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I can't believe Seanbaby never covered this one. Or that i never really noticed it before. It's brilliant! It's not every day that you see references to Soren Kierkegaard in your advertisements. And i love that the solution to depression is eating unhealthy snacks. Perfect!

Well, eating unhealthy snacks and delivering some steel-hard fist to an unprotected face.

By fnord12 | May 31, 2013, 2:21 PM | Comics | Link

Loving Allred loving Buscema

I loved this recent cover for FF #7...

What sells it for me is She-Hulk's expression and lack of response.  'I dunno.  It's all too ironic hipster for me!'

...but didn't realize until Tom Brevoort pointed it out that that it was a tribute to John Buscema's Fantastic Four #109.

Sue, you wait there.  It might not be safe.  In fact, maybe it'd be best if you go tidy up the living area.

I do see now that it says "Loves Buscema" under All Red (you'll never see it in this scan, ofc). I kinda want to make it a t-shirt. It would be cool to try to line the two covers up side by side, but that red bar at the bottom kinda ruins that.

By fnord12 | May 31, 2013, 1:35 PM | Comics | Link

The Complicated Corporate Tax Code

The latest Tom the Dancing Bug.

By fnord12 | May 30, 2013, 2:32 PM | Comics | Link

My Requirements for a Thor Movie

  1. All Asgardians must wear their awesome hats for the majority, if not the entirety, of the movie.
  2. Odin should be like a goddamned Chinese bride at a wedding banquet. He should be changing into a different outfit and a different hat in every scene, each one more awesome than the last (fuzzy robe and slippers scene optional)
  3. More "Kra-ka-thoom"

By min | May 30, 2013, 10:45 AM | Comics & Movies | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

FF #7 - This book has obviously been crazy all along but with this issue, maybe because it's theoretically a more straightforward fight story, it really became apparent to me how loony it is. I love it, but it reads more like someone's crazy dream about a super-hero fight than an actual fight. I don't know if Fraction is trying to get across real themes - i know he keeps referencing Cassie Lang's death, and then there's the Wizard's ranting about a traditional family structure - but if so it's totally undermined by the surreal insanity. I love it, but it's clearly not for everyone. You can see a little debate in the comments here where someone refers to the art on this book as being "jokey hipster" and then Caleb from Every Day Is Like Wednesday jumps in to ask what the heck the guy is talking about because to Caleb's eyes this book is classic Silver Age style. I have a lot of sympathy for the "jokey hipster" guy, though. Sure, Allred is doing a Silver Age pastiche but there's an ironic twinge to it which Fraction also contributes to, and i think."jokey hipster" describes it fairly well (and i'd love a vegan cupcake, thank you). There's no way this book is meant to be taken straight. But i think it's a lot of fun, too. You have to love when the narration caption says "When suddenly--" and shows one thing which really isn't all that sudden and then a panel later "Until--" but it's not in any way something the guy in the previous panel was doing until this panel. Speaking of narration captions, though, my one complaint is still about those 4 logos they put in front of some of them. 4 Twenty Minutes Ago? Huh? Oh.

Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 - I'm really annoyed by this crossover because the way Avengers Assemble has been reading, it's not even in continuity. So i dropped it to avoid giving myself a brain hemorrhage. But now we've got this crossover. My inclination would be to drop the CM book for the duration. But min wants to support Captain Marvel. So we're going to wind up getting parts 2,4,6 etc. of a storyline. Annoying. And we kinda dithered on whether or not we wanted to bookends so we ended up with this one by default. It looks like this story is a direct continuation of the plot from the CM book. The Avengers barely figured into it (well, except for Spider-Woman, but she's been a regular in the CM book anyway). Artwise, this was almost as "quirky" as De Andrade's but not nearly as good. Did not like. Storywise, i'm ambivalent. I've been enjoying this in CM. But as i've said, i'd much rather she was fighting the real Deathbird instead of an illusion or whatever. The dinosaur repeat was also a little disappointing. Anyway, i guess we'll (sort of) see where this goes, as best we can with only half the story.

X-Factor #256 - Certainly an odd choice for an ending.

Thunderbolts #9 - *This* ending, or cliffhanger or whatever, was a little ambiguous. But besides that i am still enjoying this and i think we're back to some decent character stuff - the focus on Flash, for example - in addition to a cool action story.

Young Avengers #5 - Continues to be great great great. I was glad to see an explanation for Young Loki - i was feeling like the ending of Journey Into Mystery was being ignored but i was patient and Gillen did indeed address it.

