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This Week in Panels: Week 255

August 11th, 2014 Posted by Space Jawa

255 Header

 

It’s time for another edition of This Week in Panels (Belated Version)! This week I’m joined by Gaijin Dan, Matlock, TheAnarChris, and Gavok.

Gavok and Matlock decided to have a fun time with Black Widow and Punisher this week. As best I can figure, the two comics are telling the same story, and so the panels from those two comics show the same thing but from different angles drawn by different artists. It’s fascinatingly fun.

I also picked up Superior Spider-Man for the first time ever this week, though I saw it less as purchasing an issue of Superior Spider-Man and more as purchasing a prologue to the upcoming Edge of Spider-Verse because that’s what it was pretty much billed as. They weren’t kidding, either. I don’t know how critical the issue will be when the ball gets rolling for real, but it definitely feels like this is where the event kicks off.

But enough of my yammering, let’s see some panels!

Action Comics Annual 3 [Matlock]

Action Comics Annual #3

(Greg Pak, Ken Lashley, Aaron Kude, Jack Herbert, Cliff Richards, Julius Gopez, Will Conrad, and Pascal Alixe)

angry birds 5 [Gavok]

Angry Birds Comics #5

(Paul Tobin, Corrado Mastuntuono and Dian Fayolle)

aqua others 5 [Gavok]

Aquaman and the Others #5

(Dan Jurgens and Lan Medina)

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Nu-This Week in Panels – NOW!: #1!!!

July 14th, 2014 Posted by Space Jawa

(After some unintended delay…) THIS! Is Week in Panels!

Greetings, and welcome to a brand new edition of This Week in Panels, where brevity is the soul of comic reviews. And NOW(!), it’s time to kick things off with this brand NU reboot-that’s-totally-not-a-reboot edition.

As always, for those who are Nu-ly joining us, This Week in Panels works as following: The contributors take all the comics they’ve read for the week, and then pick out the one panel from each of those issues that best summarizes that comic. The two major rules being 1) No Splash Pages, and 2) Don’t pick a panel from the first or last page of the issue.

Other than that, it’s pretty much fair game!

Contributing this week as I take over from Gavok are “Marvelous” Matlock, “Dandy’” Gaijin Dan, “Grinnin’” Gavok himself, and myself, your new host, “Smilin’” Space Jawa.

And NOW!, let’s get to some panels!

Provided I can avoid making any (more) first-time mistakes…

aninvaders7

All-New Invaders #7

James Robinson & Mark Laming

Amazing Spider-Man #1-3

The Amazing Spider-Man #1.3

Dan Slott & Ramon Perez

angrybirds3

Angry Birds Comics #3

Jeff Parker & Paco Rodriquez

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This Week in Panels: Week 241

May 5th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

Welcome to die! This week I have my usual crew of Matlock, Gaijin Dan and Space Jawa. Matlock decided to panelize the hell out of Amazing Spider-Man #1, representing all the various stories within.

This week brought the disappointing ends of two minis in What If? Age of Ultron and Origin II. What If features the most pyrrhic victory that proceeds to negate the more enjoyable issues of the mini (ie. the second, third and fourth issues). Then Origin II is a straight-faced version of that scene from Beerfest. Great art and the first issue with the bear is still totally sweet, but the only interesting thing to come out of it is the reveal that Sabretooth has a sister out there.

The Hickman Avengers stuff was awesome, at least.

In other news, I wrote about the history of Street Fighter comics. Very proud of that one, as it gave me yet another excuse to talk about that hilariously bad Malibu series where Ken got scalped.

All You Need Is Kill #13
Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Yoshitoshi ABe and Takeshi Obata

Amazing Spider-Man #1
Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos

Amazing Spider-Man #1
Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Javier Rodriguez

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This Week in Panels: Week 213

October 20th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Why, hello! Big week of panels, including Two-Face’s lame-ass New 52 origin. Because who cares about Two-Face when Tomasi needs to push his forgettable female gangster character?

I’ve shown up in a couple little features at Den of Geek US over the past couple of days based on my Comic Con experiences. Here’s me as Wreck-It Ralph photobombing people and here’s me as Wreck-It Ralph just hanging out with other cosplayers with commentary by me as Ralph.

Help comes from Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Brobe and Space Jawa. Let’s get to it.

Animal Man #24 (Gavin’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque

Animal Man #24 (Matlock’s pick)
Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque

Avengers #21 (Matlock’s pick)
Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu

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The Higher They Fly, the Harder They Fall

March 20th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Yesterday, my badminton partner Chris Sims wrote a piece on the weekly comic tie-in Injustice: Gods Among Us, based on the upcoming game by Netherrealm Studios. For the most part, he and I disagree on it. I think it’s a fun series while he considers it one of the frontrunners for worst comic of 2013. The one thing we do agree on is the dire first three issues, though he certainly minds it a lot more.

