Tuesday, February 26, 2008

tHe ReAd PiLe - 2/27/08

Nice collections of books this week. Some of the usual favorites Blue Beetle, JSA, and Teen Titans. Some brand spanking new books Kick-Ass, Project Superpowers, and Doctor Who. It's a great week to start reading comics.  

#1 BLUE BEETLE #24- I'm so hyped about this comic. This is the most consistently fun comic out there. Everyone should be reading this.

#2 ACTION COMICS #862- More Legion of 
Superheroes! This story is probably, thus far, the best Superman story I've ever read. Geoff Johns is god.

#3 TEEN TITANS #56- Blue Beetle's in this issue and Kid Devil throws a party. This has the makings of a classic.

#4 JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #13- I love this cover. It's very old school with the floating head pantheon eyeing the cover.

#5 COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 9- Don't know what to expect.

#6 STAR TREK ALIENS SPOTLIGHT ROMULANS- I'm a Trekkie and IDW is producing some really fantastic Star Trek stories. Alien Spotlight has yet to dissapoint. Lets see if they can keep it up, particularly since I'm not a big fan of Romulans.

#7 PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #1(OF 6)- I liked issue zero. I'm still not sure what type of story to expect from this book, but I'm onboard.

#8 JSA CLASSIFIED #35- Ooh! A Wildcat story in this issue that is kicking of a three parter.

#9 KICK ASS #1- I absolutely love the title of this book. This is the synopis on Marvel's website:The Story: The greatest super hero comic of all-time is finally here. WOLVERINE: ENEMY OF THE STATE's team of MARK MILLAR (CIVIL WAR) and JOHN ROMITA JR. (WORLD WAR HULK) reunite for the best new book of the 21st century. Have you ever wanted to be a super hero? Dreamed of donning a mask and just heading outside to some kick-ass? Well, this is the book for you--the comic that starts where other super hero books draw the line. KICK-ASS is realistic super heroes taken to the next level. Miss out and you're an idiot! 
I certainly don't want to be an idiot so i'm picking this up. Are you?

#10 X-MEN LEGACY #208 - The only X-book I've picked up for a long time is New X-men. As that book is now done I'm looking for another X-book to give me my X-men fix. I didn't read Messiah Complex except for the parts that were in New X-men. I've read the synopis for Messiah Complex that is on "spoilt!" so I have an idea what happened. Hopefully my enjoyment of this book won't be dependent on Messiah Complex.

#11 DOCTOR WHO #1- Never seen an episode of Dr. Who. I have a loose idea what it is about gonna give this a try and see where it goes from there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Merry Marvelite or Citizen of the DC Nation?

