Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Frank Review of "Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience" (2009)

The Short Version? Guilty white guy and noble savages versus evil military, all in CGI.
What Is It? Action.
Who Is In It? The Terminator: Salvation guy, Uhura, Ripley, Letty, Frank Buffay Jr., and more
Should I See It? Yes.



What some people don't know is, Michael Jackson conceived love children with Jocelyn Wildenstein, and that in the future, their offspring will have an orgy with the Blue Man Group and an NBA team. After even more incestuous sex, they will spawn a race of nine foot tall navy cat people who can reenact the "Billie Jean" video wherever they step. Oh, and at some point somebody used R2-D2 as a marital aid, because they can cold jack into, like, the global wildlife mainframe, yo. But don't worry, because even in this far off time, the same old cliché evil corporation/military/Hollywood liberal bullshit will still be just as familiar as it was when you slept through that anti-Iraq war movie from 2003. But it's cool bro, because everything else got their own fuck on, so there's hammerhead rhino and shit to keep your eyes moving.

To summarize, Avatar works well as a fairy tale and the longest, most finely rendered video game cut scene yet. Everything but the environments looks like it's made of rubber, but the actors playing aliens/Avatars have their faces well integrated into the CGI. This is less true of Stephen Lang, whose obviously motion-capped role of Brigadier General Jack T. Ripper couldn't have been less of an animated farce. Guys like General Ripper make the flick look like sci-fi, but nobody this side of George Lucas could so completely fuck-up and stupefy such an inherently intellectual genre, so that's just window dressing for a ham-fisted parable.

Sam Worthington, who played a cyborg in an abandoned James Cameron franchise, is a dumb unethical self-important cypher in this third person RPG. That's because Michael Biehn got fat and old, and because Americans love Australians who can't quite handle American accents (see also: Mel Gibson, pre-2000.) Sigourney Weaver, who played the heroine in a prior James Cameron film, reprises her role as Dian Fossey, because she also got too old to star. She's the tough but fair scientist who will get killed in the second act to increase audience sympathy. Don't call it a spoiler, unless u r dum, because it could only have been more obvious if she were the black sidekick or the veteran in her last days on the job. Michelle Rodriguez, who played the Vasquez role in a knock-off of James Cameron's Aliens (but with zombies,) plays the Vasquez role in James Cameron's retread of Aliens and The Abyss (but with even more heavy handed politics than a Romero zombie flick.) Giovanni Ribisi plays Carter Burke, the corporate scumbag, because Paul Reiser was too busy cashing his Mad About You residuals checks. Ribisi forces a totally over the top accent, but I still respect him as a diverse actor who can play a range of roles. He just read the script, and as soon as he learned his company was kill-crazy hot in pursuit of the rare material "unobtainium," knew how to play this stupid cartoon shit.

Joel Moore doesn't play the Bill Paxton role, and I can't figure that out at all. Was Jack T. Ripper the Bill Paxton part? This would have been a better movie with that Bill Paxton magic. Zoe Saldana doesn't play anybody iconic. Was she in the Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio part? The Dark Angel part? I just remember she was blue, talked funny, and I was never quite sure if that was a shadow or a cyber-nipple under that flower. Oh wait, she's just fuckin' Pocahontas! Duh! That also explains Wes Studi as the Indian chief, and that guy as the Apache dude who had a hard-on for Pocahontas and totally had it in for John Smith. Didn't you know this was a Western? It's totally, totally a five-hundred-million dollar B-western. And you people thought that shit couldn't make money. How many times have you watched Tombstone, right? Maybe not five-hundred-million dollars worth of times, but only because Val Kilmer didn't cough at you in 3-mother fucking-D. If Tombstone looked like extra-articulated He-Man action figures three inches from your nose, it could have made a brazillian dollars.

You might think I'm calling Avatar a bad movie, but that's horse shit. I love a good western, and I dig a quality barbarian movie, and I especially love ridiculously well meaning so-unoriginal-its-practically-plagiarism scripts. I swear, Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil is my favorite guilty pleasure, and I really liked Extinction too (but not Apocalypse, because I gots some taste, dude.) At nearly three hours, your resistance will melt by the sheer force of good intentions and Old Hollywood craftsmanship.Child soldiers in the Sudan know this story backwards-and-forwards, and would critique its naive politics, if they had time. But hey, these bitches won't chop their own arms off, right?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Frank Review of "Sherlock Holmes" (2009)

The Short Version? Less detective, more dick (flick.)
What Is It? Actioner.
Who Is In It? Iron Man, Gigolo Joe, that Notebook chick
Should I See It? No.



Someone took a Roger Moore era James Bond script, and converted it into a Victorian version of The Wild Wild West. At times it's as good as an episode of the Robert Culp TV series, but it's mostly as much a muddle as the Will Smith cinematic flop from 1999. Robert Downey Jr. is surprisingly charmless here, going through his stock eccentric mannerisms without their having any desirable effect. Jude Law fares much better as possibly the most interesting Doctor Watson I've seen, if only because he serves a greater purpose than stroking Holmes' ego at each brilliant observation. Instead, he's a tough, but proper, partner in crime investigation. Mark Strong has the face of a great villain, but not an ounce of actual menace in his performance.

Forty-four years of Downey Jr. on this Earth and at least a quarter of that spent on hard drugs have left their mark on his features, while thirty-one year old Rachel McAdams looks like she takes her nightly bath in warm milk. She's meant to be Holmes' equal or better as a conniving grifter femme fatale with whom he has a history that would seem to date back to her junior high prom. Maybe I'm just getting old, but their age differences really made me think less of our hero, and considering what a smarmy, neurotic, prancing little shit he is, imagine my horror. Worse, McAdams sounds like she's still playing opposite Lindsay Lohan in a bubblegum flick, she's so woefully out of place.

Since Richard Keel is no longer among the living to reprise his role of Jaws, a replacement was found in Robert Maillet. With roles on his resume including "Uber Immortal," "Behemoth Jones" and "Kurrgan," he brings the physical bigness. It's probably the next best performance after Law's.

As for the story, well, its a trifle. There's a grand, moronic conspiracy involving Freemasons, dark magic, CSI: London, Steampunk Tasers, and explodey-go-boom-boom. Director Guy Ritchie, whose mind never recovered from his penis entering Madonna, offers tepid slo-mo bare knuckles brawling put to shame by his own Snatch, and noticeably little else. If you like your pictures to be there, doing that, and not be a bother about it, Sherlock Holmes is for you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)

During the Writer's Guild Strike of 2008, Joss Whedon produced a 41 minute web only musical dramedy about the romantic and professional hurdles of an aspiring super-villain. It stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, and was broken up into three acts...









