Friday, February 29, 2008

I believe I can fly .....

Can you believe the nerve of this guy?

Truth, Justice and the American Way has always been the creed of the fictional Man of Steel, but the Junior Senator from Illinois himself apparently has the superpower to convince millions of (well, lets not name call here) that he is saying something ..... without REALLY saying something.

Annointed early on by the broadcast media as "our guy", it is difficult to imagine him not sweeping right into the White House for some historic oohs and aahs for the next several years. Frankly the guy bothers me, and I don't really care who objects to my fit of nerves over his Muslim faith, during our declared War on Terror against some other Islamic muslims.

If Obama succeeds in becoming President, he is going to have to come down on one side of the Middle-Eastern Muslim community, either supporting the Arabic goons that have encouraged the Bush Administration to hit the radical elements within the region [on their behalf] and continuing on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq and god-knows where else OR he is going to follow through on his promise to bring the troops home and leave those countries to fall back under the sway of the more radical elements - - - that haven't particularly gone away during the last few years of combat.

So, which way would a Muslim U.S. President lean? Neither Afghanistan or Iraq attacked us on 09/11/2001 and I seem to recall the tally from the identified hijackers being somewhere in the order of 14 out of 19 being from SAUDI ARABIA. And by the way, Osama bin Laden (the #1 poster boy for those very same Islamic extremists that Dubya is always going on about) is a Saudi Arabian, too.

But, we sure have paid the damn Saudi's alot of scratch for their oil since then. We do still have billions of available gallons of crude under our own soil - - - Don't we?

Why doesn't the Jr. Senator layout his plan to effectively redress this eight year fiasco and layoff of the "hope for change; but I'm not really sure how to accomplish that either" nonsense.

And before you get your panties in a bunch, Hillary's greed for the White House doesn't make her a good candidate, McCain sucks, to heck with the ones that dropped out of the race. Huckabee is a butt-monkey, the rest of the field [both of them] pretty much suck out loud, too.

I wish that Americans would at least have given Ron Paul a shot, taken the man at his word and let him try to get us the hell out of the rest of the worlds personal business, stop paying every nations bills (and for their defense) and maybe reformed all of the stuff that he said he would like to. You know when everybody tunes out the ONLY guy who is REALLY pushing a Constitutional agenda - - then we are all screwed by our own indifference.

Still, MAYBE Barack will stave off all of the horrors that are pending, and do something other than continuously blathering about change. Remember, none of these guys really changed any damn thing since they've been in office.

One can certainly . . . hope!

George W. Bush and his entire Cabinet perpetrated wholesale fraud on this nation at a level that decades ago would have been called by its true name . . . . treason. They can't leave office quickly enough, and I can't ever call myself a Republican again after what they've done to us.

In Memorium: Mike Smith

No. It's not comics-related, but it still made me sad. Some really great tunes came out of these guys!

Mike Smith (2nd from left in the photo), lead singer of the popular 1960s band The Dave Clark Five, has died. He was 64. Smith was admitted to a London hospital earlier in the week and passed away on Thursday, February 28, 2008, after contracting pneumonia. The illness is believed to have arisen after the singer suffered a chest infection, stemming from a previous [2003] spinal chord injury that left him paralyzed below the ribcage.

The Dave Clark Five were one of the popular British invasion groups in the 1960s and the band enjoyed successful runs on the US Billboard chart with singles such as Because, Can’t You See That She’s Mine, I Like it Like That, Glad All Over and Any Way You Want It. The band, originally from north London, were immortalized in the 1965 feature film Catch Us If You Can (directed by John Boorman), the plot of which centers around a glamorous young couple on the run.

The Dave Clark Five were eligible for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year, receiving the fifth most votes, but they were denied induction by Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner (Up yours, dude!) in order to allow the induction of Grandmaster Flash because no rap group was inducted into the hall. So boo-frigging-who to Wenner for his slap in the face to the DC5. In addition to Smith, fellow bandmate Denis Payton died from cancer in December 2006. Both would have been present had the band actually been inducted in 2007.

