Friday, January 29, 2010

Well, Peacekeepermaker's Helmet was good for something after all.

OK, the other day I mentioned that the Manhunter figure, that I'm never going to get, should come with a Peacekeepermaker mask as an accessory. Why, you may ask? Readers of Eclipso may remember that both Manhunter and Peacekeepermaker were killed in a failed assault on Eclipso; Manhunter turned out to be a sub in over his head, but Peacekeepermaker was dead. (I don't think that's been reversed yet, like a few other deaths there: Creeper was killed there, and had to dig himself out of his own grave.)

In his first storyline, mysterious collector and reclusive actress Olivia Vancroft wants Mark Shaw's Manhunter mask for her wall of masks. Vancroft hires the shapechanging assassin Dumas to get it for her, and hiring an assassin for a basic theft may not have been a great choice, since Dumas proves overzealous and goes after Shaw and his family. To protect them, Shaw offers Vancroft his mask, but she tells him that Dumas' code of honor won't let her cancel a job. Before he leaves, Vancroft asks Shaw to put on his mask, perhaps not realizing the sensors in it would reveal her secret...

Shaw returns later, as Manhunter, to blackmail Vancroft: she and Dumas are one in the same; Dumas being his male identity, and Vancroft his idealized woman. Unfortunately, Shaw forgot one important detail in his plan:

Shaw was already outmatched, but now on Dumas' home turf he doesn't have a chance. Dumas offers him the chance to kill himself, but Shaw declines, deciding to fight it out. He realizes the collection is Dumas' mask, and starts to destroy it, luring Dumas into the open for the kill:

I'm willing to bet Shaw picked the Peacemaker mask because it's a big, metal lump; and not for the irony. Dumas dies, and Shaw leaves both their masks in the collection: unlike a lot of masked heroes, Shaw has no particular attachment to his. It's just a mask. In a nice touch, he leaves his mask with three of DC's prior Manhunters'.

From Manhunter #4, "Through the Mask" Written by John Ostrander and Kim Yale, pencils by Doug Rice, inks by Kelley Jones.

Researching for another post, I realized on this and Peacemaker's other post, I started typing his name as Peacekeeper halfway through. No one appeared to notice, which should tell you all you need to know about him.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Having a bit of a lie-down today:

That does look more comfy than my bed, though.
Ah, I was going to do a little longer post, then the day got away from me somewhere. Still, it'll keep, give me a little time to check out another issue or two, and a good excuse for this panel from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #54, "Sanctum" Story and pictures by Mike Mignola, story and words by Dan Raspler.

Come to think of it, the other day I read three or four of the Batman/Judge Dredd crossovers, and every time I do I probably realize again that Mignola did the cover for one. The second one, Vendetta in Gotham. Can't find the first one handy, but I liked those. Dredd and Bats? Not fast friends, but towards the end of Die Laughing they seem a little more tolerant of each other. Batman and Judge Anderson? Seem a little friendlier...well, no scans from those, since they are all prestige format and a pain to cram in the scanner.

Like another book: last week at the Comic Book Shop, I found a used copy of an old favorite: Robocop versus Terminator, written by Frank Miller, with art by Walt Simonson.
And this is all of this one that I could fit in the scanner. And it's still crooked. Swell.
There must be some kind of licensing clause in play, keeping the property names front and center, and Miller and Simonson's names off the cover! Yeah, they aren't selling points for this or anything.

I had seen it before there, but someone else got it first! I must've lost the individual issues some time ago, but this is the damn weirdest trade, a "Star System Exclusive": first, there are three cardstock inserts: Robocop, a Terminator, and the human freedom fighter (whose name isn't mentioned until late in the series) that you can cut out and stand up. So, it's weird to flip through, since you'll keep hitting those. And I thought there had been an ED-209 in the fourth issue, that's not included here, which is odd that they would have three and not go the whole nine yards.

Still, it's even stranger that the trade appears to be made out of the individual issues: the covers are on a shinier paper, and some of the ads from the comics are in the trade! So there's ads for video games and Dark Horse comics from 1992, and the back cover isn't full of blurbs or anything, it's an ad for Previews from 1993. Odd, but I'm still glad to have it.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Processing and reunion."

