Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bill March 30, 2011

It's weeks like these that make me wonder why I bother with books mired in continuity. That's not to say that those types of books aren't any good - because believe you me I totally love'em, and without'em I wouldn't be able to use all my intricate comic knowledge to impress my friends - it's more a testament to how great those lighter books are. What am I talking about? Let's stop gabbing and find out.

The Book Made Just For Me:

Deadpool Team Up #883
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Ramon Perez

I was really torn when I saw this book on the stands. On the one hand, I'm an unabashed Galactus fan and have a soft spot for Deadpool due to left over good will from his Joe Kelly days. On the other, Deadpool Team Up is routinely one of the worst books on the stand. Of all the issues I've picked up from this series (I'm a slow learner), I think maybe two have been good enough that I didn't immediately regret paying full price for it. Thankfully, this issue brought that total up to three.

As mentioned in the preamble, this was one of those fun done-in-one goofy stories that I just can't help but to love. It felt like I was back in the 80s reading one of the Assistant Editor Month books (NOTE: I wasn't reading comics back in the 80s, I'm totally a poser). As a matter of fact, I'll say right now that I consider this a spiritual successor to Marvel Team Up # 137, the infamous Aunt May/Galactus team up (I'll try to do a review of it shortly, don't worry).

Anyway, this issue was very simply what it promised: Deadpool becoming Galactus' Herald. It is, to quote another well-regarded blogger, quite a "hoot". Between Young's setups and Perez's pacing, I was laughing the entire way through. This was probably one of the best silly Deadpool books I've read in.... well, a while.

What better way to send of this horrible series with what will surely anger all kinds of strict continuity nerds (yeah, I said it. What?) for years to come. Now, let's never speak of this series again.

How'd This Get In Here?:

Jimmy Olsen # 1
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: RB Silva

I know, right? I don't think I've picked up a new DC book since the end of Final Crisis, and haven't enjoyed a new DC book since the middle of Infinite Crisis, but man, this issue almost makes me want to jump into the realm of the Distinguished Competition.

Okay, so I know I'm the last blogger on the planet to rave about these Jimmy Olsen stories, but I don't care: These Jimmy Olsen stories are so super fantastic, I wish DC would make a series out of it. The day to day crazy, yet mundane, existence of Superman's Pal is incredible and I want more, RIGHT NOW.

From the party aliens to the evil space genie, I can honestly say I was surprised every time I turned the page. Not to rest on the laurels of spectacle, Nick Spencer one ups himself with some of the greatest dialogue I've read in a long time. Between this and Morning Glories, I think someone just got himself a new fan.

While the writing on this book is down right sizzling, what really makes it cook is the art. RB Silva, along with Dym and Dave McCaig, bring a crazy youthful energy to the whole book and create character's that just pop off the page. The art's so good, I could just stare at it for days on end and never get tired of it.

Seriously, make it a point to go grab this book. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

And on that note, I think it's time I see myself out. Of course, if you'd like to hear me rattle on about the continuity-heavy, splash-page-a-palooza that was Avengers #11, or want me to continue to gush on any of the books above, drop me a line either via the comments, the emails, or the twitters.

I'm out!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What The Black Panther Fears

The rough times for Wakanda's favorite son continue, apparently, in Fear Itself. I don't know what's going on in his book (except that moving from the Royal Palace to Hell's Kitchen is a hell of a downgrade), but it seems things are going to get worse for him. I'm guessing that this new getup of his represents his biggest fear, which is either: Going native (as in turning American) or joining a traveling stunt show.

I just hope if he joins Team America he'll get a cool motorcycle to go with that outfit.

Pic via CBR

Monday, March 28, 2011

What Happened to Wonder Man's Sidekick in 3 Panels

The life and death of Spider (sidekick supreme) is chronicled in 1991's Wonder Man # 3 by Gerard "I hate kids" Jones and Jeff "unmarked grave" Johnson.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Talk About a Sophie's Choice

I don't know if you noticed, but Mighty Fine Tees has been knocking it out of the park when it comes to kick ass novelty nerd Tees. From the Doom riding a Unicorn to the indescribable power (to repel women, I'm sure) of the 3 Galactus Moon, there are just too many of those shirts I just have to have. And then I found their MODOK Shirts.

