This Week in Panels: Week 2

October 4th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Back for another week of panels that give you a vague essence of the comics we have read this week without any real context. Let the non-reviews begin!

Amazing Spider-Man #607
Joe Kelly, Mike McKone and Adriana Melo

The Boys: Herogasm #5
Garth Ennis, John McCrea and Keith Burns

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The New What If Batch

September 13th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

The December solicitations are on the horizon and what better Christmas present for me than a heaping helping of new What Ifs? I had heard a couple brief mentions of this year’s batch, but just today I finally got to reading what they’re all about. Let’s give it a look.

What If? Spider-Man: Back in Black, written by Steven Grant: Rather than Aunt May, Mary Jane is the victim of the Kingpin’s hit. Apparently, this deals more with Spider-Man vs. Kingpin than anything involving Mephisto, which I’m glad to see.

What If? Captain America: Fallen Son, written by Marc Sumerak: During the aftermath of Civil War, Captain America isn’t the one who gets assassinated. This time it’s Iron Man. If anything, I’m interested in this comic for the can of worms that it brings. They’ve pushed the idea that Iron Man’s been putting too much responsibility on himself to the point that once he’s dead, the world is fucked. Now we’ll see where that avenue would lead us. Plus it would be cool to see what kind of impact Cap could have on World War Hulk.

By the way, here’s the cover.

What If? World War Hulk, written by Greg Pak: Hulk wins. Now what? I’m wondering if the tangent point will be the Sentry deciding not to interfere or just Hulk beating the crap out of him with no problem. It also is set to have several pages of a WWH Mini Marvels comic, which is always a plus. Despite that, Pak’s on board so it has to be good.

If they go for the depressing “everyone dies” ending, I’d love it if Sorcerer Supreme Doom just happened to show up out of nowhere at the end.

Speaking of Doom…

What If? Secret Wars, by Karl Bollers: Remember when Doom stole the Beyonder’s powers? This is what happens when he holds onto it and moves upwards by going for the Infinity Gauntlet. The concept and the cover lead me to Boner Town.

What If? Runaways, by CB Cebulski. Iron Lad comes back from the future in hopes of fighting Kang the Conqueror. He never does discover Vision’s Avengers fail-safe program and never goes after Patriot and the others. Instead, he puts together a team based on the children of the Pride. It does fit well, considering Iron Lad himself is a runaway of a different flavor. This won’t be a single issue, but will be told as a backup across the other five issues.

That leads us to one more…

What If? House of M, by Brian Reed and Jim McCann. Replace “No More Mutants” with “No More Powers”. Considering the writers, I have faith in it, but at the same time, I feel a bit cautious due to the DC take. A few years ago there was an Elseworlds called Act of God where a black shroud covered Earth and took away everyone’s powers. Even guys like Superman and Martian Manhunter, who aren’t even human, lost whatever made them special outside of appearance.

While a good idea, the miniseries was worth reading because of how ridiculously dumb a lot of the characters reacted towards losing their powers. Superman and Kyle Rayner became the whiniest bitches known to man, leading to Lois and Jade leaving them. Wonder Woman immediately hit the Superman rebound (Elseworlds rule #6). Booster Gold and Blue Beetle had to fill in for the Justice League to the point that they were constantly exhausted. Steel was mankind’s most powerful hero. Aquaman had a buzzsaw hand and, my favorite part, Martian Manhunter changed his name to The Green Man and started using exploding skulls as weapons.

Not to mention, this panel.

I need to review this one one of these days.

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50 Things That Have Been Green Avenged

August 28th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Couple last hits. Jeff Lester and Graeme McMillan of Savage Critic(s) did their own list, one of them under threat of violence from yours truly.

Besides that, friend of 4l Abby L. hit me with her own list of 50 Things. Check them out.

Fire Company M

“…I am trying to give a name to the force that set them in motion.”
Making comics
Making Comics
Dazzler in the 70’s

Kitty Pryde’s horrible old costumes (rollerskates what)
Days of Future Past
The Wake

Making fun of Liefeld and Land
Save My Earth

Snow falling in Bone
Etta Candy
Brian K. Vaughan

Eyeshield 21
Rose of Versailles
Strangers In Paradise

Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art
A Superman for All Seasons
Crime/Horror comics

The convoluted backstory of The Green Lantern, explained to me aloud
by a friend.
Kate Beaton
Lackadaisy Cats
Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix
Awesome Andy

Big Barda
American Born Chinese
Superman: TAS and Batman: TAS
My LCS – The Source

Checkerboard Nightmare
Spike of Templar, AZ
Gratuitous male ass shots

And now, my first and benchmark comics: (Note that not all of these
are quality comics…)

What If Volume 2 #89 Spider-Man: Arachnomorphosis
X-Man #34: The Wanted
Disney Adventures’ Bone
Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh
The Jar

Cardcaptor Sakura single issues 1-10
Identity Crisis
John Byrne’s She-Hulk
Oh My Goddess single issues

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Wondercon Day One!

February 23rd, 2008 Posted by david brothers

What did I do today?

I went and saw a Becky Cloonan panel. It was pretty cool, and she talked a lot about her influences. She was also asked three different times what books she likes to read. I was first, mind you. Way to go, guys– try being on time. She’s a big Gambit fan, and a friend of mine got a sketch from her of him.

After that, I saw Terry Dodson. He gave a really interesting talk on his career and how he got to where he was. He also told how he ended up having his wife be his inker, which was a little neat. Basically, she was an interior design major, but she has impeccable penmanship and line control. She apprenticed for a little while, and the rest is history.

After that, I saw Darwyn Cooke for the second time. He did a stealth signing at the Isotope on Thursday night, which was really cool. It was really laid back, plus I got my Absolute New Frontier signed. He told a bunch of very cool stories, too.

I met Dwayne McDuffie.

Let me repeat that– I met McDuffie. Pardon my fanboy, kids. I thought I saw him, but I wasn’t sure, but Howard Brown of PCS made it a point to introduce us. Do I even have to say how awesome that was?

I bought a couple of trades (Impulse: Reckless Youth and Sam Noir Volume One) and wandered the floor. Did some networking. Solidified a deal that’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done solo (I’ll talk about that next week!). Hung out with Mindy Owens, writer of the Runaways/Ultimates Saga and Spider-Man Fairy Tales, and her twin sister. Saw a bunch of people I know. Chilled at the Writers Old Fashioned table (AA90!) for a little while. Hung out at the Ben Templesmith and Antony Johnston signing at the Isotope.

Tomorrow? I’m getting interviewed (exciting!), watching a podcast panel moderated by a friend and featuring a few friends, and working the Darwyn Cooke signing.

I’ll be around. Holler if you see me!

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Matt Fraction is Good For You Reason #239

October 11th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Punisher: War Journal #12 came out this week. The whole Hate-Monger storyline went on a little too long, but since then, things have been looking up. The Bucky issue was a nice diversion and now we have this entertaining World War Hulk tie-in.

Here are three pictures of the issue for you. It’s okay, these aren’t much in terms of spoilers, unless you’re anal about it. Each picture is set-up for what you just know is going to be some sweet, sweet payoff.

Stuart is better than Microchip ever was. Stuart is an artist.

That last page and everything that follows makes me believe that Matt Fraction knows who I am and wrote this issue specifically to make me happy. If you enjoy it too, good for you, but that was never the point. It’s all about me. So there.

(Thanks, Mr. Fraction!)

In other news, Runaways is really losing me. Straying from the core plot mixed with delays makes me forget what the hell is going on.

Stay tuned tomorrow. I’m going to have a nice, full article up. I made it. For you. For Christmas.

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Photos @ Isotope

July 25th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Shots are up from Mike Carey’s signing party at the Isotope. Check the Isotope blog here, or click here to check out the photos directly. Yours truly may be in a picture or three.

It was a great bash! Kirsten was working the bar, as usual, and James, Josh, and Ash were playing enforcer/host. Mike Carey was pretty cool, and stayed until after midnight. Mindy Owens, writer of the Runaways Saga and an upcoming issue Spider-Man Fairy Tales (how lucky do you have to be to have your first two comics drawn by Humberto Ramos and Mike Allred…) was there, Matt Silady popped in, and a gang of other people. Apparently Mike Choi was there, which kind of blows my mind. Met some cool new people. SF is full of great cats, Saturday night kind of proved that. I think I dipped at around 1, 130 or so.

Can’t wait for the next signing. Go see how much fun we had.

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Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings: Ce to Cr

March 13th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I’m going to level with you. This is not going to be an impressive group of characters. Remember how the last article had Captain America and Captain Marvel and shit? The most famous character here is known for having a cameo in X-Men 2 and a damn near non-existant role in the third movie. But we are going to delve into some really weird stories. Oh, yes.

God, I hate you, Wonder Woman.


Eternals #2 (1976)

The Celestials are mentioned a few times in the first issue of Eternals, but we don’t get to actually see one until the next issue. Now, bear with me on this because I don’t know the slightest thing about the Eternals and I’ve never really paid attention to the Celestials. The story here has to do with Ikaris and his archeologist friends fighting some Deviants until Ajak comes in on a spaceship and saves the day. All of the sudden, this guy shows up.

Sorry. Too much trippy exposition for me to follow.


Showcase #6 (1957)

I would barely even know who these guys were if it wasn’t for New Frontier and that one Amalgam story where the Challengers of the Fantastic fought the mighty GALACTIAC. Looking at it from the beginning, these guys have one cool origin story.

Rocky Davis, Professor Haley, Red Ryan and Ace Morgan are four different guys announced to be guests on a radio show dedicated to heroes. As they ride the same plane, they run into turbulence and crash.

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Indie Cred

March 1st, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I did a lot of purchasing at the NYCC. Oh man, did I. Curious? Here’s the list of what I came home with that was new, not counting magazines (Wizard with Claire and Nikki from Heroes on the cover, UVC Magazine) and sketches.

40 oz Collection – Jim Mahfood
Ares: God of War – Mike Oeming/Travel Foreman
Batgirl: Destruction’s Daughter
The Blvd Sketchbook volume 2.0 – John Paul Leon/Trevor Goring/Tommy Lee Edwards/Sean Chen/Bernard Chang
Diesel Sweeties: Pocket Sweeties Volume One – R Stevens
Diesel Sweeties: How I Blew My Thursday Night – R Stevens
DMZ v2: Body of a Journalist – Brian Wood/Riccardo Burchielli
Firestorm: The Nuclear Man: Reborn – Stuart Moore/Jamal Igle
The Five Fists of Science – Matt Fraction/Steven Sanders
Freddie E Williams II Sketchbook
Ghost Rider – Howard Mackie/Javier Saltares/Mark Texeira
Goats – Contains One Space Battle – Jonathan Rosenberg
Goats – A Tale of Two Comics – Jonathan Rosenberg
Grant Morrison: The Early Years – Timothy Callahan
JLA/Avengers – Kurt Busiek/George Perez
Justice League: A New Beginning – Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire
Kabuki Metamorphosis HC – David Mack
Khary Randolph Sketchbook
Modern Masters v3: Bruce Timm
Modern Masters v6: Arthur Adams
Modern Masters v8: Walter Simonson
Modern Masters v9: Mike Wieringo
Modern Masters v10: Kevin Maguire
Naoki Urasawa’s Monster v7
Nat Turner Encore Edition – Kyle Baker
One Page Filler Man – Jim Mahfood
Project Romantic – Various
Puttin’ the Backbone Back – Jim Mahfood
Runaways HC v2 – Brian K Vaughan/Adrian Alphona/Takeshi Miyazawa
Wigu: The Bravest Boy in the World – Jeffrey Rowland

Ouch, my wallet. Cons are bloody expensive.

I’ve already read Blokhedz, and a review on that is forthcoming. That Ghost Rider trade is the first seven or eight issues of the series that introduced Danny Ketch, and I bought it because I either have bad taste in comics or am a complete and utter masochist. Or maybe it’s good, I dunno. Kabuki: Metamorphosis rounds out my Kabuki collection, which is a good thing.

The Grant Morrison volume is a lit-crit look at Zenith, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, and Arkham Asylum. Yes! It also includes an interview with The God of All Comics in the back about the book and his work.

I got a little more superheroic stuff than I really wanted to. I’m not only a superhero reader. At least two fifths, and sometimes even three fifths, of my top five are non-supers. (100 Bullets, Kabuki, Stray Bullets.) (I also like bullets, I guess). Still, seven out of thirty-one ain’t bad, though the Modern Masters volumes technically aren’t comics. I also haven’t read a lot of this stuff, or haven’t read it in years at the very least. It’s probably 85-90% new content to me.

Here’s the kicker: I’m planning on reviewing all these books. Yeah, that’s right. It may be a grouped review, it may be a single review, but I want to put my thoughts out there about all of them, excepting only the Modern Masters because those are awesome by default, and the sketchbooks, because they aren’t exactly reviewable, save for the one by The Blvd.

I’ve also got the PC demo of the Marvel Trading Card game to look at, as well as a free copy of the Marvel Comic Book Creator software. Should be an interesting few weeks!

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Pre-Crisis 4l: Great Leap Forward

December 22nd, 2006 Posted by david brothers

I started 4thletter.net way way back on March 24, 2005. It was run off a blogger template back then, and I managed to make it to September 2005 before we realized that we had no time for it and shut it down. I reopened it that November and we’ve been going strong ever since.

Man, I really, really like some of those old posts. A lot of them need editing and my opinions have changed on some things, but it’s an interesting look at what I was into nearly two years ago. Shoot, I think I was even a Millar fan back then!

If I can salvage the images, I’ll post up the first four of my Top 15 Greatest Comic Stories. I did four and then found myself lacking for time. I also realized that a Top 15 is an awful idea because, holy crap, my tastes keep changing! I also have the first part of “101 of My Favorite Things,” an alteration of a comics meme that hit the net around 07/2005. That’ll probably kill my bandwidth dead, though, so I think I should retool it into another form that isn’t 100 images.

Also, Gavok made some Galactiac jokes or something. Those were the days, right?

Anyway, what follows is the first post from the old blog. It’s dated and pretty much obsolete, as far as these things go. “No more mutants” and “Gambit is a Horseman” pretty much killed it dead, not to mention the death of Sean “Me boyo” Cassidy.

Whatever, though. Here it is, in all its untouched glory. Don’t kill me.

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What’s So Civil About War, Anyway

September 27th, 2006 Posted by Wanderer

Civil War is really fucking stupid.

I think I could fix it.

Let’s see if you agree.

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