Friday, August 31, 2012

Just read Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Manga

I'm really excited about the upcoming Sonic/Mega Man crossover from Archie. So I've been on a bit of a kick with retro game characters. Just this past month I did retro reviews on comic books starring Sonic, Mega Man, and Legend of Zelda. So I saw this Zelda manga discounted at a book store the other day and decided to give it a shot.

Now first of all I have not read almost any manga before. This is done in the Japanese style of right to left, so it was a little hard to read at first, but after a few pages I got the hang of it. I haven't played many of the Zelda games but Link to the Past is one of the ones I played a ton of so I figured this story would be somewhat familiar to me. This story had pretty much nothing to do with the Link to the Past game. I mean it was a pretty standard Zelda story of Link saving the Princess, but very little about it really screamed that game in particular. I have a feeling it was just given that name just to draw in people familiar with the game.

The art was OK I guess, I mean it's manga, it pretty much all looks the same. There were some things I found odd, like this panel for instance.

This is when Link first comes to rescue Zelda. She is suppose to be behind these bars. I want to call this a sloppy mistake, but I feel like maybe this is some sort of manga stylization choice I just don't get because I'm not all that familiar with the trappings of manga. Or maybe this artist is just the manga Rob Liefeld, damned if I know.

I can't say this was bad, and if you like manga you will probably enjoy this, but frankly, even despite all it's faults, I enjoyed the old American Zelda comic more. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Villain Spotlight: Carnage.

Good old crazy ass murderous Cletus Kasady. This is one of my all time favorite Spider-man villains. In fact Norman Osborn is probably the only Spidey villain I love more. Ever since I read the two Carnage one shots, Mind Bomb and It's a Wonderful Life, both of which looked into Kasady's mind I've found him fascinating.

It is easy to dismiss this character as just an excuse to have mindless violence for it's own sake, or as merely being a product of 90's. But I think there is so much more there. Sure Carnage is a bloodthirsty sociopath, but that's because he has taken his nihilistic chaos worshipping philosophy to it's logical end. Compare that to another Marvel villain who also is incredibly blood thirsty, Sabertooth. Why is Sabertooth like that? Near as I can tell he's just a dick. That's not to say he doesn't make a good Wolverine villain, if for no other reason then Sabertooth is everything Wolverine fights to not be himself. But I don't really remember Sabertooth laying out his philosophy like Carnage has.

Another reason I love Carnage is because of Spider-man's no killing rule. Spider-man (at least in the hands of most writers) has vowed to not take the life on another sentient being. And it takes a character as seemingly irredeemable as Cletus Kasady to make him question that. This was also done very well with the Sin Eater story.

There have been a lot of terrible Carnage stories, mostly due to writers who hated him and were either forced to write him by editors or wanted to kill him off. But there have bee some real great stories out there. The two above mentioned one shots are amazing and definitely worth checking out. Also there was a novel in the 90's called Spider-man:Carnage in New York and the two recent Carnage minis have been great as well. I'm not going to say that Maximum Carnage, the story where Carnage teams up other villains such as Demogoblin and Doppleganger is great, but it wasn't nearly as bad as most people say. It had some really interesting themes in it, I think its biggest problem is it was just too long.

So finally, to all my fellow nerds who think Carnage is stupid let me ask you this, why is it if a nihilistic serial killer wears clown make up and fights Batman he's one of the greatest comic book villains ever, but if a nihilist serial killer has a red symbiote and fights Spider-man he's a stupid product of the 90s?

Hero Spotlight: Power Girl

In the last few years I've become a pretty big fan of Power Girl. Which caused to me to go back and take a deeper look at some of her past stories. I wasn't impressed with a lot of what I read. For those of you who don't know back before Crisis on Infinite Earths DC had several alternate Earths, one of which being Earth-2 which was the home of the Justice Society and the golden age versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. In the 70's DC introduced the Earth-2 version of Supergirl, named Power Girl.

These 70's JSA/Power Girl stories weren't bad but they weren't all that great either. Power Girl at this point was pretty deep into 70's era feminism and she was frankly annoying. Always a fucking chip on her shoulder, always something to prove. Take this scene for example. Her teammate, the Star Spangled Kid, who has one of the shittiest costume designs ever, has made an embalm for her costume.

Yeah! Take that teammate who was only trying to be nice to me! What a cunt. I mean I get her reasoning but she could have said something like "No thanks I don't want something that close to my cousin's symbol, I want to have my own identity" instead of basically telling him to shove it up his ass.

