Archive for October, 2008


Corbett Hits Me Off Guard

October 23rd, 2008 Posted by Gavok

So there’s this comic character I liked from a couple years back who I knew wasn’t long for the world. True to my prediction, he didn’t do anything outside of ten issues worth of appearances, outside of appearing in the background. I knew that the guy was completely gone from everyone’s mind and would MAYBE appear in an issue of Avengers: The Initiative, if that.

When Rifftrax released their sample for their take on The Happening, I found myself taken aback.

It’s about 18 seconds in.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that reference so surreal.

I understand this post may have completely wasted your time, so enjoy this as well.

You have no idea how many times I’ve watched this thing.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Batman RIP: Whodunnit?

October 22nd, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

So far in Batman RIP: Everyone is evil. Unless they’re dead. Unless they were already dead, in which case they’re probably alive again. And evil.

Provided, of course, that all of this isn’t going on inside of Bruce Wayne’s newly re-crazied head.

Although I enjoy Grant Morrison’s mind leaving orbit and cruising the galaxy as much as the next person, with one issue to go it’s beginning to look like a center-cannot-hold type situation. For a long time, I couldn’t think of any ending that would satisfy me. Yesterday, however, I remembered a scene way back in Batman #656.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon



October 21st, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Thanks to my PCS cohort Jon Haehnle for the link.

I’m pretty much done talking about race in comics forever for the foreseeable future, and I’m kind of mad at comics. I made the mistake of catching up on a lot of books I don’t usually read (Secret Six, JSA, Action Comics, Superman) and I realized that I’d tricked myself into thinking that quality as a whole was on the rise. Untrue. DC publishes an astonishing amount of mediocre books. Marvel has a slightly better track record, even though Uncanny X-Men is ugly and Astonishing X-Men is annoying.

I don’t like reading mediocre books, and I’m starting to think that Saul Williams was right when he said, “Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which as been given for you to understand. The current standard is the equivalent of an adolescent restricted to the diet of an infant.”

I don’t like the idea of reading the literary equivalent of applesauce and crushed pears just to find something to blog about. I’d rather be quiet and keep listening to this Anthony Hamilton album (Comin’ Where I’m From) and Nas’s latest album over and over again. I’d rather spend another couple hours on Nike iD designing some sneakers. I’d rather read Charlie Huston’s new novel, or download a free PDF of Caught Stealing, the first novel in the Hank Thompson series. Maybe I could buy these for my birthday instead.

If I had to choose between blogging about Nightwing/Dini’s ‘Tec/Batgirl’s latest issue/that new issue of Mighty Avengers where Captain Marvel cries for a million pages/Superman screaming about how his dog is a good dog worship him WORSHIP HIM HU-MANS or making a flow chart/liveblog about yet another 100 Bullets read through, I’d choose the flow chart. It’d be interesting and about something good, rather than something not worth reading.

I’ll take anything but mediocre comics. In a way, they’re worse than bad comics. Mediocre books at least have some kind of potential or pedigree or talent that hints at a better result than what we got. They’re the very definition of wasted potential. No one expected anything great from Ultimates 3. Geoff Johns on Action Comics, though? I thought I was going to get more than the millionth Superman vs Brainiac fight, with the added bonus of the third death of Jon Kent in the past fifteen years.

Anyway, I need new things to talk about. All that other stuff is old and busted. If I have to keep talking about crap, I’m going to burn out.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Comics That Should Be, But Shan’t Be

October 20th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

1.Significant Others Of Superheroes Society. It would be a great cross between an emergency response team (considering how often they get attacked), a support group (dealing with the Flash Force, Kleenex/Steel, and how a ‘charged relationship’ is only romantic as a metaphor), and Army Wives. They could have a SOSS message board, and use the teleporters for a Sig Others Night Out when the heroes were forced to rush off at the last minute to save the day. It would be a gossipy, action packed, salacious geek dream.

2. Lois Lane: Investigative Reporter. This series would be kind of like Gotham Central (Yeah. That did so very well.) only Lois would go out looking for trouble instead of letting it come to her. It would let us see the day-to-day Metropolis, as well as letting us get to know Lois as more than just someone who loves Superman and has moxie. Plus it could take a variety of tones. The first arc could be a dark look at the kinds of Metropolis crime that Superman can’t deal with. The second might be a day-to-day look at the city and how it adapts to the presence of a nearly all-powerful hero. The third could be a fun homage to the old Superman’s Girlfriend days, with Lois getting bonked on the head so that she forgets that she’s Superman’s wife, and trying to win Superman over, ward off Clark Kent, and insisting, upon hearing that she’s wife to both of them, “I’m a polygamist? Never. It must be an imaginary tale!”

