New Ultimate Edit Week 2: Day Three

May 11th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Last time in our adventures, Captain America kicked a lady in the lady business and it made her mad enough to jump out a window. We’ve all been there. The Enchantress showed up and introduced herself to Zarda, whose inclusion on the team still makes people scratch their scalps.

Now this happens.

Thanks to ManiacClown, who believes Hawkeye doesn’t use the men’s room because he’s “too pretty to pee standing up”.

Next time, Enchantress keeps doing her thing.

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

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This Week in Panels: Week 33

May 10th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Time for another go at TWiP, including a rare couple panels from Esther. Also, reader Space Jawa tossed in a panel from Thor and the Warriors Four. If you really dig a comic that you see we aren’t reading and want to toss us a scan, by all means. Email’s on the top right.

Tossed in the few Free Comic Book Day issues I’ve had time to read.

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #1
Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert

Atomic Robo Free Comic Book Day
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener and others

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This Week in Panels: Week 29

April 11th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

I’m not sure who Oberon Sexton really is (he’s the Joker), but I bet he reads This Week in Panels every Sunday.

The A-Team: Shotgun Wedding #3
Joe Carnahan, Tom Waltz and Stephen Mooney

Avengers: The Origin #1
Joe Casey and Phil Noto

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New Ultimate Edit Week 1: Day Seven

March 13th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

The penultimate pages showed Carol Danvers and Tony Stark getting all shouty and arguey. Then Shanna the She-Devil, Ka-Zar, some tigers and the mute Black Panther who isn’t Captain America in disguise this time hang out in Central Park. Things suddenly get cold. What could this mean?

That’s all for this week. ManiacClown would strangle me if I didn’t at least feature the Farmville SHIELD image he made for a throwaway gag. Really, the guy would just give me updates about stuff I don’t understand. Never played Farmville and never plan to. Here you go.

Stay tuned for this Wednesday as my 12-day Wrestlemania Countdown begins, tough guy!

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New Ultimate Edit Week 1: Day Six

March 12th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Yesterday’s adventure involved Thor having the mistress of the afterlife take care of his hammer. Then Tony Stark and Carol Danvers started going for the jugular. Let’s continue on with that.

This was one of the more difficult Ultimate Edit installments to write based on the matter of what we were critiquing. Back when we first started doing these, we laid down some ground rules and made certain things off-limits. The main one being Jeph Loeb’s personal tragedies relating to his son, Sam. The whole point here is never to make fun of Jeph Loeb the person (who I’ve heard from many is a genuinely nice guy), but of his writing.

A lot of Jeph Loeb’s writing has become very much Sam-based, and that is completely understandable. Captain America: Lost Son was more than anything Jeph’s attempt to come to terms with his son’s passing. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I respected what he was doing. He would continue to make minor references to his son in his work, which was fine, but it’s become more and more apparent that it’s something he can’t push himself past. Most of his work revolves around it, basing the adventures on father/son relationships and the grief related to it. Hell, look at why Magneto killed everyone in Ultimatum.

For those who haven’t read the original, the Iron Man narration boxes tell the story about how Tony Stark met a young boy named Sam in a hospital who was dealing with cancer. It was the boy’s horrible experiences and eventual death that inspired Tony to become Iron Man and create the Ultimates. The whole overuse of Sam is beginning to dilute the message and the seriousness of it all, at least in my eyes. It makes me think of when Puff Daddy used to talk about Biggie Smalls so much that on one skit show, Jamie Foxx (I think) played the role of Puffy and would randomly start pointing up and yelling about Biggie. The crowd laughed pretty hard at this, showing that the whole thing has resorted to becoming self-parody. It’s disheartening to see that this is the direction Jeph Loeb has been leading into.

It’s a touchy subject, but I wanted to get it off my chest.

Enough about the serious stuff. Let’s move to stupid stuff, like Farmville.

