Jog on the End of the Punisher

August 18th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

The Savage Critic(s): A History of Punishment for Adults: Jog reaches the last, black page on 8/13

And so, here we are at the spectacularly-titled Valley Forge, Valley Forge: The Slaughter of a U.S. Marine Garrison and the Birth of the Punisher, Vol. 10, the last. Like I mentioned, Frank’s story reached a sort of ‘ending’ in Vol. 9, so this one is a little different. It’s the only one of Ennis’ MAX stories missing the title character’s famous narration; here, he’s observed, puzzled over. We never once climb inside him, for what more needs be said? The action is often interrupted by text and ‘photos’ taken from a book written by the brother of a dead character from Born, and the chapters we read touch on prior themes of the series, though with a special emphasis on warfare waged on questionable grounds.

This is an amazing review, is all. I hope to have a wrap-up on it soon, too.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Greetings from Phoenix!

August 5th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Hey, there. I didn’t have time to post about my trip in time, but at the moment, I’m kicking it in Arizona for a few days. I should be back Friday or so, but in the meantime, hermanos has the slack and that’s fine with me.

Just three things of note from my trip so far:

1) On the plane flight, I sat next to none other than former WWF Intercontinental and Tag Champion Tito Santana! God, that was awesome. We talked for a while about many things, but that guy was a complete class act. Totally friendly, good natured and still looks great. At first I didn’t want to say anything because I thought he was too young to be Tito.

2) The IMAX theater around here isn’t playing Dark Knight. Instead, they just have a series of educational films that will not make them money. How dense and/or retarded are they for not picking up on the goddamn Batman? It boggles the mind.

3) While at the local mall, I stepped into a KB Toys for the sake of looking at some action figures. Now, this store looks like they just get a series of figures, sell the ones worth selling and keep a never-ending supply of the ones nobody wants for years. For instance, for the Marvel Legends figures, I found about 15 Longshots and maybe 2 Lady Deathstrikes. Then I discovered a bargain bin of Rocky Balboa figures. At first I was excited. Rocky figures? That means I could pick up a sweet figure of Clubber Lang or Drago for cheap. Maybe if I’m lucky there will be an Apollo Creed in there.

Instead, I just found a huge pile of figures for the announcers and commentators. Not just for Rocky Balboa, but for the old movies as well. Who would want this? I’m serious. Who would ever want one of these? No kid, that’s for sure. I don’t think there are any fans of the movies who are licking their lips over this. I can’t comprehend how someone thought those would be a good idea.

That’s all for now. Be back in a couple days.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Review: Peter David’s Iron Man Movie Novelization FIGHTS! and FIGHTS! with Repulsor Rays!

March 26th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

A year ago, I bought, read and reviewed Peter David’s novelization of Spider-Man 3. I thought it was pretty good and went on record to say that Sam Raimi would have to go out of his way to fuck up that movie. Wouldn’t you know it, he did exactly that. He deleted a handful of scenes that would have turned the movie’s three villains into more than ridiculous, one-dimensional jokes. While he removed all the valuable Eddie Brock and Sandman scenes, he made it even worse by hardly shaving off any whiny Mary Jane moments.

I made the decision to go for round two. This time Peter David writes a novelization based on the upcoming Iron Man film. More than anything, I was curious. The build-up has been nice. Not just with the trailers, but the feeling that there’s love in the movie. I recall Jon Favreau saying that in preparation, he had been reading every single issue of Iron Man from the 60’s on. So would love be enough to make this story work?

Yes. Yes it really would.

I’m not going to give out explicit spoilers, but if you really want an absolute blank slate to the point that you didn’t even watch the trailers, by all means don’t read this and instead just give me $5.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Garth Ennis Surprised Me Tonight

February 13th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Kathryn McAllister from Hitman and Kathryn O’Brien from Punisher MAX are the same person.

There was a throwaway line in Punisher about Tommy Monaghan, star of Hitman, but I thought it was just Ennis being clever. As it turns out, it was him being even more clever than I thought.

Good show, man. Well played.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Checking in with Some Random Musings

July 31st, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Good God. I’ve reached the point where I use the term “musings” on the internet. Shoot me.

I’ve been taking a break lately, due to several things holding me up and taking my time, like a crappy work schedule, Guitar Hero Rocks the 80’s and a bunch of crap you don’t care about.

In the meantime, a couple quick thoughts.

