Sunday, 31 October 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #104

You gotta love Wildcat

  • GREEN ARROW #5 - something of a holding issue, this one, as Green Arrow goes up against the Black Lanterns once more, their brief return the result of his misguided attempt at doing some good. Looks like next issue Ollie starts to face off against his mother as well.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #12 - * sigh * so this is the issue that reveals Ice's new origin, what editor Brian Cunningham called "a credible and tragic origin that does not negate what we already know." I'm not going into detail here (I feel a longer, more ranting post coming on in a few days) but that line there is a flat out lie.
  • JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #44 - new writer  Marc Guggenheim and artist Scott Kolins take the reins and throw the Society up against a new (maybe? I'm not recognising him) villain that can easily stand his ground against them. It's a good, solid issue that acts as a jumping on point but seriously, if they leave Green Lantern Alan Scott paralysed I will have words with them.
  • NEONOMICON #2 - finally, the second issue turns up at my comic shop! This is a great issue, full of HP Lovecraft pastiches and Moore's take on a weird Cthulhu sex cult. Jacen Burrows's art is fantastically detailed without being cluttered but how some of the scenes got past the censor I'm not sure! Thoroughly recommended!
  • SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE - I was a little hesitant to pick this up, not being entirely impressed by Straczynski's run on The Brave and The Bold but it turned out to be a pretty good decision. It doesn't really bring anything new to the basics of Superman's origins - the exploding Krypton, the rocket ship, the Kansas farm - but it does focus more on the young man's thoughts and worries about whether he should put on the red and blue uniform. All in all a good read.
  • TEEN TITANS #88 - man, this is a breath of fresh air after the last year or so of Felicia Henderson's scripts. As with Justice Society this week, this issue serves as something of a jumping on point in that the main characters are sketched out so that new readers know who they are without the story being anything convoluted. Shame Bombshell didn't make the team, but it's good to have Ravager back.
  • TIME MASTERS: VANISHING POINT #4 - while the main heroes are split up and apparently imprisoned in cages of their own, Black Beetle (surely with that armour he should be called Red Beetle?!) manages to convince the Linear Men to work with him. Talking of whom, I don't remember Matthew Ryder being such a dick before . . .
  • ZATANNA #6 - once again a clear, straight forward story comes to a conclusion. I'm not damning with faint praise here: Zatanna's a damn good title and is worth picking up, but it'd be nice to see something of an ongoing, overall storyline.
And what made me smile:

Okay, that's a bit ruder than what you're used to here but being a Lovecraft fan I had to laugh at what Alan Moore did with the title of Comte d'Erlette's most famous tome!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Friday Night Fights - Brains Vs Brawn

It's Friday . . . ahh, you all know by now what that means: FIGHTS!!

So, picture the scene: a bunch of meta-human villains have been dumped on a far distant planet and left to fend for themselves. In a bizarre attempt at putting together some ground rules for their new world, Psimon steps forward and, basically, tells the lady villains that they're going to be, as Giganta puts it . . .

Baby factories. Psimon, my friend, if you ever want to get people to do something for you, it's best not to make them feel like nothing more than a breeding herd. Not surprisingly, someone doesn't like Psimon's idea.

It's the Joker, that Clown Prince of Crime, the really funny guy who commits those wacky, clown themed crimes . . .

Oops - that was the Joker from the 60's. This is the homicidal maniac who has no problem taking a rock to someone's plastic skull!

All the while, dishing out advice on how to form a society . . .

. . . as well as dishing out the pain!

Yeah, it's hard to believe that this is the same guy who had a hideout called a Ha-Hacienda!

Nope, no questions . . .

Now get yourselves over to Spacebooger by clicking the picture below, check out the other fights and then vote for me! Or one of the others, if you like.

This erudite yet violent lesson on societal origins first appeared in Salvation Run #2, cover dated February 2008, written by Bill Willingham with art by Sean Chen and Walden Wong.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What With Christmas Coming Up And All . . .

Think I've just found something to add to my Christmas list:

That's the cover to The DC Chronicle Year by Year which has been published by DK Publishing. From the DC Source blog article about it:
THE DC CHRONICLE YEAR BY YEAR traces DC’s fascinating story, from the beginnings to the present day. Remember the year you first picked up a comic? Flip to that page and see what else was going on in the DC Comics universe.
I am sold, I really am - it looks gorgeous and if DK's other books (and I'm specifically thinking of the DC Comics Encyclopedia) are anything to go by, this will be great!

Of course, it would be petty to point out that Wonder Woman is featured prominently on the cover wearing her classic costume and not the new one.

So I won't.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

So That Explains It

I've always said I don't do this blog for the hits - I get a fair few people coming through here because of the Annotated sites I've done, there are other blogs that link here and the Friday Night Fights always send a good number this way. I'd like to think you guys who read this also check out the other blogs I link to and share the love, but the main reason I do this is because I like comics and this is fun.

That doesn't mean I never look at my stats, of course - how else would I know that the now infamous (at least in my mind) Spandex-Clad Butt post keeps topping my most visited list time and again?

Glancing through the stats that Blogger provides, I happened to look at the keyword searches that have brought people over to Crisis on Earth-Prime:

A look at those and what you'd expect to see jump out - the blog's title, Blackest Night, Annotations, eunuchs, Booster Gold, Green Lan . . . wait, what now?

Yep, people have found this lowly comics blog while looking for eunuchs and photos of them . . . which explains why this post is always second in my most visited list.

So, should I ever want to increase the traffic to this blog, I should continue to mention spandex-clad butts and eunuchs as often as possible.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Monday Covers #23

Power Girl #1
One of my favourite series of recent years, I would have been happy with the Amanda Conner cover or this, the Adam Hughes variant. As it was, my comic shop gave me this one and I think it manages to capture the spirit of the series wonderfully.

Power Girl turned out to be a fantastic, fun read and it finishes off my run through some of my favourite covers.

Hope you've enjoyed them - I may do something similar next year!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #103

Even demonic cat familiars like Lolcats, apparently
  • THE BOYS: HIGHLAND LADDIE #3 - poor old Hughie's well messed up and the arrival of Starlight at the end of the issue probably means #4 isn't going to be a laugh a minute either.
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #12 - I am so glad that the other green Martian didn't turn out to be J'onn's wife - that would have been dreadful. 
  • DC UNIVERSE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2010 - another anthology title so a little hit and miss; the Scarecrow story was good, Wonder Woman and Deadman in their first real team-up worked but the best was Blue Beetle and Miss Martian.
  • DC UNIVERSE: LEGACIES #6 - the tail end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the formation of Justice League Detroit and the whole, sorry Legends event get featured in this issue.
  • GREEN LANTERN CORPS #53 - despite being mostly one big fight, this was an okay issue with new villain the Weaponer kidnapping Soranik Natu and forcing Kyle Rayner to work with Sinestro. One query, though: the Korugarans that Rayner saves - why aren't they red skinned?
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #50 - so if you're planning to totally wipe out one of the alternate Earths (off screen as well) why pick on the only one out of the 51 available that has any sort of real exposure? Bang goes Earth-9 and the whole Tangent heroes universe. And why were the Crime Syndicate after the body of Alexander Luthor? He's from the pre-Crisis Earth-3 while the Syndicate's from the Anti-Matter Universe.
  • POWER GIRL #17 - so Divine gets her first full appearance and, unless I'm mistaken, she seems to be a clone of Power Girl herself.
  • RAGMAN: SUIT OF SOULS #1 - I was hoping for a bit more than an origin retelling, maybe featuring the Shadowpact, but it wasn't bad.
  • THE STAND: HARDCASES #4 - I'd almost forgotten this series was going on it's been so long since the last one.
And what made me smile:

The Daily Planet's post-Crisis headline!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Friday Night Fights - Very Big Lights

It's Friday night and, as usual, Spacebooger demands violence!

Just for the hell of it, I've gone for not one on one . . . not even two against one . . . unless you count teams, that is! This is the Justice League America and Justice League Europe together, battling one guy.

But hey, he's a big guy . . .

That's the Gray Man, former servant of the Lords of Order who has, to put it mildly, freaked out, forcing the combined Justice League teams to team up and, as Power Girl says, "Punch his lights out!"

Trouble is, at his size he's able to take even her on and with a slap like that, she's going to need a doctor . . . Dr Fate that is (sorry!)

And with a single FWASH, the big guy's down for the count!

Remember, folks, head over to Spacebooger by clicking on the picture below, check out the other fights and vote for your favourite.

This combined effort first appeared in Justice League Europe #8, cover dated November 1989, written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, with art by Bart Sears, Bob Smith and Pablo Marcos.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

My Eyes! My Eyes!

Oh dear lord . . . some things, once seen, can never be unseen. They will stay with you forever and taint your mind, poisoning your fondest memories, reducing cherished thoughts to sickening nightmares.

That's why I've never watched the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Something else I should never have watched is this clip over at Newsarama which is a short snippet from Legends of The Superheroes from 1979 where . . .
Batman and Robin (reprised by Adam West & Burt Ward) met The Flash, Green Lantern, and more in a superheroic smackdown.
The clip shows Green Lantern with the campest Sinestro ever. Click that link at your peril.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cover Versions

DC have released the solicitations for their January titles and the majority of the ongoing books are sharing a similar cover design, highlighting a single character with their logo . . . and they look really, really nice!

Here's a few of the titles that I'll be picking up:

No idea how they'll look with price/issue info on them but right now, DC's design team have done a fantastic job.

Just as my Monday Covers are coming to an end (next Monday's the last one . . . at least for this year!) DC deliver a bunch of new ones for the list.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Monday Covers #22

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #1
I used to be a huge Stephen King fan, going so far as to track down several first editions of his books - pride of place is a near mint hardback American first ed of The Shining, along with a first ed paperback of The Running Man by Richard Bachman - and The Dark Tower books are still some of my favourites.

This cover to the first issue just made me want to read all seven books again - it's simply stunning!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #102

Larfleeze shows why he's the one getting his own Christmas special this year

  • BOOSTER GOLD #37 - you're almost left with the thought that either Giffen or DeMatteis is occasionally tapping the other one on the shoulder and saying "Didn't we have a plot we were following at some point?" This is still a great fun series but it does delight in wandering down various sub-plot alleyways before being wrenched back to the main one! And methinks we haven't seen the last of Estrogina!
  • GREEN LANTERN #58 - finally, Carol Ferris slaps down Hal Jordan's expectations, reminding him of his girl back home while she gets on with her life. Meanwhile Salaak begins to get suspicious of Jordan's activities and hey, the Flash turns up.
  • GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD WARRIORS #3 - the Red Lantern Bleez seems to be along for the ride, but at least she can speak now. Sodam Yat finds he's being hunted by his own father and that creepy, floating dwarf who's behind the draining of Lantern's rings shows up again.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE: GENERATION LOST #11 - this issue's pretty much all about the Metal Men attacking Fire, Ice and Rocket Red which ends up with Ice being forced into her new persona, the origin of which we meet in the next issue and which I moaned about earlier this week.
  • JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA 80 PAGE GIANT 2010 - I've said it before: the thing with anthologies is you have to take the rough with the smooth. The Obsidian story was well done though it was little more than an origin tale; Jesse Quick helps a battered woman (as an aside - a trash can lid can deflect bullets? I don't think so!); Mr Terrific's tale was a little empty; Cyclone battles through some some spiteful people and discovers a new power; Sand shoots a cop (but he deserved it); the Wildcats get closer to each other; and Dr Fate manages to help someone in death. Mostly okay stories, though the Mr Terrific one was, as I said, just a little less than the others.
  • KNIGHT AND SQUIRE #1 - I've never picked up a book before on the strength of a preview, but had to give this a go. It's wonderfully British and I applaud DC for publishing it. Storywise it does little except establish some characters but does so with humour and charm. Well worth getting.
  • UNTOLD TALES OF BLACKEST NIGHT #1 - basically an anthology so again a little hit and miss. I think the most pertinent thing to come out of it was the recruitment of Lyssa Drak by the floating, creepy dwarf from the Green Lantern titles.
And what made me smile:

Induce vomiting! Kiss her!

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday Night Fights - A Right Shoeing!

It's Friday and if you don't know what that means by now, then shame on you.

Another round of Friday Night Fights and for tonight I'm heading back to Gotham and the Bat-family . . . or at least their chief nemesis.

The Joker's been locked up once more, but this time he's been deemed sane and sent not to Arkham but Blackgate where he's already pissed off the resident tough guy.

Is he worried, though?

Guess not!

He may not have the muscle but he's got the speed . . .

. . . and the mad as a bag of badgers mentality not to give a rat's ass!

Not to mention a killer sense of humour!

Remember, folks, head over to Spacebooger by clicking on the image below, check out the other fights and vote, vote, vote your little hearts out!

The shoe-fire case of assault by a heel of the highest order was taken from the graphic novel The Joker: Devil's Advocate, written by Chuck Dixon with art by Graham Nolan and Scott Hanna.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

In The Flesh

Never really seen the appeal of the whole cos-play thing - maybe I'm just too uptight and British for it.

Over at Newsarama, though, there's a gallery of folks dressed up as comic/film characters from New York Comic Con. Of note are a rather good Zatanna (#14), a moody looking Thor (#17) and is the girl in the middle of #26 wearing a dress that#s meant to be a Dalek?!

All of which pale into insignificance against this guy:

Ambush Bug lives!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Be Nice To Ice

A couple of weeks ago over at the DC Source blog, mention was made of a new origin being pulled together for Ice, the formerly shy and retiring member of Justice League International. According to the editor of Justice League: Generation Lost, Brian Cunningham:
For those of us that read the Super Friends series in the 1970s where Ice was originally introduced as Ice Maiden, we all know how absurd her origin was. With Gen Lost #12, writer Judd Winick provides Ice with a credible and tragic origin that does not negate what we already know.
Oh dear. Have I given Judd Winick too much credit over the last couple of months? I've been quietly enjoying both Justice League: Generation Lost and Power Girl (the latter much to my surprise) since he took them over but now, this news leaves me feeling disappointed, mainly because they're confusing Ice with Icemaiden. They're two separate characters, neither of which have particularly "absurd" origins, at least in the comics world.

Icemaiden was originally Sigrid Nansen from Norway, daughter of an over-bearing scientist mother who wasn't as good in the lab as her mother. Determined to prove her worth, she volunteered to be a test subject:

as shown in blue-hued flashbacks in Justice League America #102 from 1995. Sure enough, the Norwegians hooked her up to some bizarren experiment, gave her ice powers and sent her off to join the Global Guardians where she met Fire (then known as Green Fury/Flame)

Thing is, not long after, a genuine ice-maiden from a long forgotten mythical ice tribe turned up:

Which left Icemaiden feeling blue (sorry!) and she left. That's the ret-con to it all anyway - according to both ComicVine and the Comic Book Database, Icemaiden made one appearance in the Super Friends (#9 if you're interested) and then disappeared for a few years before turning up in Infinity Inc for a few issues as a member of the Global Guardians.

Ice (called Icemaiden at that point) meanwhile first appeared in Justice League International #12 in 1988 as a member of the Global Guardians who were disbanding following the formation of the UN-sanctioned Justice League. She and Green Flame soon ended up joining the JLI and changed their names to Fire and Ice. In that same year, she had an appearance in the Who's Who: Update '88 #2:

where she's described as having super-powers "not quite as impressive as some other JLIers such as Martian Manhunter or Guy Gardner"!

She also made an appearance in Secret Origins #33 from the same year where her origin was expanded upon. Intent on having a Norwegian superhero, the Norwegian government hire a guy called Rod (who has apparently studied loads of American heroes) to head up into the frozen wastes to find the ice-folk. Rod doesn't believe in them:

Hardly surprising if all he reads is Marvel Comics! As this would be a rather dull origin story if they didn't exist, after being forced to land, Rod and his pilot quickly find:

Ice, complete with a handy caption written into the ice and rock above her! This is Tora Olafsdotter, a different character from Icemaiden though using the same name at this point.

Rod and the pilot end up being captured and taken into the ice-folk's caves by the king, who happens to be Ice's father. Ice herself faces a life of boredom and reproduction in an obviously chauvinistic society:

Determined to see more of the world, she frees Rod and the pilot from the ice capsule prisons they'd been held in

Which leads to Rod paying a little too much attention to Ice's spandex clad butt:

How did that get past the editor!!

Anyhow, Ice convinces her father to let them go, Rod realises he's too much of a cad and a bounder to look after her and instead takes her to Paris and drops her off with the Global Guardians where she meets Fire.

So there you go, two origin stories for two separate characters. One was the child of an overbearing mother who underwent experimental treatment that resulted in super-powers; the other was the child of a mythical race who was born with her powers.

Even if Brian Cunningham has confused Ice with Icemaiden or if he thinks Ice first appeared in Super Friends, his assertion that her origin was "absurd" doesn't really hold up.

Neither of them are any more absurd than Wonder Woman's for example: a child made from clay who was blessed by the Greek gods.

I dread to think what this "credible and tragic origin" is that Winick's come up with.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

"Oh, The Dead Kid."

Just catching up with some comic news from the New York Con. Over at the DC Nation panel:
On Green Arrow, a fan suggested DC bring back Lian Harper. DiDio was puzzled for a moment, then, "Oh, the dead kid."
That seems kinda harsh and a little heartless on first reading; Lian Harper was liked by many and her almost casual death in Justice League: Cry for Justice was criticised by just as many. Still, it could have been DiDio having a laugh.
A fan asked about Multiversity, the long-gestating Grant Morrison opus. "We're waiting for Bruce Wayne to get back—this is a story that only Grant Morrison can do, and I mean that with all my art [sic]," DiDio said, adding that Morrison has at least another year of Batman stories. He indicated the story would be presented in five chapters with five artists.
Despite many fans moaning about "event fatigue" over the last few years, I still like them - Blackest Night was a great story. Grant Morrison, on the other hand doing something big again? After the mess that was Final Crisis, I'm really not that excited about Multiversity, as much as I love the DC Multiverse.
The next question: "What about Ralph and Sue?" A good level of applause followed. "You know, we come to these panels year after year, what we hear is, 'why can't characters stay dead?" DiDio said. "This is our gift to you."
I'd rather have Ralph and Sue Dibny remain dead than a half-arsed story about them coming back as ghost detectives. But hey, maybe an appearance in next year's Halloween special?

Meanwhile, over at the DC Universe panel:
Krul said Green Arrow would soon see the resolution of the Queen storyarc, then move into "Who is Black Arrow?" "Green Arrow's needed a nemesis for a while, and this will set that up," Krul said.
I agree Green Arrow's rogues gallery has been a little light but Black Arrow? Isn't that just Merlyn by a different name?
Sattler mentioned that DiDio had made an announcement, to which Robinson began "My favorite character is Hawkman—" 'Not that!" Sattler cut him off, laughing. "The one shot!"
Robinson writing a Hawkman ongoing? Damn - love to see another Hawkman series but Robinson's writing on Justice League of America has been so ropey lately. Doesn't fill me with confidence.

And from the Green Lantern panel:
The first issue of a new Lantern-centric comic series is already written, Johns said, reiterating an announcement made earlier in the day that another Corps would get a title.
Another Corps - probably going to come down to Star Sapphires or the Indigo Tribe; my guess would be the latter.
"At some point we'll do Green Lantern/Green Arrow, probably sooner than later," Johns said when asked about such a crossover.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Monday Covers #21

Justice League Europe #19
As much as I loved the humour in the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League books, I remember being struck by how damn good the Extremist Vector storyarc was in Justice League Europe. It was sort of their first serious threat and the cover of this issue, which finished the story, just works for me: bold and determined, these guys aren't going to be messed with!

I know Bart Sears had his detractors but I always liked his stuff on this series. Just a shame the Extremists went on to be two-bit villains that no-one really knew what to do with.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #101

You won't find Anna Fortune getting teary eyed with nostalgia

  • THE BOYS #47 - aw, crap . . . Wee Hughie loses it with Starlight in a scene that had me cringing. You know you're emotionally invested in fictional characters when you just want to grab them and say "Stop f*****g things up!"
  • BRIGHTEST DAY #11 - Firestorm throws down against his evil counterpart while Aquaman and Black Manta have a huge fight. Oh, and the Black Lantern version of the twelve resurrected characters reappear. Strangely, the best part of the issue for me was that last two page spread of a huge forest covering the surface of Mars.
  • DOOM PATROL #15 - the Chief goes completely off the rails as the Kryptonian powers he's absorbed send him more than a little crazy. The fight between the Doom Patrol and the Chief is touching and sad though I somehow doubt that this is the end of Caulder. And who'd have thought a pelican could look so startled?
  • FREEDOM FIGHTERS #2 - another solid issue as Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters go up against the renegade shamans from the past . . . and get their butts kicked. A little standard, plot wise - issue 1 introduces the threat, issue 2 the threat beats the heroes, issue 3 the heroes try but fail to beat them before realising/finding a key idea/item, issue 4 the heroes beat the threat - but no less enjoyable because of Palmiotti and Gray's cracking dialogue and the lovely art by Travis Moore. Once passed this story which is establishing the team for new readers, I've no doubt this series will really kick into gear.
  • JSA-ALL STARS #11 - did Atom Smasher miss the meeting about giant-sized fights in the middle of a city? Can't help thinking that's not his brightest move. Elsewhere, Cyclone's back, Power Girl recuperates (how else is a solar powered hero going to recharge other than by sun-bathing!) and Atom Smasher and Anna Fortune start some serious flirting.
    • Co feature LIBERTY BELLE AND HOURMAN - so this story that's been drawn out a little too long comes to an end. As I've said before, it's good - the characters are well written and the art's great - but it's just felt a bit stretched. But hey, a nice resolution.
  • SECRET SIX #26 - if ever there was a place where Bane fitted in, it looks like it's Skataris. The two teams go head to head a lot sooner than I'd expected and that last page . . . not sure where that's going to go next issue.
And what made me smile:

Oh, Ambush Bug, you are a one.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Just Because I Didn't Make It

Doesn't mean the fights stop.

I couldn't join in this week's Friday Night Fights, but remember to head over to Spacebooger, check out the fights and vote for your favourite.

That's what I'm about to do!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Just Popped In

I can honestly say I have no interest in buying this, but over at the DC Source blog they have a brief article about  the forthcoming DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book.

Like I say, not going to buy it but Batman and the others sure do look pretty!


Related Posts with Thumbnails