Posts Tagged ‘DC’

How Abin Sur *Really* Died…

April 14, 2011

Alright, so we’ve all heard the ridiculous story of Abin Sur crashing on Earth, and eventually dying from the injuries suffered in that crash. And, it looks like they are going to continue this charade in the upcoming Green Lantern movie staring Ryan Reynolds.

The story is bologna.

We here at the Steve Austin Book Club have uncovered the truth, and in our tireless efforts to keep you, our loyal readers, informed, we offer this never-before-seen bit of comic book history that was covered up by the Powers That Be!

Behold, the biggest shock since it was discovered that JFK was actually mauled to death by a tiger:

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Wonder Woman: The New Duds Revisited

April 1, 2011

EG: Alright, folks, it isn’t that often we revisit a topic, but that is EXACTLY what we are doing today. What earthshaking developments have taken place that drive us to do so?

Wonder Woman.

That’s right, folks. Our pleas, in part have been heard. In the most recent images released from the upcoming TV tragedy of epic proportions, Wonder Woman, the costume has been changed.

I’ll say it again, slowly: The. Costume. Has. Been. Changed.

Thanks to the very comments and concerns expressed right here on this blog, the Steve Austin Book Club has convinced the Dark Forces working on this series to (at least partially) fix the costume.

OG: Huzzah!!! Er, well, that is, Partial Huzzah!!!

EG: I’m sure that some of the other bloggers out there that made some comments had a slight impact on the decision as well, but I’m hereby claiming credit for this advancement in the voice of fandom for this blog. We, OG and EG got this done for you, our people.

You are welcome.

OG: Yes, that’s right! Big shot Hollywood muckety-muck David E. Kelly and those ninnies at NBC have buckled under the mounting pressure from our rarely updated and virtually unknown blog! OUR INFLUENCE CANNOT BE DENIED ANY LONGER!!!

EG: So, let’s take a look at the updated costume!

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EG: There she is, determinedly running! First off, let me say, I know it isn’t perfect. The top is still shiny. I still wish they’d gone with a more dull, leather-like top. But, look at the improvements – the pants are darker, and no longer made of vinyl. And the boots! We got the red boots! And not the hooker-heels that the blue boots were! That right there was such a vast improvement I can almost forgive the shortcomings.

OG: Indeed, on the whole, it is a significant improvement. The only reason I wish they had held their ground on the original costume is that we could have seen shots of her running awkwardly in vinyl pants and trying to jump up on cars in stilettos. Certainly the comedy of that would have been delightful!

EG: But, I did mention shortcomings. With the replacement of just the pants material/tone, the costume now seems a bit less cohesive. As much as I didn’t like the shiny elements of the original picture released, the costume had a flow to it. Yes, a cheap Halloween-esque plastic-y flow, but a flow nonetheless. That said, I still think this is better.

OG: ‘Tis a very good point EG. It does look very much disjointed. But, with such a short span of time between the initial release of the original costume image and these new images, I think the changes they made were the only ones they could do on the quick.

On a side-note, as much as I celebrate our victory in getting them to make changes, it is clear evidence that they don’t have a firm creative vision for this show nor the confidence to stick to their guns that such a vision would give them. And, with it being NBC, it feels like Heroes all over again – Changing and modifying their show based on the whims of fandom ultimately results in an even worse product. Does that make any sense?

EG: I get what you are saying, but I think you have to consider that this is *just* a costume modification, and not necessarily an indication of any lack of vision. Frankly, I’m more inclined to believe that they released the images just early enough so that they could make modifications based on fan reaction. If you think of that as an affirmative decision, it becomes less wishy-washy and more tactical.

And, if you are paranoid like me and follow that line of thinking to a darker conclusion, maybe those initial image drops were released *just* to get the fans to react in the way they did, that these changes were always going to come down the line, but now the studio can claim they actually listened to fans…

What? Too much?

OG: Anyway, putting that aside. What else?

EG: Nitpicking, I really do wish they’d gone with the silver on the boots instead of the gold. But, that is such a minor concern, it doesn’t even need to be mentioned. Along that same line, the stars on the pants would stand out more in silver as well.

OG: Hmm, I can see what you’re saying and certainly wouldn’t be opposed to that. But, the gold does fall in line with the iconography of the character, making a revised look to the character still fall within the bounds of what we expect from a Wonder Woman costume.

EG: But, let’s take note of the other aspect of this show we are seeing in these images – Wonder Woman is running. That implies that there is actually going to be action in the TV show! As an occasional viewer of Smallville, I’m used to a superhero show that barely has any action most of the time, and this show, we are already seeing action! I’ll admit, I feared, given David Kelly’s record of doing mostly courtroom dramas, that we’d never get around to any superheroic action scenes, so I’m suddenly filled with cautious optimism for this show.

