Posts tagged Comics

My Comic Book Storage Solution…For Now

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With my comic book habit reaching critical mass, I’ve realized that I just can’t keep collecting single issues, especially when trades are just so easy. I made this decision about two months ago and I’m working on canceling all of my regular issues. Now what to do with all the books I’ve already got? They’re all collecting dust in a bunch of long boxes in a corner of my apartment, never to be read again. I could try and sell them and then buy the trades of the ones I’d like to read again, but that seems illogical, especially since I literally just bought some of them.

I think a main reason that I don’t re-read the single issues is accessibility. They’re in their boxes and it’s a pain in the ass to rifle through them, lifting up box after box to get to a story buried in the back. Once it gets filed away, it’s basically out of sight, out of mind. So I set out to find a way for me to make the comics I had readily available like a regular book. I think I found a rather affordable way to do it too. (more…)

Comics Corner – Week of 9/24

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A relatively small week in the grand scheme of things. I picked up 10 books that came out on Wednesday plus Welcome to Hoxford #2 which came out a couple weeks ago. In addition to these, I dropped about 7 titles including X-Factor, The Boys, and Angel. More will be coming as more storylines end though as I make my transition away from regular monthly comics.

Now for some reviews! Don’t forget to call me retarded at the bottom as your opinion is always welcome. K THX. (more…)

Comics Corner – Threepeat – “The Rest” Edition (Part 3 of 3)

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  • Angel After The Fall #12 – I could have sworn that this book was supposed to end with this issue. Unfortunately I wasn’t that lucky. I mean, that was really the only reason I was holding on at this point. There was just a couple more issues so I stuck by the horrible art and the convoluted story. Well, no longer. Angel is off the list. As much as I loved the show, this book has been a huge disappointment. It’s taken too long to get to the point and by now I have no idea what’s going on. It seems like Wolfram & Hart have been behind everything forever which is sort of a bummer and also sort of expected. At this point though, I don’t care. Let Gunn just kill Angel and everyone else and then himself. That’ll make for a satisfying ending. Otherwise I’m just going to try and forget this whole thing ever happened and just use the TV show ending as the one I stick to.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Astounding Wolf-Man #8 – While I’m a big fan of Robert Kirkman’s work, the lateness of his books is starting to get irritating. I think this book was supposed to go monthly but I don’t see how that’s possible at all. The last issue had a great cliffhanger and this one builds up from that. It just took me about half the issue to remember what the hell happened. This is definitely not as strong as his other books and as a result, I’m going to cut this one out of the list now. I might look into it for the trades because the art and the story is rather interesting. It’s just not enough to grab me each month.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Boys #22 – Wrapping up this arc with some more back story and some more questions. I’m a little confused as to who the Legend’s other son was that Hughie killed. Was it that guy from Teenage Kix? As usual, we’re given some more peeks into the lives of the characters. Also as usual, the superheroes are a bunch of assholes. Not a bad issue, but not the best.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer #18 – As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t read Fray, so a bit of this story arc that might be super geeky cool is lost on me. Things progress and the super hero team up that started with fighting has gone into more fighting between Fray and Buffy. Only this time Fray has the upper hand with some help from Future Willow. Meanwhile, Present Willow gets it on with Kennedy in order to talk to creepy snake lady. Who knew that’s how magic communication worked? Oh, and there’s some werid wood nymphs or something outside the Slayer castle. They encounter Xander and Dawn and talk it out.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Criminal 2 #5 – Goddamn this book is good. This gritty film noir-esque story is amazing. So the cartoonist is your typical down on his luck, cop-avoiding, lonely man and after he gets suckered into helping an asshole and his girl in robbing a local mob boss, it looks like he’s going to get iced. Of course, it doesn’t go down like that because any plan is bound to fall in a crime book. I love everything about this book. The art, the story, the dialogue, the characters. Amazing. The fact that the cartoonist (who’s name escapes me) sees his own creation as a form of conscience is also a great idea. As a backup we’re treated to two brief essays. These have all been pretty good and a great way to find out about film noir movies and pulp novels that I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. The first is about a film called One False Move while the second is about a pulp novelist that died under mysterious circumstances in Chicago. Needless to say all of the stuff mentioned has been added to my wishlist.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Ex Machina #38 – The Evil Republican National Convention looms in New York City as Mayor Hundred is faced with decisions. I can’t help but think that this issue went through some last minute editing to be a bit more relevant to current events. That being said, the layers have continued and it looks like Kremlin’s plan might begin to unfold. I really dig this book and while it’s got the crazy powers every so often, I love how “real” it feels. In the end, it’s like a big “What If?” story about NYC. I don’t normally care all that much about politics and what not, but the decisions that are left up to Mayor Hundred are somehow insanely interesting. Can he justify speaking at the convention being an Independent and holding on to his views? Or will he deal with this psuedo-terrorist female leaping from buildings? Decisions!
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Invincible #52 – Wow. While I wasn’t as impressed by Astounding Wolf-Man, Invincible just continues to get better and better. When a spontaneous fight with the Mauler twins turns ugly, Kid Omni-Man (Mark’s half-brother) arrives on the scene and rips them to shreds in some pretty brutal fight scenes. Covered in blood, he argues with his brother when he’s reprimanded for killing. Why can’t he kill the bad guys? Is it just because he’s a good guy? What if their father was right? The shock of this child brutally killing these intelligent behemoths pales in comparison to Mark’s response. Holy shit. Where can this go? Has Invincible started down a road that he can’t turn back from?
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Transformers All Hail Megatron #3 – OK. We get it. The Decepticons have invaded. Humans are being killed. It’s been 3 issues and we have no idea why or how. They just sort of showed up. Megatron hints at a betrayal that allowed him and his troops to do such a clean sweep. Is this a human or an Autobot betrayer? While the fights have been a little interesting and the response from the humans has been pretty cool, I’m still not really digging this book. I crave explanation. Plus, where does this fall in the Transformers mythos? Everyone seems to not know what the hell the Transformers are, so is this their first encounter with the Robots in Disguise? I have no idea, but damn, these covers are awesome, aren’t they?
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Walking Dead #52 – Speaking of Kirkman being awesome, Walking Dead gives us another chapter with just a few zombies and a whole lot of character driven story. Rick starts to accept that he might not make it much longer and as he’s teaching his son Carl (who’s like 10? 12 maybe?) to drive, he runs into Michonne. She uses her samurai sword fighting skills to dispatch a few zombies. In a last glimmer of hope, they all continue on in search of Hershel’s farm. When things look lost they run into Glenn and his wife (who I think is Hershel’s daughter?) on horseback. There’s hope again. Maybe Rick won’t lose his mind, but I won’t bet on it. Things have been pretty harsh for these guys recently so let’s hope things get at least a little better for them soon. I’ve said before that I’m actually a little afraid to read this book each month. Kirkman pulls no punches with these characters.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • War Heroes #2 – Let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, there’s a penis in this issue. It’s there in two different angles for all to see. Was it necessary? I didn’t think so. Will I drop the book in disgust? No. I don’t really care. The book wasn’t about a penis. This issue felt like the planning part of a heist movie. The group has infiltrated the army training camp and they’re ready to get their super power pills. They go through extensive and painful training and just as they’re ready to be deployed, we’re let in on the next step of their plan. And holy crap, it’s a doozy. That last line is un-fucking-believable and I cannot wait for the next issue.
    Rating: ★★★★½

Comics Corner – Threepeat – DC Edition (Part 2 of 3)

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Part 2 of 3 in my gigantic pile of comics this week. (Part 1, the Marvel Edition can be found here.) I was surprised to find that this was all I had in the ways of DC comics. I’ve been consistently dropping books from the company as of late. I’m just not really digging what they’re putting out aside from the Green Lantern stuff. Oh well, it’ll all end soon for me anyway.

  • Action Comics #869 – This issue really got some things moving while seemingly not doing all that much. The real Brainiac dukes it out with Superman in deep space while his droids terrorize the people in Metropolis and Supergirl loses it. The end of the issue is actually pretty depressing because of where things end up. What a downer! Recent solicitations for the big upcoming arc sort of give away what’s going to happen though so that sucks. I’m probably going to be dropping the book after this arc wraps up though. I’m not interested in Supergirl or the other Superman book. I might take a look at the trade though. Speaking of Supergirl, I usually dig Gary Frank’s art, but this issue had some of the funkiest and distorted images of Kara Zor-El ever.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • All Star Superman #12 – This issue wrapped up this series by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quitely. Apparently every single person in the entire world that read it loved it. While I dug the story, I can’t really remember the events that led up to this. The book’s spotty delivery schedule has caused me to forget a lot of it. I got the jist I think and the end of the book was actually really good. I’m going to have to go back and re-read them all now. The one thing that I didn’t like, about this issue and the series in general, was the art. I’ve never been a fan of Quitely’s art and I honestly don’t see how anyone can be. Everyone looks like they either just smelled shit or they’re about to drop a big deuce. Not to mention the fact that everyone looks all wiggly like the very ground they’re standing on is constantly vibrating. Aside from the art, which wasn’t nearly as bad as that X-Factor fiasco, it was really good.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Booster Gold #12 – This book has just lost it’s shine since Geoff Johns left. Granted, it’s only been two issues, but these have just felt entirely too silly and uneventful. The previous arcs felt like they meant something or at the very least mattered. This arc has just felt like a filler throwaway story and totally not what interested me about the first 10 / 12 issues. It seems like they’re trying to get Booster Gold back to the ridiculous and stupid stories that he used to be involved in years ago. No thanks. Sorry Booster, but you’re among the first to go from my pull list in the great Comics Removal of 2008.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Green Lantern #34 – Just when I thought this arc was over, it continues! In what is turning into the longest origin re-telling ever, Geoff Johns continues his story of Hal Jordan’s first days as a Green Lantern. Ok, Sinestro and Hal take care of that big red alien thing. Hal gets some closure and the guy that will eventually become Black Hand disappears. Now they’re called to Oa for some nonsense? C’mon! Get on with it so we can see some more Red Lanterns and get to Blackest Night!
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Green Lantern Corps #28 – I think I’m about ready to let this book go. I clung on to it because I love the whole Green Lantern mythos lately, but I don’t see where else it can go until the next big GL event. This issue wrapped up a quick arc looking at yet another Sinestro Corps member killing off family members of rookie Green Lanterns. Problem solved. Issue ends. We get it. There’s a war now. The Green Lanterns have a horrible and ruthless villain in the Sinestro Corps. Let’s do some more with these characters already! You’ve got a plethora of possibilities here and they’re being squandered hunting Sinestro Corps rings with the same 4-6 people.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆

Comics Corner – Threepeat – Marvel Edition (Part 1 of 3)

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So I went without comics for three weeks for a variety of reasons. I finally picked up my batch of comics this week and there were about 30 waiting for me. Since there are that many I figured I’d break down my reviews in threes. I just finished my Marvel comics so here are the reviews for them. Next up will be the DC batch and I’ll finish up with the other publishers (IDW, Dark Horse, Image, etc) in one post. Here we go!

  • Amazing Spider-Man #570 – 572 – This is what I’m talking about! We went through all of Brand New Day so far to get to this. Anti-Venom is a great idea and I love what they’re doing here. Let’s just hope that they can keep it up. A few loose threads were tied up with these three issues and I loved that. This arc should have come a lot earlier, in my opinion. It definitely has a great old-school Spidey feel to it and I really didn’t miss Mary Jane at all during these issues. It’s not a big deal that Parker’s not married right now because he seriously doesn’t have time to worry about things like that. Between finding a job, keeping an eye on Aunt May, and trying not to be killed / arrested by the Thunderbolts, he’s pretty busy here. Not to mention avoiding getting “cured” of his powers by Anti-Venom. I believe that there’s one more issue left in this arc and I’m really looking forward to it.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy #5 – It’s books like this that make me not want to drop comics. This book came out of left field for me and I absolutely love it. While I’m a little annoyed that Secret Invasion seems to be forced into this book, the writers have somehow made it work in such a way that takes the focus off of the Skrulls and more on the characters in the team. As I mentioned with the previous issue, Knowhere seems to have a definite Babylon 5 aspect to it now with the delegates and whatnot. That definitely fits around the basis of it’s existence. This issue shows the team beginning to fall apart and everyone except Rocket Raccoon at odds with one another. The appearance of a new female Starhawk creates more trouble and Drax the Destroyer is out to…well…destroy. When I finally do pull the plug on my weekly comics purchases, this will be a book that will be sorely missed.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Invincible Iron Man #5 – Speaking of books that I’ll miss, this issue continues Stane’s terrorist attacks on Tony Stark and his company around the world. I love how right Stane seems in his actions. I’ve never been a big Iron Man fan, but this book just feels huge (that’s what she said?). It has this big super hero / villain battle thing going on and that fits perfectly for this character. Iron Man needs to fight incredibly powerful and somewhat insane but brilliant technology based villains. He has that in Stane. The last page of this issue is unbelievable and I’m really looking forward to the next one. Stane is a madman, but he’s certainly fun to watch.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Mighty Avengers #18 – Ok. We get it. The Skrulls have been around for awhile. Secret Invasion is a big payoff for an Avengers story from a few years ago. Honestly though, why not put some of this info in the EVENT book? While I love the idea of Nick Fury secretly training a bunch of forgotten super powered step-kids, the tie-in bullshit with this event is starting to get out of hand. It’s like they’re sticking to the main story in the event book and using this book and New Avengers to map out EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of where the Skrulls have been and what they’ve done since that first New Avengers arc. They waited too long to pull the trigger on this and now it’s requiring too much backstory. I loved the idea at first, but now it’s dragging on. Let’s get on with this already and back to some Avengers ass-kicking.
    Rating: ★★½☆☆
  • Secret Invasion #6 – Which brings me to Secret Invasion and some Avengers ass-kicking. Seriously, this should have been issue #3. The past 3 issues have been pretty lackluster and building up to this. The Skrulls in all their might on one side and just about every super power in on the Marvel planet Earth on the other. Let’s get it on. We get a few beautiful pages of tremendously epic fight scenes (with of course, Spider-Man swinging around attached to no one knows what as my fiancee pointed out) drawn by Leinel Yu. While I dug the issue, I’m just a little jaded that we’ve waited this long for it and all the crap we had to deal with in the Savage Land to get to this point. I’m just looking forward to the end of this at this point because as usual, the GIANT EVENT that’s supposed to COMPLETELY CHANGE the status quo of the Marvel Universe is shaping up to do absolutely nothing. Also, was that a Galactus Skrull in the background? Are you kidding? Why even bother fighting if you’ve got the power of a friggin’ planet eater?
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Secret Invasion Inhumans #2 – While things are going crazy on Earth, the Inhumans are fighting Skrulls already on the moon. Instead of dicking around in Antarctica for awhile, they just got right to it. Where are the Skrulls? Ok, let’s beat the shit out of them. Done. The people on Earth need to take a lesson from the Inhumans. No wasting time here. There was a problem and they’re addressing it. Meanwhile, Black Bolt is busy being tortured and making stupid faces on some Skrull ship somewhere. Seriously, the artist depiction of his shocked face with the “*” quote was one of the most inadvertently funny images I’ve seen in awhile.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Secret Invasion Runaways Young Avengers #3 – I’m a big fan of both the Runaways and the Young Avengers, but this book just felt weird and out of place. Sure they teamed up…sort of, but it didn’t really do all that much. The two teams really just need to work together and be a super team of teenagers with attitude. This issue finished up their story and gave us some more mumbo jumbo about the prophecy that I think the Skrulls don’t even know about anymore. There’s a God that loves you and there’s also this prince that’s supposed to unite everyone and I’m sure there’s more stuff going on. Somehow with all of these mismatched beliefs the Skrull Empire was able to infiltrate the human race and invaded. If that’s the case, Earth deserves it. Oh, and I laughed out loud at Molly’s comment when she heard Skrull-Speak. That was just perfect.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Ultimate Origins #4 – I used to love the Ultimate books. At one point I was reading all of them and really enjoying them. Then I realized that they were really just rehashing old 616 stories and just got bored. Now I only read Ultimate Spider-Man. I picked this up hoping for some more excitement from what has become a pretty boring universe. If this book would have come out 5 or even 2 years ago, I would have been all over it. Now though? It’s pretty boring. So Bruce Banner new Peter Parker’s dad? They were both scientists so that seems pretty logical and not shocking at all. The cause of Parker’s parents’ death was a little interesting and gives us a little perspective but I honestly can’t remember any other interaction between Banner and Parker that would have shown a sort of emotion that would have hinted at that. I’ll probably pick up the next and last issue just to see how this ends, but I’m not going to pick up Ultimatum. Sorry folks, but you lost me on this.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Uncanny X-Men #502 – Continuing right where the last issue left off, we’re treated to some great fight scenes as Wolverine and Nightcrawler tear through some Hellfire Cult punks. I don’t know anything about the Red Queen, but I’m looking forward to the showdown that’s set up for the next issue. I also don’t really care about Dazzler or Pixie so following either of them is an immediate turn off for me. Greg Land’s art, while often criticized, fits this book well. You’ve got these fantastic abilities coming out of people and it works to have things look a little glamorous. The descriptions for each character were also great and added a bit of humor to the book in some harsh moments. All in all, not a bad issue, but not super great either.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • X-Factor #35 – If Guardians of the Galaxy is a book that I’ll be missing when I drop comics, it’s issues like this one that make me want to burn every issue I have. I really dig Peter David’s writing, but even his wit can’t make the art look even passable. This is probably the absolute worst art I’ve seen in a comic book ever. I almost couldn’t get through the issue. Somehow I persevered and I was able to finish it, but I came so close to just jabbing my eyes out with a spork instead. I don’t understand how Marvel would actually pay someone to draw like that. I could do better if I wiped my ass on a piece of loose leaf paper. Just write the dialogue around the poop and you’ve got a better looking issue. I love the characters in X-Factor, but I cannot continue reading this book if the artist stays. If his fingers aren’t broken, I just don’t know what to do. I can’t buy the book anymore to show support for something like this. Goodbye X-Factor. We had a good run up until these 3 most recent issues. I’m done now.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Tune in later this week for more reviews from the other books I picked up including Buffy, The Boys, Action Comics, All Star Superman, Green Lantern and more!

Comics Corner – Week of 8/20 & 8/27

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Last week I was disappointed to find that my local comic shop hadn’t received ANY of their new comics. They were mistakenly shipped elsewhere! So this week I picked up two weeks worth of comics and holy shit were there a lot. What follows are my retarded thoughts on the issues I picked up.

  • Amazing Spider-Man #568 – The beginning of the highly anticipated “New Ways to Die” story arc! Venom! Norman Osborn! The Thunderbolts! Now we’re moving. I feel like a lot of the “Brand New Day” stuff has been building up to this. There’s a tie-in with Mr. Negative that makes some sense. The inclusion of Eddie Brock was done pretty well too. They did a pretty good job of incorporating aspects of Eddie’s past without just diving into full-blown Venom nonsense. Mark Waid’s back-up story was a nice way to get into Brock’s head too. I’m not a huge fan of John Romita Jr’s art, but this issue looked pretty good.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Anna Mercury #3 – Warren Ellis has some pretty crazy ideas and this one is no different. There’s some sort of secret agent situation and there are something like 5 or 7 parallel Earths floating around. I feel like this book has been a little delayed, but I honestly can’t be sure. I definitely have to re-read the first two issues as I can’t really remember a lot of the details going into this one. It seemed cool enough though. I’m definitely interested enough to keep reading. We were just given a peek into this bizarre world of Anna Mercury with these first few issues. I feel like there’s so much more though.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Captain America #41 – The Red Skull’s house of cards is falling apart. The cautious partnership between the Skull, Faustus and Doctor Zola is coming to a close and the new Captain America, Bucky Barnes has been exposed to the public. Goddamn, this book is good. Ed Brubaker has crafted such an epic story with this book and we’ve still got one more chapter in this story. I love how everything is coming together. Nothing is left out. All of the little bits and pieces of this huge story are coming to a head here. By the end of this issue, it feels official. Bucky is Captain America. If that final page doesn’t seal the deal, I don’t know what else would.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Final Crisis – Legion of 3 Worlds #1 – While I’ve given up on the main Final Crisis book, I’m still a huge fan of Geoff Johns so I’m willing to at least check this book out. Even though the only stuff I know about the Legion has been from Mark Waid’s recent run on the book and Johns’ story in Action Comics, I was still willing to give it a chance. This issue was all setup, but there’s a great one. Fans have been angry and confused for years with the discombobulated history of the Legion. I mean, there’s three of them! Which one is THE Legion? Why are there so many? So many questions and I hope that by the end of this mini-series there might be an answer to at least a few of them. Johns does a great job of writing Superboy Prime. He really captures this arrogant ignorance that the kid seems to have. Prime’s actions in the book fit that mindset perfectly. George Perez’s art is also pretty good and rather fitting for the book. As I said, this is a great setup and I’m going to be picking up the next issue.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy #4 – This is quickly becoming one of my favorite books each month. Building on last issue’s battle between Major Victory and Starhawk, some Skrulls are tossed into the mix. I’m starting to get a little tired of all this Secret Invasion stuff. I can almost understand why the Skrulls would be on Knowhere, but things are starting to get a bit stretched out. Speaking of Knowhere, am I the only one that sees the Celestial Head floating at the end of the universe like a sort of Babylon 5? This issue really confirmed that view for me with the council and the different delegates. It also brought up some good points. The Guardians of the Galaxy just sort of showed up there and claimed the joint as their base. Did they even clear it with the people that actually LIVE there? Great issue. Really looking forward to more, even if it deals with Skrulls.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Marvel 1985 #4 – This issue lost me a little bit. His dad is a mutant in the real world? Or something? No idea. Mark Millar does a good job of building suspense in this issue, but the bit in the middle lost me. I still LOVE the idea for this series though. The last page was priceless too. Now let’s get some Marvel heroes in there! We’ve had 4 issues and the only hero we saw was the Hulk running around the woods. Let’s get this battle started already. Our world needs to be saved!
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Transformers All Hail Megatron #2 – I had my doubts about this book with the last issue, but this one was pretty good. Megatron continues his invasion of planet Earth and the Autobots are still nowhere to be seen. This issue is just filled with destruction. The army is trying to do something, anything to defend themselves, but they’re not doing too well against the Decepticons. I hope that by the next issue we get a bit more information. Two issues of one-sided battles have been alright, but I want a bit more in the story department to explain just how Megatron is able to do all this and where the hell Optimus Prime is exactly. The art was actually pretty good too, but like I said, I want some explanation soon.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Uncanny X-Men #501 – This was my book of the week. The X-Men have moved to San Francisco and they’re back in the minority mindset complete with hate crimes. It’s not a terribly new idea either when you think about it. Didn’t Claremont explore all this pseudo-racism stuff years ago? Regardless, it works even better now. When Pixie (whom I know next to nothing about) is viciously attacked (along with a few other unnamed mutants), Cyclops is ready for action. I really dig this new approach to Cyclops. He’s no longer the cautious do-gooder. He realizes the situation that he and the mutants are in and he needs to do anything he can to keep them from being wiped off the face of the Earth. If that means that some people have to die, then he might be ready to cross that line. There are just so many possibilities for the X-Men now that they’re on the West Coast and I’m loving it.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • X-Factor #34 – I didn’t pick up the issue of She-Hulk that contained part 2 of this 3 part story, but I wasn’t too impressed by the previous X-Factor issue to bother. I normally love this series, but this issue was pretty bad. The story felt forced like writer Peter David had to do something that included Skrulls to tie into Secret Invasion. The result is a crappy crossover with She-Hulk with a Skrull bouncing around scenic Detroit impersonating Longshot. Woo. As if the entirely forgettable story wasn’t bad enough, the art is somehow even worse than the last issue. Penciler Larry Stroman should have his fingers broken. The fact that Marvel actually paid someone to do this is just sad. Everyone looks like they have the same big monkey head (and no, I don’t think this is supposed to tie into the ridiculous Marvel Apes story) and the people just look awkward. Ugh. I’ve seen it and I can’t un-see it. Horrible, horrible art. I hate you, Larry Stroman.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • X-Factor Special Layla Miller – Now this is what an issue of X-Factor should look like. Mr. Stroman should take some notes here because the art in this issue is clean and crisp. It’s just great. Picking up from the Endangered Species or Messiah Complex or whatever the last X-Crossover was, we see what’s happened to Layla Miller, the girl that knows stuff, when she was stranded in the future in a mutant concentration camp. In typical Layla Miller fashion, she’s in the right place at the right time and escapes from the camp and later meets up with an aging and part robotic Cyclops. Sure, I had to just go with the fact that Scott Summers would have been something like 110 years old by this point in time, but aside from that, the story was pretty interesting. Layla helps the mutants lead a revolution that would later be called the Summers Rebellion. She’s still stuck in this alternate future, but now she’s at least got some hope that she’ll make it back home.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • ———————————————————–

  • Amazing Spider-Man #569 – Picking up right where #568 left off, this one shows us a magically healed Eddie Brock with a new lease on life and a Norman Osborn who’s just as big of an asshole as we remember him always being. Seriously, no wonder Harry’s had problems in life. The guy is always trying to do something to impress his father and his Dad basically hates him. But I can see why Norman would be a little disappointed. His only “real” son (I’m forgetting Sins Past) runs a coffee shop. Woo. The origin of Anti-Venom comes up at the end of the issue and it fits perfectly. I can’t wait for the next issue now as this one ended so well.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Avengers The Initiative #16 – More Skrulls! This issue had the plane-crashed 3-D Man meeting up with the Skrull Kill Krew, the guys that got super powers when they ate hamburgers made from cows that were really Skrulls that Reed Richards hypnotized into thinking that they were cows. Wait a minute. How the hell is Earth being invaded by these guys? They can be tricked into thinking they’re f’ing COWS! Anyway, it seems that the Krew is determined to sweep through each team in the Initiative (one per state) and find the Skrull impostor in each one. They hit up New Mexico and meet up with Komodo. Meanwhile, the Irredeemable Ant-Man discovers that Yellow Jacket is really a Skrull and there’s a whole lot more of them on the base. What’s a coward to do! Oh, and War Machine got a secret message from Tony Stark and flew away.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Daredevil #110 – The conclusion of this arc by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka. This was a great almost noir-like tale with corruption and gritty crime. I loved it. This story really helped Matt Murdock get out of the horrible slump he was in. With his wife basically permanently angry/crazy and Murdock blaming himself he was sort of up in the air. He could continue blaming himself for it and end up depressed and taking it out on criminals and probably end up going too far sooner or later or he could try to move on. This issue represents that step forward for the Man Without Fear. He says at the end “Thanks for making me stand up and fight.” That’s true. Daredevil’s back.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Doktor Sleepless #8 – I can pretend to understand what I just read, but that would be a lie. This is the last issue of volume one of this series and holy crap, it’s insane. The Earth is some snack for interdimensional beings? John’s parents tapped into them? Seriously, what’s up with the “other” John that’s sitting in jail? And who was that guy lurking around outside the house? John cuts the last of the ties that were holding him to Heavenside and explains the angels that have been appearing in the town, but what will the mad scientist do now? He’s created chaos and anarchy in the streets, but now what? I’m cautiously interested in finding out. While I have faith in Warren Ellis, this book might be a little too out there for me.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Final Crisis Rogues Revenge #2 – Another sort of Final Crisis tie-in that I’m holding on because of Geoff Johns. The Rogues are seriously vicious. Holy crap. They do not fuck around. I’m just disappointed that there are only 3 issues for this mini-series. While the Rogues are taking out their replacements, Professor Zoom is setting up Inertia to be killed again. I’m still a little annoyed that Johns keeps calling Bart Allen “Kid-Flash.” The guy died as The Flash, not as a kid. He was wearing the Flash mantle when he kicked the bucket so give him the credit he deserves.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Immortal Iron Fist #18 – Perfect example of “Great Idea. Poor Execution.” I loved the previous issues of this series, but I don’t feel that the current author, Dwayne Sweaewatsl;gs8ioagspdski can fill the shoes of Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker. The art was pretty lackluster too. I just wasn’t impressed by this issue or the one before it. It’s best to make a clean break with Iron Fist now. I’m dropping the book. Goodbye, Danny Rand.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Justice Society Of America #18 – Holy crap. This is awesome. Continuing the story with Gog, the giant all-healing God, the JSA is starting to realize the problems with the gifts that he’s given them. While Dr. Midnite’s sight has returned, whatever he used to “see” is now gone so he’s unable to help someone that falls in battle. Now the lines are blurred. Is Gog really doing good? And here’s Magog. Will this Earth fall like the Kingdom Come Superman’s Earth fell? I should probably re-read Kingdom Come now too to get a better grasp of this story, but it is just awesome.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Kick-Ass #4 – While a bit of this issue was a little spoiled by the announcement of Nicolas Cage in the Kick-Ass movie, it was nonetheless enjoyable. Was this sword-wielding little girl inspired by Kick-Ass? Or was she and her father doing this before he donned his super hero suit? Dave’s really gotten himself in deep now if this is the kind of Punisher-esque company he’s going to be keeping as a hero. Fantastic issue all around. I just want more!
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Mighty Avengers #17 – Yes, the Avengers books have been great tie-ins to Secret Invasion, but it’s starting to get a little tired. I think the problem is that Bendis waited so long to push the event through. He waited patiently, twiddling thumbs while Annihilation and Civil War and World War Hulk all happened. Now his story that he had all planned out needed to weave through all this other stuff and that resulted in so much more explaining. This issue takes a look at Skrull Hank Pym and his replacements. Apparently Hank’s personality is too strong for any one Skrull and they’ve had to replace him a few times. Ok. Got it. Let’s move on. I didn’t need a whole issue for this.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • New Avengers #44 – This issue gave us even more backstory for Secret Invasion. This one is actually a little interesting as it gives us an idea of how the Skrulls managed to go undetected by anyone on Earth. It seems that they used Reed Richards’ own mind against him. He’s the only one smart enough to figure out a way for the Skrulls to actually invade so they tricked a Skrull that was brain-washed into thinking he was Mr. Fantastic into figuring it out. It was a little disturbing, but I wonder what would happen if Reed found out. Granted, he’s already pissed by the end of the last issue, but I’d love to see him just lose it if this information came out.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Nova #16 – Another forced Skrull issue. This one deals with the original Super Skrull. He apparently disguised himself as another Skrull and infiltrated a group of Skrulls laying a trap for Richard Rider. Kl’Rt realizes who the trap is for and saves Nova’s life. Then they talk for a bit. Rider finds out there’s an Invasion going on and rushes to Earth instead of doing his job as the last remaining Centurion. What happened the last time you went to Earth, Rider? Oh yeah, your family hated you and you were hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D. But that won’t stop you from going back there in an effort to save…who exactly? Anyway, “shocker” ending and pretty eh issue.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Runaways #1 – The third volume of this series begins. First off, I hate this art. It’s too cartoony. I didn’t like Humberto Ramos when he was on X-Men and I certainly don’t like him now. The guy should just stick to kid books and stay away from actual titles that matter. The group returns to LA and finds a new place to live but their new house is crashed by a group of people from Karolina’s homeworld. I thought this issue was OK, but it definitely lacked the fun that the previous incarnations of the book have had. Terry Moore is alright, but he’s no Brian K. Vaughn or Joss Whedon. I’m still willing to give the book a chance because I love the characters, but I’m a little iffy on it’s future.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Secret Invasion Amazing Spider-Man #1 – Enough already. I’ve sampled most of the Secret Invasion tie-ins, but after this one, I’m basically done. It’s a Spider-Man book without Spider-Man. This worked for Captain America, but it definitely doesn’t work here. The new supporting cast in Amazing Spider-Man is good, but only because they’ve got Peter Parker to tie them all together. These characters are not strong enough to carry an entire story without our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and until they reveal who Jackpot really is in the upcoming Annual, she’s not a strong enough hero to do anything either. Skrulls are in New York. I got it. So are Ms. Marvel, the Young Avengers, the Runaways, members of the Initiative, and Nick Fury and the new Howling Commandos. Jackpot can sit this one out. Skip it.
    Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
  • Thunderbolts #123 – The re-hashing of the few pages in Secret Invasion continues here. Norman finishes his little talk with Captain Marvel, just like he did in the main event book. After Marvel flies away, he turns total military and heads to DC to fight Skrulls. I just don’t buy this. I love the idea of the Thunderbolts, but Norman running to the capitol at a moment’s notice to fight invaders seems a bit stretched. And seriously, how is it that everyone in the Marvel Universe knows so much about Skrulls and instantly figures out that they can’t trust anyone because anyone can be a Skrull? Let’s just get this main event over so we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming!
    Rating: ★★½☆☆
  • Ultimate Spider-Man #125 – More fill-in with the Ultimate Spider-Man video game. The story finally makes sense…mostly. Eddie Brock is captured and then freed by the Firefly guy. More fighting occurs and the cover of the book actually fits the issue! This is largely a setup issue, but I’m interested to see where it will go. The art is also great for this story too.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Wolverine #68 – We’re given a bit more information as to what this future holds for America as Logan and Hawkeye head into the Kingpin’s lair to save Hawkeye’s daughter (Also, is it just me or is the girl’s mother black? She’s Spider-Man’s daughter? Who did Peter Parker hook up with if not Mary Jane?) Things don’t go as planned for their escape and Logan looks poised to fight once more even though he’s become a pacifist. Next issue looks set up for more fun. The art in this issue is unbelievable. It’s all just so clean and so well-detailed. I love it.
    Rating: ★★★★☆

Watching the Watchmen Runtime

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There’s been a ton of news about the upcoming Watchmen film lately, but I want to talk about the petition (no, not that one, this one) about the runtime of the film. The movie currently clocks in at 2 hours and 50 minutes, but comic book fans being a greedy and incredibly hard to please lot, are demanding that it get boosted to over 3 hours.

My first reaction to this news was that it’s not going to happen. While the comic series is one of the most popular of all time, what percentage of the film’s audience will be a fan of the comic book first? I can’t imagine it being a huge amount for some reason. Think of the popular new Batman film. Yes, it’s breaking all sorts of records, but how many of the people that have seen it over and over again were fans of the Batman comics (and are still fans of said comics)? I don’t know where to look for this information, so if you know, let me know and we’ll all be enlightened.

I just can’t see Warner Brothers extending the film to such a long running time. Granted it’s already almost 3 hours, but fans are clamoring for an even longer picture so director Zack Synder can be even more loyal to the work than he’s already been (according to those that have seen the film already). I have no doubt that WB will inevitably release a super-charged unrated Director’s Cut of the film on DVD, but is this super film needed for the theatrical release?

Now that I think about it…Maybe. After the release of the trailer, the Watchmen trade paperback skyrocketed on all kinds of sales charts. Could this new resurgence of the book mean more and more loyal fans of the series and thus comic book fans that would support the longer runtime?

A quick look up at the top grossing films of all time will show you that Titanic (the number one film with a domestic gross of over $600 million) clocked in at 3 hours and 14 minutes. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (#10 with $377 million) was 3 hours and 20 minutes. I can’t comment on how loyal the film was or wasn’t to Tolkien’s book as I’ve never read it, but I don’t remember hearing all that many complaints about the film when it came out.

So will this happen? I still have to lean to the “No” column. Sure, it would be interesting and rather awesome if fans were able to band together and force a studio’s hand, but has that ever actually happened? You’re going to go see the movie regardless of it’s runtime so they’re going to get your money if you’re stuck in the chair for 2 hours and 50 minutes or 3 and a half hours. What do you think?

Comics Corner – Week of 8/13

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Here are my thoughts on the comics I picked up this week. Please note, some of these will probably come off as retarded to some people so consider yourself warned. I dropped all things Final Crisis from my pull list after last week. I’m done with that event and I’m practically done with DC altogether.

  • 100 Bullets #94 – Holding off on this one until the series ends. I think I’m going to drop the book and just pick up the last trade when it comes out. No sense in me shilling out the $3 a month for it if it’s just going in a box for now.
  • Action Comics #868 – Geoff Johns’ look at Brainiac continues. I’m loving the “horror story” vibe that this story is giving off. Brainiac is essentially the Kryptonian Boogieman. Children are terrified of him and rightly so. Now he’s found Earth and his drones are descending on it to destroy the planet while Superman is away. Action, Adventure, Drama. I’m digging this book.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Amazing Spider-Man #567 – The conclusion to the arc featuring a new lady Kraven. This issue wrapped up the arc pretty well and definitely left things with a lot of room to grow. I loved the “twist” of adding Peter’s roommate Vin to the mix. I didn’t really care for the way Peter’s face looked in the Daredevil costume though. It looked too open and just weird. Again, I don’t remember why Vermin is alive because I could have sworn he was dead. Although maybe that’s a result of the whole “Brand New Day” thing. Speaking of, I just noticed that that header is no longer on the top of the comic. Bout damn time. Next issue picks up the “New Ways to Die” arc featuring Venom and Green Goblin. I’m really looking forward to that.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Angel After The Fall #11 – I’m pretty sure this is the penultimate issue so at least I’ve got that going for me. This issue actually gave us a lot of information about what Gunn’s been up to and why he’s been doing what he’s been doing. I can’t tell if it’s the vampire part of him or if he’s just been driven insane by the events in Los Angeles. This issue felt like it flowed a bit better with some dialog that was closer to the spirit of the Buffyverse, especially the interaction with Spike and the others. I seriously have no idea what’s going on in the last page. If it was a cliffhanger I think it failed because I don’t see what’s going on. This could probably be due to the horrendous art. The second to last page seriously looked like something out of a crumbled up old Peanuts comic. Seriously go check it out. Gwen looks like fucking Charlie Brown with a wig on. I don’t understand how the art could be so piss poor in this book. You’d think that with the attention that is undoubtedly on this book that they’d at least spring for a halfway decent artist. Ugh.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Astonishing X-Men #26 – The second issue of Warren Ellis’ run on this book. While I’m a big fan of Ellis’ work, this one just isn’t up to par for me just yet. There’s some interesting theories popping around and I’m liking what he’s done with the characters so far. Cyclops has changed, or as he puts it, grown up. The X-Men have to face the fact that mutants are literally an endangered species now. If they hope to survive, they’re going to have to resort to drastic measures like kill or be killed. Cyclops mentions that both he and Storm have killed before, but I don’t recall whom or when. If anyone can fill me in, please do.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Batman #679 – Part 4 (or is it 5?) of Grant Morrison’s “Batman R.I.P.” storyline. I feel like I have to go back to the beginning of Morrison’s run and re-read the whole thing because I’m starting to get lost in this. There’s a whole lot of jumping around and Batman’s in a weird purple costume and he’s a schizophrenic hobo now. Sure. It’s Grant Morrison. Go with it, right? Eh. I’m starting to lose faith in the man. The re-introduction of Batman’s arch-rival certainly gives me hope for the next couple issues though. I loved what Morrison did with the Joker so I’m looking forward to when he actually gets to use him.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Booster Gold #11 – When I heard that Geoff Johns was leaving this book, I was ready to drop it on the spot. Chuck Dixon is filling in for a quick 2 issue arc before someone else takes over the book. Booster is sent to fix a time hole created by a backwards time traveler and an encounter with Batman and crew. He just doesn’t know how to fix it just right. This issue was not nearly as good as the previous arcs. It felt a little hokey and just small time. Johns’ run was almost epic, but on a scale that someone like Booster Gold could still take on. I think I’m going to give this book two more issues (one to end Dixon’s arc and then one more for the new guy) before I make my final decision though. If they’re anything like this though, I’ll be dropping it.
    Rating: ★★½☆☆
  • Fantastic Four #559 – I considered dropping this book because while it’s written by Mark Millar, it got a little out there with the first arc. This issue convinced me otherwise though. I just want to know more. Is the Earth really doomed to be destroyed within 30 years? Why is the Hulk leading a strange group of super villains to capture Johnny Storm and Dr. Doom? And is that who I think it is at the end there? Holy shit. How can I not read the next issue now? The art is the only thing that I’m a little iffy on with this book now. While Brian Hitch’s earlier issues seemed a bit more detailed, this one seems almost sketchy with some things definitely looking unfinished. I feel like the art in a book like Fantastic Four should be crisp and clean and that’s not the case here.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Green Lantern Corps #27 – I think I’m going to stick it out with this book. I just love the Green Lanterns now. This issue starts up a new arc with someone brutally killing the families of several Corps members, mostly rookies. I don’t recognize the face at the end of the book, but it is most likely a member of the Sinestro Corps. The hunt should be on in the next issue. Oh, and Mongul’s not dead? Sure.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe (One Shot – Reprint) – I think I red this issue awhile back. Essentially it’s a sort of “What If…?” story where Frank Castle’s family is killed not by criminals but as a result of a battle between super powered individuals. Castle freaks out and kills some of them, then he’s recruited to kill them all, hence the title. It’s an interesting little story that shows what can happen if things go too far. You can also see how this issue could have planted the seed for Garth Ennis’ The Boys later on as it deals with a lot of the same themes (ie: policing super heroes). Not a bad read.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Secret Invasion #5 – OK. Let’s get on with it already. The Skrulls have invaded. Some shit went down and then I feel like I’ve been hanging around waiting. It’s like the wind was knocked out of me and I’m just waiting to get it back. Now it looks as if that will happen with the NEXT issue. Thanks? Issue 6 of 8 is when things are going to heat up? Is Bendis taking lessons from Grant Morrison and Final Crisis? This issue also showed us that seemingly all the heroes on the Savage Land ship were indeed Skrulls thanks to some nifty super gun that Reed Richards invented on the spot. That’s pretty disappointing because one of the really intriguing parts of the first issue was that ambiguity of those long lost heroes. Even if one of them was the real deal, even f’ing Mockingbird, it would have made it worthwhile and caused so much more drama. Instead it felt like a publicity stunt. It was just a flash in the pan. I’ve still got hope for this, but I’m a little let down. Let’s wrap this up, Bendis. This better not be another House of M.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Secret Invasion Inhumans #1 – I feel like the Inhumans haven’t really gotten enough play. Sure they basically isolate themselves away from Earth on the moon, but they’re just so interesting up there. There’s got to be more drama, no? Thankfully with the proof that Black Bolt was really a Skrull (for who knows how long) there’s some hope yet. Medusa and Crystal set out to find their true king while Black Bolt’s brother causes some mischief as usual. It would be a safe bet that he’s a Skrull, but I feel that might be too obvious. I think I’m going to stick with it for this mini-series, unlike Front Line and Fantastic Four.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Secret Invasion Runaways Young Avengers #2 – Since I love both teams involved with this story, I’m definitely sticking with it. (I also like that Marvel kept most of these tie-in mini-series short, between 3 and 4 issues, with Front Line being the exception at 5. Makes it a bit easier to swallow.) This issue moves things along pretty quickly as both groups are confronted by even more Skrulls. I like that this mini-series is addressing some of the factions within the Skrull religion that Bendis has mentioned in interviews, but has yet to address in his books. Here we see a group of extremists hellbent on removing the prodigal son of their former queen, Young Avenger Hulkling. Next issue wraps this one up.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Secret Invasion X-Men #1 – So apparently with all the planning and preparation that the Skrulls did for this invasion, they forgot to check in on one of the most powerful super teams in the Marvel Universe. I guess they didn’t get that change of address form that the X-Men sent out when they moved to San Francisco because they were surprised to see the mutant team there to stop them from taking over the land of Rice-A-Roni. I find this incredibly hard to believe. Does this mean that there’s not one Skrull among the mutants? It seems to be a safe bet. If one is revealed, this entire issue won’t make a bit of sense. As a result, I’m probably going to skip this mini-series. It definitely seems like it’ll be easily forgotten about and not really matter to the big picture anyway.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Walking Dead #51 – I think this is the only comic that I actually fear reading each month. After the last arc where writer Robert Kirkman essentially proved that literally no one is safe, I read the book by peaking through my fingers at times. This issue was heart-breaking. I thought things looked a little odd when the phone first “rang” but I didn’t think anything of it. Then BAM, I’m hit with that doozy. What a book. Also, in reading this issue I got to thinking about just how old Rick’s son Carl is. He’s got to be like 10 at the most, right? Throughout all this he’s got to be pretty mature for his age by now though, especially since he basically has to take care of his Dad now. Oh man. I can’t even imagine what could happen next with this book.
    Rating: ★★★★★
  • Welcome To Hoxford #1 – This was the first issue of Ben Templesmith’s new series. He wrote and drew this book and man, was it creepy. I’ve been a fan of Templesmith’s art in Fell and this is very similar. There’s this underlying creepy-ness factor that runs throughout the entire issue. I also feel like it’s got an almost dreamlike aura about it. The colors blend together and people’s faces can stretch and contort into weird shapes and it would be natural here. Hoxford is a new privately-owned maximum security prison / rehabilitation center. A group of inmates on death row are transferred there and they are definitely an interesting (re: insane) bunch. It seems that the guards and the warden are just as strange though. The book is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of Fell. I feel like it’s a bizarre and twisted version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I love it.
    Rating: ★★★★½

