Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekend Matinee: ALL STAR SUPERMAN

It's Saturday afternoon and, if you're anything like me, you're looking for something to watch while the woman goes out shopping in the rain (Silly FutureWife). My friend, I have just the thing for you that is both relevant to the week and entertaining to boot: ALL STAR SUPERMAN

I felt that it was appropriate in a week that we lost a comic great, to check out his latest (possibly last, you can never tell with animation) feature. And it's a doozy.

If you've read Morrison and Quietly's All Star Superman, then you pretty much know everything about this movie, as this is a by the book adaptation. Of course, some things had to be cut, but honestly it doesn't make a difference. While I would have liked some more Quinten Quantum, Jimmy Olsen adventures, or just a taste of the Bizzaro stuff, I'm kinda glad it wasn't in there. While I love the series, I can't shake the feeling that in the middle of the series it meandered a bit. What's important about the movie though, is that it hits all the appropriate story notes.

If you like Superman in his high flying-est, you'll love this movie. If you love those crazy, zany Silver-Age-Through-the-Grant-Morrison-lens antics, you'll love this movie. If you just love a straight up, honest to goodness, fun Superman story, you'll... Just go see it already.

Like most of DC's Animated fare, they really knocked this one outta the park. I could nitpick things, but on a whole it's totally worth the time and 100% awesome. What a fantastic ending note on the amazing, but far too short, career of Dwayne McDuffie. Here's the trailer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Marvel's Next Big Movie...

...Will Probably Be A Huge Bomb.

This teaser from the instant non-classic Wonder Man #1 by Gerad Jones and Jeff Johnson

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gunfire: The Marvel Character That Should Have Been

Recently a friend of mine inherited a sizable chuck (like 15 short boxes) of early to mid 90s DC comics and asked if I wanted to take some of the books off his hands. Never one to say no to free comics, even those from a publisher I rarely read from an era better left forgotten, I leapt at the chance. While I tried to pick out some of the more interesting titles (Millar/Hester on Swamp Thing, Waid's Flash run, Ennis/McCrea Demon, etc), i just couldn't resist all those deliciously awful 90s series like Guy Gardner Warrior, Extreme Justice, and, the most 90s book of them all, Gunfire.

Created by Len Wein and Steve Erwin, Gunfire is a six year-old's imagination (or maybe just my six year-old imagination) come true: He can turn anything into a gun. Wrenches, sticks, lead pipes, tire irons, construction girders, it doesn't matter; as long as he can point it at something, he can make it shoot.

Pretty awesome, right? Well, awesome for the 90s at least.

Anyway, secretly Gunfire is Alex van Horn, the newly anointed CEO of the technology firm Van Horn Industries after his shady father died from a space alligator bite. Don't ask, it's DC in the 90s. With all kinds of cash at hand, Alex decides to use his powers to put Van Horn Industries on the up and up by destroying all of the misappropriated Van Horn tech. This quest puts him up against a litany of technological freaks, from guys in armor that can shoot stuff and guys in armor that can deflect stuff, to a man with transparent skin and even his own not-so dead father.

It's, um... an interesting book, if not a little repetitive and derivative. For those really interesed, I live blogged this earlier in the week. Go relive the madness, if you dare.

Throughout my experience with the book, I couldn't quite shake an uneasiness with the book; like, it just felt wrong. At first, I thought it was because I wasn't used to DC books, and that off-ness was just me being out of my comfort zone. Not a bad theory and it helped ease those thoughts for a while. That is, until I saw this:

And it hit me, Gunfire is totally a Marvel character. Admit it, if you saw him hanging out with Nomad and Deathlok, you'd totally think they were a new (and totally badass) super team. Probably something with 'Extreme', 'Revenge', or ' Deadly' in the title. Or, more likely, all three like: The Extremely Deadly Revengers! But I digress.

Unlike most DC characters, Gunfire's base of operations was in New York and not some fictional coastal city. More, aside from a brief appearance from The Mirror Master and the fact that he first appeared in an issue of Deathstrike, Gunfire has no ties to the DCU at large. No wonder I kept expecting a mention of the Daily Bugle.

On a more meta level, Gunfire doesn't fit the traditional mold for a DC hero. Normally the DC heroes are gods striving to live among men or, more so at the time, the latest in a legacy of heroes. Gunfire however is just a kid thrown in over his head trying to clean up the Van Horn name.