OG: Well, we probably shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves just yet. This is the Pilot after all which is generally a more action-y affair in this type of show anyway. I don’t recall the Smallville Pilot (I believe the only episode I ever watched) but I gotta think that had some promising action in it as well. Also, running? Really? I mean, isn’t this situation tailor-made for Wonder Woman to show off her lasso skills? Ah, looks like I found another nit to pick. Please, carry on.

EG: Hey, how about a clip from the filming of the show?

OG: Let’s do it!

EG: Yowch! Busted knees are never fun!

OG: I have to say, she looks 1000 times less silly in action then I thought she would. Apparently, this ain’t just gonna be Ally McBeal with tights. That said, the shiny top does look significantly goofier in action than the pants. Despite that, it’s pretty encouraging overall.

EG: It does bolster my pie-eyed optimism. I know it isn’t much, but I did expected so little.

OG: Me too. But, I have to say, though we have no context for this clip, I do get worried in any superhero project where the hero/heroine is chasing some random thug. I like my superheroes to fight dudes that are equal to or even superior to them in ability. Of course, he mounted that last car with a lot more skill then she did (she looked pretty winded, right?), so I should probably reserve judgment there.

EG: Before we finish, let’s take a look at two more images. First, this:

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EG: Now, that’s not even right. I know that Adrianne Palicki is more attractive than this bizarre shot lets on. I’m just saying – not an attractive angle.

OG: I’m going to venture to say that Ms. Palicki has probably already lodged a complaint about this angle. Yikes.

EG: And, finally, this image:

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EG: I don’t know if this photo was darkened on purpose, or if it was just the particular lighting, but, wow, this image shows the potential for awesome this costume has. The colors in this one are dead on what they should be for the live action, the shine is more easily overlooked, and the flow of the costume is much better. If this is how the costume comes across on-screen, I’ll be thrilled!

OG: And, that’s not counting the wonders (I think this leaves me with 4 or 5 more crappy puns for the year based on the strict new crappy pun policy we put into effect recently) they can do to the color and look in post production enhancement work. So, I’m thinking this aspect of the show will be the least of our worries.

EG: I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m starting to actually look forward to this series. I know the potential for it stinking is huge, but, seriously, the makers listened to geekdom about the costume. They WANT this show to be successful, they WANT to please the fans. How often does that happen, people? I mean, seriously? For that reason, I’m going to watch this show. That’s right – I’m declaring right now that I’m going to watch this show, good or bad!

OG: I’m with you. But, I must reiterate my concerns about how wishy-washy they’ve proved themselves to be already. But, you are right. A certain amount of respect for the fans opinions is healthy and can lead to a better show. No doubt. I just hope that outside of the costume they have a fresh and interesting take on the world of the character and give us something worth tuning into each week. So, I’m going to go ahead and join you in some good old-fashioned “cautious optimism.”

EG: For the changes to this costume, I’m driving my rating four and a half Running Steves. If the red bodice were changed to a duller leather look, I’d make it five in a heartbeat.

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OG: I’ll bump from 3 ½ to four. They can certainly still change the top after the pilot is done and I’ll gladly revise upwards should that happen.

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EG: Alright, Mr. Kelly and NBC… you’ve got us… can you hold on to us?

Wonder Woman: The New Duds

March 20, 2011

EG: Welcome, all, to the All-New “We’re gonna reboot this blog again” Extravaganza here at the Steve Austin Book Club. No lousy excuses here – we (OG and EG, your unreliable hosts here at the SABC) are bad people.

Not serial killer bad or kick-your-puppy bad, but easily-distracted-from-this-blog-and-not-post-anything-new-for-more-than-a-full-calendar-year bad.

Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

OG: I actually think our lack of posting is quite beautiful. Think about it – despite our numerous bionic upgrades, we are still deeply human. Just because our blogging abilities are cybernetically enhanced doesn’t mean that we aren’t also imbued with the inherent flaws of Original Sin. Also, we plainly suck.

EG: Anyway, what could POSSIBLY cause us to jump back into this? What event of geekdom would push us over the edge from our regular thoughts of “we really should bring the SABC back” to actually putting butts-to-chair and doing it?

This:

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EG: It’s… it’s so… shiny. Uh… yeah.

OG: When my browser first loaded the image I actually heard the squeaking of vinyl before I saw the costume.

