So, Jim Lee apparently designed this new look for Wonder Woman, which is essentially a cross between 90′s Superboy, Black Canary and Wonder Girl. I will say that Wonder Woman has been needing a redesign for a long, LONG time, but I’m not sure if adding a leather jacket and a choker is the sort of thing I had in mind. I mean, isn’t she supposed to be a princess from a mythical island paradise? Does leather jacket and choker scream royalty to anyone? It’s like they wanted to replace “your highness” with “yes, mistress.” Which, as anyone who has seen my multiple bondage-themed posts knows I wouldn’t have a problem with, especially given Diana’s s&m filled background, however there seems to be a tone clash with what I know about the modern Wonder Woman and her place in the DCU versus her essentially looking here like Black Canary switched places with Diana. Dinanah Prance is what I will call her. Because I can mash up words with the best of them.
This simply reminds me of a friend who always referred to the Catwoman redesign from a few years back that he claimed to be under the direction of Jim Lee. In reality that was a Darwyn Cooke design. I informed him that Jim Lee, capable artist that he may be, couldn’t have come up with such an effective, utilitarian costume if he’d had a Liefeld gun to his head. The way the whip wrapped around her waistline to double as a belt was a tiny stylistic touch that seemed like something that had real-world value. Jim Lee designs are all about flair and style. Hence, leather jacket + choker.
At least they gave her some pants. I mean, come on. You know she’s been wanting to wear pants since she passed a pair of blue jeans in a window the first day she got off of the island.
I feel like these won’t be up to snuff. I’ve been off my game for the last few days, more focused on my novel than the content of the site, sad to say. I know it’s horribly short-sighted of me considering that the novel is in no way a sure thing whereas this site seems to have a dedicated audience if our recent web-numbers mean anything at all. (Hint, they don’t)
So here we go.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #635 GRIM 3.99
AVENGERS #2 HA 3.99
BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #3 (OF 6) 3.99
COVER RUN THE DC COMICS ART OF ADAM HUGHES HC 39.99
DETECTIVE COMICS #866 3.99
FANTASTIC FOUR #580 HA 2.99
FRANKEN-CASTLE #18 2.99
GREEN ARROW #1 (BRIGHTEST DAY) 3.99
HERALDS #4 (OF 5) 2.99
HULK #23 WWHS 4.99
IRON MAN LEGACY #3 2.99
JURASSIC PARK REDEMPTION #1 3.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST #4 (BRIGHTEST DAY) 2.99
POWER GIRL #13 2.99
SEA BEAR & GRIZZLY SHARK #1 4.99
SUPERGIRL #53 2.99
SUPERMAN #700 (NOTE PRICE) 4.99
THUNDERBOLTS #145 HA 2.99
ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS 2 #4 3.99
WOLVERINE WEAPON X #14 3.99
X-FACTOR #206 XSC 2.99
X-MEN LEGACY #237 XSC 2.99
ZATANNA #2 2.99
I was so wary when I bought this title. I got the distinct feeling that it was going to be just downright abysmal. It had every indicator that it would be. In the wake of what’s going down with Arsenal, which may be the absolute worst storyline/title that DC has published in years, I expected to be equally disappointed in the new Green Arrow title. Despite the fact that I have every issue of Green Arrow from the moment Mike Grell took over the character to the end of the last series, I was seriously considering skipping it this time around because I didn’t have much faith that I would get my money’s worth.
The first issue was largely an exercise in getting people caught up, with Green Arrow telling a would-be victim everything the reader needs to know in order to jump aboard. It feels a little bit like a drag considering that I have been following Green Arrow for a while, but I suppose DC figured this new direction would hook a couple of new readers and they’d need the recap. Still, it could have been done a lot better without seeming like we were being led by the nose.
The new villain who takes control of Ollie’s old company is actually a pretty cool looking figure, she has a graceful mystery to her presence that makes her seem like less of a throwaway villain than other new arrivals, and thank god she’s not another archer (that we know of) because that’s just getting old.
The teaser reel at the end of the book that shows us where the book is headed helps to keep me interested, because it promises a few interesting possibilities. I’m not likely to drop the book as I’m a completist when it comes to Ollie, but I won’t regret my decision to stick around if things stay mostly as they are here.
Man, this thing is a mess. The story is bland and overly familiar, and the art looks like amateur hour. Nostalgia aside, there is no reason for this book to exist because there is nothing to salvage it when it comes to quality. I imagine some people who are really die hard fans of the franchise will stick around to see its completion, but I would have to be handed this book for free the next go-around to read issue two. I really wish I could say more about the book, but it was so mediocre that while reading it, nothing sunk in except how much I disliked it. I even like the second and third films, so it’s not like I’m holding it to any high standard. It’s just not a very good book, and it really could have been. I don’t think anyone will dispute that. It’s just a mess of an issue that turned me off nearly immediately.
Everyone here is probably well acquainted with my eternal love for Power Girl. I think she’s an underrated character who gets shoehorned into a stereotype because of the size of her bazongas. Everyone knows the story where she was supposedly drawn with bigger knockers every month back when she first debuted just to see how far they could go with it before someone noticed.
The thing is, as Jimmy Palmiotti (friend of the site, natch), Justin Gray and Amanda Conner can attest, you can squeeze some great stories out of her if you’re willing to think outside of the box and go places that aren’t readily visited by the majority of the characters in the mainstream. Power Girl operated for twelve months as the most legitimately fun book on the stands with some of the best expressive artwork this side of Kevin Maguire. It was earnest and endearing and I never wanted it to end.
Unfortunately it had to.
Now Judd Winick has taken over the writing duties while new artist Sami Basri has the unenviable task of following Amanda Conner. How do they do? I would put their efforts at “admirable.” Judd Winick does a good job of handling the tone set down by the previous team, but has to work in the events of Generation Lost, so things take a turn toward the more standard superhero fare. It feels kind of like a mash-up of the previous issues of Power Girl with a hint of Sterling Gates’ Supergirl work during the big crossover.
