Saturday, September 30, 2006

Infinity and beyond

52 #21 Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid; Breakdowns by Keith Giffen; Art by various

Nothing much happens in week 21 but it does tell a good story. Infinity, Inc. is resurrected care of LexCorp., and the kids are likeable enough, ambitious enough, desperate enough, but not good enough to be heroes. A pre-OYL Teen Titans line-up also makes an appearance, and it's great to see a totally new dynamic, or the lack of it. The imperfect groups always make the more interesting read, and I want to see more of BB and Raven trying to get the Titans together, and the comings and goings of members. I want to see what made BB give up on the Titans. So, a good issue? Yes. But. It doesn't really move the 52 story forward. But still. Also, it looks like the Metal Men will be in the next ish, so there's still plenty to be happy about. ****

Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Tony Daniel and Kevin Conrad

Part Two of Titans Around the World and we get to meet three ex-Titans:
Zatarra, Miss Martian (who's like Miss Marvel, only green, or not) and a girly Captain Atom whose name escapes me right now but is downright annoying. The search for Raven is muddled, lost in transition, and much of the clues are frustrating to read or figure out. The banter is still quick and funny (Zatarra to Robin: You must be Wondergirl) but there's really nothing much happening except for that great reveal in the last frame. But I still like the way it's written, the realness of the dialogues (and the art's back to its original greatness). Out of all the books I'm reading, I'm closest to this title because by now the Titans have become real people to me (Man, I wish the boyfriend will never get a chance to read this or there goes my sex life). And playing catch-up is always fun, is always like that once a month drink at a bar with old friends. ***

Written by Mark Waid and Tony Bedard; Art by Barry Kitson, Adam DeKraker and Mick Gray

How do you follow-up an almost great issue on Braniac losing his mind? You don't. This is all about flirting and dating, all about the boys loving Supergirl and the girls hating Supergirl, and the shortness of her skirt. Loved how Invisible Kid (?) explains to Cosmic Boy (with charts and tables) how its all about physics (the palpitation, the dizzyness) between Cos and Kara. Because Invisible Kid wants her for himself --- in which we get to see the Kara shrine and the freak factor goes a notch up. The kid's acting out of character and maybe it IS all about Kara. In fact, everyone has been a little different since Supergirl joined the team. Evil clone, anyone? I've been reading both Supergirl titles, and Kara's really messed up, and with the LSH, she's just too...cute. Hope there's an actual story in the next issue. **

Written by Joe Kelly;
Art by Ian Churchill and Norm Rapmund

This is a curious creature, this book. It took me awhile before I finally picked it up, and I'm not at all regretting that I did. It's so fucked up that it's turning out to be good. After that strange Kandor arc (which hinted at lesbian and incestous sex in one issue), things are sort of back to normal for Kara. Normal being haunted by freaky flash backs on her last days in Argo while trying to fit in. It's Carrie meets Buffy, psycho instinct meets hero instict. Lots of moments to love here: that bit of girl talk between Cassie and Kara while Cassie's fighting a french-speaking gorilla grodd, Kara and Boomer hanging out, and THAT Carrie prom-night flash back, goosebumps over goosebumps. When Jeph Loeb brought Supergirl back to the DC universe, he made it a point to giver her an entirely different history from her previous incarnations. This Kara was sent to Earth to kill Kal-El, and has been brought up as an assassin (I'm assuming from the flash backs), which has made her monumentally mental. Can't wait to find out how she'll do Nightwing. Heh. ****

Monday, September 25, 2006

Perfectly sick. 52 #20

52 #20
Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid; Breakdowns by Keith Giffen; Art by various; Backup feature by Waid and various; Covers by J.G. Jones

