Archive for February, 2007

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Read Good Comics: Firestorm #33

February 28th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Firestorm has had a rocky run recently, but the quality has never wavered. Jason Rusch’s coming of age tale has been smart, interesting, and well-drawn. I even got Jamal Igle to sign the Firestorm trade I bought at the con that collects the One Year Later story arc… and is also the only collection out.

firestorm33_cover.jpg Yes, lads and ladies, DC’s crap trades department put out a trade of a series 20-odd issues in and are going to cancel the series with #35 in April. A few trades earlier on and Firestorm could’ve built an audience. C’mon, DC! You’ve got Time Warner backing you. If Marvel can trade every series ever, including Marvel Nemesis: The Imperfects, you can do it, too! The bookstores are the future!

No biggie, though! There’s nothing wrong with buying canceled books, especially ones that look as good as this. Stuart Moore and Jamal Igle had a great run, but Dwayne McDuffie and Ken Lashley are on tap for the final three issues. Here’s the solicit for #33.

The superstar creative team of Dwayne McDuffie (JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, STATIC), Dan Jurgens (Superman, Captain America) and Ken Lashley (The Flash) bring Firestorm to bold new heights! Jason Rusch and Prof. Martin Stein just want to get their lives back to normal, but the New Gods have other plans! When Orion comes looking for Prof. Stein, you can bet a throwdown’s not far behind! Guest-starring the Seven Soldiers’ Mister Miracle!

C’mon, now. You’re a comics fan on the internet. I know that you liked Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Dwayne McDuffie was behind a lot of the cool stuff on that show, so Firestorm #33 is pretty much guaranteed to deliver a good-sized bang for your three bucks.

Still not convinced? Look here for an interview and a quick preview. Jason Rusch is growing up, gaining confidence in his powers, and is still rookie enough to make Orion mad.

It drops today, it’s got New Gods, super-science, and a quality protagonist. We may not be able to save the series before it’s canceled, but we can read a good story along the way.

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New York State of Mind

February 27th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

But, fuck it, they gonna let us in, or else we rush the door
I got too many reasons, save your “whys” and “what fors”

–Talib Kweli, “Twice Inna Lifetime”

(The blogroll is updated, by the by. Drop me a line if I missed you.)

Here’s about the most thorough coverage of the Black Panel I’ve seen so far.

I really had a good time at NYCC, but I also had something of a revelation during The Black Panel.

The comics blogosphere is a big and varied place. There are very large fanboy, feminist contingent, and gay portions to it. But, where are the black voices?

There are a few very good black boards out there. I’m fond of Dwayne McDuffie’s forum, and I was recommended Hero Talk by a guy at the con, too. I picked up UVC’s inaugural issue at NYCC, and I like The Musuem of Black Superheroes, too. Those are message boards, though. They’re incestuous by nature, though that isn’t always a bad thing.

There are even a gang of quality bloggers. I recently discovered Cheryl Lynn a few weeks ago, and think that Bahlactus is great. So is Glyphs, though its RSS feed has never, ever worked right for me. It’s just that there has to be more. Who else is there? Where is everybody?

Even more than that, though… where am I? What am I doing for this? Do I have a responsibility to stand up?

I’m leaning toward “yes.”
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NYCC02 Miscellany

February 25th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I caught three awesome panels today– Make Me Laff with Kyle Baker, Black Panel, and BET Animation panel. I’ll have thoughts on them later fa sho, but I just wanted to put this out there. I don’t think that Newsarama or CBR have covered either of them.

The BET Animation panel was, in a word, incredible. They’re doing extremely big things, and they showed a couple shorts that blew my mind. Hopefully the trailers will hit the net soon. I got to speak with Denys Cowan, who is an extremely nice guy, after the show, and I remarked (paraphrasing here) that, like a lot of the hip-hop I grew up with, these shorts are extremely subversive and, for lack of a better word, revolutionary. I told him that I’m in the Jay-Z generation, but I grew up on Rakim and PE and KRS, and each and everyone of them was subversive.

His response? “Exactly.”

Yes. This is good.

If you folks see any coverage of either the Black Panels or BET Animation panels anywhere, or discussion, can you drop me a comment? I really want to see some other reactions. BET hasn’t had a complete Road to Damascus moment, but they’re getting there.

More later. I’m completely out of it. I’ve got to say that this con has completely revitalized my interest in blogging and writing.

Also, the Marvel and DC panels pretty much universally blow. Vertigo was good, but blah on the rest.

