Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Pull List

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #622: The Gauntlet Continues! Okay, let me start with the good because there is a major bad with this issue that Marvel needs to be aware of and that I've not seen touched on anywhere else.
Last week Spider-Man and the Black Cat broke into Mr. Negative's hide out to steal back a vial of Spidey's blood. This issue picks up the next morning. Spidey and Cat did some adult stuff then Spidey finds out the Cat sold his blood. Naturally this doesn't sit well with Spidey who tracks the vial down to a goth club. This is where he discovers that 'goth' isn't as interesting as it used to be. People still try to dress like vampires but for some reason they are covered in glitter. A sign of the end times, I believe.
Anyway, he tracks the vial down with the help of a mysterious woman who leads him to Morbius, the Living Vampire. The long a short of it is Morbius bought the blood in hopes the presumed healing abilities of it would help him cure Jack Russell from the Zombie Plague he was inflicted with in Marvel Zombies 4.
The woman turns out to be Martine, Morbius' former girlfriend who became a vampire in Morbius 90's series. Things kind of fall apart from there.

Now for my problem with this issue...there are 2 actually. The first one is with this Morbius story. He was hyped for it and got a really nice cover...but what was the point? This story doesn't help the overall Gauntlet progress at all.
Then there is the length of the story. This was an extended issue with a hiked cover price, $3.99 rather than $2.99, but the Morbius part was less than half of the issue. The rest? We got to see he rehab of Flash Thompson who lost his legs in Iraq. Why did this need the length of a regular issue? It didn't. It really didn't need to be in this issue at all. Marvel could have tossed this story in Web of Spider-Man or the upcoming Annual. I didn't care for this at all and it really soured the series for me. Marvel tosses these random issues out with more pages and a higher price for no apparent reason. I still love the series but really hope Marvel doesn't do this again.

DEADPOOL #20: Let me start by saying I do NOT like Hit-Monkey. To me this is a really lame, useless and pointless character, or non-character, and doesn't have much use here. To have a character like Deadpool actually being afraid of him is even worse. Now, if this monkey could talk and interact with DP that would probably help some but I doubt it would help much.
So, Hit-Monkey is in New York apparently gunning to DP who is trying to learn how to be a hero from Spider-Man who wants nothing to do with either of them.
The interactions between DP and Spider-Man are fun and fluid, not on the same level as Joe Kelly's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #611 but it could be worse. This part of the story is fun...where it falls apart is the monkey. I really can't say anything good about it and this just seems more like a filler issue, just waiting for something good to come along. One more issue and I think we're done with the monkey for now...hopefully for a very long time.

FANTASTIC FOUR #576: There is a lot of new discoveries in this current run of the FF. Last issue we saw the birth of a new nation created by High Evolutionary and run my intelligent Moloids, this time we learn the true meaning of Atlantis.
A meeting of three separate undersea races make up what they claim to be the true Atlantis. To them, in their mind, Atlantis is the entire sea. They have been in hiding and have now decided to make their presence known.
What makes this issue is the underwater battle where the characters were unable to speak to each other. It was a silent fight between the FF and AIM. The art made this sequence work perfectly. Honestly, the art of Dale Eaglesham works for this series perfectly. His style has been criticized by some as being off scale but that didn't really bother me. It's kind of hard to see Sue as a frail woman considering all the things she's been through over the years. It just makes sense that she would have a mild build.
It's Sue's personality that gets me. She seems to be more forceful and more in control of things. I like this. Especially when the Kings of Atlantis ask who speaks for man and she steps up as the mouth piece of mankind. Kudos and I have to say after the confusing mess of the previous issue, this one redeems it all.

NEW AVENGERS #62: Siege Continues! This series is somewhat out of sync with the main story. In SIEGE #2 we see the New Avengers, lead by the returned Captain America, showing up at Asgard and joining the assault.
This issue takes us back maybe a few hours as Cap is still regaining his gear and others are finding he's returned. Cage and Nick Fury both are very shocked to see Captain America alive and kicking, naturally.
The second story is kind of a throw away story with Spider-Man and Spider-Woman fighting some third tier villains that no one really cares about. Hardly worth mentioning.
But here's hoping NEW AVENGERS #63 is more in sync than this one. In an event the size of Siege that last thing you want is a lot of rehashing of events you saw weeks ago.

