Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's A Very Merry Franken Christmas!

There's nothing that says Merry Christmas to me more than FrankenCastle dressed as Santa. It's as if he got my letters and came to deliver happiness in person.

I hope you too, dear reader, got everything you wanted from Santa this year, including all that joy and goodwill malarkey.

And for those of you who aren't of the Christian persuasion, I hope you have a fantastic day as well. And that there are plenty of seats left at the local chinese place. :)

Now if you excuse me, I have a few more presents to enjoy.

Picture courtesy of Neill's Blog, home of some of the most fun amazing art anywhere on the interwebs.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

No Bill Tonight

Sorry kids, with Christmas kicking into high gear I wasn't able to make it to the store today, hence no new comics. It's just as well, I only had one book coming out this week anyway.

Also, I'm going dark for about a week as I travel across the country to spend Christmas with the FutureInLaws. It should be a fun time, but will have limited access to things like scanners, comics, and time to craft my fine blog entries.

However, I'm not just going to leave for the year without giving you something. To help get you in the holiday spirit, here's a little holiday cheer from a galaxy far, far away...

You guys be good while I'm gone, okay? See you in about a week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Tale of Two Trons

So I saw Tron Legacy the other day and I'm not sure what to think. The short version is I liked it enough, but it had plenty of faults. The long version, well, that's why you're reading, right?

To be honest, I'd never watched the original Tron. I remember being in one of my friends' houses growing up, seeing it on TV, and being immediately turned off by it; It looked weird, it was kinda boring, and the effects were funky. Needless to say, I had a very low opinion of this 'classic'.

Even with this Anti-Tron bias, I was really struck by the trailers for the new movie. The combination of the designs, the soundtrack, and the awe-inspiring visuals really did a number to my head. I was (strangely) totally stoked to see this new extravaganza, and more I was ready to watch the original too.

A quick aside: Did you know that the Tron DVD is no longer in print? You'd think a company as well versed in making a profit like Disney would make sure that there was at least a bare bones version of the original floating around somewhere so eager new fans could pick it up. Apparently, that's why I'm not in marketing. Luckily we were able to secure a copy via friends of friends. Anyway...

As it turns out, my five year old self was right, the first Tron is horrible. Don't get me wrong, I went into it with a crazy open mind, ready to be blown away. It's just... boring, weird looking, and confusing. Not confusing in a plot sense, but more in a 'world' sense.

The original Tron straight up baffled me. The main villain was kidnapping programs and making them play games, so they would.... what? Lose? Forget all his machinations? Get reprogrammed? Give him something to watch on lonely Sundays? And what would happen if a user wanted to use a program that was already hijacked? Would it be available? Would it have to be reinstalled?

The only thing I felt good about when the credits rolled on Tron was that the new one would only be a step up from it. But with the 'classic' in my mental rolodex, I was ready for the new one.

I'm really torn on Tron Legacy. It's certainly head and shoulders above it's predecessor, but it was still lacking something that would have made it the true classic it wants to be.

First, the good: Visually, the movie is stunning. Everything from the design to the action scenes are iconic, identifiable, and memorable. It's amazing to just look at and let it wash over you. The best part is they don't ruin it with a bunch of shitty hand-held camera nonsense; it's a very, serene, zen-like visual style.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the absolutely stellar soundtrack from Daft Punk. It's engrossing, driving, and emotional, probably one of the best soundtracks I've heard since... well, for a very LONG time. In fact, I've been jamming out to it all day, it's so good. I fully endorse this soundtrack and strongly suggest you all go out and make it your own. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Lastly, the characters were pretty great. Sure, they didn't do a whole lot, but they were likable and otherwise unintrusive on the greater plot. For the record, I think Garret Hedlund is everything Sam Worthington wishes he could be: Actiony, emotional, and charismatic. I wouldn't mind Hedlund getting a few more choice action roles from Mr. No-Personality, and I don't think I'm alone in that.

And now for the bad: the legacy of Tron. Or rather, the legacy of shaky storytelling.

While I wasn't as baffled by Tron Legacy, I still wasn't able to draw a strong emotional bead on the material. The major plot about saving some new lifeforms was kinda lost on me because it was so buried in technical jargon that I just accepted it and moved on before really processing. Which lead to a conceptual block on my part when it came to the emotional plot of fathers leaving their sons.

The weird part is, all the pieces are there. I could break down some of those scenes, rearrange them, and really make them resonate (I think). In the end it's so close to really hitting the mark, but it just sails right past it.

What I wanted was the same reaction I had when I walked out of KickAss. I wanted to be exhausted and exhilarated, I wanted to be pumped up and drained at the same time. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

As we walked out, discussing the movie, we were all disappointed that we didn't have that reaction. But even in that disappointment, we were hesitant to call it a bad movie. I can talk until I'm blue in the face about what's wrong about that movie, but there's something about it that's wonderful that won't allow me to go so far as to say it's bad.

