Friday, December 31, 2010

The New Avengers: Breakout

The New Avengers: Breakout - Comic of the Day
"Breakout" broke me back into comics
The first arc of the New Avengers, "Breakout", written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Brian Hitch, is the reason I got back into comic book collecting.

I was 4 years into my college days when one day, for really no reason at all, I walked inside a local comic book shop. I looked around and realized I had no idea what had happened in comic books since the mid 90's. I had missed about 10 years in comic books and missed out on a lot of changes. After a quick look around I was left with one thought: where to begin.

I purchased 3 trade paper backs.
  • Avengers: Disassembled
  • House of M
  • New Avengers: Breakout
After I read Avengers: Disassembled I felt like I was very lost. As soon as I get back to comic books some major players were either going crazy or getting killed. The book was entertaining but I was left with a sense of chaos. Then I picked-up The New Avengers: Breakout.

The New Avengers had done what one of my favorite stories of all time had done in Fantastic Four #347 - #349 when it brought some of the coolest Marvel characters together on a team (the new Fantastic Four). Bendis brought together a group of heroes that included some classic Avengers and some fan favorites. For an ongoing series in Marvel, this was quite new. I liked it.

The new direction to both give the fans what they want and provide interesting stories was very attractive to me as an older consumer of comics. Some of the older comic books I own may have never made my collection these days. They may have had excitement, but no story, or story but not as exciting. Bendis combined the two, for me, in The New Avengers: Breakout.

The comic of the day grabbed me back into comic books and 5 years later I am more into comic than ever before. Heck, I have this blog where I write about a new comic of the day every day. Thanks Bendis. I am now much poorer and broke every Thursday because of you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What If? #200

What If? #200 - Comic of the Day
Thank God the Sentry is dead
In the 200th issue of What If? we look back at what could have been is Osborn's side had won the battle at Asgard during the Siege conflict.

The event takes a change even before the battle actually begins. Two days before the events of Siege unfold Ares gets angry with Osborn and attempts to kill him for his evil and deceptive nature. At that time the Sentry stops Ares from his goal and rips Ares apart at that moment, 2 days before the actual battle. When the battle does take place the Sentry is more in control of himself and not mentally or physically exhausted. He quickly dispatches of Earth's mightiest heroes giving a decisive victory to Osborn. At that point Sentry takes it further by slaying Osborn and declaring that his evil plans are finally fulfilled. Sentry then has no problem destroying the Earth it self while the only ones to witness the events and live on are the Watchers, whom are forbidden to step in no matter what may happen.

But what if a Watcher stepped in and saved a planet from destruction? That was the plot of the second What If? #200 tale written by Stan Lee, in the comic of the day. The Watcher Uatu steps in and kills Galactus before he can devour the Earth. The Watchers from across the universe come and imprison Uatu who admits he broke the laws of the Watchers by interfering and accepts the punishment given to him. The Watchers decide to let Uatu live and do not pass a death sentence. Uatu must live in constant hunger for planetary food while filling the Galactus void he created by becoming the new Galactus.

I liked the Stan Lee What If?, but was not a huge fan of the idea that nothing could stop the Sentry in the comic of the day. It seemed like the idea lacked some creative thinking. Plus, for $5 I expected to see some more action and extended fights. The Thor fight was a panel of the Sentry karate chopping his hand off. Really? That was the fight scene? Thank god for Stan Lee and his more creative follow-up.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Carnage #2 (of 5)

Carnage #2 - Comic of the Day
I'm a greasy looking monster, arn't I
I touched on how the plot of a mini series doesn't rear it's head until the second issue in my Punisher: In the Blood #2 post already, so for my follow up regarding second issues in a mini series (a series of about 4 to 5 comic books long...standard mini series size) I would like to touch on the fact that the second issue is usually filled with a lot of talk and boring explanations or theories that I would rather not have to spend money on.

I must say that I didn't find Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain's Carnage #2 incredibly boring, but rather a necessary step in the process of the hero discovering the plot, but dangzor (robot word for dang), it is a pain to know you aren't going to get much but talk in the comic book which is needed to get the full story. I can't not buy the comic of the day though I know it's going to be filled with Spider-Man interrogations and Tony Stark experiments.

The thought of just skipping the second issue and reading the previously part in the beginning of the third comic book has occurred to me, but being a collector that option is off the table. Collectors can't have holes in their sets. That's why we power through shitty mini series' like Ultimatum. We don't want to continue with a series like an Ultimatum, but we do it for higher power or rather the nerd honor that goes along with seeing a mini series through to the end. It's like not dropping a college course you know you are going to fail because you have chosen to take it and must accept your fate for a tough life lesson. This may seem as ridiculously stupid, and it is, but it is also who I am. I'm an idiot with a bunch of comic books I hate and a few F's on my college transcript.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fantastic Four #380

Fantastic Four #380 - Comic of the Day
Metal masks rule! Go team ugly!
After seeing an advertisement for the new Fantastic Four story line coming up in January 2011, I got the FF itch and looked back on a few of the issues I have. One that stood out to me was Fantastic Four #380 because of it's Thing scarred cover.

Fantastic Four #380 is an issue that finds the Thing traveling to Doom's country Latveria to take out some anger on the armored villain. At this time in comic books, the Thing had recently been in battle with Wolverine and received a horrible scar across his face. The Thing took to wearing a metal mask to both hide the shame of his appearance and protect the sensitive scar from further damage. It is funny how Ben Grimm is still embarrassed of his looks after all this time living as a huge rock monster of a creature.

The comic of the day gets good when Doctor Doom tells the Thing that he could fix his face if Ben simply asks for Doom's help. Doom also lives with the burden of hiding his scarred face and thought that the bond the two (Ben and Doom) shared would open up Ben to some mental manipulation. Ben laughs Doom off and eventually breaks free just as an alien breaks into Doom's castle. But that...is another part of the story that I cared little about.

This era, the Thing scarred by Wolverine era, was about my favorite Fantastic Four era; however, hopefully I can get back into the crew as they face the loss of one of their four. I will be there to help pick up the slack as the other 3 try to get by. Coincidentally enough, Fantastic Four #380 is the issue before Reed Richards and Doom supposedly die (Fantastic Four #381). Fantastic Four #382 has a cover that reads "Fantastic Three." So though this new event has me curious...it's all been done be...four...or be...three. Which ever is funnier.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Secret Avengers #8

Secret Avengers #8 - Comic of the Day
John Steele is gonna get his
One of my favorite conversations in a comic book this year comes at the very end of the year, in Ed Brubaker's Secret Avengers #8. The conversation between Max Fury and John Steele about Steve Rogers sends anticipation shivers up or down my spine...which ever way they are supposed to go.

The conversation in the comic of the day is very brief but it basically consists of Max Fury stating that Steve Rogers is going to be extremely difficult to beat if it comes to a fight or some type of battle. John Steele tells Max that he has fought "in the war" with Rogers before and knows what Rogers is capable of. Steele claims to also be an experienced fighter and tactician and tells Max Fury, "...Rogers doesn't worry me. I can take him if it comes to that."

