Friday, 30 July 2010

The Source Of Hyperbole

I was just catching up on the comic blogs I read and, as usual, came across things from the DC Comics blog, The Source.

Obviously it's DC's own blog so it pushes the company's comics as much as possible.  It usually has a good line on news, previews and artwork as well and, generally speaking, it's a good read.  Then today, I came across this post about Justice League: Generation Lost #6 and found myself wondering if I'd read a variant issue yesterday.

"JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #6 is such a game-changer for the series, is just SO BIG a revelation that by telling you ANYTHING at all would blow EVERYTHING for you. I mean, it’s HUGE!"

Really? Is it?  We have a brief recap of Captain Atom's origin and he reveals that, a couple of issues ago, he was shunted into the year 2351 where there are no more heroes, the moon's badly broken and a lot closer to Earth than it should be.

"I certainly can’t tell you anything about a cameo by a DC heavyweight that will absolutely shock you to the core."

A "DC heavyweight" cameos? I don't know whether to laugh or cheer - as much as I like Power Girl, is she really a DC heavyweight? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for more Power Girl but wasn't exactly shocked "to the core."

"And writer Judd Winick would absolutely KILL ME if I revealed that when Captain Atom demands to know—"

The big reveal? Telegraphed pretty much from page 1 and no surprise at all.

I like The Source but this post was just nonsense.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Decisions, Decisions . . .

I'll be 41 in less than a month, a fully grown man with a wife, a job, a mortgage and two cats.  I'm thus vaguely consistent with all the things society says I need to be considered a grown-up.

Of course, there's the comic habit that sees no sign of dying out just yet, illustrated by my love for DC Comics.

Also, for some years now I've been quietly reliving my youth by owning (and constantly wearing) Converse boots, the sort I could only dream of owning as a kid but never did.

And now this:

Did I mention it's my birthday soon?

Monday, 26 July 2010

Monday Covers #10

52 #49
52 was a bold experiment in weekly comics for DC, particularly following Action Comics Weekly back in the good old days which hadn't worked out as well. A large part of 52's success was definitely down to the cracking story, but it was also helped along by consistently good covers. Having Will Magnus appear in a James Bond-esque role with the Metal Men as bullets from his gun? Genius!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #91

Hawk gets some dietary advice.

  • BATTLEFIELDS #8 - Anna gets promoted and her mild flirtation with Golocyachev comes to an end. Oh, and she's carrying on a conversation with her dead friend. Out loud.
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #6 - The two Firestorms seem to be in trouble as they finally realise someone else in in the Matrix; Mera admits she was an assassin sent to kill Aquaman; and Martian Manhunter discovers something terrible in the Australian outback.
  • THE DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER - THE JOURNEY BEGINS #3 - we see Roland deal with the death of his friend (and traitor) Hax the cook.
  • DCU LEGACIES #3 - ah, the Silver Age begins! There's a wonderful page where Wein and co. just how mental the stories were back in the old days, and I don't doubt that they're referencing actual tales. It was nice to see John Jones wandering around as well, being a detective, along with the formation of the Justice League of America. Really enjoying this series.
  • JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #41 - heroes and villains going crazy because of the Starheart takes up the majority of this issue, with page after page of fighting. The actual story only kicks into gear in the last few pages which seems a bit of a waste. Still, nice to see Mr. Miracle back again.
  • NEONOMICON #1 - Cthulhu mythos stories written by Alan Moore; I'm not sure it gets any better than this! Really liked The Courtyard from a few years ago and this follow on promises much.
  • POWER GIRL #14 - oh my . . . this used to be such a fun title, now it's all "My life's ruined!" amidst fight scenes. Still, the artwork's nice.
  • TIME MASTERS: VANISHING POINT #1 - Dan Jurgens writing Superman again, with Booster Gold thrown in for good measure, along with Goldstar. Six issues which, I suspect, will be gone all too soon, but it's off to a good start.
  • ZATANNA #3 - I'll admit to being a little surprised that the first story arc wrapped up here; I figured six issues minimum. Very well done, though, and so nice that Zatanna didn't have to fight her father; that was resolved with a good deal of care and affection. All round top story!
And what made me smile:

Superman using dialogue from Superman The Movie! Nice touch!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

DC Comics Presents: Young Justice #1

I won't be buying DC Comics Presents: Young Justice #1 despite my exhortation for you to do the same. Why? Because I already own JLA: World Without Grown-Ups #1 and #2 (which are reprinted in this one-off) and the entire Young Justice series that came out of it.

I just want those of you who missed out on it first time round to pick it up now and then start hoping that DC reprint Young Justice in a collection of trades. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Monday Covers #9

Ghost #7
When I started thinking about doing this clutch of favourite covers, this was one that instantly sprang to mind, and no, not because it has cleavage on the front.

It's the stark black and white, the big guns and that splash of red of Ghost's lips that work for me - a classy, understated image that simply works.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #90

The new Rocket Red gets into the spirit of the JLI

  • BOOSTER GOLD #34 - this may be the first time I've looked at Giffen's artwork and just thought "Ugh!" Still, the issue as a whole was great with Giffen and DeMatteis teaming up Booster and Blue Beetle once more, just like it was back in the good old days. Mr Miracle and Barda were welcome guest stars - they're sadly missed after the whole Death of The New Gods things and it was great to see them back. This book is easily top of the list right now.
  • THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #35 - I think this might be the first issue of this title that I've really enjoyed since Straczynski took over. Don't get me wrong, his earlier issues have been good, but with my fondness for weird and wacky stories, this stands out.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #5 - things get a bit serious as the reformed in all but name Justice League International agree to stick together and take on Max Lord. One very slight gripe: I know it's an artistic device but that last panel when they're all standing and looking out at the reader with grim expressions, having decided to get Max Lord . . . why aren't they stood around facing each other?!
  • MAGOG #11 - sadly Scott Kolins's run on this title is being cut short as it's only got a couple of issues to run so it feels a little like marking time. I just wonder if James Robinson knows someone's going to make a mess of Opal City.
And what made me laugh:

The fourth wall gets broken, Dan Didio is confirmed as a character in the DCU just like Grant Morrison and John Ostrander, and the Inferior Five return to mainstream continuity!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Friday Night Fights - La Placa!

Here we are, the final round of Spacebooger's Minimum Clonage fights and this week I've gone for one of my all time favourite characters. You see, here in Britain when I was growing up, American comics were hard to find so we read our home-grown weeklies, chief among them being 2000AD. Easily the biggest character featured in the comic was Judge Dredd, a man so tough he thinks nothing of taking on thirty men single handed:

Mega City juves are just no match for the judge.

and he does it all without getting off his bike!

Remember, folks, head over to Spacebooger, check out the other fights and vote for your favourite.

This blatant example of police brutality was written by John Wagner with art by Cam Kennedy and was taken from Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files vol 15.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

No Evil Shall Escape His Tights

I've been stupidly busy this week with work getting in the way of comics and blogging. Shocking, I know, but it happens now and then.

Anyhoo, saw the picture on the left in the article from Superhero Hype which shows Ryan Reynolds in the Green Lantern costume for next year's film.

First impressions?

Man, that mask is almost as ugly as the full face/star field thing Kyle Rayner ended up wearing for half an hour after Infinite Crisis, though I kinda like the effect on the eyes.

The costume as a whole is, I suppose, a new take but would it have killed the designer to keep the white gloves?

All in all, I'm not blown away by it - being a Green Lantern fan, I'm leaning more towards mild disappointment, really, but maybe it'll work better within the film rather than as a static image. I guess we wait and see.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Monday Covers #8

Secret Origins #50
I love this cover - it's just the weird meta-fiction aspect of it, I think - the different characters packing up the Secret Origins logo and associated artwork before riding off into the sunset.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #89

Robotman gives Negative Man fair warning in Doom Patrol #12

  • THE BOYS #44 - I swear, seeing the Homelander singing the Bee Gees almost made the Cocktail post this week! Garth Ennis mixes in evangelical Christianity with his take on superheroes and I think we all know it's not going to be pretty. And that last page . . . poor Hughie and Starlight . . .
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #5 - Mera and Aquaman are attacked by a foe from the past, forcing Mera to reveal a secret she's been keeping for nigh on fifty years; while Deadman is forced to attempt a resurrection; and the Hawks... the Hawks don't look as though they're in a good place right now.
  • DOOM PATROL #12 - the Doom Patrol have their behinds kicked while behind the scenes the Chief is forced to compromise. The end of the first year is traditionally a round up of a major story arc but that doesn't happen here; instead more hints are laid for upcoming issues. Here's to the next year!
  • JSA ALL-STARS #8 - still one of my favourite reads every month, a superhero team that works well together and, while having plenty of action, also has characters that develop as well: Anna Fortune drops a nice hint about her origins when she says "The only flying machines they've got in my day are hot air balloons." Really enjoying this title.
    • Co-feature LIBERTY BELLE & HOURMAN - for me, it's the character interaction that still leaves this story rattling along; I've long forgotten what the plot is about this book and statue the heroes and villains are after. Still, I'm not complaining as it's a quick, fun read.
  • SECRET SIX #23 - a done-in-one guest slot from John Ostrander was something I was looking forward to. As it is, it's a little disappointing. A not entirely original set-up and the Six are very quickly shown to be in no real danger so we pretty much know nothing's going to happen to them. All in all, nothing special.
  • THE STAND: HARDCASES #2 - As Flagg continues to draw his followers to Vegas, this adaptation continues to be solid and dependable.
And what made me smile this week:

Roxy gives the All-Stars plenty of warning!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Avengers Assemble Assault!

Spacebooger states that I cannot use any of my previous combatants - that's the rule of Minimum Clonage. Not a problem for me this week as I venture somewhere that I don't often go: the Marvel Universe!

That's Spider-Woman talking to the Wrecker . . . that's right, talking! Not fighting! Surely something's wrong here?!

Does the phrase "lull into a false sense of security" ring any bells, people?

Wolverine jumps in, allowing Spider-Woman to grab the Wrecker's crowbar and . . .

. . . oh, that's gotta hurt! But wait, now Luke Cage has the crowbar. This can't be good for the Wrecker . . .

And with a final FTANG the Wrecker's down!

Remember, people, crowbars should only be wielded by professionals like Luke Cage and Spacebooger. Head over there, check out the other fights and vote for your favourite.

This marvellous mis-direction first appeared in The New Avengers #8 cover dated August 2005, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Steve McNiven and Mark Morales though the scans come from The New Avengers: Sentry trade paperback.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Jim Balent Has Limits, You Know

I picked up volume 8 of the Tarot: Witch of The Black Rose trade paperbacks on the weekend; I know, I know, it's something that I should kick like the large bag of chocolate I have when going to the cinema, but it has a cheesy, camp appeal.

Anyone who's read an issue or looked it up on the internet will know that writer / artist / creator Jim Balent is certainly a fan of a large bosom and bare chested buxom wenches abound in the book. Reading through this latest collection, though, something struck me regarding what Balent will and won't portray.

He's got no problem with full frontal female nudity:

and while I don't either, this blog doesn't carry a mature readers label so I blacked those bits out, okay?

Balent's also not averse to showing violence and it's gory aftermath:

and, again, that's not a problem for me. Blood splattered scenes such as this are commonplace in the most mainstream of comics these days, let alone independently published books like Tarot.

But the oddest thing I read in this book (and trust me, with witches, dragons and glimpses into the future, there were odd things all over the place!) was the panel that follows that last one:

Again, silhouetted gore is nothing new or different, but that last caption:

Yep, nudity, violence and gore are fine, but there's now way on Earth you can make Jim Balent say a dirty word!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Monday Covers #7

Green Arrow #114
Towards the end of the 90's run of Green Arrow, artists Rodolfo DaMaggio and Robert Campanella produced some lovely covers for the series and I think this is my favourite of them.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #88

Pope Jacko ruins Watership Down for everyone
  • CHRONICLES OF WORMWOOD: THE LAST BATTLE #4 - as liberal and pro-choice as I am, even I have to admit that finding out the father of your unborn son is the Antichrist is a very, very good reason to have an abortion. And poor old Jimmy . . .
  • GREEN LANTERN #55 - Lobo and Atrocitus pull a fast one on Hal Jordan and we get the origin of Red Lantern Dex-Starr! I'm so glad I'm a cat-person!
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #46 - once again this title seems to be heading all over the place a bit and can someone tell me when Molly Scott became relatively young again?
  • JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #40 - a little too quickly wrapped up, probably to make way for the crossover between this and Justice League but still enjoyable for all that, plus it had the funniest thing I've read in ages (see below)
  • PROJECT SUPERPOWERS: CHAPTER TWO #10 - things build up to a good head of steam as the Superpowers and their enemies all combine to take Zeus down with . . . a big metal coffin!
  • TAROT: WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE Vol 8 - you know, as cheesy as Tarot often is, it's not that bad when it has a story arc to follow. This volume, though, contains mostly stand alone stories which, honestly, don't really stand up that well.
  • TEEN TITANS #84 - you know, I pretty much skimmed this issue - dreadful story, awful dialogue, terrible pacing: all the hallmarks of a Henderson story. I will be so glad when J.T. Krul takes over, mainly because he can't be this bad.
    • Co-feature COVEN OF THREE - the three magicians get what they wanted most in all the world and, for some of them, realise it's not all it's cracked up to be.
And what made me laugh out loud:

That entire page just made me laugh so much!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Friday Night Fights - Gold Vs Red And Blue

Here we are again, with Minimum Clonage where the fighters can't use the main combatant from any previous round we've staged. I say main combatant because while I used Superman against the Hulk a few weeks ago, here he's the loser of a fight against a perhaps surprising victor:

Yep, that's Booster Gold pounding seven shades of snot out of Supes there!

Booster proves once and for all he's the main man in Metropolis!

Man, that can't be good for Superman's image, being defeated so resoundingly by Booster Gold!

Okay, not the real Booster . . . turns out that was an imposter all along but for the purposes of tonight's fight, it's good enough for me - let's hope Spacebooger agrees!

As always, head over to Spacebooger, check out the other fights and vote for your favourite.

This super beat-down first appeared in Action Comics #594 cover dated November 1987, written and pencilled by John Byrne with inks by Keith Williams, and the scans are taken from Showcase Presents: Booster Gold.


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