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« Comics: July 2006 | Main | Comics: September 2006 »

Comics

Busy Day Reviews

Eternals #3
Iron Man knows Sersi so it's not a reboot. Good scene. min says Iron Man's a dick. The Deviants worshipping the Dreaming Celestial was cool, too. Gaiman knows his stuff. It's all good. Good good good.

Astonishing X-Men #16
Yeah, Kitty Pryde's a bad ass and uses her powers just right against a telepath. Paul O'Brien complains that this is too slow, but i think it's fine. Wolverine in his James-Origin persona is funny. Me and Wayne agree with Kitty on the ending: "yeahbuhwhat?"

New Avengers #23
I would've made her Madame Hydra. Wayne too. No, i didn't mean i would make Wayne Madam Hydra. Well... maybe. But Bendis is like "too easy" and does something else instead. Who's the lady in red and black on the last page next to Dagger?

Heroes For Hire #1
Cheesecake! Cheesecake! Good anyway. Could be better. I thought the dialogue was a little stilted in the conversation with Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic. But i was tired so it could've been that. Those were some really obscure bad guys at the end. The triple fake-out ending was a little annoying. Orca shouldn't be there, but i missed the Daughters of the Dragon mini. min says half-japanese people can't have red hair. Fun and light. We'll give it through Civil War.


By fnord12 | August 29, 2006, 11:00 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link



Marvel Sales

Paul O'Brien's monthly analysis of Marvel Comic's sales for July. You know you're a geek when you look forward to reading this.


By fnord12 | August 29, 2006, 5:18 PM | Comics | Link



Why Dwayne McDuffie's Damage Control will never be reprinted.


By fnord12 | August 21, 2006, 7:22 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



Was Ghost Rider Gay?

From racmu ("No one reads Usenet anymore anyway, really, so it doesn't matter.... "):

The other aspect of these early GR stories that's really striking me (and, let's be clear: these meta- and sub-textual things are just about the only things I'm finding at all worthwhile in these stories, though Tony Isabella and Marv Wolfman do okay later in the run with scripts) is just how obviously steeped they are in the homosexual/homsocial biker culture of the time. ( I know, I know: duh on me. Remember--I didn't read these back when, and wouldn't have caught the references if I had.) While the surface level source material is everything from Brando to Evil Knievel and the fad for motorcycle stunts and "cycle jocks" (with the vehicular and demonic sources meeting in the Hell's Angels, of course), there's no getting around some of the more...specifically resonant....aspects of bike culture Friedrich puts into these early stories. Johnny spends a *lot* of time fretting over his "secret" nightlife, after all, and its sinful, likely-to-be-disastrous consequences. He feels he's saved only by the abiding love of his gal-pal/love-interest/foster-sister (no, *that's* not complicated at *all*) Roxanne--whom he calls Rocky--one of the few, early on, to know his secret shame. (Prior to having given up his soul to save Rocky's father, Crash Simpson, from a disease--Johnny had made a deathbed promise to his foster-mother not to be a daredevil rider. Despite knowing this was likely the cause of his refusal to ride with them, Crash and Rocky taunt Johnny for years for being a coward. Implicitly, for being a momma's boy--less manly than Rocky herself. Have I mentioned I love the nickname?)

With loving, devoted Rocky in tow to save him from his night-time
leather self, Johnny, performing at NYC's Madison Square Garden, finds
himself, as GR, falling in with a gang of cycle toughs in...wait for
it...Greenwich Village. He's particularly besotted with one of them, in
fact (the text itself says "attracted!" Go, Gary!). Of course, this
daddy named "Curly," turns out to actually *be* Johnny's "daddy," a
dead Crash Simpson who's given his own soul to Satan in exchange for
new life, provided he can finally deliver Johnny--and his daughter
Rocky along the way. Sigh. It's always the intense, good-looking ones
you need to be careful of, eh, Johnny?

Johnny is usually depicted in his leather uniform or, when he's out of
it (whether in Hell, on the astral plane, or just in Arizona), he, like
many of the other male biker characters (and Hellstrom) is shirtless.
He frequently sleeps all day, after his GR adventures of the previous
night. He lets the public think the GR manifestation is a mask, a
gimmick, since he admits to being enough of an egoist to really get off
on the crowd adulation. At night, he goes all firey and passionate and
mounts his bike looking for trouble. It's every single hilarious
stereotype of a subset of homosexual male culture in the 1970s you can
think off---the book is even full of admiring-but-dangerous cops and
mysterious American Indians in these early stories.

