Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
It's the all new, badass "Noir" Batman.
Oh, Morrison. You had me at "freebie."
Stay tuned, readers, because a special I promised during the livejournal year is coming up, and I break down why Morrison and Jones's Marvel Boy may just be the best comic ever made.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
If anyone reading this has any ideas or theories about what 52 is leading to, please talk to Ben at those wednesdays, and try to connect the dots. All I can come up with is that the Dominators are planning something now that the Dominators in the 30th Century are trying to avenge. And if the 52 are making Anti-Life mathemagicians scared, they're probably not that bad. Maybe just neutral.
Monday, March 26, 2007
That being said, it is Monday and that means...
Continued from previous post...
Nova flew along the mountainside, ducking in and out of tree cover to avoid A.I.M. troops. While Rictor and M were the main decoy, Mimic was to create a spectacle worthy enough to lead many of the A.I.M. in his direction. Now, Nova had the least amount of trouble in front of him, and he was to get back into the A.I.M. base undetected, or as undetected as possible.
He passed by a tank patrol and stopped thirty feet away from the bay doors of the base’s garage. Six men covered the doors, but they were taken care of without much trouble. A jamming signal produced by Nova’s helmet kept any distress calls from being sent out. Which only left the two foot deep enhanced titanium alloy doors with the sconces which concealed high intensity plasma cannons.
Nova walked up to the security console and entered the code listed in one of the files randomly Nova downloaded earlier. He moved in fast, quickly flying into a guard station inside and knocking the guard through the other side.
“I’m in.” Just as he sent this, all the monitors in the guard station began showing the same image. An A.I.M. head, Nova assumed from the military styling of his yellow uniform, was standing at a podium, a large machine behind.
‘People of the world, hear my voice. This message is being relayed to every nation with a TV station and instantly translated due to the genius that is A.I.M. I am not one of those so in love with the sound of his own voice that he rambles on and on about the rightness of their position and how hard they worked to achieve their goals, so I will get right to the point.
‘We want the world.’ The speaker waved back at the machine behind him, which began to turn on clue. ‘Or else. A.I.M. is the only body intelligent enough to rightly govern this planet and we have the means to bring about a utopian age. But governments stand in our way. And while other factions may be content to being arms dealers to others, we here are more proactive.
‘Behind me is MODOA, the Mobile Organism Designed for Obliteration by Antimatter.’ The machine finally clicked into place. Inside a large glass cage was a teenaged boy with a cybernetic headpiece wired to a computer outside. His head was sealed away from the rest of his body, leaving it dangling in the glass enclosure. Robotic arms equipped with opposing halves of a container were manned by A.I.M. on the outside of the enclosure. ‘Antimatter is the most dangerous substance known to man, and MODOA can produce enough to crack the world in half. A demonstration, perhaps.’
The technicians at the enclosure operated the arms while one of the technicians ministrations caused MODOA’s head to bob and turn. While it seemed nothing took place, the arms moved cautiously towards MODOA, slowly bringing the container’s ends together until a light shone green on both ends. The arms brought the container to a port in the front of the enclosure. When it closed, the port’s outer door chimed and a technician opened and took out the container. ‘While it may have seem like a very expensive show of nothing, this container-thank you-contains a milligram of antimatter. This container keeps it from coming in contact with air, matter of any kind, by keeping it suspended in the middle of the airless container.” The leader walked over to a set of double doors which opened automatically to reveal a hangar-like area with a few randomly placed debris. He threw the container straight into air, straight ahead with the skill of a quarterback.
The container broke against a bombed out schoolbus and a second later the room was awash in a blinding white light. The sound was like no explosion ever heard and seemed to absorb all sound. It was quick and the debris field was clouded in dust. Exhaust fans started, clearing the cloud to reveal a deep depression at the end of the debris field. It was a perfect sphere of space, and remarkably frightening.
