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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This Week in Panels: Week 250

July 6th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

It’s time for This Week in Panels! The weekly segment where my wonderful contributors and I all take the comics we’ve read over the course of this week and cut them down into one panel. One representative panel that tries to explain the issue. We’ve only been doing this for… oh shit, 250?! Christ.

Yes, it’s Week 250. For nearly five years I’ve been doing this series. I started this back when Old Man Logan and Blackest Night were still going on. I originally got the idea during the short time I was writing at Pop Culture Shock. I did a bunch of one-paragraph comic reviews every week and I hated it. How many times can you write the same review of Ed Brubaker’s Captain America?

A few years before that, one comic site I can’t remember (probably Newsarama) had a preview of an upcoming issue of Civil War. Rather than show several pages, it just showed a handful of panels without context. I found the whole thing more intriguing than if we got the regular style of preview and I guess that just stayed with me. Another thing that stuck with me was when people would talk about the first Agents of Atlas series. One thing I’ve read once or twice was that it didn’t matter what you had to say about the comic in terms of opinion. Just show the panel of a 1950’s robot running down a hallway carrying a talking gorilla while said gorilla shoots four guns via both hand and both feet. That says everything.

I figured that I read a bunch of comics on a weekly basis, but nobody really had any interest in my opinions. Why would they? I’m just some guy on the internet. Worse than that, I’m a guy whose favorite character is an alien-wearing journalist-turned-hobo with delusions of grandeur recognized for being one of the poster boys of everything wrong with the 90’s. My opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. Why talk about what I read when I could just show you in its purest form and let you decide for yourself? I suggested the This Week in Panels idea to David and he put a cigar out on my face. I took that to mean, “Yes, go ahead.”

ThWiP has been very good to me and I was happy to see that it got enough regular readers and regular contributors. Gaijin Dan and Space Jawa especially, who never missed a beat when it came to sending me their stuff. I’m glad to see my idea was vindicated and it kept enough people interested.

With a heavy heart, I’m announcing that after 250 wonderful weeks, I’m stepping down from This Week in Panels. It sucks, but I need to move on. One of the things about starting ThWiP was that I wanted to do a weekly series for the sake of proving to myself that I could hit a regular deadline. And I did. Unless there was a hurricane or some kind of power-destroying storm, I hit the update every Sunday. Then I got my position at Den of Geek US, which has responsibilities beyond just writing articles. Plus my main job has been keeping me busier and busier. ThWiP updates went from regularly happening over the course of Sunday night to late Monday night or even early Tuesday morning. Simply put, I actually have real deal deadlines to deal with now.

Hell, I haven’t written a non-ThWiP update for 4thletter! since WrestleMania happened. I kind of need to rectify that and I have only so many hours in the day.

ThWiP isn’t done-done, at least. Space Jawa, otherwise known as Michael Stangeland (or as I keep accidentally typing, “Strangeland”) will be taking up the mantle. Personally, I can’t wait to see what he’s capable of.

Anyway, I still have this 250th update to do. We got me, Gaijin Dan, Matlock, Space Jawa, Was Taters, AnarChris and Dickeye. Let’s go down the road one more time.

Action Comics #33
Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift, Pt 2
Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru

Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #4
Kevin Smith, Ralph Garman and Ty Templeton

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This Week in Panels: Week 246

June 9th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

And here we are again. It’s This Week in Panels, where I am M. Bison, Matlock is Sagat, Gaijin Dan is Vega and Space Jawa is Balrog. We’ve got a shitload of panels this week, mostly with me and Matlock double-dipping. Sadly, I’m the only one reading New Warriors, which is adorable as hell. Especially this issue where Hummingbird starts falling for Speedball. Speedball, who looks like a normal, well-adjusted human being compared to her.

On the other hand, Moon Knight. Oh my God, Moon Knight. I mean, if you haven’t started reading it yet, you might as well just wait for the trade since the current creative team is only lasting a whopping six issues before splitting up. So far the series has been completely kickass and I can’t recommend it enough.

Now let’s get the show on the road.

Action Comics #32
Greg Pak and Scott Kolins

All You Need Is Kill #17
Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Yoshitoshi ABe and Takeshi Obata

Aquaman and the Others #3
Dan Jurgens and Lan Medina

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This Week in Panels: Week 242

May 13th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

Gaijin Dan is off this week, meaning there’s not much going on in the black and white/right-to-left side of ThWiP stuff. Instead, it’s me and Matlock and Space Jawa. We all read She-Hulk, which I suppose should tell you something about the quality of that book.

