Archive for the ‘Four colour ramblings’ Category

thoughts on the new gay Green Lantern…

2 June 2012

first off: much of this complaint will be based in issues i have with the DCnU. although several books are very good, the overall tone is rather bleak. many of the changes have seemed intent on changing things that were good needlessly for the bad. and i dislike most reboots on general principle anyway. please keep this in mind as you read on, or take it as a place to turn back. also, i’m going to ignore the obvious jokes about the new/old gay character’s weakness being wood.

so, DC Comics has been telling fans for some time now that they would change an existing, iconic character gay.

i didn’t have a problem with this.

gay or straight, a hero is still a hero. and having one of DC’s existing characters “come out” (even as a retcon) would send a powerful message of acceptance. and DC claims to have have done so.

however, what they have done in actuality is create a new character with the same name as an old one, in a secondary alternate universe. this is not the main DCnU; this is a parallel Earth (Earth-2, in DC Comics parlance), less important than the main Earth-0. although things that happen on Earth-2 “matter,” they are by design less important than events on the primary Earth.

so this new character is already marginalized.

and instead of the iconic Alan Scott, the first character to be named “Green Lantern,” with a cohesive publication history and characterization dating back to the 1940s, this character is a young man in the 21st century. gone is the elder statesman of the superhero community with two children; instead, we are given a young business leader with a power ring.

so we’ve got a faceless cipher of a character in a backwater setting; what was the point of this evolution again?

what DC should have done was keep the pre-Flashpoint time scale for the Justice Society, instead of giving them the same origin (essentially) as the Earth-0 Justice League (albeit on another Earth). the pre-Flashpoint Alan Scott would have had the complexity of having been a closeted gay man in the 1940s; coming out now would have created a multitude of story possibilities. what would the reaction of his friends, family and fans have been? would there have been a public backlash? how would people have reacted to that backlash? this Alan Scott has adult children, a son and daughter. that son, Obsidian, is gay; would GL feel guilt for his son’s orientation? how would the father-son dynamic have been affected? (they didn’t have the best relationship).

there are just so many ways an established character, this one in particular, could have been used to explore real LGBT issues. instead, we get just another character who doesn’t matter overmuch.

rant aside, i do like the creative team working on this, and they seem enthusiastic. there’s just so much better ways this could have been done.

quote of the day:

“Stop the innocent act. You’re aware of the complexities of this world; you’re just choosing to ignore them.” – Alan Scott, Justice Society of America Vol. 3, No. 19


because the intarwebs haven’t been blown up enough,

2 July 2010

here’s my take on the new Wonder Woman costume:


to expand:

there are things i really, really like about this costume. for example, pants. i realize that Diana is nigh-invulnerable, often expressed as second only to Superman in power, and therefore could fight evil in a thong back swimsuit. and, as a guy, i can recognize the appeal of the swimsuit look. but she’s the princess of the Amazons; she should have some dignity. not having her cheeks hanging out in the breeze kind of works better for that.

i also like the top (in this image, anyway). it seems to have some sort of support mechanism, perhaps even a cap sleeve or other shoulder/arm covering. once again, i understand Wonder Woman is tough. but indestructible mammaries bouncing around seems like it would get in the way. this top looks as if it would perhaps prevent such things. sadly, in Wonder Woman #600, the neckline is cut lower and the sleeves/straps/whatever are merely thin spaghetti style straps.

oh, and the belt is awesome. except, i’m sure, for whatever poor bastard has to draw it.

but the rest of the outfit? fail.

the jacket and choker are straight out of the bad old days of the 1990s; all she needs are some pouches to finish the ensemble. the jacket in particular is hideous, with its short length and improbable ability to actually close. the round pauldron-like shoulder pads make me think she stole the jacket from a midget MFP trooper as well.

the half-gloves/bracelets are more than a little over-the-top, especially since Diana can now pimp-slap a “W” logo onto dudes’ heads with them. really? how is this supposed to grow the character? plus, the Amazons’ bracelets were intended to forever remind them of their time as slaves; those don’t look like very practical manacles. they look like somebody thought the classic design was too bland and they could bling it up a bit.

i don’t know what to say about the tiara. is that a tiara? it looks like a hair band or something.

the strange strap things on her shoes are, apparently, supposed to be for spurs. really? since the back story reboot has Diana growing up an orphan in NYC, why would she be needing spurs? sure, there are bridle paths in Central Park. i know that. is Diana going to be relaxing a-horseback in her off time? and why leave the straps on her boots? it seems inconvenient.

