Archive for September, 2007


JHW3 Aftermath!

September 30th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

The Isotope signing for JH Williams III went off great! I had a great time, hung with some great people, and got to babble at JHW3 for a while. He’s got some great stuff coming up and a few surprises in store. The next two years or so should be a great couple of years for fans of the guy.

He had a ton of art on sale, including pretty much all of his Batman work. A few friends brought a couple spreads, but I had to hold off since I should be “responsible.” I did, however, find some stuff that I’m going to buy later on. He had some sketches for fascist-themed X-Men, including an awesome one of Jubilee that I want. He also had a great Guardian 7 Soldiers design sketch.

The creme de la creme was this cover. I saw it in his sketchbook while I was leafing through and was like “No, no way does he still have this one for sale.”

Guess what! He did. So, I’m going to buy it. I loved The Crew, I loved those covers, and I love Kasper Cole as the White Tiger.

All in all, it was a great night. I’ll post the flickr link when the pics go up.

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The Manga Messiah: A Non-Review

September 28th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

At work, we’ve been receiving some comic anomalies lately. For one, there is the Ronald Reagan graphic novel biography, which I admittedly bought for my friend’s birthday since he’s a Reagan nut. Then there is the Kiss 4K comic, based on an average rock band doing stuff in the future. Neither of these two get more double-takes than this baby.

That’s right. A Jesus Christ manga. Look at that. Look at the tagline! Sweet protagonist!

If you’ve been following this site long enough, you know me well enough to think that I would buy this for the sake of review. The truth is, I did put a lot of thought into it. Then my friends put forth an intervention against my bad comic buying ways and insisted I not purchase it. I gave in, though I did flip through it for a bit. Something is really off about seeing Pontius Pilate with one of those manga-style angry blood veins on his forehead. Judas is portrayed here as a red-haired bishonen. It’s wacky.

So yes, I did agree that I wouldn’t buy it, but that makes me feel bad. I hate wasting things, so here is a list of all the jokes I would have made for the Manga Messiah review that never was. Enjoy.

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Ruining the Moment: Volume 5

September 26th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Yep. It’s time for another edition of Ruin the Moment, distracting you as I work on the next Professor Marc article.

This is based on Tim Drake receiving the call that Bart Allen has been killed needlessly because DC wrote themselves into a corner.

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JHW3 Gallery

September 25th, 2007 Posted by david brothers


Any 4l readers in the Bay Area? JHW3 is coming through the Isotope this weekend. Come through for drinks, cool people, and one of the best artists that ever did it.

If you’re lucky, you might even be able to buy a dope page or two.

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What If Musings: Warbound Hulk and the Juggernaut

September 22nd, 2007 Posted by Gavok

So far I think World War Hulk has been pretty great. A good deal of thought has gone into the event, but they didn’t over-think it, like they did with Civil War. I admittedly haven’t read the badly reviewed Frontline (fool me once…) and Gamma Corps, but most of the other tie-ins were pretty fun. I even enjoyed the Ghost Rider arc, so suck on that.

The X-Men tie-in was cool for what it was. It was just a slugfest where Hulk was meant to dominate the entire X-roster. They used this space to develop Juggernaut’s story. Maybe “develop” is the wrong word here. “Rubber banding” is more accurate, unless this is all misdirection and they’re going to keep him good in the long run, as they really should.

Either way, it was an effective subplot. Juggernaut was one of the few major threats to face the Hulk. Only something about it bothered me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Like with many Marvel comics, my mind likes to come up with possible What If stories based on canon events. It’s a side-effect from that damn list, so cut me slack.

This fall/winter, we’re going to be getting more What Ifs. The ones announced are all based on the big events. What If: Planet Hulk is a trilogy of stories that sound downright orgasmic. What If: Annihilation pushes the events of Annihilation, Civil War and Silent War into one big, unpredictable melee. There’s a two-story Civil War issue based on Captain America either beating Iron Man, or even getting everyone to join his side. Plus What If Vulcan Had the Power of the Phoenix.

What could the eventual World War Hulk story be? It got me thinking.

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Professor Marc’s Homework Assignment: Part Two

September 18th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

It’s time for another six issues of random. Sorry it took so long. One of the issues was an 80 Page Giant and you know how those can be.

The Phantom #3

Year: 1988
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Joe Orlando
Synopsis: The Phantom is the ultimate legacy superhero; a mantle existing throughout the years under different members of a bloodline. To give balance, there is the Chessman bloodline, which has been antagonizing Phantoms for ages. This miniseries focuses on the modern-day battle between Phantom (the 21st one) and Chessman.

There are two parts to the issue. To delve deeper into the legacy picture, we read about the great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather of our main Phantom, Christopher “Kit” Walker. In a story transcribed by the 13th Phantom’s son, the Phantom has been beaten by the Chessman Brothers and is locked up in a pirate ship. Not only that, but one of the brothers stole his badass skull ring. Due to desperation and being totally pissed, the Phantom breaks the chains that bind him, beats up a bunch of pirates, sinks their ship and is saved by some allies. The Chessmans get away.

