Archive for January, 2009

Friday Night Fights: Two-for-One Sale!

Man alive, what a week! Nothing but stress and worry and work and alarm clocks and not-sleeping-late! Is there any way to unwind from the work week and get primed for the weekend? Why not try a thick, steaming bowl of FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Today, let’s take a look at February 2007’s 52, Week Forty-Three, by some combination of Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Keith Giffen, and Dan Jurgens, as Osiris gets all angsty, lashes out at Captain Marvel Junior (Well, who wouldn’t?), and accidentally hits his sister, Isis.


After that, he went out and got eaten by a crocodile.

Sounds like my week, dangit.

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Lubbock Comic Book Expo II: Electric Boogaloo

Plans are now in motion for the second annual Lubbock Comic Book Expo! It’s set for Saturday, May 2, at the Science Spectrum.

Looks like there are some changes in store — the location moved from the back room of the Science Spectrum to a room closer to the front entrance, and that means to get in, you’ll have to pay for admission into the main museum section of the Science Spectrum itself: $7.50 for adults, $6 for kids, but just $2 for Science Spectrum members, and you’ll still get in free if you come in costume!

There’s still room for vendors, exhibitors, creators, and of course, volunteers. Head over to the official website for more info.

Expect more announcements to come soon, and mark your calendar for May 2.

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Lunch Lady Land

Just one review today? Sure, but it’s for DC’s very best all-ages comic. And it’s for what appears to be the very best issue of this comic ever.

Tiny Titans #12

Alright, first of all, dig that cover. A nice little bit of subversion to kick things off. All of DC’s mainstream comics this month have had “Faces of Evil” covers with a spotlight on the supervillains. And “Tiny Titans” jumps on that bandwagon with a twist on the concept that’s colorful and funny. I love that.

What’s our plot this time? Well, Trigon, substitute teacher at Sidekick Elementary School, has snagged five tickets to a baseball game, and he wants to take Principal Slade along with him — just to kiss up to the boss a little. Slade decides what the heck, so Slade grabs his kids, Rose and Joseph, and Trigon grabs his daughter, Raven, and they all head out to the ballgame.

With me so far?

Good, ’cause here’s where things get crazy.

It turns out that Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips, Possessor of the Omega Force, Master of the Anti-Life Equation, the Rock, the Chain, and the Lightning…

…is the school’s lunch lady.

So while Slade, Trigon, and their families are at the game, meeting up with, by gum, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four and his son, Franklin:

…Lunch Lady Darkseid gets to be Principal for a Day.

(And those are the cutest little parademons ever!)

So Darkseid has something really, really awful planned for the Tiny Titans, right? Oh, you betcha. He’s going to make everyone take their final exams early!

Okay, I give up. This is officially the Awesomest Thing in Awesometown.

Verdict: Thumbs way, way up. Dan DiDio, Paul Levitz, Grant Morrison, your services are no longer needed. Art Baltazar and Franco are going to be taking over the DC Universe from now on.

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Snow Day

First snow in late January? BAH! Hope it melts off soon. I hate snow.

I really hope it melts off soon. I been eating canned soup too much, and I need to go to the store. Better dig out the parka and snow tires…

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By Crom!

Okay, I just gotta throw this out here real quick. You guys like The Onion, right? Check out their new article about Obama’s challenges with his new Cabinet

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama expressed frustration Wednesday after members of his cabinet failed to recognize his allusion to the 24th issue of the comic series Savage Sword Of Conan during their first major meeting together.

Obama, whose upcoming challenges include organizing a massive effort to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, was reportedly unprepared for the confused silence he received upon suggesting that his cabinet “team up with Taurus of Nemedia” to secure the necessary funding from Congress.


Obama, an avid collector of Conan The Barbarian and Spider-Man comic books since he was a child, was referencing the 1977 story “The Tower Of The Elephant,” written by Roy Thomas. According to administration sources, no one in Obama’s cabinet was familiar with the magazine-sized comic, though Labor Secretary Hilda Solis claimed to have once seen Conan the Destroyer.

Even by The Onion‘s usual high standards, this one was particularly funny. Go read the whole thing.

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Hellboy’s Posse

Seems like ages since I got to review some horror comics, so let’s hit a couple of Dark Horse Comics’ best.


Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #2

We actually get three stories here. First, after getting betrayed by the Wild Hunt, Hellboy ends up losing consciousness and missing the entire fight — when he comes to, all the Wild Hunters are already dead, killed by the quartet of giants they’d claimed they were going to kill. How did Hellboy escape? A helpful talking sparrow reveals that he’s been temporarily blessed with invisibility. Unfortunately, just because he’s invisible doesn’t mean the giants can’t hear him.

In the second story, we get the history of Gruagach of Lough Leane, a former elf and current broken-down pig monster. While he used to be a powerful shapeshifter, he lost his powers because of love (Ain’t that always the way?), got bested by Hellboy, and trapped in the piggish body he currently resides in. Can he escape his curse and resurrect his former queen?

Finally, we get the story of “How Koshchei Became Deathless” — the story, obviously, of Koshchei the Deathless, a figure from Russian mythology. In this version, Koshchei was originally a common soldier, dying on a battlefield, granted healing by a dragon in exchange for nine years of service. After leaving the dragon’s employ, he is granted a magical shirt that will prevent all injury, which gives him uncommon success on the battlefield. He marries a princess, but she conspires with another suitor to steal away his magic shirt and kill him.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The stories about Koshchei and Gruagach are actually the standouts here — full of the weird lovelorn tragedies and unexplainable magicks that fill all the best mythologies.


B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess #1

The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense is still trying to track down Martin Gilfryd, the near-immortal wizard who has kidnapped pyrokinetic Liz Sherman. While a small team led by Abe Sapien and Johann Kraus dig through the files of an abandoned base, Kate Corrigan interviews Harold McTell, an old man who is the last surviving member of Lobster Johnson’s team during the 1940s. Lobster’s investigation of Gilfryd was marked by the mysterious deaths of almost all of his agents. But does McTell still have information that he can offer the BPRD?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Solid characterization and dialogue, with some great pulp elements and random spooky bits tossed in here and there.

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International Fan Letter Week

Okay, it’s not actually International Fan Letter Week. But let’s have one anyway.

When Forrest J. Ackerman was dying, his friends and family asked for his fans to send him letters, and I was one of the people who put a letter in an envelope and sent it on its way. And it felt good. So many of my favorite writers died long before it ever occurred to me to send them a note saying I thought they were cool, and it was nice to, for once, have the opportunity to say thanks.

So that’s what we’re gonna do. Pick out some of your favorite people — authors, artists, actors, musicians, politicians, or anyone else. Make sure they’re still alive — yes, Shakespeare and Mark Twain were great writers, but you’re a bit too late to get a postcard to them.

Write ’em a short letter, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, send it on. If they’ve got an e-mail address, use that. If they don’t, it may take some digging to find their mailing address. For most writers, find out who their publishers are, and send the letter to the publisher. Most movie studios will pass fan mail on to actors and directors. Do a little research, and you should be able to find a way to contact most folks.

It doesn’t have to be anyone working in comics — neither of mine (Ray Bradbury and Terry Pratchett, by the way) are. Just pick someone who’s still alive and whose work has positively impacted your life.

Your letter doesn’t have to be long and flowery. Just a note saying “You rock” to your favorite writers, artists, creative types.

Everybody git to writing…

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Friday Night Fights: Ribcage Mambo

It’s been another rough week, with a few notable highlights, but dangit, the fact remains, there’s no better cure for a rough week than a little FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s mighty battle comes courtesy of July 2003’s Exiles #27 by Chuck Austen, Clayton Henry, and Mark Morales, in which an alternate-reality Colossus reminds alternate-reality Luke Cage about the limits of bulletproof skin.


(Spacebooger don’t pull no punches either.)

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Faces of Distraction

Got the car back. Another $350 bucks down the tubes. And actually, I gotta take it to another joint later today for a more minor procedure, but still, here goes another few hours without the car, and another few bucks into the abyss. And on top of all that, I got another couple of job rejections yesterday. So this is what my life is like these days — shovel a few hundred bucks out the window, get turned down for jobs, read the news about another half-million people losing their jobs, and try to find something new to distract myself from thinking about how awful things are.

Luckily, new comics = awesome distraction factor!


Birds of Prey #126

First of all, could I just say that I do not like DC’s “Faces of Evil” covers? Something a tad more colorful, por favor?

Anyway, it’s the next to the last issue of this series. The dastardly but extraordinarily nerdy Calculator has gotten on the bad side of the Kilg%re, a living computer program who’s allied with the Silicon Syndicate. Basically, the Calculator blundered and gave Oracle access to the Syndicate’s secret Internet — the Syndicate is unhappy, but is going to give him three days to kill the Birds of Prey before they kill him. Can Calculator figure out a way to come out on top? Well, yeah, that and more. And with Calc’s newfound power, do Oracle and the rest of the Birds stand any chance against him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice focus on the Calculator and the Syndicate, and Calc’s scheme is enjoyably baroque and twisted.


Green Lantern #37

Hal Jordan and the lone two Blue Lanterns are racing to save Sinestro from being executed by the Red Lanterns. The Blue Lanterns want to save Sinestro — Jordan would kinda like to kill him himself. But he gets ambushed by the blood-barfing Red Lanterns and imprisoned with Sinestro. The demonic Atrocitus pronounces prophecies that Hal will eventually rebel against the Corps, but the Sinestro Corps soon attacks, and Hal finds himself in the crossfire between the Red, Blue, and Yellow Lanterns. Hal tries to save Laira, a former Green Lantern turned Red, but Sinestro kills her. Jordan is enraged by her death — and you know how much the Red Lanterns love rage…

Verdict: I think I’m gonna thumbs-down on this one. I’m really tired of the blood-vomiting Red Lanterns. And I’m not that fond of the Blue Lanterns either. And now that Hal has gone from a Green Lantern to a Red Lantern, with the Blues wanting him as their leader… Hey, do ya reckon, Hal is going to be wearing all seven of the power rings by the time this is all over? Aw, gee, did I figure out the big surprise already?


Secret Six #5

The horrific Junior is going to kill Bane by throwing bricks at him. Five hundred bricks. But Bane is not without resources — namely, that even chained up and seemingly helpless, he’s really, really good at killing Junior’s henchmen. Meanwhile, Jeanette, the Last Victim and the owner of the Nocturne casino, forces Cheshire to give the rest of the Six the antidote to the poisons they were exposed to last issue. Then they all beat the snot out of the supervillains stalking them through the casino. Finally, they go to find Bane, and we get the revelation of Junior’s identity.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good stuff going on with Bane, and I really do like Jeanette. Not sure how thrilled I am with Junior’s true identity — I kinda liked the character as a shrouded and mysterious creep. Also, the actual disrobing part of it probably requires brain bleach, which I can no longer afford…

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Ledger gets Oscar nomination for "Dark Knight"


I completely forgot that Oscar nominations happened today. The big news for us comic geeks is that Heath Ledger received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” He’s competing against Josh Brolin in “Milk,” Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road,” Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt,” and Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder.”

If we’re handicapping things, Ledger looks like he has a pretty good shot at the Oscar — pretty much everyone was talking about what an awesome job he did as the Joker, so he definitely starts out with the most buzz. On the other hand, it’s far from a sure thing — the Oscar voters really love Philip Seymour Hoffman, because I don’t think he’s ever turned in a bad performance. And Josh Brolin got really stellar reviews for “Milk.”

I’m a little boggled that Robert Downey Jr. got nominated for “Tropic Thunder” — Oscar voters generally seem to hate comedies, especially very silly comedies like “Tropic Thunder.” Hey, didn’t that guy also play a comic book character last year?

I generally enjoy the nominations more than the actual Academy Awards — primarily, there are fewer dance numbers. You get a much better overview of what the best movies and performances really were. As far as the other noms go, I’m stoked that Melissa Leo, who played one of my favorite characters on “Homicide: Life on the Street,” got a Best Actress nod for “Frozen River,” that Mickey Rourke got a Best Actor nomination for “The Wrestler,” and that “WALL-E” is a shoe-in for the Best Animated Feature. (But it shoulda got a Best Picture nomination. They coulda put it in place of “Benjamin Button.” I’ve been anti-“Benjamin Button” ever since the trailers, which made me want to projectile vomit directly in Brad Pitt’s face. Yes, I realize the movie is probably perfectly nice, but dangit, those trailers were entirely awful.)

So whatcha think? Is Ledger the likely winner? What are your other Oscar picks? And how much should David Fincher be apologizing to me personally for those barf-worthy trailers?

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