Brave New World; Bold New Direction: Week 4

September 27th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

We’ve reached our fourth week and if you’ve been following the comic blogosphere (whoa, Microsoft Word accepts that as an actual word!), it’s one filled with two instances of controversy that are bundled together. Don’t let it distract you too much, as we still get a really solid week overall. Am I going to be keeping every book? Hell no. But in the end, it’s a strong set.

Now let’s get to the gratuitous boob—I mean, let’s get to the reviews.

We get a sandwich of fantastic and the first slice of bread is Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. A far stronger showing than the Detective Comics issue we got a couple weeks ago. Both comics used the same idea of trying to lure in new readers by showing what they know as an intro – in Detective‘s case, Batman vs. Joker mystery and in Batman‘s case, a fight against a bunch of known and lesser known villains – but this one simply gets it out of the way so it can move on to the real story. It’s a great scene that doesn’t so much show Batman as being able to beat a bunch of villains on his own, but able to beat a bunch of villains with a sneaky plan and teamwork. In fact, I just realized that with the reveal from a couple pages later that the opening scene of Batman #1 is a modern-day retelling of the Adam West show’s animated opening.

The opening scene is pretty awesome and does something that, to me, makes a good comic. That is, give us a cool sequence but have it make sense. Snyder decided to give us Batman and Joker vs. a bunch of rogues and goes out of his way to give us an explanation that makes total sense and even slightly hints towards the big cliffhanger. It’s opposite of Secret Avengers #13 where Nick Spencer had the kickass idea of having the ghost of George Washington lead a bunch of soldier ghosts and the Lincoln Monument against Nazi mechs, but when it came time to explain it, the entire issue imploded on its complete lack of logic and fell apart.

Capullo’s facial expressions rule the roost here, especially once Harvey Bullock enters the story. I genuinely enjoy it whenever Bullock and Batman get a scene together, mainly due to their mutual respect and Bullock’s inability to give into Batman’s bullshit. In only a few pages, Harvey becomes so expressive that it’s hard not to love the lug.

If there’s any complaint about this book, it’s that Riddler Mohawk. Hey, remember when Riddler was a detective on the level? Remember how promising that was? Well, nowadays he’s in Arkham with a Mohawk shaped like a green question mark. Goddamn it, DC.

Snyder’s Batman is not only better than the other Batman-starred books of the reboot so far, but it’s also better than his work on Swamp Thing. You better believe I’m sticking.

Then we have Birds of Prey by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz. This is a weird one because it’s a good comic that I quite enjoyed, but it’s the least memorable one of the week. I’ve never gotten into Birds of Prey before, but as an introduction and rebooting of Black Canary as a wanted criminal for accidental vigilante murder, it does its job well. There’s fun action, good art and some okay character interaction. Especially that of Keen and the new heroine Starling. It’s cute to see them play off each other and the ending hits us with a curveball in regards to what we expect to see out of their possibilities. The ending also hits us with a mystery and a major sense of doom in terms of what’s been going on with Black Canary in the last fourth of the issue. I’m interested enough to stick and see where this is going.

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This Week in Panels: Week 105

September 25th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Welcome to This Week in Panels: Wolverine Saying Awesome Shit Edition. This week I’m joined by David Brothers, Was Taters and Space Jawa. A good amount of overlap here with the DC New 52 and I had to give all three stories in Fear Itself: The Home Front their own spots because each one was just as enjoyable. There was also a one-page story in there about Dust that was funny because Howard Chaykin drew it. Chaykin drawing a character with a covered up face. That’s too perfect.

Avengers #17
Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr.

Batman #1 (Was Taters’ pick)
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

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Fourcast! 65: Apocalypse

October 11th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-Movie review!
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is out.
-It’s an adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner’s Superman/Batman, Vol. 2: Supergirl.
-Overall? We both think it was a mixed bag.
-Too short for what it was trying to do, too full of stuff to have anything but problematic pacing and editing.
-There were great bits (the last fight)
-There were awful bits (Lashina’s brand new backless costume)
-But yeah, 50/50 over here.
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-See you, space cowboy!

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Fourcast! 14: The Girlcast

August 31st, 2009 Posted by david brothers


(yeah, i don’t even know. we talk about girls and women and things in an extra-special almost-hour long show this time around. save me from myself by subscribing on itunes or straight up RSS.

apologies to jack kirby.)

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Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Graphic Audio

July 14th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

It’s time to take another trip to the Graphic Audio well, this time for the audio book based on the novelization of Crisis on Infinite Earths. I’ve dealt with the Graphic Audios for Infinite Crisis and 52 on this site, which were both adapted by Greg Cox. I don’t think I’ve ever shown that guy the respect he deserves, since he’s done a rather good job with what he’s been given. He’s able to translate from art to text very well, while making the right decisions on what to cut for space reasons. I notice this mainly because he didn’t write the CoIE adaptation.

Rather, it was Marv Wolfman, the man who wrote the original comic series over twenty years ago. My feelings on Crisis is that it was average. It has its moments and the art is very nice, but it’s very boring most of the time and centers around some mostly mediocre characters. Still, it’s one of the first major epics of comic book storytelling and an important part of comic history.

You might think that having Wolfman adapt his own comic could only be a good thing. Who knows more about what was going on in Crisis than the man who wrote it? Sadly, this isn’t the case. The novelization of Crisis comes off like it’s being retold by a guy who read it once twenty years ago, but keeps getting it confused with how much he loves Barry Allen.