Last but not least, his villainous and not-so-dead father looks just like Stryfe. Because I think we can all agree that Marvel (and to an extent Image) had the market cornered when it came to behind-the-scenes armored supervillains.

In the end, I can't decide if Gunfire got let off easy by being in the DCU. At Marvel, he probably would have gotten a bit of a push in '94 before fading into obscurity only to be used as a punchline to a Bendis joke fifteen years later. At DC, even though he more quickly drifted into obscurity, he never became a joke. Instead, Sterling Gates cut off his hands during New Years Evil and Garth Ennis made fun of his powers in Hitman # 1,000,000.

Oh well, better luck next time Gunfire. Until then, you'll always be my favorite Marvel Hero that never was.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Bill Feburary 23, 2011

After so many stellar weeks, I knew a week like this was coming. It's not that everything on the list was bad it just nothing filled me with awe. But I'm not going to let a silly thing like that stop me on my one man quest to do half assed reviews. Let's get to it!

Falling Into Old Habits:

Avengers # 10
Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: John Romita Jr.

Here's the Bendis I love to hate. To his credit, it's not like Bendis had the collected Avengers just sit around and chat about The Hood's quest for the Infinity Gems ike I predicted last month. Instead he has them all headed out to collect the remaining gems in small(ish) teams. The result is pages and pages of no dialogue and giant, empty fight scenes. It's just kinda... boring.

For instance, the book starts with Namor taking the Red Hulk and Thor down to the deepest depths of the ocean to collect his gem. It's a cool idea that just goes on and on and on. It takes them NINE pages of minimal to no dialogue (plus a silent fight with a sea monster) to get down there. Nearly half the book is dedicated to this effing dive and it's just ridiculous.

I get that Bendis wants to make finding these gems a big deal, but there's got to be a more efficient way to do it. As is it feels like a seventh grade History report. You know, the one you put a ton of large block quotes in just to hit that tenth page so you can meet the minimum requirement? I feel like Bendis writes a solid ten page issue most months, and then just jams in filler for the remaining twelve pages.

Sigh. Here's hoping it gets better next month.

Stupid Infinity Gauntlet love...

Mysterious and Intriguing:

Who Is Jake Ellis # 2
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Tonci Zonjic

By far the most interesting book of the week for me was this little gem from Image. While not as action-packed and weirdly fun as the first issue, this one still manages to hit all the right notes. We get a hint of the mystery, a taste of the history, and a tickle of... dammit, I want to make that rhyme, but I can't! Damn my non-poetic mind!

Anyway, it's pretty solid fun. The main character, Jon Moore, does what he can to evade the killer interests following him while he tries to figure out the titular question: Who is Jake Ellis?

Honestly, without going into too many spoilers, I don't know what to say about this book other than it's totally awesome. It's a pretty brisk read, but I don't feel cheated or under-satisfied like with some writers *couBENDISgh. The art is clean, clear, and full of energy, perfect for the tone of the story. It's truly fantastic, and I can't recommend it enough. Go check it out, I promise you'll like it.

Assuming, of course, you have good taste. I kid, I kid....

And there you have it, my lackluster week. If you want to know more about any of these, the book I didn't talk about (Power Man and Iron Fist), or the inexplicable reason why I can't seem to find the Amazing Spider-Man point 1 issue (Come on, it's the new Venom!), email, tweet, or leave a comment. I promise to be nice.

Well, probably.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

RIP Dwayne McDuffie

Apparently, Dwayne McDuffie died today, and I'm just a little sad about the whole thing. I'm a pretty big fan of his, even if I didn't shout it from the rooftops too often.

I mean, I wasn't collecting comics in his Marvel heyday in the 80s, and wasn't really interested in his Milestone stuff when I started collecting in the 90s (Marvel Zombie, what can I say?), but as I discovered his stuff it blew me away.

I think the first time he blipped on my radar was when I found an old copy of Damage Control. The series is fantastic. It follows the insurance company that's responsible for rebuilding those things that are damaged via superhero brawls in a timely and costly manner. It's basically a walking No-Prize, and I loved every last second of it. The big goofy fun, the way it twisted around what was going on in the Marvel U at the time, the smart laugh-out-loud dialogue; it goes down in the annuls as one of the best series Marvel did in the 80s.

