Monday, July 26, 2010

Random Thoughts 17- SDCC 2010

I'm probably late to the game, but I'd thought I'd share some of the news from the San Diego Comic Con. This may not be new to you and it's only a fraction of what was announced, but I got excited or interested or amused by these items.

First, there was the incident on Saturday. I'm talking about one guy stabbing another in the EYE over a SEAT for the Universal movie panel. I don't know what's worse, the fact that somebody actually did this or the people complaining because this inconvenienced them by delaying the subsequent panels.

Now onto some comic news [that's news about comics]...


Some Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning four issue mini-series were announced:
-Iron Man/Thor with Scott Eaton on art
-Rocket Raccoon & Groot with Tim Green on art
There were rumblings about a "Cosmic Avengers" title, but it may not be written by them.
With Nova on the Secret Avengers and Rocky & Groot in the mini the future of Nova and Guardians Of The Galaxy is still up in the air.

Looks like Cap will join Deadpool in overexposure from the amount of stuff announced:
-Captain America And The Korvac Saga, retelling classic story
-CA: Hail Hydra
-CA: Fighting Avenger
-CA: Man Out Of Time, Mark Waid retells Cap's thawing out an reacclimation to the world
-CA: White, the long delayed Leob/Sale mini should be ready to release along with the movie.

Some X-book news:
-Uncanny X-Force (relaunch of X-Force) will feature the return of Apocalypse
-Generation Hope will focus on the new mutants that appeared after Second Coming.
-X-Men will feature team-ups with other heroes after the vampire arc ends (Peter David made a funny comment about Rogue dating a vamp)

The big news came on Sunday...It was a little unexpected, but made sense. Marvel will be reviving the CrossGen properties. This is very interesting news. Of course, when CrossGen went under as a company, it sold the rights to characters owned by them to Disney. Disney did allow the reprinting some of the CG titles final issues to be collected in trades. But thanks to synergy Marvel now has access to those characters and names.
Now, the whole connections between worlds plot will be dropped, there will not be any mixing with the MU and the concepts likely be rebooted with previous continuity. Still I can't help but be giddy about the possibilities. Especially since two thirds of CrossGen writers and artists work for Marvel now.


The big DC news was mostly to do with other media, but here are a few things:
-David Finch writing/drawing Batman: The Dark Knight
-A Ragman one-shot by Marvel regular Christos N. Gage
-hints that Batman Beyond did so well a second mini and/or an ongoing might be done
-Flash: Speed Force mini about other speedsters; Wally shows up in Flash soon
-Green Lantern: Secret Origin II in GL title dealing with Sinestro's betrayal of Corps
-Action Comics crossover with Secret Six
-Commissioner Gordon backups in Detective
-Jimmy Olsen backups in Action to feature Chloe Sullivan
-More of Peter David Young Justice to be reprinted in trade [there's a reason] starting in Oct.
-Batman, Inc., Morrison has Bruce franchise Batman, expanding on his use of the Silver Age Batmen of Many Nations concept


Iron Man Anime on G4TV
Iron Man Armored Adventures Season Two to have: Titanium Man, Iron Monger, Black Widow, Dr. Doom
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes : Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Wrecker, Constrictor shown in clips

Smallville: Clark flies, see Superman suit (not on him), Geoff Johns writes Booster Gold/Blue Beetle(Reyes) episode [that's what test footage on web is for] Skeets in it too.
Direct To Video films:
-Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, vignettes featuring different Lanterns, ties into GL movie
-All-Star Superman
-Batman: Year One
DTV shorts:
-Green Arrow (on Superman/Batman: Apokolips DVD), Written by Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice) with Neal McDonough as GA
-Superman/Shazam!: Return of Black Adam, 22min on a compilation disc with previous shorts, Jerry O'Connell as Captain Marvel, James Garner as wizard Shazam
-Green Lantern CGI cartoon in 2011
-Young Justice, headed by Greg Weisman actually one of the 52 Earths in DCU, JL prominent, Bruce Greenwood as Batman
Video Games:
-Suicide Squad
-Green Lantern



  • Legion Of Super-Heroes 12 Pack: Superboy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, Brainiac 5, Ultra Boy, Karate Kid, Wildfire, Matter Eater Lad, Timber Wolf and large Colossal Boy
  • Series 16: Azrael Batman, Creeper, Dick Grayson Robin, Golden Age Robin(variant), Jonah Hex, Mercury(Metal Men), Riddler(jumpsuit), Collect N' Connect Bane
  • Green Lantern Classics: 2 waves of six figures, each with a CNC figure, an original Red Lantern created by Four Horsemen/Geoff Johns, includes: Kyle Rayner in current suit, Mongul as Sinestro Corps member, two SC members, Abin Sur as Black Lantern, Manhunter robot, Black Hand


