Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sitting at the Kids Table 5/27/10

Hey guys! I thought I'd start taking a look at what's available in our kids comic book section here at the store. I titled it "sitting at the kids table" due to the articles association with kids, and because I still sit there when I attend Thanksgiving.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #2

Holy crap ninjas! Looks like Spidey is in trouble guys! I shouldn't say that, Spidey can handle a group of ninjas in his sleep! However, taking care of the pug dog he rescues at the beginning of the book may be the biggest test Spidey has ever faced. Have you ever had to take care of one of those things? The noises they make are ridiculous! I doubt even having the proportionate strength and speed of a spider could save you from a pug's maddening snorting!

All kidding aside though, this book is a lot of fun. It really gets to what Spider-Man is all about, doing the right thing even if the choice to do so is difficult. Also, making fun of bad guys while beating them up. That's important too. It showcases Spidey as a good role model, and it's fun at the same time.

The story is light in tone, but written well by Paul Tobin. Adults would enjoy the story just as much as a youngster would. The art is great too. The characters don't look overly cartoony, like most kids books, and it tells the story visually quite well. They also nailed how pugs look and act. I have my suspicions that the artist, Matteo Lolli, is a pug owner as well.

Overall, this is a great choice for the young folks out there looking to get into comics. It's great for adults as well, who can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that no one will be getting eviscerated in this comic book.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Marvel Vs. DC Revisited Part 2

Green Lantern Vs. Nova

In the Marvel Vs. DC story, they had pitted Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) against The Silver Surfer. The Silver Surfer occasionally appears in space themed books now, but isn't as prominent as when this series was printed in 1996. I felt Nova would be a more appropriate foil to Green Lantern. They're both members of an intergalactic peace corps in their respective universe. Same deal, different outfits. I figured that makes more sense. I also figured the battle between these two would be awesome! The power of the Green Lantern ring against that of the Nova force? I'll take two tickets please.

In a real fight, I would find it believeable for Nova to beat Hal Jordan (he did rip Annihilus' heart out through his throat guys). This is based upon fan voting, so my personal thoughts are irrelevant. Green Lantern is insanely popular right now. He would easily steamroll Nova, or the Silver Surfer...or Jesus, in the polls. It is interesting to note that Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) did lose in 96' series. Clearly, the Green Lantern stock has gone up since then. (Marvel 1 DC 2)

Elektra Vs. Catwoman

A battle of femme fatales! Overall, these two characters have probably changed the least since 1996. The most significant change would probably be Catwoman's attire. She traded in her people unitard, with knee high boots for a more utilitarian leather outfit. Smart choice there Catwoman!

In the 96' series, Elektra won the fan voting and ended up dropping Catwoman off of a girder in a construction site for the victory. I thought about it for a bit, and I don't really see that changing. Well, the victory part, not necessarily the girder thing. This seemed like one that people voted who they thought would actually win in a fight, as opposed to who was more popular. It's really the only time in the book that you see that happen. I think that's why Elektra won then, and why she would win know. Despite Catwoman's popularity, Elektra is brutal. The fans would recognize that. (Marvel 2 DC 2)

Captain America Vs. Batman

This one is perfect for this, as both of these mantles have been passed on to former sidekicks. Captain America is now James "Bucky" Barnes, the former Winter Soldier. Batman is now Dick Grayson, the former Robin and Nightwing. This matchup is perfect for a series like this.

The battle between Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Captain America (Steve Rogers) in 1996 ended with a victory for Batman. This was after they had battled for hours in a sewer, with neither combatant gaining the upper hand. At the end of the battle, the sewer system was flushed out, and Cap was caught in the water blast. He almost drowned, but Batman saved him. It was a pretty lame ending to what should have been an awesome fight.

Times have changed though! How would a fan vote go down now? In my opinion, I'm giving the nod to Captain America this time around. Batman fans are anxiously awaiting the return of Bruce Wayne as Batman. It doesn't seem that Dick Grayson really won over the fans with the passing of the mantle. Bucky taking over as Cap has though. This was noted by series writer Ed Brubacher when he has stated that the original plan was for Steve to return as Cap, but due to positive fan reaction, Bucky stayed under the mask of Captain America.

