Saturday, February 26, 2011

Panels 2/26/11

MODORD is incredible, but not as incredible as...


Both panels were from X-Men: To Serve and Protect #4

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Panel 2/23/11

Comics! 2/23/11 Age of X Edition

There is a ton of really cool stuff that came out this week. I spent the majority of my shift reading today and I was easily overwhelmed by the mountain sized level of goodness that was being taken in by my eyes. However, despite the numerous titles that could be reviewed, I wanted to talk about the first two chapters of Age of X.

X-Men Legacy #245

This issue does a great job of establishing this new world for anyone that might have missed the Age of X: Alpha one shot. It opens with the remaining mutants on Earth battling the Sapien League on the 1,000th day anniversary. The first thing you'll notice is the new looks that this universes X-men sport. It's kind of like a sleek mad max. It makes sense, since they're living within a psychic shield bubble scrounging for their lives. After that, you'll notice they're killing humans left and right. The days of Xavier's dream, if it ever existed in this place, have long since passed. It's a brutal battle for survival that results in a death within this first issue. Overall, it's a great introductory issue that's full of interesting bits of information that really help flesh out the world and how different these characters are now due to this new time-line. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to see more.

New Mutants #22

Oh good! I don't have to wait to see more at all. They released the first two chapters this week.

This issue focuses primarily on Rogue, or Legacy as she's referred to here. X-Men Legacy left us with a question, and Rogue is determined to get to the bottom of it. To get that answer, she'll have to break into Magneto's holding cells for mutants to unstable for battle. It doesn't help that Danger is the warden of this area, and none too pleased about Rogue's plans. We also learn that there may be something fishy going on with the Sapien Army as well. Since Cyclops, AKA Basilisk, seems to be killing the same humans again and again. This issue helps flesh out more of the Age of X world, while raising more questions at the same time. This issue definitely keeps the pace of the first issue and has left me hooked. I'm anxiously awaiting chapter 3.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Panel 2/17/11


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Street Fighter II Machine

Chickens...why is there always chickens?

When people look around Coast City and The Monster Emporium, they usually notice a lot of the more eccentric items we have in the stores. The pinball machines, movie replicas, old toys, artwork, statues. These are things that I love having in the store, it helps bring people in and get people excited. Why just have a room full of funny books when you can have a room full of funny books and a replica Captain America shield or alien pulse rifle. It just makes sense to be half store, half nerd museum.

These things don't just fall in our lap though. Well, occasionally they do, but we usually have to venture out into the real world and get this stuff. When we received word there was an original Street Fighter II machine in "perfect working condition" and at a good price, we decided to venture up to northern Maine to retrieve it.

It took us longer than we expected to arrive at the place. That's because the state of Maine can just close highway on ramps without mapping out a detour route. Thank goodness we're all early adopters with GPS on our phones. After the runaround, we arrive at a garage that is surrounded by old cars. There are so many cars, that they are blocking all of the entrances into the garage. No one is getting in or out at this point. I have a simple rule about garages. If you have so many vehicles around your garage that need fixing, that you can't get into the garage via a car, then this is not the place to go. Cars should be running and able to drive off of the grounds. They should be fixed. I wasn't into this place.

We ventured up towards the entrance and were greeted with a door that had "smile you're on camera" painted onto it. A man sat behind his desk, only visible due to a purple light on his desk, the rest of the room in darkness. Tristan knocks on the door, and he let's us into the garage. I guess we caught him as he was closing, and didn't know we were coming. I guess someone else was selling his machine and didn't tell him? It seemed dicey to me, but I went in anyways. Keep in mind that I did not smile, despite the fact I was being filmed.

We step into the garage to check out the machine. I would like to say that the arcade machine was the first thing that we noticed, but it wasn't. Instead we were greeted by a set of school lockers next to the machine. Inside the lockers were chickens under heat lamps. Living chickens, clucking away. I turned to my left and noticed that upon entering the garage I didn't notice the giant rooster next to the door. That rooster was not pleased about us being there. That dude was pissed.

The man pulls out the machine. It's covered in dirt, spray paint, dust, and well it looks like some chickens had been hanging out on it as well. I'll let you come to your own conclusion as to what was on the machine. The description only said that it worked though, nothing about the cleanliness of the machine. No foul (no pun intended) as of yet I guess. Let's turn it on to make sure it works.

