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By fnord12 | September 27, 2007, 2:44 PM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Ant-Man #12 - Nice wrap up. It's interesting to see O'Grady acknowledge that he's... irredeemable, but it seems almost shame to have him trying to reform. Still, i guess after 12 issues, you're either stuck in a rut or have to have your character develop, so i think that cancellation was probably the best choice from a story point of view, even if sales were better. Good series, though.

Spider-Man & Red Sonja #2 - This is a bit dry. As i was reading some of the city scenes, i was thinking it would've been cool to do this as a full marvel universe event; sort of an expanded version of the Uncanny X-Men Kulan Gath story. And maybe it still will be. We've seen Vermin and Sonja is talking about finding allies. It definitely needs something to spice things up.

Quasar #3 - i was kind of hoping the savior Quasar was looking for would turn out to be Warlock! Yeah! But i guess since Moondragon scanned the savior and said it wasn't a computer mind negates that theory. Doesn't matter if we don't get any more kewl characters in this series, though, since it's great as is. And i *like* Moondragon as a literal dragon, i don't care what the internet people say.

World War Hulk #4 - Zom turned out to not be as bad ass as i remember, but we'll chalk that up to Dr. Strange keeping him in check. I like the angle of the Hulk not letting the Illuminati defend their actions as a parallel to all the times he himself was falsely accused or misunderstood. Pak has a good handle on the Hulk. Looking forward to the Sentry's calming effects.

Captain America #30 - Good good good.

By fnord12 | September 24, 2007, 9:00 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

I know this is going to get me in trouble

I've tried to say this before, but certain people have always taken it as DC bashing. Maybe Tom Brevoort can say it better:

>DC actually has shaken up the status quo a lot more often and consistently than Marvel

Posted by skagandboneman on 2007-09-11 08:18:47>

I don't know that I agree with this in the way you mean, and I think you're looking at a particular microcosm. I do think, though, that one of the reasons there's so much turmoil and turnaround in the DC line is that, as much as they've tried to paste it all together over the years, the DC Universe wasn't really designed to be a universe from the start, the way the Marvel Universe was (by default, really, since Stan was writing pretty much all of it.) In theri attempts to create a Marvel-style cosmology for themelves, the folks at DC have continually reset and reworked their continuity and status quos again and again, each iteration somehow missing the larger point of why the Marvel universe hangs together so well. For my not-especially-valuable two cents, DC often spends too much of its time trying to be Marvel, rather than focusing on the elements that make the DC cosmology, characters and titles unique and interesting all on their own.

The points i've tried to make are: 1) one of the main draws for me at Marvel is the shared universe. DC's shared universe never seemed quite as "right" to me. 2) There is no inherent need for super hero comics to take place in a shared universe of the Marvel variety. 3) Maybe instead of having continual reboots, DC should focus on writing good stories about their iconic characters. It seems to me that "continuity free" books like Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, Justice, and All Star Super-Man (but maybe not Batman) have more resonance with fans and more appeal to a larger fan base than the infinite crisises and what have you.

Update: Just noticed the first comment on Brevoort's post basically says everything i just wrote, probably more clearly.

By fnord12 | September 17, 2007, 9:05 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Punisher War Journal #11 - not sure if it's the change in artist, the fact that this is a single issue story, or just the fact that this is a talky, non-action issue, but i enjoyed this the way i enjoyed the Funeral for Stilt-Man issue. The new artist isn't great or anything, by the way, but the overall comic is better. We'll see how the Jigsaw plot goes.

Nova #6 - i enjoyed this quite a bit, even if the drawings of Gamora were too porntastic. The battle between the Novas was really good. Almost considering getting this post-Annihilation.

New Avengers #34 - Gah! All the New Avengers have been replaced with Zombies! Oh wait, that's just Yu's terrible artwork. I like the threat overload that's going on here. Skrulls, Hood & Deathlok, Symbiotes. Are they deliberately writing this as "all the stuff that the heroes have been neglected due to Civil War comes and hits them at once" or is it just working out that way?

Daredevil #100 - i usually hate anniversary jam issues because everything gets so disjointed, but doing it as part of a series of hallucinations based on Mr. Fear's drug worked very well.

By fnord12 | September 16, 2007, 3:32 PM | Comics | Link

Trailers: better than poop

SuperMegaDio links to the trailer for the upcoming Iron Man movie. (Update: When i went back to re-watch the trailer while writing this post, the official site wasn't working. The trailer is also on youTube.)

I recently had the revelation that trailers are entertaining in their own right. I think they are often better than the movies that they are advertising. I think Hollywood should start making trailers without any movies behind them. Lots of movies, like Balls of Fury, are probably terrible, but the trailer is a lot of fun. Trailers should be their own artform. (Reminder: i don't watch TV so i don't have to watch the same trailers over and over again every commercial break. I only see them when i go to the theater).

I hope that the Iron Man movie itself is as good as the trailer, but here's another idea: The problem with a lot of super-hero movies is that they waste too much time on the set-up/origin aspect. I put it to you that the trailer that SuperMegaDio links to tells you everything you need to know about Iron Man. They should play that trailer before the movie, and then tell a 2 hour story about Iron Man that assumes we know what we need to know about his origin.

Other than that possibly being too expensive, the only problem i see is that since i'm already familar with Iron Man, i may be watching the trailer and filling in the blanks where a newcomer may be confused. So if anyone in my imaginary audience isn't familiar with Iron Man, i request that you go watch the trailer and then come back here and let us know how many of the points below you were able to gather about Tony Stark/Iron Man (highlight to see):

  • - He was a rich, possibly immoral, weapons manufacturer.
  • - He was arrogant, and possibly drank too much
  • - While on a demonstration of one of his weapons programs in a combat zone, he was fatally injured and captured by the enemy. He was forced to build weapons for them, but instead created a crude suit of body armor that he used to defeat his captors and prevent his injury from killing him.
  • - When he got home, he built himself a sleeker suit of armor.
  • - He prefers Ozzy era Black Sabbath to the Dio years

Final question: now that you've seen his entire origin summed up in 2 and a half minutes, do you really want to sit through it again stretched out over 45+?

By fnord12 | September 13, 2007, 11:37 AM | Comics & Movies | Comments (1)| Link

Oh no, that doesn't work.

Let me start off by repeating that i like Bendis. I think he comes up with great plots, and he writes excellent dialogue. He does, however, have some trouble with coordinating all his characters. The issue in question is one i brought up previously.

Bendis at Newsarama:

NRAMA: Speaking of the build-up and the chronology - where do these things fit? That seems to be the downside of the frenzied pace of all these things being thrown at the heroes - they need to synch up just right, or you can really have it fall apart...

BB: [laughs] The only one tiny conceivable error - early in Mighty Avengers when there was a time given for when the events were happening. Thing is - Tony's armor - we're just not sure what time zone he's in. He clearly could have been seven hours off. That's where people could be winning No Prizes.

Oh, and by the way, when Stan Lee gave out the No Prize, it was a much more cordial thing than what's going on now. Now, it's "I found your mistake, where's my No Prize, bitch?" No - that's not how it works. You have to be much more civil to get one of those.

But back to Tony - he could be on Latverian time - but other than that, it all clicks in pretty easily.

It's like no one blinks at Sentry having the power of 1,000 exploding suns, but the if the Avengers have a busy afternoon, that's very upsetting. [laughs]

1: When reading super hero comics, readers suspend their disbelief about the ability of people to have super powers. That doesn't mean that we'll accept impossibilities in other areas, such as people appearing at times that they couldn't possibly appear.

2: The problem doesn't really have anything to do with Tony making a comment about time. The problem is that when the team goes into battle against the Mole Man, the Wasp said something along the lines of "We just formed the team and now we're going into battle without even a training exercise." whereas in order for the sequences in the two Avengers books to work, the team would have had to have* been active already so that they could hunt down the New Avengers prior to NA leaving for Japan, so that they could come back to the US in time for Ultron's EMP to mess with their ship.

Look, overall, this is a minor issue, especially now that we see where the NA issues were supposed to fit (in between pages 4 and 5 or so of Mighty Avengers #1). This certainly isn't the first time this sort of coordination error has occurred (although rarely has it been in books with the same writer and editor) and the geniuses at the Marvel Chronology Project have already figured out how to make it work. It's just that his weird attitude about it isn't going to win over the howling Bendis haters, and it makes it more difficult for us supporters to defend him. And it annoys me that he can't just say "You know what, i made a minor mistake. Let's try to figure out how to make it work."

* Yes, "would have had to have"

By fnord12 | September 13, 2007, 10:37 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Review Marathon

4 weeks of comics!

Iron Man #21 - The Knauffs are making good use of the post-Civil War status quo. Gravitron is one of my favorites, and i liked seeing him stomp some of these C-class Initiative heroes . I'm also enjoying the Mandarin's manipulations; i think going back and re-reading the Knauffs' run knowing that everything that is happening was set into play by the Mandarin would be rewarding.

Iron Fist #8 - I'm enjoying this. The last time i really enjoyed an Iron Fist comic, min pointed out 30 reasons why i shouldn't have, so i'm wary, but i'm looking forward to the Mortal Kombat battles starting next issue.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #23 - I read online that this was the Spidey/J. Jonah Jameson confrontation that you've been waiting 30 years for, but it really wasn't all that good. It wasn't really a substantial argument, and the punching scene was stupid. That plus corny jokes. It wasn't terrible, but not what i was hoping for, which was a real examination as to why JJ has acted to irrationally over the years, plus a hard look at Peter and whether selling pictures of himself to the Bugle was actually crossing a moral line that put all his great power/great responsibility ethics into doubt.

