Month: October 2011

New Comic Day hangover

With all the moving pains and wedding days out of the way, it’s finally time to get back into action and take a look at the last few weeks of books.  It’s been…whoa, three weeks?  Really?  Wow – okay, here’s what we’ll be looking at –

  • Alpha Flight #5 (of 8) in which the team robs a bank.
  • Astonishing X-Men #43 in which Emma Frost and Danger have a girls’ night out.
  • Generation Hope #12 in which the group loses and gains a member.
  • New Mutants #32 in which the team finishes its crossover.
  • Uncanny X-Force #16 in which the Apocalypse story is still going.
  • Uncanny X-Men #544 in which the title ends…until next month’s issue, that is.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men #1 in which the new title gets an odd first issue.
  • X-Factor #226 in which the whole team gets in on the action.
  • X-Men Legacy #257 in which the group is still in space.
  • X-Men Regenesis #1 in which we find out where all the important characters are going.

Sit back, relax, and don’t mind the SPOILERS that will follow the jump in my words.

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Delays and wedding bells!

Comicdom Wrecks! has been a tad quiet lately, but this time we three writers have a valid excuse.  J.R., our Batman-loving DC-aficionado went and got himself married!  For real!

J.R. had been my roommate for the past four years, but with his ‘I do”, we parted ways and thus the Comicdom Wrecks! offices have split into branches.  Now that I have settled into my own place (complete with what Casey calls my “Nerdatorium”), I’m getting back into the swing of things and will be right back with comic blogging nonsense.  There will be a new Hangover tomorrow and the next edition of Chuck Austen’s X-Men is well underway!  Be glad YOU don’t have to re-read the Draco!

And amazingly enough, J.R. did make me the best man at his wedding and I even gave my toast without once mentioning how much I hate Chris Claremont’s dependency on mind control stories.  Go me!

New Comic Day hangover

We’re making up for last week since I waited until Saturday to pick them up and since both weeks only gave me five titles together I decided to merge them together to add more meat to the piece.  It makes sense to me.

Anyway, this week we’ll be looking at:

  • Astonishing X-Men #42 in which the second rotating story about the Brood wraps.
  • New Mutants #31 in which the Fear Itself tie-in continues.
  • X-Men #19 in which the FF crossover wraps.
  • X-Men Legacy #256 in which we get more deep space shenanigans.
  • X-Men: Schism #5 (of 5) in which we get the new status quo of the X-Men line.

We’ll begin after the jump and as always there will be some SPOILERS to deal with.

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The New 52 #1

Of the 52 #1s DC released in September, including Justice League of America released in August, I purchased and read 16 of them.  Below, I’ve ranked them from favorite to least favorite, and some overall thoughts.  It should be noted that I did like each of the books I bought and plan on buying the second issue of each of them.  So, just because something is ranked at the bottom of this list, it does not mean that the book is bad.

  1. Batman – written by Scott Snyder, art by Greg Capullo.
  2. Batwoman – written by J. H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman, art by J. H. Williams III.
  3. Action Comics – written by Grant Morrison, art by Rags Morales.
  4. Detective Comics – written by Tony Daniel, art by Tony Daniel.
  5. Aquaman – written by Geoff Johns, art by Ivan Reis.
  6. Demon Knights – written by Paul Cornell, art by Diogenes Neves.
  7. Batman and Robin – written by Peter Tomasi, art by Patrick Gleason.
  8. Justice League Dark – written by Peter Miligan, art by Mikel Janin.
  9. The Fury of Firestorm:  The Nuclear Men – written by Gail Simone & Ethan Van Sciver, art by Yildiray Cinar.
  10. Wonder Woman – written by Brian Azzarello, art by Cliff Chiang.
  11. Green Lantern Corps – written by Peter Tomasi, art by Fernando Pasarin.
  12. Green Lantern – written by Geoff Johns, art by Doug Mahnke.
  13. Batgirl – written by Gail Simone, art by Adrian Syaf.
  14. Nightwing – written by Kyle Higgins, art by Eddy Barrows.
  15. Justice League  – written by Geoff Johns, art by Jim Lee.
  16. Superman – written by George Perez, art by Jesus Merino.
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On gratuitous sex…or something

It’s been a little while since the issue came out, but now that I’ve seen the offending image, I suppose I’ll take a moment and talk about the concluding splash page that finished Catwoman #1.

In case you’ve been living under a rock (and since this is a comic blog, we’ll call it the Rock of Eternity which would make you the wizard Shazam) the debut issue of the new DCU Catwoman ended with Catwoman and Batman having sex.  On a rooftop.  In costume.  And there was nothing assumed about the matter.  There it was, shown in a big honking splash page to close out the issue.

Fine, here. Enjoy.

Of course, people freaked the f*ck out about the matter, sparking yet another hoo-hah about women in comic books.  As for me, I’m not particularly upset about the content.  After all, I saw sex in Watchmen (not to mention having a blue penis waggling around for most of the book) and I saw more graphic sex in an old issue of Shade the Changing Man that still haunts my nightmares (that one you’re going to have to find on your own).

