Month: June 2011

Fans to protest DC relaunch at San Diego Comic Con

Over in the department of “Pointless Efforts to Mock”, a group of fans are planning to stage a one hour protest against DC’s upcoming rebooting of 52 titles on the Saturday of the San Diego Comic Con.  No, really.

I understand being frustrated by DC’s new gimmick direction, but this is completely pointless.  DC is not going to change their minds on the matter – after all, the books are written, drawn, and ready to go.  If you don’t like it, no better message gets across than simply not buying it.  Shut up, sit down, and let other people enjoy the Con.

As if the place isn’t too damn loud and crowded as it is.

DC tidbits and an update

After Justice League: Generation Lost concluded, I found myself no longer collecting any DC titles.  Thus this seemingly disastrous gimmick mega event relaunch thing doesn’t directly affect me.  Two titles actually stuck out to me, but for various reasons I have decided against them both.

Justice League International
I had finished JL:GL with every intention of picking this book up when it launched.  Unfortunately (for me, at least) the title has been given to Dan Jurgens for writing duties, but not for art duties.  Of the two, Jurgens’s art has always been stronger than his writing and his taking over Booster Gold twice led to me dropping the title.  I’m not saying his stuff is particularly bad, per se, but it’s not exactly good either.  If it turns out to be epic stuff, I might consider picking up the trades, but more than likely this will just be a title that exists for the sake of existing.  Much like when he took over the original JLI team back in the late eighties and turned it into a Superman book.

Blue Beetle
After much doing, I have gotten over my hatred of Jaime Reyes, with a lot of help from the story in Booster Gold by Giffen and DeMatteis that saw Booster finally coming to terms with Ted Kord’s death.  So for about a minute, I actually considered picking up this relaunch of Blue Beetle, but then I realized I had no interest in the kid’s solo adventures.  I liked him a lot as a member of Teen Titans and he really grew on my in JL:GL.  Much like his predecessor, young Jaime works well in team settings, but I just can’t get hyped up about seeing him solo.  I have a feeling this book is going to be one of the many announced that will quickly fizzle out.

So with those two off my radar, it looks like I will be continuing to Make Mine Marvel.

Okay jerk, so where’s the new Chuck Austen’s X-Men?
This one is about 60% complete, but I ran into an unforeseen case of illness over the weekend and spent a lot of it not thinking or moving.  But that’s not to say I’m going to let it go.  Look for the posting to come tomorrow afternoon at the latest.  Would I lie to you?

Chuck Austen’s X-Men: Holy War

I know you’ve probably given up Hope that I would ever get back to Chuck Austen’s X-Men, and I sincerely apologize.  Life got in the way of the blog and this was one of the things that I got behind on.  But enough excuses and belly-aching.  As of today, Chuck Austen’s X-Men is back and I’ll give it my all to keep it on schedule to until the end!  So where were we?  Oh, yes!

When last we left our heroes, Alpha Flight had shown up on the Xavier Institute’s doorstep and tried to shut down the school.  Through a series of inept movements, a fight broke out until Xavier blackmailed the governor of New York and everything was set right again, except for Sammy Pare going back to an abusive household.  Now we go full-tilt into anti-religionism (not a word) with Holy War.

Took Place in
Uncanny X-Men #423-424

Team Line-Up
Archangel (leader), Nightcrawler (leader?), Iceman, Havok, Polaris, Wolverine, Husk, Chamber

Others You Should Be Aware of
Nurse Annie, Cyclops, Phoenix, Professor X, Jubilee, Skin, Magma

In a Nutshell
A bunch of mutants are crucified on the grounds of the mansion leading to the revelation that no one knew that Nightcrawler had actually become a priest (despite him mentioning it constantly).  The investigation turns up the most ridiculous religious-based plan ever.

Before I begin, I’d like to point out that the first issue of this story only cost the reader 25 cents, a full $2 less than a normal issue.  This was done to try to bring in fans who had seen the recently released X2: X-Men United.  So as you go through here, remember – Marvel was using this to bring in new readers.

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Uncanny X-Men ends in October

It started with Jack Kirby and ended with Greg Land.

I often laugh at Marvel’s rather inane quest dealing with issue numbering.  At any given time, a title might see itself ended, relaunched, and handing its issue numbers over to a lesser franchise/character for safe keeping.  It’s how Black Panther, Hercules and Journey Into Mystery have managed to get so many issues (as long as you don’t go hunting for back issues).  But I had my pedestal to stare down upon – I read Uncanny X-Men, whose 500+ issues can all be found and collected (even though a few years were reprints – they were still coming out and numbered correctly).  For whatever reason, Uncanny seemed to be safe from Marvel’s asinine numbering gimmickry.

I should have known that wasn’t going to last.

In October, Uncanny will be having its final issue with #544, ending the series that has been going since 1963 and pulling the last uninterrupted Marvel book from the Silver Age.  The event coincides with the end of the summer’s Schism event which has been flagged as the Next Biggest Thing Ever to kill off a character for dramatic effect happen to the X-Men.

I suppose I shouldn’t be angry about this.  It’s not like they’re not going to immediately relaunch Uncanny with a brand new spit-shined #1 on the cover, but it seems like such a huge waste.  There’s no reason to restart the book except for a sales bump (that if history proves anything will only last one month), especially when there are three other X-Men team books (Legacy, X-Men, Astonishing) that will continue with their existing numbers.

I rue the day publishers decided that they could mess with the numbering of various titles.  I understand that as long as the storylines are good and the books come out consistently, it really doesn’t matter what number is on the front of the book…but the comic fanboy in me just screams that this is some kind of injustice to the book I’ve been following since issue #278.  I was just 12 issues shy of being a collector for exactly half of the book’s run.

Look for Uncanny X-Men #1 coming this winter!  Buy five!   It’s a super-special collector’s edition!  It has a #1 on the cover!

Movie Review: X-Men: First Class

There’s a great benefit the follow-up to a bad movie has before it’s even been screened for the first time.  No matter how good or bad it may be, it likely cannot be worse than the previous one.  Fans went into Batman Begins knowing that whatever they saw would surpass Batman and Robin.  And those left disappointed by X-Men: The Last Stand likely went into First Class with the thought that it simply had to be somewhat better.

I make the lofty comparison between the Batman and X-Men franchises because just like the movie from the Distinguished Competition, Marvel’s merry mutants have pulled off a miraculous turnaround from the gratuitous action nonsense that Last Stand had been into an origin story filled with likable characters, interesting dynamics, and (if you can believe it) little-to-no Wolverine.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should probably stop right here and avoid the SPOILERS I will be getting to after the jump.  If that’s the case, I’ll leave you with this.  X-Men: First Class is, in my opinion, the best movie in the franchise, only argued by X2: X-Men United.  Instead of reading this blog, you should go see it.  Actually, click on the jump link and give us the page hit.  THEN go see it.  And then come back.

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Comic Book Movie Review: Thor

Thor

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

Written by Ashley Miller (screenplay), Zack Stentz (screenplay), Don Payne (screenplay), J. Michael Straczynski (story), and Mark Protosevich (story)

Starring
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Anthony Hopkins as Odin
Stellan Skarsgard as Erik Selvig
Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis
Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson

Thor is a pretty good movie that tells the story of how the arrogant god of thunder, Thor, must overcome some setbacks in his ascension to the throne.  During the course of his journey, he encounters a scientist named Jane Foster, who teaches him what it means to be human.  While on Earth, Thor’s brother Loki claims Asgard’s throne, and seeks to make a name for himself, instead of living in his brother’s shadow.

For a full summary and review with spoilers, continue after the break.   (more…)