both interesting and fun--maybe not the best for a-possible-attempted-resurrection of a series for new fans, but I think it should whet some appetites for the collected volume, that is thirty bucks--I thought it was more, hunh, oh well--and what? what? Very last page, you say what? A return in the fall with The Sinister Path?!
I love Image. And Dan Brereton.
All three stories were stellar, my favorite was definitely the first one though. Doc Horror is hot as a werewolf and I don't care what that makes me. The art was also glorious. Reading these made me yank out the volume and reread all that too immediately following it.
And I'm tempted to again, just because I can.
And I still want a Gunwitch doll. Anybody?
Recommendation: Don't let this series die on me again: buy or Gunwitch will get you.
Everything else was what I thought it would be in my previews and I didn't actually grab anything--
Oh wait. I lie, I lie, there was a random book I snagged.
The Straw Men #1: Is a Zenoscope release. Joe Brusha is adapting it from the book by Michael Marshall. Brett Weldele is on art.
This was interesting in the best sense of the word. I've never read the book, but I found the art suited the story being told very well and the pacing of it was a bit surreal for me. I felt like I should've wanted the pacing to be faster during some scenes, but it wasn't and instead of throwing me off the book, it just made the scene feel like it was happening in slow-time, which suited it.
This was a good set-up issue, laid down events and happenings quite nicely and definitely made me curious enough to grab #2. I don't actually have a recommendation beyond give it a check out and see what you think.
I'm going to leave you here--this wasn't a dazzling week in comic books, but it wasn't a terrible one. The biggest surprise is how I'll be picking up the next issue of Immortal Iron Fist. I was pleasantly surprised by it, and while I wasn't totally won, I wasn't lost either.
Joker's Asylum is probably my favorite mini of the year--too bad DC missed the boat on Jason Aaron, he could've written an awesome ongoing about mainstream DC villains.
Can we have an awesome ongoing about mainstream DC Villains? We're getting Secret Six, after all. I say this should be just the start of a fantastic new wave in comics. Final Crisis can usher it in. Let Darkseid win. Spend two years writing Villain-based superhero comics.
. . . please.
And all you bastards at SDCC: Have fun.
Kirk Warren wrote a great article that's up at the Weekly Crisis regarding his ideas on why DC's falling farther behind Marvel in its sales, and supporting thoughts from readers that commented on a previous query he put out there about this topic. He tackles the issue from a bunch of different, interesting angles--their marketing, public relations, continuity, lack of new blood and more--in an excellently well thought out manner. I especially like it because it isn't marked with the bias that's usually found when people tackle this topic.
Hop on over, give it a read and then chime on in.
Oh look, I'm getting this done on a Monday. How effective of me. Okay, it's Monday night, but still.
Quick note: There were definitely two books that should've been on the Please To Do Not Miss list last week. So check and see if they're still in your store: Charlatan Ball #2 and Sky Doll #3.
Onto this week!
Invincible #51: Kicking off the next fifty issues-there's a new sidekick, new slamming costume and an excellent hopping on point for readers that have been wanting to read this series. Pick up the trades, definitely, but hop on the train at this stop.
Image Monster Pile-Up #1, which are mini-primers for various monster series' they have out right now--Astounding Wolf-Man, Firebreather, Proof and Perhapanauts. For $1.99, I think this is a must-grab to check out some books you'll probably end up adding to your pick up lists.
Comic Book Tattoo is . . . something like an anthology built around Tori Amos, where a bunch of the awesome people in the business each write stories inspired by a song of hers, in such a huge variety of genres that it's impossible not to find a story you'll love. Or fifty stories. $50.00 for the hardcover is no joke (the softcover version is $29.99 as well as a limited edition, signed and numbered for $149.99--anyone feel like going broke for an early birthday present for me?), but this'll be well worth it--if you work it out, it's less than a buck a story! Rationalizing for the win. The contributor list is super too, CBR did a great story on this here, where you can get some sneak peeks at a few pages and read more about how much work and crazy talent went into it. Grab it!