The FutureWife (You gotta check that twitter feed, I'm telling you things happen over there) thinks it's because of the motorcycles, sweet action, and Olivia Wilde in black leather. I won't go as far to say that's not true, but there's something else in there that makes me want to like it.

So, kudos to Tron Legacy, the finest, and hopefully the last, movie in the Tron series.

Sweet Tron posters from Eric Tan, check out his blog for more awesome stuff!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Matinee: A CHRISTMAS STORY

Is it too obvious? Well too bad, you want Christmas it all comes back to this gem eventually.

Anyway, I'm sure if you're anything like me you've heard of and or seen this movie thousands of times over by now. Yes, A Christmas Story, the classic tale of what it's like to be a little boy around the biggest holiday ever (assuming you're of the Christian persuasion).

I'll tell you, I think I've only scene this movie start to finish once or twice, but somehow I still know it like the back of my hand. As a matter of fact, I think it would be against my traditions to watch it start to finish at this point. Drifting in and out of the different scenes, waiting for that one moment that you remember being totally awesome, and then flipping the channel to something else, now that's the true way to enjoy this movie.

So without further ado, here's one of my favorite moments.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Hidden Mystery of Attack of the Clones

Every time I watch Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones, there's one thing that really bothers me. And no, it's not Obi-Wan's shitty reshoot beard (which does bother me, but in a different way).

It's also not the wooden acting and stilted dialogue. For the record, I get that Lucas was going for a more mythic story and therefore wanted to go with a that kind of language. Scenes like the one next to the fireplace might seem strange and amateurish, but if you listen to the words you can see the foreshadowing purpose of it.

Anyway, I've always been bothered by the clones. Or more specifically, the tour of the clone facility.

You see, as Lama Su takes Obi-Wan around on the nickle tour, we get a glimpse of some clones at the cafeteria, enjoying what I can only assume is some kind of seafood.

Then it's revealed that all the clones can be traced back to one source, Jango Fett. This guy:

So here's the thing: Those clones don't look like Jango. I mean, maybe a little, but you know who they really look like? Captain Typho, Senator Amidala's head of security. Check it:

Am I crazy, or is that a clone? It's something that's bothered me since I first saw the movie in 2002. Every time I see that Kamino scene, I can't not see Captain Typho as a clone. But according to the interwebs, I'm the only one who does.

So what do you think: Am I subtly racist when it comes to Maori men apart? Or is there some kind of ripe story here about how Jango stole someone else's genetic material to make clones out of?

I'm dying to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Bill December 15, 2010

A surprisingly big week for me this week, and thankfully one full of good stuff. So what do you think: Should I gush about the great ongoings I'm reading (Avengers Academy and Thunderbolts) or just focus on the miniseries I'm getting (Pet Avengers, Strange Tales II, Chaos War)? Well, there's only one way to find out. Meet me after the graphic.

Sad To See It Go of the Week:

Strange Tales II # 3
Writers: Too Various to Count
Artist: Also too many for my lazy self to credit.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for anthologies. Throw in a bevy of great indie artists and forget about it, I'm in it to win it.

I mean, sure not every story in this issue hit as hard as I wanted it to, and some just plain didn't make any sense, but the ones that did totally made up for it. The sheer genius of Kate Beaton's Rogue story, the visage of James Stokoe's Galactus, and the whimsy of Tony Moore's Thor tale was enough to keep me coming back for years.

Assuming, of course, that Marvel continues publishing this gem. Please, Marvel, keep publishing this book...

I get that this isn't a book that will appeal to everyone, sometimes the art is overly wonky, the stories are a bit too irreverent, and the ideas a little overly heady. However, when the stories work, they're pure gold.

Strange Tales on a whole reminds me of that glorious turn of the century (that's around the year 2000, for the centenarians among us) Marvel where the weird and indie were on the verge of becoming the mainstream. Perhaps it's my fondness for that era that makes me such a big fan, but I can't get enough of it.

If you dig the same stuff, then you should totally check it out in back issues or the inevitable TPB when it comes out next year. And if you don't dig that stuff, maybe you should just give it a chance anyway just to send the message that you enjoy unbridled creativity in your Marvel Comics.

Fantastic stuff!

Positively Disappointing of the Week:

Avengers vs. The Pet Avengers
Writer: Chris Eliopoulos
Artist: Ig Guara

Unfortunately, the same gushing praise cannot be said about Avengers vs The Pet Avengers. It's not that the book is horrible, it's just incredibly underwhelming.

