This Week in Panels: Week 70

January 23rd, 2011 Posted by Gavok

In what should have been a slight week has been saved thanks to David, Was Taters and new contributors Neil Curry and VersasoVantare. Veraso came to bat with all sorts of panels from 2000AD, so good for him.

I should note that if you ever do read Deadpool MAX, try to imagine Cable as talking like Leslie Nielson. In fact, do that for all versions of Cable. I mean, I liked the guy from the cartoon too, but he lacks the comedic touch. Look…

“Who are you and how did you get in here?”

“The Wild Man of Borneo… and I’m a locksmith.”

See? That doesn’t even make sense!

Avengers Academy #8
Christos Gage and Mike McKone

Batman #706
Tony S. Daniel

Read the rest of this entry �

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


The Spirit

June 26th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

The first work of Will Eisner’s that I ever read was Eisner/Miller. I may have purchased Autobiographix first, but I barely remember it at this point.

Eisner/Miller, though, sticks out in my mind because it was a conversation between two respected creators. The press lead-up to the book was probably the first time I’d ever heard Eisner’s name. All I knew going in was that he was a) old, b) highly respected, and c) crazy talented. I hadn’t read The Spirit, A Contract With God, or any of that. Regardless, Eisner/Miller was a fascinating history lesson and very interesting.

I looked up a few trades of The Spirit and didn’t get it. Ebony White was dumb, The Spirit was just kind of a dopey generic dude, and the art was all right. The idea was neat, at least. I filed it under “Things that aren’t for me,” a box which also contains LoSH, heavy metal, dungeons & dragons, and Angelina Jolie. Out of sight, out of mind, and so on.

I scoped out Darwyn Cooke’s Spirit when it dropped. It was okay– the art was good and the noir-y feel was pretty decent, but it didn’t really grab me. I might grab the hardcovers for the art, but you know, that’s when I get around to it.

By this point, everyone’s seen the trailer for The Spirit movie. It’s written and directed by Frank Miller, stars Gabriel Macht, Sam Jackson, Eva Mendes, and a grip of other people. Most of the fan response I’ve seen for it, mainly online, has tended toward the negative.

“He’s just remaking Sin City.” “Oh, is everyone gonna be a whore?” “Psht, he’s ruining Eisner’s vision.” “Frank Miller lost it.” “The trailer is overwrought.”

Honestly, I don’t get it. I know that ASBAR and DKSA are pretty much the definition of “Love it or hate it,” and the “WHORES WHORES WHORES” meme is very prevalent (though boiling down a man’s decades-long career into a webcomic catchphrase is ridiculously reductionist), but I see the trailer and see a movie that I genuinely want to see.

It hits more than a few of my buttons. It’s noir, it’s got Sam “I’ll Play Any Role For Money” Jackson, Miller is involved, and it’s got a striking visual style. Even the posters are different from what I’ve usually seen for movies.

So, you know, I was trying to figure out why basically everyone I know hates the very idea of this movie. I think it comes down to two things. One is that my default stance with Miller is “I’ll check it out.” I generally like his work, and he’s produced some of my favorite comics. I think he’s got an interesting, and off-kilter, perspective on things, so I’m curious to see where he’s taking the movie.

The other is that I just don’t really care about the Spirit at all. I don’t have the attachment that people who’re more steeped in comics history do. He’s just another hero to me. He isn’t Flash or Spider-man. He’s like… well, he’s still more than Captain Atom. He’s Katana or Wildcat– interesting in theory, but not so interesting that I’m going to seek out books featuring them.

The movie looks like an interesting way to try and get into the character, and it actually takes less commitment to watch a two hour flick than it does to buy a trade and have to live with it being terrible and sitting on your bookshelf. I think it’ll be a fun action flick, all things considered, and a good way to waste away an afternoon.

Plus, the movie’s got Eva Mendes.

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


Frank Miller on Will Eisner

April 29th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Myspace.com Blogs – EXCLUSIVE: FRANK MILLER blogs about WILL EISNER from the set of THE SPIRIT! – MySpace Comic Books MySpace Blog
I maintain that A CONTRACT WITH GOD will prove Will’s most influential moment in comic-book history. Out of nowhere, the master reappeared on the scene, stabbing his sword in the sand, declaring with format, content, and its self-description as a “graphic novel” (a term I don’t like, but more on our disagreements later), that comic books need not be ephemeral things with a shelf life measured in weeks, but, if worthy of it, capable of literary permanence. It changed the way artists, then publishers, viewed comics. Back then, in the dog years of the early seventies, Will charted a map for the future that may have saved comic books from self-induced extinction.

It’s a good read. If you haven’t read it, check out Eisner/Miller. It’s also a wonderful read.