When I first entered the world of comic books, I never thought that I would have an alleigance for one company more than another. As time progressed though, I noticed a shift in my pull list. My affiliation became quite clear. I'm a DC guy. Don't get me wrong I read Marvel. I love Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Gambit. However when it comes to overall universe DC wins. Why DC?
  1. Escapism. DC recently is more escapist. In the Marvel Universe, I have to worry about politics. The moral and ethical implications of the superhuman registration act. Over at the Distiguished Competition my biggest worry is whether an alien invasion of power ring toting facists is going to conquer the universe and kill Hal Jordan.  
  2. No more 90's. I was not buying comics in the 90's, but I feel I've read enough about it to realize thats prabably a great thing.  Marvel to me feels like it's still bogged down in the montony of 90's comics. There are dark character turns for wholesome characters(Speedball to Penance), shock value comics with no real weight or consequences(Spider-man unmasking and resetting his history thus negating his unmasking), and prime time character's dieing(death of Captain America).  
  3. Hope and optimism. DC is a more optimistic place it's heroes aren't making deals with the devil(Spider-man), or encroaching on civil liberties(Iron-man). They are trying to write past wrongs(Hal Jordan, Green Arrow, and Batman), inspire(Superman), and they are all usually trying to save the world or worlds from regular pure evil bad guys.  
  4. Locales. Marvel takes place in New York and other real locales (Latveria, and the Negative Zone not with standing.) DC is mostly set in fictional locations. Due to the fictionality of Star City, Gotham, and Metropolis, each of these fictitious cities can be what ever the creator wants them to be. Gotham's architecture can be art deco, or gothic. What ever best serves the stories tone and mood. 
  5.  New reader friendly. DC is more new reader friendly at least at this moment. Due to recent crisis and approaching final crisis things are in a state of reboot. Character's and teams are becoming established and forming(JSA, JLA, Infinity Inc, Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle), they are producing plenty of one and done books(Jonah Hex, JLU, and JSA Classified), and they are producing several specials that have reprints of classic character defining stories that tie into and explain some of the characters and cancepts prominently featured in there crossovers(Countdown Special Jimmy Olsen, Countdown Special Flash, etc.). 
  6. Continuity. DC is less bogged down in their own continuity due to there willingness to shed it when it gets too complicated (Crisis on Infintite Earths).  Also, a big plus to DC's shedding of continuity is that it is done formally, as oppose to Marvel which simply forgets a story takes place due to fan response.
  7. Better Management. I like Didio more than Quesada. Didio has really made me feel like a part of the DC nation, with his columns at the end of DC books making announcements and touring his offices. While Quesada simply imposes his will and Tony Stark's over Marvel. Making what ever changes he wants no matter how out of character they are.
  8. I just like DC more. It's really hard to explain an inclination why is my favorite color blue or my favorite number two. It's just the way I'm wired.
DC is not without faults. I wish that DC and Marvel would settle down with the crossovers and let their Universe's breath and develop a status quo for a while. I don't need to read a world shattering, character changing crossover every summer(just a JLA/JSA one). 

Where do you stand Merry Marvelite or citizen of the DC Nation?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

THE Read Pile - 2/17/08

#1 UMBRELLA ACADEMY APOCALYPSE SUITE #6(OF 6) - Like my last post saids this is the most creative book I've ever read. I'm probably going to end up reading this in the parking lot of my comic shop.

#2 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #18 - Didn't like the last issue and this is continuing that storyline. I like Burnett writing the stories in theory, cause he did such good work on the JLU cartoon, but issue 17 didn't click with me. Hopefully this issue will turn around and prove me wrong.

#3 COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 10 - Yay! We're all on apokolips and brother eye is doing things I don't understand.

#4 MIGHTY AVENGERS #9 - Two Words: Doctor Doom!

#5 BRAVE AND THE BOLD #10 - What a great book we get to see character's rarely used. Teaming up with the best of the best and their is absolutley no limits as to when and where a story can take place. I hope this book is around for a long time and George Perez is on it forever.

#6 SHADOWPACT #22 - I used to love this book. It has steadily declined in quality. I just want the team to get back together and fight as a unit.

#7 IMMORTAL IRON FIST: ORSON RANDALL AND THE GREEN MIST OF DEATH - Iron Fist is having a renaisance that's for sure.

#8 ZORRO #1 - I'm a huge fan of Dynamite's Lone Ranger comics, hopefully this will be equally as good and provide a new interpretation on the classic western character.

#9 DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #6 (OF 8) - I don't know all that much about the new gods. I enjoyed the countdown special. I am quietly perplexed and intrigued by this book since the reveal of the source as a sentient entity.

#10 BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #4 - I didn't pick up the first three issues some how this book slipped under my radar. I am picking this one up beacuse of Ollie's induction to the team. From far away I am not a fan of the line up, but if this issue sizzles. I'll probably jump aboard and pick up the first three issues.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Near miss!

I almost missed one of the most fun comics I have ever read. Since september I have been seeing this mini-series called The Umbrella Academy come out. I don't know why, but in my brain I kept on passing over the book, never giving it a second glance. I assumed it had something to do with Resident Evil and their Umbrella Corporation. Boy was I wrong.

I was watching old videos of Comic Book Club when their mention of The Umbrella Academy finally got my attention. Partly, because they said that their was a hero whose super power was that what ever rumor she said became a reality, and partly because they mentioned Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. I have no shame in admitting my emoness and saying that I am a huge My Chemical Romance fan. I have been listening to the band since 2003. I think that Way(their lead singer) is a genius, his lyrics are always thought provoking and he is quite adept at turning a clever phrase.