I've made no secret of my love for this series of books. And I really want to like this book too, as I have a great affection for the characters and their interactions (with the exception of Ms. Lion, who really needs to die in a fire). This new series is just incredibly lacking.

You'd think that something as awesome as "The Pet Avengers versus Dragons" would be impossible to screw up, but somehow Chris Eliopoulos finds a way. I feel bad saying it, but the issues come off shallow, superficial, and overly decompressed; in other words, just not good. And it doesn't help matters that it took me all of five minutes to read the full issue. I felt like I was done even before I started reading.

It's not like the first series was Shakespeare, but at least it had some umph to it. Issue to issue, I felt like something happened and that there was a huge story unfolding with big secrets revealed at every turn. With this series, it's like I'm reading what ought to be a two issue arc stretched into four. There are some twists and turns, but I don't feel like anything's happening.

I'll buy the next issue just to finish off the series, but at this rate it'll be the last that I pick up. Here's hoping Eliopolous figures out how to bring the Pet Avengers back to greatness before the next series starts...

And that's all I got for tonight. If you're curious what else I bought, and by extension what I thought of it, make sure you check out my twitter feed @platypusrobot. Or, you know, just leave me a comment and I can tell you right here. I'm easy like that.

See you next time!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Exploring the Insa-NINETIES: 8-Ball

Oh, the 90s, what a woefully underrated crazy-ass decade. All anyone thinks of when they think of you is big guns, bigger muscles, and even bigger tits. Thankfully, there are connoisseur of the 90s like myself to set the people straight.

Today, it's my pleasure to introduce you to the sensational character find of 1991: 8-Ball!

For the record 8-Ball is an ex-pool shark / military propulsion system designer, who built himself a pool cue that could magnify any force, donned a silly helmet, and turned to a life of crime. You know, standard stuff. Good for him for living what he loved... I guess.

He even convinced three other dudes to hang out with him wearing somehow more ridiculous costumes.

Ridiculous costume, even more ridiculous henchmen, it's like he's straight out of the sixties. I guess all he needs now is some kind of themed mode of transportation, like a flying cue ball or...

A flying 8-Ball rack, yeah that works.

Naturally, a villain like this must face off against some pretty grounded, street level heroes. Right? A guy like this totally smacks of Nomad or maybe even Thunderstrike. So where'd he first appear:

Sleepwalker. The book about the crazy alien that can only interact with this world when his college-aged slacker of a host is sleeping or otherwise unconscious. Yeah, goes together like chocolate and chicken: It's kinda weird, but if you just go with it I guess it makes sense.

Unfortunately, I don't know much else about the guy. I assume he continues to be a headache for ol'Sleepy, but I can't say for sure. I mean, you can't just get rid of a character made of pure gold like this, can you?

The only thing I do know is it looks like I have some Sleepwalker back-issues to go through.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend Matinee: RAGEWAR!

I've never been more baffled by a movie.

I mean, I have intellectually, but not conceptually like I was with this... unique feature.

Sprung from the pocketbook of 80s B-Movie Mogul Charles Band, Ragewar: The Challenges of the Excalibrite (AKA Dungeonmaster, if you have Netflix) is one of those fun terrible movies that pushes the boundaries of what can be considered bad without becoming totally unwatchable. Although it does get a bit dicey a few times...

Basically, the story follows a computer programmer with an unnatural connection to his computer (they're somehow linked in a weird quasi-sexual way), who gets sucked into a digital world where he has to overcome a bevy of challenges (put forth by Night Court's Richard Moll) to save his would-be fiance and ultimately escape. What this amounts to is seven (or so, I didn't really keep track) vignettes where the main character is in different 'video game like' settings fighting some random baddie.

Oh, and did I mention that each segment is written and directed by a different person? Yeah, it gets a little silly.

Personally, though, my favorite parts were the framing sequences with Bull. They were all pretty much the same: Nerdy kid shows up at Bull's feet, they trade insults, the fiance whines to be saved, and the Nerdy kid is transported to his next short film.

For your viewing pleasure this fine weekend, I've found my favorite section. It's goofy, highly exploitable, highly quotable, and stars one of the best mid-range hair metal bands from the late 1980s, WASP. Enjoy:

I think I'm going to run this through my magic edit machine to add a different song written by Bull. Something poppy, current, and downright awesome... Party in the USA, maybe... I'll let you know.


Friday, December 10, 2010

The Thor Trailer

And unlike the last time this one won't get pulled down in a couple of hours. Check it out:

Pretty awesome, I must say. Of course, I'm still convinced that it'll be something of a box office bomb because Thor is always a hard sell. Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for it and will be there opening night, but come on, it's Thor.

Next summer's gonna be fun. I can't wait.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Batman Hates America

Or just eagles... I can't really tell.