– I made like 15 new 4th Letter headers and then hermanos had to go and redesign the site. Fuck him! Though I have to admit, the new look is growing on me. I like the little “4th ____” gags in some of those headers. Took me a second to get why Ares is labeled “4th Planet”.

– If you didn’t know by now, Greg Pak is going to be doing a What If issue with a trilogy of stories based on Planet Hulk. One has Hulk land on the peaceful planet as the Illuminati planned. One has Bruce Banner land on Sakaar instead. The last, and most interesting one, is about Hulk dying in the warp drive explosion and his queen surviving to seek vengeance on Earth. This comic sounds awesome.

– Norman Osborn is the glue holding Thunderbolts together and making it readable.

– I just bought a ton of trades last week. Ant Man: Low-Life, because even though hermanos dislikes it, I give Kirkman the benefit of the doubt. Hyperion vs. Nighthawk, as it’s the only Squadron Supreme story I haven’t read other than that nine issues of hurt called Ultimate Power. Cassanova, because hermanos loves it so much and I dig that Matt Fraction. The Hood, because it’s BKV and I could go for a nice Marvel MAX title that doesn’t star Frank Castle or his oversized, black nemesis. Seven Brothers, because I’m in the mood to read something by Ennis that isn’t “heheh superheroes is fags”. And I bought Goon: Noir and 52 Volume 2 because… uh… well, there wasn’t really any thought process in those decisions. One is the Goon and the other is 52. That’s reason enough.

– CHIKARA show this Sunday in Philly at the ECW Arena. Come and join the fun.

– The cover image to Ultimates Volume 3 fills me with a strong sense of dread. Not only is this going to be an awful comic, but it’s going to be like a shotgun blast to the Ultimate universe. If this comic is as bad as I fear it to be, then the Ultimate line of comics will be at death’s door in probably two or three years. That’s such a damn shame.

– On the other side of the coin, the Marvel Adventures line is pretty fantastic right now. While the first issue of MA: Hulk wasn’t special, I absolutely loved MA: Iron Man’s initial issue. That’s the best reimagining of his origin outside of canon I can recall. Pick up Giant Size Marvel Adventures: Avengers if you’ve ever wanted to see a gorilla suckerpunch Wolverine in the back of the head through a closing time portal.

– Not comic related at all, but in the last couple weeks, I’ve dropped 15 pounds. Hells yeah!

Next time I’ll have actual content. I promise.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


4thletter is for… deception

June 29th, 2007 Posted by david brothers


You ever get the feeling that the wool’s been pulled over your eyes, just a bit?

Garth Ennis is known for a few things. Blood, curse words, comedic facial deformities, sex jokes, a mild hatred of superheroes, and more blood and then a few more curse words. On the good side, he’s a pretty solid plotter, he knows his strengths, he does great dialog, and he’s the best war writer since Kanigher and Kubert.

Just in case you aren’t familiar, he’s written comics where a demon named Baytor becomes master of hell, Nick Fury strangles another dude with his own intestines, an alien sex pervert becomes a British diplomat and gets eaten by a tiger while dressed in a corset with an orange up his butt, a soldier constantly tries to trick his superior officer into kissing him by faking death, a guy gets his nose swapped with his penis and vice versa, an Australian pope has sex with nuns and curses, the Saint of Killers shoots God, a short man with glasses has sex with a giant statue made out of meat, superheroes are depicted as a bunch of people who are completely worthless human beings (and sex perverts), a dude has sex with himself and then shoots himself in the face in front of his son, and– actually, this is a pretty good sampling of the stuff he’s known for. Plus, this is going to completely ruin the search terms on this site.

Anyway, Ennis has got something of a rep. He’s done his fair share of gross-out comics, though it’s usually played for humor. But, I’ve been noticing something in his comics. He keeps sneaking in these little things that make a scary amount of sense. I don’t necessarily agree with Ennis on the religion front, but he makes good points about how to live life. Sexism, racism, whatever– it’s all stupid. It doesn’t matter. Leave it behind and just do right.

The quote up top is from The Boys #8, a series about some humans whose entire job consists of smearing and then beating the snot out of superhumans, who are all sex perverts and callous jerks. We’ve seen a bulldog have sex with another, smaller dog, and a Teen Titans-alike have a screwed up coke orgy. The book opens with a guy swinging around with his girlfriend like they were in a movie, only a superhuman comes crashing down and basically explodes her on impact, leaving the guy holding her severed arms. There’s also a dude who lives below a comic shop who basically calls Will Eisner a punk. And despite all this grisly stuff, you get little scenes like the one in that image up there.