The Dave Clark Five will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

21st century blaxploitation

Yeah, check this out.

That's some very cool 1970's characters interacting on the first issue cover of Alex Ross upcoming Avengers/Invaders mini-series from Marvel Comics.

Let's see, besides Wolverine, there's Jessica "Spider-Woman" Drew, Carol "Ms. Marvel" Danvers, the whole 70's Invaders squad of Captain America & Bucky, Human Torch & Toro and the Sub-Mariner, all posing right alongside Spider-Man, the Wasp and Iron Man.

Oh, and then there's that large befuddled-looking, black gentleman standing at the back.

What ... Luke Cage, you say? Is that really supposed to be Power Man?

You mean to tell me that the veritable "Hero For Hire" himself is in that very image .... minus his trademark yellow and blue fighting togs?

Ah, I see, he's supposed to be projecting a "street-level" image these days. I guess I understand that, but it seems like nothing more than a "token" gesture to me.

C'mon Cage, put your classic hero duds back on, my man. I mean Sweet Christmas, what's this four-color world coming to?

Can you dig it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recommended (and on sale today): Justice League: The New Frontier

The highly anticipated direct-to-video animated film adaptation of Darwyn Cook’s acclaimed Justice League: The New Frontier hits stores today. Special features include a documentary on the forty-seven year history of the Justice League, commentaries, a documentary on early mythological villain archetypes that were adapted into the Justice League stories, a featurette on the themes & elements from the comic-to-film version of New Frontier, three episodes of Justice League Unlimited, and a 10 minute preview to DC’s next animated film; Batman: Gotham Knight.

An impressive lineup of celebrity voice talent is on hand, including Kyle MacLachlan, Jeremy Sisto, Lucy Lawless, Neil Patrick Harris, David Boreanaz, Phil Morris, Miguel Ferrer,Brooke Shields & Kyra Sedgwick.

Monday, February 25, 2008

"You know about transmigration of souls; do you know about transposition of epochs--and bodies?"

Camelot 3000 was one of its first direct market projects to be published by DC Comics between 1982-1985 [the latter part of the 12-issue limited series written by Mike Barr and penciled by Brian Bolland ran terminally late].

King Arthur, the wizard Merlin and several reincarnated Knights of the Round Table reemerged into an overpopulated future world of 3000 A.D. where they had to fight off an alien invasion masterminded by Arthur's old nemesis, Morgan Le Fay. Fulfilling the ancient prophecy that he would return when England needed him most, Arthur was accidentally awakened from his resting place beneath Glastonbury Tor by a young archeology student, Tom Prentice, whom Arthur took on as his squire and later a knight. The two of them subsequently traveled to Stonehenge, where Merlin lied trapped by the mystical creature Nyneve, and awakened him to help them retrieve Arthur's legendary sword, Excalibur.

King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot were traditionally portrayed as the familiar doomed triangle of lovers; with Guinevere reincarnated as American military commander Joan Acton, and Lancelot reborn as French industrialist and philanthropist Jules Futrelle. Sir Galahad was reborn as a Japanese samurai and devout adherent of bushido. Sir Percival, early on suffered the fate of being genetically altered into a monstrous giant, but he retained his gentle manner. The loutish Sir Kay revealed to Arthur that his characteristic obnoxious demeanor was in fact an intentional affectation meant to reduce tensions between the various members of Arthur’s court, by uniting them in mutual dislike of Kay.

In this version, Modred is not the son of Arthur's sister, but is instead the bastard child of Arthur by another woman. After Modred's birth, he had been taken away by a peasant woman to be hidden away from Arthur, but she was intercepted by Sirs Kay and Tristan. Arthur then attempted to drown the baby to keep him from becoming a threat to any legitimate heir; but then unknown to Arthur, the baby survived. In the year 3000, Modred is reincarnated as Jordan Matthew, a corrupt United Nations official in league with Morgan Le Fay, and who later fuses the recovered Holy Grail to a suit of armor.

