Friday, May 28, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 5/26/10

The Good:

  • Green Lantern #54- Atrocitus has been hanging out in the NYC subway with Dex-Starr (the RL cat) and creepily uses some blood to track the Entities of Light on Earth. Meanwhile, Hal, Carol and Sinestro try to pull the proverbial sword from the stone. A message plays when they try together. They need to gather the resurrected and find the Entities. Who are given names. Predator, Ion and Parallax we know... the rest are: Ophidian (orange), Adara (blue), Proselyte (indigo) and Butcher (red). A mysterious figure pulls Sodam Yat from Daxam's sun and removes Ion from him tethering it next to Parallax. Great art and dialogue keep this slow issue from feeling so.

  • Superman: War Of The Supermen #4- A good year and a half of story wraps up in this issue with the whole New Krypton and exiled Superman idea and all the characters and plotlines that developed out of it being cleared away for JMS basically. While Superman and Supergirl get some fight scenes (mostly Superman vs Zod) it's really Superboy and Krypto who are the heroes. SB comes up with the solution to stop the slaughter on both sides and Krypto helps implement it. They save Kara from Ursa, the JLA from Non and Superman from Zod's troops. Krypto even takes a kryptonite knife to the gut from Zod (he lives I guess) which was a big "NOOOO!" scene for me. Gen. Lane shoots himself rather than face any charges. Nightwing/Chris Kent saves Superman from keeping Zod in the Zone forever and reverts back to his kid form finding Mon-El. The Guardian resigns and leaves town.

  • Justice League: Generation Lost #2- The JLI desperately tries to convince the rest of the superheroes that Max Lord exists which leads to some comical, yet saddening conversations. As people who are "pushed" come up with alternate explanations for past events. The most egregious being that Ted Kord committed suicide. It also seems that Max is now targeting the JLI by discrediting them, making them hunted. A really good series so far, the Winick/Giffen teaming seems solid.

  • Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1- The many characters and plots from DNA's cosmic books converge in this prologue to the "mini-event". Nova, Quasar, the Imperial Guard/Guardian, the Inhumans, the Guardians of the Galaxy. The evil-Quasar and the Magus open the rift in the Fault to the "Cthulu Elder God" universe and we see who the big bad is... and why Thanos will have to be the "hero" of this story. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

  • Green Lantern Corps #48- As Ganthet joins the Corps as a Lantern (making his own ring in a way cool scene) it seems the Alpha Lanterns have been "recruiting" others to their ranks willing or not. [The Guardians are their own worst enemy]. Ganthet, Guy and Atrocitus meet to discuss a course of action that might set them against Hal. As Atrocitus is in the GL book too, it'll be interesting to find out how both stories fit together. Bedard seems to be a good successor to Tomasi.

  • Secret Avengers #1- I like the team members assembled here. Each brings something to the group; scientific knowledge, technical expertise, etc. Already, in the first issue there is a more natural and ease with which the characters work together than the ACTUAL Avengers title. I still don't see the point of having or needing a "secret" Avengers team. Oh, I understand from the story why, I just don't see it needed as a concept, but that's just me. I have no doubt that this will become THE Avengers title for me and I'm interested in the reveal of the leader of the SA's opponents, the Shadow Council.

The Alright:

  • Doomwar #4- This was a standard "we're losing the battle" type story redeemed by the introduction of Deadpool to the storyline ['cause he wasn't in enough books already]. What could have easily been another crass use of an overexposed popular character turned out to be a cool, clever and funny bit of writing. The art was fair with more attention paid to the part that introduced Deadpool to the story.

  • X-Force #27- Half of the issue was dialogue free quarter/half page panels showing the battle as the X-Men fight of the first wave of Nimrod Sentinels. Once dealt with, Cyclops came up with the plan for the next wave. X-Force's true nature was revealed to the rest of the X-Men but discussions on it's moral implications were put off until the end of the crossover, er.. the current situation is resolved (i.e. they survive). The battle scenes weren't too action-y, more like still photos than action scenes. The planning scenes were a bit too verbose [making up for the "silent" parts, I guess] The next month's issues wrap up this X-over.

