Thursday, December 30, 2010

Unbridled Capitalism: The Life Story Of The Flash

Picked up from Mr. K's using my December 20% off coupon was The Life Story Of The Flash by Iris Allen (with assistance from Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Gil Kane and others).  I had passed on this a few years back when I saw it for $10 at a small show in Greenville, but for less than $10 I decided to bite on it.  It should be interesting to see how this reads now, in the wake of Flash: Rebirth and the new ongoing Flash title.  But In Waid And Augustyn I Trust, so this one should be fun.

And Then There Was That Time That Sunny Managed R2-D2


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What Looks Good?

Do comics come out today or tomorrow?  I dunno!  But when they do come out, these are the ones which I intend to purchase!

Flash #8 -- I am so far behind on this series it is not even funny.  But I always mark out for the Reverse-Flash so we are in business!

Tiny Titans #35 -- This one, not as big a deal if you are behind an issue or two.  Because the present awesome is usually not dependant on the previous awesome.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Swag 2010!

It's that most wonderful time of the year, when grown men get childish gifts from their loved ones and squeal with delight, and this year was no different.  So here's the haul!

Showcase Presents Hawkman v.2 -- Continuing the trend of getting phonebook comics for Christmas, this one finishes up all of Hawkman's first solo title and his run in The Atom & Hawkman.  I have so many of these to read it's not even funny at this point, and yet, more keep coming out and ending up in my house!

Smallville seasons 8 and 9 -- I joked to my wife that at some point when the kids are grown and out of the house, we will have the time to rewatch this entire series.  These two years were defined by a marked increase in the quality of the show after the doldrums for a couple of years, a trend which continues to this day.  Season 9 also includes the Absolute Justice telefilm!

Iron Man glass tumblers -- These came from my son, but seeing as he is barely old enough to talk, let alone purchase a gift, I am willing to bet his mom had some part in this.  Anyway, these are two glass tumblers decorated with George Tuska art (!), which is appropriate as I am currently reading Essential Iron Man v.4 which has an awful lot of Tuska in it.  These are a good match with my exclusive Shellhead Toon Tumbler from NYCC.

And to round things out, my father got me somewhere along the lines of three dozen Godzilla, Gamera, and Ultraman mini dioramas, to the point that I actually need more shelving to display them.  Yikes!

So what did YOU get for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Looks Good?

Christmas is coming up fast, so be sure to get to your favorite local merchant and spread some cheer.

Kull: The Hate Witch #2 -- The return of the Exile to Atlantis!

DC Direct Black Lantern Hawkgirl -- If you had any doubts about DCD Direct toys not being for kids, this should settle it.

Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special #1 -- Larfleeze finding the Christmas spirit?  Yeah, maybe to keep it all for himself!

Outsiders #35 -- The Outsiders have problems on two continents and things aren't going to get any better any time soon.

Invincible Iron Man #33 -- The final showdown with Detroit Steel and the Hammer Girls (finally)!

Iron Man: Rapture #3 -- What will the murderous AI do next?

Namor: The First Mutant #5 -- I like how they keep trying to tie this into the X-Men.  It's almost quaint.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The King Of The Monsters (Comics)!

Godzilla: Monster World is coming from IDW!

The King of the Monsters rises again, and for the first time in comics, he's bringing lots of other beloved Toho monsters with him in one destructive saga, and The Goon's Eric Powell is sounding the alarm. Powell will also paint covers for each issue of this new ongoing series, including a wraparound cover to kick things off! Acclaimed artist Phil Hester signs on for the first storyline, and Alex Ross supplies a painted 50/50 variant cover! This is the Big G storyline you've been waiting for!

Other monsters from the Toho pantheon, huh?  Wonder who will make the cut?  If the cover is anything to go by then Goji fans such as myself should be in for a treat.  Appropriately, the wake of Final Wars is a perfect restarting point, so I am now all hopped up for lots of daikaiju chaos!  

Long Live Monster Comics!

Richie Rich Conquers The Internet

Hey you!  Yes you at the computer or mobile computing device!  Looking for some fun with the Richest Boy In The World?  Then head over to and check out all of the fun with Richie Rich!

There's a good deal of other classic and original shows to check out as well, but let's face it: Richie Rich owns them all.  Yeah.  I went there.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror Episode 5: Christine!

Hey there monsters and monstettes!  I've got a question for you:  How do you kill something which cannot possible be alive?  Not sure?  Then you should listen to episode 5 of The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror with myself, Chris Honeywell and the Hair-Metal Hero as well critique and comment on John Carpenter's adaption of the Stephen King classic Christine!  Just remember: She was born bad.

Bunker News Briefs - 12/17/2010

ITEM!  DC ends the Red Circle, including the team of American heroes known as the Mighty Crusaders, and instead hypes the hell out of a UN-based team the THUNDER Agents.  In South Carolina, one fan fumes and broods.

ITEM!  Kieth Giffen is kicking it hardcore as the new regular penciller on The Outsiders.

ITEM!  Marvel finally decides to stop lying and comes out and explains their take on Cyclops, the mature, responsible leader of the X-Men.

ITEM!  Newark, New Jersey: two men stole a container labeled "Beefeaters" thinking it was filled with premium gin that would be easy to resell. Instead of gin, the container contained... 800 cases of toy dog bones. The men apparently didn't know that the gin's name does not have a final "s", but the pet company's products do. Police say dog bones are much harder to resell than liquor.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Looks Good?

It's Wednesday so you know what that means!  It's time for some Christmas shopping!

Mighty Samson #1 -- Never read the Gold Key originals, but this sounds awesome!

Brightest Day #16 -- This is the one I miss buying as it comes out the most.  This series is insane.

Mighty Crusaders #6 -- I really wish I had #3 so I could be caught up on this series!

Showcase Presents: Our Army At War -- Because I need another Showcase.  But... DC War comics!

Superman #706 -- How will this story play out with JMS leaving?  Time will tell I suppose.

Iron Man: Legacy #9 -- I'm sorry but this book rocks.  This is Iron Man, dammit.

Charmed #4 -- The Source is back?  Uh... that is bad...

Darkwing Duck #7 -- A Crisis of Disney Afternoon Proportions!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Return Of The Mandarin

Head on over to to get a preview of the upcoming Invincible Iron Man #500, due next month from the House of Ideas.  One such idea which shall fall in the anniversary issue: the return of the big bad Mandarin.

"It's over 40 years in the future and The Mandarin rules the world,"teases INVINCIBLE IRON MAN Editor Alejandro Arbona of what to expect. "He's being kept alive by a repulsor implant in his chest and a living battery he calls 'pig:'Tony Stark.

Marvel is doing teases counting down to IIM #500 all week on their site.  I am always excited for The Mandarin, and I do want to see how this connects with the new, more scummy take on the character from the Annual.  

What I Read... This Week?

Getting a month's worth of comics in a box at one time is a weird adjustment, folks.  

