Archive for Amadeus Cho

Whom the Gods Destroy…

Prince of Power #4

Amadeus Cho is still after the final ingredient that will allow him to attain godhood and rescue Hercules from interdimensional limbo, but Thor has changed his mind about helping him — Amadeus reminds him too much of his deceitful brother, Loki. While Amadeus is able to put Thor down with a combination of science and sorcery, he still has to contend with the almost-godlike Vali Halfling, the actual son of Loki. Meanwhile, Delphyne Gorgon, Amadeus’ dishy, green-skinned, snakey girlfriend, is trying to escape captivity and beat Atalanta, the Parthenon’s sub-commander. Do they stand a chance of completing the ritual to make Amadeus a god? Does he have a prayer of saving Hercules?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Like every issue of this series — and like pretty much everything that Greg Pak and Fred van Lente get their hands on — this is an outstanding mixture of furious action, excellent humor, and brainy plotting. Much, much fun.

Detective Comics #868

The Jokerz gang is still running wild in Gotham, now answered by the Guardian Bats, a bunch of people who’ve been encouraged by a Batman impostor to dress up as Batman to fight crime. In an attempt to figure out what he’s dealing with, Dick Grayson exposes himself to the Joker Juice that the Jokerz use to make themselves look and act like the Joker. Once he gets control of himself again, he and Commissioner Gordon still have to figure out a way to get the Jokerz, the Guardian Bats, and the impostor Batman and Joker back under control. While riot after riot tears the city apart, we finally get a good glimpse of the man behind all the chaos and what traumas have influenced his life.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mostly a bunch of run-of-the-mill fisticuffs in the street, but the extended origin of the Impostor Joker does a lot to redeem the story — he’s an interesting character, both pathetic and ruthless. Not sure he has much of a future — there’s only one Joker, and he doesn’t take kindly to imitations…

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Satoshi Kon was the creator of some really great anime — one of my favorites ever is his “Paranoia Agent.” He died last week at the too-young age of 46, and he left these last words to his family, friends, and fans.
  • How can science fiction help pull folks through tough times?
  • I’m gonna have to require y’all to watch this. I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting a lot from it when I first watched it, but it ended up being just glorious.

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Here, Kitty Kitty

Prince of Power #3

This was a great example of how to combine “awesome” with “hilarious.”

Amadeus Cho wants to become a god solely so he can find where in the multiverse his friend Hercules has been exiled. He’s recruited the aid of Thor, and they’re opposed by Vali Halfling, semi-mortal son of Loki, who has already acquired two of the four ingredients for the god formula for himself. Now Amadeus and Thor have traveled to the Egyptian underworld, where they have to find the Book of Thoth — but first they have to get past the savage lion-headed Sekhmet, goddess of destruction, and the snake-crocodile demon Apep. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Delphyne Gorgon, smokin’ hot green-skinned snake-haired Queen of the Amazons, is kickin’ ass and taking names inside the Olympus Group’s prison level — but to survive, she’s going to need the aid of her hated enemy Athena.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action all over the place, but there are two moments that really push this story all the way to mega-awesome — the Death Scrunchie and the sudden appearance of Hathor, Goddess of Love… and Lolcats. No spoilers here — so I’d advise you to go pick it up.

Legion of Super-Heroes #3

Well, let’s see, power-copying xenophobe Earth-Man has a Green Lantern ring that drags him off to some distant planet and commands him to save the sentient life on that world — but he can’t actually find any sentient life anywhere. Meanwhile, Saturn Queen is making more plots to kill Legion members. Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass find Saturn Girl and go to help her find her children.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I’ll grant you, it gets better whenever we can see a few more of the Legionnaires, but on the whole, this comic is boring me silly.

Justice Society of America #41

It’s a crossover with the “Justice League of America” comic — which I haven’t read, and don’t have a lot of interest in reading. Apparently, something has gone wrong with Green Lantern’s Starheart-activated powers, and it’s causing other super-people to go crazy for completely unexplained reasons.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Stupid crossovers are stupid.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Hex Signs

Jonah Hex #56

Hey, that cover is by Darwyn Cooke! Yay! We all love Darwyn Cooke! And it’s basically Clint Eastwood with a really ugly scar! Yay!

Anyway, we get multiple stories in this issue. In the first, Jonah is hired by an elderly Indian woman to help her with some shady characters who want to buy her home from her. She’s willing to let them use the land to graze cattle, build roads through it, build other houses on the property, but she won’t move, because she’s old, and because her late husband built the house for her. And all she wants Hex to do is sit quietly in another room and make sure her visitors don’t get rowdy. If they don’t cause any trouble, Hex can collect his fee and be on his way. Of course, her visitors have ulterior motives for wanting the old woman’s house, and of course, they’ve got plans for her when she won’t sell… but is Jonah going to do anything about it?

The second story is mostly a retelling of Hex’s youth. He was sold by his father to a tribe of Apaches in exchange for allowing him and the rest of the family to pass peacefully, and his early years were filled with hardship and regular beatings from bullies in the tribe. Eventually, he found favor with the tribal leaders and one daughter of the tribe, but his chief rival’s hatred for him grew every day.