In a move that I wish other shirt companies would follow, Mighty Fine have made it possible to customize a small selection of shirts. They have a Scott Pilgrim one that might be pretty badass, if it wasn't for the stop everything coolness of their MODOK shirts. Instead of just having MODOK in different poses or locations, they've created their own MODOK Mashups for you new favorite shirt. You can do a Spider-MODOK or a THODOK, or this:

Right? As an unabashed Luke Cage fan, and with the knowledge that MODOK makes every thing better (he's like bacon), this is totally the best shirt ever. Until I saw this:

What the hell is going on? It's like they're trying to rob me! How am I supposed to resist something like this? That's just not fair!

So, pop quiz: Which should I choose? And more importantly, do you think my wardrobe could support two MODOK Mashup shirts?

It's a risk that I think I'm willing to take...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Matinee: SAMURAI COP

It's Saturday afternoon and, if you're anything like me, you're looking for something to cap off this amazing awesome week. To my mind, there's nothing more appropriate at a time like this than to bring out the big guns. I present to you the 1989 Amir Shervan classic, SAMURAI COP.

This is one of those fantastic examples of how great a bad movie can be. The direction is just sloppy enough, the acting wooden, and the pacing just slow enough to be hilarious without being too annoying. Toss in an starring role from Robert "The Chin" Z'Dar, a porn star and a body count that rivals Commando, and you got yourself a regular forgotten classic. Add in a few beers and this one's a party ready to happen.

The story follows Matt Hannan's (a former Stallone bodyguard, BTW) Joe Marshall a San Diego cop, trained in the martial arts, who was brought to Los Angeles to help deal with the rampant Asian Gang problem. The movie picks up as he's been on the job for about a week and all he has to show for his effort is casual sex with the hot, and VERY slutty, helicopter pilot. Helping Joe with his quest is quite possibly my favorite sidekick in any action movie ever: Frank Washington.

Every cutaway to this guy is pure gold. He's the Nic Cage of this movie, with his cavalier attitude and lame one liners. I can't decide if the actor understood that he was in a bad movie and didn't care or if he was really trying to be the sassy black sidekick that everyone would love. Either way, it's something to behold and I dare you not to love every scene he's in.

For this week's clip, I was trying to find something that really distilled the essence of how awesomely bad Samurai Cop is. While clips of the big action scenes are pretty fun, I opted instead to give you a taste of the caliber of acting herein with this iconic showdown.


Now, this one is a bit hard to find, but if you look hard enough, I'm sure you'll be able to find it somewhere on the webs.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Batman, Lady Killer

He's got her just where he wants her.

Batman's true nature revealed courtesy of Phil Noto

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Bill March 23, 2011

Well all right.

I have a feeling I might have a few new readers after the amazingly awesome link-love from Mr. Wil Wheaton, and I hope you're ready for the most misnamed comic reviews on the web. I bought a whole slew of books this week, but I'm still only going to review two tonight. Care to join me?

Come on, I promise it'll be a fun time.

The Mandatory Review:

FF #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Steve Epting

This issue made me realize something: I don't like Jonathan Hickman. I mean, I like his ideas fine, and the pacing for this issue was great, but his stuff tends to lack... something that just really takes me out of the whole thing. And that's just the problem, I can't quite put my finger on it.

I'm honestly kind of irked at the shaky continuity going on between these pages. What can I say, it was VERY jarring to read that Reed and Nathaniel hadn't seen each other in decades when I know Nate hung around the family a ton in the early to mid 90s (not that anyone should go look at those issues because they're awful!). And don't even get me started on the weirdness going on with the crazy-ass, strangely-religious Wizard. But I'm not normally a big continuity nut, especially with a book like Fantastic Four, that it shouldn't matter that much.

