Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Comics Friday

Yes, they did indeed come in Thursday but...yeah.

Haven't read a single thing, however I did flip through X-Force and Final Crisis and they looked pretty damn good. X-Force answers a question I've had for years and Final Crisis is so. Didn't read more then a couple of words of either book, but I did like the character death in Final Crisis. Finally! Honestly, they've never really managed to do much with him outside of the Justice League.

Overall, looks like lots of win this week. And an expensive week it was, in more ways then one.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

May/June curse strikes again!

Two tires - $275 dollars.

Power steering - Probably gonna be a lot.

Fridge - not refrigerating.

Me - Weeping gently inside.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fucking truck

Powersteering is going. Also need new tires.

Got my free government economic stimulus wealth redistribution welfare check in the mail Saturday, though.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Them Reviews - The Incredible Hercules #117

How many different ways can I love this title? But there is one gripe, so let me get this out of the way. The coloring. The coloring in this series was a high point. It was organic and fresh. But that guy, Stephane Peru, died. Now we got this other guy, who's a standard colorist. Damn. I really like Peru's coloring. But anyway, on to the story! This is part one of the Secret Invasion tie-in story, Sacred Invasion, which looks like it will run for about four issues. So Hercules, Amadeus Cho and Athena have gathered together with a pantheon of gods from several cultures. Japanese, Indian, Egyptian and Eternal. Their goal is to confront the Skrull gods who commanded the invasion. Needless to say, prelude. Very preludey. S'cool, cause this issue is still fun to read. Seeing the gods debate we see that they relate to each other through their own mythologies which I thought was very cool. Pak is writing this series with a mind towards the mythology of Hercules, so to expand on other mythologies is a treat. The deal is each pantheon treats the other pantheon's stories as a total crock, so Athena has to weave a web of bullshit so delicately that each pantheon has a reason to send along a champion. It's great. Athena, representing the Greeks, naturally volunteers Hercules' services. This pisses Herc off. He takes the job of leader of this motley gang, even though he admits he's never quite done something like this before. Then, when someone mentions that they should have called the Asgardians, Hercules immediate response is basically to say fuck the Asgardians. Really, Pak is having so much fun with this book. Everyone has these giant egos. Herc, cause he's a Greek god. Amadeus Cho, cause he knows he's this hyper intelligent bad ass. This story arc ought to be a freakin blast. Highly, highly recommended.

Them Reviews - Grendel: Behold The Devil #7

I'm sad to say but this issue was massively disappointing. Grendel confronts the little demon that's been haunting him but all we're shown is a series of flash forwards that cover the events shown in the old Comico Grendel series. It's like the whole issue was just a giant ad to remind readers that, hey, these are all being collected into TPBs. Get 'em while they're hot! Just massively, massively disappointed with Matt Wagner. To appease the reader, he throwns in a hot sex scene between the reporter and the police detective. Fun as that might be, it was insulting. Wagner is saying that although this issue is a shameless attempt to plug his other shit, he's not below insulting the reader's intelligence by appealing to their insatiable lust for black on white deep dicking. Great, thanks Matt. Fuck. (And weren't those two on the outs? What are they doing having hot screaming-for-God-finger-in-the-dude's-ass sex?) After the demon just up and disappears (what the fuck!), we do get some insight into Hunter's character at the very end, but it does nothing for the issue. Last issue coming up. Probably an easy excuse for ultra-violence. I'm not sure if there is anything Wagner could do to make the ending even remotely satisfying now. Goddamn, I just feel so tainted now.

Them Reviews - Captain America #38

Alright, alright! The story kicks off with Sharon Carter speaking with the Steve Rogers "clone." It's revealed that this Steve Rogers is in fact the Grand Director. That's right, the Grand Director. Brubaker takes an obscure character that I only knew about from reading Wikipedia. Honestly, if I hadn't I probably would have been pissed, but knowing that history I was actually quite excited. The Red Skull, Faustus and Arnim Zola all want to use the Grand Director here to take back the mantel of Captain America and put him against Captain Bucky. Fucking sweet. I'm really looking forward to where this story heads now. Brubaker can be kind of hit and miss with every other issue being kick ass. This was the kick ass issue. After dealing with the Grand Director, we see Captain Bucky and the Falcon searching for one of the Red Skull's hideouts when they chance upon Arnim Zola at a factory. Ass kicking ensues. We finally see Captain Puerto Rico do more then awkward roundhouse kicks finally. The Falcon really schools Bucky. They have a pretty decent set up for an interesting relationship between the two. The Falcon, at this point, is far more then just a sidekick. He's probably the closest thing Bucky has to a mentor at this point, since Falcon and Steve Rogers ran around for years. I really wanna see where these two characters go in the coming issues. Brubaker just nailed it with this issue, kudos to him. Highly recommended.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

No shit, I actually saw this at the store Saturday. I should never have walked down that aisle as my bill was friggin huge! But anyway, I saw it and thought to myself that I must have it. So have it I do.

Haven't had any yet. Got a brisket in the fridge, I think I'll wait to drink it with that.

Heard this on Last Comic Standing

And mind you, I'm paraphrasing...

"A woman might make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, but she also makes him spend 50 cents of every dollar he makes on her."

The girl who said this cracked me up. Comedy really is funniest when it speaks the truth.

That whole show was great. Too bad the sweaty Italian judge didn't like jokes about beating babies, cause those were some of the funniest. I really should watch more often.

Them Reviews - X-Factor #31

After the events of the last two issues, Mutant Town has been trapped by Arcade who was hired by an ex-Purifier to basically fuck with everyone before destroying the whole place. So Arcade was defeated and they've closed in on the Purifier but they're too late to stop events because the place was set to go up with the guy's death. Dudes dead, no everything is going up in flames. I really liked this issue. Mutant Town is encased in a giant force field letting nothing in or out which leaves X-Factor to run around futily saving people while Rictor fiddles with Arcade's computers to bring down the field. The reason I liked this issue is cause we had lots of great moments with the individual characters. Madrox saves an old guy on a roof with a clever use of his power to make multiples of himself. Siryn saves a comedianne while she's dying on stage. Really, that was some funny shit, especially since I was watching Last Comic Standing all night before reading this issue. Monet manages to save a bunch of punks calling themselves the X-M's. She is, naturally, a total bitch while doing it. Every character had a great moment in the issue. Hell, practically every page was a great moment. The way Arcade slips out without being captured was cool shit. Seeing a bunch of people burn to death while a group of firefighters are helpless to do anything was cool. The moment the force field comes down was cool. Just a cool issue. The one thing that bothered me is that lately Madrox, who supplies the narrative for the issue, is basically playing the reluctant hero and hasn't yet come to terms with it. I've been seeing this since I started collecting this series. Madrox, and by extension Peter David, really needs to get his shit together and come to a realization. I think we're well beyond the point for self-realization here. It's time for Peter David to really take these characters to the next level and gets past this navel gazing rigamarole. I expect that we'll be seeing new developments soon since at the end of the issue Valerie Cooper comes out saying things are gonna change. Let us hope. Alas, I'm dropping the title so any changes will probably be a work in progress by that time. One other quibble. Pablo Raimondi is a good artist. Very good artist. For whatever reason Valerie Cooper looked just like Gwyneth Paltrow in this issue. Maybe David was originally going to present Pepper Potts in this issue since there are references to Tony Stark, but they used Valerie Cooper instead. Or maybe there was some confusion between David and Raimondi, but it's kind of jarring cause I was sitting there wondering what Pepper Potts would be doing in X-Factor until they used the character's name. Overall, this was a strong issue, very much recommended.

Them Reviews - Justice League of America #21

A "Sightings" issue, or lead in to Final Crisis. It starts off with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman meeting in a secret space existing just between the Hall of Justice edifice and their orbiting station. They called it the, uh...Star Chamber I think. The second act involves this lame little villain called The HUman Flame robbing a bank before getting busted by the cops, Hawk Girl and Red Arrow. He manages to escape with the help of Libra, who will be a major character in Final Crisis. The final page involves the Martian Manhunter coming back from where the hell he's been these past few issues. All in all, I think it was a far better issue then the last one. The meeting between the Big Three was pretty cool. They're finally deciding to bring the issue of Vixen and her power change to the rest of the team. See, Vixen used to draw her powers from animals but now draws them from other capes. This is a problem for them cuse of the secrecy involved and the fact that she apparently saps the actual strength of those she's drawing from. Okay, okay, cool. The actual dialogue was well done with Superman getting ribbed by Batman and Wonder Woman which was fun. Also, from the way they talk it seems like McDuffy or DC editorial might want to eventually take the Big Three out of the team. Interesting. Another era of second tier characters in the League? I guess all the kids from the 80s are longing for the old days of the Justice League International team. The stuff with The Human Flame was cool. He hands Red Arrow his ass after torching Hawk Girl's wings. After meeting up with Libra we see a lot of set up that was already basically given to us with DC Universe #0 with the new Injustice League. Carlos Pacheco does guest penciling on this issue. He's a fine artist. Sure likes well defined shots of Hawk Girl's hooch, that's for certain. As I said, a major step up from the last issue but it still felt like it was missing a little something. Maybe cause it was half exposition, half set up and to be a prelude to Final Crisis and I suppose the new weekly series, Trinity, as well. I'm not gonna miss this series when I drop it, DC has really been under-utilizing it, but this at least was about worth the $2.99 if for the art alone. Really, if DC were smart they would have Pacheco become the regular artist on this series, or at least do regular guest spots. Maybe alternate with Ed Benes and Joe Benitez. I don't see it happening though. Pacheco never really could stay on one series for very long.

Them Reviews - Justice Society of America #15

Big time action issue as Gog and the JSA continue to mix it up and Thy Kingdom Come comes to its conclusion. *Sigh* I just don't know. The issue was a quicky fight issue with the JSA and Gog beating the shit out of each other. Well, eventually it ends with them on some island where Gog is destroyed by this giant head before it's revlead that the real Gog inhabits this Island thus setting the stage for the next JSA story arc. And I still don't care. I mean the cliffhanger was cool? But we already knew this guy they were fighting was just paving the way for the Gog of the Third World. I don't know, this is a series intended for collection in a hardcover or softcover reprint and that's what kills me. If they actually appraoched this series as a monthly seriel I think it would be a lot better. The art is good. Technically. Eaglesham does a well enough job, I mean all the people look like people, but he approaches each panel as a static object and nothing really flows from one panel to the next. There is no sense of motion on the page. Probably the best example of a comic where the action on the page flows smoothly and gives the illusion of motion is Jason Pearson's Body Bags. You would think it was done as a story board for a movie. From one shot to the next, everything moves smoothly. Eaglesham is like a classic car. Sure, it looks nice. Has this classic feel. Clunky as hell and a rough ride. Eaglesham draws people fantastically. They look like they could exist in reality but a too realistic style seems to suck the tension and excitement out of the book. You would almost think Eaglesham is simply trying to ape Alex Ross's style without having to bust out the canvas and paints. Comes close, actually, at least in the sense that some of the panels start to get overcrowded with too many characters on the page and risks becoming a convoluted mess. But I'm probably ragging on this book way too much. The issue was okay. It was a step up from the last issue, for certain. There were some cool moments, like Obsidian temporarily possessing Gog. There is a moment between Stargirl and Lightning that was pretty funny, with Stargirl encouraging Lighting to take her frustrations out on Gog and giving the best battle cry since the Tick said "Spooooooon!" Still, it was hard to feel like this book wasn't just going through the motions and setting up the next tale to be collected in the next hardcover.

Them Reviews - The Flash #240

Yeah, probably the biggest shame of the DC Comics right after Countdown. How could this title...THIS title...of all titles, suck as bad as it does. I just don't know where to begin. Gorilla Grodd comes out and starts kicking Spin's ass. Flash and the kids are at KN News bitching to one of the talking heads about the bad coverage he's been getting. The fight between Grodd and Spin causes Spin's little psychic slave, the dude causing people to become afraid from all the shit they see in the news, to lose control. So everyone in Keystone city is going batshit crazy, crashing semi-trucks and the like while Grodd and Spin knock each other around while Jay and Wally go around cleaning up after them. Wally finally gets in on the fight before getting knocked the fuck out and the kids are abducted by some guys. The issue ends with a cliffhanger of Iris, the daughter, suddenly rapidly aging. This title kills me. Last issue was showing a touch more promise but this comes crashing back down in the shitter. Now the idea that a villain would use the media as his weapon is an interesting one. The media really do blow the smallest things out of proportion, for example the sudden wave of "rationing" by places like Sam's Clubs because recent Chinese and Indian immigrants freak out at a slight price spike and start hoarding rice. Big fucking deal, right? And you see this in the issue, people tripping out over basically nothing but talking in news speak. The concept is interesting, but the Peyer just isn't capable of using the idea to its fullest. The character work is weak overall. I'm just not buying any of it. The situation with the kids, that they're aging at a rapid rate because of their connection to the Speed Force, isn't particularly interesting. This has been the case from the get go since they brought back Wally West, but they never fleshed the kids out enough to really make you care one way or the other. In fact, the kids spoil the book so much at this point I can't wait for them to disappear. Age! Age and die! FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe a good poignant death would be a decent grounding force for the title, I don't know. All I know is this book needs to have Wally back at the center and not sharing the spotlight with his kids.

Them Reviews - Caliber #1

Taking too damn long to read all my books so I'm just gonna post my thoughts on each title individually as I read them. With that in mind, here we go...

According to Radical Comics' website, Caliber is a re-telling of the Arthurian legend. Wow. I wouldn't have guessed. For a buck, I'm not really gonna complain. It starts off with this Indian guy looking for a mystical six-shooter and seeking to give it to the man who he saw in a vision. That man is a captain with the United States Army. Cool shit. The gun he's given fires lightning. Okay, kinda weird. Also, it kills him the first time he uses it. Um...shit. Okay, first issue of a five parter and if this is a retelling of King Arthur the dude ain't dead just yet. The book, overall, has a lot of ideas but in need of much tighter direction. It comes off as amateurish. The art by Garrie Gastonny is the same. The guy has some serious talent, and if he keeps working at it I think he could become a big name, but some of his characters would look stiff and lifeless in their poses. For a buck, it's worth looking at. Radical Comics put a great deal of work in to this book. Thirty-two pages, ad free, prestige format...this is a way to make a debut! I'm not sure about picking up the second issue. I don't know the price, I got a ton of books coming in next week and if it's too much I'd be willing to end it here. Then again, I don't know when the next issue actually comes out! Well, if I ever see it around I'll consider it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Birthday haul

Man, I think I went a tad overboard.

Check this out.

Moment of Truth in Iraq by Michael Yon

Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts by Robert D. Kaplan

Empire of Blue Water by Stephan Talty

Hellboy (Library Edition) by Mike Mignola

Captain America: The Death of Captain America Volume 1 by Ed Brubaker

Captain America: The Death of Captain America Volume 2 by Ed Brubaker

The Adventures of Indiana Jones

Just...a bit...much.

Indy was a last minute addition. It was $24.99 on Amazon and seems to be exactly the same thing as the new "special edition" releases that just came out. It also has the advatnage of having a bonus fourth disc with a making of documentary, presumably like the one that came with the original Star Wars set. I figured it would be best to get this set since the new releases are actually more expensive combined and, according to DVD Verdict, aren't all that by comparison except for some new, if very short, documentary features. I'm pleased with it.

The Robert Kaplan book I've been meaning to get for an age now. Impreial Grunts was a great read, and this looks good too.

Michael Yon is doing the best reporting out of Iraq. One guy and reader support and he's kicking all the asses of multi-billion dollar corporations with extensive networks of insiders. No shit.

Empire of Blue Water. Henry Morgan. Pirates. 'Nuff said.

Hellboy, fuck yeah!

The Death of Captain America stuff is some of the best Captain America stories I've read. Absolutely wanting these hardcovers.

Good shit, I'm pleased.

Happy birthday to me!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Saw it Thursday night and I'll tell you what, I did like it but after dwelling on it I think maybe it was probably the weakest of the bunch.

First, I have to say, the action is great.  The action sequence in the South American jungle is intense.  Loved every minute of it.  The chase through the streets was cool shit.  The warehouse was fun fun fun.

The characterizations were.....mmmmmmmm...I don't know.  Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones, there is no doubt about this.  Harrison Ford can stand there and chew gum and pick his nose for two hours and you would never doubt this fact.  But there are some bits, mostly with Karen Allen (reprising her role as Marion Ravenwood) that just fall flat for me.  Maybe cause I have never seen Raiders from start to finish and the last time I watched was in high school but that stuff mostly fell flat.  Shia Labouf was fantastic.  He plays a greaser kid that turns out to be the son of Indy and Marion.  School drop out but still sharp as a whip.  It was definitely a good change for him, especially since he was pretty much useless in Transformers.  If his role was to be Indy Jr, he filled it wonderfully.  Cate Blanchett can do no wrong.  Not only is she beautiful, but she can do about anything.  Didn't even recognize her in the movie and she played the lead villain, Irina Spalko.  Ray Winstone and John Hurt also come out as archeologist/adventurer types.

The plot is pretty standard, find crazy object that does crazy shit and get involved in crazy happenings.  In this case, a crystal skull with an oblong brain case.  The villains this time around are Reds and, since the movie takes place in 1957, is set around the Red Scare.  Indy (they call him Indiana like once the entire movie) is drummed out of his university teaching job because the FBI gets suspicious that he might be a Red sympathizer cause of what happens in the beginning at the warehouse.  I was wondering if maybe they were trying to be overly political but then I thought, nah, how the hell else are they going to get him out and adventuring? 

The movie is a real mish mash of ideas.  I found out the script passed through about I think a dozen hands.  Go figure, it does show.  The movie doesn't really have the epic scale of the rest.  In fact it never leaves the Americas.  There are lots of great moments and then there are not so great moments.  I love the fact that Indy is portrayed as more of a teacher type in this movie, what with Shia Labouf's character running around with him.  That's cool.  The fantasy aspect they used for this movie...maybe...not so much.  A little too out there for this movie.  Too much science, less mystic fantasy.  Very pulpy.  That's just me.  I'd love to have that crystal skull though.  Man, that was cool shit.

I'd very much recommend it.  It was worth the night out.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Wolverine Syndrome

I'm watching Pulp Secret on YouTube and they ask for thoughts on comic characters who appear in multiple titles or crossover with other titles frequently.

I think it's okay as long as the character is given breathing room otherwise the publishers run the risk of contracting Wolverine Syndrome. 

Here's what I mean, Wolverine is probably the most popular comics character of all time cause, come on, when you were 10, 11, 12 you couldn't give a flying fuck about Superman.  Wolverine was cool!  Giant retractable claws, healing factor, bad ass motherfucker who drank and smoked all the time while tapping some hot Japanese ass.  So, naturally, a Wolverine appearance in any title was a sure thing to boost sales.  Nowadays, Wolverine appears in ridiculous amount of titles./  So many that the character is a joke.  He's in Astonishing X-Men, X-Force, Wolverine, Wolverine: Origins, New Avengers...and those are his regular titles!  I think he recently appeared in a few issues of Amazing Spider-Man.  When the hell does he have time to be anywhere?  Where's the breathing room?  He was just in Messiah Complex, now he's hunting religious bigots in X-Force and he's fighting the Skrulls in Secret Invasion.  At what point does the character transition from one event to the next?

We all know comics don't have a linear continuity.  For example, Wolfsbane debuted in The New Mutants over 20 years ago and is now only about 19 or 20 in the comics.  Comic time is funny.  A story can be told over the span of six issues and take place over the span of a couple of days.  We can take for granted that the events in Batman and Detective Comics are happening at relative points in time and not concurrently (unless a crossover is occuring).  Yes, I can buy that Batman is fighting the Ventriloquist in Detective while considering a romantic relationship with Zatanna in Detective while fighting alongside the JLA in Justice League.  As long as the timespan for events are well defined, the reader should have no problem reconciling events (unless seperate writers contradict each other but that's another issue).

