Sunday, January 29, 2006

Comics Recap: Mostly Marvel Edition


Catwoman #51
One of the main appeals of this issue is of course the cover, because not only is it one of the best comics covers in general, it's one of the best Catowman covers. And in the lofty catalog of illustrator Adam Hughes, it's one of his best covers, too. It's a striking image-- it tells a very clear story and has the fantastic additive of being goddamn sexy. Nice cover.

Perhaps the only flaw is that in this time of illustration over content (as far as comic book covers are concerned) the cover does not relate to the story within the book. It may have, I'm not a regular reader of Catwoman so I don't know if she was in fact arrested, but she is not arrested in this issue. But it's still a good issue. I love the work of Pete Woods, he draws a very real and very attractive Catwoman. His character work in general is strong and he fills pages with alot of panels and detail. The colors are outstanding, Brad Anderson does a bulk of the work here since Woods' linework is so open; nearly every light source in any given scene is determined by color. The book's story by Will Pfeifer continues some ongoing Catwoman arcs and ties heavily into events with Identity Crisis, that being of Selina Kyle/Catwoman's mind being altered by Zatana and Catwoman confronting Bruce Wayne about just that. Catwoman's confrontation with Zatana happened last issue, and suddenly with an intriguing story and wonderful art Catwoman has become a book I'm interested in.


New Avengers #15
Look, Frank Cho can draw. He can draw like a motherfucker. The colorist has alot to live up to, Jason Keith in this case, and does a good job. It's alot of bold colors, not much subtlety, tho I must say some nice skin rendering especially noticeable in Cho's frequent close-ups. The story is standard Bendis, lots of conversation and personal interaction. Oh, I'd like to point out that the comics narrative caption has been replaced by a feakin' "blog entry." Way to keep your finger on the pulse of today, Bendis. Carol Danvers plays a role that is at times nice to be reading again and also damn weird. What was up with all those references to "House of M?" I've always liked the character, as Ms. Marvel, as Warbird, she's not exactly A-list but has a surprising weight in regards to Marvel continuity. Back in the day she was a raging alcoholic, whatever happened with that? And I've always wondered about the rumor of Bendis' Alias series. The rumor being that the main character was initially written as Carol Danvers-- she is easily interchangeable with the actual lead Jessica Jones. However the other rumor was that Jessica Jones was originally going to be Jessica Drew... Spider-Woman! That's all neither here not there, because Frank Cho can draw.


Spider-Man/Black Cat #6
Well it's finally over, what was that, four years? I don't remember anymore. I wish I could say it was worth the wait, Terry Dodson or no. It appears Felicia Hardy was indeed a victim of rape back in her college days, and that was the catalyst for her becoming Black Cat. Despite her father being a career criminal, it was the traumatic event and subsequent death of her rapist-- robbing Felecia of her chance for revenge ala Jennifer Lopez in "Enough"-- that lead her to a life of crime. It's not that Kevin Smith writes it poorly, it's just... so Lifetime Movie of the Week. Can't Felicia just be a bad seed? Why does she have to be a victim of a sexual assault to turn into a criminal? I find the psychological reasoning of a daughter trying to impress/live up to her father's image more likely than the former. There's all kinds of touchy-feely dialogue about talking about the problem and getting help and not being a victim, and I guess on some level this is constructive. I just can't figure out the audience Smith was writing to. The main problem here is mine: that I'm a guy in his 30's reading a Spider-Man comic. However, I don't know of many
young women privy to Felicia's unfortunate situation that read Spider-Man, either.

Back in the McFarlane days of Spider-Man, Black Cat had an nasty run in with Venom. As far as I know he didn't rape her, he just beat the shit out of her. Man, roles for women in comics suck.


X-Statix: Dead Gril #1
Well maybe things are looking up for chicks in comics, at least the dead ones. This book is awesome. A little blurry, but awesome. There's no mistaking the unique Allred visuals of which I will forever be a fan, even if it takes Nick Dragotta to help get it done (but you'd never know). Peter Milligan brings us a damn fine story in that great X-Statix fashion centered around none other than Dr. Strange. In fact the titular character isn't even in the book! That takes some balls, people. Well she does show up-- partially--on the last page. But what a last page... it's just sweet.


Uncanny X-Men #468
I love Chris Bachalo's art, but seriously, what the fuck is going on in this book? Call me jaded but back in the good 'ol days at least Chris Claremont was readable. This stuff is damn near indecipherable!

Hey, a couple issues ago, 'Ol Clever Claremont used the title, "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream." Was it a reference to Simon and Garfunkle's hippy folk song (plausible) or Frank Black's ode to the Powerpuff Girls (unlikely)? Or something else X-related (who knows). Just something that caught my eye.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Double Double Double Double Double....


Maybe you've seen this floating around, I stole the link from Defamer, but here it is:

The infamous In-n-Out 100x100 Burger!!!

That's alot of cow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Comics Day

Crisp, clean, and Crisis free!