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New York Comic-con: Day 1

February 24th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

4l is coming to you live and direct from the New Yorker Ramada in Manhattan.

Yesterday was the first day of the con and we’re about to head out again. Loot reports will have to wait, though!

I met Geoff Klock and spent a good bit of time talking with him about Morrison, Morrison on Batman, Frank Miller on Batman, and why DKSA is a good book! It’s nice to know I’m not hte only one who digs it and ASBARtBW. He was an extremely cool guy and it was neat to pick his brain.

I also got to meet Johanna Draper Carlson, who is a blogging hero of sorts for me. She was extraordinarily gracious while I babbled at her, and the blogging panel on Friday was pretty sweet. Heidi Mac was cool, too, and I missed a chance to meet Chris Butcher.

In other news! From left to right, David Mack and David Brothers; Gavok, the love of his life, and some random lady who hopped in the picture (kidding) (not really); an Echo print I bought from Mack (as well as completing my Kabuki collection); and the bloggers panel. L-R is Heidi Mac, Chris Butcher, Ron Hogan, and Johanna Draper Carlson.
mackbrothers.jpggavinandlove.jpg
echo.jpgbloggers.jpg

More to come! I’m off to get more stuff.

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Comic-con Stuff

February 22nd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

The 4l crew (myself, Gavin, and Wilde) are hitting the NY Comic-con this weekend. If you want to meet up, send your info to 4thletter@gmail.com!

I get in Thursday afternoon, with the other two arriving Thursday evening. We’ll see how this goes, hey?

Anyway, I figured that I want to get a few trades signed while I’m there. Here’s what I’m packing and who I want to sign it.

Annihilation Vol 1 HC – Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Keith Giffen
Seven Soldiers Vol 1-4 – Everyone
Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill – Oeming
Thor Visionaries Vol 1: Walt Simonson
Wildcats 3.0 vol 1 – Dustin Nguyen
Echo: Vision Quest – David Mack
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies – Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines

I’m also taking my DS and a few novels for the trip. The Death And Life Of Superman by Roger Stern (I wonder if I can get that signed?), Green Lantern Sleeper Book One by Christopher Priest, Black Girl Lost by Donald Goines (not comics), No Dominion by Charlie Huston (not comics), and maybe one or two others. I do not know yet!

We shall see how this goes. Blogging may be light, depending on internet access.

Is there anything that we absolutely have to hit? This is my first con, so I kind of want to see all the cool stuff I can. I think we’re meeting up with some goons, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll make the PopCultureShock party on Saturday night. I want to pack my schedule and hang out with cool cats.

Anyone else attending?

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Ghost Riding Up My Asscrack

February 22nd, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I know very little about Ghost Rider. I’ve read only a few comics involving him (such as the New Fantastic Four arc, a cool Venom crossover and some What Ifs) and even less involving Johnny Blaze. All I know about him are the basics. I can’t remember his friends’ names. I don’t know if his love interest from the movie was ever in the comics. All I know is that Ghost Rider is fucking metal.

He’s metal and he’s a comic character with a movie. I had no choice but to see it.

Now, this may surprise you, but I’ve missed out on a lot of the more famous comic movie disasters. I haven’t seen Steel, Elektra or Captain America. While Superman 4 was the first movie I knew was bad (at age 6), it’s been years since I’ve seen it and I only recall certain details. I have that live action Hulk vs. Thor movie laying around, waiting to be watched. Ghost Rider, though, I knew I needed to see ASAP. I knew that while it was going to be bad, it was still going to be worth my money. I was totally right.

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Blatant Image Post

February 21st, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Here’s a bit from Garth Ennis’s Hitman where Ennis is doing what he does best: letting his characters talk. I forget the issue and I’m actually leaving for work right after I press “Publish,” but it’s easy to locate online. It’s from the issue with Superman. Perhaps in the 20s or 30s?

It runs into the sidebar, but I’ll fix it when I get home. Tonight. Ugh.

Peace!

hitman104.jpg

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Guest Words: Civil War Revamped

February 21st, 2007 Posted by david brothers

My infinitely patient buddy Mark Poa sent me an email all the way from the Philippines about a guest article on Civil War. He points out quite a few things that Marvel could have, and should have, done differently. Check it out below!

My friend asked me: “I remember you saying in an LJ post that you were on the side of Tony Stark in Civil War. Fair enough, I think that some sort of regulation is probably required in the case of superhumans, myself. But the burning question is, how do you think this should work? The way Tony’s been doing things is certainly not the best.