The foreshadowing of a fight between 2 old school fighters who have some type of history leaves me hoping Secret Avengers #9 ships sooner than it is scheduled to. My prediction is that Steve puts the beat down on Steele and tells him there's a reason everyone in the world still knows the name Steve Rogers a.k.a Captain America and not John Steele.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Punisher: In the Blood #2 (of 5)

Punisher: In the Blood #2 - Comic of the Day
Punisher: In the Blood #1's cover was better
As with many mini series, the point of the limited issue adventure is often left a mystery until the second issue. Punisher: In the Blood is such a series where this is the case. I didn't quite know where the Punisher: In the Blood was going until reading through Punisher: In the Blood #2, which is mostly several pages of Jigsaw explaining to his son about why he has stopped by his son's place.

Usually what a mini series will do is try and keep readers interested by throwing in a last page surprise or reason to continue on to the next comic book. In Punisher: In the Blood #1, the comic end on seeing the return of Jigsaw, a character not seen in the main stream Punisher books in some time. This strategy can also be seen in a previous comic of the day Carnage #1. At the end of that book you see the alien Carnage symbiot sitting in a spherical case, in a lab. Not until the second issue of that arc does one see the direction of the Carnage story.

Punisher: In the Blood #2 did contain a lot of "talking to", as in one character just telling another character something, but it was still enjoyable. The comic raises the idea that every tech person that runs with Frank, the Punisher, ends up suffering in some way for it. Jigsaw argues to his son that the Punisher ruins the lives of everyone around him, bad and good. Jigsaw is obviously trying to play some angle by telling this to his son (current tech helper of the Punisher), but even if he wasn't Jigsaw makes a good point.

Two issues in, I'm satisfied. Now let's see where issue #3 takes us.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Invincible Iron Man #33

The Invincible Iron Man #33 - Comic of the Day
Maria Hill just owned Iron Man
Maria Hill owns.

Tony Stark and his team are being attacked by Detroit Steel, a Hammer Industries Iron Man knock-off, and a bunch of smart phone ap driven droids guided to seek and destroy Iron Man over the course of 2 and half issues. Stark Resilient (his new company/team name) is having a hard time trying to figure out how to tap into the cell phone systems to shut down the flying droids so Tony, as Iron Man, can focus on putting Detroit Steel down, when Maria Hill contacts Tony. Hill sees that there is an air fight going on which is causing public destruction and decides to step in and take care of business.

Hill has her tech guys shut down the cell phones responsible for controlling the flying bots and then gets on the horn (slang for phone for all of you kids out there) with the U.S. general in charge of Detroit Steel and tells him whats what. Hill basically gets all Happy Gilmore on the general and says, "I know what you're trying to do, and I don't like it." Bam...Detroit Steel ordered to stand down. What took Stark several issues to deal with, Maria Hill handled in about 2 pages.

Iron Man #33 was cool, and the highlight in the comic of the day was definitely Maria Hill getting all Office Depot: Taking care of business.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Superior #3

Superior #3 - Comic of the Day
Good, maybe, but Superior?
I have to hand it to Mark Millar and Leinil Yu. Not ever comic book can have me anticipating the next issue simply by having a last page which includes a monkey dressed as an astronaut with an evil shark-tooth smile.

What's that monkey smiling about? Why does he have teeth that are so sharp, and were they always like that...in the first issue that is. The comic of the day raises several questions, but all of the monkey related. I'm not saying I'm into monkeys or anything, but the rest of Superior #3 is pretty standard. Truthfully, without the monkey business at the end of the issue I probably would not have considered picking up the next issue.

Oh, and captions on the cover of Mark Millar comics, let me be the judge when it comes to the issue rocking or if it is bad-ass. How about the issue just presents itself and the comic bloggers and critics will add the captions.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nemesis #4

Nemesis #4 - Comic of the Day
Ties and capes are the real victims
Nemesis #4 had a very odd moment in it. The comic of the day had one of those scenes in which you know what is going to happen, but you expect to be wrong because it seems too simple of an idea or too familiar to something else you have seen before.

Spoiler Alert!

There is a scene in Nemesis #4 when Nemesis has the hero's wife and the President of the United States strapped with explosives. Nemesis gives the hero, Blake, a remote and tells him that he has to choose which one lives and which one dies. Blake has to blow-up one of the two. At this point I expected the President to sacrifice himself and jump towards Nemesis while Blake hits the button and causes the President, and Nemesis by proximity, to explode. As the scene played out as I had anticipated it would, I started to wonder why it was so easy.

Throughout the series Nemesis is always 2 steps ahead of the good guys. Nemesis always knows what the hero and government will do, so then why did he not predict the situation which played out? I started thinking that maybe it would have been better if the buttons to detonate the explosive-bound victims were reversed. While standing right next to his wife, Blake blows himself up (along with his wife) while the President awkwardly stumbles into Nemesis. Nemesis could then knock the President off of him and say, "Often times the right button...isn't the right button." Nemesis then guns down the President.

Note: If you check the issue again you'll notice the button labeled to blow-up Blake's "Family"/wife (and in my scenario, the President) was on the left.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

American Vampire #10

American Vampire #10 - Comic of the Day
Can't shoot a gun without hitting a vampire
Scott Snyder better be careful. At the pace he is going, he's going to run out of vampires to kill...or will he?

In American Vampire, the dominant vampires are the more recently evolved American vampires (surprise, surprise), yet they are not the vampires which are most abundant. The older, traditional, vampires of European decent have been around for seemingly hundreds of years and are apparently all over the western United States. In Snyder's first 9 issues we have seen several old-school vampires bite (see what I did there) the dust at the hands of the evolved American vampires, and in the comic of the day, American Vampire #10 we see yet another traditional vampire die with a cliffhanger that suggests even more will meet their demise.

It is starting to become quite clear that the west was highly populated by vampires. I'm thinking for ever 3 regular humans there is a vampire. There are a lot of movies and books that include large populations of vampires. Take the Blade movies for example: there are more vampires (which the majority seem to be henchmen) than most any form of vampire story this side of Daybreakers (in which almost the entire population on earth are vampires). Is American Vampire another story that includes a large population of vampires? If so, that's fine. I guess I just assumed that the vampire was a rare bread in Snyder's world.

American Vampire #10 ends just as more no-name vampires are about to be dispatched. It seems funny that only 9 issues back we were just being introduced to a world with a vampire, and by American Vampire #10 we are finding out that this world has vampires to spare.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Defenders #71

The Defenders #71 - Comic of the Day
Who defends the Defenders?
Are you kidding me with these old comic books? How many times have you opened a comic book from the 70's to maybe take a read through a classic title (like The Defenders) and suddenly realize that you bit off a little more than you could chew? Or at least, a little more than you have grown accustom to chewing. Anyone feel like getting a stick of gum?

When I flipped into The Defenders #71 I was immediately bombarded with a ton of words. That's right, words! Thought bubbles, narration bubbles and bars, speaking balloons...it just didn't stop! Today's comics have panels where there are no words. These panels help pace the book or situation. In the Defenders #71 every panel had a lot to say. This could be a sign that the story is so ridiculous that unless every panel was thoroughly explained the reader would have no idea what was going on.

