Saturday, December 20, 2014

Brain Tunes

Nothing More - This Is The Time
When I first heard this song, I wasn't fan. Second time I heard it, it was stuck in my head. Third time I heard it, I has bobbin' my head. Fourth time I heard it, I downloaded the cd. Overall, the debut album from Nothing More is pretty solid music wise. My only real complaint is that the vocals get a bit too high for my liking. I like my rock deep and not Maroon 5. However, it's pretty solid and I'm digging 'em.
(the video apparently includes the prelude track and the rock starts at about 50 seconds in)

Friday, December 19, 2014

(Late)NB of the Week


Justice League #37 - The Amazo Virus: Chapter Two
Written by Geoff Johns
Drawn by Jason Fabok

Luthor's plan to take out the super-powered has backfired. After a hit was put out on his head, his Amazo Virus was accidentally released upon the world. It's purpose was to target the powers in somebody and shut them down, making their defeat easier. But it was only meant for the powered. Now that it's released on normal humans, it's mutated and worse, airborne. Once infected, a human gains a random super-power until it slowly eats away at their body and kills them. Most of the League is already hit by it, struggling to live (I bet they don't...) while Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman look for Patient Zero along with their blood in order to cure this mutated virus.
Won't lie, this issue didn't have much to it. Superman and Batman finally find PZ only to find what is likely the New 52 version of Amazo. He is Solomon Grundy in looks as his body is dying and he has many powers. They figure that essentially he can copy any power-set he sees (so Grundy meets Marvel's Mimic) after he grows wings to try and copy Superman's flying and later his heat vision. Wonder Woman joins in halfway to swing the tides back to them but once Batman gets the blood sample, PZ flips a little and sends him flying, leaving us with an ending of the sample destroyed and Batman's bio-suit broken, leaving him exposed to the virus (somehow the 3rd comic this week that has Batman in a suit and trying to stop a virus...).
As I said, not much happening but it is only the third part (prelude included) and I wasn't expecting much yet. Why this issue won out the week is based on two things:
1) Geoff Johns. This man has written more than his share of amazing DC stories over the last decade or so but this title has been hit and miss for me. It's always been at worst a decent read but as with many titles and characters in the New 52, it hasn't read like it's his book. It reads as though editors are telling him the when and the where they need everything and he's just trying his best to connect those preset dots. However, once Lex Luthor came over to the team, it reads as though he's having much more fun. The distrusting dynamic that now follows everybody on the team makes for a great read and Johns seems to be enjoying it. The League is once again a book worth reading. The second reason is:
B) Jason Fabok. Fabok is an artist that would have seemingly fit into 90's Image perfectly. It's dark and detailed and, really, it's just pretty to look at. This guy has come onto a book that has already had names like Jim Lee and Ivan Reis and he's made it his. I very much look forward to seeing him draw the Darkseid War next year and hope he sticks around for a while.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NB of the Week


Thor #3
Written by Jason Aaron
Drawn by Russell Dauterman

When a new, female Thor was announced, people kinda lost their collective minds. "Thor is his name, not a title passed on!", "This is just PR crap to get female readers!", The real Thor will be back by Avengers 2 so who cares?" Three issues in, are any of those complaints right? Actually, maybe. But that doesn't take away from the story that Aaron is telling.
Last issue ended with Female Thor separated from her hammer and confronted by frost giants. This issue was pure, Thor badassery.
As Malekith begins to try and enter the sealed room containing Dario Agger (CEO of Roxxon and a minotaur), the skull of Laufey (ex frost giant king, not dead) and Mjolnir (hammer of hammers), Thor is attacked by the frost giants. Easy at first, they freeze her and one eats her. Game over. They think. Soon enough, she busts her way out of the frost giant and then proceeds to beat the holy Hel out of the others before she changes back to her mortal form (being separated from the hammer will do that). This is actually where I got antsy. As she tries to pry her way into that sealed room, she slowly begins to change back, revealing small glimpses of her true form. A mystery I was anxiously turning the page to see. Alas, she reaches it before we see her form, leaving that for another time. Being reunited with Mjolnir, she doesn't play to Malekith's hand and destroys Laufey's skull, leaving Malekith speechless, only able to spurt out threats of the war she has just started with such an act. The issue ends with a word balloon coming in saying that she already has a war on her hands, revealing original Thor. And he wants his hammer back.
This is one of those "cart before the horse" moments where everybody hating this concept before reading it should finally shut up. This is Thor. I have no idea who she is, how she became worthy or why she is doing what she's doing and I don't care. Anybody who has enjoyed Thor over the years should be smart enough to recognize all the familiar traits in this female version: rough, uncaring of others feelings, brash and full of fight. I can already picture her drinking mead in the halls of Asgard, telling spoils of how she killed giants. And next issue is Thor vs Thor! I'm not sure how I'll make it through that issue in one sitting.

Friday, December 5, 2014

(Late) NB of the Week


Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1
Written by Kieron Gillen (w/ Marguerite Bennett)
Drawn by Phil Jimenez (w/ Stephanie Hans)

When Marvel announced that they had plans to bring Spawn's Angela along with her creator Neil Gaiman to the Marvel U, I was pretty excited to see what both would add. Unfortunately it happened during the abysmal Age of Ultron and not much happened at the beginning. Angela then went over to Guardians of the Galaxy and just talked a lot (written by Bendis) and Gaiman did... nothing. So when Marvel made the next announcement that Angela was being turned into the half-sister of Thor and from the hidden Tenth Realm, I was once again excited. As part of the decently written Original Sin, we followed Thor as he found out of a secret sister and we learned of Angela's new origin: she was an angel from the Heven. After war with Odin seemingly killed his daughter, Odin banished Heven from existence along with his actually alive daughter. She was raised as the Wingless Warrior and Heven's greatest fighter. Until Original Sin revealed it all. For her service, Heven let her live but for her lineage to Odin (their worst enemy), she was once again banished. Which is where this new, ongoing series takes place.
We see Angela as she makes her way through "nowhere" until she comes to a place called Un-Town, where she meets with a friend named Sera. Telling her of her journey and handing over the package she has been carrying, she believes she has lost the party that is following/hunting her only to find them quickly behind her. As she fights this group of men, Sera tells a witness the story of how Angela saved her. About how her code as an "angel" to take only that which they give and to always pay debts, killed a ruler she once saved after the ruler wouldn't save Sera as Angela requested. Angels create balance and his unwillingness to repay his debt was unbalanced. As Sera's story ends, we see Angela victorious but before long, the last of the party arrives looking for her. Led by Thor and followed by Sif and the Warriors Three, Thor demands Angela. As the witness questions why, Sera explains: the "package" she was carrying is a child. The new heir to Asgard, to be exact.
I wasn't too keen on Angela getting her own series. She had very little character depth (not to mention history) in the Marvel Universe and this seemed like another attempt to force a weaker female into a lead comic to appease the female readers. Boy was I wrong. This issue read like some of the best (even if a bit cliched) fantasy.
"The angel who wasn't an angel walked across the desert that wasn't a desert. She walked across a land between lands. She walked across nothing. 'Nothing for nothing,' the angel thought to herself as the air tore at her skin and the bundle strove to sear the flesh from her fingers. Nothing for nothing. Everything has its price."
Angela comes off like all the old beings of myth. She's angry and fierce and a just warrior who will fight anyone for the cause she stands for. This one issue did more for the new her than anything Marvel has done since acquiring her rights. It's difficult to say if this excitement will last month in for me but as first issues go, Marvel has won me over.