Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NB of the Week

The Ultimates #7
Things go from bad to worse to awesome in the span of 32 pages.
In case you didn't read the Hawkeye mini that started with this book, the Ultimate-Verse now has their version of Xorn, in twin brothers Xorn and Zorn; one the leader of the Celestials, the other the leader of the Eternals, both taking life in the floating islands of Tian. Not only did they cause it so that the world has "no more mutants" (take that House of M) but they also have a serum that will give each taker individual powers (similar to the Inhumans' Terragenisis) as long as they surrender themselves to a life on Tian (not really a bad deal).
On the other side, we still have Reed Richards and the Children of Tomorrow who are still there, living in The City. Which makes Nick Fury a very angry and uncomfortable man.
Which leads to this issue.
After being turned down by Captain America (whom Nick wanted to return to the team and lead), Fury just hopes he can try and play world chess with the characters who are very much smarter than he is and very much more powerful. He visits Tian and tries to get Xorn and Zorn (Enlightenment and Entropy) to help stand againt The City. Zorn (Entropy. I think...) says no, reading deviance behind the act. Xorn (Enlightenment. I believe) says fear causes actions that are forgivable and wishes to extend the conversation to Richards. Bad move. Reed sees the intrusion as an act of aggression and sends his own, more volatile response back, thus giving Fury the players he wanted as it forces Xorn and Zorn into the defensive against Reed.
And in a final note, a man has been sent to find Banner and invite him into the party, After being turned down, the man gave Bruce an option: either he joins and helps or Betty Ross, whom they have sedated elsewhere (and is the Ultimate She-Hulk), gets dissected so they can use her dna and build an army. We are then given final pages of Reed being surprised as the Hulk begins to smash through The City, beginning the slaughter of Reed's people.
Hickman is amazing at weaving a giant, brilliant story. It's that simple. Read Fantastic Four and tell me I'm wrong. The only problem I have is that you essentially had to get another mini in order to get the full story. It's explained in passing and all but the bringing in of X/Zorn and Tian was in the Ultimate Hawkeye mini and it plays heavily now in Ultimates. That's the only gripe. Either way, read this book.

Near Miss
Justice League #6
Darkseid has come to Earth and is looking for his daughter. Too bad he comes against the newly formed League and gets his sorry ass handed to him by Cyborg. Though, to be fair, Cyborg is made from Apokolips technology so it was a little bit cheating. Either way, this is the League book that I expected Johns to do and it's been worth it to get this issue.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NB of the Week

Rick Remender
If you've been reading my rants, you've probably noticed that I've been taking a liking to books such as Uncanny X-Force and Secret Avengers a bit more than usual. This is because of one man: Rick Remender. He's single handedly turned X-Force into possible the best book being published (not to mention making Deadpool tolerable and actually fun to read) and did what very, very few writers could do: followed Warren Ellis and actually upstaged him.

Uncanny X-Force #22 - Otherworld: Chapter Three
After going against her family, Betsy has saved Fantomex (for now). However, now a new threat from his past has emerged in Weapon III. Turns out, Weapon III was a mutant who could stretch his skin until the Weapon Plus Program took him. After a mission to steal something Otherworld, though, Fantom followed, stopped him and left him there for sentencing. Which means they stripped him of his skin. Entirely. Now he wants his revenge. How will he do this? By stripping Fantomex of his face. And all this while Wolverine and Deadpool go after an evil Goat God, Nightcrawler and Meggan fight off an army of ogres and Britain and the Corps try to save the entire realm. That's a lot of poop on their plate.

Secret Avengers #23 - A Victory for the Little Guy
Turns out all those robot people are the new Reavers, which is pretty old school and obscure. As Ant-Man rides the Adaptoids back to their base, we get Hawkeye walking in as Cap America tries to get Venom to join the team. Not wanting anything to do with "one of the "world's most notorious villains", Clint is showing why he may be just the leader this team needs. Nobody puts Cap America in a corner! Anyhow, as the Adaptoids bring that lady (Yalda) to Father (which is actually the "name" of the guy from Force that got Weapon III to join the Plus Program. Coincidence.....?), he finds that she is completely against helping them in anyway. Which is fine because her son is all they really need. As the Adaptoids strike, Ant grows and tries to help. Unable to save Yalda, he takes the kid and runs but he can't escape. As he lays, head under the foot of an Adaptoid, broken and bloody, we are left with a final page of him saying,
"No matter what choices I made before this, today I died saving an innocent child--
And I didn't think twice about it."
With a "KRETCHH" and blood splatter, we got a "to be continued".