Punisher: The Slavers dealt with white slavers. On the one hand, it’s a wish-fulfillment fantasy. We, the reader, get our revenge on the rapist and slavers of the world through Frank Castle’s actions. He kills quite a lot of them, and the series ends with him lighting a local boss on fire on video, looking into the camera, and saying “Don’t come back here.” He sends the video back to Eastern Europe with one of the allies of the slavers. On the other hand, though, I can’t remember the last time I saw the aftereffects of rape and kidnapping in a comic. One of the cops featured in the story actually quits the force, because she believes she can do more good helping track and assisting the girls who were kidnapped. The last two pages of The Slavers are heartbreaking. You don’t have the full context here, obviously, but I think the pages are worth sharing. Check out the softcover or the hardcover (B&N link) if it catches your interest. The softcover’s like ten bucks, it’s worth it. I cut out the pages where Cristu was burned alive because they aren’t 100% relevant here.

For reference: Viorica lost her daughter to the slavers.

punisher_v5_030_p14.jpg punisher_v5_030_p15.jpg punisher_v5_030_p20.jpg
punisher_v5_030_p21.jpg punisher_v5_030_p22.jpg
(words by ennis, art by fernandez)

“All she can do is live with what life they left her.” Ouch.
Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


What it look like

June 22nd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

With all this talk about various TV properties going to comics, I’ve thought of something that desperately needs to be an maxiseries, preferably with art by maybe Scott McDaniel, Adam Warren, or even better, David Aja of Iron Fist fame. Someone good at action and flashy.

The Last Dragon.

Don’t act like you wouldn’t watch it. You would. This movie was “The Warriors” for a new generation. The only movie I watched more often than this was Transformers, or I guess maybe Ninja Scroll, but I’m not 100% on that.

Well, well, well. If it isn’t the serious, elusive Leroy Green. I’ve been waiting a long time for this, Leroy. I am sick and tired of hearing these bullshit Superman stories about the wassa legendary Bruce Leroy catching bullets with his teeth. Catches bullets with his teeth? Nigga please.
–Sho’nuff, the Shogun of Harlem

Sho’nuff is the meanest, the prettiest, the baddest mofo low down around this town. It’s just too bad that Leroy Green has got the glow.

Sho nuff.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


This is how you write a solicit.

June 18th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

deathblow7.jpg DEATHBLOW #7

Written by Brian Azzarello, art and cover by Carlos D’Anda.

At war not with just the enemy but with his allies, Deathblow finds himself challenged for the title of “World’s Deadliest Man.” The challenger is less than a man — but more than human! Half machine, half dinosaur — 100 percent Osamasaurus!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Sept. 26.

Half machine, half dinosaur, 100 percent OSAMASAURUS.


supermanbatman40.jpg SUPERMAN/BATMAN #40

Written by Alan Burnett, art and cover by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs.

Will Batman and Orion’s wife, Bekka, give in to their desire for one another? Find out as Darkseid’s plan begins to come to fruition in ³Tormet² part four!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Sept. 19.

I also really, really like this Dustin Nguyen cover for Superman/Batman #40. Yeah, it’s got Batman with his hand over Bekka’s chest, and if she’s Orion’s wife she’s gotta be a take-no-crap kinda gal, but it’s just so… elegant? It’s like a piece of fine art. Not to mention the machinework. Nguyen is really one of the best out. I love this image.

Do you see the Superman logo on that cover? It took me a second, but it’s there. Very cool.

There is a lot to like in the new DC solicits. I might have to dedicate a whole post to it.

There’s not a lot to like on scans_daily, on the other hand. I mean, it’s a suggestive scene. That’s kind of the point. He’s seducing her to the darkside, so to speak. To see it as forced oral, though, is a bit much. I mean, look at his arms. No way does Maximus have a 36 inch penis. But, hey, that white highlight on her cheek must be you know what!

Ugh, I’ve got to stop clicking on links to parts of the internet I hate. Personally, I blame Tejeda.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


From The Mouth of Babes

May 24th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Quick post while I wrap up some other things–

Ultimates 2 #13 was a letdown. I mean, come on, how many of those pages had like one word balloon on them? And the wrap-up? It was blah. I don’t really want to spoil it if you haven’t read it, but you aren’t really missing anything, just another Millar anticlimax.

