Sunday, September 30, 2012

Will we ever see a Justice League movie?

A friend of mine, Nick Campoy, drew this the other day. Check out his Deviant Art page. Is Warner Bros. ever gonna get it's head out of it's ass and give us a Justice League movie? At the rate things are going it looks like Rocket Raccoon will be on the big screen before Wonder Woman or Flash.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Obama's base.

Here it is people. The face of Obama's base. Look at that over fed, undereducated, government sponsored shambling beast. No, take a good fucking look at it. This is what all those do gooder liberal welfare programs lead to. The entitlement culture creates people like this. In no system even close to a meritocracy could this critter survive. Look at her and tell me you don't recoil in disgust.

If the Romney campaign had any balls it would be turning this video into a campaign ad. Any American with any decency left in them would be sickened by this.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Retro Review: Legends of the Dark Claw #1

The year was 1996. The speculator boom of the early 90's was starting to cave in on itself. So Marvel and DC decided to give us Marvel vs DC, had to get readers back somehow. This was a fun series, sure it had it's flaws but it was fun. During the course of that story the Marvel and DC universes were briefly merged into one and thus the Amalgam universe was born. Characters were merged together. Spider-man and Superboy became Spider-boy, Superman and Captain America became Super Soldier. We got two waves of one shots out of this and a lot of them sucked. But some were pretty solid. Today we're gonna look at my favorite, Wolverine and Batman merged into Dark Claw.

Our issue starts out with Dark Claw fighting the Hyena (Joker and Sabertooth). There is a nice two page spread of them fighting I wanted to show here, but because I'm reviewing this out of a trade, I couldn't get the middle flat enough to scan. So instead just enjoy these two Amalgam trading cards.

Oh yeah, there were Amalgam trading cards. Marvel vs DC ones too. This was a big deal back then. Anyways, Hyena gets away and we cut to the Huntress AKA Carol Danvers, breaking into Logan Wayne's mansion.

This was a common thing in Amalgam, give a Marvel civilian name to a DC code name or vise versa rather then make a new character design like Dark Claw. So Huntress figures out Logan's secret ID and when he catches her he tells her his origin story. As a young boy his parents were murdered, he was sent to live with his uncle in Canada and then he died. So he lived in an orphanage after that till he was 18. When he was 18 he joined the Canadian Air Force. He ended up in a experimental program similar to Weapon X, along side the man who is now Hyena. He takes Huntress down to his version of Batcave called the Barrow. His sidekick, Sparrow (Robin and Jubilee) objects.

So using the clues Hyena left they all figure out his plan is to poison the President on Air Force One which is leaving Gotham today. So the rest of the issue is pretty much a fight scene with Dark Claw stopping Hyena and saving Bill Clinton.

Some of these Amalgam comics were fun, some were terrible, but I think this one is one of the best. It's a very fun read and makes you sad there is no issue two. As for the character designs, sometimes with Amalgam character you would look at them and only be able to tell who one of the root characters were. But here, Dark Claw, Sparrow, and Hyena all borrow pretty evenly from their root characters, even if they lean a little more towards the Bat-characters then the Wolverine ones. And they are great looking character designs. In fact visually the only real criticism I have is Dark Claw having serrated claws. Kinda seems like over kill given that they are indestructible adamantium. I mean I can see why the artist wanted to do that, you didn't want it to look like it's just Wolverine wearing a Batman suit, but why not give him two or four claws on each hand?

Oh well, that small thing aside this is a great read, if your a fan of Wolverine or a fan of Batman check it out. It's usually only like three bucks in most back issue bins.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Remember Fiona Apple?

Remember Fiona Apple? She had that one hit song back in the late 90's, Criminal. I loved that song, probably one of my top 10 favorite songs ever. The video was pretty awesome too. Now, granted every other song I ever heard from her was dogshit, but damn I loved Criminal. So that adorable, emotionally damaged little vixen has a special place in my memory. I hear she recently appeared at the House of Blues in New Orleans. I wonder what how she's doing these days.


Oh shit. OK, I think I've regained my composure here. Shit. That was horrifying. I mean, what happened here? Is she dead? Is this some sort of Weekend at Bernie's thing? Maybe it's not her, maybe somebody put a wig on the puppet from Tales from the Crypt.

Fuck, I just....I mean, I don't know what to say. I mean, shit. I'm at a loss here.

Review of the Week: Wolverine and the X-men #17

I was a big fan of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's X-Force when it first came out. And like a lot of fans I loved Doop. He's a fun humorous character made all the better by how little we know about him and how much of an apparent bad ass he is. This issue takes a break from the Avengers vs X-men madness to take a look at Doop and why he works for Wolverine at his school.