So, I was wondering, do you think Batman has to be really careful how he's perceived publicly now? I mean, a few years ago when he was just an Gotham City urban legend (that hung out with Superman) it didn't really matter what he did or who he was a dick to. But now with Bruce Wayne publicly behind him financially, do you think he has paparazzi following him around?

Think about it, even in a world where aliens declare war on your planet on what seems to be a weekly basis, the Bruce Wayne/Batman connection has to be big news. And big news means the tabloids are going to be all over that shit, making up any stories they can about the former urban legend.

I can see the newsstand headlines now: "I'm Batman's bastard child", "Batman in love triangle with Wonder Woman and Superman", "Batman and Joker, arch rivals or secret lovers?" or even "Look what the Cat dragged in (with a picture of Catwoman, natch)".

Worse would be the reaction to poor Bruce Wayne. For every terrible made up 'controversy' regarding the Batman, there would be a vicious backlash from the offended always threatening to boycott everything Wayne Enterprises. If I were the PR person, I'd just quit now. There's no amount of money that could make that job worth it, especially if the person mucking with the plans was secretly the guy you were trying to spin the stories for.

Sounds like a job for Sisyphus.

Anyone else hoping for a Bat-Press Secretary One-Shot? Come on, you know it'd be awesome...

Bats America hate courtesy of Ty Templeton and Rick Burchett in The Batman And Robin Adventures #4

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Bill December 8, 2010

I heard rumors this week that there might have been a delay on my books. Lucky for all of us, nothing can stop the awesomeness of my pull list. Well that and it was only four books long. Whatevs, I'll take it. Wanna see what I thought of em? Too bad, we're doing this anyway.

Best Anthology of the Week:

I Am An Avenger # 4
Writers: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sean McKeever, Colleen Coover, Lucy Knisley
Artists: Sara Pichelli, Mike Mayhew, Colleen Coover, Lucy Knisley

I've said this before, but I'll say it again: I want more anthology series like this, it's everything I want from a series like this and more.

The best way to describe my feelings would be to contrast this series with Marvel's more recent attempts. A few years ago they tried to revive Marvel Comics Presents, and it was a complete failure. While they had a few interesting ideas (and only one that I can think of off hand: Hellcat), everything about the book felt off. The art was wonky, the stories were padded, and it just generally felt like something very missable.

After learning their lesson, Marvel seemed to have tried again with the Age of Heroes anthology earlier this year. Faithful readers (all two of you) might remember I had issues with that series. Mainly that I felt cheated after each issue. Most of the stories were just there to set up future books, and the ones I really wanted to read were just a waste of newsprint.

I Am An Avenger solves all those problems. This time around they've opted to tell stories that 'mean something', but aren't essential to your understanding of the general Marvel Universe. It's full of those great little 'filling in the gaps' stories and generic fun, goofy stories that just make you happy to be a comics fan.

It's a fantastically fun series that, unfortunately, comes to an end next month. Hopefully Marvel learns from this book though, and uses it as a model for all their anthologies from here on.

Branching Out Book of the Week:

Lady Mechanika #1
Writer/Artist: Joe Benitez

What? I wanted to add a little spice to my All-Marvel pull list. It's not like I bought this just because it had steampunk chick with big boobs and a gun on the cover. It didn't hurt though...

Anyway, this book follows the adventure of a steampunk cyborg in her steampunk paradise while she's on the trail of steampunk mystery. Did I mention that steampunk is involved? Because it is. Steampunk that is.

Don't get me wrong I dig steampunk as much as the next guy, in moderation. this book, meanwhile, goes a little nuts with the idea and it's kind of a problem. It's so excited about steampunk, it becomes a parody of the the thing it's trying to glorify. It's kind of adorable.

Aside from it's over-exuberance, the book really isn't that bad. The art's gorgeous, the mystery is intriguing enough, and there's a shocking lack of gratuitous 'sexy lady' shots. If not for that overly sexy cover, it'd be a pretty respectable book for Aspen.

I haven't decided yet if I want to stick around for the second issue, but the fact that I'm thinking about it is a good sign. Regardless, it's nice to have something other than only Marvel in my pile of books, makes me feel like a more rounded comic fan.

And that's all she wrote for this week. Here's hoping next week I won't have to worry about my books getting to the store or not.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Manga Robin Makes a Good Point

Purloined from the depths of the interwebs, credit to be given once I figure out where it came from.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Bill December 2, 2010

Stupid Post Office waiting a stupid extra day to deliver my comics. Nothing makes me more sad than a Wednesday without comics. Does waiting a day make reading comics that much more sweet? Or am I just happy to get my fix? Wanna find out?

