Archive for January, 2010


This Week in Panels: Week 19

January 31st, 2010 Posted by Gavok

A fine set of comics this week. Ah, it’s good to have Batman & Robin and Frankencastle Punisher around.

Batman and Robin #7
Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart

Captain America Reborn #6
Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch

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Here, Enjoy This ECW Royal Rumble Match!

January 31st, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Tonight is the WWE Royal Rumble. Here’s hoping someone other than Triple H or Cena wins this one. Come on, Kofi Kingston or CM Punk!

What better timing than for me to find this gem that I’ve been looking for for 13 years? In my Royal Rumble Week articles, I made mention of an ECW Rumble match I saw back in the mid-90’s. It was actually my very first ECW experience, so it stuck with me. Finally, I found it.

It’s called the King of the Hill Battle Royal, which is like a Royal Rumble, except for two differences. One, pinfalls and submissions count. Two, tag teams can enter together, as long as they’re willing to split the winner’s purse. The contestants:

Balls Mahoney
The Blue World Order (Stevie Richards, Blue Meanie and Nova)
Bubba Ray Dudley
Chris Candido
D-Von Dudley
The Eliminators (Perry Saturn and John Kronus)
“The Franchise” Shane Douglas
The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa)
Little Guido
Louie Spicolli
“Prime Time” Brian Lee
Rob Van Dam
The Sandman
Spike Dudley
Tommy Dreamer

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The Losers Film Is Coming

January 29th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Andy Diggle and Jock’s The Losers has probably the best last line of any comic ever (if you’ve ever read it, you know it) and the movie drops later this year. MSN has the hookup on a full length trailer, presented here with a tip of the hat to iFanboy, where I watched the footage.

<a href=";from=sp&#038;fg=MsnEntertainment_MoviesTrailersGP2_a&#038;vid=1b9d070f-aff2-47f6-8a86-9b2b44ec4fc6" target="_new" title="'The Losers' Exclusive Look">Video: &#8216;The Losers&#8217; Exclusive Look</a>

I like it. It looks great, it feels like the book, it’s well-cast, and it has a good sense of humor, something that The Losers definitely had when it was appropriate. Another thing I really like: they aren’t afraid to step away from the source material to make the movie work. There were a few scenes I didn’t recognize (Aisha in the tub, the Blagyver stuff, Aisha being fairly talky talk) along with a lot that I did (Chris Evans dancing in the elevator, Aisha blowing up the tank). A good comic book movie, even when adapting a specific story (such as 300 or Sin City), includes something new, rather than just being comics turned storyboards turned script turned movie.

Freshen it up some. I loved Sin City, but it is faithful to the point of being annoying. I knew all the twists, I knew all the lines, and while I liked it, it wasn’t as dope as it should have been.

But yeah, back to the point: The Losers. Dope.

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I’m not even reading the Lantern Saga

January 28th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

But I love this page with my whole heart.

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Can’t Afford an iPad? Buy Afrodisiac!

January 27th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

The Apple iPad is out, as you can see on this post here from Engadget. It’s five hundred bucks for the lower end version, which has 16 gigs of space and supports only WiFi. It looks a lot like a giant, novelty iPhone, but hey- it’s new. Check out if you want to order one- the WiFi revs ship in late March, 3G in April.

On the other hand, if you’ve got the money laying around for an iPad… you should be copping Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s Afrodisiac. You can read my review on it here, if you’re unfamiliar with the work. The official site has an extended PDF preview and trailer, too.

It hits comics stores today. If your local shop doesn’t have it (we’re going to assume that you go to one of those shops who orders good books like this, and that they simply ran out before you made it in), you can order Afrodisiac from Amazon, where it’ll run you about ten bucks. Amazon’s site says that it’ll be in stock on 02/01, but there’s probably a chance it’ll ship late this week.

Really, get this book.

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The Real Power is Choosing What You Want

January 26th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I remember when this poster first came out.  It was entitled “The Real Power of the DC Universe.” 

I hated it.  Absolutely hated it.  Oh, the women are the real power in the DCU, are they?  Sure they’re not headlining books or saving the day in stories.  Their emotional arcs don’t form the backbone of continuity, and there are no movies about them, and mostly they seem as decorative and unnecessary in the comics as they do in that poster, but they’re the real power in the DCU.

It reminded me of all the condescending crap that women have been tossed for a long time – that they have all the power because they can be sexy.  They have all the power because they can be feminine.  Just because all that power depends on pleasing other people, and all that power can be taken away in a heartbeat, that doesn’t mean that women aren’t the real power.

When David posted about Benes doing the art for Birds of Prey earlier this month, I felt some flickerings of that old irritation.  Rather than festering, though, as much of my irritation does; it passed away pretty quickly.

