Happy birthday to my favorite Who companion. She’s 23 today. Congrats to the casting department of Doctor Who for managing to hit so many of my fetishes with this one. I’m quite smitten.
Guys, this week was a killer. Probably the most major comic release date in a while. You have no idea how many people have been coming in asking about Batman Incorporated over the last few weeks. That final panel in Batman & Robin sold people in a way that I can’t really describe and I for one am thrilled that so many people are realizing how awesome Grant Morrison’s take on the Dark Knight truly is. The man knows what he’s doing. In Morrison we trust.
AVENGERS #7 3.99
BATMAN #704 2.99
BATMAN INCORPORATED #1 3.99
BATMAN THE RETURN #1 4.99
DEADPOOLMAX #2 (MR) 3.99
GREEN LANTERN #59 (BRIGHTEST DAY) 2.99
OSBORN #1 BIG (OF 4) 3.99
POWER GIRL #18 2.99
SIXTH GUN #6 3.99
SPIDER-GIRL #1 BIG 3.99
SUPERGIRL #58 2.99
SUPERIOR #2 (OF 6) (MR) 2.99
SUPERMAN #705 2.99
THUNDERBOLTS #150 4.99
X-23 #3 2.99
X-MEN #5 3.99
Now after a good long day of writing about prostitution in the middle ages for a history paper, I can tell you about how awesome a few of these books are.
The weakest of the new Batman releases is the core title, which sadly seems like a middle of the road affair by Tony Daniel when compared to the amazing work done by Morrison and Finch in the other books released this week. Not to say that the book is horrible, it’s better than it has been recently, especially Daniel’s art which looks less rushed than I’m used to, but unfortunately the entirety of the book seems rather pedestrian when placed alongside the nearly pitch-perfect Batman Incorporated title. I think my main gripe with this title comes from the fact that it reads like a throwaway title from the late nineties or early two-thousands in it’s pacing, its art, and its choice of villainry.
The book suffers from feeling all too familiar to stories we already read but with minor tweaks. Unfortunately, the books that this seems derivitive of aren’t the best parts of Batman lore. I think that the book could stand to take a few more risks rather than settle into a comfort zone that’s so blatantly par for the course.
Then again, when Tony Daniel takes risks we get Catgirl, a character that I almost want to like out of the sheer absurdity of her existence. But then again, my tastes differ in certain areas from the general public so I won’t take a stand on that character until she’s had the chance to mature under another team of writers.
This book is everything you should want in a Batman title. Morrison manages to find the right balance of tone between the ridiculous, the macabre, the adventurous, and the outright fun. The book essentially turns into a globetrotting Bruce and Selina super-happy-fun action hour where Batman and Catwoman fly to Japan to begin preparations for that branch of the Batman Inc. plan to be put into motion but are sidetracked by a murder mystery and a cult of ninja assassins. There’s even some tentacle rape hentai jokes that seem all too appropriate coming from the mind of Grant Morrison.
The artwork on display here is robust and amazing. They really could not have found a better fit. Paquette’s Selina is as sexy as she’s ever been and the subtle touches he uses to portray Batman are astounding. It’s one of the best looking Batman books in a long time, rivaled only by Finch’s work in The Return which I’ll be discussing shortly.
If you pass on this one you will regret it later. This one is a home run in every sense of the damn word. Buy this book now!
I was wary of this particular title. That apprehension faded after the first few pages where Grant Morrison gives us what equates to graphic poetry, telling the story from the perspective of the bat that crashed into Bruce’s life when he needed to find his avatar. David Finch’s artwork guided the narrative with masterful flow and tone, showing off some of his most brilliantly stylized work to date.
That the art is this good is not surprising, given the subject matter and how much Finch loves to work with shadows and the darkness, but the complexities of the narrative were surprising considering that this is essentially the jumping-on point for new readers and Morrison made no attempt to censor his sensibilities and gave us intricate mysterious plot threads as well as hyper-neo-noir technological action adventure with jetpacks and robotics intertwined with some nitty gritty fight scenes.
If you’re planning on reading any of this week’s bat titles I highly recommend that you start off with this one as it outlines the new status quo for Batman quite handily and works to assure us that the people working on every title are going to be working as a cohesive unit to tell what seems like a hell of a story and if this one-shot is any indication, they’ll be bringing their a-game every step of the way.
From Marvel we get the newly minted 616 version of Spider-Girl, formerly Arana, in her first solo title. The whole Young Allies thing didn’t seem to work out so well so I’m pensive about this title, but hopefully they’ll let it go long enough to deter fans from yelling at them for cancelling what amounts to their only major female-driven solo title. (Scarlet doesn’t count, guys.)
It’s off to a good start. Establishing the cast of characters and letting the new readers get to know Arana in case they haven’t followed her from her humble beginnings in the revamped Amazing Fantasy from a few years back. The storytelling style is sound and concise, but from someone like Tobin who has a pretty firm grasp on narrative technique this isn’t really a surprise. The plotline seems familiar, as most superhero books are bound to borrow from each other a bit, but the expression, through a “twitter”-esque thought balloon parade seems fresh enough to distinguish it from other similar go-arounds.
I’m hoping it will stick around long enough to take off, because the character really is an interesting one. I especially liked her when she was in Ms. Marvel, another title that I sorely miss.
And now I go back to writing about whores. I guess this is what Frank Miller feels like all the time. A-ZING!!!!
Trailer embedded below. Here’s the deal. A lot of this looks good. The cinematography and the tone reminds me of the Star Trek reboot. What I am not liking is that they’ve essentially turned Hal into every other Ryan Reynolds role ever and the CGI on his suit looks about five years out-dated. Oh, and Blake Lively still can’t act.