Comic Fanboys Are The Worst Kind (8/10/2008)

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I get up around 9 or so. After stumbling to the computer, I find a trollish comment left by a Mr. or Mrs. “nbs_totg” on my latest comic review. I’m amazed that every comic review I’ve posted has been met by these Internet trolls that fly by to leave an insult and then run away. Ever wonder why comic books aren’t seen as a serious medium? It’s probably because of it’s incredibly stupid fans that “defend” their favorite books/publishers/characters/authors by calling the other person “ghey” or a retard. Way to go. You’re the reason that I can’t hang out in comic book stores. I leave a somewhat civil reply (as I intend to do with any actual person that replies to any post) and leave it at that.

After a quick shower, Monica and I head to Stop & Shop. I make a quick detour to the bottle recycling machine where I’m stuck behind a crazy woman talking to the cart wrangler about people living on Mars. That’s great, lady, but can you speed it up a little bit and then talk about your sci-fi mumbo jumbo with the cart guy later? I’ve got ONE bottle here! Monica and I pick up a massive amount of groceries. My total comes to $100 on the nose. We then head back to the apartment.

I manage to get a parking spot on the street right in front of the apartment building so we don’t have to walk the two and a half blocks with all the groceries. We put everything away and then relax for a little while. I’m delighted to find that my troll from this morning returned and actually replied to my reply this time tossing in some homophobic comments pointing out that “[Marvel Editor in Chief] Joe Q’s dick is up [my] arse.” Thanks for your well thought out reply, sir. You’re really getting me to change my mind and really think about my review for Final Crisis. I’m sure I’ll find a totally new insight into the story now that you pointed out that I’m “braindead.” Thanks!

Monica watches some TV and I play some GTA IV before the NASCAR race starts up. I head into the bedroom and join Monica for the race around 2. As usual, things are a little slow at the beginning, so I busy myself online while Monica updates our wedding spreadsheet to help figure out how much everything’s going to cost us. It’s going to be a lot and it’s all for one day. I’m considering putting a Paypal Donation link up here. Help pay for our wedding! The James and Monica Wedding Fund.

We heat up some of our leftovers from Uno’s and chow down as the race winds down. Things pick up a bit with a gigantic crash with less than 10 laps left in the race. With that over, I go back to some GTA IV and Monica checks out some vendors online (stuff like DJs and photographers). I stop playing around 8 or 9 and hang out with Monica. We look at some more reception sites online for a little while but Monica wasn’t feeling too good so we just laid down for a little while. We get to bed a little early and I do some reading. I realize that I haven’t watched a DVD all weekend.