Daredevil #26 - A great reveal. Awesome sequences, great art. It's been a nice build up. It's a really good book.

Iron Man #10 - Your enjoyment of this is going to be based on whether or not you accept the revisions/additions to Howard Stark's backstory. That pooch is already screwed thanks to Hickman's SHIELD series, so why not add an Ocean's Eleven heist story as well? I guess my biggest concern is showing that Jimmy Woo and Dum Dum Dugan had an adventure together since that wasn't really evident in the Steranko stories where Woo joined SHIELD. I also see that Gillen has built in some plausible deniability into this, so either it'll turn out to be a fake or at least you'll have the option to disregard it if you want to. Storywise, accepting that this is a pure flashback issue, i don't think Gillen really gave the various members of Stark's Seven enough to do after the build-up of introducing them, and it really relies on the Ocean's Eleven concept to sell it. But i still thought this was a fun issue.

By fnord12 | May 28, 2013, 11:24 AM | Comics | Link

Somewhere between cute and terrifying are... the Marvel Mites

It's the expressions.  Sort of an all-knowing but bemused contempt.

By fnord12 | May 27, 2013, 9:35 PM | Comics | Link

How we fight

So these scenes from Uncanny Avengers #6 caused a bit of a local uproar (including from me) about how catty and annoying the in-fighting was amongst the Avengers.

But it got me thinking about how inter-team disputes have been depicted in the past, and that while the above scenes are annoying, they are arguably more realistic than earlier scenes.

Now, to prove my point i went through a not-at-all-comprehensive review of Avengers issues that i've covered so far in my project. And the older comics actually came out looking better than i expected. I recall the Avengers actually coming to blows a lot during their arguments, but i couldn't actually find a lot of examples of that (if this were about the Fantastic Four it'd be a different story).

I've put the rest of this post below the fold to avoid a long string of images on the main page. (Also, breaking with tradition for the main blog, there's no alt text on these images.)

Keep reading.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2013, 11:54 AM | Comics | Comments (2)| Link

Dr. Doom's proclivity for rhyming goes way back

Doom appreciates that Marvel changed the name of its fan club from Merry Marching Society.  Saying 'Berry Blarching Variety' is not very regal.

Previously identified Doom rhyming.

By fnord12 | May 22, 2013, 5:32 PM | Comics | Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | May 20, 2013, 3:06 PM | Comics | Link

Beyond the Black Hole is dinosaurs

Why *wouldn't* there be dinosaurs beyond the Black Hole?  Dinosaurs are AWESOME!

I found out yesterday that min had never seen Disney's The Black Hole, so we watched it, and it was pretty fun seeing her reaction as the movie just goes completely off the rails during the last 5 minutes into some crazy psychedelic madness. That got me noodling around online to see what the reaction to the ending was at the time and then how adaptations of the film in book and comic form handled the ending and that's what lead me to dinosaurs.

By fnord12 | May 20, 2013, 10:16 AM | Comics & Movies | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

A big pile and running late, for various reasons, so we'll try to be quick. It starts off negative but this was actually a pretty good pile.

Free Comic Book Day 2013 (Infinity) - That's your free comic book day offering? Really? 10 pages and i couldn't tell you at all what Infinity is going to be about, except that some aliens feed Thanos some delicious looking Brood snacks. Pretty sure we can skip it. And the preview of Marvel's "first" original graphic novel is even worse. 4 pages of Captain America doing push-ups and drinking coffee? Guys, a preview doesn't literally have to be your first few pages. It should be a representative sample of what your story is about. At least i got that Logun's Run Thanos back-up; it seems i actually didn't have that although it sure seemed familiar.

All-New X-Men #11 - We tried to drop this book but there's no stopping it. God, the visual design for Young Iceman is now bugging me to no end. Aside from that, i'm shocked to see this pick up immediately where last issue left off since the fact that Young Angel was already revealed to be the guy who defects in other books. Jumping forward - maybe just showing the Brotherhood's raid and then having the Avengers encounter actually happen this issue - might have convinced me that something was actually happening in this book and gotten me to reconsider the decision to drop it. As it is, though... agonizingly slow!

Secret Avengers #4 - Ok, things are moving this issue. I thought this was pretty good. I'm getting paranoid and thinking that Luke Ross included the 5 panels of Maria Hill and Daisy Johnson standing side-by-side just to shut me up. One thing i didn't love was the fact that SHIELD takes it for granted that Iran has nuclear weapons and would retaliate with a nuclear strike if AIM's ruse worked. Maybe in the Marvel Universe it's a fact. But in the real world that's the kind of thing that can get us into another dumb war. Real world politics aside, i enjoyed the black ops stuff and the story seamed more streamlined than last issue.