Aside from that, the pacing's great - It would have taken Bendis five issues to tell the same story - the art is phenomenal, the ideas are fantastic (PUNS!), and it has the hint of all the emotionality I look for, but I just couldn't get interested.

On the one hand, I kinda want to give it another chance, but on the other I remember that's what got me in trouble with Secret Warriors. And we all know how that's going (hint: not well).

When Did This Happen:

Hulk # 31
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Gabriel Hardman

I don't know how it happened, but all of a sudden I have three consecutive issues of Hulk in my possession and worse... I really like them. What is going on?

I mean, I've always been more than intrigued by this brimson brute - and thoroughly enjoy the first six issues of the series as the pure insanity it's meant to be - but I never expected to be buying this series on a regular basis. After that great Impossible Man issue - Damn you CRAKKAJAMMA! for pointing it out! - the overly fabulous point one issue, and now this one, dare I say: I'm a full on fan.

Jeff Parker's turned this red hued behemoth from a goofy joke to a legitimately tragic, complex character. Together with Gabriel Hardman's appropriately gritty art, this book is a hit waiting to happen.

Unless it's already a hit.... but I kinda doubt it. Regardless, take my word for it: Give this book a try. It does what FF #1 wants to do, but failed: It's fun, it's emotional, and it's brimming with ideas. Time to make room on the bandwagon, because I'm jumping on.

And that's all I got for you this week, but I'm sure if you ask really nicely I can tell you what I thought of Power Man and Iron Fist. Maybe even the other book I have an indescribable affinity for, Uncanny X-Force. Or just stop by and say hi, you know, that's always nice too.

See you next time!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Platypus Robot Primer: The Marvel Universe

"Comics seem cool, but I just don't know where to start..." is the most common expression among my non-comic reading friends. They've been conditioned by either bad TV stereotypes, or maybe just a foul run-in with one of 'those' comic geeks, that our beloved hobby is somehow not worth the effort.

That stops now. Welcome to the start of (what I hope will be) a series of articles for those who are intrigued by comics in general, but have yet to take that step into this larger world. While I hope to cover characters and/or events that are relevant, today I've decided to start just a bit more basic. Welcome to the Platypus Robot Primer: Marvel Universe Edition.

Fancy, right? I try. By the way, you veterans of Marvel out there are welcome to add to the discussion and point out any glaring omissions in the proceeding.

The Basics

What: The Marvel Universe

The Basic Origin: Back in the Early 60s, the publishing world was a different place. Comics sold okay numbers, but they weren't seen as high art and - ever since the Congressional hearings of the 1950s - were considered just for kids. That was until Stan Lee decided to give comics one last go before heading off to become a real writer and created The Fantastic Four with Jack Kirby.

With a more modern tone and realistic characters, The Fantastic Four became a bona fide hit and soon begat similar books from Stan. Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Spider-Man, and more spewed forth from Stan's brain and, together with his amazing array of artists, all became huge hits in and of themselves, each with their own tragic character flaws.

Helping their characters feel more realistic was their setting: New York City. You see, until Stan came along, most superhero books were set in their own fictional cities (Gotham City, Metropolis, Central City, etc). Stan's stories were ones that took place in "our" world, even if it had an overabundance of super heroes, alien invasions, and assorted crazy disasters on a weekly basis.

In essence, its Stan's revolutionary take on superheroes (that they were real people with real problems living in a real city) that gave way to the greatness that is the Marvel Universe today.

The other thing that set Marvel apart from its competitors was the passage of time and the reliance on continuity. Up until Stan in the 60s, most comics didn't have consequences that stretched from issue to issue, let alone year to year or across different books. With Stan writing nearly the entire line, he had the fluidity to allow the characters to interact with each other and for those consequences to matter in the long run.

While it was great at the time, as the years progressed this method became more and more of a curse. The problem was two fold: 1- with the characters tied to real world events, they would have to become older to make their origin work, which lead to 2- that if things continued, within a few decades, their heroes would be too old to adventure. Something had to be done and so Marvel instituted the Sliding Time Line to their books.

The Sliding Time Line: Welcome to your first bit of wonky comic logic. In the most basic terms, this idea states that the Marvel Universe as presented started ten years ago with the formation of The Fantastic Four. It's an idea that some people despise, but is honestly one of the best solutions to an ongoing universe like this.

Essentially, by utilizing this method, time actually passes (I did the math, it's something like every four years for us equals one year of Marvel Time) but not at a rate that ages their major heroes too much. And honestly, as long as it keeps Spider-Man swinging from buildings instead of swigging ensure, I'm all about it.

The annoying part to this is the slight nudging of facts from a characters back story that must take place to make them still relevant (Things like Tony Stark getting hurt in Afghanistan instead of Vietnam). The major details remain the same, but the setting and other ancillary details change.

In the scheme of things, if you know that the Hulk is the Hulk because of Gamma radiation, it doesn't really matter if it was from a bomb or a power generator explosion. So try not to get scared by those tiny details when diving in.

Speaking of, enough of this background nonsense, let's get to the meat of the issue:

Where To Start

There are two ways of thinking about where a new fan should start. Many believe that if you want to reading, say, Spider-Man, you should get a hold of all the old Stan Lee/Steve Ditko stuff.

You shouldn't listen to those people.

Nothing against that Lee/Ditko stuff (it's truly classic stuff), but a having a new reader start with stuff from the 60s is like having a new vampire fan (say, fresh off of Twilight) start with Bram Stoker's Dracula: It's the antithesis to what they want from that kind of story. A modern reader wants something that speaks to their modern sensibilities to excite them, not something from a bygone era that's not relevant.

In this modern era, there are five distinct flavors of books for you to choose from: Superhero Action, Street, Cosmic, Mutant, and Fringe. While distinct, these flavors tend to overlap sometimes, but generally stick to like-minded brethren. The best bet when it comes to diving into the murky Marvel waters is to find what kind of book interests you and expand your range from there. Let's take a look and see which flavor is right for you:

Superhero Action: Basically Marvel Vanilla, as it showcases the biggest heroes fighting the biggest villains in the classic Marvel manner. Don't let that moniker fool you, as there are some utterly fantastic books in this line up. If you're looking for adventure and drama with heaps of big action and explosions, then this is the place for you. Books and heroes in this subset include: Captain America, Iron Man, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, and Spider-Man (sometimes).

Test The Waters With: Marvels (1994; Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross). A man-on-the-street retelling of the classic events that form the foundation of the Marvel U.

Street: The dark underbelly of the Marvel U, home of anti-heroes, questionable morals, and hard choices. These books tend to be a bit more talky and a bit more harsh than the typical Marvel fare as these heroes are pushed to the brink of their noble intentions. Typically more adult and definitely darker, these are the books that always tend to find critical praise for their frank depictions of heroes in the real world. Books and heroes include: Daredevil, The Punisher, Moon Knight, Ghost Rider, and Spider-Man (Other times)

Test the Waters With: Daredevil: Born Again (1986; Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli ). It's a little older, but Frank Miller really set the tone for all the street books that followed.

Cosmic: The opposite of street books, The Cosmic books take the superheroics of Marvel Vanilla and turn it up to 11. Where the Avengers might be concerned with the fate of the planet, a typical cosmic hero is concerned with the fate of the universe. If you're into big stories, rife with imagination, alien worlds, and extreme examples of power usage, this corner of the Marvel U is the one for you. Books and heroes include: Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Annihilators.

Test the Waters With: Annihilation Vol 1 (2006; Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and various artists) The start of the newest wave of Marvel Cosmic books, it defines the word epic.