The series tells the story of how Superman comes to take over the world in the name of the greater good, ultimately leading to a DC version of Civil War. Through the first three issues, we see the Joker devise a situation where after he shoots Jimmy Olsen in the head, he kidnaps Lois Lane and tricks Superman into killing her. He does this by dosing Superman with Scarecrow fear gas laced with kryptonite so that Superman thinks Lois is Doomsday and shoves her into orbit. And it turns out Lois is pregnant too. Then Joker blows up Metropolis. When in custody, Joker’s questioned by Batman and they argue over Superman’s integrity until the Man of Steel busts in and angrily puts his fist through Joker’s chest.

The whole “fridging of Lois” thing is what made me aware that the comic even existed, but I didn’t care to read it until seeing some panels from the fourth issue, where Green Arrow keeps Harley Quinn in custody himself so that Superman doesn’t execute her as well. Even Sims admits that that’s a well-written bit and has some positive things to say about the issues that follow. And yes, while I claim the series is worth checking out, I mainly mean AFTER the Joker plot.

That said, the discussion on the matter made me realize a state of comics that nobody really touches on. As unfun as Superman being tricked into killing his wife and unborn child is, I’m not all that offended by it because “fridging” or not, it’s a step that the writer kind of had to make based on years upon years of righteousness. It’s a fucked up thing, but it’s the double-edged sword that comes from the purity of comic book heroes. It definitely could have been pulled off better in this story, but it’s a necessary trope.

It makes me think about something Grant Morrison’s talked about during his Batman run. Over the decades, the way the Joker has been written has evolved into something nasty, both in the character’s context and in the writing context. He went from being a goofball obsessed with “boner crimes” to a man who’s killed more people than polio. He went from flying around in a clown-faced helicopter to cutting his face off and having it reattached like a Halloween mask. The explanation is that by figuring out the Joker and his crimes, Batman puts a cage over him. Joker has to think bigger and more twisted to escape the cage and Batman puts a bigger cage around that. It escalates and the next thing you know, Joker’s chopping his face up.

Every now and then, a writer will play with a superhero’s refusal to kill and see where that goes. Sometimes it leads to a hero deciding at the last second, “No, I can’t do that.” Sometimes they’ll be totally ready to do it until getting interrupted and realize later that it’s probably for the better. Then there are times when they really go through with it. Whether it’s a good story or a bad story, I don’t envy the writer who has to set up that plot development because you’re forced to go over the line.

When I think of superheroes who strictly don’t kill, the four who pop into my head are Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Daredevil. Each and every one of them has had at least one story that shows just what it would take to make them kill. Most of the time it’s a non-canon story that can get away with it easily (ie. Injustice) while other times it’s a canon story meant to be part of the bigger picture of the serial storytelling.

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This Week in Panels: Week 151

August 13th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Good stuff this week. I’m helped out by Gaijin Dan, Jody, Was Taters and Space Jawa.

In completely unrelated news, this Thursday is Rifftrax Live, where the MST3K guys will do a live performance that will be broadcast to movie theaters around the country. The movie in question? Manos: Hands of Fate, with a completely new set of riffs.

You should totally check it out. For the Master.

Meanwhile, panels.

Archer and Armstrong #1
Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry

Barrage #10
Kouhei Horikoshi

Batman #12 (Jody’s pick)
Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Becky Cloonan and Andy Clarke

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7 Elements: Carnage USA

April 15th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

The whole 4 Elements article concept is David’s baby. The four ties into the four in 4thletter and 4thletter comes from David’s name because he’s an egomaniac, an Eggo maniac and possibly a Lego maniac. You can also say that the four comes from there literally being four elements, but I’m pretty sure there are like a hundred of those things, so that’s definitely wrong.

This is David’s site and all, but Carnage USA is my comic. It’s a comic specifically made for ME. Me. Gavin Jasper. And since I’m Gavin, which starts with the seventh letter of the alphabet, that means I need to talk about the 7 Elements.

Carnage USA is the sequel to last year’s Carnage, both by Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain. Carnage was the story that returned Carnage from his grizzly death of being torn in half in space by the Sentry back in 2005. It acts as a loose sequel to the character’s most mainstream adventure Maximum Carnage while introducing yet another symbiote anti-hero in Scorn. By the end of the story, not only is Cletus Kasady alive and reunited with his blood-red costume, but he’s also on the loose and nobody knows where he’ll end up next. All we know is that he has something bad on the horizon.

The plot of Carnage USA has Cletus venture to Doverton, Colorado, where he goes to a slaughterhouse and kills the entire stock of cows. The symbiote grows off the meat and expands to the point that he’s able to infect and assimilate the entire town through plumbing. A handful of the Avengers (Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Hawkeye and Thing) are sent to go deal with it and find a town of frightened human puppets before Carnage takes them too. Spider-Man gets away and the government goes to plan B… while trying real hard not to move to the dire plan C, which is to blow the county to kingdom come.