Unfortunately we have characters like Wolverine who appear in so many books at once on a regular basis that it's impossible to reconcile events.  Wolverine has always been an X-Men and has been an Avenger since New Avengers #...5 or #6.  But Brian Michael Bendis, who's basically the architect of the major events in the Marvel U these days, has left no breathing room for Wolverine.  Wolverine is taking part in central events all across the regular non-X Marvel U AND in the X books that it's impossible to figure out when all these events take place in relation to each other (with Secret Invasion, at least, we might get some clarification...come on, we all know the New Avengers Wolverine is a Skrull!).  It doesn't help either trying to figure out the character's personal continuity.

There is a tipping point I think.  Sure, you can probably shoehorn a single character into 50 different books on a regular basis with no problems, but I think the problem is the event storylines.  At that point a character needs, needs, to be yanked out of all the other books (and acknowledged on panel) to allow for the breathing room necessary to let the writers and readers reconcile continuity.  It could be for one or two issues for all that it would matter, just as long as the space was given to actually allow an event to transpire.  For instance, Wolverine should have been yanked out of the current Uncanny story to allow for the events of Secret Invasion to make sense at the cross continuity level.  Does he really need to be in Russia right now?  There are other X-Men that could be featured.  Also, creating another  X Title for the character was needless when the plans for Secret Invasion have been in the pipe lines for years.  I understand that business is business, but creating cynical and jaded fans does not work in the long run.

New Comics Wednesday

Caliber #1

Now looking over the shipping lists they say Caliber #1 shipped at the end of April but I haven't actually seen it in the store until today. Interesting. Guess Andy got a reorder. What's most important to remember is that the comic was only $1 dollar. A buck. You don't see comics for a buck anymore. I remember when comics were a buck. Man, that was so awesome. You could buy a ton for $20 bucks. Now $20 bucks gets you...six? Maybe? Fuck!

Anywho, didn't get too much reading done tonight. Read Caliber #1, The Flash #240 and Justice Society #15. That leaves Captain America #38, Grendel #7, The Incredible Hercules #117, Justice League #21 and X-Factor #31. I'm probably gonna read less tomorrow as I'm seeing Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It's gonna rock! I think I'll probably have my reviews up...Friday? Saturday? Sometime.

In the meantime, here's Harry Knowles past fat bastard correctional surgery.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Shiner, Zapp's and Gankutsuou (Happy 28th!)

Went to the store to get some Shiner Bock and, sadly, they had none!  They did, however, have the new anniversary brew, Shiner Munich Style Helles Lager.  Pretty good, but I am partial towards Shiner anyway.  That and a bag of Zapp's sea salt & vinegar kettle cooked chips.  Goddamn!  Is there anything better than sea salt and vinegar?  (Also picked up some power steering fluid, but alas it seems I already had some.)

So I get home, have a smoke, watch some anime, drink some beer, eat some chips.  Not bad.

Would have drank all the beer but Cole decided he was gonna rest his head on my leg thereby preventing me from getting up and getting another one.  Probably for the best considering that we had sirloin tonight.  Sirloin needs to be eaten with beer!  Beer and sirloin!  It cannot be denied!

Dinner was awesome.

Mom was kind enough to get me a few things.  Copies of Cloverfield and No Country For Old Men on DVD and a copy of Ron Paul's book, The Revolution: A Manifesto.  Also a $35 gift card.  Thank you, Mom.

Yeah, it was a pretty good day.  Pretty good, indeed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It are my birthday

I'm 28 today.

Oh crap!

To celebrate, I intend to sleep as long as possible. Before that, when I get home I was thinking of getting a six pack of Shiner and slugging that back while watching volume two of Gankutsuou.

Sounds like a plan.

And, for whatever reason...

I joined Technorati.

No particular reason, just seemed like a good idea at the time.


Hitchhiker's Guide

Finished book one this morning. Took my sweet friggin time. Man, that shit was too funny. Not all of it, but the stuff with Arthur Dent was great. The bit when he's on Magrethea, watching the philosopher's argue with Deep Thought killed me. Too great.

I thought the story was self contained though. I figured I would read book one and then start on John Adams. Nope. Wrong. Now I gotta start book two, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. So far, so good. Arthur is arguing with the replicator. I'm dying.

Good shit, man.


No shit, they killed Amber?


Wow, okay, that was a pretty good episode. Another case where House completely rejects Occam's Razor for the satisfaction of exploring the more obscure diseases and syndromes. Seriously, he's either the best doctor or the worst. I think I'd risk staying at a Cuban State-run hospital then be treated by a guy like that. Still, makes for some damn good television. Fuck TV Guide and their readers! These past two episodes are probably the best of the series. This new cast has done wonders for the show, especially since the writers are always stuck using the same formula. Next season ought to be interesting to see how the show really performs since they'll have a full season to work with (and I sincerely doubt the studios will let the actors strike).

I am pleased.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

So I come in to work and the TV is on HBO which is playing Rise of the Silver Surfer.  I think it was the second half.

Man, what a stupid fucking movie.  What the fuck?  Wow, that was just awful.  From the look of the movie to the actors themselves, what the fuck were they thinking?

Ya know, I never saw either of the Fantastic Four movies.  This is the first time I've seen either and I'm glad I skipped out on 'em.  Man, this was horrible.  None of the actors fit the roles (with the possible exception of the guy who played Johnny Storm) and the effects and sets were all horrible.  The acting was lame, the story the way, since when could the Fantastic Four transfer their powers to each other?  What the fuck?  All of a sudden I'm watching the Human Torch fight Dr. Doom and he's gone all fucking Super Skrull.  What the shit?  The only Marvel Comics team that I know can transfer powers back and forth is the Power Pack, and that book was lame shit.  And somehow or another Dr. Doom steals the Silver Surfer's powers just by riding his board.  Since when was Norrin Radd's powers connected to his fucking board?  The board gets destroyed all the time.  Fuck the board!  Fucking lame shit, man.

One good thing about the movie was from certain angles, you could see Jessica Alba's thong under that skin tight suit she was wearing.  That's hot.

Watching this, it occurs to me that there are some comic books that simply cannot, under any circumstances, regardless of the creative staff, be adapted into a movie.  The whole concept of the Fantastic Four is simply way too out there to be properly adapted into a movie and it fell apart.  Looking at it and within a minute you could see it for the cliched mess it is.  Terrible.  Sad, but mostly terrible.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Them reviews

And away we go...

Action Comics Annual #10 - Back issue! It's a simple issue, it doesn't tie in directly with the events of Donner's run but it does re-establish some silver age stuff (the meeting between a young Clark Kent and Mon-El/Lar Gand). It also features a story involving Zod, Ursa and Non, how Non was lobotomized and how they attempted to overthrow the leadership of Krypton and landed in the Phantom Zone. A brief two, three pager that leads into Donner's Bizarro World story. Also two very sadisticly fun stories involving Lex Luthor and imagining all the different ways to kill Superman and going over the different colors of kryptonite. Nothing major, but it does supplement the Richard Donner issues nicely. Glad I found it.

Booster Gold #9 - Not bad overall. I can see where the story is headed. In this issue, Booster and Blue Beetle regroup the old Justice League International to mount an assault on Maxwell Lord, who has now captured Doctor Light (the Japanese chick, not the creepy rapist). Since this all takes place during the period of Infinite Crisis, Booster and Beetle retrieve the Martian Manhunter from that giant doodad that Alex Luthor built to recreate the multiverse. Somewhere in there they use a Mother Box to create a boom tube to free Mister Miracle. So now they got Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Mister Miracle and Manhunter, so they mount an assault on Brother Eye. Lord and Manhunter go at it telepathically over control of Superman while the others knock some goons around in an effort to free Dctor Light and turn off Brother Eye. Seems Batman is there as well disguised as one of the goons. There's a nice little moment here where Batman is talking about the need to retake control of Brother Eye and Booster grabs him, shoves him into a wall and gives him what for. Brother Eye was created by Batman in order to keep an eye (get it?) on Earth's heroes. What ends up happening is Maxwell Lord seizes control and eventually the whole thing becomes sentient. Booster tells him the thing is going down whether he likes it or not. I would like to say this would have been impressive, given Booster's low status and Batman's no bullshit attitude and his obsessive behavior. Unfortunately, the whole thing falls flat, much like the rest of the issue. Doctor Light is freed and she proceeds to put a giant hole through Max's chest. Okay, that's cool I guess. The issue ends with a cliffhanger as Booster's old man, Black Beetle and some other villains show up. Now this issue had a couple of moments that were nice. There is this moment between Gardner and Fire talking on a frigid mountaintop about Ice. Gardner asks Fire to crank up the heat since he can't sacrifice any of his ring's power due to the destruction of Oa. It was a vulnerable moment for Gardner. He's at his weakest. His friends are dead. The heroes are losing. He's lost. He's a pussy. Formatting issues aside, this series is totally losing me. I can't really find anything in the last couple of issues that grab me. Blue Beetle is back, that was cool. Couldn't they, I don't know, just stick with that instead of doing this alternate timeline thing just so Booster can realize he can't change the past? It's boring me to tears. THe story has gone one much too long as well, if the next issue isn't the last part of this arc I'm gonna blow my brains out.

Batman #676 - First issue of Batman RIP! Or I should say, prelude to Batman RIP. It's an okay issue. The last issue, I thought, was very good with Bruce Wayne wailing on some wannabe villain and his girly finding out he's Batman. This issue teases the hell out of the reader. Here, we're are introduced to the Black Gove organization, the Joker tearing the fuck up out of some asylum, and some exposition of Robin talking with Alfred about Damien's parentage while Bruce and girly with name I can never remember visit Bruce's parent's graves. There's also some action in the beginning involving Batman and Robin testing out the new Batmobile and cornering some carjacker in an alley. Tony Daniel's artwork really shines in this issue. I was really impressed. I thought he did some stellar work on the Tenth but lately I've found it unrecognizable. When those pages involving the Joker came around I was blown away. Guy Major's coloring really nailed the atmosphere of the scene. The story.....I dunno. It was all prelude. I mean, it's not even a part one, is it? It's filler for a hardcover collection sometime down the line. I dunno, I'm pretty iffy on this issue myself. I think they could have taken care of some of the character stuff in two pages. The stuff between Robin and Alfred? One page. The stuff with Bruce and Girly? One page. (Girly does get an invitation to a ball held by Black Glove. See what I mean? Prelude.) Killing Batman? Well, seeing as how we're all here to see Batman die, it would be nice. Does Batman die in part one? No. No dying. Very disappointing. Will the overall story suck? I don't know. It's tied in heavily with Final Crisis, and this is Grant Morrison we're talking about. We'll just have to wait and see.

Clandestine #4 - After the last issue's climax, we find Rory and Pandora surrounded by vampire's at the wedding party Samantha and Kay are attending. Turns out the whole thing is a prank on Kay's part involving some French vampires she's friendly with. The mystery is coming to a head as the sudden loss of Rory and Pandora's powers, Walter's losing control and Adam's disappearance are causing the Destine family to panic. It gets a little confusing here when Kay telepathically instructs Newton to take the kids...elsewhere. It gets confusing cause I was never sure of who was saying what (and my allergies going off on me wasn't helping things). Newton takes the kids and somehow or another they end up in the same parallel universe that Dominic and a down continuity Excalibur have landed in. Dom and Excalibur, captured at the end of the last issue, are taken to an arena controlled by that world's inhumans. Interesting! But when Newton and the kids crash land there, the Inhuman's guards open fire, destroying Newton's vessel and apparently killing the kids (not really, of course, we'll find out what happens next issue). Meanwhile, Sam and Kay run on back to the mansion (everyone lives in a mansion in comics, don't they?) and find Walter just totally out of control and end up getting their shit whomped. Now the issue actually ends with a reveal of a bunch of clones of Walter, Rory and Pandora. This is all, apparently, tying in with an earlier story that was collected with the ClanDestine Classic hardcover that I, uh, haven't actually read yet. DOH! Okay, okay, time to throw it open I suppose. But I do like the mystery, the action, Davis's art...everything. The family's dynamic is great. There's one moment between Sam and Kay where after it's revealed that Kay was pranking the kids with the vampires, Sam just floors her. Kay likes to indulge the kids in their superhero fantasies, whereas everyone else is overly protective of them, but even so she completely stepped over the line. Everyone's first reaction is to immediately protect the two kids. When everyone starts gathering, their first thoughts are keeping the kids safe. Sure, it all goes pear shaped, but the way try to maintain an atmosphere of stoicism around the kids when they're secretly flipping out was probably among my favorite moments in the issue. Alan Davis has crafted his characters well, his story is well thought out, his art is clean and the whole is as enjoyable a series as I could hope to read. It might be a bit premature, seeing as how the last issue isn't out for another month, but this is probably the most enjoyable series I could hope to read that's not Green Lantern. Well worth the investment, and worth picking up in a collected format.

Green Lantern Corps #24 - Picking up after the last issue, Gardner, Rayner and the rest are searching for Sodam Yat and Arisia and track them to a planet filled with those Black Mercy plants that Mongul loves using so much. It's kind of fillery as nothing much is accomplished. Mongul comes out briefly after the Lanterns go over a brief history of him. We visit the sciencells on Oa and are treated to this fucking creepy scene of Sinestro peeling the skin off his fingers with his teeth to pain the Sinestro Corps symbol across the face of his cell in his own blood. The "camera" eventually pulls back to show that all the Sinestro Corps members have done this. I need to see where this is going. They have all their yellow rings trapped, so once those get out and reunite with their ring bearers things are gonna get really fucked up. Oh oh oh, there is a reason the Green Lantern books are the best books to read right now! Well, back with our main characters, after hacking there way through tons of gore orbiting this planet (cool shit) and hacking there way through Black Mercy plants, they finally find Sodam Yat and Arisia. However, they have two of those plants attached to their chests. Bad shit, apparently. Issue ends on a cliffhanger as the, uh...momma plant? Starts attacking the group to prevent them from severing the connection between her offspring and their victims. GLC is one of those titles that basically shows the continuing adventures of the characters without necessarily developing too much around the characters. Everything is about epic threats and epic fights. I can dig it. Where this story involving Mongul goes ought to be interesting, but they shouldn't take too much time getting there. The events of the issue are basically padded with exposition, but it does keep you interested with pretty good visuals and promises of greater things to come. It's just up to Tomasi to follow through.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1 - So far this is my favorite issue this week and I never originally intended on buying it. Highly recommended. It's an origin issue taking place shortly after the events of Annihilation: Conquest detailing the formation of the team and their first mission together. Warlock, Nova and Peter Quill gather together a new team to run around searching out fissures that have appeared around the galaxy since the Phalanx conquest. For whatever reason, spacetime is severely weakened allowing for potential invaders from other dimensions. So the action kicks off immediately as the team tackles some crazy ass group of cultists in a ship powered by the faith of its congregants as it heads into one of these fissures. So that's bad. While this is going on, the story flashes back to the days immediately following the last Annihilation series. Nova, Peter Quill and Adam Warlock all discussing the need to prevent another Annihilation sized event from happening by forming a pro-active team. Nova is NOT on this team, but he does play an important part in it by convincing Gamora to join. He also hooks them up with a base! This is where the series really ties into Nova. The base is that giant severed celestial head from Nova's issue #8 and #9, Knowhere. They even brought back Cosmo! Cosmo is the telepathic Russian dog that heads the security of Knowhere. Man, fucking great. That dog was the highlight of those two issues of Nova, I'm glad they brought him back. So while Peter Quill and Nova are talking people into joining, Warlock is making the moral case for the team and setting forth their goals and thus the entire point of the series. Honestly, I can't wait for the next issue. Abnett and Lanning have really knocked it out of the ballpark with this issue. They've set up an interesting team of fantastic characters, set forth a mission and villains and then casually dropped a stunning revelation from Mantis involving the team's betrayal and demise. An excellent debut. More please.

X-Men: Legacy #211 - Looks like we're getting into Marvel doing some summer bi-weekly stuff. This book was a very good read, but I think it's starting to contradict itself. Last issue, Professor Xavier left behind the Acolytes saying he had only fragmented memories and what he did have he had no real connections with. However, in this issue he seems to have no problems remembering his childhood past as he tracks down a childhood friend to scan his mind telepathically. He also has no problems remembering Cassandra Nova, his sister, and their time in their mother's womb (before Xavier ate her). So that is problematic for me. If I can go all Woodward and Bernstein, what does Professor X know, and when did he know it? How much of his memory is affected exactly? Why can he remember his distant childhood but not the recent past? He still has those negative emotional connections to his father, his step-father and his crazy friend. Mike Carey still isn't the most consistent writer. Overall it's a good issue regardless of the minor inconsistencies. Someone is looking to assassinate Xavier. Some unknown telepath is powerful enough to mentally disturb Juggernaut while he has his helmet on. Bad ass! Juggernaut! Always dug this character. They kinda pussified him in recent years, depowered him and put him in New Excalibur. The recent events in the World War Hulk: X-Men miniseries re-upped his power levels and now he's on his own again. Fantastic. Can't wait to see how he relates to this story. Also, more intrigue at the Hellfire club between Sunspot and Sebastian Shaw over this mysterious "Cronus" project. Issue ends on a cliffhanger with a group of assassins ready to kill Xavier at his hotel when Gambit appears ready for a fight.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Power went out there

Yep, from 3:15 to 4:15, round bouts.

Right in the middle of my audit.


Got me a break.


Boy am I sleepy.  Can't wait to get home.

New Comics Wednesday

Booster Gold #9
Batman #676
Clandestine #4
Green Lantern Corps #24
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
X-Men: Legacy #211

And as a bonus I picked up a back-issue of Action Comics Annual #10 at Comics Unlimited (sorry Andy) so now I'm only missing one of the issues Richard Donner wrote.

I should have had all my reviews ready to go tonight. Did all my ironing in the morning so I had nothing to do tonight. Fucking still only managed to read five out of seven books. DOH! They should be up tomorrow. So far so good. A couple of books I reeaaaalllyyyyy enjoyed. To be brief, Guardians of the Galaxy really kicked my ass. Really great start to this series. Fucking fantabulous. I was thinking, get the first issue for the hell of it. Now I'm thinking get the second issue and make sweet tender love to both of them at once in a bizarre fetishist ménage à trois.

Speaking of ironing, while I was doing that I was watching the second half of Chasing Amy with the commentary turned on. Sweet Jesus titty fuck! I'm surprised I even finished, that shit was too funny.

Before that as well I caught episodes three and four of Gankutsuou. Damn good series. Very dream like in its presentation. I'm gonna go slow with this series and catch those four episodes again with the subtitling. This is an impressive show. It starts off actiony but slows down with more character drama with the story driving inexorably forward while the past of the Count is slowly revealed. It's the Count of Monte Cristo, I know exactly how it goes, but they still do a damn fine job of keeping an air of mystery about him. I also know that with this version they make a lot of changes so I do have to wonder what they are and how the story is affected. I bet he dies. He's gonna die. That would kinda suck, but it is a Mahiro Maeda show. Still, gonna have lots of fun watching this show.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chasing Amy

So I watched Chasing Amy this morning and I found out something very interesting.  The Criterion edition is apparently just a reissue of the original laserdisc edition that came out in...what was it, 1997 or so.  The only addition to the DVD edition is the new intro by Kevin Smith mentioning this fact.  Otherwise, it's cool shit.  All the deleted scenes are introduced, at great length, by Smith, Affleck, Mewes and Mossier (and assorted combinations of the four).  The menu set-up could be a little better, however, as the extras menu also contains the laserdisc intro for the extras as part of that screen so it's always running as opposed to accessing it as another menu option.  Regardless, these guys are all funny as fuck.  Ben Affleck is hysterical.  This was well before he got so big for his britches, in fact I think Armageddon had only just been released when they recorded all this, but Affleck is probably the funniest of the bunch.

