Friday, April 29, 2011

How I Learned To Not Be A Troll and Love Peter David.

"PAD sux."

Honest to God, that was my first post on the internet ever. Yes, I was that ornery 15-year old on your favorite newsgroup, trolling before trolling was trolling. And boy, did I get chewed out for it. Never again have I intentionally misspelled (unless it's for effect), not defended a position, or just flat out ignored punctuation since. I learned that lesson very quickly, but the PAD thing took a while longer.

PAD, Peter A. David for you n00bs, has been a prominent comic writer and fan-favorite for years. He's done highly regarded runs on The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Factor (the 90s version), and X-Factor (the current version), while also tackling few novels in between. The man's a writing machine. But even with all the universal praise, to my 15-year old brain the man straight up sucked.

At the time, I didn't understand his witty banter, excellent puns, or exceedingly clever takes on any given character, all I knew is the man didn't want to play ball when it came to crossovers. Something that, as a young fanboy, I just couldn't comprehend.

From the rumors I hear, the beginning of his immense distaste for crossovers came from the end of his first run on X-Factor. It was during X-Cutioner's Song (my first big X-Crossover, by the by) that he was forced to write an issue that featured no members of the book, and instead focused on Wolverine, Cable, and Bishop.

It wasn't a terrible issue (well, all things considered), but it did kind of derail his own plots for the book. At the time I wasn't really aware it was a problem (Oh, those crazy pre-internet days...) and presently I'm aware how much that would suck, it was that time inbetween that really festered the hate in me. The thing I really couldn't get over: he dissed Onslaught.

Yeah, yeah, Onslaught's a joke now, but to my mid-90s, crazy X-Fan brain Onslaught was the culmination of years of storytelling. It was the definition of an epic - one that would have consequences that would really last, not just for the X-Universe, but the Marvel U at large - and demanded the be reflected in all of Marvel's books. To put it simply, PAD did not share my enthusiasm for the concept of an evil Professor X and his quest to take over the world.

His problem, from what I remember, was The Hulk's involvement in the fracas. For whatever reason, the higher-ups decided that The Hulk should not only be involved, but that he should be one of Onslaught's henchmen AND would ultimately be split into a monster half and a human half (with the human escaping into the... you know what, let's just leave it splitting). Needless to say, this is a huge change in the character and would severely derail any long term story lines that were already in place. So, as those who are slighted tend to do, PAD was quoted somewhere (probably in Wizard) voicing his dismay in how everything went down.

"How dare he not want to play ball with these large, universe-changing events!" I shouted to no one (I didn't have a lot of friends who read comics). "The Marvel Universe is shared, if something happens in one book, it should be reflected in another," I continued, "He needs to check his ego at the door and start doing what's good for the Marvel Universe as a whole!" Of course, without a physical outlet for this impotent adolescent rage, I took to the internet newsgroups and boiled down my grievance into two words: PAD sux.

Oh, how I was wrong.

After putting the habit down for a few years and returning, I discovered how much fun PAD's work can be. Sure, sometimes it can get a little overly cutesy and punny - like in the mostly fantastic Captain Marvel series from 2001 - but for the most part his stuff is insightful, funny, and overall just swell. I may not actively read any of his books anymore - even though his X-Factor is pretty damn amazing, not to mention the phenomenal stuff he's been doing with the Multiple Man - I've realized, in my maturing years, how refreshing his work can be.

And I wanted you all to know that.

It was a mistake that's been haunting me for years and I needed to set the record straight. To that point, I would like to formally revoke my first internet post and declare that PAD does indeed not 'sux'.

Phew. I feel better already.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Iceman and Beast: Yukon Ho!

That was the best Calvin and Hobbes pun title I could come up with. It was either that or "Attack of the Deranged Mutant Goons", and I didn't think that really fit with anything.

Anywho, I found this while perusing Comics Should Be Good over at CBR and thought it was too good to not get reposted. I hopes you digs it as much as I do.

PS. Also go check out more of Caanan Grall's other phenomenal stuff at his webcomic Occassional Comics Disorder. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Bill April 27, 2011

Small weeks mean small preambles. Let's just cut to the chase, shall we?

The Obligatory Review:

The Mighty Thor # 1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Oliver Coipel

Maybe it was the run up to the new movie, the positive buzz on Matt Fraction, or even the fact that Galactus was promised an appearance in this first issue; whatever it was, I was totally intrigued by this issue. "This one will be different," I thought, "Thor, the way he was meant to be."

It was exactly what I thought it would be, and I can't say that I really liked it.

Thor is a tough sell for me. He lives in a world that's completely separate from mine, speaks in a faux-shakespearean dialect, and just generally leads a life that is such the opposite of mine. Except for the slaying troll part though, because that's totally my Tuesday night.

So this issue - in which Thor dives down the shaft of the world tree Yggdrasil (which, I believe, is the sound I make when I gargle) to find it's seed, fights giant light scarabs, and has implied sex with a feisty yet respectable Lady Sif, all while Galactus speeds towards the Earth - had some awesome things in it, but was ultimately dragged down by the fact it was a Thor book.

Come back when you're more like Thor: The Mighty Avenger.

More Please:

Venom # 2
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Tony Moore

This is the book that all Marvel Comics should aspire to: big fun action with a healthy injection of weapon's grade insanity.

Is it clear that I liked this issue? Because I really did. From the opening pages of a crazed Kraven the Hunter riding a dinosaur, to the thoroughly gross and totally Tony Moore character reveal at the end, this one is fast becoming my favorite book of 2011.

Also, I totally expect it to be cancelled with issue 10. Sigh. In the meantime, I suggest any of you who loved anything about FrankenCastle or find yourself strangely drawn to the new Uncanny X-Force book to make it a point to check this one out too. You don't want to miss out on this one, I promise

There you have it. It should also be noted that the FrankenCastle Ultimate Collection came out this week, and you should all buy it. Not just because I'm suddenly in the tank for Rick Remender, but because it's totally awesome. FrankenCastle forever!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Venom is a Slut Part 6

Figure it was only a matter of time before these two sluts got together. It's like a match made in Heaven. A violent, 90s Heaven.

Lionel Francis Yu knows what I'm talking about...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Behold the Mighty GALAQUATUS!

This gorgeous creature of the Seven Space Seas is brought to you by the frikkin' genius that is Steve Anderson

The Bill April 20, 2011

This week was like the polar opposite's of last week's Disappoint-a-palooza. Of all the books I bought, not one was a clunker; but then again, not one was super awesome. Am I hard to please? Maybe, but I mean well. Let's talk comics.

Avengers # 12
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: John Romita Jr.

Twice while reading this issue I was fully prepared to write a super nasty 'I hate Brian Bendis' type review, and then both times he flipped the script on me, leaving me totally surprised. I guess it's my fault for jumping to conclusions.

This issue was the finale of the, at times, tedious and , at other times, kind of awesome story of The Hood hunting down the Infinity Gauntlet. And it just might be the best finale that Bendis has ever written. It's taught, action-packed, and most surprising of all, totally satisfying. I was SHOCKED! By the way, that wasn't one of the moments that he tricked me with, but I guess it would qualify for a third.

Even with a great ending, I'm afraid this'll be my final Avengers issue for a while. I've been looking for an out, and a storyline that I'm not interested in, and I think I finally found it. That is, of course, assuming that the Fear Itself tie-ins are shitty and unnecessary...

Dammit. I'm gonna have to get those too, aren't I?

Rapidly Becoming A Thing:
Hulk # 32
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Gabriel Hardman

If you had told me a year ago that I would be not only buying the Red Hulk solo title, but enjoying it enough to recommend it, I would have questioned your sanity before mocking you and walking away. Oh, what a fool I was. I don't know what it is about Jeff Parker's take on this Crimson Giant, but whatever it is I want him to keep doing it.

