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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We Care a Lot Part 15: Way Too Hard to Comprehend

July 20th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Last time on We Care a Lot, I discussed Eddie Brock’s cancer retcon. Before that, I was talking about Daniel Way’s Venom on-going series. To refresh your memory, the Venom symbiote is on the loose up in Canada. It killed off all of army girl Patricia Robertson’s friends and is on its way to a more populated area. Robertson is allied with an alien life form named the Suit, who fights with a cell phone gun. They are being antagonized by a pair of spy chicks who want Venom for themselves. Although they have already been killed, another couple of them have popped up. Venom has finally settled on a host that he can live off of forever.

And that’s where we left off. Venom #10 begins with the Venom-controlled Wolverine attacking Vic and Frankie’s ship and forcing it to crash. The two suit up in their armor and reveal to the reader that they’re probably into each other sexually. Of course they are.

They don’t last a minute. Frankie is stabbed to death by Venom-Wolverine and Vic stumbles upon her doppelganger’s corpse from earlier. She realizes that she’s nothing more than a clone, puts her gun to her head and pulls the trigger.

The torso remains of the Suit give Patricia a new cell phone he has created. He says that he placed the original in a special place and that the new phone acts as a detonator. Venom-Wolverine busts in after her and she presses the button to activate the first phone. As we see, after Wolverine was knocked out by that nuke, the Suit tore open his chest and shoved his phone in there. Now the cell phone goes off, electrocuting Wolverine from the inside and forcing off the symbiote.


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Ultimatum Edit Week 4: Day Five

June 11th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

As we last left our unfortunate heroes, Nick Fury is visited by Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Doom and Zarda. He doesn’t seem at all surprised to find out that the world is being torn apart in his absence, as he apparently warned Doom about it back in the day.

Hey, ever notice that the current Squadron Supreme series takes place five years after Ultimate Power, but only months have passed in the Ultimate Universe? What the hell is up with that?

ManiacClown and I will be back tomorrow to finish off the Kitty Pryde scene and finally get to some actual Magneto action. It’s about time.

Day Six!
Day Seven!

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Ultimatum Edit Week 4: Day Four

June 10th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Last time, we saw Dr. Strange try his chances with the Great Pumpkin Dormammu. Unfortunately, Dr. Strange only got a rock. And by “a rock”, I mean “his head exploded”. Then Hulk jumped around and met up with the X-Men. We’ll continue with that, then move on to the Search for Nick Fury subplot.

Just so you know, the end of that Hulk sequence in the original Loeb version was really a joke about the Hulk having a raging boner. Christ…

Tomorrow, we’ll continue with the Nick Fury stuff, then see what Kitty Pryde is up to.

Thanks again to ManiacClown, who believes that Zarda really just hates the stick shift and doesn’t know how else to express her feelings. Maybe she should have written a catchy song about it, like Cake.

Day Five!
Day Six!
Day Seven!

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What If Musings: A Team Like No Other

August 9th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

I just got back from vacation and it’s been one shitty day. I had to get up early for my first flight, which was at 7 am. That flight was spent listening to a whining cat that its owner brought aboard. Being that I went from Phoenix to Atlanta, I lost 3 hours. My connecting flight got delayed to hell and I spent about six hours in the airport, waiting. I finished reading every trade I brought with me for the trip (god, why didn’t I read Kaminski’s Iron Man: War Machine sooner?). My iPod batteries were running low. I had lots of time on my hands and I was insanely bored.

This is just my explanation and warning for the following concept.

Right now, Marvel has several superhero teams fighting underground, trying to do right while evading authority. The more apparent of the two are Luke Cage’s Secret Avengers and Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos. So that got me thinking of what it would be like if these two underground hero leader types were to have joined together earlier on.

The following two pages are from The Pulse #9, by Bendis. It takes place as a conclusion to Secret War. Luke Cage was one of several heroes recruited to take part in what became a terrorist act in Latveria, only to be mind-wiped of his experience and attacked a year later for his actions. Here, his pregnant girlfriend Jessica Jones and his partner Iron Fist have him in held up in Night Nurse’s secret hospital as a hologram of Nick Fury sends his final message.

We know how things go from here. But I’m thinking of a tangent reality from this scene. I’m wondering…

What If Nick Fury Founded the Secret Avengers?

Bear with me for a second because this is either really great or really, really stupid.

Before Jessica can go on her tirade, Luke speaks up. This is how Fury responds to Cage being attacked? By running away and saving his own skin? Cage can handle himself, but he’ll be damned if his unborn child is going to be a supervillain target for reasons he can’t even remember. If Fury’s going underground, Cage and Jessica are going with him.