Best Miniseries of the Week:

Taskmaster #4
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Jefte Palo

This should come as no surprise, seeing as how I've been totally in the tank for this series since issue two. But really, try not to be excited for a book that can introduce not just one, but two amazing character finds, a city full of Hitlers, and more henchmen organizations that you ever knew you wanted. This book has been crazy stellar.

So anyway, last issue we discovered the true origin of the formerly mysterious Taskmaster, and in this one we discover what makes him a tragic Marvel character. I'll admit I wasn't expecting the ending, but I also wasn't surprised by it. Either way it didn't make it any less heartbreaking.

Van Lente and Palo's take on ol' Tasky was phenomenal and I can only hope that we get to see more someday. Do yourself a favor and go buy this puppy when it comes out in trade, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Most Redeemed Book of the Week:

Ant-Man And Wasp #2
Writer/Artist - Tim Seeley

It feels like I was just talking about this one... Oh.. right.

Well, I can happily report that I have no complaints with this issue. Not only is there a lack of questionable references, but there's plenty of awesome Ant-Mn continuity that I thought only guys like me and Robert Kirkman cared about. Oh, and there's pretty cool action and stuff too.

This issue finds out titular heroes traveling through the dreamscape to infiltrate AIM to steal back that which was stolen last issue. You know, just a typical day at the office for the newly appointed Scientist Supreme.

I said this before, but it bears repeating: This is the kind of book that I love. It's a straight up adventure book featuring an Odd Couple team up and a firm basis in continuity. It's not trying to reinvent the wheel, it's just trying to be the best wheel it can be and it totally succeeds.

Here's hoping that they give Tim Seeley a longer series to work his magic on next time.

That's all I got for tonight. If you want to hear more about the other books I got, or just my general rambling, please check out my twitter@platypusrobot. Otherwise you might never know what I thought of the new Heroes for Hire book. You have to ask yourself: Is that a reality really worth living?

Think about it. I know I will.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ant Man And Wasp VS Internet Memes

Nothing frustrates me more than a misuse of popular slang. Be it in movies, TV shows, or from the mouths of old people, it just kind of irks me when I hear them try to be hip and just fail miserably. Enter: Ant Man And Wasp # 1.

Now for the most part, Tim Seely does a fantastic job with this book. I really like the Eric O'Grady Irredeemable Ant-Man (although I like him in his original duds better), I'm totally digging the new Scientist Supreme angle for Hank Pym, and I just generally like team up books like this. I do love me some mismatched team ups.

Aside from the character choice, I was genuinely intrigued by the story of the first issue. In broad strokes, Ant Man is trying to impress Hank Pym (Wasp) so he goes to him with a hot tip regarding an impending AIM raid. As it turns out, Ant Man was just a plant and as soon as he fell asleep, a sleepwalker (of the same race as the 90s icon, but not that guy) emerges to steal whatever the target was. It's revealed that the guy who gave the hot tip was actually subconsciously implanting a word in Ant Man's head that made him easy to find in the dreamscape.

And here's where my problem comes in.

As Wasp is explaining what happened, Ant Man breaks it down layman style and sounds like an un-hip idiot:

For those not in the know, in no way does this scenario begin resemble a rickroll. A Rickroll, in the most basic sense is enticing someone to do something (like, click a link) only to have that thing (the link) really be 'Never Gonna Let You Down' by Rick Astley. At no point does it involve subconscious markers, Principia Discordia, or dreamscape-walking alien thieves. I'm just saying.

A good life rule: If you don't know what a specific meme is, don't drop it in casual conversation. You'll just end up looking like an idiot. Just saying.

Ant Man and Wasp, you're on notice.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Matinee: THANKSKILLING

You'd think that a Thanksgiving themed horror movie starring a foul-mouthed murderous turkey would be awesome. Just what the holiday needs, even.

You'd be wrong.

Everything about this movie seemed primed to be an instant cult classic: Cheesy effects, a fun story, just the right amount of nudity, and of course, lots of gore. Unfortunately the creators do everything they can to make the movie as un-fun and un-clever as possible. It's like they started with a nugget of a funny idea and just straight up refused to make it anything more than that.

The main offender in the movie is the killer turkey. It's an awesome idea that's just squandered with simple, unfunny quips and lackluster acting. Having the turkey pop up screaming, "Now you're gonna die, Motherfucker" just isn't as gripping as I want it to be. Maybe I'm a snob, but I like a bit of cleverness from my horror movie villains, even if it's just cheap and easy puns. I'd take Leprechaun Back 2 Da Hood over this hunk of turd any day.

So why am I taking the time to showcase it here? Because I want to warn all of you to steer clear. This movie is totally NOT worth your time and you'd be much better served watching the fake Thanksgiving grindhouse trailer from Eli Roth on repeat for 90 minutes than watching this movie suck your soul away.