There's something about this book that reminds me of one of those failed 90s comics I love so much. It's a funky premise (come on, it's an old man as a Hulk), set in a weird little pocket of the Marvel Universe, with a character that's a straight up rip off of an existing one. It's Thunderstrike all over again, but with a quality writer. ZINGG!!!

It's seriously all kinds of great though and - I can't believe I'm saying this - you should totally check it out. It's got big fun, lots of intrigue, and plenty of action, everything you need to make a quality comic book.

Somehow being satisfied with all my books makes me less satisfied to write reviews. Funny how that works. Anyway, see you next time!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Batman Vs. Galactus


Discovered while trawling the interwebs for something else entirely and couldn't resist making space for it here. I don't know who drew it, but I found it at Geek Tyrant.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Matinee: THE ROCKETEER

It's Saturday Afternoon and if you're anything like me, you're feeling super patriotic today. At least in the sense that you could enjoy some old fashioned Nazi bashing. If so, then do I got the movie for you: THE ROCKETEER!

I find myself talking about this early 90s almost-gem a lot in these recent months. The refrain is always the same: I'm excited about Captain America because Joe Johnston did The Rocketeer. It's a fabulous, high flying, action adventure with only one fatal flaw: the male lead, Billy Campbell.

With it's crazy talented cast, The Rocketeer becomes a textbook example of the importance of a strong leading man. It's not that Campbell doesn't look like a leading man it's just, much like Orlando Bloom, he lacks the charisma to carry a movie by himself. It's such a hard thing to pin down, really, all I know is that poor Billy Campbell doesn't seem to have it.

Assuming you don't mind the lack of a strong lead, or can just roll with it, the rest of it is just plain fun. I mean, come on, it's got a guy in a jet pack fighting mobsters and undercover nazis! And the last scene takes place on a blimp! There's so much cool shit in this movie, I almost guaruntee you'll be cursing out the tepid performance of ol' Billy just as much as I am when the credits start to roll.

It's also, as I mentioned before, a nice taste of what I hope Joe Johnston's Captain America will be: Sweeping action, unquestionable grandeur, with scenes that are destined to become classic in a Spielberg-lite kind of way. And this time with the strong lead that The Rocketeer so desperately needed.

This week's clip gives you a little sample of all of that, and will totally whet your appetite for more. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Speedball and Namorita Were A Thing

That's right, I'm calling it. Speedball and Namorita were totally banging at some point behind the scenes.

After thisstrange, and super creepy, innuendo and this inappropriate banter, I thought there was something, but I still wasn't convinced. Then, having just recently read the Reality Show adventures of the New Warriors (Volume three for those keeping track) I found this:

It's too bad Speedball is responsible for her death, otherwise we might have some hope for a full on relationship in front of the audience for a chance. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait until her time-plucked clone gets back from space.

I wonder if Nova knew...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bill April 13, 2011

I have to warn you all, this week I'm going to sound like a big, whiny comic fan. I realize in my head that I shouldn't buy those books that don't interest me any more, but my heart just keeps going back for more. That and at this point, all the books are almost over anyway and like hell am I going to have a hole in my collection like that. Right? So, what am I bitching about this week? Let's go find out.

I Really Ought To Know Better:

Secret Warriors #26
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Alessandro Vitti

If you've been reading my reviews for any amount of time, you know by now that I have some serious issues with this book. It's murky, there are too many characters, there's very little development, and on and on. But even with all the shitty things about this book, it's still fairly intriguing and being this close to the end, I just can't stop now.

This issue picks up immediately after last month's flashback-a-palooza with Nick Fury and Baron Von Strucker tied up in a room with their impending death on it's way. In a thematic sense, I really like this idea, unfortunately it didn't do anything for me because I didn't feel emotion for either character. At this point, I don't care if Nick or the Baron die, I'll just be happy when it's over.

