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Dinosaur language is hard

We all know that RAWR means "I love you" in Dinosaur.

RAWR means 'I love you' in Dinosaur

But look at how you pronounce "This is a stick up!".

But ROWWW means 'This is a stick up!' in Dinosaur

That's bound to cause confusion.

By fnord12 | October 31, 2011, 9:33 AM | Comics & Cute Things | Comments (1)| Link

It's a gun. You shoot it.

As a back-up plan, they're appealing to your patriotism here.  Ricochet to freedom!  It will be a bicentennial smash!  If you don't buy this product, you don't love America.

'Even big enough for you?'  Is Spidey suggesting Cap's been putting on a few pounds?

Sometimes i'd get stuck at my grandma's house or whatever, and i'd only have brought a couple of toys, so after a while i'd start making up things to do with them that the toy companys never intended. Like i had a plastic magic kit with secret and sliding compartments and stuff that would make it seem like you could make things disappear, and instead i used it as a playset for my Star Wars figures.

But for this product, the manufacturer is going right for the "bored with it already" scenario. Ok, we know it's just a lame gun that you shoot at the web target. So pretend, like, it's Spider-Man and Captain America trying to bust out of a big web net that aliens put over the White House! That's really pulling out all the stops and you have to give them some credit for imagination, but in the end it's just a gun.

By fnord12 | October 29, 2011, 8:35 PM | Comics | Link

I don't really have an explanation

This just seemed... necessary.

There was too much text on covers in the 70s. That's not even counting the 'Marvel Premiere featuring Satana the Devil's Daughter' title.

Here's the unaltered version.

By fnord12 | October 29, 2011, 6:25 PM | Comics & Music | Comments (1)| Link

Man of mystery

I was looking up Wolverine's first appearances at the Marvel Chronology Project due to the fact that i'm adding Hulk #182 to my timeline project and i wanted to check something. And it just struck me how much stuff there is in Wolverine's pre-first appearance backstory (get ready to scroll):

W:E 4 (9 - 13)-FB
O 1
W:O 33 (8)-FB
O 2
O 3
O 4
O 5
O 6
W:O 15 (7:1)-FB
M/CP 93-FB
M/CP 94
M/CP 95
M/CP 96
M/CP 97
M/CP 98-FB
W:O 33 (5:4 - 5:5)-FB
W:O 15 (8 - 10)-FB (1912)
W:O 12 (10 - 11)-FB
W:O 15 (13:1)-FB
W:O 17 (5 - 8)-FB
[W3 57-FB]
[W3 58-FB]
[W3 59 (1 - 5:2)-FB]
[W3 60-FB]
[W3 62 (1 - 3)-FB (1921)]
[W3 62 (17 - 18)-FB]
[W3 63 (1 - 5)-FB]
[W3 63 (17 - 18)-FB]
[W3 64 (1 - 3)-FB]
[W3 64 (18 - 20)-FB]
[W3 65 (1 - 3)-FB]
[W3 65 (14 - 18)-FB]
W2 113-FB
M/CP 154-FB
W2 126 (8)-FB
[W3 52-FB]
[W3 53-FB]
W2 5-FB
UX 257-FB
X:TF 2
X:TF 3
L:PW (1 - 9)
W:O 17 (9)-FB
W:O 9-FB
W:O 17 (1 - 2)-FB
W2 106-FB
UX 268 (1 - 5)-FB
UX 268 (9 - 11:5)-FB
W:O 16 (6:4 - 7:4)-FB
UX 268 (11:6 - 11:7)-FB
W:O 16 (8:5)-FB
UX 268 (14)-FB
W:O 16 (10 - 12)-FB
UX 268 (15)-FB
W:O 16 (14 - 15)-FB
UX 268 (17)-FB
W:O 16 (16:1 - 16:3)-FB
UX 268 (20:1 - 20:4)-FB
W:O 16 (16:4)-FB
UX 268 (20:5 - 21:?)-FB
W:O 16 (17 - 19)-FB
UX 268 (22)-FB
W:O 16 (21)
W:O 17 (11 - 16)-FB
W:O 17 (17:5 - 22)-FB
W:O 18 (7:2 - 7:3)-FB
W:O 18 (1 - 6)-FB
W:O 18 (7:4 - 22)-FB
W:O 19-FB
W:O 20-FB
W3 32
[W3 54]
I M/:MMH 1-FB (1943)
W:O 26-FB (1943)
W2 34 (8:2 - 8:3)-FB (06/06/44)
W2 78-FB
[L 1-FB]
[L 2-FB]
[L 3-FB]
W2 103-FB
W2 169-FB
W3 40 (2 - 6)-FB
L:PW (10 - 49)
W3 40 (7 - 14)-FB
W3 40 (16 - 18)-FB
W:O 35-FB
W3 38 (11 -13)-FB
W3 40 (19:6 - 20:2)-FB
W3 38 (14 - 18)-FB
W2 65-FB
W2 47-FB
[W3 50 (15 - 16)-FB]
W:O 5 (11)-FB
[W3 50 (17)-FB]
W:O 5 (12:1)-FB
[W3 50 (18:1)-FB]
W:O 5 (12:2 - 12:3)-FB
[W3 50 (18:2 - 19:?)-FB]
W:O 5 (12:4)-FB
UX 213-FB
W:O 5 (12:5)-FB
W:O 5 (9)-FB
W:O 5 (13 - 15:1)-FB
W:O 3 (3:6)-FB
W:O 3 (12 - 17)-FB
W2 61 (12:4 - 14:?)-FB
W:O 2 (5 - 7)-FB
W:O 2 (12 - 17)-FB
W2 68-FB
W2 61 (8)-FB
W:O 6-FB
W:O 7-FB
X 5 (10:1 - 10:3)-FB
W:O 8 (16:1 - 16:4)-FB
X 7 (3:2 - 3:5)-FB
W:O 8 (17:2 - 19:?)-FB
X 5 (18 - 19:3)-FB
W:O 8 (20:3 - 20:4)-FB
X 6 (5 - 6)-FB
X 7 (6)-FB
W2 60-FB
W2 61 (9:4 - 10:4)-FB
X 6 (14)-FB
UX 228-FB
M/CP 72
WX2 23 (5 - 8)
M/CP 73 (1 - 2)-FB
W2 48 (8 - 9)-FB
M/CP 73 (3 - 4)-FB
M/CP 73 (1 - 2)
W:E 1 (15)-FB-OP
M/CP 73 (3 - 8:8)
M/CP 74-FB
W:E 3 (4:1)-FB
M/CP 74
M/CP 75-FB
M/CP 75
M/CP 76
W:E 3 (8 - 9)-FB
W:E 4 (6)-FB-BTS
M/CP 77
M/CP 78 (1 -3)
X 130-FB
M/CP 78 (4 - 8)
W2 49 (17 - 18)-FB
W2 63-FB
M/CP 79 (1 - 6:3)
WX2 24-FB
WX2 25-FB
M/CP 79 (6:4 - 8:4)
M/CP 80 (1 - 3:2)
W2 49 (2 - 4)-FB
M/CP 80 (3:3 - 5:3)
W2 48 (11 - 12:2)-FB
M/CP 80 (5:4 - 6:1)
W2 48 (12:3 - 12:6)-FB
M/CP 80 (6:2 - 7:2)
W2 48 (13)-FB
M/CP 80 (7:3 - 8:5)
M/CP 81
M/CP 82
M/CP 83
M/CP 84 (1 - 19:5)
W3 14-FB
X-23 1
W2 166-FB
M/CP 84 (20 - 24)
W2 34 (5:3)-FB
W2 34 (18:4 - 18:4)-FB
W2 34 (5:4 - 5:5)-FB
AF 33 (14:1 - 14:2)-FB
AF2 -1 (9:4 - 9:5)-FB
AF 33 (14:3 - 19:4)-FB
AF2 -1 (11)-FB
AF 3/2
AF2 -1 (12 - 21)-FB
AF2 -1
AF 34-FB
W2 -1-FB
AF 43-FB
W2 -1
UX 147-FB
UX 140-FB
AF 52 (7:4 - 9:5)-FB
AF 53-FB
AF 127/2-FB
W2 119-FB
W2 120-FB
W2 121-FB
W2 126-FB
W '97-FB
W2 144-FB
W:O 28 (8 - 10)-FB
{H2 180}

Remember when having a mysterious past was part of this guy's appeal? They've mined that to death and beyond. I imagine we could pretty much find out what he had for dinner every day of the week from his birth to the first time he fought the Hulk by going through those issues.

By fnord12 | October 28, 2011, 4:48 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Herc #9 - I enjoyed the father/son squabbling, but it just reminded me of when there used to be a Herc/Amadeus Cho buddy book and i'm sad that it's not being published anymore. Beyond that, the art's a little weird, but the dialogue and the plotting was all great. It's a shame, really. It feels like this book was almost all crossovers, and then it was cancelled. You theoretically need the crossovers to get new readers on the book. But the writing is better when we're not in crossover mode.

Alpha Flight #5 - I kind of have characterization problems with Alpha Flight robbing a bank and consorting with the Taskmaster, whatever their long term goals. Another random quibble is that Snowbird seems to be going right for the really outrageous creatures to change into. Sure, it makes sense that she should be able to turn into a dinosaur or the Wendigo since they both are/were creatures of the north. But normally she turns into, like, a bear. So why all of the sudden is she going for these super powerful creatures? Why not always be a dinosaur if it's that easy? But that's a quibble. I am enjoying this book, and using Aurora's multiple-personality disorder as a trojan horse is a cool idea.

Captain America Corps #5 - Isn't it amazing that this book actually worked its way up so it's not the first (and therefore least anticipated) book in my pile? I mean, this is a book about five Captain Americas plucked from various points in time dealing with alternate reality nonsense. On paper, no way i should have liked this. But i actually did. That's Roger Stern for you. That said, while i did enjoy this issue, i thought the ending was a bit unsatisfying. Tath Ki saves the day with no twist (i thought maybe he'd turn out to be a bad guy or working his own angle) and then like a third of the book is dedicated to the characters wandering around back in their own dimensions going "I know something important just happened but i don't really know what". Eh. Still good. Hopefully they've got Stern working on something else now.

Hulk #43 - I enjoyed the Secret Avengers fight (nice snappy dialogue), and the Arabian Knight character was well handled. I do think Valkyrie got short shrift. She didn't have a great showing against either the Hulk or the Knight and unless her power levels are dramatically different than they used to be, she should have done much better against both. I'm also interested in the Rigellian angle. I thought it was interesting that the Red Hulk asks Machine Man if he's just programmed to record and stay out of the fight; i'm wondering if that's leading up to a Machine Man / Rigellian Recorder meeting, which could be cool (or maybe i'm too big a nerd for my own good). I'll also note that this seemed to be more of a classic low key Machine Man; no sign of the the Nextwave-ish personality that he had in the Ms. Marvel series. Anyway, this is a good series. Certain people who have stopped reading this book really ought to consider reading it again.

New Avengers #17 - I enjoyed the big Ultimo fight and then the way we rewound and watched it all again from the villains' perspective. That's a cool storytelling device. I've seen some complaints online that Wolverine's slashes should have counted as kinetic energy... i'm assuming that's a minor art problem where his slashes were supposed to be more like surgical strikes than blunt attacks. Anyway, good stuff. I like how they are playing up Osborn's Spider-Man hatred. I hope we can agree that with Fear Itself out of the way, Bendis is writing some good Avengers stories again.

Avengers #18 - Of course this is an all downtime issue, which i am always a fan of but i bet after 18 issues of talking heads some people were hoping that we'd start with a little more plot. Also we have here a cover that asks "Who will be the new Avengers?" (not, "Who will be the New Avengers?", mind you), but doesn't answer that question on the inside (unless you count the preview cover of next issue) and doesn't even pretend to look at all of the intriguing candidates that the cover shows. I'll admit I was a little annoyed when the .1 issue revealed that Osborn is going to be the main bad guy for the upcoming year, but i think it's being set up well enough.

By fnord12 | October 25, 2011, 11:06 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Hulk #42 - Good set-up issue. As much as turning General Ross into a Hulk is a dumb idea, Parker gets a lot of mileage out of it and is really good with characterization. Looking forward to the Secret Avengers appearance.