  • Death Of Superman 6 pack: Superman, Ice, Fire, Guy Gardner, Bloodwynd, Doomsday
  • Infinite Crisis 6 pack: Superman, Wonder Woman, Max Lord, Booster Gold, two OMACs
  • Kyle as Parallax, Robin, Ravager, Dr Light (I)


  • Golden Age 3 pack: Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman

-Masters Of The Universe:

  • Royal Guard two pack
  • Buzz Off
  • Shadow Beast
  • Roboto
  • King Hiss
  • live action movie (Time Travelling He-Man)
  • early concept He-Man [name forgotten] closely resembles Conan.


  • Peter Venkman in court w/one of Scarlotti Bros. ghost
  • Winston Zeddemore with slime thrower
  • Louis Tully as Vince Clotho with brain scanner on head, regular head and stone demon dog head


-Marvel Universe:

  • Giant Battles: Bill Foster Giant-Man vs Thor clone, Frost Giant with Loki
  • Original Avengers set: Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp
  • Doc Sampson

-Marvel Legends:

  • 2012 new series with BAF start again, nothing else announced
  • variants for two packs: Soviet Winter Soldier/grey Black Widow, Deadpool in X-suit/Warpath in Thunderbird suit

So, that's it. I'm sure I left out a lot. And, I didn't even touch on movie news or trailers [Tron: Legacy looks awesome]...maybe another post.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 7/21/10

After a week's break due to technical difficulties...I'm back!

This Stack will be a bit different to incorporate the backlog of books, so to speak.

The Good:
  • The Thanos Imperative #2- Epic!
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #5- Fun and funny without being too jokey.
  • Heroic Age: Prince Of Power #3- More fun.
  • DC Universe: Legacies #3- A look at the "forgotten" heroes as the Silver Age starts.
  • Atlas #3- Better than last issue.
  • Birds Of Prey #3- Sometimes you shouldn't keep your enemies closer.
  • R.E.B.E.L.S. #18- Some cool set up for War of the Brainiacs [my name].
  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #3- Earth Man/GL plot very intriguing.
  • Booster Gold #34- More JLI revisitation with Mr. Miracle and Barda.
  • Batman Beyond #2- The mixing of comic and animation universes doesn't weigh down the story.

The Alright:

  • Brightest Day #6- I think this is a hiccup of an issue and will climb back to Good.
  • Zatanna #3- Magical fun, Zee steps it up a notch too.
  • Avengers Academy #2- Nice reference to PAD X-Factor and use of Quicksilver.
  • Justice Society Of America #41- Robinson and Bagley should take over this title.
  • Invincible Iron Man #28- A slow issue, something better happen soon.
  • Adventure Comics #516- Great Atom backup.
  • Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1- Interesting parallel series to Return Of Bruce.
  • Gorilla Man #1- Fun, odd story with fun odd character.
  • Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age #1- Character study of Beast, Cyclops and Hope.
  • Age Of Heroes #3- Best part is the one page Squirrel Girl story.
  • Thunderbolts #146- I'm just interested in the OG T-bolts parts in the story.

The Bad:

  • New Mutants #15- Something's gone after the Second Coming arc, needs to find way fast.
  • X-Men: Second Coming #2- Merely a poor epilogue to the exciting crossover.

Watch out for a RT on all the news from SDCC 2010 on Mon or Tues.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 7/8/10

