Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Looks Good?

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for new comics!  Also be sure to head over to Being Carter Hall and check out the latest blog crossover: Read This, Too!

Star Spangled War Stories -- The last of DC's one shot War books, featuring La Resistance!  No, seriously.

Wetworks: Mutations #1 -- A new Wetworks book?  Right after Wildstorm gets shut down?  What timing!

Namor, The First Mutant #2 -- I dug the first issue enough to give this series a shot... especially as Avengers doesn't have long for my pull list.

Futurama Comics #51 -- What drama and action await in the far flung world of the 31st century?!

The Phantom: Generations Special #1 -- Doth my eyes deceive me?  Is this finally coming out?!  More Moonstone Phantom prose?!  ALRIGHT!  (Here's hoping it's actually here!)

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interlude: Decap Attack!

We're going to get random here today.  And I mean RANDOM, because I am going to talk about one of my favorite video games of all time, the Sega Genesis classic Decap Attack.

I know what you folks are saying: Huh?

Yeah, I know.  There's a lot more well-known games for the Genesis, which for my money is the best (along with my favorite) video game system of all time.  But Decap Attack always stuck with me as being just the right mix of fun platforming, bizarre visuals, a "weird" story, and goofy humor.  When I think of the 16-bit era, this is one of the games I think of.  

Some background.  The game which became Decap Attack started out as a Japanese title based on the anime Magical Hat.  (That game, I should point out, was based on the engine of the well-regarded-but-tough-as-heck Sega Master System game Psycho Fox, which itself was adapted to the NES as Kid Kool.  You still with me?)  Sega of America did not have the license to bring this game over to the States (and the anime itself was unheard of in the West), so they took the underlying engine and transformed it into Decap Attack, adding a horror-comedy element and a pile of incredibly bad puns.

Our hero is Chuck D. Head, a mummy created by Mad Scientist Frank N. Stein.  Chuck has a head in the middle of his stomach, along with a skulllike one which sits on his shoulders.  His mission: to defeat the evil Max D. Cap and restore his home of Eyeland to original configuration, since Max has split each section up (including such locales as Abdomainland and my favorite El Beau Island).  Chuck can either toss his boomerang skull at his foes, or "punch" (headbutt?) them using the head in his stomach.  

If this sounds goofy and silly, don't worry, it is.  But it's a heck of a lot of fun too.  The action is fairly straightforward platforming, but the levels have great variety and mix things up nicely.  There's a wide range of enemies, and the bosses are well designed.  Visually, the game is very bright and detailed, which you expect from a 16-bit game.  And the soundtrack is a standout, especially considering it came from Sega of America and not Japan (who produced some of the most beloved soundtracks of the time).  

I recently got my Genesis and the library of games back from storage at my parents house, and now it is hooked up right next to my Playstation 2, Dreamcast, PS1, and Saturn.  (I do have my Master System, but I use the Genesis Power Base Converter instead.)  And right there on the top of the pile of Genesis games, along with Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, and Sonic The Hedgehog is Decap Attack.  It's like being 11 all over again.


Don't lose you head!  Check out these links!

Decap Attack print ad from Fors Yard -- Seeing this image is what inspired this post.  This site is a great read for anyone who owned (or owns, as is my case) a Genesis, as it is a mostly chronological history of the system and its library.

Play Decap Attack at Retro Uprising -- Sites like this are the greatest timewasters in the history of man, but if you want to give the game a whirl this is a good choice.

Decap Attack Speed Run from Archive.org -- If you don't want to play the game, this tool-assisted speed run will let you get a feel for the goofiness.

A review of the game at I-Mockery.

And finally, a custom Chuck D. Head action figure!

Monday, September 27, 2010

What I Read This Week... Yeah, About That...

Uh, yeah... due to going out of town last week, I did not get a chance to go to the comic shop, and thus do not have last week's books to read, lead alone review!  So this week will be a Double Shot.  Sorry for the inconvenience, folks!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Frank gets us started with some Zatanna cosplay, but not the kind you are thinking of!

BONUS GAME!  The Worst Characters of Bloodlines, a series I never read!  (I do remember the guy at my shop making fun of Jamm, however.)

Kelson (and his wife) show us some REAL Flash cupcakes.

Shag has some reading suggestions for Doctor Fate comics.  (Of course, loyal readers know who the best version of Fate truly is!)

And finally, Mick Foley getting into comics?!

Have a good one folks!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Looks Good?

Heading out of town this weekend, maybe I'll go get some reading material before I hit the road.

Flash #5 -- IN CASE FLASH RETURNS, BREAK GLASS.

GI Combat -- The Haunted Tank!  Oooh-whoa-oh-whoa!  The Haunted Tank!  Oooh-whoa-oh-whoa!  (What If... The Misfits Sang A Song Called "Haunted Tank")

Avengers #5 -- The Assemblers are in the future to stop their kids from the Maestro, or something.  Just waiting for my subscription to run out on this title at this point.

Darkwing Duck #4 -- And I could enjoy the heck out of this if my shop could get me copies of #2 and #3!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And Now... Mars Attacks

#1: The Invasion Begins

The Martian leaders voted and decided that Mars would have to attack the Earth. Life on the 4th planet would not be able to continue much longer. Martian scientists had reported to their government that atomic pressures had been building up beneath the surface of Mars for many years. A mammoth atomic explosion was weeks away, perhaps only days. The explosion would destroy all life on Mars, turning the planet into a barren wasteland. To protect the survival of their civilization, the Martian officials plotted the conquest of Earth. The fearless Martian warriors were prepared for their journey through space, confident that their weapons would soon conquer Earth.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What I Read This Week

Brightest Day #10 -- We're getting near to the half-way point of this series (if you can believe it!), and so some of the mysteries involving Aqualad and Firestorm begin to have light shed on them.  I am not as versed on the Firestorm history as some are, but I like the direction things are headed with all of those folks.  The Aquaman stuff is fantastic, though, and the face off between Aquaman and Black Manta in this issue has the nerd-centers of my brain firing!  

Our Fighting Forces -- It wouldn't be The Losers if the brass gave them a fight they could win.  Capt. Storm, Johnny Cloud, Gunner, and Sarge take center stage here in a comic which, moreso than the other two issues of this event we have gotten so far, seems plucked straight from the original run.  Everything rings true, from the dialogue to the action to the resolution.  This is a Losers comic, unabashedly so, and one heck of a fun ride.  DC, I don't know if there is a market for this kind of title, but I'd buy it at least!

Tiny Titans #32 -- Enter Kalibak, the son of Lunchlady Darkseid!  It's goofy charm galore as Kalibak makes new friends, and Lil' Barda introduces everyone to the wonders of helmets.  Silly fun as usual.

The Phantom Double Shot: KGB Noir #6 -- This is it.  The last issue of Phantom comics put out by the good folks over at Moonstone.  And it's sad to see an era end, but it goes out with a bang.  It's a wall-to-wall fight for the Ghost Who Walks as he has to shut down this KGB ring once and for all, while The Spider brings his brand of justice to the streets in an illustrated prose story.  This has been an excellent mini (save for the nonsensical Buckaroo Banzai backup), and a good way to go out.  

Re-Read Pile: Brightest Day, Our Fighting Forces, Phantom Double Shot.

The Pick Of The Pile is Our Fighting Forces, which captured everything The Losers were about without sacrificing anything onto the altar of modernism.  All four of these books were good reads.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

It's official: Derf's Domain gives you Glo-Balls!  I know he has some major babeage on his site, but seriously...

Frank shows us some awesome Martian Manhunter cosplay at DragonCon.

BONUS GAME! The History of Saturn.

DOUBLE BONUS GAME!!  Frank also brings some Hot Amazonian Cosplay!

rob! gets into the cosplay act as well!

And Shag, the guy who took all these dang pictures, has his own say.  (Sorry about not using any of the pics yet Shag... trying to get time to go through them still!  Yes I am lame.)

Michael presents his haul from the aforementioned DragonCon.

Sports Interlude: "Another Kind Of Call-up" from the D-League Digest.

And finally, check out some sweet upcoming covers, including some variants, for Dark Horse's Kull: The Hate Witch.

Fair Trade: The Shield: America's 1st Patriotic Comic Book Hero

The Big Annual Sale at Borderlands here in Greenville, SC almost always features a table with deeply discounted trade paperbacks, which almost always yields something.  In years past, I have gotten David Lapham's Murder Me Dead and Silverfish, Chuck Dixon's Claw The Unconquered, Mark Rickett's Noweheresville, and this volume: a collection of the earliest stories to star The Shield.

Our hero, the first patriotic superhero type, is "G-Man Extraordinary" Joe Higgins, who developed a supersuit thanks to a secret formula his father developed.  A full-blooded American. Higgins went to work for the FBI as both an agent and a crimefighter.  And he stays busy -- battling foreign saboteurs, spy rings, and multinational terrorists using his strength and wits.

This is not a thick volume, only 96 pages, but it does feature 6 issues worth of Golden Age material in color, so it's pretty well-packed at least.  The stories are pretty standard Golden Age fare; at least, given my limited amount of Golden Age exposure.  Higgins doesn't kill his enemies most of the time, instead capturing them and telling some onlooker to phone the FBI.  (It was the 40s, I guess you could still do that.)  The stories themselves are creative, with The Shield using his powers in some bizarre ways, such as when he lights himself on fire and jumps at his foes.  I can definitely see how this title was a popular as it was in the months leading up to the war.  The character is a solid concept and the idea of a flag-emblazoned hero was still new.  Amazingly enough, Pep Comics #3 predicts an attack on Pearl Harbor, not by the Japanese but rather by the evil Count Zongarr, some 18 months before it actually happened.

There's some interesting cameos in here as well.  The Wizard, Shield's fellow Archie/MLJ star, pops up a few times, including letting our hero borrow a small jet.  The foreword indicates that over the span of a month in 1940, both The Shield and The Wizard did battle with the evil Mosconians (rough Soviet analogues, actually), in something of an early crossover of sorts!  We also get a small appearance by The Midshipman, a Navy character who shared the pages of Pep with The Shield, which was novel.  

Overall, this was a good read for someone who only got into The Shield from his recent revival over at DC.  I would have paid full price for this volume, but getting it on the cheap made it all the better.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What Looks Good?

Can you believe we are halfway through September already?  The hits just keep on coming!

Brightest Day #10 -- Everything is starting to come off the rails for our resurrected heroes and villains and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Our Fighting Forces -- It's the Losers!  The real ones this time!

Tiny Titans #32 -- Wow, I just realized this book has been going on for 32 straight issues!

The Phantom Double Shot: KGB Noir #6 -- The last, final, concluding issue of Moonstone's run on the Ghost-Who-Walks.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

What I Read This Week

Doom Patrol #14 -- The Chief is mad as hell, and he is not going to take it anymore!  Since this series started, I have suspected that the Chief thought the Patrol was totally expendable, and that he was only using them until something better came along, and this pretty much proves that point.  Intriguing new storyline from Giffen and Clark.

The Mighty Crusaders #3 -- Gone missin'.  Dang it.

Weird War Tales #1 -- Make War No More!  So proclaims this week's War one-shot.  Three weird tales -- one comedy, two serious pieces -- make for a good installment of WWT, worthy of the sort of stuff you used to find in the title (although I must admit, the comedy one could have been cut by two pages and a page each added to the other features).  Just as well done as last week's and more fun to boot, owing to the weirdness.

ShadowHawk #4 -- Does the world still need ShadowHawk's form of justice?  With Atrocity in custody, have the killings finally stopped?  And what motivated them in the first place?  All these questions and more are answered, with a last page which changes the complexion of this series in a very subtle but meaningful way, especially for older fans of the title.  I very much am enjoying this series.

glamourpuss #15 -- gp presents: The ULTIMATE Prenup!  The front half of the issue is dedicated to excerpts from glamourpuss's questionnaire for supermodels trying to land a billionaire, while the second half deals Dave Sim's investigation of whether Stan Drake was drawing The Heart of Juliet Jones after the death of Alex Raymond.  Can't ask for more juxtaposition than that.  Something which started last issue and is even more pronounced this issue is that Sim has started doing more and more non-photoreferenced work.  He illustrates the narrative of Raymond, Drake, and Bunny freely, but they inks them in Raymond's style.  It's subtle but it's also quite beautifully drawn, evocative of the strips he is discussing but with his own touch.

Re-read Pile: Doom Patrol, Weird War Tales, ShadowHawk.

The Pick Of The Pile is Weird War Tales.  Man, I so wish this was an ongoing!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Geez, rob!, the least you could do is find us some better bootlegs!

Does the Martian Manhunter need a makeover?  (Thanks, Frank.)

BONUS GAME!  The Top 20 Cassie Sandsmark covers.