Great cover. Says it all. Perfect for this fickle flu bug that I can't just seem to shake. Well, it's not like I've been turning in early anyway. So it's our space cadets and church of the something fish priest Lobo in a crummy planet with strange, desperate aliens. A gazillion space bugs attack and each of our heroes get to show-off their decapitation skills. Kory grabs the eye and everything's all deathly glowy and a handful alien thingies are saved, but not yet really, because the glowyness caught the attention of a major, major bug. Everyone's so cool in this issue, but Lobo rising from his own blood and guts has got to be the coolest. The green eye is a, well, an eye-popper, and I kinda want to find out how it ends up with that villain lady in the 31st century. Or if it's even the same eye. Mark Waid made an announcement at a comic-con that not all of our heroes will make it home. I've always liked Starfire (Kory and Dick Forevah!), but I'm beginning to LOVE Animal Man. Adam Strange also has a family and all, and the man's blind for chrissakes. Grr. I wish it would be Lobo, but he can't die. There's also a Supernova appearance, and he's in ... the fucking Batcave. That alone got me bubbly rabid for the next ish, and it looks like the Teen Titans will also be in week 21, so, waiting and drumming fingers til they bleed. ****1/2

The Book Was Better

Hijacked from Piling Piling Pelikula. Some rather underwhelming movies ,one made from a comic book, another made by a comic book superstar , both given the proper thrashing.

V For Vendetta
(Directed by James McTeigue): Verbatim was never key to the book/movie schism for me,more knowing which bits carry fire when crossing milieus. My beef has little to do ,then,with things lost in translation - - -Natalie Portman as Evey does argue for miscasting and those limey nuances go over my Third World head anyway. But those Wachowskis amp the din so it crescendoes into broad-stroked polemic hyperbole. That's not only a dystopian no-no, it's an expressway to the ordinary, a stroke of bad judgment one or two of the sleek set pieces briefly relieve but ultimately don't. You miss the blasted despair, you miss the pathos and grime, you miss the claustophobic,imploded noir this should've been and the Matrix overlords should've known better to make. * *

(Directed and Designed by Dave McKean):
The makeover sequence is a highlight - - - McKean in full-on auteur mode unhinging from the anorexic story boxing his possibilities. Mckean unhinged is always a highlight. Also the point where the voices guiding him - - - Jan Svankmajer, the Brothers Quay , Jeunett-Caro, F.W.Murnau, Hayao Miyazaki - - - achieve total osmosis and invisibility. Also the point where it becomes apparent that scorer Iain Bellamy is the endeavor’s twin engine. The fairy tale’s immaterial ,of course - - - clunky like orthopedic shoes and you could see where it comes from and where it’ll go, unique only to the tragically shortsighted and pigheaded faithful. But the trouble McKean has in making the characters summon up something more resonant than leftover angst reheated is offset by the dense , intoxicating siege of imagery - - - orbiting giants, attacking sphinxes , riddling dog, temperamental books, traffic of fishes - - - he teases out of the little he has to work with. The emotional pay-off may be a mere awe for the cosmetic. But the cosmetic here runs poetic and deep. * * *

Friday, September 22, 2006

Which LOST Character am I? Fucking predictable.

Which Lost Character are You?

You're Hurley! You have a great sense of humor and are always looking for the fun in things. On of your favorite pastimes is golf.
Take this quiz!

Heh. And the quiz didn't even ask if I was fat or not.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Man Dolls

Two man dolls that are poised to break my bank if the month's end pipeline schedule pushes through - - and if the grapevine is to be trusted. My Shazam fandom's just come to a boil. But Hawkman's been my fetish since I was 3 - - -some 26 years ago.

I'm staking Toy Kingdom out now.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ollie in Smallville

I want to be Black Canary.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Gaslighting Me

Toy bugs bite nasty with strange, insatiable hungers. Buy one and you crave more even before the blister pack's been infiltrated. (And yes, I take my man dolls no other way but loose.) Thank god for SM understock and for Best Toys being a bitch to access or two weeks' wages would've been blown on other man dolls I'm bound to regret having- - -though that Atom 7-inch is a nag gaining velocity.

This, though,was a need.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Capsuled: Atom #3, Outsiders #40, OMAC #3

Bitchin' week. A week of joyless humdrumming. I always get confused with live-to-work and work-to-live --- is there a lesser a lava pit? Someone has gone all Brother Eye on me, crisis of infinite ego. Now, for that lobotomy.

Let's escape, shall we?

Written by Gail Simone; Art by John Byrne and Trevor Scott;
Cover by Ariel Olivetti

Trippy. And gooey. A war's about to break out between an alien acne cyclops and insect robots with bad grammar while the Atom is swimming in digestive juice inside Giganta. Genius, ain't it? Morrison's oddity with Simone's words is impenetrable abusurdity like Roussel's theatre but even better because it's funny and strangely, quite grounded. The science of shrinking, unstable molecular integrity, etc. is all bubbly babble in sports action reportage, detailed panic in its purest sense. And it's cool how the asian Atom is getting all the girlies' attention. And tongue action. *****

Outsiders #40
Written by Judd Winick; Art by Matthew Clark and Art Thibert;
Cover by Daniel Acuña

Never trust a monkey in love, indeed. Monsieur Mallah's got it bad for the Brain. He's got is so bad that he's made a business out of it and could give all the super villains a run for their money. Literally. I'd like to get me some cloned metahuman superhero myself --- oh the possibilities --- but for Mallah, it's an expression of epic adoration. I like it how Mallah's intention is the purest and most focused. The OYL run has found the Outsiders edging toward terrorism, alarming even Superman. Post-crisis Dick Grayson is more Jason Todds in his ways; the kryptonite Nightwing keeps just in case Superman goes all Maxwell Lord again says it all. The heroes are more confused with their ways and purpose, and Mallah's singular fixation --- to create a body for the Brain --- is the most honorable of all. Whatever profit the couple makes from the clones all go into perfecting the process. It is kinda sweet in a Mary Shelley way. Issue #40 finds all the Outsiders captured except for a morsel of Metamorpho and Katana who are searching the decks for a particular clone to help them free Nightwing and co. And the chosen (cl)one totally kicks ass --- Superman! They just freed another Bizarro, and while the plan did work, well, let's just say the Outsiders fucked up big time. I think it's about time Batman gave Nightwing a good spanking. *****

Written by Bruce Jones; Art and Cover by Renato Guedes

The art on this book is consistently excellent. Reminds me of the "Waking Life" animation, sharp and fluid. And it's really the main reason why I'm buying this book, and I'm sorta nostalgic over the OMACs in the eighties. (This week's ish c/o Faye, thanks sis!) The story so far is ... floundering a little. The human host of the last OMAC is a coke head and how he's able to control the OMAC is beyond me though I'm thinking that maybe he is special or something. And now he's obssessed with a Vegas showgirl. An OMAC superhero seems like a possibility, but I hope Brother Eye regains control in the end and sends this OMAC to a duel to the death with Cyborg and Firestorm who spend most of their time staring at computer screens and looking puzzled. **

Thursday, September 07, 2006

#1s Ep.2

Two more #1s from the last stash. One's a high-profile but lukewarm flash with a wobbly shelf life to which I pledge another issue,maybe two. The other's a misfit but epic hard-on to which I pledge my undying devotion, at least until its six-issue run ends.

JLA #1 (DC)
Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes

The odor on this one’s iffy. Benes draws every panel like a splash page on steroids and everyone like bulky collosi, all engorged physiques and grim facades. Fits the way Meltzer writes them like clenched fists talking through gritted teeth, all pent-up and quivering. Fits the anachronism. Fits the needless gravity. Meltzer seems hooked on a "grim and gritty" retro that gets little sympathy from me ,having seen the tendency weather fast and turn rank, back when it was the new black. His heart's in the right place but Identity Crisis was so not a fun read. Supervillain lobotomy , dead wives and soiled panties - - - no depressing bullcrap for me today, thank you. I really do prefer my JLA to be Bruckheimeran and operatic and occasionally with a laugh track - - -Morrison, Waid, even Kelly. To be fair, this is set-up. But it scans just as dour. And prone to being just as unfun. That's the part that smells a little iffy .This keeps up, and the need for Plastic Man to jump in the pool is bound to be dire. This keeps up, and the enterprise dooms itself in my eyes. Not just that, Geoff Johns already did a bang-up job writing the adversarial dynamic between Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman with pulse and brio in that Infinity Crisis juggernaut this spins off from. Here, the three bigwigs are just going through the dull motions of their cliches. Not the side players, though. Not Red Tornado, particularly. It's that business with his armor that's keeping this on my radar for the time being. The pull-off of that arc will be a wish made flesh. If not, I'll be spending my hard-earneds on Grant's WildCATs and Authority revamps instead. * *

Phonogram: Rue Brittania #1 (Image)
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

My first Hellblazer I bought blind. Crap title ,like some superhero castoff. Inside, though - - -a dank, dark London amok with street mystics, punk demons and an amoral, narcissistic lout centering it. Top. My first Oasis single I also bought blind. Crap name ,like a wedding band. Inside,though - - -the birth pangs of Britpop, a generational imperative, one of my bands to this day with an amoral, narcissistic lout fronting it. Top. Phonogram I bought blind,too. But Phonogram is actually a snazzy name to call your comic. And inside- - -Hellblazer meets Britpop . . . sort of. With the amoral, narcissistic lout David Kohl - - - “A monster with a tumor hanging between it’s thighs.” - - as its centrifugal force. Pop magic - - - or more like pop is magic , a truism Gillen and McKelvie wear like principles of faith ,as any record geek should. Street mystics and punk demonettes . . .well, not yet. The first issue does have a Scout Niblett cameo and a creepy encounter in the men's room, not to mention some wonderfully convoluted prose - - my kind of prose,obviously. But from all indications, anything could go from here on, and everything just might. A rabid jackal of a comic, prickly and drooling. I have no idea where this is heading, which is why I am so on it, it's scary. Reread it twice already, the second time with my old Buzzcocks and Kenickie records providing the necessary atmosphere. Oh, and dig that Elastica cover rip. Top. Bring on #2.
* * * * *

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The kids are doing fine

Teen Titans #38 (DC)
Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Tony Daniel and Kevin Conrad; Cover by Daniels

Or another issue filled with exclamation points. This is so far my favorite of all the OYL titles, surprisingly quick-witted in almost all issues. Geoff Johns did an amazing job
with the short Doom Patrol arc, making the Chief a prime, fucked up master-bator of manipulation, but not without reason. And the shocker at the end of issue #37 makes me want to stay around for a very long time. The new line-up also keeps things continually on the edge. So. Where to begin. Issue #38 starts a couple of new storylines minus the disjointedness. Reveals the team's roster in the missing one year, lots of newcomers --- including Mas y Menos from the cartoon! --- and lots of returning Titans (can't stop looking at that spread). The search for Raven continues, but not after revealing that she left the group for a reason. A scary reason (that is yet to be revealed), and not just because she broke up with BB. And Slade has begun recruiting for his Titans East. Fat issue. Great cover. A plot that just won't quit twisting. *****

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #3 (DC)
Written by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo; Art by Karl Kerschl; Cover by Ken Lashley

Finally, some action. Not the heaving kind but you can feel the muscles twitching. There's a new hero in town, brash and impatient where Bart is hesitant and, uh, hesitant. This title poses too many questions, and it's getting piled up like those books on the floor that you always trip on on your way to bed. The speed force is shifty, and this should make for burned asphalt action. Research is not action. Bilson and DeMeo write inoffensive dialogues but everything's just too safe. Bart, way back in the Teen Titans, was a stubborn show-off. And now he's like "I'm not the Flash." Wally, where art thou? **

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Comics nowadays are very… hmm… graphic. There was DC a policy that prevented anyone – villain, hero, innocent bystander, dog, bird - from dying in a comic book. Comics were screened for violent content. But that was decades ago. Now in DC you get death, maiming, bloodied heroes and villains all the time! I get queasy easily. I mean, run-to-the-bathroom-ogodihopeimakeit-there-goes-my-dinner queasy. Still I watch gory horror movies. It’s part of the experience - the adrenaline rush and the complete suspension of disbelief. And yes, graphic tearing of limbs in comics make sick. These are my favorite *GASP* and *retch* moments:

Garth Ennis’s Goddess – this was my first … uhrmm.. time to... OK I read this and I nearly threw up when I saw the exploding heads. A week ago, I read Ennis’ The Boys and the first panel… whew… then there was this man who was holding his girlfriend’s hands … just her hands.

Infinite crisis… really great story with really violent scenes…

Yup, I was shocked when Superboy Prime kicked Krypto. Poor dog was all bloodied and beaten up. There might have been internal bleeding. I hope he's OK. I hope Dr. Midnite knows something about veterinary medicine.

As for the gore and violence - bring 'em on!