Now, lest you think I'm wasting your time yabbering on about a book y'all know I don't like, there was a reason why I wanted to write about it tonight. Of course, to do so requires some spoilers. So, those of you (both of you) who enjoy this book and haven't read this issue, please skip down to the next section.

As for the rest of you... So the big hook of this series was the issue one reveal of SHIELD being a subsidiary of Hydra, complete with crazy diagrams and whatnot to sell the idea. Further, throughout the whole series we've been watching Fury as he wages his last big war against those green-suited goons. Then, in this issue, it's revealed that Hydra has actually been working for Nick Fury and it was just fucking stupid. I can almost see the nugget of an idea there, but it's blocked by what appears to be a huge reversal of what the series was supposed to be about. It just felt... cheap instead of the epic 'Oh shit, I never saw that coming but it totally makes sense' reveal it should have been.

Secret Warriors, I am disappoint. And yes, I'll be back next issue.

Frustratingly Lacking:

Hawkeye Blindspot # 3
Writer: Jim McCann
Artist: Paco Diaz

Not for nothing, Jim McCann has been putting together quite the run on Marvel's most famous purple archer. It's just too bad it's not as gripping as it should be.

Nominally the story of Hawkeye facing his past so he can move forward with his life, I kept feeling that the story was lacking something. Maybe it was the 40 year old continuity maneuvering, or just the strange Baron Zemo (lots of Barons this week) characterization, but I had a hard time finding the motivation to care about the proceedings. Then again, maybe it was just a rough week on my part. I'm less forgiving with continuity wrangling after reading Secret Warriors; must be a side effect from all the intrigue.

It'll be interesting to see where things go after next month's finale, but I'll tell you right now if the followup is anything like this (or Widowmaker, for that matter), this will probably be my last Hawkeye mini for a good long while.

Until I can find them in the dollar bin, of course.

Bitching complete. I promise be more positive next week. See you then!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hey Rogue, What's Your Favorite Kind Of Nut?

Huh. I woulda figured pecans...

An off model Rogue answers your burning questions in Dazzler #24 by Danny Fingeroth and Frank Springer.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


It's Saturday afternoon and if you're anything like me you've just realized that I've been doing Weekend Matinee's for a year now. Crazy, right? So I decided, that since today is a special day, it deserves a special movie. Get ready for one of the greatest movies of all time, and my personal favorite, TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE!

What? You didn't think I would showcase that Michael Bay shit, did you?

I can't tell you how much I love this movie. While I have an undying love to things like Star Wars, Transformers here was one of those defining movies of my childhood. The music, the characters, the iconic moments, all stuck with me from when I first saw it in the theater and will stay with me until I'm old and gray arguing with my kids about the untapped potential of Hot Rod.

Luckily for you, if you haven't seen it, it's pretty readily available on DVD (or BluRay, if you're one of those) which is a nice change from how it was prior to this latest geek explosion. There was a time, not so long ago, that it was impossible to find. From 1988 through 2001, the movie was no where to be found and seemed like it would be lost to the sands of time forever.

Then, in the summer of 2001, during my then yearly excursions to SDCC, I found a brand new copy of it, shrinkwrapped and from Canada, for thirty bucks. Without hesitation, I threw down my cash and made the greatest purchase of my life (up until that point). Sure, I found it for cheaper later in the con, but I didn't care because now I had my grail.

That summer, my roommate and I watched that movie on a daily basis. We'd throw it on just to watch Optimus Prime's and Megatron's final battle only to get sucked into Hot Rod's journey to greatness. We fell in love with the rocking Stan Bush soundtrack all over again, prompting a new quest to own it on CD (quest accomplished). It somehow was everything we remembered it to be and more; it was the greatest movie ever.

In case you're still not a believer, check that aforementioned battle and try not to get goosebumps. It's the kind of awesome that Michael Bay wishes he could accomplish.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a classic to go watch.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Villany of MOSKULL!

The greatest villain that you'll never see again via J.M. Dematteis and Mike Zeck (with some pushing from Assistant Editor Mike Carlin) in Captain America #289

The Bill April 6, 2011

Why do my big weeks inevitably correspond with my busiest Wednesdays? It don't make no sense! Regardless, I still endeavor to give you the comic reviews you desire (probably) in the timeliest manner possible. And you better damn like it!

Enough angry talk. Let's get this show on the road.

The Obligatory Review:

Fear Itself # 1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Stuart Immonen

I wasn't excited about this book at all. I dug the creators and I'm always up for a good Marvel crossover, but for whatever reason I wasn't 'in' to the whole idea for some inexplicable reason. So you can imagine how blown away I was when this issue was utterly fantastic.

It wasn't necessarily a Bendis-level great first issue (Credit where it's due, the man does amazing first issues), but it was pretty solid in it's own right. Both Fraction and Immonen bring it here, and it shows. The inherent epicness, and the larger shared Marvel universe feel is felt throughout, and helps make this a must read crossover.

Honestly, I haven't felt this way about a crossover since Civil War. Finally it's something that resonates with me, that feels like something that could actually be happening right outside my window. You know, all the stuff that makes Marvel great.

I'm actively chomping at the bit for more, here's hoping it delivers.

Just For Me:

From the Vault: Thunderbolts
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Derec Aucoin

I don't know if you know this, but I own a complete run of the 90s Nomad series. True story, I bought it off ebay for a cool two fifty (that's cents, not dollars) and loved the vast majority of it. So, of course, I had to buy this issue if, for nothing else, then to help complete my run of Jack Monroe issues. The question is: Was it worth it?

Well, honestly, as a Jack Monroe story it's kinda tame. It's an okay story that is more about who the Thunderbolts of the 90s were than it was about who or what Jack Monroe is all about. Like most Nomad stories, it involves a lot of him traveling and reveling in interior monologue, so there is that.

In the end though, I don't know if it was all worth it. As great as it is to see Jack back in print, I was instantly reminded why he's now dead. He works much better in flashback and in the occasional nostalgia fest, other wise he should be left to the books he was in and no more. No sense contaminating anything else with his crazy.

And with that, I'm officially running on fumes. I had so much great stuff this week, feel free to ask what I thought about books at random and I'll try to give you a fulfilling answer. Until then, it looks like it's all sheets and pillows for me.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Galactus' Mightiest Herald

When it comes to the heralds of Galactus, only one stands out as the absolute greatest. Sure, Norrin Radd has done a bang up job, but he tends to whine... A LOT. Terrax, Morg, Air Walker, Johnny Storm, Nova (the girl with flaming hair, not the dude with a bucket on his head), Fire Walker, Deadpool, I'm sure had their bright spots, but in the end they were all found lacking. Only one stands atop the mighty legacy of cosmic personal assistants as the greatest: Aunt May, The Golden Oldie.

I know, I know. You think I'm totally pulling your leg. What if I told you I wasn't? And more, what if I told you that Aunt May actually solves the whole Galactus problem for the entire universe (assuming, of course, you don't subscribe to the 'Celestial fetus eater' theory of my favorite cosmic force as pushed forth by Earth X)? Intrigued? Good.

Let's start by checking on the then current herald, Nova, and her reason for abandoning her post.

That's right: Dead. If only poor Galan could find someone who was as loyal as they were strong and smart enough to get out of the way of an explosion. Good help, am I right?

As The Mighty One deals with his galactic grief, the action shifts to more familiar turf: The circus. Here Peter Parker tries to deal with the awkwardness of hanging out with his ex, Mary Jane, while his Aunt May tries to remain oblivious and begins talking to anyone else in her general vicinity.

As it turns out, this random child is Franklin Richards and wouldn't you know it, his entire family is in tow for some hot clown action. Unfortunately for them (especially The Thing, who was WAY too excited to see clowns in their underpants), they receive a distress call urging them to break Franklin's heart and save the world.