Now I'm also not one prone to listening to the commentary.  Commentary comes on every disc but I think I've only watched one or two movies with the commentary turned on and I think the last one was Spider-Man.  After watching the movie and the extras, I only intended on playing the commentary long enough to hear Kevin Smith say "fuck DVD" at the beginning.  I ended up watching half of the movie over again.  It's so goddamn funny.  The commentary is by Smith, Mewes, Affleck, Mossier and I think one other guy.  I was fucking cracking up, cause these guys are just total fucking goofballs.  Mewes, I think, was getting pretty deep into drugs at this point (in the deleted scenes introductions he had that pale fucked up on hardcore shit look to him) so the guy, when he did speak, was pretty incoherent.  But even fucked up he was still pretty funny.  Five minutes would pass, ten minutes would pass, but I couldn't stop watching.  I only stopped cause noon had rolled around and I had intended to go to JC Penney's tonight to try to find some pants.  Whoops.  Fucked that one. 

The movie itself is a little different from what I remember, as it has been far too long since I last saw it.  It has some major hang-ups over sexual politics and homosexual politics at that.  I know Jason Lee's character is uspposed to be the antagonist, but his is probably the more interesting character overall.  Sure he comes across as a bigoted asshole with issues, but the relationship between Affleck and Adams' characters was examined almost strictly in terms of differences between straight and gay people instead of in real personal terms (which is strange cause this film was made cause of Smith's break-up with Adams).  Actually, the deleted scenes do cover some of this territory, hinting at why Affleck falls for Adams, but it doesn't delve too deeply at all.    Adams is cute as a button though so I guess that's all one really needs to know.  It's still a fantastic movie, but slightly less then I remember it.  Smith's skills as a director are infinitely improved over Clerks and Mallrats and he really shows that he can get great performances out of his actors.  Jason Lee's hands fucking own this movie.  Seriously, you can mute out all his dialogue, but still understand everything he says just by watching his hands. 

And of course, I still geek out over the whole comic book aspect of the movie.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Man, I love this movie.  I can't remember the last time I saw it.  Maybe ten years?  Great movie.  A lot more amateurish then I remember.  Acting was pretty wooden.  The dialogue was faaaaantastic!  Definitely the reason I fell in love with this movie and Kevin Smith films in general.

Man, I can't believe it's been fourteen years since I first saw this movie.  Thirteen or fourteen.  What a revelation this movie was.  I wish I could say it spoke to me, but I'd be lying as I was only fourteen or fifteen at the time.  I was pretty sold on the idea of Gen X slacker-dom.  The idea of being too cool for everything probably reinforced my own existential nihilism instead.  Watching Clerks, however, I apparently completely missed the point of the entire story.  Dante's attitude is more or less my own.  Why disrupt the natural order just for a comfortable shit?  Not to say Randall was any more of a better person, but at least he was assertive.  I suppose now I dig this movie on a deeper level.  Dante was needing to develop some kind of ego and realize there's more to life then simply leading a comfortable existence and that asserting his own ego would necessitate the need to disrupt order and possibly lead to discomfort.  Basically the dilemma I've faced for some time now.  Yeah, yeah, I should watch this movie more then once every decade.  Fucking great shit.

The special features are cool too.  It's the tenth anniversary edition, so it is three discs.  First disc is the theatrical cut with promo material, MTV adverts, audition reels, restoration documentation and a short Kevin Smith did for the Tonight Show call Flying Cars (which is fucking hysterical).  I have yet to watch the restoration stuff, but everything else was the shit.  Smith introduces all the clips with Scott Mossier.  I could swear they were high in the ones filmed at Smith's house.  Christ, but some of the introductions are as long as the clips.  Funny though.

The second disc is the, uh, director's cut (for lack of a better term).  It adds about fifteen mnutes to the runtime.  The third disc is a 90 minute documentary and press clippings.  There's also some DVD-ROM stuff.

Should I watch the long version in the morning or should I move on to Chasing Amy?  I'm not yet in the mood for Clerks II, which was funny in it's own right but not quite the movie the original was.  Or say fuck it either way and watch Gankutsuou instead?  Regardless, I'm cracking open one of those bottles of wine.

Gotta love Big Tobacco

Marlboro sent me some dice.  Dice!  Not sure what that has to do with smoking but they're big and shiny dice.  They should have sent me a zippo like Camel did that time.  That was cool, useful and good for lighting up.  Dice are neat, too, but they don't ignite like a Zippo.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


After I got home from work we took off for Target to get bits and bobs that we needed. Also looked for a new sigar bowl because I dropped the top on the old one and it shattered into tiny sharp pieces.

Anyway, did get some necessities (and came to the realization that I need some new dishes), but also picked up a couple of bottles of wine.

A Lulu B. pinot noir and a Tapeña tempranillo. Whatever the hell that is. I've never had a Spanish wine so I figured I'd give it a shot. The pinot is French (supposedly). They're probably both overpriced European bumwines. I bet that's what tempranillo translates into. Spanish for, "Cheap shit suitable for gutter trash, assorted riff raff and other peasant classes." Lulu B. is probably what the homeless drink on the streets of Paris at night while arguing with the voices in their head. But hey, they were about $20 bucks altogether, so I figure they're good table wines. I think I'm gonna crack these open with meals this time, none of that knocking back bottles while watching movies in the morning like I did those times. Not that I didn't enjoy doing that.

Happy Mother's Day!

My gift to Mom, take her out Saturday night so as not to do anything Sunday night.

Went to Johnny Carino's for dinner.

Still can't think straight.

Suppose it doesn't help that I had to wake up pretty early.  Well, 5:15 but I didn't fall asleep until about noon (was in bed a little after 10:30) so for me that's early.  Got  a cup of coffee, got dressed and we were there by 6:00 so we did pretty good time.  And got in suprisingly fast!  Brownsville, unlike Harlingen, has no stupid rules against smoking in restaurants so when they asked we took the first available.  Yeah, we ended up right next to the bar in the smoking section.  Very hot and smelly!  But there was no wait and we started eating pretty fast.  Got myself a coke and we ordered an appetizer of baked stuffed mushrooms.  I ordered something called a cedar planked salmon, which is a salmon steak served on a piece of cedar with angel hair pasta and sauteed spinach.  It also comes with a free soup or salad and I got the, uh...I think they called it Italian chili?  It was basically pasta fagioli (I think).  On the menu, the recommended wine was a sauvignon blanc.  The glaze was very sweet, so I figured why not go for it and got a glass.  That's good eatin!  I think Mom got some kind of chicken ceasar salad.  For dessert we split a tiramisu.  Lord have mercy, but we were dying at the end.  Waiter was a nice guy and wished Mom a happy mother's day.  He got a really good tip.  All told, it all came out to $64 bucks and change. 

Afterwards we stopped by Besy Buy, cause it's right there.  Someone, I think a coworker, gave her a $25 dollar Best Buy gift card at Christmas and I asked her if there were any movies she was wanting to get and there wasn't a thing she wanted.  But we did putter around and walked off some of the food.  I, uh...did something very stupid and picked up copies of Clerks, Clerks II and Chasing Amy.  All very cheap I assure you!

A very good night overall.  I think I should take Mom out tomorrow and see if I can get her something nice.  Shopping for her is difficult, she always says she doesn't want anything.  This is the next best thing.  It's lazy, yes, but otherwise I'd never know what to get her. 

So yes, very good evening, very full, very much want to go to bed.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

After lugging it around with me to work and back for a month without ever actually cracking it open, I finally did a couple of days ago.  I could have probably finished the first book by now if I wanted to but I'm taking my sweet time.  It's ssoooo funny!  It's really good.  Loads better then the movie so far.  The movie was good in of itself, it was cute and all, but I'm glad I watched the movie before I started the book.  It's just a completely different animal.

Funny, funny shit.

Friday, May 09, 2008

EW Final Crisis preview

Entertainment Weekly has the first five pages of Final Crisis up here.

Them reviews


Action Comics Annual #11 - The final part of the Richard Donner/Geoff Johns story, Last Son, that premiered in October of '06. Considering it's been so long I pulled out the previous issues so I could get caught up as I had forgotten quite a bit. Last Son centers around the discovery of a young Kryptonian boy that Superman, needless to say, bonds with immediately. The kid turns out to be the son of two Kryptonian prisoners held in the Phantom Zone, General Zod and Ursa (of Superman II fame). The story in of itself is a very brief one. Adam Kubert handles the art, apparently exclusively, which is why the damn story took nearly two years to complete. Regardless of the wait, once you read the story all th way through it's a damn good one. When the governemtn finds this kid, their first instinct is to use the kid for experiments. Superman retrieves him and with his parent's and Batman's help crafts a fake identity for the kid who they name Christopher. Once Zod and his army of Kryptonian prisoners exiled to the Phantom Zone appear, shit really kicks into high gear. By the last part in the Annual, there is nothing left but massive win and sad. Zod's army is sucked back into the Phantom Zone but so is Chris, which is devestating to Lois and Clark who for the first time have an opportunity to have a real family (even if Lois was hesitant at first the kid quickly grows on her). Kubert's art, while he might be one of the laziest in the business, really manages to bring out the emotion in the story. As for the win, Lex Luthor was really fun. Him and his Superman Revenge Squad, Bizarro, Metallo and the Parasite (finally spoeaking English again) were fantastic. Watching Metallo use the different colored kryptonite embedded in him against Zod's army was cool. Using red one one fellow to turn him into a giant ant and then gold to send another bunch plummeting from the sky (their reaction was pretty funny..."sweeeet!") Lex himself was pretty much the over the top Lex of the movies. In fact, the characters as shown in this story were all throwbacks to the Donner movies. Not saying this is a bad thing, actually with Johns' help they come across quite wonderfully without coming across as cheesy and godawful (honestly, the Donner Superman movies tend to make me cringe at times). Of course, the ending was a foregone conclusion. There was no way DC was going to allow Superman to have a son, at least not yet. Maybe after Final Crisis? Now, the kid isn't dead and neither is Zod, Ursa or Non (thankfully, cause these guys will make some excellent villains for some awesome stories down the line). There's plenty of opportunity to bring him back. When they do, Superman stories will have to change dramatically. When Superman and Lois got married, nothing really ever changed. The idea of Superman with a son changes the dynamic of the character so radically that I'm left wondering why they never did this years ago. So yeah, I guess the whole story is a sentimental one in a way, but combined with Geoff Johns ability to push events in the DCU forward it opens up many exciting possibilities. Needless to say, this was my favorite read of the week. The hardcover is coming out in July, I would snap it up as soon as possible.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #14 - Another strong issue by Drew Goddard. Goddamn, but for whatever reason I always have a hard time remembering what goes on in this series from month to month. Okay, so Buffy and crew end up in Japan to find the body of one of her slayers tied to the edifice of a building with a warning written in blood. Meeting back up with Xander, his girl Renee and Dracula (DRACULA!) they plot details of their attack on this clan of Japanese vampires who have stolen Buffy's scythe. Dracula teaches Willow a new spell while Xander and Renee share their first kiss. It's the penultimate issue before the story's climax next issue so it's a lot of lead up into the climax. Dawn, who's been a giantess since issue #1, is transported into the middle of a giant crowd of vampires and starts tearing shit up to serve as a distraction so Buffy and crew can infiltrate the big bad's lair. Buffy is like two seconds away from getting her scythe back before realizing that it's an illusion before the real bloodsucker appears and impales one of her crew. Fucked! All build up for the climax, but that ending was brutal. Drew Goddard really likes suprising people with brutal character deaths. It's gonan be interesting to see how the affects of this play out.

Detective Comics #844 - Picking up from last month, Bruce Wayne is held captive by Scarface and the new female Ventriloquist, Peyton Riley. The issue is mostly the origin of the new female Ventriloquist, involving her loveless marriage to a mob family, her husband's attempt to murder her and her finding the body of the Ventriloquist and the smashed remains of Scarface. Somehow or another, she takes possession of Scarface (or he takes possession of her, however you wanna look at it) and starts rebuilding Scarface's criminal empire. It's all origin this issue. It's pretty decent enough, but it's not exactly what I was expecting. The last month's issue kicked off a potential romance between Batman and Zatanna and this month nearly completely ignores it. Shame that. It's a lot of Zatanna going on about how she needs a man more deidcated to her then to his own agendas and so on and so forth. Dini left it open, but I suppose it was a bit much to expect that anything more would be done with it what with the upcoming RIP story and Final Crisis. As for Peyton Riley, her origin is pretty well told and very well fleshed out, but again, the way story ends makes me wonder why Dini even bothered telling it. Peyton Riley is also supposed to be a familiar to Bruce Wayne, but since I've only been reading Detective Comics for the past year (never picked up more then a scattered issue here and there before then) I have no idea who she is or why she could be significant. However it seems pointless to wonder how now.

Invincible Iron Man #1 - This was a total impulse buy and honestly I kinda wish I hadn't. First of all, so much has been happening with Iron Man that I'm really not so sure what's going on. Yeah, he's the current Director of SHIELD, that much I know, but I don't know where the characters are all at. I'm still not sure what this Extremis thing is. Apparently at some point Tony Stark injected himself with some sort of nanovirus? I don't know. All I know is that this isn't the Iron Man I'm familiar with. Iron Man as superspy isn't really my thing. Iron Man as industrialist super genius and womanizer, yeah, that Iron Man I know. And while they still got the womanizer thing going, the rest is tossed aside. Sure, maybe it's just because it's been so long since I've read the title. I haven't read it since Joe Quesada was writer. But honestly, this just isn't the Iron Man I want to read. We still see some of his supporting cast, Pepper Potts now drawn to look a lot more like Gwyneth Paltrow, but in the new setting I don't see that they serve a purpose. Does Tony still need a secretary? He's the friggin Director of SHIELD! The interaction with Pepper was also way off to me. I don't know that Pepper would be so cool to Tony's womanizing as I've always been under the impression that she had a thing for him. And then for whatever reason she shows him her cheap $3 dollar thong from Target. What the hell? Yeah, just what we didn't need. I always thought Pepper was meant to be a little more wholesome then the sluts Tony always picked up. Are we defining the concept down these days? The rest of the plot involves Ezekial Stane killing the board of directors of a corporation with some new found powers he's gained and plotting against Tony Stark. Okay, that's cool I guess. The rest of the issue is given to Tony talking about his five worst fears, all centered around his armor or its technology getting out. The issue actually starts off in Africa where three youths powered by the same stuff operating the Iron Man armor blow themselves up killing 90 some off people at market. That did get my attention. The issue ends with Tony Stark discovering the cause of the explosion and that it was indeed connected to his technology. Sounds like Matt Fraction is gonna re-tread the Armor Wars story a bit here. It was an alright issue in of itself, I guess, but I'm not sticking around for the rest of the story.

Nova #13 - S'alright. I know, just alright? Well, the interior doesn't quite live up to the cover's promise, which features Nova versus the SIlver Surfer. Nova ends up at a planet in the middle of being consumed by Galactus. Okay, okay, so far so good. The leadership of the planet asks Nova to help them carry off the elite as there is no time to save everyone. Nova's response is fuck the elite, they can take care of themselves (guess he's an Obama voter). So he starts hauling ass rounding as many people up as possible on these massive ships and stops like right in the middle of it all (might be getting my sequence of events muddled here) to take care of some murder mystery. Some pyschic alien is taking control of people and going on a killing spree. Now that idea is cool enough in of itself, and Nova fights and quickly captures this alien, but it really detours from what's going on around them. Dude. Galactus is eating the fucking planet. The lead alien guy even says as much, but Nova gives him shit and kinda comes off as an asshole. Dude. GALACTUS IS EATING THE FUCKING PLANET! No time to stop and smell the roses. So everyone gets rounded up but now none of the ships can take off since the technology Galctus uses is preventing the, uh...well, the engines won't turn over as it were. So Nova thinks to himself, fuck it, let's go try talking to Galactus and see if maybe he can't stop or slow down or whatever, give all these people a chance to escape. Naturally Galactus just ignores him. Just before Nova gets to put on a show of force the Silver Surfer comes along to whomp his ass and that is where the issue ends. Like I said, the issue itself is okay, but it leaves you wanting more in the next. It's a three part story, so I should hope the next issue really gets up and goes. I mean it takes place on a planet being eaten. By fucking Galactus. There's only so much time for beating down so there needs to be real tension as the clock starts ticking down. Fifty bucks says the planet blows and Nova fails.

Secret Invasion #2 - I said I wouldn't pick it up and goddammit I really shouldn't have. So the Mighty and New Avengers face off against the Skrull "captives" in that downed Skrull shuttle. It's an okay issue but it didn't do nothing for me. Except for the fact that one of the captives was indeed not a Skrull not much happened. A character that I don't think anyone has ever given two shits about, Mockingbird. Yeah, Mockingbird is back from the dead. Mockingbird? Alright. It's pretty safe to say that the rest, or most of the rest, are Skrulls. The captive Spider-Man and Hawkeye were Skrulls. But aside from the end where an army of Super Skrulls lands in the middle of New York City there really isn't much else to mention. Luke Cage's reaction to his counterpart was pretty funny. This series screams "wait for the collection." And at this point I definitely will.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Comic Wednesday

It's that time again!

Reviews will be forthcoming. I've read most of them already but I gotta re-read the Richard Donner Action Comics run. I really have no idea what came before. I think I do, but honestly it's been so long. Really, what's it been, over a year? Jesus. Also, as an impulse buy, I picked up the new Invincible Iron-Man #1. Got caught up in the whole movie thing, figured what the hell. I also remember saying I wasn't going to pick up Secret Invasion #2. I was not going to pick up Secret Invasion #2. I failed. Okay, okay, this is one for the collection. I WILL NOT PICK UP SECRET INVASION #3! Unless I do.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I love my job

Working here is fun.  This letter was written to of our regular guests.  He's a nice guy.  He likes eggs.  Our previous hostess used to make eggs just for him.  Our previous hotess quit.  New hostess doesn't make eggs just for him.  This makes guest mad.  This makes guest complain.  Complaint reaches boss woman.  Boss woman addresses.  Hilarity ensues.

Dear Mr. [T3h gu3st], I appreciate your comments very much. It opens a way for us to learn about our guest concerns or discomforts. Our breakfast host attends one very especial department, especially because it is very hard to bring someone at 5:00am. Another feature that set us apart from other hotels is that [T3h h0t3l] Inn has a set breakfast items to serve every morning, and we need to alternate several hot items, therefore we can not serve only eggs every day. We have learned your preference for breakfast items and our new hostes [T3h br34kf4st g1rl] will be delighted to go out of her breakfast schedule to please you  with different hot items that might not be on the menu when you are here. I also would like to thank you for your offer, it will be very helpful to learn a new way to hire good employees. Learning has always been a good habbit.  Mr [T3h gu3st]: thank you very much for letting me aware of your fillings and concerns, I assure you that in the future our hostes [T3h br34kf4st g1rl], will welcome you with any items requests you might have. We look forward to see you soon. Thank you for making us your first choice when traveling  wheather business or pleasure. Our staff in [T3h h0t3l] Inn& Suites as always is delighted to have you here. Sincerely, {T3h B0ss]. AGM. Please close.

Names and places have been changed to cover my ass.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mowed the lawn


Now lets see the terrorists try to build training camps while being pecked away by those pesky grackles. HAHA!

This means I can go home and watch Samurai Champloo guilt free. Well, okay, the back yard is starting to need attention but I can do that a little later.

Speaking of grackles, goddamn but those birds are shameless and horribly impatient. The moment I start cutting the grass a group of females starts hovering over me. Doing the area between my house and my neighbor's, this one female kept flying back and forth between my roof and a tree waiting for me to clear a large enough area so he could have room to roam around in and pick up snails and insects (really, it kept staring at me). And before long I had a group of four or five females wandering around near me or behind me, following along taking advantage. Little bastards.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

DC Universe #0

Wait, wait...the narrative was being told from the point of view of Barry Allen??????

The fucking Flash?

The fucking Silver Age Flash?

The fucking SIlver Age Flash what died in Crisis on Infinite Earths?!?

Good thing that Johns and Morrison made that clear enough so that I didn't have to read this from the New York Times or the New York Daily News.


I don't know what to make of this.  I guess it really was Barry Allen and not Bart Allen that was brought back at the end of the JLA/JSA Lightning Saga crossover.  I hope this doesn't mean they're ditching Wally West.  Is this why they've gone out of their way to make Wally suck?

Honestly, I've never given two shits about Barry Allen.  Wally has been my Flash since I was nine years old.  Sure, a lot of old timers have a soft spot for Barry Allen, but what doesn't get around is that the latter Allen Flash stories, if not most of them, were all made of mountains of fail.  DC continuity has always been messy, but Barry Allen's own continuity has been particularly convoluted ending up at various times and living in the 30th century for a time.  Unless Barry comes back for the sole purpose of dying again, I'm just not sure about this.  I mean, sure, it's cool in a way, but only if it's for a limited purpose.  Secondly, if DC does consider the decision to bring back Barry, why?  It's well established that Wally was the faster speedster with a far more natural talent.  Barry Allen was fast, but not nearly as fast as Wally.  They might as make Jay Garrick the only Flash.

And why are they suddenly referring to Barry Allen the greatest hero of the DCU?  Look, I'm a huge Flash fan, but I wouldn't say any of them are the greatest heroes.  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman...shit, the Martian Manhunter!  The Flash is bad ass, but running fast is a bit of a limited power to have.  He's not the strongest, he's not the smartest (though Barry Allen is a criminologist).....he's probably the most upstanding of all the other heroes but that's about the only thing I can think of.  Certainly, he is a major player and all but when I think of greatest heroes he's really not the first name that comes to mind.

I just don't get why the publishers are intent on forcing this Silver Age nonsense down the reader's throats.  Barry Allen had the greatest death of any hero.  Legendary.  It's probably the one moment anyone remembers about Barry Allen, why take it away?

But the story has barely started.  Grant Morrison is a great writer, so I want to see where he takes this.  Takes us.  It will certainly be worth talking about.

Free Comic Book Day '08

Stopped by the shop to chat more about Iron Man and picked up some free comics.

Justice League of America #0

Amelia Rules! Hangin' Out (with back-up Apathy Kat feature)

All-Star Superman #1

Hellboy: The Mole/Bishop Olek's Devil//Out of Reach

White Out #1

I'm pleased with all of these.

Amelia Rules! was just a gas. The story centered around this girl, Amelia, trying to handle all her friends after making too many scheduling conflicts. It was very cute.

Justice League #0 is something I never read. This is a leftover from last year's Free Comic Book Day. Glad of it cause they hint at a lot of major upcoming stuff, the first one that immediately comes to mind is Batman: RIP. Looks like they plan on killing Jonathan Kent. Again. Like the rest of Meltzer's run on Justice League it's very sentimental, especially towards the Silver Age. Lots of artists contribute. Pretty decent.

All-Star Superman #1 was some interesting shit. The All-Star titles are DC's answer to Ultaimte Marvel, but it looks like Grant Morrison pretty much dispenses with the origin retellings and goes straight in to telling his own kind of Superman story. Basically, it's a Grant Morrison comic. Pretty good, I think I should pick up the collection.

Hellboy! Gotta love Hellboy. It's three stories in this issue. The lead Hellboy story is just weird! Involves a monster growing out of a mole in his hand, tearing its way out and leaving just Hellboy's skin flapping in the breeze. Cool shit, man.

White Out #1 is a comic I've always told myself to pick up and never did. This story is gooooooood. I'm not so big on the dialogue, and some of the narrative cheeses me off, but it really sucked me in. Definitely a collection I will have to pick up.

Then after choosing these five (should have grabbed an Archie comic too...dammit!) me and Andy chatted about the movie while I ate enough Smarties to give me type 2 diabetes. Kept him a bit later then he wanted to I think. Whoops! Hey, I told him I was gonna stop by. Stopped by way later then I expected though. I was hoping to get their at 4:30, 5:00 o'clock. Got there slightly after 6:00. DOH! Ah well, no big. Though I did put off the doing of the lawn. Yeah, it needs doing big time. I think al-Qaeda has built another training camp in the tall grass.

Peppercorn Ranch Dressing

Truly the sign that there is a God, and that he loves us and wants us to be happy.

I've been loving this stuff for weeks. Seriously, goes great on everything. I had the best hamburger tonight. Homemade burger, sauteed mushrooms, some peppercorn ranch and a slice of cheese. Not much else along with it, but GODDAMN it was heaven.

I wonder if it would be good on a hotdog wrapped in bacon.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Iron Man

I liked it well enough.  Dialogue was horrible.  I hate that improv'd chatter nonsense that pop film makers love so much.  Horrible.  Not as bad as the dialogue in Transformers but it gets close.  All the characters were great, until they started acting out of character and act like idiots.  Gwyneth Paltrow is hot.  She really pulled off Pepper Potts until the climax when she became a useless ditz.  The action was pretty good.  Too bad they only use the red and gold suit like twice.  The left-wing culture war shit was tedious.  Saw exactly where the film was going in the first five minutes.  Yeah, yeah, weapons manufacturers play both sides, warmongering profiteers, yada yada yada.  That would explain the glowing reviews, play to the lefty critics and come out on top.


Did I mention the characters?  Robert Downey Jr was Tony Stark.  I mean that was awesome.  The moments when he's designing the suit in captivity, or re-designing it in his lab, those are the moments that are just too cool.  They do the slick FX stuff for slickness and effect but it comes off as really cool.  You really could buy Downey as a super genius busting his ass and brains to pull this shit together.  Honestly, they should have just made it all about that and called the movie Robert Downey Jr Busts His Ass and Brains to Pull Shit Together.  It would end with him completing the armor and shouting, "Who is John Galt?" right before having hot rough monkey sex with Gwyneth Paltrow for 15 minutes while shattering whiskey glasses left and right.  Oh, also whiskey is the costar of this movie.  I swear that few scenes pass without anyone having a casual drink.  Speaking of which, the product placement was fucking absurd.  Getting back from captivity, Downey says, "First thing I want is an American cheeseburger!"  Not more then two seconds later someone walks up with a bag of Burger King burgers for Downey to start wolfing down.  It's hysterical.

The armor was bad ass.  I loved the clunky cave armor.  Honestly, if the entire movie was about him escaping captivity in that armor I would have massive fanboy boner.  In fact, now that I think of it, that's the movie they should have made cause quite frankly that was the best part of the movie.  Seeing Downey pound the shit out iron and forging the mask...pounding and forging with VENGEFUL ANGER...while dwelling on the 5,000,000,000,000 different ways he was gonna kill the terrorists was great.  (Actually I kinda wish I knew how to make that into an animated .gif.)  The red and gold armor was slick too.  Oh, the program that runs is is called Jarvis.  Cute.

But yeah, it's good enough that you'll have good time with a crowd.  It's not perfect, I mean Marvel has yet to top their Spider-Man movies, but just sit back and have fun.  It's ludicrous in so many ways and it does have its inconsistencies but nothing that will detract too much.

My one complaint is the theater.  Now, the movie was, for the first time in a while, in focus.  Shock!  But the sound was turned down.  The fuck?  The sound when off when they started running those stupid Cinemark First Look ads but when it came back on it never came back full volume.  It didn't even sound like it was in surround.  That did take away from the movie.  This was a movie that definitely needed loudness.  Loud loudness, for the loudly exploding things.  This made me sad.

Overall score, 3.5/5.

Friday, May 02, 2008

New Comics Wednesday part II (New Comics Thursday)

Overall, I am pleased. It was a small week, but I pretty much enjoyed it all with minor exception.

Shall we?

Action Comics #864 - The follow up to the the last story, this one entitled Batman and the Legion of Superheroes. It follows Superman, Batman and...fucking...Lightning Lad? I can never keep track. The narrative is told from the point of view of a hidden villain that will, I suppose, have a major part to play in Final Crisis. It was a fucking cool issue. Really, Geoff Johns writes the best Superman stories I've ever read. Batman is bitching at Superman over not answering the JLA's calls while Supes and Lightning Lad laugh it up in the Fortress of Solitude. Batman tells Superman his concerns about dealing with people from the future saying he's encountered three different iterations of the Legion himself. There's also some closure involving Karate Kid and Una who died a few weeks back in Countdown. More continuity issues since Karate Kid and Una died on Earth 51 (I think it was Earth 51...Kamandie Earth). But whatever. So Lightning Lad ends up taking the bodies back to the 31st century to give them a proper burial. Also a cameo by Starman and more hinting at the fact that he knows all sorts of shit about what's gonna happen but can't make sense of it cause he's fucking nuts. But really, I enjoyed the shit out of this issue. Clark lightens up while Batman is as tight assed as ever and Lightning Lad oscillates between being mr. cool and a total asshole. Definitely a lead in to Final Crisis. Or I should say one of the Final Crisis spin-off minis. Superman and the Legion of Three Earths or some shit. The villain...I can't remember his damn name. But at the very last page you see him from behind and he looks exactly like Mumm-Ra. No shit. I fucking cracked up. Great issue, I had a smile on my face the entire time. As an aside, this is how you decompress. You do a tight and tense and awesome story like Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes and then after all that you wind it down a bit before winding it back up.

Blue Beetle #26 - Garbage! My one low point. I bitched about this last month when I learned that this issue would be an all spanish language issue. Man, it was worse then I expected. I expected a fairly actionless issue, but there was a fight between Blue Beetle and the Parasite. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The issue starts out and it's Jaime and his girly going to meet his extended family at a family get together in the park. Jaime explains (okay, not entirely in spanish) that his extended family doesn't speak a word of English. Okay, okay, s'cool. So it goes on and him and the girly are putzing around with his family, having a good time, and the script is alternating spanish and English. This is fine, no big. Actually, it could be a really endearing thing. But then the action bits kick in. Beetle is called off to take on the Parasite. Now this is where it gets absurd. There is absolutely no fucking reason for the dialogue to remain in spanish. At this point the writer is just wanting to hammer you over the head with multi-culti bullshit. Jaime Reyes is one of DCs efforts at "diversity." As stupid as I think DC's efforts at racially and ethnically diversifying classic characters by killing off perfectly viable classics was, I felt that they succeeded fairly well with Jaime Reyes. His character is a simple everyman and underdog and the book gets by on the strength of its supporting cast. Jaime Reyes is like Peter Parker but he's not heroing out of a sense of obligation to past failures. His family is still alive. He's a hero cause he wants to be while his immediate family knows. So while the situation doesn't lead to any serious complexity, its simple approach makes it a fun title to read. This issue takes everything you know and uses it to bludgeon you over the head with culture war bullshit. Yeah, great, I paid $3.50 (they added the original English script) for left-wing propaganda. And it fucking kills me. See, if the only spanish bits were the stuff with his family, I think that would have been endearing. It would have been about him introducing his girly to his extended family who don't conform exactly to American culture but in the broader sense still share similar family values. Hey, can't understand the words? Well, it should be evident by what's going on on the page. Yeah, that would have been touchy feely nonsense, but it would have been alright. Instead, the fight with Parasite (who knew he spoke spanish?) turned the whole thing into a slap in the face to the reader and to the character cause they had to basically pull him out of character to fit the writer and editor's own pre-conceived notions. The whole thing becomes a waste of $3.50. I would have not picked it up, but Andy works on a subscription basis so I had to. Didn't bother with trying to read the script. Why? Who buys comics to read artless scripts? Though it should be noted that the script was written in English and, apparently, translated into spanish by Sergio Aragones of Groo the Wanderer fame. HA!

DC Universe #0 - Taken on its own, I really liked it. This has absolutely zero connection to Countdown (thank God!) and nothing really happens except to serve as a massive cocktease. But what a cocktease! It sets forth the stories that are going to be told in Final Crisis. It should be noted, Final Crisis is gonna be more then the main series. It will actually be a series of mini-series published concurrently. Not a lot of, if any, crossover action with main line DC books so far as I know. Maybe Superman, maybe Wonder Woman.....but nothing direct I hope. Grant Morrison last tried his hand at an event series with DC One Million and I fucking hated it. It corssed over into everything and the main mini-series itself sucked ass. Or at least it did without reading the tie-ins. But I digress. The issue just glances over everything with a narrative hinted at the end to be told from the point of view of Captain Marvel. He doesn't actually come out at the end, but it's made obvious for the reader. I think DC plans on killing him. Daring! The issue is written by Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns, the two guys basically leading everything in the DCU. Man, these fuckers better not disappoint. Now I said this has nothing to do with Countdown. This is good, cause Countdown sucked. This is also bad, cause this was supposed to be where Countdown was leading. Fucking bastards. All that for nothing. Not so much as an acknowledgement of anything that happened in Countdown. Nada. Zip. It was originally going to be titled Final Crisis #0, ut for whatever reason DC changed their minds. It absolutely was Final Crisis #0 though. Didio was going on saying, yeah, this is gonna be the new starting point for the DCU! Bullshit. I took that to mean this was gonna go over the major events of the DCU for the past 30 years. Thankfully not, cause even though the issue was only $0.50 cents that still would have been a rip-off. Like I said, this was a massive cocktease. This is hinting at the events that are gonna drive Final Crisis and even goes so far as to look into next year's Green Lantern event. Like I said, DC has to deliver or their reputation is fucked.

Green Lantern #30 - Continuing with Secret Origins, part II! Man, three books written by Geoff Johns. I ain't complaining! Abin Sur crashlands to Earth carrying a prisoner from...some...prison planet...the name of which escapes me. The prisoner starts talking trash to Abin Sur in order to break his confidence and succeeds. A fight breaks out damaging the ship and sends it plummeting to Earth where it lands in the desert. Abin Sur, mortally wounded, puts out the call for his replacement. The ring scans around immediately picks up Hal Jordan, dragging him from his job at an aircraft hangar and drafts him. Bad ass, Hal has the ring. This issue had a lot of cool character moments. Hal, having just gotten thrown out of the airface, is a grounded pilot. He works as a mechanic on aircraft, but his heart is in flying the things, not fixing them up. He's miserable. He argues with the owner of the company to let him take out a plane just once but the owner shoots him down before telling him he sold the company to Ferris Air, the same company Hal's dad worked for when he died. The same company Hal has vowed never to work for as well. So there he is, on his ass, unable to fly, dealing with another asshole pilot who doesn't have even a fraction of the talent Hal does and then he sees this beat up piece of shit. There's this moment when Hal walks over to the remains of this crashed plane and just steps in the remains of the cockpit. He's fucked up. He's thrown so much away. He's thrown away his family, his career, nothing left for him and then it seems like God has more plans to fuck him harder in the ass. So when he finally gets a hold of that ring it's just fucking magic. And all this shown with Ivan Reis's masterful framing and layouts. Seriously, this guy should be paid in hot, wet vaginas. I also like the fact that even though this is probably the ten billionth retelling of Green Lantern's origin, Johns does it without making the sotry feel cynical, or doing it just to cash in for an easy paycheck. It feels fresh. He's putting his stamp on the story. This is the origin that's gonna be used for the next generation of comic writers. I know, I know, it's basically the same damn story told since the 50s but this is a far more character driven story (though I should admit I never read Emerald Dawn). Also, one minor change. Since the 80s, part of the origin of Green Lantern was that it was supposed to be Guy Gardner that was supposed to be chosen, but didn't cause Hal Jordan was closer to the crash site. Not anymore! The ring specifically chooses Hal Jordan in this story. Looks like poor Guy Gardner is pretty much left out of the equation entirely now. (Though maybe not entirely, as the ring is used to draw Hal to it instead of the ring being drawn to its new wearer.) Green Lantern does seem to have its ups and down, but this is probably the best overall title on the market right now, easily. Readable in both serial and collected formats with excellent character work and action. Highly recommended.

X-Men Legacy #210 - See, I've been reading MIke Carey's work on X-Men for the past year and was by far disappointed up until recently. Messiah Complex was a typical X crossover with the routine massive chaos and major character death and all manner of whatever nonsense is needed to drive the X titles forward. A good story, mind you, but it hardly helps Mike Carey as there were like five writers involved. Before, it was crap. I mean I just didn't see where Carey was going with the book. X-Men #200 came and went. Big shit happens! And you don't care. Carey I think wanted to put forward these big ideas and then failed in every regard. Maybe cause everything was being pushed towards Messiah Complex? I don't know. But since they retitled the book and Carey started telling more personal stories I've been pretty impressed. So Professor Xavier was shot in the head and then immediately kidnapped by the Acolytes for whatever sinister purpose. Since then Carey has dived into Xavier's fractured head and kicked stuff around to see what he can make of it all. And it's been great! Carey is not a big time action comic writer. He's just not. Doing more intimate character stuff is much more suitable for him. So in this issue Xavier and Exodus has a massive telepathic fight. Just massive. Exodus is whooping Xavier around the remains of his guilty conscience, doing whatever he can to make him submit. He tries to make Xavier dwell on all the people who have died in his care over the years and we're taken back to moments such as the death of Illyana Rasputin and Colussus' suicide. Really fucked up shit for a man to deal with. Given that, the fact Xavier manages to win was kind of anti-climactic. He just...does. Exodus reveals the purpose of the fight was to convince Xavier to take over as leader of the Acolytes which Xavier rejects. While he's leaving he tells the girl Sentinal the reason Exodus lost the fight was because, simply, that Xavier had no recollections. None, whatsoever. He was shot in the head, his brain was rebuilt by Exodus (finally a bit of explanation on that) but his memory is too fractured. Sure, he has these memories. Sort of. Bits and pieces but nothing to string them together. Why are they important? Who knows. That Xavier is dead. Now he's a blank slate with a new opportunity to define himself. Awesome. Xavier has been an asshat for a while now. The ramifications of Messiah Complex was that the X-Men were no more and that Xavier's dream was no more. Looks like Carey wants to make that last bit final and take the opportunity to redefine what that dream is. Excellent. Now that's the kind of story I'm eager to see a guy like Carey tell. He's an accomplished writer, here's hoping he can pull it off in an X book. There are two epilogues in the book. The first involving Rogue, wandering around the Southwest. The second involving the Hellfire club and some sort of experiment. I didn't know Sunspot was a member of the Hellfire Club. Huh. Gonna have to hit up Wikipedia now. How these stories are going to connect with each other is anyone's guess. Rogue story is supposed to involve Gambit in some fashion. I can also see how her story could intersect with Xavier's in that Xavier is in search of identity and Rogue's power involves that very thing. Hhhmmmm.....It'll also be interesting to see if, since her being "healed" by the mutant messiah baby, if she retained her powers stolen from Ms. Marvel. Anyway, this wasn't a perfect issue. The arc overall was a bit flawed in some regards. It was quite enjoyable though and I would recommend it.

And that's it. It was a small week, but I think I got my bang for my buck. After stopping by the shop I went and picked up my ticket for Iron Man at 8:30 Friday. I haven't read any reviews but the headlines at least have been gushing. Can't wait!