Here’s why:

I can go to the shelf and buy Detective Comics, which have a grittiness that, in my opinion, often clashes with the almost surreal artwork of JH Williams.  And there will be a Renee Montoya back-up, with an art style that matches up better, but a more conventional story.

Or I can buy that confection of a comic book, Power Girl, and laugh at the stories and try to find the cat in every issue.

Or I can buy Wonder Woman, although I can only read it when I’m not feeling depressed because, come on, can’t Wondy chalk up *one* in the win column?  She and everyone else in the comic have been kicked down and down and down since the third issue.

Or I can buy Batgirl, because it has two characters I love in a relatively by-the-numbers coming-of-age superhero story, and one character I despise making things interesting.

Or I can buy Supergirl, although its embroiled in a massive crossover continuity nightmare.  I liked the kids mini-series of it much better.

Pretty soon I’ll be able to buy Birds of Prey, the funny, soapy, wildly varied team book.

I could even buy that abomination, Gotham City Sirens, although I never will.  Ever.

And of course, if I have a few extra dollars I’m willing to throw away, I can buy the Streets of Gotham series, rip out the first 22 pages, and find Kate Spencer in a kind of Law & Order: Superheroes Unit comic.

I can find funny books starring women, and sexy books starring women, and dark books starring women, and kid’s books starring women.  I can like some of the books for the story, and some for the tone, and some for the characters, and some for the writer.

There are a bunch of books about women out there.  If I’m reading DC I can choose, out of that bunch of books, the ones the ones that suit my taste at the moment.  It was not always so.  I like, very much, that it has changed.

Which is not to say that there can’t be improvements.  There are a lot of books that are lead by female characters, but the percentage isn’t half.  Yet.  Almost all the characters are white, straight, young, and are drawn so that they are exceptionally easy on the eyes first, and characters second.  And if there is never again a story that mentions, contains, threatens, or even alludes to a rape, it will be too soon.  However, being able to pick and choose, not having to search the shelves for female characters, not feeling like I have to support that one book that has a female lead, having a selection presented to me and comparing, contrasting, and finally choosing what I like; I enjoy this feeling.   It feels like real power.

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Colorblind Casting School

January 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

There’s been this thing going around the bits of the blogosphere that talk about race and comics called “Chromatic Comics.” It started here, dipped over here, ended up on When Fangirls Attack (which is where I first saw it), and just this week showed up on Fantastic Fangirls. Essentially, established characters in various properties are recast to be a different race or gender. From the outside looking in, the choices appear to be fairly arbitrary. Kanye West as Archangel, for example, or Vanessa Williams as Emma Frost.

To put it bluntly, I didn’t get it, didn’t like it, couldn’t quite put my finger on why, and I’d decided not to say anything about it, barring some private conversations with friends. I felt like a player hater, coming from the position of “this is dumb and a waste of time and borderline offensive and I can’t quite figure out why.”

Earlier today, my buddy Cheryl Lynn proved that she’s smarter than I am when she started talking about it on Twitter. She gathered her thoughts and expanded on them in a post on her blog. It’s must-reading, frankly, and is almost exactly why I have a problem with “Chromatic Comics.” An excerpt:

This whole Chromatic Comics ish irritates me. Y’know, Marvel does have a whole boatload of POC characters. Stuff like that makes it seem like only the white ones are important and deserve focus. Y’know what would be nice? For POC characters to get the same promotion and devotion that white characters get so people don’t have to think of POC actors they’d like in the “important” (white) characters’ roles.

She has several more things to say on the subject, including a beautiful and nuanced breakdown of why Luke Cage has to be black and Frank Castle has to be white. I urge you to go read it. And pardon me if the following is just a rehash of her better piece.

Cheryl makes a good point on the subject of what race actually means in stories. She says, “And just like I’m not just a color, that white kid isn’t just a blank slate. He isn’t the default. And acting like he is the default hurts both him and me.” I’ve often seen it said, and probably said myself, that white is the default. That isn’t true- white is dominant, yes, but not the default. White doesn’t mean “average.” It, like black, is completely insufficient.

Elektra is white. Elektra is native to Greece. Emma Frost is white. Emma Frost is upper class Boston old money. Luke Cage is black, but he’s Harlem black. James Rhodes is black, but he’s South Philly black. Peter Parker is white, but he’s Forest Hills, Queens white. Night Thrasher is black, but he’s upper class New York City black. Steve Rogers isn’t just white. He’s from the LES during the depression.

I’m black, but I’m Warner Robins, Georgia black, where the black folks can be found watching NASCAR, mud bogging, rolling with blue flags out their back pockets, and working on an air force base.