This miniseries helps support the idea that in comics, there are no bad characters, but bad writers. For such a mainstream villain who got his own popular videogame back in the day, Carnage’s death was met with little backlash. For years he’s been seen as nothing more than 50% shallow Venom mixed with 50% shallow Joker. Nobody’s ever really tried to write something decent with him and whenever he got the spotlight with his own one-shot, it was usually a bunch of gory dreck that didn’t do anything for me.

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This Week in Panels: Week 122

January 23rd, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Hey people. ThWiP time again. This time I’ve got Was Taters, Jody and Space Jawa. Jawa is basically using this installment as self-promotion since I’m using a panel from his own comic project Robot Viking Ninja Pirates. Something he sent me a copy of a while back and I totally forgot to read it because I’m a total dickhead. Sorry, man.

Avenging Spider-Man #3 (Jody’s pick)
Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira

Avenging Spider-Man #3 (Gavin’s pick)
Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira

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Villains Reborn Part 1: Masters of Deception

December 29th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

In the prologue, I discussed the initial appearances of the Thunderbolts and the big hook of the series: a bunch of villains are pretending to be heroes in an attempt to exploit the world’s trust for personal gain. Months ago, I tried to get a friend of mine to read the series, but he’s a DC guy and was reluctant because he didn’t know any of the characters. Hell, I didn’t know any of the characters either! I mean, sure, I had heard of the Beetle before, but I only knew these characters as “those guys who became Thunderbolts.” Regardless, I figure now would be a good time to briefly go over our starting six main characters.

BARON ZEMO/CITIZEN V
Helmut Zemo

Helmut is the son of Heinrich, the Nazi supervillain who got the credit for Bucky Barnes’ death back in World War II. The news of Captain America returning, as well as the death of his father caused Helmut to seek revenge. At first he went with his own gimmick, calling himself the Phoenix. Cap handed him his ass and knocked him in a vat of Adhesive X, which scarred up his face something fierce. He’s since returned again and again as Baron Zemo, always aligning himself with fellow villains in hope of sticking it to Captain America. His claim to fame is the time he led the Masters of Evil into overtaking Avengers Mansion, where he had Jarvis tortured and messed with Cap by destroying his old pre-freeze belongings.

Zemo has no powers, but is an expert swordman and something of a scientific and tactical genius.

Baron Zemo is driven by his thirst for world domination and the belief that he is superior due to being a Zemo. Different writers seem to have different takes on how much he takes after his father. Can he be described as a Nazi or just the son of a Nazi? Does he feel that he’s superior because he’s Aryan or strictly because of his bloodline? Even a recent issue of Thunderbolts delves into this with Jeff Parker suggesting the latter. Personally, I like to just think of him as being a straight-up Nazi who likes to use people who he feels are inferior. It adds more emphasis to a lot of his later moments, from the subtle (the end of Thunderbolts #100) to the not-so-subtle (the last issue of Zemo: Born Better). I’ll get to those far down the line.

MOONSTONE/METEORITE
Karla Sofen

Karla was the daughter of a butler who worked for a rich family. While living at the mansion, she became best friends with the family’s daughter, exploiting her for her wealth. After her father’s death, she was removed from the cushy mansion life and her mother worked to the bone to keep them afloat. Karla was disgusted by her mother’s behavior and swore never to slave for the good of someone else. She became a talented psychiatrist and moonlighted with some bad people, ultimately leading her to convince the supervillain Moonstone to hand over the Kree artifact (the Moonstone) that gave him his powers. As the new Moonstone, Karla antagonized the likes of the Hulk and the Avengers.

Oh, and going by Brian Reed’s run of Ms. Marvel, she murdered her mother and convinced some of her patients to kill themselves. A little overboard for her depiction? Possibly, though Busiek has her doing some shady actions that land near that level.

As Moonstone, Karla is able to fly, has super-strength and can phase through walls. When using her Meteorite guise, she uses that last power at a minimum so as not allow anyone to figure out her identity. Her manipulation skills are so top tier that even Loki’s like, “DAMN!”

Moonstone is driven by selfish comfort. She’s the kind of person who would pretend to be lifting her corner of the couch while you end up putting in the brunt of the effort.

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This Week in Panels: Week 116

December 11th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Why, hello there! We’re back to having thicker weeks of comic releases and now’s the part where I do the thing that I do every week around this time. Coming up with stuff to say for this opening paragraph after two years plus is hard.

This week it’s me, David Brothers, Space Jawa and a special appearance by 4thletter alumni Thomas Wilde. Now if only Hoatzin would start tossing some panels at me.

Action Comics #4
Grant Morrison, Rags Morales, Sholly Fisch and Brad Walker

Animal Man #4
Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman

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