I'm not saying it would be a blowout or anything, but I'm saying Cap takes this one. The new Cap is cooler than the new Batman. I'm sure I will get some hate comments about that one, but I'm sticking to my guns! (Marvel 3 DC 2)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Marvel Vs. DC Revisited Part 1


Hey guys! I was checking out my old Marvel Vs. DC trade paperback, and thought it might be fun to revisit this concept using the heroes of today. For those of you who missed it, the original DC Vs. Marvel series decided the outcomes of the fights between popular heroes via fan voting. Essentially, it was a popularity contest. In the end, if I remember correctly, DC ended up edging out Marvel by one victory. A lot of time has passed though. Would the outcome remain the same today? Let's find out!

Thor Vs. Captain Marvel

The Norse god of thunder versus a mythical superman. FIGHT!

These two characters have gone through a lot of changes since their confrontation in DC Vs. Marvel. In Thor's case, he no longer looks like a hair band reject. When looking at his 90's costume (pictured right), it's hard to believe that anyone would tremble in fear while he was wearing a belly shirt. Plus he had all of those extra straps, chains, and shoulder pads....ugh, I just want to puke up into the air, then have it land back in my mouth, only to throw back up a second time onto the person that designed this outfit...it's TERRIBLE! His new outfit is badass, and it totally reflects how much Thor dominates in battle.

The big change for Captain Marvel is that he is not the same guy anymore. He's Freddy Freeman, the former sidekick of the original Captain Marvel. His appearance isn't that much different, he just has longer hair now. I guess they wanted him to look less hokey than the original Captain Marvel, which had greased back short hair. Besides the physical change of hair, it's essentially the same thing. He has the same powers and weaknesses of the original Captain Marvel.

So who would win if this was put to a fan vote today? Given the fact I could find more people who could recite what's inscribed on the side of Thor's hammer than know that the mantle of Captain Marvel was even passed on...I'm going with Thor on this one. He's the Viking god of thunder man, there's no way you can compete with how awesome that is. He's way more popular than Captain Marvel. This would probably be a landslide victory. (Marvel 1 DC 0)



The Flash Vs. Quicksilver

The battle of the speedsters from each universe! Who is the fastest?

This one does not need nearly as much discussion as the previous bout. It's a no brainer, The Flash would win handily. I'm saying this as if it were a popular vote by fans, and if they were to fight for real. Quicksilver is a mother of two, speed walking, that you see on your morning drive, and The Flash is Usain Bolt. Quicksilver sucks and The Flash rules, deal with it planet Earth. (Marvel 1 DC 1)

Part 2 will be up soon!

FCBD 2010 On Point with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle pt. 3 [HD]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quickies! 5/19/10

Hey guys! I noticed I've been a little Marvel heavy with my reviews as of late, so this week it's anything but Marvel. I'm not worried about this impacting sales though, as you guys are buying up the new Avengers book like wild apes!


Brightest Day #2

Brightest Day has done the impossible... it has made me interested in Aquaman. It's funny how all you had to do was make him summon undead sea creatures, as opposed to living ones, to make me care...I think something may be wrong with me... Sadly, Aquaman is only in one page of this book (wow, that's something I never thought I would type).

The lack of Aquaman doesn't make this issue bad though. I still enjoyed it. We learn more about Hawkman and Hawkgirls predicament, the Martian Manhunter's past, and it appears Firestorm might be dead again. These are interesting stories that I'm looking forward to reading more about. I just wish there was more Aquaman is all (dear god, what am I saying??)

If you haven't started reading this series, I would suggest you start. I think this story has the legs it needs to carry it out through the year, leaving readers satisfied. Oh, and a family gets beaten to death with a rock band guitar in this issue, neat!


American Vampire #3

I know what you're thinking, Vampires are stupid. I'm right there with you, I am insanely over vampires and their over-saturation of today's media. However, I really, really like this series. Scott Snyder and Stephen King have created a different kind of vampire. One that can survive in daylight, and is seemingly immune to all of the other vampire weaknesses. It's interesting to watch as our heroine copes with being this "new" vampire. She learns what she is capable of while seeking revenge, and that's just fun.

Set in the mid 20's, this book has an elegant look to it. All of the fashions and architecture of that time are captured beautifully, by the artist Rafael Albuquerque. It's so pretty, that when the violence and bloodshed hit, it's even more jarring than normal. How jarring? How about our protagonist, Pearl, ripping the face off of another vampire. That's pretty brutal, and I love it.

It also features a back up story which further chronicles the original "American Vampire", which is written by Stephen King. Try and forget about all of that glittery nonsense that has entered the world as of late. Buy American Vampire and you may just learn to love vampires again.


