Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
A few years ago Garth Ennis brought back the Punisher in a storyline called "Welcome Back, Frank", which was probably the best Frank Castle story I have ever read. No more being a angel assassin or whatever the hell he was. It was back to basics, which meant Frank killing a bunch of mobsters in his usual and unusual manner. In that story, we were introduced to Ma Gnucci, the head of the Gnucci crime family that the Punisher set his sights on destroying. His war with the Gnuccis resulted in the family being wiped out and Ma seemingly dying in a house fire after she lost all her limbs and Castle punted her back into the burning building.
This limited series kicks off with a foot solider about to be executed for his inability to save his mob boss' son from an unfortunate accident at a local zoo. I won't ruin what happens, but let's just say it involves a strong monkey and a hungry ostrich. Charlie is about to take his whacking like a man when the Punisher intervenes in the only way he knows how. Turns out Charlie is the last surviving member of the Gnucci family and the Punisher wants some information.
While this is going on, the son of deceased vigilante the Elite is following in his father’s footsteps to rid the world of undesirable people and plans to begin with the man who killed his father, who just happens to be the Punisher. There is also the man hating lesbian, Molly Von Richtoffen, who might be losing her mind over her roommate dating members of the opposite sex. Apparently the Gnucci family had an Italian part of the family tree and now they are making a move to take over the East Coast. Since she was involved in the original investigation, she is tasked with this new case.
Frank wants Charlie to infiltrate the Italian Gnuccis and fed him intel. In order to do that, the Punisher will have to take out Charlie's old crew, the Alcenos, so Charlie doesn't get whacked before he can serve his purpose. While eyeing the Alceno crew at a backyard BBQ, the Punisher is stunned to see Pete Alceno's special guest arrives.
Who is the special guest? What is the Punisher going to do? Wanna know what happens next? Buy the book, available at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you our loyal customers!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I find Attack of the Show really irritating, yet oddly enough I occasionally don't flip past it. Wonder why?
Oh, and new funny books won't arrive until after 2:00 on Wednesday. Big snow storm, horrible driving conditions, certain doom, etc. etc.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I learned something from Reading I WAS KIDNAPPED BY LESBIAN PIRATES FROM OUTER SPACE!!! I learned that if you want to hide a naked character’s naughty area, use a word balloon. This has got to be the funniest comic series I’ve ever read (seriously). Hell, it’s funnier than most comedies I’ve seen lately. It’s even funnier than the thoughts that pop into my head, causing me to laugh out loud when I’m sitting alone down at the comic store waiting for a customer (or sometimes when there IS a customer in the store, awkward).
This six issue series is written, penciled, inked, colored, and lettered by MEGAN ROSE GEDRIS. She publishes the ongoing series on DRUNKDUCK.COM (same place as you can find EMPATHY, see links). But I’m glad she decided to publish it here in paper form. The humor is fast and furious (could I USE a more clichéd phrase). But it’s true. The funny flies at you at a rate of about one laugh every other panel. The plot honestly has trouble keeping up, but at least there IS a plot (look at my last review for an example of NO plot). Some of jokes are subtle so you have to pay attention. Or not. Hell, you can miss half the funny things in this series and still hurt yourself laughing.
The story starts with Susan Bell, a normal secretary from Earth who get’s abducted by lesbian pirates from outer space. That’s it. That’s the story. Like I said, the plot takes a back seat to the humor. Much of the story is written as if every time Megan Rose Gedris gets bored, she invents something to get the characters out of that scenario and into another. Which was awesome because this kept ME from ever getting bored. Honestly, there wasn’t one moment when I looked to see how many pages I had until the end. And when I actually did get to the end, I felt a little sad. But only a little, after all she does have her online comic.
To sum it up: I liked this book. I liked the characters. And I laughed a lot. I’ve already read it twice and I’m sure I will probably read it again, maybe this week. If it comes out in a trade, I will buy that too and I will laugh and probably hurt myself again.
Check out the online comic here: http://www.drunkduck.com/I_Was_Kidnapped_By_Lesbian_Pirates_From_Outer_Space/
And then come see us to order anything Megan Rose Gedris has coming out in the future at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
First BATMAN: I’ll admit, I didn’t go into this one with any hopes of feeling good about it. I think GRANT MORRISON sucks as a writer. It’s like he suffers from A.D.D. In the last page of the last issue, Jezebel Jett had discovered Bruce Wayne was Batman. In this issue, it’s like she’s known he’s Batman for years. There isn’t a sense of excitement on either of their parts, like say when Mary Jane Watson first discovered Peter Parker was Spider-Man. And the chemistry between them is so bland and melodramatic, it’s like I’m reading a love arc from the 70’s only without the nostalgia. And then there was her irritating, “Are you sure you’re not the head of the Black Glove? Maybe you’re the crazy one.” I was waiting for someone to kill her off until I realized, WAY before it was revealed, what her plot twist was…and I didn’t care.
Then you have the Joker. I’m not sure how I feel about the way they took his character here. In a previous story, one of the fake Batman’s Morrison introduced in an earlier arc that may or may not kind of tie in with this arc (don’t ask me, I stopped caring), shoots the Joker in the head…right between the eyes…and the Joker lives. So now he’s all Marylyn Mansony with a long white gown, slicked back hair and a permanently scarred grin. During the story, he even cuts his own tongue right down the middle so he’s all serpentine. He was kind of interesting, mainly because he was still mostly the Joker and WAY more of a threat than the Black Glove (duh duh DUH!), who’s members he dispatched with comical (pardon the pun) ease. Still, with Heath Ledger’s Joker and the Joker from Brian Azzerello’s JOKER trade coming out this year, I found Marylyn Manson Joker kind of gimmicky.
Okay, CRAZY BATMAN! Maybe Morrison finds sane Batman boring because he’s gone to the crazy well more than a few times in in dealing with his character. In R.I.P., Batman’s identity is stolen from him. But it’s okay, he has a back-up: the Batman from Zur-En-Arrh! This Batman is a Batman without the Bruce Wayne side, which has apparently been holding him up all these years. Without Bruce Wayne, Batman can tap into his hidden powers, like talking to gargoyle statues and having his own mentor from the fifth dimension, or the dimension of “Imagination” (yeah Bat-Mite). I actually like this incarnation of Bat-Mite as part of Batman’s psychosis, although I could do with out the red, yellow and purple outfit Batman wears through most of this story.
Have I saved the best for last? No! The main villains, the ones who set out to kill Batman in this piece of $#!+ are called “THE BLACK GLOVE” (duh duh DUH!). Like a glove, they have only five members (although one of them is a woman). The first one we meet is M’Sieur Le Bossu. He’s a tiny hunchback guy who has his own army of gargoyle men (Zur-En-Arrh Batman should try talking to these guys). He’s small and stubby so I guess he’s the thumb. Then there’s the leader who calls himself “DOCTOR HURT.” He’s a failed actor who thinks he’s Thomas Wayne. He knows Bruce Wayne is Batman, where the Batcave and all Batman’s secrets. Maybe this was explained somewhere in Morrison’s run on Batman but, really, I stopped caring. Anyway, I place this guy as the Black Glove’s middle finger because he’s such a dick he doesn’t even introduce us to the other members.