I think that Winick would have done better if he’d kept Generation Lost separate from the Power Girl ongoing, just as the previous team kept Power Girl separate from her interactions with the JSA. I understand the reasoning behind the move, but from a storytelling standpoint it feels like it’s trying too hard to fit into an overall continuity and not concerned with growing organically.
As far as the art is concerned, Basri does a good job but there are instances where it seems like there are three different renditions of Power Girl throughout the book where she doesn’t look like the same person. I think when the artist gets a better grasp of the character, those little nitpicks will slip away.
I just hope that Winick can manage writing the book without fretting over making the character “integral” to the overall scheme of the DCU, because crossovers kill interesting titles. It becomes less about the character and more about the universe and frankly I don’t want that to happen here.
Uh, yeah. I don’t know what to think about this one. Well, I know what I think about it. I just don’t know what to think about my liking it. There is no setup, it’s just a dive-in and go with the flow sort of book. Like it’s an issue of a series that already has four issues on the rack and this is just the next one in the series. There is no rational explaination or origin given for these characters, and nothing makes any real sense but the artwork is genuinely amazing and I don’t think I’ve cough-laughed the way I did with this book in a long time. I mean, a lot of this book caught me off guard and I didn’t know what to think. I can’t really recommend it for general audiences but if you’re looking for dumb violent “WTF” style stuff, this is definitely worth a look.
There has been a lot said about Stracynski’s arrival to the Superman title. Everyone by now knows the premise that Superman will be walking across America trying to reconnect with the people he’s supposed to protect. What I’m wondering is if this little pseudo-art vanity project will end up like Brian Azzarello’s run from a few years back that everyone dismisses as pretentious garbage. I suppose it would be worse if it were happening in Action comics, because I don’t know how much Action you can get out of a brisk jog, but considering that it’s been a while since Superman even appeared in his own book, I don’t know if Superman going through a pseudo Kung Fu “walk the earth” trek is really what we need right now.
I think that the War of the Supermen story was really well done and it had the sort of epic edge-of-your-seat stakes that I require from a Superman story. I doubt I’m going to get that in Stracynski’s run. I don’t doubt that it will be well written, because when he’s not hamstrung by editorial mandate, JMS can crank out some good stories. He knows how to write characters to thei strength and I don’t doubt that we’ll get some interesting moments out of this story arc. What I’m afraid of is when it fails to generate interest and gets cut short because editorial wants to see a bump in numbers but modern comic readers don’t have the patience for a slow burn anymore.
All I’m saying is that it’s off to a decent start, and it has a good chance to be something really great, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t seem like it’s not going to end well. No matter what happens.
So there you go. Next week I’ll try to have these up in a more timely fashion. But, I’ve said that before and you get where I’m going with this.
Today is Joss Whedon’s birthday. We here at Comics Con Queso wis him well, and look forward to the next time he will make us cry like little bitches at the death of a beloved character.
Man, I feel so old when I think about how much has happened in the time between the release of the original Toy Story and the arrival of the third film in theaters. I mean, I’m a young guy. I’m not even twenty-five yet. But the fact that it’s been fifteen years since the first film hit theaters weighs heavy on me. Mainly because I can’t remember much about that portion of my childhood. I was transitioning into middle school a year down the line and priorities seemed to shift. I do remember that Toy Story was an inspiring movie for me. It was so new and I hadn’t ever seen anything like it. 3D prior to that point had been mostly hideous. Looking back on it now, it’s amazing how far we’ve come in the quality of animation. It’s the same sort of gulf that there was between the 3D at the time and what Pixar brought us with Toy Story the first time around.
Toy Story 3 feels like something just as new and fresh as the original was fifteen years ago. Not because of the story or the characters, but because the first time around Pixar was clearly aiming the film at the hearts of the young. It worked. I still count the first film as one of my childhood favorites. This time around, they’re aiming at the same demographic but fifteen years older. This film is made, undoubtedly, for the kids who are no longer kids. The themes of growing up and transitioning into a world where we have to leave our childhood behind is one that everybody who saw the original has now gone through. Just as we could relate back in 1995 to the wonder of getting that cool new toy, in 2010 we can relate to wondering if we can bring ourselves to part with them.
The majority of the film takes place at the Sunnyside Daycare center, where the toys are donated in the wake of Andy leaving for college. And they soon come to realise that it’s not enough to just be played with, there has to be a connection. A special bond between the toy and the child. I know I had a favorite toy when I was a kid. I can easily relate to what’s put up on the screen here. I’m not so sure that younger kids will entirely embrace the message because the nature of kids toys have changed. Electronic gaming is skewing younger and younger and the imaginative world-building on display in the film’s intro where the toys interact in an elaborate scenario dreampt up in the mind of an innocent child might not be as widespread as it was when I was younger. I don’t know for sure, as I have yet to take the plunge of breeding my own offspring yet.
Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of my friends get married and have kids. I’m all too familiar with the message Pixar is sending with this one. I think it connects with me emotionally because of it. The kids will like the film because it’s got amazingly crafted action scenes and it plays out, like all of Pixar’s films, as a legitimitely good film in addition to being an animated feature. It’s how they manage to get films like Up! nominated for best picture awards. They know how to make a good film. The daycare being treated like a prison, and the detail taken to play with well established “escape film” tropes serves to make the film enjoyable in what can almost be seen as a reversal of the second film. Only, with the third film, the action and the pacing is done, in my opinion at least, with much more skill and finesse.
A good deal of chatter has gone on as to whether the film is necessary. Sequels by nature are a bit of a beast. They’re really only there for financial gain in the eyes of most. Here, at least we get a little bit of emotional closure for those of us who grew up with this as a childhood gem. And in that closure, we get a sort of passing of the torch to a new generation who, should Pixar choose to make another film down the line, can look back to this film with the same reverence that I do for the original.
Pixar doesn’t do bad movies, folks. Unless you count Cars, but let’s not mince words here. Just go with it.
I’m liking what I see. It’s probably a little more comedic than some people would have wanted but Kato looks like a certifiable badass and Christoph mother-effing Waltz is playing the villain. So I’m on board.