And then came the Crisis. Earth-2 was destroyed and the characters from Earth-2 that didn't have an exact Earth-1 counterpart were folded into the history of Earth-1. And so was Power Girl. But wait, she doesn't fit. At this point the DC editorial didn't want anyone but Superman to be a Krypton survivor, hence Supergirl's death in Crisis. And even if they did it would be Supergirl not Power Girl. Well over the years we would try and shove Power Girl into a new back story. Something about Atlantis or some bullshit. It never really worked. Then in 2006 Infinite Crisis came along and we restored memories of Earth-2 to Power Girl. So she was much easier to explain. Shes Supergirl from an alternate Earth. And now that she once again had a back story we could take her from a character design to an actual character. And that's just what the recent Power Girl series did. This was a brilliant series from start to finish and if you haven't checked it out you should.

Now let's talk about her costume. Obviously we have the infamous and I would argue iconic 'boob window' There was the version we see above in 'be a bitch to my teammate' segment there, basically the same thing minus the boob window. There was the low cut version seen here.

And then of course in the 90's this disaster happened.

This was during the time she was from Atlantis or something. Kinda odd to me that this costume was from the 90's, something about it just screams 80's to me. Maybe it's the headband.

Anyways I often hear a lot of bitching from people about how her classic costume objectifies her and other bullshit. I feel like it's sexy but still classy enough. I mean have you seen what some female super heroes run around in? You don't hear quite as much bitching when it comes to her low cut version which actually shows much more skin. I guess there is something about the boob window that just polarizes fans. Her new 52 costume looks like this:

Well, it's not very good, it looks like one of those lame ass character designs from an Ultraforce comic or something. Still not as bad as the awful Harley Quinn redesign.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review of the week: Avenging Spider-man #11

This book is steering farther and farther from its original intended purpose. It was originally, at least as far as I know, suppose to spotlight Spider-man's activities as an Avenger and team ups with his fellow Avengers. Issue 6 is where it first started to move away. It was part one of the Omega Effect, a team up with Daredevil and Punisher, parts two and three being in their books. Well, OK I guess DD is an Avenger now, still seemed to be drifting off course though. Issue 8 was an untold team up with Silver Sable and Dr Stange. Ehh, well Strange is an Avenger now but this took place before that. To be fair the framing sequences for the flashback were about the aftermath of the Ends of the Earth story in Amazing with did feature the Avengers pretty heavily.

And now we come to issue 11, which focuses on Peter and Aunt May. And next issue will be Deadpool. So this book has gotten completely away from its original purpose and is now just Marvel Team-up. Oh well, I guess.

The story here isn't bad, but it isn't great. It's basically Peter and Aunt May at Ben's grave talking. They apparently do this once a year on the anniversary of his death. Peter tells Aunt May "It's my fault" and she stops him not letting him explain. You know I really miss when Aunt May knew Peter was Spider-man. Their relationship was so much deeper and Aunt May was a much more interesting character then. There are a few touching moments here as they talk, but for the most part it just serves to demonstrate why I feel it worked better when she knew.

I really did not like the art from Steve Dillon. The first time I ever saw Dillon's art was in the Marvel Knights Punisher series he did with Garth Ennis. I liked it in that book but I haven't liked it since. It has been said that in one sense a comic book artist is an 'actor' and Dillon is a bad actor. The movement and expressions from the characters are wooded, and the art just kind of has an ugly unpleasant style to it that doesn't fit the tone of a Spider-man book. It's not awful and it certainly doesn't lack in technical skill like say Rob Liefeld, but it just isn't very good either.

All and all I would recommend skipping this issue.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to the King.

No, not Elvis, fuck that guy, nothing but the poor man's Roy Orbison. I'm talking about Jack 'The King' Kirby. Tomorrow would have been his 95th birthday. I won't be blogging tomorrow as I will be in New York at Midtown Comics. They are doing a charity event along with Hero Initiative to honor the King's 95th. So happy birthday Jack.
Also if like me your a fan of Kirby, you owe it to yourself to check out Joe Casey's Godland.

I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

I recently decided to join twitter. I don't really know why, I always thought it sounded like a waste of time, and after a couple weeks on there I'm not impressed. I'm only following a few people, comedian Amy Schumer, Ron Paul, the cancer on the comic book industry known as Rob Liefeld, and Lindsay Ellis AKA the Nostalgia Chick. There are a handful of video series on I like and that's one of them.

Lindsay's reviews are usually pretty thoughtful and interesting, but she is a total liberal leftard. But hey it's not like I have to agree with someone to respect them and listen to what they have to say. After all it's important to listen to other viewpoints and attempt to foster discusion on the issues of our time right?

So Lindsay was one of the people I followed on twitter. One tweet from her was about how she hates Mitt Romney because hes going to repeal Obamacare. I've said in an earlier post I think Obamacare is a fucking abomination, so I couldn't just let this go unchallenged. So I responded to that post with this.

If you cant see why gov forcing us to buy a product errodes our freedom your a fool Lindsay

And that bit of daring to question the little Princess in front of her loyal followers got me banished from her kingdom. She blocked me from following her. For that. Holy shit. Now to put it in context I have responded to a few of Rob Liefeld's tweets with how much I can't believe he still gets work. And that guy hasn't blocked me. Lindsay Ellis has shown less class than Rob fucking Liefeld.

Now I'm not really mad, it's her account she can ban whoever she damn well pleases, and I'm certainly not surprised that a college age liberal who most likely gets all her news from Jon Stewart and Current TV can't defend her views, but I am disappointed. I had thought this girl was someone worthy of respect. I was apparently wrong.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Retro Review: Web of Spider-man #118

I have very mixed feelings about the clone saga. At the time I hated it. It was full of a lot of stupid shit like Maximum Clonage and I felt like when they started saying Ben Reilly was the real deal and Peter was the clone it was just a slap in the face to fans who had read the previous two decades of stories. Not as much of a slap in the face as One More Day mind you but still a slap. Now that time has passed I can go back and see some of the stories with fresh eyes and it definitely had its moments and I can see why it has a cult following. And to be honest, while at the time I was glad to be rid of him when Ben dissolved into a pile of dust, I kinda miss him now. Not even so much for what he was but for what he could have been.

DC has their sidekicks. Marvel, however, has their, well, let's call them derivatives for lack of a better word. I talked about this in an earlier post, how Marvel loves to take a popular hero and then make a derivative character of them. Sorta like a sidekick, except they usually just go off and have their own adventures, sometimes even their own book. Iron Man begate War Machine, Thor begat Thunderstrike, Captain America begat U.S. Agent etc etc. I feel like Scarlet Spider could have been that for Spider-man. In fact recently Kaine has taken on the mantle of the Scarlet Spider and is doing just that, even starring in his own book which, by the way, is a great read. Sadly however when Peter was restored to being Spider-man it was decided to kill Ben off, in an effort to assure fans who had left out of frustration with the clone saga that it was indeed over.

Anyways enough of that tangent, we here to talk about Web of #118. This is part one of the story where Ben first takes on the role of Scarlet Spider. A little background, Ben Reilly had been out on the road for 5 years since his supposed death. He decided to return to New York because Aunt May was on her death bed and he wanted to say his goodbyes. He ran into Peter and hijinks ensued. Now he is wondering what his next move should be. Out story begins with Ben at a museum thinking things through at a Spider exhibit. He sees a hot dog vendor outside getting robbed but a nearby cop catches him. He stares at a spider hoodie in the gift shop and wonders "What if that cop hadn't been there?" "Can I really ignore my responsibility?"

We cut to Venom who is in New York hot on the tail of the unnamed character I like to call yellow girl Carnage. Interesting side note, Yellow Girl Carnage was the original name of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. Venom stops by the church where he first got the symbiot and explains his origin again to us. And then Ben is swinging around when he sees a woman in a night gown about to jump off a bridge. Not just any bridge but the Gwen bridge.

How did she get up there like that? She doesn't even have shoes on. Ben saves her after she jumps and gets her to the hospital. We never find out why she was there or what she was doing. At least not this issue.

Ben thinks more about living up to his responsibilities and hears on the radio Venom is loose in the city. So he decides Peter might be looking the other way on Venom but he won't and our issue ends with Ben heading out for the first time as the Scarlet Spider.

This was a pretty solid issue and a pretty good start to Ben's super hero career. Despite being a relatively major Spidey moment you can find this pretty damn cheap in most back issue bins. If you haven't read this I recommend it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Villain spotlight: Wood Man

Mega Man villain Dr Wily might have had one of the worst plans for world domination ever. Build several crazy theme robots and place them in unfurnished rooms in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Then wait for the U.N. to contact you with it's surrender. If it doesn't work the first time keep trying.

But we're not here to talk about Dr. Wily, his moronic plan, or his questionable doctorate from University of Phoenix. We're here to take a look at my favorite of Dr. Wily's creations, the robot known as Wood Man.

Wood Man is just that, a robot with a body made of wood. His main weapon is his Leaf Shield which according to his Wiki page is made of "leaf-shaped electromagnetic pieces of metal, sharpened around the edges"

I can't lie here I fucking love Wood Man. In Mega Man 2 he was the boss and level I found easiest to beat so I played that one first whenever I started a new game. Seeing him brings back lots of very happy childhood memories. I know he's completely fucking ridiculous, but in a way isn't this the sort of thing a guy like Dr. Wily would try to build? I mean the guy is a genius, he designs and builds a shit ton of robots, but like many geniuses he's also fucking retarded when it comes to more practical matters like say, coming up with a decent plan for your villainous schemes. So a robot made of wood is just the sort of thing a dangerously insane individual like Wily would do.

In the current Archie comic book series Wood Man appeared in issue 9. I don't know how much of a part he might play in the upcoming Sonic the hedgehog/Mega Man crossover, but I for one hope it's a big part.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Retro Review: Ultraforce/Spider-man 1A-1B

In an earlier post a reader had asked me to review a Malibu comic. I did Rune Vs Venom but felt like it was mostly a Venom book and Rune was barely even all that important to the story. So since I felt that was barely a Malibu book I said I might come back and review Ultraforce/Spider-man. And here we are.

Our issues are numbered 1A and 1B. Not one and two. I mentioned before how this type of numbering annoys me, so I won't go into it more here. What's odd about this book is 1A and 1B are almost the exact same comic. The beginning is the same in both, and the end is the same in both. All that is different is each one has a different middle section which we will get into more in a minute. This is a pretty shameless ploy to get more fucking money out of people. Both of these books are $3.95 cover price which was insane for a comic in 1996. And given that they are like 80% identical they could have easily been combined into a prestigious format one shot. Like I've said before, I'm not one to complain about the price of comics, adjusted for inflation the price has probably barely went up. You want to be mad at someone for high prices be mad at out government for devaluing the currency. But this? Splitting what should have been a $6 prestigious format one shot into two $4 books that were mostly identical is fucking shameless.

So enough about that let's get to the story. After a brief and rather pointless sequence of Spider-man stopping some muggers we cut to Ultraforce hanging out in, I guess the Ultracave (I barely know anything about Ultraforce, sorry). Anyways they're in their headquarters, most of the team is there although Prime is not when suddenly through a portal appears an old looking Prime. He explains he's from the future and he's here to give a warning. He tells that a villain from the Marvel universe will commit genocide in the Ultraverse and also one member of Ultraforce is a traitor, although he doesn't know who. Ultraforce member Black Knight, who's from the Marvel Universe and is living in the Ultraverse at this point for some reason, recognizes the villain as the Green Goblin so Ultraforce travels to the Marvel U to find him. Old Prime then explodes because he says the strain of time travel was too much on him on a molecular level.

We cut to Spider-man (Ben Rielly at the time) and the hero Green Goblin Phil Urich stopping some Ninjas who are attacking a Stark Industries research lab. The Ninjas have electrical and shapeshifting powers. Ultraforce shows up intending to apprehend Green Goblin but Spider-man vouches for him being a hero. Because Prime and Spidey have apparently met before this is good enough to form an uneasy truce. We find out there are more of these 'shifters' as we are calling them attacking SHEILD bases so the team splits up, some going with Green Goblin, some with Spidey.

This is where the two different books have different middles. After this one book focuses on Green Goblin and the other on Spidey. But they come around to the same ending chapter. We come to find out that SHEILD believes that the Ultraverse Earth is planning an attack and Aladdin, which is the Ultraverse equivalent of SHEILD, believes the same about the Marvel Earth. Apparently these 'shifters' have infiltrated both organizations and are planting the seeds of a war between the two Earths. Also we figure out the old Prime was also a shifter. At the end Spidey vows to tell SHEILD what he knows about the shifters and that the Ultraverse is no threat and Ultraforce vows to do the same with Aladdin. We then cut to this scene showing neither organization believes it and are both preparing for war. Also our mysterious master mind villain is watching it all giving the standard "It's all falling into place" monologue.

There was a lot I liked about this story and a lot I didn't. Prime seems pretty interesting, he is apparently like DC's Captain Marvel, in that he's a little kid who can turn into the Superman like figure and none of his teammates knows he's really a kid. Also Ghoul is apparently a super powered sorta zombie, minus the hunger for flesh and that's pretty interesting. Aside from that none of the other Ultraforce members seemed interesting at all. Also it was nice to see a team up with Spider-man and the heroic Green Goblin. The two never really got to interact much in Phil's short Green Goblin run. And the idea of a war between two parallel Earth's is pretty interesting and not one you see that often. I mean sure heroes from parallel Earths fight all the time in comics but an actual war between the governments of both worlds. Interesting. I wonder if and where this storyline was followed up on. In some ways though the 'shifters' had a terrible plan. What was sending Ultraforce after the Green Goblin, a relatively insignificant vigilante modeled after a villain that only ever really fought Spider-man, really going to accomplish? Wouldn't it have made more sense to send Ultraforce after an Avenger, or Reed Richards, or Professor X, or Nick Fury if your goal was a war of the worlds?

All and all not a bad read. Although like I said above the 1A 1B layout is total bullshit.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Superman and Wonder Woman romance in the New 52

So it looks like in Justice League they're gonna play the Superman/Wonder Woman romance card. On the one hand I have to admit I feel if your going to make Superman single again (which I don't agree with) then the least you can do is give us some different and interesting love stories with him. And this isn't the first time DC has played this card, although it's usually been left to Elsewords stories like Kingdom Come. But frankly this pair up never rang true to me. I get that they're pretty much the two physically strongest beings on the planet, but is that really enough to force a relationship here? I always thought a relationship with Batman would make more sense for Wonder Woman than Superman. Batman is a warrior. She would find him attractive for the same reasons she would find Steve Trevor attractive, she deeply respects him. Or if not Batman then Aquaman, they are both royalty after all. But Superman? Supes is a little bitch. As they might say over at Chateau Heartiste Supes, despite all his strength, is a beta male at heart. I really don't see Wonder Woman, born and raised in a warrior culture, going for him. But hey maybe that's just me.

Also I found this quote from Jim Lee interesting:

"Hopefully this will raise a lot of eyebrows. We welcome the watercooler chatter."

Let me translate that quote for those of you who don't speak Jim Lee.

"We are for more interested in stunts that will bring in speculators rather than long term quality story telling, Because the 90's taught us nothing."

Review of the Week: Venom #23

This book has a new creative team this issue and a new direction and I for one am glad. I really thought this book was growing stale. I like Rick Remender but this series has for the most part left me a little cold. The whole Crime Master blackmailing Venom plot was just dragging. Really the Circle of Four story line was my favorite from the series so far. It was a blast, like a classic B horror movie meets a Super Hero story. I loved it.

This story starts out with Venom meeting up a reporter for some information on the Department of Occult Armaments, an old Nazi outfit specializing in magical super weapons and shit that has recently been resurrected. Venom and the reporter have some good chemistry and I'm interested to see where this might go. So Venom goes into the D.O.A. headquarters on a mission from the Secret Avengers. This is strictly suppose to be a covert info gathering mission only, what they call a "Uatu mission" Of course that doesn't go well and Venom starts engaging. At one point Venom is attacked by a demon possesses man who suddenly sees the mark on Venom left by Mephisto in Circle of Four and says "Forgive me Lord" to him. Interesting. Venom then ends up fighting Hellstorm, the Son of Satan. Next thing you know Venom loses control of his symbiote again, which shouldn't happen after the symbiote has been 'lobotomized' by Beast and Hank Pym.

I really liked this issue and I'm excited to see where things will go. The reporter sub plot/possible romance could turn out good, and hopefully this story will tie up some loose ends from Circle of Four. Also there were a lot of nice touches in here that I loved as a horror fan such as when Venom gets into D.O.A. headquarters he loses him comm link with the Secret Avengers. He says it turns to 'static and something that sounds like babies screaming" Nice creepy touch.

All and all a fun issue and a good jumping on point (the first few pages do a great job of recapping the series so far). You should definitely check it out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Brony gets himself arrested.

He violated me.

A man in Perry County, PA was arrested for breaking into a barn and preforming oral sex on a female horse. I suspect it might have been my loyal reader Andy.

Retro Review: Sonic X #1

With the Sonic/Mega Man crossover coming from Archie comics next year I thought it might be worth taking a look back at Sonic's other comic. In any media, from movies to TV to comic books there are things that are "Family" or "All Ages" and then there are things that are for kids. What's the difference? Well, think something like Spy Kids vs, say, a Pixar movie. The latter is cute, charming, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The former you would pretty much have to be 10 or under or high as a kite to enjoy.

Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series, as well as SATAM Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon are in the "Family" category. The Sonic X comic book, as well as the show it's based on is well in the fucking stupid "Spy Kids" category.

The story in Sonic X is Sonic, Tails, Eggman, and all the rest of the characters from the Sonic games get accidentally transported from their home dimensions of talking animals and crazy robot building assholes to Earth where Sonic lives with a young boy named Chris. Now before any of you anime nerds get all butthurt and send me emails about how "the Japanese version is way better then the American versions, in the Japanese versions there's swearing and violence and sex and shit" Yeah, that's all well and good, but just adding curse words and sex jokes doesn't make it smarter. This is a fucking stupid show. The stories make no sense, the characters are one dimensional and the whole thing is fucking dumb. Granted it wasn't as dumb as The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon, but the less said about that the better.

Well, let's get this over with. Our story starts with Sonic racing a guy in a race car. Sonic manages to win, although just barely and the race car driver is fucking pissed.

I don't understand why you're so mad. I don't think your gonna lose your trophies because a humanoid extra-dimensional hedgehog is faster then your car. You don't see this in Flash comics, a race car driver who's like "Fuck you freak!" I mean there are things other than Sonic that are faster than race cars. Does this guy also hate airplanes?

Anyways we cut to Eggman who wants to build more robots to take over this new world. His robot assistants explain to him this will cost money. They also explain that money can be found in banks. Apparently banks and money don't exist where Sonic and Eggman come from. So Eggman goes to rob a bank and Sonic and Tails happen to be there and they stop him but Eggman gets away.

And that's pretty much it. This comic is vapid, nonsensical, and the characters in it are all 2 dimensional morons. So it's actually a pretty good adaptation of the Sonic X show. If you liked that show you will like this book. Although if you liked that show you I doubt you can read because your probably either 5 years old or a retard.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I've incurred the wrath of a Brony.

I got my first hate mail the other day. It's a big milestone for this blog. You're not really saying anything until someone tells you to go fuck yourself. And that was just what Mr. Andy told me regarding my post on bronies.

"Dude I am so sick of people making it seem like just because I'm a brony that I masterbate to it. If you can't see why that show is cute then your the asshole not me. Go fuck yourself.


Well Andy, as I said in the Brony post, simply because you're a grown man watching a show aimed at little girls doesn't make you a perverted furry who wishes to make sweet love to the ponies and make beautiful centaur babies. I clearly said there may be other reasons to watch this show, like being a closet homosexual or a pothead. I bet when your high as fuck that show is amazing. So again Mr. Andy I'm not saying you watch the show for this:

Maybe you watch it for this reason instead:
But hey Andy either way let's not fight. We all have our eccentricities. At least your not watching Toddlers & Tiaras. Those people are fucking sick. Dressing 3 year olds like whores. Fucking sick.

Retro Review: Megaman #1 (2003)

I am super fucking amped for the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man crossover from Archie next year. So I thought it would be worth taking a look at an earlier and much less successful foray into American comics by the Blue Bomber, his 2003 Dreamwave series.

First, let's take a moment to talk about Dreamwave. Dreamwave was a company that broke off of Image in 2002. Dreamwave was run by brothers Pat and Roger Lee. In it's short history this company saw both incredible success and abysmal failure. According to Wikipedia Roger was in charge of the business end of things and apparently Roger Lee is such a terrible business man he couldn't run a bordello in a gold rush. DW published a few original titles but saw the biggest sales from its many licences such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, Ninja Turtles, and of course Mega Man. In fact DW had a licence for a shitload of Capcom characters and had plans to put out a lot of Capcom books before DW folded. DW had a lot of problems internally and even supposedly stiffed some of the creators who worked for them. This has left a major black spot on Pat Lee's career he will probably never recover from.

Anyways let's talk about this issue itself. Let's start with the cover shall we? It's pretty bad. This isn't the artist on the series it's Skottie Young. The composition and layout are terrible. It just looks like it's fan art sent in by a 13 year old. Compare this to the other cover (these boys came from Image, of course there's two covers) by Mic Fong.

Wow, that's much better. Great lay out, much better job on the characters and even a good grasp on perspective rather than just a montage of characters. Well, enough wasting time on the covers. The interior art is, thankfully, also by Fong.

The story is pretty much Dr. Light wants Mega Man to start going to school, so as Rocky he encounters your typically cliched bullies, a dorky kid who makes friends with him, and a tough, strong willed cute girl who shows interest in Rocky after he stands up to the bullies.
I guess she's cute, hard to tell with this Manga style. Though that's not the artist's fault that's just what Mega Man is. Also the other plot of the book is someone is sabotaging the traffic control system Dr. Light has designed for Mega City. And Mega Man fights some random robots. At the end we ask the question who is sabotaging the city infrastructure. And we get these panels of Proto Man staring out over the city, I guess we are to understand that this was his doing.

Alright I admit my knowledge of Mega Man games is mostly limited to NES games, but since when was Proto Man a bad guy? I thought he was more of a rival, like Knuckles to Sonic. Proto Man is the first self aware Robot Dr. Light built and is sort of Mega Man's brother. But is Proto Man really this much of a dick? Maybe it's more like Data and Lore from Star Trek TNG than Sonic and Knuckles.

So anyways how does this issue hold up all and all? Well, in an earlier post I complained that the new Archie Mega Man comic mostly regurgitates the games and doesn't add anything new to it. This comic sought to add an 80's teen movie to things with the school subplot. To be honest, I actually think that should have worked. Mega Man having to go to school and fit in could be an interesting concept. But it just falls flat here and I'm not entirely sure why. Mostly I guess it's because none of these school mates really make you care about them, they have no distinguishing character features beyond the cliched role they are meant to fill. Granted this is just the first issue, so maybe this writer did more, or planned to do more(the book was canceled at issue 4, DW was sinking fast) with these characters. But so far I just don't care about any of these characters in this. Hell, Proto Man's mysterious cameo at the end proved to be the most interesting thing any character did in this book.

It's not awful, and if your a fan of the Blue Bomber it's worth checking out, but it's no where near the quality of the Archie series.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Retro Review: Avengers Vol 3 #7

This was a magical time for the Avengers. I still think that this Kurt Busiek and George Perez run is the best run in Avengers history. This issue is part 4 of a 4 part story that went through that month's issues of Iron Man, Captain America, and Quicksilver. Fortunately for those of us who weren't reading those books Marvel was doing gate fold covers at the time that explained the premise of the book, who the characters were and what has happened previously. Here's what we missed.

