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September 30, 2011

Bad Album covers

The Hurting takes a break from a long multi-part analysis of David Sim's Cerberus to make some complaints on an entirely different topic.

The sad thing is that album covers don't even matter any more. Sure, i dutifully download the album art onto* my mp3s, but when do i ever look at them?

*Grammar check me on that.

By fnord12 | September 30, 2011, 4:41 PM | Music| Link

Enthusiasm gap

As mistermix points out, we're in "Ralph Nader runs for president" territory, although his take on that seems to be 'blame the voters' instead of 'blame the people who switched focus to deficit reduction when unemployment was at 9%+ and also failed to push for any initiatives that might have excited the base (public option, check card, greenhouse gas regulations, etc.)'.

Luckily for the Dems, i don't think there's even a semi-viable third party candidate out there right now.

By fnord12 | September 30, 2011, 11:07 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Dean Baker Snark


They kept spraying water on the wood, but they just couldn't get the fireplace started. The Post wrote the equivalent in an article on the Greek crisis:

"The government has raised taxes and cut services and is announcing tougher steps every other week. So far it has been to no avail; the economic outlook keeps getting worse, not better."

And therefore, prepare for worldwide economic collapse:

The German government agreed Thursday to bolster the ESFS. That's encouraging news but many analysts say it's insufficient to contain Greece's collapse on its own.

If those analysts are right and no further steps are taken, the U.S. is exposed via trade and finance. "Europe back in recession hurts US exports, since they buy less. Worries about the Euro lead to a stronger dollar/euro exchange rate, which further hurts U.S. export competitiveness. US banks and money market funds have exposure to Europe, so their balance sheets are damaged if Europe goes under."

This has led economist Nouriel Roubini to conclude it's not just a question of if the U.S. will tumble back into recession, but of how deep it will be.

By fnord12 | September 30, 2011, 10:57 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 28, 2011

Strippers and Robots

Pre-teen girls react to DC's reboot. Good stuff.

Obviously i don't have any direct skin in the DC reboot game, but on the other hand i want it to succeed for the sake of the industry. I misinterpreted the intent when it was first announced, thinking the whole point was to bring in younger readers, but it's actually apparently about attracting teenage boys who fell through a time warp from 1993. Coincidentally, i pointed to the Teen Titans cartoon as a better way to go, at least for the clean accessible look, and the first girl in the article above is also looking at her favorite character Starfire, who she knows from the cartoon, and wondering why she's now running around in a tiny bikini.

The Beat says "it is not practical for DC to have rebooted its entire line in a form that 7-year-olds could read". I'm surprised by that comment. I think for most of super-hero comics' history they were written in a way that 7-year-olds could read them, even if they were also written in a way that older readers could enjoy (at least starting in the 1960s). I'm not necessarily saying it has to be that way. I've enjoyed the fact that comics have gotten more mature in recent decades (and i'm not talking about characters running around in tiny bikinis), and if kids aren't going to read comics anyway, you could argue, why not? But to say it's not practical is kind of odd. It's a question of who DC wants to target. They could have tried to expand back to the young kid market. Instead (snark aside), they seem to be targeting the slightly older teenage boy market. And wherever they tried to expand, it would still be a balancing act between attracting new readers and keeping the existing fanbase. I suspect the fanbase would be more tolerant of an approach that was similar to the Marvel Adventures line than the Image Returns! style that DC chose (and i'm calling it that based on what i've seen online; i've read only two of the reboot books, and one was Omac). But whatever.

Anyway, read the article for some cute observations.

By fnord12 | September 28, 2011, 11:11 AM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link

I've Always Said Cantaloupes Were No Good

You just can't trust orange produce.

Health officials say as many as 16 people have died from possible listeria illnesses traced to Colorado cantaloupes, the deadliest food outbreak in more than a decade.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 72 illnesses, including 13 deaths, are linked to the tainted fruit. State and local officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected.

The death toll released by the CDC Tuesday -- including newly confirmed deaths in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas -- surpassed the number of deaths linked to an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts almost three years ago.


Listeria generally only sickens the elderly, pregnant women and others with compromised immune systems. The CDC said the median age of those sickened is 78 and that one in five who contract the disease can die.

Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC says the number of illnesses and deaths will probably grow in coming weeks because the symptoms of listeria don't always show up right away. It can take four weeks or more for a person to fall ill after eating food contaminated with listeria.


About 800 cases of listeria are found in the United States each year, according to CDC, and there usually are three or four outbreaks. Most of these are traced to deli meat and soft cheeses, where listeria is most common.

Produce has rarely been the culprit, but federal investigators say they have seen more produce-related listeria illnesses in the past two years. It was found in sprouts in 2009 and celery in 2010.

Clearly, they've been trying to grow cantaloupes in chicken roll....mmmm......chicken roll....

By min | September 28, 2011, 8:16 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

September 27, 2011

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk #41 - Not a lot to say about this, but i enjoyed it. Omegex rules, it all being part of a little scheme by the Watcher was a nice twist, and i guess i've finally been won over regarding Zero/One.

Captain America Corps #4 - Who doesn't enjoy reading Roger Stern write half the Marvel Universe? I know this book is selling in the single digits, but maybe after this mini they'll move Stern up to a regular title. Preferably with a better artist. I don't know if he'd consider it regressing, but i'd love to see him on an Avengers title. There's plenty to go around.

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #7 - I guess i'm only now realizing why this book doesn't have "Young Avengers" in the title. They're basically spectators in this series. Still, it's well written (except maybe Cyclops is coming off a bit too angry and unreasonable). I'm wondering what the twist will be; i'm half wondering if this really is the Scarlet Witch or just a Doombot.

Avengers #17 - Well first of all, if you're going to have a cover with Spider-Woman and Hawkeye making lovey-dovey, maybe that should, in some way, depict something going on inside the book. The whole Hawkeye/Spider-Woman/Mockingbird thing needs a lot more 'splainin', so don't go reminding me about it unless you're going to address it. As for what actually is depicted in this book, all i'll say is "dear god, why won't Fear Itself ever end?".

Captain America #3 - You'd never think a giant Captain America robot controlled by a Nazi mad scientist would be such a fun concept... ok, now that i just typed it, i realize how ridiculous that statement is. Like the Hulk, i'm enjoying this but don't have a lot to say about it. So i'll just gripe about Cap's armor again. Because seeing the scalemail-that-should-be-chainmail on Ameridroid as well as Cap just reminded me how annoying it is.

Thunderbolts #163.1 - I didn't realize this was a .1 issue until Songbird started hallucinating and suddenly we were seeing the entire history of the Thunderbolts, and i was like, "What is this, a .1 issue?" Der. It was good, but definitely treading water and not moving the main plot forward much. I can't really think of any story... movie, book, etc., where the characters are searching for clues about something and they go to the completely wrong place and find absolutely nothing, not even a hint, about what they're looking for. But the Valkyrie showing up at the end was a nice touch, the scene with Spidey was great, and in general it was a well written book. I know that the art isn't being well received, but i'm able to look past that. I really think this is my favorite book currently.

Bonus non-Marvel review:

We recently picked up Umbrella Academy #1-6 for a friend and i figured, why not read it? Well, after the first issue i was like, "Man, this is great!". An interesting set-up, a great group of little kids with cool powers, Zombie-Robot Gustave Eiffel, a dude with a gorilla body, and a talking chimp! Then starting with issue #2, it just gets really... blah. I thought the series would be flashing back and forth between when they were kids and when they were all grown up, but it's grown-ups the whole way through. And everything's just really obvious... the girl that is set up to turn on the group does, in fact, turn on the group, the ending is really anticlimactic, constant and obvious bickering between the members, and it just all feels really by the numbers once the set up is done. Phew! For a minute there i was thinking i might have to branch out and start reading more non-Marvel comics on a regular basis. I don't have time for that!

By fnord12 | September 27, 2011, 9:48 PM | Comics| Link

September 26, 2011

Her Biggest Job is War

Her biggest job is war

h/t wnkr

By min | September 26, 2011, 2:17 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Light Saber Hand Rails

Over here, the BT Tower was transformed into a giant lightsabre and hordes of stormtroopers littered the streets of London. But Tokyo commuters have been blessed with these glowing handrails instead, JapanTrends reports.

Bob, did you get the new Blu-ray boxset yet?