I could have gone with a Batman “Dead parents” joke but we’re classier than that around here. You’re welcome.
Here’s a caveat that I feel needs to be introduced early on into the review before I really get into the meat and potatoes of the critique; I enjoy bad movies. My taste is somewhat questionable because I love stuff that ranges from high art to utter dreck. That having been said, even a bad movie has to have certain things going for it that transcend whatever it is that makes the mainstream reject it in the first place and therefore allow it to meet the criteria of ironic enjoyment. There are unending caches of horror films that are only enjoyable because of their incompetent nature. How many people watch the films of Ed Wood simply because of how shoddy they were? There’s nothing wrong with a good bad movie.
Jonah Hex was never going to be high art. We were lucky enough to get a Batman film that saw itself as a finely crafted film first and a comic adaptation second, that used up all the good will we were gonna get for a long while. The off-kilter characters that don’t have a mainstream following, ie. Jonah Hex, The Spirit, etc. are going to have trouble being taken seriously by anybody but the die-hard fans. The studios don’t understand them, the mainstream audience doesn’t understand them and more often than not, the people working on the film don’t understand them.
With Jonah Hex, we get a film that has production values that frankly seem a bit out of place when it comes to what’s put on screen. The environments and set pieces, when not underlit in times of darkness, are all vibrant and don’t look like cheap shoddily built props. The movie doesn’t look like it was shot by amateurs and so the film looks good. My contention is that it really looks too good.
The story and the broadside anti-subtlety of the actors performing their parts make me feel like they should have shot this thing and made it look like a straight-up spaghetti western in the style of Django or A Fistful of Dollars. I think if the producers of the film had tried to go for more camp they might have picked up more people coming in to see the film. Though most people won’t admit it, everybody enjoys a bad movie now and again. The problem was that everyone went into this film with their serious face on and rather than coming off as fun it tends to seem like a missed opportunity. Josh Brolin brings a lot of gritty charm to Jonah but everyone else, aside from maybe Michael Fassbender, just seem to be going through the motions. Imagine if Malkovich could have really poured on the ham. What if we could have gotten another Con-Air style performance out of him?
Even the supernatural elements wouldn’t have seemed so out of place if the tone of the film hadn’t been so serious. The best thing that could have happened to this movie would have been a direct edict to go over-the-top with no restriction and they really should have kept the previously rumoured “zombie confederate army” plotline that got mentioned so much in the early stages of development. Hex talking to the dead would have made a lot more sense if the central plot of the film revolved around the resurrection of the dead. Instead he has supernatural powers for no real reason and Turnbull wants to blow up Washington with a cannon that shoots Dragon Balls.
I actually enjoyed the movie, I thought it was a pretty middle-of-the road actioner and that Josh Brolin did a damn fine job as Hex. But it really is a silly little movie that is hampered by it’s reluctance to admit its own ridiculousness. I won’t bother mentioning the plot holes, or the choppy storytelling, or Megan Fox’s accent. Those things are self evident. I’m just saddened that we couldn’t have gotten something unique and special out of Jonah Hex. Instead we get a spiritual cousin to Will Smiths’ Wild Wild West. The tone is almost identical. The “wtf” factor of the villain’s plan is almost identical, and neither of them seemed to care much about catering to the hopes of the original fans.
I won’t say that I hated it, but I won’t admit it wasn’t a dissapointment either.
Well, it’s time for me to rant and rave about comics again. It feels like it’s already later in the week than it really is so you’ll forgive me if everything feels a bit “off” today. I’m not sure why I feel so damned disoriented but I do. I spent Tuesday playing Red Dead Redemption, which I finally managed to complete and it was worth it because that game is all kinds of amazing right up to the very end. I want a sequel now. But games are more my brother’s department, so I’ll let him tell you about that if he ever decides to do another editorial for us, the lazy bastich.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #633 2.99
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #634 GRIM 3.99
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PRESENTS BLACK CAT #1 (OF 4) 3.99
BIRDS OF PREY #2 (BRIGHTEST DAY) 2.99
BLACK WIDOW #3 HA 2.99
BOYS #43 (MR) 3.99
DEADPOOL #24 2.99
DEADPOOL MERC WITH A MOUTH #12 (OF 13) 2.99
HER-OES #3 2.99
HERALDS #3 (OF 5) 2.99
INCREDIBLE HULK #610 WWHS 3.99
NEW AVENGERS #1 HA 3.99
NEW MUTANTS #14 XSC 2.99
ULTIMATE COMICS X #3 3.99
WITCHBLADE TP VOL 07 14.99
X-FACTOR FOREVER #4 3.99
So let’s hop to it. No sense in wasting time.
Two issues of Amazing Spider-Man hit the shelves this week. Three if you count the Black Cat mini-series. The finale of SHED was passable, but the overall quality of the arc is tainted for me by Bachalo’s artwork, which I find to be damn near incomprehensible. Seriously, I have no clue what in god’s blue balls is going on when that dude draws an issue. I’m not saying that he’s a bad artist, as there’s obviously talent there. I certainly can’t draw with any degree of his skill, his style simply aggrivates me and if Spidey weren’t a title I’d been collecting for around six years straight I would probably skip the story just so as to avoid looking at his clusterfuck linework.
Skip to the next issue however, and it looks like we’re in for a ride and a half. The Kraven saga is finally coming to a head, with the Kravinoff family hunting down members of the “Spider” family in some sort of scheme that I guess will either redeem Kraven’s honor in the family’s eyes or straight up resurrect him. I’m not sure. There seems to be a lot of misdirection on the part of the Kraven family. They were straight up trying to explode Arachne with a rocket launcher in the streets of New York while they had much more elaborate and detailed plans in their hunt for Mattie Franklin, the other, OTHER Spider-Woman who sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.
But honestly, the best part of the issue for me was seeing Kaine get his ass handed to him. I’m no fan of Kaine. He oozes 90′s psuedo-cool-lameness and seeing him get beat up and sliced to ribbons was just a treat for me. Like a free dessert at a restaraunt I was already enjoying.