Nocturnals: Carnival Of Beasts is out too and I love the Nocturnals. Love. Love. Love. Love so hard and this is going to be 64 pages of awesome. The art here is phenomenal--very easily one of my top ten favorites and the characters are fascinating and fun and the writing is always just great. I can't say enough good things about this--pick this up. So good! A one shot (unfortunately for me), with three stories--"Beasts" that follows Doc Horror (who is my imaginary comic book boyfriend, just so you know), "The Scrimshaw Crown" featuring Starfish, the amphibian girl and "Candy Butchers" with Halloween Girl, Gunwitch (I want a Gunwitch doll. I want a Gunwitch doll SO BAD) and Polychrome.
Listen, if you ever find yourselves with forty bucks to spare, you very desperately need to pick up the hardcover that collects all of Nocturnals. You won't be disappointed.
Ambush Bug! The answer to my woes.
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #3 is out, which means it probably isn't too late to grab the first two issues of this series--which has been awesome.
Green Lantern Corps #26 concluding the 'Ring Quest' arc in a fight with Mongul and Mother (May I) Mercy.
The Joker's Asylum: Scarecrow: has been, over all, really fucking great. The peak for me was definitely the Penguin story, which I actually can't stop muscling people into reading, and the latest Poison Ivy one was decent. Man, that Penguin one is a hard one to follow, though. Yum.
Robin #175 is out too and the first issue for a R.I.P. tie-in that may or may not actually be a tie-in. I'm going to assume that it's a real one, and not a faux to snag your wallet, what with how Robin is totally on the run from crazies in Batman R.I.P. But who knows! Aside from us, on Wednesday.
Avengers: The Initiative #15: This has easily been one of my favorite Marvel titles. Goodness all over the place. And awesome goggles.
Skrulls #1: . . . look at that cover! I couldn't resist slapping it up here. Awesomeness. I am completely tempted to print this out and tape it up to the mirrors in my bathrooms, just to scare the fuck out of my roomie and husband sometime this week. Wouldn't that be hilarious? For me?
Again my curiosity calls for this and am hoping it isn't just a restatement of everything we already know--the synopsis said 'original material' dammit, I want a good amount and not just one page while the rest is filled with old Skrull crap. This could be a really spectacular tie-in. Or it could just be annoying. We'll see.
Uncanny X-Men #500: Duh. Brubaker and Fraction? Awesome. How could I not? How can anyone not? Even if I don't pick up any other Uncanny's after this, I'll grab this to check out the hype. And hey, all those variants. Marvel never does that . . .
Any you think I missed?
Also: new icon is courtesy of my roommate, who decided I should at least have a color one. And yes, that tends to be my default expression.
Or maybe just me.
The fail whale helped me accomplish no previews or reviews, thanks to not actually reading them, thanks to missing work, thanks to feeling spectacularly terrible. The next stop on the fail whale's trip was the most terrible of all, in which I miss out on seeing an IMAX preview of The Dark Knight.
No, no, you didn't read that wrong.
Someone behaved like a mature adult who was likely to pass out on their long drive home at midnight and opted to not take the long drive home at midnight in favor of going home and dying in bed.
Someone hates herself.
The fail whale has also accompanied me around the house, in where laundry is staring at me to get folded and I still haven't gone through the kids winter clothes and boxed them up for donation. And a ton of other things around here. La la la.
The fail whale is also getting the comic strip I'm supposed to be scanning and leveling out to post it up here. La la. It doesn't actually matter, I was going to load it up and have it post on Monday anyways. I'm not technically late.
The fail whale hasn't gotten my writing, at least, which I've been enjoying and has also missed Dr. Horrible, which I've also been enjoying. More on the good Doctor later, after I rewatch episodes one and two a few hundred times. The fail whale will just eat anything I write anyways and turn it into unclever TRIPE.
They're singing Happy Birthday to you. You just can't hear it.
Whenever comics ship late, it totally throws my week off. I can't decide if I'm just a little too set in routine (I'M SPONTANEOUS. REALLY) or if it's okay. Also, as I'm watching Constantine, I'm wondering if Keanu hadn't been cast and they'd gotten an actor that could actually . . . um . . . change expression and just kept everything else the same, whether or not everyone would've liked this movie.
La. Dee. Dah.