I wrote stuff! The other day I did a review of Box Brown’s Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, a biographical graphic novel about the 8th Wonder of the World. Then I did a review for Ashes of CHIKARA, a movie released based on CHIKARA being “closed down” for eight months. One of them I really liked. The other, not so much.

And now on to the super late panels.

Amazing Spider-Man #1.1
Dan Slott and Ramon Perez

Aquaman and the Others #2
Dan Jurgens and Lan Medina

Batwing #31
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti and Eduardo Pansica

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This Week in Panels: Week 237

April 8th, 2014 Posted by Gavok

Welcome back to another ThWiP. It’s a bit delayed because of my WrestleMania overload. In relation to WrestleMania XXX, I watched sixteen and a half hours of WWE television from Saturday night to Monday night. WWE Network can be addicting if you let it. Speaking of, I wrote an obituary for Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak after his big loss against Brock Lesnar the other night.

You know the drill. I have Gaijin Dan, Space Jawa, Matlock and a rare appearance by Was Taters. In the end, I read an excessive amount of comics this week. Highlights include Batman ’66, Moon Knight and Ultimate Spider-Man.

What If: Age of Ultron #1 is a hot mess.

All You Need Is Kill #10
Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Ryosuke Takeuchi, Yoshitoshi ABe and Takeshi Obata

Aquaman and the Others #1
Dan Jurgens and Lan Medina

Batman ’66 #31
Jeff Parker and Jonathan Chase

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Iron Man 2: The Deleted Scenes

May 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Iron Man 2 has been released and I checked it out last night. Personally, I enjoyed it, but doubly after having read the Alexander Irvine novelization. Much like with going from the graphic novel of Kick-Ass to the movie Kick-Ass, the transition from a weak telling of a story to a strong telling of a story can make such a difference based purely on the comparison.

I always love doing this little experiment of checking out the novelization of comic book movies, then seeing how the final product compares. I’ve been doing it for the past few years and they’ve always seemed to be based on the full version of the story. The novelization is what the movie is like before the editor cuts off chunks. Sometimes this works out for the better (Incredible Hulk). Sometimes this works out for the worse (Spider-Man 3). There’s even the first Iron Man, where the second act had to be refilmed and edited around just to make the Air Force happy.

Iron Man 2 is a different beast, since it doesn’t appear to be based on the full version of the screenplay, but of an earlier, incomplete version. There are plotholes and loose ends riddling the story that the movie is nice enough to fix. Even better, some of the climactic moments are so ridiculously underwhelming that the final cinematic output is a godsend.

Let’s take a look at what was changed.

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The Iron Man 2 Novelization: Whips, Widows and War Machines

April 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

We’re a month away from the release of the two-years-awaited Iron Man 2 and only a week or so ago, the novelization came out. Like with all the other Marvel movies, I picked this one up. Surprisingly, this one isn’t written by Peter David, but by Alexander Irvine. You might recognize the name if you’ve read Daredevil Noir.

So what’s going on in the story? It takes place six months after Iron Man – although Irvine flubs that by referring to it as two years at least once – and sometime before Incredible Hulk. Tony hasn’t done too much in terms of righting wrongs as Iron Man, but he does flaunt it when possible and gets in trouble with the government because of it. They insist he should hand over the tech to them, which he totally disagrees with and points out that the rest of the world is 20 years away from reaching that level anyway. Also, Tony has a couple events marked off on his calendar and every one of them is a backdrop for an action sequence. Really, every action sequence can be summed up with, “I can’t wait for _______! I hope nothing bad happens! Oh, crap! Explosions!”

Let’s go over the characters, starting with our hero.

Tony Stark is getting ready for the Stark Expo (hey, guess what that means?), but at the same time is secretly disturbed by the realization that his arc reactor isn’t so perfect after all and it’s slowly killing him. He and JARVIS have been working on a way to reinvent the arc reactor, but so far nothing’s doing and things look grim. In response, Tony has been acting even more reckless than usual and becomes a grade-A asshole.

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The Crimson Dynamo Was There Too, Baby!

July 18th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

As many of you are aware, the latest Entertainment Weekly features shots and info of Iron Man 2. A lot of the stuff is already known, though it did give us some very nice Black Widow pics. The one thing I find interesting about this whole deal is Mickey Rourke’s role.

Rourke is set to play Whiplash. In actuality, the information we know about him shifts him closer to being the Crimson Dynamo. They even use the name of Ivan Vanko – the first Crimson Dynamo – rather than Mark Scarlotti. So why name him “Whiplash”? For one, there’s the whip-based gimmick in his arsenal they’ve been hyping. Second, I think it’s more of a realism thing.