‘And that was the smallest sample of what MODOA is capable of. Now picture if we sent MODOA into the tunnel we have made deep into the Earth’s crust. Picture what 100 pounds of antimatter can do to the stability of this planet. 1,000. Whatever we can make MODOA pour into this world until his body and pretty much everything around him is, well, obliterated.’
‘We can improve this world or destroy it. The choice is yours. You have six hours.’
“You get that?”
“Yeah. Me and M are close, but if no one comes, you may be on your own, man. Mimic’s not respondin’." Nova managed to pull up a directory of the base on the guard station’s console. The central hub of the base was located dead center of the complex with many reinforced doors and walls to keep out guys like Nova. While most of the armed A.I.M. were outside, many dots were on the directory designated as researchers, and a few designated as security.
“If the heavily armed thugs are after us, who the hell is security?”
“Nova is inside.”
“We’re not going to get to him before he’s spotted and overrun.”
“Could you please add something to this convo, chica?”
Surrounded by converging A.I.M. troopers with only the wreckage of A.I.M. tanks and jeeps as cover, M looked Rictor squarely in the eye.
“We are, as you would say, boned.”
In front of him, wavy and unclear to his unfocused eyes, was a glowing red eye. He swung awkwardly, missing the eye entirely. He fell over but was held up by dark arms. Red eye was holding him up.
“Jesus, you’re heavy. Look, uh, wing…guy? I’m your friend at here. I got the emergency message and came out as fast as I could.”
“Rictor sent out message. He plan man.”
Red eye gave Mimic a quick slap that brought him mostly to his senses. “My name, I call myself, Night Man. I work out of San Fran, and to tell you the truth, I’m going to need your help, because fighting an army single-handed is not one of my abilities.”
Mimic stood up and stretched his wings. He cocked his head, feeling something new. “Hmm.” He began fingering motions and breathing techniques, then assume some traditional aikido poses. “My telepathy is stronger, but weirdly. I’m only getting-”
“Evil thoughts. You have my power?”
“I’m Mimic. I copy powers. And how did you get here? I’m not getting-”
Before he could finish, A.I.M. started firing. Mimic ducked and pushed Night Man away, firing his optic blasts in quick bursts. He flew short, freezing three troopers together and taking all three in a roundhouse kick. Behind them, more A.I.M. tried to flank them, but were clouded by smoke. A few thuds later, and Night Man was standing amongst their unconscious bodies.
“I didn’t come alone. I found a friend to give me a ride.”
“I’ll take the forty on the right. You take the forty on the left. And the eighty behind and in front of us are up for grabs. Want da ya, say?”
M stared out his roguish grin and couldn’t help smiling. And by smile, the corner of her mouth flicked up for the briefest of moments. “I will take the left.”
“On three.” Rictor brace himself into a crouching position, ready to focus as much seismic energy at the bastards as he could. M, facing the opposite way, broke off the bumper of a wrecked jeep, and braced herself.
“Uno.” The A.I.M. started forward in two-by-two formation. Their weapons raised and ready.
Without warning, a bomb went off in the middle of the rear A.I.M. guard. At least, it sounded like a bomb and both A.I.M. and the two mutants in distress thought it was a bomb, until A.I.M. soldiers began flying through the air, swatted like flies. A hulking figure was the cause of the disturbance. A gold and red flash who resisted every plasma blast the A.I.M. troopers could fire off before being pummeled indiscriminately.
“Who the hell?”
“Don’t question it, Julio. Fight!”
The two broke cover, Rictor rupturing the ground in front of him as a moving shield and striking targets one by one and M swinging the metal bumper like a home run pro.
“Don’t worry about these guys. They’re no match for PRIME POWER!” With that, Prime clapped his hands together and sent a wave of concussive force through the A.I.M. ranks. A clear path was laid out for Rictor and M, and they decided to take it.
“Who the hell is that guy?”
Saturday, March 24, 2007
How come no one seems to remember Captain Boomerang Jr. has super speed, if even for a short time?
Is a crooked bar between two circles shorthand for Kirbyesque?