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


Joe Casey I Love You Forever

February 18th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Written by JOE CASEY
Penciled by JIM MUNIZ
Cover by LEINIL YU
DEFENDERS…No More?! It sure looks like it, as Iron Man shuts down New Jersey’s Initiative team…and Nighthawk’s dreams of redemption. But when the diabolical U-MAN threatens humanity, Nighthawk finds the best Defenders money can buy: Paladin, Junta and Atlas! Meanwhile, what role does DAIMON HELLSTROM play? And who has he sought out to advise him in his journey? A strange connection to the Defenders’ past appears as the must-have super hero team book of ’08 continues!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

You’re bringing back Junta? Oh yes!

Also, Jason Aaron, you get some love, too:

Written by JASON AARON
“Hell-Bent and Heaven Bound,” the first arc by the exciting new team of Jason Aaron and Roland Boschi, comes to its explosive conclusion. Ghost Rider has faced off against machine-gun-toting nuns, flesh-rending spirits and hungry cannibals, but has that brought him any closer to an answer in his quest for vengeance? Big things are brewing for Ol’ Flamehead in ’08, and the madness starts here, with what must surely be the most shocking last page in Ghost Rider history. Hint: He’s back!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99

“He’s back!” can’t refer to anyone but Dan Ketch, right?

Oh yes!

marvel solicit previews

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



January 25th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Mark Millar is talking up his upcoming run on Wolverine over at Newsarama.

NRAMA: Okay, so sketch out Wolverine when we first see him in #66 – who is he? You say he’s broken…how? Body? Spirit? Is he still a scrapper?

MM: He’s not a scrapper anymore. He’s a guy who will see a fight, look sad and walk away. If someone spits in his face, he’ll wipe it away and walk off, even if his kids are walking. But we know what he’s capable. His teenage son thinks he’s a failure, but his wife knows what he can do when the right buttons are pushed and is proud of the fact that he’s turned his back on everything. She also knows exactly what happened to him on the night the heroes fell to the villains. So she’s entirely sympathetic.

NRAMA: Who else will we be seeing in this story?

MM: Only a few Marvel Heroes are still alive and the story mainly focuses on their descendants. There’s a new Kingpin for example and Spiderman’s granddaughter, Spider-bitch, is a favorite but the characters I’m most excited about are the radiation sick sons and grandsons of the Hulk – and inbred, ugly, incestuous team of supervillains with a nod to The Hills Have Eyes.

NRAMA: Eu. Speaking of the Hulk’s kids and descendants…what role do they serve in this new world? Besides the creepy factor…

MM: They’re the ganglords for California. Banner is a bald old man living in the remains of the Playboy mansion and he’s there with his sons and daughters and inbred gandchildren. Beau and Luke Hulk are the two terrifying enforcers giving Logan a huge amount of shit in the first issue. Steve has just knocked these villains out of the park.

Find the good or original idea in those answers.

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


Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings: Cr to De

July 6th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

I took a long break from these babies to do the Wrestlecrap articles, but now I’m back with quite a collection of characters. Some are a bit topical, too.


Captain America #360 (1989)

The story of the issue is part of an arc called the Bloodstone Hunt. It involves Captain America and Diamondback taking on Baron Zemo, Batroc, Zaron and Machete over some gem. That part isn’t really important.

Though I will say that Diamondback’s appearance is sort of off-putting here. Her outfit is pink spandex with a series of black diamonds over her front and back. Considering she’s in the water for most of the comic, she hangs around some people in bathing suits, and the way the pink is colored here, it looks like she’s wearing a black thong that doesn’t cover her chest. That’s all well and good, but her costume is torn in places, so now it looks like she has some nasty-ass skin disease.

Anyhow, she and Cap get away with the prize. As they leave, we see that they’re being watched.

Crossbones is so cool.

Read the rest of this entry �

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


My Point’s The Fount of Orphan’s Tears…

April 8th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

I went through a phase in middle school or so where I burned through the local library’s fiction section. My comics reading was down to whatever I could borrow or trade from a friend, so there was always a limit on the new comics I had. Wikipedia (going by publication dates) puts this at around 1994-1995 at the earliest, but it was more likely 1996. You can carry more books if you go for them in mass-market paperback.

I think my library had a five book limit. My mom got me a library card and we’d go up every weekend or so and I’d get five books for myself and then try to use her limit up, too. I’d read the books over the course of that week and then want to go back to the library the next weekend. It got to the point where I was finally left to bicycle to the library, probably a good three miles or so, with a backpack on my back.

