Archive for May, 2008

Friday Night Fights: Riot Squirrel!

Well, Bahlactus has requested all black-and-white battles for the current round of Friday Night Fights, which is too bad, ’cause I keep running across great fights that look awesome in color and just awful in monochrome. Still, one must persevere, and I found one this week that didn’t look too muddy…

From 2007’s Deadpool-GLI Summer Fun Spectacular by Dan Slott, Fabian Nicieza, and Kieron Dwyer: the mighty Squirrel Girl boots Deadpool in the butt.


Love that “SPANQ” sound effect…

Comments off

Stomp the Yard


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #24

Jeff Parker’s writing this comic again?! Holy Words-I-Am-Not-Allowed-to-Say-on-this-Blog!

Well, this is part of Marvel’s all-ages line, and it features Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Storm, Giant-Girl, and Ant-Man. In this issue, Marvel’s Mightiest Team can’t stop hating each other. Any little disagreement will lead to knock-down, drag-out brawls until, a few minutes later, no one can even remember what the fight was about any more. Not even taking out a Hydra base cools ’em down. Will they ever manage to find out what’s causing them to rage out on each other? Even if they do, will they be able to keep from killing each other just for kicks?

Verdict: Thumbs WAY up. This is the funniest comic I’ve read in ages. We get the triumphant return of Karl the Henchman, Wolverine eating tater tots with his claws, Doc Samson’s psychoanalysis of the team (including his bwah-ha-ha funny notes on Spider-Man and Wolvie’s bwah-ha-ha reaction to a familiar Rorschach inkblot test), jokes about Storm’s hair, tons of hilarious Spidey one-liners, and great dialogue like “Captain America was the one who started it — with his corn!” and “Ow! You shot that little nerd right in my eye!” This comic is drop-dead, soda-snorting funny, and you need to go read it right now.


Green Lantern #31

More of the re-telling of Hal’s origin, as he pays his first visit to Oa, gets put through GL boot camp by Kilowog, and earns the right to be a Green Lantern. Besides that, we get a few more details about pre-giant-head Hector Hammond and Sinestro when he was still a Green Lantern.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before, but it’s well-done, so I’m happy with it.


The Brave and the Bold #13

The cover pretty much says it all — Batman and Jay Garrick vs. a horde of evil robot samurai.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s Batman and Jay Garrick vs. a horde of evil robot samurai, fer cryin’ out loud!


Final Crisis #1

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Not buying it, not reviewing it. I’m sick of pointless, stupid crossovers. I’m tired of comics companies killing off characters because they think they need shock value to sell comics. I’m tired of being asked to spend hundreds of dollars every summer on crossovers that are driven solely by marketing. And I don’t care if it’s written by Grant Morrison — I still think I can live without reading it.

Verdict: Who cares?

Comments off

Wolverine Frog?


This is one of those bizarre stories that just pops up out of nowhere and immediately gets snapped up by who-knows how many folks, so what the heck, I’ll jump on the bandwagon. Frogs that can pop claws like Wolverine? Surely a sane universe could never contain such things, right?

X-Men fans rejoice: Wolverine has come to life, as a frog. When the comic book warrior faces a fight, metallic blades spring forth from his hand. A new study concludes that certain African frogs are similarly equipped, having sharp, claw-shaped bones that pierce through their own fingertips when the animal is threatened.

More than 100 years ago, scientists observed the mysterious bony appendages in museum specimens of the Arthroleptidae frog family, but they had no idea what to make of them. Some speculated that the protrusions were an artifact of the preservation process. Harvard University biologists David Blackburn decided to solve the mystery once and for all after having the frequent misfortune of being injured by the amphibians while doing field research in Cameroon. “The frogs will start kicking and drag these claws against your skin,” he says. “I’ve gotten bloody scratches from them many a time.”

