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This Week in Panels: Week 65

December 20th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

This week I’m joined by Was Taters and Luis. Luis insists on sharing a panel of Amazing Spider-Man, which he most certainly hated.

As for that Avengers Academy panel, I can assure you that that is not Metamorpho.

Amazing Spider-Man #650
Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos and Neil Edwards

Avengers Academy #7
Christos Gage and Tom Raney

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Ultimatum Edit Week 5: Day Five

August 6th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Yesterday, Jean Grey forced Magneto to see Nick Fury’s memories, which caused Magneto to repent all of his wrongdoing. Then Cyclops acted like a total hero by exploding the head of an old man who was no longer a threat. Good going, guy.

In the actual comic, Fury really showed Magneto how mutants were man-made in a laboratory, as part of Ultimate Origins. I’m still not totally sure why this caused Magneto to change his ways completely. Magneto’s war stopped being humans vs. mutants a while ago, what with him not only killing mutants by the score, but the fact that he was killing his own underlings for the hell of it. And yet this little snippet of information puts him into, “What have I done?!” mode.

Let us move forward.

I blame ManiacClown for that Burma Shave gag and the Wonder Pets thing. Give the guy a break on the latter one. He’s a father. It’s his business to watch that show.

We’ll continue with the X-Men insanity tomorrow, plus a little trip to Latveria.

Day Six!
Day Seven!

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Friday Flashbacks 01: Boysenberry Pie

June 12th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

boysen01boysen02boysen03boysen04
boysen05boysen06boysen07
(from marvel’s x-men #8, words by scott lobdell, art by jim lee)

This is one of those scenes that stuck out to me when I was a kid. Going from a picnic to a fight to a pie in the face to a plot twist is classic X-Men. This was the beginning of a downtime issue, which is another X-Men staple. The team would play baseball, go to a bar, or sit around doing nothing after the end of a big arc. This issue ended the drama of Bishop joining the team and a Wolverine-centric story in Germany, and led into an X-Men/Ghost Rider crossover set in New Orleans, where they all went up against the Brood in the NOLA underground. In hindsight, it’s pretty ridiculous, but still fairly funny. Gambit tended to get all of the best lines and scenes in old X-Men books.

This was also back when the book had a strange tone. There was a lot of droll and self-conscious humor throughout the book, verging on actual meta-commentary. It’s nice to see and gave the book a fun, off-kilter kind of feel. I’m not even going to mention the “Gotta be da shoes” Gambit/Jubilee bit.

Well, maybe I will later. But not right now.

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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.

Play

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X-Men with O-Faces

March 15th, 2008 Posted by Hoatzin

Marvel’s panel on the X-Books at Wizard World Los Angeles just ended. Check here for Newsarama’s coverage, here for CBR’s. The most interesting news? Matt Fraction is joining Ed Brubaker on Uncanny X-Men as co-writer starting with issue 500, with rotating art duties by the Dodsons and Greg Land.

Wow. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Fraction and Brubaker are two great tastes that taste great together, and the Dodsons are fine artists, but Greg Land? Seriously? Haven’t people caught on to his plagiarizing ways yet? Why is he on a comic that matters? He’s going to make that book annoying to read at best, unreadable at worst. Just look at the cover for issue 500 alone:

uncannyxmen500_cov.jpg

Let’s play “Spot the Ripoffs”!

– Warpath, Cyclops and the guy behind Cyclops have exactly the same body. Land has used it at least once before.
– Tattooed guy on the left and Colossus have exactly the same body.
– Wolverine and long-haired shouting man in the background on the right have exactly the same body, only Wolverine’s head is different. Land has used it at least once before. I distinctly recall Ultimate Namor in this pose as well, but I don’t have the relevant issue at hand.
– Land has used Cannonball’s body at least once before.
– Land has used Rogue (is that Rogue?)’s body at least once before.
– Land has used Storm’s body at least once before.
– Land has used Pixie’s body at least once before. It also happens to be the one with that ridiculous porn face made immortal by Ultimate Scarlet Witch. Very appropriate for a sixteen year old girl!

This is from spending maybe five minutes looking at this image and skimming through four issues of Ultimate Power. I could probably find a lot more if I spent effort on this. Maybe I’d even find the photographs he traced these from. Come on now. This is absolutely ridiculous. Why can’t we have an artist that actually draws?

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Super Contest of Champions II Turbo

August 12th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

The Contest of Champions paved the way for the event miniseries that Marvel and DC have become dependant on. The star-studded scavenger hunt wasn’t the greatest story in the world, but it was still memorable and classic for being the first step. Naturally, there would one day be a sequel.

If you can call it that.

When I think of Contest of Champions II, I think of the Infinity Gauntlet. Bear with me on this. Infinity Gauntlet was a popular Marvel miniseries starring a bunch of heroes that was eventually used as the basis for Marvel Superheroes, a very good arcade fighting game. While the game did include characters like Psylocke, Magneto, Juggernaut, Blackheart and Shuma Gorath (that still boggles my mind), the gist of the story was that it was supposed to be a retelling of Infinity Gauntlet, only the heroes aren’t useless.

What does this have to do with Contest of Champions II? Marvel Superheroes was a fighting game based on a Marvel miniseries. Contest of Champions II is the opposite. It’s a Marvel miniseries based on fighting games.

Funny thing about fighting games is that there aren’t many variations of the story out there. For the most part, every fighting game’s story is based on one of two concepts. Sometimes it’s just about a quest where different characters run around with a goal, meet each other and fight. Marvel Superheroes was basically this. The other, more popular one, is the tournament. It’s the easiest reason to have different warriors from different walks of life battle each other, especially when there’s no animosity between some.

The tournament stories are occasionally straight-laced and legit. That’s boring. Many others would have the tournament just be a front. In actuality, the host of the tournament is trying to use this as a way to kill off all threats to his or her plans for world domination. Maybe the host plans on using the beaten warriors as zombie cyborg soldiers. A lot of the time, all the fighting is just a way to unleash some long-imprisoned monster god thing to wreak terror on the lands.

This is pretty much what Contest of Champions II is.

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Instant Replay: Blitzkrieg

August 8th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I’m in the middle of a huge project at work, so posting from me may be sparse this week! I want to post every day, but we see how that’s gonna go…

Anyway, I’ve got another Pre-Crisis 4l post for you, this time over one of my favorite stories. Hunter Zolomon, Zoom, is easily Geoff Johns’s best idea and this covers his origin.

This was originally published 05/03/05, back when I was still using Blogger (yuck). It’s actually shorter than I expected! Edits only made for spelling and to take out the word “pervert suit” because I hate it now and I was high on Warren Ellis back then.


Flash’s villains are probably the best DC has to offer. They just make more sense than a lot of DC’s other villains, seems like.

Even if one of them is a talking Gorilla.

Flash’s supporting cast is pretty cool, too. From left to right are Joan Garrick, Iris Allen, Bart (Impulse) Allen, and Jay (Flash) Garrick. It’s kind of cool how four Flash generations are represented in the book. In the foreground are Linda Park-West and Wally West. Not pictured are Morillo and Chyre, who are a couple of cops. It’s worth noting that Chyre is basically Marv from Sin City.

Another member of his supporting cast is Hunter Zolomon. He was what they call a “rogue profiler.” Think of him as a serial killer profiler for super villains. If Flash needed some info on a rogue, Hunter had it. He was very good at his job.

They became fast friends and both respected the other equally. Wally respected Hunter because he was very reminiscent of Barry Allen (Barry was in forensics, Hunter is more into the mental disciplines, but both work toward the same goal) and Hunter respected Wally because Wally was a true blue hero. Then, Gorilla Grodd crippled Hunter Zolomon and everything changed.
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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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Guest Words: Civil War Revamped

February 21st, 2007 Posted by david brothers

My infinitely patient buddy Mark Poa sent me an email all the way from the Philippines about a guest article on Civil War. He points out quite a few things that Marvel could have, and should have, done differently. Check it out below!

My friend asked me: “I remember you saying in an LJ post that you were on the side of Tony Stark in Civil War. Fair enough, I think that some sort of regulation is probably required in the case of superhumans, myself. But the burning question is, how do you think this should work? The way Tony’s been doing things is certainly not the best.

Ah, I do so love comic book type hypothesis.

