Archive for January, 2011

A Geeky Predicament

You’re at work, and it’s the middle of winter.  You’re bundled up and professionally dressed to meet office requirements.  But—you just went for a walk on your lunch hour, and now you’re back to your desk where you discover someone has seriously cranked up the heat.  As you sit there in your thick sweater, sweating profusely, you realize you have a t-shirt on underneath.  You could take your sweater off to cool down, but then you remember it’s a Batman t-shirt.  You also happen to work at a very prestigious university where this sort of thing won’t fly.

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Wuh-Wuh-Wuh-Wednesday!

And that means it’s time for a PULL LIST!

Age of X Alpha #1 – I’m so excited about Mike Carey’s Age of X storyline and can’t wait to read the kickoff here.  It continues in X-Men Legacy as well as New Mutants, I believe—normally I’d be shouting “NO CROSSOVERS!” but I’m actually looking forward to this.  I don’t mind if it spans two or three books—if it means more Carey, I’m for it.

Amazing Spider-Man #650 – I have to get this 2nd printing version because I somehow missed the first one when it came out a few weeks back, so I haven’t been able to read the two issues that followed.  Therefore I don’t know what’s going on with the suit.  No spoilers, please.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #152 – Admittedly only reading this for the return of Black Cat.  I don’t really care about the upcoming “Death of Spider-Man” hoo-hah Bendis has got coming up.  The first issue of this arc was pretty decent.

Secret Avengers #9 – I feel like this title is floundering a bit with the last issue or two; I’m not sure why.  Maybe because it all centers around Shang-Chi and I’m finding him kind of boring at the moment.  Sticking with this to get to the next arc, which I’m hoping will pick things up.  Also, apparently someone needs to re-teach Mike Deodato how to draw a face.

New Avengers #8 – I don’t read Bendis’ Avengers on a regular basis; I pick it up here and there when I think it looks interesting.  I tend to be more drawn to “character-driven” issues full of dialogue and interaction, as opposed to “action” issues that are just page after page of explosions.  Not that I don’t like a good explosion, but … you know.  I like to get into what makes characters tick, and this looks like it may be a good one.  I suppose the preview pages of Luke and Jessica out for dinner could be misleading; maybe there will be an explosion at the end of the issue.  Then I can’t complain.

Uncanny X-Force #4 – Love, love, love this book.

Uncanny X-Men #532 – I’m about five issues behind on this title.  Greg Land … *gouges out eyeballs*

X-Men #7 – Wow, is this up to #7 already?  I think I left off on #3.  Has anyone been reading this?

Cursed Pirate Girl TPB CoverCursed Pirate Girl TP – I totally missed this story when it came out in single issues; I basically didn’t know it existed until last week and now I’m hearing about it everywhere.  I like pirates and I like pretty art, so it’s a near certainty I’ll like this book.  I hear the story’s amazing.

Other Stuff, Maybes, Borrows, Shelf-Reads:

X-23 #5 – I love the art on this book.  I could take or leave Gambit, though.  Marjorie Liu doesn’t let me down often.

Green Arrow #8 – I don’t know why I’m still reading this, honestly.  I keep waiting for something … anything to happen that will actually make the plot MOVE somewhere.  I may give it another one or two issues before I drop it.

Wonder Woman #606 – <Insert sound of car crash here>

Detective Comics #873 – Feels like five issues of this have come out since the last issue of Batman, Inc.  Where’s Batman, Inc. #3?  Did I blindly miss it somewhere?

Teen Titans #91 – Just ‘cause I like Damian.

Fantastic Four #587 – I’m actually not reading this; I don’t read FF, and the news has already spoiled which member is biting the dust.  But for those of you who are planning to pick it up, I hear there have been some surprise packaged issues popping up with Jonathan Hickman’s original signature on the cover, so maybe you’ll get lucky.

That’s all, kids.  What are YOU picking up?


Wonder Woman TV Series Greenlit by NBC

Wonder Woman LogoAfter a couple of months of “will they, won’t they,” David E. Kelley’s much shopped-around pitch for a Wonder Woman television series has finally been picked up by NBC.  The news comes after last week’s announcement that the project was most likely dead after being turned down by many studios.  Kelley, at the time, reasoned that he had not yet given up hope on the project—and behold, another pitch to NBC proved to be the right one.  Deadline Hollywood has the whole story.

My own thoughts on the news?  As a Wonder Woman fan, I’m a little wary.  Well, I was wary to begin with—then I read this:  “The project is described as a reinvention of the iconic DC comic in which Wonder Woman—aka Diana Prince—is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.”

I think I really only need one word here:

*Headdesk*


 
X-posted @ Nerd Caliber


Marvel’s Widow Maker

I was really looking forward to this a few months ago, and while I’m not entirely let down, I’m not blown away either.  Here’s what’s up.

Marvel created two new titles last year in Black Widow and Hawkeye & Mockingbird, hailed as “ongoings.”  Frankly, I thought both were great, enjoyable reads.  But then Marvel did what they always do, which is to say “Omg, these books aren’t selling to our absurd standards … WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO MESS WITH THEM!”  So Black Widow got a new writer in Duane Swierczynski after merely one story arc, which was a big mistake, as Swierczynski’s script was nowhere near the level of his predecessor’s, Marjorie Liu.  Nor, for that matter, is Manuel Garcia’s art any better than Daniel Acuna’s, who I thought was a perfect fit for the tone of the book.  Hawkeye & Mockingbird, on the other hand,  simply goes on “hiatus” … after this genius crossover concludes, that is.

Yes, here we have Hawkeye & Mockingbird meeting up with Black Widow, and the creative teams on each book are taking turns writing and illustrating each issue.  And therein lies my problem.  While the story as a whole isn’t bad, I have to say outright that the issues seem to go up and down.  Issue one, done by Hawk & Mock’s creative team of Jim McCann and David Lopez was stellar enough as far as setting up the book.  Issue two sunk a little under Swierczynski’s pen, and the artwork was incredibly hard to follow.  Last week’s issue three picked things back up, although I worry about the conclusion.

If you read the solicitation for this story and/or seen the preview images, you should know you’ve been misled.  This book is almost not at all about what they said it would be about.  I mean, take a look at this:

Widow Maker Solicit

What’s going on here?  Mockingbird and Black Widow fighting?  Surely it must be a cat fight over Clint.  Shock!  Well, no—not even close.  In fact, Bobbi and Natasha have gotten along uninterestingly well so far.  There is absolutely no drama in this department—which is fine by me.  There’s a general misconception that you can’t put two women in the same room who have dated the same man without the claws coming out, so it was refreshing to see that NOT happen here.  There’s a reason these two ladies are strong characters, and it has nothing to do with the men in their lives.  But I digress.

The main point of the story is that there is a new character running around using the “Ronin” name and costume, and causing all sorts of problems.  Bent on setting off a war utilizing both Japanese and Russian forces, it’s up to Clint, Bobbi, Natasha, and Dominic Fortune (still the most entertaining piece of this) to set things straight.  That’s the basic gist.  Is it the most inspired piece of work out there right now?  Not really, but it does have things to offer that some other books don’t.  It’s fun, the character dynamics are pretty interesting, and overall it’s just kind of a nice read—but it probably would have been even nicer if Jim McCann was just left to do the work himself.  You should see the stuff that guy’s putting together over at Archaia.

Ultimately, Marvel shoots themselves in the foot yet again, tampering with two recipes that were working just fine for the readers.  I’ll stick through this crossover, because I’m curious as to what happens to the Clint and Bobbi team once it ends.  I’m kind of nostalgic about those two.  I’ll be sad to see Hawk & Mock go; sad that I have to read a subpar Black Widow when it was once so great with Liu behind the helm; and sad that when Marvel comes back in a few months to hype up a different “ongoing,” I’ll probably still fall for the bait.


Batman, X-Men News and … Sarah Palin

Check out my post at nerdcaliber.com regarding the latest news on The Dark Knight Rises and X-Men: First Class!

Also… Steampunk Palin came out this week. You know you want a copy.

Steampunk Palin

Too hilarious to pass up! Photo genius courtesy of yours truly.


DCU Online / Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Joker from DCU OnlineDCU Online came out last week, and I’d love to hear some opinions of the game.  My desktop computer is horrifically out of date and in need of major upgrade before I can try my hand at another MMO.  I may rectify that at some point in the coming months, but in the meantime, has anyone bought this yet?  Anyone planning to?  Picking up the comic book tie-in maybe?

Also, to follow up on my previous Marvel vs. Capcom 3 post, more new characters have been announced, including Storm and Phoenix on the Marvel side of things, and Haggar for Capcom.  Game’s due out on February 15th.


Blurb Reviews

Only three today; I did very little reading over the holiday break aside from working through some Fables trades, and I’m woefully behind on all the new stuff that’s come out in recent weeks.  Bear with me as I try to fill some holes in my collection and get somewhat up-to-date.  I hope everyone had a safe, warm, and lovely holiday.

Birds of Prey #7Birds of Prey #7 – Aww, this issue broke my heart a little.  This title has been consistently excellent (I usually avoid reviewing it because I would just be going “YAY THIS IS AMAZING I LOVE BIRDS OF PREY HOORAY GAIL SIMONE” every month), and #7 is no kink in the chain.  The usual mix of action, humor, drama, and intrigue, this issue finds Bruce Wayne Batman (so funny that we have to distinguish which Batman we’re talking about these days) checking in on Oracle, who proceeds to take him on a tour of her new headquarters.  There’s also some fuel to the “DC is killing off Oracle” rumors, but it’s not exactly what you think, and I’m interested to see if it goes where I predicted it would in Barbara simply taking on a different mantle.  Best scene in the issue involves the Birds on a night out—any time Zinda’s got a beer in her hands, you can guarantee hilarity.  My only peeve with this book right now is the fact that every single issue has to introduce all the characters over and over and over again:  “Black Canary.  Dinah Lance.  Devastating sonic scream.  Blah blah blah.”  All right, editorial, we get it.  Can we leave the new-reader-friendly intros to just the first issue of each new arc and leave them there?  Thanks.
Birds of Prey #8 is due out this Wednesday; I’ll be doing my happy dance.

Avengers: Children's Crusade #4Young Avengers Children’s Crusade #4 (of 9) – I really, really, really want to hate this book.  I want to hate it because it’s absurdly late, and I feel neglected as a consumer.  I feel like Heinberg and Marvel are going to take their sweet time, regardless of promises.  I want to hate them for that, and I want to not buy this book.  But … oh, it’s just so good.  I just love it.  Issue four finds Wiccan up against Doctor Doom; an amnesiac Scarlet Witch without her powers and about to be wed; a ticked-off Wolverine seconds away from killing her once and for all, and the surprise re-emergence of a character I did not see coming at all.  This mini is apparently worth the agonizing amount of time it’s taking to publish, because it’s clever and FUN and entertaining and … it’s FUN!  It’s a lot of what most comics are missing these days.  There’s a real PLOT that is actually FOLLOWED.  There’s exposition and dialogue that come together to–*gasp*–give CHARACTER.  And have I mentioned that it’s fun?  Quite frankly, I need more Young Avengers in my life.  This book is awesome.  Go buy it right now.

 

Wonder Woman #605Wonder Woman #whatever because I don’t care about this book to keep track anymore – It’s sad, really.  To go from such a high in the preceding review to … this.  Sweet Jesus, I don’t know why I’m still reading.  WHY am I still reading?!  I just can’t stop.  Just when I think it couldn’t POSSIBLY get any worse—just when I thought Phil Hester was bound to clean things up, I am proven so utterly, completely, hideously wrong with this issue.  What plunging depths of horribleness will we reach, I wonder?  Better yet, how is this even happening?  In this issue, Wonder Woman:

– Threatens to beat up/gets in a fight with a store clerk
– Steals a significant amount of money
– Listens to heavy metal?  (While there’s nothing wrong with this music, it’s just not an image I associate with Wonder Woman.)
– Consistently encourages violence and revenge.  Whhaaaa?

Why, I ask, are the words “Wonder Woman” still being displayed across the title page of this book?  I understand she’s basically a “different character” with a different back story and continuity here (thanks again, JMS), but … whhaaaa?  Why, in her CORE AND ONLY BOOK, are we delving even further and further away from what makes Diana different from other superheroes, as opposed to a carbon copy of every other angsty teenager DC already has in their arsenal?  Why are we delving further away from who she is?  Couldn’t DC have done an “Ultimate” version of Wonder Woman—call it “All-Star” or whatever other line you want to give it, and leave the Wonder Woman we all know and love alone in her main title for those of us who appreciate her?  I might have been able to tolerate this version if I knew she wasn’t the only version currently available to me.  I feel like I keep asking the same questions over and over.  Why is Diana still the only one of the Big Three who doesn’t have more than one title?  Wasn’t this the perfect chance for that?  How do DC expect to encourage love for a character by completely changing every aspect of her personality?  Have we learned nothing from the disaster that was mod squad Wonder Woman?  I’m not even going to touch on my myriad other complaints.  My only shred of hope here is the fact that the plot alluded to a very slight possibility of things eventually returning to normal, and I am beside myself with the desire for that to happen.  I just don’t think I can hold my breath long enough.

Sigh.  I need something cool to wash away the bad taste left in my mouth after that last review.  So here’s this:

 Dinosaur Comics

From Dinosaur Comics, with thanks to my friend Jon for pointing it out.