Remender has proven his strength with these two books and it's team dynamic. We have had nearly next to no interaction with Ant-Man and yet in this one issue, you feel his "death" as though he had been the series lead for a long time. And just to say it now, I doubt he's dead and bet the nest issue starts with us seeing the blood and KRETCHH were from the Adaptoid.
I digress. Both books have shown great team and character and I'm ready for him to take over another one. Hell, I'm putting the call... Nay, the dare out to Marvel to revamp Power Pack with Remender. It'll make the top ten sales list faster than Johns taking over another character to reboot over at DC.
Either way, read these books. They're amazing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Too Geeky?

I saw this today and want it. Is it too geeky though? I like to think not.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NB of the Week

Flipping things up a little bit, this week I have different NBs.

First off, the cover to X-Factor #232 is amazing. Very Steranko-esque in color and scheme, this cover is old-school and great. You don't get vibrant colors and patterns like this anymore. In a day and age where everything is fancy and high details, artist David Yardin (look him up) shows that simple can be best. Love the change up and love the use.

Second, in a moment that I can see many people not liking, John Stewart over in Green Lantern Corps #6 shows how hardcore he is willing to be in order to protect his brothers and his corps. Over the last few issues (in particular), Stewart and Gardner were attacked by Keepers, the race of beings that helped create the power batteries. They are after the Guardians and the main Power Battery after they took them all from their planet, leaving it to die (a story a bit long to write all down). Gardner and others escaped and are planning a rescue attempt while Stewart and others were left and captured. While he and two others have been tortured for the past few issues, on finally breaks and says he'll give the Keepers the coordinates. He begins to tell his ring to bring it up as he apologizes to Stewart for not being as strong as he was.
"I'm sorry, John..."
"God help me..."
And then this page.
Stewart takes the life of another Lantern in order to prevent the massacre of them all and I loved it. They seem to be moving him more towards his military background and while fragging your own team may not be the best example, putting the many over the few is. The series as a whole has been good but nothing amazing. But good. Definitely worth the read at thing point, whether you agree or disagree with Stewart's methods.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trailer Watch: Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter

This book was amazing. This movie looks amazing. Get excited and drool as I have many, many time.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Geek Genius

I just watched the premiere episode of Kevin Smith's Comic Book Men and I think I'm in love. I'm not quite sure how well it will fully do with the general audiences but if you are a geek of any kind or a fan of Kevin Smith, this show is a must. I was laughing the whole time and nerding out in between the breaths. Everyone should head over to and watch the episode if you haven't already. It pure, geek genius.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Hidden" Gem - Marz and the Top Cow Universe

As much as this may not be very hidden, I can guarantee nobody here is reading it so I figured I would share
Ron Marz has brought his Witchblade opus to it's huge, universe changing end and it absolutely did changed it. Marz first joined Witchblade at issue #80 at it was clear he was given the reins to do what he wanted and over the next seven years and about 100 issues later, he did just that. Along the way he added elements to Sara and the Witchblade that were amazing. Outta the blue, a character called the Curator comes in and reveals to Sara more of her origin than she knew. Turns out the Witchblade is one of the Thirteen Artifacts which are destined to either make or break their universe. Along with her is the Darkness and the Angelus (making up the Trinity that is the core to all 13), which were also switched around in origin. Long ago, the Darkness and the Angelus had an offspring: the Witchblade. Male in it's "gender", only a female my wield it so that the balance between it all is upheld. Along with those three, some new and old players were added to the mix as well to make the 13:
The Spear of Destiny (wielded by the Magdalena)
The Blood Sword (wielded by Ian Nottingham)
The Glacier Stone
The Ember Stone
Pandora's Box
The Rapture (wielded by Tom Judge, brought back from their 2001 series Universe)
The Wheel of Shadows
The Heart Stone (wielded by Necromancer and her demon Mali)
The Coin of Solomon (wielded by Aphrodite IX)
The Thirteenth
Separate, they will shape the core of the Top Cow Universe. Together, they will destroy it.
Which is what Marz did.
Turns out the Curator is the lone survivor of the world that came before this one. He is it's Codex. The living embodiment of that world. He has taken it upon himself to bring the 13 together in order to destroy this world and bring his back. It also turns out that Hope, the daughter of Sara and Jackie, is this world's Codex. For his world to be restored, she must die. As all 13 do battle for the word, some good, some bad, some just wanting to protect Hope, the Curator is given what he wants. All 13 together and he destroys the Top Cow Universe. In a white place of nothingness, Jackie, Sara and Hope are the only three left. Sara thinks that maybe Hope has to die to rebuild their world. Jackie thinks there has to be another way. As they argue and it appears Sara kills their daughter, the world comes back. Only different.
Sara Pezzini is not a cop in New York. She in fact, she has just moved to Chicago by herself. No family. Danielle Baptiste (the Angelus) is a New York cop who is the partner of the man who was Sara's partner and longtime boyfriend. And Jackie has it all. No longer with the mob, married to his longtime love and with a daughter, Hope. Jackie has remade this world how he wants it, somehow and he's the only one who remembers.
I know I may have ruined to full ending but this run is amazing. I never thought I would care about the story in Witchblade more than the art and Marz has proven me completely wrong. It's quite sad that he has left the title but he is staying with Artifacts to tell the new stories of Tom Judge and this new world so there is a silver lining.
This is a book that you should absolutely read if given the chance. It's easily the best Witcthblade has been and one of the best overall runs that I have read. And at only $5, the first trade is too cheap to pass up.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cool Covers

