Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The first thing that any good emergency worker will tell you is that when you've got a critically injured patient on your hands, time is of the essence. A wasted second could be the difference between life and death, and you can't always afford to play by the rules. When the clock is ticking, there may be no time to open a door and walk through it -- instead, crash face-first through the plate glass windows of the hospital, using the patient as a sort of battering ram. It may be the only way to save a life.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Just as the full, united force of the Marvel Universe prepared to strike its final blow against the invading Skrull empire, the Skrull Queen pulled one last ace from her sleeve: a deadly biological weapon, hidden inside the DNA of Janet "The Wasp" Pym. The heinous Skrull plot was thwarted, but at the terrible price of Janet's life. This would be the most heart-rending superhero story in decades if there were one single person on Earth who gives the smallest sliver of fuck what happens to Janet Pym.
Now, free after years in alien captivity, Hank Pym is forced to confront a world in which the Avengers are shattered and Captain America and his wife are both dead. He attributes this to the bungling of one Mr. Tony Stark, and fair enough, but it seems something of a faux pax to just fuss him out in the middle of Janet's funeral. Luckily reason and good manners return in the appearance of Thor, who gently reassures Hank that Janet has achieved her ultimate triumph in Valhalla (well, he would know, wouldn't he?) before gently carrying him away, so that the two men may conquer their sorrow together in private. Also, Hawkeye runs into Norman Osborne at the funeral and tells him to get fucked. Where did these so called heroes learn to BEHAVE like this?
Monday, December 15, 2008
- Apparently Wolverine fought in the American Revolution, and every subsequent war
- Ryan Reynolds looks less like Deadpool and more like a huge douchebag, which is just shocking
- Didn't X2 establish that Brian Cox created Wolverine? Brian Cox owns, why isn't he in this movie
- huh yeah I guess that is what Gambit would look like in real life
- haha why does Sabertooth run like the effeminate vampires from Twilight
- Emma Frost looks less like a femme fatale here and more like a 14 year old girl
- unless Colossus was inside that Jeep tossing him out, I'm not sure Wolverine can leap 15 feet into the air
- "Do you even know how to kill me?"
"I'm gonna cut your head off".
Yeah I mean, I guess that would do the trick.
- Why isn't Brian Cox in every movie. That guy is the best.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As it turns out, this film was written by J Michael Straczynski, whose tenure as writer of Amazing Spider-Man presented us with:
- the revelation that Spider-Man's powers are actually the product of a magical spider cult
- Gwen Stacy as the mother of Norman Osborn's bastard children
- Peter Parker revealing his secret identity on national television
- a grand finale where Peter Parker must negotiate with Satan to re-write history and save his octogenarian aunt from machine gun wounds.
In retrospect, it's hard not to wonder if Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada signed off on Straczynski's maniac ideas as a way to purposefully fuck up Spider-Man so bad that he would be left with no choice but to hit the reset button, and thereby fulfill his long-time dream of dumping Mary Jane from the book.
Anyway, I'd like to say this justifies my decision to not see this movie, but really I'm just happy to learn that there's so much upward mobility from writing He-Man adventures.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Alright Jeph Loeb, are you ready to save the motherfuckin' Ultimate universe?! HELL YEAH BRO LET'S DO THIS THING.
First we are treated to an intimate moment with each character, where they are placed in a setting that allows them to explain, out loud, whatever Loeb feels is their defining character trait (helpful for the reader who is maybe not familiar with, say, Spider-Man). Tony Stark is given room to celebrate his alcoholism, Johnny Storm screams petulantly that is father will "never get" him, the Thing lifts something heavy, and so on. Suddenly it gets a bit dreary out, and New York is destroyed by a tidal wave that kills roughly half of the superheroes. I know it's a tidal wave only because Mark told me so -- the art does nothing to convey this, and the book leaves us with the impression that Earth's Mightiest Heroes have been done in by a rainy day.
The book is structured in such a way that when Magneto is revealed as the culprit on the last page, it's meant to be a surprise -- and it certainly would be surprising, considering Magneto is not known for his ability to create fucking tidal waves -- were it not for the fact that his face is plastered over all of the advertising for this stupid comic. In his address over the Emergency Psychic Broadcast System, Professor Xavier informs the remaining heroes that Magneto had long spoken of his "doomsday plan" to kill everyone on Earth(!), but apparently Charles never believed he'd go through with it. Really now, Professor, you are a doctor of psychology. How could you disregard such a blatant cry for help? Shame on you.
Jeph Loeb had, at one point, been a perfectly competent hack, producing some pretty decent sequels to Batman: Year One, but this... this is not good. The plot is the absolute dregs of hackneyed superhero crossover fare , the dialogue is beyond preposterous, and the art is both ugly and confusing. It almost seems an excess of charity to call this "shit", but I'm at a loss for something more repellent to compare it to. If you can think of something worse than shit, please let me know.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Any fears I may have had that this book had regained its senses are thankfully put to rest here. Under psychic torture, Bishop gives up the details of his plan: he's been running around in the future detonating nuclear weapons all over the world, killing millions and making large chunks of the planet uninhabitable, so that Cable has less room to hide. To his mind this doesn't constitute genocide, because killing the kid will invalidate the timeline and everything will just start over. Well, sure, of course. Beast strongly objects to the advanced interrogation techniques used here, and I can totally see where he's coming from -- I believe the Geneva Conventions should be adhered to and Guantanamo closed -- but come on Hank, the guy tried to shoot a baby with a goddamn bazooka.
Now that Bishop has successfully reduced much of the future Earth to a smoldering cinder, Cable finds himself under attack by a band of marauders who survived the nuclear holocaust by, quite ingeniously, splicing their DNA and turning themselves into human cockroaches. Having literally buried his guns in the ground (a very nice symbolic gesture, if perhaps a touch naive) Cable is forced to hack these roach men apart with a chainsaw, which is certainly not a scene I ever expected to see here, but this comic is nothing if not full of surprises.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
It's been a year since the death of Steve Rogers, and Thor finally gets around to visiting the Captain America memorial in New York to pay his damn respects. Upon arriving, he attempts to summon forth Cap's soul -- a gesture that seems almost touching in its sad futility, until Captain America's literal ghost appears (!). Ghost Captain America charitably declines Thor's offer to avenge his death, but does go on to complain that his soul cannot rest because political pundits won't stop exploiting his death for ratings. It may seem unbecoming for the spirit of history's greatest hero to be so agitated by the nightly news, but the mighty Thor is nothing if not accommodating, and he uses his Hammer of the Gods to disrupt the transmission of cable news networks for sixty seconds of silence. Deeply touching.
Meanwhile, the other Norse gods are getting bored in Oklahoma, and the sexy new Loki begins planting the seeds for war between Asgard and Earth. This may strike you as an issue more urgently requiring the attention of Thor than making sure cranky old ghosts don't get too worked up when they watch TV, but the thoughts of the gods are not ours to understand, my friends.
EDITOR'S NOTE: i am not joking all of that really happened in this issue
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
That crazy Wolverine is up to his old tricks again, unraveling yet another shadowy conspiracy from his shadowy past, and this time he's brought his shadowy son, Daken, along for the ride! All this shadowiness seems to have put Logan on edge, because he's acting like a god damn lunatic -- first punching out both Cyclops and Emma for not telling him that Charles Xavier is still alive, even though they'd just found out themselves, and then immediately threatening murder when the Professor doesn't agree to tamper with the mind of his emotionally damaged son. Daken, meanwhile, is contacted by the shadowy Mrs. Sinister (apparently Marvel editorial decided this month that female versions of popular villains are the greatest fucking idea the world's ever heard of) and is lit on fire by some shadowy Black Helicopter types. No one ever said life in the shadows was easy!
The "original sin" referred to in the title is revealed when Wolverine reminds Charles (who, after being shot point blank in the head by Bishop, is understandably suffering from some light amnesia) that Logan was originally placed in the X-Men to kill him. This would be a fairly shocking revelation, if Mark Millar hadn't done the exact same story in Ultimate X-Men a few years ago. Nonetheless, this issue does provide a hilarious scene where Charles, upon learning that Logan has a twisted adult son, looks at him like he wants to shake his hand and light him a cigar. I award this issue an enthusiastic thumbs up!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
New Exiles exists largely, I assume, to keep legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont off the streets, and the premise suits him perfectly: a bunch of alternate X-Men from different dimensions jump from variant Earth to variant Earth and resist whichever superhero has inexplicably turned to evil and conquered that particular world. The concept frees Claremont to do whatever he wants with his pet characters without stepping on the toes of anyone writing the flagship (re: profitable) X-Books.
Unfortunately, Claremont is, as of this writing, one hundred and seventeen years old, and he has absolutely nothing left to say about the X-Men. In this issue we see a heroic Sabretooth on the run from an evil Wolverine (OMG THE WORLD HAS GONE TOPSY-TURVY) until Kitty Pryde intervenes and says things like "This is so not good" and "That was so totally my bad". SLAMMO!
The cover of this comic book is inexcusably terrible. It looks like it was stolen from a 16-year-old's deviantArt page. That aside, this issue takes a step back from the precipice of Total Fucking Insanity that this book had been teetering upon. Two years have passed in the future, and Cable has married and settled into quiet domesticity, raising the still-unnamed kid in a farming community. There's some good stuff here, like Cable wondering whether Little Girl's tantrums are a product of her violent early life or just a normal kid thing. There is also a profoundly stupid scene of Cable's wife sleeping comfortably with her head nuzzled against his giant metal robot arm.
Meanwhile, Bishop visits the present and promptly gets his arm slashed off by Wolverine. Scott and Emma take turns interrogating him, until he finally gives up his plan: having failed to kill the baby, Bishop says the hell with it and decides he's just going to obliterate the entire space-time continuum, which strikes me as overreactive but strategically sound.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Lady Bullseye is, I guess, an okay (if not desperately original) character idea, but that costume is a god damn mess. As a child, Lady Bullseye was inadvertently rescued from slavery by Gentleman Bullseye, and soon after she discovered that she was born, like all Japanese people, with the instinctive ability to kill with her bare hands. Now she has turned her talents towards killing Daredevil's allies, probably in some harebrained scheme to make Bullseye fall in love with her. I guess that's women for you.
Meanwhile, Matt goes to bed with Dakota North, the supermodel-turned-private detective (a totally plausible career change). This in spite of the fact that his blind wife is locked away in an insane asylum, stemming from recent events that he's indirectly responsible for. What a dick!
CAPTAIN AMERICA #42
Here we see the new Captain America finally unravel the plot that killed Steve Rogers and nearly sent the country spiraling into anarchy, a conspiracy made up of:
The Red Skull
the mad Captain America from the '50s
an evil businessman
an evil politician
an evil psychiatrist
an evil scientist who exists as a giant green face projected onto a TV with legs
and so on. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what happened in this issue, and I've read it twice. The plot involves a number of betrayals and several people switching their brains into the bodies of other people and I'm sure someone will make sense of this but that person is not me. What's notable here is that Brubaker is able to make the new Captain seem like something fresh, despite Bucky being every bit the relic that Steve Rogers was. This is a good comic book!
KING-SIZE CABLE SPECTACULAR
This is the most preposterous series I have ever read. The premise: two years after the Decimation that wiped out all but 198 mutants, a mutant child has been born. A melee ensues, and finally the X-Men are able to secure the baby from the various factions who seek to control her. The fate of mutantkind could hinge on the survival of this child, and Cyclops makes the only reasonable decision to ensure her safety: he hands her over to his estranged son, the paramilitant zealot from the future, who straps her to his chest and takes her to a post-apocalyptic New York where gun-toting lunatics are constantly trying to kill them both.
Look at the size of that gun! He is constantly firing that thing off, inches from the head of a damn little baby! He might as well forgo the gun and just fucking throw her at people. I know we are talking about a comic book, but this strikes me as untenably insane. I didn't actually read this latest issue, but if it's anything like the previous seven, it went something like this:
BISHOP: HAND OVER THE GIRL, CABLE!
and then they shoot at each other for 45 pages.