The Good:
  • Brightest Day: The Atom Special #1- This was a longshot. I hadn't really read anything done by either of the creators, Jeff Lemire and Mahmud Asrar, so I didn't know what to expect. I liked the art and loved how Lemire treated and wrote Ray as both the Atom and Ray Plamer. This was a perfect comic for those unfamiliar with the character as not only did Lemire set up the new direction for the Atom, but also retold his origin. There was some retconning of his backstory done for the current arc. However, that is intriguing and not too drastic. I look forward to the Atom feature in Adventure Comics.
  • Brightest Day #5- This issue had some revelations. Aquaman found out something that Mera had been hiding since her arrival and that ties into the strange group that has been raiding the surface from the oceans. Hawk and Dove (mostly Hawk) tried to get Deadman to resurrect Don Hall. The hawks found themselves in a strange world of half men half animal beings ominously called Hawkworld. The weakest story arc in this book continues to be the Hawkman and Hawkgirl one. It seems that once again they are trying to "fix" the Hawkman continuity. Something that I thought Johns did expertly in JSA and the early Hawkman series. It just seems like every writer has their own take on the origins of the Hawks, so the disparate versions need to keep getting reconciled with each other. The writing just seems so forced compared to the other arcs.
  • Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1- I really enjoyed this book. If just to see Steve in action (not that he hasn't or won't be in Secret Avengers) again instead of behind the desk. It was a little strange for him to have been so secret agent like. Cool, but strange. It's not as if that hasn't been part of the character before, but it hasn't been part of the character for a long time. Brubaker knows Steve pretty well and came up with an interesting story involving the legacy of the Super Soldier project. It was such a thrill to see Eaglesham's art have something to do. It's been languishing on the FF. It was also cool that Cap's original 1941 origin was reprinted at the end.
  • X-Force #13- The issue started off with the sacrifice of a character to return the team that was in the future to the present. (he's been dead several times before, so I don't see this being too big a deal) Bastion stood ready to eliminate them exhausted X-Men to get to the first new mutant, Hope whose powers finally awoke. They seemed to be reminiscent of a certain fiery entity. She disappeared into a flaming column as she unleashed her full power against Bastion. The story concludes next week in Second Coming #2.
  • Secret Six #23- This was a great fill-in issue written by John Ostrander. A "Most Dangerous Game" type story the Six are selected as prey, but turn the tables on their pursuers quite easily. Not groundbreaking, but fun. The art could have been a bit better but was quite good.
  • The Stand: Hardcases #2- Aguirre-Sacasa and Perkins showed the society that Randall Flag has built in Vegas and the troubled Nadine nearing Boulder and Mother Abigail. Another consistently good issue.

The Alright:

  • The Red Hood: Lost Days #2- This just didn't seem as good as last issue. Perhaps that's because the novelty has worn off. I realized that the missing days of Jason Todd could be told in a extra sized one-shot or a two issue mini and that in all likelyhood this will be a drawn out story to fit into six issues.


I took advantage of something that it seems a lot of comic stores are doing now and bought a whole run of a comic. [It looks like stores are trying to get rid of inventory] So, what did I buy?....The great mystical martial arts title from the long gone Crossgen Comics, The Way Of The Rat.

Written by Chuck Dixon and set in an analog of ancient China, it's about a thief who comes to possess a mystical ring that allows the wearer to become a master of the staff. The story follows the thief's journey takes him from being a criminal whose luck is as good as getting him into bad situations as it is getting him out of them to a hero. He is guided along the way by talking monkey and watched over by a mysterious figure in white known as the Silken Ghost. Central to the plot are the several other rings that bestow mastery of weapons upon the bearer as well as a scroll that is a gateway to hell and a mystical gem. The hero encounters "mongols", ghosts, dragons and a corrupt empire all very much in keeping with the Asian martial arts/mystical epic feel.

Unfortunately, the series was canceled, but never got the relaunch that was teased because CG went bankrupt. The art was (as the rule with CG) top notch, with most of the series drawn by Jeff Johnson [where is he now?] and fill-ins by Luke Ross and Mike Perkins (both would go on to Captain America).

CrossGen is one of the saddest stories of failed comic book publishers because every book had such high quality art and writing. Many of today's top artists worked there. Not only did they work there, they became better artists because of the quality demanded of them. The diverse genres that they played with was cool..50's B-movie horror, pirates, Sci-Fi, epic fantasy, Victorian detectives, samurai, the list goes on.

Well I've gone on enough... Maybe I'll write more about CG in a future blog.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 6/30/10

Well, I had some trouble posting this on Thursday night. But here it is now. Happy Fourth Of July everyone.

The Good:

  • Green Lantern #55- Johns continued to deliver great action and story while Manhke really raised his game from last issue. Lobo showed up to throw down with Atrocitus which dragged Hal, Carol and Sinestro to his defense. Dawg got into a fight with Dex-Starr (the RL cat, more on him later). It all ended with a twist, as the fight was engineered for a purpose and Lobo's payment an interesting one. It came back to the mysterious figure hunting the entities of the different Corps. Yet, the Spectre too, hunts for the Red Lantern entity, the Butcher. Last but not not least was the four page origin of Dex-Starr. It was finally revealed what happened to make this one pissed off pussycat.

  • Flash #3- Barry was last accused of having DNA at a murder scene, but obviously he wasn't a murderer, so he must have contaminated the scene. Barry preferred taking heat for being careless much more than having to explain the physical evidence which is still unexplained. While he discussed all the stuff going on with Iris, the future Renegades attacked again. Almost beaten, he was saved by the just escaped Captain Boomerang who gained a new power from the White Lantern it looks like. This issue had a short back up similar to GL#55, this time it was a nod to the old Flash Facts explaining how boomerangs work and the new power of Captain Boomerang. While last issue had a slight pacing problem this one didn't. I loved the almost Silver Age feel of this issue.

  • Secret Avengers #2- Although this was mostly more setup for next issue, there was enough to keep me satisfied. While Sharon Carter tried to figure out who knocked her out, Steve took the team to Mars. They found mind-controlled workers (in some nifty space suits too) building something. Splitting up, half the team ran into a mysterious armored being and the others ran into Nova wearing the "Serpent Crown". While the action was limited this issue did move the plot along fairly well. The art was terrific as well.

  • Captain America #607- This was a great issue. The menace and threat that Zemo presented in the issue and the boiling anger of his target, our hero Cap [yeah no more Bucky Cap], were handled well. Zemo was out to destroy Bucky's rep and his suitability to be Captain America. Unfortunately, Zemo's ahead of him. After a hallucinogen induced rampage on some NYPD (stopped by Steve), Bucky tracked the girl who "slipped him a mickey" and faced a new "Beetle" (unnamed in the issue, but I'm going by the costume). Meanwhile Zemo bought some footage of the Winter Soldier, presumably to leak to the public.

  • Batman Beyond #1- Adam Beechen got the voices of the characters down very well. I'm mixed about the art. It had a style that was not like the animated design but tended towards the more cartoony comic art style. I just don't see it fitting. The Superman/Batman Annual a few weeks ago was strange enough seeing the animated "Beyond" world done in a realistic style. This more cartoony style was even more offputting. That said, I enjoyed the story and even though the it dropped several clues as to who the mystery villain is that is after old Batman villains, I'm thinking they are red herrings.

The Alright:

  • Justice League Of America #46- For some reason this issue really improved over last issue. Perhaps Robinson has finally got down the members or maybe it's the addition of the JSA (which is probably the book he should be writing). The art too seems to have improved with the inker adapting to Bagley's pencils better. This issue started off the JLA/JSA crossover which features the teams dealing with the return of Jade and the power of the Starheart going crazy (again).

  • Justice Society Of America #40- I decided to give JSA a try again before the crossover event began. I hadn't bought this title for almost six months and apparently the writer thought that noboby else had too. The issue was a complete recap of the two previous arcs (which blended into each other) told as a flashback. That caught everyone up on events with the JSA/JSA All Stars and prepared them for the JLA crossover.

  • Doomwar #5- A good solid action comic. This issue Reed brought in War Machine as extra back up. T'Challa got desperate in taking the fight to Doom using Deadpool to track him down.
  • Wonder Woman #600- As far as the "anniversary" issues this month this was my favorite. It opened with a fun story by Gail Simone and George Perez [can't go wrong there] with WW leading a battle of heroines against robotic sirens and the high school graduation of the girl who took Diana home in the Perez run. Then there was a cute little story about WW talking with Power Girl about her cat with art and story by Amanda Connor. An okay team up with Superman followed (written by Louise Simonson). Geoff Johns wrote a small retrospective piece that transitioned into JMS' prologue for his reboot of Wonder Woman as a character and concept. While I didn't mind the Don Kramer art and, to a lesser extent, the 90's-ish costume the reboot really rubbed me the wrong way. I felt that this idea would better suit the Earth One concept better.

The Bad:

  • Invincible Iron Man Annual #1- What was touted as the return of the Mandarin turned to be an awful waste of time and money. The real crime was that Iron Man was not in the entire story at all except as cameo spots in news reports. Instead we got a story about the Mandarin abducting a famous Asian movie director to make a movie of his life story ala Kim Jong Ill. The Mandarin was not interested in truth or credibility. Taking months, the production claims many lives and the spirit of the director. In a final bid for freedom and a parting jab at his captor the director edited a true version of the Mandarin and switched out the approved version. Needless to say, this did not end well. I liked the added touch that the director had made a movie based on one of the past Iron Fists though. [This admittedly read a lot better the second time around after getting over the absence of Iron Man.