As the years went by, I became more aware of his name and knew that whenever it appeared, good things were sure to follow. Because of him, I gave the animated Justice League a chance and - after the first two terrible seasons - I was rewarded with one of the greatest superhero animated shows on television.

And while I was upset that he killed one of my favorite characters, Gravity, in the Beyond! miniseries, I was pleased as punch when he returned him to life while positioning him for bigger and better things (that never came to pass).

Dwayne McDuffie was pure talent, and if you've never read any of his old stuff you should make a point to do so. I can't really vouch for any of his later, editorial-slaughtered, DC stuff, but his Marvel stuff from the 80s, early 90s, and 00s is pretty fantastic on every level. Assuming, of course, that you enjoy big fun comics where the good guys spout one liners, the bad guys scheme, and in the end good is triumphant.

You'll be missed, Dwayne, but I'm sure you'll be in good hands hanging out with Lincoln and the gang.

Meanwhile, I'm off to find a copy of the animated All-Star Superman, his latest big work. I'm sure it'll be gratuitously awesome, like everything McDuffie did.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Abraham Lincoln's Excellent Adventure

What would President's Day be without a nod to the most excellent adventure of the most bodacious Chief Executive dude the United States of America has ever met. In other words, it's time we check out Evan Dorkin's masterpiece, Bill And Ted's Excellent Comic Book #11.

The story starts with an example of the perfect way to spend this non-present giving holiday: A full on Planet of the Apes marathon. Say what you will about the quality of those movies, the continuity is top-notch. Call me a weirdo, but any movie franchise that you can watch in an endless loop is a one for the ages. Anyway, our titular heroes head to this never-ending film fest with Death to give him a much needed education.

It's here that the boys discover a disturbing truth (via movie poster, of course): Their friend and super cool dude Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Makes you wonder how these guys passed history... oh. Wait. I remember.

Anyway, so the boys do what any sane rock stars with a time machine would do and decide to save Abraham Lincoln. But first, they need a plan.

To quoth Mr. Preston: Those are Totally bogus plans! Poor Lincoln.

The boys, bereft of good ideas to save their long deceased history partner, opt fo the simplest, yet most effective, plan: Kidnapping.

After nabbing Lincoln from what would quite possibly be the worst performance of "Our American Cousin", the boys travel back to the future to find things have changed horribly. Without Lincoln's death to pull The Union together, it quickly descended into another, more devastating, Civil War. Worse, without Lincoln's death there would be no Wyld Stallyns, no Rufus, and no time travel (but it's best not to think of the paradox that last one brings).

Wholly devastated the boys have a total Spock-in-Wrath-of-Kahn moment and realize that Lincoln has to die, a decision that he doesn't necessarily agree with.

With Lincoln falling back into his typical selfish persona (/sarcasm), the boys prepare for a life with no music, babes, or sunday funnies. Until, that is, they look to their left and remember they have a time machine. Handy little things, those are.

In true Bill and Ted Tradition, the Stallyns travel back to stop their past selfs from picking up Lincoln in the first place. If you're thinking about the paradoxes or obvious disregard for Bill and Ted's time travel rules at this point, you're doing it wrong. Even though, I'm right there with you.

The boys don't seem to notice though, and ask the obvious question:

Violence. Is there anything you can't solve?

The past boys deterred, all that's left is for both parties to head back to the future and cry over their decision while hoarding all the five dollar bills they can. Fortunately, Death controls the booth and takes Bill and Ted to a place to put their spirits at ease:

So there you have it. Today while you're thinking about what the Presidents did for the country, good or bad, just remember that when you get to heaven, ol' Honest Abe will be waiting for you with a brewski and a good time.

I'm off to get a head start. Happy President's Day!

Venom is a Slut Part 4

This is exactly what I've been saying!

Another phenomenal comic parody webcomic from The Gutters. Go bookmark it right now!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weekend Matinee: CLOAK AND DAGGER

It's Saturday afternoon and if you're anything like me, you need something to keep you busy inside while you avoid all the nasty weather outside. Luckily I have just the thing: CLOAK AND DAGGER.

This is one of those movies that I watched all the time when we I was kid, but that has seemed to drift away as the years went by. Even though I haven't seen it in forever, it was still incredibly familiar, if not just a tad bit creepy on a rewatch.