EG: In case you didn’t know, David Kelly is making a new Wonder Woman TV show for NBC, and the info that has been leaked about the show, up to this point, has been… underwhelming.

OG: Yes, in defiance of everything that Marvel Studios is doing to create a seamless film universe populated by their great panoply of characters shown in contemporary and dynamic ways, Warner Brothers (not counting the Batman films) is doing it’s level best to meet the demands of the late 90’s with the filmed versions of the heroes of DC!

EG: Now we get this costume. Don’t get me wrong, as a red-blooded American male, there is an… appreciation for this costume, but…

OG: Yes, EG. The gal is truly fetching and she has “wonder”ful attributes that make her a real stand-out in the role! (I hate myself for typing that) And, to really make a statement of who this character is, I see that David E. Kelly made the effort to order a Wonder Woman costume from Target’s expansive collection.

EG: You know, it does look a lot like one of those “Deluxe Sexy Superhero Costumes” that come out for women to slut around in every Halloween.

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EG: The bad thing is… the one for Wonder Woman is actually less over-the-top than the new TV show costume.

OG: But, what they both have in common is their complete look of having been bought at a store. But, I’m being too negative here. I mean, I do want to say that I think there are things they’ve done right here. Kind of.

EG: I think I understand what is happening here. This entire thing is the nefarious plot of Jim Lee to get the public to accept, nay, CELEBRATE his redesign of the Wonder Woman costume.

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And, you know what, OG? It is working. I almost wish they had gone with this costume for this TV show.

OG: I agree completely. I actually liked his design of the character and feels like it is almost tailor made for live-action. And so, I do applaud the inclusion of some of the elements. From what I understand of the plot for the new series, it is going to be more of a street-level superhero story and to that end, they started in the right direction but apparently felt the need to split the difference by bringing in more of the shiny, dare I say cheesy parts of the iconography.

EG: OG, I know you don’t watch Smallville…
OG: It is one of the few things in life that give me true pride.
EG: …and, really, I only catch about two full episodes a season, but they actually put Lois Lane (Erica Durance) in a Wonder Woman-esque costume that I really liked:

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Now, I don’t mean to be snide (actually, yeah, I do), but when Smallville, the show that put Green Arrow in a hoodie –

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And Superman in black trench coat –

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Manages to come up with a better costume, you know you are in trouble.

OG: Not bad at all! I like the more leather look. Reminds me very much of what Marvel Studios is doing so amazingly right (at least from what I’ve seen) with the Captain America costume. I mean, in some ways Wonder Woman has a lot in common visually with Captain America. They have really in your face, bombastic, brightly colored, symbolically rich costumes that are hard to translate to film. Perhaps this is a good time for you to reach in to EG’s Treasure Trove of Superhero Costume Photo Reference and show us what Captain America looks like when done oh so very wrong…

EG: I only live to serve:
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EG: In an effort to be positive, though, let me say that the DESIGN of the costume is actually pretty good. I like that they went with pants… sorta… well, fully-covered legs, anyway. I like that they went with the recognizable and classic bustier. And, while I like the shade of red used in the costume, the blue could stand a little muting, perhaps some darkening… but it is hard to tell from the glare! I think, if they could have de-shine-ified them (yeah, I made that word up), I’d appreciate the entire costume a lot more. The costume really isn’t *that* horrible.

Except the boots. The blue boots do not work. Hey, OG, wanna see this costume become about 90% better?

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EG: There. How’s that?

OG: If you were to tie me up in your lasso of truth (please don’t) I would be forced to say that this is amazing! You almost completely fixed it. Mute the colors on the costume and then make it the more leather look we discussed earlier and you’ve got yourself a PERFECT Wonder Woman costume for the screen, which makes me a little hopeful. I mean, lit and photographed correctly, many of the more obnoxious aspects of the costume (brightness & shininess primarily) might be mitigated. Assuming they do that, the only other pitfall they’d need to avoid would be getting someone like the creator of Ally McBeal to run the show. Now that would be a travesty!

EG: Well, we can only hope! Actually… I have to admit, after looking at the costume for a while, and changing the boots, I could really see something like this working.   I’d really like the colors toned down to the tones in the Smallville version.  Let me take a try at that:

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I still hate the shiny, latex-look, but the whole thing is growing on me.

Or, maybe it is just the fact that I’ve been looking at the image of a beautiful woman dressed up in a shiny latex Wonder Woman costume long enough that I don’t really care anymore.

OG: Well, while my first reaction was 100% negative I have to say you’ve kind of won me over here. I’m not hating it. In fact, I’ll go ahead and give this costume 3 fully loaded Running Steve’s.

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And, just to go on the record, I’ll go ahead and give the show itself a presumptive ZERO Running Steves. Really predicting “Birds of Prey” levels of craptitude here man.

EG: I’ll second the three Running Steve’s, and I’m gonna say that people will be wishing Birds of Prey was still around to cleanse their palate from this doomed version of Wonder Woman.

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NBC, feel free to surprise us and produce an amazing show… but don’t expect us to be holding our breath.

It is a Mystery!

October 9, 2009

There is a mystery in Geekdom.

DC Direct has been producing some pretty neat action figures in relation to the Blackest Night mega-event that is taking place in the Green Lantern titles (and, soon, the entire DCU… my wallet is already crying).

In the first batch of toys, we were treated to a “mystery figure” in all the promotion:

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Soon enough, we learned it was Kal L, Superman of Earth 2 as a Black Lantern:

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In the next wave, we had another mystery figure:

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Turned out, it was Black Lantern Martian Manhunter:

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The next wave included Black Lantern Aquaman, but I don’t think his promo was blacked out. It might have been, but I don’t recall. The wave of figures after that, though, is where the real mystery is.

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In that image, we see the Black Lantern Firestorm, but there is another figure blacked out. The solicitation for this wave says:

“This series includes Wonder Woman, who is surprisingly transformed by the happenings of the Blackest Night (Read the comics to learn more!)”

What makes this figure so mysterious is that, unlike the previously blacked-out figures, this one hasn’t been spoiled. Kal L and Martian Manhunter were uncovered within weeks of the initial promo. This figure… it is well over two months now.

Don’t get me wrong, it is nice to NOT be spoiled… but it raises a lot of questions. All of the previous mystery figures were Black Lanterns, does this mean Wonder Woman will be a Black Lantern? But, each wave up until this one only has one Black Lantern, and this wave already has Black Lantern Firestorm.

Which leaves us to wonder (get it? wonder? ha!) if Wonder Woman will be getting a ring, and if so, which one?

A lot of folks are thinking that Wonder Woman will become a Star Sapphire. This is based on an image tucked away in the massive two page spread found in Green Lantern #25:

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See it? No? Down in the left hand corner. Still no? Okay, how about blown up a bit:

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As far as I can tell, the only thing that people are going by to connect this image and Wonder Woman is the mystery figure:

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Looking at the figure, it seems to have the same skirting that is seen in the drawing. And, thus a lot of folks seem to make a massive leap to say that the figure must be that Star Sapphire, and since the solicitation for the figure says it is Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman will be a Star Sapphire!

That… is a pretty flimsy reason to make that leap.

The whole “Power of Love” (man, I love Huey Lewis and the News) thing the Star Sapphires have going on doesn’t mesh with my idea of Wonder Woman.  Plus, the ouline of the figure doesn’t really match up with that Star Sapphire costume.

A lot of folks think Wonder Woman may become a Blue Lantern. But, as passive as those Lanterns are, I don’t see that either.

Green seems unlikely. Red? An angry Wonder Woman is a thing to behold, and might work. Yellow is possible, but less likely. Sure, she can inspire fear, but as an ambassador to the world, it seems against her nature. Orange? Nah.

Which leaves Indigo. And, while attaching an Amazon Warrior to the Indigo Tribe seems like a more natural fit, I’m not buying it either.

I’ve never seen Wonder Woman as a mercy killer.

Then what? Well… I propose that the solicit is deceiving. (That’s right, solicit! I’m calling you out!)

After all, Diana Prince isn’t the only woman ever to be Wonder Woman.

Alternate option #1: Wonder Woman of Earth 2

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She was seen again back during Infinite Crisis, so maybe she is coming back to take care of the Black Lantern Superman of Earth 2.

Alternate option #2: Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and Mother of Diana

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That’s right – for a time, Diana’s mother served as Wonder Woman. She even traveled back in time and served with the original Justice Society of America. I’m not sure if any of this has been retconned, but it is a possibility.

Alternate Option #3: Artemis

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Ah, the 90’s, when superheroines all had gravity-defying hair and broken backs! Yes, Artemis, the grim-and-gritty version of Wonder Woman! She served as Wonder Woman after Queen Hippolyta called for a new contest for the title of Wonder Woman in an effort to protect Diana. Could be her… and, she’s already dead, so she’d be able to slip into a Black Lantern costume pretty easily… which is necessary with that back condition.

Alternate Option #4: Donna Troy

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During the year that Diana took off for 52, Donna served as Wonder Woman in this far-superior costume! (Yeah, personal opinion, but, c’mon! That IS a much cooler costume!) Plus, if you are reading the Blackest Night: Titans comic, you’ll know that there is a real possibility here. Plus, she seems to be wearing the correct skirt (or possibly the sword) that is seen in the mystery figure.

Which is why Donna is my odds on favorite for this figure – a Donna Troy as Black Lantern Wonder Woman. Why as Wonder Woman? Well, her other costumes have been generally unremarkable. The Wonder Woman outfit is more distinctive, and should mess with the minds of the other heroes quite a bit, too.

To give an idea of what the figure might look like, I took this image:

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And, with a quick, not too detailed mock-up, I came up with this:

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I know – not the best, but it gives the idea. I could be completely off base here, but we’ll see!

Micro-Hero of the Week

October 6, 2009

You know, there’s nothing that quite compares to monkeys and apes.  Folks love ’em.

And, when you put monkeys and apes in comics?  That is, like, twice as awesome.

Put that monkey or ape into a comic AND make him a detective?  My friends, that is pure, straight from the fountain awesome sauce.

This week’s micro-hero is the culmination of the amazing formula – Detective Chimp!

Once merely a highly intelligent chimp, Bobo became a full fledged detective after taking a dip in the Fountain of Youth.  The effects of the Fountain gave him eternal youth, amped up his intelligence, and gave him the ability to speak to any living creature.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud to present, EG’s micro-hero of Detective Chimp!

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EG’s Review: The Shield #1

September 23, 2009

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The Shield #1
Writer – Eric Trautmann
Pencils – Marco Rudy
Inks – Mick Gray
Letters – Sal Cipriano
Colors – Art Lyon
Publisher – DC Comics

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(Heads up – there are a couple of spoilers in this review – nothing that I think will take away from the comic if you read it, but I wanted to warn you, just in case you hate any spoilers at all!)

You may have heard that the Red Circle characters were coming to DC. You may not have had a clue what that meant. Then, you may have heard the Archie super heroes were coming to DC. You may have wondered how Jughead in a cape was going to be folded into the modern DC Universe.

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For me, though, when I saw the characters, I thought, “Hey, those are the Mighty Crusaders coming to the DC Universe!”

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And, that is when I got excited.

See, when I was but a young geek, I had the action figures of the Mighty Crusaders. My family wasn’t exactly rolling in the dough, so when it came to little chunks of overpriced plastic (ie, action figures), I didn’t have all that many. When the Mighty Crusaders came out, though, they were significantly cheaper than other figures.

And thus, I had them.

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In all honesty, I didn’t know much about the characters at the time, and very often used the Shield as Captain America and the Web as Spider-Man (which, admittedly, was a bit of a stretch), but I came to really like the toys, and eventually learned about the actual characters and enjoyed them a lot.

Which is one of the heartbreaking things about revival of these characters at DC.

A little while back, they issued four one-shots of the Shield, the Web, the Hangman, and the Inferno (again, I admit, I was less familiar with the Hangman and the Inferno… because they weren’t members of the Mighty Crusaders), and I bought all four.

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Sucker that I am.

The one-shots were pretty crummy, and connected, which meant that if you didn’t get all four, you were missing out on the story. And, if you did get all four, you just felt ripped off.

When the ongoing Shield book was announced, though, I thought I’d give it a chance. The one-shot, while not great, was probably the best of the four, and I was able to get the first issue at a great discount. (In case you haven’t noticed in my previous postings, I’m cheap.) Even if it was crummy, I could pass it along to someone else (Christmas is coming, and I find comics make great padding in packages being sent out!).

I was glad I had read the one-shot in preparation for this first issue of the ongoing. I’m pretty sure I would’ve gotten the gist regardless, but knowing the Shield was an injured soldier, saved by experimental technology via his suit, helped.

In the story, the Shield is sent to locate some Special Ops Units that have gone missing. Unfortunately, they’ve gone missing in an area that is particularly sensitive about costume-clad heroes coming in – the Bialya/Kahndaq border.

(In case you didn’t know – and, spoilers for 52 here – Black Adam, at the death of his wife, Isis, went nuts and killed everyone in Bialya… which explains the sensitivity in the region)

After speaking with the Mullah of the local village, the Shield is led to the location where the missing men are likely being held… and is attacked!

Not by the insurgents, though. He is being attacked by the missing men!

While trying to keep the men from killing the boy that led him to the location, and keeping the boy from killing the men as well, the scene is interrupted by Magog!

Ooh, exciting… except, not so much. This big reveal of a guest star from the DCU in the next issue was… disappointing.

Up to that point, the comic was really intriguing. First off, it had a great feel. If I had to describe it, it would be a nice blend of Captain America, with a bit of Iron Man thrown in. There was definitely a nice military feel, and the Shield was definitely presented as a soldier, but there was also the science fiction element of the suit thrown in.

Even having the men attack the Shield was a bit unexpected, and let the reader wonder what was really going on. But, then, Magog was shoe-horned into the book. And, personally, not being a fan of that character, I was immediately deflated by his appearance.

More than a personal like/dislike of Magog, though, I found that the introduction of a DC guest star was a little early. This book needs the chance to establish what it is before throwing guest appearances in, especially guest appearances from d-level characters. (I’m just saying – who buys a book by seeing Magog on the cover? “Ooh, look, Magog! Gotta have it!”)

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(Wait… seriously?!?)

The art throughout the story was good, and fitting for the book. Perhaps a little too clean, but that could just be that it had the same feel as the most current run of Captain America, and the art style there is darker, which in turn makes me feel that maybe this should be as well.

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Along with the Shield in this book, though, we are also given the back-up (I don’t care if you call it a co-feature or a second feature, DC, it is still a back-up) of the Inferno.

I won’t go into the story there. I read it, and it was “eh” – plenty forgettable and I don’t think it paired well with the main character in the book. The art was fine, but nothing extraordinary.

So, what is the verdict? Well, sadly, The Shield has three strikes against it. Strike one – the abrupt, unnecessary, and unwanted inclusion of a guest star right at the end. Strike two – the Inferno second feature really brought down the momentum established in the main feature of the book. And, strike three – cover pricing a new, unestablished book at $3.99? Really, DC, what are you thinking? Kill the back-up story and bring this in at $2.99!

Even with the strikes, though, I really enjoyed most of the first issue. For that reason, I’m giving the book two and a half Running Steves.

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When it is collected as a trade, I might pick it up, but it didn’t pull me in enough to buy every month.

Comic Con 2008 Day 3: Con-clusion!

July 28, 2008
Today is a bittersweet day.

Here we are, returned to OG’s abode, after three great days of the Comic Con International, and a day of rest.  (See?  We are acknowleding that we didn’t get around to posting on Sunday, despite our assurance that we would.  Sorry.  We stink.)  It is good to be back, and, yet, a little sad that the Con is over.

We can’t complain, though.  With the exception of two panels we wanted to see on the first day, we managed to get into everything we really wanted to get into.  And, missing those first two panels was completely out of our control, thanks to the traffic jam we mentioned previously.

We were smart with our time and scheduling, we opted for only three days of Con (avoiding excessive physical and mental exhaustion), we wisely prepared sandwiches, snacks and beverages for each day ahead of time, and we simply could not have done better.

We nailed it.  We mastered the Con.

So, what of Saturday at the Con? 

EG started out the day at the Spirituality in Comics panel while OG entered the floor in a valiant attempt to procure souvenirs for his family.  The panel was lively and interesting, discussing the increased number of spiritual themes in modern comics.  It was a smaller panel, but it allowed a more intimate level of discussion. 

(A quick note here – all too often, the smaller panels of the Con, focusing on a singular theme or creator, are overlooked.  In our experience, though, these can be some of the most fun and informative meetings you can find.  You could probably fill your entire schedule with these types of panels and have a very fulfilling Con experience!)

After meeting back up, the next program was a favorite of ours – Quick Draw!  The Quick Draw panel is always fun.  Sergio Aragones (of Groo and Mad Magazine fame), Scott Shaw (artist of Bongo Comics, Hanna Barbera, and much more), and Mike Peters (creator of Mother Goose and Grimm) “compete” against one another in drawing tasks (like, “The Incredible Hulk as the President of the United States”), all for the entertainment of the viewing crowd.  It is an amazing display of creativity and talent to watch these cartoonists quickly draw some of the funniest things you’ll ever see.  Sergio Aragones is always the highlight of this panel, and this year was no different.  Just a great way to spend an hour or so at the Con.

We then made our way to the DC: A Guide to Your Universe panel.  The best thing about this panel?  Actual announcements!  That’s right – not merely dodging questions, but announcing big news.  EG was thrilled to hear that DC would be bringing the Archie super heroes (you might know them as The Mighty Crusaders) into current continuity, since he still has some of those action figures from his childhood.  Another great announcement was that the Milestone characters would be returning to the DCU proper.  Milestone was a far-too-short-lived imprint with DC comics in the early 90’s.  Perhaps the most successful aspect of the line was Static, which actually became a cartoon called Static Shock.

We also learned that in an upcoming arc in the Superman books, the people of Kandor decide to make Earth their New Krypton, and that something called “The Battle for the Cowl” will be taking place in the Batman books following Batman: R.I.P.

Oh, and it seems that every hero that has ever died is up for grabs for the Black Lanterns in the upcoming “Darkest Night” storyline in the Green Lantern books.

Following that panel, we stayed in the same room for the Grant Morrison and Gerard Way: Born Under a Black Sun panel.  This crowd was different from the others throughout the day.  How so?  Why, it seemed to have a much higher quotient of teenage girls in it.  Seems that Gerard Way, creator of The Umbrella Academy comic is also Gerard Way of the group My Chemical Romance.  (By the way – OG knew this, but EG did not.  Yet another example of how modern society has just passed EG by.)  The description of the panel claimed it would change our lives.

It lied.

It was a fine enough panel, though.  Maybe a little self-important, and it seemed most of the folks in the room had never actually read a comic book.  In fact, the first question from the audience was a guy who said, “Um, yeah, Gerard, I’m a huge fan, but I’ve never read your comic.  What is it about?”

(Note – At that moment, OG had to physically restrain EG from running up and thumping the twerp on the head for coming to something called a “comic” con for entirely the wrong reasons.)

Upon the glorious conclusion of that panel, we went to the Marvel: Secret Invasion panel.  It was delightful to hear Joe Quesada, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel comics, ask the audience to not even bother asking about movies, since they had nothing to do with the movie aspects of Marvel.  That’s right, folks – the panel was REALLY going to be about comics.  Sadly, like most of the Marvel panels for the weekend, most of the questions were answered with a standard, “We can’t talk about that just yet.  Keep reading!”

The last panel of the day for us was Marvel: The Ultimate Universe Must Die!  While we don’t regularly pick up anything from the Ultimate Marvel Universe (OG picks up the occassional Ultimate Fantastic Four trade, and EG is picking up the Ultimate Spider-Man trades), curiousity got us in the door.  While there, Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost, publicly turned in his last script for the six issue mini-series of Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk, which began in December 2005 (only the first two issues have been published thus far).  Basically, it was a barely disguised declaration of, “Hey, any further delays – not MY  fault.”

With the end of the programming day, we made our way to the topper for our wonderful trip to San Diego – seeing a live performance by the Rifftrax crew at the Balboa Theatre, as they tore up a color print of the infamous Plan 9 from Outer Space.  If you aren’t familiar with Rifftrax, think Mystery Science Theatre 3000.  In fact, all of those involved with Rifftrax are alums of MST3K.  Prior to the show, Rifftrax versions of theatrical pre-feature entertainment ran, giving fake trivia information and questions.  The best two, in our humble opinion, were:

“Did you know:  Ahmed Best, voice of Jar Jar Binks, died penniless and alone.”

“Did you know:  The CEO of Ticketmaster sleeps on a giant pile of money and drinks the tears of orphans.”

As for the show itself, it was amazing.  We really hadn’t realized how much we missed MST3K, and having piles of new material was amazing.  It was just great to laugh until it hurt.

And, then… it was finished.  We made our way to the Steve Austin-mobile and headed out, tired but completely satisfied with a great Con experience.

There you have it, folks.  Now, on to what most of you probably really stopped here for – the pics!

The official Batman and Wonder Woman of the DC Booth.  You see that Batman costume?  Tell me why they cant try a costume like that in the movies!  It looks great!  Oh, yeah, sure, it offers zero protection against... well, anything, but... cmon!

The official Batman and Wonder Woman of the DC Booth. You see that Batman costume? Tell me why they can't try a costume like that in the movies! It looks great! Oh, yeah, sure, it offers zero protection against... well, anything, but... c'mon!

 

Okay, yeah, sure, there is a woman dressed like Catwoman in this picture, but we really want you all to notice the guy in the kilt behind her.  Outside of Scotland, youll not find more kilts than you do at the Con.  Know what, guys?  Never gonna happen.  We dont care how comfortable you claim these to be, it will never be widely accepted in modern America for a man to walk around in a skirt.

Okay, yeah, sure, there is a woman dressed like Catwoman in this picture, but we really want you all to notice the guy in the kilt behind her. Outside of Scotland, you'll not find more kilts than you do at the Con. Know what, guys? Never gonna happen. We don't care how comfortable you claim these to be, it will never be widely accepted in modern America for a man to walk around in a skirt.

 

Uh... you think she just did that to her head for the sake of the costume?

Uh... you think she just did that to her head for the sake of the costume?

 

You know what?  This costume was just amazingly great, so we wanted everyone to see it.

You know what? This costume was just amazingly great, so we wanted everyone to see it.

 

Little Orphan Annie is Arrowhead Girl!

Little Orphan Annie is Arrowhead Girl!

 

Cobra Commander performing a scene from Hamlet, while the Baroness looks on in boredom.

Cobra Commander performing a scene from Hamlet, while the Baroness looks on in boredom.

 

Yep, killed me three groping fanboys so far.  Its like shooting fish in a barrel here.

"Yep, killed me three groping fanboys so far. It's like shooting fish in a barrel here."

While the male members of Cobra are issued standard uniforms, the females are issued spandex uniforms.  Why?  Because thats the way Cobra Commander wants it.

While the male members of Cobra are issued standard uniforms, the females are issued spandex uniforms. Why? Because that's the way Cobra Commander wants it.

 

... and she stared off into the distance, contemplating why a chicken sandwich should cost $8.00 at the Con.

"... and she stared off into the distance, contemplating why a chicken sandwich should cost $8.00 at the Con."

 

C is for cookie, thats good enough for me, C is for cookie, thats good enough for me, C is for cookie, thats good enough for me, Cookie, Cookie, Cookie starts with C!

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me, C is for cookie, that's good enough for me, C is for cookie, that's good enough for me, Cookie, Cookie, Cookie starts with C!

 

Tin foil Orion helmet?  $2.79.  Spandex pants?  $17.99.  Ipod for a Motherbox?  $249.99.  Being called Forbush Man all day long?  Priceless.

Tin foil Orion helmet? $2.79. Spandex pants? $17.99. Ipod for a Motherbox? $249.99. Being called Forbush Man all day long? Priceless.

 

Plastic Man decides to creep out the rest of the Justice League by showing them his idea of gender bending.

Plastic Man decides to creep out the rest of the Justice League by showing them his idea of "gender bending."

The streets are extended gutters, and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown.  Did you know I have my very own 6 action figure, perfectly in scale to most of your childrens action figures?

"The streets are extended gutters, and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. Did you know I have my very own 6" action figure, perfectly in scale to most of your children's action figures?"

That’s all folks!

Events and a Free Gift from The Steve Austin Book Club

April 29, 2008

It has begun.

Almost like clockwork, Marvel and DC roll out their annual “events.”  This year, Marvel has Secret Invasion and DC has Final Crisis.

I’m not really going to talk about the events.  Not really.

See, I figure they don’t really need a publicity push from me.  By this point, you are either going to buy them or not.

Me?  I’m buying the main series of each, a total of 16 comics (if you include DC Universe 0 with Final Crisis – which I do), eight from each company.

But, if I wanted, I could go broke buying all of the various tie-ins for the two main events.

As of my most recent count, start to end, Final Crisis, if one were to purchase every one of the tie-in books along with the main series, the total jumps from eight up to a shocking (or, maybe not so much anymore) 26 issues.  And, that does not include what Dan Didio refers to as “Sightings” issues – which are signposts, marking important storybeats and moments throughout the DC Universe.  These will relate to Final Crisis, but not directly tie-in.  Even if all of the books were only $2.99 (which they won’t all be – I’m reasonably sure the main issues are $3.99 each), that is over a $75.00 investment!

But, if you wanna really talk about breaking the bank, then hats off to Marvel.  If you were to gather all of the tie-in issues along with the main series for Secret Invasion (NOT including issues referred to as “Infiltration” issues, which lead into the series), you are gonna pick up a jaw-dropping 58 issues before it is all done.  Again, even if all the issues were only $2.99 each (and, again, they aren’t), you are looking at over $170.00!!!

Yeah, I’m buying the main book, but if the story isn’t complete in those issues, too bad.  I’m not handing any more of my disposable income over for these events.  I just won’t do it.

In that spirit, we here at The Steve Austin Book Club would like to offer this:

 
Photobucket

(Ah, signature banners.  Gotta love them.  For those of you unfamiliar with them, they are images that appear at the bottom of an individuals postings on various message boards.) 

That signature banner pretty much sums up my feelings about events designed to empty your wallet with superfluous issues light on content and heavy in price.  Feel free to click on it and save the full size version and use it at your leisure on the various message boards you enjoy!

And, just a quick note that the Book of the Month review for April, Cyborg by Martin Caidin, is going to be delayed.  OG and EG sincerely apologize for this delay (and, well, the lack of content in general).  With any luck, we’ll have it up by mid-May, so keep an eye out for it.  In the meantime, we will (hopefully) be putting out some more consistent postings. 

Thank you for your patience!