I don't think the remake of the Prisoner ever spelled out what the "Rovers" were. Besides "scary things from the id," or something. The special effects were better than the ball I'm using, but that's not the point.

Does Deadpool still have his teleporter? Or his image inducer? I assume he does, but he put them in one of those stupid pouches and never remembers it.

Sir Ian McKellen as Number Two was a high point of AMC's Prisoner, as well as being a major shortcoming: the plot spends a lot of time on Two, his wife and son; and humanizes him too much for this story. might've been interesting to see that in the original show, which usually had a new Number Two every episode: a work-a-day Two, swamped with work and stress, struggling to wring even a little information out of that damn stubborn McGoohan Six.

Of course, since McKellen played Magneto and Gandalf, there are doubtless far more action figures of him than he would've ever thought possible. Oddly, I think this is my only Magneto figure, come to think of it.

Falcon's "In your face!" line, is of course from the Simpsons episode "The Computer wore Menace Shoes," a Prisoner homage/spoof that guest-starred Patrick McGoohan. Not unlike the earlier Simpsons X-Files episode, it is simultaneously loving and mocking, and still a personal favorite. And probably more true to the idea than the miniseries... Read more!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Greatest dream DCUC lineup, or nightmare? You tell me!

While DC Universe Classics isn't a perfect line, it's a pretty damn good one. Yet, while any errors seem to fall on Mattel's shoulders (like distribution, figures posed in positions that cause them to get warped and bent, the occasional misassembled or mis-scaled figure) everyone seems to agree the sculpting from the Four Horsemen is above reproach. And while I don't share their love of the classic Super Powers lineup, there have been more than a couple figures that I thought were oddball choices, yet ended up liking a lot. For example, they made a strikingly great figure of the 80's Vigilante, a character who killed himself in his last appearance. (Commander Steel and Guardian, who probably had a fanbase in the dozens before, would be two more I'd put on that list.)

But that's the thing about a company with as deep a well of characters as DC (or Marvel, for that matter): there are any number of characters that may not be anyone's first choice for an action figure, or third choice, or even twenty-third choice. That doesn't mean the characters couldn't be excellent, eye-catching figures; and a figure that attracts attention could feed back into comics or other venues. And frankly, it would pad out the line, rather than going with Superman or Batman variants.

This list is some characters that could make great action figures, based on sculpt and design alone: not only are they not household names, they aren't even necessarily cult favorites, fondly remembered by fanboys. Nor are they characters that had figures back in the 80's, or appeared on Super Friends, or were re-imagined for a Vertigo series. Not to belabor the point, but these characters make Captain Comet look like an A-lister. (And he only didn't make the list because he's a bit bland for my tastes, but Mattel could slap together a figure of him from existing parts inside of five minutes.)

But get the Four Horseman to sculpt the bejeezus out of this lot...and they could be something.

1. The Viking Commando

One of Robert Kanigher's more endearingly crazy ideas: Viking Warrior Valoric is taken for Valhalla by the Valkyrie that loved him, but too soon, before he was quite dead. A cosmic storm dumps him in the middle of World War II, where Odin decrees Valoric will stay until he dies in battle. So, he's a big burly, slightly-suicidal Viking, with a battleax and hand-grenades, fighting the Nazis ("HUNS!") while his invisible yet hot Valkyrie girlfriend waits around for him to snuff it. Also, his advice column still makes me laugh.

Friends, I'm not one for hyperbole, but if the Viking Commando's action figure hit the shelves, the testosterone content of this country would increase a billionfold. And I assure you, not in a bad way, just men standing up for themselves and others, and generally taking no crap. Well, that and little boys would become goddamn sexual tyrannosaurs at the age of six.

2. G.I. Robot

Kids love robots. Kids love army guys. Ergo, kids will double love robot army guy J.A.K.E. 2, who in his first appearance (after the first J.A.K.E. was destroyed, during a team-up with the Creature Commandos) beat the hell out of an indestructible samurai robot with his own decapitated head. Oh, hell yeah.