JLA Classified
Catwoman
Green Lantern Corps
Defenders
New Avengers
Spider-Man/Black Cat
Books of Doom


Jose Luis Garcia Lopez on JLA? Woo hoo! But what I'd really like to know is what makes JLA Classified "Classified." The first Morrison arc, hell yeah, I love that kinda of shit, new fiction out of nowhere. That I understand the need for a spinoff book. The Ellis arc? Eh, not so much. So what I hope Simone does is a little weird, a little off kilter, or else it may as well be the regular book. What I think Classified really allows is the use of the key JLA Players without all the Crisis rigamarole or other continuity burdens, and I guess that's good and well enough.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Disaster!!!


I was gonna write my reviews but the issues all got lost in my re-org. My books pile up for months and it's a chore and a half to sort that mess out and get things in their proper places. About 30-40% of the books go back to the comic store, are given away, or ebay-ed, I just don't have the space. Cause even when I do that I'm left with boxes and boxes of comics!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Comics Day

My hard work and turmoil as of late has rewarded me with a hearty stack of books for the week. And Crisis!

Books of Doom
Uncanny X-Men
Sgt. Rock
Infinite Crisis
All Star Superman (!)
Green Lantern
Dead Girl (!)
Planetary (?!)
Red Sonja
Strangers in Paradise


I also picked up that lovely Don Flowers compendum by Fantagraphics to go with their companion volumes of Dan DeCarlo and Bill Wenzel. Now only if they'd do it up nice for Bob Lubbers... Altho the Glamour issue from the link is certainly not a bad thing to have.


Crisis, Crisis, Crisis. You've really done it this time, haven't you. I mean, Superboy-Prime ripping of an arm, okay. Punching off a head? Er... well, allright. Heat ray vision to slice someone in half? Oh dear... But come on, kicking a dog? No sir, I don't like it.

I guess it isn't so bad, I mean it's not like he compared congress to a plantation or anything.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Comics Day

Slim pickins' this week.

Hawkman
JLA
She-Hulk
Danger Girl: Back in Black

I'm a very busy bee so no semi-pithy comments for this week's books. I'll follow up with some reviews shortly!

Science Fiction is Now!


So, yeah.

It’s no coincidence that the Intel Core Duo was born of the world’s leading processor company. To design and fabricate a dual-core chip performing at this level demands a commitment of resources few companies can even contemplate. The Intel Core Duo represents years of development by legions of Intel engineers. It’s the first Intel processor built using the new 65-nanometer process, which makes possible transistors so small you could fit a hundred inside a single human cell. Combine the advances of Intel with the innovation of Apple, and you get the most amazing Macs ever built.


Emphasis mine. But I guess science fiction is always "now," right? If you browse some of the stories coming out of CES, there's alot of regular upgrades, then there are one or two things that make you scratch your head in wonder. The laptop computer, we take it for granted, you would not have to travel back that far in recent history for today's laptop to be seen as a mind-blowing source of devil magic. There are generations coming of age now that do not know life without such devices. The future, when todays marvels will be described as nothing short of luddite, will be both exciting... and a little frightening!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Whaaaaa?


From the press release and CBR:

NEW YORK – Actress Rosario Dawson, star of “SIN CITY”, “RENT”, “CLERKS 2” and “MiB2” teams with writer David Atchison and artist Tony Shasteen this spring to launch the Occult Crimes Taskforce, a groundbreaking new comic book miniseries co-created by Dawson herself.

The series marks Dawson’s first foray into the comic book market. The Occult Crimes Taskforce follows rookie Detective Sophia Ortiz’s quest to save New York City from an unholy threat and solve the mystery of her father’s murder. The storytelling skills Dawson has gained acting in some of Hollywood’s hottest productions combined with the writing talents of David Atchison and the thematic art of Tony Shasteen will create a comic book experience unlike anything on the shelves. The Occult Crimes Taskforce is a true melding of film and comic books combining the sensibilities, drama and tension of film and with the wildly imaginative, epic style of comic books. Inspired by Dawson herself, Sophia Ortiz has a depth most comic book characters cannot possess as her actions, feelings and motivations have been closely modeled after Dawson’s own.


In case you missed it:

"Inspired by Dawson herself, Sophia Ortiz has a depth most comic book characters cannot possess as her actions, feelings and motivations have been closely modeled after Dawson’s own.

I... I... don't know how to respond to that at the moment.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Comics Day

It's been a hell of a year, but against all odds I managed to get me some comics!

First Thunder
Day of Vengeance Special
Down
Y the Last Man


It was a light week, too, which is kinda a good thing at the moment. The Day of Vengeance "Infinite Crisis Special" is going to make or break the IC tie ins for me... I'm pretty sure I can pass on OMAC, tho. Infinite Crisis itself is very dissapointing. Over three issues, what exactly has happened?

-- "The Original" "Earth Prime" Superman is alive and well and wants to "set things right" by collapsing some fractured parallel worlds into a single soup
-- Power Girl and Psycho Pirate are from Earth Prime
-- The Freedom Fighters are dead (notables include Phantom Lady and The Ray)
-- Paradise Island evacuated and plain up and phased out of reality, tho Wonder Woman surprisingly stayed behind
-- Earth Prime Superboy and Alex Luthor may be up to something else entirely, and it was EP Superboy that destroyed the JLA watchtower and sucker-punched Martian Manhunter
-- there is a cataclysmic big swirly thing threatening to consume the universe (and that's just the DC logo! ba-dum-bump)