Posts Tagged ‘Marvel’

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.

Micro-Hero of the Week

September 29, 2009

The Red Hulk – or Rulk!  Who is he?  Does anyone even care anymore?

That’s right, folks – Rulk has been around for over a year now, and they still haven’t told readers who he is.  And, while EG doesn’t personally read the Hulk books, OG has been strung along this whole time!  Sucker!

So, this Rulk guy, whoever he is, is the red version of the Hulk.  He is tactical and conniving, and uses mammoth weapons to kill things like the Wendigo and Abomination.  And, evidently, when he gets angrier, he doesn’t get stronger like the normal Hulk… he gets hotter.

Huh?

Okay, whatever.  Here is EG’s Micro of Rulk.

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Micro-Hero of the Week

September 21, 2009

Alright, folks, a special treat is in store this week!

EG loves M.O.D.O.K.!  Seriously, though, who DOESN”T love a giant head in a floating chair?!?

He is the product of AIM (Advance Idea Mechanics), who decided that they’d use technician George Tarleton to create a genetically altered and advanced creature, the Mobile Organism Designed Only for Computing.  Well, as is apt to happen whenever science plays God and creates an abomination, said abomination rebels and kills its masters. 

M.O.D.O.C. replaced “computing” for “killing,” and the rest, as they say, is history.

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And, remember, EG is always open to suggestions for other characters to make, so let us know who you wanna see!

EG’s Review: X-Men Noir

September 16, 2009

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X-Men Noir
Writer – Fred Van Lente
Artist – Dennis Calero
Letters – Blambot’s Nate Piekos
Publisher – Marvel Comics

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Summary –

Honestly, this is a tough book to summarize. I mean, I’d love to just start with the concept and say, “What if the X-Men were translated into the world of the crime drama of the 1940’s?” But, the truth is, this is no where near that easy to describe.

Nevertheless, I’ll endeavor to give an idea of what goes on in this book..

A body washes up on Welfare Island, a redheaded woman with an “X” tattoo, covered in slash marks, grouped in threes. The “X” tattoo brands the woman as someone that spent time in a reform school run by former psychologist/current convict Charles Xavier. Xavier is in prison after it is discovered that he was training his pupils, honing their criminal abilities. Even without their mentor, though, the “X-Men,” as they call themselves, are still active in the criminal world.

At the scene of the crime, we are introduced to young detective Peter Magnus, son of the Chief of Detectives, Eric Magnus, whose life is turned upside down when he finds out that his father is under the thumb of the criminal organization known as the Hellfire Club, and that the organization essentially runs the city.

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As the story progresses, we see a lot of characters with familiar names, but wildly different personalities than we are used to in the regular Marvel Universe.

Perhaps the key character to the entire story is Thomas Halloway, a reporter and costumed vigilante who seems to be the only one truly interested in finding out who murdered the woman washed up on the island. (If you are up on your Golden Age Marvel, you’ll recognize this as the original “Angel” – a nice nod, given this is an X-Men book.)

The story essentially splits early on, and we are left with one story loosely following Peter Magnus, and the stronger story following Thomas Halloway. The two do eventually come together, but not in a way that seems particularly necessary.

After the completion of the Magnus storyline, we follow the Thomas Halloway as he eventually discovers the murderer, and discover a couple of surprises along the way.

Along with the sequential art story, we are given a prose science fiction story, a throwback to pulp stories, that also references a lot of stories and characters from the Marvel Universe.

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Review –

I’ll admit, I don’t regularly read any X-titles right now, but I’m familiar with the characters. If you are coming to this title expecting “What if…” versions of the X-Men you are familiar with, you are going to be disappointed. For the most part, only names and the slightest essence of the characters are taken from the known mythology and applied to this new setting.

Which, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. It is not a new idea, and has been used with varying degrees of success in other projects (the “Just Imagine Stan Lee…” and Tangent Universe titles from DC, and the Marvel Mangaverse spring to mind immediately), so the concept is valid. The execution, sadly, is not great.

