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.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ex Machina #17

Ex Machina #17 - Comic of the Day
Ex Machina is my voice of political reason
I had been craving myself some Ex Machina. Slowly, the Brian K. Vaughan story of the engineer who acquires the ability to talk to machines and electronics, and then becomes mayor of New York City, finds it's way to me in trade paper back form.

Ex Machina #17 is the first issue in the trade, "March to War." The comic of the day starts off with Mayor Hundred defending his reasoning for allowing a protest march, towards the United Nations building, against the coming Iraq war. Mayor Mitchell Hundred says exactly what I am thinking when he is asked to stop the march due to potential terrorist attacks on the march. The Mayor says, "I realize these are dangerous times, but that doesn't give us magical justification to deny people their first amendment rights."

Brian K. Vaughan's dialog describes the dissenting view point many people shared against President George W. Bush. During the time after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the United States government began to give themselves the ability to do many unethical things such as wire tapping and detaining people without trials that the government deemed threats. The government gave themselves "magical justification."

It's always nice to pick up a comic that thinks the way you do. Thanks BKV.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #648

The Amazing Spider-Man #648 - Comic of the Day
Is the Amazing Spider-Man squinting?
The lightest ink job ever on the webbing...I can deal with. The almost Hulked-out version of every superhero...some artist like the exaggerated look. The young looking old people...character interpretation. The over sized black outlining around Spider-Man's eye...now we have a problem.

Spider-Man Sunday - The Amazing Spider-Man #648

With one quick glance of The Amazing Spider-Man #648's cover I can tell I hate the Humberto Ramos version of Spider-Man. Spidey's eye's are bugging me like no other. Can Ramos really not see the problem? Does Ramos not have any friends that could say, "Hey Hummy, Webs looks good, but what's up with the extra large black section around his eye whites on his mask?" A good friend will tell it to you straight, and by the looks of this cover, Ramos may be going through some lonely times.

Fortunately, most of the comic of the day focuses on Peter Parker's struggle to look for a new place to live and a new job. Some of the characters look a little different from what I have seen over the course of the last couple of years, but for the most part Ramos does a fine job with the Spidey-verse.

The Amazing Spider-Man #648 is actually a pretty good read. Dan Slott provides readers with a nice new direction for Peter Parker and a comic book which takes more than a couple of minutes to flip through. I had to read this book at two different points in the day. It was taking longer than I thought and had to set it down till more of my precious time opened up. So yeah, my legs were getting tired on the toilet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hellblazer: City of Demons #2 (of 5)

Hellblazer: City of Demons #2 - Comic of the Day
City of Demons #2 features lots o' blood.
Si Spencer's Hellblazer: City of Demons #2 should come with a note on the cover that reads, "No real animals were actually harmed during the creation of this comic book."

Graphic scenes by Sean Murphy continue in the bloody comic of the day. The second issue in this Hellblazer mini series starts to let the reader in on what the series is about. Coming off of the first Hellblazer: City of Demons issue, I was unclear on the direction of Spencer's story; but now, I see it has turned into a thriller about how John Constantine can solve this unknown spread of violence which has surrounded him in London.

Murphy's art continues to impress, especially through his depictions violence. As implied previously, there are some panels which include a kitty and doggy badly injured. This is not a comic for children unless they are tough kids from the streets or future serial killers which I believe are prone to animal torture and killing when they are young.

That made me sad to think about.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The New Avengers #6

The New Avengers #6 - Comic of the Day
Hmm, a magic arc. I wonder who dies?
The issue 6 has proven to be very treacherous for Marvel characters this week. The New Avengers #6 makes it very clear that one of the Avengers, on the cover of the comic of the day, will die. Bummer.

The magic flies as the combined hand-held presence of the New Avengers empower Wolverine to do battle for the existence of their realm. It is very similar to The Thanos Imperative where Marvel's abstracts and elite fighters such as Gladiator, the Silver Surfer and Nova are fighting for the existence of the universe. Everything is so dramatic this week. End of the universe...end of all existence... No one just tries to steal money, anymore. Thanos would be a sick bank robber.