You want to see an ending? Read Wisdom #6. Paul Cornell and Manuel Garcia knock it so far out of the park it isn’t even funny, and manage to work in an origin story for a new Killraven all at the same time.


Anyway, the ending is pretty good. It wraps up the loose ends and ends on a kind of really low-key scene that’s a great payoff if you know the character. Very recommended! It is the anti-Ultimates 2 #13.

Later tonight, I hopes, look for some more reviews.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Is ALLnow Love

March 25th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I’ve mentioned before that I tend to think of Grant Morrison as a relentless optimist. It’s an admirable trait and it makes his comics kind of a joy to read. The heroes, while not flawless, are heroes still, even when they don’t want to be or do not believe themselves to be.

I’m in the middle of rereading New X-Men. it’s been a while, so it all seems pretty new. I just finished the first hardcover and a couple pages jumped out at me. Well, a lot of pages did, but these are the two I want to talk about. Both are from New X-Men 122.

team.jpg This is almost self-explanatory and a perfect encapsulation of Morrison’s optimism. The last time the X-Men fought Cassandra Nova, she laid waste to the team. It was only a last minute save by Emma Frost that took her down. Even then, Cassandra won. She jumped into Charles Xavier’s body and switched minds with him. She’s now in the body of the most powerful telepath on the planet. Shortly before Cassandra left Earth to take control of the Shi’ar Empire, she reduced Beast to a wreck and had him beaten nearly to death. Even while she’s been gone, her plans have been in motion. She’s poisoned the X-Men with nano-sentinels and booby-trapped her own body with a number of degenerative diseases.

In short, she’s completely played the entire team and she’s coming back to finish them off. Hank in particular is shaken up by all this because Cassandra tore him down to his basic elements. Jean’s response works to both reinforce Hank and to remind him that the X-Men don’t lose. It’s not even an option. It isn’t on the menu. For every negative that Hank brings up, Jean has an overwhelming positive. Can’t play the guitar? You can learn the drums! You’re afraid? You’re a hero to a kid who needs one. Blocked on creating something? It doesn’t matter. Keep trying. That is hope, and hope will triumph.

strangeeyes.jpg Another thing Morrison is big on is being true to yourself. The Invisibles dealt with this quite a bit, with King Mob trying to figure out who he is, Dane embracing the Jack Frost identity, Lord Fanny period, and the climax of Boy’s story arc. He’s got this whole thing about being radiant and true before you face down your big bad. This page is another perfect moment in time.

The Phoenix entity has a long comics history. It’s reached cliche status now, and it usually signals that something terrible is going to happen. Jean Grey could unmake the universe one day due to it… until now. She’s embraced her wings, strange eyes, and brilliant mind. It’s a new era. Hiding who you are in an attempt to fit in is the wrong way to go about things. Repression is wrong.

It’s hinted here that Jean only lost control because she was afraid and ashamed of her powers. Scott suggests that she go back to strict self-control, but what he’s suggesting is really self-limiting. It’s hiding all the things that are you in an attempt to fit in and be safe.

There’s an old saying. “Scared money don’t make money.” If you’re too afraid to take a risk, you aren’t ever going to get anything. Jean has taken a risk and embraced who and what she is and look- she’s better for it. “Do I look like I’m losing control?” She is in complete control of everything now. Herself, her powers, and her confidence.

This is really good stuff that isn’t always immediately apparent. Quitely’s body language says a lot here, too. Scott is hesitant and unsure. Jean? She’s in charge.

When he’s on top of his game, Morrison is one of the best. These two single pages just show a couple of his more enjoyable quirks. Even the end of The Invisibles features a hug and a reminder that good things are coming. “is allnow love,” and so on. He’s all about letting your freak flag fly.

If you’re curious, Geoff Klock has quite an interesting look at the issue here, as part of his ongoing look at the whole of New X-Men. Worth a read. He talks about all the things I don’t in this post.

There’ll probably be more later. NXM is a personal favorite of Morrison’s works, in part because it works with so many characters that I loved and grew up with in new ways. I think that there is a lot to be said about the way that Jean stepped up in the Professor’s absence to play the nurturer and carry the dream, as well. Even though it was Cassandra who left her in charge, she truly is the team leader, at least during the first year of NXM. Interesting, in that it’s usually Cyclops who is in charge, but he’s got so many issues that he is only on-point when he’s in battle. He’s flawless in space, for example, but a bit of a milksop when it comes to relationships.

But, wow, Charles Xavier is only 42 years old?

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon