Month: March 2012

New Scott Pilgrim News

The Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O’Malley was one that I was introduced to after it had finished.  Honestly, I had never really heard about it, other than a passing comment in Comics Should Be Good’s “Comics Critics,” until the movie came out.  Having greatly enjoyed the movie, I eventually borrowed the series from a friend, and read it all in a week.  Would have been faster, but I did have to go to work after all.  But I have yet to get around to buying them for myself.  I want to, but I seem to never to have money to buy stuff when I see them on shelves.  And after today’s announcement at Emerald City Comic-con, I find myself tempted to wait even longer to buy the entire series.

O’Malley and Oni Press have announced that they will be releasing new, slightly larger, hardcover versions that are going to be in color.  So, now I’m conflicted.  Should I buy the original black & white versions, or should I get these new color versions.  On the pro side of things, I do like color.  Personally, I prefer it to black & white.  Not saying one is better than the other, but that’s what I prefer.  Also, it’s going to have a larger page size, and larger should mean easier to see, and easier to take in the smaller details.  On the con side of things is that it’s likely going to be more expensive.  The color and hardcover are likely to increase the price.  Personally, I like cheaper.  It’s why most of my trades are softcover.

So, what do you think?  Are you interested in these new versions?  Do you think it’s a crime against humanity if a creator changes his creation after it has been published?

DC Nation – 3/31/12

Welcome to today’s edition of DC Nation.  Today’s episode of Green Lantern is titled “Heir Apparent.”  Hal and Kilowog track down another Green Lantern signal nearby, only to wind up in the middle of a planetary power struggle.  Today’s episode of Young Justice is titled “Insecurity.”  Artemis deals with family issues, and whether or not she is good enough to be on the team.  There were three shorts today:  an archer tests out Green Arrow’s gas arrow, Beast Boy decides if he wants to eat some cookies, and Superman of Tokyo saves his mom from a giant robot.

Green Lantern:  The Animated Series – “Heir Apparent”
Aya is getting used to being in her humanoid form, which is creeping Kilowog out.  They spot another Green Lantern ring signature, and track it down.  They arrive on the planet during the coronation of Princess Iolande.  They find the Green Lantern there, named Dulock, when he challenges Kothack for the hand of the queen.  When the challenge is about to begin, Dulock is nowhere to be found.  As Kothack is about to claim the queen’s hand, Hal’s accepts the challenge.  Kothak is unhappy that Hal challenged him.  Aya tracks down an energy signature.  Her and Razer go off to track him down.  Iolande helps Hal train for the challenge on a speeder bike type thing.  While flying around, Hal’s bike explodes, but he’s okay thanks to his ring.  Iolande suspects someone sabotaged his bike, and asks him to back out.  She is doubting if it’s even worth fighting.  Aya and Razer find Dulock, but his ring is missing.  They report back to Hal and Kilowog.  Hal has them keep searching while he challenges Kothack.  The challenge is like a jousting tournament, with hand to hand combat.  But as they’re fighting, Kilowog chokes and collapses.  Iolande picks up his drink and finds that it was poisoned.  Kilowog’s ring leaves him and gets on the hand of Ragnar.  He tells Kothack that he is now the most powerful being on the planet, and shall now be king.  He killed Kilowog to get his ring after Dulock’s ring did not come to him.  He tries to attack Hal with the ring, but it vanishes.  Turns out that Kilowog was faking, and the ring Ragnar took was a construct.  Ragnar takes Iolande hostage.  Hal and Kilowog fight off the guards that Ragnar paid off, and eventually catch Ragnar.  He threatens to kill Iolande, but Hall tells her to put the ring on now.  Dulock’s ring comes out of her locket, and she fights off Ragnar.  Kothack knells before Iolande.  Afterwards, Hal tells Iolande how he knew about Ragnar and how he knew she had Dulock’s ring.  He asks her to come with them, but she can’t because of her duty to her people.  She kisses Hal good-bye.

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Question: What draws you to a new title?