Comics Corner – Week of 7/30 & 8/6

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  • Green Lantern Corps #26 – The conclusion to the arc with Mongol. I thought this story was alright, but nothing special. I’m mostly reading this book because I’ve fallen in love with the whole Green Lantern mythos. It pales in comparison to Johns’ Green Lantern book, but it’s not too bad. The art was a little funny. I’m more interested in where the book is going following these members of the Corps into the upcoming events.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Amazing Spider-Man Extra – Three extra stories that don’t really fit into the regular issues each month. This wasn’t a bad book, but I don’t get the context of it yet. Beginning with last year’s Free Comic Book Day “Swing Shift” Spider-Man has had these sort of weird out of order stories that pop up on occasion. I understand the whole new direction of “Brand New Day” but just tell the story already! It felt like these three stories (one focusing on villain Hammerhead, one on Harry Osborn (OMG! He was a Goblin?!?) and one set in the future with Spider-Man on trial) were just sort of thrown together as necessary backstory for a later arc. It seems a little disorganized to pop out a book like this instead of trying to fit it into the main storyline, but I like Spidey, so I’m letting it slide…for now.
    Rating: ★★★☆☆
  • Green Lantern #33 – Part 5 in Geoff Johns’ look at the Secret Origin of Green Lantern Hal Jordan. I feel like this arc has been going on forever, but it’s only been 5 issues. I guess when you look at it, that’s still 5 months. Ouch. The next issue finishes this up and moves on to the bigger events of Green Lantern for the rest of this year and into next. While I haven’t hated this arc, I feel like it’s a letdown to come after the fantastic Sinestro Corps storyline. It’s like we got all worked up and then things just came to a standstill with this flashback arc. The story is helpful though as I was not up to speed on the origins of Hal or his rogues gallery including William Hand and the man who would become Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Justice Society Of America Annual #1 – I know next to nothing about Earth-2 or it’s inhabitants. I understand that Power Girl is from there and I’ve got faith in Geoff Johns. That’s about all I’ve got going into this story though and I dug it. Johns is a great storyteller and this issue is a perfect example of it. I went into it without knowing any of these characters and finished the issue actually caring about some of them. I want to see the Huntress taken care of. I want to see this group, this family back together again, but what’s all this nonsense with another Power Girl? I have no idea, but I’m in for the ride.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Ultimate Spider-Man #124 – Every time I think about dropping this book, I’m treated to some of the best dialogue in comics and I realize that I can’t drop the book. Say what you will about Brian Michael Bendis, but the man writes great dialogue, especially when it’s between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. I also love that this arc is spinning out of the Ultimate Spider-Man video game which I loved. Bendis kept saying that the game was in continuity, but it never made any sense. Now it’s starting to! Pretty good issue and I’m excited for more.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Wolverine #67 – Old Man Logan continues. We’re given a very brief glimpse into the events that turned the berserker Wolverine into a pacifist but there’s still a lot of mystery to it. I just hope that everything will be wrapped up in this one story (I believe it’s only 6 issues). The art was top notch so no complaints there. I just want more of this story! I love these sort of future tales, especially ones that show the world in despair. Where did we go wrong?
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Boys #21 – Speaking of looking back at the past, this issue gives us more information on The Seven and why the Boys are needed. The Seven are painted as these ridiculous bad guys so I never cared for them from the start, but after this issue I downright hate them. They’re not heroes. They’re just dumb people with superpowers and they obviously don’t know what they’re doing.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer #17 – I’ve never read Fray so some of the importance or geek-out moments in this issue are a little lost on me. For example, what I first took to be misprintings on the part of the letterer turned out to just be an evolution of the English language (ie: American is now “‘Merican” and Manhattan is now “Hadden”) as seen in other examples of Whedon’s work (most notably Firefly). The art in this issue felt a little too cartoony as well with some panels looking like they came right out of a Looney Tunes short complete with eye-popping surprised expressions. These Buffy comics have been pretty consistent with the lackluster art (aside from the cover artist Jo Chen which is just phenomenal). I saw the big reveal at the end of the issue coming, but it doesn’t make it any less interesting. I feel like I really need to pick up Fray soon to fully appreciate this story arc though.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Criminal 2 #4 – After watching Blast of Silence earlier this week, I was really looking forward to more Criminal. This issue kicks off a new 4 part arc with a new character, the writer of those awful comic strips in the book. It seems like a regular tale of a guy getting in over his head, but the setup is just so perfect. Ed Brubaker has a way of writing with this book that just oozes that back alley grime that you’d expect on a good pulp novel. Speaking of pulp fiction, there’s a great interview with the editor from Hard Case Crime books as well as a nice essay by Bob Calhoun about the film Night and the City and pro-wrestling in noir.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Crossed #0 – Aside from The Boys, it’s been awhile since I’ve read anything from Garth Ennis. I’m a huge fan of Preacher so I was ready to jump into this book. This issue is the prologue for this new series. From the looks of it, there’s some sort of rage virus similar to the one in 28 Days Later that’s driving people insane. They’ve just started killing people like mad and a bloody cross shows up on their face. I’m intrigued enough to check out the next issue. It’s got a very end-of-the-world feel to it.
    Rating: ★★★★☆
  • Final Crisis #3 – I’m trying so hard to care about Final Crisis but it’s just not happening. At this point I feel like I’m reading this book (and most likely the numerous one shot tie-in issues coming out next month) out of some misguided loyalty to Grant Morrison and event books. I’m very close to dropping them though as I just don’t care about the Monitors or the New Gods. If I do drop it, I’m just concerned that some crazy shit will happen and I’ll be reading something like Green Lantern and have no idea what the hell’s going on when someone like Dr. Light shows up with a twin brother or something. More stuff almost happened and I think by the end of this issue something actually might possibly be happening. We won’t find out until October because the book is going on hiatus for a month. Way to build anticipation, DC.
    Rating: ★★☆☆☆
  • Invincible Iron Man #4 – Matt Fraction just gets Tony Stark. I love it. This book has been a lot of fun so far. Sure, it’s featured horrible terrorist attacks killing thousands of people, but isn’t it cool to see Iron Man flying around fighting people like The Melter while conducting a meeting about new technology? The art in this book, by Salvador Laroca can be a little off at times. Things felt almost hazy and I felt like it didn’t really fit the tone of the book as well as some of the past artists have. This issue is building towards the upcoming conclusion (still two issues away) and I’m really digging it so far.
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Iron Man Viva Las Vegas #2 – What looks like a bi-monthly mini-series by Iron Man director Jon Favreau is almost worth the wait. The art by Adi Granov is fantastic. I wish he could always draw Iron Man. While I felt that the story didn’t progress all that much (c’mon, we all knew that the statue was Fin Fang Foom, right?) I’m looking forward to two issues of pure action though. I just wish they’d come out sooner!
    Rating: ★★★★½
  • Twelve #7 – I’ve been a little iffy on this book lately, but this issue has started bringing some stuff together. I love the basic idea of the series though so it looks like I’ll be sticking around. This issue is beginning the second half of the maxi-series and has begun marching the characters towards their inevitable confrontations with each other, most notably the one we saw foreshadowed in the first issue. I’m anxious for the next issue after seeing this one end. Not bad, JMS.
    Rating: ★★★½☆
  • Ultimate Origins #3 – Finally! Something different for the Ultimate Universe! I love it! I was a fan of all the Ultimate books when they started, but I’ve dropped them all except for Ultimate Spider-Man recently because they just got boring. Now they’re finally taking things into that different direction that they promised they would. Magneto involved with Weapon X? Professor X in the Savage Land? What the hell is that eye statue thing? So many questions and so many possibilities! I love it.
    Rating: ★★★★½
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