Oh yeah, remember how the Black Glove only has a member for each digit? Well it appears Doctor Hurt’s doctorate wasn’t in math because there are EIGHT of them! And that’s not even counting Jezebel Jett (spoiler alert)! Here are the other members: Diving Suit Guy, Mime Guy, Gay Joker, Bucket Head, Silver Fetish Girl, and Sombrero (actually his real name). I guess Grant Morrison didn’t bother introducing them after taking a good hard look at the concept art. Anyway, most of them are dead now.
As you can tell, I didn’t much like this story. It was boring, long-winded, and it jumped around a lot. I thought that I would have to read Detective Comics to get the rest of the story, but it turns out the Detective Comics R.I.P. arc had nothing to do with this garbage (thank God). And when Batman “dies,” I could really care less. I canceled my subscription to Batman and Detective Comics after reading this arc. Then I read the Detective Comics take on R.I.P. and I decided to stay on that title. Here’s why:
PAUL DINI is one of the best writers working today. Especially on Batman. He knows the character, the supporting cast, the villains, the city better than anyone I think working in DC today (with exception, maybe, to Denny O’Neal who will be doing a two-part story next month in the Batman books). And he respects the characters in a way that no one else does. He continually writes great Batman stories without the use of gimmicky, shocking twists. He doesn’t need to drastically change the character to put his stamp on him. He puts his stamp on Batman by writing some of the best Batman stories ever.
I’d also like to mention DUSTIN NGUYEN who’s been penciling Detective for the past few Dini arcs. What can I say, aside from sharing his first name with everyone’s favorite BENT WOOKIEE COMIX employee, I simply love the way he draws Batman and Gotham City. And in this story he lays out a Bat-Cave far more extensive and impressive than I’ve ever seen before (Sorry Mr. Lee). He actually shows every car ever seen in a Batman comic, Cartoon, TV show, movie or my imagination.
Okay, as mentioned, this story has nothing to do with the “Black Glove” (duh duh DUH!) arc from Batman. There is an early mention of the evil group and Jezebel Jett but then it’s off to our story about Hush’s attempt to destroy Batman. Now, I liked the “Hush” twelve issue run in BATMAN mostly because of the “villain of the month” aspect and, of course, the fact that JIM LEE was doing Batman. But I wasn’t crazy about the Hush character. In fact, I was annoyed when they brought him back.
But this just shows what a great writer Paul Dini is. Here, he took a character I could give two farts about and made him interesting. I actually found myself hoping that maybe, just maybe, Batman didn’t die in that explosion that everyone witnessed from afar and never found his body (spoiler alert). That maybe Hush would kill him in this arc. I mean, at least Hush is menacing. Batman deserves better than to be killed by The Village People of crime.
Okay, this story resolves around Batman’s love for Selina Kyle. He hides it. He doesn’t want it. But it’s there. The two of them team up to go after a Doctor Aesop (he uses Aesop’s Fables to do away with his enemies). He’s a way cooler villain even though we don’t get to spend much time with him before Hush shows up and kills him dead.
Hush has used some of his family fortune to buy a run down hospital which he plans to use as a base of operations (again, the pun was accidental). From here he plans to destroy Batman and all he holds dear. There are flashbacks throughout the story explaining in more detail why Hush hates Bruce Wayne. Some of this was explained in the Batman “Hush” story arc, but here we get to see it in greater detail. If some of the overbearing aspects of his mother had been included in that run, maybe it wouldn’t have felt so wanting in the end.
The Wonderland Gang makes a brief appearance here, sans The Mad Hatter. Zatanna also shows up to set up a plot point that is so cleverly placed that you don’t realize it’s a plot point until the end of the story. The Scarecrow is used by Hush in his plan to undo Batman. So is Mister Freeze, who shows up in a brief flashback. The Joker gets a cameo that is really funny (funny Ha-Ha not funny Oh My God, Sick!). And yet none of these characters are used in a way that takes any attention from the main villain, Hush. He is clearly the bad guy here, using his medical skills to shocking ends.
I know it seems like I gave away a lot here but honestly I didn’t. Each series is full of twists and complexities. Morrison’s I found to be unintentional and tedious. Dini’s I found way too clever to spoil them all. Of course everyone has there own tastes so you might want to check them both out. If so, head on down to Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Second, I figured I'd better post a review about something before Vinson starts reviewing stereo instructions because it seems like he is hitting everything but comics right now. Do I plan on doing a review of "Punisher War Zone" when it comes out? Probably not. Unless Ms. Fox (I'm nasty) makes a cameo as the peasant girl the Mexican villagers offer to Frank as a form of thanks for coming to their village. If I was directing the scene, it would be a point of view shot, looking down on Ms. Fox while she works...um, what were we talking about?
Oh yes, a review. How about Wolverine #69? Let's face it, I was going to review this book because of the number alone. That's how I roll, like I'm still in the fifth grade.
We are onto Part 4 of "Old Man Logan", which is set 50 years in the future. Most of the heroes died in some event that hasn't been explained yet, but Wolverine is still alive, as is the former Avenger Hawkeye. Hawkeye comes to Logan for help driving across country to deliver some unnamed precious cargo to the East Coast. Logan has sworn off violence and only agrees to take Hawkeye because he needs the money. I guess the mortgage crisis doesn't get any better in the future.
The issue starts out with Hawkeye about to get whacked by his mocha colored daughter Ashley, who is the new Spider-Girl. Logan drives the Spider-Jeep or whatever it is called through the wall to make the save. He grabs him just in time and they make their escape by the most unconventional means possible. Ashley sends her goons out after them. In a scene that could have been in Mad Max if the apocalypse occurred in suburbia (did you see the punch bug towing the trailer in pursuit?), the heroes try to outrun their pursuers. The ground opens up like Paris Hilton on a first date and everyone is swallowed up into a cavernous hole. Insert Paris joke here.
Logan wakes up a few hours later to discover the Moloids have been dining like they were at an all you can eat Chinese buffet. Of course, they don't have to pay extra for crab legs they won't eat. Logan finds Hawkeye, blind but still intact, and they make their escape by driving up the caverns walls. It is the Spider-Jeep or whatever it is called after all.
They make their way through the country side and some interesting sights can be seen but are not explained. How could dinosaurs survive in Wyoming? What happened to Loki in a big fight Logan missed? Why is the Venom symbiote without a host in the South Dakota mountains? Who is that fifth head carved into Mount Rushmore? These questions are not answered at this point, but hopefully they will be soon.
Logan and Hawkeye stop for a beer in Iowa and are hassled by two locals who think Wolverine likes it in through the out door. The old Wolverine is starting to emerge as he tackles the homophobe to the ground and asks him if he wants Logan to pop his brain cherry. I'm sure that would hurt worse than the regular cherry. Logan storms outside and Hawkeye wants to know what happened to him all those years ago. Logan's answer: "Sit down an' I'll tell you."