Mutant: The mutant franchise (X-Men) for Marvel has been both its most epic failure and its greatest success. Ostensibly the story of a persecuted minority, it's really just a mini Marvel universe all on it's own. With its rich history, soap opera story lines, and epic back story, the X-Books serve as one of the toughest, but most rewarding corners of the Marvel U. If you're up for the challenge, you should absolutely check it out. Books and heroes include: Wolverine, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, X-Factor, and the Uncanny X-Force.

Test the Waters With: Astonishing X-Men Vol 1: Gifted (2004; Joss Whedon and John Cassaday) Whedon brings his trademark banter with him to the X-Men as he helps define them for the modern era. Things have changed a bit since, but no one has a handle on these characters quite like Whedon.

Fringe: Honestly, this is the section reserved just for more intermediate fans. These books service that niche market and rarely survive over ten issues, but always tend to be fan favorites. They typically rely on smaller stories in the larger Marvel Universe narrative that, if you can get into, are really awesome. I'm not ashamed to say that most of my favorite books come from this corner of the universe. Books and Heroes include: Nextwave, Young Allies, Nomad, Deathlok, ect.

Test the Waters With: Nextwave Vol 1 (2006; Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen) This wacked out, balls to the walls, action comedy is THE essential Fringe book. If you dig it's manic style, you can handle just about anything.


There's just one last thing to remember when jumping into the Marvel Universe: everyone's book is someone's first and Marvel knows it. While it might be intimidating to pick up a random issue of Iron Man or Wolverine, it's really the best way to start. Any questions you have should be answered within the book in your hands, and if it isn't, well, you have the whole internet at your disposal.

Discovering new things about the Marvel Universe is my favorite thing about the comic reading experience, and I'm jealous that you get to start that process now. There's a whole world out there just waiting to entertain you, so get out there and start reading!

In the meantime, I'll be here holding down the fort and answering any questions you might have. Come back next time as I tackle a more specific person (or place, or something).

EDIT TO ADD: I can't tell you how excited I am about the outpouring of positive reactions to this article. Thank you, everyone, who's stopped by and enjoyed my diatribe. I'm already working on another installment, but if you have any ideas for future primers please let me know and I'll do my best to make it happen.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It's Saturday afternoon and, if you're anything like me, you're still nursing that hangover from Saint Patty's Day and that Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family just ain't cutting it. Well, you're in luck because I got just the thing: the 1990 Andrew Dice Clay classic THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE!

Remember last week how I was all bummed that Drop Zone wasn't as insane as Deadfall? It seems that the movie gods were listening when they bestowed me with this Renny Harlin neo-noir opus. With a shaky lead, tons of voice over, and an overall goofiness, Ford Fairlane was the perfect movie to get me out of my Nic Cage funk.

Andrew Dice Clay plays the title character, a Rock and Roll detective, searching for some random girl who had a sexual tryst with Priscilla Presley and Gilbert Gottfried. Yeah, it's kind of... unexpected. Then some bullshit happens involving Wayne Newton (as an evil record exec), Freddy Krueger (as an evil henchman), and that kid from Blind Fury (as a tiny Andrew Dice Clay). Plus, it features of a scene of The Diceman watching TV with a koala.

What it has in pure convoluted storytelling, Ford Fairlane makes up for in pure insanity. It's the perfect followup to Deadfall if you're looking for an appropriate way to come down off that high.

In case that picture didn't totally sell you on it, this week's clip should leave no question in your mind about the merits of this movie. Without further ado, here's my favorite Ed O'Neil scene, featuring his never released hit song: Booty Time. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day...

And make sure your green is visible from all angles.

Kyle Rayner pulls a Hal Jordan in Green Lantern #68, courtesy of Ron Marz and Paul Pelletier.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Bill March 16, 2011


I haven't a week this big in forever. Between old standbys shipping twice a month (I'm looking at'chu T-Bolts and A-Acad) and the start of this new big crossover, I felt like I was 13 again when I was leaving the store. Of course, that feeling might have been due to the plethora of 90s books I also bought, but whatever.

I read a bunch of comics, and I want to tell you what I thought about'em! Let's do it!