My only problem with this is how ridiculously cheesy the whole matter is.  The scene was most certainly thrown into the book to get the hype going about one of the “let’s try to relaunch it while we have the reason” books of the DC reboot, and to that end it’s worked brilliantly.  Whether the outrage will lead to anymore sales is in my mind a less likely result.  But I don’t really care about Catwoman – I had no intention of buying the book before and I have no intention of buying it now.  My initial thought on the matter was how unlikely Batman would be to waste 10 minutes (okay, we’ll give him some credit and give it 25) on a roof having sex while the criminals still lurked through the streets of Gotham.  But this is the new DCU where anything they make up about a character can be true immediately, rather than having to bother establishing it.

The complaints about how cheesecake it’s becoming is silly.  Cheesecake is a given when it comes to female characters in comics.  Just run a Google image search on comic book cheesecake and enjoy the gratuitous history lesson (here, I’ll do it for you).   But I simply find the offending image to be ridiculous on it’s own merit as well.  It looks like something someone would post in deviantART (though to be fair, it would probably have another guy and a tentacle) and it will probably add zero to either character.

In the end, it’s something best left for “Top 10 Worst Moments in…” lists at the end of every year/decade/DC reboot and move on.

Sometimes Dan DiDio just needs to shut up

It’s a pretty big deal to keep the fanbase in some semblance of amusement when you decide to revamp your entire shared universe as DC did.  Many are simply looking for reasons to lash out at anyone involved in the DC thought process at the merest hint of trouble – something that makes things more confusing or unsettled then they already are.

And then Dan DiDio took to Facebook:

“after further review, there have been no Crisis events in the New DCU.”

So that’s the new deal.  No Crisis on Infinite Earths, no Infinite Crisis, no Final Crisis.  Hell, that might even mean no Zero Hour (it was a Crisis in time!) and no Identity Crisis.

I understand the thought process that led DiDio to give that statement.  After all, in this new, “balanced” DCU multiverse there’s no need for the big honking events to fix things and change the universe.  There was no huge multiverse to merge to begin with and thus no original Crisis needed.

The problem comes with how DiDio said it.  He just posted that there was no Crisis events, period.  He seemed to ignore all the events that went around the DCU that tied into the various Crises that still have to remain intact for the current status quo.  On the forefront is Batman’s “death” in the finale of Final Crisis that led to Dick Grayson wearing the cowl for an extended amount of time.  Though Dick’s once again assumed the role of Nightwing, his time as Batman still remains in continuity…except for what started the whole matter to begin with without Final Crisis.

On my own personal note, I question the status of Ted Kord, my beloved Blue Beetle.  The introduction of Justice League International seems to suggest the earlier incarnation of the JLI didn’t happen and thus we didn’t get any kind of Max Lord integration or betrayal.  So without it, it would seem that either Ted died some other way to leave the legacy on to Jaime Reyes or he was whisked away from the very fabric of DC continuity, an act so horrible that it would lead be to actually boycott DC books until it was undone.  Seriously.

The point I’m not making is that there was no need for Dan DiDio to come out and say that the Crisis events have been purged from the new DCU.  All the details about the new status quo should be revealed in the books.  Hopefully the DC office has a master file with all the details of their entire universe of what has and has not been removed,  but I can’t shake the thought that they will once again stumble their way into a horrid pile of mish-mosh that only yet another Crisis can fix…until the next one.

Video game review: X-Men Destiny

There’s this odd thing about comic-based video games.  There is rarely any kind of solid expectation to how one might turn out, especially based on previous history.  Even when historically your franchise’s games have been crap, like Spider-Man for instance, suddenly a game can come out like the first one on the original PlayStation that just knocks it out of the park.  And then you can tweak and update your formula and get it perfect, like the movie-based Spider-Man 2, and then manage to screw it up come Spider-Man 3 to where now you’re trying to rediscover the magic in alternate dimensions.

The same goes for the X-Men.  Activision stumbled upon a winning formula when it came out with X-Men Legends and the follow-up was even bettr, but the system was pushed over to the Marvel U proper and the X-Men got stuck sitting around with nothing to do (not counting the movie tie-in).  Finally, Activision decided to go back to the X-Men franchise with developer Silicon Knights this go-round, and shift up the format from the popular Legends series to something new.

Much earlier in the year, I was pretty damn excited about X-Men Destiny.  Sure, they were dropping the format used in the two X-Men Legends games and going more with an “action RPG” approach, but still it seemed pretty neat to me.  Even the thought that you wouldn’t be playing as any of the actual X-Men, but rather a new mutant recruit that would be fighting alongside the X-Men as you learned to use your mutant powers.

My initial thought was Dragon Age: Origins in which you start off as a basic character with a selectable origin and fighting class and eventually expand with other side characters that can fight along side you (with commands available) as you go through the massively large story complete with twists, turns, and tons of options that have a huge effect on the overall story of the game.

Seriously, go play Dragon Age: Origins if you haven’t.

Under advisement of Comicdom Wrecks! co-conspirator Casey, I decided against dropping $60 on the title (as if I had that kind of money to toss around) and instead hopped over to one of the Redbox terminals and dropped $2 to play it for a day.  And it’s a good thing too, since it only took me six hours to beat the damn thing.

After the jump I’ll go into detail about the game, including my likes, dislikes, and the overall sense of blah to the deal.

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