Monday, September 7, 2009

Gluten Free!

Two of my friends, the great Ben Hatton of Second Printing!! and those wednesdays & James "The Franchise" Rambo of Big Monkey Comics employment, have joined forces to present to you their new webcomic, GLUTEN FREE!

Ben has a long history of being funny and writing, which meshes well with Rambo's ability to be funny and draw. The series was just started last week, but how many times have you gotten to a webcomic late and had to backtrack over weeks and weeks of past entries? I just saved you hours of catching up.

You're welcome.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Would Go On Strike But...

Brian Michael Bendis needs to retire. Seriously.

I commend his dedication to Marvel and the effect he has had on the direction of the line, but enough already. Even Geoff Johns limits himself to the characters he's working on at the time. The entire DCU isn't subject to his viewpoint. Bendis has taken Marvel and sent it into this incredibly depressing downward spiral. And I don't buy into any of those generalizations that Marvel is always depressing, because that is just not true. There were down swings and up swings like any other company.

I think the main problem I'm having with Bendis' Avengers(New Avengers) is that they seem so truly inept. For every situation, they have the same solution: pick up your beating sticks, it's GO TIME! The last three issues could have been a regular-sized Dr. Strange one-shot without the Avengers, for all the good they were. Spider-Man is written like he's fifteen, Bucky Cap apparently has never worked with superheroes, and the most of them are interchangeable since they never seem to have any kind of personality, except occasional jealousy.

What I'm getting for his run is that he has overwritten the Avengers with his superteam from Powers. Now the team who was called in to deal with a biological attack(Red Scare by Geoff Johns) can't stop a juiced-up gang leader and a supervillain with finger waves. It's time for someone else to take the reins.

Also, I can do without Dan Slott throwing dirt on every superhero in the Marvel U. First, Starfox is played up like a rapist and now the Inhuman royal family basically stole the throne from a benevolent king. Before, War of Kings just seemed like Black Bolt and Co. overcompensating for being stepped on for three years. Now, they have a history of douchebaggery. They wanted to use something called a "slave engine" for God's sake.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Brainiac 0.0 Vs. Nu-Starro


After reading this new R.E.B.E.L.S. series and taking in this new interpretation of Starro, I think I've come to a realization as to why I think Starro the Barbarian is a lame idea.

I know some people would read the reasoning behind this new Starro and compare it to Geoff Johns' introduction of the "true" Brainiac in Action Comics. Mainly because they both contain the line about never meeting the true (insert name). And while Johns has the benefit of using that reasoning first, it's not the only reason I accept the new Brainiac and not Starro.

If you look at the history of Brainiac, it can be seen that his physical form has never been dealt with, especially in Superman's case. Post Crisis, Brainiac shows up having taking over the body of carny Milton Fine. It could be said that the real Vril Dox escaped whatever imprisonment the Coluans had for him and he only restructured Fine's mind as a backup plan. Even the late 80's huge brained version of Brainiac was a engineered body created by Lex Luthor. With the many later Brainiacs(which apparently gets up to 13), the fact that some original body of Brainiac never actually showed up on Earth is easy to take. The universe is vast and he had lots of other planets to city-jack so he had surrogates to help speed things up.

In Starro's case, in every earlier appearance, he(it?) is a giant starfish. Even in JLA, we're introduced to another member of Starro's race and it's a ginormous starfish as well. But now, it's revealed that Starro isn't the giant starfish spewing smaller starfish on people's faces, it's this steroid-upped space viking who carries around a giant axe. This "real" Starro recruits certain aliens allowing them a measure of freewill to run his campaigns, much different from Starro's plans which all seem to be him planting himself in a bay and throwing starfish on bewildered fisherman.

To say this guy is the true Starro, and not some guy who managed to control Starro or a body Starro decided to hang on to, changes the character fundamentally and comes way out of left field. I'm interested to get the final explanation for this interpretation, but between Bedard using Johns' idea and taking ideas straight out of Annihilation:Conquest, R.E.B.E.L.S. may not stay on my pull list.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Math Makes Me Emotional

As a blogger, I have a lot of time on my hands. I've decided to use this time by writing a post that combines the color spectrum, the Lantern emotional spectrum and math to explore the relationship between the multi-colored Laterns.
Here goes:







Saturday, April 4, 2009

Death In Comics

I've been reading comics for a long time. For as long as I can remember literally.  So I've accepted that no comic character can truly stay dead. Characters people embrace are hard to come by and bringing back the ones that have been earlier killed off is easier than trying to make a new one. But every resurrection should at least have an explanation.