Our issue starts off with Deathlok giving Wolverine evaluations of the school's employees. He says they are all hard working expect for Doop. And we cut to Doop at his job.

Wolverine just keeps insisting Doop is here for a good reason and "don't worry about it". We show in flashbacks that Wolverine hired Doop because he needed someone with Doops shady connections with "ears to the ground" to help stop some of the threats to the school before they start. We see Doop attack a Nazi Bowling League as they plan their attack on the school, we see him teaming up with Howard the Duck to defeat evil robots in Dimension ZZZ and we see him seduce Zoning Board members into not voting to shut down the school.

And that's just the half of it. Mike Allred does the art work and while I don't enjoy his art work as much as Nick Bradshaw's issues, it's certainly a step up from the issues Chris Bachalo did. This was a great issue and if you want to understand why Doop has been a fan favorite for all these years pick this issue up.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Marvel derivative characters

Marvel doesn't really have sidekicks like DC. I mean Marvel has had a few, the most well known of course being Bucky, but DC has had tons. So many in fact that they stuck a bunch of them in a team together and thus we had the Teen Titans.

But Marvel has had something that was kinda similar but also very different. If there is an official term for them I've never heard it, so I will call them derivative characters. These are character who are clearly spin offs with the same or similar powers, schtick, and M.O. They aren't like sidekicks, because they usually aren't protegees of the originals, in fact they usually aren't even partners, they often go off to have their own adventures, and often in their own book. I always got a kick out of these characters and thought it would be fun to take a closer look at some of them.

War Machine is probably the most well known of these characters, he's the only one to be on the big screen. Jim Rhodes was one of Tony Stark's closest friends and took over for him as Iron Man during a time when Tony was thought dead. After he returned Stark gave Jim his own armor and he took on the name War Machine. War Machine decided to be more 'proactive' then Iron Man and traveled the world attempting to bring peace to war torn areas. I never understood the 90's obsession with super heroes declaring that other super heroes aren't proactive enough. What does that mean? Super heroes respond to crime and disasters. What else are they suppose to do? Go after people who MIGHT commit a crime? I kinda feel this 'proactive' bullshit was just used to show these heroes are more hard core, or just make the book more violent. Anyways getting back to War Machine, he managed to have two ongoing regular Marvel Universe series, and one alternate universe MAX series. I think he has a great character design, sure it's simple, basically just a black and grey Iron Man with a shitload of guns on him, but it looks great. After a while it was decided to update his look, giving him a more advanced alien armor.

Holy shit did that look awful. I love the tag line "This is War Machine. Seriously." It almost sounds like "Yeah, even we don't believe how shitty this looks." It should have read "This is War Machine. Sorry." This is similar to what was done to U.S. Agent's look, which I talked about in an earlier post. See, Marvel seems to have an odd relationship with these characters. They bring them out there to cash in on the success of the character they spin off of, but then I guess they get all afraid they will water down that character's brand so they get rid of them or change them around so they bare no resemblance to the original character. Marvel can't really decide if they want to really have these characters or not and most all of them have suffered as a result. Eventually War Machine was back in a more classic armor and even had another ongoing series recently.

Eric Masterson took over for Thor during a time when he was dead, or something. Anyways, when Thor got better, Thunderstrike was given his own hammer by Odin and his own series by Marvel. His outfit is half of Thor's with a leather jacket and a ponytail cuz it was the mother fucking 90's. It looks pretty dated today, but to be fair it has aged better then some 90's designs. I mean at least he doesn't have like 80 pouches or a fucking belt on his thigh. Thunderstrike was killed off after a couple of years and has remained dead since. Recently his son has taken over his mantle.

Pretty much the same deal as the other guys. John Walker took over for Captain America, then got is own ID. He served in the West Coast Avengers, Omega Flight, and recently as a prison guard in the pages of Thunderbolts. I actually think he's an interesting character. Whereas Cap is all about the ideals of freedom and liberty, and goes against the government when he feels they violate those ideals, Agent is a patriot through and through. American right or wrong and everyone else can suck it. If Cap was Ron Paul, Agent would be Sean Hannity. Except, unlike Hannity, U.S. Agent isn't a cowardly chickenhawk. 

