Saturday, July 28, 2007

Custom Job

So the Scarlet Witch Marvel Legend sucks. Yeah, the figure was like 67% thinner. I bought it anyway, because like many comic book readers/bloggers, I'm a completist. That character trait is the reason I got the X3 Jean Grey Marvel Legend, as well. I didn't use my own money for it, so it's like I'm not really supporting that God-awful movie. Anyway, before I threw out the Jean Grey, I got to looking at the clothes and my mind starting working. Suffice to say, after some(a lot) of pulling and some drilling when the pulling didn't produce adequate results, I got this:

The MARVEL BOY Team Is Back!

I thought there wouldn't be anything to get me interested in Final Crisis, except the fact that it just might be the light at the end of a very long and draining tunnel. Then this was announced:

"The creative team for Final Crisis, the May 2008-launching mega-event, was then revealed. Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones are writing and penciling, respectively."
Bring it on, DC.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

MARVEL VS. DC: Best Synthetic Teammate

In DC's Corner: The Red Tornado

Red Tornado was originally a sentient cyclone from Rann known as the Tornado Tyrant. If Rann had more sentient weather patterns, those Thanagarian punks wouldn't stand a chance. He fought extraterrestrial sperm donor Adam Strange, but after observing Strange and the Justice League of America, it changed it's name to the Tornado Champion to be a force for good (except part of him split off to remain the Tyrant). The T. Champion then came to Earth and possessed an android body created by the awesomely named T.O. Morrow. He rebelled at his creator(?), well, guy who captured his essence and decided to join the JLA.

An underappreciated member of the Justice League(really, tornado based powers are extremely useful in most atmosphere based situations), Reddie(ugh) has the distinction of being Most Likely to Blow Up. His Who's Who entry alone had three instances of spontaneous robotic combustion and he spent 52 as a disembodied head. Though he did manage to get married to Kathy Sutton and adopted that crazy looking kid in the picture above, Traya, under the alias John Smith, he managed to spend time in limbo on the D-list team Primal Force without anyone looking for him. It was until he was found by Young Justice in the JLA's cave like a piece of old furniture that Sutton and Traya were reunited with their favorite superhero. He has now rejoined the Justice League after a bout of humanity.

In Marvel's Corner: The Vision

Originally thought to be the synthozoid Human Torch, Vision was created when evil robot Ultron recreated the design of the Human Torch and infused it with the power to change it's density, flight, superstrength and a laser jewel, as well as the mind patterns of Simon Williams, Wonder Man. Vision broke free of Ultron's control and was invited to join the Avengers. While serving, his emotions developed and he fell in love with fellow Avenger, Scarlet Witch. They were married soon after, and had twin sons, who turned out to be not real, considering he's basically a robot. The realization that her sons were just pieces of Master Pandemonium's missing soul, sent Scarlet Witch into the beginnings of a breakdown(one of many).

After being influenced by the Titan supercomputer ISAAC into taking over the world's computers, Vision was captured by the government, dissected and put back together with none of his emotions. This was the final straw that caused Scarlet Witch to lose her mind and rejoin her father, Magneto. Even though Scarlet Witch came back to her senses, Vision and Scarlet Witch's marriage was done due to his lack of emotion. He only regained his emotions after being transferred into the body of an alternate universe's Vision by an alternate universe version of Black Knight called Proctor. Emotions and, as the alternate Vision pointed out, functioning genitalia.

After Heroes Reborn, Vision decided it would be best if Scarlet Witch be allowed to live her own life and pursue her connection with Simon, who she brought back from the dead. Vision then started dating Ms. Marvel(then known as Warbird), and might have reconnected with Scarlet Witch, if he hadn't belched up Ultrons and was ripped asunder in Avengers Disassembled. He was wrote off as unsalvageable after that but his programming was downloaded into the Young Avenger Iron Lad's psychokinetic armor, bringing him back to action, except younger(?). Well, free of the previous Vision's experiences.

Who Wins?

I know a lot of people have a problem with Red Tornado; that he may be a lame character and really doesn't deserve to be in the JLA. But after his time mentoring Young Justice, I think people have been giving him a bad rap. Then again, when your biggest storyline is the dreadful, poorly thoughtout The Tornado's Path, well, there just might be something the naysayers get that I fully haven't. Vision, on the other hand, had a synthetic body with working junk.

Whereas Red Tornado seemed to lament his inability to feel truly human, Vision had no problem, really, connecting with humanity, until his first reconstruction. He even choose a name with some personality(Victor Shade) instead of a con man stand-by like John Smith. And when Vision does his half solid arm phase through someone's chest, it's always cool, unlike that inexplicable arrow on RT's head.