Brightest Day #13 - -We finally catch up with Hawkman and Hawkgirl on Hawkworld (try saying that three times fast), and we learn about Queen Shrike, and see the rage of the Hawks laid out.  Great issue, but of course I may be biased.  Definitely going to give this one a thorough working over for Being Carter Hall in the coming week or so.

Brightest Day #14 -- Batman as the White Lantern?  Boston Brand thinks he is on the right track but things are never what they seem with the White Ring.  Contains a  great retelling of Deadman's origin, itself recently reprinted in DC Comics Presents: Brightest Day #1.  I have no idea where all of this is heading but it is awesome nonetheless.

Doom Patrol #16 -- You know how the Doom Patrol are considered freaks and monsters?  You don't know the half.  Giffen draws this one instead of writing it, but its definitely cut from the same cloth as the rest of the series.  Very strong little monster story.

Futurama Comics #52 -- Bender becomes addicted to modifying his body through plastic surgery - to the point that he is unrecognizable!  And being unrecognizable when all you want is fame can be a problem!  Goofy fun, and a great supplement to the revived TV series, which I almost never get to see.

glamourpuss #16 -- So you wanna bag a supermodel?  Awesome counterpoint to last issue's questionnaire on bagging a billionaire.  Also, some interesting speculation about the relationship between Stan Drake's use of the lightbox and Alex Raymond's reaction to that; this is doubly interesting because of some of the accusations made towards Sim regarding this very title.  Coincidence?  I don't know if I believe that.

Invincible Iron Man #32 -- Stark Resilient's presser is turned into a battleground as Detroit Steel and his drones launch an all-out assault!  We finally get the confrontation (the first part of it anyway!) between Shellhead and Detroit Steel, which alone is worth the cost of admission.  But otherwise this is a solid issue, one of the better ones Fraction and LaRocca have put out lately.  I like to give credit where credit is due.

Iron Man: Legacy #8 -- Still down on his luck in California, Tony does what he does best - becomes and entrepreneur.  But The Pride is not happy with him.  This title is one which gets me going every month, and this month is no exception.  This is the kind of Iron Man story I would like to read - Tony is smart and brave, but not without his faults, and he has to deal with his situation as both Tony and Iron Man.  

Iron Man: Rapture #1/#2 -- After suffering a heart attack, Tony Stark creates a new shell for himself in the form of Iron Man 2.0.  Only IM2.0 wants nothing to do with Tony!  A big mess, this rehashes ideas which were much better covered in the Hypervelocity mini a few years back.  Not sure where the heck this is supposed to take place, continuity wise, and frankly I am not really interested in trying to figure it out.  A real let-down.

Iron Man/Thor #1 -- Shellhead and Goldilocks find themselves facing a common threat.  Strong introduction to the team-up mini, which promises to be classic Marvel-styled fun.  Both heroes come across very well and the baddie is a good choice as well.

Kull: The Hate Witch #1 -- Kull is accosted in his court by an old hag who foretells of the fall of man, which drives the King to return to very place he was exiled from: Atlantis!  For an original Kull story, this is a strong beginning.  If you didn't like the first mini (and there are those who did not), this won't convince you.  Me, I dug it.

Namor: The First Mutant #4 -- The Aqueos descend on New Atlantis in force as Namor has to try one final gambit to stop them.  Pretty good underwater action, and I like how Namor is written.  Still, I am on the fence with this title because it doesn't really stand out in my mind too much.  Going to give it a few issues and re-evaluate.

Outsiders #34 -- It's Geo-Force versus the Olympian in the second such tour de force for the King of Markovia which DiDio has turned in, this time with Giffen on pencils.  And personally, I am eating this stuff up!  I don't know where things are going, and the stakes always seem high.  And if Giffen wants to be the regular penciller, I'm done with that.  This book is consistently near the top of my pile.

Tiny Titans #34 -- It's the Lookalike issue!  Didja ever notice that Superboy looks like Zatara?  Plus Zatara's magic hat gets put to, uhhh, good use at a tea party.  Very funny as usual.  The activity page in the back is a set of Superboy and Zatara paper dolls, which really made me laugh!

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #2 -- The main gag here - the collision course between Pet Club and Joise And The Pussycats - gets lots of play here, but that's alright because the joke is rife with punchlines.  Great funnybook.
One heck of a pile!

Monday, December 13, 2010


In honor of this being my SEVEN HUNDRETH POST here on the Bunker, this is the cover of Action Comics #700, featuring the supposedly deceased Lex Luthor taking back "his" city after his death -- including the destruction of the Daily Planet!  I remember digging the ever-loving heck out of this issue when it came out, and reread it multiple times.  It, unfortunately, was part of the First Great Comic Purge Of El Jacone back in 2003.  But some good memories there for sure.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my readers out there who has helped keep this humble little blog going.  I'm nowhere near the top of the heap when it comes to comic blogging but I like to think that my little corner of that market is one where not only I can share my thoughts, but where everyone who visits can share as well.  And I want to keep that vibe going.  So thanks to everyone who takes some time out of their day to read the Bunker.

Here's to 700 more!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Unbridled Capitalism: Mr. K's for December

Took a little trip to Mr. K's Used Books last week to trade in some paperbacks I culled while cleaning out a bookcase.  And I can't go to Mr. K's without indulging in a little bit of capitalism.

Nick Fury: Agent Of SHIELD: Who Is Scorpio? -- This is a small collection, but I have never read any of Steranko's Nick Fury stuff so any amount of it is appreciated.  Specifically, this collection grabs 4 of the first 5 issues when the feature was spun into it's own mag, and Steranko was doing words and pictures.  Definitely a nice little find for (ahem) 2 bucks.

For Your Eyes Only -- Marvel did a two issue adaption of this 1981 James Bond 007 film (Roger Moore's fifth outing), and it was eventually collected in this mass market paperback.  FYEO is the hardest, meanest, and most straightforward of the Moore Bonds, departing from the global threats are returning to a more simple Cold War story.  But it's a very strong film and I am looking forward to checking out this adaptation.  Considering the amazing success of the film series, it was a surprise for me to hear that there have been very few comic adaptions of the 007 movies.  Some of them, such as Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker, and A View To A Kill, seem perfect for the medium.

(Trying to get back on track here... work schedule has been crazy and will continue to be crazy for the next few weeks... sorry folks.)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Looks Good?

Magnus, Robot Fighter Archives v.1 -- Now in softcover!  Oh damn!

Mighty Samson Archives HC v.2 -- Still in hardcover!  Ahhh, damn!

DCU Holiday Special 2010 -- These holiday specials always get your right *there*, don't they?

Flash #7 -- I'm still waiting on getting #6, so I guess the Flash has to wait on me!  D'oh!

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #3 -- After Joise and the Pussycats last issue, I can't wait for what's next!

So, what looks good to you?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here Comes The Money!

*cha-ching* Money talks!

The Richest Boy... IN THE WORLD is back!  The Gold Level comics for Free Comic Book Day 2011 have been announced, and Ape Entertainment is bringing the cash in the form of the Richie Rich/Kung-Fu Panda flipbook.  It looks like our favorite Poor Little Rich Boy has been upgraded, with Cadbury packing heat and Irona looking like she stepped out of a super-robot anime!

I am all over this like green on money, honey.

What Looks Good?

I finally got some new comics yesterday, as my first mail order box came in, so let's take a look at some comics which I'll be reading next month!

Brightest Day #15 -- Just read #13.  Ohhhhh damn.

Doom Patrol #17 -- Let the insanity loose!

Marineman #1 -- Is this new Image character the Silver Age Aquaman for a new generation?

ShadowHawk #5 -- It's about time, yeesh...

Iron Man/Thor #2 -- Haven't had a chance to read the first one yet, but I have high hopes for Tony getting put over in this series.

What If: Iron Man: Demon In An Armor -- Everybody loves a What If?!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Return Of The Monster (Hero)!

Check out this awesome page by Aaron Lopresti featuring his new monster character Garbageman from Weird Worlds #1!  I have this upcoming anthology book on preorder and am very eager to get it in my hands.  I can live without Lobo, but Garbageman and Kevin Maguire new science fiction character Tanga sound like fun reads.  I am almost always willing to check out a new "weird" book and this one definitely seems to fit the mold.

You can check out a preview over at DC's The Source blog.

Weird Worlds #1 is due next month.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuvok Is Not Interested...

... in your excuses for not blogging.

Monday, November 29, 2010

About Last Week...

Things have been pretty crazy at El Casa Del Jacone the last week.  I moved to a new position at work and thus did not have my computer all week.  This was coupled with getting a new HVAC unit installed at the house, plus Turkey Day, Black Friday, Xmas decorating and watching the Panthers blow it -- it's a wonder I am here at all.  I am going to try to get back on track with some posts for all of my loyal readers out there, so keep watching this space.

Thanks and I hope everyone had a good American Thanksgiving holiday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eclipso's Back!

Eclipso, the Lord of Darkness and Corruption, is back in Justice League of America #54, written by James Robinson and Brett Booth, who also handled this sweet cover.  Considering the knockdown, drag-out that Eclipso and Spectre had the last time, this should be something to see.

Justice League of America #54 is due in February of 2011.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror Episode 4: In The Mouth Of Madness!

Hey there boils and ghouls!  Lived any good books lately?  Then check out episode 4 of The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror, where yours truly sits down with Chris Honeywell to discuss the last film of John Carpenter's Apocalypse Trilogy, In The Mouth of Madness!  But remember: Reality isn't what it used to be!

Some of you may be asking, what happened to episode 3?  Uh, well, I forgot to post a link!  But if you want to hear our SUPER SPOOKY Halloween Special, despite it being a week from Thanksgiving, you can check it out here!

What Looks Good?

Wow, is it really more than halfway through November?  How is that possible?!  Yeesh!

Brightest Day #14 -- According to Newsarama, no one cares about the Hawks' story, but I do, dang it!

Flash #6 -- The delayed finale finally bows.  What is the Renegades true plan?

Superman #705 -- Superman continues his journey, even though we now know JMS is not going to be handling the entire trip.

Tiny Titans #34 -- Everybody loves the Tiny Titans!  A heck of a lot more than the actual Titans.

Iron Man: Rapture #2 -- Marvel knows how to get my money: more Iron Man!

Darkwing Duck #6 -- I am so far behind on this series it's not even funny.

Honey West #2 -- Been looking forward to the second part of this swinging mystery for months!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Unbridled Capitalism: Mr. K's for November

Made my way down to Mister K's yesterday for my monthly coupon visit, and snagged a couple of volumes I have been eyeing for a while.

Jack Kirby's Mister Miracle & Jack Kirby's Fourth World Featuring Mister Miracle -- I already have the Forever People volume in this style, which is a grey tone black and white.  Would I have preferred to have these in color?  Yes, but you can't beat the price, and as much as I dig Showcases and Essentials, I am on board with the black and white format.  Really, if I want color reference I can look it up.  If I could just find the New Gods volume I would have the entire set.

Of all of the New Gods, I think Mister Miracle has arguably enjoyed the most success, and I attribute this to his relatability.  All of the New Gods are pretty unique, but I think that most comic book readers can grasp the concept of an escape artist who can always find a way out of a trap.  Considering the villain deathtrap trope which used to be so prevalent in the 4 color world, this character concept makes perfect sense.  Couple this with his very memorable costume and you have a recipe for a character who will stick in people's minds.

On the non-comic front, I also picked up the second Star Trek: Titan novel, The Red King.  I just finished the first installment in the series, Taking Wing, last night, and now I am on the hunt for more.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What I Read This Week

A few months ago, I picked up 99.44% of the epic Superman "New Krypton" story off of The Ebay, and have been working my way through it.  

Supergirl #50 -- An oversized anniversary issue, this is a sort of "done in one" which resolves a long running subplot while redirecting a previous major plot.  Lana Lang's mystery ailment is revealed to be an infection transforming her into the Insect Queen!  Supergirl from the New Krypton era is a fabulous book.  I have never had any interest in Kara in any form until I read this run.  My main complaint about this issue is that this Insect Queen hisses with a running "sss" instead of buzzing with "zzz" like Kurt Busiek wrote her.  And if that is what you have to complain about, you know you have a good comic.

Superman #697 -- In the wake of the attack on Science Police HQ, a vast conspiracy around Mon-El stands revealed!  Who has been keeping a watchful eye on our favorite Daxamite and what is their true motives?  To be continued over in Adventure Comics!  Superman has stood out to me during my New Krypton readings, and this issue continues that trend.  I just dig Robinson's take on Mon-El, Steel, Guardian, and the rest.  The main sticking point for me in this issue is that I don't know much of anything about the Legion of Superheroes so the reveals are somewhat less impactful for me.  Still a strong issue for sure.

Hawkman v.2:no.1 -- Please head over to Being Carter Hall to see the review.

So, what did YOU read this week?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

King Kull Will STILL Mess You Up Something Fierce

I feel once again the need to point out that Kull, Exile of Atlantis and barbarian King of ancient Valusia, will kick you rear so hard that your yet-to-be-born grandchildren will feel it, as seen in this cover to Kull: The Hate Witch #4 by Tom Fleming.

Kull: The Hate Witch starts this month from Dark Horse.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thought Of The Day

"Comic books are real.  People are fake."

-- Luke, with thanks to Mr. Anderson (...Anderson!)

What Looks Good?

We're officially in the official holiday season... officially!  So it's time to check out some possible gift ideas for the nerd on your shopping list!

The Mighty Crusaders #5 -- I'm so eager to see what happens in this book, it's actually driving me crazy.

Superman vs Muhammed Ali HC -- I'm sorry, but this is so classic.

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #2 -- What adventures await our pint-sized protagonists?!

Iron Man: Rapture #1 -- Iron Man miniserieses.  Marvel knows how to get my money.

Darkwing Duck v.1: The Duck Knight Returns -- I suppose I should have just gotten this instead of bothering with the single issues.

glamourpuss #16 -- In case you haven't logged onto Faceitbook lately, you should know that glamourpuss is still awesome.

Zeroids #2 -- Never got the first issue so this should be interesting!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What I Read This Week

Excalibur #65-67 -- Long-time readers may recall that I used to do a segment on the blog entitled "Not Blog Ex," a play on G. Kendall's NOT BLOG X, wherein I looked at the classic Excalibur issues which I hold so dear.  Well, that feature eventually sort of fell by the wayside, but I still had the remaining issues I wanted to do sitting on my night stand, so there you go.

These are the last three issues of Excalibur featuring Alan Davis on both words and art, and they effectively tie up all of the loose ends and story threads from the Claremont/Davis era of "classic" Excalibur.  In the build up to the big X-Men crossover Fatal Attractions, Excalibur was brought "into the fold" a bit more, becoming seemingly synonymous with the other X-titles being published at the time.  And, as such, the quality (and my interest) waned pretty quickly.

#65, "White Lies, Dark Truths" wraps up the RCX/Warpie storyline which had been carrying on for a few issues, with the team trapped in the headquarters of the mysterious organization.  In the end it leads mostly to a series of fights, but we get some nice character moments in there as well, such as Kurt tricking his guards to leave him and Cerise alone by faking a bout of flaring passion, or Brian getting repeatedly beaten down by a Warpie only to continue getting back up.  The Warpie story goes back all the way to the original British Captain Britain strip, so some elements of this story are somewhat confusing if you don't know them.  But it remains a nice little showcase for Davis.

The next two issues comprise one of the most underrated X-Men stories of the 1990s, Days Of Future Yet To Come.  The first installment also has one of my absolute favorite covers of all time, as well.  Our story opens in the Days Of Futures Past timeline, where the mutant Kitty Pryde is being experimented on after being captured.  While Houndmaster Ahab and Master Mold's scientists examine her mind, Kitty phases through the machinery, causing a bizarre reaction, and throwing the now machine-like Kitty through time.  In the present, Phoenix is called back to her own time, taking Excalibur with her.  In the wasteland of the future, the team hooks up with the remaining resistance (consisting primarily of Marvel UH characters, appropriately) and leads the fight to overthrow the rule of the Sentinels.

I absolutely love this story.  The first mystery from the first page of the first Excalibur special is finally revealed (the identity of Widget), the long-running saga of Phoenix-Rachel gets an appropriate blowoff, and Excalibur as a crew take care of business in truly epic, fist-pumping manner.  Everything is resolved and we get a perfect last page sign off to the series.  Davis is on his game here, and even the varied and unusual UK characters are handled deftly.  And it goes without saying that his renditions of the Excalibur members are dead on.  Of course, the end of this story didn't really stick, and the series itself would take a sharp left-turn to crap the very next issue.  But that doesn't take anything away from my enjoyment of these issues.  It was really great to read them again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fair Trade -- Justice League Of America: When Worlds Collide

DC's relaunched Justice League of America from a few years back is an odd book.  For a book which was supposed to be the "centerpiece" of the DCU, it sure ran off in a lot of weird tangents under Brad Metzler and then under Dwayne McDuffie.  How much of this was due to editorial changes beyond the writers' control I am not privy to.  But it made for unusual reading.  It also brought us stories which we would not have gotten had it been a more typical sort of slugfest title.  The story contained in this volume, collecting JLoA v.2:no.27-28, 30-34, is one such story.

Our tale begins shortly after the Final Crisis, with the mysterious Shadow Cabinet slipping into the Satellite in order to steal the waxy remains of the evil Doctor Light.  When they are discovered, a huge brawl breaks out between the two teams, with the alien powerhouse Icon being more than a match for Superman.  But why are they stealing Light's remains?  What does this have to do with the Dr. Kimiyo Hoshi, the heroic Dr. Light?  And how will this encounter, coupled with the splinter faction lead by Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen, impact the League?

One of the elements which McDuffie brought to the title under his watch was that while there were longer storyarcs, they were not completely devoid of connective tissue both fore and aft.  Case in point, this volume not only brings back a character from a previous arc, it also heavily reference both Final Crisis and Cry For Justice. It makes for an strange reading experience if you are reading the volume independently, as I was.  It's not bad, as it reminds me of the kinds of comics I cut my teeth on, but it's a change of pace which not everyone will appreciate.  For me, it made me want to find out more about what I didn't understand.  Other readers will just be turned off.  

Now, the reason I was reading this volume on its own is the guest stars: The Shadow Cabinet, from the dearly-departed Milestone Comics.  Icon, Hardware, Donner, Blitzen, Iron Butterfly, Iota, and the rest are just great characters, and seeing them fully integrated into the DCU as a whole makes me happy.  And the fact that Milestone head honcho McDuffie gets to handle them makes their personalities come through spot-on.  When Icon calmly tells Superman that his word should be enough to gain Big Blue's trust, or when Hardware refers to Vixen as "the future Mrs. Hardware," they sound perfect because no one knows these characters better at this point.

Fist pumping moments abound.  Icon informs Green Lantern Jon Stewart that as a member of the Collective, he is not bound by the laws of the Guardians; Stewart shoots right back saying that he's still on Guardian turf.  Dr. Light and Firestorm have two brutal encounters with the Shadow-Thief (yes, really), and Hawkman makes a smashing appearance as well.

The art is unfortunately inconsistent, with no fewer than 6 pencilers credited.  There's some solid artists in there -- Ed Benes, Jose Luis, Rags Morales -- but their styles clash with each other as we move from chapter to chapter.  Still, the work as a whole is dynamic and professional, and there was not any one artist who work was glaring bad, so I let that pass.  

This story did what it set out to accomplish: introduce the Milestone characters for a new set of readers, incorporate them into the DCU at large, and set the stage for the next storyline, all the while delivering the action and goods for monthly readers.  I would have liked this better in monthly installments, but you can always read your trades in issue-sized chunks.  In the end, this made me move my Icon collection up a few slots on the "To Read" pile, and made me want seek out more classic Hardware and Shadow Cabinet comics.  So, to that end, Mr. McDuffie -- good job.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Looks Good?

Just because I am not buying comics at the shop anymore doesn't mean that I can't tell all of you folks what looks good!

Brightest Day #13 -- The Hawks are in the spotlight again (finally)!

Doom Patrol #16 -- The Chief is gone... where does the team go from here?

Iron Man: Legacy #8 -- Stuck on the Left Coast with a makeshift armor, Tony is in real trouble.

Iron Man/Thor #1 -- Moneymaker, meet cash cow.  Cash cow, meet moneymaker.

Namor #3 -- New Atlantis has only been "New Atlantis" for a week and already it's under siege!  Yikes!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Critical Commentary: 9/11 Heartbreaker

Recently, I was contacted here on the blog by one Craig Staufenberg, creator of the comic 9/11 Heartbreaker, to offer a review of his project.  This came as a surprise to me, as I had never been contacted in that way previously.  So, with a little apprehension I contacted Mr. Staufenberg and received my review copy of 9/11 Heartbreaker.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but with that title, I was fearing something which 1) I would not enjoy and 2) would ruin any further chances of this sort of opportunity for me in the future.

