Monday, January 31, 2011

Marvel Comics Presents #100 (Vol. 1)

Marvel Comics Presents #100 - Comic of the Day
The back cover shows Wolverine crushed.
Even a comic book can get cocky.

On the last page ( actually the interior of the back flap which is also a second cover on the Marvel Comics Presents comics) there is an image of Wolverine with a statement underneath which reads: Here's to Another One Hundred Issues of Marvel Comics Presents. With only 25 issues to go, Marvel stopped Marvel Comics Presents at issue #175.

So what had Marvel Comics so cocky in Marvel Comics Presents #100?

The issue starts with Doctor Doom (ok, good start), then Ghost Rider is thrown into the mix (alright, skull-top is popular at the time in 1992), then we throw in the ever present Marvel Comics Presents hero Wolverine (here we go, now I'm digging this) and they all meet while Doctor Doom slumbers (wait...what?).

Doctor Doom is being terrorized while he sleeps by the menacing villain Nightmare, and Doom won't allow himself to be attacked even while he gets some shut eye. After all, even super villains need their sleep. Doom's plan to fend off Nightmare by using Ghost Rider's experience with demons that mess with one's head and Wolverine's fierceness in general kind of works in regards to getting rid of Nightmare, but creates even more animosity towards himself from Ghosty and Wolvie.

The comic of the day is an example of how to get major characters together and not have them have an effect on main stream story lines. If a character fights in a dream than they are good to go in actual Marvel life. Personally, I feel a little cheated by comics like this. I generally enjoy reading on-goings which actually effect the world they are in. The dream stories are kind of cheap ways to bring characters together, but in the end, the reader does get to enjoy several cool characters in one book.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Incredible Hulk #252

The Incredible Hulk #252 - Comic of the Day
Toys"R"us used to be awesome!
Tonight I am going to try a new type of comic of the day post which has been done plenty of nights previously, yet it never had a definitive name. Tonight I give this type of comic book post a name. Tonight I present the first official...

Drunken Comic Books

The comics themselves are not drunk; rather, they are inanimate objects and drinking would only cause them to be wet and later-on stained. And that...I will have none of.

While opening up The Incredible Hulk #252 I noticed....Oh, wait! First of all, every time I see the issue #252 I think of The Amazing Spider-Man #252 because it is the landmark issue which first brings the alien symbiot (black costume) to the main Spider-Man title. Ok...next!

I'm not sure if it's the fact that I am drunk, or just comic books from this era (The Incredible Hulk #252 was produced in 1980), but there are way too many words. Every panel has narration, thought balloons and word balloons. Each panel is jammed packed with information which the art on the page could convey on it's own. Doesn't it seem a bit odd that a Hulk book has so much text? The character is short on words, yet his comic book is more than happy to blabber on.

The issue is just another "Hulk save friends from monsters" issue and not nearly as memorable as the above mentioned Amazing Spider-Man #252. Yet the thing...sorry, I just stepped away to watch a buzzer beating shot by some college women's basketball player. The announcer said "you go girl" and totally belittled the situation. Kind of messed-up. Anyway... The thing that will make The Incredible Hulk #252 memorable to me are the outdated and ridiculous advertisements.

The Ads
  • The first ad has a comic drawing picture of O.J. Simpson and states, "The 'Juice' says...'Show Them Your Heels'." It's an advertisement for Spot-bilt athletic spiked-running shoes. It's funny to look back and think about how O.J. was known as a huge celebrity back in the day and not as a man who got away with murder. Sadly enough, like Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman apparently O.J. also killed Spot-bilt shoes because I have never heard of them.
  • The second ad has a multi page spread and is basically selling rings to men: "Gentleman's rings." Who buys a comic book and then is enticed to buy a ring? Are there secure men who think they can get away with buying a nerdy comic book and still be macho enough to pull off wearing a ring? If so, that guy is awesome. He does what he wants just like the Hulk. And like the Hulk, after wearing one of the cheap rings sold in this comic book for a while I'm sure his finger will also be green.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Uncanny X-Force #4

Uncanny X-Force #4 - Comic of the Day
Worst babysitters ever.
Yesterday's comic of the day post featured one of the hottest DC (and thus Vertigo, as well) writers, Scott Snyder (Detective Comics and American Vampire), and today's comic book post features Marvel's current writing sensation Rick Remender (Fear Agent, Punisher, and Venom's upcoming ongoing).

Like Snyder, Remender has put together a wonderful first arc on his newest title Uncanny X-Force. Remender pits his team of straight-up killers (Wolverine, Archangel, Deadpool, Fantomex and Psylocke) up against a task which at first seems easy enough: kill Apocalypse while he is still a child. I say "at first" because when you think of who Apocalypse is (a villain), it feels alright to kill the little bastard. Unfortunately, you fall into the "if you could kill Hitler as a child, would you?" dilemma. Sure he grows up to be evil and be responsible for an incalculably amount of deaths, but currently he is just an innocent kid who has not yet committed heinous acts. If the child was raised differently the future can be changed...can't it? That is the discussion the X-Force team has at the end of Remender's first arc. So what does the team decide to do at the end of Uncanny X-Force #4? Well, I can't, or rather I won't tell you. Uncanny X-Force is so good you need to buy the first trade yourself and find out on your own.

Though the story is great in Uncanny X-Force #4, the page of Deadpool feeding Archangel shaved pieces of flesh from Deadpool's own forearm steals the show. Jerome Opena's rendering of the scene is both hilarious and grotesque. I hardly ever post more than one picture per post but this had to be revealed. Enjoy!

Deadpool Feeding Archangel
Deadpool. Is it in you?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Detective Comics #873

Detective Comics #873 - Comic of the Day
This cover needs more bat shaped imagery
Have you ever been so thirsty in the middle of the night that you pour yourself a great big cup of water and pound it so hard and quickly that after you finish you let out a huge amount of air so as to catch-up on breathing again, and in turn not die? You need water to survive and you are so short on it that you give up another necessity for a period of time to catch-up on water. You sacrifice one need for another and constantly live with the threat of self inflicted death. This is how I live my life. This is how I read comic books.

What the hell am I talking about?

Well, first off I may have been a little drunk when I wrote the opening to this post. When you're drunk all of your comparisons seem very deep and meaningful. It's like being on drugs and dancing. I swear this one time in college I was crypt walking and looking pretty awesome. In reality I was probably just stumbling around.

Secondly, I am trying to compare the above to my feelings towards a week when two personally anticipated comic books come out in the same week: Uncanny X-Force #4 and Detective Comics #873. Both of them are necessity when it comes to comic book entertainment, but unfortunately, thanks to the limitations of my human brain only one can be read first.