Thanks to ManiacClown, who spent WAAAAY too long working on that Farmville image. Join us next time as the big villain shows up and more sex is had. No, not by the villain. Maybe in the next issue.

Day Seven!

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Trees Never Grown

May 12th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

True story: I hated Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram. I read the first issue and found it impenetrable and kind of a hipster music snob’s version of DC’s incestuous continuity porn. I dug McKelvie’s art, and his name is now usually enough to get me to at least skim a new comic, but it wasn’t enough to keep me reading a book that I had absolutely no interest in. All of the references went whizzing right over my head, but they didn’t confuse me exactly. It was more like I recognized that the book wasn’t being written for me. I don’t think I’d even heard actual Britpop before, I dunno, Guitar Hero.

An off-hand comment by a friend about comic stories that she wants to be told led to me thinking about Phonogram. Phonogram is proof that comics can do basically anything. Phonogram is about, according to wikipedia, “a mage who uses the medium of Britpop music to interpret his magic.” Think Zatanna, but with Oasis instead of talking backwards. Alongside Phonogram stands superheroes, comics about depressed midwesterners, video game-inspired pop culture reference fests, and easily dozens of other stories.

So, where are the stories I want to see? I’ve got a wish list of things I’d like to read in comic form, and I think a few of these are interesting enough that people who aren’t me would be interested, too.

The Great Migration
Ever heard of this? The Great Migration altered the racial make-up of the populated of the United States forever. It’s my understanding that prior to the Great Migration, something like 90% of American blacks lived in the South. Racism, economic reasons, and a number of other issues led to the large-scale exodus. After it, blacks were spread all over the country, mainly in urban areas.

The jobs they found up north and to the west were largely industrial in nature, and in and around cities. This was a marked change from the rural life and farming to be found in the south. You couldn’t really leave to get a job and ship money back to your family at this point, either, so your whole brood had to come with you.

You have the makings of an interesting story there. An entire family, torn from everything they know, shipping off to somewhere new, where there are new dangers, but also new opportunities. Adults who’d only known one thing being forced to learn something new to provide for their children. In a way, it’s a classic american tale. The Great Migration was about pulling yourself up from less than nothing so that your kids could have a better future than you did.

Interestingly, I’m pretty sure the Great Migration is why so many city-based blacks have family down south nowadays. Not everyone could leave, and family ties are hard to break.

Specifically, rap.
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The Top 70 Deadpool Moments Day 3: Alone in Your Electric Chair

April 28th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Based on one of the comments in an earlier article, I should probably mention that despite Deadpool being awesome in other forms of media (some of them, at least), I’m only counting comic book stuff for this countdown.

Sorry, no inclusions of the time in Ultimate Alliance where he talks to Weasel about the time he stabbed him in the leg for taking the last cheese puff. Or the conversation where he tries to convince Black Bolt to say “spatula”.

This also means no inclusions of animated Deadpool shooting Hulk and Wolverine with a crapload of tranquilizer darts before saying, “Hey, Logan! It’s me, Deadpool! I shot youuuuu!” Which is a shame in of itself because Hulk vs. Wolverine is such a brilliant depiction of the mouthed merc.

50) Rock ‘n’ Roll!
Identity Disc #2 (2004)
Writer: Rob Rodi

For those who haven’t heard of it, Identity Disc is a miniseries from a few years back that is essentially what happened when a writer decided to take The Usual Suspects and rewrite it with six supervillains. Five of the villains are interesting characters and help sell the series, but the other one sucks and is somehow the main character. Hint: I’m talking about Vulture.

Deadpool is part of this group in search for the Identity Disc, which has the identities of every superhero. In one scene, he hangs out with Bullseye, waiting to strike a facility and steal a skeleton key device. The two talk about what the Kaiser Soze knockoff of a villain has on them to make them play ball. For Deadpool, he’ll get information on where his ex-wife is. I don’t even think they meant Mercedes from the Kelly run, which makes it more of a continuity clusterfuck. For Bullseye, he’s tried working both sides of a gang war and it’s blown up in his face. If he does his job here, the slate will be wiped clean.