like a lot of others, i think i would have preferred something closer to Jamie McKelvie’s Wonder Woman design of a few years ago (before he was as big as he is now):

similar to the new costume, but not as fussy, and definitely more obviously “Wonder Woman.”

this new costume is temporary; we all know that. before long, the timeline in Wonder Woman will revert to that of the mainstream DCU, and Diana will get her history and clothes back. but it sure would have been nice if this change wasn’t something i’m looking forward to seeing leave.

quote of the day:

“Bees. My God.” – Batman, Amazons Attack #3

having a blast at HeroesCon…

5 June 2010

but that’s all you’re getting, because it’s too fun to stop and write stuff. more when i’m home.

quote of the day:

“As artists, the pleasure is to really have your work resonate and mean something. Art takes its inspiration from reality.” – Yareli Arizmendi

mmm. tasty, tasty crow.

13 May 2010

no, i’ve not started a Corvidae diet. i have, however, had something of a change of heart concerning CGC graded comic books.

this will probably come as something of a shock to those who have been gifted with my past frothing rants on the idiocy of “slabbed” comics. i’ve never bothered to post on the subject here, as pretty much anything i could say has already been said. just Google (or Bing, or whatever) “CGC Hall of Shame.” you’ll find lots of pricing foolishness.

but i’ve started buying CGC slabbed books. i’ve even joined a subscription service for them.

in my defense, i do still think there’s a lot of stupidity in the graded comic market. not just in pricing, but in the whole concept of “graded comics.”

but i’m not buying them as an “investment.” or spending the stupid amounts of money many people pay.

i enjoy comic books and, if they’ve made it this far, i assume most people reading this do also. my opinions on graded books have long been formed and informed by the nature of my enjoyment of comics.

the comic book is an interesting art form; it uses some combination of text and sequential graphics to tell a story. not all comics have text, but all have sequential art.

as such, the comic (not the comic book) is one of the oldest continually practiced art forms. we can’t assume that the primitive humans painting on cave walls were working in the comic form, but there is no doubt that the ancient Egyptians did. the Middle Kingdom coffin texts and “Book of the Dead” describe the necessary course for the dead to take to the afterlife, using sequential art to trace the journey and texts to supply the needed spells. i do prefer being able to read my comics while still alive, though.

in one form or another, comic art continued. some may claim that Action Comics #1 is the world’s most valuable comic. i would ask them to try and put a price on the Bayeux Tapestry.

but Wilhelm Busch’s publication in 1865 of Max und Moritz: Eine Bubengeschichte in sieben Streichen in some ways began the modern comic era (as distinct from the Modern Age); in the United States, his work inspired creators whose work became ammunition in Pulitzer and Hearst’s circulation wars.

Hogan’s Alley and other strips were eventually collected, creating a market for pamphlets of just sequential art, without the newspaper wrapped around. from there came the pulp expansion into the modern comic book form. and then came the Silver Age, and Watchmen, and holofoil covers. but the comic has always been sequential art. and that has been my key objection to “slabbing” books.

once a comic is sealed in a CGC holder, it’s no longer readable. one may appreciate the front cover art and back cover advertisement, but that’s it. the whole story is locked away.

the very idea of paying a premium for something that cannot be read was anathema to me; what sense did it make?

then came Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III’s run on Detective Comics.

aside: i collect original comic art. i’ve got several pieces framed on my walls, and others in sleeves (i need a print rack). so it’s not just the stories that “do it” for me, it’s the actual art.

Rucka’s writing was serviceable in this run, but Williams’ art was amazing. certainly some of the finest work of the Modern Age. and therefore, far out of my price range. most striking to me (particularly once considered through the prism of his interior work) were some of the covers. so i asked myself: what would it cost me to frame a comic?

the answer: too much. cheap frames started around $15 plus shipping, with premium frames running as high as $90. professional custom frames would run in the high end of that range.

but then i found CGC graded copies for under $30. graded as 9.8 (Near Mint/Mint), which means that cosmetically they’re pretty much the best you can find. and they’re already sealed in a holder which presents well. add some 3M Command picture hangers, and i’ve got nice art for the wall. are they “investments”? heck no. but they’re pretty.

the same vendor has a subscription service, and i’ve signed up (for the same per issue price) to get specific books whose cover art i particularly like. i’ll still be buying copies to read from my local comic shop, but now i’ll also have (relatively) inexpensive copies for display as well.

