Archive for November, 2008


We Care a Lot Part 4: Father of the Year

November 30th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Um… let’s not make eye-contact. Just move on.

To bring us up to speed, Venom left his life in San Francisco as a Lethal Protector to the secret underground city behind so he could visit New York City and throw down with Carnage. Carnage was already taken care of, so Venom fought the newly-christened Scarlet Spider, who knocked him out and led to his apprehension. Now Eddie Brock and the symbiote are separated and incarcerated by the government.

This brings us to Separation Anxiety (Venom #23-26) written by Howard Mackie and drawn by Ron Randall.

In a bout with splitting hairs, I always found it interesting that they named a videogame after this story. For one, the game’s story isn’t based on Separation Anxiety, but Lethal Protector. Second, the game is meant to be a sequel to Maximum Carnage, even though that story came after Lethal Protector. Third, even though Carnage had nothing to do with Lethal Protector, they toss him in as the final boss for the hell of it. Hey, they did have those sprites lying around from the last game.

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Hope is useless against a superior foe

November 30th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Sometimes (all of the times that have ever been times in recorded history) Dinosaur Comics is really, really good. This is one of those times.

I’m slowly trying to get back to writing those smarty-art posts everybody loves, but getting b.o.m.b. is tough! I’ve got a few things planned to get back into the swing of things and get it hot in here. I’ve been slacking like crazy lately.

Look for the start of a short series on a very specific Frank Miller-related subject later on this week, and I may try to rope some blog pals into talking about it with me. I’m hoping it has legs, but I’m sure that we’ll find out soon.

You can see my views on Batman #681 over at PCS. I’m not sure why the front page hasn’t updated, but there should be a few reviews going up this week, too.

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Three Years of 4l! 2.0

November 29th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

It’s been three years since Gav and I relaunched on my own server and rededicated our efforts toward comics blogging. I was going to do this big post about my favorite posts from the blog or some other fancy “we’re still here, suckers!” post, but I finally got out of bed about an hour ago time and effort were against me.

Either way, it’s been a good three years. One day we’ll get too big and have to break up and then this will be the epitaph written on 4l’s grave:

At the height of their fame and glory, they turned on one another, each struggling in vain for ultimate supremacy. In the passion and depth of their struggle, the very art that had raised them through such radiant heights was lost. Their techniques vanished.

Until then, we’ll never reveal the secrets of the Wu-Tang. Here’s to three more.

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The Odd Couple

November 28th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

The day after the last issue of Batman RIP, I’ve been thinking it over, and you know who would make a great writing team? Judd Winick and Grant Morrison.

No! Wait! Don’t go!

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We Care a Lot Part 3: The Last Days of San Francisco

November 27th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

I don’t care much about Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan arc in the pages of Wolverine one way or the other, but I don’t get this part. Logan and Hawkeye drive around South Dakota and pass this.

The Venom symbiote just chilling on the side of a mountain. No reference to it anywhere. It’s just that panel. The hell is that about?

Anyway, before I get into the next Venom arc, we should take a look at Marvel Comics Presents #160-163. There were no Venom appearances in these issues. There were stories involving Tigra, Slapstick, Hawkeye and Vengeance, but nothing with Venom. Why is it so important? Because it introduces a character named Mace.

Mace is a character created by Carl Potts. Through the four issues, he writes an origin for him as basically the Japanese Wolverine. A criminal organization called the Sunrise Society takes the cloned DNA of a skilled martial artist and has it genetically engineered to create the perfect warrior. Since the Society is paranoid and thinks the scientist that created Mace is a traitor, they have him killed. The scientist is quick to destroy all of his notes, making Mace one-of-a-kind. Using his new cyber ninja skills, Mace escapes the Sunrise Society and knows freedom for the first time in his life.

He’s armed with a cybernetic mace, a healing factor, a laser gun that’s fine-tuned to the tattoo on his arm so it only works when he’s holding it, special vision abilities and… you don’t care. I don’t care. Nobody cares. Nobody has ever cared about Mace other than Carl Potts. That’s why we have Venom: The Mace (Venom #16-18 for those keeping track), featuring the superhero team-up that NOBODY asked for.

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Batman RIP: The Stunning Conclusion

November 26th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

You said it, Batman.