THOR #607: Siege Continues! Thor is down, Osborn's Dark Avengers have attacked and seem to be winning. What could happen next?
The real question is how could this happen? In a word: Loki. He's been able to shield Osborn's actions from the Asgardians which allowed the assault to begin in earnest. The one person who could have warned people, a blind soothsayer called Knut, knew what what coming and tried to warn everyone. Loki silenced him very effectively.
The real story in this issue is the tale of Volstagg. He turned himself in to the local authorities after the attack that began this. Over the years he'd been depicted as a God with a heart as big as his stomach and this issue really shows that. He expresses his grief and sorrow over this incident by way of technology he never used before. His reaction and apology is truly something to read.
But before you can see him return to his brethren he is attacked by the Clone of Thor who now calls himself Ragnarok. I've never seen any of the Warriors Three take a beating like this!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Update Are Coming!

I'm working a lot this week but I have Friday and Saturday off. I'm planning to post more than a few things here on those day.

As always, feedback is welcomed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Favorite Gimmick Covers

As I begin to post more and more here, I'm thinking of other ways to put more of the comics in my collection here. Gimmick Covers is something I thought about.
Back in the 1990's gimmick covers were everywhere, much like variant covers and Deadpool is now. They were used, at first, to spotlight 'milestone' issues like #1, #25, #50 and so on. After a while they were used for the sake of being used. Some gimmicks were cool others were...well...not as cool.

Here is a cover that I've always enjoyed. LOBO #1, the first issue of DC's Main Man's ongoing series cover date December 1993.

By this time Gimmicks were pretty much everywhere and Lobo was a great way to poke fun at them. The gimmick for this one is embossed and silver foil, his zipper is raised and shiny, and Lobo brings some attention to it.
A few issues later, Lobo had another great cover that I will be posting at some time in a Favorite Cover post.
Thanks for check this out and, as always, any suggestions or comments are welcome and wanted. Let me know what I can do to improve what I'm doing, input is a great way to learn!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pull List

Okay, even though I'm in the middle of defending Comic Books against the unprovoked and ignorant attacks of some far right-wing nut job, I still have new comics coming in every week. This week wasn't as embarrassingly small as last week.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #621: The Gauntlet continues! Spidey decides it's time to get that pesky red gas Mr. Negative made that can kill him and him alone. But he's not a thief. Good thing Black Cat is! So, they 'team-up' so switch this gas out for another.
Meanwhile, due to being infected with Mr. Negative's...negativity, Aunt May is still on a tear through the people in her life. She trashed Peter, tossed her family and Harry Osborn out of her home and these effects don't seem to be letting up. Spidey was able to beat it but Aunt May is going to be a challenge.
Let's see... Mary Jane showed up. Just for a quick few pages as Harry is crashing with her now. Plus, another quick thought from her that she knows Peter is Spider-Man.
Overall, a nice issue, good are and the story is moving forward at a good clip. Dan Slott is a great writer. I also have to say I'm very excited that The (New) Vulture is coming back in a few issues...after we see The Lizard next!

DEADPOOL #19: SPIDER-MAN! Because no one shows up in more comics a month than Spider-Man!! NO ONE! So, Deadpool wants to hang with Spidey. Well...with a 4th ongoing book coming out and all the variant covers and guest shots MAYBE Deadpool comes close...So, anyway, DP wants to learn the hero ways from Spidey but to do so he must first help Spidey figure out who killed the owner of a local store he liked. Deapool knows who's responsible and seems hesitant to do anything about it. Something about a monkey who is a hitman? Go figure. This is still my favorite of the Deadpool books even though we've had a few misses. Beyond could you NOT love that cover!?

DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH #8: Deadpool is still on his mission to return Headpool back to the ZombiVerse. But messing around with the Nexus of All Realities has brought DP to the forefront of something big. Big enough to warrant the aid of the new Sorcerer Supreme: Doctor Voodoo. This, of course leads into the Deadpool Corps five week event in March but for now the gang must contend with the Marvel Zombies!
So, they end up in the Marvel Zombies universe...the first question I have is where in the Marvel Zombies continuity this falls in, though I am thinking it's AFTER the events in the first Marvel Zombies miniseries, because the earth is trashed and there are very few humans left. There seem to be few main event characters left as well as Zombie Moon Knight is the highest tier character we see.
Deadpool and Gang are saved but a group of humans who have set up shop and are fighting to live and trying to find a cure to save their planet. Will Headpool be able to help? Will he want to and would he have a choice? It's all very interesting.
I'm still getting used to the art though...