I’m not gonna really review this issue, I just wanted to post a picture of Black Widow’s wicked awesome “Srsly?” face as drawn by Daniel Acuna.
Seriously. Epic bitchface.
You know what? This may be the single best issue of Hulk of the decade. It’s definitely the best to come out since the Planet Hulk saga ended. It feels like the Hulk should. It’s got all the melodramatic pathos, all the internal emotional struggle worked out through unrepentant violence. In short, it’s just a really amazing piece of Hulk. So much of what happens in this issue builds off of years and years of Hulk history, so much so that every event that happens in the pages of the issue carry an emotional weight that has been missing from the series for a while. I think that running parallel to Loeb’s overblown lunacy has caused the Incredible Hulk book to suffer by association. Pak has had to work within the confines of what Loeb has been building up to with the Red Hulk identity mystery and the introduction of gamma-radiated heroes, but he maneuvers in between the raindrops of insanity here to put out a classic Hulk issue that I think people will be talking about YEARS down the line as a perfect example of what makes The Hulk work as a character.
I will admit that the issue did have a bit of sensory overload. A lot of what happens happens very, very fast and there’s a lot of information to process. That having been said, it’s not so mindbogglingly convoluted that you can’t fully understand what’s going on. Compared to something like, let’s say, last week’s issue of SHIELD which just about made my brain crap itself. (Thanks Jonathan Hickman, you magnificant bastard)
In short, it may not be a great jumping on point if you’re unfamiliar with what’s been going on, but this issue should be a treat and a half for true died-in-the-wool Hulk fans who have been waiting for an issue like this for a long, long time.
If Avengers was Bendis doing the Avengers in a more classic mold, New Avengers certainly continues the work he did in the previous volume, with all the stuff that will make Bendis haters gnash their teeth and complain until they’re blue in the face while ignoring the fact that it’s still a damned fine book that is in no way inferior to what he’s doing over in the flagship title or anything any other Avengers writer has done before him. He even has the requisite Avengers trope of having everyone sitting around the table at the Avengers mansion and talking. Which happened ALL THE MOTHERFLIPPING TIME back in the old days, so it’s not as if his “overly talky” style is in any way counter to what the Avengers have done in the past. Plus we get some serious mystical mania with Hellstorm, Strange and the new sorcerer supreme, Dr. Voodoo.
Seriously, to prepare for this review I stalked message board topics about it. Just to see what other people were thinking and I have to say that the majority of comic book readers are a bunch of jaded cynics and hypocrits who really would only be happy with any given title that they claim to love if they were working on it with an artist of their choosing. Of course then only one person would be happy with the book and the rest of us would still be complaining. Lighten up fanboys, you guys are killing me.
Also, my new comic nerd-crush is Victoria Hand. In this issue she has a big gun. She’s won my heart.
Now I have to head back into the shop for a few hours on my day off to continue pulling books for subscribers. UPS lost another one of our boxes and so there’s a few things that we have to finish up today. I swear, in between Diamond Distribution and UPS, it’s a wonder we have any comic books to complain about on a weekly basis AT ALL.
This summer movie season has been almost achingly limp thus far. Nothing has really assaulted me with over-the-head displays of greatness. Iron Man 2 came close, but my expectations weren’t blown out of the water the way they were the first time around. With the introduction of The A-Team, I think the summer movie season may have found it’s footing.
You see, the A-Team felt to me like Star Trek did when it first hit theaters. There were traces of what made the original so much fun with a modern edge thrown in that remedied some of the problems with the first go-around. In the case of Star Trek it was budget, while in A-Team it had more to do with bullets actually hitting what they were fired at.
What makes The A-Team work so well is the chemistry. Neeson, Copley, Cooper and Jackson all feel like they’re old friends, so nothing comes off as forced. Which really is a godsend, because if those guys couldn’t pull off the team dynamic, it would have been enough to sink the movie. The obscenely insane action sequences just would not have worked if the four team members didn’t bring their a-game to the roles.
Also, Patrick Wilson gets to play against his nice-guy type here, which is awesome because I think that dude is underrated beyond belief. I was hoping that Watchmen would have elevated his profile a bit but unfortunately that movie didn’t do anybody any favors.
A lot of the critics have been panning this film and I simply don’t get it. It’s like they’re forcing themselves to hate the movie because it doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s like all of a sudden every action movie has to be this hyper-realistic Jason Bourne/Casino Royale attempt at grounding everything to reality. But sometimes I want to see a parachuting tank shooting down predator drones. I don’t care that the laws of physics are being defied openly and with reckless abandon. In some instances, such lunacy is warranted, and here it works.
Just go with it, guys. It’s worth it.
Also, I want to lick Jessica Biel’s legs. Those things are proof of God’s existence.
According to SuperHeroHype and Geoff John’s manic twitter feed, there is talk of a live-action Blue Beetle series being developed.
According to Johns, it is the Reyes character that would be featured in a live action show, having been introduced on the animated “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” last year with plans to play a larger part on the show. The first stage of development in a live action show are recent tests to replicate how Reyes might activate his suit from the magical scarab that attached itself to his spine after Kord’s death. (courtesy SuperHeroHype)
If this turns out to be true, I will be freaking ecstatic. I love Blue Beetle. I think Jaime Reyes is one of the best new legacy characters DC has cranked out in a while. All respect to Gail Simone, I could never get into her All New Atom, but Blue Beetle suckered me in immediately and I stayed with his book all the way through to it’s eventual cancellation.
The prominent placement in the Brave and the Bold cartoon had me wondering if they were testing the waters for something bigger, and I hope that this pans out. That would just go a long way toward shutting up some fanboys who spend most of their time bellyaching about DC’s inherit “racism” in regards to their characters.