So like the recap says fellow Avengers have been suspecting that Warbird AKA Carol Danvers is an alcoholic and also her powers have been in flux. I'm not sure if they ever really explained why her powers were acting up, I think we were to assume her alcoholism was causing it. Anyways the Avengers hold a Tribunal in which they basically boot her from the team. No sooner is that done then the Avengers receive a distress signal from the Blue Area of the Moon. It turns out the Supreme Intelligence is up there with a bunch of pissed off Kree. They are planning on using some sort of super science bomb thingie to turn all the human beings on Earth into Kree. The Avengers get up there and of course stop it, because they are, after all, the mother fucking Avengers. Also while that's going on we see Carol feeling all sorry for herself and thinking how the Avengers are a bunch of assholes and what not. She decides shes going to fly up to the moon herself, kick some Kree ass, and when the Avengers ask her to come back she'll tell them to suck it. Great plan Carol. Too bad it turns out like this.

Yeah Carol your powers aren't working all that well remember? Oh, and as it turns out the moon is really fucking far away. Look on the bright side, there are far worse things you could have decided to do while drunk. Consider yourself lucky you didn't wake up next to MODOK.

Also it turns out the warning the Avengers got about this mess on the moon actually came from the Supreme Intelligence himself. Why would he rat his own boys out. Turns out he wanted to be captured by Earth Authorities. Why? Well, I'll let him explain.

Also we cut to Carol in a bar, she bought a drink and is just staring at it, unsure if she should actually drink it or not. I really liked this issue. As I said in an earlier post, the thing I love about Carol is how sometimes she is a capable awesome hero, other times she is a total fuck up. Shes complicated. She's human. And I love her for it. This was a great read and as with pretty much all of the Avengers issues from this run, if you haven't read it you should.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Retro Review: Adventures of Superman #605

Well, here we are at part three of our Mirror Mirror story and it's been a wild ride so far. In part one a mysterious baby appeared over Metropolis and started wrecking shit with mind bullet powers. Superman got it to his fortress to study it and suddenly Ultraman from the Crime Syndicate universe showed up. In part two Ultraman attempts to kill the baby while Superman tries to stop him. Owlman and Superwoman also show up but it isn't really clear what they're after. The baby then reveals himself to be the reborn Brainiac from the Crime Syndicate's universe. And the art by the late Carlos Meglia was so bad that I'm actually considering buying a ouija board in order to demand an apology from him.

Alright so let's dive right into this story. Baby Brainiac is using his mind bullet powers to wreck shop in Superman's fortress while Superman, Ultraman, Owlman, and Superwoman try to stop him. Brainiac reveals he is now inhabiting a cloned body of Ultraman so he has all of his powers as well as Brainiac mind bullet powers. It seems Brainiac also now has emotions due to having a biological body and he admits that clouds his logic. Owlman tells Brainiac he has a substance Ultraman is vulnerable to, and therefore also now Brainiac and threatens to use it on him. Brainiac panics and flees to the Phantom Zone. It turns out Owlman just had a pack of gum. Brainiac's fear got the better of him. Superwoman manages to get into the Phantom Zone and snap the brat's neck before Superman can stop her. And then pretty much the three Crime Syndicate members go home.

That's is? There is so fucking much unanswered here. What were Owlman and Superwoman doing there? They didn't seem to want to kill baby Brainiac, at least not at first. Why was Brainiac vulnerable after Owlman scared him? I can see why it ran but it seemed like a wounded animal in the Phantom Zone. This story arch really did not come together in the end.

Much as I fucking love the Crime Syndicate I gotta say I can't recommend this story. Pains me to say that but it's true.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Retro Review: Adventures of Superman #604

So last issue we had a baby appear in Metropolis with crazy mind bullet powers. Superman got the destructive little brat to his fortress to try and figure out what to do about the situation. Then Ultraman from the Crime Syndicate of Amerika showed up. Also the art work sucked a big fat dick. But hey, check out that cover maybe this issue will have better art.

MOTHER FUCKER! Its still that Meglia guy. I swear guy draws like a 6 year old on meth. So anyways it seems like Ultraman is after the baby. In fact he wants to kill it. Superman obviously doesn't want that to happen so the two of them fight and banter with each other. This would probably be a fun fight if we had an actual artist on this book but this Meglia guy is so fucking 'stylized', it goes beyond me finding it unpleasant to the point where I have a hard time following the action.

Next thing you know Superwoman and Owlman show up also after the baby. Superman assumes that this is their baby and Ultraman wants to kill it out of jealousy. A fair assumption I suppose given the weird cuckoldy love triangle the three have going. Well at the very end the baby announces it has 'achieved new sentience' and it's actually the latest incarnation of the Brainiac from the CSA's universe. So that's why Ultraman wanted to kill it. Superwoman and Owlman however, I'm not sure what they wanted. They didn't seem to want to kill it because they had ample opportunity to do so, in fact Owlman was holding the baby and threatened to kill it if Superman didn't keep Ultraman at bay. Either way the issue ends on the cliff hanger of the baby revealing its self to be Brainiac.

A lot of unanswered questions here. Let's hope next issue wraps things up nicely.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Retro Review: Adventures of Superman #603

As I mentioned in an earlier post I fucking love the Crime Syndicate of Amerika. So when I saw this 3 part Superman story guest staring Ultraman, Owlman, and Superwoman of the CSA I had to get it. So let's dive right in to part one.

The art is a fucking mess. It's like if Humberto Ramos if he was on crack. There's 'stylized' and then there's 'what the fuck is going on here'. This artist, Carols Meglia has crossed deep into the latter territory. I checked out his Wikipedia page to try and learn who's dick he had to suck to get this job. It was kinda short, apparently he died in 2008 of a heart attack. Shit man, I had so many more jokes about this art, but since I have a rule, well more a general guide line than a rule, about not speaking ill of the dead I will try to keep the bad mouthing to a minimum. Anyways our story starts out with Superman meeting up with President Luthor. They banter back and forth and Superman says "Don't bother contacting me if there's trouble, I'll probably know about it before you do" To which Luthor responds:

Oh shit Carols, your really making this hard for me to be nice. I mean I'm sorry you're dead but I'm also pretty sure you just showed me Luthor's sex face. That's not cool man. I'll be seeing this panel in my nightmares. Anyways we cut to a woman giving birth. She mentions how much of a miracle this is since she thought she was infertile. Next thing you know there is an explosion and we cut away. We pan out see the cause of the explosion. The baby apparently has crazy mind bullet powers and is having a fucking tantrum.

And....ummm.... apparently we are seeing this through a fish eye lense for some reason. Really making it hard Mr. Meglia. So anyways Superman manages to get to mind bullet baby into his fortress to study it. Suddenly Ultraman shows up. To be continued.

Hmmm not a bad start to this story, bad art aside. What's up with this baby? What does Ultraman have to do with it? I'm looking forward to finding out next issue.

Retro Review: Amazing Spider-man #416

This was an odd issue, and it sort of is a good example of one of the reasons why I don't think Ben Reilly ever really worked as Spider-man. This issue is dealing with the aftermath of the Onslaught attack on New York. The cover would have you think that this issue is about Spider-man mourning the loss of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four who were all seemingly killed stopping Onslaught. In reality they were transported to a pocket dimension where they would be written by Jim Lee and drawn by Rob Liefeld, which I would argue is a fate far worse then death. Sadly, the DC heroes are suffering the same fate now.

But really this issue is a whole lot of everything, and a whole lot of nothing. It's almost nothing but sub plots, stuff with Delilah and the Rose, stuff with Peter and MJ talking about her pregnancy, stuff with the Daily Bugle downsizing, and because the clone saga was coming to a close soon, a bunch of clone saga sub plots. But very little with the actual cover story of a Heroes' Farewell. All we have on that is a couple of kids are arguing, the one saying this was all the fault of muties for killing the Avengers and FF, the other kid saying no the X-men fought along side them. Spider-man overhears this and starts telling them how assigning blame does nothing and diminishes the sacrifice of the heroes. And then a splash page of him saying how his friends will always be with him in his heart.

You would think we would get Spider-man fondly remembering the FF and Avengers with montages of his team ups with them or maybe even untold ones, but no. And you know why? Because this Spider-man didn't really have much of a history with them. This would have worked so much better with Peter and actually been a touching issue. Instead its a couple of pages of "Yeah, I'll miss those guys" and before that so many sub plots its like the writer had A.D.D.

This wasn't an awful issue by any means. But if you go into it thinking you will get what the cover promises you will be sorely disappointed. I know I was.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review of the week: Captain Marvel #2

I wanted to like this book, I really did. I love Ms. Marvel. I've always thought the character was just the right mixture of capable hero and fallible human. She's not a perfect, never screws up idol like say a Wonder Woman. But she also isn't a complete joke. She capable but approachable. She gets it done, but also really fucks up sometimes. She's the girl next door of super heroes. But this...fuck me, this is awful. In an earlier post I talked about how disappointed I was in issue 1. This issue is even worse.

The writing is just boring. And the art is just terrible. First of all the dark style doesn't fit the tone of the character. But also it is just sloppy and full of mistakes. Just like last issue the star on her chest keeps disappearing.

Story wise she ends up going back in time to an island near Japan during World War II. Beyond that I'm not going to summarize the plot because I simply can't pretend to care long enough to do it. It was hard enough to muscle through reading the damn thing.

Damn it Marvel, you can do better then this. I mean this is suppose to be your big push for Carol Danvers right? This is terrible. Don't buy this book. Just don't. If your interested in the character buy this or this. But leave this disaster on the shelves.