Quasar #2 - Yay, Peter Gillis Defenders flashbacks!

Wraith #3 - All my non-long term comic geek friends like this series a lot, so i tried to look at it with fresh eyes (i.e., the eyes of someone who hadn't pinned all their hopes on Wraith actually being a re-incarnation of a character from the 80s who was based on a bad toy) and i actually did enjoy it. I think it helped that the Super-Skrull got to be a bad ass for a change.

Starlord #2 - This, i'm loving. Giffen has a great handle on these characters and even though he's clearly half-mocking them, he's doing a great job of making them seem cool and entertaining. I love Mantis. And they better not kill Groot! I'm liking the art, too; all the human characters look a little dwarfish but somehow it fits with the craziness.

Amazing-Spider-Man #543 & 544 - Having a little trouble figuring out where the various Spidey events start and stop. #542 finished the Spidey/Kingpin plot, so i figured that was really the end of the Back In Black event. But #543 is still Back In Black, i guess because Aunt May is neither dead nor recovered. But #544 picks up directly from #543, and that's the first part of One More Day. Anyway, it's all good stuff. They've really got Peter in a bad place and it makes for good character development.

Captain America #29 - This is an A+ comic. Fantastic.

Astonishing X-Men #22 - So as stupid as the 'Danger Room comes to life and attacks the X-Men' story was, the premise was that it accidentally killed a mutant in training, which destroyed the programming that prevented it from killing. Now we find out that that wasn't really true at all. I don't know; i guess i just can't get over the silliness of 'Danger Room comes to life and attacks the X-Men' as anything more than a one issue plot. Overall this is good, but we need to wrap it up now. I enjoyed Cyclop's death, but i know he comes back so it didn't have the impact it should have. I mean, he comes back, right??

Fantastic Four #549 - Wayne's right; it did feel like they wrapped up the Frightful Four plot, and especially the Klaw plot, too quickly so they could move on to the space menace and finish McDuffie's run, but it was worth it to see the Invisible Woman using her powers to their full potential. Also if it were anyone but McDuffie, i'd be complaining about using the 'multiple Watchers show up to witness the event' scene as a shorthand for "hey everybody, this is really, really important and menacing!", but it was done so well i admit i enjoyed it. I also liked the Thing's one-liner about Uatu ("I talked to him recently. He's in one of his 'sworn never to interfere' moods."). I think Millar's run on FF will be lots of fun (if they can get it out on time), but i will miss McDuffie. Problem: at the end of this issue, the Wizard is trapped on a lifepod headed to Earth and won't arrive for 79 months, but he's currently active in New Avengers.

Hulk #110 - I like Cho and i like the examination of the Hulk's backstory (although we saw these scenes and explanations back in Hulk #100). I think it could be damaging long-term to say definitively that the Hulk has never killed and never will kill; it defangs the Hulk quite a bit. But it's being handled well here. The scene at the end, where the Hulk was dying and Cho saved him by making him really, really mad reminded me of that scene in Secret Wars where he was holding up the mountain and Reed provoked him to keep him strong, so of course i liked it.

WWH: X-Men #3 - Wow, can you do that in a mini-series that most people were assuming was throwaway? You can make the Juggernaut a real character again, just like that? Gage has such a handle on these x-characters, i really wish they would put him in charge of the x-line. Actually, if i'm really in charge, i'd like to reduce all the x-books to just one, and let Gage write it. He's basically writing every character here and it works really well. Great stuff, even though as most predicted there is no impact to the larger World War Hulk storyline.

Super-Villain Team-Up #2 & 3 - My only complaint about this series is that they draw Puma with a puppy dog face. It looks weird and it doesn't look like Puma. Other than that, this is super fantastic. Great characterization, great use of powers. I'm enjoying the intrigue. It's funny, it's got action, it's got MODOK. Make it an ongoing! I love the "in the future we are all MODOKs" angle based on MODOK's origin involving an evolutionary ray. Problem: The son of the Mandarin is alive and has the rings, but we know this takes place after World War Hulk, so how does it all fit together with the Mandarin in Iron Man?

By fnord12 | September 11, 2007, 8:11 AM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

It's true

I never realized it at the time, but the Beyonder was actually the Anti-Hasslehoff.

I've been griping my whole life about how they haven't made a Secret Wars movie, but this makes me realize that i should be happy: after making Secret Wars, they might try and make Secret Wars II.

By fnord12 | September 7, 2007, 2:53 PM | Comics | Link


Super Skrull


Super Snark

By fnord12 | September 4, 2007, 9:16 AM | Comics & Whoodwin | Comments (2)| Link

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