How Ultimate Red Skull Could Have Worked

August 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Mark Millar’s in the news due to how his comic Nemesis is officially being turned into a movie. That’s good a reason as any to talk about him. Usually when his name comes up on this site, it’s David cursing his name for saying or writing something stupid. David does not like that guy. I see Millar in a different light.

As a writer, Mark Millar is an extreme mixed bag. His stories are filled to the brim with lots and lots of ideas and it’s a crapshoot on which ones are going to be good and which ones are going to be bad. Most of the time, the bad overshadows the good. Sometimes the contrast causes the story to implode upon itself. Though sometimes it’s also the lack of real substance outside of, “Here’s some crazy shit!” that does that.

It’s telling that two of my favorite Millar stories are Red Son and Civil War (the miniseries itself, not the event). Morrison had a hand in Red Son, giving it an ending that really glued the whole story together. Civil War became more interesting after seeing Tom Brevoort post Millar’s original idea for the series before Brevoort had to play damage control. No pun intended. Millar’s original concept involved killing off Happy Hogan and Pepper’s non-existent child, having Thor come back as part of the series and including Hulk’s return from space as something everyone teams up against. One of the ideas with the Hulk part was that Hulk had so much space poon that the superheroes are challenged by an army of Hulk babies.

I find it funny that the unused Hulk babies idea became one of the bigger ingredients for Old Man Logan later down the line.

Millar belongs to the pantheon of writers who really need a filter of some kind or their writing reaches unfortunate levels of insanity. Other members of this club include Jeph Loeb, Vince Russo and John Kricfalusi. Granted, I hold Millar in higher regard than the rest.

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This Week in Panels: Week 31

April 25th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Just got back from CHIKARA’s King of Trios and I’m completely exhausted. I’ll do a little trip report of sorts later. For now, it’s panel time.

Amazing Spider-Man #628
Roger Stern, Lee Weeks, Mark Waid, Tom Peyer and Todd Nauck

American Vampire #2
Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque

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Psyche, Just Kidding Guys!

March 15th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Mark Millar on the opening scene of Ultimate Avengers #5:

PS Wasp wasn’t raped. These guys were political torturers, but it wasn’t sexual. Sexual violence in Marvel books is a bit weird and I’ve avoided since I started (as far as I recall) as this stuff is all available to kids.

from ultimate avengers #5, words by millar, art by pacheco, inks by dexter vines

Political torture? What did they do, tie her to a chair and read her some Glenn Beck quotes? Did they get into a really, really heated debate over healthcare? Maybe diss her for voting Perot? Did they make fun of her for thinking that dead prez’s (bounce to this…) socialist movement was going anywhere?

Did they make her cry when they carefully explained that no one will ever spend as much on education as they do on war?

C’mon, son.

We don’t believe you, you need more people.

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This Week in Panels: Week 24

March 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Time for another look at– holy shit, we’ve got new headers now! Look at the top of the site! Then refresh a bunch of times! Plus the site is all different and rounder now! Neat!

Amazing Spider-Man #623
Mark Waid, Tom Peyer and Paul Azaceta

Deadpool Team-Up #895
Christopher Long and Dalibor Talajic

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My VCR is Broken: Captain America

March 11th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

The comic of Jeph Loeb is fearful. Were the new scrapped vessel body and onslaught where the origin it changes read? Is this junk what?

Oh, sorry. I just tried venting at Jeph Loeb’s current work, only I translated it into Japanese and again back to English. It’s funny how that turned out, isn’t it?

If you recall, a few months back I posted an article that featured the comic adaptation of the Street Fighter live action movie. Sure, I had a ball with it and hopefully you enjoyed it as well, but something felt off about it. Having already seen the movie, it took out a lot of the flavor of the comic. That got me thinking.

There are a ton of comic book superhero movies out there and when you look at it, only recently have they been getting it right more often than naught. Back in the day, yes, we had stuff like Superman 2, but good movies like that were flukes. I like a bad movie as much as the next guy, but even I’ll admit that I’ve stayed away from these monstrosities for one reason or another.

Luckily, I don’t have to see these movies. Marvel and DC have almost always been kind enough to release these superhero stories the old fashion way, within the pages of a comic book. Why overpay for popcorn and sit in a cold theater when I can read about Shaq fighting crime while laying in a hammock in my back yard? I’m sure I won’t have to worry about bad acting or bad special effects.

This will be my first of several articles delving into the double-translated works of superhero movie comics.

The background of this movie confuses me a bit. From the little research I did after reading the comic, it was finished and released in the UK back in 1990, but then they did a bunch of re-shoots and edits before simply releasing it on video in the US in 1992. When I read a summary of the story for the finished version, it definitely shows that Stan wrote his comic about the initial screenplay of the film prior to the edits.

What’s that I said about Stan? Yes, I mean that Stan. The Stan. Stan Lee wrote the comic version of the movie with Bob Hall on art. This makes everything more interesting, since Stan Lee’s storytelling contrasts with anything you can imagine in a movie environment.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: The Finale

March 28th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I feel kind of silly making this article since it was supposed to be done months ago. There are several things that kept me from finishing it, but I’m going to take the easy way out. All the time I usually use to write these What If articles was really used to pretend I was writing for Lost. I love writing Sam the Butcher’s dialogue the most.