3. Jason Todd and Cassandra Cain: On Their Own. I’m talking about pre-Infinite Crisis batkids. Imagine them roaming around the country with superheroes on their tails and the mobs scattering in front of them. They could bond over stories of how Batman might be the crappiest father-figure that ever there was. Cass could bring the muscle and Jason, in what must be a refreshing change for him, would provide the know-how. Think about Jason trying to teach Cass how to go undercover. Think about her doing it by imitating him – a five-foot-not-very-much slender girl acting like a six-foot-something muscle-bound man. Think of him having to teach her how to go undercover by trying to imitate the body language of a small girl. Also, they would kill people and feel good about it, which would be a change in the Superhero world. . . . I sense you’re not convinced. They’d never set foot in Gotham again. Deal? Deal.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


52: The Graphic Audio

October 19th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

A couple months back, I reviewed Infinite Crisis in “Graphic Audio” form. Graphic Audio is a company that takes books and turns them into jacked up radio plays. I didn’t know what to expect, but came out entertained. Luckily, there was more fuel for my ears in the form of Graphic Audio’s take on Greg Cox’s novel adaptation of 52.

Hm. Already, I could tell that this wasn’t going to be more of the same. Infinite Crisis and 52 are very different. Infinite Crisis was seven slightly-longer-than-usual issues, condensed. For the novelization, they had to add in bits from other comics from that time to pad out the story. The Graphic Audio experiment took an average story and transformed it into something pretty good. In fact, reader Illvillainy, who picked up the CD set based on my review, had this to say:

Granted my imagination had me envisioning Doug Mahnke doing, say 12 issues, of gorgeous art while listening to the CDs but going back to read IC afterwards and seeing 7 rushed and badly paced issues of Phil Jimenez trying to be George Perez with scrunched up layout and one page splashes was severely disappointing. The audiobook wasn’t perfect but it made me like the idea of IC a hell of a lot more.

52 is another beast entirely. The quality was far superior on all fronts and due to lasting 52 issues, the story was more decompressed. Well, maybe “decompressed” isn’t the best word for 52. It’s just that there were so many subplots going on that if you were reading it for one of them specifically, you could go at least a month without an update. I cared about all of them to at least some extent, so I was cool with it. Though, really, I was mostly in it for Booster’s storyline.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon



October 17th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

I just started to like Cable. The first arc was way too slow (which is why I picked it back up with the newest issue), and I’m still not 100% convinced on the Bishop turn, but I’m interested enough to keep reading. I want to say something, though.

Now, I like Richard Corben. I’m coming around on Cable. But, and don’t read this the wrong way, I hate dead babies. I can’t think of a good usage of them in comics and I honestly think it’s kind of dumb and needlessly shocking. Ohh, look how bad that guy is, he’s gonna kill a baby.

This is actually the second dead baby I’ve seen in comics this week, with Rogue’s Revenge featuring a baby getting disintegrated or time travelled or zapped out of existence or whatever– it was still dumb.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


How Long Do You Keep Hope Alive?

October 17th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I can’t stand Cassandra Cain.

This is especially painful for me, because I adore Batgirl in general, and enjoyed Cass in particular for quite some time. I loved her incredible skills, her competence, her strong morality and her unquestioning look at life. In a world full of characters who dissect every part of their lives her devotion, body and soul, to the mission of saving lives was refreshing and touching. I also liked her for her weaknesses. Unable to read, hardly able to speak, Cass was constantly trying to make others understand her situation, but was unable to communicate it. Because of this, it was surprisingly easy to identify with her. Don’t we all get tongue-tied at the most inappropriate times? Don’t we all find ourselves frustrated when we try to convey the entirety of an experience to someone who doesn’t understand our enthusiasm?

The current Cassandra Cain speaks fluent English, as well as at least one other language. She can read, she can write. Unfortunately, her ability to read body language has been lost, as well as a great deal of competence. Her morality has completely changed. This was a girl who walked away from everything she knew the night she understood that she was being trained to kill. Now she wants to kill her own father, as well as a few ex-accomplices. It feels, to me, as if this is an entirely new character, who happens to have the same name.

This kind of change is not rare for comic book characters. Different story arcs, different creators and, in the case of long-running stories, different eras, all change a character’s personality. I understand this. Still, nothing quite soothes the sting of having one of your favorite characters turn unrecognizable. Ah, how fans suffer.

My question is – when do you give up? At what point do you accept that the character you loved is no more, will never return, and it’s time to curl up with a stack of your favorite back issues and never glance at continuity again? Share your stories of the characters you loved and lost, and when you knew it was time to throw in the towel.

