Archive for May, 2013

Friday Night Fights: Archie Armageddon!

Okay, kids, it’s another Friday evening, and it’s time for us to get the weekend started in the most violent way possible, as long as the most violent way possible involves posting comic book panels on the Internet! That’s right, it’s time again for… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Well, let’s just admit that I’m probably not going to win this week’s voting. I’m okay with that, ’cause this bit made me laugh like a loon when I read it a few weeks back. It’s from World of Archie Digest, the Free Comic Book Day comic from a few weeks back. This bit is from a story called “The Fly,” probably sometime in the mid-1950s, by Frank Doyle, Harry Lucey, and Marty Epp. Let’s watch the festivities, shall we?




And that’s how Archie Andrews stone-cold murdered Reggie Mantle with a textbook. Don’t tell me comics haven’t always been violent!

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Girls, Girls, Girls


X-Men #1

A lot of new high-profile comics shipped this week, and this was one of the most anticipated. A new X-Men comic (by writer Brian Wood and penciler Olivier Coipel) with an all-female cast — a lot of people have been pretty excited, and the usual morons have been very furious. So let’s check it out.

We start out with a focus on Jubilee, fleeing from an unknown pursuer with an unexpected baby in tow. She calls the X-Mansion for help before boarding a train and is met on the way by Storm, Rogue, and Kitty Pryde. While they’re all catching up on old times, the baby — an orphan who Jubes has been taking care of — touches a speaker and somehow causes the train to run out of control, but Rogue saves the day by basically throwing the whole train off its tracks. Meanwhile, the guy who was chasing Jubilee shows up at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning — it’s a guy called John Sublime, a sentient, body-switching bacteria who has periodically opposed the X-Men. But he’s not here to fight this time, he surrenders to Rachel Summers and Psylocke. He says the X-Men are the world’s only hope to stop his sister Arkea, a sentient techno-virus. But can the X-Men stop a threat they’re not even aware is hiding among them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Seriously, great writing, great art, lots of fun from beginning to end. All the main characters are women? Who cares? It’s a fantastic comic, and if you’re going to wimp out on reading this because it doesn’t have enough penises to keep you happy, you’re an idjit.


Atomic Robo Presents Real Science Adventures #8

While the evil cabal known as the Triumvirate makes its plans to take over America using technology stolen from Tesla, two members of the heroic Consortium of Science are working to foil more of the Triumvirate’s henchmen. Sharpshooter Annie Oakley and master physician (and martial artist) Wong Kei-ying engage in a running (and fighting and shooting) battle with some thieves on a train as they try to stop them from stealing another one of Tesla’s amazing inventions. In addition, we get a flashback to one of Robo’s earliest adventures, as we discover how he and his team of Action Scientists defeated the giant cyber-mummy in Egypt.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Like you had to ask? Annie Oakley? Teamed up with one of the greatest martial artists in history? There’s just no possible way that’s not going to be a thumbs up.

Today’s Cool Links:

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My Brain Hurts


Sorry, folks, no blogging from me for today. I got stuck with a screaming headache most of the day yesterday and could barely stand to look at the computer screen.

I don’t even think I can blame the long weekend, as I spent the whole time being restful and quiet. Probably just one of those my-brain-doesn’t-want-to-blog-so-here’s-a-headache headaches.

I’ll make it up to you. Okay, I won’t actually make it up to you, but I reckon I’ll blog another day instead.

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In the Land of the Rising Sun


Batman Inc. #11

We take a one-month break from the ongoing Leviathan storyline to check in on what’s happening with the Batman Inc. franchise in Japan. Batman Japan and his sidekick Canary are on a date in the virtual reality of Internet 3.0 — since Canary is only six inches tall, they have to date there so they can both be the same size. But they’re called out on an urgent mission — five armored motorcyclists are running wild and killing people in Tokyo, but the heroes are unable to stop them from making their escape. Will they be able to defeat the bikers or their terrifying master, Lady Tiger Fist?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice break from the tension and high-stakes of the main storyline. It’s a fun story, some nice art, and a lot of great attitude.


