Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Its a cosmic themed 'Back of the Bin', this week. Don't space out its a short stack this week... Dig, go buy it. Sift, search for key issues. Bury, do not read, even with your worst enemies eyes...
The Saga of Swamp Thing #1 (1982)
Power Girl #1 (2009)
Marvel Premiere featuring Doctor Who #'s 59, 60 (1981)
Action Comics #815 (2004)
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #'s 1-4 (1992)
Swamp Thing #1
Story: Martin Pasko Art: Tom Yeates
Expected a lot more out of this for some reason. Strictly set up and origin story but nothing of any real interest happens. If you though 'Red Lanterns' could be read while listening to the 'Dawson's Creek' theme, try this and the 'Doogie Howser' theme. Swampy is as in his head as Atrocitus, probably more so, he just has a better vocabulary. Bury this... in a swamp, if you must...
Power Girl #1
Story: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti Art: Amanda Conner
Actually, promising, lol. I know she catches a lot of flak for the tits on display but she certainly displays some solid super heroics, as well. She's an interesting as a superhero and in her secret alter ego. I have to say, though, given the history and "use" of her breasts the new DC version will lose some points (and cup sizes) if they tone down her look and "I have breasts, hear them roar." attitude. I'm going to say Dig...
Marvel Premiere featuring Doctor Who #59, 60
Story: Wagner and Mills Art: Dave Gibbons
Truly a spot on adaptation of a Doctor Who adventure. The humor at times was a little... "whomp-whomp"-corny but overall enjoyable. Doctor Who is the king of the hopeful yet pyrrhic victory ending and is so here. Though the sometimes dark tone of danger is not as prevalent as in the more recent shows. Still... a Dig...
Action Comics #815
hmm, I kind of liked a Superman book, weird... First, let me say that the Clark and Lois bit of the book was almost insufferable. Him whinging about his job was painful, believable and well written, but unappealing to read. The rest, his fight with the issue's baddie and some of the Teen Titans was quite good. There hasn't been much to "write home about" art-wise, this week, but Supes looks damn good here and the depiction of the fight almost completely makes up for his lack luster alter ego... almost... Sift this title. If it truly seems to be an "action" heavy book or feature a good cameo, it may be a good read. Avoid anything with Clark Kent talking...
Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1's 1-4
Story: Jim Starlin Art: Angel Medina
I don't want to compare it to the last incarnation of 'The Guardians of the Galaxy', which has become a bit of a "sacred cow", but that's the closest comparison I have. I think it only lacks in the overall action department. Despite a strong unfamiliarity with the main characters I was drawn into the story and enjoyed the ride. Warlock and the Infinity Watch offers a lot of headiness and humor. be prepared for a lot of Warlock back story but otherwise if you need a little "space" in your life... Dig...
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The art as always, is spot on. It might strike others as being cartoony, but for me, it works.
The story is very well written and you’ll get what you expect from a Walking Dead comic.
The writing tends to be on par with previous Hack/Slash issues and arcs and at the basis is a lot of fun. Cassie and her crew are continuing on the adventure finding a cure for Samhain and investigating The Black Lamp Society.
The writing in this issue is really done well and it seems to have everything the reader could hope for in the final issue. The time is much more localized and you won’t see a significant jump between the last and current issue and none within the issue itself.
This past Saturday I attended the Fargo-Moorhead Comic Con, my first con in a while. While it was mostly local shops shilling their bin comics and some notable issues, there were a couple of booths of people selling their self-published comic books. And since we're all about not giving Bendis money, I decided to support some local artists.
Published by NA Squared out of St. Paul, Minnesota, 'Impure Blood' is an indie fantasy comic with professional polish that follows the adventures of an escaped gladiator and his accomplices. Written by Nadja Baer, issue 1 is a solid introduction to the main characters and their "universe" as a whole. The characters' personalities are clear and distinct but also show a hint of depth that goes beyond the typical fantasy roles of "tank", "rogue", and "magician".
While there are no glaring examples, the dialogue does read a bit... modern. That's not a bad thing (especially since I personally hate "Thor-speak"), in a world with coliseum battles, magic and robotic-sword arms, pretty much anything can fit. Baer's humor and general tone of the story work well with the dialogue and make this an enjoyable read.
The interior and cover art, by Nathan Lueth perfectly compliments the story laid out by Baer. The line work is clean and colors, vivid. The panel layouts and pacing is spot on. Dynamic with cool overlaps, at times, but never distracting or hard to read. At $4 for 24 full color pages (no ads), you certainly get your money's worth, an entertaining read, intriguing subplots, and rich art. I just wish I hadn't been a cheap bastard and bought the following two issues they had on sale at the booth. (but hey it could've been horrible and I would've been out two vodka crans worth of money, lol...)