Sunday, December 27, 2009

Linkydeux 12.27.09



Whilst avoiding working on actual blog content and surfing the web, Frank Lee Delano struck upon the conception: what if I could surf the net in order to generate meaningless content? And so the Linkypeux was born, and it was good...

General/Entertainment

Art & Photograpy
bela and ed wood say merry xmas. (Random Picture Day)
20 Things That Happen in 1 Minute (Damn Cool Pics)
crotchety elf. (Random Picture Day)

Video Games:
Growing Up 2600: Stalling for time (Armagideon Time)

Politics:
PolitiFact's Five Surprising "True" ratings of 2009 (PolitiFact)

Movies:
Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 11/25/09 (CHUD)
Devin Faraci's Top 15 Films of 2009 (CHUD)
Devin's Advocate: The Holmes Haters (CHUD)
Sherlock Holmes review by Dustin Rowles (Pajiba)
Project 880: The Avatar That Almost Was (CHUD)



Comic Books:
Comic Book Reviews:
A few thoughts on Unkonwn Soldier Vol. 1: Haunted House (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Review: Batman: Cacophony (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)

Comic Book Blogs:
Have I ever mentioned that sometimes I just don't get DC: The “Co-Feature” Program (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
The Top 100 Comic Book Storylines Master List (CBR)
Flash in 2010=100% Barry Allen – Kid Flash Series & Wally West Backups Canceled (Speed Force)
AquaSketch by Neil Vokes #4: Dolphin - 2009 (The Aquaman Shrine)
How Hitler Tried to Steal Christmas, or, Have Yourself a Furious Little Christmas (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
What If... Conan the Barbarian Walked the Earth Today? (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Aquaman (Vol.1) #59 - Jan. 1978 (The Aquaman Shrine)
The Man Who Hated Christmas! (Superman, 1947) (Atomic Surgery)
Happy Holidays - Justice League Unlimited #16 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)
More Fun Comics #89 - March 1943 (The Aquaman Shrine)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Anna Paquin Self Magazine July 2009 (Newsgab)
Ashley Greene Italian Bikini Pictures - 05/25/2009 (Hollywood Tuna)
Moon Bloodgood Tests The Constraints Of Her Bikini Top - "Maxim" (Italy) June 2009 HQ Scans (Lanky Bastard)
Hayden Panettiere Cannes Film Festival Bikini Pictures (Hollywood Tuna)
Olivia Wilde Leaving Very Little To The Imagination - "Maxim" (Italy) July 2009 HQ Scans (Lanky Bastard)
Sarah Chalke Scrubs Bikini Screencaps (Hollywood Tuna)

Friday, December 25, 2009

1993 Advance Comics The Sandman Holiday Wish List Postcard by P. Craig Russell



This Morpheus of the Endless postcard came polybagged with a distributor catalog. "Art by Craig P. Russell." Philistines.

1997 Wizard Magazine Holiday Present Tags



Featuring Deadpool, the Strangers in Paradise girls, Kevin Matchstick of Mage, Madman, the Silver Surfer, Ash, Gen13, Darkchylde, and Power Man himself, Luke Cage. "Sweet Christmas" indeed.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #51

Age of Reptiles: The Journey #1
Deadlocke #1
Green Lantern #49 (2009)
The Marvelous Land of Oz #1




To celebrate this column's fiftieth offering, I will include a book that actually shipped this week. Also, just plain posting on this blog is a pretty special thing lately, so relish it or whatever.

Age of Reptiles: The Journey #1 (Dark Horse, 2009, $3.50)
I typically regard "silent" comics with suspicion or contempt, but when you're writing a series about the migration of prehistoric creatures, you earn that license. Richard Delgado is a remarkably capable artist at depicting legions of creatures in seemingly realistic detail without overwhelming the senses with excessive rendering. He adeptly captures the scale of the endeavor while still paying mind to little stories within the greater movement. Without so much as a sound effect, he tells a better, more comprehensive and moving story with stronger characterization than most anything
Jeph Loeb ever scripted. It looks prettier and last longer as a read, too.


Deadlocke #1 (Dark Horse, 2009, $3.50)
Back in 1977, George Lucas figured that if he was ever going to get anywhere with his six part tale from a long time ago in a galaxy far away, he'd better jump past all that Anakin Skywalker bullshit and get to the good parts. He was smart enough to still subtitle his first Star Wars movie "Episode IV," and littered it with cryptic references to the first three. Most anyone with critical thinking skills can figure he probably wouldn't have had his hero engage in incestuous flirtation if Lucas had already worked out the finer relationship points between Luke, Leia and Darth Vader beforehand, but Warsies still held boners for over twenty years before an actual "Episode One" was released in the most scatological sense possible upon theater screens.

Jim Shooter was similarly canny in the early 90s, when he set aside the more extraneous expository crap from his early Valiant Comics series, then offered it in "#0" issues as incentives to die hard fans of his latest enterprise. Dark Horse could have stood to learn that lesson, but they instead published Deadlocke #1 as a single issue special as part of a series of "done-in-one" books they're promoting. You see, where this could have been a decent bit of retroactive prologue to a continuing series, it is instead literary blue balls, a "none-in-one" story that if anything helps kill any momentum an actual book might have achieved without this anchor around its neck.

In this single story, an emo comic dork gets laid, goes to a costume party, and has a falling out with his trim and her brother. The remaining five pages would have been a good place to work out some sort of satisfactory resolution, but instead our protagonist goes pissy bitch on his mom, wears out the sympathy of even those who've walked similar miles, and then abruptly stops. Absent of context, it's a trifle.

Arvid Nelson pisses away some of the good will he earned when I sampled his writing on Rex Mundi. Nick Stakal's art is very much like a storyboard, giving about the least amount of information needed to depict the necessary action in the script. Combined, the book goes from 0 to just there in 22 pages.


Green Lantern #49 (DC, 2009, $2.99)
I've been getting my books monthly via heavily discounted mail order for years now, but since I work near a comic shop, I bop by for the occasional missed preorder. For instance, I figured Green Lantern would be more integral to the Blackest Night event, but passed on securing them in advance, to savings on my part. Instead, I pay full cover for the odd issue. For instance, I count myself as a John Stewart fan, but more Mosaic's jazz loving intellectual than the ex-Marine hardass that came out of the Justice League cartoon. Still, his getting a solo spotlight issue here gave me pause. Then a back-up starring Mera and the Atom (a favorite of mine) directly tied to Blackest Night at no additional "co-feature" cost sealed the deal.

Ed Benes drew most of the lead story, and for once his flashy style wasn't marred by cheesecake, nor his at best rudimentary concept of visual storytelling. Flashback sequences rendered more gracefully by Marcos Marz didn't hurt, nor did strong color work by Hi-Fi. This one saw Stewart visited by his reanimated sins of the past, in the zombified form of his ex-wife Katma Tui and throngs of Xanshi's living dead.

Reliable Jerry Ordway drew the back-up, which doesn't actually go anywhere, but gets by on mood and melodrama. That's true of the lead as well, so the degree of value you place on Geoff Johns' writing here is likely dependent on your fandom. Nothing bad, but the book needs the participation of your preexisting interest to rise above mediocre.


The Marvelous Land of Oz #1 (Marvel, 2009, $3.99)
At times, Skottie Young has been one of my poster children for wrong-headed super-hero art in the Marvel universe. On an Oz book though, he's delightfully in his element. Eric Shanower is in his, what, third decade of adapting L. Frank Baum into comics? He certainly seems to have it down. Tip, our young protagonist, is a motivated scamp with an entertaining supporting cast. This here is quality all-ages reading.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Linkypeux for December 17-23rd, 2009


John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

General/Entertainment

Columns:
A Twi-Meh Comes to Bella Swan’s Defense (Girls Gone Geek)
Permanent Damage 12/16/09 by Steven Grant
This week: Hot comics (& related) moments from my misspent youth; the first round of audience Comics Cover Challenges; plus the new Hollywood blacklist, Marvel & Disney, portable software, soap operas and gobs of other notes.
Permanent Damage 12/23/09 by Steven Grant
Steven looks at the artists he has most enjoyed working with - and those he'd love to work with in a perfect word. Plus, we present the year end MEGA-Comics Cover Challenge, and have a few special messages to Permanent Damage fans.

Art & Photograpy
Monster PSA: Max Schreck (Rob Kelly Illustration)

Books:
The Cannonball Read's Ten Best Novels of the Decade (Pajiba)

Comedy:


Music:
The 15 Best Albums of the Aughts (Pajiba)

TV:
Television Of The Weak: Shorty Is Interested In Becoming A Thug (The Factual Opinion)

Movies:
"The best films of 2009" By Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
Sherlock Holmes review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
Sherlock Holmes, or GTA Victorian London review by Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool)
Crazy Heart review by Brian Prisco (Pajiba)
Avatar review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
Avatarreview by Rich Johnston (Bleeding Cool)
The Ten Most Overlooked Films of the Decade (Pajiba)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
Scrooged review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)
Cinematical Seven: Alec Baldwin is God (Cinematical)



Celebrity Gossip:
Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins Announce Their Split! (Popsugar)
Courtney Love probably beat Frances Bean (The Superficial)
Courtney Love is stealing money from her daughter (CelebSlam)
Deadline DVD cover art starring Brittany Murphy's corpse. See also: The Dead Girl (The Superficial)

Comic Books:
DC Comics Solicitations for March 2010 (CBR)
Image Comics Solicitations for March 2010 (CBR)
Marvel Comics Solicitations for March 2010 (CBR)
J. Scott Campbell's Green Hornet #1 cover (CBR)
Greg Rucka & J.H. Williams To Launch New BATWOMAN Title? (Newsarama)
Image Announces IMAGE UNITED: INTERLUDE in March (Newsarama)
Incredible Hercules will finish with issue #150. (Bleeding Cool)
What In The World Ever Happened To Virgin Comics? (Bleeding Cool)
Comic Book Legends Revealed #238(CBR)
Lying In The Gutters, 21st December (Bleeding Cool)

Comic Book Reviews:
AICN Comic Reviews Shipping Week: 12/16/09 (AICN)
Best Shots for 22 December 2009(Newsarama)
The Buy Pile 12/17/09 by Hannibal Tabu(CBR)
CBR Reviews Last Week's New Comics: December 22nd, 2009
Comics Of The Weak: Pardon Me Waiter, But I Specifically Asked For The Non Raping Super-Hero Comics (The Factual Opinion)
Weekly Haul: December 23rd (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
What I Read This Week: December 22, 2009 (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)

Comic Book Blogs:
Nobody’s Favorite: Vigilante (Armagideon Time)
Blue Bull's (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Blue Bully of the Black Lantern Corpse (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Brilliant Marvel/Disney Mash-up(Once Upon A Geek)
Land of The Living Dead by Al Williamson and Roy Krenkel (Atomic Surgery)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Jena Malone's First Ever Nude Scene: The Messenger (Filmdrunk)
Irina Sheik Stunning HQ Photo Shoot For "Lascana" Lingerie (Lanky Bastard)
Glee's Lea Michele Topless in Spring Awakening (Egotastic!)
Hands Down The Hottest Rachel Bilson Pics Ever! - "Flaunt" Magazine HQ Scans (Lanky Bastard)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Linkydeux - 12.20.09



Whilst avoiding working on actual blog content and surfing the web, Frank Lee Delano struck upon the conception: what if I could surf the net in order to generate meaningless content? And so the Linkypeux was born, and it was good. Verily, 'twas too good, as its contents swelled, causing a strenuous effort to release. It was assured that a deuce must be dropped, a Linkydeux. There was sorrow amongst the land though, as genuine content suffered from the excess of deux accumulating in the bowels of the nurgh. So it was foretold, the time would come for a War of the Links, and only the fittest would survive...

IN BLOGGEST NIGHT: The Not Safe For Work Porn Edition
Coverage will be slimming down hereabouts, as some sites just take too much time to read through for too little yield. If you enjoy these pages and haven't already bookmarked them, now would be the time...

  • NSFW: Drunken Stepfather: If you're looking for an all-in-one gossip/celebrity nudes/softcore porn site, you could do worse than this. However, the sordid, bellicose commentary turns me off, the porn can get a mite too hard for my blog, the site itself is inherently NSFW, and the blind links can waste hours of your time. Plus, the pictures are smallish and often of low quality, with abounding redundancy.
  • NSFW: Dirty Rotten Whore: Surprising as this sounds, the site is actually much softer than Drunken Stepfather, and I like its simple design. Still, it favors porn over anything I can use here, and is also inherently unsafe, which explains why I never actually linked to it here.
  • NSFW: Fleshbot: I'm pretty biased toward softcore girl nudes here, but folks who swing the other way can appreciate this site's options of Straight, Gay or Bi content. Again, it's porn, it's ridiculously unlinkable for a non-adult blog, and this will be its only appearance here.

General/Entertainment

Art & Photograpy
From The Vault: Lou Reed - 2005 (Rob Kelly Illustration)



Comedy:
The Evolution of Mario (Unreality)



How people count cash in other countries


Politics:
PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: 'Death panels' (PolitiFact)
Polar opposites (Armagideon Time)
Rove says Obama's approval ratings after a year are worst of any president (PolitiFact)

Music:
The Video Alphabet: P for Pulp, Portishead & Polysics (Armagideon Time)
Cute Girl Plays Toxicity on Piano (College Humor)

TV:
BBC's The Day of the Triffids sneak peek videos (CHUD)
Jackass: The Lost Tapes review by Bryan Hickerson (CHUD)

Movies:
Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 12/18/09 (CHUD)
Adios Dan O'Bannon. (when is evil cool?)
Kick-Ass review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
Avatar review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)
Predators adds Lawrence Fishburne (CHUD)
The Ten Most Culturally Poisonous Movies of the Decade (Pajiba)
More from Singer on X-Men: First Class (CHUD)
The Best 20 Films of the Aughts (Pajiba)

Celebrity Gossip:
Will NBC replace Conan O’Brien with Jerry Seinfeld? (celebitchy)

Comic Books:
Berkeley Breathed interview (Vice)
Second Wave of Shitastic Red Circle Redesigns! (The Source)

Comic Book Reviews:
AICN Comic Reviews Shipping Week: 12/2/09 (AICN)
AICN Comic Reviews Shipping Week: 12/9/09 (AICN)
Being Free Doesn't Make Them Any Better Pt. 4: Justice League of America: When Worlds Collide (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Best Shots Rapid Fire Reviews: CAP: REBORN, GLC, more (Newsarama)
Review: Adventure Comics #5 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)
Review: Supergirl #48 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)
What I Read This Week III (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)

Comic Book Blogs:
The Long-Threatened Amateur Analysis of Scott Summers's Girlfriends (Pretty, Fizzy Paradise)
The Justice League... are pretty much going to fuck Hardware. (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
More Fun Comics #88 - Feb. 1943 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Green Lantern Corps #43 (Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!)
Bully of the Star Sapphires (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Bully of the Green Lantern Corps. (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Pop Funk "9 Blocks Of Justice" T-shirt (Being Carter Hall)
Superman (Vol.2) #165 - Feb. 2001 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Space Cabby Sunday: The Evolution of Space Cabby! (Dave ex Machina)
Separated at Birth: "I don't care how much the Earth is expanding, Neal—do a new cover." (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Mr. Skin's Top 10 celebrity nude scenes of 2009 (CelebSlam)
Eliza Dushku Wearing A Thong & Exposing Some Side Boob In "Nobel Son" HD 720p.avi (Lanky Bastard)
Rihanna HQ Incendiary Shoot For The Jan. 2010 Issue Of GQ (Lanky Bastard)
Lady Gaga Hot & Wild Photoshoot by David LaChapelle. (Glamcrunch)
Tara Reid HQ Playboy January 2010 (Just Free Pics)
Nicole "Coco" Austin weight lifting (I Don't Like You In That Way)
Milla Jovovich vintage nude Vogue Italia Photoshoot by Peter Lindbergh (Nackt & Nebel)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

1985 Who's Who Vol.IV: Captain Comet (6/85)



From the June, 1985 issue of Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe comes Adam Blake's initial entry, drawn by the great Murphy Anderson and likely written by Len Wein or Marv Wolfman.

PERSONAL DATA
Alter Ego: Adam Bake
Occupation: Professional Adventurer
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: John and Martha Blake (parents) .
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: STRANGE ADVEN­TURES #9

Height: 6'2" Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


HISTORY
Born just as a brilliant comet flashed through the night sky, Adam Blake was destined to become a great man, his father claimed, and as the years passed, Adam began to demonstrate powers and abilities that made his father's words seem pro­phetic indeed. At four he could find lost ob­jects almost effortlessly. At eight he was able to read an entire textbook in minutes, then recite it back in its entirety. In high school he could play any musical instru­ment flawlessly. And, of course, he ex­celled at any sport he tried. Yet, despite his successes, Adam Blake was a lonely man. Determined to find out what made him different from his peers, Adam sought out Professor Emery Zackro, a prominent physicist. After much testing, Zackro discovered that Adam was a mu­tant, an accidental specimen of future man, born with powers and abilities that would not be common on Earth for another 100.000 years.

With Zackro's help, Adam perfected his powers and, at the elder man's suggestion, adopted a secret identity to protect himself from those who might seek to use Adam's powers to their own advantage. Since he was born beneath a passing comet, Adam took the name Captain Comet, and for the next several years he protected his home-world selflessly.

At last, feeling out of place on a world where he was so far superior to anyone else, Adam constructed a starship called The Cometter, and took off for the stars to find himself.

Several decades passed on Earth, while Adam, because of his mutant nature, barely seemed to age. Finally, Adam re­turned to Earth to discover a world much changed during his absence. Ignorant of current events, Captain Comet allowed himself to be used for a time by the Secret Society of Super Villains, be­coming their fiercest foe when he teamed how he'd been duped.

Recently, Captain Comet discovered his mutant powers were latent at birth, activated only by the passing comet's unique radiation, and thus were beginning to wane. With the help of Superman, Adam restored his powers to their fullest, and now continues to fight crime on Earth, still seeking to find his true place in the world.


POWERS & WEAPONS
Born a mutant 100,000 years before his time, Adam Blake possesses a variety of physical super-powers, including super-strength and limited invulnerability. His mental powers include telekinesis, telepa­thy, and a photographic memory. White his telekinetic abilities enable him to fly for short distances, he uses a jet-powered flight belt to travel at any length.

The epitome of human perfection,Cap­tain Comet is an extraordinary athlete and a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant •

Friday, December 18, 2009

Captain Comet Postcard by George Pérez



I've enjoyed the little walks down memory lane I've taken while discussing George Pérez's 1984 DC Comics postcards, and have decided to continue without the benefit of actual postcards. I'd also like to talk about non-DC characters at some point, and since Pérez has drawn most everybody notable in comics, he'll be my go-to guy for these things. Here, I've altered a panel from 1986's History of the DC Universe #2, inked by Karl Kesel...

CAPTAIN COMET
A mutant born one hundred thousand years ahead of his time, Adam Blake left Earth to explore space, aided by his incredible mental and physical abilities. He returned twenty years later to battle the Secret Society of Super-Heroes with his evolved strength, speed, intelligence, stamina, telekinesis and telepathy.


Captain Comet was in the mid-80s house ad for DC Challenge, but with his nondescript red costume turned mostly toward the back, I mistook him for a generic sci-fi character. Truth to tell, I wasn't so far off, as Comet started his life off as a curious hybrid of bland pulp speculative fiction and a last gasp for the super-hero genre between the Golden and Silver Ages. I want to say my next exposure was thumbing through Secret Society of Super-Villains back issues around 1987, more intrigued by the titular concept, but curious about who exactly was this sole unknown hero tasked with battling a host of bad guys. I learned from somewhere (Who's Who?") that he was the first comic book mutant, predating the X-Men. Besides the Martian Manhunter, Captain Comet was the only official DC super-hero of the 1950s, and with his vast (and similar) powers, I was fascinated by what he must have gotten up to in an era (almost) all his own. I continued to stumble upon Comet over the years, most notably in his '90s revival series, L.E.G.I.O.N. Even with all his potential, he just played straight man to the unethical brilliance of Vril Dox, the amoral mayhem of Lobo, and the more high strung Stealth. Imagine Jim Dial in tights.

I skipped following Comet in his most recent appearances from Mystery in Space, because I was pissed DC broke the mini-series' collection up into two volumes, the first foisting The Weird mini-series onto me in a fairly expensive reprint. I still think there's massive amounts of untapped potential in the character, and fell he's interesting enough to merit his own (long threatened) mini-blog, which I'll subject you to occasionally here at ...nurgh...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Linkypeux for December 9-16th, 2009


John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

Linkydeux: 12.13.09

General/Entertainment

Columns:
5 things from the wiec? junk drawer. (when is evil cool?)
1984 in a single image (Armagideon Time)
Permanent Damage 12/9/09 by Steven Grant
This week: the western art of Gil Kane, and why I'll never be publisher at Marvel; plus Gov. Ahnuld hell-bent for leather, Captain Action, the undisputed kings of copyright infringement, the weirdest Comics Cover Challenge of all and more.

Art & Photograpy
Time Out New York: Terry Gilliam (Rob Kelly Illustration)
Monster PSA: Myrna Loy (Rob Kelly Illustration)
Miss World 2009 Kaiane Aldorino Pictures (Damn Cool Pics)
Meals Served in First Class (Damn Cool Pics)
facing the devil. (Random Picture Day)

Comedy:
Honika Electronica (College Humor)

Politics:
Obama's campaign promises: An update (PolitiFact)
There's no safety in jobless numbers (PolitiFact)

Books:
Top Ten Cannonball Read Reviews of 2009 (Pajiba)

TV:
Television Of The Weak: They Call It A Heater Because It's Feeling Hot Hot Hot (The Factual Opinion)

Movies:
Invictus -- A South African Perspective from TK (Pajiba)
The Princess and the Frog review by Agent Bedhead (Pajiba)
The Road Warrior review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)
Academy Award Winning Animators from Montreal (1982) (Atomic Surgery)
The Ten Best Comedies of the Aughts (Pajiba)
The Ten Best Action Flicks of the Aughts (Pajiba)
The Ten Best Sci-Fi films of the Aughts (Pajiba)
The Ten Best Indie films of the Aughts (Pajiba)
The Ten Best Kids' films of the Aughts (Pajiba)
AFI Names Its Top Ten Movies and Television Shows of 2009 (Pajiba)
The Room review by Stacey Nosek (Pajiba)









Celebrity Gossip:
Courtney Love should have another baby (The Superficial)

Comic Books:
Comic Book Legends Revealed #237(CBR)
Lying In The Gutters –14th December (Bleeding Cool)
Exclusive: Marvel announces GIRL COMICS anthology (The Beat)
Sarah Palin as 'Blunder Woman' in MAD Magazine (Comics Alliance)
"The Next Issue Project," part 2: "Silver Streak Comics" #24 (CBR)
"X-Factor: Forever" mini-series by Louise Simonson & Dan Panosian (CBR)
Dark Horse Comics solicitation information for March, 2010 (CBR) (CBR)

Comic Book Reviews:
ComicsAlliance's Top 10 Best Comics of 2009 (Comics Alliance)
Best Shots for 14 December 2009(Newsarama)
The Buy Pile 12/10/09 by Hannibal Tabu(CBR)
CBR Reviews Last Week's New Comics: Tue, December 15th, 2009
Comics Of The Weak: Being Selective Is Basically Quitting, And Quitting Is For Crybabies (The Factual Opinion)
The One-Sentence Week In Ink: December 2, 2009 (Chris' Invincible Super-Blog)
The Week In Ink: December 10, 2009 (Chris' Invincible Super-Blog)
What I Read This Week: Monday, December 14, 2009 (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)
What I Read This Week Part II (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)
Weekly Haul: December 16th (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)

Comic Book Blogs:
The 50 Best Comic Book Covers of 2009 (Complex.com)
A suggestion toward better superhero comics, as inspired by the Dark Phoenix Saga (MightyGodKing)
Nobody’s Favorites: Failing upward (Armagideon Time)
Under the Microscope: Micronauts #1 (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Wood and Orlando on Captain Science #5 (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)
Homebrewed Smallville (MightyGodKing)
What is the best thing about The Demon #46-49? (MightyGodKing)
Marvel Special Edition #16: The Hands of Siskoid, Master of Blog Fu (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Nuclear News – 2009-12-16 – Gerry Conway Interview, JLA, Vs The Senty, and other web findings (Firestorm Fan)
The Power of... Adam Warlock (Corner Symbols of Coolness)
Read: Rann-Thanagar Holy War #6 (Being Carter Hall)
Archie Andrews…will tumble 4 ya. He’ll tumble 4 YOU. (Armagideon Time)
Red Bully (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Yellow Bully (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Bully of the Orange Lantern Corps (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Godzilla versus SHIELD (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
i am modok!! (Random Picture Day)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Rihanna Topless in GQ (Egotastic)
Salma Hayak sure is purty ("Ein Herz Für Kinder") (CelebSlam)
Olivia Munn Insanely Hot "maxim" Jan. 2010 HQ scans (Lanky Bastard)
Vikki Blows HQ Topless Photo Shoot From An Unknown Source (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
These Bai Ling Nipple Slip Pictures are Really Bai Ling Topless Pictures (Egotastic!)
Irina Sheik Is Lost in a Pine Tree, Still Fucking Hot (Me and Isis)
Alicia Hall Video (This Photo Life)

A Frank Review of "Brideshead Revisited" (2008)



The Short Version? Manity Fair.
What Is It? Period Drama.
Who Is In It? Ozymandias, Professor Sybil Trelawney.
Should I See It? Yes.