  • Atlas #1- Left from last week. This new start (third) to the group continued the storyline of the 1950's super team. It added the modern day version of 3D-Man into the mix. He was introduced to the MU in Kurt Busiek's Avengers as Triathlon and last seen in Avengers: Initiative and Skrull Kill Krew during Secret Invasion. I was glad to see the character reused here. He's probably one of the most hated characters because of the way he was introduced and put on the Avengers. I admit that I hated him, but he grew on me. Eventually he was linked to the original 3D-Man and that went a long way in changing my opinion of the character. That said, I don't think that there was anything that would bring in new readers. If you were reading Atlas in the past, it was building on that familiarity and moving that story forward.

  • Thunderbolts #144- I was interested in this new direction for the title. Which was going to be a return to the "classic" T-bolts (villains truly wanting to reform as heroes). What really attracted me was the return of some of those original T-bolts: MACH V(now), Songbird and Moonstone. An interesting dynamic since they were last together. However, they didn't get that much time together as this issue focused on the other members more. Now [and this is me speaking as a fan], I think Marvel really missed an opportunity here. Who better to restore the tarnished name of the Thunderbolts than the one hero who made that first team into heroes..., Hawkeye! Don't get me wrong, I like Luke Cage. But, To me it makes sense that Clint would do this. Cap/Steve Rogers saw and recognized what he had achieved with those T-bolts and I could see him asking Clint to "fix" the team name he helped establish. As is, the use of Luke Cage and the prison element gave it a Suicide Squad feel that I don't know how to respond to. The last page did have a welcome surprise and will keep me around for the next issue even though I'm not really liking the art.

  • Fantastic Four #679- Dale Eaglesham's art is the only reason to buy this title. This issue was a lot of pretty pictures and nothing happening. Reed visits the Wizard in jail then sets up a school...yes, he's teaching. Okay, his students are from some of the last few issues of FF including Dragon Man, the fishlike Atlanteans, his own daughter and Artie from X-Factor/New Mutants in 90's. Actually I liked how Hickman gave some growth to that character and his powers. I cannot get over the fact that this title has yet to show the Fantastic FOUR! There is lots of issues with one or two, but few with all four together.

The Bad:

  • Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #2- On this episode of Quantum Leap Sam leapt back to Puritan times. Seriously, in this issue Morrison sent Bruce to the early 1700's where he took up immediate battle with a C'thulu evoking Lovecraftian creature. Taken in by a women he rescued from said creature, he became a witchhunter (more apt to base explanations on deductive reasoning than superstition) in Gotham. Meanwhile, the heroes talked to an archivist at the end of time. There was an explanation of Morrison's take on time and time travel in the DCU. In a WTF moment the archivist revealed itself to be Bruce who left the heroes stranded as time (literally) ran out. Oh, and Bruce bumped into his ancestor Nathaniel Wayne who was revealed in Batman & Robin to be a not nice man. I really did not like this art and that's why it's in the Bad category. Otherwise it's perfectly mediocre.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Random Thoughts 13

I had actually planned to do this before the Lost edition, but got too busy, so it's a little dated.

-Notice the DC Comics from the alternate world in Fringe:
  • Red Lantern/Red Arrow based on the Neal Adams cover [guess he's powered by rage]
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 with Supergirl holding a dead Superman
  • Death Of Batman a switch with Superman event of 90's
  • Superman: The Man Of Steel Returns another switch of charaters

-Heroes just got canceled but it's producers are also getting sued for ripping off the storyline of the last season from the Carnival Of Souls comic book. The case is made with side by side stills and panels. Judge for yourself here.