However, after some urging from the newly arrived Spider-Man, Marvel's first family decides to leave their first, and only, son with some strange old lady they met at the circus.

It's not like anything bad could happen. Right?

Uh... Moving on.

Wouldn't you know it, just as soon as everyone gets settled for some sweet acrobatic action who shows up but Galactus going on and on about needing a new herald. Poor Franklin, that kid just can't catch a break at this damn circus.

Of course, the Big G wants to make the kid that just wanted to see some lion tamers into his newest herald. But, Galactus didn't count on the nimbleness of the creepy octogenarian woman leaping in front of his herald-creating beam, resulting in the greatest mistake since those clumsy scientists spilled chocolate all over the other's peanut butter.

initially, Galacus ain't so pleased, but really who would? But Galactus' hunger outweighs his displeasure, at this point he doesn't care who his herald is as long as they get him something to eat. While Aunt May ignores the request to process this huge life change, Franklin whips out some twinkies - sorry, TWINKLES - and chucks'em at the man with a planet-sized hunger. The result?

The mission is clear: Get Galactus Twinkles. So while Franklin raids the pantry, Aunt May tackles the rest of the world, over turning every last stone to get her hands on that delicious yellow pastry. Alas, it's not enough for the big man, and he sends May into the great unknown to find sustenance.

And then she finds it:

A Giant Space Twinkie Twinkle.

As it turns out, there has been a master of the cosmic confectionaries out there waiting for someone with the right appetite for his concoctions. Faster than you can say "well, duh", Galactus arrives ready to pig out. After seeing this vast deliciousness, along with the capable and eager-to-please chef, Galactus realizes that he has no use for a herald any more. Thanks to Aunt May, he's found what he's always wanted: a personal chef.

A kind parting word to Aunt May later, The Purple Pointed One does what we all wish we could do and becomes one with that beautiful spongy cake.

And that, my friends, is why Aunt May is the GREATEST herald Galactus ever had.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekend Matinee: NIGHT OF THE CREEPS

It's Saturday Afternoon and if you're anything like me you're looking for something to wash that horrible April Fools Day taste out of your mouth. Lucky for us, I have just the thing: Fred Decker's 1986 classic NIGHT OF THE CREEPS!

From the opening sequence of tiny aliens rushing through their giant industrial ship, to the final fiery showdown, this movie has a little bit of something for everyone. The basic plot follows your typical college freshmen as he and his buddy accidentally unleash an epidemic of space slugs that turn the population into murderous zombies. You know, standard 80s insanity.

"This sounds familiar..." I hear you saying (By the way, you really shouldn't talk to your computer like that, it makes you seem like a crazy person), and you're right. This movie was the inspiration to 2006's Slither, which also followed the plight of world dominating space slugs. Rest assured, the similarities end there. My suggestion would be to see these two movies as a double feature and forgo any other responsibilities that you might have this weekend.

If you're still not sold, then strap in for this weeks clip because it's got a little bit of everything: Zombies, slugs, flamethrowers, Rusty Grissom, a badass Tom Atkins and a slew of cute girls. Really, I don't know if you need anything else.


Friday, April 1, 2011

I Hate April Fools Day...

And here's why:

I found this on Reddit today and my gut tells me this can't be real. But, in a week that had The Black Panther decked out in Team America gear I don't know what to think.

Is the big surprise in Marvel's Fear Itself #3 (something that's been hinted at by Matt Fraction to no end) a world changing thingamajig similar to what will probably happen in DC's Flashpoint? I'm half thinking that might be the case, because the alternative (assuming it's real and not a fan drawing) is just... They wouldn't, right? I mean, I know he's has been hanging with those flithy mutants for a while now, but that wouldn't make him strap on an X. Would it?

Ugh. Stupid April Fools. Anyone have any thoughts?

Am I the only one hoping it's the return of Spidercide?