When did G.W. Bridge get so fat? Really, an active member of SHIELD should not be that big. Dum Dum keeps in shape and he's 90!
Why are people still surprised that Power Girl is massively endowed? She's Kryptonian. She can handle it. It's the awkward Kryptonian Cousin Love she has to worry about.
Why can't people realize Batman is the coolest hero EVER? He's in at least one book a week. Think about it.
Is there a memo given to all Marvel writers saying to remember Tony Stark's an ass clown now?
I'm starting to realize Jeph Loeb is not the amazing writer I once thought he was. Yeah, he can still turn out a masterwork of nostalgia with guest stars galore, but when he reintroduced Supergirl to the DCU, I hated her from basically day two. Her rebellious teen crap was asinine considering she wouldn't act like a rebellious American teenage having been raised for seventeen freaking years on Krypton. Wait, this is supposed to be a question. Umm, I guess the question is, uh, are Joe Kelly and Mark Waid better writers than Loeb?
Why do people in the DCU develop powers in the most random ways? If you spend too much time in a dark room, you get the ability to make lifelike images.
What if Grant Morrison wrote The Defenders?
Why are people Hatton on Wolverine: Origins? I've been reading it consistently and I can't see how it's worst than some of the books been praised week after week. Unless you're talking about Batman, Superman, Detective Comics, Cable & Deadpool, Zemo: Born Better, 52, Astonishing X-Men, Midnighter, Punisher, X-Factor, Gen 13, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, The Brave and the Bold, Justice Society of America, Manhunter, Stormwatch: PHD, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, Checkmate, Uncanny X-Men, Captain America, She-Hulk, The Immortal Iron Fist, Daredevil, and look it's just not that bad, or even not good. I like it, is all I'm saying. Maybe not as much as the stuff listed, but still...
Isn't she wonderful?
I'm on a quest to post more every month than the month before. Think I can do it?
How you doin'?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Rictor saw all this, the wrist mounted computer relaying satellite information in real time, giving him a heads-up display of all the troop movements not obscured by the forest left intact. Beside him, M leaned to get a sense of the situation and tensed.
“Buckethead has put his in a bit of mess, now, hasn’t he?” M began adjusting her clothes, making sure her gloves were tight around her hands. It was supposed to make her look battle-ready, but Rictor could tell she was at the very least, concerned.
“They’re comin’, princess.” He closed the computer with the reinforced faceplate. Taking three deep breaths, he tried to recall everything Cable ever told him about battle strategies and small squad team dynamics. An A.I.M. tank was just fifty feet below the thick tree branch Rictor and M were using as a rudimentary camp. Rictor turned to M. “Ever watch Ronin Warriors?” Rictor jumped off the branch and clapped his hands together.
“QUAKE WITH FEAR!!”
Before the A.I.M. could respond, a hundred foot trench opened beneath the tank, swallowing it whole. The ruptured ground rushed up and met Rictor before he could fall for any injurable distance. The three accompanying jeeps swerved to avoid joining the tank in the trench, but Rictor blasted two with his seismic blasts, shaking the engines apart.
Plasma bursts rained down on the attack site and M and Rictor dove for cover. Troops were approaching from three fronts, laying down suppressive fire. More jeeps were in approach with rumbling indicating another tank wasn’t far behind.
M flew straight up, drawing fire from most of the A.I.M. Rictor sent tremors through the ground around him, creating a wide trench and high rock obstacles. With the troopers disoriented, M struck. She picked up one of the disabled jeeps and used it as battering ram. A.I.M. fell like tenpins before her, and Rictor jumped up, plasma rifles in both hands spraying bolt after bolt.
They couldn’t believe their eyes, watching as a red beam sheared their tank in two. Invisible hands pulled the pieces apart and sent them flying into the dense foliage. Their cover ripped apart, the troopers were unable to defend against the whirlwind of destruction taking apart every squad he came against.
