Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Original Graphic Novel of the Year: A God Somewhere.

A God Somewhere
This is a strange story. It's the kind of tale I like, the "what if someone with superpowers existed in the actual world?" type of fictional jaunt, and as always, the answer to that question ain't pretty. I didn't read too many original graphic novels this year, but even if I had I still think this would have been high on my list.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Individual Issue of a comic this year: Batman and Robin #13

Best Individual Issue: Batman and Robin #13
It came out in the fall and with the combination of Frazer Irving's artwork being at the top of its game, and Grant Morrison starting to bring all of his ideas and story-lines from the preceding 12 issues together...well, it was something beautiful.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Worst comic cover of the year.

I have a post tomorrow about the best single-issue of a comic this year, but I felt I should give a shout-out to the bad as well as the good. I'm not going to name a "worst comic of the year" as even series most people hated had supporters (You know there is some guy out there who loved Rise of Arsenal). However, there is one single thing we can all agree on, the worst possible cover that was released this year is right behind the cut (warning, it is hideous):

My Top 3 Video-Games of the Year

The following are what I feel are the top 3 video-games of the year. Please note there were tons of great games, such as Fallout: New Vegas, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Fable 3, Red Dead Redemption, and more--this list isn't discounting them or saying they aren't great, and they may even be better than my top 3 games in certain ways, but my top 3 games are there because they are my own personal favorites. So, now that we've got that disclaimer out of the way....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mini-Run Review: Invincible Iron Man #25-33

Invincible Iron Man #25-33
The 9-part "Stark Resilient" was quite the story arc! Do I mean that in a good or bad way? Read on...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Marvel Universe Vs. The Punisher, bloody, gritty, and funny?

Marvel Universe Vs. The Punisher
Take the Punisher, combine with the concept of the film version of "I am Legend" (one man all alone against monsters in NYC), a bit of "28 Days Later" (people infected with a virus), the idea of heroes eating people from "Marvel Zombies" and throw in some comedy to lighten the mood via fan-favorite Deadpool and you get this comic. Is this mish-mash of ideas any good?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not quite terrible, but definitely not good: X-Force & Cable: The Legend Returns

X-Force & Cable: The Legend Returns
Before Uncanny X-Force (a great comic) there was the X-Force who were a secret team led by Cyclops, and before that there was this six issue comic that took the X-Force vibe from the 90s and brought it back. I like Liefeld's art somewhat unlike many people, so why didn't I like it?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to my Gentile Friends.

Merry Christmas! I may be Jewish but I still enjoy a good gingerbread cookie and sitting on Santa's lap telling him what I want even though as a Jewish person he tells the Hanukkah Troll what I want. Yes, Jews have their own version of Santa, the Hanukkah Troll. No, I swear I did not just make him up. Okay, I did. Anyways, in the spirit of the holidays I now present to you one of the funniest SNL clips ever, sorry for the mandatory advertisement beforehand, but the wait is worth it:

Those Under Underground Records skits always get me laughing like a madman. As my gift to you here is the original and even funnier one:

Now I shall eat some Chinese food as my people are wont to do on this holiday.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Flashback Friday: Charlie Huston's run on Moon Knight.

Moon Knight Volume 1: The Bottom
Moon Knight Volume 2: Midnight Sun
Remember Moon Knight? He was kind of popular as Marvel's rip-off of Batman, but with the twist he was totally insane? He had multiple identities he assumed to infiltrate various sectors, be it his "real" self Marc Spector, the rich guy Steven Grant, or cab driver Jake Lockley. Ring a bell? Well, before Charlie Huston was offered to write a reboot of the character not too many people always knew of the character. At the most people recalled him being a West Coast Avenger--a fate worse than death. In the 2000s though Huston came along, and some magic happened. What kind of magic? The best kind, twisted.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mini-Run Review: Thunderbolts #144-151

Thunderbolts #146-151
It isn't a secret that I love Luke Cage. When written well he is just such an awesome character and possibly my favorite Marvel comics hero. This isn't a post about why Luke Cage rocks so I'll focus on what I set out to do, review Jeff Parker and Kev Walker's run so far of the comic Thunderbolts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Possibly my favorite anthology of the year: Strange Tales II

Strange Tales #1-3
Take a bunch of independent comics and art-comics writers and artists, give them free reign to do whatever they want with Marvel characters, and what do you get? The Strange Tales mini-series and its even better sequel, Strange Tales II!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marvel announces new major event, I try to pretend to care.

So, today Marvel announced a new event called, "Fear Itself," that is going to be on the scale of Marvel's Civil War Event. Another, really? Look, I really enjoy some Marvel books, but have just sort of burned out on event-comics. Why? Let's discuss and bring in some humorous and distasteful metaphors too.

World Of Warcraft--Thoughts on Goblins and Worgen

Having played both the introductory levels for Goblins and Worgen (i.e. the gameplay before you join the "main" world around level 12-14). I can come to some conclusions. More after the cut if you're interested, along with some explanations of just what a Worgen is for you "noobs" out there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A great graphic novel: Afrodisiac

A satiric riff on the era of Blaxplotation (think like "Black Dynamite"), Afrodisiac is an original graphic novel featuring the aforementioned title character on his various adventures, be it pimping, fighting Dracula, wooing countless women, or seducing death herself. This book has already gotten great reviews, so what did I think? I liked it. Why I liked it follows the cut...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jessica Jones of Alias fame to get own Television Series. I am quite happy.

I don't know if you've heard the news, but Jessica Jones of one of my favorite comics, "Alias" and now a part of New Avengers as Luke Cage's wife and mother and of their child, will have a version of her character getting her own television show! Titled "AKA Jessica Jones" I really hope this doesn't suck, and with orignial writer Brian Michael Bendis as an adviser I think things will be okay. Too bad they can't go with the title "Alias" as people will probably confuse it with that Jennifer Garner show I never watched. Anyways, I'll be watching this show for sure. I just hope they use other actual Marvel characters who aren't big enough to be in the movies, but well-known enough I'll go, "Hey, that's ____!" Also, if Luke Cage is in this show I will be giddy as a schoolgirl.

The most consistently good series I have read: X-Factor 212

X-Factor #212
Since it first launched as a part of, "Decimation," the theme of a some x-men books as the aftermath of, "House of M," X-Factor has been the most always-good book I've read. The art has changed constantly, but the writer has always been the same, good ol' Peter David. From its 50 issues until the numbering changed to 200 and on, this has been a great comic. It also helps I love how Peter David writes Madrox (he's my favorite mutant character arguably thanks to David).

This issue features guest-star Thor helping out our team of mutant investigators as they continue trying to save classic character Pip the troll from the evil Norse God, Hela--who has become a casino-owner in Las Vegas. I realize this all sounds crazy, and it is, but David himself has a great sense of humor that acknowledges how silly the adventures X-Factor goes on are. Some sub-plots advance a bit too, with Rictor's lover Shatterstar learning that Rictor's ex-girlfriend Rahne may not be preggers with Rictor's baby after-all. Yeah, did I mention this comic is also kind of like a super-hero soap-opera?

Anyways, this series is worth reading from the beginning, and that's counting the excellent mini-series that led into this, "Madrox". X-Factor is not always great, but it is unquestionably continuously good, and when it is great it is even more of a joy to read. Start with this issue, a previous one, wherever, just start! This issue is definitely another one of the even-better-than-good ones.
4 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

That was a waste of time--Bruce Wayne: The Road Home.

Bruce Wayne The Road Home: Batman and Robin, Red Robin, Outsiders, Commisioner Gordon, and Ras al Gul.
Grant Morrison's The Return of Bruce Wayne had been suffering delays so D.C. decided to release a series of seeming one-shots detailing how various people who had worked with Batman...well, the solicits didn't exactly say what these comics were about. Why were they a waste of time though? Well, remember how Marvel comics made a big deal of Captain America coming back but his main series got delayed so we ended up seeing him appearing in a bunch of other comics? Yeah, think on that scale.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Film Friday: Black Swan

By the director of The Wrestler, Darren Ofonsky, Black Swan has been getting rave reviews. It's a psychological thriller with an actress I love, Natalie Portman, so at least she will be good. What did I think of the movie though? Let's read my essentially spoiler-free review...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That was a letdown--Prelude to Deadpool Corps.

Prelude to Deadpool Corps
I will now review the mini-series that led into the series (which is canceled with issue 12 so I guess it was a maxi-series). 5 different artists, 5 different issues, Victor Gischler from Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth on the story. That was decent, so this can't be too bad, right? Well, "Bad" is a strong word...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This is awesome--Video Game Spoof.

Below is video that uses the Grand Theft Auto 4 game engine to...well just watch.

Is that not the most cool thing ever? Anyone who has played Mario should get the references, but there is one obscure thing I noticed: "Well, excuse me princess" is actually a line from the terrible Legend of Zelda cartoon that ran loooong ago. I only know this because I read about how bad it is and that was the worst line in the show. I kind of wish I could see it. Anyways, God bless the Mario brothers.

An Examination of War Machine Part 2--Black Heroes versus Heores who are Black AKA War Machine Volume 2: Dark Reign and U.S. War Machine.