By min | September 26, 2011, 1:42 PM | Star Wars| Link

Kung Fu Nuns

A Buddhist monastery near Kathmandu is enjoying a surge in popularity after its spiritual leader directed its 300 nuns to use martial arts techniques.

Enrolment is rising and Buddhist nuns as far afield as the Himachal Pradesh in India want to become kung fu instructors.


The real question here is why the hell weren't they teaching them kung fu all along? If you're in a Buddhist monastery, you learn kung fu. It should be a given. I know. I've seen plenty of kung fu movies. I've seen Tai Chi Master, and God of Cookery, and the Kung Fu tv show. Monks know kung fu.

By min | September 26, 2011, 11:24 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Maybe we need a parlimentary system

Last political post of the day...

TPM alerts us to the fact that the Department of Justice is looking into Rick Perry's Redistricting Plan in Texas.

The Justice Department said late Friday that based on their preliminary investigation, a congressional redistricting map signed into law by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry appears to have been "adopted, at least in part, for the purpose of diminishing the ability of citizens of the United States, on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group, to elect their preferred candidates of choice to Congress."

DOJ's Civil Rights Division is specifically contesting the changes made to Texas Districts 23 and 27, which they say would not provide Hispanic citizens with the ability to elect candidates of their choice.

Obviously, this is wrong. But at the risk of doing "a plague on both your houses" of my own... it's a known fact that both parties engage in gerrymandering. Both parties try to strengthen the demographics that they know will vote for them while splitting up the demographics that they know will vote against them. It's called pack and crack.

It was a Ralph Nader campaign point back in 2000 because, in his view, the parties conspire to ensure safe incumbents in all districts. You get your rural district, and i get my urban district, and the unpredictable suburban voters are split up in small numbers between the two where they won't cause either of us any problems (for example).

Of course, this strategy would often cause breaks among ethnic lines, so i'm surprised that the DOJ is finding a problem with it this time. Unless this is the beginning of a crackdown on such practices, although even as i type this i realize how impossible that sounds.

By fnord12 | September 26, 2011, 10:42 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Pity the poor millionare

Two more annoying political posts...

Here's a Washington Post editorial called "Five myths about millionaires", explaining why we shouldn't increase taxes on the wealthy.

The truly outrageous part is this:

Today, $1 million in the bank generates only about $50,000 per year in interest. That isn't chump change, but it's roughly equal to the 2010 median household income.

Awwwwww! So the poorest of the millionaires makes as much in interest than the average person does after slaving away for 40+ hours a week. And this is an argument against increasing their taxes? Are they kidding me?

As insane an argument as that is, it gets worse the more you think about it. First, no one is talking about a tax in wealth holdings. We're talking about income tax. So if a person is earning $50,000, either from working or from sitting around collecting interest, they will be taxed at the $50,000 tax rate... not a millionaire's rate. Second, the millionaire's $50,000 will likely be taxed as capital gains, which is currently, unfairly, taxed at a lower rate than wages.

Next we have two completely irrelevant factoids:

  • Millionaires don't think they are rich (who cares?)
  • Millionaires don't all share the same political beliefs (so what?)
And then there are two items that are supposedly debunking myths but actually need some debunking of their own:

The first is about whether or not millionaires pay lower tax rates than working people. The WP article leaves out payroll tax and state and local taxes, and adds the nonsense about double taxation on top of it (the argument is "dividends are paid out of corporate profits that have already been taxed". Guess what? Wages are also paid out of corporate profits that have already been taxed! And when i pay sales tax, that's out of my earnings, which i pay income taxes on. My god, it's triple taxation!). Regarding the rest of it, here's Krugman.

The second is that a millionaire's tax will hinder investment. I recently posted an article that touches on the fact that most corporations and investors are basically sitting on money right now. Again, our current problems aren't supply side.

The previous two myths are typical conservative talking points. The real clunker is that first item. Honestly, right now, we need all the demand we can create, so if i were president i wouldn't be raising any taxes (except a stock transaction tax). But i'd also be increasing spending. The reason we're talking about tax increases at all is because we've stopped worrying about the economy and started worrying about the deficit. Which is the wrong thing to focus on right now. But if we're going to, i don't think the fact that millionaires currently earn "only" $50,000 in annual interest should stop us from returning to tax rates that we had in the Clinton... or Reagan... or Eisenhower eras.

