Saturday, July 31, 2010

Big Time

It was recently revealed at SDCC that the "Brand New Day" era of Spider-Man stories would come to a close with the story entitled "Origin of the Species." Saying the "Brand New Day" era is coming to a close not only has implications in Spidey's world, but in the real world as well. The book will then be shipping twice a month and Dan Slott (Avengers: Initiative, Mighty Avengers) will be the only writer. This is a big change from shipping three times a month and having seven writers. So, what major change in Spidey's life could equal the magnitude of this real life shift? Peter's finally going to get paid!

The name of the new era is "Big Time". That means bigger enemies, bigger stories (30 pages), and a bigger bank account thanks to his new career. Dan Slott described it as

Peter's career is getting in shape, which leads to him having more resources as a superhero. After all, with great money comes great stuff."

Some of that great stuff will be multiple costumes, including the black and neon green costume revealed at SDCC. Slott also said

This book isn't just Spider-Man. It's Spider-Man firmly in the Marvel Universe."

I think it's safe to assume that we'll be seeing more team-ups in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man.

As a huge Spider-Man fan. I welcome this change with open arms. One of my favorite things about JMS's run on Amazing Spider-Man, was that Pete was getting his life together. He wasn't struggling for money, he was using his brain and finally being successful. Then the Brand New Day era came about and made Peter a penniless dumbass again. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed a lot of the Brand New Day stories. I just enjoy seeing Peter be successful. I'm invested in this
character. After the decades of hardships, it's nice to see a character get some sort of reward.

I also love the idea of Peter possibly getting a job where he gets to use his brain. I know it hasn't been confirmed as to what his new job would be, but I would imagine his "dream job" would be something involving science. Spider-Man has a brilliant mind, why not let him use it more often than when it's convenient for a story. I really hope this is Slott's intention, as that would make me the happiest Spider fan ever.

Given everything I have read about "Big Time" so far, I'm really excited about these changes. I only hope that I'm not letting my imagination get ahead of me, so I won't end up being disappointed. This looks like a fun and energetic new look for Spider-Man. I can't wait!

This new era will begin in Amazing Spider-Man #648, which will ship in November.

-Action Chad

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tony's SDCC Coverage Day 4 and 5!

SDCC Day 4 and 5:

So, this is late, sorry about that. Also, I combined the last two days because they were quite uneventful (well, for Comic-con that is).

Still riding the high off of Scott Pilgrim I decided to start Saturday at the Scott Pilgrim experience yet again. I really needed a new Gideon Club shirt that wasn't crooked. Also, the convention center would be a mob-scene since Saturday is the biggest day and I did not mind avoiding that at all.

This time, the Scott Pilgrim experience started at 10am so I got there around 9 and the line was already three times as long as it was the previous day. People seemed to have figured out what's going on. I got in line and immediately made friends with the two girls in front of me. I showed off my Scott Pilgrim 1-up pin and their jealousy was immediate. We all continued to hang out and chat. Midway through the line I let some random kid stand behind me. When people protested the girls and I let them know "Oh yeah...he's totally with us...he's our friend Billy". His name wasn't Billy, but that's what we called him for the rest of the morning. Once we got up to the top I got my new perfectly leveled-enough shirt and we got in the autograph line. This time it would be Edgar Wright, Michael Cera, and Jason Shwartzman. I didn't mention this last time I was here because I didn't want to do it by myself, but they had these three booths where you could make a flipbook! It was really awesome because you just moved around, doing whatever, they quickly filmed you and then printed out all the pictures, stapled them together and presto! flipbook! I easily coerced my two female buddies to come with me. I spun them both like ballerinas. It was adorable.

We waited for a bit longer, I snuck away to play more of the amazing Scott Pilgrim video game (soon to come to your PS3 and Xbox!) and then the line started to move. While in line, the rest of the cast came out to say hi and make their own flipbooks. Brandon Routh (Todd Ingram/Superman) is a tall dude. I have to say that the entire cast and crew for the Scott Pilgrim movie is freaking amazing humans. Each one really wanted to interact with the fans; you could tell they were loving the situation.
I asked if Edgar Wright would call my friend to say "happy birthday". He was totally cool with it, but security kicked me away while Edgar said to still try to get him on the line. I also thanked him a million times for what he did for everyone on Thursday. Michael Cera was really nice, but fairly quiet. A female friend asked for me to give him her number so I did. He looked at it, licked it up and stuck it to his forehead and then put it in his pocket. He hasn't called yet though, what a jerk! Last was Jason Shwartzman. He was super super nice. We actually talked a bit about his role of Gideon and the difference between comic and screen representation. He actually seemed vaguely interested in what I was saying, or he is just a great actor! (The previous line is a sincere statement as well as Scott Pilgrim the Movie reference)

After all of the fun we left the "Experience", traded contact info and went our separate ways.

