Archive for August, 2007


Comics and Wrestling: The Parallels

August 30th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

About now I’m in the middle of writing three different articles while planning to finally update the Table of Contents. It’s annoying, because I want to have something to post, but I end up being torn between all the different projects and nothing really gets done in time. It’s like I’m a monster that has to choose between the scientist that created him or the loving child that befriended him. Too much time looking back and forth and too little time getting results.

What I’m meaning to say is that this here post is going to be really pointless. More so than usual.

As an introduction, let’s look at this quote from my interview with wrestler “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush:

“A certain type of personality and humor attracts a very specific demographic to CHIKARA, and in that way, we end up in bed with (figuratively speaking), and surrounded by, like-minded individuals. There are so many thematic similarities between pro-wrestling and comic books, that there is bound to be some level of crossover.”

This is very true. There are the obvious comparisons, like the concepts of heroes battling villains in a repeated contest of good vs. evil. Colorful costumes. Slick names, whether they be codenames or last names. Mantles are passed down. Bad guys turning to good guys. Good guys turning to bad guys. Characters with names like Sandman, Mysterio, Hercules, Nitro, Crossbones, Rorschach, the Punisher, etc.

But I got to thinking. There are a lot of similarities between comic books and professional wrestling that go unnoticed. Follow me.


In comics, one of the most entertaining guys is a talented man by the name of Morrison.

In wrestling, one of the most entertaining guys is also a talented man by the name of Morrison.

They both have connections to mind-blowing drugs, now that I think about it.

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Long Live the King

August 28th, 2007 Posted by Hoatzin

“It was then that I came to realize what a powerful and ever-contemporary art form “comics” is, and how important it is to keep the medium ever flexible and sustaining. This is the attitude at National Periodicals. This is the place to be, in order to watch the medium lock into into our turbulent times and fish for the future. For in that future, comics should be bigger than ever and the forerunner of newer and more stimulating trends. Carmine Infantino will tell you that. As National’s Editorial Director and a great pro himself, the “look to the future” is often discussed between us when my routine is straightened out. In my opinion, this kind of thinking can only be a plus for the reader. When an outfit is constantly immersed in anti-static output, it is well worth working for on this end, and earns faithful readership and friends on the other.”

Jack Kirby, from Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133, October 1970.

Happy birthday Jack, thank you for everything.

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Happy birthday, King.

August 28th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

It’s Jack Kirby’s birthday, and this is my meager contribution to the doubtless outpouring of appreciation we’re going to see today.

Jack Kirby opened my eyes to stories that are more than binary good vs evil. His 4th World saga is about Freedom vs Slavery. Darkseid’s interest in conquering and gaining the Anti-Life Equation isn’t about destroying the world so much as it is about making all of reality submit to perfect order.

The Anti-Life Equation gives its wielder “the outside control of all living thought.” Free-thinking beings are replaced with automatons, their will submerged, destroyed, and replaced with that of Darkseid’s.

Apokoliptians prize servitude above all. In the post immediately previous to this one, Justeen does not want to kill Desaad and move into position to take over Darkseid’s spot– she wants to kill Desaad so that she can submit to Darkseid. “Your wish is my command” taken literally and on a macro level. In Simonson’s Orion, Kalibak mentions that discipline is prized on Apokolips. However, what he really means is blind, unquestioning obedience. You don’t get to decide and you barely get to be. You exist at the whim of another, and if he’d like you to be someone else, you will.

There is no individuality on Apokolips. There is only order, obedience, and slavery. Darkseid isn’t some cartoonish, mustache-twirling villain. He wants order.

There is something about life being defined as freedom (to act, to live, to love, to create) that just really speaks to me.

I wish I had more time, but I’ve got to get out of here.

I didn’t discover you until my 20s, but thanks for pushing the limits, Jack Kirby. You made comics better.

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Death is Life Done Right!

August 27th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I’ve been on a real Kirby kick lately. I keep telling people that only Grant Morrison and Walt Simonson are allowed to write Kirby concepts. Here’s more proof.

orion01.jpg orion02.jpg
It’s Kirby-esque without aping him. The Suicide Jockeys are that perfect mix of absurd and terrifying. “Death is life’s objective! Death is life done right! So lock an’ load! Let’s hit the road! The jockeys ride tonight!”

Actual text later on!

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Marvel Nemesis: The Comic Miniseries

August 26th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I’ve discussed comics based on video games before. Many of them aren’t very good. There are exceptions to the rule out there, like the UDON Street Fighter series. That is, if you can get past the horrid delays and the lack of anything of importance happening in most issues. The Darkstalkers comic wouldn’t have been all that bad had it lasted more than six issues and actually went somewhere.

The subject today is Marvel Nemesis: The Imperfects, based on the similarly named videogame Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects. This review is going to be a little different, as I’m going to try and lead you through the process of me reading this series. The experience of reading these issues when they came out is worlds different than if I were to be reading them for the first time now.

The news first hit that Electronic Arts would be releasing a Marvel fighting game. The place-holder of a name “Marvel vs. EA” was the popular term for this new project and immediately, we were lambasted with awful joke after awful joke. As a comedic writer, something that annoys me is when somebody makes an obvious joke that half of the hemisphere had already made and acts like they’re a comedic genius. The kind of people who make jokes about Mr. Fantastic stretching his wang. Anyway, for months on end, everybody chimed in with the same played out “Spider-Man vs. Madden” or “Wolverine vs. Gandalf” punchline. It was really sad.