Thanos Bank Job

Thanos, a large purple alien looking guy in a trench coat and a bag walks up to the teller, a young blond peppy women.

Teller: Hello! How may I help you?

Thanos slips a note to her. The teller picks up the note which reads:
This is a bank robbery.
Empty what ever you have in your money tray slowly. 
I also want one of those toasters for opening a new account. But I am not going to open a new account. I'm a titan. I'm evil. Put the toaster and money in the bag and no one get's hurt.

Teller: You sly purple bastard...


Too much Thanos talk for the New Avengers #6 post? Probably. The issue was fun due to the amount of action, but in the end I don't think I cared very much. The New Avengers will still roll on, and honestly, I don't know if they will even mention the death after maybe one issue. The comic felt a bit like Bendis was just trying to wrap up the arc so he can move onto a new arc which he, and we, may find more exciting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Thanos Imperative #6

The Thanos Imperative #6 - Comic of the Day
Different interpretations of handguns.
Now that the Thanos Imperative mini series is over I can safely say...what the heck was all of that about?

I understood Thanos and his intentions to want to be with Death, but the stuff regarding the separate universe that does not experience death yet knows what it is and the battle in space with a huge dead looking Galactus... I just didn't understand the point of the story. I think I needed to read whatever space mini series came before The Thanos Imperative, or I needed to have read the more recent Guardians of the Galaxy comics.

One thing The Thanos Imperative #6 had going for it was the unforeseen ending. I did not know how this adventure was going to be wrapped up in one last comic book, but somehow the comic of the day did end with some finalization. With that said, there was definitely holes purposely left in the story so that more can be done with the characters involved.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Batman #500

Batman #500 - Comic of the Day
Batman #500 includes a huge cape.
Often times in movies when a great battle takes place between two characters the winner will stop just short of killing the loser. The loser will look up at their conqueror and say, "Do it...kill me." With a confident face the victor then pulls back and says, "No. You will suffer far worse living with the knowledge that you had been defeated."

Snap.

Both the slang used when someone has just laid down a surprisingly true statement (among other Urban Dictionary descriptions) and the sound made when Bane broke Batman's back. Bane defeated Batman. Bruce Wayne (you should know who) was reduced to a helpless man in a wheel chair. Never having suffered a personal defeat to his person in such a way before, Bruce was left to suffer the fate of so many he sought to protect.

But while Bruce had been defeated he could not let the city know that the Dark Knight had been reduced to nothing. The Batman had to continue on, so that Gotham would not fall into darkness. Bruce choose a successor to wear the cowl while he was in recovery. Azrael, a.k.a Jean-Paul Valley, steps in to replace Batman. He is much more violent than Bruce and it shows with his defeat of Bane in Batman #500.

In the beginning of the post I mentioned the victor not killing and allowing the defeated to live with his loss. Just as Bane took down Bruce, so to did Jean-Paul take down Bane in the comic of the day. Though Jean-Paul was more violent than Bruce and would later allow a criminal to die, in Batman #500, Jean-Paul allows Bane to live...with his defeat.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween - Comic of the DayI just realized I never posted my comic of the day post for Batman: The Long Halloween. I wrote this post a while back and forgot to post it for a day. I think I was saving it for Halloween and ended up doing a different Halloween themed post. Anyway, here it is...

Batman: The Long Halloween is a series of 13 issues (1996-1997) written by Jeph Loeb with art by Tim Sale. It basically picks up in the Batman universe after Batman: Year One (Miller and Mazzucchelli), the origins of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jim Gordon. The Long Halloween tells the story of Batman, Gordon, and Harvey Dent's relationship towards each other and their attempts to save the rotting city of Gotham.

