Archive for June, 2007


Friday Night Fights: Round 02

June 29th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Lightning from God.

If you aren’t reading Iron Fist, why not?

Friday Night Fights, baby.

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America Still Needs Your Help! (Insert Coins)

June 29th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

For a variety of reasons, I’ve been a bit lax on real content over the past few days. Blame it on how much the Battlemania thing took out of me, work in general, being distracted by the horrific news of that uncharismatic wrestler who went and Parallax’d his once-legendary legacy, etc. Either way, the work I have done has focused a bit more on the site itself. New headers and the like. hermanos has been on a roll lately, so it’s no great loss. I’m just fluff, while he writes actual content.

The point of this post is that I updated the Table of Contents for the first time in a while. It’s starting to get a bit thick and for any new readers, it’s probably not going to seem worth sifting through. I figure that hermanos, Wanderer and I should just mark various articles as “staff recommendations”. But I also think that you regular readers out there are just as qualified. So for those of you who do stick around, what 4th Letter articles are your favorites? What would you suggest to someone who had just stumbled upon this site?

On another note, A.o.D., the guy who brought us the Ultimate Rom: Spaceknight articles, has been crossing his fingers for the past several months ever since Annihilation: Conquest had been announced. He’s been hoping that Wraith, the dark gunslinger of the cosmos, is in fact Rom himself. Over time, his hope had died down, but recently, it’s stronger than ever.

Let’s look at the facts.

1) Wraith looks an awful lot like Rom’s human form, in all his “get a haircut, cyber-hippy” glory.

2) The Spaceknights have a pretty big role in Conquest already.

3) Rom’s enemies are the Dire Wraiths.

4) Marvel is unable to use the name Rom, nor are they able to show Rom as a cyborg. On the other hand, they can do whatever they want with Rom’s human form, his backstory, the rest of the Spaceknights and the Dire Wraiths. That explains his random human appearances, like at Rick Jones’ wedding or in Universe X.

5) Despite being so grim, Wraith seems to go out of his way not to kill a villain in the preview for his first issue. Rom also had a thing against killing.

6) Solicits did say that Wraith’s backstory would make science fiction fans happy.

I for one welcome our new post-cybernetic overlord!

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4thletter is for… deception

June 29th, 2007 Posted by david brothers


You ever get the feeling that the wool’s been pulled over your eyes, just a bit?

Garth Ennis is known for a few things. Blood, curse words, comedic facial deformities, sex jokes, a mild hatred of superheroes, and more blood and then a few more curse words. On the good side, he’s a pretty solid plotter, he knows his strengths, he does great dialog, and he’s the best war writer since Kanigher and Kubert.

Just in case you aren’t familiar, he’s written comics where a demon named Baytor becomes master of hell, Nick Fury strangles another dude with his own intestines, an alien sex pervert becomes a British diplomat and gets eaten by a tiger while dressed in a corset with an orange up his butt, a soldier constantly tries to trick his superior officer into kissing him by faking death, a guy gets his nose swapped with his penis and vice versa, an Australian pope has sex with nuns and curses, the Saint of Killers shoots God, a short man with glasses has sex with a giant statue made out of meat, superheroes are depicted as a bunch of people who are completely worthless human beings (and sex perverts), a dude has sex with himself and then shoots himself in the face in front of his son, and– actually, this is a pretty good sampling of the stuff he’s known for. Plus, this is going to completely ruin the search terms on this site.

Anyway, Ennis has got something of a rep. He’s done his fair share of gross-out comics, though it’s usually played for humor. But, I’ve been noticing something in his comics. He keeps sneaking in these little things that make a scary amount of sense. I don’t necessarily agree with Ennis on the religion front, but he makes good points about how to live life. Sexism, racism, whatever– it’s all stupid. It doesn’t matter. Leave it behind and just do right.

The quote up top is from The Boys #8, a series about some humans whose entire job consists of smearing and then beating the snot out of superhumans, who are all sex perverts and callous jerks. We’ve seen a bulldog have sex with another, smaller dog, and a Teen Titans-alike have a screwed up coke orgy. The book opens with a guy swinging around with his girlfriend like they were in a movie, only a superhuman comes crashing down and basically explodes her on impact, leaving the guy holding her severed arms. There’s also a dude who lives below a comic shop who basically calls Will Eisner a punk. And despite all this grisly stuff, you get little scenes like the one in that image up there.