From what I can make out just by looking at the panels of the comic of the day, the Defenders first had a trial with an un-hatted Abraham Lincoln during which Lincoln told a story about how he jumped from dimension to dimension. The defenders than go to another dimension to investigate his story, get attacked by giant dragon-birds, and the the Hulk comes and busts the dragon-birds up via jump attacks. In the end, Dr. Strange find his girl, hugs her with great relief to have found her, and then yells at her.

Just another day in the life of...

The Defenders!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #311

The Amazing Spider-Man #311 - Comic of the Day
Everyone, hold your hands up awkwardly
First off, yes I am currently wearing an amazing Amazing Spider-Man t-shirt. Secondly, yes I am surrounded by comic books, comic book posters, mini Marvel module characters, a paper origami Scott Pilgrim figure and 2 small bottles of wine on my work desk. Life for me seems quite spectacular at the moment, and it is, but last night...last night was truly spectacular.

After writing that I realize now that this next part is stupid and my comic of the day transition was lame. Whatever. Last night I finally got the first disc, of season 2, of The Spectacular Spider-Man (see...I worked in the spectacular angle), an animated series from a couple years back that was very well done. The first episode of the season involved the classic Spidey villain, Mysterio. While Mysterio is always a bit lame due to his costume design there are things that artists can do with him to spice up his image. The cover of the Amazing Spider-Man #620 was a nice dome smashing cover, but almost exactly half an issue number ago on The Amazing Spider-Man #311, Todd McFarlane crafts a dome reflecting cover which has that classic McFarlane era touch to it that sets it apart as one of the greatest Mysterio covers of all time. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 - Comic of the Day
It looks like they forgot to draw the parents
This is another comic of the day I purchased through ebay. It was not in the best condition, however, it is old and important in the Spider-Man mythology. Any Amazing Spider-Man issue from the 60's is an old title in my book (titled: Dom's Book of Random Things That Just Are).

Spider-Man Sunday - The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5


The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 is the first Amazing Spider-Man comic which tackles Peter Parker's parent situation. I haven't cracked this issue open yet for fear I may damage it, but on every comic book price guide The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 is noted as the first appearance of Peter's parents, thus, I got it for it's importance in the life of Spider-Man and Peter Parker not for the sheer joy of reading it.

I do not generally buy older books and never read them because that just would not make sense for the quality of old books I buy. I like to just own old books thus the condition isn't very important to me. Opening the book up will not bust up my older books anymore than they already are...usually. I do happen to own a few older books that are in nice condition that I may not ever crack open, but that case is rare.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

75 Years of DC Comics

75 Years of DC Comics - Comic of the Day
The cover is to scale. This book is huge!
75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking is an absolutely giant mass of book. I received the 20 plus pound book (literally feels that heavy) from my now good friend Kevin Wallace for a combination birthday and Christmas day gift. I, of course, deserved the gift, but I was left wondering how long should I own this monster before selling it on ebay? It is like the age old question: How long do I have to hold onto a card before I can trash it? At $200 brand new, I may need to sell this item before the massive paperback version comes out and buyers can get it cheaper (that was a joke...there is no way a paperback version of this book comes out).

On the slim chance I keep this complete redwood packed into one book heap, I will have to find a place to store the comic of the day. I can't fit the over-sized beast on my book shelf for the facts that it couldn't hold the weight and the shelves are not far enough apart or deep enough to hold the mutant sized book. I was thinking I could just let it rest in its handled case next to my book shelf or next to my comic boxes in my room, but then I concocted an amazing plan which will sound awesome and not practical in the following paragraph.

I buy a podium to have in the corner of my apartment with the book permanently placed on it. Once a day I get behind the podium declare to my stuff-animal army that the following is the word of the comic lord, followed by a reading of a random page. Maybe page 1,376...if it's a Tuesday. Page 1,376 is definitely a Tuesday page...you'll see.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #650

The Amazing Spider-Man #650 - Comic of the Day
Spider-Man Tron tie-in
I think that it is fairly obvious that Disney has begun to use it's Marvel tool as a source of hidden advertising. By hidden I mean to say advertising that is isn't necessarily spelled-out for the comic book reader, or viewer, but advertising meant to recall imagery or make a link to another form of advertising which clearly states what the product is. In the case of The Amazing Spider-Man #650, the product Marvel is trying to push is the release of their new movie Tron: Legacy.

Before I go further with the comic of the day I must say that I did enjoy Tron: Legacy. I liked the first one and I think some of the enjoyment for me was simply that a follow-up was made. The visuals were excellent, though some may get numb to them after about hours worth of film simply because the color schemes and lighting does not change much. At times it is like you are sitting in a white florescent light room without blinking for an extended period of time (that part is actually in the movie). While the visuals were great, the original music by Daft Punk was definitely the highlight of the film. Daft Punk created music which carried Tron: Legacy in the way that Hans Zimmer's score carried Inception. The music set the mood and intensified the action sequences in every scene. I hope Daft Punk gets an Oscar nod for their fine work on the film.

Back to The Amazing Spider-Man #650...like Tron: Legacy, I liked it. The connection to Tron: Legacy is that Spider-Man creates a new stealth suit for himself that has a very Tron look to it (glowing lines down his arms and legs). Speaking of suits in The Amazing Spider-Man #650, the Black Cat is drawn as sexy as ever. In one scene she isn't even wearing her suit (in the bath tub) and in the scenes she is wearing her suit...well, she might as well not have. Though in my head most women in comics are naked. Hello, Aunt May!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Uncanny X-Force #3

Uncanny X-Force #3 - Comic of the Day
I...have...the power!!!
I'm pretty sure everyone understood exactly where Uncanny X-Force #3 was going when they introduced one of Apocalypse's horsemen as a guy that dishes-out diseases based on the metal he touches. Every reader immediately knew he was going to fight Wolverine and touch his rare adamantium metal and unleash hell. If there are readers who did not see that coming...well, I guess some kids still read comic books.

I am totally digging Uncanny X-Force. The comic of the day kicks in some action, gives a little more team member bonding experiences to enjoy and of course, delves further into the insanity and nonsense which is Deadpool. The comic book has it all. Oh and did I mention an outstanding cliff hanger which would have everyone of Dan Brown's chapters envious.

Uncanny X-Force is currently my favorite title, as basically stated above. Only three issues...favorite title. Rick Remender has become my go to guy when it comes to new Marvel story-telling and Jerome Opena's art has so much originality that when I pick up another comic book after viewing Uncanny X-Force I immediately cry. If you haven't been following this series, get the trade as soon as it releases in a few months. Until then...I pity you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thunderbolts #151

Thunderbolts #151 - Comic of the Day
Another misunderstood bad guy
Boy, did the comic of the day come along and totally change the reader's view (or my view, at least) of Ghost, the current Thunderbolts team member and (until very recently) Iron Man villain.