I… have no idea what to think of this. Frogs with retractible bone claws is something I’m sure I’ve had nightmares about. Time to go hide myself in the closet, I think…

Comments off

Farewell to a Master


Countdown to Mystery #8

In our first story, Eclipso is defeated by the Spectre in a fairly neat fashion — Crispus Allen, the Spectre’s host, convinces Bruce Gordon, Eclipso’s host, to surrender. But listen, no one really cares about that one, nice though it is. The big news is the Dr. Fate story. The previous chapters were written by the late Steve Gerber. It looks like he didn’t finish the script, so instead, DC asked Mark Waid, Mark Evanier, Gail Simone, and Adam Beechen to each write the final chapter the way they thought Gerber would have finished it up. They’re all pretty good, but I think I prefer Simone’s ending.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The Dr. Fate story really does end up being excellent, but I would’ve loved to see what Gerber had planned for the finale.


Pigeons from Hell #2

Second issue of this wonderfully creepy adaptation by Texan Joe R. Lansdale of a classic horror tale by Texan Robert E. Howard. I recommended y’all read the story last month, and I’m gonna go ahead and recommend it again — it’s good ghoulish fun. In this issue, the stranded friends have to spend the night in the creepy old mansion, but when one of them goes upstairs to check on some noises… Well, let’s just say when he comes back downstairs, he’s not right in the head. All that, plus creepy ghosts, a horrific murder, and more blood and gore than you’ll be able to believe.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A great writer adapting a story by a great writer. And the art, which I was a bit iffy on last month, is really hitting its stride now. I’m very enthusiastic about this comic now.

Comments off

Numbers and Tangents


Number of the Beast #3

More people are dying, the oceans have turned to blood, and the members of the Paladins are accepting that this is the end of the world. A former superhero called the High has been mysteriously resurrected, accidentally blowing off Dr. Sin’s legs and later throwing him across the city. Supervillains are doing good deeds, Neanda the cavegirl accidentally lets slip that she’s not as primitive as she pretends, and the High discovers that he can’t leave the city. And it’s becoming more and more obvious that the city, the superheroes, and the supervillains are all actually in some sort of virtual reality environment run by the government.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m enjoying some of the character bits — Neanda losing her temper and reverting to normal speech is pretty good, and the scenes with Dr. Sin are stone solid winners.


Tangent: Superman’s Reign #3

Batman, Black Canary, and Black Lightning discover that Flash and Green Lantern have traveled to an alternate universe and start working plans to get them back. Meanwhile, in the Tangent Universe, the two Flashes, the DC Green Lantern, and the Tangent Joker go to the Tangent Superman’s fortress to rescue the Atom. They end up getting the Atom free, but John Stewart gets captured.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I think I’d enjoy this story more if moved a lot faster. I mean, a LOT faster.

Comments off

Twilight Obsession


Twilight Guardian #1

This is the weirdest comic I’ve read in a while.

I picked it up because I recognized Troy Hickman’s name and had been pretty pleased with the stuff I’d seen of his previously, and because I was in the mood to pick up something new and different. It’s part of Top Cow Productions’ “Pilot Season” promotion, where six new series are introduced, and the two that get the most votes from readers will get a new ongoing series next year.

The story focuses on the Twilight Guardian, a young woman in a hoodie and domino mask who patrols “a nine block area between Sandusky Avenue and Aurora Drive.” She doesn’t have powers, and there’s no real crime in her surburban neightborhood. Why does she do this every night? No idea. She’s broken somewhere, mentally, and somehow, it helps her to obsess over being a vigilante. And she is obsessed — she’s thinks out every last bit of her crusade, from the perfect crimefighting uniform, to the roll of quarters and ninja climbing claws she carries but never needs, to the comics she reads before going on patrol, to the homemade jerky she takes along to placate angry dogs.

So what happens? Nothing happens. She goes on patrol night after night, and nothing ever happens. I mean, nothing comic-booky happens. There’s no alien invasion, no supervillains, no natural disasters, no bank robberies. She goes on patrol, watches people in her neighborhood, encounters a lot of different black cats who want her beef jerky, and thinks about the importance of her “mission.”

And I think I like it. I don’t know that it’d be possible to sustain an ongoing series of this, but it’s a fascinating character study. I doubt she’d fare very well if she ever ran into a real crisis or a supervillain — she has to screw up her courage even to tell loiterers to move along — but I’d love to see how she came to this point in her life, and if she ever manages to come to grips with whatever drives her to pretend to be a vigilante.