Robert Kanigher again, thank you very much. J.A.K.E. stood for Jungle Automatic Killer Experimental; and the character was also set in World War II, although I want to say later stories were set in a post-apocalyptic future. I may have halluncinated that, let me get back to you...

3. Dolphin

Aquaman's wife (or ex-wife?) Mera is currently more popular than she's been in years, from her appearance in Blackest Night; but Aquaman's squeeze in a good chunk of Peter David's issues was the mysterious underwater blonde. What was her origin? Why didn't she remember her past? How did she get her powers? Dude, I don't know if we ever found out; but she was hot, and funny, and a pretty good match for Arthur at the time. (She would later end up with former Aqualad Tempest, which is not a case of trading up...)

For some reason, the only issues I could find of her were when she was wearing Aquaman's old orange shirt. (She was even wearing that when she later hooked up with Tempest, which should've been a hint for him.) Her previous outfit was cut-off shorts and a tied-off tee-shirt, and if Mattel can't sell a female figure wearing that, they have failed.

4. Black Spider

The original Black Spider was a former junkie turned murderous vigilante, who eventually blew himself up to get the dealer that killed his family. The second, created by Doug Moench and Kelley Jones, was a hired gun who stole the name, as well as being a swarmy bastard whom you couldn't wait for Batman to cave his face in.

Admittedly, Killer Moth has more name recognition; I don't think Black Spider has appeared in any of the animated series or prior toy lines. He's a glorified thug, true; but he could also be made with a repaint of Blue Beetle and some guns. He's a gimme for Mattle, easy as pie. (In all honesty, there's a couple of other never-before-made Batman villains that I would prefer, but both Anarky and KGBeast could require more tooling, or get hung up on their names. And Clayface III, the crazy one that melts people? He would be toyetic as all get out, but scares the hell out of me.)

5. Monarch

The big bad of 1991's Armageddon: 2001, this armored baddie was famously supposed to be revealed as Captain Atom, then last minute revisions made him Hawk, of Hawk and Dove. Exactly. Still, he's a bad guy in an armored suit, and we sure as hell don't have to ask for a removable mask for him. Make Monarch whoever you want him to be: Guy Gardner, Kid Eternity, Awkwardman, whoever. You really couldn't make a worse choice.

He's a nice, all-purpose bad guy; with almost no characterization that I can recall, which means for play purposes the sky's the limit. I for one would not request an unmasked variant.

6. Manhunter (Mark Shaw)

MAKE ME THIS GODDAMN FIGURE. Ahem. Sorry. I just love the hell out of that costume, though. John Ostrander and Doug Rice didn't create the character of Shaw, but they built him up quite a bit; and Suicide Squad fans may recall not only did his book crossover there, this Manhunter was a bounty hunter that often captured villains that would later end up on the Squad. (He catches the Penquin and Captain Cold his first issue, and not just in an attempt to sell the new character as badass: he legitimately outsmarts them both, sort of: catching the Penquin in the bathtub, and the drunk and disorderly Captain after his beloved Cubs lose.)

7. The Heckler

Mattel. Psst. Come here. Lemme tell you a secret: some buyers are going to like the Heckler from the start: he's a bold choice, he's got a different color scheme than most of the previous DCUC figures, and he's never been made before, in anything, ever. And you could probably make him, with zero sculpting, just existing parts. He's basically a blank body. OK, the paint apps are going to be a pill, but even so: A blank body. There may be fans that don't like him, but they can lump it and customize him into whomever else they want.

Plus, the Heckler. That would be like walking into the toughest bar in town and saying you could whup any man in the joint, like throwing the gauntlet: like saying you could do anything.