The most divergent treatment of any of Arthur’s knights is that of Sir Tristan, who is unexpectedly reincarnated as a woman. This transformation forces him to reexamine his previous conceptions of gender roles and his own sexuality. Although his relationship with Isolde -- also reincarnated as a woman -- is tested by his new identity, their enduring love for one another eventually triumphs, and the two become lovers.
Barr and Bolland received widespread acclaim for their work on Camelot 3000, including a 1985 Kirby Award nomination for Best Finite Series.
Trivia: You get extra credit if you can identify the source of the title quote.

Friday, February 22, 2008

From the Dust Bin: Freedom's Five

This terrific Geoff Isherwood illustration is of the very obscure Marvel super-team, Freedom's Five. They first appeared [in flashback only] in The Invaders #7 (July 1976). Intended solely to help establish some heroic back history for the newly introduced British Invader,Union Jack, the team also incorporated an actual, former one-shot Marvel hero, the Phantom Eagle - here's the skinny:

From 1914 to 1918, a group of five Allied heroes of unknown background fought together as the Freedom's Five. (Left-to Right) The Silver Squire, Sir Steel, the Phantom Eagle, Union Jack and the Crimson Cavalier waged war against the Germans, their allies, and their superpowered agents, such as the vampire Baron Blood.

Unfortunately, nothing more is known about the Freedom's Five; their origin has not yet been revealed, nor have any more of their exploits.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

1970's Flashback: Captain Britain

Captain Britain , also briefly known as Britannic, was created by X-Men writer Chris Claremont and Incredible Hulk artist Herb Trimpe, the character first appeared in Captain Britain Weekly #1 (October 13, 1976). The character was later revamped in the mid-1980’s in stories written by acclaimed British writer Alan Moore and artist Alan Davis.

Captain Britain was meant to be the British equivalent of Captain America (who made a number of guest appearances in the original series; along with his arch-foe, The Red Skull). Endowed with extraordinary powers by the legendary magician Merlyn and his daughter Roma, Captain Britain was assigned to uphold the laws of Britain.

Brian Braddock was a shy and studious youth, living a relatively quiet life in a small town with his parents and siblings (older brother Jamie and his fraternal twin Elisabeth). After the death of his parents in an automobile accident, Brian accepted a fellowship at Darkmoore Nuclear Research Center. When the facility was attacked by the Reaver, Brian escaped on his motorcycle, seeking help. Although he soon fatally crashed on his motorcycle, Merlyn and his daughter the Omniversal Guardian Roma, resurrected Brian. They offered him the chance to become a superhero! He was asked to choose either the Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. Considering himself to be no warrior and unsuited for the challenge, Brian rejected the Sword and chose the Amulet. This decision transformed young Brian Braddock into England’s Champion, Captain Britain.

The character has also become part of the extended X-Men family as a member of Excalibur.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Classic Cutie: Valerie Leon

British actress Valerie Leon is largely known for her appearances in various "franchise" films such as the Carry On series, and the James Bond films (she was in two, The Spy Who Loved Me & Never Say Never Again).

The buxom Brit was featured in the Hammer horror film, Blood From The Mummy's Tomb, and worked with Peter Sellers in Revenge of the Pink Panther.

Her genre television roles were equally varied in such series as The Saint, The Avengers and Space: 1999.

[Thanks Karswell!]

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Profile Antics: Bill Ward

Bill Ward was one of the premiere "good girl" comics artists of the 20th century. His risque illustrations in various mens magazines could actually "draw" your attention away from the pages of nude photos - - - and that's saying something.

The talented Ward also logged some time during the golden age of comics working on Quality Comics features Captain Marvel, Bulletman, Mr. Scarlet & Ibis the Invincible, although his contribution was largely on backgrounds. He provided full art duties on select issues of Blackhawk before moving onto freelance work for another publisher and then Ward did a hitch in the Army, where he created his most famous character, Torchy.

Torchy really paved the way for Ward's latter career turn into mostly ribald, or more sexually-explicit work like, The Adventures of Pussycat, Stella Starlet, Sugar Caine & the sexual escapades of Harold Brown in Juggs men's magazine.

Bill Ward passed away in 1998.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Adventurizing for 70 years .....