Well, comics were fucking excellent this week, weren't they? Was there a bad one in my bunch? Not really. Well, Detective Comics as a R.I.P. tie-in sort of miffed me, but the story was good. Hush! How could anyone with a proper soul deny Hush?
It was a smallish week, but God, every book I read really smacked it out of the park. I am a happy reader. Let's do it!
This week, they're not really in any particular order, except for the first one, which is totally my Book Of The Week.
I Kill Giants #1: Joe Kelly (from various Marvel and DC titles Supergirl, to name a recent one, also Steampunk. Apologies for earlier mix up, I'm clearly never allowed to start a review at seven in the morning again.) writing with JM Ken Niimura on art. Maybe it's because I was a dork in grade school (no, really, I wasn't always this coordinated or pretty! shock!) or maybe because I'm not dead and rotted out inside, but the first issue for I Kill Devils owned my dork ass.
Remember fifth grade? Remember being so awkward? Remember being really into something that no one else was? Remember being that kid the teachers dreaded hearing from in the middle of class?
And as such, I really connected with this. I love Barbara Thorson. I love how she's clever enough to know all those things the girls are talking about are stupid, and human enough to feel left out that she isn't talking about them too. And then smart enough to be mad at herself for caring. She's strong enough to stand up to a shoddy D&D player's attitude, but lonely enough to blame herself for ruining the game. Even though she was right.
I totally believe she kills giants and raise my broadsword in honor. My inner fifth grader has found a kindred spirit.
I debated doing an in-depth spoilery review, but opted not to, in favor of letting you guys enjoy it without too much spoiled.
Recommendation: Grab this immediately, before it's too late and you're stuck waiting a year for the trade. This is, easily, one of the most poignant books of the year.
I want bunny ears to wear in support, dammit.
Pilot Season: Urban Myths written by Jay Faerber and art done by Jorge Molina.
I lied, this one's in order too. Definitely my second favorite book of the week. The art is fantastic--really vital and smooth and completely delicious. And I loved the coloring. All of it, actually, was just awesome.
As was the story--an intensely clever opening story that introduces us to our hero-of-sorts, Jack Kaklamanis, Medusa's son. He's a private eye who's been hired to find a missing girl. Jack is a solid introduction--interesting from the get-go, as is the case and where it leads him. The art just rounds the story out and bangs it into life--I could spend an hour flipping through this again just to look at it and examine all the backgrounds and random characters.
The mythology play is really interesting and finding mythology mixed with the crime noir genre should be strange. It isn't--it reads really naturally, which isn't easy to do in a fantasy universe, but Faerber solves the problem by handing us characters--including the ones we'll probably never see again--that are deep and rich and completely identifiable. Go figure.
It's a solid one-issue story that is really self-contained--which is good, since it's an entry for Pilot Season--but manages to promise so, so much more if Faerber gets the votes. So give them to him, would you?
Recommendation: A hit waiting to happen and you definitely won't be disappointed by this. Eat it up, then in August hit MySpace (oh god, twice in three weeks, I should die) and vote for this one. Don't worry, I'll remind all of you again come August.
Booster Gold #1,000,000: Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz wrote this gem, with pencils by Dan Jurgens, finished art by Norm Rapmund (someone take a moment in comments to explain what 'finished art' is if it isn't inking) and Hi-Fi doing colors.
How was this not awesome? Johns and Katz wrap up their run with a completely awesome epilogue that ties up everything from their run, leaves off with an interesting twist that I'm not sure if I'm going to get too invested in (is there any word on who is taking over after they abandon us? aside from the Dixon two or three issue arc?).
But yeah, okay, I lied again. Booster's number three on my list this week and for good reason. This was such a great finishing touch story, it really gave Booster a chance to show how much he's grown since the first issue--hell, obviously since 52. And he gets validated by the resident Crazy Obsessed Bat, which is worth Clayface's weight in gold. Not only does he get validated, he gets recognized by one of the top three--and I don't think there's anything better than one of the greatest heroes recognizing the things you do, especially when you go into it thinking no one will ever, ever know about it.
The art's a perfect match with the story--naturally--and I'm really glad Dan Jurgen's going to be staying on.
Recommendation: I think this is a great stand alone story as well--it serves the purpose of wrapping up things for a long-time reader, but a new reader wouldn't be lost as to what the hell's going on, why and who Booster Gold is. A good jumping on point, as the book contains a summary of past events and character exposition and growth.