but i’m not going to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a comic book i can’t even read as an “investment.” that’s still crazy stupid.

quote of the day:

“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one.” – Charles Horton Cooley

shiny bits and baubles…

25 April 2010

that’s pretty much a summation of my original thoughts on the iPad.

with consideration, i revised that somewhat. but i was still a bit sceptic.

now, however, i’ve actually had my hands on one. and i really would like one. preferably a 3G. the killer app for me? Marvel Comics’ app – it really does take advantage of the gorgeous iPad screen well. it’s the first step to bringing comics into the digital age in a natural fashion, i think. not that i’m going to give up my monthly floppies! but for reading on the go? the iPad was made for such.

still not buying one, however. pricing is an issue (as i’ve said before), and that Marvel app? i’m not going to pay $2 for a comic i already have. give me collected trades! give me colour versions of Marvel Essentials! don’t rip me for another $2 bucks for a book that should have paid for itself in its print form (particularly since you’re charging $4 a book in print now).

but still, i’m convinced. the iPad is a worthwhile piece of kit. for a first generation device, anyway.

Apple has also released new MacBook Pro models – and they are truly nifty. as someone who has long been infatuated with Apple’s laptops (i’ve got a PowerBook 165 in my collection), these new MBPs are a kick ass evolution of their existing “unibody” design. now available with Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, they’re seriously fast. but the real selling points to me are the graphics upgrades.

with these new computers, Apple has two discrete GPUs: Intel HD (integrated in the Arrandale CPU) and NVIDIA GT330M graphics. by seamlessly switching between these two chipsets (based on user loading), battery life has been extended to a claimed 9 hours. which is probably a stretch, but still.

the new 15-inch model is also available with an optional 1680 x 1050 “high resolution” screen. it’s an impressive improvement over the base 1440 x 900 screen, carried over from the previous model.


quote of the day:

“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” – Carl Sagan

i hate this part…

21 January 2010

you know, when you can’t think of anything to write about? i need some sort of note-taking thing that’s wired into my brain (c’mon DARPA, help me out here – i know you’re working on it) so i can “take notes” without having to take notes. clear?

it seems when just wandering (well, stumbling bemusedly) through my day, i have all these little random thoughts that seem really interesting at the time. i carry a notebook, but often these ideas hit me when it’s not accessible. or when it would be inappropriate to pull out and start scribbling. or dangerous; the morning commute comes to mind.

so, all my great internal flowerings of wit bloom and die, unseen by the outside world (that means y’all). you don’t know what you’re missing. and, honestly, neither do i. if i could remember them, i’d write them down.

so, some random space fillers, in no particular order:

1. the HCBC is gearing up for the new decade. we’ve got a work space, and plan to have regular hours for folks to come by and work on their bikes with our tools “real soon now.” we’re also going to move our workshops into the space, making them a “rain or shine” event for the future. keep an eye out for an open invitation to an upcoming open house.

2. i really wish they didn’t have the SPCA bring dogs on the radio that need adoption. not because i wish ill for the dogs or the SPCA, but because it makes me sad. and it’s hard to drive to work or class if i’m bummed out. i don’t have the room or the funds to adopt a dog right now (and let’s not dwell on my antipathy towards cats), but every time i hear about these critters on the radio i want to bring them home. so you have to do it for me.

3. did we really need a remake of Clash of the Titans? i mean, the greatest attraction of the original are the Harryhausen special effects. well, and Ursula Andress. but i digress. the new film will be all seamless CGI, like Avatar and the Star Wars prequels. it seems to me (though this may be my not-well-hidden inner curmudgeon creeping out) that back when the effects guys were actually trying to create a realistic effect in the corporeal world, it gave us a better experience than the “throw tons of cpu cycles at it” approach. i know that the spaceships in the prequels look “cooler” (or, at least, smother) than those in the original trilogy, but they are less “real” because of it. if you’re going to make a film about big blue people, put some dudes in rubber suits.

4. the new Jaguar XJ is hot. i got to check it out up close, in detail at Baker Motor Company‘s launch event (now i just need a test drive). it’s got a very Citroën-inspired feel to the rear quarters. i like it a lot. but why are we only getting the V8 cars? i want the diesel! it’s only half a second slower to 60 mph than the non-supercharged V8 car (6 seconds versus 5.4), and gets 40 mpg combined. combined! did i mention significantly lower (than the petrol) CO2 emissions, with the same top speed (155 mph, in Europe)? and it runs around $11 thousand less for similar trim levels.