As I have mentioned in past posts, it is rarity that I start any week with a DC book, but on Scott Snyder Detective Comics days (so two up to this point) I make an exception. Detective Comics #873 helped me live by wrapping up the first arc by Snyder. Snyder writes Dick out of a tight spot without the normal vulgarity one might expect when writing about Dicks in tight spots. I will say that at the end of Detective Comics #872 (great issue and also a comic of the day post) it seemed as if Dick was not going to make it out of a sure beating due to an airborne toxin, yet when Detective Comics #873 starts up Dick somehow has strength to fight his way out of a deadly mob. Basically, the last issue said there was going to be no way out and in this issue it starts with saying, "Well, it's tough but I can do it. Ain't no thang." Besides that little dampening of the last issues cliffhanger, the comic of the day was another nice addition to Snyder's growing comic credentials.

Not to put Snyder down but I was glad when I finished Detective Comics #873. It meant I could finally let out a huge breath and read Uncanny X-Force #4.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fantastic Four #587

Fantastic Four #587 - Comic of the Day
Is that 3 in Helvetica?
Rather than going into the comic book itself, which has been discussed to death (literally), I would like to write a word about the containment unit of Fantastic Four #587. Yes, the thick Hefty-type bagging that encased this comic of the day was the real story.


The Superman Effect

It was great idea for Marvel to release the comic in the black bag with nothing but the circled number 3 on the front because many comic book collectors, like myself, ended up buying two issues: one issue to open and read, and another issue to never open an keep as a collectors item. When Superman died, in Superman #75, DC released the issue in a black bag. Collectors who did not open the bag were rewarded (are still rewarded) with a slightly higher value given to the comic book. These unbagged issues will be worth a bunch of money one day, and collectors who never opened their loot will look like geniuses one day. Unfortunately, until that day comes (if it ever does) collectors of this issue, and Superman #75, will be known as the freaks placing the issue in a bag, into a another bag...with a piece of cardboard, of course.


Nightclub Wristband Packaging

Don't get me wrong. I've ripped through a plastic bag before. I've ripped through a grocery, a trash, and even tote bag to get what I want (grocery - food...trash - food due to a rough patch in my life...tote - that puppy had it coming), but the bag that sealed Fantastic Four #587 must have been made of the same material that Reed's suit is made of. I could not tear that sucker apart without the use of my keys...which unlock my scissor drawer. The bag was basically the equivalent to one of those nightclub wristbands which you try just pulling off when you leave, but no matter your power level it simply wont snap. It ends-up getting super thin and string-like while digging into your wrist and fingers as you drunkenly continue to pull at it. Now, I must admit I did not Hulk-out on the bag for fear of damaging the interior goodness. The comic inside is much like the inside of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I like to gently eat the surrounding chocolate and leave the inner peanut butter intact. I then eat the peanut butter as a singular unit. Yep, just straight peanut butter. The Easter Egg and Christmas Tree Reese's are the best!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

X-Men #7 (Vol. 2)

X-Men #7 - Comic of the Day
Can't fool me cover. I know Bachalo is inside!
Give me Chris Bachalo or give me death!

I love everything Bachalo does, but I especially love his portrayal of Spider-Man. So when I picked-up X-Men #7 my wait for his art was finally over; however, besides a page at the very end of the book, I did not receive my Bachalo-Spidey fix. From the cover, one can clearly see that Spider-Man was going to be apart of the X-Men story, yet the fashion in which he would appear was unknown. Needless to say, the one page at the end was not enough.

Disappointed would not be a word I can use with X-Men #7. That would be like saying I'm disappointed my sports team didn't win by more points. A win is a win. I should be happy my team (team - Chris Bachalo...mascot - Spider-Man) was at least in the game and came out with a victory. The overly excited fan in me always wants more. And that is exactly what next month's sure to be future comic of the day X-Men #8 will be...more. Much Spidey-filled more.

Besides my anticipation thoughts, X-Men #7 did have some great art work. At times some of the paneling was a bit confusing, yet other panel work was absolutely fantastic. One specific sequence where Bachalo draws the group of X-Men traveling through the sewers by constructing the panels together like a long sewer system was a particular treat.


(Update: I've seen X-Men #8 and it is spectacular.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Invincible Iron Man #500

Invincible Iron Man #500 - Comic of the Day
3 iron arms are better than 2.
Though Tony Stark is known as a narcissist, it's Peter Parker that comes off as the self involved character in Invincible Iron Man #500. After a jumbled story which flashed back and forth between present day actions and future possibilities, Tony and Peter sit down to discuss what to do about an invention of Tony's which could be used with evil in mind. Peter brings up the idea that Tony should create a backdoor program that only Tony will know to shut down his invention just in case it falls into the wrong hands.

What does Peter suggest the backdoor should be represented by in the comic of the day?

A spider.

Oh, and did anyone else notice that Iron man has 3 arms on the cover of Invincible Iron Man #500? Does Iron Man have a third arm or is he just happy to see me?

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man #318

The Amazing Spider-Man #318 - Comic of the Day
It's not the size of the tail, it's how you use it.
Now this is the Scorpion design I really like.

I mention in the last post for The Amazing Spider-Man #652 that the Scorpion shows up and is sporting his new, and improved (depending on who you ask), scorpion suit. While the new get-up may make him an almost indestructible enemy, I was always in favor of his sleek Todd McFarlane designed greens as seen in this issue, and on this cover, of The Amazing Spider-Man #318. The suit allows for for natural movement and allows Mac Gargan to use his hands at ease. Ever try doing things with your hands while wearing mittens? It's almost impossible.

Plus look at that tail. All you ladies reading this comic of the day post (not you mom) look at that sexy tail and tell me it doesn't do something for you. Yeah, you like it when that tip attacks and spits out...poison.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man #652

The Amazing Spider-Man #652 - Comic of the Day
Can we get a few more hands on this cover?
What was with that slightly floating jump by John Jameson Jr. at the end of Spider-Man 2? He got all astronaut-walker on earth and I started hoping it was going to lead to a Man-Wolf reference. No such luck in Spider-Man 2 or The Amazing Spider-Man #652.

Spider-Man Sunday - The Amazing Spider-Man #652

I'm not a huge fan of insect on insect action. All of the ant-like fighters in this issue were a little too weird for my Spidey-taste; however, I do enjoy a classic Spider-Man versus Scorpion cliffhanger which the comic of the day gives webheads on the last page. That said...I'm not a fan of the new Scorpion outfit, either. I think it reached it's peak in design in the early 300's of The Amazing Spider-Man when Todd McFarlane was on pencil duty. The suite seemed sleak and powerful, not bulky and robotic-like. I'm happy to see Mac Gargan back as the Scorpion, but without the old McFarlane design it's a little bittersweet.

Going back to the Scorpion reveal in the book...if you happen to pick-up this issue, or if you already have it, check out the second and third to last pages of the main story. The panels by Stefano Caselli are thrilling! They have a presence of intense speed and stress which add to the scene perfectly. Caselli really helps crescendo the comic towards a great issue conclusion.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Marvel Super-Heroes #14

Marvel Super-Heroes #14 - Comic of the Day
So much balls-out action!
While searching the $1 bin at The Comic Bug I came across a Marvel Super-Heroes comic book I had to have for the tag-line in the upper right corner, "When Balls Collide!" It actually says that on the cover!

Of the 3 stories that comprise Marvel Super-Heroes #14, the Speedball story is the one that get's the cover's tag-line. The line refers to the energy balls that surround Speedball and the ball connected by chain (ball and chain) to the villain the Absorbing Man. They battle it out in the last story of the issue. Both characters have a "ball" connection, but a better fit for the comic of the day tagged with "When Balls Collide" would be a passionate story between Speedball and Quasar. "Balls" would have a very different meaning in this story that would never get past the comic code back in the day.

Oh, and look at the picture of the Absorbing Man on the cover. He looks exactly like Kane from the WWE (formerly the WWF).

Friday, January 21, 2011

Superior #4

Superior #4 - Comic of the Day
What's that hand really reaching for?
There a lot of great things happening in Superior #4 and only a couple of things that make me continue to question if I real do enjoy this story.

Mighty Mark Millar Moments
  • After reading the first issue of Superior I couldn't help but think how this little kid who turns into Superior is going to effect the actor who plays Superior in the comic book's movies. The look of Superior is based off of what the movies' actor looks like. So when the main kid (Simon) wishes to be Superior, he transforms himself into what he knows Superior to be, and how Superior looks. This means the actor who plays him has some guy flying around looking exactly like him, doing what he could only do in movies. Millar addresses the fact that the studio who makes the Superior movies wants to hold off on making another movie just in case there is a lawsuit issue for stealing the likeness. The actor is now out of luck when it comes to staring in anything else now, too. Who won't see Superior, a now real life hero, when looking at the actor now. Oh, also the actor's name is Tad. Great name.
  • Superior (Simon) determines he needs direction and thinks that if he goes to the white house and tells the President he wants to help the government in current conflicts (he mentions Afghanistan in the comic) that he is doing the right thing. By Millar having Simon think this is the right thing to do, Millar displays how children think: our government is always right and wars are won by brute strength and power. Simon means well, but he is still just a child. This can make him unknowingly dangerous, and if I've learned anything from reading comic books, the government always has secret plans (for people with powers) that are not always moral.
  • The evil monkey. Millar uses a goofy astronaut-suit wearing monkey the bad guy who is creating conflict by original making a kid a superhero and now enticing another kid to feel anger so that he can turn him into a super-villain. The monkey is just starting conflict seemingly for his own pleasure or other unknown reasons. It's weird that he is a monkey, but monkeys are creepy. Just ask my mom who hates the 3 M's: monkeys, Muppets, and midgets.

Mundane Mark Millar Moments
  • I have been told several times that Millar's style is to put a tag line on his comic books to give them an extra attention grabber. Superior #4 is no different that many of his other issues an includes the line, "The Best Book on the Stands." Really? It's ok. I don't no like it, but declaring the thing oneself produced is the best...well, that's just tacky. I was under the impression the readers, or even critics (creditable blog sites with a lot of followers, unlike mine), would be the judge of which comic was the "Best." On iFanboy.com (a popular comic book and comic-culture community) users can rate which comic is their "pick of the week". The website displays all of the comic book issues which came out that particular week and then shows the percentage of user picks below the the issue. For the week of 1/19/2011 Superior #4 ranked 12th overall with an "iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage" of 1.7%. I would like to point out that DarkWing Duck #8 was a more favorable book that week with an "iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage" of 2.9%. Now, besides the liability of the book the rating of the book was high, but again, not the highest of the week. In no sense of the word "Best" is Superior #4 "The Best Book on the Stands."
  • In short...the female reporter, in the comic of the day, trying to kill herself just to get an interview from Superior (who would see her and stop her) was too Lois Lane-like for me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Imperial Guard #1 (of 5)

Imperial Guard #1 - Comic of the Day
Has a God of War feel, doesn't it?
I stopped into The Comic Bug (my local comic shop) to sort through the dollar bins recently and I came across quite a few gems. One such stone of beauty I found was Imperial Guard #1. At first glance it just seems like another tie-in to the "Realm of Kings" story line, but after closer examination of the top left corner I noticed that Kev Walker has art duties on this comic of the day. Walker is the current artist on one of my favorite on-going titles, Thunderbolts.

Kev Walker's Thunderbolts run has been an eye opener, in regards of his talent, after only a handful of issues. His art is clean and very comic booky. When I say comic booky one may wonder what I mean. I can only explain it in this way...

Sometimes when people refer to the taste of a certain type of fish they say it tastes fishy. Well, obviously all fish could in fact taste "fishy" since all fish...are fish. But sometimes there are types of fish that people describe as not tasting fishy. Kev Walker's art looks the way comic book art should: not too realistic and not too cartoony. His art is so perfect and fits comics so well, it's quite fishy. But was it always so fishy, or did it once have a different flavor to it?

Imperial Guard #1 answers that question for me. The issue came out about two years ago and features the Imperial Guard of the Shi'ar Empire and the current Shi'ar Majesty, Gladiator (a former guard himself). Though the scenery is space, as apposed to Thunderbolts' Earth, I can still see Walker's style...but not as clearly as I thought I might. The art does not seem as clean or crisp. That may be do to the inking, but there is definitely something rough to the style. Also, the paneling is a little sloppy. Imperial Guard #1 has several panels that are tilted to the side or into another panel and it actually is a pit distracting. Panels should pace the story for a reader while not being noticed.

I like seeing the old Walker work (old as in a couple of years, not his early work from the late 80's) because it makes me appreciate his art now. There is a level of respect which I afford artists when their work grows and improves in such a short period of time. The idea that an artist is always trying to improve to meet their comic book perfection is commendable and much appreciated by the fans, like me.

Thank you Kev Walker for improving your good art until it reached it's current Thunderbolts status: F-ing amazing (kids read this blog...well, they could).


(Note: My "fishy" example actually works in reverse. I'm not a fish lover, but from what I hear, When fish does not taste "fishy", that's when it's good.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daken Dark Wolverine #4

Daken Dark Wolverine #4 - Comic of the Day
Daken...the proverbial muffin bottom
I recently read that several decades ago comic book publishers used to provide their books to newsstands and stores in bunches, but whatever the newsstands and stores did not sell would be returned to the publisher and essentially not paid for. The publisher having no use for a product not sold would simply trash the comic books. That's right. Early issues of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Action Comics and so forth, which would be worth in the thousands today, were just scrapped (possibly a reason some of the old books are rare and worth as much as they are). Unfortunately for comic shop owners, these days you have to estimate how many issues you think will sell of any given comic, buy the product in bulk and hope that they mostly all sell. There are no refunds for old books anymore. Comic shops are stuck with the over abundance of books they estimated would sell more but did not. So instead of refunds for a book that just didn't sell, there are only stacks of Daken Dark Wolverine #4.

Wolverine Wednesdays - Daken Dark Wolverine #4

My local comic shop will at times, as every shop does, miscalculate what they think may catch their consumer's interest. When this happens they usually sell the issue a week or two later for only a dollar to at least get something in return for books already paid for. For this reason I sometimes hold out on books they bought a ton of...even books like Uncanny X-Force #1 which is an amazing book, but the pile they had on Wednesday could have fed a family of six for three weeks...a family that ate well scripted story and beautiful art! Anyway, if you can hold out on a good book, sometimes you can get a great deal a week later.

Now where as the decent books sell for a dollar a week or two later, other extra books just won't sell. So what did my shop do with one such book titled Daken Dark Wolverine #4? They just gave it away for free. Yep, it was thrown in...on the house. It's really a great idea. Who knows, maybe a person who they give the comic book to will actually end up liking it. That person may then buy the next issue and so on. Besides the good call on possibly enticing a future sale, the giving away of the unwanted product feels a lot like the Seinfeld episode where Elaine has a muffin shop called "Top of the Muffin to You" which only sells muffin tops. The shop doesn't know what to do with the unwanted bottoms so they give them to the homeless shelter. The homeless eventually complain because even they don't care for the muffin bottoms. Just because they are homeless and hungry doesn't mean they'll take anything. Great episode, by the way.

This leaves me with a couple of thoughts in regards to the comic of the day. First off, just because the book is free doesn't mean I want a piece of scrap. Yet secondly, and on the contrary, maybe Daken Dark Wolverine #4 eventually gets scrapped by everyone (the shops and the poor people they give them to). Who knows...one day maybe Daken Dark Wolverine #4 can be this generations old Captain America, the Fantastic Four or Action Comics issue and be worth thousands one day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wolverine and Jubilee #1 (of 4)

Wolverine and Jubilee #1 - Comic of the Day
"Just the 2 of us, we can make it if we try..."
WARNING: This post is intentionally offensive...especially towards blood suckers. Yes, I mean you women.

The first thing I thought after reading Wolverine and Jubilee #1 was that the scene of Jubilee in the box car with a bunch of bloody dead bodies was very similar to a popular scene in the Showtime show "Dexter." Besides that bit of memorable imagery I also couldn't help but think that while issue #1 has both Wolverine and Jubilee in it, the comic of the day feels more like a Jubilee comic with a few scenes involving Wolvie. Seeing how the story revolves around Jubilee dealing with being a vampire the Jubilee heavy issue makes sense.

With the X-Men eye on Jubilee again I started thinking about her more myself. When you think about the life she was born into, and then evolved into, one can really start to feel for her.
  • She's a girl. Let's face it...in today's society women are still targeted for exploitation and sexism. Once I listened to one talk and she said it sucks or something. At least I think that's what she said. I was distracted because at the same time her chest was speaking to me...if you know what I mean.
  • Jubilee is Asian, or at least partially. Asians are still the recipients of some cruel stereotypes such as slow drivers (when she is older she'll hit the trifecta for slow driver stereotypes - old, a woman and Asian) , outspoken racist towards other minorities in their convenient stores, and baby murderers (that's a new one that's getting around).
  • She is a mutant. Mutants, no matter what their appearance, are still looked upon as second class citizens and freaks...in bed! You know who I'm talking about: Emma Frost and the Blob.
  • Jubilee is now a vampire. Some people dig the fangs but others get turned off by blood-breath. Plus, with vampires constantly wearing black and being out at night they are impossible to see on the road while they are jogging. It's like they are trying to get hit by a car. I know running on the asphalt is better for your knees, but at night you have to use the sidewalk, night-walker.
All in all, I like Jubilee. But I like Wolverine more. From the looks of the ending in Wolverine and Jubilee #1, Wolverine and Jubilee #2 will feature a bit more Wolverine...and thank god because I am sexist, a racist and an anti-vampite.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The New Avengers #8 (Vol. 2)

The New Avengers #8 - Comic of the Day
Dinner, wine, a Doombot...so romantic.
Don't get me wrong, I love Stuart Immonen's work on the New Avengers and other team books (Nextwave is possibly the greatest comic series in the last ten years), but after many New Avengers issues in a row with the same artist it is nice to get a change of pace. Daniel Acuña takes his turn at the Marvel top selling New Avengers by introducing a Doombot, a squinty Luke Cage and an inconsistent, yet interesting, inking/coloring/outlining style.

Starting with the Doombot, the main thing I loved about Acuña's take was the power beams coming from the Doombot's hands. The blues are very intense and jump right off of the page and into my nervous system. I loved the Doombot even though I knew he was just that...a bot. Doom never just all of a sudden appears. And if he did just appear, two heroes couldn't take him.

Moving along to Luke Cage, I couldn't help but notice that his actual eyes were not present most panels. I guess a happy or strained face makes one lose the ability to see, rather one must feel with their heightened thoughtfulness and confidence, which Luke often exudes. I liked it, but at the same time I thought it was a bit goofy.

Now for the style of Daniel Acuña... The artistic ability is strong in this one, yet I did notice something that wasn't bad, rather it was just inconsistent. In panels where characters are set to a white background Acuña often gives a layer of color around the outside of the character. It is almost as if he used a highlighter to ink the characters (though there clearly is a black ink lining, as well). Personally, it works for me. The odd thing is that if you flip through the book you may notice that he doesn't always use this technique. Sometimes characters are just set on white backgrounds with nothing but the standard ink job separating the white from the characters. At first glance the inconsistency is not noticable, but once you notice it it does leave one wondering "why?"

