Bonus Random Links For Your Weekend. For You. For Christmas.

  • James Robinson talks Vibe, Blackest Night, and Superman.  I’m okay with his return as long as it’s just for BN, since that seems like a solid idea.  Robinson makes it sound like he’ll be back for a while, though, which seems a little less okay.
  • Damn it!  I said no!

Superhero Confidential

Why is this Lycanthropic Astronaut having problems with leash laws and curbing himself in small suburb of St. Louis?

Surgeon suspended for waving "magic wand" over patients.

What's really in Drac's drink? We tested. Turns out Vlad vants V8 not O negative!

Did this Canadian hero begin his career as a writer for Charles in Charge? Find out inside!

French officials want to know why this ex-pat is drapped in the drapeau D' Angleterre.

Random Links for Your Weekend

  • In the spirit of last week’s Franken-Castle storyline kicking off (which I confess is a little far-fetched for me), it helps to put things in perspective with The Punisher’s Most Ridiculous Moments Ever.
  • The Onion AV Club gives us their best comics of the ’00s.  It skews to the arty/indie side obviously, but it’s solid.  And there’s a few items on there I’ve never heard of, which is cool.
  • In Todd McFarlane’s Image United interview we find out exactly how Type-A he is, and that he doesn’t quite understand what a “jam book” is. Todd, we WANT to see the stitch marks!  That’s what makes it so cool!

After 15 posts in 10 days, I think I’m going to take a little nap for a while.

Game Tape…on the Road

Wednesday has come and gone. The heroes have fought their battles and villains have hinted at things to come. Now it’s time to review the game tape…

This week’s set of reviews is a team-up. Like any good team up, it began with a fight. Jesse mistook me for a criminal breaking into his house. We fought and broke some furniture; Jesse threw me through a brick wall, and then he remembered that he invited me to visit. After clearing up the misunderstanding, we fought some crime then read some comic books. The deal was he read whatever I bought, and I read whatever he bought. So here we go: the Joker/ Penguin Team-up!

THE GOON #33 – Eric Powell goes out of his way to prove he’s a master of the medium with this silent issue.  He tells a funny, done-in-one story where all of the characters express themselves through graphic thought balloons.  It’s very well done, and is a great way to demonstrate what only comics can do.

I agree with everything you just said. Is it me, or do the Goon issues always feel like they go by too quickly?

It is not just you.

GREEN LANTERN #48 – A stong showing by Johns and Mahnke as representatives from each of the Corps put aside their differences to fight the Black Lanterns.  I’m also starting to like Larfleeze, whose insistence at getting his own Guardian was a highlight of the issue.

I liked this issue too. It gave some nice depth to Atrocitus. That neither Sinestro’s wheeling and deal nor Hal’s “nice speech” swayed Atrocitus and Larfleeze is quite interesting to me. I just wish there was some model for Larfleeze and that the artists would work harder to follow it. The only reason I can recognize the character is his orange outfit. He’s alternately appeared as a warthog, and Predator, and something closer to any and all versions of G’Nort.

While technically correct that GL #48 happens before the events of BLACKEST NIGHT #6, it’s more accurate to say that it happens before BLACKEST NIGHT #5. That potential confusion sets the stage for the flaming turd that BN is becoming. If you’re wondering who Nekron is or why and how a z-list villain suddenly caused all this trouble, good luck getting answers. On the other hand, if you’re wondering why Black Hand has been fondling Bruce Wayne’s skull, you’ll get your answers here. It’s pretty lame and quickly over. Worse is the turn of events at the end of the book…damn it Johns! Such a great start is turning into a crappy wrap-up. Oh and for that Dove fan out there, you’ve got a nice surprise.

I would say the same thing was true for Libra in Final Crisis, too.  He was set up to be some major badass, but the story was really about Darkseid.

IMAGE UNITED #1 – As frenzied as I’ve been making myself for this book, I had to hold off until I could find the Jim Lee cover.  For some dumb reason it means a lot to me to pick up the cover that brings
back the one Image founder who couldn’t make it.  Hopefully I’ll get a review up when I look at This Week’s Comics (Link to the This Week’s Comics tag?) on Monday.

So you’re saying that IMAGE UNITED was really IMAGE UNAVAILABLE? IMAGE DENIED?

SPIDER-MAN 1602 #1-2 – This is one that Matt picked up, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one.  It was a surprisingly strong story, but one that felt inherently weaker every time Parker was forced to shoehorn Marvel trademarked characters into the plot. Pilgrim Peter Parquagh (take THAT, Stan Lee) vs Harbormaster Norman Osborne is a good story, but when the captain of the ship taking them back to England is Captain Stacy…Well, we already know where some of this is going.  When pirates attack and we see they are The King’s Pin and The Bull’s Eye — whatever those are — I just had to groan.  More original plot, less “I know who that is!” moments, please.

I don’t understand how you’re down on this idea of fitting known characters into this unknown world. It’s sort of the whole premise of the original and subsequent books. I thought it was clever to give The Bull’s Eye tattoos in a Maori warrior fashion like Quequeg from Moby Dick. I’m looking also forward to the developing plot with Otto Octavius and the dinosaur eggs. Feels like we’ve got a Curt Connors showing up soon, and I doubt we’re done with Osborne.

