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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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Guide to the Injustice Roster: Explaining Comics to People Who Don’t Read Comics Part 4

April 5th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

THE JOKER

Alias: Red Hood, Jack Napier, Joseph Kerr, Oberon Sexton
First Appearance: Batman #1 (1940)
Powers: Genius in both planning and improvisation, master chemist, completely unpredictable, unmatched tolerance for pain
Other Media: Yeah, pretty much.

“Frighteningly sick in the head… yet strangely compelling company.” – Lex Luthor when asked about the Joker

Despite all those above aliases, there’s never been a true name to go with the Joker’s pale face. His origin has always been up in the air and he rather likes it that way. The most famous non-movie take on the Joker’s backstory is the classic 80′s tale Killing Joke, where Joker spent time reminiscing about being a failed stand-up comedian who in one day senselessly lost his wife and unborn child and then got knocked into a vat of chemicals by Batman. Joker later admitted to Batman and the reader that he always remembered the actions that led up to him becoming the Joker differently every time and no longer truly knew who he was. All he could tell was that – much like Batman – he had one bad day and it caused him to snap. The difference was that while Batman had dedicated himself to making sense of the world, Joker dedicated himself to knocking down the whole house of cards and reveling in it.

Joker’s appearance was based on actor Conrad Veidt’s creepy portrayal of Gwynplaine from the 1928 film the Man Who Laughs. In his initial appearances, Joker was just as creepy and violent as he was in the movies. It wasn’t until the Comics Code Authority stepped in that he became more like Cesar Romero in the 60′s Batman TV show. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that one time in the 50′s that Joker dedicated his time and energy to committing crimes based on colossal mistakes. That led to a comic where they mentioned the word “boner” like a hundred times and it STILL makes me laugh like an idiot.

“And I’m worried about the boner he’s readying for YOU!” – Commissioner Gordon to Batman

Remarkably enough, Joker appears to be the one character who was never affected by any of the DC reboots. He always just kept being the Joker and any different depictions fell into the idea that he’s just a versatile nutjob who is as likely to poison a troop of boyscouts as he is to steal a child’s straight A report card and call it a day. Even Batman scribe Grant Morrison explained that his boner crime days were just another step in the psycho’s evolution.

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This Week in Panels: Week 71

January 30th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Back from watching the biggest, sexiest Royal Rumble, it’s now time for me to post a bunch of panels before passing out. Lots and lots of help from David, Was Taters, Space Jawa and VersasoVantare. Let’s get to it!

Action Comics #897
Paul Cornell and Pete Woods

Avengers #9
Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.

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This Week in Panels: Week 57

October 24th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Time for another week of ThWiP. This time I’m helped out by Was Taters (Power Girl) and ManiacClown (Loki). Apologies for the lack of content in the last week outside of that Avengers cartoon article. Various things have been holding back my free time. I’ve been busy with a bad work schedule and ManiacClown has been… learning how to make Mjolnir with balloons. Not making that up.

Anyway, panels.

Azrael #13
David Hine and Guillem March

Batman and Robin #15
Grant Morrison and Frazer Irving

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Cripes on Infinite Earths Part 3: Two Faces

September 30th, 2010 Posted by guest article

Guest article by Fletcher “Syrg” Arnett.

Probably the biggest sin the Elseworlds line committed is that for every breakout hit or disaster the line produced, there were two or three bland piles of tripe released. Batman got the most Elseworlds, so he got the most dull stories- it’s simple probability. Today we’re going to start peering at those.


Batman: Two Faces
Written by: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by: Anthony Williams & Tom Palmer
Focuses on: Batman
Self-contained/Multiple books: Self-contained
Published in: 1998
Central premise: Stretches the “duality of criminals/vigilantes” metaphor to its limit via the use of Two-Face, while Batman is also the Joker (oh like you couldn’t guess that from the cover)
Martian Manhunter Out of Fucking Nowhere? No

To be honest, I think the framing device for this story is a bit clever: inside the Iceberg Lounge, a gentleman’s club in late Victorian Era Gotham, Peregrine White and James Gordon swap tales of the bizarre and exciting from their lines of work, sworn to secrecy within the club’s walls. This evening, it’s Gordon’s turn to tell the tale, and he fills in the details on a case that was “the talk of every broadsheet in America” at the time.

There’s a recurring theme in a lot of Elseworlds of putting Batman a) in a Victorian-ish time period (fun note: this story takes place three years before the similarly-timed Gotham by Gaslight, the ur-Elseworld), and b) making him some sort of psychologist or similar skillset. Here he’s a criminologist “and amateur sleuth” of some renown. It doesn’t really have much to do with this story aside from his wanting to help cure the schizophrenia of Harvey Dent, but I just thought I’d point it out, being that this is the first we’re getting to that touches on those themes.

