Monday Haiku

After twelve labors,

The lion of Olympus

Parties greco style!

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Best. Sound Effects. Ever.

The Incredible Hercules: Love and War broke some new ground in funnybooks by having the greatest sound effects ever. Never have I seen them play such an integral role.

In honor of the 12 trials of Hercules, here are the 12 greatest SFX in Love and War.

12 – Sploingbrraahhhm

Namor dropping wreckage on

Herc

11 – Sproy Bloom!

Herc and Namora being

exploded out of the sky

10 – Pish Posh

Hercules and Namora landing in

the water

9 – Meeeaannarrraaganaa

A sea monster (obviously)

8 – Tic Tac Toe

Amadeus Cho being fired on

7 – Lqwwwrrrgh

??? I don’t even know how to

read this!

6 – Shtuuup!

Namora exploding a missle

(among other things)

5 – Krakkinajaa!

Namora kicking an Amazon

(appropriately) in the jaw

4 – NOGGN

Two heads being cracked

together

3 – Nuhkrakk!

The sound of Atlas being

punched in the taint by

Namora

2 – Crakkajamma!

(See above)

1 – KCATTANAM!!

Herc attacking the Amazons

and rescuing Amadeus Cho*

Honorable mentions go to: Kroik, Swoo-Bakok, Kasploosh, Skrrakkkabadooom!, Skrim! Skraam!, Schmackooom!, and Speerra-Booooom!  Thanks for playing our game, you’ll be going home with a travel edition of “Sounds Things Make When They’re Hit”.

(And please do notice all the FX that focus on hitting things, lest anyone think I was lying about all the action in this book.)

*The first peson in the comments to describe what’s so great about this effect gets to…I dunno, post something on behalf of the Facebook group.

This Week’s Comics — And A Hit And A Miss

Still not much out this week, but compared to the last month, it’s like a deluge.  Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • HAUNT #4 – I’m just repeating myself here, but this book is way more enjoyable than I thought it would be.
  • MARVEL BOY URANIAN #1 (OF 3) – This one is news to me, but I’ll take any new Agents of Atlas I can get.
  • MUPPET SHOW TREASURE OF PEG LEG WILSON TP – Okay, I won’t be picking this up since I got the  individual issues, but this was a really great book.  If you’ve been on the fence about checking out the new BOOM! Muppet Show books, this is a great place to start.  I’m looking forward to the next “road trip” miniseries.
  • SIEGE #1 (OF 4) – The price point is out of my reach, but I’m really looking forward to some normalcy in the Marvel Universe.  Since House of M I think the whole 616 has been relatively inaccessible, and I’m looking forward to some sort of status quo where casual fans still have some idea what’s going on.

And since I’ve got a lot of extra space to fill up today, a couple quick reviews:

The Incredible Hercules: Secret Invasion – After one week with 2 really solid Hercules books, I took the plunge and picked up this Secret Invasion tie-in book.  Hercules leads a multi-pantheon coalition of gods across the planes of existence in order to kill the Skrull god motivating their takeover over Earth.  It feels like Morrison’s JLA meeting Gaiman’s Sandman with more punching things. And if that sounds like a mess, it doesn’t read like one.  It’s an action-packed adventure with Pak and Van Lente putting it all together seamlessly.  I’ve already ordered more Herc hardcovers and am looking forward to more of the same.  This is what superhero comics should be.

Image United #2 – And then there’s this.  Basically, every review I read about issue 1 applies to this one.  It’s a schizophrenic muddle, and even Kirkman can’t get us from one place to another seamlessly.  I’m really questioning the whole purpose now, which is pretty disappointing given how much I’ve been looking forward to it.  A “preview” of Liefeld’s Bloodstrike doesn’t add much value, either.

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

Game Tape…the late edition

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 was one of the best weeks for me in a long time.

I rediscovered two Jeff Parker penned issues and read a slew of things I had been looking forward to. It was a week of surprises: a true Festivus miracle!

First up is a book I kind of took a risk on: Mighty Avengers #32. After Jesse reminded me how much I love Dan Slott’s prose and seeing the preview pages on Newsarama, I figured I’d pad the light week with this one. Where else am I going to read the great line, “Let’s smite the hell out of something”? This issue is solid considering I’m not that keen on the whole idea of multiple Avengers teams working at a cross purpose with Osborne heading one of them. I’ve always liked Loki as an idea; here his grand game of chess plays out quite interestingly. The real strength was in something I thought would never happen: I liked Hank Pym. The guy’s been an Avenger since God was a kid, but he’s usually so whiny and self-doubty. If I want to read that, I’ll read 90’s Kyle Rayner or any Superman story from the last 5 years. Slott makes Pym interesting by making a self assured genius, refering to himself as “Scientist Supreme.” I may have to make a concerted effort to find Slott’s issues on the cheap in a few months or remember to get the trade.

Next up is Thunderbolts #138 and #139. I remember reading about these months ago, but forgot them in the mean time. Given my love of Secret Six, you would think this title would be a natural. Bad guys working toward agendas which sometimes workout in everyone’s best interest…intentionally or not. There just hasn’t been a writer on the title I’ve cared about… Warren Ellis aside. Walking down the wall of books though, I saw that this week’s book was written by Jeff Parker and featured the Agents of Atlas. Apparently so did the previous issue. It ties in nicely to the encounter with Osborne in Parker’s AoA title. The art here is sometimes over inked and difficult to tell what’s what…especially given that the action happens at night or in poorly lit areas. I was especially pleased to find that Parker’s light and breezy dialogue and pacing works just as well when bent toward a more twisted crowd. If you’re looking for something else to read this week, These two books might do the trick. Proving the old Serbian proverb, “You can never go wrong with Jeff Parker.”

This week’s Chimichanga is funny, sweet, and cute. As part of the week of surprises, I never thought I’d use two of those words in association with Eric Powell, the man who wrote Satan’s Sodomy Baby. Don’t worry though, there’s still some potty humor to be found. I’m looking forward to future issues.

Last surprise of the week was Astonishing X-Men. I was seriously considering dropping this title after the Ghost Boxes story arc. I just couldn’t get into it and didn’t want to spend the money on the one-shots. This arc is proving different. You still get the great Ellis ear for dialogue, and now you’ve got Phil Jimenez art. Instead of being more retread of the Bleed idea from Wildstorm, we’ve got a villain using parts of dead mutants to create bio-weapons. While this isn’t a new idea, it works so well here in X-Men. It’s fair to say that Beast and Cyclops are Ellis’ favorite characters here. He writes them so well and they’ve got the best lines. The team itself has finally come together well too. As usual though, the interplay between Brand and Beast is his best writing. This issue we see a different side of the relationship from the usual references to kinky animal-sex. A genuine concern and care is displayed in an odd sort of way. It’s also nice to see the whole team working as a well oiled machine. Sometimes writers forget that most of these characters have been training to fight and work as a team since they were teens. I could go on about this arc as a whole and Ellis’ writing, but that seems excessive so I’ll end. Thank you, Warren Ellis, for restoring my faith in 616 X-Men.

Quarter Bin Treasure Chest

The first of what will hopefully be a recurring series showcasing the awesomeness that can be found in discount bins.  This is what I’ve stumbled upon recently.

Incredible Hercules #122 – I don’t know if I can describe this book any better than Chris Sims did, but I can certainly make it wordier and more boring.

Clayton Henry’s artwork is top-notch.  It expresses the action (and facial expressions) without excessive linework.  Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente write a story with healthy does of action and humor.  Hercules is exuberant and boisterous, and Namor is powerful and pompus.  Namora ties them both together quite nicely, in a pleasant guest appearance outside of Agents of Atlas.  And speaking of AoA, this issue of Hercules has the greatest first-page recap outside of that book, a modified version of a Sappho poem.  I will definitely be looking for more.

The Thing #1 –Matt hasn’t been pushing this on me, but he has been talking about the virtues of this title for quite a while.  He was definitely right.  Ben Grimm has never been better represented as an everyman and idol to millions (at the same time) than he is right here.  The story is fun, accessible, well-drawn, and I will snap up any others I can find.

Marvel Team-Up #104 – It’s a comic with a cover where The Hulk and Ka-Zar are fighting an army of M.O.D.O.K.-controlled dinosaurs.  Does it even matter what happens on the inside?  It’s a sign of how messed-up the comic industry is that it costs me $4 to get 1/6 of a new story every Wednesday, but I can pick up this piece of deliciousness for 25 cents.

Hercules: Prince of Power TPB – Sure, there are 2 Hercules books here, but it’s just a coincidence.  To be honest, I’ve never really gotten the character until recently, when Sims made me want to check out the ongoing (thanks!).  However, this one is something I’ve always wanted to read, what with the concept of Hercules in space with Galactus.  Still, even as I bought it, I was worried I was making a mistake.  I wasn’t.

In order to teach Hercules humility, Zeus banishes him from Olympus…into space!  Taking Apollo’s sun-chariot, Hercules encounters strange new worlds and civilizations.  And yes, Galactus.  Writer/artist Bob Layton does stop us from seeing what would have been the greatest plot point ever in a comic book, but he makes up for it by showing us Galactus without his helmet on.

Wasn’t Helios the sun god? Why doesn’t the chariot burn up everything it touches?  How can Hercules and his space horses survive in the cold vacuum of space?  You’re obviously taking this too seriously (though the answer to the last one is “because it is the will of Zeus,” obviously).

Kudos to Mr. Layton for creating a modern classic.

Dark Reign: The Hood #1 – I’m intrigued by the concept of Dark Reign, but not enough to spend cover price on the books, so I jumped at the chance to spend a quarter for a Parker book following up an excellent Brian K. Vaughn mini.  I did really enjoy the original Hood series, but now that he’s such a big player in the Marvel U., I thought it would have changed his personal life.  No, he’s still the Peter Parker of villainy, competent in costume but not master of his domain.  This was a great start to the series.

I had a really strong week in the discount bins and found some quality books.  It’s a shame that the state of comics books is such that a $4 comic becomes quarter bin fodder in 6 months, but hat’s another post…