I’m telling you right now that “Crimson Dynamo” is one of the finest names to ever come out of comics. It’s such a cool collaboration between two cool words. Thing is, someone who looks like Mickey Rourke would never call themselves that on purpose. It doesn’t fit him. It’s too… theatrical, I guess is the word I’m thinking of. It brings too much color and hype for a Russian criminal who fashions his own costume to escape prison and then acts like a terrorist. “Crimson Dynamo” goes well with the propaganda aspect of the character, which is likely missing in this incarnation.

It’s the very idea that they’re going with the identity of Ivan Vanko that adds to my optimism. Ivan Vanko is one of the most overlooked comic characters, especially from the early days of Marvel. I would barely even remember him if it wasn’t for the recent Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin miniseries reminding me that he was around for just a little while.

Vanko created the Crimson Dynamo armor to make himself the Russian answer to Iron Man. He had pride and a sense of style based on his robotic identity, which annoyed his Soviet superiors, but they sent him against Iron Man nonetheless. Iron Man dealt with Vanko in one of the first major “Tony Stark is a total dick moments”.

During a fight, Iron Man played a fake recording he made of Vanko’s superiors planning to have him killed the moment he would return to Russia, whether or not he had succeeded in defeating Iron Man. This fake recording horrified Vanko and he defected to America. He started working as a major scientist at Stark Industries.

Even though we discovered that Vanko’s boss really was going to kill him off after all, that was an extremely fucked up thing for Stark to do.

Vanko remained loyal to Stark, but only lasted until the next year. A Russian spy Boris, alongside the comic book newcomer Black Widow, broke into Stark Industries and stole the Crimson Dynamo armor. Vanko sacrificed himself for Stark and destroyed this second Crimson Dynamo at the cost of his own life.

Since then, the Crimson Dynamo has become almost a running gag, as there are a near dozen men to have taken the mantle. But while I don’t know them all too well, I’m sure few show the potential of Ivan Vanko, a man who was certainly cut down before he could make a bigger impact in Marvel history.

Not saying I want the guy brought back from the dead, but a flashback miniseries or even a What If issue in light of the movie would be ideal. If you think about it, if Ivan had survived, he probably would have taken the second-stringer role that made Jim Rhodes into War Machine.

If they adapt anything from Vanko’s short history for the movie, it can only be positive. Just replace his Russian benefactors with Justin Hammer and we’ve got something.

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Ultimate Edit Week 2: Day Four

January 31st, 2008 Posted by Gavok

And we’re back. In yesterday’s installment, Quicksilver showed up to show off Scarlet Witch’s dead body, vikings had sex and something exploded. Sounds like a full day. Now we see what Iron Man’s up to. Fun fact: Tony Stark makes you feel he’s a cool exec with a heart of steel. And if you’re a woman, Tony Stark makes you feel other things.

Thanks to ManiacClown by having me take the high road with masturbation jokes. See you tomorrow.

Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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White Tiger: An In-Depth Review

September 12th, 2007 Posted by Hoatzin

I really like comics. Sequential art is possibly my favorite medium. But unfortunately not all comics are good and sometimes it’s necessary to show some tough love. Occasionally one must criticize books that fail at their intended goal and examine what precisely went wrong, for the sake of comics, because comics should be good. The recently completed White Tiger, written by Tamora Pierce and Timothy Liebe and drawn by Phil Briones and later Al Rio and Ronaldo Silva, happens to be one of those books.

Although it’s a niche book, I feel it deserves closer examination for a variety of reasons. It’s a spinoff of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s fantastic definitive run on Daredevil. It’s a comic about a legacy character. It’s a comic about a female character. It’s a comic about an ethnic character. It’s a comic by a popular novelist (and her husband) doing their first comics work. It’s also a comic that, so far, has done very badly in sales, dropping from 24,663 copies for issue #1 to 13,621 copies for issue #5.

Although stellar sales figures shouldn’t be expected from a niche book by an unproven creative team, the fact that the book shedded over ten thousand readers in the course of issues 1 to 5 means people just plain aren’t liking it. In an industry where new characters, even legacy characters, are hard to push and both ethnic and female characters are rare, it’s sad to see a book about a new ethnic superheroine fail so badly. But why did the book fail? After reading it, I have come to a conclusion: It’s a bad comic book, in just about every way. Let’s review. Bear with me: This will be long. Read the rest of this entry �

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