-Finally a sad mystery involving a comic book and animated series writer is being investigated in Florida. Steve Perry (not the guitarist) and his two housemates were reported missing from the house they shared. The van belonging to Perry was found abandoned in a parking lot with several severed limbs discovered nearby. The two housemates were arrested on other unrelated charges but remain "persons of interest" in a murder investigation. Life was not going well for Perry who wrote several episodes of Thundercats and Silverhawks as well as various comics. He had been divoriced and contracted cancer. He sought help from several charities including Hero Initiative for funds towards treatment, rent and food. The house he lived in was owned by his brother-in-law(?) and had just recently forclosed. He leaves behind his ex-wife and his five year old son.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Random Thoughts 4-8-15-16-23-42

Yeah, it's the series finale of Lost. After six years the best show ever to air on TV is ending. So, I decided to write this as I watched it. My predictions will be in parenthesis like so..[] I also meant to "time stamp" these, but forgot.


-Hurley got in two Star Wars references in a minute. And Jacob IS worse than Yoda.

-Vincent! I can imagine the scene where Bernard says "Who's fallen into the well, Vincent?"

-Oooohhh what's Ben's endgame

-It's Juliet, I'm giddy. [Sun's gonna remember when she examines her.] I'm tearing up.

-Damn! I knew Lapidus wasn't dead! Miles, Richard and Lapidus spin-off?...

-Whoa! That's a helluva bluff, Jack.

-So Jack was married to Juliet in alterniverse.

-It was alt-Desmond all the time back on the island?

-Target ads for smoke alarm with "Smokey" and keyboard with the "hatch" quite funny

-Shannon & Boone back...that's Sayid's wake up...yep!

-Uh-Oh,...alt-Aaron is on his way [Kate's gonna deliver him again and that's their wake-up]

-BIG mistake Jack!

-"If it bleeds, we can kill it."

-[in the altiverse THEY'RE ALL DEAD]

-teared up again when Charlie and Claire reunite/remember.

-Jack's been watching 300 with that action pose going out to commercial.

-[Michael and Walt are gonna be at the end]

-Kate haters...She's not useless anymore!

-Glad alt-Locke is the real Locke, I've been missing him

-Another, Target ad... for BBQ sauce with a boar

-The longest break yet...definite scheduled bathroom break

-Duct tape solves EVERYTHING! Quick, get some to Jack so he can fix the island

-James & Juliet reunion another tearing...also echoes Jack meeting Jacob

-"See you in another life, Brother"-knew that was coming.

-Definitely in heaven look at all the religious artifacts from different religions.

-Bookend scene!

-scenes of the wreckage? WTF?

-No "Bad Robot" at the end.

-No Walt! Michael is condemned to wander the island...but, we could have seen him again. and I guess all dogs don't go to heaven (Jimmy stole my joke!)

A very satisfying end. Not all the questions were answered. The end was also open to some interpretation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 5/19/10

Quite a lot this week as the Heroic Age was launched by Marvel. Also, it's funny to note that there are a lot of #1's and anthology books this week...

The Good:

  • Brightest Day #2- This wins misleading cover of the week as Aquaman is barely in the book. This issue focuses on Martian Manhunter and a new take on his arrival on Earth, the Hawks track Hath-Set as the Atom tries to find out why Ronnie and Jason are stuck as Firestorm. The book ends on a trademark Johns "Whoa!" moment. The pacing of so many storylines is done well. There is a fairly gruesome scene when a White Martian learns of J'onn's resurrection echoing the Black Manta scene in #1.

  • Superman: War Of The Supermen #3- With the Kryptonians dying in space, Flamebird flies into the sun [What is with DC and having people fly into suns to sacrifice themselves to save the day...Hal...Sodam Flamebird] and changes the sun back to Yellow. Although, with heavy losses (once 80,000 now less than 7,000) the Kryptonians are still more than enough to overpower the humans. Kara prepares to face Ursa in Washington, DC while Kal-El awaits Zod in where else but Metropolis.

