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Return of the Wrath of Comic Con

April 22nd, 2008 Posted by Gavok

The weekend of chunky guys dressed like Colossus and hot women dressed as Slave Leia has come to an end. I myself had a great time, spent with hermanos from this very site and a whole bunch of guys from Funnybook Babylon. Sadly, Thomas “Wanderer” Wilde deemed himself “too broke” to consider joining us and Hoatzin would have probably involved a gigantic plane ticket paid in rare diamonds, since he’s from Europe. I don’t know. I really have no grasp on how that type of thing works. Besides, Hoatzin seems to have vanished from our planet. What happened to that guy?


This one movie sent the other movie into space.

Day One

Last year I got to New York the day before the con started, which allowed me enough rest and whatnot. This year I had to come in the first day of the event and kill time until David Uzumeri came in from Canada, since he was in charge of dealing with the hotel. I walked straight from the Port Authority bus terminal to the Javits Center, which tired me the hell out.

After getting my swanktastical press pass, I met up with hermanos and Joseph of FBB. They were at a panel starting up that was a screening for a new Will Eisner documentary. Since I was tired from all that walking, I decided to stick around and watch it. I found it interesting in the sense that I honestly didn’t know all that much about Eisner, which is almost a sin if you’re a comic fan. The four of us (David U. showed up towards the end) mostly agreed that while it had some fantastic stuff in there, such as taped conversations between Eisner and guys like Kirby, the sum of it was incredibly dry.

Shortly after, we went to the panel on online journalism, with guys from Newsarama and CBR there. It wasn’t as good as the comic blogging panel from last year and mostly focused on arguing over criticism vs. getting press releases. Once that was done with, I was rested up enough to do some wandering.

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Some Odds and Ends

April 14th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

First off, the latest Comics From the 5th Dimension is up. This time it’s part one of a two-parter where I discuss Luke Cage’s 70’s rogues gallery. I’ve gone over some of it here before, but I go into more detail and discuss why I believe Luke Cage is currently a Skrull.

The mega wrestling site Figure 4 Weekly Online recently had Leonard F. Chikarason as a guest on Dr. Keith’s radio show. You might remember Chikarason’s interview on this site months back. It’s apparent that he does, since he proceeds to give us a quick shout out. What a guy. Even if he does read Countdown.

I should return the favor by mentioning that CHIKARA has shows this upcoming weekend. Saturday is Deuces Wild at Hellertown, PA. Sunday is Passion and Persistence at the ECW Arena. I will be making one or two of the shows in May, but not these shows.

No, instead, I’m going to be at New York Comic Con this weekend. It’s going to be me, hermanos and some of those jokers from Funnybook Babylon. I’ll be the dumbass with the 4th Letter t-shirt, so if you see me, be sure to keep your dirty fucking hands off my nachos. And say hello if you feel like it. I honestly don’t even eat nachos. I don’t know where that came from.

PlayPlay

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Remember the Fiff-dee-tuu

November 26th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

This goes out to d00gz and the 52 worlds.

The end of 52 revealed that there are 52 earths in the DCU, each of which ripe with imagination and new ideas and wonder.

fiffdeetuu.jpg
(from 52 #52)

Today, DC Comics revealed their list most of the 52 worlds over on Newsarama.

Hang on, can I start over?

Today, DC Comics revealed that most of the new worlds promised in 52 have been replaced with a bunch of crappy Elseworlds that no one read, less people liked, and even less people cared about.

Earth-2: Home of the original Justice Society (first appearance 52 #52 – this earth’s Superman and Power Girl are missing)
Earth-3: The Crime Society’s world (first appearance 52 #52)
Earth-4: Home of the Charlton characters (a.k.a. – the Watchmen-esque world) (first appearance 52 #52)
Earth-5: Home of the Fawcett (Shazam) characters (first appearance 52 #52)
Earth-8: World of Lord Havok and the Extremists – called Angor by its natives (Countdown #29)
Earth-9: Tangent Universe (upcoming in Tangent: Superman’s Reign #1)
Earth-10: Home of the Quality (Freedom Fighters, Uncle Sam, the original Ray, etc) characters (first appearance 52 #52)
Earth-11: World of reversed genders ( Arena #1 and The Search For Ray
Palmer: Superwoman/ Batwoman #1)
Earth-12: The Next Generation, beyond Batman (i.e., Batman Beyond?) (Arena #1)
Earth-13: World of dark and arcane heroes ( Arena #1)
Earth-15: World of heroes realized (Donna Troy as Wonder Woman; Jason Todd as Batman) (Countdown #30 – the earth of this universe was destroyed in Countdown #24)
Earth-16: Home of the Super-Sons ( Arena #1)
Earth-17: A post WWIII, apocalyptic universe (first appearance 52 #52)
Earth-18: World of the Elseworld’s Justice Riders ( Arena #1)
Earth-19: World of Elseworld’s Gotham by Gaslight (The Search For Ray
Palmer: Gotham By Gaslight #1)
Earth-21: World of Elseworld’s New Frontier ( Arena #1)
Earth-22: Elseworld’s Kingdom Come Universe (first appearance 52 #52)
Earth-26: Universe of Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew (Captain Carrot
And The Final Ark #1)
Earth-30: World of Elseworld’s Superman: Red Son (Countdown #32)
Earth-32: World of Elseworld’s Batman: Darkest Knight (Arena #1)
Earth-34: World of Elseworld’s Amazonia ( Arena #1)
Earth-37: World of Elseworld’s Thrillkiller ( Arena #1)
Earth-40: World of Elseworld’s Liberty Files ( Arena #1)
Earth-43: World of Elseworld’s Batman: Red Rain (The Search For Ray Palmer:
Red Rain #1)
Earth-48: Forerunner’s world (Countdown #46)
Earth-50: Wildstorm Universe (first seen 52 #52)