Thunderbolts #151 is nothing more than a back-story issue. I think Marvel started to realize that Ghost has been very prominent in their universe and is often right in the middle of key Marvel events such as Tony Stark's mind recovery, Norman Osborn's secret opts team of Thunderbolts and just being the general villainous eye in the background watching when characters think they are alone.

The idea of the straight "Ghost's Story" where Ghost narrates the tale of how he came to be "Ghost" seems like a possible poor or even boring choice at first thought. But as I thought about the character after some time had passed (since I read Thunderbolts #151), I realized that fitting in hints or bits of his past may feel even more awkward when dropped into an issue about something else entirely. Of course with that said, I am no great writer. I am sure some of the better writers in the business could make his back-story work outside of a narration, but I just can't see it working.

I would recommend this issue to anyone who ever picked-up a Thunderbolts issue over the past couple of years and thought, "Who the hell is this floating, bondage wearing skinny dude?"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thor #473

Thor #473 - Comic of the Day
Whoa Thor...you're such a buzz kill
I don't really know anything about the High Evolutionary except that he is a major villain in the Thor and Avengers titles and that contrary to his name's suggestion, he is not high. But what if he was?

In Thor #473, of Thor's first volume of self titled comic books, the High Evolutionary tells of how he created man beasts and super-humans by combining genes of various species. It kind of seems like something a stoner might think of. The comic of the day may have left this scene out.

Conversation between Evolutionary (EV) and helper (H):

EV: I need to create something today...but what? Helper! Where are you? I need your ears for my concerns.

Helper quickly tries to finish his joint created to "help" get through the day in the bathroom as Evolutionary busts through the door.

EV: Helper?! What is that there?

Helper: This? Oh it's...my brain enhancer.

EV: Brain enhancer? I haven't heard of such a thing...

Helper: That's because your greatness does not need it. A weak minded fool like me needs it to keep up with your intelligence.

EV: Interesting...Helper! Give me your brain enhancing herb...I am going to...experiment.

30 minutes later

EV: So there's like these animals that are also humans and they talk and fight, and wear clothes, and...umm, Helper...did you order that pizza yet?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Widowmaker #1 (of 4)

Widowmaker #1 - Comic of the Day
Thank Jae Lee, Hawkeye. He makes us care.
When I hear "Widowmaker" I, like pretty much every other person on earth, of course think of the unique bow which ignores target's defense, increases damage and gives a 33 percent chance to deliver a deadly strike: a D2 Widowmaker.

Beyond the bow though (bow though - awesome string of words) Widowmaker may now be synonymous with the Marvel mini series featuring Hawkeye, Black Widow, and an unknown spy killing Ronin...or just the cover art of Jae Lee. Honestly, the only reason I bought this book was because of the cover. His recognizable style has run wild on the covers of several Marvel titles recently, something that is sure to turn into more per issue sales. I am actually very pleased that Marvel chose to make his cover the standard issue and not make it a rare variant cover which I would have paid a few extra bucks. Widowmaker #1 is one of the few comic of the day issues where Marvel could have made an extra buck off of me and didn't. I suspect they are not quite sure what they have in the amazing Jae Lee.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The New Avengers #7 (Vol. 2)

The New Avengers #7 - Comic of the Day
We're angry cuz this ruble was our home!
The New Avengers #7 is pretty much like the movie The Day After Tomorrow. Both focus on what to do after a major inconvenient disaster (mansion destroyed compared to world destroyed) and both sucked.

While the comic of the day didn't have cold that literally nipped at character's heals as they ran and wolves that were exactly like the raptors from Jurassic Park (a movie that didn't suck), the New Avengers #7 just lacked thrills. By the end of it I was bummed I didn't see any wolf attacks. The comic was another "sit around the table and talk about our team's plans" issue.
  • Dr. Strange we love you.
  • Dr. Strange stay on the team.
  • Dr. Strange, can we use your butler to take care of our mansion?
  • Should we accept a paycheck?
  • Does working for an evil dude make one evil?
  • Let's interview people to babysit two teammates' child.
  • Can we talk about our feelings more?
I read this Babysitter's Club book 15 years ago! I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

John Romita Jr. Spider-Man Poster

John Romita Jr. Spider-Man Poster - Comic of the Day
Spider-Man vs. Bad Guy: Rounds 1 through 87
It's Poster Week!

Yep, it's that week where Dom doesn't want to type very much or read through some shitty comic book. The whole week the comic of the day posts will be some of my favorite comic book related posters...not the posters I keep on the inside of my closet doors of cranberry sauce not shaped like the can it comes in.


John Romita Jr. Spider-Man Poster

I love this poster. Closing out poster week is the one current poster (which is actually in print form) that hangs in my room, in a frame. John Romita Jr. shines, as does Spider-Man, in Romita's depiction of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man battling it out with many of his most deadly, infamous and popular villains. The piece is composed of three main colors: red, blue and green. It's funny, not until you see all of Spidey's villains together do you notice that a lot of his enemies love to incorporate the color green into their outfits.

Like the villain color scheme, I notice something new every time I look at Romita Jr.'s poster. It is both elaborate and simplistic. Lots of fights. Lots of one on ones. Lots of fun.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Alex Ross Marvel Poster

Alex Ross Marvel Poster - Comic of the Day
Alex Ross Marvel Poster
It's Poster Week!

Yep, it's that week where Dom doesn't want to type very much or read through some shitty comic book. The whole week the comic of the day posts will be some of my favorite comic book related posters...not the posters I keep on the inside of my closet doors of tall giraffes peeing on short giraffes.

Alex Ross Marvel Poster

The second Alex Ross installment during Poster Week is one of his mash-up pieces which has many Marvel characters on one piece. There are a few thing I really enjoy about this piece.
  • The Things rocky mouth. It just looks so stone-like.
  • The texture on the bottom of Daredevil's boots.
  • The bending of fabric on the bottom of Spider-Man's feet.
  • The attention to detail when creating Captain America's chain mailish to part to his uniform.
  • Cyclops' piercing beam.
  • Doom looking over everyone.
I did find it telling how Ross puts the women in this poster. The two X-women are stuck to the far right practically blending in with Wolverine, and the Invisible Woman is up front but...well, she's invisible. To be fair the women characters do not stand out in Marvel the way Wonder Woman does in DC, so I guess I can cut Ross some slack and just say thank you for the otherwise amazing artwork.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Alex Ross Captain America Poster

Alex Ross Captain America Poster - Comic of the Day
Alex Ross Captain America Poster
It's Poster Week!

Yep, it's that week where Dom doesn't want to type very much or read through some shitty comic book. The whole week the comic of the day posts will be some of my favorite comic book related posters...not the posters I keep on the inside of my closet doors of the cast of The Single Guy.

 Alex Ross Captain America Poster

Alex Ross is one of the premier comic book artist of our times. He has won multiple awards for his comic book covers over the years and continues to put out pieces of art that push the painter to his peak. I love "P" words. This Captain America poster was done before his more resent Captain America poster which gives Bucky Barnes his own personal Cap uniform. I like this original time-line-like poster better.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Todd McFarlane Wolverine Hulk Poster

Todd McFarlane Wolverine Hulk Poster - Comic of the Day
"Hulk hate reflection!"
It's Poster Week!

Yep, it's that week where Dom doesn't want to type very much or read through some shitty comic book. The whole week the comic of the day posts will be some of my favorite comic book related posters...not the posters I keep on the inside of my closet doors of Pound Puppies' paw tattoos on real puppies.

Wolverine Wednesdays - Todd McFarlane Wolverine Hulk Poster

This second McFarlane poster (for Poster Week) is the cover of the classic McFarlane Incredible Hulk #340 (which I own). The colors in this poster are actually different than the colors in the actual issue. For instance, Hulk is grey on the comic cover. I actually have this poster up at my work. Once in awhile a new worker will gaze at it and think, "Dom is one bad-ass motha."

That or, "Note to self: nerd in the corner. Never talk to."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Frank Miller Daredevil Poster

Frank Miller Daredevil Poster - Comic of the Day
Daredevil makes his own confetti
It's Poster Week!

Yep, it's that week where Dom doesn't want to type very much or read through some shitty comic book. The whole week the comic of the day posts will be some of my favorite comic book related posters...not the posters I keep on the inside of my closet doors of all of my readers reading this post...so one poster of my mom. Hi mom! That was just a joke. But seriously, don't look in my closet.

Frank Miller Daredevil Poster

This Frank Miller Daredevil poster is a great change of pace when it comes to Miller's stylistic rendering of comic book characters compared to other artists' style on my posters. The yellow and red burst off the black background in a dramatic way making this poster a must for any Daredevil fan...or fan of the colors yellow and red.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Batman The Animated Series Poster

Batman The Animated Series Poster - Comic of the Day
Look away! I'm hideous!
It's Poster Week!

Yep, it's that week where Dom doesn't want to type very much or read through some shitty comic book. The whole week the comic of the day posts will be some of my favorite comic book related posters...not the posters I keep on the inside of my closet doors of Alf and Big Bird in speedos.

Batman The Animated Series Poster

Batman the Animated Series was one of the greatest action adventure cartoons of all time. It is most certainly one of the top comic book related cartoons to ever hit my eyeballs and so many others. My parents bought me this poster one year for Christmas and I taped it to wall where it remained until I moved into my college dorm room where it fancied-up that wall.

Now it lays rolled up on the carpet in my apartment. But I'm always thinking of it! Xoxo.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Todd McFarlane Spider-Man Poster

Todd McFarlane Spider-Man Poster - Comic of the Day
Todd Mcfarlane loves drawing bricks
It's Poster Week!

Yep, it's that week where Dom doesn't want to type very much or read through some shitty comic book. The whole week the comic of the day posts will be some of my favorite comic book related posters...not the posters I keep on the inside of my closet doors of 1980's WWF wrestlers.

Spider-Man Sunday - Todd McFarlane Spider-Man Poster

This is a large poster which I have had since I was in about 5th or 6th grade. McFarlane's intense webbing is sprawled over Spider-Man in his original costume hanging up his old black costume. Back to basics for Spidey!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wolverine #42 (Vol. 3)

Wolverine #42 - Comic of the Day
Wolverine either hates or loves fire.
Humberto Ramos has taken over the artistic duties on the new "Big Time" Amazing Spider-Man storyline and seems to have surged back into the Marvel spotlight. Ramos had a short stint with a mainstream Marvel character back on the third volume of Wolverine. His exaggerated and, at times, over the top style when it came to muscles and  overall body types seemed to fit with the energetic and action oriented Wolverine series.

Ramos marked his first appearance on the title with Wolverine #42. The comic of the day has Wolverine hunting down the super-villain Nitro after he blew-up a school, killing many innocent children. Wolverine sets out to return the favor. The Ramos run is a tie in to Civil War, which stems from the Nitro incident. The Civil War connection brought attention to Wolverine which had been dipping in sales and was going through a transitional period.

Personally I loved the art of Humberto Ramos after reading Wolverine #42. The style fits the character perfectly...for a while. As I mention about Ramos in the past, his art is a great change of pace to more popular realist styles but can wear on your eyes after a while. By the end of his Wolverine run I was ok with not seeing Ramos' art (for several years) until recently with Amazing Spider-Man, where I welcome it once again for a 5 to 6 issue run.

Friday, December 3, 2010

New Mutants #98

Sweet generic smoking gun!
The first appearance of one of the most popular comic book heroes in the last 5 years was in New Mutants #98. Yes, I'm of course talking about the first appearance of Gideon! Ok, ok, you got me. I meant Domino. Third times the charm! That's right, any person who has read a Wizard magazine in the past 5 years knows that the comic of the day is the first appearance of Deadpool.

This comic supposedly can catch a fair amount of money if it is in pristine condition. I, in fact, happen to own a copy in such condition. Did I go out and buy this book once Deadpool became a hot commodity? Nope. I bought this issue when it was just a random back issue. I think it was right after Deadpool's first mini series "Circle Chase" came out. I read that mini series and knew that the character was going to be somebody one day. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But "some day", I told the shop-keep as he just stared at me and thought, "whatever kid, and Magic the Gathering will fade away."

Me and the shop-keep shared something that day. And that is why I had to murder him.

Nah I'm just kidding.

He is dead though.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What If? The Avengers Disassembled

What If? The Avengers Disassembled - Comic of the Day
What if the Scarlet Witch was super tall?
Remember way back when the Scarlet Witch, Wanda, lost her mind and manipulated reality (comic book reality...stay with me here) and killed Hawkeye, the Vission and destroyed Avengers mansion? Yeah, it's a little fuzzy to me, too. I mean that was like 8 to 9 years ago. Well, they made a What If? comic book about it. The comic of the day asks the question: What if there was more to it than simply the Scarlet Witch loosing her mind?

We find out that there is more to the story when it comes to what happened to the Avengers that fateful night at the Avenger mansion. It wasn't just Professor Plum with the candlestick in the kitchen as we all thought.

Side note: While the movie Clue with Tim Curry is awesome, the actual game sucks. No one is ever quite sure how to play and you can guess who the killer is at any point. If you get the answer wrong then the game is ruined for everyone. Clue sucks!

Oh yeah, the Avenger junk. Well, it's another case of Marvel sexism. A woman couldn't possible be responsible for something so memorable and destructive. It takes a man to step-up and kill a fool like a man. The Witch gets to be crazy while the man gets to be cunning, but also crazy...can't start killing fools and not be crazy. Unless it was an accident like that one summer where me and my friend accidentally ran over a fisherman in the street and then left his body to die off the side of a dock.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Superman #224

Superman #224 - Comic of the Day
Lois was a ballerina back in the 70's.
Thanks to the greatness of one (not two) Josh Tauber, I have come to possess Superman #224. The issue is from 1970 and the second bronze age issue of Superman. Apparently Josh couldn't shell out an extra quarter for the first bronze age Superman comic book. Did I write greatness? I meant at least he's not dead.

Anyway, the comic of the day is amazing. It tells a "you never know...it could happen" tale in which Superman marries Lois Lane and has a son. Unfortunately for Superman, a couple of his enemies, or as I like to improperly label them "enemi" (make actually be the term for more than one enema...which are much like tattoos...after you get one you can't stop getting them) manipulate his baby into becoming a super-smart kid who eventually talks back to Superman and begins to become evil. After a few pages Supes gets the upper hand, and by "upper" I mean the back of his hand, and returns his kid to normal the old fashion way (notice the child's swollen head from the abuse).

Thanks Josh!

November Comic of the Day Recap

November brought the worst delays all year to the comic of the day posts. I will have to complete several posts a day to complete 365 days of comics (and 12 extra posts about the specific months' best posts). Here goes nothing December.

The following were a few posts I enjoyed, and so may you.
Enjoy everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let Me In #1 (of 4)

Let Me In #1 - Comic of the Day
Vampires are so polite.
Let Me In #1 comes on the heals of the same name, Let Me In. Let Me In, the movie, is a remake of the foriegn film, Let the Right One In. The story is basically a new take on a vampire tale: One of those change the way you view vampires, why they exist, how they exist and how they interact with the ever changing world around them while they live forever vampire retelling.

I wanted to have the comic of the day as a brief post to just mention to readers, who may have seen one of the movie variations, to check out this Dark Horse mini series if they wanted maybe a little back history of the traveling man and his vampire's more recent adventures. Let Me In, the comic series, follows the recent movie remake when it comes to specific characterization, but I think any fan of either version may want to check out this new movie inspired comic book tale.

One question (or series of questions) when it comes to Let Me In...do vampires know you happen to reside in a place or own it? Do they have to ask to come into any building? What if it is an abandoned barn and you just so happened to run into it? If it's a random structure do they have to ask for identification or papers indicating it is the residence of another? Also, why don't they just run into places quickly and then drag out their victims with their superior strength and quickness? Oh, and if they are in a structure can they then go into any room? For example, do they have to ask to come into your bedroom if they are in your living room?

"The bathroom is occupied vampire girl! You can't come in!"

"But I really have to go! Let me in"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shadowland #5

Shadowland #5 - Comic of the Day
"I'm Ghost Rider! Prepare to beat me up!"
Speaking of Shadowland and Ghost Rider's appearance...

I was not reading the side titles that went along with Shadowland, so I wasn't exactly clear on the Ghost Rider connection (I get that he often fights demons and that Daredevil was possessed by a demon), but for dominating the comic of the day, Ghost Rider's role is a bit small in Shadowland #5. That and he get's punked. He get's literally extinguished and hung out to ...wet? (Is that the opposite of "hung out to dry", and is that correct seeing as he was just very hot and dry?...you know, skull burning head and all.)

I want to see the story after Ghost rider comes to. He wakes, flames on, looks around and sees the Punisher just shaking his head in shame at him.

"What happened Frank?" Ghost Rider asks in a crackly demonic like voice. Much like an angry Kathy Bates.

"Well", Frank goes on to explain, "a guy and girl ninja took him down...a couple of...human. Look, before you say anything or start to steam up (what happens when Gost Rider cries), consider this... I've got nothing. What happened last night?! You got seriously owned."

"I...I, don't want to talk about it! Where's my bike? I...I, have a...date. Yeah!"

"Sure flames. Bikes in the corner. Can't miss it. It's the one with training wheels and handle-bar decorations."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Heroes For Hire #1 (Vol. 3)

Heroes For Hire #1 - Comic of the Day
Unknown Heroes For Hire
Why did I buy Heroes For Hire #1? I got suckered in by a cover with a bunch of cool characters I knew would most likely not play a large role in the introductory issue. My head said don't. My gut said I'm hungry...and also don't. But my eyes said give it a try big guy.

Stupid eyes!

First of all, half of the characters on the cover do not even appear in the comic of the day. The comic book starts out as mostly a Captain America issue minus Captain America. Falcon and Black Widow take up much of the issue followed by an appearance by Moon Knight (which I do like), and the issue wraps up with a lame villain. Ghost Rider and the Punisher don't even play into Heroes For Hire #1. They are not even mentioned.

"Oh, hey Falcon. Did you hear Frank Castle and Ghost Rider were involved in that Shadowland scrap? I wonder if we'll be seeing them soon?" Followed by a wink to the reader.

The second problem I have with this book is the title and the idea of the title. Marvel, let it go. Heroes For Hire just isn't going to catch on. The characters are always C-level characters and nothing that happens in any volume of recent Heroes For Hire comic books matters. Readers are left thinking, "yeah, so...now what?"

Marvel, let it go. I know I will.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Taskmaster #4 (of 4)

Taskmaster #4 - Comic of the Day
Taskmaster's side pouch takes center stage
All good things must come to an end: Lost, Taskmaster's mini series and Dinosaucers (the 1987 cartoon show, not the serving plates of a paleontologist).

Taskmaster #4 marked the end of a fun ride from the mind of Fred Van Lente and the hand of Jefte Palo. The adventure included some Taskmaster history creation which seemed to give the character stronger importance in the Marvel universe. With that said...how about a Taskmaster ongoing series? His own title could be done in many different ways after the revelations seen in the Taskmaster mini.

Taskmaster Ongoing Routes
  • The S.H.I.E.L.D direction could be interesting. If Johnathan Hickman started a new series after the end of his Secret Warriors run, I would like it to include Nick Fury and Taskamaster. The comic could be titled, Furious Tasks...or not. Fury could send Task on some covert missions that have to be taken care of in small set amounts of time which only Task could handle. Basically I just love Fury in anything, but the S.H.I.E.L.D connection is there (if Taskmaster can remember it...which he won't).
  • The Warren Ellis path. I think I mentioned before how Taskmaster's mini felt a lot like Warren Ellis and Staurt Immonen's Nextwave series, which felt like a mini, but was not. The adventures could be short and zany and include witty banter while tackling the big issues like hoverboard riding half man half serving spoon agents from another dimension. Wait, that may actually be something from Nextwave.
  • A Team-Up route. These comics could be like the Deadpool adventures but maybe a bit more serious. Like maybe Black Panther needs help with a certain gang in Hell's Kitchen, or the X-Men want to start a higher education X-school which gives fighting lessons...like a human danger-room. I think there is potential with this idea. Utilizing Taskmaster's unique movement mimicking technique should be capitalized upon.
Whichever road is taken, after reading the comic of the day I became quite sad knowing that Taskmaster #4 was my last fix of him for, at least, a little while.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Invincible Iron Man #32

The Invincible Iron Man #32 - Comic of the Day
The ever practical chainsaw-hand
In many comic books a villain or enemy of sorts is often created that has to rival the hero's might. This is supposed to create a story which leaves the reader uncertain if the hero can overcome their opposition. I am not a huge fan of this in comic books. If Wolverine, for example, is the best there is at what he does then nobody should be able to best him in a fight (nobody of similar strength and skills). I like my hero to be the best in his or her field.

Truth.

I'm in favor of truths like Superman is the strongest character in the DC universe because truths like that set up one great story where a creature comes along and beats Superman to death. How great was the "Death of Superman" story? It was great because throughout Superman's comics he was tested but never bested.

I enjoy the Invincible Iron Man #32 because Iron Man is clearly the advanced piece of weaponry in the issue. A new comer by the name of Detroit Steel can't even put Tony Stark's Iron Man down and Steel has a crap load of mini smart-phone ap controlled robot planes attacking Iron Man at the same time. Iron Man even makes fun of Detroit Steel's chainsaw arm and how remedial it is. Chainsaw arms are so the 70's and like the city of Detroit, Steel just can't compete.

In the comic of the day, Iron Man remains the elite armored tech-wielding hero.

Truth.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Captain America #612

Captain America #612 - Comic of the Day
Be strong Captain America...just like Santa
I do not quite understand why, but when I read the current Captain America storyline which features the United States government trying Bucky Barnes for crimes he committed (assassinations) as the Russian brain washed killer, Winter Soldier I think of the classic line from Miracle on 34th Street (and then repeated in The Santa Clause), "Let Santa go!"

The line clearly has to do with both timing (it's closing in on Christmas) and the idea of an unjust detaining of a person who is a symbol. In the case of Captain America #612, the comic of the day, I am that little girl screaming at the authorities to stop thinking with their books and laws and start thinking with their hearts.

Let Captain America go!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weapon X TPB

Weapon X - Comic of the Day
Have you tried fighting a naked guy?
A comic shop is a specific space, thus, the amount of comics a comic shop can hold is always limited. Often times when a comic book shop is looking to bring in new inventory they will have a sale to push some of their older books which have either yet to sell or they simply over stocked. I recently took advantage of an overstocking issue and picked-up the classic Barry Windor-Smith tpb, Weapon X.

Wolverine Wednesdays - Weapon X TPB

Windsor-Smith wrote and drew Weapon X, a 12 issue arc occupying half an issue in 12 sequential Marvel Comics Presents comic books. The story covers the then unknown time in Wolverine's life when he was physically and mentally abused for the purpose of lining his bones with the unbreakable metal adamantium, and thus, creating an unstoppable super-soldier.

I own a few of the individual issues, and like most comic book collectors know the basic story of Wolverine, yet I had never actually read the story, Weapon X, which gives some insight into why Wolverine is so animal-like at times, how exactly his bones were lined with adamantium, and why this traumatic event stuck with him for so long. At 50% cover price, the Weapon X tpb seemed like a very good purchase for comic-history sake.

Besides the importance this story has in Marvel comics culture, the comic of the day is just a good book. Weapon X is heavy on text, but also includes some iconic imagery. The text is mostly conversations between doctors and staff working on turning Logan into their controlled soldier. The conversations are often laid on top of panels of Wolverine and his current situations. The book feels like a conversation is narrating the transformation.

As the book picks up so does the intensity of the situation. At one point when Logan seemingly gets loose and is on a rampage, the intensity of the situation is felt and makes for quick reading to see the brutal and bloody results.

The thing I like most about the Weapon X tpb is that even though I know what happens...I don't know what happens. The way things unfold and the journey through a physical and mental hell which Logan takes is what makes the story great, not the outcome. After reading Weapon X, I can see why every Marvel comic book after included Wolverine and still does.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Marvel Previews #88

Marvel Previews #88 - Comic of the Day
Marvel Previews #88...like for reals?
It takes a lot to get me to buy a Marvel Previews comic book. In the case of Marvel Previews #88 it had a couple of major things going for it.
  • I feel like I am not getting as many books as I have in the past. This is definitely not true based on my dwindling bank account funds every Wednesday, but I still feel as if I am lacking a book that I absolutely can not wait for. Is it a new Marvel event I'm craving? Maybe. The need for something new brought me to the comic of the day in hopes of finding something to get hooked on like Fender at the end of Cyborg. (Netflix it.)
  • The other major factor for me buying this book is that the cover had my senses tingling. Spider-Man...dead? Say it ain't so.
So did anything catch my eye, you ask? Well, thank you for asking, but...eh, not really. Oh well. The comic was only $1.25.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Uncanny X-Force #2

Uncanny X-Force #2 - Comic of the Day
Bad to the bone with a hint of pink.
Jerome Opena's art highlights another strong installment of Uncanny X-Force. Opena, whose name is actually spelled with an ene (even the "n" in ene has a tilde above it), has an excellent way of drawing the X-Force characters in their uniforms. Their arms and legs are not overly large, and the characters' outfits fit like real clothing: not skin tight with folds and seems in all of the right places. The realistic designs of the human characters in Uncanny X-Force gives the comic of the day the ability to draw readers in visually, giving the story a head start on being good.

As far as Rick Remender's plot...it's moving along. Remender is reminding X-verse readers of relationships established in comic books previous and further developing the Apocalypse side of the story, as well.

There is one part of Uncanny X-Force #2 that stands out to me as a bit odd. While Wolverine and Angel are walking through Worthington's (Angel) semi-secret base of operations they walk through a room much like a part of the Bat-cave. The room is filled with old memorabilia of past X battles such as a broken down sentinel, old X-uniforms and photos of the team over the years. The room felt like a huge knock-off of Batman's collection. With that said...it's still fun to look at. Just like this comic book, in general.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #649

The Amazing Spider-Man #649 - Comic of the Day
Are flame swords even practical?
The second installment in the Amazing Spider-Man's "Big Time" gives us more Hobgoblin then you can shake a pumpkin bomb at. (Note to reader: Do not shake a pumpkin bomb. If you have to touch it...throw it. Oh, and look like a bad-ass while you do it, too. That means no Top Gun Tom Cruise leg kick.)

Spider-Man Sunday - The Amazing Spider-Man #649

I like the Goblin use in The Amazing Spider-Man #649 because it deals with a certain Goblin I have spoken of before in 365 Days of Comics. Some readers may claim that it was random luck that a forgotten character I mentioned back in the day is now a major player in the Amazing Spider-Man. I tend to disagree with those non-believers. It seems rather obvious that Dan Slott reads my posts and became inspired to use a certain ear-impaling Goblin.

Besides what and who the book is about, the comic of the day has more high energy Humberto Ramos art. His art is highly exaggerated and contains over the top action and movement in most every panel with a costumed character. Ramos has a style you like to enjoy for a few months after being without for about a 2 years. If I get too much Ramos I will start to hate it, but if I am treated to it every once in a while, like a Tom Cruise movie, then I am cool with it.

Here's the deal...I was playing Trivial Pursuit tonight and one question was about Tom Cruise movies...thus all the Cruise. I swear.

Tom Cruise.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Punisher/Batman

Punisher/Batman - Comic of the Day
I love your tight gloves and dreamy eyes.
The thing I enjoy most about Punisher/Batman is the nice thick pages. I am going to credit the letterer of this comic of the day, Richard Starkings, for the thick pages because they remind me of his Elephantmen trade paper backs which are filled with warp-free tough sturdy pages. Cheers old friend!

The one-shot adventure itself is quite enjoyable, too. Punisher/Batman pits the Punisher, Frank Castle, versus Jigsaw, the Joker and Batman. Punisher finds his way to Gotham, a city he hates, in search for Jigsaw, but when he finally comes across Jigsaw, Frank ends up chasing down the Joker. This is where things get good. Frank is about to shoot Joker in the face and end what Batman never could when all of a sudden Batman jumps into the mix and saves the Joker.

When the Joker was staring down the barrel of Frank's gun he is genuinely afraid for his life. He knows that Frank does not have the same sense of honor that Batman has. As primarily a Marvel reader, I love this scene. The Joker fears no one, but for one moment in time, he feared the Punisher. Oh and don't worry DC fans you got your moment a few pages later.

The Punisher clocks Batman with a huge fist to the face, but Batman just let's Frank have his frustration shot telling Frank, "You get one." Frank then tries hitting Bats again, Batman catches his fist, says, "I said one" and throws the Punisher through some alley crates (never store crates in an alley in Gotham...they always get smashed on). Batman then tells Frank to never come back to Gotham and Frank gladly abides.

The comic reads quick and is pretty fun. I actually enjoy John Romita Jr.'s art on this book compared to his more recent titles, the Avengers and the Doomwar mini series. A friend once told me JR Jr. works better on solo hero books and I'm starting to see that may be true. His run on Daredevil was amazing and this Punisher/Batman fun-shot was quite pleasant, as well.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ultimate Thor #2

Ultimate Thor #2 - Comic of the Day
You may need to cut the stem first...
Dexter Vines' image framing is strong again in the second Ultimate Thor installment. I find it fitting that his mark can be found both in name by letters and name by object...thorny Loki winding object. Like his inks, the rose vines surround the cover's focal point and add to the point of the issue.

Besides the art, Ultimate Thor #2 does in fact have a story. Yeah, I totally read it, too! The thing about reading Ultimate Universe comics that one must understand is that the stories are similar to the regular Marvel adventures, yet tweaked. I am finding this a little bit problematic when it comes to my understanding of Loki. I guess I don't really know Loki's true origin. This troubles me because since I am unsure of how Ultimate Thor has tweaked Loki's origin, I will now have to spend a good 10 minutes reading about his actual origin on the Marvel Wiki.

10 minutes are quite valuable to me these days. Things that I could be doing with 10 minutes are:
  • skimming a comic of the day for ideas of what to write about
  • driving to the gym
  • riding the stationary bike at the gym
  • driving home from the gym
  • showering after the gym
  • writing down a story of how I was at the gym for hours
  • watching a segment of a recorded TV show which I recorded on my DVR
  • thinking of more clever things that I could have written in this section
Anyway, Wiki ahoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thunderbolts #150

Thunderbolts #150 - Comic of the Day
Thunderbolts #150 - The cover says it all.
Greg Land and Frank Martin created an absolutely thrilling comic book cover for the Thunderbolts #150th issue extravaganza. By extravaganza I, of course, mean a $3.99 book with extras that no one really cares about for another dollar: a picture-book Thunderbolts' history narration by Moonstone and Songbird (I skimmed it), and a reprint of Thunderbolts #1 from 1997 (I skipped to the last page...eh).

Getting back to Land and Martin's art...it steals the show of the whole book. That's saying something, too. The comic of the day has some intense battle scenes between Steve Rogers and Crossbones, and Juggernaut and Thor, Luke Cage and Iron Man. Roger's and Crossbones throw-down is especially interesting because Crossbones really does a number on Rogers. By the end of the fight Steve predictably wins but he is left looking like Antonio Margarito after Manny Paquiao was finished with him. Those are 2 boxers for all of you non-sport nerds.

Did I mention Land and Martin's cover? The characters both pop off the page and engage each other in an action packed freeze frame that sets the tone for Thunderbolts #150. The cover actually allows Kev Walker's interior art to thrive because Walker's panel work gives readers an exciting payoff. That which we see on the cover comes alive in the pages of Thunderbolts #150. Though the story is fine in issue #150, the art on the outside and inside of Thunderbolts #150 is what sets this comic book apart from many spectacle issues where pages are added just because the title has reached some number, like 150.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Superior #2

Superior #2 - Comic of the Day
Yeah, but could Tom Hanks do this?!
Most times I assume I know what will happen next in a comic book because I am arrogant. I think I know it all and have seen it all. Most every time I am wrong about where exactly the comic book is going or the writer's intentions lie, yet, I don't look at the data telling me to stop thinking I know everything. I just keep thinking I'm Cobra Kai. Well, today I will accept the evidence because today my comparison of a comic of the day to another fictional story was so right on that the writer himself admits it in the first scene of the comic.

Last month I posted about Superior #1. I wrote about how similar the story was to the classic Tom Hanks movie, Big. This month, I open Superior #2 and read Mark Millar's comparison of his tale to that of Big's. Yes! I got one! This doesn't happen often, and since it happened once I will forever be the greatest storyteller-database in the history of the world. Too far? Not far enough? Check out last month's post and be the judge. Also, you can look at the my comment on IGN's review page from October 14th...you may also see my comment where I gloat.

Oh, on a side note about the actual issue, Superior #2: who the heck watches CSI on DVD? In a flash back panel, the father suggests watching episodes from the box set of CSI. Is that really a show you can't just catch on any channel in the world? It's like Law and Order. Do you need the seasons to understand any episode at any moment in time?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

American Vampire #8

American Vampire #8 - Comic of the Day
Badge showing rule #8 -  Pinkies Out!
Scott Snyder is getting his bat man (read the comic, the lowercase and space will make sense) on early this month in his Vertigo vampire thriller, American Vampire #8.

Snyder, the next writer of DC's Detective Comics, moves readers along in his second American Vampire story arc by letting followers in on the why questions. Why are there vampires in Las Vegas? Why are the vampires killing who they are killing? And most importantly, why did DC hire Snider on to handle a bat related character?

After reading the comic of the day (which was the last one at the shop) I am remembering that vampires have always been tied to bats. The first seven issues of American Vampire try to keep the story grounded in partial fictions rather than going all the way with the vampire lore. One doesn't even think back to the cartoon vampires that magically change into bats. But then comes American Vampire #8 which literally gets straight batty. Now all I can think about are vampires turning into bats, or bat men.

American Vampire #8 is a great example of how this comic book title can appeal to a wide variety of readers. Not only does it appeal to the average gent looking for a new take on a classic subject (the vampires, of course...follow along), the American Vampire story also appeals to women who read comics due to the strong female roles. Though it is true that there are strong female characters in American Vampire #8, I truthfully have no idea if this book appeals to women seeing as I am not one. The cute gal who took my money at House of Secrets did stop and look at it for an extra second before she rung it up though. Maybe she was thinking of fond memories (just learned this was "fond" not "found" thanks to Google's suggestions) when she looked at American Vampire #8's cover, or maybe she was looking for the price which is extremely hard to find and see on the cover (that's how they get you). Either way...she wanted me.


(Note: American Vampire #8 literally has Book ends.)