The story is at it's core a murder mystery or a "who done it?" It examines the bond between men with the same wants, but different ideas on how to achieve goals. The characters are fleshed out very well. From the examination of Bruce Wayne's connection to his deceased parents, to the Gotham city mobsters' connection to family and power; Loeb and Sale craft a tale that keeps you in suspense and keeps you guessing.

Going into this graphic novel I had only read one Loeb and Sale collaboration: Daredevil: Yellow (also really good). I liked Sale's art in Yellow, but it was still new to me...it was growing on me. By the time I got through The Long Halloween I became a full on fan. Not a crisp style like a Steve McNiven (amazing artist), but rather a slightly exaggerated form of quick-hand drawings that give the characters personality through their visuals: a large Batman, shadowy Harvey Dent, and sleek Joker are some examples.

I am planning on picking up more of Loeb and Sale's work including their other Marvel "color" books such as: Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray, and Captain America: White. Along with The Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory won the duo an Eisner Award for best Graphic Album reprint.

Being 13 issues long, The Long Halloween is quite the read. Affordable at no more than $20, it feels like you are reading an actual novel (non-graphic) which you must set down from time to time to catch your breath. I recommend this read for a rainy Sunday when you have no plans. It will make your weekend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marvel November Sneak Peeks

Marvel November Sneak Peeks - Comic of the DayI got this free comic of the day from the Comic Bug, my local comic book shop, in Manhattan Beach, California. I like these free preview books that introduce readers to new titles because they gave me a quick something to read when I go to the bathroom and I know it's going to be a quick one. You know the ones: not the Long Halloween type trip, but rather the Short Halloween one-shot trip.

The Marvel November Sneak Peeks comic features The Amazing Spider-Man, which I already regularly pick-up, and one other title I may take a chance on. Captain America #1: Man Out of Time apparently came out a week ago or so, but I am just now discovering it in this free preview book. It's written by Mark Waid, an experienced pro, and it has pencils by Jorge Molina which some of my readers may remember I predicted would be up to bigger things after he completed the World War Hulks: Spider-Man Vs. Thor books...you know the modern day classic. The adventure has a couple of creators I enjoy and includes characters that I follow in other titles: Bucky and Steve Rogers.

The Marvel November Sneak Peeks doesn't give away much about the Cap book, but from the four pages I have seen I'm willing to give Marvel another $3 to see what the new mini series is all about...or at least partially about. We'll see how much the first issue actually reveals.


(Note: The cover of Marvel November Sneak Peeks is the same as the Iron Man and Thor comic book which is also coming out this month.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #287

The Amazing Spider-Man #287 - Comic of the DayI don't always remember an exact issue number of my favorite comic books, but I never forget a cover. Well, that isn't true...never forgetting, that is. It just flowed better than saying, "...but I more times than not recall a cover."

Spider-Man Sunday - The Amazing Spider-Man #287

Spider-Man and Daredevil are similar in many ways. They are both street level heroes, they both believe in the justice system and they both conceal their true identities. The two friends agree on how to handle many situations, as well; however, in the "Gang War" story line Spidey has become overly aggressive and an over the top emotion driven decision maker. His alien symbiote black costume has corrupted his thoughts and changed Peter for the worse. This aggression leads Daredevil to distract, and even battle Spider-Man, while Kingpin comes back into New York City from Europe. Spider-Man wanted to beat Kingpin out of the city, but Daredevil understood that even the Kingpin had the legal right to be there.

That's what is inside the comic of the day, but what's on the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #287 is what really stands out to me. The menacing, ready to fight, black suited Spider-Man standing over the weaker but still down to throw red fists and white clubs Daredevil is simply intense. I can feel the moment in time in my muscles and the tension in the two figures as they flex with anticipation of a battle. The cover has me reading The Amazing Spider-Man #287 over and over just to see what happens when these two unlikely combatants thumb, hand and foot wrestle.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wonder Woman #77

Wonder Woman #77 - Comic of the DayThe only thing that goes on inside of Wonder Woman #77 is that she talks to different people and holds onto her glow-rope so tight that her hands bleed...all while being sexy. Sexy for a cartoon, or comic drawing, whatever. Boobs.