I think pretty much all Americans have some semblance of a political identity.  It's rare to be truly apathetic.  I am no exception.  But I try to keep my politics out of comics as much as possible if only because I read comics for fun and enjoyment, and not for more of the same garbage we get in the real world.  

I was born and raised in New York.  9/11 was an insane day for me personally.  I read a statistic somewhere that every New Yorker knows or knew someone who was impacted by 9/11.  I know I do.  So the use of 9/11 in media is sore spot for me, actively gets me hot and riled, and often either causes me to lose my temper or become very upset.  This was the case back in September with the Sgt. Rock one-shot DC published.  So I was needless to say a little concerned about reading a comic entitled 9/11 Heartbreaker.

It turns out that my concerns and prejudices were unfounded.  Staufenberg has created a story which, though ostensibly drenched in politics, is in fact divorced from them.  This is a story about the personal meaning of tragedy, of loss, and of the memories and emotional resonance of those losses.  Our story follows a young woman who meets a man named Peter.  Peter runs a website which records and documents the memories of young people of 9/11.  This chance meeting sends her on a journey of discovery and introspection, wherein she has to examine the nature of not only 9/11, but of the darkness and decay around us on a daily basis, and the losses we feel and how we cope with them.

I don't think this can be called anything but a tragedy.  This is a tragic story which deals with tragic events.  There are certain elements which offer moments of uplift, but in the end, this is a downbeat story.  As well it probably should be.  There's nothing wrong with tragedy, the artistic sense anyway.  Staufenberg avoids the romantic cliche trap, and instead presents something substantially more realistic.  Our narrator is unsure of her feelings in the face of her vague memories of 9/11, so she goes out and finds other feelings to examine.  Considering the short length, the story makes several turns and feels deep for it's page count.  I'd really like to see this expanded out to full length.

The art is on the simplistic side but suitable to the work.  This isn't trying to wow you with visuals.  I was very impressed with the rendering of various landmarks in and around Buffalo which crop up in the second half.  The art is stylistically simple, as I said, but it sells the story and thus does an admirable job.  

The best compliment I can give 9/11 Heartbreaker is that it treats a potentially controversial topic with sensitivity and care, along the lines of one of my favorite indy comics of all time, Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan.  I hope that Staufenberg has more stories to tell, because I am interested in reading them.

Check out Staufenberg's website, Memory Is Fiction, for more information, including ordering info.  It's definitely worth checking out.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What I Read This Week

Well, this is a new twist on the What I Read This Week posts, because with the end of October comes the end of a 4-and-a-half year era for El Jacone.  

As of this month, I am getting my comics online instead of in my LCS.

This is a big change for me.  When I moved to the Greenville area in 2006, one of the first things I did was set up my pull list at Borderlands.  And I have been a loyal customer ever since.  But it is getting too expensive to continue on that vein, so I have switched to an online mail order service.  I'm going to have to pop in here and there for specials or delayed books, but I am going to close my pull list this week.  I'm saving quite a bit of money, but it means that I won't be able to write my typical Monday posts anymore.

What does this mean for Mondays?  My plan right now is to still write about what I read in the past week, but instead of new comics, to talk about old ones!  I have a huge amount of back issues I have not had a chance to read yet, so I figure this is a great opportunity to do exactly that.

So, keep watching this space, folks!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Shag presents: Firestork!  Featuring Hawkmoose!

Michael Jordan, Director of B.O.B.C.A.T.S.?!

Kelson shows off a snazzy variant to B#8.

Frank brings the awesomesauce with this custom B'Rett toy!

BONUS GAME!  The Grand Old JLA!

And finally, check me out on The Unique Geek Podcast as we talk about the Halloween season!

Mars Attacks #3

#3: Attacking An Army Base

A quiet Sunday afternoon was turned into a tragedy as flying saucers launched their first attack against Earth. Circling an Army training base, the Martians observed the camp from high in the sky. Swooping down from behind the clouds, the invaders set fire to the military barracks. Soldiers ran outside trying to discover why their quarters had burst into flames. The young men were cut down by the strange rays which were unknown to our civilization. Officers and privates lay dying on the ground as the saucers continued their onslaught against the Army base. Word of the disaster shocked the world, and forced the President to declare 'a state of national emergency.'

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Looks Good?

Halloween is this weekend?  Either Saturday or Sunday, or, most likely, both?  Where the heck did October go?  Yeesh, at least some things still take the same amount of time between installments.

Superman #704 -- I don't know this story is selling, but I for one am digging the heck out of it.

Avengers #6 -- This one on the other hand, no so much.  This is my last issue of this series.  Sorry (F'N) Bendis, but the way you write the Avengers is not what I am looking for.

X-Factor Forever TP -- I might give this one a try; I dig the original X-Men/X-Factor lineup and they just don't play anymore nowadays.

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Classic Excalibur Minimates!

Longtime readers of this blog know I dig some old school Excalibur, so this Minimates Classic Excalibur boxed set seems right up my alley!

Juggy is a weird addition, because while the team did fight him early on, he wasn't a member of Excalibur until the New Excalibur days.  I would have much preferred to get Rachel or Kitty in there in his place.  Still, Nightcrawler, Captain Britain, and the super-neato Meggan (check out her awesome ears!) make this one worth picking up, assuming I can find it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

What I Read This Week

Brightest Day #12 -- It's a Martian Manhunter-a-go-go here, as J'Onn heads back to Mars and confronts the murderous other Green Martian, D'Kay.  As a Manhunter solo effort, I liked this issue, even if I am not entirely sold on where his story is going.  But I liked the history of D'Kay and the final double-twists at the end.  Definitely setting up a new status quo for Our Favorite Martian.

DCU Halloween Special 2010 -- A mix of the spooky and the silly for the holiday season.  The best story involves Batman and Robin teaming up with I, Vampire to take down a vamprific cult in Gotham City.  The Teen Titans story was funny, and the lead, dealing with the Scarecrow being captured by several, uh, Batmen, made me laugh.  Fun reading, if not especially deep or really all that horrific.

Tiny Titans #33 -- All Robin, all the time!  That's the premise behind this Bat-heavy romp.  Best bit: Lil Cassie Cain carrying around Alfred's autographed picture of Dan Didio.

Tomb Of Terror #1 -- Four tales starring the Marvel pantheon of monsters, just in time for Halloween.  In black and white to boot!  Man-Thing, Werewolf By Night, the Son Of Satan, and The Living Mummy all appear, and each one acquits themselves admirably.  The SoS story has some art which looks downright amateurish in places, but it's serviceable.  Odd note: The cover calls out that there are 48 pages, but in reality there are only 30 (no ads)!  Ooops!

Re-Read Pile: Brightest Day, Tomb Of Terror.

The Pick Of The Pile was Tomb Of Terror, which if Marvel made into some sort of ongoing (quarterly perhaps?), I would definitely add to my pull list.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Iron Man 2.0 Coming Soon

Nick Spencer, the writer on such comics I have never read as Existence 2.0 and Morning Glories, is taking the reins on a new War Machine series being titled, oddly, Iron Man 2.0.  You can read about it over on Newsarama.

"The reality is, if we dropped War Machine into Afghanistan today, it would not change the situation at all... We live in an era of asymmetrical warfare. These entities are so agile and so difficult to identify, that we're at a loss as to how to win anymore... How do you deal with an enemy that you can't simply point a gun at, and you can't simply punch?"

An interesting take, especially considering that the previous War Machine series was so over the top about it's combat and violence.  Spencer apparently has a background in politics, but says this won't be a political book.  I'll believe that when I see it, especially from Marvel.  And as to the title?  Say all you want about it being a creative decision, but the fact is that its another book which Marvel can slap the "Iron Man" name on and sell under that brand, rather than the not-nearly-as-marketable "War Machine."

Still, I have always dug Rhodey and will be checking this series out.  Wow, three Marvel books (Invincible Iron Man, Namor, and now this one)... been a while since I have been at that level!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Looks Good?

Hard to believe it is almost Halloween, isn't it?  I guess it's true what they say, if you don't stop and smell the roses every once in a while, time will just pass you by.

Brightest Day #12 -- More Firestorm!  More Aquaman!  More Black Lanterns!  Holy crap!

DCU Halloween Special 2010 -- Well, I guess it is almost Halloween, huh?

Justice League of America: When Worlds Collide -- The Justice League versus the Shadow Cabinet!  It's on now!

Tiny Titans #33 -- Your second dose of adorableness this month!

Darkwing Duck #5 -- Still waiting on #2 and #3, but hey, it's an ongoing now!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sgt. Rock Fights On!

Has Sgt. Rock ever been on a t-shirt before?  Well, thanks to the good folks at PopFunk, the old soldier is ready to grace the chests of fanboys and fangirls across the world.

If there ever was a shirt which needed to distressed and worn out looking, this is it.  My only complaint is that you can't get it in a drab olive.  Maybe we can get Haunted Tank and Unknown Soldier shirts to go with it?

Monday, October 18, 2010

What I Read This Week

Magnus, Robot Fighter #2 -- Down in the depths of NorthAm, Magnus comes face to face with the Robot Mafia and their human trafficking racket!  Shooter is infusing this series with a sort of retro-vibe, which is appropriate for 1) a Gold Key revival and 2) a series set in the 41st century.  I am digging it as a straight forward, Magnus-fights-robots book, which is the intention, I think.

Outsiders #33 -- In Markovia, troops are massing at the northern border against an invasion, but Geo-Force and The Eradicator have to deal with the insane Geode!  Dan DiDio brings back Denise Howard?!  I did not see that one coming!  But beyond that, some of the earlier seeds planted begin to sprout, as the Herald makes himself known.  I also like the intro text, which describes Geo-Force and his team of Outsiders (as opposed to Black Lightning's crew).  Strong stuff right here.

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Outsiders -- Speaking of Outsiders in Markovia, when Bruce Wayne (as "The Insider") makes his way into the country, he finds himself on the wrong end of the Outsiders attention after a botched attempt on Brion's life.  For the love of Hashut it's good to have Mike W. Barr write these characters again.  And he also GETS GEO-FORCE'S POWERS CORRECT, something which hardly no one seems to be able to do lately.  Beyond that, this is a nice little Outsiders story, but it doesn't seem to serve much function other than to get Bruce Wayne's opinions on the current team.  Still, any time Barr writes the Outsiders its a treat.  The art by Javier Saltares is action-packed, and I would not mind seeing him on the main title.

Superman #703 -- Outside of Cincinati, the Dark Knight catches up with the Man of Steel, while the remnants of one of Superman's foes has plans all its own.  I liked this issue quite a bit, and I liked the philosophical stuff with Supes and Bats (even if it clearly was meant to be Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson had to be sorta shoehorned in there).  Then we get a nice action sequence and some social relevance.  I know there are a lot of haters out there but I am enjoying "Grounded" and think it will be a very good story when its all said and done.

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #1 -- A dry cleaning mix-up leads to the revelation that, well, wouldn't you know it, the Tiny Titans and the Little Archies are a town apart from each other!  Hilarity ensues as it only can from the Tiny Titans crew.

Iron Man By Design -- All of the Iron Man By Design covers are collected herein, along with commentary from the artists.  Considering I didn't buy any of the variants, this was a good investment as a small art book.  

Iron Man: Titanium #1 -- Four titanic tales of the Golden Avenger and those who associate him.  First, Iron Man has to battle a new sect of AIM and their bootleg Titanium Man armor.  Next, Pepper Potts has the commute from hell.  Then, Iron Man and SHIELD have to shut down what may be Ultimo's older brother.  And finally, Tony's reunion at MIT turns into a life or death struggle.  Sweet Christmas can we get Adam Warren to write the monthly Iron Man book?!  This man has a handle on the Cool Exec my friends.  All four stories are fun, with a large variety of art styles demonstrated.  The second feature (done by Nuno Plati) has a sort of an anime-ish look to it, while the fourth feature is rendered by Filipe Andrade, who looks a lot like previous Iron Man artist Keron Grant.  Great fun for $5.

Re-Read Pile: Magnus, Outsiders, Bruce Wayne, Superman, Iron Man: Titanium.

The Pick Of The Pile is Iron Man: Titanium, unsurprisingly.  Just a great showcase of the kinds of stories that can be told with Iron Man that don't involve moping, building electric cars, failing personally and technologically, or putting other people over while burying yourself under a mountain of ill-founded liberal guilt.  Ahem.  Outsiders and Superman were very good as well.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

King Kull Will Mess You Up Something Fierce

This cover to Kull: The Hate Witch #3 by Tom Fleming is one of the most singularly, insanely, awesomely HEAVY METAL depictions of Kull The Conqueror I have ever seen.  He looks ready to tear apart Valusia and Atlantis and everywhere in between!

Kull: The Hate Witch starts next month from Dark Horse.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Outsiders Preview

Taken from the sampler over at Comixology, here is a couple of preview pages from today's Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Outsiders one-shot.  

Mostly I am glad to have Mike W. Barr writing the "reunion" of Bats and most of the original Outsiders, because Barr (that magnificent bastard) knows the Outsiders better than anyone on the planet.  I am guessing that this takes place after at least this week's issue of Outsiders since last we saw Looker she was on her way to Markovia but not there yet.  I am not reading the other Road Home books so hopefully this will at least make sense!

What Looks Good?

It's still in the 80s here in South Carolina, despite being October.  At least my choices for comics are still cool.

Magnus, Robot Fighter #2 -- Apparently this is an ongoing now... not that I am complaining!

Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Outsiders -- Bruce is back?  Well that didn't take long.  Wonder what he thinks of what Geo-Force is doing?  Also: Mike W. Barr!

Outsiders #33 -- Speaking of which, what is Geo-Force up to?

Superman #703 -- Superman continues his journey to reconnect with America.  I have no snark to add at this point.

Tiny Titans/Little Archie #1 -- Because you sort of demanded it!

Invincible Iron Man #31 -- I'm assuming it'll be Shellhead versus the Detroit Steel drones, but who knows!

Iron Man By Design -- Remember all of those Iron Man variant covers no one bought?  Now they're collected!

Iron Man: Titanium #1 -- It's got the Titanium Man on the cover, how can I not buy it?

Tomb Of Terror #1 -- It's got the Werewolf By Night and Man-Thing in it, how can I not buy it?

War Machine Classic TP -- Collecting the first seven issues plus the ashcan, you know this is coming out in preperation for Rhodey's new book.  Hey Marvel, where's my Force Works collections?

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror Episode 2: The Things!

Hey folks, head on over here to hear your host over on Episode 2 of The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror, where I join the Chris-keeper and Hair-Metal Hero as we dissect both the classic 1951 The Thing From Another World and John Carpenter's super-gross remake, The Thing!  Enjoy!

Fair Trade: Haunted Tank

I am a sucker for old genre properties brought back and modernized.  Hence when this new version of the Haunted Tank began being published, I made a mental note to check it out, since the concept of the Tank in a modern military setting would be a hoot.  Unfortunately, though the concept is sound, the execution is a little too ham fisted for my taste.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Lieutenant Jamal Stuart, commander of an M1 Abrams, finds his tank suddenly occupied by the spirit of General J.E.B. Stuart, a Civil War era cavalryman.  Gen. Stuart has guided generations of cavalrymen in his line, offering them protection and advice in the time of war.  One problem: He's still stuck in the 1860s, and his charge, Lt. Stuart, is Black.  

Needless to say this causes no small amount of bad blood for Lt. Stuart, who wants nothing to do with the Confederate General.  But there's not much time to argue about it as the crew is besieged on all sides by Iraqi guerillas looking to put the kibosh on their machine.  So J.E.B. Stuart rides again, leading one of the most powerful war machines ever built through the dusty streets.

See what I mean?  Great setup.  But rather than offering something novel or unexpected with it, writer Frank Marraffino instead riffs on the same race cards which were cliched when I was in high school.  OF COURSE Gen. Stuart asks Jamal if he prefers the term "Darkie" over "Nigra."  OF COURSE Gen. Stuart raped one of his slaves to produce the lineage which lead to the Lieutenant.  OF COURSE he was then cursed by the slave's hoodoo wielding grandmother.  This stuff is so hoary it's downright comical.  

When Marraffino sticks to the action -- and lets penciller Henry Flint cut loose -- the book picks up appreciably.  There's a bit of satire in the way the Iraqis are handled, which is ridiculous enough to work, and his grasp of the Army terminology and the various ordinance is appreciated.  But Flint's pencils are the best part of this collection.  At the beginning of the story the M1 rolls into a field of Iraqi tanks, and the ensuing battle is one of the best rendered tank battles I have ever seen in a comic.  And that high quality continues through the entire book.

In closing, this is not a bad collection per se, but I would have much preferred a more balanced portrayal of Gen. Stuart and his contemporaries rather than just making him a stereotype.  Were there bad men in the Confederacy?  Certainly, but there were honorable men as well, and I have always thought of Stuart as a more romantic sort.  Of course, that doesn't jive with what a Vertigo book is going to be, so I suppose I have no one to blame for my disappointment but myself.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Critical Commentary: Invincible Iron Man To Be Renumbered

As was long suspected by yours truly and was officially announced over the weekend at New York Comic-Con, Invincible Iron Man is being renumbered to #500 with what would have been #33 in January.  Unlike most Marvel renumberings, this one makes more sense: 332 issues of the original run, 13 issues of Volume 2, 89 issues of Volume 3, 35 issues of Volume 4 less the 3 issues of the War Machine tryout, and then 33 issues of Invincible Iron Man.

(Of course, the title was never officially called Invincible Iron Man before the Fraction/La Rocca book, but that's nitpicking even for me.)  

Scribe Matt Fraction did an interview with Newsarama regarding the renumbering, which you can find here.  I have taken a few snips from the piece for critical response.

Fraction: ...And there's a macro-story my run's been telling; this issue is what if, as "everything so far has been leading up to this point," Tony, somehow, loses? What if Iron Man doesn't save the day?

Considering that the entirety of IIM has been about Tony Stark losing in one sense or another, I fail to see how this is special or unique.  I'm willing to give Fraction the benefit of the doubt, but don't spit in my face and tell me it's raining.

Nrama: A high number may not be the most significant thing in the world, but writing issue #500 for such an iconic character still has to be pretty cool. How meaningful Is that to you?

Fraction: It's bonkers. It's nuts. When we started, we were the other Iron Man book. And that was at a time when, in my opinion, as a guy reading the book since 198, the title had never been stronger. What the Knaufs were doing, and what Ellis did before them was, for me, a high-water mark in the character's history.

Okay, if you so liked what the Knaufs were doing, why did you take everything they did and jettison it out of the window?   The Knaufs' run on Iron Man v.4 was indeed one for the ages, but how can you say it was a "high-water mark" and then completely undo everything they built?  

Also, it was very clear at the time that IIM was never the "other" Iron Man title, since all of the push, advertisement, and other general hype was directed at it, something which Volume 4 never received once the inane delays of Warren Ellis and Adi Granov became self-evident.

As I said, I am willing to give Fraction the benefit of the doubt when it comes to #500 and beyond.  I don't always like what he is doing, and when he is off his game he is OFF his game, but I believe him when he says he is a fan and that he has plans for the character.  I may be the only comic reader on the planet which is not in love with his weak depiction of Tony Stark, but if only for the flashes of brilliance (and the eternal search for hope), I continue reading.

What I Read This Week

Brightest Day #11 -- Aquaman and Black Manta go toe-to-toe over young Jackson, while Deathstorm (righteous!) begins his reign of terror against Ronnie and Jason.  The same stars as last time, but the action gets racheted up a notch.  The brawl between Aquaman and Black Manta is nice, but it's only the first round for those two.  As to Deathstorm, seems like Johns is still pushing his anti-90s stance, which is alright in this case.  The cliffhanger is one heck of a doozy though!

Doom Patrol #15 -- It's the Chief versus the Doom Patrol... only the Chief now has all of the powers of a Kryptonian.  This may be the best issue of this series to date.  Not so much for the fight, which is rather stupendously rendered, but more for the insight into the head of Niles Caulder.  Remember, back during the Blackest Night tie-ins, his only emotion was Avarice.  How is a man who takes and takes and takes qualified to be in charge of the Doom Patrol?  How does he justify his underhanded and sometimes downright criminal actions?  Giffen paints a portrait of a bad man who nonetheless feels his course of action was not only appropriate but loving.  When I first started reading this book I thought it would be mostly for fun, but Giffen has made me care about the Patrol in a way no one else has ever come close.

Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #3 -- As Lara's Raology takes the world by storm, Jor-El's science begins to have a negative effect on Earth... all while Kal-El builds his legacy and Lex Luthor grows more and more discontent.  A suitably epic conclusion to this very worthwhile Elseworlds.  Definitely a series I need to read in one fell swoop.  Hopefully Bates will continue to get work from the Superman office.

Iron Man: Legacy #7 -- As Tony Stark works with his newfound engineering prodigy, the Serpent Society makes their move to eliminate him and secure their own future.  One thing you can say about Van Lente is that he is not afraid to bring in a lot of badguys.  I like both the Tony Stark-centric story and the Pride-centric story, so this arc is shaping up nicely.  One nitpick though: you kind of need a mob to lynch someone, otherwise I am pretty sure it's just a hanging.  Also, Tony's look at the end really reminds of the early part of Frank Tieri and Keron Grant's run on Volume 3.

Charmed #3 -- As Innocents continue to die or disappear, Phoebe has to take time out to handle a mass wedding photo-op with some unusual guests.  Meanwhile, an old foe is rising in the Underworld.  The Phoebe subplot is very strange, but, to be fair this is the sort of thing which would have happened on the show so I can't complain too loudly.  The baddie reveal was obvious from the start but I like his new form.  Alright issue, though not enough happens for my taste.  There is a very nice action sequence involving a young Firestarter (the nature of this story rewards folks who watched the series), and Piper mowing down demons.

Re-Read Pile: Brightest Day, Doom Patrol, Iron Man: Legacy.

The Pick Of The Pile is Doom Patrol, which actually jumped up to the top of my Re-read Pile after I read it the first time.  It's just a well written and drawn comic all around.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

Derf memorializes Chewbacca.  Chewie, we hardly knew ya.

Kelson provides us a quick art round up.

Frank shows off a nice piece of Diana versus Ares artwork.

rob! gives us a funny moment with.. Animal Man?

BONUS GAME!  Mera in the flesh!

And finally, DC announces a price rollback of all things!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What Looks Good?

It's gotten downright chilly here in SC this past week, with autumn arriving in force.  So make youself some hot cider and read comics -- that's what I do.

Brightest Day #11 -- Aquaman versus Black Manta!  It's on like Donkey Kong!

Doom Patrol #15 -- The Patrol finds themselves fighting against The Chief.  Only this time it's an actual fight!

Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #3 -- The world is vastly different... and yet strangely familiar... what will come from the close ties between Jor-El and Lex Luthor?

Iron Man: Legacy #7 -- Tony is down and out in California, about to meet the "Left Coast" of evil in the Marvel Universe!

Charmed #3 -- It seems that destiny is not yet finished with the Charmed Ones as all of the Innocents they saved are now dying!

So, what looks good to YOU?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mars Attacks #2

#2: Martians Approaching

The long journey through space was over and the Martian soldiers were eager to start the attack. Finally at rest after traveling 48,000,000 miles, the saucers awaited the instructions from their home base on Mars. Powerful weapons had been transported across space... weapons so destructive that Earth would be crippled beyond repair. Centuries ago the Martians had learned how to harness the Sun's energy. This solar energy now operated the deadly weapons that Mars used in its battles. Long ago the solar power was used to build beautiful cities and ingenious inventions. All this was changed now... Earth was to be conquered.

Monday, October 4, 2010

What I Read This Week

GI Combat -- In 1944, in the hills of the French countryside, Lt. Jeb Smith and crew find their M3 in a rivalry with a Lt. Sherman, who commands an M4.  But their rivalry has to go on the back burner to survive a withering German offensive!  Pretty standard Haunted Tank story, but a good one.  The twist ending is clever and somewhat ironically ties tangentially back to the Weird War Tales issue.  Definitely demonstrates the strengths of the Haunted Tank feature.

Star Spangled War Stories -- Mme. Marie parachutes into the French countryside and hooks up with La Resistance... but is the Milice fran├žaise laying in wait for her?  Possibly the best Mme. Marie story ever written, this has a real 1960s War movie feel to it.  The French Resistance has always been a scenario ripe for stories and this is no exception.  "Live Free Or Die!" indeed.  All in all this was a very enjoyable event from DC and I hope we get more War comics going forward... a quarterly, perhaps?

Namor, The First Mutant #2 -- Back at New Atlantis, underneath the island of Utopia, Namor prepares his people for the worst as the Shallow Peace with the Aqueos has been broken!  Sort of a middling issue.  I liked it alright when I read it but now I have a hard time caring about the X-Men stuff (who the heck is Loa?), although Namor's jab at Emma Frost and her response were great.  I am sticking with this book as I think it has potential, and Olivetti's art (especially the heavies) is growing on me.

Futurama Comics #51 -- After Bender jettisons are the "Human Food" from the ship, the crew finds themselves so desperately hungry that Fry agrees to be the royal chef for the ruling family of Omicron-Persei 8!  I know that doesn't make sense, but it's funny as all heck and really, that's what matters.

The Phantom: Generations Special #1 -- Unfortunately I did not get a chance to read this triple-sized issue, but it looks pretty good from flipping through it!

Flash #5 -- The Rogues versus the Renegades!  With a little bit of Brightest Day thrown in for good measure.  Johns and Manupal are a good pair on this title, and the various Rogue powers on display here give Manupal a chance to flex his pencil.  The dynamics of these characters flow smoothly and easily, and could we be seeing the next version of The Top coming into his own?  Amped up for the conclusion next issue.

Avengers #5 -- While half of the team fights against chaos in the streets of Manhattan, the other half finds themselves trying to stop the timestream from breaking in the first place.  At least this issue is not a rehash like #'s 2 and 3 were, even though we flash back (in a manner) to #2 towards the end.  Just not doing it for, including the continued punking of Iron Man and now Kang as well, a classic baddie.  One more issue and then the subscription runs out; keep an eye out for a cheap set of Avengers #1-6 on eBay!

Darkwing Duck #4 -- Have to wait to get #'s 2 and 3 before I can read this one!

Re-Read Pile: Star Spangled War Stories, Namor, Flash, GI Combat.

The Pick Of The Pile is a tough one, but I am going to go with Star Spangled War Stories, which was just a great little done-in-one which took a fairly forgettable character and gave her a great showcase.

Friday, October 1, 2010


You Know It!!!

Everybody's Linking For The Weekend

First off, head over to Kelson's Speed Force for the home base of Read This, Too!  From there you can read all of the participating blogs!

Jack Kirby + Sid & Marty Krofft == GOLD.

Shag shows off his new geekwear.

rob! has what might be my favorite of his Random Panels.

Ladies and gentlemen... Mr. V!  (Thanks, Frank!)

And finally, a look inside Stan Winston Studios! Check out the Howard the Duck heads on page 2!  

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 -- 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!