If you’ve read the original comic, you might be wondering what I mean by that. The Flash only got captured, died blowing up that machine and then inspired Wally West to take up the mantle. As important as the story is to him, he’s only a supporting character at best (which could also be said for Supergirl’s role).

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Fourcast! 04: It’s Innocent, Really!

June 22nd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

We’ve got a surprisingly DC-centric Fourcast! this time around. Highlights:

-We’ve got theme music! It’s 6th Sense’s 4 A.M. instrumental. It’s licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License. 6th Sense / CC BY-NC 3.0. I dig his work, so it was a treat to find “It’s a 6th Sense Beat Yo!!” on the Free Music Archive. 6th Sense is a great producer. I play about 30-some seconds after the intro and before we get into it, and then the full track at the end of the cast as an outro. Hope you dig it!
-We get right into a discussion of Brave and the Bold #24, courtesy of DC Comics, Matt Wayne, and Howard Porter. We both enjoyed it, though I’m not sure that’s clear on my part, and we both had a few misgivings about Porter’s art.
-A brief digression into the relationship between Static and Blue Beetle. Here’s the image in question, from Heroes #4, written by Matt Wayne, drawn by Chriscross:


It’s a good series, I hope DC reprints it asap.
-Michael Johnson, Mike Green, and Francis Manapul’s Superman/Batman #61? That’s a fun comic right there. The Mash-up story has been really dumb, but very fun, and between Penguello and Brainycat, has some awesome designs.

-We get into our Continuity-Off at the end. Esther explains Supergirl’s past boy/girl/horsefriends, while I break down Gambit’s tortured past. Or is that torturous? I can’t tell sometimes.

We’ll be back in a week with the beginning of a DC vs Marvel knock-down, drag-out, fight to the death.

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Sons of DKR: Dark Knight Strikes Again 02

April 10th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I am no man. I am Superman.

Frank Miller is kind of famous for being the guy who brought “Batman can beat up Superman” into the modern comics world. The fight in DKR is iconic and a classic, and probably the root of multiple fanboy arguments. Miller revisits the fight at the end of the first chapter of DKSA, where Batman and friends completely outclass, outmaneuver, and outfight Superman. Batman ends the fight with four punches from gigantic green gloves and tells Superman to get out of his cave.

There is contempt there, but I don’t know if that’s the right word for it. At one point, Batman says, “Look. Up in the sky. Gosh, we’re all impressed, down here.”

Batman, and possibly Miller’s, contempt for Superman is born out of expecting a lot out of the character. Superman is the most powerful being on Earth, but he spends his time fighting cackling supervillains and upholding the status quo.

Batman’s point of view, and one that Spider-Man shares, is that if you have power, you have no excuse not to use it. Superman has great power, and therefore great responsibility. He can fix the world, fight the real villains, and he’s made himself into a tool of the status quo. For Batman, that’s inexcusable. A man who can is a man who must.

In a sense, DKSA is about Superman growing up and finally coming into his own. The first of two key Superman moments comes toward the end of chapter two, after Supergirl has revealed herself and decimated Brainiac’s robot. He starts with an anecdote about being a child and trails off. “Lara. What sort of world have I given you?”
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Final Edit Week 5: Day Six

April 1st, 2009 Posted by Gavok

We’re almost done with yet another week of this awful Morrison mind-scramble crap. God, what a hack. Between this and his Seven Soldiers run, I don’t even get why the man gets any work. Did you even read his New X-Men run a few years back? The guy who followed him was SOOOO much better.

But enough about that. Yesterday’s update saw some incomprehensible garbage involving Rubik’s Cubes and Metron as a tard. I don’t know, Final Crisis sucks. Let’s move forward!

As always, thanks to david “hermanos” brothers for helping me with this. He wanted me to remind you that a new Seaguy miniseries comes out today. Make sure to stay far away from that tripe. The last one was bad enough. Fucking Morrison.

We’re almost done with this week. Tomorrow, we get Darkseid at a rave and a guy with a bunch of bubble monitor things wrapped around his head. You can see a preview here.

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Supergirl is 50 Years Old

March 31st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Who knew? The Silver Age Comics blog has the lowdown.

Supergirl is, by a wide margin, the most important female character in comics during the Silver Age. Only Wonder Woman even has an argument, and given the wretched state of that feature during the 1960s, I don’t think many people will make the case.

Seems like it should be more of a big deal, doesn’t it?

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December 5th, 2008 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, is sweet, funny and almost egregiously cute.

The heroine, heavy on moxie and light on foresight, falls to earth in a rocket and displays the boundless good cheer we expect of the Super family. It seems she’s stuck, and in true Super tradition, Clark decides that the best way to deal with this is to slap a pair of glasses on her, give her an alliterative name, and send her to school.

There things go as well for her as you’d expect them to go for someone with no understanding of any culture on earth. You’d think her question about when machines will rebel would at least get her a Terminator fan or two as a friend.

Although there was only one cosmic adventures and lots of eighth grade, I really liked this comic. I liked that the Superfamily came together across several dimensions to help Supergirl out. I liked the art. And I loved the fantastic Silver Age monologues:

“I bet I just need to calculate the relative orbits of Argo and Earth. Then, if I can fly high enough to make it into orbit, I can probably use the gravitational forces of this planet to slingshot me back into quasi-space! It’s foolproof! . . . . AIIEE! I have no powers under my native red sun! Why was I so foolish?! Now I crash to the ground!”

Worth checking out for adults. Worth buying for kids.

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