Month: June 2010

Thoughts on Wonder Woman

I love Internet outrage. So, when I saw that Wonder Woman’s outfit was being redesigned, I immediately went searching for articles and threads to see what the general reaction among the Internet fans would be. I must say, I was not disappointed. After reading a few comments on DC’s The Source blog, and a couple articles at Comic Book Resources, it was easy to see the outrage ranging from, ‘A jacket? What is this, the 90s?’ to “OMG! I JUST THREW UP! THEY HAVE DESTROYED MY REASON FOR READING COMICS!’ When the comments started to compare this to ‘One More Day,’ I decided it was time that I read the article and find out what is going on.

Here’s what JMS has to say about the story:

“We learn that Paradise Island fell when Diana was just a child, when the gods withdrew their protection. Hippolyta and many of the other Amazons died in a last-ditch defense against an army with weapons that could kill even them, while some of her guards and handmaids smuggled a young Diana off the island. She was thus raised in an urban setting, but with a foot in both worlds, courtesy of her guardians and teachers from Paradise Island. They expect her to retake Paradise Island, defeat the army that’s still hunting for the escaped Amazons (and Diana in particular), and restore all her people to their previous glory. This is a lot to ask of someone who has no recollection of that world, and obviously has no idea about the timeline shift. (Some of the other Amazons do know about the shift, as we see in #600, and there are others in the DCU who also can sense what happened.)”

He also says this about the villains:

“We have four concentric circles that will eventually reveal the face of the enemy. The first and most obvious one is the army that’s after her, and the guy who runs that operation. Fairly non-supernatural seeming. The Keres are on the next level up, indicating that there’s more going on than meets the eye. She has to get past them to find who’s pulling their strings…and gradually work her way to the hand behind it all, and the reason for all this.”

Based on this info, I don’t see this as being another example of ‘One More Day,’ but instead, a villain sending the heroine, or making her believe that she is in an alternate timeline.  So, all of the questions people bring up about how this effects the history of her interactions with the DCU, as well how this effects the two Wonder Girls will likely never be answered, because they don’t need to be.  Wonder Woman is going to track down whoever is responsible, and set things back to the way they were.  Well, mostly.  Undoubtably, some things will change, but nothing important to the rest of the DCU.

Now, about the costume.  Yeah, I don’t really like the jacket either, but it’s not that bad.  There are far worse costumes around.  Having a radically different costume works when doing an alternate reality story.  I also think the interior art of the new costume looks better than Jim Lee’s design of it.

And a final word about the Internet outrage.  It’s okay to be passionate about a character, but if this change has caused you to become literally ill (hoping the person leaving the comment was correct in their usage), if this change causes you to give up completely on comics, or really harms your life in any way, then you have moved beyond the point of being passionate, and are now disturbingly obsessed.

When variant covers get lazy

Take a look at this cover.

This is the second printing cover for Avengers #1, featuring the so-called “Blank Cover” edition.

That’s right.  They basically just slapped a logo onto nothing (well, there’s a big A you can hardly see) and sold it as a cover.

Marvel has gone back into the practice of ridiculous amounts of variant covers for titles lately…and not just anniversary or debut issues.  Regular titles will have numerous covers, as well as different covers for second printings.  The idea, of course, is to squeeze the extra money from uber-completists and those who still think that comic collections will one day make them rich.  Even Icon, publishing independently owned titles, is pushing variant covers for its books…in a very un-indy comic way.

But this?  This is simply insulting to the comic fan who is expected to shill out a second $3.99 for the same title just without the cover.  And this isn’t Marvel’s only go at this idea.  Next month’s X-Men #1 is also getting a blank variant.  If you too think this is a good idea, perhaps you should step back from the computer for a while.  Something’s obviously going on with your head.

And now a bit of Liefeld teasing

I really try to avoid too much Rob Liefeld bashing.  The man has made more money doing something he enjoys doing than I ever will.  People still buy his stuff.  So kudos to him.  Keep on keeping on, man.

But then I saw something whilst I was making fun of Summer Glau over on the tweet-thing.  It seems that Rob Liefeld is bringing back Brigade, and he is super stoked about it.  Stoked, I say!  Now your immediate question may be “What the hell is Brigade?”  And that’s why I’m here.

Brigade was a comic launched in 1992 as a spin-off of Youngblood (which is amusing, since Youngblood only lasted 10 issues and never could come out on time) featuring the character Battlestone, who was basically Cable with a Mystique skull on his head.  I have no idea what took place or why it took place within the title, but according to its Wikipedia page, the team had a lot of betrayal, killing and new members.  Just the sort of thing you’d expect from a guy with a short attention span.

Brigade lasted 4 issues, then 24 issues (I don’t know why) before ending.  There was a one-shot in 2000, as well.  Until now.

Apparently Liefeld has gotten back with his old artist to bring the group back, though it’s not clear whether this will be an ongoing or not.  With Liefeld’s recent history, it might get three issues before it vanishes, never to be seen again.  Remember Joe Kelly’s Youngblood relaunch?  Liefeld was going to do some issues himself and we never saw the book again.  So in that way, it’s fitting that Brigade is coming now, what with its main book MIA.

But enough about the setup.  Follow the jump and we’ll take a look at the three Liefeld-drawn variants for Brigade #1!

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On Scott Pilgrim

Dating a fellow comic book nerd definitely has its perks, but for some reason it seems like any time she recommends comics to me, I politely nod and go on my way.  Such was the case with a set of small books labeled ‘Scott Pilgrim’.  Sized like Marvel’s attempts to launch an ‘all aged line’ (trying to fool kids into thinking it was manga) I dismissed them without much thought.

But that didn’t stop her demands that I spend some quality time with this ‘Scott Pilgrim’.  Finally, I gave in and grabbed the first book, Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, off the shelf and started on it.  I didn’t put it down until I had finished the entire thing.  It is one of the greatest and certainly most unique comics I have ever read.

Without spoiling too much, I’ll say that Scott Pilgrim is about a guy who, to date the girl of his dreams (literally) he must defeat each of her evil ex-boyfriends.  But it’s not the plot that sells Scott Pilgrim – it’s the presentation.  While living in the real world, Scott also has numerous inexplicable video game-esque factors to his world.  And by ‘inexplicable’ I mean ‘it’s perfectly normal for everyone’.  This includes random fight scenes (complete with health bars), team up attacks, post-battle rewards, save points and so on.  And what’s better – it all works.

And that’s what’s fantastic about Scott Pilgrim.  As ridiculous as it is, if you just accept it and go on, you’ll find that not only does it all work, but it’s completely awesome.

The series has been published in five volumes with a sixth due to come out later this year.  There’s also a movie due out soon starring Michael Cera…and it actually may break my personal ban off opening night showings.  Do yourself a favor and read Scott Pilgrim.  You will be very glad you did.

New comic day hangover

Last week was pretty rough for me, and it was Friday before I actually picked up my comics. I also picked up my girlfriend’s so I have an extra issue to comment on this week. So bonus! Enough rambling – here’s this last week’s list!

Legion of Super-Heroes #2 in which I have decided to drop the book.

X-Factor #206 in which the tie-in to Second Coming ends.

X-Men Legacy #237 in which the X-Men actually start winning.

Avengers #2 in which I don’t see the point of so many Avengers books.

There will be SPOILERS within.  Ye have been warned!

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Top 100 X-Men: #1-5

This is it!  We’ve finally come to the end of the countdown!

#5: Wolverine
X-Men, X-Force
That’s right.  Number five.  Four others ahead of him.  There wasn’t much to Wolverine when he was recruited to the second team of X-Men in Giant Size X-Men #1.  He was a minor character from an issue of Incredible Hulk who had little personality beyond being grumpy.  But little by little, things began to change for the pint-size psychopath.  He began warming to his teammates, confused about how to express his friendship.  His claws, originally written to be a part of his gloves, became an extension of his skeleton, also metal, which opened up a past of government manipulation.  He settled down and actually became a beloved member of the X-Men, and even a paternal figure of sorts to Kitty Pryde, the newest and youngest recruit.

Despite his popularity, Wolverine has only been actual leader of the X-Men once, and only for a short span of issues while Storm was away on a personal quest.  But during that time he proved his worth by uniting a ragtag group of replacement X-Men into a proper team themselves.  He was well aware of his limitations, though, and happily gave the spot up as soon as the team was reunited with Storm.  The two became the elders of the team, wholeheartedly engrossed in Professor Xavier’s dream, even with Xavier’s extended absence in space.  And that is what ranks Wolverine so highly on the list.  He went from joining the X-Men as a free ticket out of service to the Canadian government and became one of the most devout soldiers in Xavier’s forces.

But beyond his personal beliefs, his unique skill sets and talents make him a valued asset to the X-Men.  Despite having a healing factor that goes beyond even suspension of disbelief sometimes, it’s Wolverine’s willingness to go over the line to get the job done that has proved, as of late, to be his biggest aide to the team.  Leading X-Force (reluctantly), he has taken down numerous threats to the endangered mutant populace, even though he was forced to put those close to him in danger (most notably X-23).  But Wolverine understands the needs of the X-Men and doesn’t often disobey the orders of Cyclops, who even from their rocky beginnings have become the best of friends.

In all of the years since Wolverine’s debut, he has most certainly earned his place time and time again as one of the greatest X-Men ever.

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