Now, every DCUC wave up to now has come with a Collect and Connect figure, ranging from the normal sized like Metamorpho, up to the goodly-sized like Giganta. Lately, they seem to be going with bigger-but-not-gigantic characters, like Kilowog or Darkseid; neither of whom would probably fit comfortably in your car, but nor could they eat it, either. My recommendation? Go the other way this wave. Go smaller characters, that couldn't be sold by themselves, but don't need to be packed with Superman to sell either: Krypto, Streaky, Mr. Mxypktk and Bat-Mite (both just over a head tall and possibly with an armature or something, to attach them to their hero's back or shoulder)

Or, before we get down to characters like Doll-Man, what about in-DCUC-scale props, like the Bottle City of Kandor? Or the Phantom Zone Projector? A Flash-puppet, or vinyl-like empty Flash costume, for the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths?

I may have to double-down and see if I can pick even more obscure choices. Yeah, probably.

Viking Commando coming at you on the cover of All-Out War #1 by Joe Kubert.

G.I. Robot page from Weird War Tales #113, created and written by Robert Kanigher, with art by Fred Carrillo.

Tempest finds out about Dolphin in this page from Aquaman #37, "One Demon Life" Written by Peter David, pencils by J. Califiore, inks by P.L. Palmiotti.

The new Black Spider masks up in Batman #519, "Web of Scars" Written by Doug Moench, pencils by Kelley Jones, inks by John Beatty. His face gets wrecked up in this one, so an unmasked version would be fun.

Monarch panel from Extreme Justice #8, "Before You Quantum Leap!" Written by Charley Bracey, pencils by Al Rio, inks by Ken Branch. Ugh...

Manhunter demolishes Dumas' mask collection in Manhunter #4, "Through the Mask" Written by John Ostrander and Kim Yale, pencils by Doug Rice, inks by Kelley Jones. If you're good, later I'll show you why Manhunter should come with a wearable Peacekeeper mask...

Heckler image taken from the Keith Giffen Resource Page, since I couldn't find any of my Heckler comics and I'm getting irked about it.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Ray's harder on himself post-game than Brett Favre:

Attacked by armored super-villain team the Cadre, the Ray isn't having the game of his career:

Fortunately, J'onn's putting together a new Justice League team, and is totally willing to butter Ray up a bit to get him to sign on:

J'onn looks strangely...burly there, and Ray's little booties aren't helping. From Justice League Task Force #0, "The Gathering" Written by Mark Waid, pencils by Sal Velluto, inks by Jeff Albrecht. While the Ray was popular there for a minute in 1994 or so, I'm pretty sure a team of him, Gypsy, Triumph, and L-Ron in Despero's body; weren't J'onn J'onzz or Mark Waid's first picks. Waid makes a go of it, but it's not great.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

DC's third-best Soviet spy agency themed villain!

While some of you may remember occasional Batman villain the KGBeast, from "Ten Nights of the Beast," most of you probably aren't as familiar with later attempts at a Russian assassin/super-villain, like his protege, the NKVDemon. Or Nicodemus, a student of NKVDemon, which puts him at twice removed from the KGBeast. Which is probably good enough for an Aquaman villain. From 1992's Aquaman #8, "Demons in Thought and Deed" Written by Shaun McLaughlin, pencils by Ken Hooper, inks by Bob Dvorak.

Although he knows his teacher, and doubtless his teacher's teacher, would not approve, Nicodemus is getting himself pretty well Americanized. He's got a pretty sharp haircut, for starters; and is well on his way to making big bucks. By killing Aquaman. From the files, Nicodemus knows Aquaman gets weaker out of water, and can't survive more than an hour; so he plans to hit him after his speech to the U.N.

Since Black Manta attacked him during his last press conference, this time Arthur is strapped into a bulletproof vest while he and the Russian ambassador Martina awkwardly try to flirt. Dressed in a nice suit instead of his usual orange, Arthur delivers an empassioned speech for the oceans and citizens of Atlantis, which is then met by a bunch of stupid, unrelated questions:

Pissed, Arthur storms off, sulking in the rain, as Nicodemus takes aim. Arthur senses him somehow, with either his telepathy, or Aqua-sense; and the shot misses. Nic is surprised when Aquaman jumps three stories up to come after him, since he had been under the impression that he shouldn't have been that effective out of water and with his time seemingly up. He manages to shoot Aquaman several times, the shots stopped by the vest, then Batman shows to prevent him finishing Aquaman off. Nic has no intention of losing to Batman, and splits.