And finally, there’s an interview with comic writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and Jimmy Hayward, the director of the new “Jonah Hex” movie.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The first story really is pretty smack-kapow awesome — great dialogue, excellent plot, and beautifully detailed artwork by Phil Winslade. The second story is fine, too. The interview — ehh, if you’re into that kind of stuff, maybe you’ll like it. I scanned it, didn’t see anything particularly useful. I don’t know about you, but I ain’t holding out a lot of hope for the movie. The horse-mounted Gatling guns are plenty cool, and Josh Brolin seems to be a really good actor… but to be honest, I think the presence of Megan Fox in any movie makes it unwatchable. But we’ll see what the buzz says about the movie…

Daytripper #7

Brás de Oliva Domingos is now 38 years old, enjoying real success with his debut novel. But he can’t stop thinking about his old friend Jorge, who retreated from the world he missed a flight on a jetliner that later crashed and killed all the passengers. Desperate to reconnect with his best friend, he travels to the opposite end of the country after receiving a single postcard from Jorge. Will Brás be able to find Jorge again? And what will they have to say to each other after so many years apart?

Verdict: Another thumbs up for this wonderful, wonderful series. The artwork is gorgeous, the writing is magnificent, the emotional content is genuine. I love this series.

Prince of Power #2

While Amadeus Cho is out trying to acquire the recipe to literal godhood, Vali Halfling, an Asgardian scoundrel who wants the god recipe for much more selfish reasons, pulls off a sneaky attack and takes over the Olympus Groups corporate headquarters — in fact, he wants to be able to destroy all the gods. Meanwhile, Vali already beat Amadeus to Asgard’s immortality-granting Apples of Idunn, but Thor thinks that Amadeus was responsible for the theft. After a colossal fight (Amadeus is able to hold his own because he has Hercules’ magical mace and a forcefield designed by Bruce Banner), Amadeus is eventually able to convince the thunder god that he’s innocent — and that Thor and Amadeus can help bring Hercules back. But Vali Halfling isn’t the only obstacle in their way…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, fun dialogue, wonderful character work. Not much more I can say other than — this series rocks, and youse mugs should go get it.

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Rock Me, Amadeus

Prince of Power #1

In the aftermath of Hercules’ death, Athena has orchestrated to put his friend Amadeus Cho, the seventh smartest person on the planet, in charge of the Olympus Group. Amadeus has accepted the position mainly because it gives him the resources to try to locate Hercules, since he’s learned that Herc isn’t in Hades, the Greek god afterlife. So while he runs around beating up supervillains like the Griffin (using Hercules’ magical Adamantine mace and an energy shield developed by Bruce Banner), he’s also got Banner spending a half-trillion dollars’ worth of the Olympus Group’s money to build a machine capable of scanning the entire multiverse for signs of Hercules. Unfortunately, the quantum observer effect means that the simple fact of making a scan of that magnitude creates even more multiverses, making the search vastly more complicated.

After that, Amadeus gets a visit from a guy named Vali Halfling, an Asgardian supervillain with a tendency to fight the Hulk. Halfling tells Amadeus that he has a plan to steal various mythological artifacts from a number of different godly pantheons to enable humans to become actual gods themselves. Amadeus gives Halfling a whuppin’, but realizes that godly omniscience would sure help speed up the quest to find Herc, so he sets off for the first item on the quest list — the Golden Apples of Asgard.

Verdict: Thumbs up. All the usual brilliant characterization, dialogue, humor, and action we’ve come to expect from Greg Pak and Fred van Lente. The battle against the Griffin is entirely excellent, but there are also some wonderful scenes that are very low-key and quiet — Amadeus’ monologue with the incarcerated and generally displeased Delphyne Gorgon, his snake-haired ex-girlfriend, is nice, and the scene with townspeople from Broxton, Oklahoma running a food drive for the recently wrecked Asgard (the entire realm had taken up residence over Oklahoma until the end of the “Siege” crossover) is both awesome and funny.

Batgirl #10

The Calculator has lost it big time. He’s keeping his son Marvin’s corpse around to talk to, and he’s planning revenge on Oracle for keeping his daughter Wendy away from him — ’cause after all, he’s so freakin’ crazy and criminal, he should have all kinds of visitation rights. Oracle suspects he’s about to pull something rotten, and so she’s unplugging all of her Internet connections — and it turns out it’s for a very good reason, ’cause Calculator manages to broadcast a nanite-technovirus over the Internet that lets him turn half the population of Gotham City into robot-zombies, all trying to track down Barbara Gordon — including the students in her classroom and her own father. And as bad as things start with thousands of Gothamites turned into Calculator-controlled drones, it gets much worse when other costumed crimefighters get added to the mix…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice story with a lot of claustrophobic tension. Very funny dialogue between Steph and Detective Gage. Not a lot else to say — just a really good superhero comic…

Secret Six #21

Catman is on his own, torturing and killing anyone who he thinks might have killed his son. Deadshot, Scandal Savage, Ragdoll, and Black Alice are trying to track him down, either to rescue him or to help him. Bane and Jeannette are trying to keep the Secret Six going under their own leadership by hiring a bunch of other metahuman crooks. Catman tracks his next victim down to South Africa — a big superstrong sadist called Loki. Does he have a chance against someone that powerful? And will the remainder of the team tear itself apart without him?

verdict: Another thumbs up. Loved the background material on Catman’s entirely rotten father. Lots of excellent dialogue, too, and a ton of blisteringly gruesome violence. I know there are other comics focusing on supervillains as the protagonists, but this one really is the best one out there.

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