Okay, so ostensibly the movie is about a young boy who topples some kind of secret terrorist plot with the help of his imaginary best friend, superspy Jack Flack. It's the stuff that all great kid movies are made of, except that this one doesn't have that fun adventure feel to it. Like, to the point that I'm pretty convinced the kid has a psychotic mental breakdown near the end of the movie.

See, the thing is, it's revealed early on that Jack Flack is a representation of what he wants his Dad to be: Strong, smart, and generally heroic. It's also revealed that the kid just recently lost his mother, and it was soon after this traumatic event that ol' Jack started 'showing up'. Clearly this kid is using Jack as a way to deal with his disappointment in his father and the loss of his mother. And then things get weird.

So, while in a stairwell conversing with his invisible father figure, this kid witnesses a murder and is quickly drawn into a complex web of general espionage. Except that every attempt on this kid's life or weird proceeding is only witnessed by him, and as soon as other people show up is quickly debunked. I think this kid was mentally deranged and needed serious psychiatric/drug help.

For those of you that remember this one, you might be thinking that this doesn't hold up because by the start of the third act other people start getting involved and there's a huge, can't-ignore-this-as-fake showdown at an airport. Except all this happens after probably the most traumatic, scarring thing that could happen to this poor kid: His imaginary dad convinces him to kill a dude.

Seriously, check it out:

I don't know what to believe in that scene. Is that dude really threatening the kid with a gun? Is that kid just talking to himself? Is he doing both voices? Is that why that dude is so confused? Did that dude somehow see Jack Flack?

If you ask me, in that moment that the kid drops the gun, the stress of knowing that he took a life shattered his psyche and turned him into an unsalvageable vegetable. Or at least, that's how I'd like to read this movie.

Check it out, and let me know what you think. Happy viewing!

Friday, February 18, 2011

And Now, Captain Picard Riding An AT-AT

That is all.

*The events depicted do not reflect the views of this blog or it's author. While TNG is amazing, it's a hollow shell when it comes to the magnificence of Star Wars. Even if Jean Luc Picard is pretty fucking rad... for a Frenchmen.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Bill Feburary 16, 2011

Hey everyone! It's that time of the week again, so I hope you're prepared to read my prattlin' on about my new comics. Also, I have a very important question for any and all of you reading this, so make sure you stick around for the outro. Okay?

Okay! Let's do this!

Testing The X-Waters:

Uncanny X-Force #5
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Esad Ribic

I used to be such a huge X-Fan it was crazy. I had posters, toys, guidebooks, every chapter to every big crossover, you know EVERYTHING. That is, until it all got ridiculous around the time of The Twelve, when things got so bad that I stopped collecting comics all together. It was bad.

Years later, I dipped a toe in the water for the latter half of Grant Morrison's run and was blown away. It was the X-Men run I always wanted, so of course it was retconned as soon as Morrison left. Sad and dismayed, I left the X-Books a second time, but still with an eye on them just for old times sake.

A few months ago when Uncanny X-Force hit the stands, I found myself inexplicably intrigued by it. Maybe it was the writer, maybe it was the use of Fantomex, or maybe it was just my old X-Force love come bubbling up; whatever it was, I just needed one more thing to click and I would be all over this book like white on rice.

Then they teased the Deathlok virus.

This idea, thought up by the always entertaining Jason Aaron, really grabbed me of late. For whatever reason (still unknown), I'm all about this new take on the Deathlok mythos. You know, that instead of being a pacifist in a cyborg body, it's this assassination force sent from the future. It's fun, fresh, and was just the thing that Uncanny X-Force needed to get me to pick it up.

The verdict? It was okay. Not terrible by any stretch, but just not what I was expecting.

The cover - which I know I shouldn't judge these books on - makes it out to be an all out brawl between this new X-Force and some Super-Deathloks, but the reality is it's not. There's some fallout from the previous issue, which I'm glad is there; There's some backstory, emotional and otherwise, for Fantomex, which is interesting and generally well-done, not to mention that it's nice to see that Morrison continuity being utilized; and there's some cool fight scenes, which is why I bought the book. However, at the end, I didn't have the charge that I wanted to have from it.