War Machine Volume 2: Dark Reign and U.S. War Machine
Now I shall examine the more recent War Machine series and the Marvel-Max mini-series. I shall compare and contrast them, and talk about race in comics too. It should be a good time for all.

An Examination of War Machine Part 1--James Rhodes can't get a break AKA War Machine Volume 1: Iron Heart.

War Machine Volume 1: Iron Heart
I like James Rhodes aka Rhodey. He is an interesting character and a great person, as can be seen by how good a friend he is to other Marvel heroes like Tony Stark AKA Iron Man. Also, he is a man of color and there arguably isn't enough racial diversity in comics. That makes it all the more sad that this is Volume 1 of just 2, as this series re-boot was canceled with issue 12. Why? Let's examine...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The complete collection of "Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth" titled "Head Trip," shall now be reviewed.

Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth--Head Trip
It's the complete maxi-series, "Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth," how potentially exciting! I don't know the main series artist (Bong Dazo?), have never heard of Victor Gischler (double-negative alert), and only know Deadpool meets his zombie head from the cover of the comic. Was this any good? Let's read on...

Whatever Happened To...Ultimate X?

Jeph Loeb had just finished the terrible Ultimatium event where a whole boat-load of Ultimate Universe characters were killed off in the most gruesome ways possible (The Wasp was eaten, Doctor Strange literally was squeezed to death, Cyclops got shot in the face, and more), so when Ultimate X was announced people were understandably skeptical. Also, it was technically titled "Ultimate Comics X" but that just sounds lame, so it had that against it too. Then to everyone's surprise it was good.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Buy me these items if you want me to be morbidly depressed this holiday season.

Listed are items that will make me suicidal if I am forced to endure them. You can buy them for yourself through Amazon if your tastes differ from mine, or give them to someone for the holidays as a cruel prank. Plus hey, I'll get a cut for sales from the very things I despise, the irony is rich! In no particular order:

Watch this now AKA Thor Trailer.

 The Thor movie trailer came out recently, watch below and then scroll down further for my thoughts.

It seems they are indeed going with the method I and many others thought would be the only way. That is, make it seem like it could just be a case of the guy who claims he is Thor to be thought of as crazy by everyone else. After all, this movie takes place in a real-ish world. I mean, someone like Iron Man could be possible, a tech genius making a suit. Captain America? Why, that's just a guy pumped full of experimental drugs. Thor though, a God of thunder? That just don't wash in a realistic world. Hence, going with the fun dynamic of the fantastical possibly just being crazy-hallucinations and the "real-world" featuring Thor as some guy who might just be really tough and crazy. I like it.

This comic stars someone who is over-exposed but I still like him: Deadpool #29

Deadpool #29
Yes, he has way too many comics starring or at least featuring him out on shelves right now. However, I actually like me some Deadpool--when he's written well. His other series/mini-series tend to be hit-or-miss but the main title is generally solid thanks to Daniel Way. Did this issue continue that trend? Let's see...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This comic looks promising: Halcyon #1 and #2.

Halcyon #1 and #2
This is an odd comic. I couldn't quite figure out the premise from the first issue but after reading the second I think I'm beginning to understand. One hero got tired of all the crime in the world and used her mind powers to somehow change everyone into less-violent individuals. This results in a world where most heroes aren't really needed. So, we get to see heroes standing around going, "well this is odd," while meanwhile their arch-nemesis has surrendered himself to the authorities and is now doing good--for mysterious reasons if his discussion with his assistant and an alternate-reality version of himself are anything to go by. On a side-note, one clever thing this comic does is that when people are speaking in a foreign language the letter-characters are stretched out and shaped all bizarrely, but are actually still in English. It's a clever effect.
It's actually English words in a foreign-looking typeset. Genius!
The art is also solid, although Sabre's design seems like a rip-off of Midnighter from Planetary/the Authority--and he was an intentional rip-off of Batman, so Sabre is a rip-off of an homage? The other heroes are bit cliche too; we have the fast-running guy, the Superman-analogue with the only twist being its a female, and a super-smart ape....which is admittedly a bit creative as the only other smart apes I know of are Gorilla Grodd in the comics and those real-life ones scientists train in sign-language. The heroes aren't really the point of the comic though, the idea is what happens when there is no more crime and the most evil man in the world turns good? I'm not quite sure where this will be going, but it looks promising.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Flashback Friday--Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 1 AKA Yes, they did just use "Ultimate" twice in one sentence.

Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 1
As a reader of the regular X-books up until recently, diving into the alternate-universe of Marvel comics known as the "Ultimate" line resulted in an odd feeling of things being similar, but also different. Sort of like visiting an old house you lived in years ago and seeing how other people took the basic setup and made a ton of changes. Weird same-but-different vibes aside, what did I actually make of the book? Let's discuss, and be forewarned there are spoilers, but considering these comic issues came out back in 2001 and 2002 I think you've had enough time to catch up.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An enjoyable comic, Bullseye: Pefect Game #1

Bullseye: Perfect Game #1 of 2
After my disappointment reading "Wolverine: The Best There Is" by Charlie Huston, I recalled I had yet to read his Marvel Knight's two-issue mini-series about Bullseye. That's right, just two, so even if it isn't that great it won't cost much to follow it to conclusion. Why did I enjoy it? Let's discuss...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rant-Reviews--Out of the five heroes on our cover only 2 appear in the issue.

The disaster that is Shadowland and Daredevil, Osborn is one bad mutha' and neither the Punisher, Ghost Rider, or Iron Fist appear in a comic that specifically advertises them.

This comic met my expectations: Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3

Avengers: The Children's Crusade #3
It met my expectation, but was I expecting it to be good? Bad? Okay? Find!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rant-Reviews--World of Warcraft Edition.

The newest World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm, has launched. This means that a bit before midnight yesterday people lined up to buy their very own copy of virtual crack (I was one of these people, but actually went to bed after buying my copy to wait and play the next day after some sleep). As WOW is arguably one of the most popular video-games ever in the history of man (as the 12 million or so active subscribers world-wide attests), I figure I would dedicate a post on this auspicious day to WOW related items. I'll be reviewing the first 6 issues of the initial series, the first issue of the new Worgen-focused mini-series, and the 3rd issue of World of Warcraft magazine which I recently subscribed to--and I'll tell you if you should bother doing the same or if I wasted my money. Shall we?

This comic surprised me: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #1
I was at the local comic book store and the Frank Quitely cover here caught my eye. Having remembered reading positive things about the comic I figured I'd purchase it. And then the surprise came...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Why I quit reading most X-Men related titles recently.

I love X-Factor and am currently really digging these first 2 issues of Uncanny X-Force. However, I've quite recently dropped X-Men Legacy, Uncanny X-Men, never bothered to pick up Generation X or New Mutants, and the adjective-less X-men with its whole "mutant-vampires" story totally lost my interest by issue 3. My question is, why has this happened? I love some of Matt Fraction's work so I should be really enjoying Uncanny--is the artwork of Greg Land that annoying?
If a woman is drawn by Greg Land it is the law she has to have a dumb smile and huge breasts.

I liked Legacy but found it was just sort of becoming...I don't know, it just seemed to lack spark it had earlier on in its run. As for Generation X, I didn't pick that up just from the sheer annoyance that we had the first 4 mutants of the "5 lights" storyline in Uncanny and suddenly for more of the story you have to pay an additional 3.99 for Gen X while Uncanny swerves and switches to a whole new story about a virus attack. Yeah, that's a good way to piss me off. Maybe it is how I'm on more of a lighter comic-budget in this economy, but I just can't keep reading stories that seem to be mediocre and not getting any better. Has anyone else out there found they feel the same?

Rant-Reviews--damn, Batman got skillz.

2 books about evil super-beings and one about a man who dresses as a bat.

I was thinking....

If in DC Universe Online it will always be day in Metropolis and always Night in Gotham City (a'la this picture), won't that play havoc with any plant-life or people's natural biological clocks? This message was brought to you by the council for reasonable day-night cycles.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Newest Rant goes to the music store.

Now for some music reviews. Click behind the cut for my thoughts on the newest by Kanye, John Legend, and Cee Lo. Spoiler Alert: They're all good.

This comic disappointed me: Wolverine: The Best There Is #1

Not what I expected.
Wolverine: The Best There Is #1
Picture this, Charlie Huston, who did a great job writing Moon Knight, teaming up with the stupendous artist Juan Jose Ryp, who did amazing stuff with Warren Ellis on the Avatar titles "Black Summer" and "No Hero" to do a gritty tale about Wolverine. The title even sounds snazzy, "Wolverine: The Best There Is." Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? I mean check out this art after the break.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Whatever Happened To...The Twelve?

 The Twelve was a fun comic, yup.  Ol' J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston had a fine product. I remember how it was about these super-folk who had fought in WWII but then were essentially frozen until they were found in present day. This was shortly after the Marvel Civil-War Event where all those super-heroes fought about having to register their identities until Captain America cried or something and then was shot for being a wimp...I think (I kid about Captain America, I actually really like him). More after the cut.

My New Blog.

Greetings, my name is David and this is my new blog where I will talk about comics, video-games, and movies, but mainly comics. Stay tuned.