I really want this movie to succeed. I want more DC movies that aren’t Batman. Seriously, Marvel is running out of characters to turn into films and somehow DC still hasn’t managed to do some of their biggest properties. Where the hell are Flash and Wonder Woman? Those seem like properties you could sell fairly easily, but what do I know, right? Anyhow, I’m hoping they tighten up the CGI and give us something worth getting a franchise out of. It’s obvious that DC is trying to turn this one into their Iron Man, which probably explains why they tweaked the Jordan character to me more jokey, so let’s hope that it’s at least on par in quality.
On a side note, Sinestro and Kilowog look awesome.
Thor : The Mighty Avenger cancelled by the people at Marvel who are actively trying to make me angrier with each and every passing month…
In a move that makes me seeth with anger in a way that cannot be descibed using the words available to me in the English language, Marvel has decided, in their infinite motherf#$%ing wisdom to cancel one of my favorite running titles; Thor – The Mighty Avenger. An all-ages book with some of the most brilliant work Marvel has put out in the last few years that for some reason hasn’t been given a chance to live on, especially considering they haven’t taken into account what the trade sales might look like considering that the collection doesn’t drop until December.
This is starting to look like an exact duplicate of my rant about Marvel cancelling SWORD earlier this year, so I’m just going to leave it at this before my hands start to shake and my typing skills greatly deteriorate.
On the third day of the convention my mission was simply to buy the things that were on my shopping list. I had a chunk of Jimmy Palmiotti’s Jonah Hex series I needed to fill in, as well as some Hellboy trades and I wanted to get a damned copy of the first issue of Conan the Barbarian at a reasonable price. I was able to pick one up for around $70.00, the going price for one in that condition being close to $120.00 so I was content. I managed to snag one of the Hellboy trades and most of the Hexes. With the money I had left over I decided to support our friends over at RED 5 COMICS and buy one of each of their trades. I’m planning on tearing through Atomic Robo sometime within the next few days.
After scouring the convention for the items on my shopping list I picked up the few remaining commissions I had not collected on and said goodbye to the professionals I’d annoyed throughout the weekend. Stopped to get my requisite picture with the Suicide Girls who I try to say hello to at every convention because as a photographer I keep hoping one of them will request my services. They directed me this time to their application site, so I might give that a go.
Now I’m back in Houston and looking to recharge by going back to work. At the comic shop. I think I might need a hobby away from my hobby.
Day two of the convention was a little more madcap than the first. That’s to be expected. The people who can’t get off work for Friday show up on Saturday and then all hell breaks loose when more people than is healthy try to cram themselves into an enclosed area of limited space. Everyone was in high spirits and things went as they usually do at conventions. I was unable once again to hit any of the panels as I opted to go have lunch with a friend from high school who happened to be in town and the panel I had planned on attending was full by the time I returned.
I chose to use my day then to pester the living hell out of Matt Sturges, who held the distinction of writing one of my favorite issues of a comic ever when he wrote the JSA All-Stars issue where Power Girl beat the living piss out of Magog. It was like he heard my prayers and then wrote a script pandering to my whims. We spent some time talking about how amazing Blue Beetle is as a character, with no distinction made as to which iteration of the Beetle we were really talking about. We just agree that any time there is a Beetle who is Blue, the guy is full of win. We then chatted a little bit about his good friend Chris Roberson, who you’ll recall just got tapped to write Superman in place of J. Michael Stracynski. Unfortunately Chris didn’t make a timely appearance at the con, but Matt passed on the info that Chris was already two scripts into the series, which bodes well for the title running without delays for the next few months.
The rest of the day was spent buying commissions from folks in artists alley to keep Rob Guillory’s company in the gallery when I get home. I snagged a Green Arrow head sketch from the always awesome Mike Grell as well as Sgt. Rock from Billy Tucci, who has more energy than anyone at a convention has any right to have. I tried not to spend any money on actual comics at this point in the hopes that I could clean up with some extra discounts on Sunday. I’d spent a good chunk of my walkin’ around money on the aforementioned commissions anyhow and would have to hit an ATM before I started scrounging through the longboxes.
Here’s a picture of that completed Sgt. Rock commission, as displayed by Billy Tucci.
Greetings from Austin, Texas where I’m having just a huge blast at the Wizard World Austin Comic Convention. Our first day here has been productive, as I’ve procured commissions from Mike Grell as well as Chew artist Rob Guillory. We ran into our good friends over at Angel Comics pretty early and if you’re in town for the convention be sure to drop by their booth and mention that you read about them on this blog. I try to give the guys as much publicity as I can muster because they do some great work and hopefully they’ll all be big names sometime in the future.
Met up with and got signatures from Mike McKone, Michael Golden and Greg Horn. All of whom are great guys who do great work. If you’re not enjoying McKone’s work on Avengers Academy you’re just plain wrong. Or not reading the book, either way you make me sad. Golden signed the first issue of Micronauts for me, which will be hung with care beside the original art page from a later issue of that series drawn by Gil Kane. I was happy that Greg Horn made it to the convention today as he was twittering quite ferociously yesterday about travel issues at the airport he was flying out of that included a plane on fire. Not his, mind you, but still a flaming plane.
Managed to snag a decent copy of Conan The Barbarian # 1 for about 1/2 of guide price for myself and then decided to retire for the day because there weren’t any panels I was particularly interested in, although I will probably get into one or two tomorrow if I can possibly manage it. I know I’m meeting up with a friend for lunch so it’ll be a task to juggle the scheduling.