It's all subtext, of course, and I've no idea what, if any,
consciousness Friedrich, Ploog, Mooney, and Thomas may have had of the
homomemes into which they were tapping--but from the perspective of a
read in 2006, this reader, anyway, keeps waiting for poor Johnny to
just settle down and be happy with one of those nice police officer
boys he keeps running from, jumping over chasm after chasm to get
away......This guy didn't need an exorcist, he needed a sympathetic
analyst.


By fnord12 | August 15, 2006, 4:38 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link



Annihilation #1, Beyond #2

Annihilation #1
Basically Starship Troopers without the ironic propaganda. Not necessarily a bad thing, but i hope it goes somewhere bigger. It's interesting to see that Nova has done some serious growing up; we will see if it sticks beyond this series. I also think it's an odd choice, after the build-up minis about Nova, Ronan, Silver Surfer, and Super-Skrull to focus so much on the really obscure Starlord character. Much of this issue is set-up, which is a disappontment. After having already read a prologue and 16 issues of lead-ins, one would think we could get right to business, but i guess it's valid to spend a little time establishing where we are, and in any event it's a fun story with good, detailed art.

Beyond #2
I read that Tom Brevoort read an old interview with Jim Shooter about the original Secret Wars and realized there were a whole lot of directions that Shooter wanted to go in but didn't for whatever reason(I'd love to see that interview). So Brevoort commissioned this story to Dwayne McDuffie, a good writer (He writes the JLU and Static Shock cartoons, and he's written good comics as well). So (you may have heard) i'm a little bit of a fan of the original Secret Wars, so i'm very happy about this. So far it's been good - definitely some oddities and potential retcons of the original story coming up, and it's being written (deliberately) like an episode of Lost, but i'm liking it. Total fanboy material. When Dragon Man showed up, i was like "Woooooooooooo!". Questions, like "Why are good and bad guys being taken to the battle planet in the same ship?", and "Why is the Beyonder back to his old schtick after SWII and the mangled cosmic cube nonsense?" nag at me a little but i need to take a 'wait and see' approach.


By fnord12 | August 14, 2006, 5:01 PM | Comics | Link



Fantastic Four #539

Wayne would only bring me one comic book this week. Luckily, it's a good one.

Tom Brevoort says:

And this week, [JMS] takes this sort of coordination one step further, as this week's issue of FANTASTIC FOUR meshes together gear-like with the events of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #534, depicting events taking place in the same general area at the same time from two different points of view. Either book can be read separately, but if you read 'em together you'll get an even better picture as to what's going down. This is the sort of tight crossover coordination that older fans remember from previous events like the Cask of Ancient Winters story in THOR, or the INFERNO crossover in the X-books.

Actually, it was closer to the Avengers Annual 14/Fantastic Four Annual 18 crossover, where the same story was told from two different perspectives, but I appreciate the coordination (granted, the same guy is writing both books). I need to read them again together to see exactly how everything ties together (for example, does the Spidey/Cap fight take place before or after both sides stand there talking to the Thing?), but this was a good issue regardless. It's nice to see some supervillains taking advantage of the chaos of Civil War, and JMS has a good handle on the psychotic (Mad) Thinker and the Puppet-Master, throwing in some cute psychology talk to disarm the "villains always betray each other" cliche. Interesting, and very in-character, development for Ben Grimm, as well.

The cover art shows the Thing looking like his movie counterpart, which i think looks terrible, but the inside art uses his classic design, so for once i'm glad that the cover artist isn't drawing the interior.

P.S. Do people really look back fondly on Inferno?



By fnord12 | August 7, 2006, 9:17 AM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



The No-Prize

Huh. Me and Wayne were just talking about this:

The No-Prize. A Marvel tradition.

The No-Prize originated as a joke, back in the early 60s, in Stan Lee's letters pages. He ran a poll or an essay contest, and indicated that there'd be "No Prize", since there'd be no winners. But the term stuck in his lexicon, and eventually, at about the same time that the Merry Marvel Marching Society was formed, Stan had a bunch of envelopes printed up like the one in the image beside this page, indicating that the recipient's No-Prize was inclosed. The envelopes, of course, were empty.