I went inside and went to go see Adrian Alphona to pick up my sketchbook. He apologized for not being around and said he had to meet up with ___ for a ____. He immediately went "Oh shit, don't tell anyone I said that." This is me, not saying anything. His Niko sketch he gave me had a new unbelievably beautiful style to it. Seriously buy anything this person puts out. I then briefly met Rich Johnston who runs I go back and forth on his site a lot, and it's mostly from the somewhat jack-ass commentators he has. He was a really really nice guy and seemed genuinely happy that I introduced myself as a reader of his site. He then told me if I hear any "dirt" to let him know! I didn't let him know about Adrian because I'm a man of my word! I then headed back to the Image booth to meet up with Jason Howard (Astounding Wolf-Man). I wanted a Wolverine sketch and he was happy to do it.

Now at this point I really had nothing to do...I needed to go to Hall H soon, but wanted to pick up my sketchbook first. I decided to wait in line for a Bendis signing because I had an hour to kill and didn't mind standing in line. He was there as well as Oliver Coipel and Laura Martin. I had a copy of New Avengers for Chad for him to sign. Laura Martin is my second favorite colorist (after Christina Strain) so I was happy she was there. Chad wanted an Iron Fist by Coipel and since he wasn't sketching, I did the next best thing. Bendis also followed suit.

My sketch wasn't done yet so I headed to the Hall H line to wait for the Thor/Captain America panels. We waited in line for over two hours and it wasn't moving and I then got a tweet that there was a stabbing in Hall H. A girl next to me told me her boyfriend (who was already inside) that they stopped the panel for some reason. I told her what I read and the rumors spread like wildfire in the line. When security came out after the third hour to tell us there was a medical emergency, everyone immediately started screaming that there was a stabbing. I lowered my head and was hoping I wouldn't be pointed out as the instigator. We waited another hour and nobody left Hall H so we could not get in. This really sucked so I left. I'm pissed that I missed that panel because amazing things happened during it. I then went to go to Flynn's Arcade (yes, from Tron) that the company set up, but they closed and wouldn't be opening on Sunday. Frak! I decided to hit up the Cartoon Network sponsored pizza joint for some moderately overpriced slices.

On Sunday I wasn't in a rush for anything so I went for a pretty good breakfast in the morning and then hit up the convention center. I got my sketchbook and then I had almost nothing to do. I could sit in panels all day, but the ones I wanted to go to were pretty scattered. I decided to go into Ballroom 20 (the mini Hall H) for the TV panels. I saw some good ones, but the highlight was "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia". Damn that show is amazing. That was pretty much it for Sunday. I had to take the red eye home which SUCKED. Guy behind me must've ODed on Ambien because he was snoring up a storm. I put on my headphones and listened to Fugazi "Sweet and Low" while I slept. Yeah, I listened to one song for 5 straight hours.

Well, that's it folks! Hope you enjoyed being in my shoes as much as I...uh...enjoyed being in my shoes.
PS: The last picture of Silver Surfer...I give this guy an A for effort, but damn dude, work on that bulge...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quickies 7/29/10

Before we begin this week, I want to share with you the worst thing you could ever have uttered to you at a Wendy's.

"I'm sorry sir, we're all out of chocolate frosty. Would you like to try vanilla?"

The answer to that is a resounding no. Please don't make the same mistake I did. Learn from my follies.

On to the comics!

Wonder Woman #601

I've already told you my thoughts on Wonder Woman's new threads, so I won't spend any time talking about it in this review.

This story sets the stage for the new direction of Wonder Woman, and I enjoyed it. I'm serious! I thought the setup was cool, and it made me interested to read more. There are some exceptionally brutal parts shown during a flashback sequence that kept me interested as well. It didn't hurt that they mention that Diana's mission is to restore her world as it once was. This new direction is a lot easier to take, knowing that they don't mean for this to be a permanent change.

I really like Don Kramer's artwork in this. His pages, showing the siege of Paradise Island, are intense and beautiful. The fire scene is tough to imagine, but you can't look away. My only complaint is that he does recycle drawings in different panels a bit too much.

A lot of people were turned off by Wonder Woman #600, but you may want to give this book a second look. She may have changed clothes, but the book hasn't changed at its core.

Franken-Castle #19

Guys! Where are the Franken-Castle shirts! If anyone in the comic industry is reading this, can you please send an email to your apparel department and urge them to get on this! I want to display my adoration of Franken-Castle via my clothing!

If you thought the first encounter between these two was brutal, then you need to read this issue! This fight includes; ears being sliced off, grenades, impaling, being thrown through walls, more impaling, electrocution, stabbing, slicing, gun shots, and a concrete saw. All the while, The Punisher insults Daken by calling him "Mullet" and making fun of his tattoo. It's stories like this that are making Rick Remender my favorite writer. My only complaint about this issue was its guest star on the last page. Let's leave it between Frank and Daken, no outside interference please.

The art chores are beautifully handled by Tony Moore. This is the same guy that did the original "Franken-Castle" story, so it's some awesome stuff. His art style is fluid, and full of detail. His anatomy is spot on, but provides enough exaggeration to the forms of the character to make it fun and well...comic book like. I'm a huge fan, if you couldn't have guessed. If you were bummed that he had not been doing the past few issues of this series, then rejoice. His art style fits this character perfectly.