The Adventures of Tintin is a series of comic books created by Belgian artist HergĂ©, the pen name of Georges Remi (1907–1983). The series which first appeared in 1929, has been a favorite of readers and critics alike for over 70 years.

Set in a painstakingly researched world closely mirroring our own, The Adventures of Tintin presents a number of characters in distinctive settings. The hero of the series is a young Belgian reporter and traveller. He is aided in his adventures by his faithful dog Snowy (Milou in French). Later, additions to the cast included Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and other colorful supporting characters.

The success of the series saw the serialized strips collected into a series of albums (23 in all), spun into a successful magazine and adapted for both film and theatre. Tintin is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in over 50 languages and more than 200 million copies of the books sold to date.

The series has long been admired for its clean, expressive drawings and its engaging, well-researched plots straddle a variety of genres: swashbuckling adventures with elements of fantasy; mysteries; political thrillers; and science fiction. The stories within the Tintin adventures always feature slapstick humor; offset later by sophisticated satire and political/cultural commentary.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Unconquered Claws

Here is a glimpse of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in next years X-Men Origins: Wolverine film which is slated for release in May 2009 (much like the newly pushed back J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie; darn it).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

1970's [From the Dust Bin] Flashback: Hard John Apple

Warren Publishings venerable titles Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella all got their starts in the Swinging Sixties, but they continued to please throughout the Disco Decade of the Seventies, too. The 1979 Eerie Yearbook (regular issue #106) collected four mid-60's tales by writer Jim Stenstrum, and artists Richard Corben & Jose Ortiz that featured the amoral, freelance contract killer Hard John Apple; under the title "Hard John's Nuclear Hit Parade".

Set within a post-apocalyptic world following two religious wars that have virtually wiped out humanity, left the planet deserted and left the survivors struggling in a dog-eat-dog world, Eerie #106 presented an all-too common genre theme from those years, with one man trying to make a difference in a world that had already died aborning. I haven't had the issue in many years, but it made a a good impression on me at the time and I seem to remember Hard John going out with a real bang at the end - - - and taking the last remaining army (Russian/?) with him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Asterix the Gaul

The Adventures of Asterix is a series of French comic books by original writer René Goscinny and artist Albert Uderzo, however since the death of Goscinny in 1977, Uderzo has continued the series solo. The series follows the exploits of a village of ancient Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They accomplish this by means of a magic elixir, brewed by their druid, which gives the recipient superhuman strength; which is then often used for comic effect, as in a recurring sequence where the villagers sally forth from their village to rout the attacking Romans so easily as to consider it great sport. In many cases, their resistance leads the main characters to travel to various European countries (but they've also strayed as far as Egypt, America, India and other non-European locations) in every other book, while the remaining volumes are set in and around their village.
The 33 main books or albums (one of which is a compendium of collected short stories) have been translated into more than 100 languages and dialects beyond the original French.

Being a longtime comics fan, I had heard of the series, but really only discovered its joys in the last couple of years. The artwork and tongue-in-cheek puns filtered throughout the series [predominantly evident in various character names] makes the Asterix books a delight for all ages.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Classic Cutie: Sharon Tate

Despite her minimal acting resume, which included minor appearances on television classics like The Beverly Hillbillies and an all-too brief run of big screen cult favorites like Valley of the Dolls, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Eye of the Devil & The Wrecking Crew, Sharon Tate is primarily remembered for her infamous murder by members of the Manson Family in 1969.

Prior to her death, Tate had been a Golden Globe nominee [ for Valley of the Dolls] and her career, in hindsight, suggests that she may have emerged as a fine comedic actress on film. Married to director Roman Polanski at the time of her death, Sharon Tate was also eight months pregnant. Her horrific murder sent shockwaves throughout the entertainment community and in the media, and subsequently her mother refused to allow her daughter to remain the face of unfortunate victimhood by advocating for strong victim rights and endlessly lobbying to keep the Manson Family members who were convicted of the crimes behind bars.

Sharon Tate was also a noted model and cover girl and her incredible beauty remains timeless.