Verdict: Thumbs up.

Comments off

Memorial Day Reviews

Oh, not that these have anything at all to do with Memorial Day, but ya gotta review ’em sometime.


Captain America #38

Sharon Carter has apparently found Steve Rogers, the late Captain America, alive again, but with heavy scarring. But she realizes that he’s actually a brainwashed and psychotic imposter who was the Captain America of the ’50s. She’s ready to kill him, but she is surprised and knocked out by Dr. Faustus. Elsewhere, Bucky Barnes, the new Captain America, and the Falcon go out to bust up an A.I.M. lab.

Verdict: Thumbs up, but the plot needs to be advanced a bit more. So far, the last few issues break down to (A) Red Skull and Dr. Faustus scheme and (B) Bucky and his pals beat up cannon fodder.


The Spirit #17

The Spirit’s kinda-sorta-girlfriend, Ellen Dolan, goes on a cruise, and the Spirit has to go on the same cruise ship to catch murderers and insurance scammers.

Verdict: Thumbs down. This is just so, so dreary. I’m starting to think DC shoulda just cancelled this book when Darwyn Cooke left.

Comments off

And Justice for All


Justice League of America #21

I’m amazed this one came out as well as it did. The first seven pages of this one are Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman sitting around talking, just summing up the current state of things in the JLA. Wheee, exciting! The rest of it is a couple of extremely minor supervillains fighting a couple of really minor superheroes. The Human Flame, a pudgy guy who had one appearance fighting the Martian Manhunter a few decades ago, tries to rob a bank, fights Red Arrow and Hawkgirl pretty unsuccessfully, then gets rescued by Libra, another supervillain who had just one appearance in a JLA comic back in the ’60s. Libra takes the Human Flame before a whole trainload of supervillains and offers him anything he wants. And the Flame says he wants to be able to kill the Martian Manhunter. If you wanna see what happens from there, you have to read “Final Crisis.”

Verdict: I think I’m actually going to give it a thumbs up. The Big Three sitting around and talking gets really, really boring, but I didn’t mind the stuff with the Human Flame that much. Of course, it’s all leading to Grant Morrison killing J’onn J’onzz in the first issue of “Final Crisis,” which is going to really suck. But this issue wasn’t that bad.


Justice Society of America #15

Basically, the entire issue is a fight scene with the Justice Society trying to beat up Gog. No, really, that’s it. A few highlights include Obsidian fighting Gog from the inside, Lightning’s spiffy new battlecry, and Citizen Steel effortlessly withstanding Gog’s punches.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This isn’t particularly subtle storytelling, but it’s a good brawl, so we’ll call it a win.

Comments off

=w= <3's the Intarwebz

This isn’t really comics related, but it made me laugh like a loon when I saw it — Weezer’s new video for “Pork and Beans” is one big Valentine to YouTube.

How many Internet memes can you count? Or, if you can’t remember all their names, check here.

To make this at least a little related to comics, this video is a lot like a comics crossover, except instead of Superman meeting Spider-Man or Hellboy meeting Madman, you’ve got Weezer meeting Chris Crocker, Tay Zunday and the DaftBodies girls.

Comments off

Friday Night Fights: Darkseid Demolition!

After reading last night’s newest books, I still ain’t got my fill of Dark Side or Darkseid butt-whuppin’. And while there’s a great deal of pain dished out in the third issue of Grant Morrison’s “Mister Miracle” series, the coloration on those pages may be a bit too murky to scan well, especially while Bahlactus is decreeing black-and-white fight scenes. And dangit, most of my comics just don’t have that many scenes of Darkseid beating the snot outta someone — he tends to just stand around scheming with his hands clasped behind his back. So, sorrowfully, I had to dig up a scan from John Byrne and Dick Giordano’s Action Comics #586 from 1987, with Superman beating up on the Big D.



A serviceable fightfest, Kryptonian, but the Lord of Apokolips never stays down for long…

Comments off