Friday, February 25, 2011

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Kelson asks the age-old question: If you could only read three comics, what would they be?

Frank brings the awesome with a Starlin and Milgrom Captain Atom pinup.

Bonus Game!  White Lantern Donna Troy.

Derf showcases BelleChere as Power Girl.

And finally, behold the power of GREEN SWAN!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales of Terror Episode 7: They Live

Life's a b*tch, and it's back in heat!  Check out Episode 7 of The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales of Terror, where Chris Honeywell, the Hair-Metal Hero, and your fearless blogger -- along with the mysterious Mike X -- talk about one of John Carpenter's most beloved films, the seminal late 80s sci-fi picture They Live!  It's a great movie and a great episode, plus Chris has a little something extra at the end for all of you!

Warning: This episode contains adult language.   The others ones might have as well but this one has a few f-bombs in it.

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #3!

Anguirus in the house!

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #3
Eric Powell & Tracy Marsh, Phil Hester, Eric Powell, and Jeff Zornow

Godzilla, Rodan, and Anguirus continue their devastation, and the worldwide media begins to chime in. As people around the globe suffer, celebrities band together to save the monsters from human counterattack, and the president is criticized for being "soft on monsters." Meanwhile... a mysterious giant egg washes ashore in France. And what's with those creepy little twin girls?

Interesting that the name of the series has changed to the very Showa era sounding Kingdom of Monsters.  That's a very Toho-esque title.

Godzilla: KoM #3 is in stores this May.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dwayne McDuffie 1962 - 2011

Dwayne McDuffie, creator of Icon, Static, Hardware, and the rest of the Milestone Universe, plus one of the strong forces behind the DC Animated Universe, has died from complications due to surgery.  He was 49 years old.

I discovered the Milestone characters after the fact, but they are some of the best characters created in my lifetime and some of the strongest in the comics world.  And the amount of benefit given to the fandom at large thanks to his work on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cannot be overstated.  His work was almost always superlative and thoughtful, and he will be missed.

My condolences and prayers go out to his family.  Rest in peace, Dwayne.

What Looks Good?

Not sure if comics are today or tomorrow thanks to the holiday, but here they are anyway!

Kull: The Hate Witch #4 -- Will Kull survive his return to Atlantis long enough to survive the war in Valusia?

Invincible Iron Man #501 -- Tony Stark is rebuilding his life, but will the Hammer Girls, Zeke Stane, and the Mandarin tear it down again?

Iron Man 2.0 #1 -- Or, War Machine volume 3.  Or 4, depending on how you look at it.

Iron Man / Thor #4 -- The evil aclhemist Diablo has plans to make himself a god - can Iron Man and Thor stop him in his tracks?

Namor: The First Mutant #7 -- The Sub-Mariner is in hell, but his old friend Dr. Doom is ready to help!

So, what looks good to YOU?

The Most Mindblowingly Awesome Star Trek Wallpaper Of All Time

The journey through V'GER!

Unfortunately, the site I got this from,, is apparently long gone (I snagged this wallpaper back in 2003).  But it still rocks hard!

Monday, February 21, 2011

What I Read This... Month

Iron Man: Legacy #10 -- In Imperio, Tony Stark has to battle the Pride without even knowing who the Pride is!  The story comes back full circle in this penultimate issue.  I've enjoyed this book, and this issue continues the trend.  

Iron Man / Thor #3 -- Shellhead and Goldilocks are facing down the threat of the High Evolutionary, but Diablo has his own plans!  Fun, classic-style Marvel action.  This one has a good balance of action and intrigue, and makes great use of the quartet of baddies as well.

Weird Worlds #1 -- A trio of tales of the strange and unusual.  First off, Lobo proves harder to kill than most would suspect; secondly, space traveler Tanga is just looking for conversation, but finds trouble instead; and finally, the muck monster Garbageman rises.  Short and sweet, each segment of this book was enjoyable.  A treat for those looking for extra-superheroic stuff.

Steel #1 -- John Henry Irons suits up to battle the unstoppable killer named Doomsday.  Taken on its own this was somewhat underwhelming, but as the opening salvo of a larger piece I thought it was good.  On its own it is a well put together little story, but it has no real ending, which hurts.

Brightest Day #17 and Brightest Day #18 -- You can click on the titles to get a more full review over at Being Carter Hall.

Doom Patrol #18 -- The Patrol has to battle their way out of a castle in North Korea - and all that stands in their way is a family of immortal assassins.  The Aristocrats certainly make for strange enemies in something of a minor Doom Patrol outing.

Marineman #2 -- Steve Ocean's life gets a lot more complicated when he is caught on camera saving his friend from a shark swarm -- and staying underwater without an oxygen supply for over an hour in the process.  Churchill's book is clean and bright, a throwback to a simpler time, but still thoroughly modern.  Worth reading.  

Tiny Titans #36 -- Tiny Titans under the Earth!  Join Terra as she gives a tour of the upper crust and mantle, much to Beast Boy's chagrin.  Cute as always.  

Namor: The First Mutant #6 -- With New Atlantis starting to get settled, Namor ends up in Hell!  Literally!  Best moment of this issue is the arrival on the last page.  I still enjoy this book but find the X-Men related stuff very tiresome.

glamourpuss #17 -- Just what did Stan Drake and Alex Raymond talk about that day in Drake's office?  And JFK in a light you may not have thought about him before.  Good issue overall; the JFK quotes were thought provoking for me, and the Drake/Raymond narrative well done all around.  I especially like Sim signing a few "strips" in the style of Stan Drake.

Futurama Comics #53 -- A planet of robot cannibals!  What else do you need to know?  Definitely a lesser issue but still some great gags sprinkled throughout.  

Kull: The Hate Witch #3 -- Kull battles against his own tribe as he stalks closer and closer to the Hate Witch.  But war is brewing back in Valusia, and Atlantis is no safer for the King, either.  Very solid barbarian outing; hopefully next issue will come to a good conclusion - that or at least the promise of more to come.

Re-Read Pile: Iron Man: Legacy, Iron Man / Thor, Werid Worlds, Steel, Brightest Day, Marineman, Kull.

The Pick Of The Pile is Weird Worlds, which stood out from the crowd with its mix of genre stories and the three different voices contained within.  Good stuff.

So, what did YOU read?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Awesome Files: Earth Destruction Directive!

I'd like to take this opportunity to point everyone to my new project, Earth Destruction Directive!  EDD is a podcast about daikaiju -- Japanese giant monsters!  I have been a fan for the vast majority of my life of these titanic creatures and now my podcast is going to share that with all of you!

The first episode is up and available for download right now!

You can find the podcast at its homepage at

I have also set up a blog for the show at

Please give it a listen and leave some feedback!  Thanks!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Looks Good?

Now that we are all in our post-Valentine's Day sugar and love highs, let's go to the local comic shop and spread the love a little more.

Mighty Samson #2 -- Can Samson resist the fury of the Jerz She-Devil?

Brightest Day #20 -- What has Boston Brand wrought?

Doom Patrol #19 -- Enjoy it while you can, because it ain't going to last!

Human Target: Second Chances -- The TV show may have just finished it's second season, but there's plenty of Chances left for comics fans.  (See what I did there?)

Justice League of America #54 -- Eclipso, the baddest dude ever with an -o name, is back!

Outsiders #36 -- See what I said about Doom Patrol?  Repeat it.

Tiny Titans #37 -- Hijinks and shennanigans are sure to ensue!

Marineman #3 -- Steve Ocean's life is about to get a lot more complicated...

Iron Man: Rapture #4 -- Tony's evil AI looks to be holding all of the cards, so how can Rhodey overcome it?

Silver Surfer #1 -- The Sentinel of the Spaceways!

Charmed #6 -- Witch burning... in the 21st century?  How is that possible?

Darkwing Duck #9 -- Alternate universes are freaky.

Wow, looks like the Comic Book gods decided to make up for last week's one measly book!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Outsiders Joined By Doom Patrol, Others

Take a look at the May solicitations for DC Comics, and notice that Outsiders is not alone on the chopping block.  Also scheduled for their final issues that month are Doom Patrol, REBELS, Freedom Fighters, and JSA All-Stars.  It's Spring cleaning time at the DC offices, it looks like.  

Needless to say seeing two of my favorite titles getting dumped for, seemingly, more and more Green Lantern and Batman related stuff is very disheartening.  Outsiders is a throwback title to the types of comics which kicked butt and took names in the 80s.  Doom Patrol is the "weird" book which still retains the readability which Keith Giffen will always be known for.  Both sets of creative teams were in their stride and cranking on all creative cylinders.  Just to see them dumped so unceremoniously is a blow to me as a reader -- especially when we have a gaggle of Batman titles, stuff like Secret Six and THUNDER Agents hanging on, and 2 different Legion titles.  Bleah!

After these books end, I will be down to one, count it, ONE regular monthly DC title -- Flash.  Tiny Titans as well, but as far as the DCU at large, that's it.  As I get older, it seems that while I still have great affection for DC and Marvel, I find myself drawn more and more to 3rd party publishers and lesser known titles.  That trend is still continuing, and I imagine will only get worse.

Preview: Rise Of Eclipso!

Straight from DC's The Source, we have a preview of the first issue of the "Rise of Eclipso" storyline, in Justice League of America #54 by James Robinson and Brett Booth.  What evil does Eclipso have in store for the League this time?

Justice League of America #54 is in stores today!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Outsiders Gets Renamed Back to Batman And The Outsiders...

... and then gets cancelled.  What the heck?

Written by DAN DIDIO
Batman arrives in an attempt to unite Black Lightning's team with Geo-Force's for the final battle against Veritas. But as one teammate is lost and others leave, Batman must determine if it's time to disband The Outsiders forever.

Is this a casualty of the upcoming Flashpoint?  Will it be relaunched after that story, or switched into a different title?  Who knows?  All I know is that this is one of my favorite titles and I am annoyed that it is being cancelled to make way for temporary stuff, even if that temporary stuff is part of what sounds like a cool crossover story.  I have heard that Doom Patrol will also be on the chopping block; these moves will have the effect of positively impacting my comics budget, but man, that's the wrong way to achieve that goal.

Also, notice who is not on that cover -- seems that Geo-Force might be the "lost" teammate mentioned.

Batman And The Outsiders #40 hits stores on May 18.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

First off, rob! brings some style in the form of this Super Friends Style Guide!

From The Source, Sgt. Rock appearing in PS Magazine.  I think we used to get this magazine when I worked federal documents at the library.

Phillip Tan drawing the Justice League?  (Thanks, Frank!)

Derf celebrates Thorsday with one of my favorite covers ever.

Shag puts 900 years in perspective.

And finally, Moving On Down (thanks to Daily Thunder).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Francis Manapul Brings It Hardcore

In honor of the only book on my weekly list yesterday being Flash #9, check out Francis Manapul's awesome pencils of the simply insane speed trick from Flash #4, as the World's Fastest Man runs across the blades of a helicopter -- while in midair!


I snagged this image from Speed Force, which you really should be reading.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Looks Good?

There's talk of snow in the Carolinas tomorrow so buy your comics to-day!

Flash #9 -- Are you ready for Hot Pursuit?

Wow, one book?  Weak.

So what looks good to YOU?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Unbridled Capitalism: Borderlands 2011

This past Saturday was the Big Annual Sale at Borderlands -- but this year was a little different.  First off, its the first one in several years during which I was not a regular customer, the first since the 2006 sale.  But this was also the first sale under the new ownership of the shop.  To the relief of nerds across South Carolina the sale still went on and most of the sale prices were the same.  So once more I partook of the capitalism and bought lots of comics!

Flash -- There was a gigantic pile of Wally West comics in the discount bins, and I could have spent twice as much as I did if I had the mind to do so.  So I instead went with ones which filled gaps rather than large empty swathes, including issues 16, 143, 146, 152, and 155.

Arak, Son Of Thunder -- I actually found a complete run of the series in the bins.  Like, every single issue. So I snagged issues 41, 46, 49, and 50 to complete my run of the title!  Woo woo woo, you know it!

Magnus, Robot Fighter -- The main problem with this series is that I find a lot of copies of the same issues I already have - a common Valiant dilemma.  But I did find a few ones I needed, adding numbers 23, 48-49, and 52.

Shellhead -- Now that I have the vast majority of Iron Man, I am hoping to have better luck finding the supporting titles, including War Machine, of which I picked up issues 4-5, 7, 12-16, 19-20, and 22.  I also found (for 33 cents, yikes!) the Iron Man 2020 GN, which should be fun, and Marvel Team-Up v.2 #11, with Shellhead and Namor.

Random Stuff -- Some unusual stuff this year, as always.  Marvel's John Carter, Warlord of Mars 15 and 27, since everyone likes Burroughs; Weird Suspense #1 featuring the Tarantula, which may be the first Atlas comic I have ever owned; Justice League of America #159, featuring the JLA, the JSA, and 5 heroes from history; the Green Lantern/Silver Surfer prestige format, which I might pass on to my GL-obsessed friend; the Phantom Stranger mini by Paul Kupperburg, which features my boy Eclipso; Phantom 2040 #1, because that show was awesome; and Dr. Doom and The Masters of Evil digest, which looks like a hoot.