I was reading New Avengers:The Reunion #2 and was bothered by the possible return of Monica Rappaccini, an A.I.M. scientist supreme who was apparently exploded in MODAK's 11.  Now, explosions are the easiest way to "kill" a character but leaving enough of a loophole to bring the character back later. It's on the opposite end of the scale as a goblin glider through the chest. What irks me though is that to explain her not death, all that was given was "She must have survived."

Really? That's the best you can come up with. A woman in charge of a super-science army and just "must have survived"? Lame. It made me think of Andy Diggle's start in Thunderbolts when he really needed the second Black Widow on his team, who was mutated and killed in New Avengers. The explanation? "That's what they were supposed to think." Now, I love Diggle from The Losers, Adam Strange:Planet Heist, Silent Dragon and Green Arrow: Year One. But you don't explain away what you don't like in a continuity based shared universe with sarcastic comebacks.

Then again, a five part wank fest for a boring, quarter century dead hero probably isn't the way to go, either. Does anyone else feel like Kid Flash reading The Flash:Rebirth?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ultimatum: Expected

The Ultimate Universe sucks.

Seriously. Think about it.

Any of your favorite stories from the Ultimate line, no matter how good, are tainted by the fact that nothing in the Ultimate Universe is remotely positive or has the slightest bit of fun to it. Does Nick Fury have to be a complete know-it-all douche? Did Iron Fist really have to sell out the "Ultimate Knights" to the Kingpin? Did Moon Knight have to be a looney toons freak who would drive a school bus through a high school and start shooting randomly to draw Spider-Man out? Does Colossus have to be a steroid case or Nightcrawler a creepy stalker?

As dramatic as a Marvel story can be sometimes, it's comforting to know that it takes in a universe where Gravity could become a herald of Galactus or a psychiatrist is a gamma-irradiated behemoth with green flowing locks. I know I may have said this before, but after reading the latest issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, the only Ultimate title I still read, I'm knid of glad Ultimatum is clearing out that line. I see it as a sign, a sign that any universe that would be overhauled by Jeph Loeb is not worth my time. So, I'm done. The last issue of Ultimate Spider-Man I read will be the last issue I buy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Group

Yesterday, two friends of mine welcomed their new baby into the world. As much as I felt happy for them (because babies are awesome), I felt a different emotion later when I thought about what it means to be a parent. We, my friends who meet up at Fantom every Wednesday, probably won't see much of the newly parented couple. Add to this The Boz moving to Cali (by the way, What up, Martin?) and I could see a pattern forming.

My Wednesday group was losing people, and have been since we started going to Fantom. 

It's not that Fantom is a bad spot, it's great. But since leaving our old store, the regular faces have been halved and with three(?) people no longer being regular within weeks of each other, it made me somewhat melancholy. So melancholy that I began working on this post this morning to get the word out to other readers in the area. I wanted to see if I could refresh our group and keep it together. It's not as bad as all that, but it kind of felt that way this morning. Still, like most things I plan on writing about, my melancholy was premature.

As I walked into Fantom, there was a new face there. A woman chatting with my friends about Watchmen, the art of the trade sale, and all the other random, beautiful things we talk about. It's not usual to talk to the other customers of the store. In fact, it's a welcome event when a new person joins in the conversation. But unlike those who talk and walk, this woman chose to accompany us to the food court and for an evening of talk and mall food.

Ask and ye shall receive.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Give It A Chance: The Amazing Spider-Man

Yes, One More Day was THE stupidest story in Spider-Man history. Not only does Mary Jane make a deal with Mephisto(the most trustworthy person in the Marvel U), but Mephisto makes a deal for the lamest reason I ever heard of. So one guy feels bad whenever he sees a woman who stays out of his life? What is that worth, truly, even in a suffering denomination? And I won't get started on why Peter would trade the rest of his married life for a woman who has to be five years from death. Yes, she raised you but bringing her back to life wouldn't keep her out of the hell his life had become. Jesus, that was stupid.