DOOMWAR #1 of 6: Okay, so apparently while Doom was part of the Cabal he'd also been working on taking over Wakanda. Apparently...he did it. Using a 'rebel' group as a front he was able to oust T'Challa and capture his queen, the X-Man Storm. It seems Vibranium, a metal only found in Wakanda, can be used to magnify magic much like it can turn sound into a weapon. If Doom is able to get his hands on enough of it he would be able to do ANYTHING.
T'Challa and his sister, the new Black Panther, along with a few loyalists seek the help of the X-Men to save Storm and take back Wakanda.
Overall, this is a good series and has the potential to be something huge seeing as how Doom is involved but I think it's going to be over shadowed by Siege for the first part of it.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #23: This is one of those 'pay attention' issues. It rewinds the clock some to show you what happened when the Magus killed members of the Guardians. He didn't kill them, rather he took their souls and is using them to power himself and hopes to turn them against their friends. The key players here are Phyla (Quasar) and he lover Moondragon. Their love created a bond the transcends death. Phyla was able to contact Moondragon and warn her about the Magus being alive and getting more powerful.
The Magus, as usual, plans to destroy everything but this time he's going to use Gods he found on the other end of The Fault. This reality he found is devoid of death. The Gods there beat it and he wants them to do the same here. Doesn't sound so bad until you realize the Gods are evil and the reality they rule is a twisted obscenity and should be destroyed. This is also part of the ongoing Realm Of Kings event...or rather Non-Event as it doesn't seem to be doing much of anything which is fine with me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Warner Todd Huston's terrorist attack on Comic Books.

This post is going to be a little different than I what I normally post here. It still pertains to comic books but in a different way. The industry, specifically Marvel Comics, Captain America and fans like myself, have been attacked and lied about recently.

There's this guy, an evil villain called Warner Todd Huston. He claims to be a writer, he has a blog like mine...but UNLIKE mine he doesn't write about things he knows.
Recently, Captain America (#602) was tracking down a terrorist group called The Watchdogs. He and Falcon came across a group of people protesting something. It APPEARS they are protesting taxes and government spending. This happens all the time.
What Warner Todd Huston FAILS to realize is you actually need to read a full issue of a comic book to understand what's going on. You can't just look at one page, find something you THINK is happening then pretend to be offended about it.

I'm planning a series of posts on this topic and this man because there is no way to fully explain the impact this man's inaccurate and rude words have had on comics. This is almost like the 1950's all over again. The only difference being I wasn't around then to defend my hobby.

So, let's begin, shall we?
Warner Todd Huston wrote what he claims is a 'critical analysis' of CAPTAIN AMERICA #602 when in fact all it was was a slander piece filled with half truths and a full display of his ignorance about comics.
He begins: "In it the current Captain (there have been a few of them, apparently) is on the trail of a faux Captain America that is mentally deranged and getting chummy with some white supremacist, anti-government, survivalists types going by the name of “the Watchdogs.” While investigating this subversive group, Captain America and his partner The Falcon — a black super hero — have decided to try and infiltrate the secretive organization.
In preparation for the infiltration, Marvel Comics depicts the two super heroes out of costume and observing from a rooftop a street filled with what can only be described as a Tea Party protest. The scene shows crowds of people in city streets carrying signs that say, “stop the socialists,” “tea bag libs before they tea bag you,” and “no to new taxes.” Naturally, the people in these crowds are depicted as being filled with nothing but white folks.
The black character asks the out of costume Captain, “What the hell is this?” And follows that with, “looks like some kind of anti-tax protest.” The Falcon character then snidely tells his partner the Captain, “So I guess this whole ‘hate the government’ vibe around here isn’t limited to the Watchdogs.”

Okay, now I'm going to overlook the whole pointing out Falcon being black thing. It just shows his ignorance. We've known Falcon was black for decades but I guess since he knows nothing about comics it might shock him to see a black character being a main character. Where he falters here is "Marvel Comics depicts the two super heroes out of costume and observing from a rooftop a street filled with what can only be described as a Tea Party protest." I suppose if you really feel the need to label such things but are the Tea Party Protests the ONLY ones that oppose taxes? This may be shocking to hear, they aren't. People have been protesting taxes for decades now, it's nothing new. This just shows Warner Todd Huston grabbing for straws...or shows how thin his skin is.
He continues, "The black character asks the out of costume Captain, “What the hell is this?” And follows that with, “looks like some kind of anti-tax protest.” The Falcon character then snidely tells his partner the Captain, “So I guess this whole ‘hate the government’ vibe around here isn’t limited to the Watchdogs.” Again with the color thing...get over it. Also, this shows more of his ignorance. Falcon is a liberal character, this isn't new to anyone who knows what they're talking about. We've had very liberal characters in comics for years. Green Arrow comes to mind. He's so liberal I can't stand him, personally.
But we have Conservative characters too. Green Lantern, for example. Captain America can be considered a traditional conservative due to his love of country and not political party but for the most part, Cap has generally been above left/right politics. He does what he feels is best for his country regardless which party is running it.

