Wednesday, November 26, 2008
What's scarier than Christmas decorations before Halloween? How about Halloween decorations in late November? I drove by a place yesterday that still had all the cobwebs, tombstones, a strobe light, and possibly one of those moaning/cackling noisemakers going. If the mail starts to pile up, contact the authorities, OK? Frankly, I approve: it sets that place apart from the others on the block, and is far less intrusive than the political ads, which thankfully are down by now.
Still, I can't really say anything about updating my decorations, since I still had this fellow up, a licensed Creature from the Black Lagoon beanie thing; and his compadres Frankenstein (the Monster), Dracula...and the Phantom of the Opera.
Oddly, although I have action figures of several other sea monsters (besides Zoidburg), and at least a couple versions of Frankenstein's Monster; the only Dracula I have is from the Marvel Monsters boxset: I don't have figures in the traditional Universal style.
I used to work in the mall, and played the crane in the basement arcade. A lot, apparently: I had multiples of Dracula and the Phantom, although I managed to give a couple away. To date, I've still never seen any version of Phantom of the Opera all the way through, but I am fond of telling theatre-goers that I was thrown out of Miss Saigon just for asking when the chandelier fell.
Anyway. Next week, ongoing Nightcrawler and Deadpool strips continue, and maybe even some comic posts. See you then!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Deadpool/Moon Knight 2009: Deadpool may have finally hit rock bottom: friendless. Jobless. Broke, drunk, and thrown out of the worst bar in Jersey. But, at his lowest point, Pool sees a light, and finds...Khonshu? That's right, Moon Knight's former god picks Pool up, dusts him off, and gives him a new job: Avatar of Vengeance! Will Deadpool be able to deliver Khonshu's sermon of megaviolence? What does Moon Knight think of his replacement? And what is he going to do about it? ($3.99, 48 pages, Mature Readers.)
Khonshu, I will build a church in your honor, or punch a guy in your name, if you get Marvel to let me write this one.
We'd start with Pool at the bottom, not unlike Moon Knight at the start of his current series; but not so much broken physically but emotionally, mentally, and financially. Drunk as a lemur, the voices in his head and the cartoon hallucinations are out of control; until Khonshu gives Deadpool a clarity he's never had before. Possibly because there's only one extra voice rattling around in there now, but of course we'd leave it vague: is Khonshu really there, or is Deadpool imagining it? Some clues (or red herrings) would be left (like newspaper ads for a museum exhibit featuring a Khonshu-like statue) but either way, Pool gets himself a white-and-black version of his costume, and commences busting skulls in his new god's name.
Moon Knight's comic is in the tail end of "The Death of Marc Spector," so it might take some wiggling to cram this into continuity; but MK is currently on the outs with Khonshu. (In a recent issue, Mark begs for Khonshu's help, and he turns him down flat, saying he has other Fists.) Then, Mark gets word of the new Fist of Khonshu--not from his street-level sources like Crawley, but from YouTube, where Pool is administering rough justice/sermons for Khonshu.
In typical Deadpool fashion, it's loud, obnoxious, and insane; which means he's becoming a sensation and spreading Khonshu's name across the country. In one video, Pool demolishes a gang while delivering a Sesame Street inspired lesson on Khonshu for children, complete with a puppet Moon Knight: "V is for vengeance! A is for Anterior Ligament, as in, I just tore out both of this mook's! G is for Ghhhhhrrk! (punches said mook in the neck, with the puppet hand.)"
Mark tries to play it off like he doesn't care, but in reality he's like the cheerleader dumped two days before the prom. Then, as the curve of Pool's violence starts to escalate, and more Khonshu "worshippers" across the country start their own vigilante-beatings; Mark decides to step in. For his part, Khonshu is starting to push Deadpool further than he wants to go: Pool's slapstick beatings may humiliate his opponents, but Khonshu wants blood. And lots of it. When Pool questions Khonshu, Khonshu asks if he wants to go back to before, when he was good and crazy and the voices in his head almost drowned out his own.