X-Factor #255 - Now Tier does want to fight the Hell lords. I think everyone agrees that this story could have been condensed by quite a few issues, but i see the words "To be concluded" at the end of this issue so we're in the home stretch.

Iron Man #9 - I don't know why he's 30ft tall but i enjoyed Death's Head and i'm really really happy to see Eaglesham on art. The footage of Stark's father is intriguing - does Tony know about his father's SHIELD/Illuminati stuff? Will this relate to that? I am interested. "You may need a drink." is pretty funny, too. Looks like Eaglesham is staying on the book for a bit so this may go from the book you love to tolerate to the book you love.

Wolverine #3 - This is getting good. Interesting hodgepodge cast Cornell has assembled. Victoria Van Frankenstein! Marcus H. Harold! (Gonna have to beef up my Harold H. Harold descriptions on my timeline project.) A Damage Controller! Plus: Jelly Mandroids! I was annoyed by the pacing of this initially but maybe because we're deeper into the story i'm liking it more, and giving Wolverine characters to interact with, including Fury Jr., helps as well. Oh, and obviously Alan Davis art.

Uncanny Avengers #8 - Ok i'm going to try to shut up and enjoy this story for what it is. I'm hoping Sunfire's little self-realization moment with Thor ends that arrogant nonsense. This issue is also helped by some actual exposition and information. I practically saw a footnote to Remender's X-Force series but at least there's an acknowledgement that this story is building on stuff from there. I was surprised to learn that the Apocalypse Twins "looked an awful lot like Archangel"; i would have never guess that by looking at them. It's still a time travel story which is never a favorite of mine, and i still find the forced Avengers/X-Men conflict - and especially the "they have to learn to get along to win" contrivance - pretty poorly done, but definitely feeling a little more favorable about this issue.

Avenging Spider-Man #20 - Great. Storywise, loving everything about it. Doc Ock's confidence and the way his Spider-Conscience kicks in at the end. Artwise, i thought it was pretty nice but was it just me or does it start to fall apart at the end, especially that last page?

Uncanny X-Force #4 - Enjoying this too. Interesting art, especially in the dreamscape. Psychic Owls. A nice moment for Psylocke. Puck is fun (if a bit more rowdy than my take on his character).

Red She-Hulk #65 - Us old people just learned the expression YOLO, so the introduction of the Yologarch is very timely. Very much enjoying every aspect of this. One really minor thing that i think starts to address my one nagging issue about this series: when Machine Man says that destroying Mt. Rushmore is a "great idea if you want to enrage your father", RShulk interrupts with a "Yeah!" as if she just thought that was the greatest idea ever and MM wasn't being snarky at all. So the idea is that we're seeing Betty going through almost a previously suppressed rebellious teenager phase, which could be interesting and eventually get to some real issues of being the daughter of a career military widower. "I sometimes pick up on cosmic rays and crap." was funny, too.

Indestructible Hulk #7 - Great fun. Adjusting to Simonson's current style and while i still prefer classic Simonson there's a lot to appreciate here. Storywise, it's great.

By fnord12 | May 16, 2013, 12:27 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Yeah that would be crazy

France, huh?  Then why does the return address read 'Secret Lab underneath the Hudson, Manhattan, NY'?

Not Super Stories!  Who would stop him from stealing all the letter Hs?

I'm not criticizing since i think Superior Spider-Man is a cool idea and i'm actually enjoying Avenging Spider-Man, but it's just funny how every nutty idea eventually comes to pass.

By fnord12 | May 15, 2013, 9:45 PM | Comics | Link

In today's market, niche is king

In introducing what he calls "a comprehensive review of every episode of every live-action Star Trek TV show and film" (i knew he was a nerd but i had no idea he was such a geek), Matthew Yglesias briefly discusses the tension between trying to recapture the mainstream success of Next Generation and the cult popularity of the franchise more generally.

...compared to a modern-day cable television show, Enterprise was extremely popular: "The highest-rated Mad Men episode ever, the Season 5 premiere, drew 3.5 million viewers--a mark that even the failed Enterprise series beat in the majority of its episodes."