That said, here's the trailer to Thankskilling to illustrate my point.

Now leave me alone, I have left overs to eat.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of this most glorious of holidays, here's a clip from what must have been the BEST THANKSGIVING EVER!

Robots! Death! Taco Pie! Rambling stories about radioactive chickens! It's what I strive for each year to be, but just fall short of. Maybe next year....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Bill November 24, 2010

You didn't think the Holidays would keep me from telling you all about the books I got this week, did you? Thanksgiving may be my favorite time of year, but I can ALWAYS make room for some comic talk. Enough talk, let's do this thing!

The Book I'm Most Thankful For:

Thor Mighty Avenger # 6
Writer: Roger Langridge
Artist: Chris Samnee

This book always warms the cold recesses of my heart, it's so sad that it's not long for this world.

I know I already did a 'woe is me my books are being cancelled' post a few weeks ago, but this one's different. This has been the only Thor book that I've liked and actually looked forward to month after month. It's such a pure example of what Thor really is: Just a kid trying to figure out how to make his Dad proud.

In this issue, our favorite Norse God travels back home unannounced in an attempt to force his way through the door. Needless to say, it's the opposite of the lesson he's been sent to learn so he's promptly dispatched. Meanwhile the other half of the issue is dedicated to the end of Thor's epic multi-continent date with Jane Foster. And i'm not afraid to say it, but it made me "d'AWWW" just a little.

Only a little. There was also a fight with a giant dragon, and that was the real reason to check it out.

It'll be sad when you're gone Mighty Avenger, but I wouldn't have traded the time we had together for anything. Thank you for showing me how much fun a Thor book should be.

The New Book I'm Thankful For:

Skullkickers #3
Writer: Jim Zubkavich
Artist: Edwin Huang

What? I don't JUST read Marvel stuff.

I've been looking to pick this book for ages (ie two months), but for whatever reason the stores I've been going to just don't carry it. Finally, one of the stores broke down and ordered it, and man, I couldn't be happier. What a fun book.

From what I can tell, we're mid-mission as a dwarf and bald dude travel to find the corpse of some nobleman, or something, while other factions attempt to stop them. The first few pages are great and set a great tone for the rest of the book. It's quirky, tongue in cheek, and just about as much fun as I've ever seen in a sword and sorcery type book. Now I'm on a mission to find the other few issues so I can collect this series right.

As an added bonus, they've included a stew recipe at the end of the issue, which I am way too excited to try. The last time I tried a comic book recipe was Scott Pilgrim vol 2, and it quickly became one of my signature potluck dishes (It's vegan [but I make it vegetarian] Shepherd's Pie. Que Delicoso!). I'm totally locked in on this series for at least two more issues based solely on that.

Speaking of recipes and food, it's time I left y'all so I can prepare my stomach for awesomeness tomorrow. Y'all have a good holiday (if you're in the states, otherwise you have a better than average Thursday) and I'll see you in a food induced vision later on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FrankenCastle in Motion!

Just when I thought that I'd never see my old favorite, FrankenCastle, again, the internet delivers. This time in the form of a CGI short.

Frankencastle megafan (I'm assuming) Kai Wang does his damnedest to turn a touching scene from early in the run (I think it's issue 13, but don't quote me) where we learn that even as a monster, Frank Castle has a heart.

Punisher Shorts from Kai Wang on Vimeo.

Totally rad, and still a work in progress. I'll keep you updated. Meanwhile, my whole week has been brightened.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Harry Potter and The Deathly Sandwich

My intention was to sit down and write a review of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (part 1). I had it all planned out too. I was going to talk about how it was overly long, missed a few key plot points, and, while better than the preceding movie, left a lot to be desired.

Then I looked through my old posts and found I said almost the same thing about the last movie that came out.

Sigh. I'm like a broken record.

So hey, I'm not going to bore either one of us with a rehash. Instead, I want to talk to you about Ginny Weasely (Bonnie Wright) and the crazy lack of chemistry she has with Harry (Daniel Radcliff). In fact there is so little chemistry that you could replace her with a sandwich and the movies actually get better.

Allow me to demonstrate:

Check out this scene from Half Blood Prince. As the food runs out, this boring Honor's dinner turns to a tense standoff as Harry sets his sights on the most delicious meal left. Cannibalism never tasted so good.

Here's a scene from The Deathly Hallows in which Professor Werewolf nearly kills Harry after he makes unwanted advances on the most gorgeous sandwich in the land. The lesson here is never get between a werewolf and his turkey club, even if
you're the chosen one.

Also from the Deathly Hallows, here's Harry about to take that first luscious bite from that which has teased him from so long. Each bite will be ecstasy, the flavors exploding on his tongue; it's the moment his life has been leading up to.


Admit it, you've never been more intrigued by Ginny Weasley than you have at this moment. Also, I bet you really want a Turkey Club.

In conclusion, when you go see The Deathly Hallows, or any of the Harry Potter movies, try to mentally replace Ginny, and any references to her, with a sandwich of your choosing and I guarantee it'll make the movie 75% better. It'll also help you ignore all the plot holes and poor pacing.

Hooray for Sandwiches!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend Matinee: TURNER AND HOOCH

This one surprised me.

For a movie that amounts to a cop trying to make everyone take him seriously while he protects a dog that watched a murder, it's actually really solid. The dog is adorable in that ugly dog kind of way, Tom Hanks is likable as ever, and the bully from the Mighty Ducks makes a cameo appearance; basically, it's all around great.

But that's not what surprised me.

So Reginald VelJohnson (AKA Carl Winslow) is in this movie as Tom Hanks' other sidekick (The department sanctioned one). He's a guy who's recently made his way up the command chain in an unnamed big city where he saw a bunch of crazy stuff go down and is ready to take it easy for a change. Reginald Veljohnson is playing his character from Die Hard.

I'm saying it and I don't care what you think: Turner and Hooch is the sequel to Die Hard 2: Die Harder.

Check it out: Ol' Reggie, starts his Die Hard Career as a beat cop who's drawn into some 'Crazy shit' where he helps out some out-of-jurisdiction cop kill some Germans. Flash forward a few years, Reggie has made Detective and is now officially Bruce Willis' partner. Then something happens.

Be it more 'crazy shit', a few close calls, or an adjustment of priorities, something happens to break up this partnership. Bruce moves back to New York where he fights more Germans with a different black guy and then computer nerds with a Mac. Here's where T-n-H comes in: As Bruce left LA, or somewhere around there, Reggie opted to move to a smaller community where he didn't have to worry about terrorists stealing millions while blowing up high rises. He moved to Northern California and became an investigator under Tom Hanks.

And regretted every minute of it.

Remember that the next time someone tries to tell you that Family Matters is a Die Hard Spinoff. Because that's just bullshit.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Bill November 17, 2010

Somehow even though some of my favorite books are being or have been cancelled, I still ended up bring home a huge (for me) haul this week. How does that work? What craziness did I buy? What did I think of them?

Well, let's stop wasting time and find out. Shall we?

Worst Chaos War Tie-in of the Week:
Chaos War: Chaos King
Writer: Brandon Montclare
Artist: Michael Wm Kaluta

I had no idea what to expect from this one.

Well, I take that back. I expected this issue to be all about the major antagonist, maybe giving us some major backstory on him and/or his motivations. Hell, maybe give us a glimpse of what it was like the last time he was in charge of things. I most certainly didn't expect what the issue actually was.

I'll tell you, I'm a hard sell when it comes to otherworldly books. Be it Thor, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, or The Silver Surfer, I always have a hard time connecting with those types of foreign stories. It's hard for me to find the center, and as a result I find myself not caring.

This issue was otherworldly squared: It focused on the Gods from Norrin Radd's old digs, Zenn-La as they fended off the title character. Needless to say, I was under impressed.

Add to this the overwrought dialogue and the unclear art and you have a nearly incomprehensible read. It was just a chore to get through, devoid of any of the fun that runs through the other (Dead Avengers) parts of this crossover have in spades.

Do yourself a favor and leave this one on the shelf. And if you really need a Chaos War fix this week, do yourself a favor and pick up Dead Avengers instead.

Not A Promising Start of the Week:
Avengers # 7
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: John Romita Jr.

I don't know what to do about this book.

On the one hand, I'm a crazy fanboy when it comes to the Infinity Gauntlet and would love to see it brought back. On the other, I hate Bendis' pacing. To be fair, this isn't really a terrible issue. It's just very unsatisfying.

In this installment we follow ol' Bendis favorite Parker Robbins (AKA, The Hood) as he searches for another replacement for his powers, this time in the form of the Infinity Gems. Also, Iron Man and Thor have a mild heart to heart with Wonder Man, who was last seen breaking shit in the Avengers Tower five months ago. It's... interesting?

See, here's the thing. The book isn't horrible, it's just kinda... underperforming for me. There's some interesting things going on here, but there's not enough of it. It's almost typical Bendis where he takes his sweet time with stealth action scenes, has some nice interplay moments, only incrementally inches the plot forward, but this time it just feels very empty.

I dunno. I know I said this before, but I think I'm going to give this book one more chance and then no more.

It's up to you issue 8, don't let me down.

And there you have it. I bought a few other things too, like Thunderbolts and Osborn, but I'll talk more about them on my twitter. You should stop on by and say hi.

Or you can drop a line here, whatever works for you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Venom is a Slut Part 3

It's like the 90s and 00s had a baby. A big ugly baby.


Cover courtesy of Skottie Young; issue execution by Rick 'Hooray for FrankenCastle!' Remender and Shawn Moll; My 90s dreams come true via the February Solicts

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekend Matinee: DRIVE ANGRY

Did any of you ever watch Ghost Rider?

It was awful; just straight up terrible. It was overly goofy in some parts, overly serious in others, and just generally was not well thought out.

Now, have any of you seen the trailer for Drive Angry? In this upcoming travesty, Nic Cage plays a guy who has escaped from Hell to track down the man that killed his wife (or something). Along the way, he drives fast cars, blows shit up with a kickass shotgun, and hooks up with a hot drifter chick.

It's totally what Ghost Rider should have been.

Change the suped-up SS to a Harley and the scarred face to a burning skull and you'd have the perfect Jason Aaron-esque Spirit of Vengeance. Right?

Don't get me wrong, it would still be terrible (Worse than terrible if it's anything like My Bloody Valentine...), but at least it would give me a reason to go see it.

Anyway, here's the trailer for you to enjoy. If you go see it, lemme know how it is. For my 'fast car revenge' story, I'll stick to Faster.

Also, William Fincher is a way more convincing Satan analogue than Peter Fonda. Just saying...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Bill November 10, 2010

I only had one book come out this week, so you know what that means: Super quick Bill Reviews. Hooray! It's late, let's do this!

The Book of the Week:

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3
Writer: Allen Heinberg
Artist: Jim Cheung

Has it been two months already? Man, time flies.

Anyway, in this issue the Young Avengers continue their search for the Scarlet Witch and, um, find her. There really isn't that much more to it, unfortunately.

Let's start with the good on this issue: The characters sound right, the art is jaw-dropping, and it's always fun to see the Young Avengers in action. I've said it before, but these kids need a book ASAP. Here's hoping that they still have enough clout a year from now to support an ongoing.

As for the bad, well, let's just say the book was a bit thin for me. I enjoyed some of the interactions between the Maximoffs, but I really didn't need another whole issue of them jawing at each other. I wanted, Nay needed, some action in this sucker. I needed the story to stop dicking around and kick it into a higher gear. Unfortunately what I need and what Marvel publish are on different pages right now.


It's not terrible, it's just a bit slower than it ought to be. It'll be interesting to see how it reads in trade.

Also, I think I've figured out where this mini fits in with continuity (and it may be what's hurting the story in my eyes). From issue one, we could all tell that something wasn't right: Steve was in the Cap uniform, Tony was in his old Iron Man suit, and so on.

This issue has a scene with the Avengers consisting of Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, Cap, Spidey, Wolverine, and Luke Cage. From this context clue, I can tell you that this series takes place before Civil War.

Talk about taking a step back, right? That's the nearest I can place it. Suddenly everything makes sense with the costumes and how this book seems to not mention how the characters grew since the last Heinberg mini.

Just throwing it out there. Feel free to email me my no-prize.

And that's all I got. I guess I also bought a trade, but I'm not going to read that tonight. What did you buy this week? Did I miss anything cool? Lemme know in the comments!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Glaring Problem With The Walking Dead

AMC's The Walking Dead is a great show. Not a fantastic one, but an above average one. It's got a great feel, and overall tone, even if it needs to be paced up just a bit. As for the story, so far it takes all the right liberties with the source material, taking it's time to really hit those emotional beats.

It's a great show that, by all accounts, is only going to get better, but there's one major thing wrong with it.

They got the main character, Rick Grimes, all wrong.

I don't want to sound like some kind of angry comic nerd here, so give me a second to explain. I get that when you move to a new medium, things change.

Movie Spider-Man doesn't crack tons of jokes. Fine.
Cartoon Captain America can't fight the Nazis. I get it.
The Joker can't rape and paralyze Barbara Gordon. Sure, I guess I understand.

This is different. In AMC's The Walking Dead, they've gotten the core of Rick Grimes wrong. In the show, Rick Grimes accepts his new zombie reality, something Comic Rick only did after years of the undead.

It doesn't seem like a big thing, but stick with me here. In the book, Rick begins his journey believing that the zombies are a temporary situation. His drive to keep his family alive comes from the idea that this whole thing will blow over, which makes it all that much more heartbreaking when he realizes it's not the case.

It was watching Rick's resolve dissolve that made the book a must read. Wondering how much further he could be pushed until he broke. And then seeing what happens when you keep pushing. That's what makes The Walking Dead a must read.

The AMC show, with a Rick that instantly accepts the fact that zombies are the new way of life? It's okay, but it's not as interesting as it should be.