Luckily, the comic is online for free (or you can order for $5 plus S&H) here so you can see if I'm just talking out of my ass...
check it out and then add your comments below...
2nds: Another Anthology
2nds is a collection of four comic stories by Minnesota State students under the banner of Dragons Den Comics.
First up, 'Rocket to the Sun' by Steven Andy Stalboerger which is a short ethereal-ish comic with Snake Plissken-short dialogue. Some of the best art in the book and a strong start to the anthology though. This story of the first flight post World War III is simple, yet effective...
'Dragons Den: Chapter I' by Emilie bailey and Danielle Holzschuh is sort of a character study in nerd and romance with a generous helping of humor (and tiny pet dragons no one seems to think is odd). The simple (and black and white) art style works for the story but slight pixelation, from what I assume was the enlarging process to fit the larger page format, hurts the experience. While it sort of seems obvious where the story is going, likable characters and great execution more than make up for a simple plot...
'Galina Powers, Monster Hunter' by Carl Stewart is by far my favorite. It sort of reads like "What If... MTV's Daria and Jane had a lovechild that grew up to kill monsters?" Weird, but it works. I'm on the fence about the sketch-style ink pen work and brushstroke painted style. But I think that is just because I like th concept of the comic so much I want to see it in the traditional comic style. I do however hate the lettering/speech bubbles. Its jarring that their styles don't mesh with the comic art at all...
'Honor Alliance: Exposed Pt. 1' by John Berdahl and Tate Mlady was the hardest comic to get into. Even though this was part one of the story I felt left out of the loop of previous happenings within this comic world. The comic sports MAD magazine styled adaptations to DC's Justice League archetypal characters and a 'Watchmen'-type attitude and story. Their interesting aspects but this is decompressed to DCNU Justice League level. Can't say that I'd definitely buy a future issue but I'd definitely be tempted. The last panels of the space station scene and the section on the character in Africa are so well done and the comic's saving grace. The art and writing in those parts set a high bar for where future issues would need to be to bring me back in...
Check out the Dragons Den Comics site here (or order copies)... http://web.mnstate.edu/ddcomics/
All the above work is copyrighted and all rights reserved to their respective owners/creators...
Monday, February 27, 2012
A celebrated musician and recording artist with a 30-year career that includes over 20 albums -- including covers by Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips, Tom Waits, Beck, and TV on the Radio -- Johnston was the subject of the 2006 documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" which won the Sundance Film Festival Director's Award.
Currently titled MORIARTY, the stage musical will be loosely based on the first story arc of the MORIARTY series, MORIARTY: THE DARK CHAMBER. Corey will be writing the story while Schnurr - who is also currently scoring We Can Get It For You Wholesale for Neil Gaiman -
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Not a bad offering considering the travesty of the first film. Roadblock is taken for a high road as he and Snake Eyes go through the early days of encountering Ninja in war. It’s no shock to see the mission orchestrated by Zartan and Storm Shadow as a trial run to see the effectiveness of the Arashikage in missions, but it plays out nicely as we see an enraged Roadblock, that the Rock seems a fit for. It’s casualties and it’s inner turmoil as we see an intense few panels where General Hawk is speaking to a superior, under much duress as
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The rules stated that the Robot must be fully machine - AI and androids count, but Bionic man doesn't.
As always, the very nature of lists means that absolutely no one will agree with it, but feel free to voice your opinions in the comments.
See the countdown HERE.
Friday, February 24, 2012
So why cant I get amped for a show about comics? I'm not sure.
