Fourcast! 22: Six Fun Twists and Turns

October 26th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

This is a different kind of Continuity Off, as Esther and I break down six plot twists and turns that we’ve enjoyed over the years. 6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental is our theme music, of course, and here’s a few of the stories we’re going to ruin for you:

-The Last Days of Ted Kord
-The last great X-Men tale (New X-Men, if you disagree you are objectively wrong)
-The connection between Hitman and Punisher
-Batman buying girlfriends
-The Death of Jack Murdock
-Superboy Prime punches.

Listen carefully.

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Sick Day Linkblogging

October 22nd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I’ve been sick for the past two days, but I’m almost back in fighting action now. While I recuperate, you get to enjoy these links to a couple of good posts.

-Tim O’Neill on the X-Men and longevity:

The weird part is that Marvel as a company aren’t ready to acknowledge that the franchise has peaked – or even that, if it hasn’t peaked, it needs some time off before it can perform again. When the X-Men were the number one franchise in comics they built an incredibly powerful editorial apparatus around the books to guide and control the direction. The books were so important that nothing could be allowed to pass unexamined: every creative decision was micromanaged and second guessed, characters and creators were treated as interchangeable and at the same time jealously guarded. This worked to a point – in the early-to-mid-90s when the books were at their inarguable peak, the machine ran smoothly.

-The Eastern Edge has a great translation of Naoki Urasawa talking abotu making comics.

The trouble is, will I be able to produce a drawing of the ideal acting that I have in my head. It’s a matter of whether I’ve got the skill in my drawing hand or not. For example if I’m drawing Kanna, whether she’s crying, laughing, or just standing there, I’ve got her face in my head but sometimes when I try to draw that it turns out completely differently. I feel like, “Ah, stupid right hand!”

-Kate Dacey talks about one of my all-time favorite comics, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. I love the sprawling and crazily detailed comic, and the movie even holds a special place for me, since it was almost definitely the first anime I saw.

The story itself has held up well. Its paranoid, don’t-trust-the-military vibe seems as resonant in 2009 as it did when the manga was first released in 1982, as does its message about the devastating consequences of WMDs. Watching China prepare for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 — leveling shanty towns, silencing protests — suggested parallels with AKIRA’s own Olympic subplot, both in the secrecy surrounding the facilities’ construction and in the Chinese government’s adamant denial of citizen opposition to the projects. Even Tetsuo and Kaneda’s brotherly drama, which was never one of AKIRA’s stronger points, seems better developed in the manga.

I kinda wish that Kodansha used Marvel’s color for the first few volumes, but c’est la vie!

Business as usual next week, hopefully including a post that’s four weeks in the making (four weeks late).

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Stop Buying Greg Land Comics

October 21st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Greg Land is a bad artist. Stop buying his comics.


No equivocation, no wishy-washiness: he’s terrible and supporting him is even worse. Comics should be more than just trademarks moving around on a page, acting out the latest episode of soap operas that began when our parents were young.

Put even plainer: Greg Land is a symptom of the poison in mainstream comics.

What I said before still stands. Get this lazy scrub out of here, and put somebody good on his books. Do better.

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This Week in Panels: Week 3

October 11th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

This week begins with a lack of Amazing Spider-Man. That’s odd.

Batman and Robin #5
Grant Morrison and Phillip Tan

The Boys #35
Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson

Read the rest of this entry �

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Fourcast! 12: Mother(s) of the Year

August 17th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Because you demanded it!!!!, 4boys and 4girls, we’re bringing back the Continuity Off for our twelfth Fourcast!

ITEM! 6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental is pretty good! I think this kid is gonna do big things one day!
ITEM! Yours truly starts off the Classic Comics Continuity Off with an explanation of the Summers-Grey family tree! It’s rotted and knotted, and after listening, you’ll wish you were besotted!
ITEM! If I got anything wrong, true believer, just play along! It’s almost certain that my version is probably better than what was actually printed back in the Roarin’ ’90s!
ITEM! Esther counters my onslaught with the history of Pre-Crisis Jason Todd! It must be seen/heard to be believed, and you may not believe it, even then!
ITEM! She hits me with the “two” of the one-two, as she discusses the Many Mothers of Jason Todd, Esq.!
ITEM! You can subscribe to the podcast via RSS or iTunes! If you go for iTunes, give yer humble comics site a review!
ITEM! If you haven’t yet, grab our full RSS feed or join the Facebook group!

See you next week, 4fans! Another week, another Fourcast!, another half hour or so of Comics Conversation in the Fantastic 4thletter Formula!

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Ultimatum Edit Week 5: Day Six

August 7th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

We’re almost done. Last time we checked in, the Ultimates and X-Men escaped the exploding Avalon and then Cyclops got shot in the head at a rally. Surely that would be enough, but I think Loeb can squeeze in maybe ONE more death before he calls it in.

Hey, remember that Ultimate Fantastic Four arc when Dr. Doom fought and somehow survived against the Cosmic Marvel Zombies Corps after they had just eaten Galactus and inherited his power? The same story that flat out told us that in terms of power, Doom > Thor > Human Torch > Thing? Who knew that all Thing had to do is just walk up to Doom and do that?

Tomorrow is the big finale. See you then.

Day Seven!

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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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Ultimatum Edit Week 5: Day Four

August 5th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Previously, Colossus and the Hulk smashed the hell out of stuff because blowing up pieces of Avalon is really important. How come? I guess they want to make sure that they destroy Magneto regardless, but I’m sure there’s some cool stuff the world could use from a big, floating island. It seems so pointless, you know?

Then Nick Fury showed up alongside Reed, Doom and Zarda. His ace-in-the-hole (or at least the one for this version of the story) is that it doesn’t matter that he has a metal gun on him. The way Magneto’s been fighting, it’s like he only strikes in the name of his own delayed defense. Valkyrie cuts his arm off and THEN he uses his magnetic powers on her sword. Captain America beats him around and THEN he uses his magnetic powers on his shield and the surrounding environment. Wolverine mauls him for a minute and THEN he uses his magnetic powers to tear his skeleton apart. Even this whole scheme is based on following up, “They started it!” I’m just trying to make sense out of what they’re giving me here.


Yeah, that’s about it for Magneto. Come back tomorrow, as ManiacClown and I start on the long stretch of epilogue. We still have two overly-violent deaths to go!

Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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Ultimatum Edit Week 5: Day Three

August 4th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Last time on Ultimatum Edit, Wolverine stabbed Magneto so Magneto killed Wolverine so Wolverine stabbed Magneto so Magneto killed Wolverine. It was a pretty full day, to tell the truth. But what are the strong guys up to?

ManiacClown wanted to make a bunch of Warhammer 4000 jokes involving Mystique’s gun and Colossus looking like one of those soldier guys, but come on. This project can only be made up of references I get. To hell with him.

We’ll continue with Fury tomorrow. See you then.

Day Four!
Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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Ultimatum Edit Week 5: Day Two

August 3rd, 2009 Posted by Gavok

And we’re back.

Yesterday, Wolverine jumped at Magneto and started clawing at him while defending Canadian health care. That’s about it, sorry to say. Let’s keep it going.

ManiacClown and I will be back tomorrow to watch the tag team match of Hulk and Colossus vs. Sabretooth and Mystique. Wait. Is that actually supposed to be a challenge?

Day Three!
Day Four!
Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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