Not as well known as the other three, we have Vengeance. Sorta the same formula, Vengeance took over for Ghost Rider while he was dead, only it was Vengeance who killed him. See Vengeance was a cop who hated Ghost Rider for some bullshit reason and made a deal with Mephisto to get Ghost Rider power of his own. Later him and Ghost Rider became sorta allies and once the 90's were over Vengeance rode off into comic book limbo for a few years. He's been involved in some recent Ghost Rider stories and is currently a member of a Masters of Evil team appearing in Secret Avengers. He's a full on shit bag villain now and I have no idea why. I like his character design, sorta taking the Ghost Rider concept and cranking the dial up to 11. All the spikes on his body he can pull off and throw and new spikes grow back. Other then that same powers as Ghost Rider.

Here's the last not-sidekick I'm gonna take a look at today. Scarlet Spider. This was Spider-man's clone Ben Reilly. While all the others took over for the original hero then got their own ID this one was Scarlet Spider then took over for Spider-man. He was killed by the Green Goblin. Currently Spidey's other clone Kaine has taken over the mantle of Scarlet Spider in an ongoing series, that if you're not reading, you should be.

I suppose there are more. Certainly Marvel has lots of spin off characters, just look at how many damn Goblins there have been. But I thought these four were in a special category. Again though it seems like Marvel wants to have them and doesn't want to have them. They all die, or turn evil, or end up changed to where they bare no resemblance to the character they spun off of. And in a way all four of them simultaneously represent to me some of the best and worst things about Marvel in the 90's. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Retro Review: Silver Surfer Vol 3 #54

Silver Surfer vs the Rhino? Doesn't seem like that should be much of a fight, and it's not. Our story takes place during the events of Infinity Gauntlet. A collection of Earth's super heroes, along with Adam Warlock and Silver Surfer are getting ready to confront Thanos. Surfer takes this time to fly around a little and do some thinking. He comes across a man being chased by a tiger. Surfer knows enough about Earth's animals to know this tiger shouldn't be there and so he figures out it came from the zoo. There he sees the Rhino, who is freeing all the animals. When the Surfer confronts Rhino to ask him why he's doing it Rhino tells him since it's the end of the world the animals deserve to spend their last days free.

Surfer insists that for the safety of both the animals and nearby people they must be put back in their pens. Rhino then shares his rebuttal.

To his credit the Rhino does manage to get more then a few good hits in here. But let's face facts, Surfer is way outta his league. It doesn't take long before Surfer takes control of this fight.

At that moment they both are stopped by the sound of gunfire. A police man has fatally wounded one of the tigers. Surfer uses his power to heal the beast and convinces Rhino that, for their safety, the animals must be returned to their cages. Rhino begrudgingly agrees and helps the Surfer round them up. The Surfer then asks Rhino if he will help in the heroes' efforts against Thanos but Rhino declines, saying its not really his crowd. Surfer says he hopes if they meet again it will be under less hostile circumstances, but they both admit that they doubt it. Surfer returns to Avengers mansion just in time to head off to confront Thanos.

This was a pretty damn good character study, both for Silver Surfer and especially for Rhino. In fact I don't think I've ever found Rhino more compelling or sympathetic then is this story. If your a fan of Silver Surfer you should get this. If your a Spider-man fan you should also get this, you've probably almost never seen the Rhino written this well.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Et tu Amy?

So like I said in an earlier post, I joined Twitter recently. It is turning out to be every bit the vapid waste of time I imagined it was but it's also turning out to be a fucking factory of disappointment. I'm a big fan of comedian Amy Schumer, or rather I was. She is of the rare breed of a woman who's actually funny. And not only is she funny, she's also brutal. Most of her act is about abortion and STDs and shit. So certainly this is a person who can take a joke right? Right?

Wrong. Someone made a Twitter account under the name of Amy Schumer's Vagina in which they pretend to send tweets written by Miss Schumer's genitals. The profile for it reads My hobbies are penis and HPV. That's fucking funny. It only has three tweets and hasn't even been active in months but it was still enough to get Amy all butthurt and she sent a couple tweets asking the person to take it down. Really Amy? You're gonna get up on stage and do the kind of act you do and then lecture someone else on being sensitive? Well, I can't just let that level of hypocrisy go unchallenged. So I sent Miss Schumer this tweet.

I'm a fan of yours Amy but if you can't take a joke you have no business telling them

And Miss Schumer responded by blocking me from following her. Or as I like to call it, pulling a Nostalgia Chick. Am I missing some sort of twitter etiquette here? Are you only allowed to kiss someone's ass when you tweet to them?

Now I'm not mad, it's her account she can block whoever the hell she damn well wants to. But as with last time I am disappointed. First of all, Amy Schumer can't take a joke? Really?! Second of all if this was so horribly offensive for her why even talk about it? All she did was draw more attention to it. So not only is this bitch a hypocrite, but also an idiot.