I think I’m spoiling things under here, so don’t read this unless you’ve already read the issue.
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The Secret Six Characters are Perfect

November 24th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Notice I didn’t say Secret Six, the comic, is perfect. I’m sure there are flaws in there somewhere, but I’m not in the mood to find them. And, of course, none of the Six are perfect at anything. Deadshot’s a great shot, but he isn’t exactly legendary, and he godawful fighter. Catman has always played second-fiddle to Batman. Actually he’s played something like eighth fiddle to Batman. Possibly he got kicked out of the string section altogether and has to follow Batman around with a tuba. My point is, he’s not in the same league. Scandal turned to business because she couldn’t measure up to her father and runs a mercenary team because she couldn’t quite hack it in business. Ragdoll is pretty flexible, but you’d have to put him up against Dick Grayson in a stretch-off before I’d could judge who’s bendier. Plus there’s always Plastic Man.

Nor do they form the best team. When a team’s greatest accomplishment is managing to keep one of its members from getting knocked up by a guy named Dr. Psycho you know that you aren’t talking about the JLA. Especially since the team didn’t manage to keep one of its members from knocking up Cheshire. Right there, in that middle ground of evil between Dr. Psycho and Cheshire is where the Six’s effectiveness lies. What I’m saying is, they’re not impressive.

It’s a cliché to say that a character’s flaws are what make them unique. However, that concept has become a cliché for a reason, and Secret Six demonstrates this reason very well. Batman, as a character, is allowed to make mistakes, but is never allowed to be shown as a buffoon. These characters can. Superman is never allowed to be as petty as any of these characters are. Wonder Woman cannot have their moral failings. None of the team books are allowed the goofiness that this team shows. Because of their ineffectiveness and essentially petty natures, the Secret Six are allowed a freedom that no other characters in the DCU have. Showing the team rescue a puppy, shoot a nun, enter a dance contest, liberate a nation, design a line of handbags, none of these things would be out of place in a Secret Six comic. They will only do things for certain reasons, but there is nothing they will not do.

After you’ve seen the tenth preview for a Batman comic that says something like, “Will the Dark Knight cross the line and kill his opponent,” and thought to yourself, “No. Obviously not. Why even bother trying to make me believe something like that,” that wide range of possibility begins to look very good.

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And Now a Word From Our Sponsors

November 24th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

I love YouTube. Did I ever tell you that? Well, I do. There’s so much great stuff to be found within.

The other day, I went on a voyage into its dark underbelly to discover some rather interesting superhero-related commercials. Some of it is too great not to share.

It all started when someone brought up this odd commercial about Ralph Nader discussing kryptonite. I haven’t the slightest clue what this is even about and I suspect nobody does other than Nader himself.

That opened the floodgates.

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World’s Funkiest

November 21st, 2008 Posted by Gavok

You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing too much in the past week or so. After Ultimatum Edit, I needed to take a little breather, which I’ve been using to play the hell out of Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe and lay down my lines for my next iRiffs project. My iRiff for Japoteurs isn’t doing too bad and was at a point listed as the top short on the site. For those of you who bought it, I thank you. For those of you who don’t, c’moooooon!

(vote 5 too)

So, earlier today Esther Inglis-Arkell-Contessa-Louisa-Francesca-Banana-Fanna-Bo-Besca-the-Third posted some nonsense about how badly Bucky Barnes would murder Nightwing. God, this again? It doesn’t really matter. It’s whoever the writer feels would win. Hell, I could write a story about D-Man defeating Galactus if Marvel asked me to do it.

Eh? Hello, Marvel? Anything? No? …Fine.

She even made a post a while back about Superman vs. Batman in a fight. Really? In latter 2008? People are still talking about that?

Come on, people! Superman fighting Batman has been done to death. Goreless, underwhelming and disappointing death that isn’t worth looking up movelists on the internet and… sorry. MKvDC “Heroic Brutality” flashbacks.

We need to move on. The Superman vs. Batman slugfest is old hat. You know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking Superman vs. Batman…


Yeah! Now, this is like the opposite of the fighting. When it comes to duking it out, Superman has the advantage and Batman is the underdog. At first glance, Batman should have this in the bag. Not only does the cast of Shortpacked think he’s the Dark Knight of the Dance, but Prince wrote a cheesy song about it.

That’s just conjecture. I’m dealing with cold, hard facts.

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Something Light For Friday: Who Would Win In a Fight?

November 21st, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

We’ve all done Batman vs Superman, and Batman vs Captain America.

How about Original Bucky vs Original Dick Grayson?

It seems like an uneven fight, since Original Bucky fought Nazis while Original Dick Grayson just ran around in a futile effort to make Batman seem less gay, but I’ll be buried deep in the cold, cold ground before I admit a Marvel anything trumps a DC anything, so I’m going to call it for Dick Grayson.

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