So, Cap suggests Falcon try and infiltrate the group. Warner Todd Huston has a problem with this. Now, I don't know if it's because Falcon is black and Warner Todd Huston feels a black character shouldn't be a lead for any reason or not, but he claims the move only shows the protest group is a racist group because they are shown to be mostly white.
This is a stretch, much like making remarks of Warner Todd Huston being racist...well, I've seen other things he's written so it may not be THAT much of a stretch but be that as it may, he IMPLIES Marvel is making a statement about the Tea Party people, he claims Marvel is saying they are all white and all racist.
You think that's a stretch too? Here is Warner Todd Huston's OWN WORDS: "So, there you have it, America. Tea Party protesters just “hate the government,” they are racists, they are all white folks, they are angry, and they associate with secretive white supremacist groups that want to over throw the U.S. government." Every bit of this statement is not true. No where on that page do you see proof that the protesters 'hate government' that is only what Falcon thinks. One characters opinion. There is NOTHING to suggest those people are racist. Falcon mentions they are white. When I see the Tea Party Protests on FOX News I see white people more than I see Americans of other color. It's not that big of a deal. Angry? Okay I'll grant him this ONE. Who isn't angry about being taxed? The last part though...NO, there is not even a remote suggestion that this group is associated with the Watchdogs. What IS suggested is there may be a way to locate one group by infiltrating the other. It happens in the real world. One group sees the passion of another and they use that passion to further their goals, Cap probably thinks the Watchdogs would do something like that. They have America and they might be able to get more members by lying to the protesters about who they are. It makes sense.

Now, in the interest of fairness, something Warner Todd Huston knows NOTHING about, I am going to now show you the pages in question. Read them. Look at them closely and tell me if you see the same thing Warner Todd Huston sees. I've looked at these pages many times and I don't see it. Of course, UNLIKE Warner Todd Huston, I know how to read a comic book. be continued

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Marvel Age: Avengers

This is the end game for what started seven years ago with AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED. It's all out war on 3 fronts: Norman Osborn's 'heroes', the outlaw New Avengers and the Asgardians. So far the series, which runs 4 issues and started in January, has had a few surprises including the death, presumably, of the God of War, Ares at the hands of the Sentry.

So, what happens after? Well, they are calling it the Heroic Age and it's supposed to be a lighting of the mood type thing. Seems after nearly a decade of dark and gritty stories Marvel wants to make things fun again. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN has already had something like this happen in the One More Day/Brand New Day concept.
It was also a great idea for that title. I've tried to collect AMAZING over the years and have usually dropped it after a few months. This months marks 4 years that I've been reading the title. I started with the CIVIL WAR story and expected to drop it shortly after but One More Day happened and it's been awesome since.

So, after SIEGE comes the Heroic Age and the Avengers line gets a face lift.
Gone are the following titles: Avengers Initiative, Dark Avengers, Mighty Avengers and New Avengers. This means I'm losing a title.
In May, the month after SIEGE #4 comes out, we get AVENGERS I gain a title. Seems cool enough though. I've been reading ESSENTIAL AVENGERS lately, I'm on Volume 3 now, and I've liked the lighthearted stories and wonder if this new Avengers title will be like that.

Another thing is the finding of new team members. Over the last week or so, Marvel has been releasing teasers of who the new team members will be. As of today they include: Bucky Barnes Captain America, Hawkeye (in his original costume, no less!), Iron Man, Spider-Woman and the Mighty Thor! It's shaping up to be an awesome team and I've posted here the teasers Marvel has released. Check out for more information or check back here 'cause I will be getting more into stuff like this here, if it works for me that is.

The Pull List

VERY small week. In fact, I only got ONE regular comic book this week:

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #620: The Gauntlet continues as Mysterio's plan comes full circle. It's kind of an old school plot where he's twisted everyone into hating each other, not that the Maggia and Mr. Negative's people need many reasons to hate each other. He is using Silvermane to attack Mr. Negative in hopes of wiping them all out. And Mr. Negative thinks all the information he's getting is coming from a police informant...but it's really Mysterio so he's getting paid to set up and kill everyone!

The sub-plot between Peter and Carly is getting interesting as she seems to have respect for Spidey but has lost a lot for Peter.

Overall, not a bad issue, great cover and the variant cover, one of many Deadpool Variants, is top notch and I will be adding it to my collection as soon as possible.

In other news....I also grabbed the NEXTWAVE:ULTIMATE COLLECTION trade. It contains all 12 issues of this awesome series and also includes some of the most entertaining letters pages of all time.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Long Box

My reviews will be picking up over the next few days. I thought about a 'cool' name for my reviews and decided that since I'm taking books from my Collection Drawer Long Boxes that The Long Box will be a good name for my reviews.

