This Week in Panels: Week 236

March 31st, 2014 Posted by Gavok

Lots of Avengers stuff this week. Holy crap, there are a lot of Avengers comics that came out. Between Matlock and I, I think we have them all covered. I’m also helped out by Gaijin Dan, Space Jawa and Dickeye.

At Den of Geek US, I’ve written some neat stuff. Here’s a lengthy look at all of Hulk Hogan’s appearances at WrestleMania over the years and here’s a review of Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, which has very, very little to do with the Avengers.

Three of us read the latest Deadpool, which was just lovely. The very first page is a blatant reference to Downfall, the film about Hitler’s final days that’s been used to fuel a couple hundred YouTube videos about Hitler ranting about any given thing to be outraged about.

I couldn’t help myself and had some fun with it. Enjoy.

With that out of my system, here are some panels.

A+X #18
Gerry Duggan, David Yardin and Matteo Lolli

All-New Ghost Rider #1 (Matlock’s pick)
Filipe Smith and Tradd Moore

All-New Ghost Rider #1 (Gavin’s pick)
Filipe Smith and Tradd Moore

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This Week in Panels: Week 234

March 17th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

Ahoy, my friends! Another week of panelingus begins with me and Gaijin Dan and Matlock and Space Jawa! Jawa is inconsolable due to what appears to be the final installment of Batman: Li’l Gotham. Meanwhile, Matlock only sent me DC panels for whatever reason. Ah well.

For Den of Geek US, I had some stuff go up. The main course is a review I did on the WWE/Scooby-Doo crossover movie that just came out. Then I also wrote little fluff pieces on the live-action Street Fighter web series and the preview of the upcoming Deadpool wedding issue. The backups of that issue will feature stories by every single major Deadpool comic writer. From Priest to Waid to Simone. Sounds awesome.

Batman #29 (Gavin’s pick)
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Batman #29 (Matlock’s pick)
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Batman: Li’l Gotham #12
Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs

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This Week in Panels: Week 225

January 13th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

It’s a day late, but better late than never, I guess. It’s the Gavin’s Burning the Candle at More Ends Than Candles Actually Have Edition of This Week in Panels. Huge batch this time around with help from Matlock and Gaijin Dan.

Great week in terms of digital comics. Deadpool: The Gauntlet came out, they’re building to the release of the Down Set Fight! graphic novel via releasing pieces of it in digital form. And I’m a happy guy because the second season of Injustice just started! Nobody cares about the game anymore, but whatever! The comic is still great!

Recently at Den of Geek US, I wrote a piece on 11 Comics That Act as Movie Sequels. That one took me a long time to finish due to the research. Which reminds me, some of that research will find its way here in a day or so. But now, let’s panel up.

Action Comics #27
Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder, Mike Hawthorne and R.B. Silva

Afterlife with Archie #3
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla

All-New Marvel NOW! Point One

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This Week in Panels: Week 209

September 22nd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hey! It’s you! I’m busy as hell this week, but I’m still going to be doing a bunch of ThWiP off-shoots over the next couple days. Tomorrow it’s This Year in Panels while this Friday I’ll be doing the return of This Character in Panels. Why? Because it’ll have been four years as of Friday, that’s why. Ah, the days of ThWiP Week 1 in 2009.

Back when people still remembered Skaar.

So anyway, this week brings us the end of Injustice: Gods Among Us for the time being. “Year One” just ended and there’ll be an Annual in November. Then it relaunches in January. In the meantime, I’ve written a retrospective/review of sorts for Den of Geek US the other day. Speaking of which, I’m going to be doing more hands-on stuff with that site, so that’s pretty exciting for me.

This week I have my fellow Injustice reader Matlock, who is still reading up on most of the DC villains comics. Gaijin Dan still has his manga and Was Taters makes her grand return. Let’s get to it.

Action Comics #23.3
Charles Soule and Raymund Bermudez

Batman #23.3
Frank Tieri and Christian Duce

Batman ’66 #12
Jeff Parker and Sandy Jarrell

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This Week in Panels: Week 208

September 15th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Howdy. I didn’t read too much this week (though I did pick up the Street Fighter Origins: Akuma comic, which was neat), but Matlock went the distance. Goddamn. He’s flanked by Gaijin Dan and Space Jawa. Normally, I’d follow up this update with This Year in Panels, but next week is closer to the actual ThWiP anniversary, so I’ll do it then.

Which is a reminder that if you want to contribute to the second attempt at This Character in Panels, you’re more than welcome. I’ll be doing that update on Friday the 27th.

Apologies for the low level of updates here. It’s been busy times for me. I’m working full hours at my job, I’m doing the Den of Geek thing and I have assignments to do for my sketch writing class. Once that last part is finished with, I’m sure I’ll be a bit more prolific here. In the meantime, I have two new Den of Geek articles up. One for the 10 Most Uplifting Moments in Professional Wrestling and another in the form of a guide to the current TMNT storyline City Fall.