Zatanna #1

DC's favorite female magician/super hero now has her own series! When I saw this series was coming out, a feeling of cautious optimism came over me. I liked the idea of this series on paper, but would DC put a competent creative team behind it? The answer is yes.

Paul Dini, writer of the original Batman: The Animated Series, writes a great introductory issue. Zatanna is a powerful magic wielder, perfectly capable of holding her own against several high level magical villains. Dini shows that in this issue, most notably with her battle in the villains layer. Stephane Roux's art paces the story well, and does a great job during the scenes when magic alters reality itself. It was a really enjoyable read.

I've often heard from female comic readers that they don't like it when the female lead is written to cater to a male audience. They would rather just see a competent female lead, that acts female as well. You're in luck ladies, Zatanna is just that.

This book isn't for everyone, but I feel it's definitely worth a read. Hopefully its sales will be enough for it to last longer than five issues. It has potential to be an excellent series, given enough time.


Joe the Barbarian #5 of 8

Well, we're more than halfway through this series now. I would like to say that I have firm grasp of where this story is going, but I don't. I know that he is either having a hallucination due to his lack of insulin, or that he's actually falling in out of a different universe populated by demons and toys. I'm enjoying this series, but I'm starting to get a little frustrated as well. At this point Grant Morrison, the writer, needs to throw me a bone.

Luckily, the art in this book is beautiful. More than beautiful enough to keep me buying this series until it's conclusion. Sean Murphy has done an excellent job on this book. He has created a rich world that is full of well designed characters. Major kudos goes out to him. This issue is no exception. There are some extremely tense scenes in this book that he captured the mood of perfectly. It's worth a look for the art alone.

If you're still buying this series, I would suggest sticking with it. I have a feeling the payoff will be worth it by the end. If you haven't started yet, I might suggest waiting for the trade to come out. I have a sneaking suspicion that this story will read better that way.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

17 Hulks and 1 Spider-Man


This is from the Simpsons episode "Surveil, With Love". Kent Brockman describes a plutonium fueled explosion on the news as having "enough plutonium to make seventeen Hulks and one Spider-Man". This is an artists rendition of what that would look like.

I like the idea of using Hulks and Spider-Man as a unit of measurement.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quickies 5/12/10

Daredevil: Cage Match

This one shot takes a trip back in time to the late 70's or early 80's. I'm guessing that's the era, because the writer says it took place "some time ago". Obviously, that's not a number I can work with. Luke Cage is wearing his silver headband and has some fierce sideburns...so I'm going with late 70's.

In the midst of knocking some bad guys around, Daredevil and Luke Cage (Cage match! get it?!) get into an argument about who could beat who up in a fair fight. Egos flair, and it is decided that they will duke it out at Daredevil's gym! Place your bets now folks, this one is sure to be a barn burner!

The rest of the issue features some fun dialogue between supporting cast members, each saying why the two fighters are crazy for doing it. I won't spoil who wins the fight, but I'll say it's a satisfying ending. I would pick it up, if you're looking for a fun story that's set in a simpler time. Or if you're looking to see Luke Cage rockin' the sideburns, either way...I won't judge you.


Justice League: Generation Lost #1

First off, Booster Gold looks like Michael Keaton on this cover. It's kind of creepy looking, and I'm not into it.

However, I enjoyed this book despite it's Keaton-esque cover. Maxwell Lord is back from the dead (it happened in Brightest Day, which is also great!) and he's already up to no good. Last time he was around he almost killed Batman by mind controlling Superman. Wonder Woman ended up snapping his neck, because all options were exhausted. This guy is seriously bad news. Now that he's back, what could he be up to? Well, Booster Gold and the rest of the former Justice League International would rather not find out. The hunt for Maxwell Lord begins here.

It seems to be a thing with DC for them to have far more interesting stories with their "C List" superheroes, than their top tier characters (gazes at the copy of Return of Bruce Wayne sitting on the counter). This book continues that trend, I really enjoyed it.


Amazing Spider-Man #631

I try not to review Spider-Man comics here, because I feel that my insane love of all things Spider-Man would lead me to be bias...BUT! I reallllly liked this issue.

This is the second part of the "Shed" storyline, which features the return of The Lizard. After the Lizard's grizzly re-emergence in the first part, which resulted in several victims being eaten, the Lizard is on the prowl for his estranged son. Spider-Man hits the scene, hoping to detain his old foe before anything terrible happens. The results of their battle are grizzly at best.

Chris Bachalo's interpretation of The Lizard is awesome. It's easily more lizard like than ever before, which actually plays into the story. The overall layout of the book is excellent. Watching Curt Connors try to break free of the Lizards grip through text boxes was very well done. This is just a great Spider-Man story. If you're into super heroics, tragedy, and science gone awry...then buy this book.


Hulk #22

They reveal who the Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk are! It's stupid!

Don't buy this issue. I wouldn't want anyone to be assaulted by all the hulked out versions of other Marvel Super Heroes. It's painful to look at, and reading it is even worse.

You can come into the store and just flip to the end if you want. I won't yell at you for doing so.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Panels!

This first one deals with Pete trying to think under pressure with a bag of money.

Haha, oh Pete, you are a character!

This next one will lead you to think something that is out of context.



She later calls him Thorse. That's a combination of Thor and Horse. Thor and the Warriors Four is very cute.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Red Bore-nado

I drank a whole bottle of hater-ade today and I'm ready to unleash it on the Red Tornado!

I've been reading up on this character, so I can give him a proper assessment. According to his history, his fellow super heroes (Superman, Batman, JSA) have a tendency to do the following...

1. Not listen to him
2. hate him
3. destroy him

That's funny to me because...

1. I don't read anything he says
2. I hate him
3. Would destroy him if I could

It's nice to know that me and Superman are on the same page about this clown.

I'm dead serious about his history though. It's littered with the JLA and JSA ignoring him whenever danger is around. He's like the red headed stepchild (that spins) of the DC universe. That's funny to me because that's exactly how I have always felt about this character.

I can only imagine that when Superman and Batman are beating down on some bad guys, the last thing they want to see is this stupid robot spinning towards them to help. They must think "Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....not THIS guy". If they really wanted to spin a bad guy into submission, I'm sure they would just lock them in a tilt-a-whirl at an amusement park or something. I'm sure Batman has some Batspineroonie gadget or some crap. Superman can spin pretty fast too, I'm assuming. What I'm getting at is that they don't need him. Maybe if they ever have an opening in the JLA for "smoothie maker" or "annoying thing that spins", they should give him a call.

The only time I have liked him, is in James Robinson's recent JLA run. That's only because he's a disembodied head that sits around being bored in a room. A fitting place for this sorry excuse of a super hero. If they stuck with that gimmick, he may grow on me. They have to make him more depressing though. They need to have multiple scenes an issue where he tries to talk to people that walk by, and they ignore him. That's good readin'!

Basically, the Red Tornado is a glorified blender that nobody likes.

Deal with that.

-Action Chad
chad@coastcitycomics.net

Sunday, May 2, 2010

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!!!

Oh my word guys! Free Comic Book day was bananas! I knew the lure of comic books that were free was great, but you people were like ravenous animals fighting over the last scraps of meat from a fresh kill! Well over 1,000 comic books disappeared from our store within the first three hours of the event. That's pretty incredible!

Is this really a surprise though? Not to this guy, and I'll tell you why. First rule of the universe, Coast City brings the goods. We hooked you guys up with free comics, food, sales, and costumed super heroes. We also had music rocking, pinball, and general craziness. The energy was electric, it was an awesome experience. If you missed it this year, you better make it next year.

Let me tell you what's so special about this photo. The guy in the Booster Gold costume, that's me. That's right, I got dressed up for you guys. You want to know why, because you guys are the best comic shop patrons a guy could ask for. I would gladly pose for pictures in that getup all day, it was great. I even walked around downtown with Blue Beetle (Christopher Morey) spreading the comic book joy to the average Portland street walker. While on our journey, we stopped by the Real World casting call line that was outside the Stadium. We chatted it up with the young hopefuls, took some photos, and then warned them not to do anything too embarrassing in front of a national viewing audience. You may never see anything like it again in this city.

I wish I had taken a ton of photos of the event. However, you may notice that my costume has no pockets. This made the picture taking a little difficult. Also, spandex is not so great for touch screen phones like mine. If you guys have any photos from the event that you wouldn't mind sharing, then please send them over to me at chad@coastcitycomics.net. I know we'll have a bunch of video from the event within a few weeks. Once that's available, I'll be posting it all over this bad boy.

Until more media becomes available, just know that Free Comic Book Day was pure fun. We appreciate everyone who came in on Saturday. You guys are the greatest customers in the world.

-Action Chad
chad@coastcitycomics.net