  • Prince Of Power #1- A holdover from last week. Amadeus Cho puts his unique style of adventuring to bring down the Griffin. He demonstrates that he's not afraid to put the front company of the Greek gods billions of dollars in debt to find Hercules. He gets into a contest with the head of Pantheon over mystical items that give the various gods their immortality/omnipotentence which he wants to use to find Herc. There is a hilarious "Memo" from Cho to all Olympus Company employees about changes he's enacting as well as a preview of the Atlas series. A fun and funny book. Watch for the joke "sound effects".

  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #1- As Saturn Girl visits home, the Legion is forced to make Earth-Man (who just went on a xenophobic rampage) as a member if they want to stay on Earth. Meanwhile an attempt to view the beginning of time awakens a strange being on Oa and threatens Titan's populace. The strange being takes a Green Lantern ring and brings it to Earth offering it to Earth-Man, the new Lantern of Sector 2418. I can see how Levitz is regarded as the premiere Legion writer. He sets up some interesting groundwork for future[no pun intended] issues. Plus the art was top notch.

  • DC Universe: Legacies #1- Two stories written by Len Wein about the onset of the Golden Age. In the first two kids witness several emerging mystery men (the Crimson Avenger, Sandman and Atom). The second involves Scoop Scanlon (who first appeared in Action Comics #1) trying to explain Dr Fate and the Spectre. The art is very good (Joe and Adam Kubert). I'm looking forward to this tour of the DC eras.

The Alright:

  • X-Men Legacy #236- Bastion encloses Utopia (along with most of San Fran)in a giant energy sphere. The Avengers show up to help break through the outside. The X-Men prepare for the worst on the inside. They don't have to wait long as dozens of Nimrod class Sentinels emerge from the inside of the sphere. Things don't look too good. The Avengers cameo is the highlight of the issue. It seems next part (X-Force) will be meatier.

  • Invincible Iron Man #26- Somewhat of a disappointment. Nothing really happens. Tony recruits a former employee to help re-purpose his last nine remaining armors while the Hammers recruit the new? Spymaster.

  • Zatanna #1- Dini tries to propel the female magician in fishnets to a major mystical force in this series. It's not a bad first issue. I will have to read more issues to make a final verdict on it as the issue failed to grab me. The art by Stephane Roux does help sell it though.

  • Justice League Of America #45- More set-up for the JLA/JSA crossover. But this time the team kinda started feeling like the League for a bit. I also think that the inker(s) really aren't a good match for Bagley's pencils. The art isn't as vibrant as his previous projects

  • Enter The Heroic Age #1- A "sampler" anthology one shot. I love these as they allow me to test several titles/creative teams without buying an issue of each title. Avengers Academy, Thunderbolts and Atlas hold the most promise. Also spotlighted are Black Widow and Hawkeye & Mockingbird

  • Age Of Heroes #1- Another anthology book. This mini takes a focus on characters instead of titles. There is a great Kurt Busiek story about JJ Jameson's reaction to the Siege aftermath. Paul Cornell gets a love letter to his Captain Britain & MI 13 series and there is a funny one page Spidey story by Dan Slott and Ty Templeton. Unfortunately there is an awful Doctor Voodoo story in the middle. This will probably be hit or miss by each story.

  • Superman/Batman #72- I got this because I thought that this would be a Dick Grayson Batman and Superman team up. But, it wasn't. Taking place sometime after Identity Crisis (reference in the story) Batman intercepts an ultrasonic distress call for Superman because he's out in space. Turns out Lois has been abducted to be the sacrifice for some cult ticked off because she married Clark instead of Superman. Paul Levitz pens this by the books adventure.

The Bad:

  • Avengers #1- The art was the usual John Romita Jr quality. I liked the use of Kang and the Next Avengers. That's about it. The dialogue is what I feel is typical generic Bendis snark. With a few changes anybody could have anyone elses lines. There's so little personality within his dialogue. That carries over to the horrible Oral History of the Avengers (the prose fake interview or recording that Bendis loves to throw in to his comics). With his dialogue Bendis places his own attitudes and ideas about the personalities and motivations into the founding Avengers that wasn't there to begin with. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Joe Casey did such a better job in updating the existing personalities and motivations. Using stuff that was actually in the original stories he came up with a story that took what was there and gave it a modern day feel and relevancy. Bendis just does what he pleases. Anyways....I also found the anti-Avengers attitude of Wonder Man so random. However, I since found out that it has been previously established, so kudos on keeping that going, I guess. Unfortunately, I don't think that Avengers will be in my pull list.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Random Thoughts 12

-Siege ended and with it several titles as well as a character that has been a big part of the Marvel scene for the last ten years. The event was one of the shortest of the Marvel events lasting only four issues in about five months.

-RIP, not Ray Palmer. This is the Ryan Choi one that was introduced by Grant Morrison and then given his own series written by Gail Simone. In the new evil Titans book Deathstroke and his team kill poor Ryan. The death is criticized as being a re-Whitening of the DCU. Which I disagree with, but I do see this as a "cheap" death. There is no reason there couldn't be two Atoms. There are three Flashes and scores of Green Lanterns, four from Earth alone. There is not much chance of seeing Ryan again, just look at Adam Cray (for those of you scratching your head...he was a replacement Atom that served with the Suicide Squad)

-RIP, Sentry... well,... you either loved this guy or absolutely hated him. I pretty much didn't care once he got beyond his fake "lost" hero setup. So, no big deal for me.

-In the real world...Fantasy and science fiction artist Frank Frazetta passed away earlier this week. Not only did he contribute covers of books and magazines, but he also did design work on many films. He had been sick for a while and his family had been (and still is) engaged in a battle over ownership of his art while his health deteriorated. A sad way to pass.

-Fox renewed Human Target for another season. While NBC preformed a mercy killing on Heroes.

-Samuel Jackson's deal with Marvel includes a SHIELD movie in which he would star presumably...thus erasing the Hoff's 90's TV version from my mind

-Namor gets an ongoing series written by Stuart Moore and drawn by Ariel Olivetti. His role as a member of the X-Men will play a big part. The bad news, it's part of the X-Men vs vampires story.

- Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk were finally revealed... If you care they are Thunderbolt Ross and his daughter, Betty. I'm not even reading the books and that's so anti-climatic.

-Adult film company Vivid has announced that they are making superhero porno parodies...( I ran across this, really...I mean, it's not like I was LOOKING for this) first up is a take on the 60's Batman TV show. Although, this is a little different than just quickie porn. The director/producer has recruited fans and former crew members to put together an accurate recreation of costumes (skirting trademark issues), props and sets, even locations. This title is said to be the company's highest pre-sale title so far. To follow...Superman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Green Hornet.
I have to say, the porn industry has been woefully lacking in customer service , if they are just now, realizing how many comic book fanboys constitute their consumer base.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 5/12/10

The Good:
  • Flash #2- This book delivers everything. Some great action as Barry fights future cops based on Rogues. A little humor as he rebuilds an apartment building and interacts with a little girl [I wonder though...did he furnish the apartments too? He also built a brand new that still the apartment the tenants rented? Can the landlord raise the rent because of improvements?]. Cold and the Rogues want Boomerang to prove himself before being welcomed back. There is even a trademark Johns cliffhanger, Barry Allen murderer.
  • Birds Of Prey #1- The girls are back! And I couldn't be happier. When Babs, Dinah and Helena met on the rooftop I couldn't help smiling. Now, I didn't cry like Helena, but that little moment got to me. So most of the issue is about the reunion and the threat that someone is going to expose all the heroes IDs along with those connected to them. In the middle of the meeting a "BoP" signal lights up in the sky and Canary and Huntress face a female martial artist (called White Canary in teaser) but is she Cassandra Cain, Shiva or a newcomer? One thing is certain, this feels right. Both as a group and a comic.
  • Superman: War Of The Supermen #2- As Earth and the remnants of New Krypton keep on their collision course for confrontation [yay, alliteration], the Lanes have a family reunion. Superman calms Kara down after losing her mother and they head off to stop Zod's attack on the HDC's Mars base [guess this is pre- Blackest Night, otherwise J'onn might have noticed the huge space battle during his terraforming]. The K's are slaughtering the HDC despite Kal and Kara's intervention. Then Luthor pulls an equalizing move, using the corpse of fRao (fake Rao from Action Comics) to turn the sun red...and the Kryptonians start to die in space (Superman and Supergirl too).
  • Avengers: Initiative #35- Unfortunately, this book ends with a whimper. There are lots of small resolutions for each of the "original" cast as well as scenes from Siege expanded upon. The Deus Ex Machina (literally) affects the battle at Camp HAMMER. The one thing I didn't like was the reversion of Constrictor to a criminal, the guy came so far in the Thing series and this title.
  • The Marvels Project #8- This had a satisfying conclusion to the retro WWII story. Although, there was not the huge gathering of WWII heroes that I wanted [and the cover teases]The last scene took place in current time. This provided a nice bookend to the story. There is an opportunity for the threads here to be picked up in Secret Avengers.

The Alright:

  • Adventure Comics #11- Mon-El bows out of current time for now. This issue he spends his last moments finding planets to put the shrunken cities that Brainiac had on. Thus seeding the future of the Legion Of Super-Heroes. The serum that prevented his lead poisoning no longer works. The Legionnaires convince him to face the torment of the Phantom Zone again than the release of death. Flash to the future and Superboy and the LSH pulling him out of the Phantom Zone.
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #1- The hunt for Max Lord is on...Booster gets what he feels are crap leads. So ignoring his assigned leads he goes off on his own. Meanwhile, other members of the old JLI feel the pressure to find Ted's killer. Booster deduces Max's whereabouts and heads off on his own to confront him [that worked so well for Ted]. Max outsmarts him and knocks him out. However, Booster manages to activate on old JLI signal device before blacking out. The rest of the JLI arrive, but Max has already left. He's pushed the world to forget him. Only the JLI remember him. As Giffen can get quite jokey and Winick is all over the board it will be interesting if this works. I enjoyed the early JLI which were serious stories with humor put into them, rather than the later JLI which were the opposite.
  • Booster Gold #32- Again, knowing the way Giffen writes this is another title that really has to work to keep me around. And it is off to a good start. While more jokey than JL: Generation Lost it still hasn't slipped into full on BWA-HA-HA-HA.
  • New Mutants #13- The X-Men are a step behind the evil humans once again. Cyke has his fleet of Blackbirds destroyed, his group of super-smart science guys lured away and tensions among the mutants growing after being isolated. I sure hope that he comes up with something before the inevitable all out assault on the island.
  • Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #1- Morrison uses odd language and syntax to represent the stone age tribes speaking as well as syllabic spellings of Bruce's dialogue to get across his "strangeness" to those tribes. It's a neat device, but a little tedious to read. It seems like it will tie in heavily with the Time Masters series, I guess that's cool. There was really nothing to give me that WOW factor here.
  • Siege #4- This is a case study in Deus Ex Machina (actually real gods involved too). Used not once but twice! Loki reabsorbs the power he gave to the Hood and the bad guys and gives it to the good guys. Then Thor zaps the Void and kills him. This isn't that bad of a plot, just poor pacing. The dialogue is flat. The Siege pales in comparison to Blackest Night

The Bad:

  • New Avengers Finale #1- Continuing right after Siege #4 as the New Avengers pursue Madame Masque and the Hood. They seek the aid of Masque's father Count Nefaria [already ticking me off as Masque HATES her father and Nefaria could care less about her]. After a long sequence of the Avengers tracking and observing their targets (with lots of "snarky" dialogue) there is an okay battle scene. The Avengers triumph, drop off their captives with SHIELD?/HAMMER? then celebrate the "Heroic Age"(TM) and reminisce about the last few years. The rest of the issue is double page spreads of past battles ending with the team in civilian clothes taking a walk in the park. If I were a fan of the title this would have been cool. However, I have exactly two issues...the first and this one. Which also caused something I noticed to annoy me. Bendis tries to bring it back to the first issue with one line, ONE LINE, referencing the fact that Nefaria was part of the breakout that got them all together [WTF!]

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Random Thoughts 11 (Iron Man 2 Edition- Spoilers)

-This week a first happened...I saw two, yes...TWO, movies based on a comic book property.

-The first was the several weeks old Kick Ass.

Now, I'm not a Mark Millar fan. In fact, I'm quite the opposite. I had resisted and resisted reading the collected trade of the movie's primary source material for weeks. Yet, being the comic geek I am, felt a nagging need to see what everyone has raved about for the last year and a half. Almost all of Millar's work in comics fails to appeal to me (the exception being Marvel 1985 previously mentioned in my Thoughts).

I had fully intended to read the story before watching the movie on Blu-Ray or DVD. But, I went to see the movie on the recommendation from my father. Now, my father (as much as we love each other) has never gotten my fascination with the superhero genre and comics. So, for him to like this type of movie and suggest it as "worthwhile" is astounding.

I did enjoy the movie very much. It was just plain mindless fun, though. Here's where my main problem with Millar's writing comes into play. He has cool ideas that just devolve into mindless violence and or chaos. Till about a quarter through the movie I thought it would be an inspiring (although with a dark twist) story of a young man who was set on following his dream, as crazy as it was ( a very relatable theme). It turned into a standard shoot 'em up popcorn movie. Fun, yes, but forgettable. And that's what gets me. The potential is there for so much more, but the lowest common denominator wins out in the end.

Other thoughts:
...The inspired use of the Red Mist to strengthen the relationship of the Mafia boss and his son didn't really resonate as much as it should have because of the boss' generic personality (I don't even recall his name).
...Hit Girl was not as disturbing as the hype made her out to be.
...Nick Cage was pretty subdued, I even liked his "Adam West/William Shatner" hero voice.
...The movie confuses vigilante with superhero with Big Daddy and Hit Girl.

Final Verdict: A definite Matinee that is put up to Full Price on sheer fun alone.

-Now on to the second comic movie this week...Iron Man 2

I had heard that this sequel basically improved upon the things that made the first movie so good, but also impounded upon the faults of it too. I'm glad to report that's not true.

In fact, there is very little that I can find fault with in the movie. As a fan that has a pretty deep knowledge of the forty seven year history that Iron Man has, I found it much easier to let go of that history than in past movies about Marvel heroes (probably due to the first Iron Man). Plotwise, it's a much better written movie although there is less of an emotional connection to Tony Stark. The acting is of the same quality as the first. The replacement of Terrance Howard with Don Cheadle really isn't as big a deal as i thought it would be. Mickey Rourke plays a fairly typical guy out for revenge, but with gusto. Poor Scarlet Johansen does as much as she can with very little including her one action scene. The real waste here is Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer. The scheming manipulative industrialist of the comics comes off as a comical and ineffective. The best thing is that the climatic battle is actually logical this time.

Things I noticed:
...Howard Stark as a good guy. Speaking of which...anyone notice the resemblance of Howard Stark's presentation of the '74 Stark Expo to Walt Disney's presentation of WDW/EPCOT in 1966?
...the footage of the aftermath of the Hulk's rampage at the college on the screens as Tony peruses the SHIELD files (at least, that's what it looked like). attempt to copy Cap's shield.
...Black Widow uses her Widow's Sting/Bite, sorta.
...Thor's Hammer didn't make the crater.