Anyway, the key to this comic as any fine comic book collector and Wonder Woman historian can tell you is the mighty cover on which Wonder Woman is trying desperately to fend off an attack by giant ants. Yes, comic book graders in their top hats and monocles (most comic book graders are Mr. Peanut) will tell you that the emphasis on the glowing kick to the attacking ant adds a uniqueness to this comic of the day that may never again be seen on a comic cover...if we are lucky. In all seriousness, if a collector has sent their Wonder Woman #77 in for grading the graders should simply send back a letter that reads:

"Dear Sir,

This comic book is the reason I've murdered my wife.

- Anonymous CGC Single Guy"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Taskmaster #3 (of 4)

Taskmaster #3 - Comic of the DayUnlike the last post, for a third issue, I did not forget Taskmaster #3 was coming out this week. This is easily one of my favorite titles of the year for so many reasons. With that said I will speak of just one reason because it is getting late and I have record television shows to get to (I love and hate DVRs).

The comic of the day, and the series in general, has become a fast favorite of mine because Fred Van Lente writes the mini series in a way that reminds me of Warren Ellis's Nextwave. Taskmaster is filled with off the wall villainous characters and flippant goofy dialog which was a staple of the Ellis 12 issue Nextwave run (which I own in both individual issues and trade paper back). Plus, the partial plot of Taskmaster #3 involves a town that thinks they are all Hitler because they have been drinking water filled with leaking Hitler cloned brain-juice. That ol' story.

The thing that sets Taskmaster apart from Nextwave is that Taskmaster involves the actual Nick Fury and not some mocking knock-off named Dirk. Plus, there seems to be an actual interesting semi origin story wrapped-up in a wild ride...which involves S.H.I.E.L.D, by the way.

Taskmaster, the character, is seemingly more important to the Marvel Universe than readers knew (and probably originally intended). If I could ask for one thing after Taskmaster's mini concludes, it would be that Taskmaster shows up in some Secret Warrior books along side Fury. I'll have to see how the final issue ends, and if Taskmaster finds his way to the side of good once again.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scarlet #3

Scarlet #3 - Comic of the DayIt's funny what a couple of months can do.

Scanning the new comic book wall I noticed that Scarlet #3 hit stores this week. The comic of the day comes out about 2 months after the second entertaining issue in the series written by Brian Michael Bendis. With the help of Alex Maleeve on art duty the book retains a gritty feel, yet loses something I cannot quite describe. I'm not sure if Scarlet #3 was just flat or a weird transition point in the story, but issue just did not jump out at me. A few scenes at the end of the issue are quite dramatic and even a little bit shocking, but I think my individual comic book mood is lost on this book.

Scarlet seems to be exploring what change an ordinary person can have on an establishment (in this case the police) if they are able to sacrifice their own morality. The idea that killing is wrong no matter what is taken off the table in Scarlet. This isn't a new testament kind of story. This is an eye for an eye kind of old testament tale. Scarlet doesn't have the hang-ups that Spider-Man or Superman may have, but she is also living in a real world where superheroes only exist in comic books and on underwear.

I think Scarlet #3 was probably good this month, but just not what I was looking for in a book this week.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Punisher: In the Blood #1 (of 5)

Punisher: In the Blood #1 - Comic of the DayLook at this cover. Francesco Mattina sold me on this book with one glimpse of his out of focus, yet oddly enough, focused image of the Punisher.

The actual content of the comic of the day goes along with it's ongoing title's story: Frank Castle has created a list of criminals and bad guys alike which he aims to take vengeance on in the form of bullets, knives and blunt objects to their bodies. The mini-series presents a Frank that is very narrow minded and set in his goal of criminal killing. He is beyond outside reason at this point in the Punisher storyline, and unfortunately for Frank and the people around him, this puzzling one dimensional reversion of Frank may lead to his and his friends' destruction.

Punisher: In the Blood is a return to straight forward Frank and classic Punisher villainy. I'm down.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Star Wars #8

Star Wars #8 - Comic of the DayWhen I was growing up a comic book fan I always wished that someone would make a movie based on a comic book I liked. It's funny that with Star Wars, people liked the movie so much that they wanted Star Wars comic books. Well, I think mainly people just wanted Star Wars anything after the movie came out.

Star Wars #8 is a comic book I borrowed from the Comic Bug, my local comic shop. The comic of the day starts with Han Solo in a bar fight waiting for his furry pal Jesus. When Chewie shows up he clears house and Han is able to move onto business. Business in Star Wars #8 involves agreeing to help a space farmer protect his land. Han decides to hold an American Idol style audition to put together a band of protectors looking for a job.

Han chooses the following crew:
  • A karate fighting large rabbit creature named Jaxxon.
  • Don-Wan Kihotay - A Don Quixote like character who thinks he is a great Jedi warrior.
  • Hedji - A caped hedgehog like fella who can shoot quills from his body.
  • Amaiza - Some sort of punk rock gang leader.
  • A Tractor-robot...standard.
  • Jim - The self proclaimed "Starkiller" kid.
  • Chewbacca...of course.
Oh, and Han is such a gangsta he chooses the team while shirtless. He's Han Solo. He may carry a blaster, but you should really look out for his guns.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Comic of the DayIt took me many trips to the gym, but I finally finished Michael Chabon's 2001 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Most of my reading of Chabon's book took place on the stationary bike at the gym. Reading makes the time spent biking go by quickly, especially when what you are reading is well done.

The non comic of the day book, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, is a fictional story about the lives of 2 comic creating Jewish cousins Joe Kavalier and Sammy Klayman and their journey through life during the late 30's to the mid 50's. Just after Superman burst onto the comic book scene Joe and Sammy combine to create their first and greatest character and story, The Escapist. The idea of escapism is key to the novel. Joe literally escapes Europe during the rise of Nazi power and consistently tries to escape his feelings of sadness, anger and guilt which Joe has due to  leaving his family in Europe and their unfortunate fate. Sammy actually is the son of a father that escaped from his responsibility and family. As the book progresses Sammy's denial about who he is slowly changes, and his escaping from who he really is is a constant battle.

Chabon does a great job presenting side stories which establish an important connection to the present story of Joe and Sammy. The use of the Jewish magician Harry Houdini (an escapist) and a particular instant where he simply could not succeed in escaping a lock without the help of his wife was a particularly nice comparison to Joe who needed to accept help from his loved ones to escape his mental restraints. I also really enjoyed the exploration of why there were so many young superhero sidekicks (such as Batman's Robin). This is a topic explored much later in the book, but very relevant to the characters and book as a whole.

This is a beautifully written piece of historical fiction which is a wonderful read for any comic book fan. Not only does it recall comic book's Golden Age and great names in comics such as Jerry Siegel, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay describes a period of time which was dominated by radio entertainment, advertising, the progression of an expanding culture of art and of course, war. The book is a period piece which revolves around the comic book industry making it accessible to comic book readers who do not often venture into picture-less literature.

One thing to understand about Chabon's style before entering his novel is that the man describes a scene and does not pull punches. At times the scene can be a bit crude...slightly vulgar language which you do not expect in a comic related story. Also, since the novel is not a comic Chabon ends up having to use very long elaborate sentences to describe a scene or what is happening within a scene. Some sentences are literally half a page long. But do not be discouraged because as I mentioned above, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is very well done.

Michael Chabon has created a modern day classic which any well read comic book fan, historical fiction fan or person who enjoys good books in general would be a fool not to enjoy. It's almost as good as The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Yeah...that good.

October Comic of the Day Recap

I fell way behind in October. It's carrying over to November in a big way, too. But...I'm still at it. I can still get up to date...just give me a week. Honest.

The following are a few comic of the day posts I think are worth a read.