Joker's Asylum: Penguin: Remember that time I said I didn't like Penguin? About how he came across as a bit of a joke and I couldn't ever take him seriously? About how he's my least favorite villain and I wish he wasn't involved in anything at all. And oh, yeah, I was disappointed he was getting an issue in this mini, because he was useless.
Jason Aaron, the writer, completely proves me wrong with a goddamn stellar book that easily slammed up into my favorites of the week. I'm now a little in love with Penguin. This issue was a glory. It was creepy. It was sad. And the art, thanks to Jason Pearson, completely matched the moods and gave us a believably adorable, pitiable and nearly likeable Oswald and just as easily handed us panels of a creepy, nightmare-inducing Penguin.
I've an urge to frame a few of these pages.
Joker gives us a story about love, Arkham Style, and we're handed an Oswald Cobblepott who is truly pitiable. It's an old cliche--the evil beautiful girls crushing souls under their merciless, well-shaped feet--but it's used so well in this story that I can't mind it.
And we see a different side of Oswald, we see how his psychosis spawned, we see what feeds it.
We also see Batman is totally his Girl Talk Boyfriend in a scene that had me laughing aloud and loving it.
God, this was creepy. The art was creepy. The story was creepy. The twists of clutchingly sweet to creepy were . . . creepy awesome. Do you think I'm over-using 'creepy' here?
I'm totally not, you'll see.
Recommendation: Well fucking done and should've been read by you this week. I enjoyed this so much more than I thought it would--I actually read it last on my block and God, was that a mistake. I want more of this Penguin. I want him everywhere in the DCU, fucking up your noise and bringing in the birds.
I wanna give Jason Aaron a hug.
Final Crisis: Requiem: I snagged this because of Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke's Black Adam mini last yearish. I figured, yeah, I like Martian Manhunter, but I'm not totally devesated or anything over him dying.
I almost wish I hadn't read this, because then I never would've cared he died and definitely wouldn't be so ripped up about it now. I wouldn't have cared at all and now I'm so incredibly moved by this goodbye book, by his final message and his life that I want to go out, grab everything J'onn was ever in and eat it up.
God, this was so good. It was so good. Tomasi and Mahnke'll completely knock you out with J'onn's final moments, with his death scene and his viciousness for life that resonates throughout every page.
Agh. Gah. So good. So good.
Recommendation: If you weren't attached to J'onn, I'm going to punish you (because I love you. And I'm suffering too) by recommending you pick this up. Pick it up and love him.
This is a hopeful thing to wake up and read. DC, top creaters and top dogs over at WB discussing movies and probably discussing how to go about doing what Marvel is doing by linking all their movies together.
Fans have spent years saying what they want to see from comic book movies is an all-over sort of continuity. Studios have been reluctant to push this, thanks to wallets and requiring actors to sign contracts, the difficulty of retaining directors and writers and on and on and on. Basically, laziness.
Marvel sort of bit the bullet and just did it, didn't they? And wow shit, did it work. I'm not the only one who noticed how good Hulk ended up doing, right? 55 million on opening weekend isn't anything to sniff at for a movie sequel, especially a movie sequel to something that was fucking terrible. Good job, Marvel.
Of course DC needs to do the same thing.
But you know, I really, really love comic book movies. Even ones that aren't faithful to the comic book--pause: Not X-Men. X-Men was terrible, screw the continuity and all that, it was just bad all by its own self.
I liked Superman Returns. No--I loved it. I thought it was true to the characters while creating a completely different universe for Superman. Something differing from the comic books and honestly? That's what I want to see. Characters that are the characters we know and love from the books put in different universes so we're not just watching a story we've all already read. I don't really want to pay $40 bucks for two in a theater for a comic I have at home.
Drawing inspirations from comics is one thing--The Dark Knight writers and actors have pulled from plenty of the Batman classics--but just repeating a story? I don't care. I want the origin stories to mirror, of course--because that's the character--but I don't actually want to rewatch Infinite Crisis. Though . . . it would be pretty cool. I liked the Superbaby--blasphemer, I know!--and I also like things that are different.