5. i’m beginning to loathe the term “graphic novel.” i really enjoy comic books. but not every comic book is a graphic novel. so stop calling them all that. Maus is a graphic novel. Pride of Baghdad is a graphic novel. Watchmen, V for Vendetta – graphic novels. some random storyline, contiguous in nature, collected in a single volume? Excalibur Classic, Vol. 1? not a graphic novel (good comic, though). just because it’s been collected and has a convenient unifying label hung on it doesn’t mean it’s a graphic novel. comic books are ongoing or single issue pamphlet-format works that tell a story without a preordained resolution. one could, perhaps, make the case for some one-shots as “graphic short stories,” but even most of them are beholden to external continuity. a graphic novel, on the other hand, is a story told through the same visual forms as the comic book (whether initially serialized or not) that has a beginning, middle and end. it is a contained story where the author is trying to either tell that story or expand on a larger theme. Maus, for example, tells the story of one man’s life during the Holocaust. it, therefore, is a contained story. Art Spiegelman is using the form of the comic to tell that story and make his points – he could have used other forms to do the same thing. Claremont and Davis really couldn’t have chosen another format for Excalibur, and there’s no resolution. the title ran on another 120 issues or so, through multiple creative teams, until it finally petered out. that’s not a novel, and neither are the smaller chunks – whatever titles you want to hang on them.


for not having anything to write about, i managed to burp out quite a bit. if you made it this far, i hope you enjoyed today’s maunderings. cheers!

quote of the day:

“Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.” – D.H. Lawrence

Ich habe…

1 July 2009

ein neues Auto gekauft.

because i had to, mostly. the Hamster passed 310k miles recently and then pretty much said, “no more.”

well, actually, the Hamster passed 310k miles, broke some more (and yes, as in “was already broken and reached a new plateau of failure”), and I said “no more.”

so, what did i buy?

behold, the Blue Beetle!


technically, it’s not actually blue. it’s more of a purple.

but i say it’s blue, so sod off if you can’t take a joke.

so, the gory details:

2001 VW Beetle GLS TDI, 90 hp, 155 lb-ft, ~12 seconds 0-60, 110 mph top speed. which makes it both quicker and faster than my old MGB “sports car.”

for those who are surprised (given my avowed and obvious fascination with fast cars) that i would buy a diesel, you must understand the first car i ever bought for myself was a diesel – a 1976 Peugeot 504 A90 sedan, to be precise. 2.3 liters, 4 speeds, and nonexistent performance.

but it ruined me for gasoline cars forever.

well, not really. but i do love diesel. i think it’s something about the smell.

absolute worst fuel economy so far has been 36.5 mpg (around town). best was 38.6 on a road trip to Charlotte (with highway speeds up to 95 mph – so it’s not like i was dawdling). would have gotten better mileage there, but for all the other idiots on the road unable to pick a speed and stick with it.

i like it, and that’s what’s important.

for those wondering about my “fast car guy” outlook, i did consider both an Audi S4 and Saab 9-3 Viggen before latching onto the Beetle.

like i said, i think it’s the smell.

quote of the day:

“As a rule, when I drive, I drive very carefully and sensibly. Tonight was an exception to the rule.” – Harry Dresden


9 March 2009

thankfully, this day’s about over.

life has been a little nuts lately (resulting in my lack of posting). but that’s o.k. – nuts is better than staid and boring.

some highlights:

  • had the non-drive crank arm fall off my town bike while riding down Calhoun Street. since i (mistakenly, apparently) chose to use a super-beefy downhill chainset, nobody has a crankarm fixing bolt to hand. so i’ll just have to ride one of my other bikes. such a hardship.
  • got some work done on the project car. almost ready to turn it around and work on the other side. hopefully, work will accelerate at this point, as the hardest fab work is done.
  • midterms are past. ow. but i feel better this semester at this point than i did last semester, so that’s a plus.
  • the weather seems to have turned around. pretty soon, i’ll be kvetching about heat instead of cold.
  • who thought it was a good idea to have spring break end the day after the daylight savings change? really?
  • i like bats. got to watch several of them Saturday evening, waiting for the box office to open at Theater 99.
  • the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth is next month. they’re looking for new members, too. wonder who i’d have to convince to let us in?
  • i’ve decided to ignore the economy. y’all should too. it’s depressing, and for no good reason.
  • Watchmen was o.k. not “the greatest movie ever” or even “the greatest comic movie ever,” but o.k. certainly better than i expected. *see note below.
  • i got a speeding ticket. and i didn’t even mean to be speeding. but the State Trooper was really cool, and the ticket isn’t too terribly expensive.
  • on that note, the Honda is still running. every day, i’m pleasantly surprised. let’s hope it continues.
  • the Bridge Run (and Wholly Cow ride) are both coming up soon-ish. hope you’ve registered.
  • and baseball is back.

happy spring, everybody.

quote of the day:

“The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.” – H.L. Mencken

* just for those who are wondering, the greatest comic book movie ever is The Rocketeer.

super huge comic book post ahead…

9 February 2009

continue reading at your own risk!

i was asked recently about what comics i read on a regular basis, and when i considered pointing the questioner to this blog i realized i had last discussed my pull list over two years ago.

obviously, my list has changed since then – series cancellations alone have made for quite a bit of shuffling. that, and limited series are limited – so what i was reading then, i’m definitely not reading now. if a book was that late, i’d drop it like a rock.

so, once again ignoring one-shots, and for that very small group who care, i’d like to present my biennial pull list description. one change from last time is that i’m not providing hyperlinks to descriptive or home pages for each title – it’s way too much work, and y’all should be able to cut-and-paste into Google.

ongoing titles:

The Amazing Spider-Girl – sadly, i won’t be reading this title much longer. as this week sees the release of issue #29 and with issue #30, it has been cancelled. there’s really not much more that i can say about this book other than that i will miss it.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight
– not as strong a title as it was in the first couple story arcs, this is still a very worthwhile title to pick up. the art is consistently good (especially when Georges Jeanty is doing the pencils), and new in-canon Buffy stories cover a lot of sins.

Captain America – who would have though this book would still be so good after the death of Captain America? in three months, we’ll be marking the second anniversary Steve Rogers’ death, and Ed Brubaker is still doing one of the best writing jobs in comics every month.

Captain Britain and MI:13
– the “replacement” for my beloved New Excalibur, this is arguably the best team book on the stands right now. far superior to the current list of Avengers titles or DC’s Justice League book, it even beats out Geoff Johns’ stellar run on JSA.

Dark Avengers – the newest Avengers title, this centers around Norman Osborn’s new team of Avengers – who are almost all unregenerate villains. only one issue in, i may or may not keep pulling this book. at $4/copy, it needs to be really damned good to stay on my list.

Deadpool – i have been waiting for this book for ages. Deadpool has shared a title with Cable for years – and i can’t stand Cable. i can’t pick up a Cable title without having to deal with the “created by Rob Liefeld” baggage. petty, i know. but still. Deadpool, however, is one of my favourite characters – not least because he’s the craziest mofo in comics. i think he’s even more insane than Jamie Braddock. by the way, everyone go see the new Wolverine movie – just to create buzz in favour of a Deadpool flick. Ryan Reynolds? genius.

The Flash – i have no idea what’s going on with this title. with all of the spin off from Final Crisis to come (including Flash: Rebirth, which will bring Barry Allen back to the DCU after nearly a quarter-century of dead-ness), i don’t know if this book will even exist in a couple months. i’ll also admit to not caring too much – i’m still a bit cheesed off over the editorially mandated whacking of Bart Allen (who is alive again, i know. but he’s also a kid again. and in the future).

Gen¹³ – i’m mostly buying this one out of historical loyalty to the concept and characters. now that the Wildstorm imprint has made it through another world-reshaping event, i may drop it if it doesn’t turn around and get goofy again. but not bad goofy; it’s been that far too much lately.

G.I. Joe – a new title from IDW Publishing, this is a complete reboot of the franchise. Larry Hama isn’t writing it, but he is writing the companion G.I. Joe: Origins title. only one issue in, this is another “wait and see” book.

Ghost Rider – while not as gloriously insane as it once was (zombie nurses featured in an earlier arc of this series), it’s still pretty good. these days, the book is more of a cosmic struggle between the forces of heaven and hell than a 1970s biker flick – and it works. not quite the “popcorn” book it used to be, but still fun.

Green Lantern Corps – two words: Blackest Night. summer, 2009.

Hack/Slash – this is not a T&A book. ok, ok, it is. but that’s not the point. don’t think “slasher movie with scantily clad girls,” think “buddy flick where one buddy is a scantily clad girl and the other is a giant ugly freak.” consistently good, and almost always rises above its T&A image.

The Incredible Hercules – now this is a buddy flick. smartass teenage super-genius (8th smartest person in the world) and a dimwitted drunken demigod travel the world fighting evil, drinking a lot (well, Herc does) and schmoozing women (again, mostly Herc). great, funny book.

Invincible Iron Man – the book that redeemed crypto-fascist Tony Stark for me. great writing, has a lot of the feel of the blockbuster film of last summer.

Jonah Hex – done-in-one western. consistently the best book on the stands. think Man With No Name – and lots of facial scar tissue. if you decide to buy anything on this list – buy this book. today, if possible.

Justice League of America – Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman with their hangers-on. Supes is going on a long sabbatical to “New Krypton” and Bats is mostly dead, so i have no clue what’s going to happen to this book.

Justice Society of America – DC’s “legacy team” of young and old superheroes, this has been both very good and maddeningly slow lately. we’ll have to see what the new creative team is going to do with it, since Geoff Johns is off the book in April.

The Mighty Avengers – a.k.a. the Neo-Con Avengers. this book has a new creative team and new line-up, so i’m withholding judgement. but at least Marvel’s leaving the price at $2.99.

The New Avengers – a.k.a. the Hippie Avengers. also having a creative change – but i’m looking forward to Stuart Immonen’s art. this one’s been jacked up to $4/book – except the next issue, which is $5! it better stay good if i’m going to keep getting it.

Punisher – a replacement (really, just a re-titling with a new number one) for the Punisher: War Zone title, this is Frank Castle vs. the new status quo of “Dark Reign.” good so far.

Scalped – great, great book – but gut-wrenchingly dark and bloody. it’s a crime drama centered on the crooked dealings of a tribal chief and his casino. great book – but not for the weak of stomach.

She-Hulk – another cancelled title. i’m going to miss this most of all, i think. last issue will be #38.

Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose – now this is a T&A book. probably the worst comic available for purchase today. as pointed out by Chris Sims over at the ISB, each new issue seems to be the worst issue ever. so why do i buy it? it’s possibly the funniest book on the stands. with lines like, “You have to get out of here! Your vagina is haunted!” how can i turn it away? hilarious, train-wreck bad writing. Jim Balent’s art is pretty darn good, though, if insanely unrealistic and sexist. if you like stupid, you’ll love this.

Thor – plodding right along (and i do mean plodding), each issue of this makes it worth the wait. gorgeous art and Asgardian political machinations. now if only something would happen!

Ultimate Spider-Man – soon to be cancelled and restarted with new numbering in the wake of Ultimatum, this is where Stuart Immonen is leaving from. rumour has it that after Ultimatum, Peter Parker won’t be the star of the book anymore. i’m crossing my fingers that this won’t suck after the reboot.

War Machine – this replaced Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Marvel’s line up. good so far, but i’m not sure where this is going. can Rhodey carry a book on his own?

Witchblade – i am amazed i’m still enjoying this. i thought, with the Witchblade leaving Sara Pezzini, that i’d drop it. but it didn’t completely leave her, and her interaction with the new (half-)bearer has made for some good stories.

Wonder Woman – Gail Simone is still doing a bang-up job here. i think that her run will be ranked alongside Perez’s in the future. really, really good. hopefully the Final Crisis aftermath won’t ruin it.


Angel: After the Fall – this is actually a “maxiseries” and technically over. the title will be changing names and focus to point up the end of the “After the Fall” story arc. i’m dropping it in a couple issues.

Avengers/Invaders – this is a fun title. but it has suffered from some delays. best if you’re an Invaders fan, really.

Back To Brooklyn – bloody crime drama. the first issue was a little weak, but it’s turned into a fun little book. it’s a popcorn action comic with lots of shotgun killings. wait for the trade at this point.

B.P.R.D.: The Black Goddess – i don’t really think of this as a miniseries, as the all the B.P.R.D. books share a common, continuously changing storyline. it’s just Dark Horse starts each story arc with a new number one and a new subtitle after the colon.

El Diablo – El Diablo is sort of a DC counterpart to Marvel’s Ghost Rider. but he’s a lot meaner. the last issue of this book had the current El Diablo trying to kill the Freedom Fighters – which is a pretty cruddy thing to do.