The Spider-Man Wedding : A Treatise on the Dynamic Nature of the Ever-Shifting Comic Book Status Quo and the Reactions It Produces
Last night I watched my friend get married. Today I feel compelled to write about the demolition of Spider-Man’s marriage by the One More Day storyline. I know it’s been a long time since that particular story arc actually occurred, and that in the two and half years since it transpired we’ve had about five years worth of Spider-Man stories condensed down on us in the Brand New Day format. The fact that we have had so much happen in the Spider-Man universe since the deal with Mephesto ended his marriage is one of the factors that has helped Marvel quietly settle it’s readership into the new status quo. We as readers have mostly adapted to the point where Mary Jane no longer being a regular part of Peter’s life doesn’t register on our radar unless explicitly shoved in our face, ie. whenever Mary Jane shows up and makes cryptic references to the past that never was.
My feelings on the dissolution of the Spider-Marriage are fairly simple. I think that in the context of the story, it was poorly executed, but in the realm of comic-books, where fluidity is the name of the game, I cannot condemn it any more than I can condemn the death of Captain America or the Heroes Reborn debacle, or the Clone Saga for that matter. In the end, the events of One More Day are only as permenant as the popular writers of the day choose to make it. If tomorrow Geoff Johns jumped ship to Marvel with a plan to reunite Mary Jane and Peter, you bet Quesada would bow to his whims because he knows it would garner massive media attention and sales. That’s what it all boils down to, commerce. While comic books are an art form, they are also a business. Joe Quesada made a business decision based off of personal preference. There was no malice intended ot the fans in his action, simply a desire to run the creative side of the Spider-Man franchise that was more in line with what he envisioned as an Editor-In-Chief.
I think that the main reason for the uproar over the end of Peter’s marriage, aside from the qualms with the manner in which it happened, is that the majority of readers for Spider-Man grew up with Peter Parker and Mary Jane interlocked and inseparable. To them, Peter without Mary Jane seems like an incomplete machine, a muscle car without an engine. I’m sure anyone who picks up a Spider-Man book in the aftermath of the One More Day storyline would argue that Mary Jane has no more right to be the definitive Peter Parker significant other than Carlie or any of the other new characters introduced after the end of the marriage at the hands of Mephesto.
I think this all boils down to how in the world of comics, due to the fluidity and ever-shifting organic nature of the medium as a whole, events that add an edge of finality are basically a timebomb. Graduation from High School for teenaged heroes, marriages, deaths, children, etc. These elements serve the purpose of allowing the character to grow, but at the same time put up roadblocks that will eventually have to be dealt with. It’s a paradox in every concievable way.
I think this is why I, along with many other readers, are being drawn to series that have a finite run, with a clear beginning and end. You don’t have to worry about important developments being reversed in a series like The Boys, or The Walking Dead because their nature will not allow for it. Superhero comics do not seem to have that advantage. For long-running serialized characters, there will be change after change and then reversion. For every step gained there will inevitably be two steps back. This isn’t to say that serialized superhero comics are somehow inferior to limited-run series, but the fandom associated with the DC/Marvel superheroes will always encourage this sort of behavior.
My overall contention with all this is that there seems to be an overwhelming negativity when it comes to any change made to a mainstream character. I am simply saying that instead of grousing about it for two and a half years, enjoy the progression of the story that comes in its wake and patiently wait for the eventual return of the status quo that you enjoyed so much. And if you simply can’t handle the things being done to the character in between, find another title that doesn’t cause you so much mental anguish.
After all, comics are supposed to be fun.
75% percent of the searches leading to this site have a varation of “sexy cosplay” in them, and I feel like I haven’t been catering to that crowd lately. They’re the ones who give us a fair share of hits and yet I haven’t posted anyone in an awkward costume for like a month now. So I’m going to remedy that by posting some pictures in the hopes of appeasing my readership.
According to Newsarama as well as writer Marjorie Liu’s twitter feed, Marvel’s Black Widow ongoing will be getting a new creative team starting with issue number six, hitting shelves this September.
Today, Marvel Comics announced a new creative team for the Black Widow series, beginning with issue #6 in September 2010. Writer Duane Swierczynski (Cable) and artist Manuel Garcia (Dark Avengers: Ares, Iron Man: Noir) take over as Natasha Romanoff’s handlers for her next engagement. In this new story-arc beginning in Black Widow #6, Natasha is in the sights – literally – of a military man named Nick Crane who suspects she caused his father’s death.
Now, I’m torn here. I love Duane Swierczynski. He made Cable interesting, which is something only a choice few people have been able to do in the history of this universe. He also wandered into my store with Vic Gischler of Deadpool Corps fame recently, so the fact that he patrons actual comic stores makes me dig him a little more. But that having been said, I’m trying ever so hard to not feel disappointed. You see, I am a fan of long-running creative teams. Bendis on Daredevil & New Avengers, Brubaker on Captain America, Ennis on Punisher; if you give a team the time to really build something from the ground up, you get some of the best comics on the stands. I feel like Marjorie Liu could have pulled that off with Black Widow.
I know it was her decision, based on needing time to balance her comic workload with her prose work, but I’m still sad to see her leave. She’s still got Dark Wolverine on tap, but I’m not a fan of that character. Just a matter of personal taste there. But if she can get a good long run on that, maybe there will be something that changes my mind. Given the time.
Man, this week has been intense. I’ve been working on some major renovations inside the store, trying to make room for all the cool new shipments of figures and statues and assorted awesomeness that’s set to be hitting the shelves within the next month or so, which has left my body sore and weak from the labor. I’m not sure if you know this, but comic books in bulk start to get heavy. Especially hardcover collections. I swear it felt like moving baby cows on my shoulder at some points. But it all was worth it for how great the new setups look and the fact that this week’s new books are pretty much the pinnacle of awesome.