Getting Back In The Groove:

Avengers: The Children's Crusade - Young Avengers One-Shot (seriously?)
Writer: Allen Heinberg
Artist: Alan Davis

After months of shaky plot devices, questionable characterization, and a slower than molasses pace, I feel like I finally read an issue of Young Avengers that was written by the same guy who invented the characters. Not that the series has been totally horrible up until this point, it just wasn't as good as it could be. With this issue, I think Heinberg found his swagger again.

This issue would be more aptly titled "Iron Lad", as it's basically all back story on his surprise appearance last issue. Here, Iron Lad is about to kill Kang (AKA his older self, because you know, time travel) when a grown up collection of the Young Avengers stop him and Iron Lad zones out remembering their first adventure together. It's one of those neat examples of sliding new information into an already established continuity (also, it helps jibe the beginning of the first series with the timeline of the Marvel U proper).

Throughout the book I got exactly what I want from my Young Avengers: Some witty banter, a super villain fight, and a solid surprise at the end. It's great stuff that's helped reignite my passion for this series as a whole. Now, if only it would come out more often...

The Obligatory Review:

Book of The Skull
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Scott Eaton

In case you somehow missed it, Marvel's gearing up for another big crossover next month called 'Fear Itself'. As Marvel is wont to do, they've kicked things off with a one shot to help set the stage for the main event. And man, it's done it's job. I'm psyched.

The big thrust of this issue is just to set Sin, the Red Skull's disfigured daughter, down the path of her villainous destiny. She's looking to undo her father's greatest failure and from the rumors of what's to come, she might just succeed.

Well, you know, mores o than her father did. It's not like I think she's REALLY going to defeat the good guys.

There's not much more to say really, except that it's a solid set up issue. In the scheme of things, I liked it more than the Cabal one-shot that started off Siege, but not as much as The Illuminati one-shot that started Civil War. It belongs somewhere in the murky middle area, where I'm not sure I needed to read it to understand the coming crossover or not.

I guess we'll find out in a few weeks though...


Big week or small, two books is my limit. I'm sure you don't want to hear me babble about my books, just as much as I don't want to write reviews for all of them. That said, if I'm mistaken and you DO want to hear me babble on about Hulk 30.1 just drop a comment; I'd be happy to oblige.

Til next time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Batman: Hobo

A playful reimagining of everyone's favorite rodent themed hero, inspired by Comic Alliance, and brought to reality over at Real Soul Surfing. I wholly recommend everyone go hop over there right now to go check out the rest of the concept drawings because, man, they are amazing.

Straight up, if this were a miniseries I'd buy it in four seconds flat, and the collected hardback a year later. Yeah, that's how much I believe in Hobo Batman. Make it happen DC!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ant Man's 90's Makeover in 3 Panels

Scott Lang's ill advised and VERY short lived costume revamp courtesy of Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe (Wait. WHAT?!?) in Fantastic Four Unlimited #8.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Weekend Matinee: DROP ZONE

It's Saturday Afternoon and if you're anything like me, you need something to watch while you nurse that aching back that's keeping you from doing all that cleaning (sorry FutureWife!). Well then, I got just the thing for you: The 1994 Wesley Snipes skydiving classic DROP ZONE!

Package this with Point Break and Terminal Velocity and you got yourself a party. Well, you know, except for the fact that no one would show up for it.

Under the direction of John Badham (not to be confused with Hal Needham), Snipes plays a US Marshall who's tasked with taking a criminal computer hacker to a safe house. But, because this is an action movie, the plane gets overtaken by terrorists (led by Gary Busey, of course) who steal the hacker, blow a hole in the plane, and skydive away while killing Theo Huxtable. Distraught over the loss of this 80s icon, and met with disbelief from his superiors that anyone could jump out of a 747, Snipes opts to work outside of the law to bring the terrorists to justice. You know, typical action movie stuff.