Batman: Shadow of the Bat #81
As I continue going through my comics, getting everything better organized, I'm coming across some awesome issues that I haven't seen or read in a while. Back in 1999, an Earthquake hit Gotham and the government decided they couldn't spend more money fixing it, cut it off from the rest of the US and declare it a no man's land, thus beginning the year long even of that title. As things lead up to it, Arkham was in ruins and the inmates took over (a very common occurrence, apparently) and no cover better represented the feel than this one. Glen Orbik doesn't seem to do a whole lot lately (that I know of) but this cover is amazing. A poster worthy of hanging with the best.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NB of the Week

Secret Avengers #22 - New Life
The story title says it all. After last issue's introduction to both Hawkeye as our new leader and Remender as the new writer, this issue begins the seeds for what should be a promising run.
The issue begins with a suicide bomber taking his life in the middle of a market in Pakistan. To every one's surprise, a lady holding her son opens her mouth extra wide and sucks in the explosion and it's flame. As people surround her demanding to know how (she is actually just as surprised as they all are), she redirects it back out at them, killing everyone. We then see four more from around the world suddenly go white eyed, making claims about how another energy signature has appeared.
We then cut to Captain Britain as he fights a Brit villain before he gets transported to Captain America. He has already agreed to lead the team for Steve. Yeah, I said lead. At least in his mind. He and Hawkeye have some great quips about each other and the team, with Beast throwing in a lot of awesome sarcasm. Before things can really get heated, they get a call about said Pakistan woman who is need of help. As they arrive and take out the local militia, they are attacked by the four white-eyes we saw earlier. They are her for the girl. She is apparently an Adaptoid like them. I can only assume it is a new make of the old Avengers' villain. After getting their trash handed to them (as Britain says, they have had no time to train or practice together and they have little to no rhythm with each other yet), the Adaptoids take the girl and fly off but not before Ant-Man can snag a ride. As the last page opens, a group of villains find that the Avengers are now also "trying to acquire them". a group of odd mix as it has Lady Deathstrike, Doctor Doom, weird looking versions of Wasp, Jocasta, Vision and Red Skull, Max Fury and a human sized Sentinel. Not sure what they mean but it's definitely an interesting ragtag of villainy.
This issue won out for one simple reason: the characterizing. The story was new and entire set-up to catch us but the group dynamic is already better than most books. If Force has shown us one thing, it's that Remender has a knack for making odd and dysfunctional teams work and that's what he does here. The banter feels as though we have been reading this group for ages, making them seem like a family filled with squabbles and not a new team of covert Avengers. If every issue has this great of team writing, I don't even care what the stories deal with. Hell, let's throw in Mephisto and get rid of a few points we don't like while we're here. I'm for practically anything.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Boobs of the Day

The Gaston Fangirls from Beauty & the Beast
I took my mother to see the 3D release of Beauty & the Beast and while I do actually own this movie, I was a little surprised by these three. Not only do these animated harlots have some giant zongas but they bounce like no other. There is even one point where they lean over a water pump handle, resting their buddy bags all across it. Make up your own mind as to what that image is suppose to mean.
And not to get off subject, but how rapey is Gaston? Dude is nothing but forcing himself on Belle the whole time. Somebody needs to call the cops.
Either way, this Trilogy of Titties gets my vote.

