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Stan Lee Circa 1964

By fnord12 | December 20, 2007, 11:15 AM | Comics | Link

Eagle Eyes

What a crappy toy that must have been. Yay, his eyes move.

By fnord12 | December 19, 2007, 11:24 AM | Comics | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Back by popular demand...

Daredevil #102 - Mr. Fear seems to be living the good life so i don't see why he's bothering with any kind of grandiose scheme that's just going to attract the attention of some super-hero. Ego or psychosis, i guess. Anyway, everyone knows i love the Wrecking Crew and i hate it when they're used as "big dumb villains" for any random super-heroes to mop up in a few panels. They seem to be getting some respect again, first in New Avengers, then in Omega Flight, and now here where Daredevil gets thrashed and then says "Wrecker is out of my league. I should've known that. I do know that." Damn right! I love the Hood/Masters of Evil plot spilling into Daredevil, and i have to love any comic that features villains from Spider-Man, Daredevil, Thor, Avengers, and Masters of Kung Fu all in one comic. The fact that the comic is superbly written by Brubaker is just gravy.

Annihilation: Conquest #2 - Good stuff. I thought Abnett & Lanning did a fine job with Starlord's crew, and overall they are handling all the moving pieces in this story very well.

World War Hulk: After Smash #1 - Well, whatever. This was fine. Nothing great. A little sappy. Overall, i wasn't as thrilled by World War Hulk as i wanted to be but it was good.

Avengers: The Initiative annual #1 - I can't say this was great but it was a good introduction to these characters for me now that Gage is co-writing and i'll be picking it up. I'd like to see more of a focus on 50 State teams and not just the new recruits, almost like a - dare i say it? - Secret Defenders format. Keep the main plot focused on the recruits but let's stop in and see what all the different teams of established characters are up to in this post Civil War world.

Sensational Spider-Man #41 - It's almost impossible to comment on this since just about nothing happened. Which would be fine if i wasn't paying money for it. They better come up with a twist ending for One More Day or else this is just watching a very slow train wreck.

Nova #9 - Ok, so no Groot & Rocket Racoon mini-series? How about a Cosmo the talking Russian Dog mini-series? I assumed Cosmo was launched from earth in the 1960s but he understood Nova's Exorcist reference, so i guess not. Oh, right, the main plot: they stole my idea to use the Technarchy but i'm happy for them to use it. Now write a story explaining that Doom 2099 is the real Doom who got sent to the future in that awful Tom Defalco FF story. Oh, right, the plot again: Hey is that Count Abyss, from the Infinity Watch comic? That's a pretty cool and obscure character to use here.

Punisher War Journal #14 - Naw! Naaaaaaw! They didn't kill Aragorn!?!? Did they? Is he really dead? I'm less upset about Death Adder since he's already dead, killed by the Scourge back in 1986 or so. Hey, this is Kraven's other son, right? I'm pretty sure he had two, and one bascially followed in his father's footsteps but is more insane, and the other decided to be a movie star? I hope so (and i'm pretty sure it is) because otherwise i have a hard time reconciling this character with the one in Beyond. By the way, this is what i was expecting from Punisher War Journal: the Punisher fighting mainstream Marvel super-villains. But hopefully this won't be another 6+ issue arc. Two issues would have been enough, three is the limit.

Fantastic Four #552 - As far as time travel stories go, the ones where it's characters from other time periods coming into the present day are far better than those where the main characters go into the past or the future. But this is mainly a character study of Reed anyway, mainly sort of addressing fan complaints about what a dick Reed has been lately. Frankly, i think Reed is a dick and i like him that way, so i probably read this comic differently than McDuffie intended. In my version, the other members of the FF defending Reed from Doom's criticisms are actually suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and don't realize or can't accept that the things Doom is saying are essentially true, even if Doom has his own reasons for saying them. Anyway, McDuffie is a great writer and they should try to keep him doing something at Marvel after he leaves FF so he's not stuck writing those bland DC characters.

Spider-Man / Red Sonja #5 - Well, it's over, anyway. Kulan Venom was a cool idea, but that was pretty much the only idea in this whole series.

Bonus DC coverage: McDuffie's JLA/Injustice League story - It's not McDuffie or DC's fault but it seems like whenever i look over the fence at DC it seems like Injustice League has formed again. And there's so damned many of them that no one really gets to do anything. McDuffie delivered a fine action story here but there's nothing in the way of character development or anything, and nothing really clever in the plot either (basically the good guys won because the insanely powerful Firestorm woke up and freed Batman, who freed everyone else). Batman and Superman are treated way too gingerly, too; they are super-super awesome and all the other characters acknowledge it every 30 seconds. And my god, how many shots of the Black Canary's butt do we need?

P.S. - a lot of my comics come to me with pages ripped at the staple and half hanging out. Are they being read by gorillas before they are given to me? I don't want to anger any gorillas, but please try and be a little more careful.

P.P.S. - i love all these new features in the backs of the Marvel comics. Fury Files, the interviews, the previews, the questions they ask all the creators. Keep it up!

By fnord12 | December 15, 2007, 4:00 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link


I'm up to the first appearance of Thanos in my Marvel reading project, and i was doing some googling to see if there's anything behind the "Thanos is a rip-off of Darkseid" claims that you often hear when i found this cool group shot of Marvel & DC's villains - apparently fan art. As for the claims... i don't know. There's no doubt that they look very similar today, but Jim Starlin says he created Thanos, along with Drax the Destroyer, while sitting in a psychology class, and he crammed them into an early Marvel assignment (Iron Man #55, Feb 73) when he got the chance. Darkseid appeared a few years earlier, (in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olson #134, Nov 70), but Starlin never cited him as an influence for Thanos, even in later years. In his first appearances, Thanos was much skinnier, and Starlin said it was at editor Roy Thomas' suggestion that he bulk him up. Was Thomas secretly trying to push Thanos into something closer to Darkseid? It's possible, but Thomas usually wears his influences on his sleeve, and it's known that in the mid-70s Kirby's art was out of favor with Marvel editorial. I think, like the Man-Thing/Swamp Thing incident, this was just a coincidence that was probably taken advantage of in later years on both sides. Not that it really matters all that much.

By fnord12 | December 12, 2007, 1:27 PM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

I guess that Watchmen movie is actually coming out, then?

Progressive Ruin:

Longtime readers of this site know my experience with this...movie-related comics tend to peak in sales just before the movie's release, before dropping down to pre-movie hype sales (or even lower) upon or shortly after the film's debut. It happened with V for Vendetta, the first Spider-Man movie, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and so on. And, judging by customer demand, trade sales could have been bumped upwards by the Sin City and Hellboy movies, but since Dark Horse was incapable of supplying those books to the direct market during peak demand, that's all theoretical.

The Watchmen movie is the real test, however. The Watchmen graphic novel has been a consistent, constant seller for years. I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but I imagine it probably outsells several new graphic novels from Marvel and DC in any given month. It has a legendary status within the hobby, and at least some minor amount of recognition outside the hobby. I'm still reordering copies every week...and just when I think that there's no possibly way everyone hasn't read this book by now, I sell more copies.

Now, at this point there's little chance that this movie is going to sink without a trace. It's a big-budget superhero movie, and it's gonna get noticed by the general public. Sometime late next year, and especially early '09, we're gonna be sick of seeing that smiley-face-with-blood-splash symbol all over everything advertising this flick. So, this movie will almost certainly enter the public consciousness.

If the movie's good, the comic will become superfluous. "I've seen the movie...I don't need to read the comic." If the movie's bad, it'll be people in the store pointing at the book on the shelf and saying "Oh, yeah, Watchmen...that was a crap movie. Look, there's a comic based on it!" And then they'll laugh. (This is also known as the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Effect.")

I exaggerate slightly, but not much. V for Vendetta still sells, for example, but not nearly at the numbers it used to. I expect something similar to happen to Watchmen. Hopefully the movie will be at least watchable, so I don't have the additional burden of trying to convince customers that, yes, this comic is good, no really, it's not like the movie. (This is known as the "Howard the Duck Effect.")

By fnord12 | December 12, 2007, 9:29 AM | Comics & Movies | Link

Socially Acceptable

A formidable appearance is your passport to social acceptance

Here's the back:

Here comes the Incredible Hulk and there goes the Incredible Hulk with his not ordinary rabbit toy.

By fnord12 | December 11, 2007, 2:43 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

On average, out of four issues that are published, how many issues of MARVEL comics do you read or look into?

  • 4 out of 4 issues
  • 3 out of 4 issues
  • 2 out of 4 issues
  • 1 out of 4 issues
  • None out of 4 issues
  • Recent buyer, have not yet purchased 4 issues

Apparently a randomly selected group of Marvel comics included a survey. Mine was in Daredevil #101. Most of the questions are geared towards getting information for advertisers, but this one stumped me. I know i'm a little slow, but i just don't understand what they're asking. Am i supposed to know how many comics Marvel publishes and figure out what percentage of them i buy? But the last choice is talking about purchasing 4 issues, which is different than "out of four issues that are published"?

Wait, wait, i think i just figured it out. Here's the problem, i think. I think this is a generic survey used for all periodicals, and they're not taking into account the fact that Marvel publishes multiple periodicals. This question makes sense:

"On average, out of four issues that are published, how many issues of TIME magazine do you read or look into?"

Of any given comic book, i read all issues that i receive. I'm answering 4/4.

By fnord12 | December 10, 2007, 9:21 AM | Comics | Link

No, you nitwits!

The Beat:

Supernerd Nicolas Cage is itching for some crossover action!
"I would love to have Ghost Rider drive onto a 'Spider-Man' set; that would be fun," Nicolas Cage told us over the weekend, insisting that he's eager to contribute to the cross-pollination of movie superheroes that has become all the rage. "A Marvel team-up? That could happen."

While a GHOST RIDER sequel is seemingly in the works, there's news of other Marvel movies guest stars - Samuel L. Jackson will appear in the Iron Man movie as Nick Fury and there's reportedly an onscreen crossover between IRON MAN and HULK 2. What's next? A Civil War movie?

A Secret Wars movie. Secret Wars!


... ...

...ok, i'll take a Civil War movie.

By fnord12 | December 7, 2007, 2:25 PM | Comics | Link

The Day Bill Told Off His Boss

By fnord12 | December 5, 2007, 9:42 PM | Comics | Link

JMS asked for his name to be taken off of One More Day

Link (JMS's response is at the bottom of the page):

In the current storyline, there's a lot that I don't agree with, and I made this very clear to everybody within shouting distance at Marvel, especially Joe. I'll be honest: there was a point where I made the decision, and told Joe, that I was going to take my name off the last two issues of the OMD arc. Eventually Joe talked me out of that decision because at the end of the day, I don't want to sabotage Joe or Marvel, and I have a lot of respect for both of those.

I shouldn't even be reading this since i haven't read part III yet, but i kinda knew what was gonna happen from months of internet rumor build-up. I still think there's a good chance that there's a suprise twist at the end, though.

By fnord12 | December 5, 2007, 4:25 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Marvel Sales


DC overtakes Marvel in sales for the first time since May 06 due to shipping delays.

By fnord12 | December 3, 2007, 11:41 AM | Comics | Link

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