By fnord12 | September 26, 2011, 9:58 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Shape of the Earth: Views Differ

I give the Democrats a hard time over the fact that they never stand up for themselves, but the truth is that when you see articles like this from the AP, you realize they're not exactly on a level playing field.

The article makes it seem like the parties are equally to blame for not being able to approve disaster relief spending. It's 15 paragraphs in before it's revealed why the bill isn't getting passed, and when you finally get there, it's a very poorly written explanation. Maybe i just have poor reading comprehension, but i already knew about the dispute and i could barely parse the explanation as written. After 15 paragraphs of "a plague on both your houses", i don't think anyone's going to be trying too hard to figure out what the problem is.

The issue is that the Republicans are demanding, without precedent (not "Democrats complained that it's unprecedented", it is unprecedented), that all relief aid be offset with spending cuts. Of course, the relief aid will be temporary and the spending cuts will be permanent. And in a recession, there is no need for spending cuts. And the amount of money involved is so small it's irrelevant (The article unhelpfully says it's a "small part of the almost $4 trillion budget", and later says it's about $2 billion in relief. So .05% of the budget?).

So far from "On spending, Congress can't agree on easy stuff", this is a clear case of Republicans being villains: holding relief money hostage in order to pursue an agenda they couldn't otherwise pass. If that's too partisan, how about just an article explaining the dispute, maybe with some quotes from economists explaining the budget impact and relief agencies about what the funds will be used for?

By fnord12 | September 26, 2011, 9:35 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 25, 2011

Why Can't They Build a Super Ginormous Comic Book Museum Someplace More Convenient to Me?

From io9.com

Danish design firm MVRDV recently won a competition to build the China Comic and Animation Museum in the city of Hangzhou. The firm shaped this trippy building like a collection of intermingling speech bubbles. The designers estimate that this project will cost €92 million (approximately $125.6 million), begin construction in 2012, and will attract visitors with its "gigantic 3D zoetrope."

I didn't understand what they meant by "intermingling speech bubbles" until i watched the video. It looks pretty kewl as a concept. Not sure how i feel about such an unstructured design, though. I always have a hard time when i'm in museums deciding what is the best way to go about seeing everything. I think i need things to be designed to move me in one direction instead of me having to decide on which section to see next. That was one of the best things about the Guggenheim. You just kept going up.

With the open path designs in this museum, i'd always feel like i might miss something important. And with comics, i'd want to see them in some sort of chronological order, which you can't obviously guarantee if you can go in just about any direction.

Still, it's a ginormous comic book museum!

By min | September 25, 2011, 12:59 AM | Comics| Link

September 23, 2011

Boondoggle Initiative


By fnord12 | September 23, 2011, 5:52 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 21, 2011

At least there will be someone awesome to root for in the next election.

Elizabeth Warren.

By fnord12 | September 21, 2011, 4:12 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 20, 2011


Speaking of Netflix, we finally saw Suckerpunch on Saturday. Having read a bunch of negative reviews, i was prepared for the worst, but actually... it was pretty good.

Here's a review that i think "gets it".

By fnord12 | September 20, 2011, 1:05 AM | Movies| Link

Netflix is weird

Netflix is making some changes, setting themselves up to divest their DVD-in-the-mail business while retaining the streaming business. They're probably right that streaming is the future. But it seems like splitting their business now, instead of letting it naturally fade away, just doesn't make sense. People are baffled. We've been using both the DVD and streaming services. The streaming is a bit wonky. It's impossible to fast-forward or rewind, the choices are limited, and the connection is unreliable. That said, it was a nice free extra, with the assumption that it would improve over time. Not sure what we'll do now, with the price increase and the odd fact that you have to manage two separate queues.

Update: Atrios.

By fnord12 | September 20, 2011, 12:09 AM | Movies & TeeVee| Link

September 19, 2011

We don't want your money

LA Times:

Americans are pumping money into bank accounts at a blistering pace this year, sending deposits to record levels near $10 trillion on escalating fears that the U.S. economy is on the verge of another implosion.
"Banks and credit unions are doing everything they can to get rid of the cash except make loans," said Mike Moebs, a Lake Bluff, Ill., banking consultant.