I like the idea, and I loved the original mini by Neil Gaiman, it just seemed forced.  Maybe I’m just crazy, maddened after the thrill and adrenaline of throwing a man through a brick wall.

There’ll be a more comprehensive Game Tape when I finally get home and can get my books from the LCS. Enjoy Turkey day and the rest of the weekend. Me? I’m hitting up some crazy sales at some comic shops in Jesse’s area tomorrow.

Mad Hatter — Secrets!

My hat size isn't really 10/6, that's just "Movie Magic".

The best thing about having an "Alice in Wonderland" theme is the crossovers. The cheshire cat is so soft!

One time I mind-control-hatted Batman into thinking he was a cat for a day. But it was 7 cat days!

Supervillain groupies have a checklist, where they try to "collect" everyone whose had their ass kicked by Batman 10 or more times. One day I'll make that list.

The Sunnytime Review Show – Flash: Rebirth Edition

I’ve been kvetching about Flash: Rebirth, mainly because it seemed so dull despite having something like 15 speedsters and the always-dynamic art of Ethan Van Sciver to prop it up.  With last week’s issue 5, though, I think I’ve pretty much given up on caring.

My main problem with Barry Allen is that despite being the fastest man alive he’s never been that interesting.  Part of this could be that he was never “my” Flash, having started reading comics post-Crisis, but part of it is definitely because I don’t find tardiness and exceptionally strong ethics to be especially compelling character traits.  Compare this to Wally West, who in his time has been a quitter, a mercenary, powerless, a womanizer, a family man, etc.  Some of those worked more than others, but he’s definitely been built up as a strong character.

However, my main problem with Flash: Rebirth has been Geoff Johns, whose contribution to the character of Barry Allen is establishing that REALLY LIKES bow ties.  Okay, that’s a cheap shot, but it’s not far off. Zoom is a standard time traveling villain cliche (“Remember that time you stubbed your toe and the dog ate your homework?  THAT WAS ME!”) and our extended cast of speedsters only serve as Greek chorus.

The biggest disappointment, however, is the way scenes are constructed.  We are often skipped from the middle of one scene right into the middle of another.  At one point we see all 30 of our speedsters running, Wally spouts some generic pseudo-science, and then suddenly — everyone is in new costumes*!  We then cut to another scene, then jump back and see “Impulse!” being exclaimed in mid-sentence.  The argument COULD be made that this is just how we would see speedsters, always in mid-sentence/mid-action, but I don’t buy that argument, and I don’t recall Johns writing this way when we was writing the ongoing series. I’ve been impressed with almost everything Johns has worked on (including an excellent Avengers run),
but this just isn’t up to his usual standard.

*Setting aside Jesse Quick’s horrible new onesie, I dig Wally’s new uniform.  It takes the strengths of the original, and mixes in various other designs he’s had from the past (white eye slits, darker red color, stylized belt), and adds a Batman-esque nose.  The other thing that really stood out was the 3D, shieldlike chest emblem.  I liked it when Van Sciver did it to Green Lantern and I like it here.  I think it’s a really strong idea to have symbols like badges of a sort.  I think we could take that idea to just about every character, but still I hope DC (and Marvel, if they’re paying any attention) will try not to overuse the concept.

This Week’s Comics

Shipping This Week: 11/25/2009

BLACKEST NIGHT #5 ( OF 8 ) – Grrrr…Stupid $4 event books!

CHEW TP VOL 01 – I picked up the individual issues, but this was a really, really solid read.  In a future where chicken has been outlawed (due to bird flu), our FDA-employed hero can tell the history of ANY food he puts in his mouth.  Except beets.

THE GOON #33 – New Goon!  Huzzah!

GREEN LANTERN #48 (BLACKEST NIGHT) – Even though I don’t really know the context in which this book exists, I’ve still been enjoying Green Lantern.

IMAGE UNITED #1 (OF 6) – Anyone who’s stopped by EVER has probably seen how psyched I am for this book to finally come out.  However, did they really need to come out with NINE (!!!) covers to recapture the feel of the 90’s?  Surely some holofoil and embossing could have gotten the point across.

JUSTICE LEAGUE CRY FOR JUSTICE #5 (OF 7) – Matt has successfully convinced me to never, ever, ever buy this.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #39 (BLACKEST NIGHT) – I didn’t care for #38, Robinson’s first issue, but I’ll use the Blackest Night tie-in to give it another shot before putting this title back on the shelf.

POWERS #1 (MR) – Powers is getting a relaunch?  Again?

So, that’s it for me.  What are YOU getting?

Monday Haiku

Defending the deep,

Majestic and powerful,

As your water realm.

I know it’s only been the usual seven days, but it feels like I haven’t done this in forever. It’s good to be back. I hope you cats and kittens are ready for a week of unadulterated AWESOME; Jesse and I will be team posting this week since we’ll be in closer proximity.