Just in case you’re keeping score at home, here are the genuinely new Earths, ones that we’ve never seen before:
Earth-15: World of heroes realized (Donna Troy as Wonder Woman; Jason Todd as Batman) (Countdown #30 – the earth of this universe was destroyed in Countdown #24)
Earth-17: A post WWIII, apocalyptic universe (first appearance 52 #52)
Earth-48: Forerunner’s world (Countdown #46)

There are three new Earths out of 26 announced now, one of which has already been destroyed and the other I think is barren of life or populated by Forerunner’s race or something stupid like that?

Good going, DC. You have the opportunity to create a gang of new characters, settings, and stories and you go right into Fanboy Masturbation territory.

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Wrestlecomics Interview: Gavok Annoys the Heck Out of Leonard F. Chikarason

November 13th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I haven’t mentioned CHIKARA that much lately, but right now, the unorthodox wrestling federation has a lot going for it. For one, they just released two DVDs for their recent shows Bruised and New Star Navigation. The former of which has a neat cover based on the first battle of Hulk vs. the goofy-masked Wolverine, but I’ll feature that one later, when I have a better, less diagonal image.

Speaking of DVDs, the company has just let loose its first wide-release DVD, The Best of CHIKARA. If you find yourself in an FYE, Sam Goody, Best Buy, or wherever you get your DVDs, they just might have this baby waiting for you at $9.99. Come on, that’s a great price for the sweetness within.

This weekend comes the final three shows of CHIKARA’s 2007 season. On Friday the 16th, it’s The Battle of Who Could Care Less. On Saturday the 17th, we get The Sordid Perils of Everyday Existence, whatever that means. Finally, the season finale is on Sunday the 18th with Chapter 11 in Philadelphia.

With CHIKARA having such a pulse at the moment, I figure I’d hitchhike onto their success with another interview. This time the unfortunate victim is Leonard F. Chikarason. Mr. Chikarason isn’t a wrestler by any means, but plays the role of the company’s Director of Fun. He, you know, makes matches and stuff. He also does a big chunk of commentary and shows up whenever pictures are taken in the ring.

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PCS and 4l Collabo

October 25th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Yours truly is doing Picks & Pans over at PopCultureShock! Once a week, you get to marvel at my horrible taste on a site that isn’t 4l!

I’ve got reviews up for Countdown 27, Moon Knight, and Justice League Elite v2!

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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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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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Downcounting to None

August 13th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

My peoples over at Funnybook Babylon have a pretty great series of articles up. Downcounting: A Guide for the Perplexed is a series of articles by one Chris Eckert. They’re bitingly funny, they’re incredibly mean, and they’re also extremely on point. Honestly, some of the best stuff I’ve read online in ages. Now that the other guy who was blogging Countdown quit out of disgust, this is pretty much it, too.

I mean, I realize that these are kind of long, but they’re worth it and are, in fact, better than reading Countdown itself. Just look at this:


thankyoumonitor.jpg

And tell me that it isn’t genius.

Go check it out.

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Hello all

August 2nd, 2007 Posted by Hoatzin

First impressions are important. I’ve spent several hours pondering about how to start my introductory post on 4thletter, and in the end I decided to just take the easy route. Hi, I’m Hoatzin, 4thletter’s newest staff member, but call me Paul if you like. I am Dutch. I like comic books. But only when they are good comics. I also draw, badly, but I’ll leave that for another article. For now, just to get an idea of what type of comics I like, I’ll leave you with some random thoughts on this week’s comics. And yes, I do basically read every single Big Two book that’s being published. Thank you for noticing.

Action Comics 853 – Despite my usual enjoyment of Kurt Busiek’s comics, the fact that this is a Countdown tie-in really hurts the book. Although Busiek does a better job at making me care about Jimmy Olsen’s plight to become a superhero than Countdown, the general storyline is still pretty lame and predictable.

All New Atom 14 – Pointless fan-pandering is rampant in part three of the Hunt for Ray Palmer, with the (temporary) return of Ted Kord in a book that does not feature any characters that should care about him. But Donna Troy is soooo amaaaazing.

Black Canary 3 – Oliver Queen is a moron.