Damn, I'm ranting. What this post is about is that from that steaming pile, something beauty grew, the new era of Amazing Spider-Man. It's more than just a return to past greatness, it's great new stories. Old characters are revitalized in this series. The rise of Norman Osborn, defense czar, has roots in New Ways To Die, where Osborn sics the Thunderbolts on Spider-Man and Eddie Brock returns as Anti-Venom with the usual Venom powers but with the ability to heal people of their "poisons". I initially balked at the idea of Anti-Venom, but the story was great with Spider-Man dealing with the 'Bolts and two dueling Venoms and a confrontation between crazy Norman and a maybe crazy, resurrected Harry Osborn. Awesomeness.

With Mark Waid, Dan Slott, Joe Kelly and Marc Guggenheim running point on this series, Amazing Spider-Man has become one of the best written series published by Marvel (and if  anyone makes some kind of joke about Marvel's writing, remember DC keeps giving books to Bruce Jones). Peter has his wit back and even with his bad luck, isn't going through the depressing crap that characterized the book from the 90's to OMD. His supporting cast has been expanded, giving him the grounding he's been sorer lacking for some time now. I don't remember a clear time when Amazing Spider-Man was as big a draw for me since McFarlane was on the title.

It's a great time to be reading Amazing and anyone out there who been holding back because of One More Day or the lackluster to good years before it, I challenge you to read New Ways To Die or any of the Brand New Day storylines and still stay away. Yes, it was bad before but good times are here again.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The One Where I Was Inspired By Monster Vag

This Wednesday, a small contingent of the usual gang who go to Fantom were eating at the Capitol Grill and somehow got onto the subject of vampire sex. I say somehow, but even when there are like ten of us, the subject of weird sex is bound to come up at least once.

Having read the Necroscope series by Brian Lumley, I was able to freak out PJ, Kay and Gerald with, by far, one of the grossest depictions of "sex" we as a collective have ever heard. Along with a movie about a young woman who grows teeth in an inappropriate place, the idea formed in my head to make a movie about a 'Monster Vag', that swallows men whole and grows twenty feet tall. The movie would be filled with double entendres and Jensen Ackles pounding vag.

But that brainstorming session was just the inspiration I needed to start working on this oft-neglected hobby of mine. Just collecting the thoughts in my head made me want to write something, and let's face it, Monster Vag would have to be the world's first internet exclusive movie to see release. So, I decided to write something for here and I got some random stuff for ya:

I'm wondering if the last panel of this book was Ed Brubaker giving a shout-out to The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum. There a forum in which I could ask him?

As the dust settles from Final Crisis, I am pleased that Grant Morrison broke the cycle of Crises from DC. FC changes nothing history-wise. It's a characterwide crossover that only required you to read Superman Beyond 3-D mini(the greatest metatextual ending in comics), which makes sense since(sense squared) Morrison wrote that as well. It's like the original Secret Wars, except with Frankenstein attacking a possessed Wonder Woman with a giant fire-breathing dog and an army of Supermen saving the multiverse, one of which is Barack Obama. Awesome.

As far as the Faces of Evil covers go, the ones for Batman and Booster Gold are of dubious evil value. Catwoman can be forgiven for wanting some revenge on the guy who took her heart out in a plot against her ex-boyfriend and Enemy Ace wouldn't shoot at disabled planes. Not really evil. Deadshot isn't that evil either , but Secret Six is a great comic, especially Gail Simone's depiction of Bane as a caring father to a woman who's probably way older than himself.

I saw something on Wednesday that blew my mind, it was that insane. Apparently, Rob Liefeld is back to his Fighting American kick, the patriotic Golden Age he brought back as a bastardized version of Captain America when he was kicked off Heroes Reborn. He's leading off with Smash!, which by the cover is an obvious rip-off of Hulk. And the writer of this masterpiece:

Jeph Freakin' Loeb!

He is already writing a Hulk rip-off character for Marvel, which is one of the shittiest narratives in comics' history. Is this the project he was saving his serious Hulk material for or will Smash! achieve a level of abysmal that will cause comics to implode? I don't want to find out. I didn't even want to know this kind of convergence could exist.

Heavy Flo. Ugh.