Daredevil #26

Matt Murdock has endured a terrific beating from Ikari, an assassin with all of Daredevil’s sensory abilities — plus he’s able to see! And Ikari has promised to kill Daredevil — not right away, not with any warning, just to give Matt more time to get more and more paranoid. And Daredevil is indeed jumping at shadows both real and imagined as Ikari and his assistants stalk him. Can Matt keep from cracking up? Can he discover who’s behind Ikari and all his recent troubles? Can he keep from being murdered by his stalker?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, great tension, great characterization, great art. The whole thing was a blast to read through, and I can’t wait for the next issue.

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Friday Night Fights: Spy Smashing!

Holy abalone, kids, it’s a three-day weekend! You don’t know how bad I’ve been needing this, especially the way the last few months have gone. So heck, let’s jump right into our weekend with some… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from September 2007’s Birds of Prey #108 by Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, and Doug Hazlewood. (from one of the BoP collections that DC has inexplicably allowed to go out of print, which means I’ll probably never get a chance to read the full storyline. Why, no, I’m not particularly happy about that at all.)

The modern version of Spy Smasher, one of Babs Gordon’s rivals from college, has been trying to take control of the Birds away from Oracle and reckons she now has Barbara right where she wants her. Babs doesn’t have her operatives, she doesn’t have her computers, she doesn’t have her Eskrima sticks, she doesn’t even have her wheelchair. But none of that matters, because Barbara Gordon is one of the DCU’s foremost badasses.







There we go, people, if that chunk of righteous pain-bringin’ skull-thumpery can’t get you through a nice three-day weekend, you got problems that not even comic books can solve.

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Money for Nothing


The Green Team #1

DC’s new companion comic for the crimefighting 99%-ers series “The Movement” is this story about crimefighting 1%-ers. It’s written by Art Baltazar and Franco, who are of course best known for their brilliant “Tiny Titans” series. So now we get to see how they do writing (but not drawing — Ig Guara handles the art chores) a more non-all-ages, mainstream superhero title.

We first meet up with Prince Mohammed Qahtanii, the son of one of the richest men on the planet. Mohammed wants to prove he’s fit to take over for his father by proving that he can increase the family’s wealth, so he’s traveled to New York City to meet the members of the Green Team — mega-wealthy teen technology fanatic Commodore (yeah, that’s his first name) Murphy, mega-wealthy teen actress Cecilia Sunbeam (and her pet wildcat Bubbles), mega-wealthy teen oil tycoon J.P. Houston, and his sister L.L. Houston. The Green Team runs periodic technology expos where genius inventors show off their newest gizmos and Comm gives them money to develop their tech into something he can use. Unfortunately, Mo tweets a pic of Comm, which alerts his many enemies to his location, and they all get attacked by a masked loon called Riot Act. Comm has a power suit he’s bought, but he really doesn’t know how to use it yet. Is the entire Green Team going to get wiped out in their first issue?

Verdict: Ehh, I dunno yet. It’s not particularly bad. But I’m not sure if there’s a real focus yet. They say money is the best superpower, but if that’s the case, these guys have kinda boring superpowers. Comm has his power suit, Mo has a bodyguard, Cecilia has a pet wildcat, and that’s really about it. There’s a heck of a lot of talking, a heck of a lot of people spending money on fancy inventions, but not a whole lot else. I’m sure we’ll see the characters, plotline, and focus develop some more over the next few issues, but I sure hope it doesn’t take too long to shake out.


Young Avengers #5

The whole team is in deep trouble, under attack by a bunch of shapeshifting New Yorkers being controlled by Mother, an interdimensional parasite who wants to eat all of the Young Avengers. Kid Loki has gotten access to Wiccan’s powers and promptly vanished, leaving Wiccan fearing that the only way to deprive Mother of her powers will be to kill himself. But has Loki really abandoned them? (And is Loki really Loki? I couldn’t really figure that part out.) Do they stand a chance of defeating Mother and her forces?

Verdict: Ehh, it’s alright, I guess. As good as the previous issues were, the conclusion of this initial storyarc ends up falling a bit flat. There’s no solid resolution — Mother is still out there and can reappear if any of the Young Avengers ever go near New York again. Even the humor and action kinda feel stifled.


Batman: Li’l Gotham #2

More completely ridiculous awesomeness from Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs. Batman and Nightwing spend Christmas rescuing a bunch of kids from Mr. Freeze, who is mostly motivated by a desire to keep the kids young and innocent forever. Can kindness win the day against the morose iceman? And on New Year’s Eve, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn recruit Catwoman to help them pull some socially relevant crimes, as well as some very socially irrelevant crimes…

Verdict: A very enthusiastic thumbs up. The cutest, cleverest Batman series you ever will see. Even Arkham Asylum looks adorable and cuddly. The stories are perfect for kids and adults alike, and you’ll really enjoy paying attention to all the funny details in the background.

Today’s Cool Links:

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The Secret History of Goliath of Gath



I guess I’m a sucker for a nice bit of well-done Biblical revisionism. Not the usual “Jesus hates gays and whores and abortion” revisionism we tend to get in the U.S., but the fun revisionism we can get from fiction and comics.

So here’s British cartoonist Tom Gauld‘s story of Goliath, as in the big bad guy who shrimpy teen shepherd David killed with his sling. But here, Goliath isn’t a trained, terrifying warrior. He’s one of the worst swordsmen in the army, and he mainly works on administrative tasks, which is where his real talents lie. He has little interest in war, and would be perfectly happy to work on paperwork and ledgers for the rest of his military career.


But some scheming officer realizes that Goliath’s height is pretty intimidating, and cooks up a scheme to get him some special ceremonial armor, heavy weapons, and a young boy to serve as his shield carrier. Then he sends him out to the no-man’s-land between the armies of Gath and Israel and tells him to read a script that has been written for him, bragging on his might and militia skills, and promising to fight a single Israelite soldier to determine which of the two nations will become the slave of the other.

This is a stone drag for Goliath, who thinks the whole scheme is ridiculous. But he goes out every day, recites the script, then waits, completely bored, and makes small talk with his shield carrier.


But this scheme can’t last forever, can it? Eventually, some little schmuck comes out with a kid’s toy, and the story plays out more like we’ve become accustomed to.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a great little combo of humor, tragedy, and, really, empathy, to imagine what a minor Biblical figure’s real life might’ve been like, to find the grand comedy of the legendary badass being a gentle giant, and then to carry the whole story on to the bitter end, especially after working so hard to turn Goliath into a deeply sympathetic character.

Gauld’s artwork is great — his style merges stick-figures with detailed cross-hatching, which comes across as incredibly appealing. The story has a lot of people sitting around talking, and it’s still not boring. He even has a few incredible moments of iconic action, with a small rock hovering in mid-air.

It’s a short book and a fast read. And it’s hardcover, which may scare some of y’all off. But it’s a beautiful book, and right now, Drawn & Quarterly has it on sale, so it’s a great time to go pick it up.

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Everyone’s After the Baby


Wonder Woman #20

Apollo sends Artemis out to kill Zola’s baby — she gives Wonder Woman a good fight, but the Amazon comes out on top. But while that’s going on, Lennox, Zola, and Hera are about to walk right into the hands of the immensely powerful First Born of the gods.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Oh, I know, a short summary, because there’s not a whole lot else of the story to tell. That doesn’t mean it’s not good, ’cause it is a lot of fun. Really excellent action, for one thing, along with lots of politicking and intrigue among the godly types. I’m getting a mite nervous about Lennox’s fate, though, ’cause the First Born doesn’t strike me as someone you can really beat…


Batwoman #20

The D.E.O. wants Batwoman to find out Batman’s secret identity, and they’ve got a heck of a bargaining chip — Kate Kane’s twin sister, Beth, formerly the villainous Alice. Cameron Chase recounts the tale of the botched operation that nevertheless allowed the D.E.O. to obtain Beth’s comatose body. Once Kate agrees to their terms — Batman’s real name in exchange for her sister and clearing her father’s name — she returns home to find that her father, her stepmother, her cousin, Bette Kane, and her fiancee, Maggie Sawyer, all know what just happened — Bette planted a bug on her, and they listened in on everything that happened. And they all want to help her — but will she be able to accept any assistance?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Just a dadgum awesome issue. Beautiful artwork — but that’s a given at this point, isn’t it? — and a really strong story, with metric tons of great characterization. This was a pleasure to read from the first page to the last.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Friday Night Fights: Jungle Boogie!

As work-weeks go, this one has been yet another gigantic vat of boiling-hot llama poops. But it’s Friday at last, and we all get to enjoy a couple mostly-blissful days of not having to go to work and endure workplace stress. And the best way to blow off steam before the weekend? We all know it’s… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight’s battle comes to us from November 1983’s Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #20 by E. Nelson Bridwell, Joey Cavalieri, Rick Hoberg, and Carol Lay. It’s the final issue of the legendary funny-animal series, and Earth-C gets a couple of visitors from Earth-1. Gorilla Grodd shows up intending to enslave everyone and take over the world, and the Changeling gets dragged along in his wake and attempts to help the Zoo Crew take down the evil mind-controlling monkey. So Changeling decides to blend in with some of Grodd’s cartoon henchmen…








There we go, kids. Monkeys, green elephants, funny animals, and more puns than you can shake your trunk at. Now head out there and grab yourself some rest and relaxation this weekend.

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Meat Puppets


Batgirl #20

Believing that she’s killed her psychotic brother by throwing a batarang through his eye, Barbara Gordon is all but ready to give up her Batgirl identity and actually cuts the Bat-logo off her costume. But she doesn’t get to enjoy a very long retirement — there’s a new Ventriloquist in the DCU, a young nutbag named Shauna Belzer. She’s got a little talent for ventriloquism, but she’s telekinetic — and she’s desperate to be a star. She tries out for an “America’s Got Talent”-style show, gets made fun of, murders one of the judges, and kidnaps another. And when Batgirl tries to stop her, she gets her butt whupped — by the puppet. That just can’t be a confidence-builder.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m not real sure we really needed a new Ventriloquist — has there ever been one better than Arnold Wesker? But Shauna Belzer is indeed pretty nutty, and the telekinesis bit is a nice twist on the formula. I would like to see some more done with the idea of Barbara giving up the Batgirl identity — after all, she spends most of this issue running around in her Batgirl costume…


FF #7

The Future Foundation has been pulled into the Negative Zone by the Wizard and his new Frightful Four — himself, Blastaar, a hypnotized Medusa, and Bentley-23, the Wizard’s young clone, who actually has absolutely no interest in being a part of his progenitor’s makeshift family. The entire Future Foundation, adults and kids, work together to face down the villains.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s mostly a slugfest this issue, but it’s a very nice slugfest, and this series hasn’t been real heavy on the comic-style slugfests lately. Even then, we still get some great character moments — Bentley’s rejection of his father for his new family, Scott Lang’s attachment to the children and terror that they’ll be hurt, and Darla’s willingness to help her friends overcoming her lack of battle experience. Another great issue — y’all need to be reading this.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Allie Brosh is back, and she’s got an incredibly important new essay for you. This is really required reading for anyone who doesn’t suffer from depression — it’ll help you understand what may be going on with your friends and family who do have to deal with it.
  • A guy who loves Nightwing fell in love with a girl who loves Batgirl, and they had the best wedding ever.
  • Sometimes the best heroes are real heroes.
  • Why didn’t they just close the doors and drive off? Who wouldn’t want a free otter?!
  • I’m a terrible person, and this image made me laugh and laugh and laugh.

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