Archive for June, 2012

Maybe I could call this Speedster Week?

I don’t know what to say, other than that it’s the final week of the month. We’re getting a new issue of the Flash, but I also have to look at Teen Titans and Justice League, so this bag isn’t quite as awesome as it could have been. Let’s jump right in!

Batman Incorporated has done something odd, for the New 52. It has shown a woman, given her power, and allowed her to keep it. I am talking, of course, about Talia Al Ghul. The daughter of the Demon’s Head has been a character that most people I know have mixed feelings on. For one thing, her very role in the Batman mythos has been retconned and diminished to that of ‘Bruce’s psycho ex’ for so long, people tend to forget that there was a time before all of that. A time when the only thing standing between Talia and Bruce’s happy ending was Bruce’s lifelong mission to eradicate crime in Gotham. True story. So to see the entire history of their relationship, as well as Talia’s life story, spelled out over the course of a single issue…well, let me put it this way. While the rape retcon still stands, it’s been sort of…diminished? It was less of a “We had sex while you were drugged totally against your will” thing and more of a “We consummated our relationship that had been a long time coming after I drugged you so that you’d knock me up by accident.” thing. Not exactly good, but better than the idea that Talia had completely forced her sexual will on Bruce. So yeah! Talia issue! This was scads better than the first issue, especially since it revealed that Damian was not actually dead.

I’ve chosen to mostly opt out of reading the Before Watchmen mini-series’, mainly because I’m not the biggest fan of the source material. I’ve read it. I thought it was okay. But I’m not one of those people who would defend Watchmen to the death. It had plenty of glaring flaws, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Of all the characters in Watchmen, Nite Owl was probably one of my favorites. It didn’t hurt that the character himself was based off of the Blue Beetle, or that of all the players in this game, Dan Dreiberg seemed the most human. We learned a little about Dan within the book itself, but the Nite Owl mini is…different. It deals with the early days. The earliest days. So far, we’ve learned that not only did Dan take over for Hollis Mason, he was trained by him. We also get our first real look at Rorschach before his life completely went to hell, which was fun. Plus, a nice little bit of foreshadowing about just how much Dr. Manhattan is able to warp time and space. All in all, this wasn’t a bad first issue. I’d even go so far as to say that I liked it.

I only read New Guardians because I love Saint Walker. There, I said it. It would not hold my interest without him. That being said, I believe I’ll be dropping New Guardians after this month’s second fight scene issue in a row. Give me some exposition. Gimme some sweet, sweet backstory regarding the newer Blue Lanterns. Give me anything but…this.

Someone explain Justice League to me. Please. Please? I have no idea what happened this month. There was talking, random panels of a deathly ill man talking to ghosts, and then everyone fell down. There was also a bit of Hal being a douche and Barry being Barry. And then it ended and the second feature started. So…what happened? I have no idea. And you know what? I really don’t care. I don’t care about you, Justice League. I don’t care about you, Shazam second feature. You’ve not done anything to make me care about you, so I’m just not going to, and that’s that.

I rarely have positive things to say about Teen Titans, and this month isn’t really all that different. It’s about as disjointed as Justice League. Yet, this is supposed to be a cooldown issue, which makes the title completely misleading. I mean, why would you even put that on the cover? “In a race to extinction”, superimposed over an image of two teenagers smiling and having fun. What? Why? In case anyone was wondering, Bart/Kiran is officially a thing now. I’m going to set up a countdown clock until Miguel/Tim is canon, because geeze. If Solstice ends up being the Angst and the Love Interest combined, I’m going to cry. Gosh, I’m trying to think up constructive things to say and I just can’t. Sorry, Teen Titans. I’ve failed you.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to, and dreaded, a comic as much as I have in regards to Flash #10. I probably haven’t talked much about my love of the Rogues on here, but oh gosh do I adore them. And Weather Wizard is my third favorite, after Mirror Master and Captain Cold. I’ve been making fun of Mark Mardon’s makeover since images of it were first released, but I don’t know. Now that the issue is actually in my hands, I’m a little excited. Len may have gotten a metagene and a new wardrobe, but Mark is getting a new name, a new history, a new everything! Well, here goes nothing!
…Marcus To, let me love you. If the Manapul/To team becomes a regular thing, I may weep with joy. Oh, but yes, the story. It’s honestly not as bad as it could have been. Yes, Mark Mardon is a, a Guatemalan drug lord now. That’s his history. But when the truth about his brother’s murderer came to light, and the Flash single-handedly destroyed his entire stock of product, that seemed to mark the end of his time as a supplier. He’s going back to Central City, along with…Lisa?! Lisa, girl, your hair is insane. She’s got NTT Starfire hair! In any case, I’ve spent so much time focusing on the Rogues in this issue, I forgot all about the actual title character. Barry loves Patty. Patty loves Barry. Patty believes Barry to be dead. He’s not actually going to correct her on that, which means that Barry is going to be the Flash all the time now. Or maybe…what if he’s going to take on a new identity? I swear, if this is how they ‘bring Wally into the New 52’, I’m going to be so upset. In any case, this Rogue parade is just getting started. Next month: Heatwave!

And that was this week in comics! Due to a personal matter, this is actually coming to you on Thursday so, sorry. But before I forget…

Floridians! Florida Supercon is this weekend! Come meet Carmine Infantino, Kevin Maguire, and a whole host of other comic and screen legends!


Leave a comment »

Welcome back to ladies week!

I’d like to once again welcome you to ladies week! We’ve got seven books to cover this week, and three of them are female-lead titles. Heck, this week, Outlaws focuses on Starfire so technically, that’s a female-lead issue too. Shall we?

Ha, I say it’s ladies week, and start off with Blue Beetle. This title has been growing on me lately. Yes, Jaime still reminds me of OYL Tim Drake, but he’s getting less whiny. This issue, Jaime seeks help from the D.E.O.. Now, for those not in the know, the D.E.O. is the Department of Extranormal Operations. They’re…not really known for being helpful towards metahumans. The D.E.O. has a bit of a bug up their butt, no pun intended, about aliens and masked vigilantes. See Batwoman for more information on them. If you have a problem with depictions of torture, you may want to skip this issue. It’s nothing major, but it could be triggering to people none the less. The thing that got me excited this month was the big reveal at the end of the issue…the Blue and Gold, together again for the first time! Now, this has me a little upset. This is really where we find out whether or not Ted Kord ever existed. If Booster meets Jaime, and has nothing to say along the lines of ‘I knew a guy with that name once’, I will cry. Not oh, boo hoo, internet tears, I will cry. I take my Blue Beetle very, very seriously.

Kori is a badass. This is the main thing you need to know about her, no matter the incarnation. New Teen Titans Kori was a badass, Teen Titans cartoon Kori was a badass, Red Hood and the Outlaws Kori is a badass. Writers can change everything else about her, but the character Starfire will always be one of the strongest extraterrestrials in the DCU. Now that that’s over with, let’s talk about Isabel. We met her a few issues ago, when she was flirting with Jason on their flight to Hong Kong. She’s…in way over her head. I don’t have a lot of faith that she’s going to survive her first trip to space. Romance isn’t exactly a focus of this title. Though, speaking of. I guess Roy and Kori are a couple now? With Kori settling into a relationship and letting her badassery shine through, maybe now she’ll get some actual issue to issue characterization instead of just being the pretty one with no clothes. Here’s hoping!

I’m not a fan of books that jump around in timelines, but for Batwoman, I’ll make an exception. This issue, we see several different narratives, which eventually culminate in a twist ending that made me curse out loud. For this, I offer to you a SPOILER ALERT.
I’ve said before, I like this book for all the different points of view it takes. But my favorite narrative this month, by far, was the one belonging to Jake Kane. I’ve liked his character since he was introduced in Elegy, and I feel that this fleshing-out he’s been getting lately is long overdue. Jake has spent nearly every moment of his days with Bette since she went under, and in a heartfelt soliloquy, confessed that he’d loved his other daughter, Beth, more than Kate because of her compassion. That’s really very hard hitting, if you think about it. Parents are rarely shown as ‘choosing favorites’, but in the last two weeks, two major members of the Batfamily have been outed as the favorite child. Why is that? And the parallels of them…Bruce Wayne’s younger brother, Thomas Jr., was the forgotten son, and he ended up a villain. Beth Kane, Kate’s twin sister, was presumed dead for years, until the unspoken favorite daughter also reappeared as a villain. It’s just interesting to think about. Also fascinating is Sune’s reveal at the end of the issue. As it turns out, both brother and sister are one and the same. Both, yet neither, a shapeshifter unnamed. Oh my, that rhymed!

It figures it would take an arc centered around Querl and Nura to get me back into Legion of Superheroes. So, taking what we know about the Dominators so far, they’ve kidnapped Brainy and DG to steal their DNA to add their skill sets into warrior clones to further the race. Not bad…except Brainy is a Dox. His entire race isn’t of a Level 12 intelligence, just him. So how do we know that simply stapling his cells to those of a Dominator clone warrior will create a being with a boosted intelligence? Actually, the fact that the scientists working on the project don’t know is what’s keeping our taken Legionnaires alive and waiting for rescue. And what a rescue it’ll be! Paul Levitz is having the X-men go after them! I’m sorry, the second I saw that splash panel, I knew I’d be making that joke. We’ve got a tracker, a body-splitter, a psionic, and a guy in a floating wheelchair forming a team, you look me dead in the eye and tell me that the first thing you think of isn’t the X-men cartoon from the nineties. And I will call you a damn liar. Also along for the ride is Grava from the Legion Academy, who I really do like a bit. She’s silly and more than a little annoying, but she’s also very sweet, and her character really grew on me back when Adventure Comics was focused on the Academy. In any case, I’m back on board! Wow me, Paul! Oh, I almost forgot. The cover of this issue has a penis allegory on it. The scientist Dominator is holding a jizz-stick. And their embassy, on the first page? Giant mound of vaginas. Just had to point that out.

Supergirl is a great book. Of all the New 52 books, it was the first to claw it’s way back onto my buy list, and I’m so pleased that it did. No longer is Kara the scared, confused girl who was constantly questioning herself and getting so entirely on my nerves I could scream. Now, she is a warrior. She fights for her friends. By giving Kara an actual supporting cast, the creators have truly given her new life, and a purpose within the new universe. Let’s hope they continue to make the best of her in the months to come.

Wonder Woman is the embodiment of love, that fact was drilled into us during Blackest Night. To the point where it became a holdover into the Nu52. But you know what? Brian Azzarello uses it well. Hades turns the lasso of truth into a noose and asks Diana if she loves him…which she does. She loves him. She loves everyone. But she is not in love with him, because in order for the Eros’ guns to have worked on her, he needs to have love for himself. It’s really a wonderful idea, and it was executed beautifully. Though I doubt we’ll be seeing Hades again for a while, I can’t wait to see what happens when we do.

That was this week in comics, ladies and gents! Next week will be a little more dude-centric with Teen Titans, Justice League, and a new issue of the Flash! See you then!

Leave a comment »

Rock of Ages isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s trying

I don’t often do this. Actually, I never do this. This isn’t a music or movie blog, this is a comic review blog. I’m used to talking about a different kind of professional artist, so forgive me if I sound off.

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and my dad has started this weird tradition of wanting to see awful movies. I mean, whatever the worst possible movie is, in the theaters, he’ll want to go see it on Father’s Day. Last year is was Green Lantern. This year, Rock of Ages.

The premise of the movie is pretty basic: Small-town girl moves to Los Angeles to pursue a singing career, realizes LA isn’t exactly the town of dreams she’d been promised, pursues a guy instead.

So, who is our main protagonist? If you guess Sherrie, the girl we start off the film with, you’re wrong! Actually, our main character would be Drew, a bartender at The Bourbon Room. After failing to stop some random guy from mugging her, Drew immediately begins to hit on Sherrie. Within five minutes, he manages to get her a job at the bar, and the next twenty minutes or so is a little montage of them falling in love. Oh, and of course Drew is a musician too, with stage fright, no less! So to boost his confidence, he and Sherrie go on a ‘music practice’ date at the Hollywood sign, and he sings her part of a song he wrote. I should probably mention now that there are no original songs in this movie. Every single one is some rock hit from the 80s, a bunch of which I was pretty torqued to see mangled. Sure, there were a couple of good covers, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russel Brand doing a mash-up of We Built This City and We’re Not Gonna Take It was pretty awesome, but for the most part, it’s just an established country singer and a pop (?) singer belting out rock songs. Not very pretty.

Now to the antagonists. We’re treated to not one, but two ‘bad guys’ in this movie; Catherine Zeta-Jones, who plays the religious conservative wife of the mayor who’s trying to stamp out ‘Satanic’ rock and roll from the LA strip, and Paul Giamatti as Paul Gill, the spirit of every terrible music manager personified. Now, after watching the movie, I went home and looked up the stage show. And you know what? Neither of these people are the antagonists. Zeta-Jones’ character doesn’t even exist. Instead, the villains are a pair of German developers who want to clean up Sunset Strip by demolishing all the old buildings and clubs to put up more wholesome outlets for people to go. Actually, it seems like a lot of good things from the stage show were cut completely. The City Planner, a woman named Regina who is the main person fighting the developers in the play, doesn’t even appear. Actually, with the developer plotline cut in favor of poking fun at conservatives attempting to destroy rock and roll, there goes a good portion of the show. From what I can tell, the original show was about an old rock club that had hit hard times, and was depending on the concert of a very famous musician who had started there to pull them out of debt and prove that rock never dies in order to stick it to the man. I’d watch that movie. I’d watch the hell out of that movie. Anyway, the entire plot involving Catherine Zeta-Jones hinges on the eventual punchline about her actually being an ex-groupie of the rock star side character, who we’ll get to in a minute. A weak and obvious payoff that was set up earlier on in the film.

And hey, speaking of the big rock god, how could I forget Tom Cruise? I don’t like Tom Cruise. Never have. Can’t think of a movie with him in it that I’ve liked. He always has to be ‘the best’ in whatever movie he’s in. The best bartender, the best spy and now, in Rock of Ages, he is a rock god. Truthfully, I think he signed onto this movie to touch a lot of boobs. With the exception of the woman who runs the strip joint, and I’ll get to her in a minute, Stacee Jaxx cops a feel on every female character in the movie. Wow. Now, let’s go back to stage show Stacee. He’s still a rock star, the rock star, even, but he’s a minor character. He’s the stereotypical douchebag rocker, who has lost touch with reality and is more interested in drinking and banging chicks. I mean, this version kinda exists in the movie, except he also, for some reason, gets a redemption plot in the form of Constance Sack, a Rolling Stone reporter who does an interview with him. He fails to seduce her all the way, and so of course he falls in love with her. Her interview comes out more like an expose on his Evil Manager, who is then fired, and in the end, they end up married with Constance pregnant. Where is Stacee Jaxx at the end of the stage show? Uruguay. He fled there to avoid statutory rape charges after his career basically collapsed. So y’know, of course that had to be written out. I forgot to mention, Stacee Jaxx seems to be a bizarre amalgamation of Axl Rose and Michael Jackson, so if you do go and see the movie, go into it with that in mind. Johnny Depp drew inspiration from Keith Richards when he was playing Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribean. Tom Cruise was playing a drunken rocker in a cowboy hat with a baboon. I’d like to have someone else’s input on who exactly he based his character on, because I’m a little confused.

We’re going to talk about one more minor character, and that’s Justice Charlier. I don’t think she was ever referred to by name in the movie, but Justice is the woman who owns the strip club Sherrie ends up working at. I simultaneously love and hate this character. For one thing, in the film, she’s played by Mary J. Blige. How. How did she not read this script and go, “No, no I don’t think so.” Of all the characters in the movie, hers is the most unbelievable. She pulls Sherrie out of the rain on her I-can’t-find-a-job walk of shame and, instead of flat-out telling her that her only real money making job option right now is to become a stripper, she lets Sherrie come to this conclusion on her own by letting her work as a waitress in the club. I’m sorry, what planet was this taking place on again? Strip clubs don’t really work that way. But it’s all a set up to show Justice as a ‘matronly’ character. Again, no. The woman who owns and runs a strip club is most likely an ex-stripper herself, and therefor one of the most jaded people on the planet. Movie, please. You cannot set up a woman who has worked in the sex industry as long as Justice has as the film’s big compassionate role. And she has some of the worst lines slash advice ever. Have some actual lines from the movie, with peanut gallery commentary by me:
Justice: You didn’t come here looking for fame.
Me: Yes, yes she did actually. That’s exactly what she went to LA for.
Justice: You came here looking for love.
Me: No, that was incidental. You are incorrect, madame.
Justice Charlier, everybody. She doesn’t read people very well.

I’ve invested so much time and effort examining the minor characters, I almost forgot that the main characters existed. Sherrie and Drew would fit in better in Glee or High School Musical than a movie like Rock of Ages. Sherrie’s whole story seems to be focused around the loss of innocence. She’s from a small town in Oklahoma, and she moves to LA to become a famous singer. Immediately upon getting off the bus, she’s mugged, and loses all her records. But not her clothes, somehow, as she never once had to buy new ones throughout the movie. Anyway, over the course of the movie, despite leaving her home to pursue a singing career…she never actually pursues a singing career. She works in a bar. She gets a boyfriend. She works in a strip club. But does she ever go to any auditions? Try to join a band? Try to get Dennis to let her open for a band at the Bourbon Room? Nope. She does, however, sing in a fantasy segment in a used record store, sing to herself many many times, and encourage her love interest to chase his dreams. So, despite much of the movie focusing on her, I don’t consider Sherrie to be the main character. That pleasure goes to Drew, who goes from bartender to boy band member to legitimate rock god over the course of the movie. Way to go, Drew! However, he’s also a total tool. In classic wacky sitcom fashion, he thinks that Sherrie slept with Stacee Jaxx right before he opens for him, so he breaks up with her instead of hearing her side of the story. In truth, Sherrie had dropped a bottle of scotch, and somehow ripped her shirt, in Stacee’s dressing room, right after his aborted attempt to sleep with Candace. Drew dumping her is just the push Sherrie needs to go out and try and live her own dreams and…no, wait, that would be the logical thing to do. Instead, Sherrie quits her job, the only thing keeping her alive and off the streets, despite the fact that Drew is also quitting to go be a rock star and she would not have to see him there anymore. Mental capacity of a bag of rocks, I’m telling you. So she becomes a stripper, and the record company decides that rock is dead, so Drew becomes a member of a terrible boy band instead. In the end, Drew learns that Sherrie didn’t cheat on them and they get back together, even though that’s basically the worst thing Sherrie could do. I mean, how does this benefit her? Drew obviously has trust issues, if he thought that the woman he’d been spending every waking moment with would just ditch him to bang a rock star, then act like nothing’s gone down minutes later. In real life, these kinds of relationships don’t work out. Without trust, there is very little chance of love fully blooming, after all. And then they go on to be rock stars together! That’ll do wonders for that relationship paranoia Drew has! In the stage show, they don’t become rock stars, but they do move away from the city to get married and start a family. I like that ending better, personally. It may be a doomed relationship, but at least it’s a doomed relationship with a slightly longer lifespan.

And that’s Rock of Ages. There were a couple of truly enjoyable moments, such as Stacee Jaxx’s phone call to Rolling Stone, and Russel Brand’s character was fun to watch, but for the most part? It was dull. For every enjoyable scene, there were three awkward or entirely uncomfortable scenes. Tom Cruise is way, way too naked all the time. And the choice to have pop and country voices singing rock music? No. Bad. Go sit in the corner. So, if you’re at the movies this weekend, and you can’t decide what to watch? Go see the Avengers again. Or go see Brave! That comes out this Thursday, and it totally looks good. Pixar rarely disappoints. But don’t waste your time on this movie. Fun fact: This entire movie was filmed in Florida. The Hollywood sign? It’s located on top of a garbage dump in Pompano, maybe ten miles from my work. A lot of the club scenes were filmed at Revolution Live, a music venue that’s right across the street from a great restaurant/bar called Tarpon Bend. And the scenes of Sunset Strip itself? They redecorated a block in Miami. I know locations and settings can differ in movies but geez, they could have at least tried to film on the correct coast. I’m Touch of Grey, and I’ve spent entirely too much time and brainpower dissecting this hot mess of a film. See y’all Wednesday.

Comments (2) »

DC’s necro fandom…rise!

I’d like to share a story with you before I begin. Earlier today, I got to meet Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Connor. If you’ve been reading the ToG Blog for a long time, you’ll probably remember how passionately positive I was about their run on Power Girl’s solo title. I love Amanda Connor’s art. She’s the undeniable queen of cheesecake; in an industry full of traced porn stars, orbital tits, barely there costumes, and spine-snapping fighting positions, Amanda can take a female character and draw her sexy without drawing her sexually. It’s a talent that others could really learn from. I didn’t get to tell her that today. I barely spoke to her, actually. I complimented the way she drew Owen Mercer in her one issue of Supergirl, and told her husband how much I enjoyed one of his Jonah Hex books. I also shared a story about how I wasn’t able to read their mini-series, Terra, until it came out in trade, because it was sold out everywhere the first time around. I didn’t get to tell her how much I appreciated her, as a creator. How much I enjoyed what she’d done with Power Girl and Huntress in the few issues of JSA: Classified she drew. I didn’t even get to tell her about how I had the one page she drew in 1998 of Superheroes at the Rental Store for Mad magazine, because a friend of mine was throwing out her copy of Mad About Superheroes, because she spilled a bowl of cereal on it, and I rescued the single page from the trash bin. You’re my idol, Amanda. You saw images of women in superhero comics and said, “Nah, I can do it better than that.” And then you did.

All that build-up, so of course I have to lead with the first issue of Silk Spectre. Laurie was not my favorite character in Watchmen. Actually, I kind of hated her. She and her mom were both so incredibly “the girls”, it just rubbed me the wrong way. But I can understand the story. An overbearing mother pushes her daughter into a career path she’s not exactly comfortable with. That was their relationship. Antagonistic and strained. And that’s how it’s shown in this first issue. After her father leaves, her mother clings to Laurie, dedicating herself to training her daughter up into the baddest girl superhero you ever saw. But Laurie is 16. She wants to have a social life. She wants to have a life that isn’t defined by what her mother wants. I think it’s safe to say that this mini is going to be our failed ‘coming of age’ tale of the bunch because remember, in the end? Laurie goes back to her mother, who pushes her into joining the Watchmen.

Hey, you know what I wasn’t looking forward to? Someone trying to resurrect the Superboy/Wonder Girl relationship. I mean, god bless Cassie for refusing to fall for it, but damnit, Kon! Oh, that’s another thing. Even if the meaning of his name has been completely fucked up, I still like that Superboy is Kon-El again. I never liked his Conner Kent identity, everything about it was just…off. Honestly, I was convinced that Kon in the ’03 Teen Titans book was just Match pulling a fast one. His personality was skewed to the point of no return and…we’re gonna stop talking about the past and focus on the now. Like I’ve said before. Superboy is the only Lobdell-written book that I’m not embarrassed to say I read. It’s like, he focused all his energy on making this one passable, then phoned it in on Red Hood and Teen Titans. In any case, it’s the classic we’re-on-an-island scenario. Cassie and Kon spend a little time arguing, then decide to just get along tentatively, until they can figure out if the rest of their team is on the island, too. Oh course, there’s the underlying plot of Kon attempting to figure out his blossoming romantic feelings for Cassie, but I’m trying to ignore that. Silly boy, you never try to seduce the girl you beat up at first sight, that’s not how a healthy relationship works.

Holy shit. I need to. I just. Give me a minute.

Okay. So. A short history of Owlman. Traditionally, the character has been connected to Earth-3, home of the Crime Syndicate. There was another Owlman who served on Earth-1’s Outsiders recently, but I never actually read that particular book. Part of me knows that I should have been expecting Owlman. The Court of Owls. Their kill-men, the Talons. Everything about this is coming together now. Then there’s the big reveal. Bruce Wayne’s mentally twisted brother, Thomas Jr. Younger, from the sounds of it. How did Bruce’s parents cover up his existence? If you look to the second story within this issue, the tale of Jarvis Pennyworth, you’ll find that…they didn’t. Not really. Bruce was a very young boy when his mother was pregnant, and the Court was already gunning for her back then. There’s a chance that, as both stories progress, we’ll learn from the first story how Lincoln March came to be, and from the second, how Thomas Jr. ceased. And for the first time in my life, I can’t wait.

I had two separate outbursts while reading Green Lantern. The first one was, of course, “These spacehusbands! I can’t!” and the other was a short, sharp, “REALLY?!” Give me a moment to explain. We get it, Geoff. Hal and Thaal are married. Your ship sails proudly. And frankly, I love it. I love it that you so blatantly ship these two, to the point where you can write fanfic, get it published, and call it canon. I also love how you made it so that at least one member of the Indigo Tribe has sort of managed to redeem herself, so that it’s shown that Abin Sur is infallible and all of his methods work every time. But bringing back the existence of Black Lanterns? Really? I thought we left that shit behind in the old universe. I have one problem with Black Hand going back to being a BL and one problem only: All suicides are now ready for liftoff. He jumped off that cliff on his own, to avoid getting brainwashed again. He offed himself. Does that mean that all suicides are prime candidates for resurrection via black ring? Or is William Hand special? The carrier bag, if you will. Is that it? Because if that’s it…that’s stupid. Really, really stupid. I’m sorry, but it is.

And that was this week in comics. I hear the next issues of Ravagers and Suicide Squad came out but, heh, no. I’m Touch of Grey, and I have a bit of a ride ahead of me before I get to go home.

Leave a comment »

Before Watchmen begins!

So, if you’ve been reading other sites like Comicvine and Newsarama, you’d probably have heard of this thing called Before Watchmen. The first issue of the first series, Minutemen, came out today, along with the second issue of Earth-2, and a few other old favorites. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Though I dropped Justice League International off of my buy list last month, that isn’t stopping me from enjoying it now. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, JLI is a character interaction book for me. August General in Iron is the narrator this month, and the kindred spirit he hoped to find in OMAC is…lacking, to say the least. Then we get a better idea of just how Guy and Tora’s relationship ended. Long-distance relationships, am I right? Finally, Godiva finally realizes that Booster is just not that into her. Actually, can I take a second? This is me putting on my shipper hat and saying that Booster should have been the ‘iconic gay hero’ DC was flashing at us. I mean, we’d have some build up. Godiva’s been throwing herself at him for ten months now, he’s clearly not interested even though she’s a total babe. I mean, how hard would it be for Booster to just casually mention that he’s already seeing a nice guy named Ted? Ugh. I just. I’m sorry. I’ll stop. Next book.

Wow, this was well thought out on my end. Rant about why Alan Scott shouldn’t have been the outed one, then fall in love with him and his adorable boyfriend. Surprisingly, I enjoy way more things about Earth-2 than I dislike. The Terry Sloane/Michael Holt confrontation was bullshit, but Jay saving that couple from the mutated rats was awesome! Not to mention the scenes with him trying out his powers. The way he got them was a little…lemme put it this way. I like science more than I like magic. I love how the Flash’s powers have always come from lab accidents, because comic book science is hilarious. Having Mercury give him his powers was definitely interesting enough, though it’ll never be my favorite origin. Another thing, look at that uniform. From the neck down, it’s fantastic. But that helmet! It’s like the Ant Man helmet and Jay’s hat had a baby. Nicola Scott, for shame. I’m not going to dive too much into Alan Scott’s story, just because it ended on a cliffhanger that would be considered a spoiler. Though I will mention that I’m dying to know what happened to Al Pratt. Ah well, next month.

I’ve been alternately looking forward to and dreading the entire Before Watchmen line since it was announced. I know for a fact that I’m only going to be buying the Minutemen and Silk Spectre books if they’re good, because they’re the only ones done by creators I like. But are they good? The first issue of the Minutemen book came out today, and you know what? It’s not bad. It’s a short history of the Minutemen, how they came together, and what eventually lead to their end. Basically, it’s everything that was promised to us. Minutemen also has the advantage of being done by the master of retro art in comic books, Darwyn Cooke. His work on Justice League: New Frontier, Catwoman, and The Spirit was amazing, and made me proud to say I was a DC fan. Not to say that his work on Spider-Man over at Marvel wasn’t excellent, too. I think I got most of my Cooke-gushing out of the way a couple of months ago, when I reviewed his issue of The Shade, but expect to see it from time to time. The man is a marvel.

You know how I keep saying that Animal Man is the best ongoing of the New 52? I’m just going to keep on saying that until some other title proves me different, because hot damn. On Earth, Ellen has a chat with three of the Justice League Dark, while Cliff goes and gets himself kidnapped by a Hunter in his dad’s form. Meanwhile, in the Red, the Goat Man explains to Buddy all the things Socks explained to Maxine in the annual last week as they fight Rotlings. It’s a fun issue, if your version of ‘fun’ is as twisted as mine is. 

That was this week in comics. I’m feel I should inform you, World’s Finest also came out this week, as did the infinitely superior Vertigo series, Fairest. Oh, and for those of you in South Florida!

Do you have a lot of comics, trades, action figures, and other assorted comic, sci fi, and anime paraphernalia? And you want to make some space for new nerd junk? Come on down to Tate’s Comics this Sunday for their second annual Swap and Sale! I’ve got a booth again, and enough comics and manga to satisfy the choosiest customer. Hope to see y’all there!

Leave a comment »