Words by Alan Grant
Pictures by Christian Alamy
August 1996

This one was interesting especially with the recent announcement of the Lobo movie (rated PG-13) being canceled in order to make a sequel to Sherlock Holmes.
Lobo, in a bar as usual, finds out someone in Hollywood is making a movie about him. He's upset because 1) He wasn't asked to play himself and 2) he's not getting a single dime from the movie. So, to fix this he goes to earth to find out who gets fragged for this.

Scene changes to Hollywood, Galactic Studios and it's head are both in debt. We learn that Mr. Lynch, the head of the Studio, has taken out a rather large insurance policy covering 'accidental damage.' I guess we can all see where this is heading.

So, Lobo shows up and see his movie version, a sad little twit who says things like "potato poots" while playing Lobo.
Naturally, Lobo decides to destroy and kill all he can, mayhem and madness ensues and, true to form, Lobo ends up being the only one who lives and the studio, the head, lawyer, accountant and a few stuntmen all end up dead.

The funny thing about this is as a fan of the character you can see Lobo doing something just like this is he were to find out someone was making a PG-13 movie out of an R-Rated character.

The story is the normal Alan Grant Lobo story, fun, self-referential humor and a few pot shots taken at writers and DC Comics. the art is smooth and does a good job of showing the action. Although Lobo wearing suspenders with skulls on the is a little odd.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Pull List For 2/4/10

Kind of a light week this week so let's get to it:

CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE #4 of 6: This series continues to show me how much I really love the FABLES book. It's great seeing specific characters getting the spotlight and getting to show what they can do.
This time around we finally find out a little bit of what's going on. Three Fable Women who were always part of a harem are freed only to discover the women of the Mundy world are just as much in slavery as they were and they decide to do something about it...for themselves. They've been getting magical items from the Homelands and they sell them for a lot of money to mundies then take the money they make and buy lots of guns which they in turn made a deal with someone in the Homelands to trade the guns for a bit of land so they can have their own kingdom and their own form of freedom.
Sounds nice but the danger they are creating: exposure of the existence of the Fables, is something that cannot be ignored.
Art is sound in this series as is the writing, although it would be nice to see Aladdin get more screen time and development but then again, this is Cindy's mini, not his.

DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896: Deadpool teams up with U.S. Ace, a truck driver who apparently has been everywhere including space. This was a pretty lackluster issue mainly because team-ups work much better when you're familiar with all the characters involved. Even biker raccoons didn't do much to salvage this issue. The best thing about it was the single panel where Deadpool flattens a raccoon which is what make the biker raccoons mad at him.
Again, this one was a miss but really, Deadpool has 3 ongoing books now and he can't be 'on' all the time, right?

However, the cover by the great Ramos was nice to see. I've always liked this guys art from way back in the day of CRIMSON. It'd be nice to see him do more stuff, defiantly a full Deadpool book somewhere!

NOVA #34: Realm of Kings issue stuff continues. I'm not sure what this realm Of Kings thing is supposed to be about but Nova is still dealing with The Fault and is doing...alright...with it. This current story with the Sphinx is pretty out of place. I understand that at one point he was Nova's main baddie but now he just seems out of place. The story where Sphinx is fighting a younger version of himself for control of some stones and his life is not as interesting as it could be.
There isn't much more I can say about it other than it does have some interesting foreshadowing for Darkhawk. Seems Talon isn't dead and more Raptors are going to be coming back...unless it was a ruse because everything that happens here is out of place and time.
Another interesting bit was the statue Black Bolt saw...he knows he dies and we know Medusa leads the Inhumans until she dies in something called the Shadow War. I'm curious about that.

SIEGE #2 of 4: The Siege of Asgard kicks into full gear! The writing is sound here, personally I never understood the hate of Brian Bendis he's a nice guy and a damn good writer, and the art is SPOT ON. The things about this that is really getting to me is that at issue #2 we are already half way through this! A major Marvel event told on this scale in only 4 issues! Astounding!
So, this issue we see the train wreck coming: The Dark Avengers are attacking Asgard, the Asgardians are fighting like mad to defend themselves and their home and the Avengers are geared up and heading into the fray themselves.
This issue contains a major shock involving a certain God who may or may not survive what happens to him...I mean, God can be killed and can come back but can a God come back from what happens to this one in this issue? I cannot say who it is or what happens but I can say when I say the panel in question I did say DAMN! out loud!
The other great moment in this issue was the last page. It's perfect usage of 'slow motion' in comics and a really great lead in to issue #3...I just wish we could have seen the look on Osborns face!