What is Logan going to say? How did he survive when all the other heroes fell? What did they do to him exactly? I haven't had this much anticipation for the next comic since I first started reading "The Boys". Wanna know what happens next or catch up on Parts 1 through 3? Buy the books, available at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Brandon told me not to do it but I read the online reviews on the new James Bond. And let me tell you if I hear “more Bourne than Bond” one more time I will eat someone’s face (I know, even I winced at that)! On the top of my list of whines: “Not enough gadgets.” Well F^&* gadgets and F^&* witty humor and “Shaken, not stirred.”
I read the books. And the books were cool (except for the blatant racism in LIVE AND LET DIE, God I couldn’t look at a black person for a month after reading that, I was so embarrassed) mostly because 007 was a cold bastard who relied more on killing people with his bare hands than using any goofy gadgets. I see this when I see Daniel Craig’s performance.
I swear to God if the movie makers make Bond goofy with gadgets in the next movie because of all these yuckleheads, I’ll…eat their faces (yeah, I seem to be in a rut here with how to outlet my anger)! This movie is great. Watching it, I felt I was watching, well, a James Bond movie!
I was going to make a joke about Matlock in here that I think is really funny and relevant (no really), but it was a hateful remark and I’m not about the hating (although my teeth are good an’ sharp, just sayin’). Instead, I’ll say, go see this movie. Send a message to all the haters out there that they can’t dictate what movies we can and can’t see based on their love of nostalgia. If the lovers of the Batman TV show had had a voice on the internet, we’d have all gone to see “Batman and Robin” (although I’m pretty sure we all did see it and I’m truly sorry for bringing it up).
Now, I know this is yet another post from me that doesn’t deal with comics and many of you are nervous that I may get in trouble. But going on the picture of the half-naked hottie in the previous post, I’m pretty sure Jay has kidnapped and/or murdered Brandon and taken over the blog. So I should be fine. However, if Brandon does return, alive and unharmed, I will be posting about comics again as early as tomorrow.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE is in theaters now. Go see it! And while you’re on an action high, head on down to Bent Wookee Comix located on 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown to purchase some action packed comics full of your favorite heroes!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Welcome to my live review of JONAH HEX #37. That’s right, I will be reviewing this book LIVE as I read it. To be honest, I picked JONAH HEX because this issue looks terrible. You have three crudely drawn (sorry Jordi Bernet) vixens sexing up the cover. It looks like they got the drop on Jonah using their feminine whiles (boobs).
The book starts off with Jonah sitting at a campfire with an old coot who’s pretty heavy into his backwoods annunciation. I forget what he was complaining about (like I just read it), something about babies and “times is hard”. Somebody ambushes them and Jonah shoots one of them, but then he leaves the other three alive??? WTF??? Jonah Hex is DC’s Punisher! These guys should be dead.
Enter the three heroines. It looks like they’re part of some circus act and they’re being screwed over by the owner. They tell him to “PLANK UP” the money he owes them or they’ll walk. He replies that if they don’t leave him alone, he’ll “put the three of ya across my knee and WAKE THE SNAKES” (I feel kinda dirty reading this).
Holy crap! He just smashed Daisy’s face! And now they’re attacking him! And what the plank does “Bi Dose” mean (it sounds sexy)??? Oh, there you go! Not five pages into the book and already they’re attacking his manhood. Then the women race off into the night, only to turn up the next day and bust out the three stooges Jonah Hex apprehended at the beginning??? What in tarnation? Oh! I get it, they’s kin.
Oh wait, my bad. That wasn’t one of the three girls from the circus. It was a different girl (that’s what happens when you draw iconic characters and everyone looks the same). No, OUR three heroines ride past the fugitives and on into town where they find the sheriff tied up. Before you can say “bondage fantasy” they untie him and he pretends not to notice their cartoony bosoms.
Oh, I get it. The one girl is Asian. That’s why she doesn’t use conjunctive verbs. The sheriff runs off to gather some men while the girls offer to go get Jonah. But they’re not going to get Jonah. Because they’ve decided to go after the fugitives themselves. They know they can’t lie to Jonah; he’d see right through that. That’s when one of them volunteers to seduce Jonah Hex with her fun jugs. If he falls for this I am SO going to through this comic book across the room.
HOLY #$^%&!!! He fell for it! They have sex, scarred face and all. She hits him on the head and he wakes up tied to a chair. And before you can say “bom-chikka-bow-wow!” the girl is gone and Jonah escapes and heads after them.
The bad guys have caught a stage full of money and witnesses to their previous crimes. They are in the middle of negotiations as our villains don’t seem to like killin’ (yeah, I just groaned myself). We cut to our heroines who are watching the bad guys and suddenly Jonah Hex appears with the girl who seduced him, all tied-up and over his shoulder. And before you can say “Thank you, Sir. May I please have another?”, the Asian lady attacks him with her bird. And before you can say “crazy Japanese porn”, it turns out the bird is an eagle that she has trained to be her trusty sidekick.
You have to be kidding me! “Penelope Pitstop” just fell off a cliff and is hanging from the only root/branch for miles around. Jonah lowers a whip to her and tells her to “nice an’ slow, start pulling.” And before you can “group hug” they all join together in pursuit of the fugitives…who they don’t catch???
Finally, Jonah meets up with the aforementioned “old coot” from the beginning and (you gotta be kidding me) gives him the money the fugitives had stolen and hid away. Why would he even do that??? And how would he know where the money was if he never caught the badguys??? And how long has he known where it was??? Oh God, I’m never going to get back the last 20 minutes! Never! I should really #^*)ing go and stick my head in my oven! Like REALLY!
Don’t be alarmed. I’m sure I won’t do anything like that. And I probably have an electric oven anyway. This is how I normally react to most comics. But there are cool comics out there and by “THERE”, I mean Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I would love to review of a show about three likeable teenage youths from the inner city who hang out at the local dinner trading quips and hatching half-baked schemes to beat boredom. But this is a comic book site, so instead I’m going to review a movie about mass suicide instead.
Well, okay, I watched the movie with my niece while we were working on our comic so its kind of tied into comics. Or not. It doesn’t matter; the only thing I read this week was more HOUSE OF MYSTERY and I don’t want to review that again. And every one of our customers has been talking about it. Plus I’m feeling all MAVERICKY so here goes:
One time I asked Jeremy Waltman, the artist, if he could write me a Batman story. I figured writing a Batman story was just about the easiest thing in the world to do. Like there was no way to make a Batman story boring or lame. Unless maybe you just had Batman walk around an empty warehouse doing nothing.
Jeremy chose option B (don‘t worry, I fixed it). Just for the record, Jeremy is now a professional artist down in Florida while I work in a comic store.
Anywhoo, watching THE HAPPENING, I got a feeling of déjà vu. First you got this chick jabbing a hair pin into her neck (all I kept thinking was they would never let her take that onto a plane). I’m not ruining anything because they show it in the trailer. In fact they show every death in the trailer. Like the construction workers walking off the roof. The old ladie smashing her face through the window. They may not have shown the policeman and the people near him shooting themselves with the gun but you could see that coming a mile away. Oh, yeah, SPOILER ALERT.