Why is Superhero registration necessary?
1. People with superpowers are similar to special skills. CPAs, lawyers, doctors, and other professionals are registered so that their skills can be monitored and standards could be set for their use. I see superheroes as going through this route… registering as professional superheroes.
2. Registering would mean having standards. Training, education, special tests… all to ensure that activities would be regulated and that special provisions can be made for the use of special skills.
3. It’s a failsafe in case a superhuman goes rogue. Real names are registered

What did Iron Man and the pro-regs do wrong in Civil War?
1. Antagonize Captain America. Really, between Iron Man, Antman and Mr. Fantastic vs. Captain Freaking America… I know where the heavier symbol is.
2. Make it seem like registering would mean revealing your identity… and actually forcing Peter Parker to reveal his identity. Bad move in terms of getting other heroes to join.
3. Forcing heroes to register. Which inevitably turned it into an Us vs. Them thing.

How would I approach it better?
1. Convince Captain America to support the move from the start. Address his concerns. No forcing of registrants? Check. No drafting of heroes into S.H.I.E.L.D .? Check. Get him as a spokesman. Pronto!

2. I liked She-Hulk’s Dan Slott’s attempt to explain this by having She-Hulk say that no one is forced to reveal their identity to anyone except S.H.I.E.L.D. It sounds logical. No one but your fellow heroes would have to know your identity. Also, there should be measures to address fear that the database of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be hacked. I don’t know… keep all the information in Aaron “Machine Man” Stack or something? Just assure the registering heroes that their identities would be kept safe.

On a tangent… Not that secret identities mean much in Marvel anyway. The only hero I think that had a pretty intact and decent secret identity was Spider-man and look what happened. :P

3. Highlight the benefits of registration rather than forcing people to register. Registering would mean special status in society? Okay! Special training? Okay! Clearance from police agencies and access to the S.H.I.E.L.D. resources and labs? Okay! Get them special tax privileges in exchange for registering and following the rules? Right on!

That’s how I see it anyway. Sadly, I think the Marvel U’s level of distrust would prevent formulating any kind of “win-win” situation.

What do you think, sirs?

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She Got That Good Hair: Top 5 3 Black Women!

January 12th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

(edit: T’Shan was not BP’s sister. Shuri is.)

To our readers from When Fangirls Attack!– welcome! Check out the post and don’t be afraid to leave a comment, okay? Onward.

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you,
Without a strong rhyme to step to.
Think of how many weak shows you slept through,
Time’s up! I’m sorry I kept you!

–Rakim

Man, this article is crazy late, isn’t it? Just, uh, six months or so.

It’s late for a number of reasons. I’ve been trying to ramp up my writing career, which means more time writing about games, less about comics. Did it work? Well, I’m no longer living paycheck to paycheck, but talk to me in another six months.

The number one reason why it’s late, other than business and laziness, is that it is hard as crap to find good black female characters in recent comics. I mean, Monica Rambeau had a bit part in Black Panther and I’m not much for Nextwave’s portrayal of her, so she doesn’t really count. There was the great-granddaughter (grandniece?) of Jim Harper in Robinson’s Batman: Face-the-Face, but, uh, she had maybe nine panels of dialogue total, and that’s probably being generous. I’m not as familiar as I should be with Milestone’s work (beyond Static), so I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting any of those characters on this list. Bishop’s daughter in X-Men: The End has three strikes against her. 1) She’s Bishop’s daughter. 2) She’s in X-Men: The End. and 3) She’s Bishop’s daughter and is in X-Men: The End. Onyx is kind of cool, but I know exactly nothing about her and she got punked by Jason Todd so she’s out. Pantha, according to Wikipedia, is black, but, again, I know nothing about her. Thunder, from Outsiders? No thanks, hoss.

So… this is going to be a little different. It’s a top three because, frankly, there aren’t enough good black female characters out there. I’d include Glory Grant, ’cause she’s pretty awesome, but when’s the last time you saw her in a comic that wasn’t Civil War Frontline #10? (Nice guest spot, even if it was only a panel.) A better question– how many of you even remember who Glory Grant is? Monica Lynne is in the same situation. Charlotte Jones? Same deal.

I entertained the possibility of putting Monet St Croix on her, at least partially because I really enjoy her character. But, that’d make this a top 4 and these lists are traditionally either top three, top five, or top multiple of five. Four is right out.

So, a top three. But, I’m telling you, I better see some awesome black females over the next year or I’m going to do something reprehensible! I mean, black females in comics are like black head coaches in the NCAA!

zing!
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