Galveston – pitched as a semi-historical look at the relationship between Jean Lafitte and Jim Bowie, this is mostly Bowie and Lafitte drinking, talking about women, and getting beat up. skip it; i’m just too much of a completist (and former resident of the titular town) to drop the book.

Ghost Whisperer – licensed from the television show. oddly, i don’t like the show but do like the comic. i have no clue why.

The Haunted Tank – great, great book. a modern version of the old Haunted Tank feature from G.I. Combat, the premise is that the ghost of Major General J.E.B. “Jeb” Stuart watches over his descendants in the cavalry – since cavalry is now armoured cavalry, that means tanks. so what happens when a Confederate ghost shows up to protect a multi-racial tank crew led by his descendant – who is a proud African-American? hilarity, that’s what.

Hellboy: The Wild Hunt – like the B.P.R.D. books, the Hellboy books are one long story with new subtitles and number one issues for each chapter. unlike the B.P.R.D. books, each story stands much better on its own. this one is excellent so far.

Hexed – the story of a magical sneak-thief. delightful thus far – but it’s only one issue in.

Mercy Sparx – demon gets sent to Earth to rein in renegade angels. she didn’t believe Earth existed until she was forced to come here.

Phonogram: The Singles Club – Jamie McKelvie art. i’ve gushed about this one before. go buy it now. pick up the first series in trade while you’re at it. and make sure you get a copy of his Suburban Glamour, too.

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle: Dark Rising – standard modern-day jungle adventure. nothing super-special, but it does have jungle-dwelling cyborg Nazis.

Shrapnel: Aristea Rising – i picked this one up on a whim, and really liked it. published by Radical Comics (like last year’s Caliber: First Canon of Justice), it’s got very nice art and a somewhat predictable story.

Solomon Kane – current Dark Horse treatment of Robert E. Howard’s Puritan hero, it’s very true to Howard’s original works in feel. wait for the trade (it’s almost over), but if you like Howard, you should like this.

Storming Paradise – somewhat delayed story that goes from the premise that the Manhattan Project was a failure. not particularly inspired artistically or in its writing, but still an interesting examination of what might-have-been.

Transformers: All Hail Megatron – unabashedly goofy Transformers tale from IDW, this one’s for fans of the franchise only. the art’s o.k., the writing less-so, but still fun.

Trinity – DC Comics’ latest weekly 52-issue epic, this is a far better work than Countdown (which preceded it). it examines how essential Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are to the DC mythos – and what might have taken their place if they weren’t there.

The Twelve – wow. lots and lots of delays. but worth the wait; The Twelve takes twelve forgotten heroes of the Marvel universe’s WWII era and transplants them in the present (by way of a Nazi suspended animation project). there’s a murder mystery (a la Watchmen) and lots of interesting “lost in time” character work.

Ultimatum – current Ultimate Marvel crossover series. very fun so far, but looks like it’s going to hose Ultimate Spider-Man, the best Ultimate book and best Spider-book on the stands. reserving judgment for the aftermath.

Wolverine: Manifest Destiny – i’m not a big Wolverine fan (overexposure is a killer), but this has been a great ride. set in San Francisco, this is a kung-fu flick in four colours. only one issue left, so pick up the trade.

and that’s that. whew. it’s really not as many books as it looks like – i know some guys that pick up this many books a week, and this is my theoretical monthly list. i say “theoretical” because with delays, it’s usually quite a bit less than this.

quote of the day:

“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” – Oscar Wilde

in the wake of NYCC…

9 February 2009

i’m still confused.

not just about what the heck DC Comic’s Final Crisis was all about, either.

but about the thought processes of the Marvel editorial staff.

in brief:

Marvel’s Ultimate universe (Earth-1610) is currently in the throes of the Ultimatum miniseries/crossover event. it has been known for a while that the only book to be continued after the event was to be Ultimate Spider-Man, and even that was to be “rebooted” with a new number one issue.

what’s confusing to me is that Marvel has decided to make the Ultimate universe even more distinct (which, honestly, i thought they were) by publishing them under a new imprint “Ultimate Comics.”

where this gets silly is in the resulting names for the new comics spinning out of the event:

Ultimate Comics Ultimate Spider-Man
Ultimate Comics Ultimate Avengers
Ultimate Comics New Ultimates

makes me want to chug some Mountain Dew and go for a hardcore mountain bike ride. or something.

quote of the day:

“Dude, on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being not so extreme and 10 being extremely extreme, I give this a 9.5!” – Extreme Sports Punk #1