The death scenes were both fascinating and horrific, although, like I said, you could see each one coming a mile away. So the movie was kinda like a FACES OF DEATH with a plot. Only watching that plot was kind of like watching Batman walk around an empty warehouse (see how I keep tying this to comics stuff?). And to top it off, I couldn’t watch Mark Wahlberg’s performance without thinking of “Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals” (you try it).
But I did like the scene where Mark Wahlberg’s character told his wife about flirting with the Pharmacist. That’ll teach her to have lunch with “Joey” behind Mark’s back.
All in all the movie creeped me out and kind of left me feeling depressed like that time I saw the video of the guy with no face. But why would I want to pay for that when there’s YouTube?
You can’t get this DVD at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. But you can get the newest issue of Amazing Spider-Man and The Boys and any of hundreds of other titles. So see ya there!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
But in the spirit of getting back into reviewing (and now that the rigged costume contest is out of the way) I'm going to do a quick one on a book I read probably two weeks ago, New Avengers #46:
With the entire Marvel Universe being run over by the Secret Invasion stuff, New Avengers and Mighty Avengers have been focusing on the the back story of what happened when the Skrulls landed from a month ago. I myself have become sick of the story because I read at least four of these stories a week and most of them are completely pointless. It's also coming to the point where other non-core books have moved part the whole Secret Invasion thing because they couldn't tread water any longer waiting for the big wrap up. This kind of takes down the whole event a notch already unintentionally.
So going into this book, I figured it would be another useless tie in with a back story I really didn't need to know, this time involving how the villains got involved. I don't know much about The Hood, other than what I've read in his earlier appearances in New Avengers. I never read his mini-series and didn't realize until I just looked it up that he has only been around for the last six years, which is pretty new in the comics community. Since I don't understand who he is or why people would follow him, I've never really cared for the character. That would change with this issue.
Madam Masque, who is in the Hood's Syndicate of Criminals, is captured by agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and lead to a room for interrogation. When she refuses to cooperate, the agents decide they are going to pull an old wrestling trick and try to remove the mask from a defenseless prisoner. The Hood pops in (which is an ability I didn't know he had) and lays waste to her captures. When the agents revert to their true nature, it changes everything for the Hood.
Upon interrogating the remaining S.H.I.E.L.D agent with a pulse, the criminals find out some vital information about the Skrull invasion. The interrogation goes a little too far so they are left with some questions to which they have no answers. Panic starts setting in with the criminals and the Hood has to use some of his cape's mojo to see if everyone is who they say they are. One unlucky criminal was not and he ends up like his alien brethren. The Hood has the Syndicate burn the warehouse to the ground then retires to his house to get some answers about the extent of the hood's powers. The answer will surely come as a shock to a member of the New Avengers team.
So which criminal was a Skrull? Who is behind the Hood's powers? Wanna know what happens? Buy the book, available at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Monday, November 03, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Brandon says everything not marked “ELSEWORLDS” takes place in the mainstream DC Universe. I say, that unless a book or series is referenced in a character’s core book, you can disregard it as independent fiction. This debate got so heated that if it hadn’t been for Tresise and my lithium kicking in, one of us would surely be dead.
JOKER falls into this category of “does it or doesn’t it fall into the mainstream DC Universe.” The book is written by BRIAN AZZARELLO with artwork by LEE BERMEJO and it is simply a masterpiece! You can quote me on that DC marketing department (please do, that would be so awesome)!
The book is about 126 pages (I counted last night but I was sleepy) of beautiful and often disturbing images. The story is mature. It‘s dark with a hyper-reality reminiscent of ARKHAM ASYLUM. It actually seems more like a sequel to the DARK KNIGHT than something that can be tied into DETECTIVE COMICS.
The Joker, himself is a twisted, complex character. That’s not to say that he’s not pure evil. He is. It’s just that there’s something going on in his head and in this trade you can almost see what it is. Of course if you could actually understand the Joker’s motivations in their entirety, he wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. He sports the same scarred grin he wears in the movie and recently acquired in the comics. He makes creepy, inappropriate and often unfunny jokes (although sometimes they’re actually quite clever here). And he kills just about half the people he comes across.
Other well-known Gothamites make appearances in this tale as well. I won’t name them here because I’m not a ruiner. But they are all depicted as being complex and plausible characters. Even the more outrageous ones come across as being real and none of them take away from the grounded feel of the book. They engage in real life, grown up activities like flashing their tits and having sex.
There’s actually no real nudity here and only one could-be objectionable word (although I didn’t object to it). The violence takes place either off-screen or in shadow. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a PG book. The aftermath of violence is depicted often and it’s not always shown in the form of a mangled corpse. Sometimes its much more subtle and disturbing (points to the aforementioned “villain sex”).
Any UPJ psych major could dissect anyone of the characters in JOKER and get an easy “A”. I didn’t even mention the narrator, who’s interesting in his own right. But I’m guessing everyone will probably want to write about the Joker. Just remember, he’s not you’re friend. He has no friends. He’s evil and insane and he’ll kill anyone who stands close to him for too long.
We sold three of these trades on the first day they came in. One of our customers even came back the next day to tell us how much he liked it. We still have more for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
My friends, in these uncertain times, where are we to go to for moral guidance. If you’re a Christian, Jewish or Muslim, then you turn toward your bible. But what about the rest of us who don’t have a bible or even believe in a higher power? Or what about our poor friends who worship the Devil, Khali or other evil deities? Where are they to go for help in deciding the right thing to do?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
To celebrate our favorite holiday here at Bent Wookee Comix, we'll be having a SUPER SPECIAL HALLOWEEN SALE!
40% OFF BACKSTOCK AND TRADE PAPERBACKS!
30% OFF RECENT BACKSTOCK
20% OFF COMICS in the glass cases
20% OFF ACTION FIGURES
AND THAT'S NOT ALL! For anyone who shows up IN A HALLOWEEN COSTUME from WEDNESDAY October 22 Through HALLOWEEN Friday October 31 will get an EXTRA 5% OFF! (Now this doesn't include just throwing on a mask or saying "this is my comic geek outfit". Show some attempt at committment here!)
We'll then take a picture and post it right here on the blog. And via on-line poll we'll vote for TOP 3 COSTUMES for FABULOUS PRIZES!
FIRST PLACE GETS A $20 GIFT CERTIFICATE!
SECOND PLACE GETS A $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE!
THIRD PLACE GETS A $10 GIFT CERTIFICATE!
So, show some Halloween Spirit and take advantage of this sale, running WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 22 THROUGH FRIDAY OCTOBER 31!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
So here I sit, trying to figure out a way to appease everyone, even though I know it is futile. We joked down the store last week that Brandon can't read my posts because he hasn't caught up to the issue I reviewed yet. And since my review style was to basically tell the reader everything that happened, what was the point in even reading the book? I thought a lot of about that and what analogy I could use to sum up how my posting style might be hurting people from buying the books I reviewed.