Punisher: The Slavers dealt with white slavers. On the one hand, it’s a wish-fulfillment fantasy. We, the reader, get our revenge on the rapist and slavers of the world through Frank Castle’s actions. He kills quite a lot of them, and the series ends with him lighting a local boss on fire on video, looking into the camera, and saying “Don’t come back here.” He sends the video back to Eastern Europe with one of the allies of the slavers. On the other hand, though, I can’t remember the last time I saw the aftereffects of rape and kidnapping in a comic. One of the cops featured in the story actually quits the force, because she believes she can do more good helping track and assisting the girls who were kidnapped. The last two pages of The Slavers are heartbreaking. You don’t have the full context here, obviously, but I think the pages are worth sharing. Check out the softcover or the hardcover (B&N link) if it catches your interest. The softcover’s like ten bucks, it’s worth it. I cut out the pages where Cristu was burned alive because they aren’t 100% relevant here.

For reference: Viorica lost her daughter to the slavers.

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(words by ennis, art by fernandez)

“All she can do is live with what life they left her.” Ouch.
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It’s Your Hair Because You Paid For It

June 28th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

The latest issue of Dwayne McDuffie’s run on Fantastic Four addresses the issue of whether or not Storm’s hair is a weave. Spoiler alert: it isn’t. Her eyes are natural, too.

Now, seriously, 100% no lie: every single black person I’ve ever known who read X-Men asked “What’s up with Storm’s hair?” with a dash of “She’s got blue eyes?” I have wondered this for probably seventeen years, so it’s nice to see some explanation, especially nice from McDuffie.

And Manstream gets it wrong. Ugh. People do ask dumb questions about hair. It goes for men and women alike– try growing an afro and see what kind of dumb ideas people come up with. No, I’m not sticking a thing in my hair, jerk.

I don’t even know how I found this link, because I don’t read Manstream. It’s like I have some kind of radar sense that draws me to terrible things on the internet, and it’s working overtime when I just wake up. I had to FIGHT not to just post “U MAAAAAAAD.”

And the assumptions! I mean, obviously addressing hair complaints means that Storm is going to start snakecharming her neck and start “telling Ben not to “get up in her grille” next.” I mean, only a certain kind of person has a weave, right? Right? (It’s grill, not grille. Grilles are on cars.)

This is why we need more black bloggers and writers and artists.

A more insightful post coming later today! I read a very interesting comic by a writer I enjoy who has a reputation for being a gross-out humor specialist, but who came on point with the social commentary!

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Reader Participation

June 27th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I’m thinking about dropping the More links on the blog, so that articles are just out there in the altogether, unless they need spoiler space or something. That can result in a wall of text, as you can see below. Thoughts? Good, bad, drop it, bring it back?

I need to work up some new headers, too.

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5 Questions from Tom Foss, 8 from Carnage

June 27th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Not that Carnage.

Before I get into it, though, I’ve got half of an idea in my head. Boxing, the NBA, and the NFL are mostly black (except for quarterbacks :doom:). What if you had a series of superteams, like say one in each of the 50 states, that were run like a sports team? Try outs, scandals, all stars, cocky all-stars fresh out of high school… There’s something there, but I can’t quite grab it yet. Any Given Sunday in a comic book universe.

First is Tom Foss‘s five questions:
1. You’re given the keys to the Marvel Universe, and your only order is to take one “What If” storyline from the entirety of the series and make it canon, along with whatever alterations occur to the universe as a result. Which story do you choose?

Geez. I’d probably pick Gavok’s #1, What If Iron Man Sold Out. It was an awesome story, one of the few What Ifs I owned as a kid, and had great art. It hit all my buttons– it was set just pre-apocalypse, semi-fascist, and had heroes coming back to be true heroes.

Actually, yeah, that’s it for sure. What If Spider-Man Kept the Power Cosmic was another great one, but it kind of takes my favorite superhero out of the runnings for further stories, so no dice. What If the Avengers Lost Operation Galactic Storm was great and I’d like to see that one. It was practically Annihilation III in terms of scope.

2. Who watches the Watchers?

The police. Peeping tom perverts always get theirs.

3. What five Marvel characters do you think are most likely to actually be Skrulls?

Sentry’s wife, the secret masters behind SHIELD, the secret masters behind HYDRA, and I don’t know. I haven’t really given specific Skrulls much thought. I’ll have to post my theory on why Nick Fury went underground, though.

4. Who are your top three, back-of-the-OHOTMU, favorite guilty pleasure Marvel characters?
1. Jubilee (who remains the only character I have a continuity nerd story pitch for)
2. Darkhawk
3. Terror, Inc.

Ugh, I was so impressionable as a kid.

5. Which Avengers base is/was the best?

I couldn’t pick if I tried! I only recently became an Avengers fan. So… I figure Stark/Sentry Tower? I don’t know. The mansion is just kinda blah.

Spencer Carnage is up next.
– I have to post these rules before I start.
– I have to tell you eight facts about myself.
– I have to tag eight people to participate.
– I’m supposed to leave a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read my blog.
– And the tagees need to write their own blog post, telling us eight things and posting the rules.