I read most of Stephen King’s books, skipping only the Dark Tower stuff really. I eased through Tom Clancy, Orson Scott Card, Douglas Adams, and Piers Anthony. Clancy peaked partway through the Jack Ryan series, Ender’s Game has two divergent sequel paths and the path with the talking portuguese tree pigs or whatever is awful, Douglas Adams is okay, and Piers Anthony is good at terrible puns. I also made it through most of those Star Wars and Forgotten Realms novels, not to mention the different Sherlock Holmes books and horror titles. Oh, and David Eddings. My taste, as ever, leans more toward the pulps than the canon.

(Just as a note, I can barely stand fantasy, high or non, nowadays. I hate elves and fairies and dwarves and stupid talking magic things and dragons and pointy ears and argh. I still haven’t watched Return of the King.)

I found one series at the library, though, that I’d been wanting to read for ages. One of my uncle’s had a box of old novels that met an unfortunate end one wet summer. There was a novel or two in there by a guy named Fred Saberhagen. One of them dealt with super-science death machines called Berserkers. They were out to eradicate all life. The other novel dealt with gods going to war and the people who followed them. Saberhagen was working the sci-fi in one hand and the fantasy in another, and I was hooked completely. Moreso on the fantasy than the scifi, but the scifi was also dope.

Little did I know that the book about the gods was part of a trilogy, which was in turn part of a larger series of books, twelve in all, or maybe seventeen, but only twelve of them interested me. This was The Book of Swords. Luckily, the Hampton, VA public library had the whole shebang.

I probably tore through the series in a month, probably less. The whole thing was just wall to wall awesome. It told the tale of twelve magic swords and the effect they have on certain people as they move in and out of their lives. Sure, it had the usual lost destiny, magic, blah, blah, blah of fantasy novels, but these magic swords were the bomb. The swords were explained and named in “The Song of Swords,” reprinted here for your pleasure:

Who holds Coinspinner knows good odds
Whichever move he make
But the Sword of Chance, to please the gods
Slips from him like a snake.

The Sword of Justice balances the pans
Of right and wrong, and foul and fair.
Eye for an eye, Doomgiver scans
The fate of all folk everywhere.

Dragonslicer, Dragonslicer, how d’you slay?
Reaching for the heart in behind the scales.
Dragonslicer, Dragonslicer, where do you stay?
In the belly of the giant that my blade impales.

Farslayer howls across the world
For thy heart, for thy heart, who hast wronged me!
Vengeance is his who casts the blade
Yet he will in the end no triumph see.

Whose flesh the Sword of Mercy hurts has drawn no breath;
Whose soul it heals has wandered in the night,
Has paid the summing of all debts in death
Has turned to see returning light.

The Mindsword spun in the dawn’s gray light
And men and demons knelt down before.
The Mindsword flashed in the midday bright
Gods joined the dance, and the march to war.
It spun in the twilight dim as well
And gods and men marched off to hell.

I shatter Swords and splinter spears;
None stands to Shieldbreaker.
My point’s the fount of orphans’ tears
My edge the widowmaker.

The Sword of Stealth is given to
One lonely and despised.
Sightblinder’s gifts: his eyes are keen
His nature is disguised.

The Tyrant’s Blade no blood hath spilled
But doth the spirit carve
Soulcutter hath no body killed
But many left to starve.

The Sword of Siege struck a hammer’s blow
With a crash, and a smash, and a tumbled wall.
Stonecutter laid a castle low
With a groan, and a roar, and a tower’s fall.

Long roads the Sword of Fury makes
Hard walls it builds around the soft
The fighter who Townsaver takes
Can bid farewell to home and croft.

Who holds Wayfinder finds good roads
Its master’s step is brisk.
The Sword of Wisdom lightens loads
But adds unto their risk.

I can’t help but think of Dragonslicer’s verse as being an off-kilter version of “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” The Song was what really sold me on the series, I think. It’s one of those that gives you just enough information and clues as to what could happen, but leaves it open for wonderings. Sightblinder alone I could see getting some dude into some Tactical Espionage Action, and Stonecutter in the hands of a Joan of Arc-alike would be awesome!

By the way, the Sword of Mercy, Woundhealer? You heal people by stabbing them with the sword.

This series also featured what was probably the first real swerve I ever really read in a book. Click below to see what I mean, but ending spoilers await.
The books take place roughly 50,000 years after the current day. A nuclear holocaust nearly annihilated the planet, but reality was rewritten by two supercomputers. These computers created the gods and demons that haunt the populace. The demons, in fact, are anthropomorphized radioactive clouds that sicken and poison anyone who gets near them.

Cold war paranoia with a fantasy twist!