I’ll be in the corner, waiting for the end of the Crisis and hoping for a retcon.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


You Got Kahn in My Darkseid! You Got Darkseid in My Kahn!

October 16th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, still shockingly not some kind of prank, is coming out next month. They announced the final roster a few weeks back, sadly shafting the epic Johnny Cage vs. Booster Gold rivalry we’ve been craving, but other than that, the news has been pretty slow. For the most part, Midway would occasionally release a picture of Raiden pointing at something in a cutscene or something just as trivial.

Recently they brought up two interesting little news items. First off, the collector’s version of the game has its own special box art, drawn by Alex Ross.

There is something so surreal about seeing the Mortal Kombat characters done in Alex Ross style. I also like Liu Kang’s pose there. He’s like “Hey! See my fist? This fist? It’s for YOU!” Then you have Raiden saying, “Ugh. I can’t believe you’re wearing those shorts with that shirt,” and Sub-Zero has a case of Liefeld Eye. Despite that, it’s cool shit.

There’s been a video released about the MKvDC comic that also comes with the collector’s version of the game. The art is done by MK co-creator John Tobias, who has been out of the franchise’s loop for years. To this day, the man’s art still holds up.

When you go to about 2:27 in, you get some nice images of the game’s final boss: an amalgamation of Darkseid and Shao Kahn.

Conceptually, it’s a stupid idea. Personally, I would have rather liked it if Quan Chi used his sorcery BS to make himself the host of the Spectre. The surprise here is that visually, Darkshao Kahnseid looks pretty damn badass. You’d think they they would have gone lazy and put Darkseid in Shao Kahn’s clothes or something like that.

Instead you have a demon made of stone (Darkseid) mixed with a skull face and spikes (Kahn) and some evil, glowing energy to add to the aura. It’s a nice touch, honestly. Looks like a cross between Doomsday and Brimstone.

It’s weird how opposite this whole game is to the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise. In terms of game quality, the winner goes to Capcom. Comparing Street Fighter to Mortal Kombat is like comparing Rocky to Rocky IV. Street Fighter is more legitimate and loved by the hardcore, compared to Mortal Kombat’s cheesy fluff. That’s not to say that MK isn’t loads of fun in its own way.

Yet MvC never embraced the crossover. Occasionally they tossed us something like Hulk talking to Blanka, Mega Man stealing Onslaught’s power, Psylocke saving Cammy from Hand ninjas or Gambit flirting with Morrigan, but it was still fairly minimal. By their fourth and final game they just tossed a bunch of characters into the game and figured that was enough. Not only that, but Marvel did nothing with it on their end. No comics or promotional stuff.

Look at what Midway and DC are doing with this. One of comics’ top artists takes to the game’s cover. Two of DC’s writers write the story for both the game and the comic, which is illustrated by one of MK’s creators. I’m sure the game’s cutscenes and endings will feature plenty of Easter egg appearances and references here and there.

The MvC games may be more playable, but you have to give the style points to MKvDC here.

By the way, to all the people gritting their teeth at Superman and Captain Marvel getting beaten up by guys like Kano: where were you when a little schoolgirl was kicking the crap out of Thanos, Apocalypse and Shuma-Gorath?

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Batman: Half man, half amazing.

October 15th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Oh, Batman. Is there no end of your willingness to fight the good fight on behalf of all Americans.
(from batman #02)

Another amazing early Batman short.

(from batman #05)

Thanks to SomethingAwful forums user snackmar for these scans. They’re absolutely nuts. Gavin hooked me up with this Superman page that he described as “one of [his] all-time favorite Superman moments.” It’s from Superman: Sunday Classics from 1941.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


DC Comics: Hooking Them Young, Keeping Them Interested

October 15th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

It looks like there’s a new Supergirl in town. Or maybe it’s the old one. Tough to say. In December, DC -will be publishing Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In The Eighth Grade.

The preview pages on Newsarama show that her kryptonian name is still Kara, but the solicit states that Supergirl will be known as ‘Linda Lee.’ This comes just after issue thirty-four of Supergirl, which establishes Kara’s civilian name as ‘Linda Lang.’ It could be that DC is trying to establish some continuity to the character, or perhaps they have a long term goal of shoring up the extremely uneven Supergirl series with an influx of younger readers who, having presumably gotten past eighth grade, will graduate to a heroine with more drama and fewer clothes.

Either way, the new Supergirl looks very cute. If the book turns out to be any good, I’ll be reading two Supergirl books and have to turn in my Batfan credentials.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon