New Ultimate Edit Week 1: Day Four

March 10th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

What happened on Day Three? Let’s see, the duo of Hawkeye and Iron Man were doing pretty badly against the Defenders until Captain America showed up with what seemed to be Xena Warrior Princess and the Glamazon Beth Phoenix. They turn the tide and start whipping some Defender tail. A tail that Hellcat surprisingly does not have. During all this, Zarda punches Luke Cage in the nuts and prevents the possibility of Ultimate Danielle Cage.

We move forward.

Here is a quick cutting room floor panel. The expression on his face sells it so well:

Thanks to ManiacClown for the Thor dialogue. Speaking of Thor, I only noticed during the editing, but Frank Cho snuck in some uncensored bare breasts on that page. I blacked it out, but in the original spread you can see it in-between the panel of Thor sitting on the throne and the panel of Hela unmasking. I guess Frank Cho is to boobs as Leinil Yu is to Howard the Duck.

More bare breasts tomorrow, but these will be the comic book hair-draped-over-the-nipples kind.

Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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New Ultimate Edit Week 1: Day Three

March 9th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Welcome back!

In our last installment, Hawkeye and Iron Man continued to talk about stuff (their favorite bands, chicks who’ve broken their hearts, the Matrix) until a bunch of angry dudes with superpowers showed up randomly. Sucks especially for Hawkeye, since nearly everyone on the opposing team appears to be bulletproof.

How will our heroes (if you can call them that) get out of this alive?! HOW?!

Join ManiacClown and I tomorrow as we watch the Ultimates continue to fight the Defenders. Then we get a special appearance by everyone’s favorite Ultimate Edit mainstay! Then again, I’m only assuming he is.

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

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New Ultimate Edit Week 1: Day Two

March 8th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Yesterday, Iron Man flew by a burning building to have a heart-to-heart with Hawkeye, who seemed down. With everything squared away over the course of two pages, Hawkeye is in better spirits. Read on as stuff happens.

Thanks go out to ManiacClown, who continues to be confused at the length of Clint’s ammo compared to the depth of his magazines.

More fighting tomorrow.

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

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New Ultimate Edit Week 1: Day One

March 7th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

It had to happen. Jeph Loeb returns to the Ultimates cast with his new series New Ultimates, this time accompanied by Frank Cho. Naturally, ManiacClown and I have returned to take it to task. For those who are lost, check out the previous installments of Ultimate Edit and Ultimatum Edit. Go on, I’ll wait.

Now, then. Let’s get this show on the road.

We’ll continue tomorrow as Tony and Clint make some new friends. Wow, two pages into a Loeb comic and there hasn’t been an action sequence two-page spread yet. Somebody get Guinness on the phone.

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

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Black Future Month ’10

February 27th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

The end of Black Future Month is a point in time where “black comics” don’t exist. Comics by, for, or about black people exist in this theoretical future, of course, but they aren’t black comics. They’re just comics. They aren’t set apart from their brethren because they happen to star a black dude or is set in the hood. But, let’s put all that pie in the sky Kumbaya business to the side and talk about the here and now.

For a while, I was trying to keep up with every black character in mainstream comics. After a few months of reading about Bishop try to murder a toddler, DC Comics screwing over Dwayne McDuffie, John Stewart not appearing ever, and Cyborg being stuck in Teen Titans Hell, I was officially burnt out.

I was suddenly faced with a dilemma, though. When it comes to mainstream books and black people, you’re generally gonna be SOL. At the same time, I’d carved out this niche as a “race blogger.” I felt like I was supposed to be paying attention to all these characters. That’s the conscious thing to do, right? No. Absolutely not.

Here is the thing. If you’re supporting black comics by purchasing books from Marvel or DC, you’re not supporting black comics at all. They do what they do, and sometimes they do it well, but they are targeted at one very specific audience. Tom Brevoort has owned up to this in a refreshingly frank blog post. If it doesn’t make dollars, Marvel and DC will not do it. If it does make dollars, Marvel and DC will definitely do it, no matter the consequences. Don’t believe me? Ask Dan Didio about Milestone sometime.
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Glyph Comics Awards Nominees

February 17th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Glyph nominees! I’m pretty happy with how these turned out. All of it’s worth reading. Vote for the fan awards here.

This was a real eye-opening experience for me.



Last year, Jeremy Love’s Bayou made history at the Glyph Comics Awards (GCA) by winning five times, including for Story of the Year; a new record. In this, our fifth anniversary year, many new faces are in the running from all across the industry.

The nominees for 2010 are:

Story of the Year
Luke Cage Noir; Mike Benson & Adam Glass, writers; Shawn Martinbrough, artist
The Original Johnson; Trevor von Eeden, writer and artist
Unknown Soldier #13-14; Joshua Dysart, writer, Pat Masioni, artist
War Machine: Iron Heart; Greg Pak, writer, Leonardo Manco, artist
World of Hurt, Jay Potts, writer and artist

Best Writer
Joshua Dysart, Unknown Soldier
Jeremy Love, Bayou
Greg Pak, War Machine
Jay Potts, World of Hurt
Alex Simmons, Archie & Friends

Best Artist
Chriscross, Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance
Jeremy Love, Bayou
Shawn Martinbrough, Luke Cage Noir
Jay Potts, World of Hurt
Trevor von Eeden, The Original Johnson
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The Unstoppable Thunderbolts is My Sweet Christmas in February!

February 10th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

CBR posted a little announcement and interview today dealing with the next chapter in Thunderbolts. With Osborn on the outs, what’s going to happen to the team? Who’s going to be the leader and who will he be commanding?

Get a load of this:

I’m starting to believe that Jeff Parker is God’s gift to me. I’m especially pumped. As an aside, looking at that cover, whoever unloaded on Cage should be thankful that he didn’t hit a nipple. That’ll set him off.

In addition to Luke Cage, the initial line up of Thunderbolts has been revealed to include Juggernaut, Crossbones, Ghost, Moonstone, and Man-Thing. Is there anything you can say about these characters motivations for being on the Thunderbolts?

I think everyone’s prime motivation is: I do not want to rot in this cell. I would rather have Luke Cage screaming at me as I run into the probability of certain death than rot in this cell. Except for the Man-Thing, of course – no one can ever tell what he’s thinking. And no one asked him anyway.

How would you describe the initial dynamic between these characters? Is there anybody Luke can trust on this team?

That’s what Luke would like to know! Moonstone is in and out of the program. She shows promise and then, bam – she lets you down. Ghost also seems promising, but then there’s quirks, like him trying to kill Iron Man. Juggernaut, some people think he’s a hero too.

This shows a ton of promise. Let’s look at the line-up, one by one.

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Colorblind Casting School

January 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

There’s been this thing going around the bits of the blogosphere that talk about race and comics called “Chromatic Comics.” It started here, dipped over here, ended up on When Fangirls Attack (which is where I first saw it), and just this week showed up on Fantastic Fangirls. Essentially, established characters in various properties are recast to be a different race or gender. From the outside looking in, the choices appear to be fairly arbitrary. Kanye West as Archangel, for example, or Vanessa Williams as Emma Frost.

To put it bluntly, I didn’t get it, didn’t like it, couldn’t quite put my finger on why, and I’d decided not to say anything about it, barring some private conversations with friends. I felt like a player hater, coming from the position of “this is dumb and a waste of time and borderline offensive and I can’t quite figure out why.”

Earlier today, my buddy Cheryl Lynn proved that she’s smarter than I am when she started talking about it on Twitter. She gathered her thoughts and expanded on them in a post on her blog. It’s must-reading, frankly, and is almost exactly why I have a problem with “Chromatic Comics.” An excerpt:

This whole Chromatic Comics ish irritates me. Y’know, Marvel does have a whole boatload of POC characters. Stuff like that makes it seem like only the white ones are important and deserve focus. Y’know what would be nice? For POC characters to get the same promotion and devotion that white characters get so people don’t have to think of POC actors they’d like in the “important” (white) characters’ roles.

She has several more things to say on the subject, including a beautiful and nuanced breakdown of why Luke Cage has to be black and Frank Castle has to be white. I urge you to go read it. And pardon me if the following is just a rehash of her better piece.

Cheryl makes a good point on the subject of what race actually means in stories. She says, “And just like I’m not just a color, that white kid isn’t just a blank slate. He isn’t the default. And acting like he is the default hurts both him and me.” I’ve often seen it said, and probably said myself, that white is the default. That isn’t true- white is dominant, yes, but not the default. White doesn’t mean “average.” It, like black, is completely insufficient.

Elektra is white. Elektra is native to Greece. Emma Frost is white. Emma Frost is upper class Boston old money. Luke Cage is black, but he’s Harlem black. James Rhodes is black, but he’s South Philly black. Peter Parker is white, but he’s Forest Hills, Queens white. Night Thrasher is black, but he’s upper class New York City black. Steve Rogers isn’t just white. He’s from the LES during the depression.

I’m black, but I’m Warner Robins, Georgia black, where the black folks can be found watching NASCAR, mud bogging, rolling with blue flags out their back pockets, and working on an air force base.

My littlest brother is half-black, half-Egyptian, and has a name that’ll keep him on no-fly lists for his entire life. He’s living with my mom and her husband in New England. He’s going to be a different kind of black than I am. My younger brother, who’s about to turn twenty, is a different kind of black than I am, and we lived in the same house for twelve or so years. That’s three males, raised by the same woman, who aren’t the same kind of black. I can’t replace either of them and they can’t replace me. I’m absolutely certain that that applies to white people, and Chinese people, and whoever.

This race thing isn’t as simple as a skin tone and nappy hair. That’s kiddie pool anthropology. That just reinforces the idea of white as the default, in that it ignores the rich culture that white people hold dear. It reinforces the idea that non-white characters don’t matter, because why would anyone cast Jubilee in a movie? Why would anyone go see a movie about Misty Knight or Luke Cage? Let’s flip Jean Grey and Cyclops to being Indian and Chinese and roll with that! Progress!

But hey, here’s a counterpoint: Spider-Man and X-Men didn’t start this burst of superhero movies in Hollywood. No, Wesley Snipes as Blade did that. Black hero with a black love interest and everything. And before the movies? Blade was lame. All he had going for him before the movie was awesome Gene Colan art and we got two great movies out of him and one awful one. As far as quality of Hollywood superhero flicks go, he’s matched Batman (both 1989 and Begins franchises), Spider-Man, X-Men, and Superman. Blade beats Hulk, considering that those movies were mediocre at best.

Imagine what we could get for Aya. Or Jubilee. Or Dizzy. Or Loop. Or Misty. Or Luke. (Or Hypno Hustler.)

You mean to tell me that nobody would go see an action movie about a black chick with an afro, a robot arm, a sneer and a half-Japanese sword-wielding BFF in 2010? That they’d rather see The Dark Dark Phoenix Saga instead? Get outta here. If we can buy Matt Damon as action star, we can buy a black character as a black character, rather than a palette swap.

Chromatic Comics is tokenism, or maybe lip service. Either way, it’s not powerful. It’s not respectful. It’s not even anti-racist. It ignores what we already have in favor of continuing to worship exclusively white characters as if they were the end-all, be-all of comics. Hey- Marvel and DC already do that. We should do better than flipping a switch or using the paint bucket in Photoshop and calling it a day. We’ve got some diamonds in all this rough. Let’s act like it.

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Maybe You Just Had to Be There

October 22nd, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Thunderbolts #137 came out this week, written by Rick Remender and drawn by Mahmud A. Asrar. It’s a decent issue, though it really reads more as Luke Cage and Iron Fist Featuring the Thunderbolts. I’m one of those who doesn’t have a problem with that idea, so bring it on.

I bring this scene to your attention. Under the leadership of Ghost (who I like to think of as Earth-3 Rorschach), the team has successfully captured and brainwashed Iron Fist. Now they discuss matters over lunch.

The lack of tray in front of Ghost is some good continuity.

Anyway, the Irredeemable Ant-Man is thinly referencing the TV show Jon and Kate Plus Eight, starring Jon and Kate Gosselin. I’ve never seen the show for myself outside of the clips shown on The Soup, so I at least get the gist. Ant-Man’s description, while random to the situation, is still on point. Before the two announced their divorce, the show was about Kate being a total ice bitch 24/7 while Jon seems a step away from suicide. Apparently, people really like this.

I bring this up because while I don’t partake in the show, I have a loose connection to Kate Gosselin. About nine months ago, she did a book signing at the Barnes & Noble I work at. It was a really big deal and had a huge turnout. Thankfully, I was on vacation so I didn’t have to deal with it.

My co-workers, on the other hand, had many problems. From every single account, Kate Gosselin was a complete nightmare to deal with. She had them change the signing to a day later at the last minute, which caused us headaches and screwed with the customers who couldn’t be in the loop. She didn’t greet a single customer or employee throughout the night. She had no reaction towards the flowers we got for her. She refused any and all photos and would only sign either copies of her book or the first season of her show. She refused to make eye-contact with any of her fans, including a sick, little girl who was at the front of the line. She wanted to leave an hour early, even though she obviously wasn’t done. Like I said, a total nightmare to deal with.

The general consensus at the store was that Kate Gosselin is a bitch, but others would go far enough to straight-up refer to her as a cunt. Now, in the workplace, it’s hard to throw that word around safely, so we came up with a way to make it easier. From then on, we would retire the C-word and replace it with “Kate”.

“Then she got kicked right in the Kate.”

“That one customer who demanded to do a return without a receipt was acting like such a Kate.”

“Jeff Goldblum’s first line in any movie is Deathwish, where he says, ‘Goddamn rich Kates! I KILL RICH KATES!'”

You’d… You’d be surprised how much that last one comes up…

Now, then. Let’s go back to Thunderbolts as Mr. X gets in Ant-Man’s face. Makes sense for Mr. X to be angry, considering Remender nearly ruins him completely in one issue.

Haha! See? Art is imitating life. I love it.

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Scoundrels Behind the Cage Part 2

August 24th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

After sixteen issues, Luke Cage had come to realize that with a title like Hero for Hire, nobody would ever take him seriously. He was rarely mentioned in the press due to the feeling that he was just a mercenary. He took that to mean that he needed a new name and stat. He considered calling himself “Ace of Spades”, but decided it was too ethnic. During a team-up with Iron Man, a villain asked Cage, “But how? This ship’s construction makes what you’ve done impossible!”

“Just chalk it up to black power, man.”

Then he got distracted so much by how right on track he was with a new nickname that he got punched in the ribs by a villain in a robot suit.

As of that issue, the title changed to reflect his newfound name. It also led to a fantastic issue where the villain named Power Man (currently Atlas) took exception to this infringement and fought Cage in a movie theater. This ranks up there with #9, the Cage vs. Dr. Doom issue, as one of the best pieces of the series.


First Appearance: Luke Cage, Power Man #18
Threat Level: 2
Bizarreness: 4
Lasting Ability: 1

Jake Mallard and his two brothers were construction workers working for Maxwell Plumm. Plumm liked to cut corners whenever possible and the shoddy materials led to the deaths of Jake’s brothers. Jake swore vengeance and spent the next few years building some construction-based weaponry for his own construction-based villain gimmick of Steeplejack.

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