Countdown 39 – A Sean McKeever issue, so at least the dialogue is decent, but the pacing remains glacial, none of the plotlines and characters are compelling and the artwork is once again fairly atrocious. The character introduced as last issue’s cliffhanger panel does not actually show up until the last two panels of the second to last page of the main storyline and the cliffhanger page after that is hilariously pointless. The only reason I’m still reading this book is because it will lead into the Grant Morrison-penned Final Crisis.

Detective Comics 835 – Dini is apparently busy with Countdown, so it’s a filler issue, but a surprisingly solid one at that. John Rozum (creator of Milestone Comics’ cult-hit Xombi) re-invents the Scarecrow as a genuinely terrifying enemy in part one of what promises to be a very interesting two-part story arc. The dark tone of the book is perfectly complimented by Tom Mandrake’s excellent atmospheric artwork.

Fantastic Four 548 – Dwayne McDuffie continues what has so far been an entertaining run on the book. I disagree with the numerous complaints that McDuffie has been overplaying Black Panther; T’Challa is essentially Marvel’s Batman, always ready with a plan and quick on his wits, so his portrayal in the book has been perfectly in-character.

Justice Society of America 8 – After the (terrible) Lightning Saga crossover, Johns has decided to take a breather with two more low-key issues focusing on two of the lesser known JSA members. Last month was a one-shot focusing on the new Commander Steel, this month is a story about Jesse Quick, the new Liberty Belle. It’s a welcome change in pace, but the issue itself is a mixed bag. Jesse’s characterisation is well done, but her relationship with Rick Tyler is obnoxiously written. Johns should also either give Zoom a rest or do something new with the character, because at this rate he’s growing stale really fast. I still fail to care about Damage and his clichéd damaged (ha ha!) past. This issue also has fill-in art by Fernando Pasarin, and although it’s decent, it’s nowhere near as good as Eaglesham’s. Despite all this, it’s not a bad read overall.

Metal Men 1 – The surprise book of the week for me. I was unfamiliar with Duncan Rouleau’s writing prior to this, so I don’t know how it stacks up to his previous work, but this was definitly an entertaining read. There’s a lot of content crammed into 22 pages and most of it is interesting. The banter between the Metal Men is amusing and they each have distinct, defined personalities, Will Magnus is a nice sketch of a character so far and the mysterious ongoings are intriguing, especially the last page cliffhanger. The artwork is another high point. It’s cartoonish and vibrant and the coloring is lovely, with inventive panel layouts and lots of energy. It’s not perfect; at points it gets overly busy and some of the computer effects are annoying, mainly the copy-pasting of specific elements, but it’s a nice break from the conventional look of most current DC books.

And now that I’m halfway through my books for the week, I’m going to take a little break. More thoughts (in particular the new Supergirl and World War Hulk issues) later!

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Son of Vulcan/DC Comics Loses 6% Market Share in June

July 15th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

From Newsarama:

Marvel recorded 48.42% of the Unit Market Share, nearly 20 percentage points above DC’s 28.57%. Both the size of the “spread” between publishers and DC’s percentage of share are perhaps both historic figures in the Diamond/single distributor era.

From a Dollar standpoint, Marvel’s 43.62% to DC’s 27.07% is comparable to May’s figures.

That’s Marvel up twenty percentage points in market share. This is not even remotely a good thing for DC, obviously. Five books in the top twenty? Countdown shedding a couple grand worth of readers a week? Not cool.

I hate on DC a lot, but it’s out of love, believe me. Or maybe like. Anyway– I want them to do better, because they’ve got a sick cast of characters. I love Charlie Huston, but what is Moon Knight, an eternal B-lister, doing selling more than Detective Comics, Wonder Woman, and Superman? What’s DC doing wrong?

DC can do a lot of right. Here’s one you might not of heard of. Son of Vulcan, a miniseries by Scott Beatty and Keron Grant. It’s a legacy book, or at least pretends to be one, so that’s DC’s niche right there. It’s got a kid hero, an older kid hero (who is in a retirement home), and a very colorful and entertaining cast. It’s the kind of world-building that DC just doesn’t do any more.

Scratch that– Blue Beetle, written by the excellent John Rogers (who also wrote the best movie of the summer featuring Robots in Disguise), does this kind of thing and it’s one of the greatest books DC has. That isn’t damning with faint praise, either– Blue Beetle is excellent. In fact, SoV is kind of a proto-Beetle in a lot of ways.

Son of Vulcan. Balls nasty. Six issues. Great comedy. World building. It’s what DC needs more of. Don’t believe me? Here’s a few pages. I want to talk more about the series later on, but I’m still pretty wiped after E3. I’d love to see more of this series, but I don’t think it fits in with NEW EARTH and COUNTDOWN TO EXILES OF NEW EARTH and KILL CHARACTERS IN LIMBO FOR CHEAP THRILLS, you know?

Me, I’m just waiting for Death of the Z-List DC Characters You’ve Never Heard Of mega-crossover.

Enjoy.


blz05.jpg
from issue one

blz06.jpg blz07.jpg blz08.jpg
blz09.jpg blz10.jpg
from issue five

Let’s be honest here.

I would pay DC money if they let me write an Injustice Gangstas miniseries. Even a one-shot.

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