Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review! Detective Comics #872

Detective Comics #872

After reading Scott Snyder's debut issue of Detective Comics last month, I was really hoping it wasn't too good to be true. Could it be that there was an intriguing, street level, Dick Grayson as Batman book where he did actual detective work? Issue #872 has set my mind at ease. I didn't experience a hallucination, it is quite real.

Scott Snyder, of American Vampire fame, is crafting an intriguing mystery for our new Batman to solve. How are items from Gotham's rogues gallery ending up in the hands of wealthy citizens? The answer turns out to be fairly simple, but it's how Dick gets to the that answer makes it such a good read. Snyder has an excellent grasp on the character and his history. The dialogue between supporting cast members, especially Oracle, is strong and mindful of the past. I felt fully enveloped into their dark world.

We also have a new villain, named The Dealer. It was nice to see Snyder create a villain that's more cerebral than brutish. I've always thought they were better foils for Batman. I'm interested in seeing where this character goes. His spindly form may be hiding something far more sinister.

The art, by Jock, suits this title well. His characters are expressive and Batman looks terrifying when cloaked in the shadows. He's also mindful of Dick being a former acrobat. He has him twisting in various ways when going through the air. The art is moody and gritty, perfect for this story.

If you've been turned off by the time spanning adventures of Bruce Wayne, you'll want to read this book. It's what Batman is all about, solving crazy mysteries with insane villains. It's just that simple and just that good. He also rides a one wheel, rocket powered, flying motorcycle...just saying.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Larfleeze Cookies!

Hey guys! As I'm sure many of you know, the Larfleeze Christmas Special had an Orange Lantern cookie recipe in it. Since I'm a huge fan of cookies and Larfleeze, this seemed like the perfect excuse to make a batch. I was also fortunate enough to have Larfleeze and Globulus stop by and lend a hand.

The recipe contains a fair amount of orange juice concentrate and zested orange peels. It helps give the cookies a nice sweet flavor. Glomulus, much like a child, is jumping the gun here. He wants to put the frosting on before anything has been mixed.

Larfleeze summoned a greedy orange cat, named Brooklyn, that tried to steal my sandwich.

Everything has been mixed, put into doughy balls, and cooked in the oven. We'll wait for the cookies to cool, while we get the frosting ready. If you put the frosting on too soon, it will become runny and gross.

The cookies have been frosted, and decorated with the orange gel. Larfleeze and Glomulus are ecstatic that the cookies are finished.

A mother at the grocery store gave me a hard time about the decorating gel I bought. She didn't think it was good for me to eat something that was mostly food coloring. Her daughters gave her a hard time about criticizing someones purchase at the grocery store. Her daughters were right, mind your own business lady.

We brought the cookies to Coast City for everyone to enjoy. Luckily, Larfleeze had learned the true meaning of Christmas in the holiday special comic book. He didn't put up much of a fight above giving them away. He just wanted to let everyone know that the recipe was his, and his alone.

Stop in and grab one while supplies last! They're totally free and REALLY good!

Happy Holidays everyone!!

I would also like to point out that my lovely fiance helped with these cookies. She's an excellent baker! Larfleeze, Glomulus, Brooklyn, and myself could not have done it without her!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Archie Haiku

Riverdale has snow
Betty and Veronica tan

Jughead eats cupcakes

Review Black Panther: Man Without Fear #513

Black Panther: Man Without Fear #513

It took a lot of people by surprise when Marvel revealed that Black Panther would be filling in for Daredevil when Shadowland was over. Why would the former ruler of the African nation of Wakanda start protecting a small, albeit dangerous, section of New York City (Hell's Kitchen)? Out of all the candidates presented, was the Black Panther really the best choice? He was a king that had advanced technology at his fingertips. Could he fit into a book that has become the standard for gritty, street level, super hero crime drama? As it turns out, yeah.

At the beginning of the issue we find that Daredevil had requested Black Panther to take his place, since he felt he could no longer be Daredevil after the events of Shadowland. Black Panther accepts his offer, but not as a favor. Black Panther has been going through some emotional turmoil himself, after the events of Doomwar. He sees this as an oppurtunity to prove to himself that he is man worthy of being the Black Panther. It's solid motivation for the character to make this change in scenery, but it may be lost upon readers who didn't check out Doomwar months back. Luckily for new readers, that information is really only relevant in the first couple of pages. After that, it becomes its own story.