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This Year in Panels: Year 1

September 20th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

A year ago I talked to David Brothers about an idea I had for the site. I had tried writing reviews of weekly releases before, but I never got into it. There were a couple reasons and they’re both about redundancies. I can tell you about how great the latest issue of Captain America is, but so will every other site. There are so many other comic sites that will give better reviews of new stuff that I don’t know why anyone would give a damn what I have to say among all that. Then there’s the fact that comic quality doesn’t change so often within the series’ run. If I tell you that Captain America is great one month, chances are it’s going to be just as good the next. Why waste my breath? If I want to give you my opinions, I want it to at least be interesting and hopefully unique.

I thought back to the first issue of the Agents of Atlas miniseries from several years back. The general response of people who read it and tried to push it was to point out that there’s a scene where a 1950′s robot runs down a hallway while carrying a talking gorilla and that gorilla is firing four uzis with his hands and feet. I figured that maybe that could be the unique way to cover the comics of the week. I’d settle on one panel that really pushes what the comic is about, more than often more than the cover does. It’s no longer so much a review as it is giving you a gist on what we all read. At the same time, I would make sure not to have any major spoilers. If the comic has Wolverine beat up Daken in the climax, then I won’t show it. I will, on the other hand, show them about to fight it out.

If anything, it was also an excuse to keep me from straying from doing anything for the site too long at a time. I’d have a deadline of some point every Sunday and I’ve been pretty good on that. I’ve only delayed two weeks and those were because of a lengthy power outage and the loss of my computer.

I didn’t know if it would work, but David said to go for it. Now it’s been a year and I thought it would be fun to do an extra installment in a retrospective form. The idea was to pick one of my favorite panels from the previous 52 weeks, but with the challenge of not double-dipping from the same title at any point. Here we go!

Adventure Comics #4
Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates and Jerry Ordway

Amazing Spider-Man #617
Joe Kelly, Max Fiumara and Javier Pulido

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This Week in Panels: Week 51

September 12th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

It’s a nice mix this week from me, David and regular/guest contributor Was Taters. Almost an equal amount of panels all around. Naturally, I had to choose a New Avengers panel with Iron Fist’s flashy new duds on it. Note to Marvel: keep this a thing. Relaunch his book and make that his new status quo costume. Or just relaunch his book.

Taters and I disagreed on which Batgirl panel to go with, but I went with her idea. Can’t believe someone turns down the image of Bela Lugosi riding a segway.

Amazing Spider-Man #641
Joe Quesada, Paolo Rivera, Stan Lee and Marcos Martin

Amazing Spider-Man #642
Mark Waid, Paul Azaceta, Stan Lee and Marcos Martin

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This Week in Panels: Weeks 48 and 49

August 29th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Due to extenuating circumstances, I wasn’t able to do ThWiP last week, so it’s been accumulated into this week’s update. For last week’s picks, I’m disappointed in David for choosing that specific Avengers Academy panel when the true honors should have gone to Reptil asking a disgruntled Cain Marko if he can say, “Nothing can stop the Juggernaut!” for his amusement. Was Taters rejoins the show once again, unable to choose between panels for Superman/Batman, so we went with both.

Warning: there is something really fucked up going on with Hal Jordan’s hands in the Legacies image and you won’t be able to stop yourself from staring at it.

Action Comics #892
Paul Cornell, Pete Woods, Pere Perez, Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo

Age of Heroes #4
Elliott Kalan, Brendan McCarthy and others

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Summerslam for Comic Fans

August 15th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Tonight we have what I guess would be considered the WWE’s third most important show of the year, Summerslam. I mean, on paper, it’s supposed to be the secondary Wrestlemania, but everyone and their imaginary friend loves Royal Rumble more. I look forward to the show despite the roadblocks it sets up. There are only six matches signed. One of these matches is a throwaway Divas match I couldn’t care less about. One of the championship matches is Rey Mysterio vs. Kane and while I love Kane and don’t mind Mysterio, I don’t need to be reminded of their abysmal, “Is he alive or is he dead?” feud.

So why am I so jazzed about the show? Team WWE vs. the Nexus in an elimination tag match. The Nexus has been one of the better wrestling storylines in past years, despite its own set of roadblocks (Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson being fired, Wade Barrett’s visa problems, Ricky Steamboat’s injury). I can only hope the storyline doesn’t get killed as of the end of Summerslam, yet at the same time, I don’t want them to last long enough to get destroyed by a returning Triple H. God, I really don’t want to see Triple H involved with this in any way.

For those new to the big main event, here it is laid out DC Comics style.

(click for bigger version)

Let’s see who we got on here…

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This Week in Panels: Week 42

July 11th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Another week of panels is upon us. David only tosses in one panel this time around. I remembered to remind him that one of the guidelines for This Week in Panels is not to put anything from the last page. After all, we don’t want to spoil the entire book for you, nor do I want it to be like one of those comic covers that depicts the very last page. Let’s see what he chose.

Amazing Spider-Man #636
Joe Kelly, Zeb Wells and Michael Lark

GODDAMN IT, MAN! WHAT THE HELL?!

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1
Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung

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