I mean . . . shit, we're reading eighty different titles and Wolverine is in seventy-eight of them. How worried about continuity can fanboys really be? Or is it just one more thing to pick at because face it, ninety percent of fanboys just want something to complain about.
I think the powers of continuity bitching (+20 with the Helmet of History) just come from all that sex they're not getting.
So, if DC hops aboard the movie linking train, what are the movies you want to see hitting the theaters? A few of the obvious ones: Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash. But what else?
So, up here in Washington State we have the ever-lovely I-405. Which I've happened to noticed, during the exceptional morning and afternoon traffic, has no Exit 8. There's 7 and 9, but no 8 to be found anywhere.
My first thought shouldn't have been, "But what did seven eat?!"
Other things I thought while driving this morning, that perhaps I shouldn't have, was, "Hm. I wonder if I'm too tired to drive?"
Stellar news, everyone: No, I was not too tired to drive. I do, however, look quite tired today and will likely startle a few customers because I don't trust myself not to stab myself in the eye with my eyeliner. Thank you, my delicate little Lyn Hippo, for enjoying only three hours of sleep with me. I hope your morning nap is lovely.
Dear Comic Book Geek Boys,
Hi. I'm a girl. As evidenced by my breasts and my lack of an Adam's apple. Yes, I read comic books. Yes, I play Magic. And enjoy other, non-Star Wars, geeky things. No, this is not an invitation to spend an hour discussing your all-red burn deck with me. Nor is it an invitation to ask me if I'll be wearing a costume this Halloween (yes, by the way, I will. I've decided to go as Death-the cliche, not Endless-and will carry an authentic scythe. Enjoy, boys!).
If you would like a girl to like you (or at least not call Security on you), let me help you out with a few friendly pointers.
1) Arguing about who is the coolest Flash is not necessarily flirting-it is definitely not flirting when you start gesturing wildly and screeching, "BARRY! HOW COULD IT BE GODDAMN BART?! WHAT, DO YOU WRITE FANFICTION?!?!". Guess what? That's not sexy.
2) Asking her if she reads 'that Spider-Girl book' because she's a girl isn't showing interest, it's showing you're an ass.
3) Walking into a comic book store and making a derogatory comment with the expectation that it's a male you think you're better than, realizing it's a pretty girl and acting like it was a joke isn't just stupid, it makes me want to kick your teeth in. (Pssst, my proud male geek friends are totally better than you, just so you know)
4) Asking if the guys have me working here because I'm a girl is annoying. And only half-true.
5) If the girl behind the counter is wearing a wedding ring and discussing her two children, she's probably not going to be wooed by your ten minute discussion of different kinds of proton phasers and probably will NOT be running away with you.
6) If you expect to woo a girl, please don't fart in the back of the store. Just a tip. Also? Shower.
7) Trapping her on the phone so you can stroke your ego by discussing what old comic books you own and how much they're worth isn't impressive. What's impressive is bringing one of those old comic books as a tip on Wednesday. By the way, this will not make her run away with you. You would, however, get a discount. This also applies to discussing different Star Trek communicators (discount not applicable).
8) When attempting to engage a female in conversation, don't insult the books she has in her arms. (yes, I have seen this happen. Three times.)
9) Just stop floundering after her and ask for her damned number. Don't try to be funny and ask how much mana you'll need for the date or tell her you'd like to go out on Stardate 14256.5--I mean it.
10) Again: when engaging a female in a comic book store, do NOT insult the books she is carrying. Even if it is Ghost Whisperer.
Good luck and please stop hitting on me.
So, I was
stalkinglooking at my stalkersreaders via Analytics, and most of my search hits are pretty normal. You know, stuff I type about. And hey! No new porn searches in the last week! I feel unsexy.
But . . . there was this search and . . . I don't even know what the hell it means:
"my flow's make sense because i mention cras and i mention chicks"
. . . what's 'cras'. Um. Does anyone know? Is this hip lingo I'm not getting? What's . . . I have no idea. I'm . . . so confused and torn between just eyeing the screen and laughing.
Kirk's popped me up on his sidebar (all official and things, I'm quite pleased) so I'll take a moment to toss all of you at his blog, Weekly Crisis, which is much more Marvel savvy (and consistent) than mine. And DC savvy as well, but my appreciation dedicates itself to the Marvel savvy, because I'm still completely lost wading through who everyone is and why I should be surprised at Secret Invasion. Or not surprised.
And to make this a somewhat relevant comics post:
Previews up tomorrow as my week gets back on track and all things Batman begin to consume my brain. Is it too geeky to put up a counter to count down days/hours/minutes/seconds until Dark Knight?
Also: I watched the Doctor Who finale. And . . . consider me thoroughly owned by it and all things Doctor. God, Sci-Fi, catch up so I can talk to my friends about it.
Note: So I had half these typed up Weds night and then I figured I'd get to it during work on Thursday. And then Thursday was intensely busy (until Brian showed up, naturally), so I didn't get to it. And Thursday night I played Katamari and drank mojitos to celebrate getting through the hellish traffic. So really, nothing got done except swearing and rolling. And a lot of bad 'this is how I roll' jokes.
And then it was fireworks, margaritas, Magic and me unsuccessfully attempting to convince my friends they wanted to be a Tiefling Warlord or somesuch.
My friends clearly don't love me like they used to.
Also, we watched UFC and I'm pretty sure no one reading about comic books is also watching UFC except, uh, me, but let me take a moment to say: Forrest Griffin, you are the goddamn man. Not only can I not believe you lasted more than two rounds against Rampage Jackson, I can't believe you're the new belt holder. Also, it was an awesome five round fight and your stand-up has improved (and should improve more, if you'd like to keep that handsome new belt). Awesome. Super-impressed, I am. Watch out for Machida and Friends, you should.
More to the point, there's only . . . uh. Four reviews this week. Because it's Monday and you don't really care what I have to say, right?
That said, I'm starting with Batman R.I.P. (but only because this totally needs to go first. Screw salt and starch.)
Amusingly, I got texted about this issue and I got two 'wtfmycheese' e-mails. All of which are awesome, especially texting with George, because his what-the-fuckery is great (even if he forgets about me ::dies alone::).
Anyhow? I wasn't the only person that double-checked to make sure an issue didn't get missed in between this one and the last--good to know. Thanks to Bruce being shot up with drugs by Dr. Hush (right, that's his name) I can now employ the phrase "Batcrack" justifiably. Or "Batsmack". Wonderful. Because that's what my repetoire needed. Really!
My first thought after finishing this one was "wtf?" As was my second. My third read-through (really, this needed three?) was that Grant Morrison writes an awesome fucking trade comic. Maybe not so much monthlies, but I've seen much, much, much worse (even from the Batman line. War Games, anyone?). The issue's tempo reflects (sort of) Bruce's mindset--it's very disjointed, very off its ball and it's actually impressive an entire little story got told through the mood and pacing.
I'm a little irritated Nightwing got taken out off-panel, especially since the accompanying Nightwing wasn't a R.I.P. tie-in to show the off-panel shenanigans, but that's nobody's fault, really.
Tim Drake remains to be awesome. I wonder if he's sharing fashion advice with Jason?
Speaking of Jason, um, when's he showing up? Come on already, I want to see Morrison writing him. Very curious.
We get to find out Alfred's not dead (Realizing Its Pennyworth?! Redemption In Pennyworth??), no surprise, and more importantly: Mr. Fabulous Shoulder Pads has moved into the Batcave. Can you believe the set of platinum balls on this guy? Talking about making Bruce his butler?! Listen, man, as soon as Bruce sobers up and stops talking to his imaginary friend he's going to--
. . . sew himself a Zur-En-Arrh batsuit and pose with Batmite.
Recomendation: I'm still dealing with the Zur-En-Arrh suit and trying to figure out why Morrison has the memory of an elephant after doing all those drugs. Seriously, Grant, um . . . my memory is a bit shoddy after all mine and I'm definitely not . . . aged. To that point. That you are. Just saying.
Hyperkinetic #1: Howard Shum writing and Matteo Scalera on art with Oscar Celestini doing colors. I liked it! I wasn't disappointed--and hey, there may be some complaints from other females about the girl banter, but I personally liked it. Seriously--have you ever lived with three women of the same age? That's what it's like. You know, I wasn't armed with an awesome gun or fighting crazy things on an alien planet, but it's the same theory.
I'm taking a moment to inform you all that no one has ever peed in my shampoo.
I thought the art was pretty excellent and fun and was insanely pleased to see very little gratuitous shots of the girls and the story is interesting and . . . yep. Solid. Totally solid and interesting and--dude, chicks with guns. Chicks with guns who know how to use them.
Recommendation: Pick this up, this four-issue miniseries will be an enjoyable one.
The rest of the comics I previewed . . . I pretty much liked. (Pssst, this is where the laziness kicks in). Except Astonishing X-Men 25, but I think that's just because Ellis was coping with the fuckery that was the Whedon run and just said, 'fuck it, we're jumping ahead in time because I'm impatient'. I'll definitely give this a few issues to even up, but beware of a lot of dialogue that has . . . pretty much nothing to do with mostly anything.
And that's IT, suckers. Hope you all had a happy fourth and didn't blow up anyone's house, blow off a thumb or drink yourselves intensely stupid.
Pausing from writing reviews to pose a question:
I can't be the only one in my teeny blogosphereverse that isn't really enamoured of Heroes, right?
I mean . . . it's alright and whatever, but I'm not completely blown away by it (I find it intensely predictable). Also: same opinion of Lost. Actually, no, I like Lost a lot less (except Sawyer. Who is Mr. McDelicious with a side of Rawr).
So does anyone else's browser occasionally crash when they attempt to load Image's website? Three out of five times, goddammit. Christ, let me look at your books!
There's a lot of random stuff this week--and a myriad of collected links regarding cool stuff I've stumbled across in my internet adventures. Enjoy! Or not.
Dynamo 5 #14: So much fun. That is all.
Noble Causes #35: I'm enjoying the time jump immensely--how about you guys? I enjoyed the alternate dimension reset too, frankly. I think it's quite easy to get bogged down in cliches, but the way Jay Faerber cheerfully employs them keeps them fresh and fun and reminds me why they became a cliche in the first place. It isn't always a terrible thing. Take a note, writers: It is possible to use a cliche without ever letting it become an ugly, uninspired mess of a thing.
His entry into the Top Cow Pilot Season 2008, Urban Myths looks great, as does Fran Bueno's pages for Undying Love, a series still in the birth process. I'm going to entertain the fantasy that the only thing Jay Faerber ever does is hide away with his computer and write awesome comics--because if I ever hear he has free time for an actual life, I may just implode.
So basically, this morning while we were brushing our teeth and groggily searching around for coffee, Jay F. was knocking off the third script of the day and had gotten up a half hour after we did. And he was magically wooing fantastic artists.
Hyperkinetic #1: Written by Howard Shum, art by Matteo Scalera and colors done by Oscar Celestini. This is a sci-fi action comedy about four intergalactic bounty hunters (and their robot) who end up going through a wormhole and crash-landing on an alien planet.
You can peek at some page previews right here at Shum's website.
I really like the art--it looks really dynamic and fun and the preview of the story peaked my interest as well, so I'm definitely gonna give this four-issue run a shot.
And on an awesome note: There was not a single gratuitous thong shot in any of the preview pages, I am so pleased.
The Astounding Wolf-Man #7: Oh, what's that? You haven't been reading this? Shame on you, now you can't find any and will have to pick up the trade.
The Sword TPB #1: And for all of you that've either missed the boat or just waited for the trade on all Luna goodness, here it is.
An awesome modern fantasy book about a woman who finds a sword after her family is murdered, brought to you by the Luna Brothers.
Also recommended (highly): Ultra Girl. Because getting laid can be a bitch.
Oh, hey--have you asked your local store to make sure I Kill Giants lands into your hands/subscription boxes? The first issue is coming out next week--make sure you don't miss it.
It's a story about a smart ass fifth-grader, Barbara Thorson, who carries around a war hammer in her bag and kills giants. Well, in her imagination she does. Or maybe not just in her imagination.
Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura are going to rock you out with a poignant story about a girl and the giants in her worlds. I predict heavy awesomeness.
Angel: After The Fall #10
Doctor Who #5
And don't you dare miss Ghost Whisperer #4. What a gem!
Seriously IDW, what is that title doing in your company?
And hum, hum, hum: Ben Templesmith signs an exclusive and has a book coming out in August, Welcome to Hoxford. Good and the promo pic to the left needs to be a poster on my wall.
Hmm, wait . . . can I have him?
Buffy #16: The long-awaited introduction of the Fray storyline and Joss is back in the writer's seat, kicking off a new 'episode' for the series.
Hellboy: The Crooked Man #1: Hellboy meets Tom, a man who sold his soul to a demon known as the Crooked Man. They travel to the Appalachian mountains in an attempt to save Tom's soul.
There's no such thing as too much Hellboy.
The All-New Atom #25
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #1: You're picking this up, right? Right? Look at the adorable.
Blue Beetle #28
The Joker's Asylum: Joker: I sincerely hope that this isn't Joker-as-a-funny-haha-clown villain and is Scary As Hell Joker. Fingers crossed.
I sat here attempting to think of informative things to say about this week's DC releases or some sort of preview or whatnot and eventually came up with . . . pretty much nothing. I'm looking forward to seeing all these hit the shelves, really looking forward to reading them and . . . that's it. There'll be fun in the reviews, dammit.
Perhaps I need more caffeine. Or lunch.
Astonishing X-Men #25: I really, really like the new costumes. Lots. Simone Bianchi is extraordinarily talented. And that Ellis guy isn't bad either. (whoreswhoresfuckwhores)
Secret Invasion: Front Line #1: I love the Front Line concept and am really looking forward to this from Brian Reed.
"Battling Boy is the son of a god or a super hero—it is left unspecified—who comes down from the top of a mountain (or rather, from inside a cloud/UFO contraption/contrivance from above a mountain top) at this father's behest, in order to rid a giant city from it's plague of monsters. Hercules had his labors, Batman has his Gotham, Battling Boy has his Monstropolis."
Also, his clothing line via DKNY is due out soon--August, right?
And look, Gerard Way can read my mind. The moment I got done with Umbrella Academy, I thought, "Well, that was fucking fantastic, but I really wish I could've seen some shenanigans from their teenaged years. Also, I want figurines." One out of two, so far, because on July 2nd there's going to be a short story on Dark Horse's MySpace Presents page from Way and Ba. Also, there's a comic tie-in to Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog from Joss Whedon. Also, a Tara McPherson story, "How To Heal A Broken Heart".
This will definitely soothe the wounds caused by visiting a MySpace page.
Batman vs Batman vs Batman, especially for Oracle Batgirl, who I got to meet today and is awesome.
This is exceedingly clever. And funny.
The Awesomed By Comics podcast remains to be awesome and is actually increasing in its Awesome and hilarity. Click that link and go check it out. I need to remember to email them, actually, and inform Aaron how misled he is regarding Countdown and Grant Morrison's involvement in it. Oh look, problem solved (perhaps?) Aaron: You're misled. Gravely, gravely misled. Morrison didn't want them to touch the New Gods at all. From what I understand, he wanted the very first mention of them to be that first scene where Orion is discovered dead.
Edit: Aha! I remember now. Go check out Bananaglass, which is odd and hilarious and quite clever. And don't forget to comment and inform him of such.
Speaking of damn, I need to start making bookmarks proper, I keep losing neat sites. Anyhow, that's mostly it--enjoy the rest of the day and comment if you think I might've forgotten something.
I just realized I didn't bitch about anything this week. Odd.
Upon seeing the clouds this morning, I sobbed openly in relief. I swear I will not complain about cold weather until . . . January.
It's as if Mother Earth decided to punish all of our 'Oh my GOD, when will winter STOP?!' complaints with a brutal, three-day heat that had more than a few of us holing up in the basement WWII-style (or apocalypse style, whichever) or mourning over our melting action figures.
Temperatures rocketing from sixty degrees to ninety practically overnight does not a happy PNW make.
On the bright side, all my PNWs, at least we're not Californians!*
Seriously. Does anyone else suspect that Mother Earth is desperately trying to give them a blatant sign to abandon the state? Pssst, take the hint.**
* Please don't send your governor to beat up our governor.
** Geeked does not condone nor encourage the destruction of California.