Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Grant Morrison Guide To Writing

And if it's okay to poke fun at Watchmen yesterday, then I guess it's okay to chuckle at this bloke:


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Not Sure What Happened There

A few minutes ago, I was about to reply to a comment someone left on the blog only to find a warning message from Google Chrome (my browser of choice) saying because I had links to the DC Source blog I was at risk of downloading malware to my PC:

Click to make readable
Turns out the DC blog might have been hijacked at some point so, for now, I've removed the link from my blog roll which has solved the issue for me.

Apologies if anyone had the same message and ran shrieking from Crisis on Earth-Prime - I promise I'm not hosting anything malicious here except the occasional opinion.

Kill Your Heroes

Or at least allow them to be mocked and laugh at them:

The Paint Watchmen - excellent stuff.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Justice League Detroit - Rebirth

Over the next few weeks on a Tuesday, I'll be working my way through the Justice League of America titles from 1985 to 1987, trying to work out if the Justice League Detroit era really was as bad as we think it was. Why? Why the hell not.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #233 - #236, Rebirth, Parts 1 to 4, written by Gerry Conway with art by Chuck Patton, Bill Anderson, Mike Machlan and Rick Magyar.

Picture the scene: you're Gerry Conway, you've just relaunched DC Comics' flagship team title in its recent annual and you need a storyline worthy of you're new team, something that will stretch them and prove that they are worthy of being known as the Justice League.

You start your first issue with a one page prologue, showing an ancient disaster, hinting that something or someone was behind the extermination of some of the first complex life forms ever to evolve on Earth billions of years ago. It's not a bad start - a foreshadowing of what's to come.

And then you have your first two-page spread, pages 2 and 3 of issue #233. What are you going to do, how will you introduce your new heroes, the new League?

Monday, 27 June 2011

Monday Memes #26

And here we are, the halfway mark of my year of Monday Memes!

I love these - not only do they feature the title of the comic within the cover image but they both feature comics within comics!

Secret Origins #50 is still one of my favourite covers and while Suicide Squad #4 could have ended up in the Homages section, I thought it worked well here.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Geography Lesson

Just a quick note about Flashpoint: Lois Lane And The Resistance:

Was it too difficult for Eddie Nunez to just Google "map of britain"?

Friday, 24 June 2011

If Amsterdam Won't Go To The Mountains . . .

I've seen reports about the rendition of Britain in this week's Flashpoint: Lois Lane and The Resistance but as I haven't read that yet, you'll have to put up with me bitching about another map SNAFU from DC.

Last week's Flashpoint: Deadman And The Flying Graysons gave us an insight into the world of Flashpoint following Aquaman's sinking of most of Western Europe, specifically in the form of this map detailing the journey of the Haley Circus:

Now Flashpoint and its attendant maps has already caused something of a stir but when I saw that, something caught my eye simply to do with the geography.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Green Lantern Movie

The negative press was never going to stop me watching this - hell, I sat through Star Wars: Episodes I and II and managed to live to tell the tale.

For the record, before you get worried, Green Lantern is no Phantom Menace which is something to be thankful for.

On the whole I enjoyed it; I'd hoped to come out shrieking with joy but that wasn't to be, but neither was I hanging my head in shame thinking they'd killed a franchise at their first attempt.

There's a lot to cram into this and, in some ways, it felt a little rushed. The opening voice over concerning who the Corps and the Guardians are is handled well, however, and you have to expect a truncated version rather than the decades-long history in the comics.

Reynolds is pretty good as Jordan. Sure he's a little goofy at times but, as he tells the Guardians, he's only human. One review I read made mention of how scared Reynolds's Jordan is despite a Green Lantern being without fear; that reviewer obviously missed the whole "ability to overcome fear" scene with Blake Lively's spot-on Carol Ferris. This Jordan isn't fearless but once he embraces and accepts his fear he's able to act and grow into the role.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Ready When You Are, DC

The results of my little poll about how you feel about the DC relaunch are in and exactly half of the votes went to "Cautiously optimistic" which is where my own opinion lies.

Reading Power Girl last week and knowing that with the exception of a couple more issues that's it felt a bit strange and, if I'm honest, I had briefly considered just quitting the whole thing - using the relaunch as less of a "jumping on" and more a "jumping off" point.

But you know what? It might turn out to be okay. Looking at the creators we've got some interesting talents on some interesting characters so I'm willing to give it a go and try and be the glass half full kind of guy.

Thanks for taking part, whatever your view!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Justice League Detroit - A New Chapter

The words above come from the end of the review of the first series of Justice League of America in The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide, specifically referring to issues #233 to the final issue #261. That's the era from late 1984 to mid '87 that covered what became known as Justice League Detroit.

I've never hidden my fondness for the Detroit League and with the recent Retroactive posts I've done, coupled with the news about the DC relaunch and both a new Justice League and a Justice League International title, I found myself wondering about that much derided time in the League's history. Has my memory of the stories been clouded by nostalgia or were they a "disaster, creatively" speaking?

Basically, was Justice League Detroit really that bad?

Even though nobody has asked me to, over the next few weeks I'm going to go through the original run of the Detroit League to try and find out.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Monday Memes #25

Sometimes romance can blossom slowly over a period of years as two people realise that the feelings they have for each other run deeper than just friendship, allowing them to bond in a much more significant way, as a fully rounded couple.

Other times it comes as something of a shock:

and can lead you into predicaments you wouldn't expect to end up in:

What a many splendored thing it is!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Friday, 17 June 2011

That Time I Interviewed Garth Ennis

Ten years or so ago a writing friend of mine set up The Alien Online, a website featuring monthly columns on a variety of subjects and he asked me to write one on comics. Sadly the site didn't last more than a year or two before biting the dust despite the best intentions of the owner but it was fun while it lasted. The trouble with writing a monthly column, though, was the lack of immediacy - with this blog if I read something interesting, I can post about it in minutes. Back then, it had to be written up and sent over to the editor before seeing the light of day by which time other, larger sites had long since published it and moved on.

However, it did give me the opportunity to interview Garth Ennis. I say interview - I wrote out my questions and sent them to him (using paper and pen - this was the old days!) and he was kind enough to write back with his answers. Moving some old papers around the other day, I came across his reply which got me to thinking: with The Alien Online long-since dead and, in all honesty, not having had a huge readership back in the day (because this blog gets zillions of hits per hour), not many people would have seen this.

So here, for your delectation, warts and all, is a Garth Ennis interview from 2001:

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Room For One More?

As any regular reader knows by now, I'm something of a Power Girl fan - her book (even written by Winick) was consistently fun and that's what I like in my comics.

Following all the DC relaunch / reboot news, though, there's no Power Girl nor Justice Society title so it seems we won't be seeing her around much after September.

Unless she joins a new group, I suppose. One where the team books are unlikely to be cancelled. You know, if one of the head honchos of DC was writing it or something. One which had a new movie coming out soon . . .

Is there such a group?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

One Power Ring To Bring Them All

Want a T-shirt with Gollum dressed as Green Lantern?

Best be quick - they don't hang around long on this site.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Retroactive - The 90's Part 3

As DC Comics are celebrating the creators that made an impact in the 70's, 80's and 90's, I thought I'd wander through the same decades and pull out my favourite comic of each year.

And here we are, finally at the end of the 90's.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Monday Memes #24

You know that feeling when you've had enough?

Yeah, the one where you just want to say "Shove it!" and get the hell out of there. Or just shrug your shoulders, bow your head and just stop caring.

Don't worry - superheroes get like that as well.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #133

What some people will do to get a promotion
With all the DC relaunch / reboot news over the last week or two I figured I'd run a quick poll to gauge the feelings of my lovely readers - check it out at the top of the page.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Perusing Previews - June 2011

Another month, another issue of Previews turns up in my comic haul.

I don't collect these things, myself, but I have to wonder - with the new DC relaunch coming will this magazine keep producing new figures based on the new designs? Will it ever end?

And At Number 52 . . .

So that's it, then - with the release of the Superman family of titles (none of which I'll be getting as I'm not a big Superman fan) the full list of DC's fifty two #1's for September is finished.

Not including the Flashpoint series and its tie ins, here's what I'm currently getting from DC each month:


Friday, 10 June 2011

Couple Of Surprises

Well I thought the last things left to announce were the Superman titles but DC appears to have pulled two little surprises out of the bag forcing me to break my post once a day rule:

Harley Quinn! Deadshot! King Shark! They’re a team of death-row super villains recruited by the government to take on missions so dangerous – they’re sheer suicide! Who will be the first to crack under the pressure? Find out in SUICIDE SQUAD #1, written by Adam Glass (FLASHPOINT: LEGION OF DOOM) with art by Marco Rudy (THE SHIELD).
Sure, it's not Gail Simone on the Secret Six but this might be worth a look.

It’s not easy being Jaime Reyes. He has to deal with high school, family and all the drama that comes with being a teenager. Also, he’s linked to a powerful scarab created by an alien race who seek to subjugate planets – or annihilate them. It’s up to one teen hero to turn this instrument of destruction into a force for good in BLUE BEETLE #1, written by Tony Bedard (GREEN LANTERN CORPS) and illustrated by Ig Guara (FLASHPOINT: GRODD OF WAR) and Ruy Jose.
Blue Beetle! Jaime's back in his own series again! Woo yay!

You Fine Men Of War

And the DC news keeps rolling in, this time focusing on their fighting titles . . . sort of:

Stormwatch is a dangerous super human strike force whose existence is kept secret from the world. Jack Hawksmoor and the rest of the crew look to recruit two of the deadliest super humans on the planet: Midnighter and Apollo. And if they say no? Perhaps the Martian Manhunter can change their minds. Featuring a surprising new roster, STORMWATCH #1 will be written by the critically-acclaimed Paul Cornell (Superman: The Black Ring, “Dr. Who”) and illustrated by Miguel Sepulveda.
Paul Cornell, the Martian Manhunter, Midnighter and Apollo? I am definitely buying this one.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Young Heroes In DC Relaunch

My self imposed rule of posting once a day is giving me a headache with all this DC news, forcing me to bump posts over and over again as new information comes along but hey, that's my fault.

DC have released details of their teenage heroes following the relaunch:

Seven heroes from the 31st century have traveled back to the present day. Their mission: Save their future from total annihilation. When the future tech they brought with them fails, they find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world and an ultimate struggle to survive. LEGION LOST #1 will be written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Pete Woods, fresh off an acclaimed run of Action Comics.
Never been a Legion reader so I'm afraid this one won't be joining my pull list . . .

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

DC's Dark Side

Just read about the new supernatural titles that DC has coming out and, for me at least, there's good news and bad:

DC Comics embraces its dark side. On the 40th anniversary of the character’s creation, the New York Times bestselling writer of AMERICAN VAMPIRE, Scott Snyder, teams up with Yannick Paquette (BATMAN, INCORPORATED) to bring horror back to the DC Universe in SWAMP THING #1. For years, one man served against his will as the avatar of nature. And while he may have been freed of the monster, he’s about to learn the monster will never truly let go of him.
I've not read any of Snyder's work but it's Swamp Thing, so I'll give it a go.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Retroactive - The 90's Part 2

As DC Comics are celebrating the creators that made an impact in the 70's, 80's and 90's, I thought I'd wander through the same decades and pull out my favourite comic of each year.

And here we are, finally in the 90's.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Monday Memes #23

And we're back to Homages just for the hell of it:

Power Girl, Superman, Vartox

I'm not the biggest Superman reader so was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Vartox's appearance in Power Girl was lifted from an old Superman issues, complete with god-awful costume!

Justice League of America

And talking of awful costumes, here's Power Girl's hideous blue and white affair on display as she and the rest of Justice League Europe are "Doomed by Deconstructo" while parodying Justice League of America #9.

Deconstructo . . . seriously . . .

Saturday, 4 June 2011

It's An Old Meme . . .

. . . but a good one.

I tend not to post on a Saturday but this was too good to miss.

Shamelessly pilfered from Jimmy Palmiotti's blog, here's Hitler's reaction to the DC relaunch.

Made me chuckle!

Oh, and there's a pool over at Stars and Garters on how long before a) Jim Lee is late on the art duties for Justice League and b) DC renumber at least one title following the reboot relaunch. Head over and place your bets!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Good News, Everyone!

Following the big announcement about the DCU reboot, we're getting more details as the time goes one. Just read this over at the DCU blog:
"A team of internationally-drafted superheroes fight each other and their bureaucratic supervisors as much as they do global crime in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1 from writer Dan Jurgens and artist Aaron Lopresti. The cover to issue #1 is by Aaron Lopresti."
And here's the cover:

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Holy Reboot, Batman! And Superman! And Wonder Woman . . .

Well blimey - that was a bit of a fast news day wasn't it?

Typically I heard the news about DC's reboot just moments before I was heading off for the day with zero net access - but hey, I don't pretend to offer any up to the minute news here.

So, DC are to relaunch their titles in September with all new sparkly shiny #1's.

Chief among them is the new Justice League title written by Geoff Johns with art by Jim Lee. While the choice of writer comes as no real surprise (it's been rumoured for ages) the choice of artist is something that made me frown. Lee's stuff is good but he's notoriously slow - how many issues do you think will ship on time before it starts to slide?

A lot's being mentioned about the redesign of costumes as well although looking at the image on the left there's nothing there that isn't instantly recognisable. Superman's still got the S shield, Aquaman's still in gold scales and green, Batman's still got the bat symbol. It's noticeable that they all have the same collar style though - maybe they all went to the same tailor?

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Time Flies By - 1996

Last time I did this, I looked back at what I was buying twenty years ago. I figured there'd be little point doing the same time frame again as it would just be the same titles but moved on a month or two so I chose the completely arbitrary date of 1996, fifteen years ago, to have a look at what I was picking up back then.

Extreme Justice #17
Oh man - anybody else remember this title? It was pretty much a mess from the get-go and here it is, wrapping up in its penultimate issue a year and a half after its launch. Did it do anything except confuse the Captain Atom/Monarch relationship?

Ghost / Hellboy Special #2
A two parter team up between Dark Horse's big supernatural characters which, while nothing brilliant, was good fun as I remember.

Ghost #15
Despite the cheesecake covers, Ghost was a good read although it could have done with a stable art team. Eric Luke was writer throughout the first series and did a fine job of working out who Ghost was, particularly after a whole host of cross overs and guest stars were forced on him in the early issues.

Green Arrow #109
Conner Hawke - a damn fine character with a huge amount of potential who carried his own title for three years and joined the Justice League for goodness sake! And where is he now? In limbo after being turned into an amnesiac, indestructible victim by Mr Winick. Grrrr . . .

Green Lantern #74
Kyle and the Darkstars go up against Grayven, son of Darkseid and it's not pretty. I really enjoyed Ron Marz's run on Green Lantern which was straightforward superheroics at its best.

Hitman #2
One of my all time favourite series, Hitman was an irreverent, violent and above all fun look at the dirtier side of the DCU. Much missed.

Inherit The Earth trade paperback
One of several comics companies that Jim Shooter dabbled in, Broadway's Fatale series traded on the buxom title character but actually managed to overcome the T'n'A aspect and provide a story which, while never going to win a Nobel prize, was a good mix of espionage and superheroics. Sadly the company folded before we ever got to learn what happened to Fatale. Oh, wait - she turned up in the DCU under a different name.

Justice League America #111
Another Justice League title that was winding down. For some reason, while Gerard Jones produced several years worth of cracking Green Lantern stories, his Justice League stuff (when writing solo) never really gelled and when it was bad (Power Girl's son, anybody?) it was really bad. It was probably best that this title was put to rest in a few issue's time.

Justice League Task Force #35
And the other JL title in the stable at the time was also heading for cancellation. Never brilliant but never that dreadful either, JLTF was supposed to be the Mission Impossible side of the League, able to recruit any hero to go on a mission. I remember reading an interview with writer Christopher Priest where he said that as no-one ever gave him a mission to go on, he went ahead and did his own thing.

Preacher #14
Everybody remember when Cassidy was still the loveable rogue instead of what he became? Preacher was an undeniably good book and still bears re-reading every once in a while.

The Spectre #42
On the whole, The Spectre was a bloody good series but its low point, for me at least, was the storyline around this issue - The Haunting of America. It just didn't work for me and seemed to drag on way too long but I stuck with it none the less.


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