My littlest brother is half-black, half-Egyptian, and has a name that’ll keep him on no-fly lists for his entire life. He’s living with my mom and her husband in New England. He’s going to be a different kind of black than I am. My younger brother, who’s about to turn twenty, is a different kind of black than I am, and we lived in the same house for twelve or so years. That’s three males, raised by the same woman, who aren’t the same kind of black. I can’t replace either of them and they can’t replace me. I’m absolutely certain that that applies to white people, and Chinese people, and whoever.

This race thing isn’t as simple as a skin tone and nappy hair. That’s kiddie pool anthropology. That just reinforces the idea of white as the default, in that it ignores the rich culture that white people hold dear. It reinforces the idea that non-white characters don’t matter, because why would anyone cast Jubilee in a movie? Why would anyone go see a movie about Misty Knight or Luke Cage? Let’s flip Jean Grey and Cyclops to being Indian and Chinese and roll with that! Progress!

But hey, here’s a counterpoint: Spider-Man and X-Men didn’t start this burst of superhero movies in Hollywood. No, Wesley Snipes as Blade did that. Black hero with a black love interest and everything. And before the movies? Blade was lame. All he had going for him before the movie was awesome Gene Colan art and we got two great movies out of him and one awful one. As far as quality of Hollywood superhero flicks go, he’s matched Batman (both 1989 and Begins franchises), Spider-Man, X-Men, and Superman. Blade beats Hulk, considering that those movies were mediocre at best.

Imagine what we could get for Aya. Or Jubilee. Or Dizzy. Or Loop. Or Misty. Or Luke. (Or Hypno Hustler.)

You mean to tell me that nobody would go see an action movie about a black chick with an afro, a robot arm, a sneer and a half-Japanese sword-wielding BFF in 2010? That they’d rather see The Dark Dark Phoenix Saga instead? Get outta here. If we can buy Matt Damon as action star, we can buy a black character as a black character, rather than a palette swap.

Chromatic Comics is tokenism, or maybe lip service. Either way, it’s not powerful. It’s not respectful. It’s not even anti-racist. It ignores what we already have in favor of continuing to worship exclusively white characters as if they were the end-all, be-all of comics. Hey- Marvel and DC already do that. We should do better than flipping a switch or using the paint bucket in Photoshop and calling it a day. We’ve got some diamonds in all this rough. Let’s act like it.

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Pre-order Planet Hulk and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

January 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Two superhero flicks are coming out on DVD & Blu-ray in Feb- Planet Hulk and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Planet Hulk hits the first week of February, while Justice League comes out February 23rd.

Pardon the blatant marketing, if you’re looking to buy them on any format, give some thought to pre-ordering them through our Amazon referral links. Amazon doesn’t charge you until the item ships, and if the price drops between now and when the movie ships, you get the lowest price automatically.

Planet Hulk is going for $14.99 on DVD and twenty bucks on Blu-ray. Justice League has a Two-Disc Edition for $14.99 and a Blu-ray for $25.99.

So, yeah, if you’re interested- give them (and us) a pre-order.

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Fourcast! 30: Last Week In Comics

January 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Chad Nevett on the intro
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music
-Review show! We haven’t done one of these in a while.
-Joe Casey and Ardian Syaf’s Superman/Batman #68
-Ed Brubaker and Luke Ross’s Captain America #602 & Sean McKeever and David Baldeon’s Nomad backup
-Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Amanda Conner’s Power Girl #8
-Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy’s Joe the Barbarian #1
-Sholly Fisch, Robert Pope, and Scott McRae’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13
-Art Baltazar and Franco’s Tiny Titans #24
-And out!

Subscribe to the Fourcast! via:
Podcast Alley feed!
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iTunes Store

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From the Outside

January 24th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

I was interested in Graeme McMillan’s review of Human Target.  He comes to the conclusion that pretty much everyone else I’ve talked to did; it’s an okay show, but it’s nothing even remotely like the comic book.  Although the commenters on io9 seemed to take it pretty well, I’m wondering how fans who are more invested in the comic would take it.

I wonder this for two reasons:

1.  It’s really not an okay show.  It’s a drinking game kind of show.  One drink for every time Chance pauses in the middle of an action sequence to make a big production of being the coolest guy on earth.  One drink for every time Chance’s boss is humiliated.  One drink for every time Guerrero looks at someone with his steely eyes and they back down for no reason because he is just.  That.  Dangerous.  It’s only a show you watch if nothing, nothing at all, else is on and you’re too tired to focus on anything else.

2.  Most of the time I am the one who gets angry when this kind of thing happens, and now someone else will be angry instead.  Once such a large amount of you gets invested in comics, it’s nice to sit on the sidelines with popcorn and watch the drama unfold.

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