Which is just to say that if you think of Enterprise as representing the hard core of Trek fandom then it's clear that there's a very healthy audience out there for a Star Trek cable show. Of course you could make a Star Trek show on cable that everyone hates and it would fail. But to succeed, all you would need to do is make a show that hard-core Star Trek fans like. The tension between trying to make something that appeals to the fanbase and trying to make something that recaptures the mainstream success of The Next Generation would be alleviated.

I'm not a Star Trek fan, but that sure sounds like a familiar argument to someone who's been saying that Marvel Comics needs to drop their love-hate relationship with their existing fanbase and turn it into pure love. What's interesting is that the recent successful movies, and, i suspect, the upcoming SHIELD tv show, are embracing the fanbase and staying truer to the source material than any comic book movies in the past. But Marvel Comics seems to be taking the wrong lesson from that and trying to make the comics more like the movies instead of also embracing the fanbase.

By fnord12 | May 15, 2013, 1:01 PM | Comics & TeeVee | Link

I've tried...

...but hate is quicker, easier... more seductive.

By fnord12 | May 14, 2013, 12:33 PM | Comics | Link

What i'm trying to tell you is he's like a human bullet

We really need to find a better way to get around.

You know what?  Forget Joe.  His eagle-eye 'power' sucks.  Let's you and i form a partnership.

In all sincerity, i don't know why these older GI Joe figures never made it into the revamped line from the 80s. They are clearly awesome.

By fnord12 | May 13, 2013, 1:46 PM | Comics | Comments (4)| Link

Crunky Cover Reviews: June 2013

I looked at the June covers and didn't really have anything to say about them except for these three:

1. Thanos Rising #3 by Simone Bianchi

I didn't care for Bianchi's Thanos last month and i continue to not care for his Thanos this month. His face is all sorts of wrong in that "it's so obvious" way that i'm at a loss to describe. He's still sporting the smarmy smile. There's something not right about his nose. His chin isn't bumpy in the right way. I dunno. It just doesn't fit my image of Thanos.

2. Secret Avengers #5 by Francesco Francavilla

I like that it's in the style of old spy novel covers.

3. Fearless Defenders #5 by Mark Brooks

Mark Brooks does a decent "sexy chick" face. The problem is he only has one face. And here it is repeated seventeen times. If they'd all had toothy, open-mouthed laughs, i might have mistaken this for a Greg Land cover (although they don't look like Tawny Kitaen, so i would have been suspcious).

I considered saying something about Jeff Dekal's cover for Journey Into Mystery #653, but i decided it wasn't worth the effort. The entire series has been a disappointment all-around, in addition to being a disappointment in the "strong female lead" sense, so i'm just trying to pretend it doesn't exist.

By min | May 13, 2013, 11:56 AM | Comics | Link

Taking Super Apes for granted

Min recently read Fantastic Four annual #3, and pointed out this panel of the Puppet Master being so preoccupied that he doesn't even notice a bunch of Super Apes standing off to his side.

Oh never mind.  That's not an aura of evil in the air.  It's just the smell of monkey poo.

Note that the Red Ghost had to hide in a wall, but the apes can just stand there no problem without being seen.

Wait, i'm being told that the phrase 'annihilating the Fantastic Four' has been taken by someone called... Annihilus.  Ok, i guess that's fair.  Hrmm.  'Red Ghosting the Fantastic Four?'  Nah.  Oh wait, i've got it.  'Ape-nihilating the Fantastic Four!'.  Perfect!

And i've just read Iron Man #82. Here's the cover.

Granted, adding one more blurb of copy would have caused the entire cover to implode.

Notice the cover copy is very excited about the fact that both Iron Man and Tony Stark are appearing together, but can barely bring itself to mention the Super Apes!

And both things together made me recall the recent Winter Soldier series which also had Super Apes that appeared in a total of 3 panels across a 900+ issue storyline.

I might be exaggerating.  Slightly.

So what's the story, people? Wake up and notice the Super Apes! Appreciate them! Revel in them!

By fnord12 | May 12, 2013, 5:40 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Better than what she wore during the DeFalco years

I'm just walking in a straight line with my hand extended.  If any floozies happens to be in my way and get karate-chopped, that's their fault, not mine.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2013, 4:30 PM | Comics | Link

Sign of the times

If you want to know how bad things were at Marvel in the mid-70s, here's a little scorecard they put in their Bullpen Bulletins that's only a joke in the sense that it's self-deprecating.

Not enough room to list all the inkers that were brought in at the last minute to quickly finish up a book.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2013, 4:26 PM | Comics | Link

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