Iron Fist, being loyal to Luke, demands to join too. Fury caves and the four of them go on the run together until this blows over. Since they’re already going off the radar, Luke visits Matt Murdock, whose troubles as Daredevil are getting worse and worse every day. Luke convinces Matt to leave his life behind and join them, as they help people out while staying away from the authorities.

So who are our heroes, again?

Nick Fury. Cigar-chomping (well, not exactly anymore) leader and master strategist.

Luke Cage. Imposing and unnaturally strong black man.

Matt Murdock. Handsome. Persuasive. Sneaky. Always scoring hot women wherever he goes.

Danny Rand. The space cadet, filling in as comic relief. Acts to play off of and regularly annoy Cage.

Jessica Jones. Spirited token female. Former reporter. Doesn’t really do anything.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this:

“In 2004, a crack superhero team was attacked for a crime they didn’t remember committing. These men promptly escaped to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the Howling Commandos.”

Come on. Like you wouldn’t read the shit out of that comic.

“I ain’t flyin’ on Danny’s plane! Fool’s crazier than Murdock!”

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Return of the Knockoffs

July 8th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

I haven’t really seen anyone talk much about the new Squadron Supreme 2 miniseries, so I thought I’d take a crack at it.

To really get into my thoughts on the first issue of the new miniseries, you have to look back at what brought us here in the first place. The original concept of the Squadron Supreme was brought to us by Roy Thomas as part of an Avengers storyline. The team would be the first example of what would eventually become a very hackneyed comic book cliché of one company copying another company’s characters and changing their names to keep things legally clean. Sometimes this works, like the time Plastic Man trained with an invisible monk, a super-strong monk and a fire monk. Most of the time it doesn’t work, like when Superman and Batman had to face the Ultimates/Avengers-based Maximums or when Garth Ennis thinks up yet another Superman knock-off for the sake of making fun.

The Squadron Supreme, of course, was based on the Justice League. It was a cool idea at the time and their alternate universe was instrumental in the Defenders. It was there that they laid down the groundwork for Mark Gruenwald’s opus maxi-series based on the Squadron Supreme universe.

If you haven’t read the original Squadron Supreme series, I’d suggest you do. It’s not the best comic ever, but in light of the last few years in comics, it comes across as an interesting bridge between the older days of superhero morality and the more sensitive times of now. It mainly dealt with the team taking over the government and giving themselves a year to fix up the damage they had caused during a mind-control episode. The big deal of their plan to change the world is that they used a special machine to alter the minds of their villains to make them good. The moral dilemmas weren’t lost on the story, as some heroes left due to disagreeing with the situation and one member of the team got kicked off for using the same machine on another teammate to make her love him. In the end, it became a Civil War situation with Hyperion’s side up against Nighthawk’s side.

The Squadron Supreme world could never successfully follow up on that series. There were stories here and there, including an arc in Exiles, but nothing special ever truly happened with it.

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Review: Peter David’s Iron Man Movie Novelization FIGHTS! and FIGHTS! with Repulsor Rays!

March 26th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

A year ago, I bought, read and reviewed Peter David’s novelization of Spider-Man 3. I thought it was pretty good and went on record to say that Sam Raimi would have to go out of his way to fuck up that movie. Wouldn’t you know it, he did exactly that. He deleted a handful of scenes that would have turned the movie’s three villains into more than ridiculous, one-dimensional jokes. While he removed all the valuable Eddie Brock and Sandman scenes, he made it even worse by hardly shaving off any whiny Mary Jane moments.

I made the decision to go for round two. This time Peter David writes a novelization based on the upcoming Iron Man film. More than anything, I was curious. The build-up has been nice. Not just with the trailers, but the feeling that there’s love in the movie. I recall Jon Favreau saying that in preparation, he had been reading every single issue of Iron Man from the 60’s on. So would love be enough to make this story work?

Yes. Yes it really would.

I’m not going to give out explicit spoilers, but if you really want an absolute blank slate to the point that you didn’t even watch the trailers, by all means don’t read this and instead just give me $5.

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4thletter is for… deception

June 29th, 2007 Posted by david brothers


You ever get the feeling that the wool’s been pulled over your eyes, just a bit?

Garth Ennis is known for a few things. Blood, curse words, comedic facial deformities, sex jokes, a mild hatred of superheroes, and more blood and then a few more curse words. On the good side, he’s a pretty solid plotter, he knows his strengths, he does great dialog, and he’s the best war writer since Kanigher and Kubert.