Now this is the part of Sprockets where we show panels.

Action Comics #23.2
Greg Pak and Ken Lashley

Aquaman #23.1 (Gavin’s pick)
Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard and Claude St. Aubin

Aquaman #23.1 (Matlock’s pick)
Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard and Claude St. Aubin

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This Week in Panels: Week 207

September 8th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Welcome back for another week of showcasing what we’ve read through single panels. I’m helped out by Matlock, Gaijin Dan and Space Jawa. Matlock went the distance, as he appears to want to read all of the Villains Month crap from DC. Better him than me. The one omission is Green Lantern as the entire issue is splash pages and that’s against the rules for ThWiP. Still, nice art.

I have a new article up at Den of Geek US. 10 Awesome Scenes from Bad Movies. Go give that motherfucker a read! I have a couple more articles slated to be posted there over the next week, including a really fun wrestling-based one.

Meanwhile at the Hall of Panels…

Action Comics #23.1 (Gavin’s pick)
Michael Alan Nelson and Mike Hawthorne

Action Comics #23.1 (Matlock’s pick)
Michael Alan Nelson and Mike Hawthorne

All New X-Men #16 (Matlock’s pick)
Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen

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This Week in Panels: Week 206

September 1st, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Greetings. Pretty big week, very Avengers-centric. Well, except for Avengers Arena because we all have some standards. By “we” I mean myself, Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Space Jawa and Dickeye.

Dickeye’s choice for Thor: God of Thunder reminds me that at the end of the month, I’m bringing back another round of This Character in Panels. If you missed out last time, send me a line!

All-Star Western #23 (Gavin’s pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

All-Star Western #23 (Matlock’s pick)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Moritat

Aquaman #23
Geoff Johns and Paul Pelletier

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This Week in Panels: Week 205

August 25th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Yo! Welcome to a manga-less edition of ThWiP. Due to some kind of big Japanese holiday, Gaijin Dan doesn’t have any ammo, so he’s taking the week off. My backup comes in the form of Matlock and Space Jawa.

I did an article for Den of Geek of Top 25 Comic Characters Who Owe Everything to an Actor’s Portrayal. That was a fun one to write. Too bad it pissed off Reddit. Apparently, they took the “Everything” part a bit too literal. Ah, well. My next list article is bound to piss off even more people. It already got my editor mad for me saying that Popeye is a bad movie.

The best omissions I’ve heard from readers are Josh Pais as movie Raphael, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and maybe Tom Hiddleston as Loki.

Now for comic panels.

Animal Man #23
Jeff Lemire, Steve Pugh and Francis Portela

Avengers #18
Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu

Avengers Assemble #18
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Barry Kitson

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: DLC Appendix 6

August 7th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Zatanna was announced as the next Injustice: Gods Among Us DLC character, so you know what that means.


Alias: No, that’s her actual name!
First Appearance: Hawkman #4 (1964)
Powers: Skilled in all sorts of magic
Other Media: Appeared on all sorts of cartoons, Smallville

Zatanna is one of the earliest legacy characters in comic books. Her father Giovanni Zatara was a crime-fighting magician who appeared all the way back in Action Comics #1 (the comic that debuted Superman). Zatanna lived as a stage magician and illusionist for years, leaving it to search the world for her lost father. Over the course of her journey, she discovered that she was a special kind of human called “homo magi” that made her able to control magic. No longer would she rely on sleight of hand. She was the real deal. Like her father before her, she is able to project spells by speaking backwards. When her ability to speak is removed, she’s still able to project her spells by writing them out in her own blood.

Her search for her father took place over the course of various comic titles, culminating in the Justice League helping her. She worked with the League a handful of times before becoming a full-fledged member. During the 80’s, she got rid of her more memorable fishnets and top hat look for something incredibly generic and had some romantic tension with Barry Allen Flash (he was a widower at the time). She left in the middle of the ill-fated Justice League Detroit era.

For a while, Zatanna would usually team up with fellow magic user John Constantine, who she had an on-again-off-again relationship. She also had something going with Doctor Thirteen, a detective known for being the last skeptic in the DC Universe. What I mean is that he believes that everything from magic to Superman sightings is smoke and mirrors and ravings of lunatics. His daughter Traci doesn’t have the nerve to tell him that she too has magical powers.

The retcon introduced in Identity Crisis brought Zatanna back into the forefront. Years ago in the Justice League, the team found supervillain Dr. Light raping Elongated Man’s wife Sue. As voted by the League, Zatanna mindwiped Dr. Light and made it so that not only could he not remember the act, but she rewired his head so that he wouldn’t do it again, forcing him into the role of an inept comedy villain. Then she mindwiped Batman because he saw what she did. Then she mindwiped Catwoman to be nicer as a way to make Batman feel better. Then she mindwiped Flash villain the Top into being good, who in turn also mindwiped other Flash villains into doing the same. All of that exploded in her face over time.