Stan would send these out to whomever he felt was worthy, for "meritorious service to the cause of Marveldom." Or, sometimes, he'd say he would be sending them out, and then would forget to do so. (He'd also get letters asking for an exchange from kids who didn't get the joke, and who thought their No-Prize must've fallen out of the envelope.) But there was never any rhyme or reason to how he distributed these things--it was just a fun little item.

Years later, Mark Gruenwald decided to regiment the conditions which qualified a person to recieve a No-Prize. Mark said that a No-Prize would be given for any letter writer who pointed out a mistake in a Marvel comic, and then explained why it wasn't actually a mistake. And he printed up a whole new batch of No-Prizes for the occasion.

No-Prize sending was never all that regular--it waxed and waned all through the years--but it pretty much stopped completely when Mark passed (though Stan apparently sent No-Prizes out to those letter writers who asked him a question that got printed in his Soapbox column in the late 90s.)

But now, with the ease of e-mail, sending out a No-Prize, digital style, is as easy as the click of a mouse key. And, like Stan, I think I'll be sending them out for whatever strikes my fancy, not through any regimented system.

So let the call go forth: No-Prizes are a'waitin' for the deserving!

More later.

Tom B


By fnord12 | August 4, 2006, 5:06 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link



Trouble With Doors

Sure, the Man-Thing is a just non-sentient shambling mound of vegetable mass, but the truth is i run into people all the time who have trouble with doors. You don't really want to be down there in the "Feeble" category with carrot-nose. You want to read the sign (is it push or pull???), take a quick look at the type of handle you're dealing with, apply the right amount of force, etc... It gets a little trickier when there's someone on the other side of the door who wants to go in the opposite direction. Automatic doors with sensors can also cause problems. But with the right amounts of practice and planning, you can handle it.

The next step is to get yourself up in Dazzler's class. She's mastered the Speak 'n' Spell.
O.
O I C.
O I C U R A T V.
O. O. O.

P.S. Don't ask why all those characters' names are underlined. Let's just say i was just as much a geek when i was 11 as i am today.


By fnord12 | August 4, 2006, 1:44 PM | Comics & My stupid life | Comments (3)| Link



The Shaper Of Worlds

As promised, here's my contribution to the internet: a scan of the Shaper of Worlds. Amazingly, no one has put a scan of this fantastic character on the internet yet (or rather, i couldn't find one after a 15 second google search).

He's an anthropomorphic cosmic cube from the Skrull galaxy (so maybe he's skrullmorphic?). I'm not sure if that's what he was always intended to be, or if later writers or editors decided that since he looked sort of like a Skrull and had wish-fulfillment powers, that's what he was (I bet that's the case. It smells like a Mark Gruenwald decision to me).

I don't have a lot of his appearances, which were mainly in Hulk, but i've always liked the design (although i'm not sure why a cosmic being needs to wheel around on little tank tracks). His gig is re-creating planets based on people's dreams. It's sort of a weird thing to do, but you have to find something you enjoy in life. He has a golden skinned hippie that rides around on rainbows as a herald.

The Official Marvel Handbook lists "The cosmic cube created by AIM" under his 'Known Relatives'.

Also, he seems to have been involved in the retcon that made the Beyonder from Secret Wars into one-half of a cosmic cube with the Molecule Man. I think in that case he was fulfilling Tom Defalco's dream of undoing Jim Shooter's legacy as Editor In Chief.


By fnord12 | August 4, 2006, 1:24 PM | Comics | Link



My name is fnord12, and i am addicted to comic books.

I came home from work yesterday to find this:

Now, i knew i had ordered a few comic books, but those are big boxes. What had i done?

Here's the contents (click to enlarge):

What i did was, see, what i did was, in the 70s they had a bunch of reprint titles of classic 60s comics:
Marvel Tales = Spider-Man
Marvel's Greatest Comics = Fantastic Four
Marvel Triple Action & Marvel Super Action = Avengers
Marvel Spectacular = Thor
Marvel Super Heroes = Hulk

So i was thinking about it, and i says to myself, you could get all this stuff for less than a dollar an issue. So i bought 'em all. Lots and lots of Stan Lee and Roy Thomas cheesey goodness. (In addition to scattered other comics, of course.)

Someone stop me. Please.


By fnord12 | August 1, 2006, 10:15 AM | Comics | Comments (18)| Link



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