Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cool Stuff!

Hey there 1 to 3 people who read this! My last blog was on June 16th. That was a world that had Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson in it. And now look where we are. Friends, things have changed.

I hope you all take stock in your lives, and if you have come to the realization that, while the passing of McMahon and Fawcett are sad, that the death of Michael simply leaves stock in plastic companies in complete turmoil.

See ya plastic man!

All right, since it's been a while, I will focus on some memorable reads over the past couple weeks.
First off, there is the landmark Captain America #600. The main story is penned by Ed Brubaker who is one of my new favortie comic writers. Cap has been an excellent read, and it gets better every month.
This issue also features a Cap story by Stan Lee way way back in 1942!!! In the current-continuity story, it's the one year anniversary of Cap's death (Steve Rogers). There's a big memorial, and Osborne (Norman, I presume?) as Captain Iron America Man and his government registered supertypes are there, as is Bucky and the non-registered dudes. It ends with an interesting cliffhanger.

I could go on and on about this book, but it's got such a realistic flavor to it...as realistic as you can be while discussing superheroes. 5 out of 5 Cap shields.

Next up is Detective Comics #854. Batwoman is the central figure here, and this is my first exposure to her that I recall. I know she's a lesbian, I read that in the USA Today. I also know that she is a woman.

Anyway, good story, appearance by Batman (Dick Grayson), and was a good starting point for a newbie like me who only knew she was a lesbian who also happened to be a woman. 4 out of 5 lesbians.

I would be neglecting my duty to not mention two Green Lantern items. Green Lantern Corps: Through the Ages is a gigantic issue that dives into the past and present of the GL stories. All the stories are reprints, and I have them in their other forms, but it has a couple cool "who's who" pages, and is a nice sampling of stories. Plus it contains one of the coolest Hal Jordan moments ever...freefalling with his ring dead, landing on the Manhunter, and taking care of business. Awesome!!!!

My second favorite GL is Tomar Re, who has been deceased for years and years...to see him in these stories was great.

Lastly, we have the pseudo-conclusion to the Agent Orange storyline in Green Lantern #42. The drama going on within the Corps right now is stunning to a long time reader like me, and I don't mean that in a bad "I hate change" sort of way.

I can't WAIT to see the Black Lantern story starting next issue and going through the DC universe this summer. Personally, I think the Guardians are going to get it good. This issue ends with one of the biggest A-hole moves I've seen from the little blue dudes, and they are always a-holes, but this took the cake.

We also get to see a very cool Lantern, Ash, who is the coolest vampire killing Lantern ever to be created. Well, in all fairness, he is the only one, but I dig the character, he is pretty awesome. 5 out of 5 power rings.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Cool Pics!

GL pic by made by AdamWithers of Deviantart.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Red Robin #1

Tim Drake, now Tim Wayne, was the third Robin, after Dick Grayson and killed-off punk Jason Todd. Drake deduced the Batman's identity on his own, and ended up with the Robin role. This version of Robin was excellent. He was smart, a great fighter, and level-headed. He and Dick Grayson had excellent rapport and it was always awesome to see the two together.

Fast-forward to now. Batman's dead, and Dick Grayson is now Batman. Grayson appointed Bruce Wayne's son, Damien as the new Robin, much to the distaste of Tim, who just lost his job. I want to go on the record stating that Damien is so annoying that I want to actually become the Joker so I can go to New York and blow up the DC offices. Naturally, I would never do that, but what the hell? We already had a shithead Robin, and readers voted him "off the island".

Tim, in one of my favorite panels ever (primarily because of my seething dislike for Damien) punches the little bastard. Unfortunately, the punch wasn't hard enough to break his neck.

Tim decides to don the Red Robin costume, and sets out on a quest to find Bruce Wayne, who, according to Tim, is still alive.

We aren't told why Tim thinks he is still alive, but I am hoping that will pan out as the story progresses. After all, Tim was the kid who figured out who Batman really was, and if anyone can find him now (assuming he is still out there) it should be Tim.

The action in this story was great, I really liked the art...reminded me of Tom Grummet in some ways. Of all the Bat-books out lately, this one was by far the best. Tim Wayne is really skirting the edge, it seems, between keeping his cool, and losing it altogether. We get a last-page surprise that puts an interesting twist on things.

Great book! 5 out of 5, simply for the panel shown.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Loot List: 6/10/2009

Batman #687

Red Robin #1

The Flash: Rebirth #3

Green Lantern Corps #37

Monday, June 8, 2009

Batman and Robin #1

Well, there's a new Batman and Robin in town. This comic is brought to us from "scourge of humanity" Grant Morrison with art from Frank Quitely.

Everyone and their mom online is gushing over this book, as if it were the second coming of Christ. It isn't. Before I get started, understand that I love comics. I have 17 longboxes FULL, and more added weekly. I can't wait to type up my thoughts on Ex Machina or Green Lantern/Superman: Legends of the Green Flame (1996 - Neil Gaiman). I have mentioned my distaste for Grant Morrison before, and I knew he was writing this before I picked it up. How could I resist? It was a number 1 issue, a new Batman and Robin...

All that said, let's dive in.

Spoilers: Batman is Dick Grayson, and Robin is Damien Wayne. Robin acts like a complete ass to Dick and Alfred, and Dick just lets him act like an ass. If Grant Morrison is trying to make us hate the new Robin, he is doing a great job! Unfortunately, he is making me think the rest of the book is crap, too. The art isn't my taste. Quitely is talented, and it's not that the art is bad, it just isn't my cup of tea. No offense to Quitely, as 99.999% of my discontent revolves around Morrison.

Toad, really? Pyg, really? Stupid new villains.

Apparently the new Batmobile is a hovercraft or some crap. I'd rather read Spawn vs. WildC.A.T.S. over and over again until I die.

1 out of 5 stars (it gets one star for being printed).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dumpster Diving: Elseworlds Annuals (1994)

What is with me and mid-90's comics? I think part of it is that I had them all mixed up in a box, and didn't read most of them. I did, however read these comics I am about to slap at ya. I loved them back then, and wanted to see if this was a B.J. and the Bear scenario.

In case I have not explained what a "B.J. and the Bear" scenario is, it is simply a case of liking something a long time ago, then after years of life experience has set in, you realize it couldn't be any more crappy.

In 1994, all the DC annuals were all Elseworlds stories. What is Elseworlds you may ask? Well, even if you aren't asking, it is the alternate reality banner DC uses when they are feeling wacky. To be fair, a lot of the Elseworlds stories were very well done.

Way back in '94, I thought this was the case with The Adventures of Superman annual #6, and Superboy annual #1. The Adventures of Superman is brough to us by writer Karl Kesel and artist Brock Hor. Superboy was also penned by Kesel, and drawn by Greg Luzniak.

What we have here, kids, is a two-part story set in a very bleak future. Earth has been invaded by aliens, who are occupying the planet. The big, mean, evil alien overlord guy is big, mean, and evil. He's also an alien, in case I didn't mention it.
Featured in the hero corner are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash (Wally West version), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Superboy, and Lex Luthor. Lex, a hero? In this story, he helps the heroes, but is still fairly dick-ish.

In this story, earth's heroes are either killed off, or sent into hiding, after revolts by fellow humans. See, our evil, alien overlord informed the populace that any time a hero was even sighted, 1,000 innocents would die. If a hero lifted a finger, 5,000 would die. Green Lantern led a raid, and as a result, 7,000,000 people died in Coast City, including reporter Lois Lane. This was enough to turn mankind against the humans, and it was "bye bye" heroes. Green Arrow was literally crucified, for crying out loud!

Batman still was active, and was stealthy enough that the aliens couldn't even prove he existed. The others were in hiding.

Long story short, the heroes are brought together to make a last stand, and some interesting plot twists take place, and just as all hope seemed lost, the heroes save the day. Oh yeah, spoiler.

This was one of my favorite stories of the 90's, and it still stands up today. Amazing read, and this should be made into an animated movie NOW. 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pic of the Day!

By "...of the day" that is not to be construed as me posting a cool pic every single day. I mean, come on. Just quit nitpicking me, I'm sorry!! Don't look at my face directly.

The pic...

Dumpster Diving: LotDCU 20 & 21

Legends of the DC Universe was a title that featured some mainstream characters, as well as some that were not necessarily household names. An example is a 2 issue story-arc featuring Green lantern Abin Sur.

Who is Abin Sur? If you are a Green Lantern fan and do not know the answer, shame on you, stab yourself in the eye with a pencil. For those that may not know, he was the GL for sector 2814 who died and passed his ring onto Hal Jordan.

In this story, Abin is headed to Earth in search of Intergalactic meanie-butt Devlos Ungol, also known as Traitor. Apparently, Mr. Ungol decided that he wanted to shack up on our planet and become the head of a criminal gang in the old west. Oh yeah, did I mention this story takes place in 1882? Sorry.

In a nutshell, this is a sci-fi meets western story. It should be pointed out that this was a fun read! It was brought to us (back in 1994...heh) by writer Steven Grant and artist Mike Zeck. It should be noted that this is the same creative team that brought The Punisher to us in the famous mid-eighties mini-series.

My only beef? Abin is saved and befriends a Marshall named...wait for it...Henry Lee JORDAN. As in probable ancestor of Hal Jordan. Oh yeah, Marshall Jordan worked in Smallville for Sheriff Nate KENT. We get it, everyone from the DCU knows each other somehow, whether or not it's modern-day heroes, or their old west ancestors. To get to the point, it's not a big beef, by any means, just kind of a groaner to me.

Bonus beef: oh yeah. The cover to issue 20. I won't even share it here.

The character of Marshall Jordan was pretty cool, forced relationship aside, and the story had great pacing.

I give this 3 out of 5 stars.