I dunno, I'm going to give this book this arc to impress me. So far, I dig most of the stuff about it, but I'm not totally in love with it yet. I'll let you know how things progress.

So Good It Hurts:

Avengers Academy #9
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Mike Mckone

I know I've gushed about this book before, but I can't help it, it's just that good! Avengers Academy is what I want every teen hero book to read like. You have kids acting like kids, making bad decisions, getting emotional, and whatever, while the adults do their best to rein them in. The characters, the dynamics, the overall storytelling on this one is nothing less than amazing and this issue is no exception.

This time out we get a glimpse of one character making a questionable decision while the adults discuss the ramifications of a different decision. There are tough questions to answer which could alter the future of these young, hopefully, heroes. Meanwhile, Gage and McKone give us the knock-down drag-out fight we've all been waiting for between Finesse and The Taskmaster (fresh off his unbelievably awesome miniseries).

This book just great old-school storytelling in the mighty Marvel manner. Do yourself a favor and pick this book up if you haven't already. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Okay, one last thing before I go.

So, I've been doing these reviews for a while, and have had a lot of fun doing them in the process, but I can't help to think I could do better with the name. I started using the name "The Bill" because it was a great pun for both the anatomy of a platypus and how much I spend on comics a week. However the more I think about it, i don't think it's as targeted as it should be. It doesn't say "COMIC REVIEWS!" like it ought to.

So the question: Should I change the name of this feature? Do you think I'm crazy and The Bill is a fine name? Or do you think it's about time I stop trying to be clever and come up with something a little bit more descriptive?

Lemme know what you think, either in the comments or via the email if you're the shy type. I'm excited to hear your thoughts.

Oh, also you can comment if you want to know anything else about what I bought or want to share in my lovefest for Avengers Academy. You know, if you want...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Three Best Things At Toy Fair 2011

As any geek worth their salt knows, this past weekend was the annual event that makes all our bank accounts shudder in anticipation: The US Toy Fair. And really, what kind of geek blog would I be running here if I didn't at least mention my favorite reveals this year. So, without further ado, my top three...

3- A Zero Minimate.

As part of their upcoming, and newly announced, Marvel v. Capcom line, Art Asylum kind of sorta accidentally let this cat out of the bag a little early. You know how it goes. You get excited about something and write the blog post to get it out of you, but then end up accidentally posting it now as opposed to after the official announcement. Sucks for them, fantastic for us.

More to the point, of all the Capcom figures coming this one is the one that I can't wait for. As a huge Mega Man X fan, I never thought I'd own this iconic character in the toyline that I like. I mean, sure, it would have been nice to have a Mega Man as well, but I'll take a sweet looking Zero any day of the week.

Maybe next they can do a Proto Man...

2- Knight Rider Minimates!

Yes, more on the minimate front. What? I love'em.

Following up movie licenses like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters, it seems that Art Asylum got a hold of the classic Knight Rider license. Now, I know that this unpainted prototype doesn't look like much - and more than a bit deformed - but it's a means to an end that will get us quite possibly the most exciting minimate figure ever: David Hasslehoff.

Move over Michael J. Fox, I got a new celebrity to lord over like a god. Here's hoping the retailers bite on this, otherwise they'll have one sad Panda on their hands.


Out of nowhere, from a line that I have no real interest to collect, comes my newest obsession: DARKHAWK! I don't know how it happened, or why, but I don't care. THIS IS AWESOME! Do you realize that this is the first time this classic 90s character has ever been immortalized in plastic? That right there is a crime against culture that I'm so elated to see rectified.

Between this, a Scarlet Spider that looks like the one we should have gotten years ago, and an OG Power Man/Iron Fist pack, I might have to start getting these figures. Well, some of them at least. All bets are off if they end up making an 8-Ball or a Sleepwalker though...


Finally, I'd like to end things with a spot of disappointment I had at the reveals. Namely, the character selection of the newest Marvel Minimate wave:

I really don't want to be 'that guy', but... ugh. Really? To date there have been two versions of the Silver Iron Man armor (and two more gold repaints!), two goblins that look exactly the same (but without a glider, so there is that), and don't even get me started on the Spider-Man.

