I'm beginning to sense a theme here

From four consecutive pages in ASBAR #5:

shut up wondie

shut up supes

shut up GL

shut up wondie

All right alright already! I get the idea, guys.

Zinda Blake shows us. . .

. . . How To Deal With An Overpossessive Date!

DISCLAIMER: I'm sure that most of you probably realize that I'm not of the female persuasion, so it might not be exactly valid for me to talk about overpossessive dates.

TO WHICH I SAY: Look out behind you! It's. . . An Overpossessive Date!

Part of the male psyche is the need for territory. From watering holes in the past to go-carts in the near-present, to coffee mugs in the present-present, they have to own something, and it has to be theirs. (Hands off my blog!)

Unfortunately, this can apply to people as well, and us guys can get pretty possessive over our dates. In fact, we might even resort to out-n'-out violence:

overpossessive date zinda blake

How do you deal with this? You're not property for some random guy to just own, after all! You're your own person, not a coffee mug!
As it turns out, the solution to this is just as ancient as the habit itself. You can quell this hypermasculine behavior with a very simple gesture:

overpossessive date zinda blake


Or you could just tell them they're being rude. It's all good.

Strangely enough, this post involved a topic that isn't completely comical. I don't know how I came off, if I came off as some hoity-toity lecturer, or some disingenous douchebag, but I would definitely like your feedback. This is new territory for me, so comment anonymously if you wish.

Serial for 9-26-08: Superman/Batman #52

It's intensely humid in my dorm, so let's get to reviewin' comics before they get all wrinkly and crumble in my hands:

Superman/Batman #52
by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Rafael Albuquerque

This is the end of the two-issue arc, and also the last comic I have for this week. I'll try to compensate by going more in-depth.

The l'il villains make their move, and the Justice League and the L'il Justice League have to stop them. Meanwhile: CUTENESS! 

But there's more to the issue than fighting and adoring: it's also a story about innocense lost. The L'il Leaguers on their world were used to tripping up the villains with a banana peel, or trying not to get the Joker's soapy water in their eyes as opposed to acid. L'il Superman sacrifices his life to defeat Doomsday, and every Leaguer sheds a tear.

Was it necessary? Who can say.

Was it told well? Hell yes. It managed to tell The Death of Superman better than The Death of Superman, even.

And on the art side, uh, Albuquerque can draw the men and all that, but I don't like how he draws the women:

l'il black canary

Their lips are too full! It makes them look skanky.

I dunno, maybe I just really miss the way Cliff Chiang drew the Canary.

Do I use this image too much?
Whatever, I really like it.

I guess that's it for the review. A pretty poignant comic here, and a very good read. Will #53 be as good? Who knows -- definitely not me, but I'll keep an eye on it.

Cover to Cover: Wish Ambush Bug a happy honeymoon!

Are you ready? Put your mind at peace now. Is your soul pure? Clear any stray thoughts in your head. Are you ready?

Join me, and let us lock our hands together, our souls together, in that weekly ritual we call. . . 

. . . comic books.

Nova #17
by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Wellinton Alves and some fill-in-art-guy

Grooooooooss! Apparently, this is the week where all the Marvel Comics are putting a double-page spread devoted to the "Embrace Change" ads. It's really creepy.

The Skrulls play a bigger part in this issue besides ads, and Nova gets back down to Earth to help defend his brother's science lab from them with some other heroes.

Nova Darkhawk

He also undergoes this treatment to try to save Worldmind, the sentient super computer in his helmet. The machine looks kinda like a, um, MRI chamber. Soon after, the Skrulls attack, and then this voice pops up in Nova's ears. We're led to believe that it's Worldmind, until it's some random guy called Wendell Vaughn, AKA "Quasar." Boo.

I'm a bit bummed at the Worldmind fake-out, and, well, this issue wasn't that great. Not much goes anywhere. Hopefully next ish is stronger.

Ambush Bug: Year None #3
by Keith Giffen and friends

I was reading this at lunch today. . . 

by myself. . . 

and then I got to this part. . . 

Ambush Bug
That's really sad. 

The rest of the issue isn't as mean though, and there's even a plot this time, which puts it above the previous issue. Ambush Bug has to deal with his marriage to Dumb Bunny in Las Vegas, and he struggles with the decision of whether to love her or leave her. It's really fun too.

A lot of the jokes are in-jokes, so you might not get it, but if you do, this is definitely a great alternative to DC's gore comix, such as -sigh- Teen Titans

When you see Superman. . .

. . . give 'im a high-five for me!

Superman high five

From this week's Superman/Batman. I just now finished reading the three titles I got today, so hopefully I can look at them with you later this week.

Don't forget to put in all of your five fingers! Or was it six? If only there were a phrase that could help me remember. . .

Cover to Cover: worms worms worms

I've basically made three posts about last week's comics, and I still haven't gone through them all. Something's wrong here. . .

Wonder Woman #24
by Gail Simone and Bernard Chang

(This is the issue where Wondie checks out film prospects based on her likeness)
I know I kinda earlier complained about Chang's lanky depiction of Wonder Woman, but it's really improved here. She gives off a sense of power now, a sense of regality. Not a sense of "omg I'm so skinny."

The part with Nemesis was OK. I still don't see what Wonder Woman sees in that guy, but I love Gail and I trust Gail, and I know she'll tell a hell of a story out of it.
The part at Hollywood was the real highlight here. It's fun, and Gail nods at how difficult it's been to make a real Wonder Woman movie. It shows that Gail really cares about the character, but she's willing to have a lot of fun with her too. That's the kind of writer you want guys.

Also: Wondie's Gorilla posse RAWKed.

tolifhar etc

I might be staying on for just the next issue though, because I don't really get Simone's longer arcs.

Uncanny X-Men #502
by Matt Fraction and Greg Land

The title is advertised as having the writing duo of Fraction and Brubaker, but from what I've heard, the two of them are actually alternating arcs, so I'm only putting Fraction's name in the little white-credits-bar-that-I-doubt-anyone-reads.

On to the issue: there is soooooo much BDSM in here, and I'm not sure how appropriate it is for younger readers. This is the flagship x-title isn't it?

Well screw it. Just forget about Uncanny being the flagship okay? The new flagship is now X-Men: Fist Class, because a) the artist doesn't photo-reference/copy porn, and b) most of the antagonists aren't dominatrices.

Yes, there's a "Mistress." She likes to say "worm" a lot.

So am I regretting switching my X-Men: First Class subscription to this title?


. . . Yeah. A little bit.

A Duck in the White House

Forget about Obama!

Nuts to McCain! 

Howard's where it's at; get down America!

Look out world, Howard's running for prez, and here are some concrete reasons why your vote belongs in the FFP: the Feathered Fowl Party!

ONE: He sees the issues for what they really are! No illusions here my friend!

TWO: He cares about his fellow American!

THREE: He won't take his office for granted!

So get down America! Vote Howard for Prez in '08!

Serials for 9-21-08: Action Comics #869 + 1

Action Comics #869
by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

Johns is getting somewhat trite in this penultimate chapter of the "Brainiac" arc. The characterization seems step-by-step, with no real, I dunno, heart to it. It seems as if he's just following a formula, so the comic actually was kind of boring to me.
Step 1) devote some panel time to quickly characterize the supporting chracters.
Step 2) devote some page time to Supergirl getting retribution against the Brainiac sentries.
Step c) show Superman in peril against Brainiac.
Step d) make an ominous event in Smallville, to symbolize Superman's peril.
Step 5) cliffhanger ending.
I mean, it's still jam-packed, which is more than you can say for some other books, but there just doesn't seem to be any real consciousness to it. It seems so. . . howdoyousayit. . . telegraphed.

Gary Frank is awesome as always, but his facial expressions are a bit iffy. For example, Supergirl's angry look at the Brainiac Sentries might also convey constipation. That's not a good thing.

In the end, if you're gonna get it, wait for the trade, and even then, wait for a discount.

Here's an example I remember from many issues back: Johns did a flashback to when Clark was in high school. There,the kids picked on him, and he sulked back to his mom and dad. In the middle of the walk, he saw a bird, who took flight with a bunch of other birds.

And so did he. You should have seen the happiness on his face then. Now that's characterization with some real heart. It powerfully conveyed Clark's loneliness, and that's what I wanna see more of.

Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #28
by Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, Ig Guara and Rodney Buchem

This issue is wondeful. Luke Cage - Power Man, guest stars, and we get to meet his mama too! Doc Doom appears even!


Like last ish, there's a back-up with Paul Tobin, and there's also some art by Rodney Buchemi, whose style meshes so well with Ig Guara. If this were fill-in art, I'd be praising how it fits in so perfectly.

Paul Tobin comes up with a really awesome premise, but the execution falls short. There aren't as many jokes.

All in all, a great issue!

Cover to Cover: Cosmo - Skrull's best friend???

Well, I finally get to looking at the stuff I got this week. Hopefully future weeks are less hectic, hm?

Amazing Spider-Man #572
by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr.

Here's where Stormin' Norman Osborn implements his special tracking device to aim at Spidey. Wherever his goonies shoot, the bullets'll go after the emitter in Spider-Man's costume! Bullseye goes with some goonies, and they end up raiding the Coffee Bean, which gets Peter in costume. There's a fight scene, then Anti-Venom saves Spidey. Pretty standard stuff, except for the cliffhanger ending.


I did not see that coming! I'm definitely psyched for next ish, but still disappointed that MJ hasn't appeared.

Birds of Prey #122
by Tony Bedard and Michael O'Hare

This is structured really similarly to the title up top there. Basically a lot of fighting, until the cliffhanger ending.

Now that is a cliffhanger ending.

You can check out a better review over here at Chibistomb, but yeah, I don't have much to say about it.

Guardians of the Galaxy #5
by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Paul Pelletier

Aw man, this is the Big Reveal. Apparently, Cosmo the telepathic russian astro-canine is in cohorts with the skrulls???? This must be misleading somehow. It's freakin' Cosmo! The only way I can cope with this is through denial: the skrulls must not be the world-conquering skrulls that I'm thinking about. Maybe they're refugees or something. 
Either way, I won't believe that Cosmo's been aiding the skrulls in the destruction of human civilization!

Other than that, Starhawk becomes a girl for some reason, then disappears into the time stream, and then Drax goes insane and figures that if he blows up the entire place and kills everyone, he won't have to worry who's a skrull or not. Makes sense if you're psychotic, I guess.

I didn't really like last issue, but this one was pretty strong.

Have you seen. . .

. . . the "Embrace Change" ads for Secret Invasion? They're in all the Marvel comics this week, or last week, or something. Here's a nifty "Embrace Change" infomercial, although I find it far too cynical and uneven in regards to human nature:

Did you find it a little creepy? If yes, so did I! I believe it was very, very creepy, and if not, maybe this will help you believe.

I also thought it was confusing. By saying "Embrace Change," is this ad asking me to
"Embrace the total destruction of my civilization as I know it and the replacement of said civilization with a Skrullian one, thus firmly eradicating me from the face of the Earth?"
skrulls ouch

Because, well, that's pretty much what's been going on in the comic right? People killing people? Has there been any kind of negotiation? Why are Skrulls killing the people they intend to enslave/enlighten?

Who knows. Only time will tell. There are still two issues left right? Or one?

skrulls ouch

Arghhhh, I really wanted to put reviews up today, but 1) my comics aren't with me, and 2) I haven't gotten me to a scannery! Reviews up. . . sometime? My Saturday oughta be free.

If the conversation's getting boring. . .

. . . . Just Say The Magic Word!

peter yoiks!

God, I love Scooby-Doo.

Okay, here's the deal-io for real-io, guys. I'm officially moved in to my college dorm, but this "welcome week" is taking up my time. I've gone to the bathroom a mere twenty-two times today. Can you believe it????

Anyways, I'm really bummed that I didn't have enough time to go to the shop I always go to, but there's this other shop that's just a 10-minute walk from campus, which had all the books I was looking for.

I picked up Birds of Prey, Amazing Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Adventures: The Avengers, Action Comics and last week's Wonder Woman, but I've only read the first two. Hopefully I'll get to the others, but  there's this cultural deal-y I have to attend.


an inside look at a goony gathering

You know who they are. Goons. Henchmen. Cronies. Lackeys. Minions. Shills. Henchmen. Thugs.

. . . okay, I'll stop now, but you know who they are. No villain is complete without them, but they need to make a living like any other human being.

And they need to form labor unions too! Gail Simone gives us some insight on their meetings:

A productive bunch, aren't they? You can see more for yourself in Birds of Prey #72 or the third volume of Gail's Birds of Prey: "Between Dark and Dawn."

Braving the urban jungle - just get on a car

I was going through my old trades, and then I ran into this little gem:

It's Spider-Man -- on a car! Hah!

This was the one redeeming factor in the first arc of "Brand New Day." Because seriously guys. That's what comics are for.

This is from J. Michael Straczynski's fifth Spider-Man trade: "Unintended Consequences." I forget the issue number.

fut fut fut

Yayyyy, it's "I post random scans from my comics" day! 

I'm going through my long box, and trying to get up som
e stuff before I move out for college et cetera.

From Birds of Prey issue number I forgot:

This was during that whole "One Year Later" deal-y in the DC Universe. The Crime Doctor got tired of working for the Secret Society of Supervillains (or whatever they were called), and wanted to leave it.

Except for the last issue of the storyarc, it had some wonderful art by Paulo Siquiera, and it's one of Gail's strongest storiess in my opinion.

Reading Iron Man: Extremis

I'm about to be leaving the area soon, for my college, so I'm trying to read the entirety of graphic novels that my local library has available.

We all know it won't work, but at least here's one of 'em:

Iron Man: Extremis
by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: One of Tony Stark's colleagues formulates the "Extremis" enhancement drug, and it goes into the wrong hands -- a terrorist's! Can Tony stop him in time as the invincible Iron Man? Can anyone?

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT: Well, I like how Ellis touches on Tony's idea of working for peace while at the same time developing weapons for the military. It's an interesting concept, and it's what makes everyone picket Stark Industries as a war mogul.

Iron Man also jet-boot-kicks someone in the face:

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT IT: Very, very wordy. Ellis spends the first half of the six-issue miniseries making lots of fruitless dialogue that doesn't go anywhere. Then in the other half, he pretty much gives the story to the art, and there's plenty of pages that go without any kind of speech at all.

EXTRAS?: For some reason, there's a cover gallery of issues not included in the trade paperback. Considering, however, that the cover artist is Adi Granov, you shouldn't raise an eyebrow at all.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, this is one miniseries that supposedly changed Iron Man forever; now that Tony has Extremis in his blood, he can control his armor and other appliances via his mind. Ultimately, that's what the trade is meant to show, so just spend your money on chewing gum instead.

Or Clark bars!

No roast beef for you, Joey Q!

Talk about the google generation!

Not only am I using Google's blogger utility, now I'm using Google's internet browser, Chrome. And who knows, maybe you got here through a google search!
So have you guys checked out Chrome? What do you think of it? Scott McCloud, the same guy who wrote Understanding Comics made an ~40 page informational comic about it. Check it out!

Anyways, GOOGLE GOOGLE GOOGLE. Let's get back to comics. This one came out maybe three weeks ago, and I wasn't paying enough attention to get it. It's

Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #27
by Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, Ig guara and Jacopo Camagni
Marvel: Okay, 27 is your last Avengers issue - we're expecting something special.
Parker: Oh don't you worry, it will be. Heh.
Marvel: Really? Great! Who's in it?
Parker: Um. . . the guy with the thing - trust me, it's going to RAWK.
Marvel: You don't know what the story is yet, do you.
Parker: Think my phone's running out of juice-zzzz-can barely hear you *bwip.
That's the solicitation for MA: TA #27, and if that doesn't sell you on the issue, I'll just hang my coat and retire now!

In this here comic book, some of the Avengers go to a county fair to judge pies and various pig breedings. The others (Cap and Iron Man) stay and play basketball.

Hulk movie


A problem with kid's superhero comics is that they sometimes tend to talk down to kids, in ridiculous language using the superheroes. The thing is, most kids don't want to read that. They wanna read the real Marvel Universe. They wanna read what everyone else is reading. What makes Parker's MA:TA better is that he does neither. He just makes a darn fun comic, and these issues in his four(five?)-issue run are exactly that.

wolverine, bub

The creators here also know how to have fun with the credits. I don't know who do these, but they were similarly hilarious for X-Men: First Class, which I uh, dropped. Heh.

MATA credits

A great comic if you're looking for unconventional super-fun, but Parker's run is coming out in a trade digest eventually, so I recommend that instead of this.

Cover to Cover: Spidey's snapshot secret!

Hey-hey, another Wednesday, another batch of comics.

Er, make that one batch of comic, singular. There was only one title out this week that I wanted to get, and it was

Amazing Spider-Man #571
by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr.

With this baby, we're officially four-sixths through with "New Ways to Die," and I'm still peeved that we haven't gotten any MJ.

The Venom/Anti-Venom/Spider-Man fight comes to a halt here, as Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts interfere. Not much else really happens. There's an interesting bit when Menace gets angry at Osborn for using all his power, all his fame, just to get at Spider-Man. Menace apparently has bigger plans.

Harry has an emotional scene with his girlfriend, about her father's hospitalization, and their concept of "family," but that doesn't go anywhere.

But most importantly, we get to learn how Peter manages to take Spidey photos so well! Osborn finds Peter's camera in the fight scene, and figures it out:

Did you understand that? I had to read that panel a couple times to get it, but here's the gist: you know Spider-Man's spider emblem on his chest? There's apparently a tracking device on it, and the camera's lens tracks that emblem and keeps it dead center! Isn't that cool?

I'm wondering if MJ will ever show up now. Maybe next ish?

Anyways, stay tuned kids. I forgot to get some other issues last week, so we can get on those later.

Get down America!

With the Democratic and Republican National Conventions behind us Yanks, everything's official now, and every voting American has probably already decided their choice. Whether it's Barack "A More Perfect Union" Obama or John "Country First" McCain, everyone's vote is as good as done.

Except they overlooked one candidate.

Look out world; it's Howard the Duck, and he's running for President!

Here are a few reasons why YOU should vote for Howard! (And if you're not a citizen, then just fake a passport. I know a guy.)

ONE: He knows how to care for his fellow American!

TWO: With Howard, your hard-earned tax money is in good hands!

THREE: In Howard's America, everyone will have all the food and health care that they need and deserve!

So get down America! Vote Howard for Prez in '76 '08!

Howard announces his presidency!
The Feathered Fowl Party!
A big thanks to Teddy!

52 vol. 1: a year without Superman

52 volume 1
by millions of people

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In the aftermath of Infinite Crisis, the Trinity -- Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman -- is no more, but other heroes step in to protect the world. Booster Gold seizes the opportunity to market himself; John Henry Irons (AKA Steel) has to control his rebellious niece Natasha, and the Question enlists Renee Montoya to investigate a mystery, as Ralph Dibny looks into the "Cult of Connor."
Meanwhile, outside America, Black Adam is building up the national power of Kahndaq, and Animal Man/Adam Strange/ Starfire are stuck on a strange planet.

WHY I LIKED IT: You can probably tell, there's a heck of a lot of juggling plots here. The writing team of Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Keith Giffen deal well with it, though, and nothing is confusing at all!

The different plots can all go at their own pace, step-by-step, and nothing is compromised in the process. I tried putting this down when I was halfway, but I really couldn't. It was that enjoyable!

ALSO: Black Adam is really awesome in this trade. He doesn't take crap from anybody.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT IT: Ehhh, Booster Gold becomes a douchebag around the end of the trade. At least in the beginning, he was an amusing douchebag. Steel takes an overly hostile reaction to Lex about his metamorphosis as well.

The top two story threads in my opinion would be Black Adam's and Renee Montoya's. I can't really identify any "bottom" two, because none of them make me particularly angry.

EXTRAS?: At the end of each issue (this trade is the first 13 issues), there's a commentary by one of the writers, and sometimes even sketches. If there's a script, they even tell us which page to go to for comparison! In all the trades I've read, no other trade has ever responded this intuitively to the reader.

FINAL THOUGHTS: In the end, this trade is 13 issues for 20 bucks. That's a really good value, but I dunno if I can say, really, because I got this from the library.

Anyways, a really good book, and I'm beginning to understand why people like it so much.

Read all my reviews of DC's 52:
Volume 1: issues 1-13
Volume 2: issues 14-26
Volume 3: issues 27-39
Volume 4: issues 40-52 
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