The analogy I came up with was that if I were a prostitute, I would be standing out on the corner completely naked and giving out free samples like the people who hand out samples of chicken in front of the Chinese joints in the food court of the mall. If I did that, why would johns pay for my services? I'm sure my pimp would be mad. And since Brandon is my pimp on this blog, I have to respect his pimp hand.
So without further adieu, here is my attempt to try and lure you, dear reader, into the back alley to sample my wares. Or to go to Bent Wookee Comix to buy this funny book:
Original Sin is a five part story that is going to run between X-Men: Legacy and Wolverine: Origins over the next couple of months. This book is the first part of the story and if I didn't already get those books, I wouldn't be seeking them out. Let's examine why.
Wolverine, who over the course of his history has befriended more people in more cities than any other human could possibly do, seeks out a monk to watch over his son Daken, who doesn't remember who he is. He then sets out on a mission to help his insane offspring. Now right off the bat, I'm not digging the story because I absolutely hate Daken. He is just another figure to muddle Wolverine's already muddy past and he serves no purpose. He's just a younger version with a really stupid haircut and bone claws that come out from different places than Wolverine's. The sooner he dies the better.
Now, to be fair, when X-23 was introduced I hated her too. To me, she was just a female version of Wolverine with only two claws in her hand and one in her foot. Her back story was contrived and kind of lame if you ask me. But after her first mini-series I liked her. She unfortunately was not written correctly during her time in Uncanny X-Men, but Chris Claremont was writing it so that should explain it. In that book she was just a feral female version of Wolverine looking to kill anything in the Savage Land. They got her back on track with her second mini-series and now I completely like the character. I just don't see that happening with Daken though.
Back to the book, Daken is visited by a woman I can only assume is Mrs. Sinister (she never calls herself that) and she is trying to recruit him to a group of mutants that have been a thorn in the side of the X-Men for years. They are trying to remind him of his violent past and hope to use him to their advantage.
Elsewhere, Wolverine has a confrontation with Cyclops and eventually finds Xavier to ask him to help his son like he helped Wolverine all those years ago. Since Charlie has memory issues, Wolverine brings him up to speed on their first meeting. The big reveal is something I was afraid they were going to do a while ago and now that fear has been realized. Needless to say, I was not happy.
Wanna know what happens? Buy the book, available at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
SUPERMAN & BATMAN VS. VAMPIRES & WEREWOLVES is the first in a 6 issue series involving…well, you probably guessed it. I think the original title was going to be SUPERMAN & BATMAN & WONDER WOMAN & NIGHTWING & PROBABLY SOME OTHER PEOPLE VS. AT LEAST 2 VAMPIRES AND PROBABLY 2 OR MORE WEREWOLVES & A MAD SCIENTIST & THE MONSTER THAT ATE GOTHAM CITY (not kidding) but they couldn’t fit it on the cover.
I liked this book a lot. It’s cool that they put out something creepy like this in time for Halloween. I’m told that the entire series will be out within the next couple of months, which is even better. The book reads like it came straight out of the ‘70s (think TOMB OF DRACULA or I, VAMPIRE). This is mostly do to the art of TOM MANDRAKE, who worked on THE QUESTION series “CRIME BIBLE: THE FIVE BOOKS OF BLOOD”. He only did the first issue of that series. I’m hoping he sticks around for all 6 issues here. His art is well suited for dark fiction.
I’m not sure if I’ve read anything by KEVIN VANHOOK, so it’s hard to say if he intentionally wrote the narration and the dialogue to reflect ‘70s horror fanfare or if this is his natural style. The narration is told in the third person and is especially heavy handed, as if someone else is telling us this story with a flashlight under his chin and really trying to be all spooky. It works very well here.
This first issue has its fair share of gore, but given MANDRAKE’s style, its nothing I wouldn’t show my seven-year-old niece. The gore isn’t there to gross us out anyway. It’s there to lend itself to the mood. Think FRIGHT NIGHT, not SEVEN. Another mood-lending device this book uses, which I particularly like, is when the panel pulls away from the central characters to focus in on bats and cockroaches and other creepy crawlies hiding nearby. There’s even one shot focusing on Batman through a spider’s web.
We have issue one down at the store now. And the rest of the series should be coming in soon. So head on down to Bent Wookie and check it out...if you dare!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
DO YOU DARE ENTER…
You might have missed it but Vertigo relaunched THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY a couple months ago. I didn’t. I’m a huge fan of the old DC series, so I was the first to sign up for this title. This was one of the books I actually kept a watch out for. When it finally came, I think I read it right there in the store.
Now I read the first three issues before I canceled the series. It’s not that it’s a bad title. In fact, I think a few of our customers would really get into it if they gave it a shot. I love SAM WEBER’s covers as well as LUCA ROSSI’s interior art. My problem? The format is too removed from the classic H.O.M. I love so much.
First off, CAIN, who’s lived in the house for decades, telling stories of the macabre to whoever was fortunate enough to pick up an issue only appears on the first two pages of the first issue. He finally kills ABLE and is returning home when he finds his house, the HOUSE OF MYSTERY, is gone. Then he disappears from the book. Out of sight, out of mind.
He is replaced by FIG, a plucky blonde who ends up being trapped in the house along with a colorful cast of characters. No one can leave. So they do what anyone would do, they hang out in the lounge all day drinking. No one has any money so they pay for their drinks with stories. The first story is actually kind of creepy. It’s about a girl who marries a giant fly. They have sex and the fly lays eggs inside her (so was it a girl fly?). Sometime later, maggots explode out of her back. My problem is it’s not really a story so much as a “what’s grosser than gross?” joke.
The “stories” get worse from there. Not grosser, just more boring. And, unlike the old H.O.M., they are now a minor part of the book. Most of the book is about the people hanging out at the house. Imagine if they redid THE TWILIGHT ZONE and you got to see ROD SERLING be replaced by a whimsical group of characters who just kind of hung out for about 20 minutes and then told a 5 minute anecdote.
Like I said, I see a market for this book. It reads like FABLES, so if you like that book you might want to try this. But if you’re looking for the classic HOUSE OF MYSTERY, I’d go with the DC SHOWCASE collections. We can get you both the new HOUSE OF MYSTERY and the DC SHOWCASE at BENT WOOKIEE COMIX. Just ask.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Matt Murdock takes Dakota North to see Danny Rand, aka the Immortal Iron Fist, for a little massage action. Although Danny is quite American, he picked up the touch of the East while studying aboard (heh, get it?) and is able to start Dakota on the path to healing her injured shoulder. Watching from high above is a sexy little Asian minx with a love of tight outfits and hair pins. Who is this spandex clad kitsune and what does she want with Murdock? Cue the flashback!
The original Bullseye is shown many years ago in Tokyo wrecking havoc through a Yakuza warehouse. Off in the corner, caged up like a little Shiba Inu, young Lady Bullseye watched with glee from her prison as he laid waste to her captors. He was not there to free her of course, but she instantly became enamored with this agent of death. She made her escape and excavated the throat of one of her guards who was attempting to put her back in her cage. Apparently being locked in a small cage with a bunch of other girls will make you an extreme feminist because she vowed to never let another man touch her without permission.