After 2 episodes the show is still finding its legs but the characters fall a bit flat for me so far.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
by Chris Grisby
Aaaaaaahahahahalrightythennnnn. It’s the religious edition of Back of the Bin. Wolvie’s included because fanboys treat him like he’s Jesus… and Batman is God… As always: Dig equals “buy it now”, Sift equals “buy cautiously”, and Bury equals “IT’S A TRAP!”…
Guardian Line Preview Issue #0 (2006)
X-Men: Wrath of Apocalypse #1 (1996)
Avengelyne #14 (1997)
Hercules: And the Heart of Chaos #1 (1997)
Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine #50, 86 (1990)
Mortal Kombat: Blood & Thunder #1 (1994)
Married With Children #1 (1990)
Guardian Line Preview Issue # 0
This black and white indie preview of the Guardian comics line of “faith-based” comics featuring black characters, showed real promise. It’s a shame it wasn’t in color as the color cover art was dynamic enough to draw even my heathen ass in. With comic characters from kid and his super-powered buddy-angel to a John Constantine-type, this line covered the superhero comic bases and seemed to execute them interestingly and effectively. I’m giving this a Sift due to its lack of color and subject matter. If you happen to run across this it is not a guarantee you’ll like it but it wouldn’t be a sign of the Apocalypse if you did…
X-Men: Wrath of Apocalypse # 1
Actually a collection of X-Factor issues 65-68, this is a must read for current X-readers. So much great characterization is on display here and a lot of elements of today’s books. Including Cyke playing a calculating military leader to a tee and getting called on it by Bobby (look who used to stand up to him). Bobby even uses ice drones in ish 67 (recently seen in Wolverine and the X-Men). While Claremont uses too many “YOW!”s his scripting and analysis of these characters is superb. Coupled with great art and cameos from the Avengers and the Inhumans this book could only get a Dig…
Avengelyne # 14
For never having read an Avengelyne comic this was a new reader friendly issue. Though for being from the “Extreme” line of comics this was pretty tame, albeit entertaining. The Lobo-esque bounty hunter, Blood Wulf, is front and center and likeable but I didn’t get a real sense of the title’s main character. Going to have to say… Sift. This ish was kind of fun but lacked any depth and promise for future issues…
Hercules: And the Heart of Chaos # 1
This limited series pits Herc against Ares and is a fair showing from Marvel’s Prince of Power (and fair showing of skin on the cover art). A fair amount of Greek lore is used while still very much in the modern world. I’d have to rate this comic as…fair. Not essential but if Greek myth, fair super heroics and story, or shirtless Hercules tickle your fancy this’ll do if you run across it… Sift...
Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine # 50, 86
You all should know of my almost absolute hatred of Wolvie, by now, but I couldn’t resist picking up these issues at a bargain price. A collection of 4 serial styled stories about a variety of Marvel characters with some great characterization, MCP is a great afternoon read. While issue 50 was actually a bit of a letdown, 86 was almost perfect. 86 featured stories with Wolvie, Firestar, Beast, and Paladin. Sift for this title and check the back cover to see who’s in the other stories to help pick out a good ish…
Mortal Kombat: Blood & Thunder # 1
This adaptation of the video game classic published by Malibu comics was sure to be horrible but I was pleasantly surprised. The interior art has eye-popping color with a mix of ‘toon and superhero style (without all the hokeyness). If you’ve seen the movies, you’ll actually recognize some scenes which endears the movies to me all the more. Going to have to say… Dig for this title. There’s plenty of humor, martial arts, mysticism, super powers and a splash page of Raiden, God of Thunder…
Married With Children #1
The Now Comics published version of the 90’s TV show mimicked much of the show’s biting humor but too noticeably lacks the delivery of the actors. This comic is too dated and light to get a recommendation unless you’re a superfan… Bury…
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Mike Mignola’s Lobster Johnson story was perfect period noir – dark, gritty and even a scene in the rain.
RASL is back in his own dimension, and breaks into the St George Array to try and shut down the universe bending experiment.
The art is gorgeous! Doug Wheatly has outdone himself here. While the writing is not bad at all, it's the art that actually took my attention in this issue.
The story is pretty much on par with what I’ve read so far. For a tale concerning a walking, talking rag doll interpretation of a heartbroken boy it seems very realistic. I found myself putting myself in his shoes, even though he’d never wear mine, and I related.
The story has a great tone and feel to it and does a good job at pulling the reader into the mystery revolving around Emeraldsville, it’s inhabitants and what happened to them in 1959. This is all happening while there is a killer on the loose supposedly murdering the town folk.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Sunday, February 19, 2012
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
The rules stated that the facial hair must be a beard - that is on the chin as well as the top lip.
As always, the very nature of lists means that absolutely no one will agree with it, but feel free to voice your opinions in the comments.
See the countdown HERE.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
In both the major comic book houses, there exist powers even beyond the comprehension of the imaginary science created by the writers to explain superpowers. That, my friends, is when it hits the fan because, to quote my favorite six-armed inter-dimensional sorceress, “where science ends, magic begins”.
The magic employed the various practitioners of the DC and Marvel Universes has done amazing things. Doctor Strange was voted by us as one of the strongest Avengers ever and went head to head with the Phoenix (in our CBNAH Avengers vs. X-Men Tournament) and some say he was robbed. So, I decided to rank the best magic users “According to CJ”. I realize your list may be different and that’s why I love you guys, so feel free to share with me what you think. Ok here we go……. Expelliarmus!