He said banks are driving away deposits by refusing to renew CDs at higher rates and by imposing fees on checking accounts for depositors who don't use other, profitable financial services as well.

And in a possible glimpse into the future, one New York banking giant is even charging big customers for the right to park money there. The Bank of New York Mellon is forcing institutional clients to pay fees if they deposit more than $50 million into an account.

It should be obvious that cutting taxes is just going to add to this. It's certainly not going to stimulate the economy because the problem isn't a supply side problem.

By fnord12 | September 19, 2011, 11:44 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 18, 2011

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

New Avengers #16 - First of all, will Fear Itself ever end? I understand that books are going to have to tie-in, but it feels like with these Avengers titles it's been tying in forever. And i don't understand why. I'm more tolerant of the talking heads scenes than, apparently, anyone else in the world, but even i see that it's clearly water-treading and not adding anything to the story. And the sales charts show that the tie-ins do absolutely nothing for the Avengers books; presumably anyone who is reading Fear Itself is already reading the Avengers. So why not just do an issue or two of tie-ins and then back to telling actual stories? Second, i don't think there's any way to read this book other than "Bendis responds to complains on the internet". Except it's complaints that came out like 5 years ago, when the New Avengers lineup was first announced. And it's a bit of straw man argument by necessity - in the Marvel Universe people wouldn't complain that Spider-Man doesn't belong on the Avengers because he works best as an outsider/loner character, or that Spider-Man or Wolverine are already appearing in enough books already, so the complaint is turned into the clunky "Who is worthy to be an Avenger?". Regardless, i'm sympathetic to Bendis/Marvel here. After Hawkeye, Tigra, Black Widow, etc., i have no problem with Spider-Man or Wolverine being on the team. I do think that the Avengers should be the "Mightiest" heroes, but as long as you've got Thor or Iron Man (or heck, Dr. Strange) to call on, you're good. And with this approach, the Avengers books went from being way overshadowed by the X-Men to being Marvel's top seller, so i think it was a good move, and crossover issues aside, i think the stories that have been told have been good ones... Anyway, i didn't mean to turn this review into a defense of Bendis' entire run. As for what little plot there was in this issue... very sappy/sentimental. Oh and Daredevil has no business being in the Avengers.

Alpha Flight #4 - I was going to say that Alpha Flight could probably use some new villains, but i guess there's two people in that final scene with the Master that i don't know - the liquid metal guy and Georgia O'Keeffe Head. And the truth is i'm pretty ignorant of a lot of the more recent Alpha Flight stuff. Anyway, i have no problem with the Master being the main villain here. This was a "move the plot along" issue, and i enjoyed it.

Herc #7 - I think this is the only Spider-Island related story that i'll be getting because the premise just seemed really silly to me. But i've been looking forward to this issue thanks to the cover. And the inside doesn't disappoint. Hercules senses... tingling! Angst... fading... I'll also note that Pak & Van Lente write the X-Men pretty well, so maybe we could get them to take over one of the books when Herc is cancelled.

By fnord12 | September 18, 2011, 9:54 PM | Comics| Link

September 16, 2011

Who Hasn't Got One of These?

I walked into the back office to drop something off on our admin's desk yesterday and found this:

wnkr says it's like the Godfather. i think the eyeball's kinda creepy.

By min | September 16, 2011, 2:13 PM | My stupid life| Link

September 15, 2011

Continuity Coordination ROI

Paul O'Brien reviews the current Wolverine comics and makes the point that while some rather significant events seem to have occurred in one of his books (apparently Wolverine had a bunch of offspring he didn't know about, and was tricked into murdering them - but let's leave aside the fact that this idea sounds incredibly stupid and damaging to the character), they aren't referenced in the other Wolverine books or in any other (of the 80 or so) books that Wolverine appears in.