Cerebus -- This was the real shocker for me.  Normally the sale includes a "$5 or half-off, whichever is less" trade paperback table.  And such a table was here this year, but the new owner looks to be clearing out stock because there was also a $1 trade table!  Mostly it was manga and other stuff of that nature which doesn't appeal to me.  But out of the corner of my eye I spotted a copy of Dave Sim's Cerebus; specifically, High Society.  So I snagged it.  That led to me finding a full ten more volumes, each at a buck apiece.  So I ended up v.2, and 5-14 for 11 dollars... which is impressive considering at retail that would be somewhere around $200.  I don't know when I will have the time to actually READ all of these, but I have them at least!

The sale itself was pretty crazy.  I don't remember standing in line this long before at a previous sale.  Last year was an outlier since there was a crazy snow and ice storm that day, but I don't remember any one being quite this bad.  I guess the new ownership must be happy with that!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Public Domain Theater: Warning From Space

On today's installment of Public Domain Theater, we bring you the Japanese space opera known as Warning From Space!

Released by Daiei, the same folks who made the Gamera films, this was the first color tokusatsu (Japanese live action "special effects") movie released, debuting about a year before The Mysterians. The boys at Daiei were pretty clever as well: though the aliens in the film are human sized, posters illustrated them as the giant, city-wrecking variety instead. This film wasn't released in the US for 11 years!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Mr. Bones will not do two shows a night anymore.  Will not do it.

Frank brings back memories of the classic Manhunter From Mars movie (??!)

Devin makes me very jealous with one of his new acquisitions.  (Guess which one!)

BONUS GAME!  A sit down with Flash artist Francis Manapul.

rob! gives us a glimpse of a most awesome custom Mera statue.

Shag has an interview with legendary comics scribe John Ostrander.

And finally, The Source shows us The Flashpoint Five?  (The Outsider is... CM Punk?)

I Wish I Was On Twitter

...because the girl who handled my deposit at the bank looked like a young Mickie James!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Unbridled Capitalism: The Storm Before The Storm

This Saturday (despite new ownership) is Borderlands' always creatively titled Big Annual Sale, where me and my nerd friends converge in Greenville in a glorious display of capitalism.  Yes, even the liberal.  But in the past week I have found not one, not two, but THREE awesome finds for good prices which I just have to share!

Kull The Conqueror -- I had gone to Walgreens to get my wife some medicine when I found the long-sought (by me) barbarian opus starring Kevin Sorbo and Tia Carrere for a mere $4.  Though hampered by some jokey aspects and a general 90s goofiness, this is a better film than its reputation and remains a fun "furry underpants" movie.  It also has a great heavy metal hybrid soundtrack by Joel Goldsmith, which you can sample here.

Star Wars Galactic Heroes: Nien Nunb and Admiral Ackbar -- Say it with me now... "It's a trap!"  My favorite Star Wars movie remains to this day Return Of The Jedi, and part of that is because of all of the classic alien characters who appeared and fascinated me as a kid when I saw it.  And these two are definitely amongst the most memorable.  Found them for $2.98 at Toys R Us, who apparently has all of their older SD Heroes packs on clearance of various levels.  Which leads us to...

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra Combat Heroes: Duke and Cobra Commander -- ... our last set.  In the end it always comes down to Duke and Cobra Commander, doesn't it?  Based on the character designs from the movie, this marks the second Duke and CC I have from the movie line -- of course the other two are a lot less cute.  And for $1.98 how can you go wrong?  I really hope we get a sequel to this one so that I can see the Commander rocking this one for a full movie!

I consider these purchases to be like an appetizer... before a buffet.

Shellhead Plushie!

Lots of other folks are posting these cute plushie superheroes from "showboatontheroad" and their Etsy store.  Well, here's the greatest superhero of all time, the one and only Iron Man... only in felt form!  

I love the unibeam and the classic "Iron Britches" look.  The little smile makes me think of how George Tuska would draw the armor with the frowning sneer on the mask.  Only, you know, happier.  

Too cute!  You can check out showboatontheroad's other offerings at their store.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Advance Commentary: Savage Beauty #1

Last year the comics hobby lost one of it's most underrated and under noticed titles: Moonstone's Phantom series.  From the main bimonthly comic to the various supporting miniseries to the illustrated prose Generations title, the Ghost-Who-Walks was brilliantly brought to the printed page by Joe Gentile's crew of Moonstone for 8 years, under the watch of writers such as Ben Rabb, Chuck Dixon, and Mike Bullock.  Then, with the license gone to Dynamite, the Phantom closed up shop at Moonstone and that was that.

Well, Mike Bullock, along with Jose Massaroli, is bringing it back to the jungle, and bringing it for real.  The new title Savage Beauty is set to take the place of The Phantom and keep the trend of strong Jungle Adventure comics going for the small publisher.  

Our story opens in Kenya, where a pair of bombshell sisters are working on an article about a game safari for African Adventures magazine.  They are interrupted by a cell phone call from someone called "Eden," who informs them of the actions of Lumus Okoye, brutal General of the "People's Liberation Army," who has been raiding towns and villages "recruiting" for their ranks.  Lumus meets with a French sleaze named Richaud, who is moving Russian rifles in exchange for young African girls.  While Richaud enjoys his latest "acquisition, he disappears out of his tent, only to be found in the bush, branded with the mark of Anaya, the Goddess of the Jungle.  Lumus orders his men to hunt down the "Goddess," but they themselves are stalked and subdued.  Then Lumus must come face to face with Anaya herself...

One of the strongest elements of Bullock's stint working on The Phantom was his ability to translate the real strife going in various nations of Africa into material useable to tell an adventure story.  This gets more mainstream comic press attention for Dysart and Ponticelli's work on DC's Unknown Soldier, but you could always count on The Phantom to address these topics in a mature manner.  That continues here, with the PLA a stand-in for the Uganadan LRA.  This is not new; the "god" HIM used a similar force in several Phantom tales.  But it's a literary tool which works well and is appropriate for the setting.  The story is set in modern Africa, after all, so it's presence is welcome to this reader.  I compare this arrangement to what we got in Dynamite's The Last Phantom, and this approach is clearly superior.  This realistic setting helps differentiate what I call Adventure comics from their Superhero brethren.  (Further, Bullock and Moonstone's longstanding working agreement with the charitable group Invisible Children helps put this depiction over -- clearly this is not done in a way to be considered exploitative.)  

On top of this modernist realism is rolled an old pulp classic archetype -- the Jungle Girl.  In a text piece in the back, Robot 6 contributor Michael May talks about his history with Jungle heroes, growing from a love of Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan, growing into an appreciation for strong, intelligent heroines such as Sheena and Shanna.  The crew in Savage Beauty is a thoroughly modern rendition of this old concept, but it is also one which would have fit in nicely in a men's magazine from 60 years ago as well.  And as is typical of this generic standard, there are plenty of references to the "Jungle Goddess" and the power of such beliefs.  This is a perfect fit for Moonstone's pulp and pulp-inspired lineup of titles.

Jose Massaroli is a new name to me, so in doing my research I was surprised to find that his work is primarily found on a combination of horror comics (the German series Gespenster Geschichten ("Ghost Stories")) and Disney titles.  Coming in with that unusual pedigree, Jose turns in a strong first issue, showcasing the sexy stars without making it a cheesecake fest.  His art is clean and somewhat spartan, and very grounded -- which makes a good fit for the script.  The colors, by Bob Pedroza, provide the right amount of lush greens with murky blacks to convey the mood effectively.  There's a few awkward panels, but nothing which took me out of the story and nothing which had any real negative impact to the storytelling.

Also included for the cover price is a colorful reprint of a Golden Age "Camilla" strip, by Victor Ibsen.  

This is an extremely well put together debut issue for the newest Jungle Girl in town.  Bullock and Massaroli have put a ton of effort into this book and it all shows on the page.  Moonstone continues in taking classic characters and concepts and making them palatable for a modern audience without resorting to camp or satire, and this title continues in that tradition.  Fans of jungle action, Adventure comics, and pulp heroes will definitely want to check this one out - and even if you don't consider yourself a fan of those genres, you should give it a shot anyway.  You might just find something out of the ordinary which hits that elusive "sweet spot."  This may be the start of something big for Moonstone --truly, Avaya is a Goddess who treads upon the mossy earth of her Jungle, and woe to those who would cross her.

Savage Beauty #1 is due in stores in the second week of February from Moonstone Comics.

A Question:

Has anyone out there watched any of the Public Domain Theater episodes?  Or should I just let the ones I have scheduled run their course and call it a day?  Leave me a comment and let me know.  

What Looks Good?

Last week was rough, this week doesn't promise to be much better, but yet, the weekly deliveries keep on coming.

Brightest Day #19 -- It started to hit the fan in the previous issue, so I imagine we get more bad news in this one!

Weird Worlds #2 -- Science fiction of the outer space and monsterous variety.

Invincible Iron Man #500.1 -- Oh boy, we have gone from fractions to decimals.

Iron Man: Legacy #11 -- How long will this title last?  Answer: Not long enough.

Darkwing Duck Classics v.1 -- The Old School Who Flaps In The Night!

Uncle Scrooge #400 -- Here come the money!

So, what looks good to YOU?