Sunday, August 26, 2007


Recent Comics I Have Read

Amazons Attack #5: A character I know next to nothing about turns out to have a twist in her background that means nothing to me. Not sure if this development is due to Superboy's fist or the giant reality-eating worm.

The Mighty Avengers #4: Ares riding one suit of Iron Man armor and steering it with a sword impaled through the helmet while blasting away with the bootjets of the severed torso of another set of armor = priceless.

New Avengers #33: Scrub villains made moderately cool. Luke Cage slowly going insane.

Batman #666: Oh noes! A grim 'n' gritty future Batman what kills!

Birds of Prey #109: Yes, I know there were some pretty glaring continuity errors in this, but I still thought this first post-Simone issue was somewhat Simone-esque.

Detective Comics #835: Ugh. Gross, badly written, bad art.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #45: Nice re-imagined use of Silver Surfer and Psycho-Man. I wonder if they turn out to be in the Ultimate Microverse? However, isn't the whole "Mr. Fantastic endangers the world" plot device getting a little old?

Invincible #45: More smartly-written personal and professional drama for Mark. I miss when Spider-Man used to be this good.

Justice League of America #12: I like the classic logo and the Silver Age flashback art, and the fact that Lian has an Arrowette costume. I like that Black Canary plays the harmonica (tho' I bet this is a little detail that was just retconned for this issue), and that she thinks of Red Arrow as "my boy." Meltzer continues to surprise me.

Justice Society of America #8: Why is there no Silver Age anymore? Why are we pretending that Golden Age heroes of the 40's have kids in their 20's? As long as we have Superboy's fist and that worm guy's mouth as retcon tools, couldn't we say that Hourman and Liberty Belle are the grandkids of the originals? That makes more sense that pretending that superheroes vanished after WWII and didn't reappear until the standard "ten years ago." And does no one have a secret identity anymore?

Ms. Marvel #18: One of the things I liked best about NEXTWave was it's wacky surly version of Machine Man, so it's nice to see him again. Puppet Master has always been a seriously creepy disturbing supervillain concept and this storyline reflects it. It may be skating towards the edge of exploitation, however. We'll have to see.

Powers #25: Eh. It's getting harder and harder to enjoy this series now that it's basic concept (non-powered cops investigating super-powered crime) has been chucked out the window. The Powers addiction plague is a nice idea, but every glimpse of the Millennium Guard costume makes me want to hurl.

Ultimate Power #6: More big superhero battles among light-table rendered supermodels in assorted porno poses. Scarlet Witch, in particular, is rendered in an almost Liefield-ian grotesque out of proportion shot on page 10. Seriously, is her left arm withered like Kaiser Wilhelm? Why is her belly button an off-center slit? Why is her right leg a pipe-cleaner and her right boob twice as big as her left? If I wanted art this bad, I'd just trace pictures out of Playboy myself.

Wonder Woman #11: More of the hideously-convoluted Amazons Attack plot. J. Torres seems to be capturing WW's voice and personality well, a hero who is a pious pagan, yet would berate the gods when she thought they had it coming.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007


American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. This was my first foray into Gaiman's work and I was spectacularly impressed. The conceit of the novel is that the Old Gods of Europe, Arabia, India and so forth followed their immigrant followers to the New World, but as the immigrants became Americanized and gave up the old ways, the Gods became weaker and weaker, eventually living like mortals as taxi cab drivers, funeral home operators, prostitutes and grifters. The New American Gods are composed of things the general public now "worships" (Media, Technology, Television, Money, the Interstate Highway System) and they are ready to finally knock off the shabby Old Gods and claim control of the spiritual realm that exists parallel to reality. The story follows Shadow, a recently-released prison inmate whose attempts to reconnect to his old life are detoured when he meets the (not really that mysterious) Mr. Wednesday. The writing is good, the descriptions tight and eloquent and the pacing good. My only complaints are that the ending felt rushed and was a bit of a letdown. If you spend 500 pages setting up a Ragnarok-like Battle of the Gods, it had better be pretty spectacular and this one wasn't. Also, for a writer who clearly researched his gods, he made some spectacular goofs regarding the book's Cherokee character (one who was built up, then rather haphazardly discarded); there are no reservations, Cherokee or otherwise, in Oklahoma (unless you count the subterranean Osage Reservation). Overall, though, a great read and one that encourages me to pick up more of Gaiman's work.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Because Kalinara Demands It!!

Okay, Hale:

1. If you could rewrite one major plot development in either big universe to suit your tastes, what would you choose?

Hmm, hard to pick, what with both houses producing some godawful work lately. I'd have to say throw out the Civil War. The. Entire. Thing. It was a halfway clever concept, but it is beyond redemption. Just drop the entire storyline, dump into the Marianas Trench and never ever speak of it again.

2. If you could take one character from any comic and insert him/her into the cast of another comic, who would it be and what comic would you drop it in?

Captain America into the Justice Society, because dammit he deserves better!

3. If you could make a villain and a hero who are not usually direct adversaries have a knock down no holds barred fight, who'd be fighting?

Assuming I can cross universes? Superman and Galactus. That'd be something to see.

4. Zombies or dragons?

Dragons. Or maybe zombie dragons.

5. If you could give a "hang in there" poster to any character in superhero comics, who would you give it to?

Captain America. Dammit, he deserves better!


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