ASTONISHING X-MEN XENOGENESIS #2 (OF 5) 3.99
AVENGERS ACADEMY #1 HA 3.99
BATGIRL #11 2.99
BATMAN #700 (NOTE PRICE) 4.99
BOOSTER GOLD #33 2.99
CAPTAIN AMERICA #606 HA 3.99
CHRONICLES OF CONAN TP VOL 19 DEATHMARK 17.99
DAREDEVIL #507 2.99
DOOM PATROL WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO DIE TP 14.99
HACK SLASH MY FIRST MANIAC #1 (OF 4) CVR A (MR) 3.5
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #27 HA 2.99
JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST #3 (BRIGHTEST DAY) 2.99
NEMESIS #2 (OF 4) (MR) 2.99
PREDATORS #1 (OF 4) 2.99
PUNISHERMAX #8 (MR) 3.99
SECRET SIX #22 2.99
SHIELD #2 2.99
ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS 2 #3 3.99
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #11 3.99
UNCANNY X-MEN #525 XSC 2.99
YOUNG ALLIES #1 HA 3.99
And as always, I will tell you why you should buy things.
Wasn’t initially going to get this one, but Christos Gage is one of those writers who has a tendency to churn out some amazing stuff out of concepts I initially hesitated on. He’s a solid writer who is well on his way to getting the name recognition he deserves. With Avengers Academy, he may have found that project.
If there is one flaw with the book it’s simply that, by nature, it’s sort of the black sheep of the Avengers family. The “heavy hitters” in the book as far as star power goes are Hank Pym, Justice and a newly reformed Speedball. Gage plays with this by saying that we’ll get some big names as “guest instructors” over the course of the book, to show that those characters care about the events transpiring in the book, so we should as well. LISTEN TO CAPTAIN AMERICA! HE’S ALWAYS RIGHT!
So yeah, the book has that hurdle to overcome in the mind of the financially conscious fanboy, who may not view the book as “essential reading.” But the book hits all the notes it aims for, and the new characters introduced in the book are all interesting and get a fair share of development in their debut. Reptil shows up, having gained some exposure through the Superhero Squad cartoon. Other members of the group seem to establish their niche right away, with Finesse and Hazmat being the darker foils to Reptil, Mettle and our primary protagonist Veil. Personally I think Mettle has the chance to grow into a really great character. He seems to echo the greatness that Rockslide projected back in New X-Men.
The reasoning behind using these characters, and why the program exists, parallels the Heroic Age’s overall theme of rectifying the wrongs of the Dark Reign era. It probably won’t be the theme for too long, as the status quo will likely shift again fairly soon, but it’s an excellent way to get the ball rolling and they’ve hooked me in for another one.
Man, this one was epic. It’s not exactly a new-reader friendly jumping-on point as one would figure, as it hearkens back to Grant Morrison’s issue # 666 as well as the two-part Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader arc and we even get a segment (albeit a short one) that jumps into the Batman Beyond universe. It’s a veritable garbage-bag cocktail where every last drop of alcohol at the party gets mixed together in the hopes of making a concoction that will give you a kicking buzz without making you go blind.
The story has time travel, the Joker acting bat-shit insane, an appearance from the Mutants that harkens back to The Dark Knight Returns, Two-Face 2 who may be the greatest idea for a new villain that won’t be able to recur due to where he made his debut, and an amazing pin-up art gallery at the back end featuring drawings by some of the greatest artists ever to draw the Dark Knight.
I wish this review could be longer, but honestly the book is one that you have to read for yourselves. I don’t think it is an issue that everyone will enjoy, but I think that it’s definitely a ballsy choice for an anniversary issue this large. If nothing else, it’s definitely worth a read just for the sake of seeing if you understand what the hell was going on.
Captain America has been firing on all cylinders for around five years now. Brubaker knows that book like the back of his hand and refuses to let up. This issue deals with the fallout from the last arc where Bucky had to put an end to an evil Steve Rogers clone with a bullet to the dome. It doesn’t sit well with Bucky, as you can imagine the boy has some issues when it comes to Captain America dying, real or not.
While all this is happening, Baron Zemo seems to be working some machinations, which makes me happy as I friggin’ love Baron Zemo. I hope to god he at least gets name dropped in the Cap movie, because I think he’s just one of the most awesome characters Marvel has. Don’t believe me? Go read some Thunderbolts before Warren Ellis turned it into some sort of twisted abomination from the depths of hell. Zemo is a multi-faceted villain who simply does not get his due nowadays and I’m glad that between this and the new Thunderbolts, he seems to be making a comeback.
My only squabble with this issue is the fact that I’ve not yet determined where the hell it fits in with what’s going on over in Thunderbolts. I’m sure they’ll work that out sooner or later, but for the moment I’m trying to place it myself. With all the time line jumping in the Cap book, it’s a chore for sure. But continuity isn’t as important as everyone makes it out to be, especially when the book is this good.
As for the Nomad backup, I’m certainly enjoying it. I like the world they’ve established there, I’m just tired of Nomad ending up in peril so often due to her own naivety. It’s repetitive. Luckily, she seems to not have that shortcoming over in Young Allies, which I’ve reviewed further down the page.
I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time. Tim Seeley’s Hack/Slash is one of the more consistantly fun and entertaining books on the rack and when I heard it was moving over to Image, I thought “Oh thank the Lord, something good to read by that company that’s NOT written by Kirkman!” (All praise, be to the Kirkman)
With this mini-series, you get a fresh jumping on point if you’ve ever been interested in reading about Cassie’s exploits bashing the brains of creepy stalkery torture-killers with the aid of her hulking sidekick Vlad, who may currently be my favorite recurring comic character. He’s all kinds of awesome and unfortunately he doesn’t make an appearance in this first issue. He’s probably off in a corner reading Chippy Chipmunk at the moment.
The issue gives us a quick origin storry for Cassie that, while familiar to long-time readers, does not feel repetitive or dull. That was my main concern when the book was announced; that the mini-series would mostly be rehashed from prior events that we had already seen and therefore be of no consequence to those of us who have been onboard since the start.
And while I am certainly familiar with Cassie’s origin, the events presented here seem fresh and new even if parts of it do seem familiar. I like that Seeley is simply moving forward with the series rather than using this label-hop as an excuse to do a reboot. Because as we all know, reboots are all the rage in the horror genre right now. Because everybody wanted a remake of Nightmare on Elm Street, right? Whatever.