A couple week’s ago, I did something I don’t normally do.  I picked up the first issue of an ongoing that was going to be a completely original series.  I hadn’t read any reviews for this issue to know if it’d be any good.  I looked at the premise, the writer, and decided to pick up the first issue of Saucer County.  I hadn’t picked up a title without any known characters, or hearing any good word of mouth, since I started getting Mice Templar.  But this wasn’t a random pick up.  I did get this issue knowing that I liked a lot of Paul Cornell’s previous work. I wanted something different, and an alien conspiracy book sounded fun.  With the combination of those factors in mind, I gave it a try.

So, I want to know what goes into your decision making process when deciding to pick up a new book.  Is it the characters involved?  Do you only pick up if a certain writer and/or artist is involved?  Does the premise have to hook you?  Does the cover image have to catch your eye?

DC Nation – 3/24/12

Welcome back for this week’s edition of DC Nation on Cartoon Network.  Today’s episode of Green Lantern is titled “Into the Abyss,” and is about a captain who has to be rescued after piloting his ship to close to a black hole.  Today’s episode of Young Justice is titled “Agendas,” and includes Superboy returning to Cadmus, where he’ll learn more about himself and the experiments done there.  There were only two “Shorts” today.  One was done by Aardman (Wallace & Gromit) that features various characters, and the other short features Plastic Man

Green Lantern:  The Animated Series – “Into the Abyss”
Kilowog and Razer continue to not get along.  Hal comes in and wants them to shake hands, but they are interrupted by a distress call.  They race off to save a ship from a black hole.  Aya (computer) questions why they’re risking 3 lives to save one when they have to leave their ship to attach tow cables.  However, the gravitational pull is too much for the tow cables, so they enter the ship to rescue the captain.  They find that the captain was transporting a batch of Spagnarian eggs, which are very rare.  Hal decides they need to rescue every lifeform there.  Razer and Kilowog look for the ship’s damaged engine, but they end up fighting when Kilowog thinks Razer attacked him.  Hal eventually separates them.  In the Green Lantern’s ship, the captain panics when the pull becomes stronger and Aya is not responding.  He tries to pull his ship out, but the tow cables do not hold up.  Hal keeps them from being immediately crushed, and Kilowog leaves the ship to try to keep it from going into the black hole himself.  Hal and Razer find that the eggs are already hatching, and they’re eating through the power cables.  The captain tells Kilowog that their nav computer must be damaged, but he’ll try to help him.  Razer and Hal make it to the damaged engine, but find that it’s frozen because the hatchlings ate through the lines to heat it.  Somehow, Hal realizes that Aya has put herself into the robotic beings, and has been cutting power to non-essential systems.  He lets the Aya bots into the engine room and they fix things.  Hal decides to try to use the current of the pin hole (black hole) to create enough velocity and slingshot them out.  It works, and returns the ship and the actual hatchlings to the captain.  Hal thanks Aya for saving them, but warns her about leaving her post.  She says that it’s the duty of a Green Lantern to risk their life to save others.  Kilowog tells her she’s the nav computer, and she can’t be a Green Lantern because she wasn’t chosen and doesn’t have a body.  Aya creates a body for herself.

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Around the Web

Welcome to March’s edition of Around the Web.  Today, I’m going to be doing something a little different than usual.  Normally for this column, I seek out an ongoing (at some point), and examine it.  This week, however, that is not the case.  But, it is still a comic, viewable on the world wide web, so I can still qualify it as a web comic.  This month’s featured “web comic” is Sawmill Comics Vol. 1.  It is produced by Typecast Publishing, and viewable here.  Sawmill Comics is an anthology type thing that they plan on publishing every 6 months.  This one features three entries:  “Apology” by Megan Stanton, “human, concrete” by Maureen Fellinger, and “2 Dream” by Ken Henson.  The volume was edited by Jake Snider.

“Apology.”  I’d say that this entry is the most traditional of the three.  The first time I read this story, I thought it was a jumbled mess.  Hardly anything made sense.  Then I read through a second time, and things started to become a bit clearer.  I still think it could use a bit of touch up in the art and especially in the lettering.  Not sure if it was a scanning thing, or how it was lettered, but there are several instances where it is difficult to read.  But overall, the story is pretty good, once you can piece it together, and the art is usually alright.

“human, concrete.”  I don’t really have much to say about this one.  I thought the poem, I guess you could call it, was enjoyable, but the art that accompanied each line didn’t really add anything to the experience.  They were small doodles, and the poem stood up well enough on its own without them.

“2 Dream.”  This was probably my favorite of the three.  It reminded me somewhat of Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum.  That may, or may not, be accurate, but that is what I was reminded of.  The art is well done, setting the correct mood, and compliments the prose nicely.  Speaking of which, the prose is a nice, chilling tale, that is very concise, devoid of any unneeded language.

Overall, I recommend checking this out, even though it may not really be “your thing.”  After all, it’s good to try out new things.

Batman Live

The Batman Live Arena Show has been touring through Europe and I have been eagerly awaiting an announcement about when the show would be coming to North America.  Well, that day has finally come, and my heart has been broken.  My spirit has been crushed.  My dreams have smashed.  My…well, you get the idea.  I live near Louisville, KY (U of L Final Four bound…WOOOOOOO), and the nearest show is 700 miles away in St. Paul, MN.  So alas, unless they add more tour dates to the schedule, it seems like I will be missing this spectacle of Batman and stunts.

Yes, the show looks a bit ridiculous, but it also looks like fun.  It has all the action that you would expect from a superhero show, but no pesky musical numbers.  That’s important for me, which is why I have no desire to ever see Spider-Man:  Turn Off the Dark.  If I want musical numbers, I’ll see Phantom of the Opera.

So, if any of our fine readers plan on seeing this show, let us know what you thought about it.  Or, if any of you have seen the Spider-Man musical, you can let us know what you thought about that as well, if you really want to.

On Onslaught…as a means for a tad bit more Liefeld bashing

Onslaught has certainly gotten a bad wrap in the years since the storyline went down, and for many good reasons.  For one, Marvel didn’t really know what Onslaught even was when Juggernaut whispered the name in the first post-Age of Apocalypse issue of Uncanny X-Men back in 1996.  The event itself was a horrid mish-mosh of heroes running around doing pretty much nothing until the final explosion wrapped everything up.  In fact, the only important things that happened in the entire event were:

  • X-Men learn Onslaught’s identity.
  • Franklin Richards gets pulled in to set up the follow-up.
  • Thor rips Professor X out of Onslaught.
  • Heroes explode.

Yet the event had a ton more to it, and most of it was slop.

But the build to Onslaught and the ultimate revelation that it was indeed the tainted psyche of Professor X was an excellent story in itself.  There was genuine threat for the X-Men, and you could feel the team unwinding because of the changes going on within Charles Xavier.  The tainting of his psyche was actually the one positive thing to come out of Fatal Attractions (god knows villain-Colossus wasn’t) and in its own weird way, the whole thing worked…until they tried to do something with it.

But Onslaught is a story that is best left in the past.  It’s okay to bring it up once in a while in the event that someone’s worried about Professor X (the same way Dark Phoenix would be mentioned if Jean Grey was acting weird), and as for Heroes Reborn?  F*ck that.  It ruined the epic Mark Waid/Ron Garney Captain America run by replacing it with Rob Liefeld and his stupid eagle head mask.

So it should come as little surprise to anyone that I did not read the anniversary book Onslaught Reborn.
And that’s even before I found out it was done by Jeph “I don’t care what anyone else is doing in their own comics” Loeb and Rob “I see women weird” Liefeld.

I will give kudos to Liefeld on one bit – he did a decent job on Captain America.  Unfortunately, he made Scarlet Witch’s hand look crazy-weird (though I suppose technically okay), and he gave Iron Man a wrinkly, cringed face and lips.  I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the Iron Man armor is a big metal suit.  It doesn’t have facial expressions, and it should never EVER have lips.  Never.

But then there’s cute, collectible keychain Onslaught standing there in the corner about as un-menacingly as possible.  When Onslaught debuted, he looked fantastically awesome.

Liefeld got all the pieces right, but managed to strip all the dynamics right away.  And to that I say well done?

Ah well.  If anyone read this book and liked it, feel free to give me the good ol’ wag of the finger.