It all leads up to the inevitable Deadpool vs. Moon Knight throwdown; but it becomes a fight neither one is sure they want to win. Pool has nothing against MK, and isn't sure if this Fist business is really for him; and MK doesn't really mean Pool any harm, nor is he positive he wants Khonshu back, if Khonshu is even talking to Pool anyway.
How does it end? Ah, that'd be telling. But this would be the sort of thing that would improve Deadpool's standing with other mercenaries, while blacklisting him with the superhero community; and could either make or break Moon Knight's status.
Also, reading some of the Marvel previews recently, someone pointed out that they seem to be building an almost Green Lantern-like corps of Ghost Riders. (As opposed to the completely Lantern-esque Nova Corps in Nova, which I'm looking forward to seeing.) Now, I haven't read Ghost Rider since the 90's, but it dawned on me: the Riders are spirits of vengeance, right? And who do we know that's a god of vengeance, hmm? Seems like there should be an Egyptian Ghost Rider...Knight. Read more!
Monday, November 24, 2008
OK, before we go on, if you're a fan of superhero team book stuff--and if you've been around this site for any period of time, yeah, you probably are--JLA/Avengers is well worth checking out. Busiek and Perez cram in every single character they possibly could, but Busiek is still able to keep them in character, and Perez of course draws the hell out of it. It's an easter egg hunt, but it never feels cluttered or drags.
This was going to be a longer strip, but it ran right headlong into the limits of my photography skills: I think a decent artist could've done it. The strip would've gone on, and everyone else can see Cap's got the wrong shield, but you, the reader, can't see it yet. Actually, the main other gag was Scarlet Witch henpecking the Vision about how she's sick of Red Tornado and his girlfriend's adopted kid; and how they were going to have their own kids, right now. Which would've made Red Tornado indirectly responsible for Avengers Disassembled, House of M, and just about everything else.
The DCUC Wonder Woman figure I got recently came with her ax, shield, and "Collect and Connect" Despero piece. Does Wonder Woman really need the ax and shield, or are they just artistic shorthand for, "Wonder Woman's gonna kick some ass now!" Um, but a woman that could dropkick a frieght train into orbit shouldn't need to get out the tools to be intimidating, right?
(Never mind the fact that I'm pretty sure bullets bounce off of Wonder Woman anyway. Not unlike Marvel's Thor and his hammer, I'd guess Diana usually blocks bullets with her bracelets either because she's a warrior and you don't just let someone hit you; or because bullets bouncing off your chest is Clark's 'thing.')
Of course, in the comics, Cap knows the weight and balance of his shield, and unless Wonder Woman's shield is 12 pounds and perfectly balanced, he probably wouldn't make that mistake. Conversely, while in old Cap comics he would often throw the shield and bounce it off three guys' heads and back to his hand; if Wonder Woman tries that, it's gonna take off the top of the first guy's skull and embed itself in a wall.
The longer Nightcrawler/Deadpool strips will, probably, return next week; but I figured with the holiday and all, I didn't want to start it now. Read more!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Three's a crowd, but click to enlarge anyway.
This was going to be a much shorter strip, basically to the effect of DC's Trinity being completed...and nothing happening. Unlike some, I'm really not great at single panel gags. And Occasional Superheroine put the idea in my head that maybe Green Lantern should have Wonder Woman's spot in said Trinity. Y'know, I think I like "World's Finest" as a team-up name better.
I was wondering if there would be any reason for Supes, Bats, and Diana to just hang out; which then made me wonder why or if Supes and Bats would just hang out. Then again, Batman is probably on the job one way or another all day every day, and Clark just a little less than that: Clark spends at least some time with Lois, or his friends from the Daily Planet.