Get the book, hop on board now so that you can be like me and stand around telling everybody that they should have been reading this years ago. It’s a fun feeling. A nice boost to the ego. I love it.
I picked this one up out of my love for Nomad. I loved her mini-series, I love the backups over in Captain America, and I think that it’s amazing that a character who was borne out of such a horibble event (Heroes Reborn. *shudder*) could end up being such a great addition to the mainstream Marvel landscape. Teaming her up with Araña was a stroke of genius, because that girl, while an interesting concept, needs a foil to work to her fullest potential, as evidenced by her appearances in Ms. Marvel.
The book starts off somewhat dark, giving us the origin of a couple of kids who are ripped from their families and trained to be death soliders for some South American Generalisimo. If it were drawn by someone like Mike Deodato it’d be downright frightening and hard to bear, but artist David Baldeon has a light tone that doesn’t strive to be hyper-detailed or stylized, and so while the impact is effective, it does not make you want to rip out your own soul. This is a comic book after all.
The issue plays out much like New Avengers # 1 did a few years back, with the team being brought together by a single circumstance and a whole lot of coincidence. The formula works well this time around, because even the villains remark before they pul their caper that they’re looking for heroes to be in the area and expect them to show up. It’s a little touch that makes the book run a lot smoother.
Between this and Avengers Academy, Marvel seems to be doing all they can to get their readership invested in the next generation of Marvel heroes. Meanwhile, DC is probably trying to find a way to kill off Jaime Reyes. The butchers.
I’m not gonna lie to you folks, this is mostly an excuse to post hot pictures of Rosamund Pike and Emma Frost in a single post. I will say that I like the casting, she’s blonde and British and hot, so she fits just about all the necessary criteria.
Rosamund Pike, the British actress who appeared most recently in Surrogates, may be playing Emma Frost, aka the White Queen in next summer’s X-Men: First Class, according to a story at Forces of Geek. (via SuperheroHype)
I’m hoping it’s true, because I really want to see some Emma Frost on the big screen.
This has been floating around the ‘net today and nobody really knows EXACTLY what it’s for. A demo reel for a new film, a lead-in to a new game, something produced just to mess with the fans…
All I know is it’s slick, stylish, it’s off the wall and I would not mind seeing more of Black Dynamite as Jax and Seven of Nine as Sonya.
That is all.
Joblo is reporting this morning that Jeremy Renner, he of The Hurt Locker fame, is officially on board as Hawkeye in the upcoming Avengers maga-film. I think it’s pretty darn good casting. He’s got the look for it, and the attitude. What remains to be seen is whether or not they’re going to go the Ultimate route or the 616 original. Does this man truly have the balls to wear a blue and purple scale-mail jumpsuit and hop around shooting a bow and arrow? If he does, he’s more of a man than I am because I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Hawkeye’s uniform.
So what we have so far for an Avengers team is this : Nick Fury, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and the possibility of War Machine and Black Widow. Will Ant-Man and the Wasp show up? Is the Hulk still a factor? I don’t know. I just know that the film is shaping up to be something really interesting, but we still have Thor and Cap’s solo films before the Avengers hit the screen, so that’s plenty of time to blindly speculate on what could happen before they ever get filming.
Ladies and gentlemen, I drank a 1/2 gallon of Gatorade yesterday. I am more hydrated than I have been in my entire life and I’m pretty sure my brain is suffering because of it. So small talk be damned, it’s review time.
AVENGERS PRIME #1 (OF 5) HA 3.99
FRANKEN-CASTLE #17 2.99
HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #1 HA 3.99
IZOMBIE #2 (MR) 2.99
JONAH HEX NO WAY BACK HC 19.99
JSA ALL STARS #7 3.99
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #39 2.99
SERENITY FLOAT OUT ONE SHOT #1 FRANK STOCKTON CVR 3.5
THANOS IMPERATIVE #1 (OF 6) 3.99
Stand back, I’m prepared to do criticism!
I wasn’t going to pick this one up at all but got suckered into it by Alan Davis’ pretty pretty drawerings. I don’t have much to say about the writing, because it’s typical Bendis fare; but it’s good Bendis fare, as we get some good cathartic character interaction between Tony and Steve that really needed to happen before the whole Heroic Age could take off. While the book seems to be heralded as the reunited Avengers back together for the first time since the Disassembled disaster, they actually spend most of the book’s length separated, which works in establishing what this series will focus on, as it’s definitely tied heavier to Thor than either of the other big three.
I don’t think that this book is truly in any way essential, other than the character interactions between Steve and Tony which could have easily been done in the opening pages of the mainline Avengers book. This is mostly an exercise in capitalism. It’s a cash grab, honestly. But it’s a well written and superbly drawn cashgrab, which is more than I can say for some other recent attempts.
I will be honest and say that I don’t know too much about Hawkeye and Mockingbird’s backstory. The entirety of my knowlege is made up by what was presented in this introductory issue. I enjoyed what was presented but I don’t have the emotional attachment to these characters the way some people do. I will say that from what I saw on the page, this series could be an interesting one as the dynamic and the setup is different from just about every other Marvel b0ok out there right now. It’s a team book without being a team book. The group of specialists that Hawkeye and Mockingbird run with in this book, including none other than Dominic Fortune, give off a dynamic not unlike Birds of Prey, which doesn’t bode well for the inevitable Green Arrow/Black Canary comparisons that are bound to stick with the book despite being much better written than that book ever could have hoped as well as establishing itself as a lynchpin in the Avengers universe.
Hawkeye, despite the fact that I haven’t had much exposure to him, is central to the Avengers dynamic. He’s as attached to Steve Rogers at this point as the Falcon is, and they play on that well in this issue. I think that this series will serve as a nice companion piece to the new Avengers-centric Marvel Universe. I just hope it doesn’t get hamstrung by the fact that Hawkeye is, let’s be honest, a 2nd tier character and series built around those tend to have fairly limited runs. Like Hawkeye’s own series that lasted about twelve issues before getting shut down so he could die in Avengers Dissassembled.