Ugh, eight things. Okay. Deep breath and
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Dick Hyacinth Can’t Lose

June 26th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Dick Hates Your Blog: Focused on a single issue for a change

Dick Hyacinth is a man after my own heart.

So, because nobody demanded it, I’ve got a few suggestions for those of us who are concerned about the portrayal of women in Marvel/DC comics, yet equally concerned that the debate is getting unfocused, too shrill, or just somehow vaguely off:

1. Don’t treat those who disagree like children, no matter how much they might deserve it. I like a good put-down war as much as the next guy (yes, yes, probably more so), but I like my opponents to be fully-functioning adults. There’s no sport in matching wits with your average Blogorama troll (though there is some fun in mocking them from afar, say at your own blog). Be polite, keep the high ground, don’t make blanket generalizations that you can’t support (again, unless you’re doing it at your own blog).

1a. Maybe you should give the bingo thing a rest. Yes, we might find it funny, but I think it alienates people who might otherwise be sympathetic to complaints about sexism/misogyny. The post which explained the whole bingo concept (which I can’t find right now) does a fairly good job in explaining everything, but I still think this is a fairly exclusionary rhetorical device–you’re for us or against us! You get it or you don’t! In the present landscape, I don’t think this is a useful way to frame the argument. People are much more willing to consider your perspective if they think you’re inviting them to do so, rather than telling them they’re too stupid to understand.

2. Don’t be afraid to moderate comments. This is a tricky one–nobody wants to look like a censor. But some people aren’t interested in discussing issues in good faith; they’re either intellectually incapable (hopefully due to youth) or just not interested in real debate. I wish the powers that be at Blogorama were a little quicker in deleting these sorts of comments, though I kind of understand why they aren’t. For the rest of us, especially those whose blogs end up being the epicenter of a particular controversy: if the commenter feels slighted or oppressed, you might remind him or her that blogs are free. And if you have something interesting to say (or even if you don’t, sometimes), people will eventually notice you.

2a. Don’t feed trolls. I also wish that people who know better would just ignore the type of comment described above, especially those left on Blogorama. It’s good to engage with people who have opposing viewpoints, but only if they’re legitimately interested in honest intellectual debate. Arguing with trolls quickly turns into a screaming match. This might be somewhat amusing when discussing Civil War or something else that doesn’t fucking matter–hell, I think there’s some value to trolling in such a situation. But this is actually somewhat serious shit. Pick your words carefully; don’t let something that matters to you devolve into a cable news talk show.

There’s another couple rules in there, along with a lot more text, all of it worth reading.

He says there what I say here but in a much more concise and less-rambly manner.

For a blog based on hating other, lesser, blogs, Dick’s blog is top notch.

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Friday Night Fights: Round 1

June 23rd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

A penny saved is a beating earned, chump!

(click for big)

Friday Night Fights is back, baby. FnF up!

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Back in Black is Stupid.

June 22nd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

“I am not what I was before,” the silence says. “I am anger, I am madness, I am the spider. And God help you if you get in my way.”

No, really. This arc has been pretty bad, and the new issue? Terrible. Why?

Because we know how this ends. We’ve been here before.

Spider-Man: No Laughing Matters is a post I wrote last September about a pre-Clone Saga arc I liked a lot. In it, Spider-Man gets really angry, starts beating people up like crazy, and has an aunt on her death bed. Things between him and Mary Jane are really tense and he can’t quite manage to open up. It’s a story that has Spider-Man ready to kill… but he pulls back at the last second and remembers who he is.

Does any of this sound familiar? This arc was better 13 years ago, guys.

Images with sweet, sweet Bagley art from that story arc. The four pages of Peter reacting to Aunt May being hospitalized are better than anything Back in Black gave us.
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And one of my favorite covers:

Back in Black is hollow.

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What it look like

June 22nd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

With all this talk about various TV properties going to comics, I’ve thought of something that desperately needs to be an maxiseries, preferably with art by maybe Scott McDaniel, Adam Warren, or even better, David Aja of Iron Fist fame. Someone good at action and flashy.

The Last Dragon.

Don’t act like you wouldn’t watch it. You would. This movie was “The Warriors” for a new generation. The only movie I watched more often than this was Transformers, or I guess maybe Ninja Scroll, but I’m not 100% on that.

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the serious, elusive Leroy Green. I’ve been waiting a long time for this, Leroy. I am sick and tired of hearing these bullshit Superman stories about the wassa legendary Bruce Leroy catching bullets with his teeth. Catches bullets with his teeth? Nigga please.
–Sho’nuff, the Shogun of Harlem

Sho’nuff is the meanest, the prettiest, the baddest mofo low down around this town. It’s just too bad that Leroy Green has got the glow.

Sho nuff.

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