We turn the machine on. The rooster sees this and makes a long high pitched noise. I start to keep one eye on that rooster. I think he has it in for us. We start to play the game and quickly realize that the majority of the buttons don't work and the first player joystick is busted. Not being able to jump or punch in a fighting game really defeats the purpose of the game's experience. It's not a fight anymore. It's just walking back and forth. We hem and haw for a few minutes, trying to decide if it's worth it to fix the machine. The owner of the machine decides to call a friend of his instead of talking to us. At that point, he doesn't care about the money, and we don't care about the machine anymore.

I carefully walk past the rooster. I still don't trust that guy. We get back to the car and talk about how defeated we feel. Grabbing some Burger King helps soothe some of the sting, but I'll be the first to admit that I really wanted that machine in here. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to build one myself.

It's not easy finding cool stuff for the store. It usually involves us heading out to the middle of nowhere, where chickens rule, and leaving empty handed. I just thought it would be nice to fill you guys in on some of the less talked about exploits that we get into while working at this store. I hope you enjoyed it.

And remember, the next time that you see something cool in the store...we probably had to fight a rooster to get it.

Comics! 2/16/11

I'm waiting for a pizza to show up right now, so I may randomly start talking about food while writing this. It's a little something called "professionalism", check it out.

Thunderbolts #153

I'll admit that I've been a little bit bias about this book lately. The reason is that I love giant monsters, and that's what the Thunderbolts have been fighting. It's like Godzilla meets super heroes, and thanks to Jeff Parker's knack for 1950's era sci fi, it works really well. PIZZA IS HERE!! I am so excited, give me a sec...

Oh my god this pizza is so good...

Alright, where was I... Luke Cage punching monsters! Right! This story has a quick pace to it and jumps around quite a bit. It doesn't feel choppy though, which is always a possible pitfall for a fast paced team book. The interactions between the newest member, Hyperion (who's a total jerkwad), and the rest of team provide a lot of humorous and action packed moments. It's a fun issue that looks great. What more can you ask for?

Silver Surfer #1 (of 5)

This is a brand new miniseries about Marvel's silvery, planet sized lunch finder and it's written by Greg Pak. The issue starts right at the end of Chaos War (super cool, if you never read it) and we find the Surfer being his usual philosophical self. He's contemplating his existence, the cosmos, delicious pizza, and where to get Galactus his next meal. After dropping Galactus off at an intergalactic buffet, the Surfer ends up back on Earth. What happens from here, ends up with the Surfer being in a position he hasn't been in before. It's new, very intriguing, and possibly deadly for our hero.

It's difficult to view this issue as anything but a setup issue, but it's a good one. The character is handled well and the art looks great. Who knows where the rest of this series will go, but I'm definitely going to be reading to find out.

Generation Hope #4

This issue marks the end Hope Scooby-Doo'ing around the globe activating new mutants. There have been some wins, and one major loss, but I'd say it was a reasonable success. These new mutants are starting to become actual characters. We're getting to what their powers can do, their hopes, fears, and possible love interests. They're a cool group, especial Teon the dog boy. He cracks me up. It's a fun book that is only getting better as it moves along. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a fun X-book to jump into. Also, Teon catches a fish. Here it is.

Brightest Day #20

Two Aquaman issues in a row! That explains why I've been raving about Brightest Day so much lately. With six issues left of this series, we're beginning to see a lot of dramatic action. Prophecies are being fulfilled, people are dieing, and one big questions is beginning to form in my head...can you trust the white lantern? This issue features a huge battle between Aquaman and the undersea menaces that has been locked away in the Bermuda Triangle. It's brutal, action packed, and Mera shows just how powerful she is. It's a really cool issue with a shocker ending. I say you should be reading it! So do it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Comics! 2/9/11 Iron Fist Edition!

Iron Fist managed to appear in four different books this week. Considering that his series was put on hiatus several years ago, and that he isn't Batman or Wolverine, I'd say that's a pretty impressive feat. Here's a brief breakdown of the books he appeared in this week.

New Avengers #9

I wasn't really blown away by this issue. I hate to say that, really I do. I'm such a huge fan of New Avengers that I've literally developed heart palpitations from writing that first sentence. This is a very cryptic setup issue and the Nick Fury flashback scenes drawn by Howard Chaykin left a bad taste in my mouth. While the Nick Fury portion is confusing, the Mike Deodato pages with the New Avengers are full of the great action and humor that I've come to expect from this title. It's a pretty cool issue, but not up to sky high standards this book has already set. I just hope the next issue only has one artist.

Heroes For Hire #3

This series has really picked up the pace since its debut issue. We're no closer to discovering why Misty Knight is being held under duress by the Puppet Master, but we do see some things set into motion. Paladin confronts Iron Fist about Misty's dissapearance, which naturally results in an all out brawl. Meanwhile, Moon Knight fights a dinosaur. I'm serious about that, and it's totally awesome. This is turning into a really intriguing series, and it's easy on the eyes to boot! I recommend picking this one up.

Power Man and Iron Fist #1 (of 5)

Spinning out of the pages of Shadowland: Power Man, comes the debut issue of Power Man and Iron Fist. Iron Fist has decided to take the new Power Man under his wing and train him to use his powers. While this sounds good on paper, it quickly becomes a headache for Iron Fist. Power Man is rude, impatient, and immediately gets in over his head in the first issue. It's like a buddy movie in a comic book that's full of kung fu. I'm giving this book my seal of approval too. It's also written by Fred Van Lente, who wrote the awesome Taskmaster miniseries. Also, this panel is in it...

Amazing Spider-Man #654

Revenge of the Spider-Slayer comes to a deadly conclusion in this weeks Amazing Spider-Man. Spidey is desperately trying to build a weapon to negate the Spider-Slayer's "insect sense", while the rest of the New Avengers are beating the crap out of bad guys to protect Mayor Jameson. He's also trying to keep his secret identity under wraps from his new boss at the same time. No pressure or anything guys. The story is fast paced, action packed, and full of Spidey goodness. Stefano Caselli continues to impress with his visuals on this issue. The entire cast is vibrant and full of expression. I'm going to recommend this issue as well, mostly due to its crushing ending. It also has a bonus story for the new Venom series! It looks so cool!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Comics! 2/4/11

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted on here. The reason for my brief hiatus is that I went on a spirit quest in Sri Lanka. The end result, my spirit dinosaur is the ankylosaurus and I am to be weary of a dark haired man with a mysterious past. With that being said, let's talk about some comics that came out this week.

Ultimate New Ultimates #5

The bi-monthly schedule for this book really killed its momentum, but it sure is gorgeous. Frank Cho has put together another amazing looking book, and I feel it was worth the wait. We see some interesting things happen with the characters, cool fights, and about half the team ends up leaving by the end of it. All in all, I really enjoyed this story and this issue was a good ending. I would recommend picking it up in trade if you can't find the back issues for it. Also, someone gets a spear through their throat! That's top drawer entertainment in my book.

Brightest Day #19

This is the issue of Brightest Day that I've been waiting for. The issue that finally explains what is happening. It only took 19 issues to get to the explanation, which is way too long in my book, but I'll take what I can get. This issue is also entirely about Aquaman! He's been my favorite character in Brightest Day by far, so it made me very happy that I only read about him. The art continues to be solid and the story was really cool. Add in a couple of shocking panels at the end, and this is a must read for this week.

Invincible #77

After the explosive events of the last issue, I expected some more bloody fisticuffs. Instead, Mark is presented with an interesting ultimatum that he can't refuse. While it's not the epic brawls that I've come to expect from this book, it sets up a lot of interesting stories for the future. It's a fair trade in my opinion. Ryan Ottley continues to produce some of the best art out there and the story is top notch as usual. There are some grizzly scenes in the beginning of the book that should satisfy anyone's desire for disembowelment. However, if you truly desire disembowelment, then you're probably a murderer.

Hulk #29

This series continues to impress me with its awesome action, beautiful art, and well crafted stories. We get to see the Red and Green Hulk fight side by side in this issue, and they're fighting giant monsters to boot! The whole concept of it is a lot of fun, and it looks like it was a lot of fun for artist Gabriel Hardman as well. His pages are jam packed full of monsters, robots, and explosions. It's pretty awesome looking. We also get to see the rebirth of a villain that is a shop favorite. I'll give you a hint, he's a playable character in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. If you haven't been reading this book, then I highly recommend it. Stop in and check it out!