Batman tries to help Aquaman, who is already recovering. He waves off Batman, wanting to face Nicodemus himself, and takes off following him on the rooftops. A previous injury stops him for a moment, and Nic takes another shot; which misses as he's warned by telepathy again. It then comes down to several pages of punching, as both Arthur and Nicodemus start to take this personally: for Nic, it becomes less about the money, than not wanting to lose just because the files on Aquaman were misleading; while Arthur doesn't want to just be known as the water guy. Nicodemus is a much better trained combatant, while Arthur's superior strength keeps him in the fight. Of course, Arthur eventually wins, because in any fight, you should probably bet on the guy who can hit the other guy with a manhole cover.

In disguise as a doctor, Batman follows up with Aquaman afterwards.

The next day, Aquaman's U.N. handler is having a fit, since the U.N. doesn't know what to do with a "vigilante delegate" and the papers keep pestering him about how Aquaman didn't die out of water. Like they're disappointed. In prison, Nicodemus is writing a letter of apology to Aquaman, when his employers arrange his silence. Nicodemus would never get to tell Aquaman that he liked his speech.

How Aquaman survived isn't really made clear this issue, but previously the creators had said they were trying to get away from some aspects of character that had never made a lot of sense: like, if Aquaman was out of water for fifty-nine minutes he was fine, then he dropped dead at sixty? What if it was humid out, or if he had a glass of water? The point is, it shouldn't have been a hard-and-fast rule.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Batman versus zombies...will be seen tonight!

Even though Blackest Night involves zombies of a sort, it's a little surprising that there isn't a full-on Batman against the living dead story. Day of Judgement looked like it was going to, but was a bait-and-switch. This one's closer...but still not quite there, although it does have a couple things going for it; mainly a great Brian Bolland cover and art by Leonardo Manco, in Batman: Gotham Knights #29: "The Mortician, part two: Zombie Zero." Written by Devin Grayson.

We enter this one mid-story, as Batman rescues a young thug and his zombified friend, from the aforementioned Mortician and his zombie horde. Well, it's probably a couple dozen zombies, so not quite a horde per se. Also, most of the zombies are a bit on the lethargic side, even for zombies: scary-looking, but not that active.

Elsewhere, a young boy has a more lively zombie, that he's been using to kill his rivals--that's how this issue puts it, and without seeing the prior issue, I can't say rivals for what. Kept in the boy's closet, it turns on him, and chases him out of the house.

Batman researches the blood samples of the zombies, while the Mortician is trying to bring back more corpses, with the aid of his zombified dad. He then tracks down the boy's zombie (while the disbelieving police tut-tut the boy's story) and then finds the Mortician's cemetery workshop, which really seems like a no-brainer. Not like he's going to be holed up in the abandoned joke shop or flower store, now is he?

Giving the Mortician an antitoxin, Bats explains that the boy's zombie wasn't dead when he was embalmed with contaminated fluid, and will "live out the rest of his days as an imprisoned, poisoned, inhuman host body." This is another one of those situations where Batman's code against killing seems like abject dickery; but then we do get a neat two-page spread of Bats fighting the zombies. And...that's pretty much it: Mortician injects his zombie folks with the antitoxin, returning them to plain old dead, and the rest apparently just die off-panel after Bats beats them up.

Tough to call without the prior issue, but this one does seem to end pretty suddenly. Still, that art helps it a lot. This issue also features a black-and-white story from Paul Kupperberg and John Watkiss, involving the Riddler and an escape artist that trained Batman. It's not bad, but there's a death in the end that isn't clear if the Riddler committed murder, or an accidental homicide; like a lot of Riddler stories, it doesn't seem sure if he's a mad-dog killer or a neurotic attention-seeker with a gimmick.

I prefer him to be a bit more of both, truth to tell.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Synonym for Arrival"

Click to enlarge, this whole sequence would be about the opening credits...

Yes, it's a riff on the Prisoner. I don't think I outright hated AMC's recent remake/reimagining/re-do, but not only does it not hold a candle to the sheer...originality of the original; but there were some other flaws, too. I can understand not wanting to do a shot-for-shot, slavish imitation of the original; but sometimes in trying to tell your own story, you can get too far away from what you liked in the source material.