I get the idea the need to have a heavy rotation of the big name characters (and honestly, the character selection for minimates has been pretty solid overall), but why these non-variants. How cool would it be to have a modern Ramos-inspired Goblin? Or even a hooded Clone Saga one? Or an Iron Man 2020, a Thorbuster (to go with the big Thor push), or any of a number of interesting Iron Man suits that aren't the boring ass original costume? Or... well, I'm sure you get the point, I'm just a little upset with this collection.

Here's hoping though, that after it's all said and done with the movie waves, that DST and Art Asylum get back to making great, unique characters again. Maybe a comic Captain America wave with Baron Zemo, Crossbones, Rikki Barnes, and Nomad. Or a Thor wave with Thunderstrike, Bloodaxe, and... uh... someone else involved with Thor.

Regardless of the minor disappointments I had, this wasn't such a bad Toy Fair. I can't wait to see more at San Diego this year.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weekend Matinee: MEGAFORCE

It's Saturday afternoon and if you're anything like me you need something to wash the horrible girlie-ness of this pre-Valentine's Day weekend out of your brain. Lucky for you, I have just the thing. Say hello to MEGAFORCE.

Where to start with this gem? Directed by Hal "I normally work with Burt Reynolds" Needham, Megaforce follows Ace Hunter and his band of international peacekeepers as they try to thwart an evil dictator. Or something, I kinda lost it there in the middle of the movie because IT BLEW MY EIGHT YEAR OLD BRAIN!

A suave Han Solo-like leader (played by Spin City's Barry Bostwick) and his band of off-kilter international soldiers riding around in fucking awesome themed vehicles? It's like everything the UN has ever wanted to be! More, it's exactly what I loved about GI JOE when I was a kid. Hell, this movie is a hundred times the adaptation of my favorite Hasbro toyline than that lame-ass Steven Sommers monstrosity was.

Now, there are a lot of scenes to get excited about in this one, but none so exhilarating as the clip I pulled for you today. Long story short, Barry Bostwick discovers the secret ability of his motorcycle AND IT'S THE BEST THING EVER! I don't want to spoil it too much, just... just watch it.

IT'S JUST SO GOOD! I can't stop watching it! His face! God, it's the best.

So here's the bad news about this one: It's not available on DVD. For whatever reason - which I'm too lazy to research - they've refused to release this would-be classic on any kind of modern media. There are, however, tons of bootlegs out there and while I don't condone any kind of piracy, like this here, if it's the only way to see it then... well, a man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Superman, Super Comedian

Found in the wilds of the internet without credit given. Brownie points to whoever knows who's responsible this. UPDATED: You can go give credit where credit's due here. Thanks to Dan Litzinger for the heads up.

A First Class X-Men Trailer

This popped up last night...

...and I gotta say, I kinda dig it. Which is not what I was expecting.

Suddenly, I feel like I understand a lot of the casting decisions. There's no Cyclops or Nightcrawler because the timing isn't right, so instead they're using Havok as a Cyke Stand In and Azazel as their wannabe Nightcrawler. It's not perfect, but at least it works and at least now it all makes sense. To me at least.

Also, I'm pretty impressed by James McAvoy's Professor Xavier, even if he's starting to look like an overripe tomato. He seems to have the right amount of poise to pull it off. But I have to say, I'm very surprised they didn't make him shave his head so people would know without a shadow of a doubt that it was supposed to be a young Patrick Stewart, ala what they did with Star Trek Nemesis. Surprised, but very happy that they respect our intelligence a little bit.

So there it is, I'm officially mildly excited for this movie. What about you? It can't be worse than X3 or Wolverine, right? Right?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Bill Feburary 9, 2011

After a week off, basking in the glow of the early 90s, I guess we ought to get back to the business of reviewing new books.... If we have too....

Good thing only awesome things came out this week, otherwise I'd be one sad panda. Let's see what we got.

Hey, Weren't You Cancelled?

Onslaught Unleashed #1
Writer: Sean McKeever
Artist: Filipe Andrade

Well, well, lookie what we have here: The return of my favorite failed non-team of 2010, The Young Allies. Not a bad push for a team that couldn't quite make it out of that first arc...

Anyway, here they team up with The Secret Avengers to fight off the returning 90s icon, Onslaught. Or at least they will, at some point in the series. Probably.

While it's great to see the team back in action (really anytime I get some Gravity in my life is a good time), this book doesn't really do much for me. The interactions are great, the art is awesome (if a bit funky), but the story is very thin. Well not so much thin, as unnecessarily mysterious.