Art aside, the comic of the day is a fun look into the lives of a superhero couple. The New Avengers #8 seems like an example of what Bendis would like to do with the comic book if he didn't constantly have to write the series to involve some overarching Marvel plot. It turned out to be a nice little show by Acuña and Bendis.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ultimate Thor #3

With yesterday's post involving wolves fresh in my mind, I am treated to a fact that few people in the Marvel universe know: if you wanna kill Odin, you have to be a wolf...an ice wolf.

Ultimate Thor #3 - Comic of the Day
The Mojlnir Maglite. May the mighty light thy way
Yeah, the poor eye-patched bastard goes the way of the god-like Dodo in Ultimate Thor #3 due to a run in with an ice-giant who knew the turn into wolf trick. A trick that left me with some questions... Ice is the solid form of water which can change shape very easily and quickly, so the shape-shifting can be justified, but if getting to the water state and back to the solid ice state was done so quickly wouldn't the ice-wolf shatter at the slightest touch of anything due to the extreme temperature changes? As soon as the wolf's ice-teeth struck Odin the teeth and thus wolf should have shattered. I guess there is no place for science among some gods (yeah, I get super profound like that).

The comic of the day was all out battle which was well displayed through some great ink work by Dexter Vines, once again. This is the second time I took note of the ink work in Ultimate Thor making me think that while Dexter may very good at what he does, maybe the coloring isn't very strong. The tones are a bit muted, but I am unsure if that is the reason for another inking standout performance. Hmmm, i wish I understood the art of inking more.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #4

Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #4 - Comic of the Day
Spidey's crown of thorns fell off his head
With each new issue of Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine Adam Kubert's art rises in my eyes while Jason Aaron's overall story falls in my...heart or head...which ever makes that sentence sound better.

My above claim is seen through a couple of moments in and on the comic of the day. Let's start with the strong cover performance Kubert gives which is highlighted by some rad looking wolves. One of the first rules of making a Wolverine based cover is that if you want it to be badass, include a wolf. Kubert decision that maybe comic wolf fans would like to see several wolves with Wolvie was a great call, as well. The addition of Wolverine within the pack of wolves reinforces Wolverine's animalistic persona making him one of the group. Just a great Wolverine cover. And oh...Spidey is there, too!

Moving along to the downside of the issue I present the random pairing of guys with a baseball bat, with diamonds in it. They apparently go through time whacking people with the bat to mess with them. Maybe I am missing something but I have no idea where this story is going, and by 4 issues in I would think I should know. Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #4 reminds me of how I was enjoying the Jason Aaron Wolverine Weapon X story "Tomorrow Dies Today" until Wolverine Weapon X #15 when the time travel story got confusing. After another go at time travel, I think it's time (see what I did there) for Aaron to stick to a basic time-line story.

Don't get me wrong. Jason Aaron is a great story teller and I think he writes amazing dialog. It's just that time traveling stories have been done, and coming up with a new original way to do them seems like it may take more thought than a writer with so many different projects could afford to put forth.

Does anyone else feel the same way about Aaron's last couple of time-travel-esk books?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Widowmaker #2 (of 4)

Widowmaker #2 - Comic of the Day
"Better shape up...cuz I need a man..."
Marvel really did a genius thing (possibly on purpose) when they had Jae Lee do two covers out of four, of the Widowmaker mini-series.

Personally, the only reason I got the first 2 issues of Widowmaker is because of Jae Lee's amazing covers. I particularly like how he signed his name down the leg of Black Widow on the cover of Widowmaker #2. Plus, the Widow's red hair is set in such dramatic angles making for popping and memorable imagery. The art sold me. The collector in me will make me finish out the series.

By Marvel pushing stunning art like Jae Lee's, on the comic of the day, Marvel may pick up other readers like myself who are not particularly interested in a Black Widow and Hawkeye story. Once I have the issues I am going to read them, and since I read the first two I will close out the series with the second two...no matter how average the covers are (and they are). If Marvel could only get so many covers out of Lee, then they were smart and shared the wealth of his talent to pick up sales across an array of issues.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Secret Warriors #23

Secret Warriors #23 - Comic of the Day
Get that gut up on that scale, soldier!
This comic of the day was a very entertaining issue. Not entertaining in the normal thrilling story or action-packed paneling kind of way, but entertaining in The Biggest Loser kind of way.

Every time I happen to stumble upon an episode of The Biggest Loser I stop browsing and finish the show. There is something about watching people who have lived so many years without the ability to maintain a healthy and respectable life all of sudden be able to flip a switch and change. I think a lot of what may motivate the contestants is fear of looking even worse on television, or looking worse compared to others who are changing for the better around them. Whatever the reason for the individuals changes, they do do so. Seeing how much weight is lost at the end of a week of dieting and working out makes watchers like myself understand that health can be achieved if the effort is put forth.

After seeing an episode I most always then go to the gym and do my thing. For me I have to consistently go to the gym. I do so because the dieting side of the healthy living is tough for me. I end up eating poorly and then working out for about 2 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week, just to keep at an equilibrium. Some of my friends tell me I would be totally ripped if I would just stop having it my way (BK reference). But alas...

Back on point, Secret Warriors #23 was a Biggest Loser issue. We see an individual discarded from his friends because his lifestyle commitment is lacking. If he can't take care of himself, how can he take care of others? That is the thought process of Nick Fury when cutting Sebastian Druid from the team. Fury then assigns an agent to whip him into shape physically. When this finally happens, Sebastian realizes he has more confidence in himself and can control his powers with great ability. He then gets to rejoin the Secret Warriors.

Hickman's tale is motivational. It's true that when one gets in shape they become cheerful and more confident. They have conquered their weight demons and can now take on the world knowing that hard work may be just that: hard, but when it is done the benefits are rewarding. After I read this issue I went to the gym.

I then came home and ate a whole Digiorno pizza.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Heroes for Hire #2 (Vol. 3)

Heroes for Hire #2 - Comic of the Day
This one's for the Silver Asians!
Why do I do this to myself? I think I just start to make up reasons to buy comic books for the sake of collecting.

Back in late November, I wrote that I would let this comic go. I had nothing positive to say about and even questioned why I bought issue #1 in the first place. Yet...here I am today. Today being the day I actually wrote this post, not the date notated below...I mean...all of my posts are written on time! Anyway, this time the comic of the day achieved further odd reactions from me. The notable one being my feeling on how Silver Sable was handled.

Silver Sable is European, right? On the cover she looks Asian, which isn't to say that she can't be Asian. I just don't think she is...or was. I know most comics have a different cover artist these days, but how about a little consistency? They wouldn't put a green Hulk on a cover and then put a red Hulk on the inside... That may have been a very bad example or a very good example. I'll let you decide.

Another thing that bothered me about Silver Sable was (this going to make me sound like a square but...) the way her boobs were drawn. Sigh. Maybe I am getting mature in my old age (28) or maybe her boob on the first page is shaped too much like a Hershey Kiss that I can't let this stand! I know women are drawn so over the top in most every book, but it is (I can't believe I am saying this) starting to wear on me. I like the more realistic women drawings where their bodies can be athletic, but also proportional. An athletic women is often less "set" then how women are portrayed in many comic books. Heroes for Hire #2 was so out of control (figure-wise) that I had to mention it.

So back to the top. Why did I buy this book and "do this to myself?" I like to collect, my buddy at work wanted me to pick it up since he read my first one too, and I'm an idiot. There is no way I will get Heroes for Hire #3.


(Update: I got Heroes for Hire #3. I have a problem.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Infinite Vacation #1

The Infinite Vacation #1 - Comic of the Day
An app-solutely great idea!
Last year I was intrigued by The Invincible Iron Man #31 and issue #30 because they included a storyline which made use of smartphone applications. The issues used internet apps on the phone to control aircraft, and at the time I thought that was a cool idea, but what Nick Spencer comes up with in The Infinite Vacation #1...well, it's like no app ever created.

The Infinite Vacation is a comic that is based around a smartphone app that allows one to buy, sell or trade alternate realities of yourself. Basically, you can buy the ability to live your life in another reality. The alternate realities are your lives if you had made a different choices at different points in your life. Examples the comic of the day uses are the differences in talking to and not talking to a girl at a coffee shop and deciding to go or not go to Hawaii to start a surf shop.

The idea is very timely to the ever growing online app store reality we currently live in, and yet far enough out there to justify being in a comic book. To be honest, I thought "Angry Birds" would be the first app with it's own comic book.

Praise of the book aside, there were a couple of parts to the book that were tough to get past.
  • The section where real photos of some dude are used to explain the application rubbed me the wrong way. The wrong way like when you rub the sofa fabric the opposite way from how it naturally sits and it makes that part of the sofa look like it is off-color. For some reason it's amusing to do, but in the end having the sofa maintain one full color makes the sofa look better.
  • If such an advanced app exists, why are people still using smartphones to access the data? Shouldn't there be holographic phones are little holographic tablets that appear by moving your hands a certain way (you could have the projection through a wrist band)? I just didn't feel like the rest of the world didn't have an advanced enough feel to it...compared to the app being used, of course.
With beautiful art by Christian Ward (I'd like to get an app that would make every comic use colors the way Ward does) and a fun creative story by Nick Spencer, The Infinite Vacation #1 is worth picking up in stores or by use of some digital comic app.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thor the Mighty Avenger #4

Thor the Mighty Avenger #4 - Comic of the Day
The big guy is always so jolly.
The Thor "Boys' Night Out" issue is fantastic. Men drink. Men fight. Men have a good time. Stories like this sometimes make me wish I was more simple minded because the seemingly fun situations that Thor and the warriors three get into never happen to me. Sure I drink with pals, but I never get into a fight and then later drink with the person I just fought. Plus, I haven't been in a fight since middle school. What educated person still fights? Anyway, there is something to be said for the male longing to be more primal and less...well, nerdy.

I like sports!

Sorry just had to throw that in so I don't seem like a complete nerd (says the person with a blog who writes about a comic book a day).

Back to the comic of the day at hand...Thor's group has the perfect hangout ratio for a story. Thor the Mighty Avenger #4 includes Thor's buddies who fit all the classic group stereotypes: Thor is the all-around athletic cool/nice guy, there's a big fat guy, there's the ladies man, and there's a friend of a different race. The group of guys is straight out of a 90's high school movie...and I love it.

Something about the simplicity of the group, the simplicity of Thor's and Jane relationship and the simplicity of the art (by Chris Samnee...who puts together the 8 issue run of his life...so far) makes Thor the Mighty Avenger #4 one of the all time best single buddy issues that I can remember. Oh, and the fact that I can't remember a straight-up buddy issue means all the past ones were forgettable and not well done.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thor the Mighty Avenger #3

Thor the Mighty Avenger #3 - Comic of the Day
By Odin! That lil' piggy is back from the market?!
Every time I stop writing my posts for a day, or two, or thirty, it seems I gain a new follower. I like the idea that a new person came to my blog and enjoyed a post, or two, or thirty, enough to think, "I bet he'll start writing his posts again." Well, my loyal new followers, today you are vindicated! A brand new, awe-inspiring comic of the day post to make you never question your following instincts again!

Much talk has come from a comic shop, or two, or...you get the point...about the early cancellation of Thor the Mighty Avenger. The book simply did not sell enough copies for Marvel to justify it's continuation...which is a damn shame. I compare it to when Conan got the Tonight Show and moved to 11:30. So many fans were stoked! Finally he was getting the crown jewel of late night because he earned it through creativity and longevity. It was great for long-time Conan fans who grew older and started to not be able to watch as often as they would like when Conan was on at 12:30. But unfortunately, fans took Conan for granted and just assumed he would be there for them when they decided to get around to watching. Every fan thought, "I can miss tonight, the Conan team will pick me up." Conan's rating sunk, and too did his show (Who talks like that? "and too did his show"...also, who quotes themselves?).

Thor the Mighty Avenger, like Conan, had many fans when it came to words and conversations amongst friends, but they needed our actions to survive. They needed us, and we let them down. I...let them down.

(moment of silence)

But all is not lost! Conan is back (on TBS) and better than he ever was on the Tonight Show. And Thor the Mighty Avenger, you ask by just saying the title of the comic but with an inquisitive tone...what is he up to? Well, I'm sure a hardcover collection of his 8 issue series will be collected soon and sell more copies than this realm has seen in some time.

Or not. What do I care? I bought Thor the Mighty Avenger #3, and the rest, out of some comic shop dead-beat's old pull list he never picked up.


(Side note about the actual issue: Hank Pym has been written amazingly lately. The Avengers cartoon show and Thor the Mighty Avenger #3 really brought the character back to likability.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Justice League America #84

Justice League America #84 - Comic of the Day
Cold related villains always have white hair
After watching the new Young Justice animated television show, I was feeling a little Justice League. Unfortunately, all I have are old Justice League International and Justice League America comic books. I decided to stop on a Justice League America comic which included the tag line "Cold War!" since the first episode of Young Justice involved a bunch of cold-power related villains...none of which were in this lame issue.

To begin with I must pay my respects to the first page in comic books these days. The first page gives a nice little recap of where the comic book events left off. People who are just jumping on can understand the gist of what is about to occur and for regular readers the first page acts as a quick reminder of where they left off, story wise. So to the revolutionary first page update...I miss you, and now fully realize your importance.

I have no idea why things are happening in Justice League America #84. A quick flip through the book tells me that a guy with a cold powers thinks he can take over the world because he has a staff that turns people and places all snowy-like. Wonder Woman and her team of the B level Justice Leaguers is totally against cold weather, which makes sense in the case of Wonder Woman and her outfit.

By the end of the comic of the day nothing is resolved and I dreaded thinking that a Justice League America issue, from the early 90's, would be worth a read. The one part I enjoyed was what seemed to be a quick group of panels which seemed to elude to Darkseid coming to earth. Darkseid is always cool...unless he is on Smallville, of course.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions

Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions - Comic of the Day
The super heroes all look very concerned.
In 1982 Marvel published it's first limited series, Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions. The event was a 3 issue arc which gathered most every Marvel super hero on the planet for what was essentially a scavenger hunt. Why exactly did they gather? Well...

An Elder, known as the Grandmaster, challenged Death to a contest to obtain four pieces of a golden globe (not the award). The globe would bring back the Elder's deceased brother so the Grandmaster challenged Death, a gambler, to a contest involving the earth's hero as pawns. Out of all the heroes on the planet, each contestant could choose 12 per team. This is where the book got stupid...yeah, not before, but at this point.

The characters chosen were ridiculous. Neither team included fast heroes that could search swiftly such as Quick Silver or the Silver Surfer (Why is it that the color silver is so fast if it gets second place in the Olympics?). Neither team also included elite characters such as Mr. Fantastic, the Hulk, Thor or Dr. Strange. There may have been a line about not choosing an Asgardian, but what about Strange? He can find anything with the voodoo that he do.

The teams, instead, consisted of no name International heroes Blitzkrieg (Germany); Collective Man (China); Defensor (Argentina); Peregrine (France); Shamrock (Ireland); Talisman (Australia), and a few well know American heroes such as Captain America, Daredevil and Iron Man. The series was trying to play up elements of working together no matter what one's nationality, but by not having more of their coolest characters in their first limited series they ended up making the story less compelling and quite forgettable. I had no idea they series existed until I saw it in the bargain bin at the Comic Bug (the local comic shop).

When it comes to super hero mash-ups the Infinity Gauntlet is still my pinnacle.

Oh, and by the way, guess who handled the art on the comic of the day, Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions? Here's a hint...he did and still does the art on everything Marvel. If you said John Romita Jr., you know your Marvel.

Nerd.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1

The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 - Comic of the Day
His name is in the title...better draw his face
Can we all agree that Beta Ray Bill has an amazing bod? Total butter-face though...

In the one-shot The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1, which spun off of the The Thanos Imperative mini series in which our universe is saved through the combined forces of many (but mainly Nova and Star-Lord), a team is brought together which would rival any Marvel team ever created. The heaviest hitters and biggest(in the words of Peter Quill, Star-Lord) "bad-asses" have been brought together to stop the threats to the galaxy that shear bravery cannot dispense. The team's name: the Annihilators.

Lame team name aside in the comic of the day, the team consists of:
  • Beta Ray Bill
  • Ronan the Accuser
  • Silver Surfer
  • Gladiator
  • Quasar
All five of them are down to battle, two of them use hammer-like weapons, one surfs, one accuses, one has a sweet mo-hawk and another has the prettiest bracelets in the universe. That's pretty much the team break-down.

While I think the team is cool, I can see this book running into the Superman dilemma. The Superman dilemma, in this case, refers to the idea that when one (in this case one team) is at the top of the power scale, it becomes extremely difficult to find suitable villains or opposition to stand a chance in a fight or create a compelling story. In the case of Superman, writers have gone the magic, mind over might and "only weakness" (kryptonite) routes. Against this Marvel team I suspect the route may involve their compassion for life.

The team and possible story paths have me interested to pick-up the Annihilators when it hits stands in a couple of months.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Batman Beyond #1

Batman Beyond #1 - Comic of the Day
Lots of red bat symbols
Batman Beyond #1 feels very short for some reason. I think it has to do with the standard first issue syndrome.  So many poor first issues come down with the case of trying to develop a character without progressing the story until the last page or two of the issue. This is often the case in mini series, but as seen in the comic of the day, it can occur in on-goings, as well.

Speaking of ongoing series, I am glad that this issue has finally come out. My buddy Kyle was really looking forward to it, and his anticipation got me excited, too. He has good taste in comics and more importantly I don't feel that "just cuz" urge with Kyle. You know the urge: the one where you automatically hate what a good friend likes just because you didn't originally like it. This is common with sport teams. I will secretly tell my friends, "If my team can't win I want yours to because you are my friend and I want you to be hap..." fuck that! My friends know by now I secretly hate their teams. Their team will win a big game and I talk about how the other team lost it, or their star player gets a ton of accolades and I find a story about how he assaults women. "I guess he's ok...you know, if you like the scum of the earth that beat up or disrespect women."

But yeah...I'm looking forward to a fun Batman Beyond series.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hellblazer: City of Demons #5 (of 5)

Hellblazer: City of Demons #5 - Comic of the Day
How you tease me naked lady on the cover
If comics like this were readily available to any comic shop goer when I was a kid, I was certainly unaware of it.

Boobs!

I'm not going to lie to you...there are boobies in this book. In a series that is filled with witty narration and some nice lines for John Constantine to deliver, Hellblazer: City of Demons is dominated by imagery. Again, Si Spencer does a very good job with the character, but it is Sean Murphy that heightens his status among growing talents in comic book artistry.

Hellblazer: City of Demons #5 isn't much different from the first 4 issues done by Sean Murphy. He gets to play in a world of brutal violence, blood and sketchy looking characters. Constantine's face is particularly well done. Many lines to show the wear his face has taken, due to what he's seen and gone through, highlight Murphy's character work. His face work has a very sketchy-looking style which sets his work apart from many artists' smoother faces.

Besides blood and faces the comic of the day also has several pages of female nakedness. Vertigo books are normally for adult readers, but I didn't know there could be so much nudity. Nudity that, by the way, is very well done. Tasteful. Beautiful even.

Boobs!

All in all, Hellblazer: City of Demons was a fun read and a great platform for Si Spencer and especially Sean Murphy.


Oh and...the scene where Constantine opens Maria's (the naked chick's) armoire to find it packed with dildos, bondage items and much more was amazing.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hellblazer: City of Demons #4 (of 5)

Hellblazer: City of Demons #4 - Comic of the Day
City of Demons #4...you complete me
I got lucky at the comic shop.

I went in to pick up new comic books on Wednesday and while I was walking through the store, picking up my new issues, I spotted the one issue I was missing from a recent mini series. A Hellblazer: City of Demons #4 was city on the rack next to the couple week old Hellblazer: City of Demons #5 and #3. Somehow I had missed the comic of the day (issue #4) one week about a month ago and all of the comic shop's copies had sold out (because it is awesome).

I grabbed the one copy and ask the shop keep (I'm trying to bring "shop keep" back), "I have looked for this issue every week since I missed it's release, and now a month later I finally found a copy. What gives?"

Mike, the Comic Bug co-owner, told me it was probably from a regular's pull list who had not come in the shop for a while so they started putting some of his older issues back on the racks. I have never felt so fortunate for someone's misfortune.

Finally after reading Hellblazer: City of Demons #4 I can read the copy of Hellblazer: City of Demons #5 which I have had sitting around for weeks. Tomorrow I will do closing thoughts on Si Spencer and Sean Murphy's so far so good John Constantine tale, Hellblazer: City of Demons.


(Note: I must mention that I do not keep a "pull list" out of respect for comic books and the sacred day of new comic book Wednesdays...and sometimes on Thursdays when there is a holiday.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Planetary #19

Planetary #19 - Comic of the Day
19 issues in and we are already off planet...ary
I bought the fourth Planetary volume over a month ago and placed it on my bookshelf. I have been known to buy a book, comic and novel, and then just let it sit without once opening it up. After missing several Trivial Pursuit "Literature" questions it was pointed out (by myself) that maybe I should spend more time reading books and less time buying them. Maybe owning a book and appearing to be well read isn't the same as actually being well read.

Planetary volume 5 was opened today when some free time opened up in my schedule thanks to a first half shellacking of the Cleveland Browns, curtsy of the despised Pittsburgh Steelers. The writings of Warren Ellis is enough to place my rage at ease for a brief period of time today. But while my rage was at ease, my mind was not.

I understand a little bit when it comes to the perception of time and space but I was absolutely lost while reading Planetary #19. So many technical words were thrown into the mix when a conversation about compacted multi-dimensional information was being had. I powered through as one does when the do not understand a word in a sentence. Eventually the point of the word will be known based on the direction of the sentence or paragraph the unknown word inhabited.

Though I never was able to fully grasp the technical conversation I did enjoy the comic of the day for its depiction of a community in space which achieved an Earth-like evolutionary experience on it's own separate from an outside influence (save that of it's original unknown origin such as Earth's Big Bang origin). Oh, plus there was a huge purple humanoid creature laying dead in a field on the alien craft/object (the size of Manhattan). That was weird in a delightful way that Ellis has made standard practice to capture in Planetary. While reading a Planetary book one becomes disappointed if a giant alien, portal to an underwater world or ghosts of our future children are not discovered.

I was able to discover Planetary today because of an unfortunate event, but I will finish the last Planetary volume because I was once again reminded of why I bought the trade paper back in the first place: dead, huge, purple humanoid creatures.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Detective Comics #872

Detective Comics #872 - Comic of the Day
Batman trademarked gas mask
Sometimes it's the subtle moments in comics that do it for me. In Scott Snyder's Detective Comics #872 there is a moment between Lieutenant Bullock and Batman that stands out in the comic of the day (the first of the new year) even if it isn't intended to stand out.

The Lieutenant tells Batman of an underground auction house of the criminal nature, called Mirror House, that has been happening in Gotham City. Bullock goes on to say, "...Seems Mirror House has been open for business in Gotham for a long time." Snyder puts extra emphasis on "long time" implying that Bullock is mocking Batman. It's no secret that Bullock isn't the biggest fan of Batman, so when something criminal has been going on for nearly 20 years under the nose of the great detective Batman, Bullock finds a bit of pleasure in the situation.

Batman, of course, powers through Bullocks subtle jab and goes on to say that Mirror House has been functional in many cities. Batman, almost childishly, goes onto say he has more info on Mirror House and has sent it on to Gordon. Batman has to have the final word when it comes to Bullock so that Bullock is very clear on the fact that in no way is Bullock better than he (Batman) is.

Anyway, great seen Scott. I look forward to part 3.

365 Days of Comics 2010 Recap

That was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I wrote a comic book related post for everyday over the course of 2010. The total amount of posts actually added up to over 365 posts because of the monthly recaps. The monthly recaps, by the way, are the best posts to read. If you are going to be on this website only once a month it's best to just check out the most recent monthly recap to look through the best posts of the month. Let's face it...they can't all be infinity gems.

When I started this blog it was with the intent to make myself consistently write. I enjoy writing. I would even say it is my passion. This blog helped make me write even when I wasn't feeling it. Forcing myself to produce something with a deadline actually turned out to be quite enlightening. Some of my best posts occured when I just started writing, not knowing in which direction the post was going. The posts became very organic in that regard.

Being aware of stale patterns became quite easy over the months, as well. The moment I felt like my posts were turning into standard reviews I tried to change up the style of my entry. I would do a bullet point section of my ideas for the characters or talk about something else totally unrelated to the comic which sprung from an image or bit of dialog in the comic of the day.

One particular post which I spent extra time considering was my BKV Ex Machina #15 post. This post had nothing to do with the specific comic but everything to do with the creator Brian K. Vaughan. I listened to, and read and re-read the words of, Naughty by Nature's "OPP" song and replaced the words to tell a story about BKV. I was very pleased with myself after I was able to complete the post and then sing my lyrics to the actual Naughty by Nature song.

The Ex Machina #15 post is also a post that exemplifies what this blog was to me. If you follow the link to that post you may notice that no one commented on it. It was done with and faded away (until the monthly recap). The post didn't have to be read for me to appreciate what I had done. I enjoyed the creative process and felt truly happy with myself after I had completed it. The experience was rewarding. The idea that I was able to create something I was content with made my Friday, July 16th a day to remember and look back at and say, "I took the time to do something I thought was fun and it worked for me." I was proud of myself for seeing a fun idea through to the end. And that sums up what I think I have done with 365 Days of Comics in 2010.

I will continue on in 2011 with hopefully some surprises in posts for my few dedicated readers. I love you mom! (Honestly, she doesn't waste her time with my blog...but I still love her.)

December Comic of the Day Recap

December consisted of me catching up on old posts. I made a mad scramble at the end but I was able to complete a comic of the day post for everyday in December. Thanks to a "Poster Week", which I think I may do again in 2011, December turned out to be filled with hasty yet fun posts. Here are a few of my favorites from December. Enjoy!