I'm an American who's never read Evelyn Waugh's beloved and very British novel "Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder," nor seen its revered eleven hour BBC television adaptation. I was that much desired receptive audience approaching this cinematic translation as a blank slate. I can honestly say just about anyone will be able to tell there's great chunks of the story missing here. While the film offers enough of a taste to intrigue the uninitiated, it will more than likely come to serve as a gateway to its more involved predecessors, rather than a destination unto itself.

Charles Ryder is a poor boy whose eyes constantly glance upward, toward a high society he would sacrifice much to make his own. Does he dabble with homosexuality to win over an affluent school chum? Does he leave the boy a drunken wreck and court the approval of his devoutly religious mother? Can he better deal his way toward the sister? Does he possess human emotion, or is he just an animal driven by his personal ambition?

Aside from a slightly hammy turn from Emma Thompson as Lady Marchmain, perhaps after too many years on Harry Potter sets, the cast is universally perfect for the film. You can see where Zack Snyder was going with his casting of Goode as Adrian Veidt in Watchmen through the actor's portrayal of Ryder. The sets and locations are magnificent, lending significant production value to a modestly budgeted affair. A lovely score by Adrian Johnston is similarly beneficial. Much to the relief of the males in the audience, Julian Jarrold's direction is stylish, offering very modern quirks to the period piece that hold the attention. Clearly, the maudlin yet distant text might be tougher to deal with. Still, considering how much ground needed to be covered, I found this a fairly brisk and mostly painless two-and-a-quarter hours. In fact, charting Ryder's cool, predatory path seemed to be a greater pleasure to me than to my better half. The movie is an intelligent exploration of class, religion, and sexuality that, while not wholly satisfying on its own, is worth sampling as a companion to other works.

Extras?

  • The World of Brideshead A documentary that performs the usual sucking of source material cock, begging the audience not to hate it for diverging from the TV adaptation, while strutting its own distinctions.
  • Deleted Scenes More extended scenes actually, allowing a bit more time and interaction within sequences. Nothing earthshaking, but good enough to play through.
  • Audio Commentaty Typical, with director Julian Jarrod, producer Kevin Loader, and screenwriter Jeremy Brock.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Unknown Soldier: Haunted House (2009)




All over the front and back covers to Unknown Soldier: Haunted House, the first collection of the new Vertigo series, are quotes from comics luminaries about how important this book is. I have to call all kinds of bullshit on that, because no one in a position to effect change is going to pick up a goddamned mature readers, small circulation trade paperback and be exposed to the horrors of genocide in Africa for the first time. Any person with a decent education knows Africa's been chock full of awful for centuries, bopping from one country to another. While it might be cathartic to see a fictional heroic figure emerge from one of these real life bloodbaths, it's ultimately considerably less helpful than the light Sylvester Stallone shone on Burma in his orgy of violence, Rambo. Let's start by saying early aughts Uganda is a colorful and evocative setting for a war comic, and focus on its entertainment value, because the Unknown Soldier isn't saving any lives outside these pages.

Dr. Lwanga Moses and his wife Sera are a loving couple, diplomatically influential, and committed to using their medical skills for the benefit of war-ravaged Uganda. Despite their best intentions, they find themselves exposed to rapists, child soldiers, murderers-- simply one atrocity after another. As a result of these horrors, the Unknown Soldier enters their lives, offering grisly answers to Uganda's troubles they may not be prepared for.

The Unknown Soldier began its life as a patriotic World War II era series about a disfigured master of disguise proudly serving his country, at the same time the unpopular Vietnam War and animosity toward our own troops was at a miserable level. A revival appeared late in the Reagan Administration, written by the rare black comics writer Jim Owsley (a.k.a. Christopher Priest,) and featuring a more critical Soldier. Vertigo previously took on the character in 1998, when Garth Ennis' writing the Soldier as a corrupt tool of the C.I.A. seemed novel, as oppose to de rigueur. I liked that take, until the usual limp Ennis resolution, but little came out of that mini-series. The new Unknown Soldier has a lot more to say, and is perhaps for the first time truly relevant to his time, even if the series is set nearly a decade past. As I said, a bit further back was Rwanda, and today we have Darfur, and tomorrow the Congo will blow up again. Africa is the perfect place to set a series in need of a perpetual shitstorm as backdrop. Even as Barack Obama is applauded for his diplomacy, its nice to see a black man blowing the bad guys all to hell.

Joshua Dysart does a good job walking the fine line between exploring the horrors of Uganda through this series, and exploiting them for effect. He doesn't pussyfoot around the likely fantastic origins of the new Soldier, which frees him up to work around the borders of the masculine melodrama that unfolds. Even more than a war comic, this story is reminiscent of a spaghetti western. A lone, disfigured hero, nursed back to health by a kindly nun, fending off savages at the gates of his sanctuary. Alberto Ponticelli isn't the most polished of artists, but his storytelling is solid, and he handles the often grisly material with the necessary verisimilitude. His rough, urban style excellently captures the environment and tension, which also distracts from this, again, being a western at heart. Regardless, there's nothing new under the sun, but a heartfelt script with believable dialogue, engaging characters, and potent art is always welcome. I loom forward to seeing where this series goes next.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Frank Review of "The Singing Detective" (2003)


The Short Version? Warbling dick.
What Is It? Musical Drama.
Who Is In It? Iron Man, the Princess Pride, Martin Riggs, Joey Potter, Sally Jupiter, and more.
Should I See It? Maybe.



Dan Dark is a bad mystery writer and an ill-tempered patient hospitalized with crippling psoriatic arthropathy. Wracked with pain, Dark's mind drifts constantly; to his pulp detective fictions, his traumatic childhood, his wretched relationships with women, and an intermingling of same, often accompanied by music.

Robert Downey Jr. is his usual awesome self in the lead, necessary for making his belligerent paranoiac character remotely sympathetic, even while buried under latex casts of mottled skin. Robin Wright Penn struggles for the same empathy as Dark's much abused wife. Mel Gibson is virtually unrecognizable as Dark's wily psychiatrist, also immersed in latex, and proving he can successfully hide his Australian accent if he really tries. Carla Gugino once again plays a sexpot trafficking in rough trade, a career specialty. Alfre Woodard, Adrien Brody, Jeremy Northam, Saul Rubinek, Jon Polito and Katie Holmes lend stable if broad support, typically also playing off their familiar roles.

The Singing Detective is the American film version of a well-regarded BBC radio drama and mini-series that I'm completely unfamiliar with. Apparently, writer Dennis Potter took liberties with his own material for the translation, but everyone got pissed off and dismissed it as another cross-Atlantic Yankee fuck-up. It's actually a pretty decent, entirely watchable little flick with eccentricities likely to turn off a good many potential viewers. If you're into '40s film noir crime stories, that aspect is given short shrift in favor of psychobabble and metatext. If you enjoy the dark comedy, you'll be sitting through a lot of angsty medical and marriage drama. Even as an actors' showpiece, and there are some surprising performances here, the lip-synched musical numbers of '50s pop hits will turn you off. Get through all that, and there's still seriously coarse language and sexual situations, designed to antagonize and unnerve rather than amused and titillate. The movie is a hot mess, too convoluted to gloss over so much detail, and too intimate to play out over such a sprawling scape. Still, despite it all, it will entertain you if you let it.


Extras?

  • Commentary by Director Keith Gordon: Fun fact- He co-starred with Downey Jr. as Rodney Dangerfield's son in Back to School. Gordon seemed devoted to the integrity of Potter's vision, while constantly using Potter's adaptation license to apologize for offending purists to the original series. It's a passionate track from a director with plenty to say about his production, including much needed kind words for producer Gibson.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Linkydeux: 12.13.09



Whilst avoiding working on actual blog content and surfing the web, Frank Lee Delano struck upon the conception: what if I could surf the net in order to generate meaningless content? And so the Linkypeux was born, and it was good. Verily, 'twas too good, as its contents swelled, causing a strenuous effort to release. It was assured that a deuce must be dropped, a Linkydeux. There was sorrow amongst the land though, as genuine content suffered from the excess of deux accumulating in the bowels of the nurgh. So it was foretold, the time would come for a War of the Links, and only the fittest would survive...

IN BLOGGEST NIGHT
Coverage will be slimming down hereabouts, as some sites just take too much time to read through for too little yield. If you enjoy these pages and haven't already bookmarked them, now would be the time...

  • Politico: My political awareness has grown by leaps in this decade, but this isn't that kind of blog. Further, this stuff gets stale quick, so why bother with an archive?
  • Taxi Driver Movie: Aside from my disliking the basic format, it's mostly just links to stupid paid advertisements, mild porn, and material already covered by other sites.
  • Superior Gossip: This gossip blog was great about offering large pictures and ignoring cease and desist orders from nekkid celebutards, but the steady decline in post counts and no updates since the 1st pretty much kills it.
  • Entertainment Legends Revealed: Again, no updates in months, which is a shame, given it was my only news and TV coverage at times.
  • Ain't It Cool News: Not especially. Too much fake/none news, too many spoilers, too much hyperbole and bad reviews. We'll keep up with the @ssholes Comic Column, though.


General/Entertainment

Columns:
Siskoid's Blog of Geekery: Year 3 (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)

Art & Photograpy
Advice For Aspiring Photographers part I (This Photo Life)
Cannibal Polar Bear Eats Baby Cub (Damn Cool Pics)
Top 10 Most Feared Medieval Tortures (caveman Circus)
oh screw it: Let's Look at some more Ghana movie posters.(when is evil cool?)
Time Out New York: Emily Blunt (Rob Kelly Illustration)
25 Extreme Examples of Laziness (Damn Cool Pics)
From The Vault: Katharine Hepburn - 2004 (Rob Kelly Illustration)

Politics:
War & Peace: President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech in Oslo (J.M. DeMatteis' Creation Point)
A new Republican litmus test "would have resulted in (the GOP) kicking out Ronald Reagan." (PolitiFact)
Inhofe claims that e-mails 'debunk' science behind climate change (PolitiFact)

Music:
Albums That Meant Something – Part 13: Red Roses for Me by The Pogues (Armagideon Time)

TV:
Television of the Weak: Cashed Out In Clean-Up City (The Factual Opinion)

Movies:
Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 12/11/09 (CHUD)
Avatar review by Nick Nunziata (CHUD)
Pride, Prejudice, Zombies and Natalie Portman (Pajiba)
The Thirteen Best Movie Villains of the Decade (Pajiba)
The Ten Best Comic Book Movies of the Aughts (Pajiba)
The Ten best cinematic love stories of the Aughts (Pajiba)
A Single Man review by Drew Morton (Pajiba)
Invictus review by Dustin Rowles (Pajiba)

Celebrity Gossip:
Geek Girl We Love: Zoe Saldana (Girls Gone Geek)

Comic Books:
The Fall of Green Arrow/The Rise of Arsenal (IGN)

Comic Book Reviews:
Being Free Doesn't Make Them Any Better Pt. 1: Justice League of America: Second Coming (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Being Free Doesn't Make Them Any Better Pt. 2: Batman: Battle for the Cowl (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Being Free Doesn't Make Them Any Better Pt. 3: Batman: Battle for the Cowl Companion (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Thursday, December 10, 2009: Reviews! (Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!)
Comic Book Review: Haunt #3 (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)
Invincible Iron Man #21 (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)
Comic Book Review: R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 (Rokk's Comic Book Revolution)

Comic Book Blogs:
Wonder Woman: Second-Class Citizen? (Girls Gone Geek)
Top 75 Most Iconic DC Covers of All Time (CBR)
Let's talk about Hex. The ongoing comic and the upcoming movie. (when is evil cool?)
The Spookman by Pat Boyette (Atomic Surgery)
Sketch of Jewish Ben Grimm (1976) by Jack Kirby (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
More Fun Comics #87 - Jan. 1943 (The Aquaman Shrine)
What If... #1-11 (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Gaze deeply into the mesmerizing yet strangely sensual eyes of Charles Xavier (Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!)
Those old X-Men stories…really were that freaking creepy. (Armagideon Time)
Sand(y) Appreciation Posts (Pretty, Fizzy Paradise)
Adventure Comics 445-447's The Creeper Back-Ups (The Comic Treadmill)
Geeky Christmas Ornaments (Once Upon A Geek)
Back Issue Box: Superman Family #171 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)
Challengers of the Unknown (1977) (The Comic Treadmill)
Aquaman Cubee (The Aquaman Shrine)
Vixen’s Fashion Crisis (Girls Gone Geek)
Firestorm Sketch by Ethan Van Sciver (Once Upon A Geek)
The Lizard (Random Picture Day)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Bai Ling’s Blackberry images scream for the company of a man (The Daily Fix)
Zoe Saldana Sizzles In Complex (Popoholic)

Friday, December 11, 2009

nurghophonic jukebox: "Angel's Son" by Sevendust

Written By: Lajon Witherspoon & Sonny Mayo
Released: November 7, 2000
Album: Strait Up
Single?: #11 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart

Written and performed in memory of James Lynn Strait (1968-1998) of the band Snot for a tribute compilation, and rerecorded as the final track on Sevendust's 2001 album Animosity to modest chart success.





Lyrics:
Life is changing
I can't go on without you
Rearranging. I will be strong
I'll stand by you

(You were fighting everyday)
(So hard to hide the pain)
(I know you never said goodbye)
(I had so much left to say)

One last song
Given to an Angel's Son
As soon as you were gone
As soon as you were gone

I have a new life now
She lives through you
What can I do
Feel so alone now
I pray for you
We still love you

I can't believe you're gone

I can't believe


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #50

DC Universe Holiday Special '09 #1
The Great Ten #1
Sergio Aragonés Groo: The Hogs of Horder #1
Vampirella: The Second Coming #3




To celebrate this column's fiftieth offering, I will include a book that actually shipped this week. Also, just plain posting on this blog is a pretty special thing lately, so relish it or whatever.

DC Holiday Special '09 #1 (DC, 2009, $5.99)
I quit buying DC specials like this years ago, when I realized they were all bland apocryphal bullshit that rarely featured characters that mattered to me anyway. Oh good, modern multicultural man Kyle Rayner's learned a lesson about the miracle of Kwanzaa. Who-fucking-rah. Plus, did you notice this thing is priced at about half a trade paperback collection, and I didn't pre-order it at a hefty discount t'boot? So of course, this one actually had a must read story at full retail...

  • Batman:Six ugly, silent, lame pages by Jay Faerber and Peter Nguyen. When the guy from Dynamo 5 is one of the biggest names on your book, and even he can't be bothered to script his portion, you must be saving a bundle on production costs.
  • Superman versus a snow golem and Semitic sentimentality over four pages that still somehow manage to run too long. They all want to be "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man," and they're rarely a pimple on the ass of a very special episode of "Blossom." And now I'll double check to see if there's any Mayim Bialik naked pictures on the internet... Nope, but I bet I get a few extra hits each week off that last line. Thanks sappy non-name Superman creative team for your inspiration!
  • The Flash: This was actually a mildly amusing four pager by Amy Wolfram. I don't think I've heard of her, either. Daniel Leister's art is pretty good too, reminiscent of early Bill Tucci, when he inked himself like he was outlining a tattoo.
  • The Doom Patrol: Easily the flashiest art and coloring of the book, as Jonboy Meyers and Chuck Pires channel Battle Chasers. Sterling Gates from Supergirl turns in what may for all I know be a major piece of DP cannon that gently brushes your heart strings (if you wear them on your sleeve, anyway.) A choice six pages.
  • "Superboy": I'm pretty sure this fits somewhere in a moment of continuity I couldn't care less about. Five pages of reasonable story and art that steps on a decent premise.
  • Martian Manhunter: The reason I bought the book. Fred Van Lente of Action Philosophers and Incredible Hercules non-fame turns in a swell if glum hexagonal entry, influenced by some of the best (and one of the least best) J'Onn J'Onzz writers. The art by Nick Dragotta even recalls Ed Barreto on American Secrets (or for 99.75% of the reading public, David Mazzucchelli by way of Marcos Martin.)
  • Angel and the Ape: Gag strip by Andrew Pepoy.
  • Sgt. Rock: An inoffensive, largely silent pentagonal story by Billy Tucci, who now skips inking and merely sketches like he was doing a poorly shaded gray tattoo.
  • Enemy Ace in "Six Pages Drawn just like he was Blackhawk, or Reuben Flagg, or any other Howard Chaykin Hero." Not written like one, though.
  • B'wana Beast: The only reason anyone would want to read Man's Man Beau Smith writing this dork is if it were in the Johnny Bravo-meets-Tarzan mode of the Justice League cartoon. So of course he quotes an Eighteenth Century hymn over four pages drawn by lesser '90s Punisher artist Gary Kwapisz.
  • Captain Marvel in "That Overused Cel Animation Style With Hamfisted Message!"
  • Deadman: By Scott Kolins, what brung us thet nigh-incomprehensible Solomon Grundy mini-series. Dark, depressed, and with a confusing abortion rights reference reference. At least it was seven pages, not issues.
  • Red Tornado in "Nobody Gives A Goddamn About Red Tornado (so only his alter ego appears here!)" Four pages by David Tischman are better than he deserves, and John Smith has an unrecognizable life behind his eyes as drawn by Adam Archer.
  • The Huntress in "What Was That Bullshit?" J. Torres writes like he should have been penciling this square story. Couldn't the Huntress at least have had sex with the retail clerk while making a snarky comment?
  • Ragman in "The One About the Retroactively Jewish Super-Hero Who Isn't Moon Knight, But Might As Well Be." The goys may enjoy the menorah saga, but the yids will yell "oy!" The art by Brian Ching makes up for it, and Rob Levin lays it all down in a trinity of pages (offensive pun shamefully intended.)
  • Adam Strange in "Wait, New Year's Eve Was A Story Option?" The novelty alone would have won me over, but there were some good jokes besides. Shannon Eric Denton should have drawn the thing as well, but Nick Napolitano isn't nearly as awful here as in his New Titans run (though dysentery wasn't as awful as his New Titans run.) When I hit the third page and saw him miscolored with brown hair, I half expected it was Captain Comet subbing. That's Adam Blake's lot in life, I suppose.

The Great Ten #1 (DC, 2009, $2.99)
Under a nifty cover by Stanley "Art Germ" Lau is... Scott McDaniel? One of the few long-lived artists whose work I actively detest? Taking for granted things are terrible on the art front, Tony Bedard writes a mean Ultimate Oriental Doctor Strange origin story. Actually, Accomplished Perfect Physician is a fairly Western-friendly P.O.V. character amongst some rather nasty Red Chinese caricatures. While I enjoyed this first issue, I wonder how most of the rest will come off, seeing as each of the Ten will be getting similar treatment.


Groo: The Hogs of Horder #1 (Dark Horse, 2009, $3.99)
I haven't read Groo since I was in grade school, so can somebody tell me, was it always this political? Parallels to last year's financial collapse abound, and while the jokes are generally stale, the commentary is spot-on.


Vampirella: The Second Coming #3 (Harris, 2009, $1.99)
Al Rio, the poor man's Ed Benes when Ed was the poor man's J. Scott Campbell, seems to have worked under a pseudonym in the previous two issues. That's my only explanation for why the book still looks about the same-- vaguely resembling Bryan Hitch by way of Chaos! Comics. That sounds mean, but the book has always looked good (light years from Rio's usual stuff,) just not quite appropriate for Phil Hester's story. The battle of the sexes/vampires vs. zombies riff continues toward a final resolution. The series remains squarely in the realm of "okay," but far short of the career resurrection Vampi needs.

...nurghophiles...

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