When I reviewed Dark Wolverine last week, I mentioned that I thought this issue would set up the plot for this mini-series. It sort of does, but I almost feel that this is going to be a big four issue fight. I guess that's alright with me, I wouldn't mind another long standing feud between two characters. We'll have to wait and see if there is more than meets the eye to this giant slobberknocker (Jim Ross!) of a fight.

That's all for this week! Here are a list of other books that I thought were cool as well!

Secret Avengers #3, Fantastic Four #581, Fear Agent #28, Flash #4, Green Lantern #56 (Larfleeze makes a Christmas list!), Green Lantern Corps #50, Justice League: Generation Lost #6, RASL #8, Action Comics #891, Ultimate Mystery #1, and the backup story to Uncanny X-Men #526, not the horribly drawn main story.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tony's SDCC Coverage Day 3!

SDCC Day 3:

Yesterday my day started with me waking up to Ramona. Today I woke up and first thing I saw outside was a Crow picking at a dead mouse. This will probably relate to the Walking Dead panel more than the futility of life...I hope.

So today felt a lot more uneventful in comparison to yesterday's madness. I still had a great time.

First thing that was happening on the agenda was the AMC Walking Dead panel. I got there about two hours early and the line was massive, but moved extremely quick and I got a pretty good seat. Because the smart thing is to get there early so you can get in, I got there right before a Hawaii 5-0 panel started. Seriously? Do people actually care? I guess so...the girls next to me were screaming. Daniel Dae Kim also came out, and Lost is awesome so that is cool. Basically, I played Mario Bros on my DS the whole time.

After that was the Walking Dead panel. Almost the entire cast was there with Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont, the special effects guru, a producer and head of AMC. It was really entertaining and they all talked about their characters and discovering the comic for the first time. The footage they showed was UNREAL. It was incredibly gory and Frank pointed out that this was the safe footage they were allowed to air. I can't friggen wait. Six episodes for the first season. That's pretty much an hour per chapter of the first trade! Of course there will be differences in comics/screen, but it is still going to be AMAZING.

I then headed down to the convention floor. I finally found the AMC Walking Dead booth (you'd think I would've known where everything was so far!). They had a set set up. It was intense. Broken everything, one guy killed himself with a shotgun while another body laid on the floor. The "windows" had screens with zombies approaching on it. It was great.

Afterwards I continued to roam around. I found Kody Chamberlein (Sweets/Punks the Comic) at the Image booth and we chatted for a bit. We both frequent the same message boards so he then hooked me up with an AMAZING Batman sketch. Guy was a serious class act. Check out his new book "Sweets" it came out last week.

Getting this reminded me that Christina Strain had my print still! I headed to artist alley and found her and Adrian Alphona (co-creator Runaways) hanging out. Alphona was doing sketches so I of course picked up a Niko sketch. I left him my book, then our schedules collided and I never got it back. They'll be around tomorrow though (I hope!).

I then spent some more time at Artist Alley and the Dealers section. To be honest, Artist Alley was pretty pitiful. New York Comic Con had a WAY better collection of artists and it was probably double in size. There was some awesome people there, but it was way smaller than it used to be. The dealers section (the people actually selling back issues, etc) seemed pretty tame. San Diego has turned into geek-mecha and it seems to be getting too big for random back issue dealers. Yes, it has comics, but SDCC is more an entertainment expo at this point. I actually overheard one dealer talking to his friend saying "Yeah I think I made a whole...10 bucks today!" This was about 2 o'clock too. That sucks hard.

After that I headed over to the video game booths. I don't play a wide variety of games, I usually just find one or two and play the crap out of it. I decided to check out some stuff though. I played a few DS games that were just way too overly Japanese and didn't keep my interest long. I then waited in a short line to play Marvel vs Capcom 3. This game was AWESOME. I used Captain America, Wolverine, and Ryu (In honor of Chad) and I kicked ass. I am not good at these button mashing fighting games because I simply..button mash instead of learning combos, but me and this dude had a pretty epic battle and it was super close by the end. (Action Chad Note: I am EXTREMELY jealous...but proud.)

Stan Lee then did a signing in promotion of the Spider-man Shattered Dimensions game. I've seen Stan Lee a million times so I didn't really care, but it totally opened up all the other video games. I played Shattered Dimensions for a good 30 minutes without anyone else waiting to get on. This game was awesome. The Noir section is fun because it is grainy and you have to do a lot sneaking around and the unveiled Venom section is badass. You use a "rage" power and totally f stuff up.

After that I headed up to room 6DE. There was a DC panel, then a Vertigo panel, and then the Live Rifftrax panel (which was the big thing I wanted to see). The DC panel was interesting. Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison admitted they recently started having conversations about a team-up they'll do in the future. They talked a lot about Flashpoint, the upcoming Flash mini-event. So many people were excited about Flash related things. Also, comic fans have the worst questions at these things. It's either total fanboy whining or deliberately asking "How will this happen" when the only answer you'll get is " the book".
The Vertigo panel was pretty good too. Jeff Lemire, Ba and Moon, Scott Snyder, and many many others were there. It was packed on stage. Vertigo is doing some really interesting stuff lately and as Karen Berger said at the panel, Vertigo has become a creator owned workplace for people which is a fun thing.

Last was the Rifftrax panel. What can I say? It's the Mystery Science Theater was hilarious. Laughing out loud the entire time. They live-riffed a short called "How to Buy Food" which practically riffed itself. They then worked with the audience to figure out the next Rifftrax. They ended up deciding on Clash of the Titans and the Last Airbender. These choices are solid, but too obvious. There would probably be riffs of them anyway. I really wanted the suggestions of 2012 or Super Mario Bros or Hook to be chosen.

Anyway, that was my day. Not as eventful as yesterday, but Walking Dead and Rifftrax were both amazing. Tomorrow brings Harry Potter, Green Lantern, Fringe, Captain America, Thor, and Kevin Smith! Almost all movies all day!


PS I found Ramona again, but she was volunteering at the Dark Horse booth and seemed really busy and when I came back later she wasn't there! Gah!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tony's SDCC Coverage Day 2!

SDCC Day 2:

Today I got to sleep in which was always nice. I went to the SyFy sponsored restaurant called SyFy Diem. The get up was super nice and all the meals were TV themed (Battle Star Galactica, Eureka, WWE even). I had some of the most amazing french toast ever and then I was off to the convention.

I started wandering around upstairs and finally made it to the con floor. I tried to pick up the Skeletor vs Mol-arr action figure from Mattel, but they were super crazy about their lines. I tried waiting for the second line to hop in, but a security guard kept telling me to move and keep walking. I asked him why, because I wanted to wait for the figures. He just repeated himself. I asked why again and then asked if he really expected a couple of thousand people to really respect his authority and not stand wherever they feel like it. He stared at me then told me to move again. I left. F that guy.

After that I tried to get a sketch by Francis Manapul. That guy was a machine, busting out beautiful stuff while standing up and talking with people. Sadly the line was crazy long and I didn't have enough time to wait around, perhaps tomorrow.

I did see Christina Strain, one of my favorite colorists (Runaways, World War Hulk). I picked up a beautiful print from her, and she held onto it so that Adrian Alphona could sign it as well. Writing this now, I realize I forgot to pick it up. Crap.

I then went to the Scott Pilgrim vs Comic Con Experience...but I will get to that in a bit.

After SPvCC I went to Hall H, the line wasn't ridiculous so I was able to get in pretty quick. I saw Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and others promoting the Warren Ellis adaptation "Red". It looks pretty funny and interesting, but I think I'll wait until it comes out on Netflix.

Right after that was Entertainment Weekly's Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams conversations. This was really fun and entertaining. Two legends discussing their favorite things, their upbringings and what they are doing in the future. Joss Whedon confirmed for Marvel that he is, in fact, directing the Avengers movie. Yes!

After that was the Expendables panel. know what the Expendables is already. It's the over the top action flick with almost every action star of every genre in it. It always looked fun, but the idea was so ridiculous (Let's stuff all these people in a film!) that I didn't think I'd be really interested in seeing it in theater. Well, Stallone, Dolph Lungren, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, and..uh...the dad from Everybody Hates Chris came out and talked for a while and then showed some exclusive clips.This changed my mind on the whole film. It's completely over the top in the best way possible. People are getting shots with huge guns and body parts are practically flying off with blood splatter everywhere. Bones are broken in three different ways. It was just brutal and entertaining. I'm definitely seeing this in the theater.

Next was the Scott Pilgrim panel...but let me start at the beginning.

Last night I had a dream, and in that dream was Ramona Flowers. Yes, I understand how weird that is. We just hung out and talked. It was a very calm and pleasant dream. Little did I know that this was a sign of the amazing day I was going to have.

From now on SDCC is changed to SPCC, Scott Pilgrim Comic Con. Throughout the day I saw a lot of cosplay, but Ramona Flowers was the most cosplayed person throughout the day. Around noon I went to the Scott Pilgrim vs Comic Con Experience. It was outside the convention center so not a lot of people knew about it at first. I was within the first 30 people in line. Bryan Lee O'Malley came out at one point to check out the crowd and we talked briefly about Walking Dead and I snapped a picture with him. Chad put it best as "Not Pictured: Tony's boner. Upon entering the outside deck we were greeted with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala. spinning on a higher deck. and all around us were huge posters from the film. Also, I must add that Scott Pilgrim fans are awesome. Everyone was super friendly and talkative, I made friends with a really cute girl dressed up as Ramona. I really should have gotten her number...
Anyway, we were able to make our own t-shirts. By make I mean we chose a t-shirt color then a design (from about 10 different options) and they pressed it right there. I got the Gideon club symbol, but the lady doing it totally put it on crooked. We Hate T-shirts they are not...

Afterwards we could make our own flip books (Seriously, flip books! How fucking awesome is that!). Then the cast came out little by little to sign autographs. I met Bryan Lee O'Malley again and Edgar Wright. At one point Erik Estrada was watching us from an upper balcony. Wright went a little fanboy for a moment.

After getting autographs I went to play the Scott Pilgrim video game. It is freaking awesome!Iit follows the book pretty closely and the gameplay is just so much fun. At one point I found out the rest of the cast would be coming out little by little to get autographs, but I decided to pass and make my way over to Hall H. Also, I knew if I saw Mary Winstead (Ramona Flowers), I would have told her I dreamed about her the night before and then I would be escorted off the property.

Aaaanyway, flash forward to the Scott Pilgrim panel. Before the show they passed down buttons in the aisles. Not everyone got all the buttons though. I at first got a red Knives Chau pin which is pretty cool, but I really wanted someones 1-Up pin that I saw in the aisle in front of me. Right before the panel started a guy came up to me with a small bag of white pins. Success!
The panel was awesome, Michael Cera dressed up as Captain America and Edgar Wright was just hilarious. The footage they showed literally gave me chills.
They did a quick Q&A and right after the last question Edgar Wright interrupted the cheering audience and said:

"Hey, pins were passed out before the show...if you got a white 1-Up pin you are officially invited to a screening of Scott Pilgrim that is playing...uh...right now! Follow me!"
Holy crap...holy crap. Hall H was huge so it took a long time to get out of there and when leaving there was two huge groups of people walking in opposite directions. I followed the crowd to the right....when we got to where we thought the movie was being played we all found out this was for a showing of Penn and Teller, not Scott Pilgrim. Shit! Me and a few other guys literally began to run while screaming "Wrong way! Wrong way! Scott Pilgrim is not showing here!" I was with five other people literally running about 8 blocks until we found the theater. It was an old vintage theater and even had balcony seating. Simply Beautiful. Going in they gave us free popcorn and a soda and then I found a seat in the second row right in the middle. Dan the Automator and Kid Koala were there again spinning, and then Edgar Wright came out and told us he had more news....METRIC, the band who wrote the music for Clash At Demonhead will be performing after the credits! Awesome!!

Okay, the movie, the movie was simply fantastic. Literally laughing out loud the whole time and cheering throughout the film. I can't wait to see it another five times. It was extremely similar to the book and the changes that needed to be done were not a big deal at all. People had the most doubts about Michael Cera (Scott) and Kieron Culkin (Wallace Wells), but I thought they both did an AMAZING JOB! Of course, they had to adapt six graphic novels worth of material for a movie so the pacing was really fast, but it was awesome. This is a perfect movie for all types of nerds. Music, gaming, comics, movies, etc. It was fantastic.

After the credits, the screen lifted up and Metric performed. They did their Clash at Demonhead song and then played about 4-5 more songs. It was a lot of fun. They aren't necessarily my favorite band in the first place, but the music is nice and live it was really fun. The bassist is also super sick. The (almost) whole cast then came out and bowed.

Anyway, that was my day at SPCC. It was amazing...I know the rest of the weekend won't top it. Also, I mentioned Walking Dead yesterday, but I was mistaken, that is tomorrow!
Also, my new mission is to find that Ramona again...I dreamed of A Ramona....that must mean something!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quickies 7/22/10

While Tony is off at the San Diego Comic Con, the rest of us are stuck here in Maine. We don't get to read comics from the future or meet the creators of our favorite books. We don't get to play Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 before anyone else does! Nope...we're stuck here, dreaming of what this pop culture Valhalla looks like. At least new comics came out this week, those will help dull the pain. Also, I sold all of Tony's comics to customers! In your face Mr. I got my picture taken with Bryan Lee O'Malley!

Here we go!

Dark Wolverine #88

Where can I get a Franken-Castle t-shirt! I want one so badly! If anyone can give me information on where to get one, I'll give you a high five. That's a promise folks!

This issue doesn't waste any time with silly things, like exposition. Daken ditches some models, kills a guy in a bathroom, and then starts fighting the Punisher. I really liked that the first chapter of their meeting was just them fighting. It's all I really wanted them to do anyways. I'm assuming that the next chapter of this story, in Franken-Castle's series, will reveal what the plot will be for this crossover.

If you were chomping at the bit for a re-match between these two characters, then pick up this issue immediately. There isn't a lot there besides fighting, but it's a good start.

Batman Beyond #2

Thankfully, Batman Beyond is not about Batman working at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I do think Batman working a retail job, that specializes in home goods, would be entertaining though. It's about Batman in the future, or "Beyond" as the future is referred to in the future.

This book reminds of the straight to DVD movie called "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker". Why? Because a prominent villain in Batman's rouges gallery suddenly appears in the future, just like in the movie. Naturally, the current Batman goes to investigate while Bruce tells him he doesn't know what he's getting himself into. It's not bad, but we seem to be treading familiar territory here. Granted that familiar territory was awesome.

If you're a fan of the show, like myself, it should be difficult not to read this. Despite using a story idea from a Batman Beyond movie, this book is still enjoyable. I guess if you never saw that movie, this issue would blow your mind. If you are that person, then good for you.

Prince of Power #3

I wish I could dress like Amadeus Cho and not get made of fun of by my co-workers. The casual business attire look has always appealed to me. I'm a big fan of ties, you now know that about me. I would also like that enchanted mace he carries around too. I'm just full of wants today!

This issue feels a lot like how The Incredible Hercules used to. It was a lot of fun, and even made me laugh out loud a few times. Notice that I wrote out "laugh out loud", as opposed to using LOL. The dialouge has great comedic timing, especially when Amadeus makes fun of Egyptian mythology. Having Thor tell Amadeus that he has a large hammer that he can put through his face is good too. The overall plot advances nicely, this issue just flows well.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. If you are a fan of humorous stories, then give this series a try. It really hits its stride in this issue. It also included giant serpents, death scrunchies, Thor watches youtube, and LOLCats!

G.I. Joe #156

Holy crap! Cobra is in charge of the U.S. Military and G.I. Joe is wanted for treason! In other news, cats and dogs are now best friends and hamburgers eat people! This is insanity!

Despite the plot being too crazy for our minds to comprehend, this was a good read. It was nice to see the Joes thrown into a different situation. It was also good to see Snake Eyes kill a lot of Cobra ninjas. Don't get upset with me if you think that was a spoiler. The idea that Snake Eyes doesn't kill a lot of ninjas is laughable. It took me back to Saturday mornings, when I would yell "Yo Joe" at the TV screen and smile.

There are a lot of G.I. Joe books out on the market, but I feel like this one is the best. This is a great jump on point for what, appears to be, an awesome new series.

New Avengers #2 was amazing too, but you don't need me to tell you that.

Tony's SDCC Coverage Day 1!

Comic-con Day 1:

So I finally arrived at the massive San Diego Comic Con. I then had to wait in a line for at least a half hour just to check in and get my ID badge. After this was about 30 minutes of more waiting around.

When you get your badge they also give you a massive jumbo bag (for hauling all of your goodies and also being completely in the way of everyone walking around you) as well as a guide for the entire weekend.

I used this time to figure out where things were and what I had to do. Wednesday night was "Preview Night". This means that the floor opened up at 6PM and only stayed open for a couple of hours.

This is a perfect time to familiarize yourself with the layout of the floor. I give myself a pretty strict schedule (yay OCD). After a while security kept shooing people around into the designated entrance lines. If you look around though...these lines are freaking huge. I did not want to wait in that so I continued walking around outside the convention floor. I could go upstairs and downstairs and find where everything is located as well as best entrances/exits depending on what panels I wanted to travel to. Also, it's great to be a sneaky bastard. I started seeing the HUGE line move so I opened a "exit only" door and jumped in with them. I noticed a crowd of people tried to follow my lead but security stopped them. I guess I'm too awesome to control.

This entrance was perfect! The very first thing I saw was the Oni Press booth. They had stacks upon stacks of Scott Pilgrim vol 06 and they were flying off the metaphorical shelves. I picked up an exclusive SDCC Scott Pilgrim t-shirt.
Next was the DC and Marvel booths which already had huge lines for the writer/artist signings and all the free stuff they are handing out. DC had a lot of great toys and collectibles and lots of free comics to give away. Marvel had the Odin throne from the upcoming film (EPIC!) as well as free posters and video packages of upcoming video games.

Next was the Image booth. I met up with David Mack (Kabuki/Daredevil) and he gave me an Akemi (from Kabuki) sketch. David Mack is one of the nicest guys I have ever met so I always make sure I spend a moment to chat and then give him some money haha. I then met Jason Howard and Ryan Ottley and less than a half hour into the convention, Ottley was booked up for the next few days. I did get a copy of Sea Bear/Grizzly Shark and they both signed it. I also saw Rob Liefeld. We met eyes and gave each other the nod. I then picked up an awesome Walking Dead t-shirt I've never seen before and I watched Blair Butler (G4) interview Robert Kirkman while I waited in line to pay.

I then made my way to Artist Alley, it seemed smaller than usual but a lot of great people were there. I talked with Shane Davis for a bit (Green Lantern) and he was an awesome and friendly guy. Most people were not set up though since it was only preview night.

I then went the opposite direction and saw all the massive booths set up for the big movie and television studios. There is way too much to even talk about. I saw awesome Harry Potter props and even the Abin Sur dead body that will be in the Green Lantern movie! Holy crap!

I met and talked with a bunch of people including Brian Bendis who is always the man. I also played Iron Man 2 pinball which is great. I really want it for the store.

Anyway, that was only Preview Night and I am exhausted. Luckily there is nothing too early tomorrow so I can sleep in, but tomorrow brings Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim panels as well as a lot of standing around in lines reading comics!


You can also follow tony on twitter @tonymalaab

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Superman #701

This issue officially begins the "Grounded" story by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS), where Superman Forrest Gumps it across America in an effort to reconnect with humanity. Much like the prologue written in Superman #700, I am somewhat disappointed. The disappointment comes from the execution of Superman making his trek across America, not the concept itself. It seemed like a cool idea on paper, but it just isn't coming together for me.

I was under the impression, from interviews prior to the books release, that Superman would not be wearing his costume. That made sense to me. If he wanted to reconnect with humanity, then he should dress the part. Instead he's walking around in his costume attracting attention from everyone. Celebrities wear disguises when they want to blend in with the public, why doesn't Superman?

I also didn't think he would be using his powers to solve everyday problems, but he is. I feel the same way about this as I do the costume. If he wants to reconnect with humanity, then he shouldn't use his powers to clean up store rooms and fix cars. Use your hands Superman! Open up a book and help somebody out. I don't know. It just seems like it would have been more powerful of a story if he had done these things.

Superman is really preachy in this issue too. For a guy who is trying to find his inner humanity, he spends a lot of time telling them how to live. It feels more like JMS is using this is as his soap box to tell everyone how to live, as opposed to writing the character. The way he talks to everyone isn't going to help win over the crowd that is annoyed by Superman acting like a messiah either.

Overall, it's not a bad issue. It's just not a Superman story that I really enjoy reading. If you're into it, then that's awesome. Please don't misinterpret this post as me telling you not to read this series. The writing, while preachy, is good and the art is great too. There are some real emotional moments, coupled with good advice. It's just not a Superman story that I care to read.

Let me know what you think!

-Action Chad

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quickies 7/8/10

Holy hell! Did you know that my last post was my 100th post! I feel like someone should have made me a cake, bought me ice cream or something. If anyone does want to get me ice cream, I like Snickers Blizzards from DQ or a "like it" size of "cookie doughn't you want some" from Cold Stone. Make it happen people!

On to the reviews!

X-Force #28

The next to last chapter of second coming is here! You should definitely pick up this one though, as the majority of the crisis is resolved in this issue. I'm just letting you know that, in case you thought the final chapter of this story is where all the explosions happen. All the explosions are right here! Woo!

Since this is the issue where we get some big payoffs, it was a really entertaining read. Craig Kyle and Chris Yost crafted a solid ending to the battle in the death bubble on the Golden Gate Bridge. That's not an easy thing to do, considering that this story is now 13 issues long. It's really easy to produce a lackluster ending given the amount of build up that has occurred. Luckily, they avoided that by having some tense emotional moments coupled with some crazy fighting. There are some parts that are kind of cheesy, like the gathering of San Franciscans leaving candles and pictures outside the death bubble. The fact that you finally get to see Hope do something cool far outweighs those moments.

You may remember back when Nightcrawler died that I said you should buy that issue as it may be a collectors item. Well I'm kind of saying that again. Someone important may be kicking the bucket here guys. That's all I'm saying.

Batman and Robin #13

Call me old fashioned, but I like the usage of the crow bar to beat someone. Especially when that someone is a clown. Just something about it that warms my heart.

Thomas Wayne is alive? When did this happen? I have no idea, but he is strutting around town like it's nobodies business. Meanwhile Batman talks to Jim Gordon about some theories he has. All the while Robin, that little monkeyshine, is trying a new form of crowbar therapy with the Joker's face. This was a really fun issue! If it didn't look like crap, it would have been perfect. The art is stiff, lacking emotion, and the color is awful. I know this artist has done better work in the past. If some DC editor is to blame for rushing this man, then shame on them.

Read it for the story and try to deal with the art. That's what I did. Also, does anyone else think that Damien should be on the Teen Titans? Just to tell them how much they suck? I think it would be amazing.

Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #1

What is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world? When Spidey and the FF team up to fight bad guys! I also love when Spidey and the Human Torch spend half the issue insulting each other. That's what comic books are all about guys, insults between friends.

This mini-series will be taking place in the past. Reed and Sue have just become engaged, if that gives you an idea of where this falls on the time line. Dr. Doom has agreed to work out some treaties with some neighboring countries at Empire State University. That's kind of weird, but what's weirder is that he wants the FF to be his security team! Surely you jest Doom! You hate the FF! Why would you want them to be...oh I get it, it's an insult to them...clever Doom. While the FF are standing guard outside, Peter Parker shows up. He's spider-Man, but what is he doing at Empire U.? He goes to school there! This is so convenient! Within seconds, monsters appear and the place goes crazy. Good times are had by all.

I thought this story was a lot of fun to read. It's setup and dialogue are very reminiscent of comics that would have come out during this time period. It's nice to go back to past every now and then. The art in this book is solid for the most part, but there are a few weird looking faces every now and then.

If you're a fan of Spidey and the FF like I am, or just a fan of 60's era comics, then picking up this book is a no brainer.

The Last Zombie #1

This book is suggested for mature readers. That's because dead people are walking around and people say bad words. Nobody gets eaten though, don't worry about that. I guess everyone is over zombies eating people. They want to know what our society will be like post zombie apocalypse. Will we still like Doritos? Will Jim Belushi still not be funny? What are the answers to these questions?!

You won't find any of those answers in this issue. You will find a book about life after a zombie apocalypse though. This book takes a look at the life of a scientist that is living in a military compound in Colorado. He's working on a cure while talking to his wife that is held up in another compound in West Virginia. The West Virginia compound suddenly goes quiet and a posse is put together to find out why. Premise!

The books backdrop, zombie apocalypse, is its downfall with me. It's another zombie book trying to grab my attention. It's not a bad book by any means, but it's not holding my attention like the Walking Dead does. The art could use some work too. The lack of backgrounds leaves it feeling almost unfinished. The people look good, but what does the room there in look like? Do they live in gray clouds? I don't know. The letterer doesn't put the vertical line in their E's either. I kept noticing it and it was driving me crazy.

If you need to read everything that has zombies in it, then pick it up. This would be a good book for Walking Dead fans to pick up while they're waiting for the next issue of that series to come out. It will help pass the time, and maybe you'll really like it.

Bring me ice cream!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Stick with the tights

In case you've been living under a rock, or another dense object that would limit your ability to receive information, you know that Wonder Woman has a new costume. Reactions have been mixed to say the least. They range from loving the new look, to accusing Wonder Woman of being a communist. Given that Wonder Woman is a character that is rich in Americana, it is no wonder that people would have such strong reactions regarding a change in her attire.

I am in the "not a fan" camp, when it comes to the new costume. When it comes to a super hero(ine) costume, I fall back to something I read in the biography of the wrestler Edge. He mentioned how much he disliked it when wrestlers would wrestle in street clothes. Whether it be jean shorts or track pants, he felt it took away from the pageantry of the show. I feel the same way about super hero costumes. I don't care for a super hero trying to look more hip by wearing street clothes. Wearing ridiculous tights is part of the job, part of the escape for the reader. To ignore that, like wrestling, takes something away from the experience.

I understand that some people are excited now that Wonder Woman has pants. Does it matter if she has pants if the artist draws them as being painted on? I showed a picture of the new costume to several woman, who don't read comics, last night. The reactions were all the same. They all said she looks like a 90's club skank. Keep in mind, that this is a small sample of people, but is that really the look you want for your flagship heroine? Was raising the cut of her top and giving her a long skirt (like her 40's costume) too difficult? That would have made more sense to me. Also, the boots are just stupid.

Regardless of any ones opinion, the costume is here to stay for the moment. It's possible the costume may grow on me, but I'm not going to hold my breathe. Especially when it comes to those boots.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quickies 7/1/10

Secret Avengers #2

Holy crap, we are on freakin' Mars! Avenging, secretly, on the fourth planet from the Sun! This Avengers group is hitting the ground running.

Since this is an odd grouping of heroes, you get a lot of interesting interactions between each team member. Some of them like each other, while others are skeptical of a members abilities. Ed Brubaker does a great job of making sure each member of the team has a unique voice. They are not all trying to crack jokes off of each other, like in the main Avengers book. The story itself is fun so far. I'm really interested to see where this whole martian space crown thing is going. Mike Deodato's art in this book is solid as well, but that isn't anything really new.

This series has been filling the void, that was left behind by Dark Avengers, quite well. The group dynamic is certainly weird, but it's really interesting to read about it. I highly recommend this series.

Green Lantern #55

Lobo is trying to kill Atrocitus! In trying to do this, the majority of a downtown city will be crushed in the process. I can't imagine living in the DC universe. Between Blackest Night, Final Crisis, and War of the Superman I'd be having a panic attack every five seconds. That's assuming Sinestro doesn't "accidentally" knock a building on me first though...stress!!

This issue was decent, it was mainly a big fight scene between "The New Guardians" and Lobo. Not that I'm complaining about that, I like fighting. It just wasn't anything that really moved the larger story along, or answered any questions you may have about the growing threat that they keep mentioning.

The real heart and soul of this issue is the origin of the red lantern cat, Dex-Starr. I'm not ashamed to admit that this tale made me bite my lip a little bit. I like the idea that red lanterns aren't murdering psychopaths, but instead rather tragic characters. It makes them more relocatable and cooler.

Not a bad issue by any means, but nothing amazing either. Read it for the cat story.

Invincible #73

The Viltrumite War rages on! Mark is clinging to life on an alien world, while his father and brother bond while eating alien bugs. This is a real family issue guys! Meanwhile, Tech Jacket and Allen continue the fight against the Viltrumites. Battle Beast shows back up, and there is a traitor afoot! Intrigue, suspense, terror!!!

After the brutal ending to the last issue, I wasn't sure if Mark was going to survive. Apparently he can heal from anything, given enough time. This kid is friggin' unstoppable! I guess that's why they call him Invincible.

The bonding between Nolan (Mark's Dad) and Mark's brother is a good read. It helps build upon their characters, while providing humorous moments. The Viltrumite War is still shown progressing in between these moments, which helps show just how long they are stranded on this world. It's a well put together issue by Kirkman and Ottley. Unlike Green Lantern, the larger story progresses, while building up characters. Also, there is a Star Wars reference. It officially has everything now!

The Viltrumite War is proving to be one of the best Invincible stories yet. You should be reading this series, if you aren't already.

Wonder Woman #600

I was going to review this, but Tony sold my copy! Now what the hell am I supposed to do! It's sold out in our store. I'm not going to another comic store to get it, because that would feel dirty and wrong.

If anyone would like to provide me with their thoughts on this issue, feel free to send me an email at I'll post any reviews/thoughts I receive from you guys on the blog! That will be fun! Any other crap you want to email me with is fine too.