The characters in this story seem to sit on a fence. Instead of breaking completely with the characters of the regular Marvel Universe, the writer gives the characters moments of connection to those counterparts, but it is often tenuous at best. For example – Quicksilver is fast, so there is a line where Peter is referred to as fast… and that is about it. Given that the story is so completely breaking with the “normal” of the regular Marvel Universe, I can’t help but think that a clean break would have better served the story.

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There are also a lot of characters thrown into this story. We are being introduced into this world and narrowing the focus on fewer characters would have let us get to know those characters a little better, which would have been a major benefit to the story.

I also found the split story was a detrement. When I first started reading, I thought Peter was going to be the central character of the story, but quickly learned that his was essentially a pumped up subplot. Had that aspect been removed from the book entirely, allowing more focus on the single mystery where we followed Thomas Holloway, I think the entire story would have been more engaging, and certainly tighter.

The prose story is kind of a highlight of the series, but seems completely out of context with the story. I kept looking for some parallel (other than “Look, here’s another story where we use names from the X-Men universe”), but if it is there, I failed to grasp it. Still, it is a neat homage to pulp science fiction of yesteryear.

As for the art, while the tone is fitting for the work, the figures are stiff. And, while I don’t mind an artist occasionally cutting and pasting a repeated image, in this book it seems to be done a lot. (I love nine panel grid, I really do, but only when it is handled correctly. Using the same image of a head in all nine panels just looks plain lazy, and makes me want to direct the artist to Wally Wood’s famous 22 Panels That Always Work!)

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And (this may be a first for me), I found the word balloons/lettering distracting. It is hard for me to nail down exactly why I found them so distracting, but I think the lettering is too small for the balloons. It allowed for a lot of white space around the lettering, which, given the color tone of the pages, really stood out.

Overall, I found getting through this series difficult, with just an okay story and lots of shortcomings. As a result, I’m giving this one and a half out of five Running Steves.

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I may have dropped it down to just one, but I got the hardcover from the library, and since I didn’t have to pay to read this series, I’m feeling generous!

Preview Review – Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1

August 1, 2008

‘allo, ‘allo, ‘allo!  And what ‘ave we ‘ere?  Why, boil me beef and call me Nigel, it’s another Preview Review!

For those of you not in the know, this is a Preview Review, wherein I find the unlettered preview pages offered online for an upcoming comic (that I really have no intention of buying), and write a review of the issue based entirely on my perceptions of what is going on.

Despite the shortage of unlettered pages being offered for preview (a conspiracy, I maintain, directly against this here blog), I, your humble host have manage to procure some pages from the forthcoming Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #1.  Wait… #1?  Hasn’t this series been going on for a while?  I thought it was up to, like, issue 20 or so.  Oh, wait… now I get it.  New writer, and Marvel decided to cash in by slapping a #1 on the cover.  I see right through you, Marvel.  Can’t fool me.

Anyway, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane is the heart-wrenching story of Peter Parker, caught in the grip of drug addiction, desperately trying to —

What?

Not about drugs?  A teenage girl in love?

Huh.  Okay.  I could be wrong.  Or am I?  (Just a note – I probably am.)

As I was saying, today we look at Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, written by Terry Moore, art duties by Craig Rousseau, with a cover by Terry Moore and Adrian Alphona.

Let’s see that cover, shall we?

Oh, wow… its so… symmetrical?  Yep.  Main subject posted front and center, grass on both sides, a tree on each side, background pretty sterile.  Hold on a minute – that lampost is only on one side. 

That’s daring. 

Moving of from the general composition of the image, we can take note that New York is filled with actual ivory towers, broken up by only the occasional line or square.  Most folks that don’t live in New York don’t know that.  I can already tell that this comic will be very informative.

And there stands Mary Jane.  Young, innocent, completely unaware that in the future, she will make a deal with the devil and completely screw up Spider-Man’s continuity.

Let’s open the book.

Splash page!  Alrighty, on this first page, we have… well, it look like M.J. is laying on a big canvas on which someone has pencilled a few faces.  And, it also looks like she’s rubbing out some of the images.

You know, that’s irritating.  I mean, someone sets up a canvas, pencils in some light drawings to get ready to paint, and along comes Lil’ Miss “Spider-Man-Loves-Me-I-Can-Do-Anything-I-Want,” who decides to just lay down on the canvass.

Anyway, what else is going on here?  Well, M.J. has a lot of hair.  Don’t get me wrong – very shiny and well maintained (she probably buys some really expensive conditioner), but she could do with a little trim. 

I just realized – that hair is probably why she is lying down.  The weight of it exhausted her.  Now I feel kinda bad for judging her too quickly.  Sorry, M.J.

Aw, she has a cute little Spider-Man doll.  You know, I can’t decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing that Spidey can give a doll of himself to a girlfriend.  I mean, it is neat that those things exist, but it seems a little creepy, maybe a little controlling, for a guy to give a doll of himself to his girl.  I mean, you don’t think that Mario Lopez gives out those Slater dolls to girlfriends, do you?


Let’s just go to the next page.

Splash page!  This comic is going to be a really quick read if this keeps up.  Twenty-two glorious single image pages!  Thirty seconds of entertainment for only $2.99!  What a deal!

On this page, we get to see that Spidey also has a doll of M.J.  I guess that’s okay, kinda like a reciprocal gift of young love.  You know, like when you see boyfriends and girlfriends wearing identical shirts… which is actually kinda nauseating.  But, they are young and in love and do stupid things like that.

I’m not certain why Spidey is crushing one of his model airplanes, though.  Maybe we’ll find out on the next page.

Hold it right there!  That M.J. doll is emoting in this first panel!  Unless that is one incredibly expensive doll, I’m guessing it isn’t a doll at all.  It is Janet Van Dyne, a.k.a., the Wasp!  And, she appears to be dressed up in some sort of Mary Jane costume!  Oh, no… I don’t like where this is headed.

Panel 2, Spidey looks back at Janet.  Say it ain’t so, Spidey!

Then, in the third panel, their eyes meet.  I can’t believe you would do this to M.J., Spidey.  Have you no shame?  Cheating on her, making the Wasp dress up like her… oh, man… this is wrong AND creepy.

The next panel, Janet moves in for the kiss.  I can’t watch this.  It is just so wrong!

Last panel on the page – a reprieve from the creepy, as someone fires a bazooka at Spidey!  He appears to be the same size as the Wasp… which means it must be her husband, Hank Pym, a.k.a., Ant-Man.  How will the superhero community survive all of this?  Hero against hero?  All for what?  The creepy desires of Peter Parker.  It is just disgusting.  Move on to the next page.

Oh… well, that is a startling change of pace.  We are now in what appears to be a classroom, where M.J. is blissfully unaware of the two-timing activities of her love.  We also learn another previously unknown to most people fact – Mary Jane’s arms.  They are gorilla-long.

Seriously, why is she passing that note to the blonde girl to pass to that sulky kid?  I’m pretty sure if she fully extended that arm, she could open the window.

And why is she passing a note to the sulky kid, anyway?  Oh – maybe it is a friendly note to try to cheer up sulky kid.  It really is a nice gesture on her part.

In the following panel, M.J. looks on happily as the blonde girl gives the note to the sulky kid.  She is likely thinking on the coming appreciative smile from sulky kid.

By the next panel, M.J. has returned to her studies, and… a wadded up tissue floats in the air near her head?  Or is it orbiting her head?  I must admit… I’m a bit confused here.  Maybe the next panel will explain things a bit.

Nope, no help at all.  The wadded up tissue has now crashed into the side of her head, irritating M.J., as well it should.  On a quick sidenote – are those walls behind her made of marble?  What kinda budget do New York schools have?

Next page, please.

Okay, it is 11:12 p.m.  (Thanks for the time update, Craig Rousseau!)  In the next panel, we see a tuckered-out M.J., asleep in her clothes among her school books as the TV plays in the background.

Moving down to the next panel – Aghgh!  A mysterious hand on the window!  M.J. is going to get attacked in her sleep!  Quick, move to the next panel!

Uh oh… aw, man… say it ain’t so, Spidey!  Seriously?  You are a Peeping Tom now?  First, giving a doll of yourself to M.J., then having the Wasp dress up as M.J. for your creepy little encounter, and now this?  Man, I haven’t been this skeeved-out about a superhero stalker since I watched Superman Returns.  Ugh!

In the last two panels, we see Mary Jane, completely oblivious to the invasion of privacy, and then Spidey slips away, fearful of being caught.

Thank goodness that’s over!  The entire creepy context of this issue really threw me off.  As such, I can only give it 138 stars out of 15,933 stars.  I like my Spider-Man less stalker-y and more devoted to M.J.

Here’s to hoping the next Preview Review is less icky!

EG, signing off.

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!

Preview Review – She-Hulk #31

May 22, 2008

Greetings Earthlings!  It is time once again for another Preview Review, wherein I find the unlettered preview pages offered online for an upcoming comic (that I really have no intention of buying), and write a review of the issue based entirely on my perceptions of what is going on.
Today, we look at She-Hulk #31, from Peter David (writer) and Vincenzo Cucca and Barbara Ciardo (artists), with a cover by Mike Deodato.
So, how about that Deodato cover?
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Background?  Who needs a background?!?  Give me a big blank space any day!  Why, all that extra “art” would only serve to detract from the focal point of this cover, which is She-Hulk swinging from that “L” above a group of her adoring fans.
(Maybe you didn’t know, but in the Marvel Universe, Shulkie is, like, more popular than the Beatles.  Its true!)
Oh, and look!  Her fans all have green skin, pointy ears, and chin lines!  Gotta be Skrulls.  I can only take that to mean that this is yet another comic trapped in the vortex of Marvel’s massively oppressive event, Secret Invasion.
You know, it makes sense that Shulkie would have a lot of Skrull guys as fans.  I mean, think about it.  You are a young Skrull guy, and while there may be a lot of attractive Skrull gals out there, they all have the same problem:  chin lines that give off an awfully “goatee”-esque vibe.  Not exactly the most appealing feature.
Enter Shulkie, with that green skin and smooth chin.  Yeah, boy!  Sure, her ears aren’t pointy, but no one is perfect.
Hey!  I just realized who her fans are impersonating!  That’s Jaime Madrox (Multiple Man), from X-Factor!  (Ha!  See, I don’t ALWAYS have to be told who characters are!)  On a side note, X-Factor is the only X-Book I read… and if this means that this event is going to mess that up, I’ll not be pleased.  Anyway, moving on.

Ooh, this preview, along with the cover and interior pages, also included a pin-up!  Shall we take a look?
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By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!  Shulkie’s all manga-ized!  Oh, great.  That probably means that She-Hulk’s new costume will be that of an Asian schoolgirl, she’ll pick up some tiny, overly cute mythical creature as a companion, and before long, she’ll be piloting some giant robot into battle.  Oh, and readers will be forced to read her book from right to left instead of left to right.
What is going on in that picture anyway?  Shulkie is just standing there, all posed, while cars seem to be flying apart behind her.  (Alas, I am vexed.  Should I lower myself to enter here the obvious flatulation joke?  Or should I rise above?)
I suppose Shulkie made a “run for the border” for lunch!
(Come on!  You knew it was coming.)
Alright, let’s check out the first interior page:
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Well, it looks like Shulkie is running toward some arthritic woman.  There’s a lesson for you kids – don’t crack your knuckles, or your hands will end up like that.
Bypassing another obvious gastrointestinal joke, did Shulkie recently get some sort of uncontrollable speed powers?  Look at that path of destruction in her wake!
Next page, please:
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Okay, so the arthritic woman can fly.  She easily dodges the brute force, run-straight-at-her attack from Shulkie.  She-Hulk looks up at her, mouth open.  Arthritic Flying Girl crosses her arms all smug like, as if to say, “What, are you going to ‘scream’ me down?!?”
Suddenly, Arthritic Flying Girl is hit by… wait… is that She-Hulk’s spit?  Open mouth, blast of liquid flying through the air… ew.  Well, I suppose if its in your arsenal you can use it.
Still… ew.
Let’s move onto the next page and hope for less saliva.
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Okay, so Arthritic Flying Girl realizes that she can… you know… “fly”… and gets out of the path of the flying drool.  And then we find out – oh, it wasn’t spit!  Shulkie just destroyed a fire hydrant.  Now, that makes me feel better.  In fact, it relieves me so much I won’t mention A.) the lack of background in this panel, and B.) the bizarre placement of the fire hydrant to Shulkie’s crotch.
Arthritic Flying Girl is ticked at Shulkie.  She’s got on her mean face and everything.  She flings herself at She-Hulk!  And, finally, what we all wait for in any manga/anime project – speedlines!
Wow, those little arthritic fists must be powerful.  I woulda thunk She-Hulk could take a punch from a girl that looks to be a third of her size.
On to the next page!
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Ah, there we go.  Using the forward momentum of Arthritic Flying Girl and… the top panel line from the panel below as a fulcrum, She-Hulk flings her assailant into a car.
Poised to finish off Arthritic Flying Girl, Shulkie is distracted by an eclipse of the sun, which she stupidly turns around to look at.  Didn’t anyone ever tell her that she would burn her retinas out doing that?
Let’s see if she learned that lesson on the next page:
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Oh, luckily, Strong Guy showed up to stop her from looking into the eclipse.  (Yeah, that’s right – Strong Guy.  That’s his super-hero name.  It was the early 1990’s, okay?  Creativity was reduced to slapping pouches onto costumes, issuing heroes leather jackets, and giving them all mullets and a five-o’clock shadow.  So Guido… *sigh* yes, again, that is his real name… ended up with the moniker Strong Guy.  I suppose it could’ve been worse.  They could have gone with “White Ponytail And Creepy Goggle Guy.”)
It does seem that Strong Guy was a little overzealous in averting Shulkie’s eyes from the blinding powers of the eclipse.  He did so with enough gusto to not only crack the pavement, but to also create his own speedlines.
I wonder if She-Hulk will understand he was just too enthusiastic.  Let’s take a look at the last page to find out:
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Oh… well, she appears to be okay with it, just laying there in the rubble, smiling.
In the next panel, Strong Guy doesn’t look too happy.  Oh, maybe Shulkie didn’t say thank you.  That’s probably it.  I mean, he did save her vision… seems that would warrant a little grati–!!!
Great Shades of America’s Funniest Home Videos!!!  Holy cow… I guess She-Hulk didn’t take kindly to the excessive helpfulness of Strong Guy.  Man… he is NOT going to be walking away from that anytime soon.  A guy doesn’t recover from a shot like that very quickly.  What with the pain, the nausea, the headache, the seeing-stars, and the crying… I figure Strong Guy is down for a good hour, and walking delicately home after that.
What have we learned today?  She-Hulk may be fast enough that the vacuum that trails behind her is devastating, causing millions of dollars worth of damage, but she doesn’t have any sort of super-spit abilities… that we know of.  Also, it is good to be helpful, but being too helpful can result in having ice your crotch for a while.
I give this comic 116,204 stars out of 197,385.  I liked the art despite the fact that the artists felt the need to include those pesky “backgrounds” in so many of the panels.
EG Out!

Preview Review – Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1

May 1, 2008

Uh oh!  Looks like it is that time again – another Preview Review, wherein I find the unlettered preview pages offered online for an upcoming comic (that I really have no intention of buying), and write a review of the issue based entirely on my perceptions of what is going on.

Today, we look at Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1, from Paul Cornell (writer) and Leonard Kirk (artist), with a cover by Brian Hitch.

Wow!  Without further ado, let’s take a look at that Brian Hitch cover!

 
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Uh… yeah.  That’s Captain Britain.  Yep.  There he is.  You know, I’m not looking to be spoiled by the covers on my comics, but I would like to see something pertaining to the story contained in the book.  Maybe I’m jumping the gun a little here, but unless the story involves Captain Britain rescuing someone from a random graphics department or Brian Hitch’s sketchbook, I’m guessing the images don’t have a lot to do with the story.  Oh, wait – I do see a guy with lines on his chin.  Ah, that must be the clue to tell us that the issue will have something to do with Skrulls, shapeshifting aliens from space!  Well, that image along with a year of promotion from Marvel basically telling us that Skrulls are everywhere.  Okay, let’s move inside the book.

 
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Ah, right there!  See?  I told ya!  Skrulls.  Clearly, Captain Britain is being attacked by two Skrulls here.  One, obviously more accomplished at his shapeshifting abilities, is combining the forms of Ghost Rider, Iceman, and… uh… Hawkman.  Wait – Hawkman is from DC, not Marvel.  There you have it, True Believers.  The Skrull problem is so bad that it is even infecting and drawing from the Distinguished Competition.  The second Skrull, being less experienced, is making an attempt to look like Morbius the Living Vampire.  Poor kid.  Someone really should take him to the side and tell him that the green skin and pointy ears really work against the disguise.  But, he is trying, so we should give him credit for that.  Maybe this whole issue is about Skrulls in training, hmm?  Next page!

 
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So, Captain Britain pulls the ultimate version of every big brother’s favorite game, “Why are you hitting yourself?”  The Skrull, using his own Iceman powers freezes his Ghost Rider head.  With speed-lines… for some reason.  You know, I would think that the Skrull could adapt to that, but maybe this guy is not as good as I first thought, because in the very next panel, Captain Britain shatters his skull into a few thousand pieces.

The second Skrull, now ticked that his teacher is headless, attacks C.B. (because typing Captain Britain over and over is getting tedious) with renewed vigor!  Along with his Morbius attempts, he is also now… furry… and his arms are on fire.  Again, give him credit for trying.  Still hasn’t got that whole “head” thing down, though.  Hard to fool anyone when your head is still pretty much Skrull, you know?  I mean, say you saw what you thought were your parents, and they looked dead on like your parents in every way, but their heads were all green with pointy ears.  Do you really think you’d be fooled into believing those are your parents?  But, that’s why we have these training missions, I suppose.

Anyway, fuzzy-flaming-arm-Morbius Skrull holds hands with C.B. and then… flies away.  And, it looks as if C.B. is just as confused as I am.  Good.  I hate to be alone in these things.

With the Skrull leaving, C.B. decides to call it a day, flying off until his services are required again, when those in need cry out in desperation.

Gee, I hope all those injured people down below don’t succumb to a horrible death, engulfed by the surrounding flames and all.  Too bad there wasn’t someone around that could maybe get them to safety, perhaps a superhero with the gift of flight… and general awareness of his surroundings.  Oh well.

Hey, in that last panel, is that woman realizing she could have had a V8?

Next page!

 
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Aw, great, now I gotta turn my computer monitor on its side.  Okay.  Just a minute.  Alright, there we go.  Uh oh… here we have some real trouble.  Skrull on Skrull in-fighting.  With oodles of speed-lines!  Looks like another teacher/student thing.  The student, completely looking like a Skrull, obviously did something to deserve getting stabbed by the teacher Skrull, who has mixed the forms of Marvel’s Black Knight, and Arthur Fonzarelli, aka, Fonzie.  Oh, no – wait, I got it wrong.  This wasn’t a fight at all.  Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull must have told the other Skrull to shapeshift into a scabbard for his sword!  The student Skrull evidently couldn’t do it in time, but by the time Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull realized it, he was already slamming his sword into the supposed-to-be-a-scabbard Skrull.  What a shame.  Looks like there is no way supposed-to-be-a-scabbard Skrull will recieve Black Knight-Fonzie’s top grade – an “Aaaayyyy!”

I… I’m sorry.  I apologize, okay?  Even I can’t believe I typed that.  Quickly, on to the next page before my shame crushes my spirit completely.

 
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Hey, its Firestar!  I used to love watching Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends!  Wait… that’s not Firestar?  Well, who is it then?  Doesn’t really matter, I guess.  Anyway, Not-Firestar appears to be running really fast (thanks to the visual cue of, yes, speed-lines) while talking on a cell phone.  If she was paying attention to what is going on, she would notice that a couple of Skrulls-in-training are blasting… architecture.  Whatever.

Ooh, and its time, once again, for everyone’s favorite game of “Guess which heroes the Skrulls are imitating!”  Okay, that first one, all silver-y… I’m going out on a limb and say Silver Surfer.  Ooh, and he’s got winged ankles!  That’s Namor!  Obviously, there must be someone else, too… but I don’t know who.  Is it a cosmic character?  I’m not really familiar with cosmic characters.  Well, yeah, I mean, Silver Surfer, but EVERYONE knows Silver Surfer.  Jumping over to the other Skrull… now, THAT is a combo.  Thor, big-gold-suited Iron Man, and the Wasp.  Let me just say, though, someone really needs to sit the Skrulls down and explain that if the chin lines don’t give them away, the “mixing-up-of-heroes-body-parts” will.

Anyway, Not-Firestar leaps up to the Namor-Surfer Skrull.  I can only assume that one of the landmarks that the Skrulls destroyed must have been a cell phone tower.  She’s probably really upset about the dropped call.  Well, I can understand, I mean that is really irritat–

Great Shades of Elvis!  Not-Firestar is a vampire!!!  Wow, Namor-Surfer Skrull is even more shocked than I am!

Ooh, a silhouette!  Isn’t it amazing how a nice silhouette can tone down the violence of Vampire-Not-Firestar ripping 3/4 of Namor-Surfer Skrull’s neck out to acceptable levels for the general reading audience?  Hold on… 3/4 of the Skrulls neck is gone?  Vampire-Not-Firestar’s mouth is NOT that big.  Wait!  I get it!  It was the sharpness of Vamprie-Not-Firestar’s hair as she flung her head back that nearly decapitated the Skrull.  Wow… that must be some amazing shampoo that she uses.

Uh oh… look at Vampire-Not-Firestar’s eyes.  As an avid watcher of vampire films, I know what is coming next.  Quick, Iron-Wasp-Thor Skrull, run!  Her bloodlust has been awakened!  Don’t just stand there in shock!  Run!

Oh no.  Too late!  Here she comes, really fast… which I know, thanks to the inclusion of speed-lines!  Quick, next page!

 
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Huh?  Oh… well, I guess we’re back to C.B. and the Morbius Skrull.  Morbius Skrull begins by waving his stinky, fuzzy feet in C.B.’s face.  With speed-lines.  He follows with a punch.  And speeed-lines.  Nice combo.

Oh no!  Vampire-Not-Firestar is back!  With speed-lines!  Is there no end to her desire for liquid life?!?

Oh… and they are joined by three other… beings.  Okay, that top guy… Skrull?  Maybe.  Channeling… Man-Bat and Clayface?  I don’t know.  The other Skrull is doing a bad impression of Hyperion.  The other guy?  Uh… Keanu Reeves maybe?  Man, it is getting too crowded in this story.  Maybe it would seem less crowded if there were fewer speed-lines.  Let’s move on to the last page.
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Okay, we’ve got Keanu Reeves blasting the Skrull in the neck, surrounded by speed-lines, while Vampire-Not-Firestar dodges the blast by running in the same direction as those speed-lines.  (Don’t ask why the speed-lines are in front of her, merely accept them.)

Then Man-Bat-Clay Face Skrull (floating among speed-lines) is watching C.B. punch Hyperion Skrull.  Maybe he is wondering (like me) what happened to Morbius Skrull, who C.B. was fighting on the previous page.

Oh, and then C.B. claps his hands in front of Hyperion Skrull’s face (of course, creating speed-lines)… for… some… reason…

And the whole thing is resolved as C.B. punches the head off of Hyperion Skrull, scattering speed-lines across the page.

The next page probably shows Vampire-Not-Firestar feeding on the carcasses of the fallen Skrulls, as Keanu Reeves and Captain Britain react in horror.  And, yeah, Keanu Reeves says, “Whoa.”  And there are some speed-lines.

Hmm, this was an interesting read.  A lot of vampire stuff (Morbius Skrull, Vampire-Not-Firestar), which appeals to me, so that’s good.  I would have liked to have seen more of Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull.  Ooh, and if they could have crammed in some more speed-lines, that would have been nice.

Sadly, I can only give this issue 433 stars out of a possible 2572 stars.  Why?  I simply could not read the story fast enough to appreciate the speed-lines. 

See ya next time!

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:

 
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(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!