While most people probably don't think of Superman and Batman in terms of being just guys; consider them hanging out with Wonder Woman and you can start to see it. Diana is poised, confident, staggeringly beautiful, and kinda unattainable; and just seems like she'd be tiring to be around. Not through any fault of her own, but...look, guys, back me up on this: can you imagine anything more mortifying than farting around Wonder Woman?...sadly, yes, but you see my point. Hal at least is fearless, so he probably doesn't care if WW thinks less of him after hearing his Quagmire-like stories. Giggity!
Hmm. Just occurred to me that Family Guy's Quagmire and Green Lantern Hal Jordan are both pilots...still, for Clark and Bruce, Hal would probably be a lot of fun to hang out with, if only because Hal gets to have fun. Clark's got the weight of the world on his shoulders, and the responsibilities of a wife and maybe that Christopher kid? Is he still around? And Batman, even when he's acting the part of millionaire playboy, probably still doesn't enjoy himself. But, we'll have more thoughts on Diana, if I finish that other post. Better get started! Read more!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Took the boys to Burger King last night for 'Whopper Wednesday,' which still ended up costing me twenty bucks somehow. Probably because I get to get a Simpsons Kids Meal, too. The toys of the rest of the Simpsons family come on their own section of couch, but Santa's Little Helper came with the TV, which rotates between screens like a slot machine. Oh, and he's totally humping that TV. Swear to god, about a dozen kids had this thing, and I was dying.
Catching a cold, and I might take this weekend to work on some homemade posts. We'll see if I manage to get one done late tomorrow. Read more!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Image inducers bug me. In the old Claremont Uncanny X-Men issues, Nightcrawler used one a lot, in situations where he needed to disguise himself. Granted, an Errol Flynn disguise isn't the most inconspicuous one Kurt could have used; but even so, eventually he decided he wasn't going to use the inducer at all, since it felt like a cheat. Like he was ashamed of himself, or hiding.
I also suspect the holographic image inducer was, like the satellite-era Justice League of America transporters or Iron Man's jet-powered roller-skates, an addition that seemed completely reasonable at the time; but either didn't age well (thirty-plus years later, and we still have none of those) or it closed more story opportunities than it opened. (Nightcrawler using the inducer to get out of jams or the JLA beaming wherever they need to be immediately; is less interesting than Nightcrawler surrounded by mutant-hating bigots or the JLA having to scramble to their jet or whatever.)
EDIT: Oh, hell, since I brought it up, here's a link to Comic Book Resources Top 50 X-Men poll. I didn't vote, but Nightcrawler beat Wolverine, coming in behind Beast, Jean Grey, Iceman, Cyclops, and Rouge. Really? I freely admit, I'm more of a Nightcrawler fan than an X-Men fan, and I prefer Avengers Beast to just about any incarnation of X-Men Beast; but I don't usually care for Jean, Iceman, or Cyclops. Cyclops is a tool. There, I said it. All of his street cred is from sleeping with Emma Frost, otherwise, he'd be like the mutant Hank Hill: reliable, dependable, steadfast...and the stick up his ass would have a mutant stick up its ass.
Ahem. Sadly, Deadpool didn't beat Xorn either. Maybe next year.
The Nightcrawler and Deadpool strips are going to continue for a while, with an extra-long one starting Monday!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
For one thing, aside from a short one in Batman: Black and White with Jim Lee (and I'm not sure if that's where I saw that story, anyway) Ellis hasn't done a lot of Batman work. Partly, because I distinctly recall him saying, and I'm going to paraphrase here since it's been years and I sure as hell can't search for Ellis quotes at work; that he didn't see the threat of Batman, since if he was a crime boss, he'd hire a thousand thugs, give them a grenade a piece, wait for the Batmobile to drive by, and rain them down on Batman's head. Or words to that effect. Frankly, I thought Warren was a crime boss already.
That is kind of a shame, since while Ellis has his little tropes (like body modification, used here) that he uses a lot, they are fun tropes that work pretty well for Batman stories. Face the facts, Ellis probably could've, if he'd wanted to, written Global Frequency as a Batman comic and made that ever-popular dump truck full of money, right? In fact, a later issue of that book would feature government experimental super-soldiers as well, although differently than the ones tearing up Gotham here.