It may just be a case of it having just happened so we'll see the references in a few months. But regardless, Paul O'Brien thinks he might notice a larger trend:

That said, there's certainly a degree of parallel universe syndrome here, since the events in this storyline aren't even being referenced by Aaron himself in Schism, and I do think Marvel underestimate the value of at least acknowledging events in other titles. Rationally or not, it does contribute to the sense of a coherent world, which is pretty valuable when you're writing fantasy. (I rather suspect Marvel's attitude is that this sort of thing requires a degree of co-ordination that just isn't worth the effort, and in terms of the quality of individual stories they're probably right - particularly as these references just become quaint topical references when the stories are read in later years - but there are intangible benefits to doing it if your business is still based heavily around the first-run monthly serial.)

Obviously I have a lot of interest in the shared universe concept, so if what Paul O'Brien is observing is true, i would be sad. But i can't say i've really noticed that. It's probably because on a superficial level, there's plenty of interactivity. Marvel has brought back the mega-crossover events in a big way, so all characters are dealing with the same situations and it's therefore very interconnected from a larger perspective, even if it's actually not happening in a smaller sense. Even beyond that, Spider-Man's wearing his Fantastic Force Future Foundation outfit in Avengers, and stuff like that.

In the old days, you'd definitely have Spider-Man thinking about Aunt May's current health problems in his Avengers appearances, or whatever. I recognize that it becomes difficult to coordinate, and us nerds will scream when it results in a continuity error, which is why Marvel is now inclined to avoid it. I agree with Paul O'Brien that there's a lot of value to that type of thing, but i think that Marvel has actually found a decent middle ground. Until Event Fatigue sets in, anyway.

By fnord12 | September 15, 2011, 4:20 PM | Comics| Link

Time to cut back on the clutter?

ICv2 via The Beat:

The most disappointing aspect of this summer's comic "events" was the performance of these "tie-in" series, and when retailers talk about "event fatigue" in the comic market, it's these ancillary books that they are talking about. The action in these "side series" mirrors what is happening in the primary event book, but it usually doesn't matter much in the outcome, and fans are increasingly resistant to these miniseries that try to ride the coattails of the main event book.

Of course, a good creative team can make one of these "side series" better than the main event.

By fnord12 | September 15, 2011, 1:24 PM | Comics| Link

Is there a world reknown Pink Goat-Man of Montreal?

Does anybody know anything about this creature that haunts the top of my Yahoo mail page (and soon, my dreams) demanding that i book a flight on Air Canada? And why would i listen to him? He does not look trustworthy.

Pink Goat-Man of Montreal

By fnord12 | September 15, 2011, 12:43 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Salmonella distribution center

Shipping baby turtles wasn't always illegal.

By fnord12 | September 15, 2011, 11:12 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Just get rid of the Electoral College

This is only being considered a power grab due to the timing. In the long run, if half of Pennsylvania's voters choose a Republican, then it's only fair that half their Electoral Votes should go to the Republican. They should do this in every state or, even better, just go by the popular vote.

And, once again, kudos to the Republicans for coming up with a ballsy strategy while the Dems stand dumbly on the sidelines.

By fnord12 | September 15, 2011, 10:06 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 14, 2011

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk #40 - Listen, i know i said last time that i was easing up on my Zero/One (and especially Black Fog) hate, but that didn't mean we had to stick them in the middle of my long awaited Omegex battle. Same with General Fortean. But as long as i can continually open up my Hulk comic book and see a picture of the Red Hulk punching the Watcher in the face on the recap page, i guess i'm happy. As for Omegex itself? It lived up to my expectations, which were, of course, unrealistically high. I think i have an answer about my continuity confusion though. I thought that the Planet Red Hulk story was some sort of flashback; i don't remember now how i got that impression and finding the relevant issue is currently a challenge. But in this issue, a newscast says "It's confirmed that this is the creature that interrupted global communications back in June". So i guess he showed up and then went away again, which is different than what i thought.

Man, i can't even follow a simple comic book story. What's wrong with me?

New Avengers annual #1 - So i guess Wonder Man is nuts now, too? Seems like Bendis likes to make people go nuts. And then blame the Avengers for it! In Wondy's previous appearance, i thought he had a good reason for telling the Avengers to disband. Access to secret information or at least a decent argument. But blaming the Avengers for Ultron is crazy. Henry Pym created Ultron in his capacity as a scientist, which he would have done Avengers or no Avengers. The Avenger at least have stopped Ultron a number of times. Blaming them for the Hulk? Norman Osborn? Ridiculous. Etc., etc.. So knowing he's ridiculous, why are these other guys following him? It's a motley bunch and i can't speak for all of them (Ethan Edwards is apparently another Superman pastiche). But I don't know why the new Goliath, who we last saw being relatively friendly to the heroes in the Damage Control mini, or Atlas, who, last I saw of him was a reasonable guy, would follow a clearly rage-addled Wonder Man.