Trailer Watch: Amazing Spider-Man

Second trailer for Amazing has hit and it gets me even more excited. This thing looks like it could be completely badass.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cool Cover

CrossGen had some pretty badass books for a while before they went under. Among them was Brath, the story of Braveheart. Essentially. Still worth checking out even if it is. With this run of 15 issues (14 plus the prequel), issue #10 had easily my favorite cover by artist Andrea Di Vito. He's done a few things for Marvel over the last years but nothing that makes his name a standard to be reckoned with. However, thanks to this cover, his name shall be one I keep an eye out for.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Clif-Notes: Chronicle

If you've seen a trailer for Chronicle, you know the main points. Three friends gain super-powers through some "alien" type artifact (what it was is never actually addressed) and one of them begins to use his powers for evil. What the trailers didn't show is just how personal and just how dark they make the story.
When the move begins, you meet Andrew, the one who goes bad. Only within the first five or ten minutes, you completely understand why. His mother is terminally ill and dying in the next room over. His father is a washed-up fireman drunk who takes it out on Andrew. He has no friends and is bullied at school as the "weird kid". Life is empty for Andrew. Immediately you know why he uses his new powers for evil. Through his camera (first used as evidence against how his father treats him), Andrew records their journey. Later, there are different recording devices used to change perspective (cell phones, ipads, cop car cameras) which is a smart move is the movie makers part. After the powers, the three friends begin to stretch them, under the theory that it's like a muscle; the more you work it, the stronger it gets. After back and forth with the powers, things begin to slide. Andrew starts using his as revenge. Pulling teeth from a school bully. Throwing around his local "street gang" to steal their money. Holding up gas stations to help pay for his mother's medicine. He's outta control and there may only be two people who are able to even stop him.
This movie was a very smart and dark take on powers. The motif of Absolute Powers Corrupts Absolutely is in full swing and they don't really hold back. Best of all, you can understand and relate to both sides of the argument. If you had those powers, you would have done things all the same. You want Andrew to get revenge and to show those asshats what for but you know that he, and you, shouldn't. You want a hero to swoop in and save things while you also just want everything to burn. While the first hour is a bit slow with building the characters ands their powers, the back end twists it all and causes you to question what your morals may actually be. Simply put, I loved this movie. Comic fans should run to this one. Get off your couch and do it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

NB of the Week

A Double Dose of Spy Games

Punisher #8
Punisher needs no explaining. At the start of this current series, a young, Marine's wedding is ruined when she is the sole survivor of a massacre. Everybody but her killed on her wedding day and Punisher has been following the trail ever since. And so has she. In issue 8, the two finally come face to face after they both go after the same people. They both say the same line to each other, "Blue on blue", a term the military uses for friendly fire. After checking the bodies, he leaves her with one more message.
"Stay out of my way."
Greg Rucka is made for writing stories like Punisher. Marco Checchetto is made for drawing stories like the Punisher. This book is brilliant. Plain and simple.

Winter Soldier #1
The Winter Soldier is back and he's taking names. During Fear Itself, Bucky was "killed" by Sin. Only he obviously wasn't. As Steve Rogers helped lie to the world, Buck was laid to rest so that the Winter Soldier could go back to work. After being wanted for his past crimes, Bucky needed a way to restart. Now that he is "dead", he can follow all his leads and track down the Winter Soldier program and the others that he has come to remember he helped create and train. The first issue is as simple as that. He and the Black Widow (whom he is also schtuping) begin their journey, finding out that the first Soldier has already been released. Can they stop him before it's too late?
But seeing how they do it is the best part. Ed Brubaker has turned Bucky into one of the most badass characters in the Marvel Universe. I would go as far as to say that he is even cooler than Steve Rogers right now. However, Brubaker is balancing them perfectly. Over in Captain America, Brubaker has Steve tackling more "comic" like problems. It's the super-hero book. Winter Soldier is the spy/espionage book and that's exactly where Bucky needs to be. This book is starting out great and I have very high hopes for where it can go.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Before Watchmen

DC announced today that they will be doing seven new minis based on Alan Moore's Watchmen. All seven are prequels and done by some of the top talent that DC has. While this is definitely a move that is unnecessary and even "unwanted" by many (Moore is completely against it, in a fit of surprise...), I'm for it. Not only do the names attached make me all kinds of giddy (I'll list them below) but there's really no way these can ruin the genius of the original. Did the Dark Strikes Back ruin Returns? Did Eye of the Camera kill the brilliant Marvels before it? No and no. Not only does DC own the rights, so it doesn't matter what he wants anyhow, but (and it's been said everywhere else, I'm sure) Moore based the characters off old ones he couldn't use. Not to mention his books like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls that use already established, literary characters for his benefit. In my world, you can't bitch about people using "your" characters when you do it all the time. Should this talent pool be used to make new stories instead? Probably so but that shouldn't diminish there talent on this book. Let the stories happen before we all jump in 'em.

By Brian Azzarello and J.G. Jones

By J. Michael Straczynski and Adam Hughes

By Darwyn Cooke

By J. Michael Straczynski and Andy & Joe Kubert

By Len Wein and Jae Lee

By Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo

By Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner