Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cable #9 (Vol. 1)

Cable #9 - Comic of the DayIn 1994, Cable #9 marked the first time Cable met Omega Red in battle. The two had a skirmish in which Omega Red got the jump on a partially powered down Cable and eventually walked away the tentacled victor. Okay, the two are not exactly arch enemies, but Cable #9 sports a cover that has me thinking they should lock in combat more often.

Looking back at this old M.C. Wyman penciled comic of the day I can't help but feel the Cable-like (partly) robotic nature of mid 90's comic art. The art in this era is memorable for me because this is when I started to really collect comic books. I don't necessarily hate the art...I can just notice some of it's dullness having several years of comic collection under my belt. Every character is buff. Every lady is drawn with an excellent body and in their mid twenties. Every jaw is strong. It's true, this can be said for many current titles under the major publishers, but it just seems more prominent in the mid 90's.

Again, I don't hate the art in this era. In fact, Cable #9 even had some interesting panels which stand-out.
  • When Omega Red powers down Cable completely, and the machine side of his face turns off, Cable gets all Stallone on us and half us his face dies. His face sags on one side making for a funny image, and one not often seen: sad-faced Cable.
  • When Omega Red steps into the room Where Cable is being submitted for tests, Wyman draws Omega Red with massive arms, hands and legs. It's true that real strong men get most of their strength from their legs, but Omega Red's knee to head ratio is like 2 to 1. This image alone is perfectly reflects the mid 90's art a was speaking about earlier.
  • In the beginning of the book Shadow Cat is walking through Rachael Summers for no reason, during a conversation. Just because she can, I guess, Kitty Pride is just chill'n partially all-up in Phoenix's atoms. The Cat needs to learn about personal space boundaries. When she get's in your face...she literally get's in your face.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Avengers West Coast #100

Avengers West Coast #100 - Comic of the DayNothing can quite date a Marvel comic book like a foil stamped cover. Ah yes, Marvel in the early 90's consisted of more foil than a home made robot party.

Marvel Marketing Strategy in the 90's
  • Foil stamp the cover.
  • Add more pages.
  • Charge more money.
Heck, it worked on me. How else can I explain owning Avengers West Coast #100? Sure it has Mephisto (the reason for the sweet new red foil stamping), which did seem cool after the Silver Surfer video game; and the comic of the day did say it was going to kill off an Avenger. Wait...they killed off Mockingbird? Who the heck is Mockingbird? In reality, I hadn't heard of her until she stepped out of the Skrull ship in the decade later Secret Invasion miniseries. She's like a female Hawkeye without the bow and arrows. No super powers and kind of lame. I see why they were together.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rift by James Jean

Rift - Comic of the Day
"Rift", by James Jean, is a fold out accordion sheet which spans 5 feet in length. Several 4" x 6" panels come together to create several different images. The various pieces of art are hidden within the accordion sheet, and appear when the sheet is folded in the right spots. It is actually a bit difficult to explain, so I have attached a short video which displays how "Rift" works.

My favorite part of this non-comic of the day, but rather, piece of art, is the sketch side which displays the penciled frame work for Jean's beautiful paintings. One can see the origin story which belongs to the two separate stories of separation. Another lovely, yet more logistical element of "Rift", is the slip-case which holds viewer's initial attention. The tones of blue in the water which blend into the young girl's face on the cover make for an appropriate gateway to James Jean's "Rift." Without the slip-case the art would not stay in one tight space, rather it would continue to expand slowly until it dominated your whole bookshelf, and then...the world!

At only $12.95, "Rift" is the perfect gift for any art lover, personal lover or simply anyone with a spot open on a shelf.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

X-Force #4 (Vol. 1)

X-Force #4 - Comic of the DayThis past Wednesday in Manhattan Beach, CA at the Comic Bug, Mike Mignola and his daughter Katie were signing copies of their new collaborative book The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects. In honor of the Mignolas being so kind to stop by the Comic Bug and hangout with some of their fans I decided to post on an obscure book which Mike Mignola was slightly involved with, but many may have forgotten.

I wrote about the first part of the "Sabotage" crossover in my Spider-Man #16 post (Todd McFarlane's last Spider-Man work), yet I did not follow up that post with the second part of the story which is found in Rob Liefeld's X-Force #4. Like McFarlane's Spider-Man #16, Liefeld's X-Force #4 consists of a completely sideways comic book. By that I mean to say, the tops of every panel is on the left side of each page. Reading one book sideways is doable, but once I started reading X-Force #4 I was pretty sick of holding the comic sideways. Plus, the comic of the day seems to have less panels. Most pages seem to consist of one large panel or just a couple side by side panels. So for fans caught up in Liefeld's art at that time were in a way cheated out of more individual panels, yet rewarded with more wide-shot scenes.

The Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy (with an appearance from Deadpool) blowing up one of the twin towers story isn't really the focus of this post. What I found interesting with X-Force #4 is what is at the very end of the issue. There is a guest artist 2 page spread (not sideways) of the X-Force team created by Mike Mignola. Without Mignola's name on the spread any casual comic reader could tell it was Mike Mignola art. His style is so unique and recognizable that I honestly feel like this 2 page gem in the back of X-Force #4 raises the value of this book significantly. Seeing as the book was published in 1991, this early piece by Mignola is worth recognizing as a must have for any Mignola collector.

Lastly, say what you will about Mignola's art, personality and style (I know some who love his art and some who will leave it), the man comes out to the fans and seems to be a very supportive father. He should earn comic and art fan's respect for those reasons alone.

Check out this short article and video on the Mignolas' event at the Comic Bug. For some reason I am not on footage even though I won a $100 gift certificate to the store at the event. I guess I was too busy getting a ton of loot for free! Hey-o!

Friday, August 27, 2010

All-New Wolverine Saga

All-New Wolverine Saga - Comic of the DayIf the free Marvel Wolverine Saga comic book tells me anything it tells me that I am not a big fan of people with adamantium, or claws, not named Wolverine.

The comic of the day is a handout which Marvel provided to readers for free to catch them up on the going-ons of the Wolverine universe. What's X-23's story and what is she up to? Who's this stupid new mohawked character and what's with the lame gym-rat tribal tattoos? How does a no-named new guy (Daken...ok, ok, I knew his name) kill the Punisher? These are just the types of questions that the free handout answers.

The comic of the day is actually quite useful for X-Men readers who have been out of the loop for a little while, for X-Men readers who only read the main titles, and for readers who may want to jump onto a Wolverine book but are afraid they won't know anything about his recent activities. Personally, the book reminded me of 2 things.
  1. Wolverine was cooler when he was the only bad-ass mutant with claws.
  2. Wolverine was cooler when he didn't have his memory.
The first point is fairly straight forward. The second point deals with the bulk of Wolverine content written in the past several years. Since M-Day he has had all of his memories back making his life and story less mysterious. I understand readers have wanted answers for years, but there was something to never really knowing for sure what was true and what was made-up in Wolverine's past. The stories after M-Day just haven't been as interesting to me.

It's like on a television show when the male lead and female lead are always so close to getting together. At first they don't actually get together and the audience always feels the tension. This leads to anticipation for more story to see what will happen. On shows like Friends, once Rachel and Ross get together the show started to die down in quality. Granted the show still ran for several seasons, but the episodes started dealing with long arcing story lines that made the individual episodes not as good: they were on a break, are they back together, what's with Joey swooping...at that point, who was actually still watching?

On the more recent television show Castle, Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Becket (some chick) (I wrote their whole names because this show is not as popular as Friends was...yet) (can you have a parenthesis next to another parenthesis? Ah well...back to the sentence.) have the tension thing going. The show wisely keeps them apart as the show enters it's third season and tries to establish a larger dedicated audience which will not mind the risk of the characters getting together. At that point, even if the show loses that audience grabbing sexual tension they'll still have plenty of regular viewers which will keep the show around...no matter how much it may drop off in quality.

Wolverine, I wish you never got together with your memories. You were better when you were single.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Captain America #609

Captain America #609 - Comic of the DayReally? Marvel is still trying to push this alternate universe Bucky-like character Nomad on us? Really?

All aboard the Complain Train!

For about eight issues of Captain America, readers have been paying $1 more for the extra pages of story which are not even written by Ed Brubaker. The story of Steve Rogers sidekick (Nomad) from an alternate reality, who is now in the normal Marvel continuity, eats up about 6 pages at the end of Captain America #609. I won't necessarily say the writing is bad or that the art is even horrible (though it isn't my taste). The problem is that the actual Captain America story line is really good and rather than seeing a "to be continued..." followed by pages which could have been filled with some of that "continued...", I am stuck with a story that will not effect Cap in anyway. The Nomad stories do not add to the overall characterization of Steve Rogers or Captain America (Bucky). I buy the book for the title character and I get stuck paying extra for some ad on throw-away story.

Oh, and my thoughts on the actual main story in the comic of the day, Captain America #609...I liked it.

The End.

(Note: A post complaining seemed better than just another comic review.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Infinity Gauntlet #6

The Infinity Gauntlet #6 - Comic of the DayThe hand that wears the Infinity Gauntlet by the end of the glove-titled Marvel event may come as no surprise to readers; however, the conversation and scene at the end of The Infinity Gauntlet #6 was unexpected and...interesting.

(Spoilers ahead!)

I can see some readers not enjoying the conclusion to this 6 issue 240 plus page event due to it's conclusion lacking answers on to how the Infinity Gauntlet will ever be in the right hands, but I found the ending to have a bit of heart and emotional closure. After the bedazzled fist is finally claimed by the side of responsibility, Thanos supposedly blows himself up because if he can't have complete power he does not want to live. Readers later find this to be false when Adam Warlock visits a lone farmer in the future who happens to be large and purple. Thanos has retreated to a simple life where on his own with his land, he controls his own universe. With less to control, Thanos finds piece of mind; and, after seeing what control of all that is is actually like, Thanos thinks his current situation of simplicity is far greater in value. The comic of the day kind of goes along with the idea that ignorance is bliss.

The one thing I thought The Infinity Gauntlet #6 lacked was closure between Thanos accepting the loss of Death's favor. Death's love was the reason for the story. Thanos always wanted power before, but Death gave him motivation to be the greatest and worthy of Death's admiration. When Death resurrected Thanos as explained in The Infinity Gauntlet #1 Thanos didn't seem to accept the fact that Death liked Thanos as he was. Thanos felt like he must be more than himself, and in the end that is what got him into the Infinity Gauntlet mess. His own insecurities made him a character readers could relate to even though he was god-like and a villain.

The Infinity Gauntlet isn't just about power over reality, it is also about one's power over themselves and the understanding of self that comes along with that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Infinity Gauntlet #5

The Infinity Gauntlet #5 - Comic of the DayWhat can be worse than one mad-man in control of everything that exists? Having a woman in control.

The Infinity Gauntlet #5 is the pivotal issue in the series. It addresses the fact that the Infinity Gems are more powerful than anything in the Marvel Universe, and the comic of the day also keys readers in on a strange possibly sexist point: in theory, giving a woman or loved one everything seems like a good idea, but in the end giving everything to a woman is not truly wanted, but not very wise.

Throughout the series Thanos tries to give Death, his love, everything...everything except actual equal power and control of all things. Death's servant claims Death does not feel like an equal but rather a "slave" to Thanos' unequivocal power. Thanos says he loves her, but never gives her the gauntlet or allows her to have supreme control.

Thanos then brings his young female relative Nebula to Death's shrine and disfigures and zombiefies her as a gift to Death, a gift that symbolizes the cruel truth that if anyone believes any life is better than death they should try living it in eternal agony. Death can in fact be more desirable than life. For suggesting that life and death are no different in value and that Death herself should have just as many dead souls as life has living, Thanos implies life has no intrinsic value. For this he is called a nihilist.

When Thanos finally becomes the new Eternity and leaves his body behind, shunning flesh and blood, Nebula makes a move for the Infinity Gauntlet and gains complete control of all that is. Nebula beats Thanos' woman protector Terraxia to the gauntlet. Thanos is displaced in space once Nebula removes him from power, but Adam Warlock and Dr. Strange save him to aid in their new quest: bring down Nebula. Apparently, Nebula is an even worse choice for the gauntlet because her mind is weaker. She could accidentally destroy existence because her intellect is not on par with that of Thanos...or in short, her mind is weak because she is a woman.

To sum it all up:
  • A woman is the reason for all the death that has already happened.
  • A woman is the reason that a man lost his power.
  • A woman is the reason all that is will no longer be.
It was one thing to draw women a certain way, but now Marvel has stepped up their sexism by straight up blaming women for the collapse of the universe.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Infinity Gauntlet #4

The Infinity Gauntlet #4 - Comic of the DayLet the "Cosmic Battle on the Edge of the Universe" begin!

The Infinity Gauntlet #4 starts readers on a battle filled joyride beginning with the plain and simple cover of Thanos all alone taunting his opposition to "Come and get me!" As we enter the comic of the day the battle is just beginning. Thanos freezes time and is about to dismiss the distraction of battle with one thought when Mephisto steps in and persuades Thanos to fight the battle with nothing but the "power" gem. Convinced this display of slight courageousness will impress his beloved Death, Thanos resumes time and begins to take on the Marvel heroes.

The whole battle is amazing. Seeing Marvel's best just attack Thanos and do their worst, while not really harming him at all, is quite amusing. There are several scenes of note throughout the battle.
  • Namor and She-Hulk are dispatched by a bit of moss (or something like moss) that begins to grow all over their body until they are covered and dead.
  • Doom gets messed up while he tries to swoop in and steal the Infinity Gauntlet after Thor has knocked Thanos down. Thanos sends Doom flying like a Mario bouncing ball of fire.
  • Wolverine sticks Thanos with his claws but Thanos quickly turns Wolvy's bones into rubber and Wolverine flops to the ground. Donezo!
  • Cyclops' head is trapped in a clear box which stops his blasts and suffocates him to death.
  • Vision's machine-wired heart is ripped out.
  • Quasar's hands and wrists are melted away rendering him powerless and hand-less.
  • Iron Man's head is ripped off by an evil Thanos like woman named Terraxia created by Thanos to make Death jealous.
  • Terraxia also beats Spider-Man to death with a stone.
  • Thanos shatters Captain America's shield by way of a hammer-fist, and shatters Thor after he is transformed into glass.
The comic book ends after a failed attempt by the Silver Surfer to snag the Infinity Gauntlet off of Thanos' hand. When the Surfer misses Warlock summons the big boys and Thanos is left staring down the Universes most powerful entities.

The Infinity Gauntlet #4 is pure entertainment and complete Thanos domination.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Infinity Gauntlet #3

The Infinity Gauntlet #3 - Comic of the DayThe greatest heroes and powers of the Marvel Universe come together to beat the drums of war and take part in Adam Warlock's plan to stop Thanos from further altering the universe.

As the heroes gather to fight against Thanos in the comic of the day the reader can't help but know they can do nothing against the absolute power the Infinity Gauntlet wields. While the characters gather there is a moment when Hulk hesitates to help the Avengers and someone mentions that his brute strength would be an asset, but would it? With a thought Thanos can do anything. Punches take time and require being close and the ability to do damage to be effective. As mentioned towards the end of The Infinity Gauntlet #3, the "allies power is less than nothing against Thanos." The Marvel heroes assault is simply a distraction for Warlock's true plan.

Not only do Marvel heroes gather to take-out Thanos, but so too do the elite cosmic powers such as Galactus, Kronos, the Stranger and others. The Living Tribunal, the most powerful Marvel character ever (a judge-like being for the universe) makes an appearance to hear Eternity's (literally the embodiment of the universe) case about whether Thanos should be stop for disrupting order. The Living Tribunal declares nature is taking it's course through the survival of the fittest and leaves the meeting of the powerful. It is a scene where the scale of this story really takes hold. The universe itself seems afraid of what one love-sick being can do with his mitten of might.

A stand-out moment in The Infinity Gauntlet #3 is not necessarily an important element to the planning of the battle, but it is a moment which displays the calm before the storm. Wolverine and the Hulk step outside for air, while waiting on Adam Warlock's return, and come to a realization that they like each other and are very much a like. A panel showing the large Hulk and tiny Wolverine sitting on the ledge of a building side by side is in a way touching.

Okay, that's the post. I need to go iron my skirt.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Infinity Gauntlet #2

The Infinity Gauntlet #2 - Comic of the DayThe second issue in the story of Thanos and his power mitten's attempt to sway Death's favor and love in his direction focuses on the universe effecting destruction Thanos causes by sheer mental rage. The key points in this comic of the day are the emergence of Adam Warlock (an extremely powerful being who has battled Thanos before), the awareness of Galactus and other beings of his power such as Odin and Zeus, and the assembling of all the remaining heroes of earth.

Destruction wise, the devastation on earth is not limited to the west coast of North America breaking off and falling into the Pacific and Japan being covered by water, but Trumps Atlantic City casino is also destroyed by a tsunami. Oh the humanity! Oh...and some suns and planets explode, too.

The Infinity Gauntlet #2's memorable moments were quite strange ones. Example number 1: I noticed that Alf was on television just as it was during The Infinity Gauntlet #1. You may think they Jim Starlin is doing a great job keeping his story tight, but then you notice early on in The Infinity Gauntlet #2 that the Human Torch is marked as a dead hero, yet later in the issue he is helping save people from the disasters around earth. I double checked but there seems to be an error made. The only possibility is that the second flamed flier is a different character. There is no second example...

One last thing to take away from The Infinity Gauntlet #2 is that the Wachowski brothers read this issue. There is a scene in The Infinity Gauntlet #2 where Thanos removes the mouth of his brother just as Agent Smith removes the mouth of Neo in the Matrix. No way can two people have the same idea separately...
  • Armageddon/ Deep Impact
  • the Losers/ A-Team
  • the Killers/ Knight and Day
  • Cop Out/ the Other Guys

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Infinity Gauntlet #1

The Infinity Gauntlet #1 - Comic of the DayI have written a post on the overall Infinity Gauntlet story. You are remembering correctly. Thank you for being such a dedicated reader and pointing this fact out...jerk. What I am posting on now is the individual issues which make up Jim Starlin's classic tale of Thanos, the mad titan, and his glove of supreme dominance which unites the power, soul, mind, time, reality and space gems. Next Wednesday, a comic book club I am involved in will be talking about this Marvel event, and I thought going through each issue and writing a bit about what caught my attention would be a great way to collect my ideas.

The Infinity Gauntlet #1

Bam! Right off the bat, the George Perez cover is mind blowing. The main guy, Thanos, sits dead center revealing the mighty Infinity Gauntlet with a clenched fist. Thanos displays might and power which effects every character around the universe and cover. Perez's cover sets the tone of the enormous scale and epic adventure contained with in this comic of the day.

Two specific panels in The Infinity Gauntlet #1 book are memorable for me. The first is the first appearance of Thanos on the second/third page spread. He is standing in front of Mephisto, at the edge of a ledge, staring at rock lettering which reads, "GOD." The 2 page spread stands out because it literally stands out. The way the inking and coloring is done here gives a 3-D effect movies of today, such as Step It Up 3-D, would envy.

The second panel is very subtle, but done just right. The panel where Thanos snaps his Infinity Gauntlet wielding fingers to end half of everything in the universe's lives is simplistically perfect. Besides the word snap, the gauntleted hand is silhouetted all in black with sparkles of white light in place of the gems. The image shows with but the simplest of motions Thanos has absolute power at his finger-tips. The mostly black and white image is haunting.

The first issue establishes the tone of the series. Thanos is more powerful than anything the Marvel Universe has ever seen and is driven by two common themes: proving love and holding power. Thanos is basically Huey Lewis with "The Power of Love."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The New Avengers #3 (Vol.2)

The New Avengers #3 - Comic of the DayI have to apologize to BMB. I mentioned in one of my posts that I did not care for the extended amount of text in the back of the recent Avenger titles because I wanted more pages of the current stories and not pages retelling old stories in different ways. Well, maybe I made a mistake.

I did not actually read the pages of the Avengers and other characters getting all "back in the day" in the comic books. Today, when I finished the always entertaining Bendis and Immonen New Avengers (issue #3), I noticed the written extras were about Kang this time. Kang is a time traveling villain I have recently wanted to understand a little more, so I decided to kill a few minutes and read the Bendis script of heroes and villains (Kang and Doctor Doom) recount their experiences with Kang...especially their first experience. It was actually well done.

Bendis captures the tone of each Avenger and villain, at the end of the comic of the day, while they give their take on Kang and what he means to the them, let alone the universe. Stark got very techy, Hank Pym got very facty and Kang did his best to frame who he is while not giving an inch that he is the greatest conqueror earth has ever known. The Kang effect was explained with an emphasis on why he is dangerous and readers even got a bit of humor when Rick Jones recalls how he saved the day when others seem to have forgotten.

All in all, the last few pages can be purely text based as long as Bendis continues to write the script with interesting points and funny Avenger banter.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Secret Avengers #4

Secret Avengers #4 - Comic of the DayBased on the cover, and last months Secret Avengers #3, we all new Steve Rogers was going to put on Nova's helmet and gain the Nova power. What could be cooler than giving the Marvel universe's greatest tactician and leader some of the greatest powers in the universe for an issue? Having him be able to tap into them in later issues.

The three star uniform that appeared on Rogers when he transformed into Nova mode was a bit corny, but also kind of neat. It reminded me of when a video game character gets a power up and gets to be in a unique costume. It is kind of like when you get to be hammer'n Mario in Super Mario Bros. 3. Not exactly the frog get-up (because it doesn't make you look ridiculous), but still elaborate enough to be a fun change.

The first arc which concluded with the comic of the day, Secret Avengers #4, was alright, but I have a feeling once Ed Brubaker gets further involved with his team's characters he will tell a tighter story. After reading Captain America (Brubaker's main title) for the best several years I think I expected something a little more espionage based or gritty. I'm thinking the next arc involving a certain one-eyed spy may get things all nagey...well, it should be a word!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Namor: The Sub-Mariner #45

Namor: The Sub-Mariner #45 - Comic of the DayTonight I watched the Oscar winning documentary The Cove, which documents the killing of dolphins and other horrific crimes against the ocean which are happening in Japan. The movie was very well done and deserving of the Oscar for it's message about why the The Cove's subject matters. To get a clear understanding of the subject matter and how it can relate to everyone, I recommend Netflixing The Cove today.

So with The Cove fresh in my mind I grabbed an old copy of Namor and thought I'd see what the sea's protector was up to in 1993. Well, apparently Namor is right there with the makers of The Cove in terms of safe guarding ocean life and especially whale protection. In Namor #45 he comes across a group of Japanese whalers who are hunting and killing whales. Namor asks why the Japanese fishermen "are disregarding the International Whaling Committee's moratorium on commercial whaling?"

The fisherman replies, "We may still harvest limited numbers for research!"

Namor calls the fisherman out on this ridiculous loop hole in the IWC's ruling and calls the "research" what it really is: slaughter. Killing the whales for research is just a scummy way conducting an assault on whales. The whales are of course used for profit and Namor knows it.

Later in the issue a whale helps save the fishermen from freezing waters and the captain of the whalers realizes that whales have a consciousness that makes them an "intelligent species."

Doesn't it seem like every time you focus on a specific new issue you end up seeing it every where? Besides this Cove/Namor comic of the day, this recently happened when I got in a discussion about "Anchor Babies" and then saw it covered on the "Colbert Report" that night! It's like everything I follow is connected in a convenient way on porpose. Yes! I was able to work in a dolphin joke!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Silver Surfer #50 (Vol. 3)

Silver Surfer #50 - Comic of the DayI'm not sure how I got this 3rd printing of Silver Surfer #50, but I'm sure glad I have it. I'm coming to realize that any comic book with Thanos in it is instantly cool.

Thanos as a character has really gone through some swing in popularity over the years. When he first appeared in Iron Man he was something of a cool new villain whos popularity continued to gradually grow and eventually peak with the Infinity Gauntlet mini series. Thanos was more powerful than the gods themselves with but wielding one sweet bedazzled glove. Ah memories...

Unfortunately for Thanos, losing the glove is like loosing the WWE champion's belt: when you have it you're the shit, and when you lose the belt you simply fade away. Thanos may have thought he would get a bit of a resurgence when he appeared in Marvel Vs. Capcom, but his large purple frame just didn't translate very well to the gaming world and he dipped deeper into oblivion.

With the come-back of Galactic battles and characters over the last several years Thanos has burst back onto the comic book scene. Currently, Thanos even has a mini series with his name in it: Thanos: Bunnies or Kitties...He Can't Decide! It's powerful stuff. Perfect for the mad titan.

The comic of the day has an interior. I'm almost sure of it. I believe it's a lot of the Surfer conquering his own doubts and rock statues of Thanos...that old story. Regardless of the filler called content, the super-silver cover alone tells me all I need to know: Thanos is out there, and he is always watching. He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you were Galactus's herald or not, so be silver for goodness sakes!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spider-Man #16

Spider-Man #16 - Comic of the DayThere is so much going on with this comic of the day! McFarlane! X-Force! Juggernaut! Sideways! Ahhhh!

Spider-Man Sunday - Spider-Man #16

Spider-Man #16 is the last Todd McFarlane Spider-Man comic book. McFarlane had changed the way people began to draw Spider-Man by creating an iconic style which featured acrobatic positioning and imagery with movement that burst off the page. McFarlane's Spider-Man not only influenced a generation of artists, but his Spider-Man would influence his own future designs when creating his most successful artist owned character Spawn and his newest incarnation Haunt. Todd McFarlane wrote, penciled and inked Spider-Man, but he never got the chance to have full power over the character, as he would later achieve with his Image Comics creations such as Spawn.

McFarlane may not have been given full control over Spidey, but he was able to turn Spider-Man #16 on it's side, literally. The whole issue is filled with panoramic pages consisting of McFarlane's trademark style. The book is a little difficult to read in calender format, yet it makes for a fun memorable issue. From the beautiful cover in which Spider-Man says, "Bye, Todd" to the screaming Juggernaut as he awaits Shatterstar's sword-to-eye attack, the book looks great.

Reading through the book makes me realize that McFarlane never was the greatest writer. The pacing is off because the story swings back and forth from Cable telling part of X-Force that he is serious about taking off to find the evil Black Tom Cassidy, and Spider-Man watching the inexperienced youth of X-Force members Warpath, Shatterstar, Boom-Boom, Cannonball and Feral trying to take down Juggernaut. The crossover continues in the X-Force books but I am unsure of how well Rob Liefeld continued the story seeing as he is from the same cut as McFarlane: artist first, writer third...right after inker.

My last thoughts about this issue is in regards to one small panel which 10 years after it's drawing took on a very strong visual memory/meaning. There is a panel which shows one of the world trade center towers half destroyed due to a bomb going off inside of it (near the top). Almost ten years later, seeing the towers is still eye catching and quite dramatic.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spider-Woman #46 (Vol. 1)

Spider-Woman #46 - Comic of the DayIn this 1982 Jessica Drew (that rhymed) adventure we find Spider-Woman fighting assassins in the ocean and the female hate'n Mandroids. What the heck is a Mandroid you may ask...well, beside a name familiar to the Doctor Who universe, they are basically armored suits (worn by men...believe it or not) that have hand blasters and are built for two things: watching kittens try to figure out treadmills and destroying!