Friday, July 20, 2007

To The Victor, vol. II

I got a package in the mail from Rachelle of Living Between Wednesdays, and taking into account this was on the back of the envelope, there was no part of my prize that wasn't awesome. As many of you may know, I won The Living Between Wednesdays Comic Shop Love contest, with the prize being a signed issue of The Spirit #1. Rachelle was nice enough to throw in some Spirit buttons (which now adorn the inside flap of my Batman messenger bag so they never get lost), a note written on a Catwoman envelope (lovely), the official Living Between Wednesdays mix CD (which includes reasons why each song was chosen) and, proving that "Darwyn" + "Cooke" = cool, an original sketch Darwyn Cooke made after hearing about the contest.

Tell me that's not the ginchiest. Right now. I dare you.

Canadians rock!

Podcast Call to Inquiries

To do my part to increase listener participation, I am asking all six of you who read this blog to please send any questions to, so that the five of us at The Big Monkey Podcast can (maybe) answer your questions on air. Thank you for your time.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Comic Company Can Kick Your Comic Company's Ass

I don't know if I mentioned this before but I like Marvel more than DC. It's weird. I talk about DC more and Batman is my favorite character, but if Marvel folded, I would probably stop reading comics. And I talk about DC more because it seems to major in pissing off it's readers, deliberately.

In an effort to put this point across, I have a series in mind. It's

Except, you know DC loses.

First up, who has the better archer?

DC has Green Arrow:

Originally a lame ripoff of Batman with the world's most useless collection of novelty arrows, Oliver Queen was revamped in the seventies into a liberal rabblerouser, a hero of the people who wagged his finger at other heroes for not stepping up on national issues. Teamed up with Green Lantern Hal Jordan, he was made relevant, mainly as a response to Marvel's popularity, which came from it's relevance. So he was still ripping off someone's shtick. He's died before, having a bomb strapped to his arm explode, but he got better thanks to Hal Jordan as both Parallax and the Spectre making him a new, younger body and then placing his soul into it.

Besides being the conscience of the Justice League, Mr. Queen is the father of two(or three?) illegitimate children, one being Green Arrow stand-in Connor Hawke and another(maybe?) being Arrowette. Cissie's status as the daughter of Queen was hinted at in Young Justice, but since he series ended, none of the characters introduced in it have been seen again. The last is a child born of Shado, who had sex with Ollie while he was whacked out and thought he was with Black Canary. You see, to instill a personality into the tabula rasa that was Golden Age Green Arrow, DC not only made him a preachy beatnik, but also a straight-out lech. Besides the women he's knocked up, he was frequently found sneaking out of Black Canary's window and hit Black Lightning's niece's bull'seye, before she was tragically killed in typical comic bad timing. And let's not forget the time he slept with Manitou Raven's wife to support women's rights.

His partner was known as Speedy, before time and Sweet Lady H forced Roy Harper to grow into his own man as Arsenal, then back into Ollie's sidekick as Red Arrow. Harper has taken Ollie's spot in the Justice League, being the first hero to take over his predecessor's place on a team while the predecessor was still active and more popular. There's a new Speedy, now, a former prostitute and HIV carrier, Mia Dearden, because far be it for Ollie to have a sidekick who wasn't an Afterschool Special. What makes Ollie special is that for all his talk about heroes doing more to help with social issues and improve the lives of their fellow man, as soon as he found out Roy was a junkie, he kicked him to the curb.

Green Arrow's place in the DC is now cemented as the guy who questions the status quo, someone who will be the first to jump down someone else's throat about their faults while ignoring his own. He is proficient in superheroing, his skill in archery unequaled. But he has yet to be shown as capable of being more. Now his series is ending and being restarted as Green Arrow & Black Canary in what has to be one of the quickest relationship turnovers ever (or since Black Panther & Storm).

Marvel has Hawkeye:

A circus performer who turned to crime after a misunderstanding and falling in love with the Black Widow, Clinton "Clint" Barton quickly changed lanes and joined up with the Avengers to make up for his mistakes. Mastery of trick shots (he loved the shoot two shafts at a time), he had an variety of specialty arrowheads that were actually useful. Kind of a hot-head, Hawkeye was impulsive, but a team player. When he felt his arrows may not cut it and Hank Pym had become Yellowjacket, he borrowed some Pym particles and became the second Goliath.

It wasn't until Hawkeye met and fell in love with Mockingbird, a very unthinly veiled imitation of Black Canary, that Hawkeye began to evolve. No longer just the team's pointman, Hawkeye stepped up and became leader of the West Coast Avengers, a role he would take up off and on until Mockingbird's(and the series') death. Later, when working with the Avengers under another's (even Cap's) leadership no longer suited him, Hawkeye went to the Thunderbolts, helping the reformed villains gain the trust of the public and leading the team into becoming a real fighting force. He even gave up his freedom when he was arrested for aiding and abetting fugitives.

When he finally returned to the scene, he was quickly killed in the worst death scene written in Avengers Disassembled, after making a point that the Avengers never did enough to make sure an enemy or situation was harmless. Basically, they would take the win and go home, instead of making sure whatever they were dealing with wouldn't come back and bite them in the ass. While dead, his name was taken up by the Young Avenger Kate Bishop , who was given the name by Captain America himself, saying the mantle needed to be taken up by someone worthy.

House of M brought the archer back to life, but in a time while everything he knew was shot to hell. While currently not an archer, Hawkeye is still in the fight as Ronin in New Avengers. But, come on. How long will he resist the siren call of the longbow and how long before too many people ask how the hell did he get so good with a sword?

So who wins?

As far as series goes, Green Arrow has an established history of maintaining a series for a respectable period, but I don't think Hawkeye has ever been given a real shot with top notch talent, like Green Arrow has in his recent series (Meltzer may be cringe worthy now, but Archer's Quest was brilliant).

Unlike Green Arrow who has been stuck in the same role since the seventies, Hawkeye has shown real versatility as a character without losing any believability in his development. Hawkeye can be the hot-head who has fistfights with USAgent, the Joe Everybody leader who commands loyalty through trust, the smart alec showoff cracking jokes or the guy who questions without being a hypocrite. He's like your older brother, best friend and wiseass friend all rolled into one.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tell Me I'm Funny

So I've been writing articles for Bugle's Planet Daily. It's a irreverent newsblog about comics with no real news, just amusing articles of a hilarious nature. There are quite a few contributors and they are all very funny, and well, I need to know whether I'm rocking it or not.

So, go to the site. Read the articles. And if you happen to see "Posted by Jon Hex", let me know what you think.

That Avengers West Coast post is in the works. I just need the book and I'll get to scanning. We recorded a new podcast last week and should be up soon, so look out for the Big Monkey podcast. We got two reviews on iTunes, which means we're kicking ass. And I leave you with this from my ever present Who's Who:

Can you guess the artist of this masterwork?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Batman & The Outsiders

Not to call DC's editorial competency into question, but doesn't this promo shot
pretty much ruin the planned weekly mini-series that builds the team? Maybe it's misdirection.

Also, if Batman will be leading the Outsiders now, does that mean there will be a spot open in the Justice League? As much as I like the Big Three in the JLA, DC seems to have a one team membership limit and not having Nightwing on a team makes me think DC is freeing him up for death. He could go to the Titans, but what would be the point of two junior Batmen on one team, no matter how badass it would be?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Last Week Kicked All Kinds Of Ass

Read Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special Prologue. Right now! For not only the ending, but for everything before and to be on the ground floor. I don't care if you haven't read an issue of Green Lantern before and don't even know who or what Kilowog is, buy it and read it NOW!

I got the Heroclix Legion of Super-Heroes Starter Set and something interesing caught my attention. The Ultra-Boy click is 30 points more than the Young Superman (release the damn name, Spawn of Siegel & Shuster!) click. Some would say that is because Ultra-Boy has more experience at that point in Supes' development. I say Jo Nah has the invaluable quality of being a certified badass.

And apparently tennis still exists a thousand years from now.

I picked up three of the Avengers Heroclix booster packs. In them, I got Ares, Iron Lad, Namorita (R.I.P.), Wonder Man, Moon Knight, Giant-Man, Crossbones, the Red Skull with Cosmic Cube, the Living freakin' Laser, WWII Ultimate Captain America (my favorite costume), Luke Cage, USAgent, the Blazing Skull (I love insane heroes), Yondu (of Guardians of the Galaxy, can you believe it?) and the Winter Soldier. It's like fate contained in cardboard and plastic.

Speaking of insane heroes, Cable & Deadpool came out. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but read Cable & Deadpool. Jon Milan does a great impression of Rob Liefeld.

I got the first two volumes of Scott Pilgrim from and only after reading them do I feel slightly cheated out of not having a hot ninja delivery girl drop them off. Still, now I know why indy comics exist.

I found an old Dwayne McDuffie Avengers West Coast story. It has monster trucks. There will be a post.

But still some things did bug me...

I don't know what's going on with Supergirl and Wonder Girl in Teen Titans and Amazons Attack!, but it reeks of Terra from the Teen Titans cartoon. And I have no love for the Terra from the Teen Titans cartoon. She sucked just a shade under Geo-Force does regularly. Are there any teen male heroes who react like petulant children whenever something happens they don't feel is fair? I don't see them.

How hard is it to remember the status of a character you not only created but depowered four months ago? Must be a little hard, because for some reason Mike Carey has Pan in the group of monitors at the end of the first Endangered Species side story.