All of that said, I enjoyed the big fight. I know min and Wanyas will disagree but i actually liked the art. I really liked Alias grabbing Goliath by the nose! I liked the "these guys are heroes but they're fighting us" angle. I enjoyed Victoria Hand looking everyone up on her iPad or whatever and shouting out who they were; i needed some exposition for some of these characters and that was a fine way to work it in. So yeah, i thought this was good. Looking forward to the conclusion.

Thunderbolts #163 - When Wanyas gave me my comics this week, he showed me this cover and asked "What do you think happens this issue?'. When i failed to guess "The evil Thunderbolts go back in time and fight Nazis alongside the Invaders", he put it back in the pile without comment. Frankly, "The evil Thunderbolts go back in time and fight Nazis alongside the Invaders" is all i need to say about this issue, but i'll just point out two really good character scenes as well: Luke Cage being receptive to honest feedback about his actions that led to the evil Thunderbolts escaping, and Satana being giddy about the Man-Thing's developments.

Special bonus "fnord12 reviews a DC comic" section

Omac #1 - I have to say, honestly... not Kirby enough. It's an expectations/hype problem, clearly. But every panel with a bunch of office workers standing around talking was a panel where a big blue mohawk guy wasn't fighting "Gobblers", or a Build-A-Friend wasn't pulling a laser cannon out of her mouth. I enjoyed the Brother Eye/Omac interactions but the rest of the dialogue felt really mundane and a better scripter would probably help this book a lot. I still thought it was cool and next issue promises "Things get really weird" so we should be good to go. How much more awesome would it be if this were a Marvel book, though?

By fnord12 | September 14, 2011, 4:24 PM | Comics | Comments (5) | Link

September 13, 2011

Free Market Research

Non-comic readers react to DC's new line. Interesting.

By fnord12 | September 13, 2011, 3:40 PM | Comics| Link

September 9, 2011

They Shouldn't Have Ganged Up On Him

The work squinkies got into a bit of a ruckus after i went home. Hulk just wanted to be left alone.

Squinkies Hulk smash

By min | September 9, 2011, 6:39 PM | Comics & Cute Things| Link

This would have been recipe for being called a poseur, back in the day.

So i'm apparently feeling so deprived of 1980s metal bands that i'm... "acquiring" two very different bands right now: Dokken, who was always way too glam-pop for me, and Slayer's early albums, which i always felt were too death-metalish. We'll see how i like them, but i'm sure it's sad proof that i'm getting old. Instead of exploring new modern bands i'm just doubling-down on my middle school era tastes.

Also, download speed for Slayer, and i swear i'm not making this up: 666 kB/s.

By fnord12 | September 9, 2011, 3:45 PM | Music| Link

September 7, 2011

Evidence of an ancient advanced civilization

I thought this was kind of sad. Once we actually walked on the moon. Now, we're excited just to see photos of the garbage we left behind.

By fnord12 | September 7, 2011, 3:20 PM | Science| Link

September 5, 2011

Recap #42

On the Way to Altar, We Encountered...

By min | September 5, 2011, 11:59 PM | D&D| Link

September 4, 2011

A protest lodged

Maru Maru says 'End the Rutgers Salary Freeze'

By fnord12 | September 4, 2011, 2:00 AM | My stupid life| Link

Halloween in August

I took this picture at our local supermarket on August 14th but didn't get around to getting it off my phone until now.

Even today, Halloween is two months away.

Halloween in August

August 14th is a good day to start bringing out the Back To School stuff. Except that actually came out in June. There is no legitimate reason to be buying or selling Halloween candy in August or September.

I blame Bob.

By fnord12 | September 4, 2011, 1:57 AM | My stupid life | Comments (2) | Link

September 3, 2011

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Herc #6.1 - A great introductory/jumping-on issue, just in time for cancellation. Oh well. At least we got a great scene of Hercules attacking some Olympian Titans with an anti-tank rocket launcher.