Back in the present time, Murdock and Dakota continue their stroll through a park. He hears some muggers under the bridge and leaps into action. LB is laying waste to some thugs in an alley who I can only assume asked if they could touch her chibusas. She keeps one thug alive so he can tell everyone else who killed his crew. She returns to her master, Lord Hirochi, and her plan is to take out the Immortal Iron Fist and the Black Tarantula. Logan and 'the Old Man' are sighted as targets as well, but Murdock is supposed to be left alone. Matt and Dakota do a little kung fu foreplay before he plants one on her in the middle of the dojo. A little bedroom braille session later and Matt wakes up with another notch on his bedpost. Matt, still married to an institutionalized Milla, has post affair regret and it doesn't get any better when the newspaper screams the headline "Daredevil A Killer Claims Witness".
Quick Analysis: It's about time Daredevil got a new villain introduced. Bendis and Brubaker have had a lot of fun and gotten a lot of miles out of bringing back pretty much his entire rogue's gallery for people who never used to read Daredevil but now I think they have finally run out of people. I never consider Echo a villain, because she pretty much turned out to be good soon after her first appearance. With Lady Bullseye, she is pure violence through and through. Brubaker has a way of weaving a connecting back story that takes a while to develop (see his work on Captain America) so the little hints of Logan being on the list is intriguing. I hope they keep her around for a while instead of just being a cipher to get through a story arc.
As for Daredevil, is there a bigger pimp in the Marvel Universe? He lays more pipe than an Alaskan oil worker. Too bad the dude can't see because he was an incredible batting average for someone without sight. You would think a few uglies would fall in there but he keeps a pretty good hotness quotient in his conquests. Never thought I would be jealous of a blind lawyer with superhuman abilities who appears in a comic book.
The above book is available for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Friday, October 03, 2008
VINSON SAYS "YOU'RE WELCOME!"
Monday, September 29, 2008
James Proudstar is having a hard time coming to grips with the direction of the team and all the killing that has been going on. He can't even talk to his pus...Hepzibah about it. He takes a break to go visit the grave of his brother. Wolverine and Cyclops want to test to see if Rahne Sinclair will still attack Angel when she sees him. Warren opens up his wings and Wolfsbane goes all sorts of Scottish crazy trying to attack him. Warren, in response to the threat, somehow transforms into Archangel and start flinging knives like they are going out of style. Wolverine subdues Wolfsbane while Cyclops knocks some sense into Archangel.
After everyone calms down, Cyclops deems Elixir to be a problem because although he is an X-Man, he is not on X-Force. He knows too much after being brought in to heal some members up after the run in with Purifiers. X-23 calls the Cuckoos to come and mindwipe Elixir. Wolverine has a problem with this solution until Exilir tells him he wants to have it done. He is against knowing about what they are doing, but he is okay with what they are doing. The seemingly long dead Graydon Creed is back giving speeches in front of people, all the while being controlled by Bastion. He calls for the extermination of the entire mutant race. Instead of going after Bastion and Creed, Cyclops poses a different target. The Vanisher. It seems he has gotten his hands on a little vial containing the Legacy Virus.
Quick Analysis: Boy, has this book gone off the rails. Actually, that is a false statement because this book was never on the rails. This has been a disaster from the beginning. This book is basically a collection of rehashed stories, some of which didn't work (like Bastion), repackaged without any real rhyme or reason. All of the villains in the book (Bastion, Graydon Creed, Reverend Craig, the Vanisher, etc.) were long dead by the time this book came along. Now they are back and cobbled together for no apparent reason other than the writers couldn't think up any new villains.
There are so many things wrong with this book it's almost too much to handle. Half the team has already been shelved because they can't take killing. Cyclops is acting way out of character, and seeing as how the Young X-Men opening arc went, they can't say he was Donald Pierce all this time. Wolfsbane going crazy anytime she sees wings is a nice touch, but Warren being able to turn into Archangel and back again is beyond ridiculous. I know this is comic books and anything should be able to happen, but this is too much. So the feather wings turn into razor sharp daggers when he wants? His whole body, including costume, change during transformation? Come on! I've always thought Archangel was a cooler character, but you can't have it both ways. And what is up with bringing back the Legacy Virus? Colossus died so it would be cured, and now he is back, so they have to bring that back as well? Man, this series needs to end now and be wiped from continuity. It's flat out terrible.
The above book is available for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I'm already going to have to go back on my word from Tuesday when I made the claim that I was going to review every book I get with little tid bits of information. I realize as I type this that I haven't finished the books from September 17th and I just picked up 26 new issues on Thursday. With the Steelers on Monday Night Football and the Penguins season starting on Saturday, I'm going to be way too busy to even keep up with reading, let alone do reviews. So I'm going back to only reviewing one issue out of stack at a time. To appease Brandon, I'll keep it brief.
Who is the winner of the last stack of books? Punisher #62:
In the previous issue a town in Mexico contacted the Punisher for help in dealing with a kidnapping problem occurring in their town. All of the young girls and women were disappearing and no one likes a sausage party. The issue kicks off with the Punisher arriving in the little Mexican town. He refuses their measly pesos but the townspeople insist on paying him. They offer him a woman (where is this town?) as payment to which he refuses again. This little senorita will not take no for an answer and she returns to show why she is known as the Mexican Kenny G.
Another woman ends up dead, this time impaled on a fence, and the Punisher starts gathering clues. He goes to a morgue to examine another recent victim. Frank decides to play 'Operation' without the risks of being shocked for making an unsteady move, and finds the victim had her eyes and lungs removed. Castle starts working his way through the Mexican underbelly to get some answers. He hangs a bunch of lowlifes up in a meat locker and starts pounding some meat. Mexicans that is. He gets the intel he needs and sets out to take down one of the clearing houses for the group. While investigating the clearing house, Punisher hears a noise and empties his clip into a window, accidentally killing a small girl.
Quick Analysis: I totally believed after Garth Ennis left that the Punisher would go down hill. While this story isn't on par with some of the really great stories Ennis churned out, it is still respectable. It's good to see Castle out of his element in another country. It would get stale if he continuing was in New York plugging Italians all night long. The only way that wouldn't be misconstrued as gay was if the Italian in question was Sara Varone. Now not only is he out of his element, his actions have directly lead to the death of an innocent girl. Will the Punisher crack or will he go on another rampage? That was rhetorical if you didn't already know.
The above book is available for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Friday, September 26, 2008
VINSON'S WEEKLY REVIEW FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 24th
Because you demanded it, I'm back with my reviews for this week. And what a week! We got like fifty titles in! The new release table is overflowing! So if you want to check out some new titles, hurry down to the store. We have everything!
Okay, my first review is actually from last week. But anyone who knows me, knows I have to include it here. It's Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods #2. The first issue had Indy racing around atop the World Trade Center under construction, running from SS agents. Then he and Marcus traveled to Tibet to look for one of three pieces of a "key". Although, Indy wasn't sure what it will open and neither are we, only that it was old and that the German's wanted it. The issue ended with Indy and Marcus seeming to meet their end in typical cliffhanger fashion.