From there the movie becomes almost a superficial copy of Point Break, as Snipes tries to learn the ins and outs of skydiving so he can jump in some competition or something. Honestly, I was only half watching this one so I'm not really sure. All I know is that Snipes wears the most ridiculous looking pants throughout, rides a silly looking motorcycle, and somehow can't land the girl even though she's played by Yancy Butler.

Much like most of Snipes' movies, this one is fun but lacks the total insanity of most of the top tier action stars stuff. He has a few great lines, a couple of great stunts, but in the end it's no Commando or Cobra. But really, what is?

Sorry it's not the ringing endorsement that these normally are, but ever since Deadzone everything just seems a bit less insane. Here, check out this compilation of the best of Drop Zone and make up your own mind.

Friday, March 11, 2011

That Campbell/Loeb Spidey Project is Still Happening? Seriously?

Today at his Talk to the Hat feature over at CBR, Tom Brevroot confirmed that indeed the mythical J. Scott Campbell/Jeph Loeb Spider-Man series is still happening. He even showed some art, inferring that Campbell is still working on the second issue of the series.

What's that? You don't remember hearing about this one? You don't remember the May 2006 announcement that this duo was going to be teaming up and giving the fans a top-notch Spider-Man project? I think J. Scott Campbell forgot too, so don't feel too bad.

Honestly, what does it take to cancel the book and call it a wash? I know Campbell's slow, but DAMN SON that is SSSSLLOOOOWWWWW. At this rate, we should see this book sometime in the winter of 2016... when it's released on a quarterly schedule.

Also, I guess I should give up my dream of ever seeing Wildsiderz getting completed...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Bill March 9, 2011

My pull list seemed like something straight out of the 90s this week. I got one featuring everyone's favorite lethal protector, another with the pinnacle of 90s X-Men excess (or should I say, X-cess... sigh. No. No I shouldn't. Sorry), and finally a heavy dose of a brooding purple bowsman. Thank god I didn't get that Deathlok Weapon X trade, I might have fainted from all the radical-ness.

Regardless, seeing as how I'm conscious on a Wednesday night, let's check out what I thought of a few of these in this week's I-swear-it's-going-to-be-renamed-at-some-point The Bill.

Why Aren't You Better?:

Onslaught Unleashed # 2
Writer: Sean Mckeever
Artist: Filipe Andrade

I really really want to like this book, but there's just something about it that's not clicking. It could be the weird, spindly art of Filipe Andrade, but I much prefer it's fluid action-y flavor to the more standard fare by David Baldeon. It might be the characters, but I honestly love the vast majority of the major players. In all honesty though, it might just be a converange of uninteresting and otherwise convoluted ideas that are crammed within it's pages.

To say I was less than interested in the mcguffin that got all the heroes to this secluded location is putting it mildly at best. The story of Toro, his history as a child assassin and subsequent drug testing, doesn't light any fires for me. And it doesn't really help that his story feels incredibly tacked on to this larger, and mildly more interesting, story of Onslaught. I really enjoy McKeever as a writer most of the time, but this is one story of his I can't wait for him to get out of his system.

Meanwhile, there's this whole Onslaught thing that I'm not sure how to feel about. On the one hand, the nostalgic part of me is happy to see him getting a decent, non-Liefeld push. On the other, I can't help but think that he's totally unnecessary and utterly uninteresting. It's two issues in and the only thing I can glean about his master plan is that it involves ruling the world via the help of young South American boys.

More, I worry that they're going to ruin an already very fragile character in Rikki Barnes. I was fairly skeptical when they announced her first miniseries, but since then I've really become a fan. That said, I like her the best when they just kind of ignore her awfully confusing and overly involved origin. Anytime I have to have to take a deep breath and start with a "well, first of all...", I know in my heart that it's a character that won't be for anyone. I worry that they're making Rikki all murky continuity, and not the great complex character she truly is.

If this were any other book I'd totally drop it, but seeing as how it's A- written by Sean McKeever, B- stars Gravity, and C- is a four issue mini-series, I guess I'll stick around.