As a nice touch, this old timey Phantom doesn’t wear a domino mask, but rather has black paint or makeup splotched around his eyes.

He seeks out the Chessman that stole his ring and takes him on in a duel of swords. He steals his ring back, punches Chessman in the face, impales him with a dagger and tosses him out a window. That’s a pretty full day.

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JLA Classified 1-3

September 13th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Geoff Klock is one of my favorite bloggers, and his three part dissection of JLA Classified is a good read. One, Two, and Three.

JLA:C 1-3 are his most favorite superhero comics of all time… and I’d be hard pressed to disagree with him. They’re pure, outlandish, and fun superheroics.

Go give it a read.

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White Tiger: An In-Depth Review

September 12th, 2007 Posted by Hoatzin

I really like comics. Sequential art is possibly my favorite medium. But unfortunately not all comics are good and sometimes it’s necessary to show some tough love. Occasionally one must criticize books that fail at their intended goal and examine what precisely went wrong, for the sake of comics, because comics should be good. The recently completed White Tiger, written by Tamora Pierce and Timothy Liebe and drawn by Phil Briones and later Al Rio and Ronaldo Silva, happens to be one of those books.

Although it’s a niche book, I feel it deserves closer examination for a variety of reasons. It’s a spinoff of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s fantastic definitive run on Daredevil. It’s a comic about a legacy character. It’s a comic about a female character. It’s a comic about an ethnic character. It’s a comic by a popular novelist (and her husband) doing their first comics work. It’s also a comic that, so far, has done very badly in sales, dropping from 24,663 copies for issue #1 to 13,621 copies for issue #5.

Although stellar sales figures shouldn’t be expected from a niche book by an unproven creative team, the fact that the book shedded over ten thousand readers in the course of issues 1 to 5 means people just plain aren’t liking it. In an industry where new characters, even legacy characters, are hard to push and both ethnic and female characters are rare, it’s sad to see a book about a new ethnic superheroine fail so badly. But why did the book fail? After reading it, I have come to a conclusion: It’s a bad comic book, in just about every way. Let’s review. Bear with me: This will be long. Read the rest of this entry �

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Table of Contents and CHIKARA

September 12th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

After nearly three months of ignoring it, I’ve finally updated the site’s Table of Contents page. Other than adding the newer articles, I’ve added Hoatzin’s section, got a better picture for the “Ruining the Moment” section and added the Juggernaut.

See? Cain can be seen dashing into any articles deemed suggested reading by 4th Letter’s writers or readers.

In other news, CHIKARA has a new contest based on their DVD covers. By sending in your own artwork, you could possibly have it grace the cover of their yet-to-be-named November 07 event and win a bunch of free crap. The requirements:

– .jpg or .psd file
– 200 dpi
– RGB mode (NOT CMYK!)
– Measuring 5.125” (width) by 7.25” (height) inches
– Keep it family friendly

Send the entries to with your name and address. You can enter as many times as you want. I’m going to try and break out the pencils for the first time in years and see what I can do with this.

Finally, I made a couple purchases yesterday for the next series of articles that I’ll get to once I finish the Professor Marc’s Homework Trilogy. All I can say is that despite all the comics I’ve read over the course of this site’s history, nothing… NOTHING… has made me fear for my sanity more than what I have in store. Stay tuned.

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Bob and Gabe Should Punch Each Other Sometime

September 11th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I like the Sentry. I think he’s a righteous dude. The thing about him is that he’s all about history. We know who he is and what he used to be. We know the legacy. Now his role in Marvel’s world is stagnant. He’s either there to show how powerful an opposing threat is, stepping out of sight to give the Avengers more of a challenge (“Oh, Patriot’s hurt? I’ll be back in a bit.”), or he’s yakking about the Void and their inner war. He’s currently taking his time to enter the fray in World War Hulk, but after that’s over and done with, who is he going to fight? The Void is the only part of his past that’s here to stay and we need some variety. His other villains were mostly Silver Age jokes that don’t deserve a push to the forefront.

The Sentry needs a real arch-nemesis.

Over the past couple of days, I had finally read through both Deadly Genesis and the Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire. I recall hearing bad things about both of them as they were coming out, with the addendum that they make great reads in trades. Plus Brubaker is Brubaker and I really liked that What If from last year based on the big Deadly Genesis retcon.

As I read through Deadly Genesis, I grew to love Vulcan as a villain. Good, new comic characters – especially villains – are a hard find these days. I was happy to finally have somebody new who I could buy as a major threat. The more I read of him, the more I realized that he would make a fantastic enemy for the Sentry. While the Void is the Sentry’s anti-conscience and acts as his sinister shadow, Vulcan really comes off as the true Anti-Sentry.

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