So I go into pick up my comics on Friday and almost leave the store, when I remember that My Chemical Romance comic. I ask Mac(owner of my comic shop)

ME: Do you have The Umbrella Academy?

MAC: Which one?

ME: All of them.

I purchased the first 5 issues of The Umbrella Academy and my mind was blown. I fell in love with this book on page 1 of issue 1.

This picture says it all. It sets tone wonderfully. The matter of fact way a wrestler is about to give an atomic elbow to a giant space squid. The perspective of the camera some where in the center of a crowd, giving the reader a feeling of this type of event being in the common man's perspective. The purple blood, and the tentacles of the space squid jutting straight up like he's in fear. I want to learn more about a universe where an event like this can take place. I don't want to go into to much detail explaining the plot and characters because the comic does it a million times better than I can, and there is a certain ere of mystery around these character's past that I don't want to disrupt. I will only say that the loss of the space squid causes spontaneous births in women who show no sign of pregnancy. Seven of these babies are adopted by an eccentric, and wealthy inventor. Who claims the children will save the world. He does not give the kids name but labels them 00.01 thru 00.07.It then jumps ten years later and we get to watch five of the kids take on a rampaging Eiffel tower. (that's right the eiffel tower is the bad guy in the first issue.)

After the kids save paris and eat ice cream, it jumps to the present where we get to meet Spaceboy who is agent 00.01 and sometime in the past had to get his head put on the body of an ape.

If that is not the essence of comic book cool, I don't know what is. The first issue is epilogued with a fake encyclopedia page explaining the twisted history of the eiffel tower and setting up a plot thread for the next issue.

This is the first comic I have ever felt priviliged to buy. I am happy to be at the ground floor on this comic and urge everyone not to miss it. Its is one heck of an adventure.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

THE Read Pile - 2/10/08

Wow! What an awesome week. The top 5 books are my monthly faves. That means that next week is probably gonna stink. 

#1 BOOSTER GOLD #0 - I've never read the actual zero hour mini-series this ties into. I've read summaries and reviews on it and don't reall y feel like it'll be a must read to enjoy this issue.  In fact I feel like Booster Gold might be the best book to help new readers in on dc history.

#2 GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY #5 - I love Green Arrow and I never know where this book is going. I have no idea what to expect from this book other than high quality.

#3 SALVATION RUN #4  (OF 7) - This book is pretty good thus far. I just hope we see a little more action from the Flash rogues.

#4 NEW AVENGERS #38 - This book is still holding my interest. I'm still kind of pissed that it is absolutely nothing like the comic that it was in issue #1.

#5 GREEN LANTERN CORPS  #21 - The Alpha Lanterns are going to make the Green Lanterns life more complicated...can't wait.

#6 COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 11 - Everyone gathering on Apokolips is awesome but what the heck is going on with brother eye and karate kid that story has me mad confused.

#7 X-FORCE #1 - I'm not a big fan of the x-books as of late. And i didn't follow messiah complex, but i think everyone can agree Wolverine really needs to be on more teams(sarcasm implied)

#8 TINY TITANS #1 - This is an all ages book and I don't usually like cartoony art, but the promise of a roster that looks like teen titans unlimited sounds cool. I'm looking forward to seeing what type of mischievous stuff tiny ravager is up to.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chorus of Comics part. 1 animated edition

If I'm all alone when I'm reading comics I usually read out loud. Doing my best impersonation of every character's voice.

Like when I read Green Arrow, there is no other voice that fits as perfectly and as uniquely as Kin Shriner. His gravelly voice makes the character seem honest and real. I also use Kin's voice for Tony Stark when I read Mighty Avengers or Iron Man.

Also of note, is Jeffrey Combs performance as The Question. Although the question died in 52. I've kept my Jeffrey combs impersonation alive in the DCU as both the new Doctor Fate,  and Dr. Will Magnus.  In the Marvel U I find he's a pretty good Mr. Fantastic.

When it come to X-men my two faves Gambit and Wolverine always sound like this.

Thank you Chris Potter and Cal Dodd. While were on the subject of X-men I am fond of Brad Swaile as Nightcrawler. He gave a terrific performance in X-men: Evolution. Giving Nightcrawler the innocence and cheerfulness that fits his role on the team. 