Here's hoping things get more interesting next issue.

Better Than It Has Any Right To Be:

Venom # 1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Tony Moore

Back when this book was first announced, I shrugged it off as nothing. Just another attempt to make Venom interesting while reverting to the status quo (for the record, I really liked Mac Gargan as Venom, but whatevs) I told myself. And then I saw the creative team; the very same that was behind my beloved FrankenCastle. This book quickly became an instant buy.

And boy, am I glad I picked it up.

There's something about the Remender/Moore team up that seems to bring out the best in each of them. They're like a real life Power Man and Iron Fist; you know, perfectly complimentary to the other's style and able to push the other's talent to the limit. In case you couldn't tell, I liked Venom a lot.

Changing the character from a villain with a moral compass (or just a criminal out of his element as it was with Gargan) to a black-ops government operative is a fantastically fresh take on this long in the tooth (or tongue! Am I right? ...sorry, I don't know what's gotten into me tonight) somewhat stale character. I'm totally digging the idea of Flash Thompson doing his best Spider-Man impression (which I totally called, by the by) while having control issues with his 'other'.

In addition to this new (and hopefully not short-lived) take on everyone's favorite symbiote, they also do a number on Jack O'Lantern and made him interesting for the first time ever. Between this and the kind of awesome Hobgoblin revamp, these second string, Green Goblin wanna-bes are really coming into their own this year. I'm incredibly intrigued by this new Halloween-themed Jack and can't wait to see him and his broom glider again in the near future. Quality stuff that I really hopes sticks around.

In any case, I'm really stoked about this book. I don't know where it's going, what to expect, or even how long it'll last; all I know is that if they keep up this level of fun and energy, I'll be there for the whole thing.

Unless, you know, it gets REALLY shitty. Like REEEEAAAAALLLLLYYYYY shitty. And I'm sure it won't.

Wow. I sure was in a reviewing mood tonight, huh? Well, I'm gonna call it a night right here, but if you want to hear me rant about Hawkeye Blindspot, or call me out for not buying that new Skullkickers trade, please drop me a comment and I'll try to abide. Till next time...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Epic Showdown: Galactus v. Charlie Sheen

This now concludes Platypus Robot's internet-mandated Charlie Sheen post. Have a good rest of your day.

Also: Tiger Blood.


Lazily stolen from Bleeding Cool.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Matinee: DEADFALL

It's Saturday Afternoon and if you're anything like me, you're desperately looking for something to fill that Nic Cage shaped hole in your heart. You're in luck then, because this week I have what is quite possibly the greatest Nic Cage movie ever: DEADFALL

And by 'greatest', I mean 'most bat-shit insane'

Straight up, this movie is a trip and a half. Directed by Christopher 'I now make wine for a living' Coppola and starring way too many well known actors (Michael Biehn, James Coburn, Charlie Sheen, and the aforementioned Nic Cage), it's that perfect blend of insanity, incoherence, and incompetence that make bad movies fun to watch. Honestly, it feels like a student film that someone got big names and a distribution deal for (I wonder how that happened...).

At it's heart, once you dig past all that flab, Deadfall is a throwback noir set in the early 90s. Kyle Reese is a con man, out looking to start a new life with his uncle after he accidentally shot his father in the chest. Fun filled craziness ensues.

The middle of the movie is where things really shine, when the whole thing becomes a showcase for Nic Cage and his antics. And while I was upset when he died around the hour mark (SPOILERS!), the movie did it's best to fill the void with a wanna-be Bond villain pawn broker, and Charlie Sheen as a tiger blood infused Pool Shark (or maybe a Pool Tiger...)

Finding a clip that accurately encapsulates what this movie is about is tough, especially when you don't want to ruin all the fun stuff. So, after lots of deep thought and hours of searching, I've decided on this: THE GREATEST NIC CAGE FLIP OUT EVER CAUGHT ON FILM!

Check it out on the Netflix streaming RIGHT NOW!