Final Verdict: Definitely FULL PRICE!

Watch for another RT with some other news and reviews...

Friday, May 7, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 5/5/10

The Good:

  • Brightest Day #1- While Hal, Carol and Sinestro try to figure out what's up with the White Lantern Boston Brand sees instances where the resurrected aren't quite right. Aquaman uses his power in a great scene (including the sound effect from SuperFriends) discovering he can only command the DEAD creatures of the sea. And Hawkman and Hawkgirl quest for their original bodies. A nice start. I'm glad this is every other week instead of just once a month.

  • Superman: War Of The Supermen #0- The FCBD giveaway transitions from LSONK to WOS there is a backup story that catches new readers up on events in Super books and characters

  • Superman: War Of The Superman #1- Zod leads the Kryptonians to assault the Earth. Luther left a bomb on New K which goes off and destroys the fledgling planet. Now the Kryps are even more riled up to go to Earth and take it as their own...bad news for us. I wonder if this is before or after Blackest Night [I'm saying before]. Might be interesting attacking Earth with all those lanterns around (not just the Green ones). Jamal Igle does a phenomenal job on the art.

  • Mighty Avengers #36- Things work out for Hank, although not quite as he intended. I really get a gone before it's time vibe from reading this last issue. It was cool to see a title with Hank Pym as the lead. That's really what this book was. Even though they were in the book, the Avengers were more like supporting characters. Now Hank returns to being just one of the guys. That's a little sad.

  • Secret Six #21- More of Catman's hunt for the kidnappers of his son and Black Alice freaks out on Scandal..Excellently dark.

The Alright:

  • Iron Man/Thor #1- A fairly ridiculous story (a hiccup for Fraction) with some cool interaction between the two title characters. Now, I was expecting a format similar to the 60's one-shot of Iron Man/Sub-Mariner... Characters meet or cross paths and then go on to their story in their own titles. This was not the case. The issue was no intro to the regular titles. Also, note that the Marvel giveaway is smaller than a standard comic whereas DC's free comic was the same size.

  • Uncanny X-Men #524- The team buries Nightcrawler as the all out attack on the X-Men becomes imminent. This issue is at the halfway point of the crossover. While I'm not too happy with the event of Kurt's death, I'm still kinda interested in the outcome of this story arc.

  • Zorro: Matanzas #4- This "throwback" storyline concludes. The whole story seemed to be from a forgotten arc from another series. Although, it had some clunky over narrated writing I found myself interested by the situation set up at its resolution. While not as strong as the regular series, it was still entertaining.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Random Thoughts 10

-Lost without Lost this week...and realizing that there's only one more month left! [sigh] Still glad it's ending strong instead of slowly languishing.

-Watched Great Performances Hamlet with David Tennett (Dr. Who) as Hamlet and Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X-Men) as Claudius/the Ghost. Yeah, I like Shakespeare...

-Finally saw the Hurt Locker...As much as I liked about it there was stuff I had problems with. However, it was a better, more original story than Avatar and deserved to win the Oscar.

-The Losers took the best parts of the first story arc, assembled a great cast for the Loser team and came up with an average action flick (aside from parts directly from the comic). The cast is the best part of the movie. They manage to do a lot with very little character development and seem to have had fun doing it. The one glaring exception is Jason Patric as Max, the bad guy. He's so over the top, mustache-twirlingly evil. It's so unneccessary, too. You would know how evil he is just from his setting-up the Losers. Also the sci-fi bomb/device angle took me out of the (so far "realistic") movie a bit.

-Free Comic Book Day is SATURDAY (today)!

-R.I.P.- Kurt Wagner (1975-2010)

Auf Weidersehen.... Aber, bitte kommen Sie zuruck!