The daughter of the demon Trigon. Raven has, deep in her, magical powers that she doesn’t use often enough to merit a higher placement on this list. Oh but when she does, she shuts the house down. She was strong enough to defeat all seven of her brothers and the adult titans. Also, she was able to completely destroy a demon army 3,000 strong.
Billy Kaplan may not be as seasoned as a lot of people on this list but here me out, he is plenty powerful. The son of the Scarlet Witch, born to other people due to some voodoo I'm not quite sure of, Billy has the magic in him. He can speak the outcomes he wishes for into being by chanting and focusing. As he has progressed, he has been shown to perform very complicated spells without speaking. He was also a candidate for the next sorcerer supreme. He can only go up from here.
Now don’t get mad, I know this seems bad but there is a lot of steep magical competition that the sorceress supreme of limbo is at number 8. Illyana Rasputin is untouchable in the dimension of limbo, however, her magic is severely limited on earth. Her soulsword can still be used and with the use of her natural mutant ability of teleportation, she’s always one disk away from owning you.
Born in to a magical dynasty in the DC universe, Zatanna Zatara is often seen as one of their most powerful sorceresses. She cast spells by speaking its intent backwards. Her reliance on having to speak has been exploited by many of her enemies. However, at times, she has cast spells without speak and extreme cases written them in her own blood (still backwards though). She heals major injuries, even rebuilt Catwoman’s heart and resurrected Metropolis from its own ruins. The Zatara legacy continues strong in this sultry siren.
Amora is an Asgard sorceress in the Marvel U, often an ally of Loki with a serious mad on for Thor. Her abilities to control ambient magic have been sharpened over centuries of practice. Firing energy, making shields, telekinesis, transmutation, illusions and even inter dimensional travel are well within her grasp. She also uses her powers to enhance her beauty and allure men so much that one kiss from her makes any man her slave for a while. From where I’m sitting that might not be so bad.
5. Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom is one bad mofo. On top of being a genius, he is also a skilled master of the mystical arts. Trained by Tibetan monks and honing his skills against the likes of every major hero in the Marvel Universe. He is capable of controlling forms of mystical energy, teleportation and summoning, just to name a few of his magical feats. Just the mere mention of his name is enough to knock the smile off the face of any hero.
4. Morgan LeFay
Morgan LeFay is a magical powerhouse in both Houses. In Marvel, she is a student of Merlin who is part fairy and has spent centuries honing her skills. Her abilities allow her to manipulate all earthly energies as well as cast illusions, create shields, mind control, astral projection, and many other powers. It is said that she may tap into other magics rather than her own so that she doesn’t tax her own. It is also believed that she has all powers humanly possible. I don’t know what that means but it sounds AWESOME!!!!
Circe is a goddess level immortal sorceress and thorn in Wonder Woman’s side. She is indeed the Circe of myth, who turned Odysseus’ men into swine. She is able to bend matter and reality through the use of magic. She can also alter minds, fire destructive magical energy blasts, create illusions, revive the dead, teleport, and transform objects and beings. She also has the all-powerful mirror of Circe. It changes the features of anyone holding it.
2. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange is a practitioner of the mystical arts trained by the Ancient One, after seeking him out to heal his hands damaged in the car accident that ended his career as a world class surgeon. *gasp for air* He was so damn good he became the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe. Eternity remarked that Doctor Strange is more powerful than any other humanoid being. Although he lost to the Phoenix, let’s remember she’s not exactly human. He draws upon the powers of several mystical entities and has the ability to do just about anything. He has defeated some of the most powerful foes in the Marvel Universe including Mephisto, the In-Betweener and the Beyonder. So who or what could top this?
1. Scarlet Witch
Clearly a magical badass, there is no doubt that the Scarlet Witch deserves to be here. Born on Wundagore, a place filled with mystery and chaos, she was affected by the mystic energies there augmenting her natural abilities. In the beginning, her powers were hex bolts that were able to alter probability in order to make impossible things possible. Even then, it was very hard for her to control. Her powers grew, as she used them, and it was discovered that she was manipulating chaos magic, which may or may not exist, and this is where things get icky. She has subtly abused great magics to conceive and birth children, leading to her reality warping powers going crazy when repressed memories of them began to surface. She created an entire alternate reality giving every hero exactly what they wanted. When this failed, she stripped the world’s 16 million mutants of their powers. Leaving a few behind, of course. This act was unable to be undone by anyone in the Marvel U and affected the entire mulitverse, making her magical badass number one.