Over time, details about the game, such as the actual title, were announced. The first footage of the game featured Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Thing and two EA-created characters Johnny Ohm and Brigade. Artist Jae Lee had a major role in the art direction of the game and made the character select images. He would also draw the cover art for the comic miniseries. Mark Millar was brought in for character designs and backstories. The creative team for the six-issue miniseries would be writer Greg Pak and artist Renato Arlem. I was unfamiliar with Pak at the time, so I had no idea that this was a really good thing. Renato’s art style shares similarities with Jae Lee’s style, so that’s also a big plus.

The cover features a foreground shot of the story’s villain, Niles Van Roekel. Behind him are Spider-Man, Wolverine, Elektra and Thing, all infected with some kind of green goop nastiness. Thing is what it looks like when you chew Fruity Pebbles and then open your mouth and stick out your tongue.

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Harley Quinn

August 22nd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Sometimes DC gets it right:

Written by Karl Kesel
Art and cover by Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
The Joker’s lovable partner in crime takes the spotlight in this new hardcover volume collecting HARLEY QUINN #1-7, written by Karl Kesel (SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL) with art by the fan-favorite team of Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson (WONDER WOMAN)! Don’t miss these beautifully illustrated tales of lunacy!
Advance-solicited; on sale January 16 • 192 pg, FC, $24.99 US

I wanted to toss in a “sometimes DC gets it wrong,” but I’m up against the wall of like three heinous deadlines.

More from Rock of Ages– Batman slipping a roofie to a (new) god.

jla_14_pg10.jpg jla_14_pg12.jpg jla_14_pg13.jpg

I’m listed on, which I’m kind of inordinately proud of
My unofficial namesake died June 25, 2007
-I’m never going to find time to play Bioshock and Madden NFL 08 at this rate
-I’m spending way too much money lately and need to cut way back
-I’m rereading Y the Last Man (better a second time through, though some of Vaughan’s quirks are mad obvious) and starting Narcoleptic Sunday, a pretty cool OGN out of Oni. More on that later.
-I need to do reviews for Calavera Comics and another comics company that sent me PDFs. Cripes.
-There are not enough hours in the day.
-I went out and got a Twitter, because I just don’t write enough during the day.

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The Last Boy on Earth

August 19th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Done by what could’ve been the sickest team on Earth?

Can you say “Brian Azzarello,” “Paul Pope,” and “Kamandi?”

Well, you almost did, but Pope went on to do Batman Year 100 and Azz to do Loveless.

Paul Pope’s Flickr. Take a look around.

Here is a very un-Pope Wonder Woman, save for the lasso. A very Pope Big Barda.

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4thletter exclusive

August 18th, 2007 Posted by Hoatzin

DC comics has just released the third teaser for their epic universe-spanning Countdown event to the men at 4thletter. This one appears to be a mishmash of villains and heroes, and has some surprise apperances by characters not many of us were expecting. What does it all mean for Countdown, Final Crisis and the future of the DC universe? Who knows, but it’s bound to be exciting! Just click the thumbnail for the full image:

4thletter exclusive

Now, like with the previous two teasers, this image should not be interpreted literally. There’s obviously a lot of hidden meanings and metaphores going on here, so if you have any theories on what it could all mean, share them!

 And remember, you saw it here first.

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The Death of the New Gods (Episode 1)

August 18th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

JLA #14. Death of the New Gods. Grant Morrison, Howard Porter, I think John Dell on inks.
JLA 14 pg 19 JLA 14 pg 20 JLA 14 pg 21
JLA 14 pg 22 JLA 14 pg 23

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Booster Gold Arrives and I am History

August 17th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

In a couple hours, I’m going to be leaving for the weekend for my brother’s wedding. No computer access during that time, so the site is in the hands of the leader guy, the newbie and the guy who’s too busy doing real writing work.

Some quick notes before I go:

– The Dr. Strange movie is the better of the four Marvel animated movies (Strange > Ultimates > Ultimates 2 > Iron Man). The animation is better, the ugly shading is fixed and some of it is genuinely good. Unfortunately, it’s marred with goofy additions like having Strange, Mordo and the others fight by conjuring swords instead of straight sorcery. The ending is the absolute stupidest and laziest deus ex machina I have ever seen in any superhero movie, which is saying a lot. In conclusion, the movie is okayish.

– If you’re going to get the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters on DVD, don’t do it for the 80 minute deleted movie. It’s just an early version of the movie where the animation is only two-fifths done and the deleted scenes (which are available with full animation elsewhere on the DVD) are inserted. Though to its credit, there is a nice unused ending that involves Dr. Weird screaming at Meatwad, “Well, keep it down! I’m trying to fuck a tangerine!” a second before the end credits.

– Booster Gold #1 is fantabulous. It really, really is. The comic is about a muscular idiot in tights, his annoying robot companion and a guy who knows way too much about history banding together to repair the past and keep time stable. Hm…

I always thought this show needed a second chance. Thanks, Geoff Johns!

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