In Memorium: Steve Gerber

Courtesy of Newsarama:

"After a battle with pulmonary fibrosis, acclaimed and beloved writer Steve Gerber died on Sunday from complications due to his condition. The news was confirmed by a close acquaintance. He was 60 years old.

Gerber was a comics fan all his life, having started the fanzine Headline in his early teens, and eventually finding work as a writer at Marvel in the early ‘70s, working under Roy Thomas. Amid the work that was coming out of Marvel at the time, Gerber found his own, unique voice which often mixed the usual superhero tropes with satire, commentary and an absurdist sense of humor. During his early days at Marvel, Gerber is best remembered for writing The Defenders and Man-Thing, and of course, creating Howard the Duck and Omega the Unknown and having notable runs with many Marvel characters, from Shanna the She-Devil to the Guardians of the Galaxy, Son of Satan, and Tales of the Zombie. In many ways, Gerber was 1970s Marvel. It was his unpredictable, groundbreaking work and strong desire to stray from the beaten path throughout the ‘70s that made Gerber a role model for the next two-plus generations of comic book and other writers, including Michael Chabon and Glen David Gold.

After leaving Marvel in 1979, Gerber became something of a journeyman in comics, putting in time with some of DC Comics heroes, but most notably, being present at the forefront of the “independent revolution” of the 1980s. When it came to “mainstream” superhero comics of the time, Gerber was as loud a voice (or louder) advocating change and modernization as the legends of the day such as his friend and colleague, Frank Miller.

Many of Gerber’s larger plans did not come to fruition and, like many creators at the time who found that comics had seemingly passed them by, Gerber turned his attention to animation and television in the ‘80s, writing for Dungeons and Dragons, Transformers, Star Trek: The Next Generation (“Contagion”), G.I. Joe and Thundarr the Barbarian, which he created."
Condolences go out to his family, friends, co-workers & many fans.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In Memorium: Roy Scheider

Well-known actor Roy Scheider passed away in Little Rock, Arkansas on Sunday at age 75 from an undisclosed illness. He had been receiving treatment for multiple myeloma for the past two years.

Scheider appeared in many blockbuster action & genre films, including The French Connection, Jaws, Marathon Man, Blue Thunder and 2010. He also starred as Captain Nathan Bridger on the sci-fi television series, Seaquest DSV for producer & friend Steven Spielberg.

He will be sorely missed and condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Incredible vs. Invincible

Who wins in a battle between 2008 Movie-Hulk and 2008 Movie-Iron Man?

Beats me! But it will be fun seeing these two in theaters in just a few months time.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Maiden America?

Kara Zor-El seems to be suffering from a bout of "Supergirls-Gone-Wild" euphoria in the closing weeks of Countdown to Final Crisis [Yuck!], doffing her duds before dashing off to tackle some fortunate evildoer, but then nothing else of true importance is really going on in that sad excuse for a series.

Do you folks who are buying those seemingly endless issues really have nothing better to do with your hard earned sheckles?

And sadly, No, the fetching lass to the immediate left isn't really the lovely Maiden of Steel, but then again, Countdown to Final Crisis isn't really a worthwhile comic book for DC to have tossed out there.

And .... (yay!) .... we still have the whole Final Crisis brouhaha to look forward to.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review: The Twelve # 2 (of 12)

The Twelve time-lost Mystery Men of World War II adjust to the reality of life in the 21st century. But where do you go, what do you do, when everybody you knew is either dead and buried or in old-age homes, and the future you thought you were fighting for turned out to be radically different from what you imagined?

Okay, the second issue of J. Michael Straczynski & Chris Weston's revival of a dozen old golden age Timely Comics characters has hit the stands, courtesy of todays Marvel Comics.

The Twelve #2 brings to mind a line from an old Fats Domino song, I'm Walkin":

"I'm walkin, yes indeed and I'm talkin bout you and me ... "

And basically that's about all that happens in this issue, walking and talking that is. Oh, there are a few pages that show Dynamic Man back in action in the modern world and these moments pointedly drive home how things have changed for these WWII mystery men. Another sequence touchingly shows Captain Wonder's graveside visit with his - now deceased - family members. However, since today's readership can't determine what a dramatic moment this is supposed to be, Weston treats us to a full page spread of Prof. Steve jordan prostrate over his wife's headstone. In the silver age of comics Stan & Jack would have handled all of the above in a few establishing panels and THEN blown us all away with a slam-bang, knock-em-dead superhero freeforall. [There is also one huge error during this sequence. In flashback, Prof. Jordan's wife mistakenly calls him by the wrong first name (Earl, instead of Steve). The editor on this title must be asleep at the wheel.]

No such luck here! The dangling plot thread from the previous issue gets no forward momentum this time around. The Blue Blade's murder gets recapped briefly right at the outset of issue number two and then - nothing. Straczynski specializes in talking heads over action, but if the entire mini-series follows this model, there may not be much to hold the audiences attention.

Sadly, it's not like the writer here isn't capable of telling an old-style action yarn. Of much better interest here and tantalizingly alluded to in a very few panels is what is going on with the Black Widow and her supposed "deal with the devil". This is much more like it; and more like what Stan & Jack would have done in another era. Another fine example of condensed storytelling that moves the readership along, and entices at the same time, is the poignant moment with Rockman at this issues denoument.

So, I guess this review is a recommendation, but only a guarded one thus far. Only time will tell!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

In Memorium: Barry Morse

Noted British character actor Barry Morse passed away at the age of 89 on February 2, 2008 from an undisclosed illness. Genre fans may remember him from the classic 1960's TV series, The Fugitive, where Morse played Lt. Phillip Gerard, endlessly pursuing David Janssen's Dr. Richard Kimble - - roles later played by Tommy Lee Jones & Harrison Ford in the popular 1993 movie version.

Barry Morse was also featured as Prof. Victor Bergman in the initial 1975 season of Space: 1999. He was cremated at the request of his family.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

1970's Flashback: The Golem

"In centuries agone, they had called him a myth, a creature formed of stone and clay and the blood of a people's oppression - a moving monolith who rose before the voice of tyranny - shattered it in his monumental fists - then vanished into the sands of time - there to be almost forgotten - until today! Now, once more, he rises - summoned from his eons-long sleep to protect those he loves. Now for the first time in untold decades - there walks the Golem!"

Deep in the Sahara desert, Abraham Adamson (the descendant of Rabbi Judah Loew Ben Bezalel) was searching for the Golem. The Rabbi had once created the Golem to protect and avenge his persecuted people. Abraham was accompanied by his nephew Jason, his niece Rebecca and excavator Wayne Logan. Abraham had carefully studied the ancient parchments of the legend and had brought them to the exact spot in the desert where they were indeed able to unearth the Golem statue.

Unfortunately, a number of Middle Eastern deserters showed up (led by Colonel Omar) and began looting the site. One of the soldiers got jumpy and shot Abraham, so Omar took the others as hostages to avoid an international incident, leaving Abraham alone to die with the Golem.
Abraham retrieved the ancient parchments and intoned the Mystic Alphabets of the 221 Gates to bring the statue to life, yet when nothing seemed to happen, Abraham began to weep, and one of his tears landed on the foot of the giant statue. There was a searing flash of light and Abraham Adamson died ... but the light began to shine in the eyes of the Golem!

Thus began Strange Tales # 174 (June 1974), where the Golem first appeared. Not a character of long duration, the Golem certainly got off to a great start with writing by Len Wein, and art duties by two silver age masters, John Buscema & Jim Mooney. With only three appearances in the title (all in 1974), the Golem's story was left somewhat dangling - - - until it was summarily finished off about a year later in [ of all places] Marvel Two-In-One starring the Thing. But now, lets get back to the rest of the introductory story summation:

The Golem ripped through Colonel Omar and his men as they were about to leave the camp, their weapons useless against the giant. The Golem stopped when only Omar was left, and the deserter threatened to kill Rebecca if the monster came any closer. The Golem suddenly lashed out and crushed the gun in Omar's hand and then killed him. The Golem studied Wayne, Jason and Rebecca; who began to scream as she recognized the familiar twinkle of her Uncle's eyes in the corners of the glowing eyes of the Golem!

Sadly this horror-inspired creation just didn't grab readers at the time and Marvel pretty much dumped the Golem.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Oh, Wicked Wanda!

Looks like the estimable Frank Cho has done it again, with this cover that he's provided for Ultimates Vol.3 #3 (of 5).

The Ultimates is Marvels adult-skewed, directors-cut-styled version of the Avengers, which explains the Scarlet Witch's somewhat naughty ensemble.

A once heroic character, Wanda Maximoff was revealed as being bug-nuts crazy in Avengers:Disassembled and its "ho-hum" follow-up, House of M.

Now it seems as if they only want to portray her as a floozy!

Well, its a great cover Frank, but you guys can keep it. Unless you would prefer to shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Spark of Inspiration Recommendation

Atomic Robo is the creation of writer Brian Clevinger and artist Scott Wegener, it's published by Red 5 Comics. First mentioned on 8-Bit Theater's website, Atomic Robo is a robotic [of course] intelligence invented in 1923 by Nikola Tesla (and anything about Tesla usually gets my attention). From that time forward, Atomic Robo finds itself a part of important events of the 20th century, ranging from fighting Nazis during World War II to the Space Race, the Civil Rights Movement, and beyond, all the while saving the Earth from various catastrophic events.

An interesting premise to be sure, so if you haven't seen it rush out and find a copy.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

From the Dust Bin: Spectro the Mind Reader

Spectro was known alternately as "The Master of Magic" and "The Mind Reader" during his Golden Age career. While battling crime, Robert Morgan, alias Spectro, acted less like a magician and more like a hard-boiled private eye, crashing through doors and manhandling thugs. However Spectro did demonstrate some magical ability and his main power was reading minds, which often came in handy, especially when dealing with tight-lipped criminals.

His few recorded adventures were published by Ned Pines' Better Publications in issues of Wonder Comics & Black Terror.

Friday, February 1, 2008

TGIF! The jokes been on you ..... so lets review.

All right, no more bogus posts at the expense of DC or Marvel today. [But it's been fun!]

Instead, here is a review of "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes", a storyline that is currently running in Action Comics # 858 - 861 [and beyond].

I didn't pick any of these issues up until the latest issue (#861) hit the stands this very week. In the wake of Jim Shooter's return to the Legion in their own title, which I've enjoyed thus far, I became curious about the goings on with the 31st century gang over in Action.

Well, it seems that the promos weren't lying, these are the classic, pre-Crisis Legionnaires who find themselves on the run, disgraced and at the mercy of ..... the Justice League.

Of Earth, that is.

Steeped in Legion lore, Geoff Johns, Gary Frank & Jon Sibal are producing a bravura tale of heroism and nostalgia in this perrenial Superman Family title. And while the tale revisits what became of the old ("original") Legion of Super-Heroes characters, since the last time we saw them - - - What, ten-fifteen years ago? - - - the story literally has everything to do with the Man of Steel and his heroic legacy, which has been twisted to suit the whims of a a gang of former Legion rejects (who're calling themselves the Justice League of Earth), and who've outlawed all extra-terrestrials from being on Earth, ceded from the United Planets and who've ruthlessly hunted down the Legionnaires; that previously rejected their bids for membership.

Johns knocks another one out of the park, folks. If you're not picking up Action Comics at the moment, you really need to rush right out and get some. Gary Frank, Jon Sibal and the rest of the creative team are bringing Johns script to life on page-after-page of simply wonderful comics art. You've just gotta see the subtle redesigns of the classic Legion costumes.

My favorite, Dawnstar, and I'd have to be crude to state why.

Now, I don't know how the two disparate groups of Legionnaires relate to one another, and with the upcoming Final Crisis [ which supposedly features the Legion in a prominent role], maybe this will all get worked out in the wash. Suffice it to say that for longtime Legion fans, like me, it is a great time to revisit some old friends.