Just in case you aren’t familiar, he’s written comics where a demon named Baytor becomes master of hell, Nick Fury strangles another dude with his own intestines, an alien sex pervert becomes a British diplomat and gets eaten by a tiger while dressed in a corset with an orange up his butt, a soldier constantly tries to trick his superior officer into kissing him by faking death, a guy gets his nose swapped with his penis and vice versa, an Australian pope has sex with nuns and curses, the Saint of Killers shoots God, a short man with glasses has sex with a giant statue made out of meat, superheroes are depicted as a bunch of people who are completely worthless human beings (and sex perverts), a dude has sex with himself and then shoots himself in the face in front of his son, and– actually, this is a pretty good sampling of the stuff he’s known for. Plus, this is going to completely ruin the search terms on this site.

Anyway, Ennis has got something of a rep. He’s done his fair share of gross-out comics, though it’s usually played for humor. But, I’ve been noticing something in his comics. He keeps sneaking in these little things that make a scary amount of sense. I don’t necessarily agree with Ennis on the religion front, but he makes good points about how to live life. Sexism, racism, whatever– it’s all stupid. It doesn’t matter. Leave it behind and just do right.

The quote up top is from The Boys #8, a series about some humans whose entire job consists of smearing and then beating the snot out of superhumans, who are all sex perverts and callous jerks. We’ve seen a bulldog have sex with another, smaller dog, and a Teen Titans-alike have a screwed up coke orgy. The book opens with a guy swinging around with his girlfriend like they were in a movie, only a superhuman comes crashing down and basically explodes her on impact, leaving the guy holding her severed arms. There’s also a dude who lives below a comic shop who basically calls Will Eisner a punk. And despite all this grisly stuff, you get little scenes like the one in that image up there.

Punisher: The Slavers dealt with white slavers. On the one hand, it’s a wish-fulfillment fantasy. We, the reader, get our revenge on the rapist and slavers of the world through Frank Castle’s actions. He kills quite a lot of them, and the series ends with him lighting a local boss on fire on video, looking into the camera, and saying “Don’t come back here.” He sends the video back to Eastern Europe with one of the allies of the slavers. On the other hand, though, I can’t remember the last time I saw the aftereffects of rape and kidnapping in a comic. One of the cops featured in the story actually quits the force, because she believes she can do more good helping track and assisting the girls who were kidnapped. The last two pages of The Slavers are heartbreaking. You don’t have the full context here, obviously, but I think the pages are worth sharing. Check out the softcover or the hardcover (B&N link) if it catches your interest. The softcover’s like ten bucks, it’s worth it. I cut out the pages where Cristu was burned alive because they aren’t 100% relevant here.

For reference: Viorica lost her daughter to the slavers.

punisher_v5_030_p14.jpg punisher_v5_030_p15.jpg punisher_v5_030_p20.jpg
punisher_v5_030_p21.jpg punisher_v5_030_p22.jpg
(words by ennis, art by fernandez)

“All she can do is live with what life they left her.” Ouch.
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5 Questions from Tom Foss, 8 from Carnage

June 27th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Not that Carnage.

Before I get into it, though, I’ve got half of an idea in my head. Boxing, the NBA, and the NFL are mostly black (except for quarterbacks :doom:). What if you had a series of superteams, like say one in each of the 50 states, that were run like a sports team? Try outs, scandals, all stars, cocky all-stars fresh out of high school… There’s something there, but I can’t quite grab it yet. Any Given Sunday in a comic book universe.

First is Tom Foss‘s five questions:
1. You’re given the keys to the Marvel Universe, and your only order is to take one “What If” storyline from the entirety of the series and make it canon, along with whatever alterations occur to the universe as a result. Which story do you choose?

Geez. I’d probably pick Gavok’s #1, What If Iron Man Sold Out. It was an awesome story, one of the few What Ifs I owned as a kid, and had great art. It hit all my buttons– it was set just pre-apocalypse, semi-fascist, and had heroes coming back to be true heroes.

Actually, yeah, that’s it for sure. What If Spider-Man Kept the Power Cosmic was another great one, but it kind of takes my favorite superhero out of the runnings for further stories, so no dice. What If the Avengers Lost Operation Galactic Storm was great and I’d like to see that one. It was practically Annihilation III in terms of scope.

2. Who watches the Watchers?

The police. Peeping tom perverts always get theirs.

3. What five Marvel characters do you think are most likely to actually be Skrulls?

Sentry’s wife, the secret masters behind SHIELD, the secret masters behind HYDRA, and I don’t know. I haven’t really given specific Skrulls much thought. I’ll have to post my theory on why Nick Fury went underground, though.

4. Who are your top three, back-of-the-OHOTMU, favorite guilty pleasure Marvel characters?
1. Jubilee (who remains the only character I have a continuity nerd story pitch for)
2. Darkhawk
3. Terror, Inc.

Ugh, I was so impressionable as a kid.

5. Which Avengers base is/was the best?

I couldn’t pick if I tried! I only recently became an Avengers fan. So… I figure Stark/Sentry Tower? I don’t know. The mansion is just kinda blah.

Spencer Carnage is up next.
– I have to post these rules before I start.
– I have to tell you eight facts about myself.
– I have to tag eight people to participate.
– I’m supposed to leave a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read my blog.
– And the tagees need to write their own blog post, telling us eight things and posting the rules.

Ugh, eight things. Okay. Deep breath and
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Fantastic Four: The End

March 9th, 2007 Posted by david brothers

(Images have been added to the post! Scroll all the way down.)

Have you ever had something take you utterly by surprise that, in hindsight, is completely obvious?

That happened to me with Annihilation. I had no idea that Annihilus was the villain of Annihilation until the end of the Annihilation Special. No duh, right? I’m usually pretty good with picking out plot twists. I bet watching tv shows or movies with me sucks, since sometimes I just can’t help going “That guy’s the traitor, his wife is the hero in disguise, and that little one-liner about being good with explosives means he’s going to fake his death.”

But, I’ll still miss some completely obvious things.

So, pull up a chair and check this out. I’m probably going to spoil the ending of Fantastic Four: The End for you in the process. That’s still a few paragraphs down, though.

Just for clarity’s sake– FF: The End is the first of two (!) FF: The End projects. The upcoming one is being done by the team of Stan Lee and John Romita Jr. The one I’m talking about here, though, is the recently concluded FF: The End by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer. As usual, Farmer inks while Davis pencils and writes.

The last project I remember Davis and Farmer collaborating on is JLA: The Nail and JLA: Another Nail. They were Elseworlds tales about Superman being raised by Amish farmers, rather than the Kents, and the differences that brought out in the world. They weren’t perfect stories, as I seem to remember Jimmy Olsen somehow getting superpowers or something a little ridiculous like that, but they were great fun. JLA: Another Nail actually had the best Green Lantern ever. A deceased Mister Miracle escaped from death on Apokolips and into a GL ring which was worn by Big Barda.

A husband-and-wife Green Lantern. Awesome.

Davis has a lot of strengths. Costume design, for one. Another Nail is full of pretty sweet redesigns, and FF: The End is no different. He is kind of overly fond of raised collars, but he comes up with a cool in-story explanation for why so many Inhumans wear masks, so it evens out. Another is that he’s the original Bryan Hitch. Hitch used to be a Davis imitator, and his inker Paul Neary is well known for working with Alan Davis. Both of them have a great eye for detail and realism, which means that disaster scenes and low-key scenes both hit with appropriate impacts.

What I’m trying to say is that Alan Davis is an awesome artist. With FF: The End, he becomes a good writer, too.

FF: The End is set after the Mutant Wars, and after Reed Richards has finally put his mind toward improving the Earth to its fullest potential. He’s extended the lives of everyone on the planet exponentially. Lives are measured in the centuries now, which also provides a convenient reason for all your favorite heroes to show up still youthful, though Doc Strange missed out on the treatment. Crime is essentially gone, and there are heroes all over the solar system. The solar system itself has been quarantined, shut off from the Kree, Shi’ar, Skrulls, and most other Marvel space aliens. Marvel is finally a utopia.

That’s not to say that it’s been a bloodless advancement. The prologue shows that Franklin and Valeria Richards died in the FF’s final battle with Doctor Doom. We fast forward to twenty years after that, and the FF didn’t manage to stay together. Ben Grimm retired to Mars with Alicia Masters, his longtime girlfriend, and they have a handful of kids. Ben can turn from monster to man and back again, as well. Johnny Storm goes by John now, and he’s a bigshot hero in his own right. He’s extremely well-respected, to the point where he’s the top dog in the Avengers. His is the only new costume that I’m not really digging, but he thankfully gets some FF duds part-way through the series. Either way, the hothead has grown up into a true hero. Sue has buried herself in archaeological research and is hunting for various esoteric objects all over the Earth. She’s also sporting a boyish haircut that is pulled off amazingly well, and speaks to Davis’s sense for character design. Reed? Reed is alone on a satellite, cut off from human contact nine times out of ten, tinkering with his inventions and looking to keep pushing forward. Marvel’s First Family aren’t much of one any longer.
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