Anyway, all of this added up to what is probably my favorite fantasy series. I’d love to go back and buy the novels, though much of the series is out of print, but what I’d really like is for it to get the Stephen King/Dark Tower treatment– a comic adaptation. The story had a lot of tricks and scenes in it that would work wonderfully in a comic. Just use the Book of Swords trilogy as a backdrop and get right into the Book of Lost Swords stories. There’s plenty of fodder for new stories there, too.

When’s the last time we got a good sword & sorcery book that wasn’t Conan-related, anyway?

I think that this could be an awesome thing and I’d love to see it happen. Not very likely at all, to be quite honest, but hey– them’s the breaks.

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


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.

Read the rest of this entry �

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


No Solicitors

March 22nd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Have you guys read the new Marvel and DC solicits? I love comics, but those things are a bore and a half. It’s like they don’t even want you to read their books.

It’s cool, though. Here are the ones that are new and good and interesting. Jumping-on points only here, with one exception, perhaps. My pithy and vitally important commentary is in italics.

DC Comics is first since Marvel is better!

Written by Grant Morrison
Art and cover by J.H. Williams III
The Batmen of All Nations reunite for a weekend of fine food and nostalgia, but an unexpected visitor has other plans for the gathering. Batman, Robin, and the rest of the Club of Heroes find themselves trapped and at the mercy of a dangerous madman on the Island of Mister Mayhew!
This is why I read Grant Morrison. Mad ideas that sound completely goofy. He’s Silver Age with a Modern Age sensibility. Plus, I hope the sweet Knight and Squire from JLA Classified 1-3 shows up.

ROBIN #163
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Cover by Patrick Gleason & Wayne Faucher
It’s Tim Drake’s first Father’s Day as Bruce Wayne’s adopted son, and he wants everything to be just right. Unfortunately, the justice-crazed supervillains known as The Jury pick that very day to go on a murder spree in Gotham City!
This is a great idea for a story. The “family” part of Bat-family doesn’t get looked at often enough. “The Jury,” though, conjures up images of a certain ’90s anti-Venom team.

Written by Paul Dini and Judd Winick
Art by Bruce Timm, Joe Chiodo and others
Cover by Timm
Paul Dini and Bruce Timm -two of the masterminds behind Batman: The Animated Series – join forces in this volume collecting the miniseries BATMAN: HARLEY AND IVY! Also included is the special: HARLEY AND IVY: LOVE ON THE LAM by Judd Winick and Joe Chiodo, plus a newly-colored story rom BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE VOL. 2!
It’s Harley Quinn, so shut up and buy it.
Read the rest of this entry �

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


Real Talk: Supreme Power’s Nighthawk

February 17th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Let me tell you a story.

This had to have been back when I was in the fifth grade, in Mrs Washington’s class. There’s this program called DARE, Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Basically, they explain to you that you should narc on your friends if you catch them with drugs and that if you try weed just one time you’ll immediately find yourself toothless, hooked on crack, in prison, insane, and stupid.

From Wikipedia:

The U.S. Department of Education concluded in 2003 that the DARE program is ineffective and now prohibits its funds from being used to support it.[5] The U.S. Surgeon General’s office, the National Academy of Sciences,[5] and the Government Accounting Office also concluded that the program is sometimes counterproductive in some populations, with those who graduate from DARE later having higher rates of drug use. Studies by Dr. Dennis Rosenbaum [6], and by the California Legislative Analyst’s office [7] found that DARE graduates were more likely than others to drink alcohol, smoke tobacco and use illegal drugs.

Sorry, the mean-spiritedness is just deafening sometimes. I’ll do better, I promise.

Anyway, our DARE officer was a cop we called Officer Wood. At some point during the class, I ended up asking him a question about the Black Panthers. I wasn’t quite as “conscious” back then as I am now, but I knew a little bit about a little something. I even used to have one of those leather Africa medallions. I know that some of you folks know what I’m talking about. I was curious as to what Wood would say.

“The Black Panthers were worse than the Klan,” he told me.

That’s stuck with me in the years since then. He’s practically taken on bogeyman status in my head. I realized that if you don’t know what you’re talking about, you should keep your mouth shut. Arguing from a position of ignorance makes you an idiot, and no one likes idiots. If you want to speak, you’d better know first.

Other than that, though, I realized how perception informs things. I doubt that Officer Wood knew what he was saying. The Panthers, like Malcolm X, have been villainized in the years since they were active. They weren’t about killing white people, or even hating them. They were “The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense” and were an anti-police brutality group. They weren’t angels, granted, but they weren’t the frigging Klan, either. To Officer Wood, though, they were.

This brings me to Nighthawk, from J Michael Stracyzinski’s Supreme Power. Supreme Power sometimes feels like kind of a retread of JMS’s other series, Rising Stars, at times, but it remains one of his better works.

Nighthawk, though. Hm. Problematic.
Read the rest of this entry �

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