Thursday, February 21, 2008


Recent Comics I Have Read

Mighty Avengers #9: Three!,(count 'em!) three double-truck splash-pages of the Avengers going all shock and awe on Doombots. I actually preferred the Djurdjevic painted artwork in the first three pages, with the skull-like helmet on Doom. And now maybe Iron Man will finally discover the shocking secret of whatever happened to the Silver Age?

New Avengers #38: Takes place right after the Annual, and I still don't get Jessica Jones. Her actions seem way out of character. Are they supposed to? Is this designed to make us paranoid about who might be a Skrull? Damn you, Bendis!

New Avengers Annual #2: Good art, a brutal battle, a human side to Ms. Marvel. A reminder of why magic is scary.

Captain America #34: Eh, sigh. I can only hope now that Jason Todd becomes the new Batman.

Detective Comics #841: Neat, funky art by Nguyen, typically excellent story by Dini. One nitpick: I realize Batman is the World's Greatest Detective, but can he REALLY recognize every "small-time grifter and part-time 'escort'" at a glance?

Green Arrow & Black Canary #5: Nice retcon of Green Arrow and Connor's origins together. Was Connor always bi-racial? Or is it just that artists really don't know how to do bi-racial?

Justice League of America #18: Still not a fan of the Benes art; frankly I preferred Jon Boy Meyers' cartoony work on the Red Tornado back-up. And how exactly is the Hall of Justice an embassy? Is that some kind of holdover from the Keith Giffen run? Gitmo in space is a nice touch, though.

Justice Society of America #12: I like the idea of the original Amazing-Man retconned as a Civil Rights icon, but Markus Clay's getup is ludicrous. Is anyone supposed to take him seriously in that pseudo-Dashiki number? Quick, the Blockade Boy signal!

Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #4: Red Bee has been reading Superman, it appears. Also, is it just me or does Darrell Dane look like George H.W. Bush (at least in the first few pages)? And Robbins looks like some kind of combination of Tony Stark and Clark Gable. And how many secret government super-teams are there?

P.S. Thanks for the link, Fangirls!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008


A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin.

As with many things, I am coming late to this series. Nevertheless, I came away extremely impressed by this tightly written epic of civil war, politics and (a little) magic.

Though set in the sort of generic Middle Ages familiar to most fantasy readers, Martin avoids many of the more annoying cliches. For one thing, magic is subtle and blessedly rare, and human beings (and there are only humans so far, though other races are hinted at) are far more evil than any demon lord in their lust for power and control. Villains are not all the very embodiment of everything wicked and heroes are not perfection personified. There is no long lost boy heir to the throne (at least so far) and the lawful king is a brutal, spoiled brat. There is actually quite a bit of cruelty here, some of it involving children, but the worst of it occurs "off screen" and is only referred to in the past tense. The novel's structure is divided into viewpoint chapters from each of the major characters, which provides a nice Kurosawa-like feel. On the negative side, there are many, many characters to keep track of and some of the descriptions venture close to purple, but on the whole it is smartly written and a decent page-turner. Game exists to introduce us to the major players and factions and the world itself, and set the stage for a brutal civil war that will likely consume the rest of the entries in this projected seven-volume series, A Song of Ice and Fire. I liked it enough to buy the second volume in the series, A Clash of Kings, before I had even finished this one. Recommended.

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Monday, February 11, 2008


Recent Comics I Have Read

Abbreviated edition. Just a couple of titles I picked up at the local Corporate McBookmart.

Justice League of America #17: Art was okay. Writing pretty good. I like the developing relationship between Hawkgirl and Red Arrow. The "Gitmo-ing" of supervillains is a nice touch. Not sure why the backup feature was a backup feature nor why NO ONE can be bothered to correctly illustrate the proper way to hold and fire a bow and arrow.

Superman #672: Super kid? Not much for the art. Nice to know that even alien spider-queens from beyond the stars insist on nine-inch hooker heels. And just how many arms does she have? Seems to go from two to three to four depending on the panel. And the mouth thing is just gross on a Freudian level.

Teen Titans #55: I liked it. Art was good, teenaged girls looked like teenaged girls as opposed to pornstars in zero gravity. And teenagers acted like, well, teenagers--impulsive, whiny, overly emo. Robin has control issues? Whodathunk?

Wonder Woman #16: Now Wonder Woman knows how to hold a bow! And she also apparently now knows not to wear a thong into battle. Simone's writing is great. "How frightful you are, in your little black boots," and "Hmm. Kipling. Not my favorite." You can never go wrong with WW leading an army of super-apes against Nazis.

Astonishing X-Men #24: I like Joss Whedon, but I had no frackin' clue what was going on here. Seriously. Completely and utterly lost. Plus it's the whole "space saga" thing apparently. I guess this is one of those books I'm going to have to read for a year to get up to speed. Not sure it interests me that much, though.

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Monday, February 04, 2008



New Iron Man ad from the Superbowl. Obviously, this still has the capacity to suck, but I am cautiously optimistic thanks to the inspired type-casting of Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark. Not only does he physically resemble the role, in the original trailer he seems to have that bored, contemptous rich asshole look down pat.


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