On the other hand, Ellis' Batman doesn't quite lineup with the continuity version of the time, if that bothers you. How so? Well, during a fight with the super-soldier, an on-the-ropes Batman resorts to nerve gas. He apologetically notes it's "not intended for direct use on anyone" before throwing it in the soldier's face, but I can't help but notice Bats has it in the front most pocket of his utility belt. Later, believing the nerve agent killed the soldier, Batman admits that he used it to Commissioner Gordon, who doesn't seem to bat an eye. (As it were.) Not fooling around today, I see...
Later, Batman faces the super-soldier for the final showdown: the virus that created it will soon spore and infect more people, who will also become super-soldiers fighting a hallucinatory war. Batman has to take him out, but has to disable the soldier's "boneguns" first. How so?
Holy crap! Admittedly, one of my favorite Batman stories starts with him packing heat, but that hadn't been seen in quite a while. Now, I think everyone's so used to the Batman that wouldn't touch a gun for the world, that's it's even odder to see. But Ellis' Batman is one that makes hard decisions, and that fears for his own life, but still is recognizably Batman. He's a big boy, and while he might not carry a gun, sometimes desperate times, can't make an omelet, pick your own cliche: Batman will do what he has to, and he's not going to cry about it or freak out or anything.
That said, Batman's still a pretty good shot, taking out both of the soldier's guns; which means he almost certainly could've just put two in his head. He's still Batman, not the Punisher. The story ends in a more Batman fashion as well, and I liked these two issues, even if wikipedia never heard of 'em under Ellis' bibliography.
An aside: I had to look up Batman: Year Two on wikipedia, since I couldn't remember the issue number. I also totally wish Alan Davis had done the whole thing: that's not a slight on Alcala and McFarlane, but it would've been nice to have the consistency, and I do like Davis better. But, apparently it doesn't matter, since Year Two is out of continuity now, since Joe Chill has been reconfigured at least twice since then. Phooey. Still a good story, and I love that first cover.
How do you feel about Batman using guns? I must confess, usually, I prefer the version that won't use a gun, ever, ever; but sometimes...by the way, Batman does have the gun on the cover of #84, so it shouldn't have been that surprising. Another of my favorite Legends of the Dark Knight arcs has a gun-toting Batman too, so maybe some other time for that.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Click to enlarge, and continued on Wednesday!
I was waiting for the Incredible Hercules Secret Invasion trade, so while I know Herc killed the Skrull god or whatever; I don't know why exactly that didn't nip this whole invasion in the bud. I don't imagine the Secret Invasion miniseries proper ends with the Skrulls on the very edge of total victory, only to discover Hercules has beaten their belief system and they fold. Seems doubtful.
Poor Kurt's been working on Carol for about half a dozen strips, and Deadpool's pile of Advanced Idea Mechanics' crap is still going to come up later. Ms. Marvel was revealed to be an alcoholic in the Kurt Busiek/George Perez Avengers, which might be saddling her with hand-me-down Iron Man plots but also does give her more character than she had in her entire first series. Read more!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
And I'm going to need another shelf. I was doing pretty well, until I found that other box of books. And the other, other box. And three more.
Still, maybe later, I can fashion an extra bookshelf out of Steven King books. Have a good weekend!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Oh, I know I didn't pay full price for this one: Batman: Day of Judgment. Written by Scott Beatty, pencils by Dean Zachary, inks by Robert Campanella and Sal Buscema. This is one of those little crossover spinoffs that DC or Marvel can get away with sometimes: Batman sells x amount of copies a month. In crossover event y, DC can either have a Batman crossover issue, hopefully increasing sales by some factor of y; or they can do an entirely separate crossover issue, still get their x sales from the regular monthly book plus whatever they can get for this. Which hopefully wasn't a ton, but was probably more than you'd think.