The second issue opens with them escaping their fate. Indy finds a new ally and we are reintroduced to a familiar character from the movies. After making another death defying escape from danger, Indy (and thus we) learns more about the key he is acquiring the pieces to. His quest leads him to Shanghai, where he and Marcus part ways. Indy heads for Siberia where he hopes to find the ultimate answers to the riddle of the key. Before he gets there he runs into even more trouble. He finds himself in another bad situation, this time with Janice Le Roi, whom he met briefly in the first issue. Once again, the issue ends on a cliffhanger.
Okay, I have to say that I have all the Indiana Jones movies, all the novels, all the Marvel comics and all the Dark Horse comics. This is the first story in any media to get Indiana Jones right as far as the character and the tone of the adventures from the movies go. The art is incredible. Steve Scott obviously worked a great deal from screen caps without resulting to tracing ala Greg Land. Indy looks like Harrison Ford. Marcus looks like Denholm Elliot. It doesn't have the style of some of my favorite artists but it fit's the story perfect. It is the BEST art out of any Indiana Jones comic ever!
Likewise, this story is incredible so far. Rob Williams has far surpassed any writer of any comic to portray the adventures of Indiana Jones. None other have even come close. None of the Indiana Jones' novels have come close either. I'm being completely honest when I tell you that so far, this is the next best thing to an Indiana Jones movie. Indy acts like he does in the movies, particularly the way he acts in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Temple of Doom. I was worried Marcus would be portrayed as a bumbling idiot, the way he was in Last Crusade. But he's more like the mentor/friend he was in Raiders. There are lines like "X never marks the spot" and "fortune and Glory" used here but they don't seem forced like they so easily could. I know not a lot of people ordered this title. However this month's Previews is advertising the 4 issue series in a trade paperback. Do yourself a huge favor and order it!
Next is a book that actually did come out this week: Flash Gordon. We only got one issue and I really dug the art so I grabbed it. However, if you swing by the store this weekend, you'll see its back on the new release table. I actually did read it but I thought it seemed too Don Bluth for my taste. Not that I have anything against Don Bluth. I love The Secret of NIMH. But I just wasn't digging this. In this issue we have a Mission Impossible 2 opening where Flash is climbing a seemingly impossible peak. We find out he is a school teacher and a scientist and a drummed out government agent. He gets into fights at the drop of a hat, especially with the very angry giant partner of Agent Dale Arden. Dale isn't the damsel in distress she was in the classic comics and most of the adaptations that followed. She's every bit Flash's match. Plus, she wears this shiny leather catsuit, which makes her the most likeable character in the book. Flash flirts with her a lot, and actually It's kind of painful to read.
Anyway, I didn't like it but if you're looking for something lightweight with kind of cool art, you might want to grab this issue.
Finally, they say you can't judge a book by its cover. I say bullox! I say that now, because I'm trying my best not to get censored but I'm pretty sure I can get away with that. Later I will try other words in the hopes that they are not met by a big black word block like many of the words in the following comic. Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #10 is probably my favorite book of the week. I haven't read it yet but the cover is awesome! Plus the series as a whole has really grown on me (and I think many of the people who initially hated it but stuck around to give it a chance). My only complaint is that it's that it's only the third issue of this title to come out this year. I flipped open this book and yes, it is full of blacked-out words (swearing, vulgarity). I know what you're thinking: less reading. Bonus! But I say nay, not less reading, smart reading! You let your filthy little mind run wild while you read over those black bars. Think of it as dirty Mad Libs. But if you want to play, you need to pick up this issue. We still have a couple left. As always, Frank Miller and Jim Lee are at the top of their game. Well, Lee is. I haven't read it yet, so I can't be 100 percent sure about Frank (although, I know what words I'm using to fill those black boxes so I can be at least 50 percent sure that this story is awesome!).
The above books are available for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there! (plagiarism is wrong, kids).
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Foolkiller and the Punisher get to have their 'misunderstanding' fight which happens quite often in comic books. I'm sure PETA would love to see the scenes of the Punisher back handing Foolkiller's dog. The two vigilantes stop fighting when the White Angels show up and start shooting. The Punisher points out how useless Foolkiller's sword is against guns, which I have been saying since I started reading Foolkiller books. A bunch of White Angels are killed and the men decide to team up for the foreseeable future. They raid the basement hideout and a storage shed full of guns. Foolkiller pays Bootleg Jack a visit and tells him to stop spreading hate over the radio. The White Angels are spooked about Foolkiller and Punisher working together so they call the diminutive assassin Sickle Moon who has had a recent run in with the Foolkiller.
Quick Analysis: The inclusion of the Punisher into the limited series still seems forced. While the Foolkiller is going after the White Angels because they killed a black man and hung him from a streetlamp, Punisher is going after some gun trafficking that happens to involved the White Angels. It's a decent enough story, but there are some flaws in the execution that are keeping it from being a must read.
The Thunderbolts have been called in to apprehend the vigilante known as Moon Knight. Venom makes it obvious he wants to eat Moon Knight, which makes me wonder about his sexual orientation. Crawley goes to see Frenchie and asks him to help their mutual friend, Marc Spector, aka Moon Knight. Frenchie refuses. Tony Stark is looking for Moon Knight as well and wants to get to him before the Thunderbolts do. Crawley talks to Spector's ex-girlfriend and asks for her help but she refuses as well. Spector starts dressing up in a costume that is half Wolverine/half Black Panther and takes out a truck carrying contraband. The Thunderbolts show up. Spector chokes out Swordsman but it over matched by Venom. An explosion allows Spector to escape, but when he makes it home, the severity of the injuries Venom inflicted are revealed. He collapses on the floor and appears to be near death from all the blood loss.
Quick Analysis: I've never read Moon Knight until this series began so I find myself lost some times when continuity is brought up. I don't know the back story of these characters so when they make references to past events I'm clueless. The series was really good at the beginning, then went off the rails for a while. It is making an attempt to be part of the larger Marvel universe now so time will tell whether this is a good move or not. It has gotten better recently.
The Skulls attack Asgard and a great battle ensues with Beta Ray Bill and Balder leading the way. Thor has reverted to his human form to help a young woman give birth. Some volunteer fireman see the fires in Asgard and decide to go put out the blazes. Their attempts are futile and they must return to town and inform everyone of what they saw. A Super Skull, with the powers of Thundra, Titania, Volcana, & Battleaxe joins the battle, carrying Beta Ray Bill's hammer, Stormbreaker. Thor delivers the woman's baby and heads to Asgard to help. Beta Ray Bill is overpowered by the female Super Skrull and is defeated. Thor shows up to reclaim Mjolnir and to turn the tide of battle.
Quick Analysis: Talk about a glorified attempt to cash in on the whole Secret Invasion hoopla. There is no reason this series should exist at all. At most, they should have done one crossover issue in the regular Thor series and that could have been his motivation for going to New York to help the other heroes in the main Secret Invasion book. This issue was complete filler to get to the big Thor/Skrull battle and is a waste of time. Not a good series at all.