Black Panther now finds himself in an unfamiliar environment. He has a new name, a new job, and is without the aid of advanced technology from his homeland of Wakanda. This is truly a unique situation for the Black Panther. The writer, David Liss, handles this transition well. It moves at a brisk pace and is full of meaningful dialogue and action. There's even a new villain introduced in this book, and he seems like an interesting foil to our new man without fear. The artist, Francesco Francavilla, does a great job at making this new world look dark and dangerous. His redesign of Black Panther's costume is fantastic as well. It's more militaristic, and fits the mood of the book well.

Overall, this is not a typical Daredevil book. It's not really a typical Black Panther book either. Instead, we have a nice middle ground between the two types of book. The result is a gritty, street level, super hero book. It's well written, beautiful to look at, and worth your time. It was a great read and I'm looking forward to seeing where this series takes us.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wolverine eats

Here's a compilation of all the pictures of Wolverine eating in New Avengers #7

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Extreme Justice

I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment when "extreme" took on a life of its own in the 90's. Most would assume that it probably began with a snowboarder or a rebellious musician doing something outrageous. Personally, I think the word "extreme" became a buzz word the second Dan Cortese put on his bandanna for the first time. Reading the wiki article that link leads you to may be surprising for some. Yes, MTV used to have a sports show... Regardless of what started the usage of "extreme" (or its bastard cousin x-treme), it only makes sense that DC Comics would apply it to one of their books. I give you Extreme Justice.

What's interesting about this book, is that it features half of the Justice League International roster, except more extreme than normal. How extreme? How about Captain Atom has long hair! I know right, he's a military man. Guys in the military are supposed to have short hair. What an extreme disregard for the norm. You'll also find that Blue Beetle is flipping around like he's Spider-Man in this book. They also made his goggles bigger, which I'm assume is also an effort to mimic Spider-Man. Either way, it's out of control and in your face!

Booster Gold gets a new, dare I say extreme, costume in this issue as well. Tights were beyond out of style during the 90's. If you didn't have a costume with a bunch of extra bulky crap all over it (especially pouches), then you were a total loser. Booster receives an amazing costume upgrade(?) in this issue when Blue Beetle presents him with his new battle armor suit. It's bulky, looks like guns could pop out of it from anywhere, has a cool visor, and leaves a hole up top for Booster's flowing blonde locks to flow freely. It's so extreme, it's like getting an injection of Mountain Dew straight into your veins while snowboarding down K2.

This extreme team does not only consist of JLI members though. There are two members on the team that I had never seen before. There's Amazing Man who has the ability to absorb stuff. This seems redundant since Captain Atom can already do that. There was probably so much extreme energy that needed absorbing, they needed two absorbing guys to handle it. He's also the only minority on the team, so that makes me think they put him on the team so it wasn't only white guys. I doubt there wasn't a lot of extreme thought put into what his powers would be, just that they had a black guy on the team. Which is insulting, almost as insulting as how excessive his shoulder pads are. They probably called him Amazing Man because it was amazing he could fit through doors with those things on. The other new face is a female telepath called Maxima (extreme to the max??). It's another flat character that I'm sure was created because they didn't have a female hero on the team. Her costume is a delightful mix of thongs, bandanas, and shoulder pads. It's an extreme concoction that will leave you in a skydiving, bmx riding coma that you will never recover from.

It's not all fun and games though. Firestorm is also on the team, and he has an extreme problem. Firestorm is a wild party animal and is an alcoholic. I'm serious about this, he gets drunk in this issue. This made me think though, what a terrifying super hero to get drunk. If you thought a drunk driver was dangerous, try a guy that can make anything out of thin air coming at you while plastered. I'll take my chances with the drunk guy in the car, at least he's not going to turn all of the air in my lungs into mercury or my eyeballs into ice cream. He can do that! It's giving me a panic attack just thinking about it. The only good thing about Firestorm is that he's such an idiot. If a person with any type of intelligence had his powers, they would have taken over the world already. Thankfully, he's too busy downing beers and trying to figure out the chemical formula for nachos... EXTREME!

What a delightful trip back to the 90's this book was. Some people really hate that era, but that's when I grew up with comics. It's fun to go back and see how much things have changed, or haven't, since then. I'm also glad I was able to work in a reference to Dan Cortese in this post. He's listed on UNC's famous alumni page alongside John Edwards and Andy Griffith! Go Tar Heels!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go see if I can find any Rock N' Jock episodes online. Keep it extreme everyone!

-Action Chad

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cyclops knows how to wrestle an octopus

You don't get to be leader of the X-Men without learning how to wrestle an octopus.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Archie Haiku

Haiku for Jughead #204

jughead is hired
amusement misdeeds are found
tanning at the beach