And I stand by my statement, if you can't take a joke you have no business telling them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Villain Spotlight: Leather and Lace.

Who the fuck are Leather and Lace you ask? Leather and Lace were two villains who fought Black Cat in a back up story in the Web of Spider-man Super Special from 1995. Lace can fly and emit blinding light and Leather is super strong and has metal claws she uses for attacking an climbing.

They appeared in that one little story and no where else. I actually kinda liked these characters, at least based on what little we actually saw. I thought their gimmicks together made an interesting pair and it seemed to be hinted around that they were lesbians. Now this was back before every other comic book on the fucking racks had to have a gay character.

You would think with gay characters being such a hot fucking trend in comics someone might dust these characters off. But I guess having such obvious butch and femme lezzies isn't exactly P.C. enough.

Personally I think these characters are perfect foils for Deadpool. Why Deadpool? Deadpool is a ultra violent character with a comedic edge. An issue with Deadpool going up against these two could be damn funny. Somehow I doubt Marvel actually would have the stones to dare handle gay characters in a non P.C. way. The Rainbow Mafia would be all over them.

So Leather and Lace will most likely stay in limbo.

Review(s) of the Week: Spider-men #5 And Star Trek: The Next Generation: Hive #1

Check out my reviews of issues 1, 2, 3, and 4. This has been a fun series so far, but it definitely had it's flaws, chief among them being the incredibly slow pace. This whole five issue mini feels like it could have been in a double size one shot, maybe an Ultimate Spider-man or Amazing Spider-man annual. There's really not much to say on this issue. Peter, Miles, and the Ultimates confront Ultimate Mysterio and get Peter home. That's about it. There is an interesting bit at the end where Peter looks online to see if his world has a version of Miles and when he finds him says "Oh my God" with a shocked look on his face. Who knows where, if anywhere, that plot thread will go. This was a fun read, if you are or ever were a fan of Ultimate Spider-man you will love it. Check it out when it comes out in TPB. I wouldn't splurge on the hardcover though if they do that first.

I was a huge Star Trek fan growing up. As a kid I watched both TNG and reruns of the original show more or less simultaneously. I never got too much into DS9, through middle and high school I watched Voyager (although the ending pissed me off), I only caught a few of Enterprise, and I fucking hated the remake movie with a burning passions (but that's a topic for another time). Anyways one of the things I loved most about Star Trek was the Borg. The Borg were fucking scary, they were a relentless, seemingly unstoppable monster that could not be intimidated or negotiated with. And they didn't merely want to kill you, they wished to impose a fate worse then death upon you. Chilling shit. So I saw this on the racks today and had to give it a shot.

Our story starts out in the 29th Century, 500 years from the time of Next Gen. The Borg, led by it's king Locutus (AKA Picard), have taken over the entire galaxy. Bits of his individuality have been bubbling to the surface in Locutus and he is hatching a plan to use time travel to undo this. We cut back to the 24th Century and the Borg have approached Earth in peace, they tell the Federation they have opened a portal to another universe and unleashed an ass whipping race that they can not assimilate and can not stop on their own. So they purpose an alliance to stop this race from destroying everything. And to help work together they send an Ambassador onto the Enterprise, Seven of Nine.

This was a sore spot with me. A story similar to this happened in Voyager but at the end of that show there was a time travel story that undid the whole series (way to spit in the fans face there). Seven had been saved from the collective so seeing her still a Borg reminds me of one of my least favorite chapters in Trek history.

Also we cut to the future and Locutus has rebuilt Data, apparently his mind was stored in the collective and Locutus needs his help with his plan to undo this terrible future.

All and all a pretty interesting story so far, and if your a Trek fan you should check it out. On the back cover however there was an ominous warning. Something far more chilling than the Borg is coming to your comic book shop this November.

The Bronies are coming! Heaven help us all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Retro Review: Nova Vol 2 #2

I've always had a soft spot for Nova. He just seems like a fun character. He has a cool power set, his costume is well designed, he just seems like the kind of character you can tell classic fun super hero stories with. So when I saw this issue, with Nova fighting a Dominatrix, I had to check this out. I mean look at the tagline, Badboys get spanked. My inner Quagmire saw that and said "Alllllllright!" I hadn't read any of this volume of Nova before, but at least from this issue it looks like they were trying to be grim and gritty with this. Big mistake. I could tell right away during the opening scene with Nova taking on gang violence that I was in for a rough time. After that we cut to the Tailhook Killer, a dominatrix themed vigilante, who goes after men acquitted of rape and kills them.

"You weren't found guilty...that's a big difference from having been found not guilty" What the fuck are you talking about bitch? If he wasn't found guilty then he was found not guilty. That's how our legal system works. Maybe you meant being found not guilty is different from being found innocent. Dumb bitch. Anyways she's been killing acquitted rapists for a while. At first Nova is lead to believe his girlfriend is the Tailhook killer but it turns out its just some other chick who is sharing her mailbox for reasons that are never explained. The Tailhook killer is mad because her sister was one of the victims in the Tailhook scandal. Nova tries to take her in but she would rather die then go to jail. She jumps to her death and Nova's girlfriend also jumps so that Nova would save her instead of Tailhook. Why did she help Tailhook commit suicide? Because it was 'her desicion'. Ummmm OK, but didn't you go there to help Nova talk her into turning herself in?

Holy fuck this issue was awful. You pick up a Nova comic you expect some fun super hero action. Not a depressing confusing mess. Nobody seemed to have clear motivation except maybe Tailhook and Tailhook's relationship with Nova's girlfriend is never explained. Don't waste your money here people.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Retro Review: Web of Scarlet Spider #4

Our story so far is that FBI Agent Joe Wade has been infected with a nanite virus, a sorta techno symbiote, that forces him to become an evil version of the Scarlet Spider. He's now at a local TV station with several hostages, among them Speedball's mom. The New Warriors and Ben Reilly, who had recently taken up the mantle of Spider-man, are heading out to confront him. If you haven't already, check out my reviews for parts one and two.

So here we see Techno-Scarlet with his hostages. He's babbling on some bullcrap that's suppose to be funny but really isn't. Hard to top that 'Get off' line from part one I guess. This artwork is pretty sloppy, I wish I could tell you that's a small little panel I blew up, but it's the bottom half of a splash page. Anyways Speedball shows up and distracts Scarlet long enough for the hostages to get away. Then the New Warriors and Spider-Ben show up and fight Scarlet to a standstill. Then Joe Wade's partner shows up and talks him down enough for him to take control over the techno-symbiote long enough for the feds to tranq him and get him hauled off for treatment. The heroes want an explanation but asshole FBI guy #2 decides to be a dick to the civilians who did what is technically his job.

He says Joe will get the help he needs and his partner vows to see to it that promise is kept. And that's the last we ever see of Agent Joe Wade or the techno-symbiote. It's kind of a shame. I'd like to know what happened to him. There really isn't much more to the story then that, parts one and two were build up and part three is just the fight. I'm not sure I buy that Techno-Scarlet really should have been able to fight the New Warriors AND Spider-Ben to a standstill like this but he did.

Also as I mentioned before the art is kinda sloppy. I mean it's not awful, and some parts of it are pretty solid, but then some panels seem really rushed. Take the splash page at the end.

His left arm is kinda fucked up looking, its hard to tell whats going on with his left hand and it looks like the webbing is coming out of the end of his thumb, a good inch away from where it should be coming out. And that's the focal point of a splash page. Also you know how some artists show Spider-man's eyes on his mask changing shape to reflect his mood or expressions? I've never been a fan of that but for the most part it doesn't bother me. I figure it's like the squiggly lines over Spider-man's head when his spider sense is going off. It's not that those lines actually appear, its just to show the reader what is happening. I always figured that's how it was with Spidey's eyes on his mask. But then this panel happened.

No. No. No. Fuck no. You did not just have Spider-man wink his mask eye at someone. At this point Firestar has figured out that Spider-Ben used to be Scarlet Spider and Ben knows she knows so the two are sharing an inside joke. This panel would have worked just fine without this stupid thing. It's one thing to use it as an artistic thing to communicate something to the reader, it's another thing when it's used to communicate something to another character. Fuck that's just stupid.

So how does Nightmare in Scarlet stand up as a whole? Well the first part is by far the strongest of the three. Parts two and three feel like they could have, and should have been folded together into one issue. Also each part as a different artist and it's a shame to have the weakest of the three artist handle the climax issue. All and all though it was a fun read and was definitely one of the more enjoyable stories from Ben's time as Spider-man.

Retro Review: New Warriors #67

Previously in Web of Scarlet Spider #3, FBI Agent Joe Wade has been infected with a nanite based techno virus designed by Lady Octopus that turns him into an evil version of the Scarlet Spider. He was confronted by Firestar of the New Warriors. After she burned him with her microwave blasts he turned silver and hit her with eye lasers he apparently has.

So part one ended with evil Scarlet Spider about to finish Firestar off and this issue starts with her boyfriend and leader of the New Warriors saving her ass. As the pair of them fight Scarlet they argue over ever letting Scarlet Spider on the team. It was Firestar's idea because she had a 'good feeling' about him. That good feeling however was mostly below the belt as she and Scarlet apparently flirted a shit load which of course pissed poor Justice off. Firestar keeps pointing out the obvious that this probably isn't the same Scarlet Spider but Justice is all but ready to assume it is since he already hated him. Anyways during the fight techno-Scarlet assumes an even more fucked up form.

Techno-Scarlet uses a sonic blast to stun Firestar and Justice long enough to get away. Rather then pursue thim they decide to stay on the bridge and help civilians in trouble. Some of their team shows up to help and Ben Rielly, who was at this point Spider-man, shows up and offers to help them track down Scarlet Spider. As I said last time, Ben doesn't want them to know he used to be the Scarlet Spider, but he keeps accidentally showing he knows more about the New Warriors then Spider-man should. We cut to Speedball doing some civilian stuff when on TV he sees Scarlet Spider has taken people at a local TV station hostage, one of whom happens to be Speedball's mom. Our issue ends with Speedball heading out to confront him and save his mom.

This was a little weaker then the previous issue. I feel like this was padding, like maybe this story was stretched out to three parts just so it could crossover with New Warriors in an attempt to boost sales of that book. There was a lot of that going around in comics in the 90's. There were a couple of things about this issue I didn't like. First of all we cut to Ben Rielly working at the Daily Grind coffee shop, when he hears about the evil Scarlet Spider he tells his boss Shirley something's come up and he needs to take an earlier lunch. She doesn't flat out say no but she doesn't say yes either. She is pissed and says calls Ben an "Ungrateful peice of trash." See when she hired Ben he was basically homeless, but I don't see Shirley calling Ben a "piece of trash" even if she was pissed at him. This character, from all I've read, was a very kind hearted charitable woman. It just really seemed like poor characterization. Also Ben Rielly kept coming across as both an idiot and a dick in this issue. I guess I can understand why he didn't want to reveal he was the Scarlet Spider, but you would think when he took over the mantle of Spider-man he would have come to them as Scarlet and said he wouldn't be around anymore, instead of leaving them to wonder if he was dead, or in this case an evil robot. Kinda dickish. Also if keeping this secret from them is so important then he's really bad at it. Over and over he kept showing he knew way more about the team then Spider-man should. Maybe subconsciously he knew he was being a dick and wanted them to find out. Or maybe this was just bad writing. 

Either way be here next time for Web of Scarlet Spider #4 as the New Warriors and Spider-Ben confront techno-Scarlet Spider, with the fate of Speedball's mom hanging in the balance.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Retro Review: Web of Scarlet Spider #3

At this point Ben Reilly had given up being Scarlet Spider and had taken over for Peter as Spider-man. Our issue starts with some FBI agents investigating the rubble of one of Lady Octopus' labs that was destroyed in a battle with the real Scarlet Spider. Out of the rubble pops a Scarlet Spider who immediately goes on a rampage. After a while his Spider Sense goes off and he heads down into an alley where he becomes FBI agent Joe Wade. Wade had been a prisoner of Lady Octopus and was experimented on. Anyways it seems he is infected with nanites that turn him into an evil Scarlet Spider. He seeks out his partner for help but as he's explaining the situation he feels himself start to turn and runs off for her safety.

This is kinda interesting, it's almost like a symbiote, only made of nanites rather than being a living organic life form. Anyways it takes him over again and it's back to rampaging. He is eventually confronted by Firestar of the New Warriors. At first she thinks this is the real Scarlet Spider and he's gone insane or something. See, as Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly actually joined the New Warriors. But when Ben took over as Spider-man he didn't want anyone to think he wasn't the same old Spider-man so he just abandoned the Scarlet Spider ID. I guess it's fair enough if he didn't want to share that info with the New Warriors but he could have gone to them as Scarlet Spider and said for personal reasons he wouldn't be around anymore. Instead he just vanishes, leaving his teammates to wonder if he's dead or something. Kind of a dick move there Ben.

Anyways Firestar confronts the fake Scarlet Spider and he decides this situation calls for some mild sexual assault.

So she pushes him off of her with a blast of her microwave energy screaming "Get off!" To which he replies "Not yet, but give me a minute". Nice, I like this guy, he's funny. Anyways Firestar has had enough of this shit and hits this asshole full blast with her microwaves. Through the smoke surrounding him she is hit with some sort of energy blast. Our issue ends on this cliffhanger.

So far this is a fun story. The 'techno-symbiote' for lack of a better term attached to Agent Joe is an interesting plot device/source of powers. So what happens next? Does he blast her to death with his eye lasers? Does he give her the old Sue Dibny? He's a Spider-person and she's a redhead, maybe he'll sell her to Mephisto. Either way we'll find out next time in New Warriors #67.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Retro Review: Superman and Batman: World's Funnest

I've mentioned before how much I love the parallel universe stories. The idea of the multiverse fascinates me. So this one shot should have been right up my alley, but it largely fell flat with me.

This story starts out with Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite fighting in a silver age DC world. Their fight ends up destroying the whole universe to which they move on to Earth 2 and then so on and so on through various DC universes, destroying each one as they go. At the end they share a good laugh and with the blink of an eye all is restored. And that's the whole plot.

Now it's not like this didn't have a ton of potential, but the biggest problem is this one shot written mostly for laughs isn't all that funny. This was written by Evan Dorkin, famous for the indie comic Milk and Cheese. I never read Milk and Cheese, and if this is any indicator I'm not missing much. Each Earth has a different artist doing those pages, and while there are a few big names on here, most of them are artists you never heard of imitating far more well known artist's styles.

The other thing that annoyed me was most of the space was spent on alternate worlds I don't care much about. Most of this book is devoted to the Silver age pre-Crisis worlds. A lot of more recent worlds I would have liked to have seen more of, like the Tangent Earth, Batman Beyond, DC One Million get one panel cameos at most. My favorite bit however was the few pages spent in the 'modern' DCU (this came out in 2000). Check out Bat-Mite's reaction to Aquaman's current look.

There were a few laughs out of this, but by and large the humor fell flat. Given that this usually runs $6-$8 I would recommend passing on it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First impressions of Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee video game.

I've always had a soft spot for Godzilla, which is odd because I don't really like most Godzilla movies. A lot of them are just plain weird and some of them I have no fucking idea what's going on. The only one I own is the original. But I still watched a lot of them as a kid. Even in the most terrible movie you gotta admit Godzilla is fucking cool. Pretty much all of Toho's monsters are cool.
So when I saw this for $5.99 I figured it was worth getting. I mean hell I wasted $2.99 on Deathstroke #12, so surely a Godzilla fighting game merits six little Ben Bernanke fun bucks. So I played it a little bit today, and it's pretty decent. The graphics aren't bad for a Gamecube game from 2002, and the controls are easy enough to get the hang of. Unfortunately being a fighting game half of the characters, cities, and modes need unlocked, so I've only played as 90's Godzilla and Angurus so far. I can't wait to get Mechagodzilla.
For $6 I'd say this has already been worth every penny. They really ought to do another one of these. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My top 5 overrated comic book movies.

A while back in an earlier post I did a list of my top 10 underrated comic book movies. As soon as I did that I thought I should do a list of overrated comic book movies. But that's a much harder list for me to do. I really like comic book movies because I really like comic books. So I go into a comic book movie wanting to like it, wanting to see the good in it. Sure there are comic book movies I think suck, but this is an overrated comic book movie list, it has to be something I think gets more praise then it deserves, so if it's a movie I think sucks but so does everone else that doesn't count. I couldn't even really come up with 10, so I'm only doing 5 here. Now remember these are not necessarily movies I think are bad, a couple of them I like, these are movies I think get far more praise then they deserve.

5) Spider-man 2 (2004) I do not for the life of me know why people think this is better then Spider-man 1. I mean I don't dislike this movie, in fact a lot of things in it I really liked. I thought Doc Ock was great. I thought Alfred Molina was great in that role and the tentacles looked amazing (which is saying something because like I said in an earlier post, I thought all three of those movies were poor visually) But that whole middle part where Peter loses his powers for no fucking reason just drags on for soooooooo fucking long. And of course he takes his fucking mask off constantly like at the end of that train scene. Despite it's flaws I can still sit and watch Spider-man 1 over and over again. Spider-man 2 I find myself skipping forward a lot. It's way too long and it's kinda boring at times.

4) X-Men (2000) As with Spider-man 2 I don't dislike this movie. When this came out I was every bit as excited as any of my fellow comic book fans, and I saw it like half a dozen times in the theater, but looking back it wasn't nearly as good as it should have or could have been. There were so many stupid moments in it. Remember when Magneto tied everybody up with the metal in the Statue of Liberty? Wolverine cut through himself to get out, but the way his arms looked like they were positioned it's like he would have had to cut through his collar bone, which he CAN'T FUCKING DO. Also why did he have to get them out, Jean Grey is telekinetic, couldn't she have just used mind bullets to free everybody? No, of course not, this was the fucking Wolverine show, so he's gotta save the day even if it makes no sense. And the logic and science behind Magneto's plot was pretty thin, even for a comic book movie. Again, I don't hate this movie, but it wasn't as good as it should have been, and it wasn't as good as most people seem to remember.

3) Conan the Barbarian (1982) I can not believe how many retards bitch about the new Conan movie because "it's not like the Arnold one" Both of the Arnold Conan movies sucked. They were stupid campy bullshit that were only entertaining because Arnold's "acting" is enjoyable in a cheesy ironic way.

2) Scott Pilgrin vs. the World. (2010) I really wanted to like this movie. I love Michael Cera, and the premise seemed really fun. But holy shit I found this thing downright painful to watch. Not one single character in this movie is likable. Hell the little Asian girl is most likable person and she's annoying as shit. Most of the jokes fell flat with me, and the ones that didn't got only a chuckle from me. Not only did most of the humor in this movie not make me laugh, but some of those scenes left me honestly confused as to what part was even supposed to be funny, let alone why. It wasn't just that I didn't think the jokes were funny, I was left wondering where exactly the joke was. The only bright spot in this movie was Chris Evans. His character got a few laughs out of me, not even from the jokes themselves, but from his delivery. The bit with Evan's is the only part of the movie where I get what people might see in this. But honestly even that scene was only OK.

1) Superman: The Movie (1978) This movie is so universally celebrated. One one level I get why, I can imagine how amazing this must have looked in 1978. But it's just not a good movie. None of these Christopher Reeve Superman movies were. I mentioned before why I don't like these movies. But the biggest problem with this one in particular is the ending. Holy shit is the ending stupid. First of all from a dramatic story telling stand point Superman is already far too powerful. Making him able to turn back time literally makes it so he can't lose. Also the way he traveled back in time is fucking stupid. Yeah I know it's sci-fi, I know I gotta suspend my disbelief, I know it's a movie about a fucking alien that can fly and shoot lasers out of his eyes and I still think it's a fucking stupid explanation. You might was well have said he went back in time because he divided by zero.

So there you have it, the top 5 comic book movies I think are overrated. Somehow I feel like I might be getting some hate mail or comments for this. Remember people, it's just my opinion, don't like it then make your own list.

Review(s) of the Week: Mega Man #17 and He-Man #2

I don't know much about Proto Man, beyond he is an earlier robot created by Dr. Light and he ran off on him. So in a sense he's Mega Man's older brother, a sort of like Data and Lore from Star Trek TNG.  In this issue Mega Man finds out about Proto Man while going through some old files and asks Dr. Light about him. Dr. Light tells Mega Man the story about how he, with the aid of Dr. Wily (they were still friends at the time) created Proto Man, the first self aware robot. There was a problem with his power core however and Dr. Light needed to fix him. Proto Man, however, was resistant to being changed. He then later hears Dr. Light venting his frustrations to a friend saying he wishes he could just reprogram the rebellious streak out of Proto Man. Hearing this, and not realizing Dr. Light wasn't serious, Proto Man runs off. Dr Light tells Mega Man that without the necessary repair to his power core Proto is probably dead by now.

This issue had a lot of interesting moments of Proto Man learning about the world around him, things like music and art. Classic Sci-Fi stories about artificial intelligence always touch on what it is to be human, to be self aware, to have a soul even, and while this didn't dive deep into such themes it did skim the surface enough that the smart kids who read this will find themselves asking some real questions. And as always with this series, while they are great for kids even an old cynical nerd like myself can enjoy them. If you were ever a fan of the Blue Bomber you should be reading this book.

For my review of issue one click here. If it seems like it's been a while since the last issue came out, its not just you this issue was seriously delayed. It turns out writer James Robinson bailed after issue one and Keith Giffen stepped in to finish it. In the first issue we see a world where Adam AKA He-Man is just a peasant and Skeletor rules and no one has any memory of things as they should be. Adam does have some vague dreams of being He-Man and headed out to figure out why he felt things were wrong. In this issue he's in the desert when he is attacked by some men working for Trap Jaw. He manages to escape and finds some girl who seems to know what going on and our issue ends with her about to tell him.

I have no idea why Robinson left. DC is plagued with creative teams bailing or getting axed right now but to leave after one issue of a six issue miniseries? That's Kevin Smith level flaking. But Keith Giffen stepped right in there and the series is still moving along just fine. I'm still interested to know how Skeletor got things with way, the artwork by Philip Tan is still great, and I look forward to the next issue. If, like me, you have fond memories of He-Man you should check this book out.