I stopped following the monthly exploits of Jonah Hex about twelve issues back. I just had to find some room to trim on the pull list and I switched it over to trades. But when this came along I had to pick it up because I’m a sucker for original graphic novels. This one is very well done, and feels like the monthly series but with the dial turned up to eleven. Honestly, this feels like what the movie should be. It’s a taut western tale that adheres to and embraces alot of the western tropes and devices, while seeming decidedly modern in it’s raw narrative structure and effectively blunt depictions of violence in the old west.
I’ll say that if you wanted mass market appeal for the character in the weeks leading up to his theatrical debut, you could have gone with an artist that is more easily palatable to the everyday reader, but Tony DeZuniga’s sketchy style fits the character well. He’s done some amazing work on some of my favorite characters, and while I think his style is a good fit for the narrative, some complaints about his artwork are bound to arise.
What I liked most about this book was really how it appeals to any and all Jonah Hex readers. Newbies get a pseudo-origin story and can jump right into the action with no real trouble at all, while old fans will undoubtedly love it for how well it stays in line with what’s come before. It hits all the notes it needs to and then some.
And that’s it for this week. I’m going to focus my attention on these scrumtious extra crispy strips from KFC that I’ve picked up for lunch. They are just aces, and they won’t immediately put you into a death coma like a DoubleDown will. So, that’s just a check in the plus column.
I’m not the guy you want to go to for a logical reason not to dislike Joe Quesada. Even outside of my displeasure with certain creative choices he’s made at Marvel, he sometimes comes off as abrasive. Sure he puts on a good show and tries to connect with the fans, but there is most definitely an air of “I’m right about this, you just don’t know it yet” to every public statement the guy makes. I’m sorry but at times he comes across as a social media snake oil salesman who knows that the product he’s hocking is less awe-inspiring than he makes it out to be and while that can be said for just about everybody who attaches their name to a product, with Joe we’re often times forced to deal with him getting overly defensive when anyone questions his sales pitch.
Now he’s been promoted to the Chief Creative Officer position at Marvel, in addition to his duties as the Editor-in-Chief.
Official Press Release
MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT PROMOTES JOE QUESADA TO CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER
New York, NY – June 2, 2010 – Marvel Entertainment, LLC announced today that it has promoted Joe Quesada to Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. In this new role, Mr. Quesada will work alongside Alan Fine, Executive Vice President, Office of the President and Chairman of Marvel Studios’ Creative Committee, to ensure that all portrayals of Marvel’s characters and storytelling remain true to the essence of Marvel’s rich history. Additionally, Mr. Quesada will provide creative oversight of all areas of Marvel’s business including theatrical, television, publishing, animation and games, while also actively participating in all story and script development for Marvel’s films and animation. Prior to this promotion, Mr. Quesada held the role of Chief Creative Officer & Editor-In-Chief, Marvel Animation & Publishing and oversaw the creative aspects of Marvel Comics and Marvel Animation. The announcement was made today by Mr. Fine, to whom Mr. Quesada will report.
Mr. Fine stated, “I am excited to have Joe join me as Marvel Entertainment enters the next chapter in our history. Joe has already played an instrumental role as Editor-in-Chief in changing the face of the comic book industry with bold new ventures and an unprecedented penetration of the mainstream consciousness. His love and passion for Marvel, along with his experience guiding publishing for the last decade, will be invaluable as we bring our characters to life in new media.”
“I am honored to take this new position at Marvel Entertainment and work with Alan to bring the rich history of Marvel to a brand new audience” said Mr. Quesada. “Together with the incredible talent here at Marvel, in all our divisions, I look forward to making Marvel an even bigger part of the entertainment industry and showing why we’ve been an industry leader for over 70 years.”
Mr. Quesada will also continue to serve as Editor-In-Chief, Marvel Publishing, where over the past decade he has helped usher in bold new imprints such as Marvel Knights, the Ultimate Universe and Marvel MAX. During his tenure, Marvel received acclaim for its Heroes special to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001; the groundbreaking Death of Captain America storyline; and President Obama’s historic team up with Spider-Man. Mr. Quesada is also one of the industry’s most popular artists, providing cover and interior art to blockbusters such as Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, Invincible Iron Man and more.
I give Joe credit for what he’s done at Marvel. He’s given it an identity in ways that it was sorely lacking before his arrival in the big chair. I’ve been 80% pleased with Marvel’s output since he took over. I’m just not sure what giving him more power over the direction of the entire company will lead to. With great power comes…well, we’ll have to see.
So I woke up this morning in a haze from a Memorial Day True Blood season two marathon that was fueled extensively by Guiness and pretzel sticks to find out that somehow, Jesus fell asleep at the wheel and Michael Bay somehow got his mits on the Ninja Turtles franchise.
Michael Bay and the rest of Platinum Dunes will oversee the launch of a new live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, according to Deadline New York.
The film marks the first non-horror remake for Platinum Dunes, who will team with Paramount and Nickelodeon to re-adapt the property. (via SuperHeroHype)
I’m not inherently against Michael Bay, because with the exception of Pearl Harbor, I mostly dig his movies. Lord help you if you EVER insult the genius of The Rock, that movie was brilliant on so many levels and only four of them include Nic Cage’s hair. (Two of them involve Connery’s.)
My main concern is that with Michael Bay’s raging hard-on for CGI, we won’t get any practical makeup effects for the heroes in a half shell. Part of the charm of the original movies was the legitimately awesome fight choreography done with the added roadblock of those rubber suits. The fight scenes were actually pretty damned good. What kind of CGI shakey-cam hogwash are we going to get with this film? Based on what I saw in Transformers 2, I don’t really know what to expect.
But let me say this here and now, whoever they get to play April O’Neil is going to be one smokin’ hot piece of girl-meat, because while Michael Bay isn’t so great at finding legit actresses he can sure as hell find eye candy with both hands tied behind his back.
Also, maybe this time around we’ll get a live action Krang!
We Can Only Hope…