Thunderbolts #164 - You'd think i'd be upset that this version of Mr. Hyde is really more the Robert Louis Stevenson (or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) version and therefore is bad characterization for the Marvel version, but i'm enjoying it quite a bit. He's said that he was influenced by the literature, and he's had some variations in his transformations, so i think we're good. I am also liking the Golden Age Thunderbolts costumes. And seeing Baron Zemo using the Human Torch's arm as a flame-thrower was pretty sick. The team arguing over the various time travel theories was funny. The only minor complaint is the "evil Human Torches" bit that's coming. That was done once before (in Mark Waid's Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty series) and the Torch was also possessed/reprogrammed at least once in the Invaders as well. There's a point where all these retcons make him less of a laudable super-hero and more of a liability. But still, i enjoyed this issue.

Omac #2 - They promised me that this issue things would get really weird, but really the opposite true. Whereas last issue about ten crazy ideas were thrown at us all at once, this issue spent some time explaining (too clearly, in my opinion) what was going on, and then focusing on a big slugfest with the DC Absorbing Man. I'm fine with a big slugfest, especially with Giffen's art, i'm just saying that this issue wasn't as wild as they promised it would be. And i think this book needs to go really over the top in order for it to stand out (or at least to keep me interested in a non-Marvel book). My one other complaint is that i find that odd words are emphasized in the dialogue, which i think is an homage to Kirby's stilted dialogue from the 70s, where he did the same thing... but honestly? That's one aspect of Kirby you really don't need to replicate.

By fnord12 | October 11, 2011, 10:29 PM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | October 10, 2011, 4:51 PM | Comics | Link

The end is nigh. What comes next?

Talking about being a "completionist" in the previous post reminded me that i wanted to talk about this. The key 'graph is here:

Whatever the causes of all the above, Marvel's commitment to the printed comic should be watched very, very closely in the coming 24 months. Marvel's licensed out its toys and its kids books. Who knows what else they could license out.

And some of the comments:


I've been saying that from the get go. As Don Rosa always likes to say, Disney doesn't like to publish it's own comic books, which is why they've always let other people do it. It might not be long before we see Boom or Dynamite getting a chance to publish Spider-Man or Hulk.

Paul O'Brien:

The obvious question is, if they're not interested in magazine distribution, and they're not interested in the backlist necessary to sustain bookstore distribution, what ARE they interested in? At some point, is the penny going to drop that they could axe the entire line tomorrow and it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference to the licensing value of the characters?

Obviously, this is something that's been on my mind since the bankruptcy and then since the Disney acquisition. There's a couple of possibilities. The first is that publishing rights do get licensed to a Boom or Dynamite, and that company basically continues the current continuity. In that case, for me there's no change. I read that Spider-Man/Red Sonja book and it was fine. Not great, but ok. I'm assuming the company with the licensing rights can attract better creators and things basically go on as before.

The second possibility is that the books get licensed but the new company does a complete reboot, or write timeless non-continuity books like a Mickey Mouse or Archie comic. Or the books don't get licensed out at all. In all these scenarios, it's the same to me. It means i'm done. Not with comics altogether, but my focus would be more on picking up trades of critically acclaimed, probably mostly non-superhero books, and in much lower quantities. The bright side for me is that it actually defines a finite period of Marvel Universe comics, and it would really feel like an obtainable long term goal to collect them all and eventually incorporate them all into my timeline project. Which a part of me finds really appealing, even though i do think Marvel is currently publishing a lot of good books and i'd hate to see it stop.

The third option is the worst, but probably also the most likely. A third party gets the rights to continue publishing, and it becomes ambiguous as to whether or not the books are really in the old continuity or not. They say they are but there's tons of contradictions which they don't really seem concerned about. Or they do a half-reboot like DC is currently. Or Company A gets the license, runs with it for a few years, and then loses it to Company B and the hand-off isn't done well. At that point i'm stuck in an ill-defined half-state. I probably continue collecting for a while, then decide that i'm done. Then hear good things a few years later and try to get back into it and scramble to make it all up. Etc. That's what i fear most, more than the books just getting cancelled or rebooted.