Frankly, if you put the name of the villain on the front of the book, you can't use him as the big surprise threat at the end of it. Only if I was reading this book without a cover or a title page, would the 'surprise' at the end be one. As it is, I feel like I should have just started with issue two.

The flying datsun was pretty cool though...

The Best Of The Year (so far):

Power Man and Iron Fist #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Wellington Alves

I don't talk about it as much as I should, but the original Power Man and Iron Fist is one of my favorite series of all time. I don't know what it is exactly, all I know is that it's awesome. So when it was announced that not only was there going to be a new Power Man, but a new Power Man and Iron Fist series, I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to it's predecessor. And then I saw that Fred Van Lente was writing. And then he did this:

Dammit, Fred, why do you have to be so awesome all the time?

So yeah, and then as if it's not enough to have my sensational character find of 2010 show up, the book gets even better through fantastic character interactions, use of Power Man and Iron Fist Original Recipe continuity, and amazing art from Mr. Alves. It truly makes the legacy proud.

Now, if only we could make this an ongoing instead of just a miniseries. Anyone got any bright ideas on how to make that happen?

And so ends the spirited review part of the evening. If you'd like to hear more about my 'meh' attitudes on both Widowmaker #4 and Secret Warriors #24, just drop me a line in the comments and I'm sure I can rally some snide remarks for you.

Until then, I'm off to try to read something other than horrible 90s books for a change....

Who am I kidding? Pass the Darkhawk, please.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Unimaginable Horror of Comic Sans

In 1998, a Silver Surfer issue committed the ultimate crime against all comics...

They lettered the book in COMIC SANS. Two months later, the book was cancelled and the Silver Surfer hasn't had an ongoing series since. May that be a lesson to you the next time you think of using that foulest of fonts.

JM DeMatteis and Jon J Muth get a pass for this issue. The true culprit is John Costanza, the letterer. For SHAME!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Because sometimes you need some counter-programming, I give you this week's movie: Josie and the Pussycats.

If you've never seen this gem, you should do yourself a favor, drop everything and watch it NOW. Between the cute girls and the rocking soundtrack, this movie has got it all! Add to that a compelling story and interesting characters, and you have a cult classic just waiting to happen.

I remember the first time I saw this one. It was the summer of 2002, my roommate and I had scammed some free premium channels (an oversight on the provider's end, I swear!) and started recording everything we could, including this oft forgotten 2001 classic. After our first viewing, we knew it was something special and we nearly wore the tape out showing it to anyone who would give us 90 minutes to do so.

We were a little obsessed.

In the intervening years, I haven't seen it as much, but I can still recite it by heart. And I have the soundtrack on a pretty constant rotation on my ipod. It's up there on my list of favorite movies, and I don't think it'll come down any time soon.

So, if you're looking for something new and awesome to watch - or you just want something that doesn't involve pigskins and jersey's - I suggest you check out Josie and the Pussycats. If you don't believe me, check out this week's clip featuring the girls' hit single from the movie. Enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

NFL SuperPro Week Day Five - Wit And Wisdom

Welcome to the final day of NFL SuperPro week here at Platypus Robot. Over the past week we've talked about the early days, the best days, the villains, and the spinoff that only I'm clamoring for. The only thing we haven't seen is SuperPro in action. So with out further ado, I give you the wit and wisdom of the man of honor.

As a special bonus, these nuggets of wisdom can also double as witty repartee for your Super Bowl party this weekend. Give it a try!

Translation: If you lose early, you lose often. Try to stem the tide before it happens.

Translation: Never bet against the house, or a garishly dressed man might jump out and beat on you.

Translation: Criminals, you so dumb.

Translation: Autographs are a pain for everyone.

Translation: Breaking and Entering is fun AND easy. Give it a try, kids!

Translation: I... ugh. Pass.

Translation: I will fight you.

Translation: Get out of my house!

Translation: When the going gets tough, leave the scene. You can't do any good there anymore anyway.

And so, it's with a heavy heart, and a dwindling amount of source material, that I bring NFL SuperPro to a close. I hope you had as much fun as I did celebrating this former corporate shill, and I hope it gives you something to discuss between the quarters this Sunday.