I still think that Marvel should put Pak & Van Lente on a rotation of mini-series. Four issues of Hercules. Four issues of Werewolf By Night. Four issues of Doc Samson playing psychiatrist to the stars. Four issues of Squirrel Girl defeating cosmic level bad guys. Four issues of Spider-Woman escaping from ropes. Etc., etc. They're excellent writers with a good grasp on Marvel's history and a great sense of characterization and it would be putting them to good use without having to constantly fight the specter of cancellation. Plus Marvel would get a built in set of #1s while maintaining the copyright requirements on lesser used characters, and you never know what may become a surprise hit.

By fnord12 | September 3, 2011, 9:04 PM | Comics| Link

RU Doombot or Not: Squirrel Girl

The second in our series...

Doombot RU Bot or Not?

Squirrel Girl's recent good showing in New Avengers #15 sent me to the back issues bins for her first appearance, and since it's going to be a while before i get to 1991 in my timeline project, i took an early peek.

Art and story (but not script) is by Steve Ditko, pretty late in his career. Nonetheless, this is some crazy stuff.

First, let's make sure we understand the full extent of Squirrel Girl's powers. She's a mutant...

...with a number of unique abilities, including squirrel-like agility, claws, and the best chewing power this side of Matter Eating Lad.

But her first appearance really plays up her ability to talk to squirrels.

And for her debut, she doesn't take it easy in the villain department either. Nope, she goes right for Dr. Doom. And she trounces him!

She sends him fleeing for his life into a river.

Extra weirdly, Doom escapes by "burrowing into the mud like a clam" into the riverbed.

As Iron Man notes, it was Doom's most inglorius defeat.

So, Doombot or not? Clearly not! An awesome hero like Squirrel Girl deserves a true villain, and there's no way that Dr. Doom would cheapen that by sending a mere Doombot after her.

By fnord12 | September 3, 2011, 7:21 PM | Comics| Link

We're not that kind of blog, Booger.

Looking at my search logs, someone seems to be a little too interested in Spider-Woman.

The truth is that Spider-Woman just isn't that type of girl. In fact, you can see here exactly what turns her on.

Marvel Fun and Games

I know that some of Spider-Woman's covers may have given the wrong impression. But let's keep it civil.

By fnord12 | September 3, 2011, 7:03 PM | Comics| Link

September 2, 2011

Jehovah's Witness' graphic designer clearly a big Prog Rock fan

This was delivered to our house.

Jehovah's Witness Babylonian Statue getting hit by a volcano-spewed asteroid in the feet, which are America and Britain.

I couldn't tell you exactly what it means, but it is clearly awesome.

By fnord12 | September 2, 2011, 4:11 PM | My stupid life | Comments (1) | Link

Your coffee was terrible, and therefore you are a worthless human being

By fnord12 | September 2, 2011, 12:19 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Lucas Strikes Again

Wanyas warned us about this last week. It's just so much worse seeing it.

Now, Vader (or "Darth", as some of his closer friends like to call him) whines "Nooooo!" before he chucks the Emperor off the platform.

Do you suppose Lucas sits around thinking "Now, how can I make Anakin more of a pussy?"?

Personally, i always enjoyed watching Vader silently glance back and forth between the Emperor and Luke writhing on the ground - the silent struggle to decide what he should do. Clearly, i was wrong.

By min | September 2, 2011, 10:36 AM | Star Wars | Comments (1) | Link

It can't happen here


After more than a year of aggressive budget cutting by European governments, an economic slowdown on the continent is confronting policymakers from Madrid to Frankfurt with an uncomfortable question: Have they been addressing the wrong problem?

By fnord12 | September 2, 2011, 10:00 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

At some point it stops being space junk and merges into a protective solar radiation shield, right?


Incredibly, there's so much of the stuff that even the International Space Station has to sometimes dodge out of the way of it, with a potentially damaging collision almost happening as recently as June. And when you learn that the junk moves at speeds of up to 17,500 mph (28,164 km/h), it's not difficult to imagine the kind of damage it could do.

By fnord12 | September 2, 2011, 9:34 AM | Science| Link

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