Kelson shows us Homer Simpson as The Flash... didn't Comic Book Guy already do that?

Shag brings some DragonCon 2010 photos!
 
And finally, CSI: Tatooine.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hear El Jacone On The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales of Terror Podcast!

Hey there boils and ghouls!  Want to hear your Host With The Least pontificate about one of the most underrated horror films of the 1980s, John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness?  Then head over to the Two True Freaks podcast and check out The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror!  I sit down with Chris Honeywell of TTF and Chris Tyler AKA The Hair Metal HERO to discuss the only film I can think of which features Donald Pleasance, Victor Wong, and Alice Cooper.

So sit down, put your feet up, and pop open a cold, refreshing Satan In A Can and enjoy!

What Looks Good?

Comics are delayed a day this week, which normally isn't a problem except that I have a lunch meeting today.  Dang it all!

Mighty Samson Archives v.1 HC -- Ooooooooh...

Doom Patrol #14 -- We who are about to die... salute you!

The Mighty Crusaders #3 -- The two factions of Durlans are making their moves, with the Crusaders right in the middle.

Weird War Tales #1 -- Oh yeah!  It's back!  My very own personal weekly dose of weird!

ShadowHawk #4 -- Check out the preview!

Invincible Iron Man #30 -- Will Tony Stark be able to launch his electric car?  Or will the Hammer Girls stop him dead?

Pride and Predjudice TPB -- Thinking about getting this collection for my wife.  

glamourpuss #15 -- Girl, you're just too funky for me.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ShadowHawk #4 Preview

From Newsarama, we have a preview of ShadowHawk #4, featuring the next chapter of "Resurrection."  Last issue, our hero was able to catch the mysterious bomber Atrocity, but what is this madman's motivation?  And how does he seem to survive his own suicidal attacks?

ShadowHawk #4 is available tomorrow at YOUR local comic shop.

Unbridled Capitalism: Phonebook Mania!

Recently, thanks to a post Doug made over on the Doom Patrol blog, I was perusing the Electronic Bay to see if I could find a good price on the first volume of the Showcase Presents: The Doom Patrol.  Well, the happy capitalist in me is proud to say that not only did I find it, but I found some buddies to go with it, thanks to the wonder of "See Seller's Other Items!"

Showcase Presents: The Doom Patrol v.1 -- The original target of my search yielding a few results, but the one I went with was ridiculously low cost... and I don't really know why.  That's how these things work on the Bay.  Total cost before shipping: $2.80.

Essential Silver Surfer v.1 -- A first printing, meaning it's the original black colored Essential cover.  This is a volume I have long lusted after if only for the fact that it reprints the entire first series of the Sentinel of the Spaceways.  Also, Kirby's art looks faaaantastic in black and white.  Contained herein is also one of the greatest Marvel covers of all time, Siver Surfer #4.  Total cost before shipping: $4.13.

Essential Super Villain Team-Up v.1 -- This one is an odd one.  I generally like team-up books (hey, Rick!), but I have never read any of SVTU.  This particular volume is not readily available in my neck of the woods, so between that and my enjoyment of Namor's recent #1 (oddly enough, Namor is currently the featured boy for September on my Marvel calendar), I threw a bid in there.  The idea of Namor as one of the "greatest super villains in the world!" is very novel, since in most of my lifetime he has been very squarely in the "hero box."  But the notion of him and Doom together is irresistible to me.  Total cost before shipping: $5.50.

The phonebooks are piling up, folks.  Besides these three, I also have Showcase: Warlord, Showcase: Secrets of Sinister House, Showcase: Superman v.1, Essential Power Man & Iron Fist, and both volumes of Messner-Loebs' Journey.  I'll be retired before I get caught up at this point!

(Remember folks, new comics are out tomorrow in the US thanks to the Labor Day holiday on Monday.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What I Read This Week

Wow, this is a lot of books!  This is going to be a little on the brief side.

Brightest Day #9 -- More mysteries and questions abound -- although it is nice to see Green Arrow totally outclassed.  And apparently Black Manta has a name now!  I may have been wrong on the other Martian being a new version of Roh'kar...

Our Army At War -- Harsh story detailing two American soldiers in oddly symmetrical battles: one in France in WW2, the other in Iraq in the modern day.  The twist at the end punched me in the stomach and left me very strongly effected.  Very good one-shot which is demonstrative of how the War genre works.  It will be hard for me to read this one again, though.

Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #2 -- Didn't get read in time for this review.  Sorry!

Iron Man 2: Agents of SHIELD -- Three short stories, each detailing one of Nick Fury's charges (witting or otherwise): Shellhead, Agent Coulson, and Black Widow.  I enjoyed this much as I enjoyed the Public Identity miniseries, and I always like more Iron Man, but you can pass on this one without much trouble.  Good but certainly not required reading.

Iron Man: Legacy #6 -- After Obadiah Stane has bought up Stark Industries, Tony Stark is on the streets of LA, and now has a bigger problem on his hands.  Another story where you can definitely tell when it takes place.  A good start to the new arc, with little hints of not only where this story is going but where I think Van Lente might be setting up something big for down the road.

Charmed #2 -- The first Innocent the Charmed Ones ever saved dies of old age... despite being younger than they are.  Strange things are afoot in San Francisco, that's for sure.  Not thrilled with the pacing but the story is interesting and the art is appropriately cheesecake, although Paige doesn't look much like Rose McGowan, which is a let down for me personally.

The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks #12 -- Moonstone's ongoing series come to a close with the Phantom's final confrontation with the warlord Him.  Goes out on a strong, high note, with plenty of two-fisted action to go around.  The interview with writer Mike Bullock in the back is good reading too.

The Phantom: Unmasked #2 -- In The Deep Woods, the Phantom's secrets are about to be revealed.  The kind of story which, if the main book was monthly, would have been a fill-in arc.  But a lot of fun nonetheless.  A lot of action in this installment, a nice juxtaposition to the first issue which was a lot of investigation.

Phantom Double Shot: KGB Noir #5 -- In the front, The Phantom must escape the island where the Russians have set up their bomb if he has any hope of stopping them from detonating it.  In the backup, Domini Lady uses all of her weapons to save the father of a Russian stuntman.  The Phantom story has a huge action quotient, including a great brawl with the hulking Russian mechanic ala Raiders Of The Lost Ark.  The backup is the first Domino Lady story I have read, and it's very surprisingly forward with the sexuality.  It's not inappropriate, but it certainly is risque.  Can't wait for the finale!

Re-Read Pile: Brighest Day, Iron Man Legacy, Charmed, The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks, The Phantom: Unmasked, The Phantom Double Shot: KGB Noir, Our Army At War (possible).

The Pick Of The Pile is a tough call, but I am going to go with The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks, which was a fitting send-off to this era of the character.  A close second is Our Army At War, which was tremendously well done.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Labor Day Hiatus

Well folks, I am heading out of town with my wife and son to visit family for the Labor Day holiday.  So I will be offline until most likely Tuesday, when posting should resume.

Everyone have a happy and safe Labor Day!

Everybody's Linking For The (Long) Weekend

Frank gives us a rare find -- a Manhunter From Mars Annual.

Bonus Game!  More Zatanna Goodness!

rob! shows everyone how to get an Aquaman tattoo without all the painful needling.

Firestorm: Ladies Man.  (Thanks to Shag.)

Kelson has a pretty swank Flash variant cover.

And finally, The Sandman on... The CW?

Have a good holiday folks!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Looks Good?

It's September already?  Seriously?  Are you serious?  You cannot be serious!  That was on the line!

Brightest Day #9 -- Martian Manhunter versus Green Arrow!  Oh man, Adama is going to be freaking out.

Our Army At War -- DC drops one War book a week in the month of September, starting with Rock and Easy Company here in their old title.

Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #2 -- The El family is growing, but what will the genius young man Lex Luthor do under the tutelage of Jor-El?!

Iron Man 2: Agents of SHIELD -- More movie tie-in madness for Shellhead, Widow, and Agent Colson!

Iron Man: Legacy #6 -- Today we look back to hallowed antiquity -- AKA The Cold War!

Charmed #2 -- Forget the return of demonic forces to the mortal realm -- can the Charmed Ones survive their "normal" home lives?!

The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks #12 -- Moonstone wraps up their ongoing Phantom series...

The Phantom: Unmasked #2 -- ... as well as their last color mini...

Phantom Double Shot: KGB Noir #5 -- ... and moves one step closer to finishing the run altogether.  Dang.

So, what looks good to YOU?