Finally, it hits nightfall and after all that waiting, they can finally get to business. Bullseye says, “Time to rock ‘n’ roll,” as the two sneak around the building. After all the lead-up, all that happens is Bulleye knocks a security guard out by flicking a piece of gravel onto his forehead and then finds the safe and gets the prize. Deadpool is angry over the complete lack of action and the fact that he wasn’t even needed to begin with.

To make up for it…

And there it is. The only scene from Identity Disc you’ll see on the list.

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Great Moments in Black History #01: Amandla, Man

March 16th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

from marvel’s black panther: little green men. words by reggie hudlin, art by cafu

(it isn’t daily, but it is weekly. a different moment every monday morning at nine PST for the foreseeable future, an amazon link so you can read it, and minimal commentary from me. just a little something to brighten up your monday mornings, and i’ll never suggest a scene or series that i don’t genuinely enjoy. if you’ve got requests, be it for a character or a specific scene, you know the e-mail.)

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The Marville Horror Part 2: Take Us to Poor People!

March 9th, 2009 Posted by guest article

Article by Fletcher “Syrg” Arnett.

Note this classy cover by Greg Horn. We’ll be covering those in the next update, don’t you worry. But when we last left Marville

Ah yes. I also forgot to mention there is no love plot. There is no pining or anything. I don’t know why the hell they added that to the blurb, probably because almost nothing from the first issue is going to carry over into this one and they needed to fill space. Also space-filler: the Kingpin blurb, but we’ll get to that.

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Black History Month ’09 #23: We Gonna Make It

February 23rd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

One thing that is vital in expecting blacks in comics to get better is having black voices in comics. Off the top of my head, we have three black writers regularly getting work at the big two right now: Kevin Grievoux, Dwayne McDuffie, and Reggie Hudlin. Christopher Priest is retired. There are a good number of artists out there, but artists generally don’t get to decide the stories of the books.

Something Spike Lee makes it a point to do is to employ up and coming and already famous black actors. If you’re going to pull from the community, you might as well give some back, right? So, his movies over the years are a who’s who of black actors and, to a lesser extent, Spike’s friends. In an industry which has made a habit of ignoring black voices, Spike has been an island who pushes the other side as hard as he can.

In doing so, he’s put forth the idea that the black voice is just as valid and interesting as the default Hollywood voice. Though he was robbed for the Best Picture for Malcolm X, he’s kept at it and kept making sure that someone out there is keeping that voice going.

I’m not sure why black writers in comics are so rare, but there’s a similar situation with women. Louise Simonson, G Willow Wilson, Gail Simone, and Kathryn Immonen are the first names that come to mind when I think of “women writers at the big two.” Interestingly (or perhaps not), I can’t think of a single black female.

Anyway, a side-effect of the lack of these voices is a lack of representation in the books themselves. You end up having a black experience as told by outsiders. The “black story,” such as it is, ends up filtered and probably even unrealistic. At one point, I had a list of Marvel superheroes who were either born in, operated out of, or had serious ties to Harlem. I don’t have the list any more, but off the top of my head, there’s Black Panther, Falcon, Storm, Robbie Robertson, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Tombstone, and Randy Robertson. That’s basically all of Marvel’s biggest black names right there, so I’m not exactly making things up here.

And I mean, no knock on Harlem at all, but I’m pretty sure black people are from other parts of New York City, or even the rest of the country. I do believe that Rocket Racer is from Brooklyn, but I’m pretty sure I’m the only fan of RR alive. What about the black folks from the south? Brother Voodoo has Haiti and NOLA on lock, but what about Atlanta? Texas? Where are they at?

An infusion of black writers wouldn’t have more of a negative effect on comics than hiring a bunch of new white guys would. You’d be more likely to see authentic or different stories about black people, which I think is only a good thing. Even better, hiring good black writers can only lead to good things.

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