This led to a sweet-ass story by Grant Morrison called Seven Soldiers of Victory. It was 30 issues where the first and last were bookends and the other issues were split into 4-issue miniseries about seven different characters. The characters included the C-listers (Zatanna and Mr. Miracle) as well as the reimagined (Frankenstein, Guardian, Klarion the Witch Boy, Bulleteer and Shining Knight). The seven different miniseries would show the different characters fighting different aspects of the same major threat while never crossing paths until the end. All of them intertwined in really cool ways.

In Zatanna’s story, she dealt with her problems with using magic too much for her own ends, including the mindwipe episodes. She ended up fighting against Zor, an evil magician who was meant to represent both writer Alan Moore and the idea of a comic book writer (or “Time Tailor”) going out of his way to shit up a superhero’s life because darker = better. This made thematic sense as years earlier in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing series, he proceeded to kill off Zatanna’s father and end the Zatanna/Constantine relationship in one fell swoop.

Against Zor, Zatanna was able to break through reality and reach out through the panels and towards the reader, wishing for forgiveness for all the bad things she’s done. In a nice touch, she said she could feel thousands of pairs of eyes looking at her all at different times. The other Time Tailors (the other DC writers) saved her by removing Zor from the equation and allowed her a brief reunion with her late father. During the story’s big finale, Zatanna magically set all the players into the correct positions by shouting, “!EKIRTS SREIDLOS NEVES”

What I mean to say is that Grant Morrison’s writing is fucking weird, but also fucking awesome.

Seven Soldiers also gave us the Frankenstein Monster as a grim, sword-swinging slayer of all that is wicked who works for a secret government organization and OH MY GOD WHY AM I THE ONLY PERSON ON THIS EARTH WHO IS RALLYING FOR FRANKENSTEIN AS A DOWNLOADABLE CHARACTER FOR INJUSTICE WHAT THE FUCK?!

Anyway. Zatanna has remained a bit of a supporting character in the DC Universe since then, briefly being a member of the Justice League again and having a bit of a fling with Batman at one point. She had her own ongoing series that didn’t last long, mainly because it’s really, really hard to get behind a magic-based superhero. I mean, Superman has to actually punch a villain, easy as it is. It’s hard to write a story where a magic-user doesn’t just snap his or her fingers and wish the bad guy away.

That series was written by one Paul Dini and I suppose I should talk about him. Paul Dini is known for being one of the big wheels in the creation of Batman: The Animated Series and all of its spinoffs. Dini is also known for being a little TOO into Zatanna. Just off the top of my head:

– Did a Zatanna-centered episode of Batman despite her not really having much to do with him in the comics. Not that that’s really a problem in itself, but he later went on to force a romantic relationship between the two when he was writing Detective Comics, going so far as to retcon in a childhood friendship. This was kind of weird because the main Batman book was playing up Bruce Wayne’s relationship with then-girlfriend Jezebel Jet as being seriously serious.

– Before Zatanna had made a single appearance anywhere outside of comics, Paul Dini wrote an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures where recurring character Batduck was invited to join the Just Us League. This included an appearance of Fifi the Skunk as Scentanna, whose sole screen time was dedicated to having Hampton bust a pig nut over how hot she is.

– Dini married a Zatanna lookalike who is also a stage magician. Artist Alex Ross began using her as a model for whenever he’d include Zatanna in his realistic-looking comics.

Since New 52, Zatanna has appeared as a member of Justice League Dark, an offshoot team of magic users who take on mystical threats that the regular Justice League are ill-equipped to face themselves. The team includes the likes of John Constantine, Dead Man, Shade the Changing Man and FRANKENSTEIN WHO SHOULD BE IN INJUSTICE I SWEAR TO GOD GOD DAMN IT!

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This Week in Panels: Week 202

August 4th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

It’s a week of endings. Grant Morrison finishes up his lengthy work with Batman by showing that, “Batman and Robin will never die!” is in actuality a form of Hell. The Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man team-up ends after its 12th issue, meaning that the Dr. Wily/Dr. Eggman bromance is gone for good. Then we got the last issue of the latest What If.

Guys, you know me. You know that I’ve read every single issue of What If. I know all of them from the great to the terrible. I can honestly say that of the 200+ entries of that series, What If: Avengers vs. X-Men is the absolute worst one. Yes, even worse than What If the Avengers Lost the Evolutionary War? At least that story was able to be bad in one issue.

I’m helped out by Gaijin Dan, Was Taters, Space Jawa, Jody and Matlock. Let the games begin.

Animal Man Annual #2
Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman

Batman ’66 #5
Jeff Parker and Ty Templeton

Batman Annual #2
Scott Snyder, Marguerite Bennett and Wes Craig

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