Monday, November 24, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

I found out today that Twilight has the record for the biggest weekend opening for a movie directed by a woman. No offense to Twilight fans, but I cannot abide that. Next week, Punisher War Zone comes out and I think that would be a more worthy holder of the record.

Simply put, I want the movie with the biggest weekend opening for a female director to be an ultraviolent spectacle. With your help, I believe this goal can be accomplished.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Did they just swipe a scene from the Watchmen trailer?

Judd Winick's Playbook

1. Take a character or characters.

2. They introduce(or reintroduce) themselves in various ways(some kind of sex joke throw in.)

3. Surprise! Someone dies!
Surprise! Someone appears!

4. The main character(s) reacts, maybe a fight ensues.

5. Surprise! Something weird happens!

6. Main character(s) react to this new occurrence or arrival, fit it with the earlier Surprise!(Repeat lines 5 & 6 at least twice)

7. Surprise! A half reveal or yet another surprise guest! By this time most readers are getting bored so it has to be SHOCKING(more than likely CONFUSING).

8. Main character(s) ramp up the violence and are SURPRISEd when the true menace is revealed. The heroes triumph but... 

9. SURPRISE! Something is not quite right with one of the characters and the new storyline has begun.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Comic Stereotypes

No, I'm not going to talk about my dissatisfaction with Native American superheroes or why Black Racer's suit is blue & grey. No, today I want to get something off my mind that's been bugging me for awhile, especially after reading Teen Titans for the past two years.

There are story elements to every character that I realize will always pop up. Sherlock needs his blow, Spidey has it tough, Batman is a bit of a control freak. It's to be expected in a continuing series that certain elements remain consistent. How many times has a friend of yours hooked up with someone who they break up with three months later? How many times have you had to remind your drunk friend he can't hold his booze? Recurrence is natural.

There are however some story elements that writers continue on with characters that have nothing to do with the characters' personalities, just with people's stereotypical view of the characters. Like with Teen Titans, The Judas Contract was a great story about the Titans being infiltrated by Terra, who posed as an ally, but was really working for Deathstroke. Great read, check it out when you can(the cartoon has a bastardized version I don't recommend to anyone who wants to keep their high opinion of teenagers). While this could have easier been a onetime or just one of three cases type of thing, we have now been thrown two storylines in two years about a Titan Traitor. Like we, the readers, were waiting for it to happen. It's a lame kind of storytelling were an outstanding story element of a popular storyline has become ingrained into the title by dent of writers trying to recapture the feel of the popular story.

Think of how people view the X-Men and the emo tone of the last three X-Men crossovers. The X-Men didn't start out with depressing storylines and to be truthful, the characters had their share of fun inbetween the drama that people remember most from the Claremont/Byrne years. Now, though, it seems an X-Men story has to be overly emotional week after week, like that was always the case with X-Men stories. There were freaking X-Babies and bar fights in X-Men before the 90's screwed them up. 

Just take a look at any random Spider-Man book from the 90's and you can see that hard luck Spidey's life was turned into a miserable existence where pretty much everyone he loved was killed and he could barely make it out the front door before something bad happened. Yes, the classic Spider-Man stories had him broke or missing a date with Gwen, but that's yards and miles different from being told you're a clone, having you're child being stillborn, your wife leaving you and then having your wife being blown up on a commercial airliner.

I like it when old stories are relevant to a current storyline, and I like when characters have certain quirks and things like that pop time and again. What I don't need is yet another Rogue loses control of her powers or Raven scared of her Trigon heritage story. It's lame because not only was it done before, the story goes in the same way with only a few differences to mark one story from the other. We need progression, something that stays true to the characters. Think of the Justice Society of America, who were a team of superheroes like any other but now are mentors for emerging superheroes. It marks a reasonable change and opens up for new stories.

Had to vent a little. WizKids was shut down, now HeroClix may be no more. Sucks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Brand New Day

No, John Cassaday is not drawing Amazing Spider-Man, but that picture is badass. Anyway, I more wanted to talk about the brand spanking new Cap, Bucky.

Since returning as a brainwashed amnesiac assassin controlled by a Russian bent on destroying America, young master Buchanan is now an independent superhero with a hot Russian assassin as his girlfriend. Quite the turnaround seeing as most Marvel heroes' lives get worse from becoming a superhero, or just in general(see Daredevil, Spider-Man, 90's X-Men, hell, even Gravity died once). And it's not just Bucky's resurgence that's been ubercool, but Captain America's villains have stepped their game up during Brubaker's. Now, Batroc can get indignant about his customer having doubts about Batroc's abilities when 9 times out of 10, Batroc would get his ass handed to him(the tenth time he'd be able to run away first). Even Faustus came back with the most impressive beard in human history. It's just an awesome time to be reinvented.

Just something I thought I'd share. Go pick up Brubaker's Captain America run or "borrow" it from a friend for keepsies. I'm not advocating stealing from friends, but they'll forgive you, so it's a victimless crime. Just saying.

And that picture had absolutely nothing to do with what I wanted to talk about. I'm just realizing that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So People Read This Thing

I feel compelled to post, as I have found out this blog has a legitimate follower. So here goes...
First off, I have no clue as to where Batman:R.I.P. is headed. Does that bother me? Not in the least, other than the fact that I really like the idea of being able to guess where Grant Morrison is taking a story without doing shrooms. So far, the only problem I have with the story is Tony Daniel's art which I find bland.

The story is so out there, I love it. Batman has a backup personality in case of emergency. That's genius. And a criminal mastermind who loads up the hero with heroin and throws him into the street? Red Arrow would be afraid of him. The last bit of dialogue from #5 isn't quite firing any synapses in my mind, but I can't wait to see how it ends.
There's a reason I don't read Young X-Men, X-Force or X-Men Legacy, yet do read Uncanny X-Men and Astonishing X-Men. It's because the former titles are too damned emo. Even X-Force, which has more stabbings than New Jersey, is filled to the brim with forced drama. Those three titles represent the stereotypical X-Men stories filled with characters either filled with grief, rage or self-hate.

Uncanny X-Men and Astonishing X-Men, on the other hand, are more great titles with the X-Men shown not as the dour protectors of a dying breed, but as, well, the exciting protectors of a dying breed. It may not seem like much, but to have Cyclops and Emma Frost flirting with each other while chasing down Empath on a motorcycle is just what the X-Men needed to break a cycle of mood-killing stories.

I don't know what Amadeus' problem is. There's no better wingman than Hercules.

Jeph Loeb was fired from Heroes. Having read both Hulk and Ultimates 3, I can only see this as a good sign.

Here's where I usually promise to post more often, and then don't. So I won't. Instead, I leave you with my favorite scene from Secret Invasion. It's one of the most poignant things Brian Bendis has ever written.