After over ten years of following the DCAU there can never be another voice for Bats and the Joker that beat Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. Conroy's voice is deep brooding and authoritative but full of heroism and hope. While Hamill's Joker is manic and funny and delightfully insane.  

With the new Booster Gold series as one of my monthly favorites, I try to think of Tom Everett Scott as Booster. His voice captures the right mix of patheticness and heroism that Booster Gold needs.

Micheal Rosenbaum and Phil Lamarr.

Micheal Rosenbaum owns as the Flash he sounds young and fun. I also like to imagine Micheal voicing Kid Devil in Teen Titans and the Immortal Iron Fist Danny Rand.


Green Lantern John Stewart can be no other than Phil Lamarr. His voice is deep and powerful and it conveys genuine personality  and character. Phil Lamarr also makes an awesome Luke Cage voice when I read New Avengers.

I love Doctor Strange, but damn you Venture Brothers I can't read him anymore with out hearing Steven Ratazzi as Doctor Orpheus parodying him.

And my all time favorite comic book voices come from way back in the Day. Solomon Grundy and Bizarro never sounded cooler than they did in the Superfriends.

This was a lot of fun. There will definitely be a part two some day.

Any Suggestions?

What are your favoirte voices for characters?

Monday, February 4, 2008

THE Read Pile - 2/06/08

This week's read pile is a short one. Thank god, my cash flow is low. This looks like a pretty sweet week even though there are only seven books I'm interested in.
1. TWELVE #2 (OF 12) - The first issue of this mini was ridiculously entertaining. I hope it stays up to that level. I love the characters thus far especially the secretly gay hero Dynamic Man. I can't wait to see how his story unfolds. I haven't done any research on this book but i'm curious to know if all the heroes are original or second rate ww2 characters.

2. JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #12 - This book is strong even if the pace has slowed down a little.

3. ALL NEW ATOM #20 - Ryan Choi rules! I am praying for an All New Atom and Blue Beetle mini(don't these characters seem like they should be friends?)

4. COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 12 - This book is hitting its stride and we are finally in the meat of the story.

5. COUNTDOWN SPECIAL OMAC - this has been the part of count down I've been most confused about. It feels really tacked on.  Hopefully this will solidify how this fits into the larger arch.

6. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #42 - This book is perfect for young readers and new readers. Every story stands alone. The quality of the story varies from month to month but they are mostly good and give a good introduction to the characters and concepts central to the DC universe. 

7. JONAH HEX #28 - Also is a great one and done book. Consistently dark, funny, bloody and cowboytastic. I put it only in the last spot because it will be the desert at the end of my comics feast this week. I'm sure it will be sweet. 

Friday, February 1, 2008

Getting into Comics?

This post is for those of you getting into comics and any comics veterans feel welcome to pitch in with tips.

1. Go out to a comic book shop and browse through the rack grab a book that has a cover that calls out to you.

2. Don't be afraid of continuity. We live in the 21st century any question you have about any book you can ask me or other reputable and well read comic book bloggers, or just google or wiki it. 

3.  If your not feeling like reading through long blog posts or wikipedia pages of history. I suggest you get a sense of continuity. How? Cartoons. Watch Batman the animated series, Superman the animated series, X-men(90's), Spider-man(90's), and Justice League Unlimited. These cartoons are well done and give you a great introduction to  a lot of  villains and heroes. 

4. Figure out what stories you like to read and buy it. There is a comic book for every type of person.

5.  Buy a graphic novel try out the best of the best comics first. The Watchmen, Kingdom Come, Identity Crisis, etc.

6. Don't be afraid to ask the comic book store clerk for a suggestion he will refer to the books he thinks are the best. He's not gonna steer you toward bad comics on purpose, he wants you to love the comic so that you'll come every week and pick it up again and again.

7. Books I recommend for new readers. 

  • Justice League Unlimited
  • Jonah Hex 
  • Amazing Spider-man
  • Action Comics
  • Detective Comics
  • New Avengers 
  • Teen Titans
  • Star Trek 
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Dynamo 5
  • Justice League of America