Spider-Woman is the meat in the man-wich cover the comic of the day is rocking. As you can see, Spider-Woman is down to crack a helmet or make a Mandroid's back sparkle. Take that evil!

Spider-Woman #46 does have an interesting part in the story where Drew helps the Kingpin (of all people) to safety while she protects him from the Mandroids. The Kingpin later helps Drew by stopping a good who is hoping to kill Spider-Woman for a reward. Kingpin lives by a certain honor and did not wish the woman saving his life harm. He even goes on to call off a kidnapping because Drew asks him to. There is a weird friendship or chemistry that Kingpin seems to take to. He even mentions wishing all of his relationships with Spider like heroes could be so enjoyable.

I think the fat man was smitten with Jessica Drew. Why have we not seen that explored? With Vanessa Fisk dead maybe someone should take the events of this one obscure issue and run with the unlikely pairing of Jessica Drew and Wilson Fisk.

Spider-Woman and Kingpin sitting in a tree...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Superman: The Man of Steel #22

Superman: The Man of Steel #22 - Comic of the DayThe "Reign of the Supermen" arc included 4 very memorable covers. One of which graced Superman: The Man of Steel #22 and sported a steel Superman logo shown through the Superman logo opening on the cover. When you pulled back the cover flap the issue revealed one of four new Supermen which guarded Metropolis during the absence of Clark Kent, the real Superman.

The Man of Steel #22 focused on Henry Johnson. Henry was saved by Superman and inspired to good with his life. Clark basically saved Henry from falling off of a high-rise construction site and got all Haley Joel Osment on Henry and asked him to be grateful by paying it forward. Well, once Superman was declared dead by way of Doomsday, Henry decided to do his part by cleaning his streets up by way of a steel suit, hammer and Superman logo. Henry got literal and became "the Man of Steel."

Honestly, Steel was the lamest of the 4 new Supermen. The kid had the powers, a cocky attitude and a leather jacket; the silent floating Supes had the sweet shades, and the other Superman...well he turned out to be evil...which is always cool. Henry simply didn't have the powers to compete. There are only so many gadget based characters (Batman and Green Arrow) the DC universe can take.

The comic of the day may not be the coolest of the four super-symbol cover cuts, but it's still part of a set which remains quite memorable. Oh, and don't forget about the poster inside. Like the star burst on the cover says:


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Thing #5

The Thing #5 - Comic of the DayHere's to the good old days when Wolverines were fierce and the Thing was one of Marvel's elite strong men.

Thing Thursdays - The Thing #5

More recently Marvel has used the Thing as the strong member of the Fantastic Four, but not so much as an elite strength character in the greater Marvel universe. Back in issues like the comic of the day's Thing #5, Ben Grimm used to be able to take on Wonder Man and She-Hulk one on one while still having time to yell out playful nicknames. Wonder Man, another character who was nerfed by Marvel over the years, is explained to have been able to take down the Mighty Thor with one punch; yet, in Thing #5 Wonder Man lays several mighty blows on the Thing and Ben gets up and sends a rock-slide of power Wondy's way.

Like Wolverine, there was a time when the Thing got too popular and over-used in Marvel comic books. To make way for new characters Marvel began to lower the level of ability of the Thing, a popular comparison hero. The Thing used to battle it out with the Hulk (both he and she), but he doesn't seem to be used for any heavy duty brawling anymore.

On a related note...

In the case of Wonder Man's powers being pulled back...well, I think many people just didn't quite understand his powers. If they started to go down on the awesome scale people didn't seem to notice much, or care.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dark Wolverine #89

Dark Wolverine #89 - Comic of the DayIf he's the best at what he does, why does he always seem to get beat-up so quickly?

Wolverine Wednesdays - Dark Wolverine #89

In the third part of the Daken and Franken-Castle crossover, Wolverine uses his adamantium filled body to stop Franken-Castle from killing his son, Daken. In the previous two parts of the crossover, Franken-Castle and Daken beating the hell out of each other and both were, for the most part, taking battle damage and continuing on. For some reason, when Wolverine tries his part in the battle dance he gets beaten down and knocked out in the matter of a couple of pages. What the hey?!

Not only does Wolverine have more battle experience than Daken, he also has adamantium-laced bones. He should be able to take more damage than practically every semi-human in the Marvel universe. After so much Wolverine use over the years Marvel has started to nerf Wolverine's abilities and bring him down to the level of many other characters. The last major character I can remember this happening to is the Thing, Ben Grimm.

I can't stand the fact that Wolverine's stupid haircut-laced son can take more than his old man. What's the comic of the day world coming to?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37 - Comic of the DayReading back through Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37, I am reminded of why I used to like the ninja turtles as a kid. Not only are they a bunch of weapon wielding mutants, they are also entertaining bickering brothers. The four turtles give each other a hard time while still coming together and supporting their shelled family. Early on in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37, the brothers make fun of Donatello, yet later they are only concerned with the safety of their brothers. With Splinter at the head of the table, the turtles are a family just like any other...except more evil fighting and sewer dwelling.