For those of you who don't recall, Day of Judgment had something to do with Neron, the Demon Etrigan, and Asmodel; but is generally only remembered as, the one where they made Hal Jordan the Spectre. I have it somewhere, but...meh.
Batman, however, does his damnedest to sell this as a big deal...for the like three pages that he's in this comic. (Did I say three? It's only two.)
Seriously. Batman broods about how this could be the end, then packs up to join the Justice League, already in progress. And I wasn't going to scan that whole page, but is there any reason for Batman to go all Renfield and pose when Barb turns the desk lamp on him? Did he hiss, too?
Gotham's left in the hands of Nightwing, Robin, and Oracle; who treat this end of the world event like picking up another shift at the Gap to make a little extra beer money. Maybe a little less seriously than that, I don't know, I've never worked at the Gap...
Even though terrible things are (allegedly) happening--the fires of hell going out, the Spectre bonded with a fallen angel, insert Ghostbusters joke here--all Gotham gets is a handful of walking dead gangsters. I believe this is right after the Bat-Quake and the Bat-Plague and maybe the Bat-Locusts for all I know, so maybe anything more would've just been kicking Gotham City while it was down. And the gangsters? Well, hell, if they were that damn tough, they'd still be alive, right?
Nightwing and Robin do get a fun moment at the beginning, where Dick tells young Tim a fun story about Batgirl and Killer Moth; but nothing else here is that fun. They do have a particularly stupid moment where they doubt the existence or possibility of zombies: of course zombies are ludicrous, compared to magic wishing rings, water-breathing kings, Amazon princesses made of clay, 87 different alien races including Dick's old girlfriend...
Still, a nit: Robin and Nightwing, using the night-vision lenses in their masks, charge in and nearly get ventilated by the zombies, who, being cold and lifeless, don't show up on infrared. But the guns they were carrying did, floating in the air. (That maybe almost would make sense if they had been fired, but no.
All told, the zombie gangsters are less trouble than regular gangsters, since regular gangsters don't explode into dust when you punch them.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I missed the contest over at the Invincible Super-Blog, but there were a ton of entries, and I don't think I had this done in time even if I had been online. Ah, well.
Events in this strip are a nod to current events (or, then-current events) in the real Deadpool and Secret Invasion: X-Men books. Deadpool I'm liking, after a shaky first issue; SI:X I liked the first issue, meh on the second. I didn't read the pulped Action Comics or All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, though. I'm also like 90% sure the Skrull holocron reference is from one of the comic boards. Read more!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This isn't to suggest that Batman might prefer an earthier, more natural beauty--that's another issue--but that sometimes, Batman's powers of observation might show him more than he wants to know right now.
When I was a kid, I had a Batman record with "Challenge of the Catwoman." You can listen to it over at Power Records Plaza if you like, and I might see if I can dig it up for a scan later. What I recall most about this one--and I didn't have the attached comic, if there was one--is that Catwoman is disguised as a man, on a train, and Batman roots her out by walking through the car looking up. As everyone looks up at whatever Bats is staring at, he can easily spot Catwoman is the one "man" with no adam's apple. (Technically, I guess women have laryngeal prominence, but it's not as noticeable.)
So, it stands to reason someone with Batman's detective skills would be able to tell a lot about a person just by looking. Maybe too much. I wonder if Batman doesn't date so much because at a glance he can see so much of a potential girlfriend, he doesn't get the fun getting to know you phase. Of course, the background checks probably don't help, either.
Even though I'm still getting settled, and probably have other things I could be doing as far as making the place presentable, I read a pile of comics while watching Fringe, including La Cosa Nostroid, the mobster/giant robot spin-off from Scud the Disposable Assassin. One of my favorite bits, from the last issue...so far:
La Cosa Nostroid IX was the last published issue, the book disappearing from the racks just like Scud, back in 1998. Scud made it back to finish it's story, so maybe this one will someday as well--ten issues would make a pretty good little trade, and I know somebody's found this site searching for it.
Considering I've never seen the Godfather trilogy, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, or Casino; it's all the more impressive how much I liked this book, and the giant robots don't carry it that far, either. Written by Dan Harmon, illustrated by Edvis. Still hoping to see it in the Image solicits one of these days. Read more!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Page from Uncanny X-Men #385, "Shell Game" By Chris Claremont, German Garcia, Michael Ryan and Randy Green; inks by Panosian, Pepoy, and Ketcham. And I didn't read the previous chapter, but those are the laziest flying motorcycles ever. Tron cycles would've been a step up, even if they were flying. There's no reason for a comic to have a special effect that wouldn't be out of place in a mid-nineties syndicated sci-fi show like Night Man.
Deadpool is a touch oversized for the Storm Hawks Dark Ace cycle, and I haven't picked up the Batpod yet, but it reminded me of that issue. Unfortunately.
I had thought about posting a page a day until I ran out, but I was worried that they wouldn't read well, so we'll be doing them here and there. MODOK's yard sale isn't intentionally swiped from the classic Twisted Toyfare Theatre with Dr. Doom's yard sale: I just needed a way for Deadpool to get his hands on some high-tech nonsense, and he's not done yet...That, and since it seems unlikely Hasbro's going to make A.I.M. troops, MODOK's a bit shorthanded. Figuratively and literally, I guess. Read more!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Good advice though. I re-read Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man during my blogging downtime, and it's important to remember that you were happy, and you can be again, no matter what the current situation looks like. No, I'm not talking politics there.
From Doom 2099 #35, "To Bring You My Love" Written by Warren Ellis, pencils by Steve Pugh, inks by Scott Koblish. Doom's presidency has more than gone off the rails by this point, it's also caught fire and sinking. The citizens of Doom's beloved Latveria are dead, a gamma bomb has gone off in California, his minister of Punishment Jake Gallows (the Punisher 2099, who's book was just about to end) is being hunted like a dog, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents he recently commanded are hunting Doom himself down. And yet, his approval rating is still higher than Bush's. (Ba-dum-bum!)
While I loved Ellis' run on this book, I don't know if he quite nailed Doom's speech, though. Not grandiose enough, although he doesn't get a lot of dialog this issue, so maybe I'm misremembering there. As soon as I find it, though, we'll have another Ellis book that I had no idea he had ever worked on...I may just have to buy another damn copy, though.
New homemade strips start tomorrow. Be there! Read more!
Friday, November 07, 2008
"Burns: How many of you are familiar with the concept of a "tontine"?
[all stare at him, until Ox raises his hand]
Burns: All right, Ox. Why don't you take us through it?
Ox: Duh, essentially, we all enter into a contract whereby the last
surviving participant becomes the sole possessor of all them
Burns: Well put, Oxford. "
Even though it's raining intermittent buckets here, I did find an apartment and will be able to move this weekend. I got lucky, since I walked Sam over to this complex so they could give him the onceover, and he was far more endearing than I could ever hope to be. Things are almost moving forward, and if I can get internet back, new posts will return next week...(highlights post for easy deletion if things go south)
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
My father-in-law helped me move most of my stuff into a storage area, which was cool if somewhat depressing. How many comics is too many? Five long boxes? How about five standard comic long boxes and at least thirty boxes of various sizes and origins? (Several years back, when I got a new TV, I tried to use the TV's box for comics, which was a spectacular failure: the box couldn't carry the weight, and packed full it was waaaaaay too heavy for anyone other than a comic book character to lift.) And that's not even getting in Maybe I'll try to take a picture later, but I'm still waiting to hear back on a place.
And now, a rerun from 2006; some election day advice from Batman:
Once again, from The Brave and the Bold #184, "The Batman's Last Christmas!" Written by Mike W. Barr, art by Jim Aparo. Read more!