Nick Fury is trying to find the crew of the Icarus One who have been altered in 'fantastic' new ways. Nighthawk beats up a bunch of kids trying to set fire to a church. The girl with spider powers in Nebraska tries out her new abilities. Biogeneral comes to Nick Fury and theorizes that the reason he built his 'iron' suit was because of all the wacky events happening since the Icarus One landed back on Earth. Old Soldier shows up at Nick Fury's door asking to join his organization. Arcanna calls Fury to let him know Emil Burbank has awoken from his coma and he seems pretty mad.
Quick Analysis: This book confuses the hell out me. It's obvious the Icarus One crew is a knock off of the Fantastic Four and the supporting characters have characteristics of Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man. I just don't know in what universe this is all supposed to be taking place. It's the Ultimate universe version of Nick Fury, but the Ultimate Universe has all those heroes. So that would mean it is some other universe, but it is already stated there is not a Squadron Supreme team on this Earth. So why is it called Squadron Supreme? I'm thoroughly confused and would stop getting this series if I wasn't a completest who only needs three more issues to complete the set. For everyone else, I would pass.
Santo punts Cyclops into next week, even though Donald Pierce, who was masquerading as Cyclops, is captured. Ink is confronted about how he knew where Pierce would be and he freely admits that he was working for him. The X-Men decide he should stay based on their track record of bringing in former criminals (Rogue, Cannonball, Gambit, etc). Cyclops decides the next generation needs training but he will not reopen the school, something more along the lines of a boot camp. He asks Sunspot and Moonstar to run it. Santo and Ink bicker. Beast analyzed Greymalkin's DNA and revealed he is not only a mutant, but a member of Charles Xavier's family from about 200 years in the past. Angel buys a church as a base of operations for the Young X-Men. Santo apologizes to Cyclops for punching him and breaking his jaw. Blindfold leaves the team. Moonstar asks Anole to join his former New X-Men teammates in San Francisco.
Quick Analysis: I have lost count at the number of series which have dealt with the next generation of X-Men. I was going to list them here but that would be too much research. The current series is just another one in a long line, which actually seems to get relaunched every other year. It's gotten off to an odd start, with a storyline involving an impostor while the whole Skrull thing is going on and saw the death of one of it's members (Wolf Cub already). Now, in issue #5, they are finally coming together as a team to train. It's good, but far from great.
The above books are available for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
With all of that in mind, I'm going to try something different. Instead of taking one book I read a week and doing a full scale analysis, I'm going to try and cover every book I read in little snippets. I'm already way behind in reading and with the stack that will be waiting for me on Thursday, I'd say it's time we kicked this baby into high gear.
The following comics were released on September 17th:
This issue deals with the back story of how S.H.I.E.L.D. data analyst Mavis Trent received her Payback powers. After Mavis' father passed away, she began to see and hear messages seemingly from beyond the grave. When she finally acknowledges that the TV is talking to her in her dead father's voice, she finds out about a Variant alien symbiote that had attached itself to her father. When her father died, the symbiote dissipated into the air until it collected itself. It bonds to Mavis without her permission and Payback is born. Payback learns to deal with her powers then decides to test it out on an unregistered Superhuman. Enter Luke Cage. He defeats her in a fight but she gains new found confidence. She then recruits her father's ex-girlfriend, an empath who would love to see justice for her dead ex-boyfriend. While trying to hack into her father's computer, a bomb explodes, knocking Payback out of the apartment and she winds up unconscious on the street.
Quick Analysis: This book has an okay concept, but I'm not really sure what the point of it all is. This is issue #3 of a five issue limited series and some of the players listed in the front haven't even appeared yet. Not good when there are only two issues left to go. Perhaps they are trying to build to an ongoing, but I do not think the materials warrants that transition. Ok book, but nothing special.
The Guardians of the Galaxy have found a Skrull infiltration in Knowhere and some council members believe Drak the Destroyer is one of them. Quasar does not believe it and sets out to prove his innocence. Drak is hunted by the Luminals, but he is not called the Destroyer for nothing. Some inter-turmoil with the team leads to Quasar defying team leader Star Lord's command to stay put. Starhawk appears as a woman and claims there should not be a Guardians of the Galaxy team this early in history. She plans to set that right by destroying the entire team. Warlock discovers Cosmo has been in league with the Skrulls all along. Quasar finds Drak setting bombs in the infrastructure of Knowhere. He reveals that the only true test to see if someone is a Skrull is to examine their dead body. With that, he blows the charges.
Quick Analysis: This is probably the best team book I am reading right now, no joke. The only downside is I think you have to have read the two preceding limited series to get the dynamic of the team. This is a great book and I hope it doesn't get canceled because no one is reading it. Great book.
The above books are available for purchase at Bent Wookee Comix located on Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
This is it. Uncanny X-Men #207. It's the one that hooked me years ago. A badly beaten Wolverine makes his way to the Hellfire Club to stop Rachel Summers from killing the Black Queen. Apparently the X-Man, Logan, was pretty messed up in some major fight, then on top of that had to deal with some cat named "The Beyonder". I had no idea what they were talking about....nor why there would be a character named...."the Beyonder", this being my first real introduction to the Marvel Universe. But none the less, Rachel is mere seconds away from doing just what she set out to do when he arrives (Wolverine...not The Beyonder). Wolverine has dragged himself off what is basically his deathbed and all the way into The Hellfire Club itself to stop her from doing something she'll regret. He reminds Rachel that the X-men don't kill, and she reminds him of his own hypocrisy. They argue. A shouting match ensues. And it all leads up to one final panel of the omnious...."snikt".
What a cliff hanger! And now I have to wait an entire month to find out what happens?!?!
But this was it. Claremont and John Romita Jr. delivered the work that found it's way into my veins and is pretty much directly related to there being a Bent Wookee Comix funny book shop today.
Of course later on I sought out a series called The Crow after reading about it in Comics Scene magazine. This dark independant creation not only had me transfixed with the story itself but with the history that inspired its creation. James O'barr managed to pour all his heart ache into his work, and this is when I was showed that comics did not have to be defined by it's super hero genre. It was about telling a story. And this particular one about loss was even more eerily solidified with Brandon Lee's tragic death filming the movie adaptation. It was angst ridden and full of pain and rage, something I hadn't been introduced to by buying off of my local conveniance store spinner rack.
And I have to admit some years passed that I became fairly disinterested in comics. I'd pick up random issues here and there, but it wasn't until Preacher #12 that I was officially sucked back in. Now mind you, at the time I hadn't been reading any of the Preacher series. I was in college and just happened to stumble upon this issue. This is the last part of Until the End of the World story where Jesse has a viscous battle with his warped uncle Jody. I had to find out more! And when I did it turned into one of my all time favorite stories.
I was hooked....again! I think It wasn't a matter of not liking comics at the time, it was just a matter of finding the right stories. And since then, series like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, The Wretch, plenty of Wolverine and Uncanny X-men storylines have found a special place in my little black heart.
So here's the post that asks, not of best and worst, but of most notable for you personally. Of course Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns were amazing reads, who wouldn't put them on the top ten? But what issues stand out as little push pins on your time-line? What hit that residual chord with you that feeds your need for comics?