Turtle Tuesdays -  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #37

The comic of the day is apart of the classic Eastman and Laird run. Did you know the first issue is estimated to be worth about $1,400? That's about a dollar for every time I saw the first Ninja Turtle movie. Eastman and Laird's run brings back feeling of the early turtle days, not just through the stories such as issue 37's adventure in a forest where the turtles bond on a spiritual journey by slaying a huge rat of the non Splinter variety, but because the art is all in black and white. The only things in black and white are things from the past, zebras, Michael Jackson's career (zing).

After I re-watch the first Ninja Turtles movie I think I may dig for some old Eastman and Laird's issues of my favorite heroes in a half shell.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flash #79 (Vol. 2)

Flash #79 - Comic of the DayIn 1993, Mark Waid wrote the concluding chapter to the origin of Professor Zoom, the Flash villain which Barry Allen had earlier killed. The comic of the day is complete with a goofy time-traveling devise made out of a treadmill and a long villainous speech which our hero Wally West isn't even listening to.

I often like to run on the treadmill at the gym. It helps keep my pace, track my distance and keep track of the time it takes to run. My pacing is usually between 7 and 8 minute miles, but occasionally I crank it up to the time travel setting. The only problem with using the time travel setting is that a sign on the wall says that if the machines are all full one can use the treadmill for a maximum of 30 minutes. I would time travel back in time so that my time wouldn't run out, but then I wouldn't burn any calories. So while the setting is an adventures one, it isn't really that assessable unless you own the treadmill.


In Flash #79 there is a weird point when Professor Zoom is giving his "this is why I, this why, this is why I'm hot" speech followed by his "this is why I'm evil" speech, which is less compelling as proven by the Flash, Wally West's, repeated attacks on Zoom while he is spinning his yarn. Instead of stopping and just beating up West, Zoom carries on and just talks right through Wests nat-like interruptions.

Zoom is like my sister at times. I'll listen for a bit, but sometimes she goes on and on. I just don't care anymore. Please, stop talking! She briefly tells me I'm rude, then continues down her path of boring one sided conversation. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy talking to her, but there are times I wish she and Zoom would just kill instead. The silence of death can have it's rewards.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #639

The Amazing Spider-Man #639 - Comic of the DayWithout getting too Inception-like on you, thinking realistically in the second layer of an unrealistic world is a little absurd, but...

Spider-Man Sunday - The Amazing Spider-Man #639

If you take a look at The Amazing Spider-Man #639 cover you will notice that the wedding cake for Mary Jane and Petter Parker has Peter in a combination tux/black costume. Right off the bat we understand that this little statue of Pete would not be the one actually displayed on his wedding cake. This level of oddity is the second layer of oddity right past the one which is the world of comic nooks in general. I do not have a problem with the statue on the comic of the day's wedding cake cover, a clever play on the old marriage issue for Spider-Man; rather, my problem is with what is happening beyond the image.

Who cuts the top layer of a wedding cake?

I believe most wedding cake traditions involve cutting the lower layers of cake for the guests and saving the top part for last or to freeze and enjoy on a couple's first wedding anniversary. Maybe the cutting of the top layer is symbolic of the messed up situation Peter and MJ are in. I'm sure that wasn't an intended meaning, but they could sling that my way and I'd buy it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shadowland #2

Shadowland #2 - Comic of the DayShadowland doesn't seem to be getting great reviews from reputable comic book review sites such as ign.com, but really...who cares.

Shadowland #2 sets up what is sure to be some action packed pages for the forth part of the Shadowland storyline. It brings together Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, Misty Knight, other no-name karate fighting random heroes, and a window-entering Spider-Man to brawl it out with a ton of hand ninjas, and Daredevil. There is an actual story going on, but I am ok with ignoring the content and just enjoying the anticipation of the upcoming battle.

The nice thing about the soon to happen fist-fun, eluded to in the comic of the day, is that all of the characters involved are street level fighters. There isn't a galactic presence currently in the mix that out powers one side completely, or a Ms. Marvel who could beat any one of the characters involved with a single punch. Luke Cage may be the heaviest hitter, but even cage has not shown the elite battle ability that a Thor or Nova would bring to the mix.

If Shadowland was a movie it may not win any Oscars, but it would definitely take home a few Spike TV awards.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Doomwar #6

Doomwar #6 - Comic of the DayFinally!

It's over.

I didn't always like Doom, but after reading some more of his stories I began to respect him. Ed Brubaker's Books of Doom were especially compelling since they dove into Doom's past and reasons for his Doominess. Unfortunately, Jonathan Maberry isn't Ed Brubaker. Another mini series Maberry is currently writing is Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher, so you kind of get the idea of his writing specialty: not the most in-depth story telling but action packed adventures which have entertaining aspects to them.

Doomwar is filled with action and some entertaining moments, but when I read a book about Doom I want it to be a little more heady. The pay off in the comic of the day just wasn't big enough for me. Doomwar #6 ends without changing anything in the Marvel Universe...well, anything important.

Doomwar turned into the series I was just collecting to finish off the collection. I don't like just have a few issues of a mini series. I have a hard time cutting my losses in that regard. Basically, I gave the first 2 a chance and then got stuck with the last four issues.

Oh well.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher #1

Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher #1 - Comic of the DayLike many readers, I could tell exactly what Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher was going to be about simply by looking at the cover. I wouldn't say that is necessarily a bad thing since it can help a potential buyer choose if they are on the fence to picking up another title, but it is a bit disheartening to know that you are not in store for a content rich adventure.

The comic book cover eludes to some sort of virus which seems to turn the Marvel heroes into zombie esk creatures. While the cover may be the spoiler, the inside pages of Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher #1 paint the picture of how we got to the cover image. It is a narrative told by our titled character the Punisher, and a story that admittedly knows it isn't highly original. One person in the book even asks if there is a "28 Days Later" thing going on here. In a nut shell, yes. Technically, well, also yes... though the book says no.

Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher #1 is my comic of the day because it is the comic we knew it would be. In the words of Dennis Green, "They are who we thought they were!" And sometimes...that's ok. I'll get the next one.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dark Wolverine #88

Dark Wolverine #88 - Comic of the DayOccasional, I'll end up getting a comic book I was unaware was part of a crossover. Last week I opened Franken-Castle #19 and discovered it was the second part to a 4 issue Daken (Dark Wolverine) and Punisher (Franken-Castle) crossover.

Wolverine Wednesdays - Dark Wolverine #88

When I went to the comic shop today and picked up Dark Wolverine #88, part 2 of the crossover, I was unsure of how I would take to the issue since I knew where it would end. Would it be like watching Dragon Balls Z and then going back and watching the original Dragon Ball, or would the comic of the day be more along the lines of watching the season premier of the Simpsons when Maggie shot Mr. Burns and then watching the season final from the previous season when one still didn't know who shot Mr. Burns (sorry for that spoiler if you were just getting to that episode on DVD...I mean it was so obvious when Mr. Burns pointed out the upside down cardinal points of West and South with his arms...M.S. - Maggie Simpson)?

The comic of the day! Ah yes. As I was saying, Dark Wolverine #88 still reads just fine even though I knew where it would lead. In fact, I enjoyed some of the beginning battle action between Daken and the Punisher which was brutal, but not quite to the level of Franken-Castle #19's part 2. Here's hoping Dark Wolverine #89, part 3 of the crossover, will only increase the onslaught of violence and entertainment (Dom toasts by himself with a bottle of water and half peeled orange).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #2

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #2 - Comic of the DayBased on a free comic book I received from a guy who was practically about to throw it away, I ended up going to the comic shop and picking up the next issue, Thor: The Mighty Avenger #2.

Let me paint the picture in which this Thor book resides. Have you been reading any of the recent Thor or Avenger titles involving Thor? Yes? Well, this is nothing like any of them. Thor: The Mighty Avenger takes place in it's own Marvel continuity. It involves other Marvel characters, such as Hyde in the comic of the day, but it stands apart from normal continuity and the main stream Thor books.

In Thor: The Mighty Avenger #2, Thor tells Jane Foster that he can not get back to Asgard and that he doesn't know why. It seems much like the plot of the upcoming Thor movie in that he seems to have an uncontrolled reckless rage at times and seems overly confident. Thor: The Mighty Avenger seems like it will include mini adventures that explore why Thor is cast down to Earth, how he eventually controls his rage, but it will probably also explore his budding relationship with Jane Foster. Get some God of Thunder!

Admittedly, Thor: The Mighty Avenger is not a book for everyone. It is suited for a younger comic book buyer or Thor fans just looking for some wholesome fun and whimsical art which shies away from the darker tones which the main Thor title is exploring.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1 - Comic of the DayIt's funny the ways one comes across comic books. Today I was in the kitchen area at work when a buddy/co-worker of mine asked if I went to comic-con. Oh sure...a guy wears glasses, talks about comic books, has comic book art in his cubicles, Marvel superhero modules on his desk, and dresses up like Spider-Man every other Monday and we all just assume he went to comic-con? Anyway, I rolled up my Spidey-mask, took a sip of my coffee and respectfully said I did not (I then rolled the mask back down).

Being the nice guy he is, my pal (K-Burns) said his friend went to comic-con and gave him a bunch of free hand-out comics thinking he may want to start getting into comic books. My bud thinks comics are for nerds, and...well, long story short...I have them now.

In the small pile of comic books was one 2nd printing of an issue that looked promising. Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1 was most likely created to generate some extra buzz leading up to the movie, which had footage to premier at comic-con. I gave the book a read and it turned out to be kind of charming.

I know what you're thinking..."charming?"
  1. I'm all man.
  2. It was!
The comic of the day had a smirking Thor, a mild mannered yet adventure seeking Jane Foster, and the goofy strength-enhanced Hyde villain. Thor was made out to look like a crazy bum in a odd get-up, and he even got beat-up by a villain Thor can take any day of the week! Well, except Sundays. That's the sabbath.

The "charm" of the book really comes across in Chris Samnee's art. His very simplistic style, with a focus on facial expressions (which at times remind me of facial expressions from Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender), really brings out the tone of the book. In a time when many superhero books are dark and violent, Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1 presents a story that can just be fun and not too serious.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #391

The Amazing Spider-Man #391 - Comic of the DayWhen cataloging your old comics you may come across a certain issue which you have more than one of and can't help but think...why on earth would I have two of this issue?

Spider-Man Sunday - The Amazing Spider-Man #391's

Ok... I am not going to act like I don't know why I have two Amazing Spider-Man #391's. I was buying The Amazing Spider-Man #365, which I did not own at the time, off of ebay and I found I real cheap deal if I bought the comic of the day, as well. Buying just one comic book was more expensive than the two of them together, so it was a no-brainer for me. Though it does make you think: How bad is The Amazing Spider-Man #391 if people are discounting other comics for someone to just take it? Well...it does involve Shriek.

July Comic of the Day Recap

This is pretty much the post I tell my casual readers to take a look at. It basically tells you which comic of the day posts are actually worth reading. I will proceed by listing every post from last month.

Ok. Not really. Just take at look at some of my favorites.
See if you can guess which post is written to Naughty by Nature's, "OPP", and then sing along with it!