Ah, I do so love comic book type hypothesis.

Why is Superhero registration necessary?
1. People with superpowers are similar to special skills. CPAs, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals are registered so that their skills can be monitored and standards could be set for their use. I see superheroes as going through this route… registering as professional superheroes.
2. Registering would mean having standards. Training, education, special tests… all to ensure that activities would be regulated and that special provisions can be made for the use of special skills.
3. It’s a failsafe in case a superhuman goes rogue. Real names are registered

What did Iron Man and the pro-regs do wrong in Civil War?
1. Antagonize Captain America. Really, between Iron Man, Antman and Mr. Fantastic vs. Captain Freaking America… I know where the heavier symbol is.
2. Make it seem like registering would mean revealing your identity… and actually forcing Peter Parker to reveal his identity. Bad move in terms of getting other heroes to join.
3. Forcing heroes to register. Which inevitably turned it into an Us vs. Them thing.

How would I approach it better?
1. Convince Captain America to support the move from the start. Address his concerns. No forcing of registrants? Check. No drafting of heroes into S.H.I.E.L.D .? Check. Get him as a spokesman. Pronto!

2. I liked She-Hulk’s Dan Slott’s attempt to explain this by having She-Hulk say that no one is forced to reveal their identity to anyone except S.H.I.E.L.D. It sounds logical. No one but your fellow heroes would have to know your identity. Also, there should be measures to address fear that the database of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be hacked. I don’t know… keep all the information in Aaron “Machine Man” Stack or something? Just assure the registering heroes that their identities would be kept safe.

On a tangent… Not that secret identities mean much in Marvel anyway. The only hero I think that had a pretty intact and decent secret identity was Spider-man and look what happened. :P

3. Highlight the benefits of registration rather than forcing people to register. Registering would mean special status in society? Okay! Special training? Okay! Clearance from police agencies and access to the S.H.I.E.L.D. resources and labs? Okay! Get them special tax privileges in exchange for registering and following the rules? Right on!

That’s how I see it anyway. Sadly, I think the Marvel U’s level of distrust would prevent formulating any kind of “win-win” situation.

What do you think, sirs?

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Real Talk: Supreme Power’s Nighthawk

February 17th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Let me tell you a story.

This had to have been back when I was in the fifth grade, in Mrs Washington’s class. There’s this program called DARE, Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Basically, they explain to you that you should narc on your friends if you catch them with drugs and that if you try weed just one time you’ll immediately find yourself toothless, hooked on crack, in prison, insane, and stupid.

From Wikipedia:

The U.S. Department of Education concluded in 2003 that the DARE program is ineffective and now prohibits its funds from being used to support it.[5] The U.S. Surgeon General’s office, the National Academy of Sciences,[5] and the Government Accounting Office also concluded that the program is sometimes counterproductive in some populations, with those who graduate from DARE later having higher rates of drug use. Studies by Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum [6], and by the California Legislative Analyst’s office [7] found that DARE graduates were more likely than others to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco and use illegal drugs.

Sorry, the mean-spiritedness is just deafening sometimes. I’ll do better, I promise.

Anyway, our DARE officer was a cop we called Officer Wood. At some point during the class, I ended up asking him a question about the Black Panthers. I wasn’t quite as “conscious” back then as I am now, but I knew a little bit about a little something. I even used to have one of those leather Africa medallions. I know that some of you folks know what I’m talking about. I was curious as to what Wood would say.

“The Black Panthers were worse than the Klan,” he told me.

That’s stuck with me in the years since then. He’s practically taken on bogeyman status in my head. I realized that if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you should keep your mouth shut. Arguing from a position of ignorance makes you an idiot, and no one likes idiots. If you want to speak, you’d better know first.

Other than that, though, I realized how perception informs things. I doubt that Officer Wood knew what he was saying. The Panthers, like Malcolm X, have been villainized in the years since they were active. They weren’t about killing white people, or even hating them. They were “The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense” and were an anti-police brutality group. They weren’t angels, granted, but they weren’t the frigging Klan, either. To Officer Wood, though, they were.

This brings me to Nighthawk, from J Michael Stracyzinski’s Supreme Power. Supreme Power sometimes feels like kind of a retread of JMS’s other series, Rising Stars, at times, but it remains one of his better works.

Nighthawk, though. Hm. Problematic.
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Dear DC Comics re: Red Arrow

February 16th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Dear DC Comics,

Red Arrow is a stupid name.

Change it back. :colbert:

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