Best example I can think of, especially since a retrospective series was on for them about the same time; would be if some producer or writer or network proudly announced they were going to remake Monty Python's Flying Circus. Now, that alone would be just about impossible: that series was so idiosyncratic and individual and of its time, as well as being virtually idolized in the years since it was on.

Then imagine if that producer said this time, they were going to do Python as it should've been done; not only with more contemporary production values, but also as an allegory for the Holocaust. And not even in the sense that the producer might be hijacking Python for his own purposes, more that our imaginary producer was legitimately excited about both ideas, and thought putting them together would be the best thing ever. Said producer would of course be dead wrong, and that seems to be pretty much how we got AMC's Prisoner.

Anyway, we'll be messing around with this one for a month or so...

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Normal bloggerel...doggerel, recommencing, shortly-ish.

Long-time readers here may have noticed the relative dearth of new posts around here lately. It's not just that I've been working too much, though: afraid I've been without internet, and cable TV, for um, a month, month and a half? Two months, is that right? Huh. I had set up a batch of posts ahead of time, but between Christmas and work, I haven't had the money or the time (or both at the same time) to get set back up until now.

So, what did I do when I wasn't blogging?


Played a lot of Gator Golf. Am currently about $40,000 in the hole to the Oldest. Skins game my ass.

The Oldest and I may have to crack and buy real putters, or at least ones that are meant for taller toddlers. The Youngest has a little golf set, but hates the clubs for some reason. I think he wanted me to throw them away at one point, and now he won't even let me get them down from the top of the cabinet. No idea why.

Started X-Men Legends II. Back when I wrote this, neither the Oldest nor I remembered where we are in the game, what we were doing, or what our goals were. So, it's like where I am in the X-Men comics now. Hey-oh!

Set up the new computer I got for Christmas...then couldn't really use for three weeks.

Watched a lot of movies, quite a few on VHS, since there's a batch I've never gotten around to (or may never get around to) replacing. Some of them:

Blade Runner (VHS Director's Cut) And re-read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which I absolutely recommend: the book has a lot of differences, but I can find something new in it every time I read it.

Shadow of the Vampire I had an unopened, used copy of it, and finally popped it open. was all right. Maybe better if I had seen Nosferatu more recently than twenty years ago, or maybe it's not a strong enough premise for a whole movie.

Wu Tang Clan Not the rap group, but one of the pile of old kung-fu movies I've picked up on the cheap over the years. Not the best one ever, but it does have a novel plot.

Hard-Boiled, the Killer, Bullet in the Head, A Better Tomorrow I&II...I do enjoy the John Woo. I have Just Heroes, but have never been able to enjoy the crappy VHS copy since the subtitles are cut off the screen, an occasional hazard when picking these up. If you haven't seen Bullet in the Head, it's not one of Woo's best known, but it's like his Apocalypse Now, in the sense that it too is a Vietnam War piece and I believe it too was by all accounts, absolutely brutal to film. Still, it ends with a demolition derby-like shoot out, so there's that.

Peace Hotel, the Postman Fights Back, Full Contact, and Hong Kong 1941: I'm also a fan of Mr. Chow Yun-Fat. Full Contact is probably the closest to his traditional action roles, Postman is a kung-fu period piece, Hong Kong 1941 is set during wartime, and Peace Hotel I hadn't seen until now: it's almost like a spaghetti kung-fu western, I'd say. Standoffs and double-crosses. (There may be a longer post in this sometime, but Harrison Ford from Blade Runner and a gangster/killer Chow Yun-Fat, are two of the few unmade action figures left on my wish list, as far as movies go.)

Versus Yakuza mobsters versus zombies and an ancient evil. Pisses me off that I have a ream of old VHS I can still watch, but my DVD of this is skippy.

Star Trek, the Animated Series, the new movie, and any episodes I had lying around.

All of Justice League Unlimited; which I heartily endorse, unless you plan on reading any current DC comics, as they'll pale in comparison.

Finally watched the second X-Files movie, which wasn't bad, if you ignore that most of the case could've been solved with rudimentary detective work, like posting a couple guys outside when you storm the building, or following up on sales of the drug in the victims. Then again, that's not how the game is played there.

And we watched Pixar's Up about a bazillion times. You should too. You know how sometimes, you're watching a movie, and you think, "Oh, they could never do that," or "that would never work"? Yeah, you don't during Up.

Regular bloggerel doggerel commences now, and a new strip is up tomorrow morning.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Granted, it would be tough to make a PSA on Lovecraftian monsters in thirty seconds...

The genie lamp Hellboy has in the second panel? From a yard sale, and almost entirely the impetus for this strip.
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Friday, January 08, 2010

God, I'm stupid...

I've run this panel before, I just wanted a placeholder here.

Just committed to ten hours of overtime next week, in addition to whatever temp work I can get in. Nice knowing you, blog!

The Hellboy PSA strip concludes Wednesday, and the rest of the week? Let's say I'm on 'vacation.' Wish me luck!

From Iron Man vol. 3, #69, "Manhunt, part five" Written by Robin Laws, pencilled by Michael Ryan, inked by Sean Parsons and Rich Perrotta; with an assist from outgoing writer Mike Grell.
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Obligatory Avatar post:

So, I finally saw Avatar, as is seemingly mandated by geek law. (Not unlike Watchmen, although I guess more of you are going to Avatar.) was OK. I didn't spring for the iMax or 3D, so it didn't floor me, but it was all right. So, intend of being wowed and/or beaten into submission by the visuals, I did notice the movie beating me over the head with the green theme, that mankind should go back to it's grey dead mother homeworld and die. I kinda thought yeah, it's easy to be environmentally friendly when your pets/meat are plug-and-play...and what kind of footprint does a $600 million production leave, to say nothing of the toys or Happy Meals...

I had been watching Star Trek: the Animated Series before I went to Avatar, so of course I thought Captain Kirk would've worked out a peaceful solution. Or blown up Ewya or Enya or whatever their deity/crystal thing was called (the Tree of Souls?) as being too controlling of the people, a la classic episode "the Apple." Tough to say with Kirk, could've gone either way. If a pile of Avatar figures fell into my lap, I'll do a strip for it, but I'm not buying the damn things.

Also, I think there's been some undeserved criticism of some elements as being taken wholesale from Cameron's prior movies, specifically Aliens: the marines and the gunships have strong resemblances, and you could argue the AMP suits are way too close to the power lifter Ripley used there. Nothing wrong with that: I just took it to mean Avatar and Aliens took place in the same universe. We'll just see how smug those treehuggers are when the bugs come at them...
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Insert "Knowing is half the...whatever" joke here.

Roger's line for this panel was going to be 'Kids! Protect your orifices! Run! Run!!' and I either thought it was too far, or forgot.

A difference between the comic and movie versions of Hellboy, is that, at least when the first movie begins, Hellboy is a barely glimpsed secret, an urban legend. Kind of like what some people want Batman to be, then they get bent out of shape when he's seen on TV reports in Justice League, but I digress. In the comics, Hellboy is a publicly known figure; instantly recognizable because of his appearance, but not necessarily overtly famous. You wouldn't see him on Hard Copy or TMZ or some other trendy celebrity scandal program, though; partly because his history starts in the fifties and runs to now. I always figured Hellboy would be like Jacques Cousteau: a known personage, but not one that would be mobbed by cameras or for autographs. Or, at least we haven't seen that in the comics, anyway.

So, the obvious, and hackneyed, inspiration for this one is G.I. Joe's classic "And knowing is half the battle!" While it's doubtful the FCC would've allowed the word "hell" in a kid's cartoon in the 80's--my mom still has a problem with it now, since I guess she didn't approve of my nephews seeing the Hellboy movies--a half-hour Hellboy cartoon would've been sweet. If Mike Mignola had somehow created Hellboy in say, 1982...part two on Wednesday! (EDIT: Next Wednesday. I apparently lost a day there somewhere...)
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