Clearly it's not all about the current readers. There's only, what, 100,000 of us at this point? If it makes more sense for Disney/Marvel to dump the comics and focus on making movies and cartoons and t-shirts, i'll understand. I just hope there will be a clear point of delineation.

By fnord12 | October 10, 2011, 4:32 PM | Comics | Link

Fear Itself without the Fear Itself

Tim O'Neil at The Hurting asks (as a tangent on a post that really deals mainly with the DC relaunch):

(Just a quick aside because I don't think the series deserves any more attention than I've already given it: how weird is it that [Fear Itself] would almost certainly read better if the main series had not been published - if all we had to read was the crossovers in the Avengers family of titles and a few of the satellite minis? Think about that for a minute.)

Well, that's how i've been reading it. And all i can tell you is that i started off enjoying it but it went on way too long. Based on the premise - the daughter of the Red Skull makes an alliance with forgotten Asgardian Gods, powers-up a bunch of super-villains, and launches a major attack on the cities of the world with giant Nazi mechs - it ought to have been awesome. In practice, it was interesting at first, except for the books that focused too much on the god aspect (Hercules) or where the bad guy was built up as a major baddy but then taken out in a couple of panels (Alpha Flight).

It's created some interesting stories for Thunderbolts and Avengers Academy.

And then there's the talking heads in the Avengers books. I liked it at first as an unusual storytelling device but felt like it dragged on for too many issues (in part because it was happening in both New and regular Avengers). On the other hand, if it didn't feel exactly like an exercise in treading water and was simply an unusual way of depicting the main plot, it might have been tolerable for longer.

But yeah, i can say that i'm probably enjoying it more than people who are actually reading the main book by Fraction (which isn't to say that i won't probably pick up the main series eventually for completionist's sake).

By fnord12 | October 10, 2011, 4:16 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

DC Buggering Up More Stuff

Wonder Woman gorillasWanyas told us a couple of weeks ago that DC was doing yet another Olympian Gods take in Wonder Woman. And we all groaned because a) it's been done to death in this title and b) it always ends up sucking. Now, it seems like it's going to suck on a whole new level of sucktitude.

Everyone who felt Wonder Woman's origin made her less "relatable" please raise your hands.

I'm gonna go ahead and assume that nobody reading this blog is raising their hands. But on the off chance that some of you are, just keep that to yourselves, ok? I got a rant to get through.

What the hell is wrong with DC?

A storyline in the amazing Amazon's newly relaunched comic will reveal she's actually the daughter of Zeus, the thunderbolt throwing father of the Olympian gods.
In the original comics, Wonder Woman's mother, Amazon queen Hippolyta, fashioned her baby Diana out of clay, and the clay was given life and superpowers by Greek goddesses.

When they relaunched their entire line of comics last month, DC Comics figured it was a good time to break the mold.

"In this case, making her a god actually makes her more human, more relatable," DC co-publisher Jim Lee said.


"We're approaching all the classic characters in a way that feels true to their origins but thoroughly modern," Lee said.

Was there a clamoring for changes in origin stories that I wasn't aware of? Specifically, Wonder Woman's origin? Did anyone really have an issue with this? Or felt that, like records or phones with cords, it wasn't something teens of today could relate to?

The whole point of Wonder Woman and the Amazons was that they represented feminist ideals, that they were strong women who were empowered by women. Now DC is taking that back and saying "no, she's actually just another one of Zeus' by-blows" and this is somehow making her better and more interesting to read about.

You want to know what really makes Wonder Woman a better read? More talking gorillas. Man, i loved thosed gorillas...

Oh, and why are you interviewing Jim Lee? The man doesn't have spare time to talk to you. He prolly has a backlog of things he promised a year ago that he still has to finish drawing. Quit distracting him!

By min | October 10, 2011, 11:23 AM | Comics | Comments (3)| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Captain America & Bucky #622 - How long is this series going to be Golden Age continuity inserts? Forever? Don't get me wrong, it's all well written, and i liked how this issue explored the fact that you've got the completely non-powered Bucky hanging out with the rest of the super-powered Invaders. But I'd just like to know if there's going to be anything more to this series. If you tell me this book is just going to be Invaders 2011, i'll settle down and enjoy it. But after three issues i'm kinda waiting to figure out where we're going with this, if anywhere. Also, i didn't really like the art this issue.

New Avengers #16.1 - Dammit. I've been arguing that Bendis does indeed still have Avengers stories to tell, he's just treading water while Fear Itself drags on. I pointed to the cool Intelligencia/Ultron plot that was promised in the regular Avengers .1 issue. But this issue sets up a Norman Osborn story that will run "all this year"? I think we could have let him sit in jail a few more years; we didn't need to be returning to him so soon. And a "Goblin Cult" sounds pretty lame to me. As for the art, if you told me Neal Adams and Tom Palmer were teaming up to draw the Avengers, i'd accept 200 Goblin Cults, but in reality i didn't like the art at all. Is it a question of trying to draw in a more modern style? If so, completely unnecessary, guys.

Herc #6 - Two things i forgot to mention last issue: 1) Hey, that's June Brigman of Power Pack fame on art! 2) Who are all these spider-women? Actually, on point #2, min had to point out to me that they were two different people. I thought that Arachne was the same woman who showed up in the end, until she pointed out that one of them clearly had a spider-body and the other didn't. Since i'm not reading anything else Spider Island related, i just sort of glazed over all of that and focused on Hercules swinging around in a Spider-Man costume. But this issue it seems somewhat important to know who they were. Turns out Arachne isn't really part of the Spider Island saga; she's the Arachne of Greek myth. And the other one is, i guess, the main Spider Island Villainess. A little bit more exposition wouldn't hurt. Anyway, whatever. I guess other than repeating my lamentations for the impending cancellation of Herc and suggestion that Pak & Van Lente get an X-Title next, my big comment for this issue is that Spider Island seems especially damaging for the Spider-Man titles. I mean, after this arc is over, everyone's going to know Spider-Man's secrets, to the point where the X-Men are defending a giant "Spider-Sense Jammer" this issue. It was always coolest back in the day when people didn't even know he had a spider-sense ("How did he know i was sneaking up on him?"). Now, not only will everyone know, but it should be relatively easy for anyone to access the Jammer technology, and i'm assuming the same is true for his other abilities ("Hmmm, how come none of the Spider Island men were able to shoot webbing? Maybe it's not an inherent ability. Could be a mechanical device."). Oh well, nothing Mephisto can't fix.

New Mutants #31 - Yeah, i'm totally supportive of this book, but this little excursion to Hel needs to wrap itself up. Warlock & Doug are still funny, it's generally a well written book, and the weird Shark Man is cool, but still, get these guys back in more reality-grounded scenarios; they don't work so well fighting Asgardian zombie-eaters.

Avengers Academy #19 - I vote this book gets the award for "Best Use of a Fear Itself Tie-in".

Annihilators: Earthfall #1 - I guess the idea is that if you bring these guys to earth you can do guest appearances and hopefully attract a larger audience so that a space series could be sustainable. I'm fine with that, but i do think it would have been an even better idea to leave Nova as a member of the Secret Avengers and constantly have him saying "Sorry guys, i have to leave for a while. Ego the Living Planet is floating dangerously close to Kronan airspace." or whatever, with a big old school asterisk telling readers what they need to buy. Anyway, the fact that we already did an arc with the Magus' Universal Church of Truth makes me a little disappointed that they're the main villains for this series, especially since Magus or any other headliner bad guy won't be involved (i'm assuming, considering this is only a four issue mini). And the second half of the first story was a little dry, since Cosmo wasn't in the picture and it was several pages of the Annihilators beating up on random aliens. Actually, i take that back; i continue to enjoy Ikon's flirting with Quasar. This was fine; we'll see where it goes. I was also disappointed to see that Rocket Raccoon and Groot are going to be a back-up feature again since i really didn't like their previous stories (and again, how sad is that for me?). And so you can imagine my dismay when i got to the cliffhanger ending for that... ugh. Mojo.

By fnord12 | October 1, 2011, 7:13 PM | Comics | Comments (5)| Link

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