Starting it off, here’s a series of sig images I made for the Batman’s Shameful Secret sub-forum at Something Awful. I guess they worked.

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His Name was the Captain! Also, What If Crap

March 9th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I was going to use Wednesday to finish up the latest installment of Deadshot’s Tophat — filled with nothing but B and C-listers this time — but the big Marvel newsworthy thing kind of distracted me. I myself couldn’t go more than two minutes online without being bombarded with the big spoiler. Another five minutes later, the Reign of Supermen reference jokes were beaten into the ground.

(Yes, yes. We get it. Visor Captain America and a black guy in Cap armor.)

Whatever. It was still a great issue and had more surprises than CNN and Yahoo let us know. I trust Brubaker as far as I can urinate, so I’m sure this arc will be just as fantastic as the past 24 issues.

Poor Jeph Loeb. He writes a silly reveal that Hawkeye from the Heroes Reborn world is really Logan, only to have it smacked down by Captain America #25.

Now that Civil War is over and Captain America did that thing that he did in that issue that got spoiled, I look back and notice the familiarity. Back when I did the What If Countdown, there was one issue that didn’t make the list, but I didn’t so much hate it. Looking through the story, I see several parallels with what Marvel’s been giving us lately. Let’s take a look.

The issue is What If Steve Rogers Had Refused to Give Up Being Captain America (What If vol. 2, #3), written by Jim Valentino. And no, Spider-Man doesn’t die in it.

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The What If Countdown: Honorable Mention Awards

November 20th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

As I said in the last article, most What Ifs are interesting in their own way. Whether it’s because they tell a really good story, an abomination of a story or if the changes in reality are completely off the wall, almost every issue has something worth talking about.

I just talked about 100 of these stories and a couple extra ones I thought were crappy. So rather than have me write a bunch of exhaustive issue profiles, how’s about we just look at the bits and pieces that got my attention? It’s time to hand out the What If Honorable Mention Awards!

If I wasn’t so lazy, I would probably Photoshop a bunch of golden Uatu statues.

Edit: It looks like I didn’t have to. Thanks to Kyle Hayes for the award trophy.

Strangest What If Couple: Quicksilver and Gwen Stacy

This comes from What If the Age of Apocalypse Hadn’t Ended (volume 2, #81). Tony Stark, head of the human resistance, joins up with Magneto to figure out a way to save Earth from the coming of Galactus. Among Tony’s fellow human freedom fighters are the Hulk, Sue Storm and, strangely enough, Donald Blake’s bodyguard Gwen Stacy. Er… yeah. I guess with her dad being a cop and all… No, it still sounds goofy.

Pietro is without a sister and Gwen needs a boyfriend who can kill her with whiplash. It’s only natural that these two would find each other.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 18

October 30th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

It’s a good time for a new What If article. Not only does What If: Avengers Disassembled come out this Wednesday, but Halloween’s right around the corner. What If and Halloween go together hand-in-hand. On Halloween, children dress up as their favorite superheroes. In What If, Frank Castle dresses up as Captain America. On Halloween, the theme is horror and gore. In What If, characters die by the dozen if you ask them politely. Halloween is represented by a bald kid with a big head, whining about how all he got from trick-or-treating was a rock. What If is represented by a bald guy with a big head, telling us about times when Ben Grimm didn’t get covered in rocks.

Okay, this is going too far. Let’s get to the article.


Issue: Volume 1, #15
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Simonson Wiacek, Infantino Springer, Andru Giacoi and Perez Palmer
Spider-Man death: Yes
Background: The Green Lant—I mean, Nova got his powers when the previous Nova Rhomann Dey was mortally wounded while around Earth’s atmosphere. He transferred his powers and spot in the Nova Corps to a human at random. That human turned out to be Richard Rider, who continues to fight as Nova to this very day as the main hero of Annihilation. So if he was randomly picked, that opens up a lot of possibilities.

The first story begins with a mugger killing a man and running off in a panic. The victim’s wife, Helen Taylor, screams a vow that she’s going to find this guy and kill him. Months pass and Helen stands at her husband’s grave, sad that the police are no use and there’s nothing she can really do to help him. Only a miracle can set things right.

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The Top 100 What If Countdown: Part 17

October 24th, 2006 Posted by Gavok

Sorry about that. Real life schedule sort of held me back for a bit. But I’m getting back into the swing of things and we’re almost done with this. Just a reminder for the artist types reading this, I could use your help.


Issue: Volume 2, #57
Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Mike Harris
Spider-Man death: No
Background: There’s no exact turning point here. Frank Castle has always been on the run of the law. Every once and a while, he gets caught. In this story, while in prison, Frank meets Nick Fury. Nick has kept an eye on Frank and wants him to lead a SHIELD strike force. No more going after the petty dealers. Now he’ll be going after the top drug lords with weaponry Frank’s never imagined using. With a choice between that or spending the rest of his life in prison, Frank makes the right decision.

Wouldn’t you know it, Frank Castle has never had so much fun. With his hand-picked troops behind him, Frank goes after high profile villains he never thought he’d ever get a chance to go up against. We see as he and his boys go after the Yellow Claw and bomb his drug crop into oblivion. He actually seems far less cynical now, feeling that he’s actually in a war he can win.

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