Mimic grabbed a trooper by the face and flung him into his fellow soldiers, while freezing the jeeps in their tracks. Unable to move, the jeeps were easy targets for Mimic’s optic blasts. He raised pieces of the destroyed jeeps as floating shields, and flew towards the base.
A blast of immense size caught Mimic in his blind dash, blowing apart his shields and sending him crashing into the ground. Before he could rise completely to his feet, he was blasted again, barely able to raise a telekinetic shield to dispel most of the force. Mimic flew up into the trees, then began leaping from branch to branch haphazardly. Plasma blasts trailed after him, the gunners unable to anticipate his erratic movements.
Mimic returned fire, catching the tank in its treads. Deflecting shots from the troopers weapons, he flew down and froze the cannon of the attacking tank. His telekinesis ripped the brittle cannon away from the tank and he fired optic blasts into the tank’s cab.
A.I.M. troopers surrounded the winged menace, and now he realized how much the tank’s blasts took out of him. The concentrated fire of plasma rifles wear away at his tk shield, forcing him to fly for cover, but now troopers on anti-grav sleds were in pursuit. They were relentless, and possessed better accuracy than the ones sent after Nova earlier.
Forced to ground again, Mimic attacked wildly, hoping to get as many troopers off of him by filling the area with power. A rifle butt hit him in the upper back, sending him to his knees.
“Freak trash. Not so hot, now,” the trooper punctuated with another shot to Mimic’s back. Mimic collapsed, struggling to get to his feet and failing. The trooper raise his gun to hit him again, when small orbs dropped down amidst the troopers, smoke quickly taking all visibility in the immediate area around Mimic. Before the troopers could adjust their visors, the trooper standing over Mimic was tasered in the small of his back. Hands grabbed Mimic and dragged him deep into the forest before the A.I.M. could get their bearings.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I got three Garth Ennis books last week and you know what I found in common? People getting it in the face:
Damn you, Nicieza. I've always said there was one thing I wouldn't tolerate: Germans and Claremont. And now, the only Marvel hero I can look up to is that purple-masked supremacist, Zemo. Save us, Baron Helmut Zemo. You're our only hope.
Inspired by Superman #660 :
"I got a job, and they tell me you're the man to see. A shipment of gun parts is sitting at Gotham Harbor while the feds check the paperwork and approve delivery. I want that shipment, but I don't need the Bat or his freakshow sending my boys to the hospital. They say you're the man to solve my problem."
Leaning in from shadows, light from a exposed bulb shining off his green helmet, Killer Moth crosses his arms. "You want the Bat held up for the night, it don't come cheap."
"20 large, up front. 50 when the parts are mine."
Twirling a motharang, the Killer replies, "Deal. Considered the Bat busy for the night," throws the mid-level boss his card:
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
A chime and the elevators doors opened onto a two station hangar on the top floor of the tower. Above, the ceiling was outfitted with an iris of retracting titanium plates. Directly under the iris was an X-Jet, a modified Blackbird jet fitted from passengers and vertical takeoff and landing.
Rictor ran straight to the entrance stairs and into the cockpit. He pulled a manual for underneath the control board, looking up the pre-flight checklist.
“You don’t know how to fly this thing?”
“M does. I just need to be her co-pilot.” M took her place as the controls. Rictor started hitting switches as fast as he could understand what they meant and eventually the iris in the ceiling began to open. “Sweet. We are outta here!” Rictor put a finger to his earpiece, “Hear that, Rankin? We’re out!”
Not waiting for a reply, M started takeoff, the thrusters underneath the wings and body pushing the jet up and out of the tower. As the rear thruster started up, a crimson blast of concussive force burst from the side of the building creating a wrecking ball sized hole in the tower. Mimic flew out heading towards the X-Jet.
“Jesus, did he have to blow another frickin’ hole in the wall? Buckethead’s hole was still open.”
“Nova, ass-clown, unless you want Mimic to catch you on the way down.”
“Boy, boys. Shut up. Except you, Nova. It’s time you tell us why we were almost killed.”
Nova brushed past Rictor’s shoulder and inserted a cord into his helmet and then into a data port on the X-Jet’s control board. Automatically, a monitor opened. “Sweet. Last night, I was on a camping trip with my brother when I heard a report about a wildfire picked up by my helmet. After I took care of it (pretty easy, I don’t mind saying) when the helmet intercepted an encrypted transmission from a spot where nothing should be.” As he spoke, a transfer began of four gigabytes of data from the helmet.
“Your helmet has a hard drive?”
“An alien hard drive, with a two terabytes of data, or something like that. It’s been adapted for human technology, but you never know with aliens. I was telling a story, wasn’t I? Can I finish?”
“Go ‘head, ass.”
A thud was heard throughout the cabin and M, who was doing very well blocking out the two men arguing next to her, piped up, “Mimic’s on the roof. He wants in.”
Rictor got out the co-pilot seat and went to the back. “Just tell M the rest.”
Nova sat, one leg on the armrest. “Anyway, the helmet was able to decode the encryption (not that easily, either) and traced to the signal to an A.I.M. lab in the mountains. I crashed the lab, used the helmet to hack the lab’s files and broke free, with that goon squad on my back. I never heard of A.I.M. attacking in numbers like that, though. They usually have some guys to hold guys like us at bay while the rest run.”
“Truly a mystery.” The computer chimed as the transfer completed, and M activated the autopilot, on a course for the area Nova found the lab. She opened the folder and it opened up to folder after folder all based around a project labeled ‘MODOA’. “Can’t be good,” Nova offered, pointing at the acronym.
“I’ve sent out an alert to the X-Men, Avengers and anyone in the area. I’ll see update with the coordinates for the A.I.M. lab. What can we expect?”
Just then, Rictor and Mimic walked into the cockpit. “They had an arsenal in there, lots of stuff I think they created themselves. They were geared up for a serious assault or to ward off one,” Nova replied. “And I think I saw a few tanks or something like it.”
“They’re going to know we’re coming,” Mimic offered. “They will have the base barricaded and whatever their plan is, it will be put in motion very soon.”
“That’s your criminal intuition talking?”
Mimic turned to Nova. “I have the collected powers of the original X-Men and everyone in this jet, he said eyes glowing. “Do not start something you can’t possibly win.”
“Enough bickering, children! We have to think of what to do, we’re here.” M landed the jet a half mile outside of the target area. “The jet can’t be picked up by radar or most detection systems. But with A.I.M., you never know.” The four disembarked and circled each other. Rictor had a portable computer with a holographic heads-up display, designed by Henry McCoy.
“Nova and Mimic, you two circle around from the flanks. Try to keep low, and alert the rest of us if you run into any trouble. Me and M will move pretty much straight in, through the forest.”
“They will see us coming and be on us like cousins on a will.”
“Of course. We’re the bait.”
A.I.M. Base Echo-Omega 5
“There are two people approaching from the south. Scans show they are mutants, designated as M and Rictor of the X-Men.”
“Nova must be with them, but hiding. Who knows who else they brought? Superheroes pop up faster than Starbucks. Activate the remaining troopers and the droids. Have a team stay back for defense but I want teams sweeping the woods for any intruders. Prepare the video feed. Time to start the plan.”
Scores of A.I.M. specially recruited from the military and mercenary outposts marched to the armory, where each were equipped with energy weapons or high-caliber machine guns (depending on specialty). From there, they separated into groups of foot soldiers or assault vehicle teams. They moved out, separating into different directions. A few squads stayed in a defensive formation around the entrances.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Monday, March 5, 2007
Anyway, time for...
Rictor went back to the main console and pulled up a directory listing most of the major active super teams and some solo heroes with an available contact method. “I’m calling for backup.”
Nova and M joined him. “Jesus, is there no one not in New York? Oh right, we got Shooting Star and Texas Twister to count on. Tell me, how long does it take to get to Cali from Texas on horseback?”
“Quit whining, blue-suit-star-burst-man. If all else fails, we can just leave. There’s an old X-Jet on the top floor we can use to escape.” From all along the sides of the tower, loud bangs and thuds could be heard from outside. The A.I.M. troopers were not going to let this one go. “Why are they after you?” M finally asked.
“Not the time. We try to fly out of here, they will shoot us to pieces. Those guns have an adjustable setting and by the time I got here, they were really starting to sting. We need a plan B.”
“Your New Warrior buddies?”
“I was on a camping trip. They’re still back east.”
Rictor, running through the many directories in the computer system, finally came upon something useful. “Got something. Maybe.”
“Well, Storm’s team picked him up when he helped some extremists trying to firebomb a clinic in San Francisco rumored to be tagging mutant patients for ‘quiet removals’ by the government. Good news, took most of the team to bring him down.”
“So the troopers may not pose that much of a problem for him, but then again we probably won’t either.”
“Nevertheless, Storm dropped him off and wanted us to call 5-0 to pick him up. We were just starting to dismantle and, well, didn’t. No one but Storm and her team knows he’s here and we get to ask for his help.”
The trio reached a cell in the rear of the detention area, the only one with its power dampener active. Inside, hands still shackled and chained to the ground, the prisoner looked up and grimaced. “Flatscan loving traitors! I should bash your skulls in! A cage can’t hold me. Nothing can hold me!”
Under his breath Nova exclaimed, “This is going to go over well.”
“What’s going to go over well?”
M and Nova looked to Rictor, who merely shrugged. “What? Heightened senses aren’t something you can really turn off and on. The dampener keeps him from shooting through the walls, freezing them brittle, or simply unlocking the door. Or whatever we can do. We have a proposition for you, Cal.”
“Mimic! My name is Mimic!” He jumped up from the prison bench, trying hard to pull the chains out of their sockets. The screech of the straining metal brought Nova into a fighting stance, but Rictor stayed still trusting the cell to keep him imprisoned. M walked back to the wall and leaned, becoming quickly bored with the ‘negotiation’.
“Calvin Rankin, the only human to not only join the X-Men but be named deputy leader. Your powers were all over the place but your incident with the Hulk and then it only got worse. By the end, you were running with the Brotherhood, after Onslaught but a handle on your power.”
“I lived my life, Cheech, I don’t need the replay.”
Eyes narrowed, Rictor continued. “I’ll cut to it, you want to change things. You fight for mutants but you’re not one of them. It’s taken you to a bad place, but someone who stands up for others can’t be inherently evil. And we need you, Mimic.”
“I hear them, outside. They’ll break through these walls in no time. And you want me to hold them back. Why should I let them kill you and escape?”
“You cleared out that clinic before letting the Brotherhood plant the bombs.”
“There were innocent mutants in there!”
“But you let the ‘flatscans’ out, too, Cal. You want change, terrorism is not the answer. It never is. Help us. Join us.”
“And I’ll give you half a million,” M added right after the intrusion alarms began blaring.
“How can I say no?”
The troopers swarmed into the atrium of the tower, spreading out to look for any rooms or exits. As some began to dismount their sleds, and secure the area, the main elevator in the center of the far wall dinged as the doors opened. Almost as one, the troopers trained their blasters at the doors.
Before the doors opened completely, a red beam of massive force exploded outwards, cutting a swath through the A.I.M. intruders. Expecting resistance, the A.I.M. began to return fire only to have many of their shots smacking against dense shields of ice that sprang up quickly to protect the elevator.
Mimic flew out of the elevator, drawing fire as he started his assault. Not one trooper noticed that some of their missed shots ricocheted harmlessly without touching the elevator doors. Mimic telekinetically lodged as much large debris as he could into the hole while raining down optic blasts indiscriminately. He dove straight into the thickest concentration of A.I.M., punching in helmets and kicking in crouches. "Flatscan scum, EAT IT!"