Friday, May 30, 2014

I'm watching "The Earth Dies Screaming" on YouTube as I start this post--kind of a crummy day today, so I needed a little boost to get started.

First up, some pictures of our unseen monster from the other day, from Prometheus and NECA, the Trilobite!

I'm not sure where the Trilobite's...ovipositor got to. Which is terrifying.

Next, the Spokane Comicon is tomorrow! It's not a big show, but I'm not one to jump up and down for meeting celebrities or anything. I just want a metric ton of quarter books and maybe a figure or two. (The first year I tried and failed to get to this con, they had Margot Kidder as a guest...and I don't think it was tons of fun for anyone involved.) I should be looking into what books I need to be looking for, but let's face facts: I'm not that organized. Or that anal. Mint condition collectors items aren't necessarily what I'm digging for, just as much reading as I can get.

On the other hand, I should maybe make an effort to avoid buying anything I know I already have, but don't have handy. But there's other books like Hulk #300--do I have that somewhere? Or have I just seen it online? I usually have a pretty good inventory in my head, but that one seems to be slipping my mind. And of course, if I stumbled across a copy of it under a couple bucks, I'd probably end up grabbing it. (I was thinking of that one since I picked up another Marvel double-sized issue, packed with guest-stars, that I thought had a similar cover. I may be wrong on that, though...)

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Today: Nightwing clears the benches.

I've seen lots of stories where the hero can't find anyone else for back-up, like the Fantastic Four or Avengers being out of town. I've seen fewer where the hero has to get rid of everyone. Like today's book! From 2008, the Brave and the Bold #15, "Wings and Arrows" Written by Mark Waid, art by Scott Kolins.

Nightwing is described as "next to Superman, Dick Grayson is the one guy alive that every other crimefighter trusts." So when he claims Trigon is going to invade earth, he's able to get the Justice League, Titans, Outsiders, and Justice Society in position to counter-attack. Too bad it's a lie.

Nightwing keeps Hawkman in reserve, but he also has Deadman, who explains the situation: the dragon-priest Siva Anuttara invaded Nanda Parbat, captured Deadman's boss Rama Kushna, and created "an army of body-haunting ghost assassins," who can take over people like Deadman can, except when they do it they kill their host. Deadman and Green Arrow failed to stop Annutara, but GA was able to put an arrow in Deadman and throw him off a cliff. This wasn't as stupid a plan as you'd think: while he comes back to life in Nanda Parbat, he returned to his ghostly self outside, and went to Batman for help. With Bats undercover, Deadman possesses Alfred to give Nightwing the head's up, but Nightwing realizes if he were to organize any superheroic help, they could be taken over and killed by the ghost assassins. So he lies to get all the heroes to safety; except for Hawkman, because they need his knowledge of ancient civilizations and whatnot.

Actually, Waid may need Hawkman for a specific bit later in the story, but it's fun so I'll allow it. I don't know how I missed this when it came out--I do kinda like the low-continuity, done in one or two stories better than the multipart crossover pseudo-epics. And for fifty cents, hell yeah.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014


As in most low-budget sci-fi movies...seeing the monster wasn't really in the budget. Actually, that tentacle thing is from the Prometheus Trilobite vs. Battle-Damaged Engineer two-pack (review from OAFE) and is super-gross. I should get some pics of Deadpool fighting it, but I'm running behind. That ovipositor thing really looks like...well, you know what it looks like.

Meanwhile, next week: two chapters! There's a reason...

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Future's Mend."

Eight years running, and no one's traveled back in time to stop me yet. So we'll probably keep going a while longer.

I'm looking forward to seeing X-Men: Days of Futures Past this weekend, although I thought I remembered Claremont or Byrne saying they regretted that story for the damage it did: instead of learning from the example of a tight, two-issue story; other creators followed the example of a seemingly inescapable horrible future and to kill off characters whenever possible for the sales boost. I don't think DC's the New 52: Futures End is bringing anything new to the table. In fact, the "Batman builds Brother Eye, and is pretty much responsible for the OMAC's killing a ton of people" plot was done a few years before the reboot, sometime after Identity Crisis, and it was just awful then.

First time I've had my DC figures out for a bit, then. I would've had this done earlier, but it took me forever to find the DC Direct Batman Beyond figure--which is a little oversized for use with DCUC, but I still like it. Makes him seem tougher.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

More charm and wit in three panels than either of their last series, combined.

I was going to take a couple days off to get something ready, but I ran into a copy of Worlds Collide #1 at the dollar store while getting batteries. I have the deluxe edition somewhere, it came with vinyl clings like Colorforms. Gimmicky, but neat. (Written by Robert Washington III, Dwayne McDuffie, and Ivan Velez Jr, with art by John Paul Leon, ChrisCross, M.D. Bright, Chris Batista, Tom Grummett, and Denys Cowan.)

This was the crossover between the late lamented Milestone universe and the Superman books, and while it's definitely a 90's book, it is in a different way than most 90's comics: instead of being drawn by a Lee or Liefeld clone and featuring eight splash pages, people talk and dress and have hair like the 90's. (And only six full-on splash pages, but mostly for good reason in a double-sized issue!) I miss the old Milestone books so much right now...
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Pool being dragged off by the monster was a direct swipe from the old Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Skin of Evil."
Like so!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Today: Amanda gets the band back together, the Tiger's true face, and Batman blows up a church.

I don't have a huge run of it, so when I find a mess of random issues for fifty cents a piece, I have to grab them: from 1990, Suicide Squad #41, "The Phoenix Gambit, part two: Embers" Written by Kim Yale and John Ostrander, art by Geof Isherwood.

Even though he's supposed to be manic-depressive, Count Vertigo sounds more like he's tripping hard, as he leads Vlatavan troops against Soviet forces. While riding a bronze statue in a park...don't those usually have riders? It's also a very conveniently located statue, since he's actually still in position to lead there. Vertigo is slowed down a bit when super-strong Stalnoivolk throws explosive Molotov at him--the latter name's a bit on the nose, then. Meanwhile, Amanda Waller recruits Vixen, who wants to find the MIA Bronze Tiger. And a small South American country is on the verge of open rebellion against its ruling general "and his whore!" Which isn't very nice, but said whore is none other than Poison Ivy, who wanted to control the general and the country. She's about to bail, when Batman arrives with an offer: help out Amanda Waller, or he'll leave her for the rebels.

In a dive bar in East Africa, Waller and Vixen find Ben--or rather, Bronze Tiger, since he claims Ben never existed. He had been brainwashed before, by the League of Assassins, so it's unclear how much of who he was remained. Having remarkably little tolerance for tomfoolery, Amanda makes him "wipe the gunk off" his face.

Next, they head to a South Pacific island where Waller had stranded the traitorous backstabbing "Boomerbutt," Captain Boomerang. Boomerang had built a giant well, boomerang, the kind he used to hassle the Flash with, and planned on using it to escape the island. Vixen launches it without him and it flies straight into a rock, so Boomerang opts to join Waller's squad.

Finally, in London, Batman visits a "cyberchurch," which is actually "a front for a murder-for-hire organization." Ravan claims each of their murders delays the arrival of Kali for a thousand years, but Bats blows up the church and hauls Ravan off for the Squad. And the issue ends with Deadshot, hired to kill Amanda Waller...

So much of this book was tied to the time, but still a lot to like there. Now if I could find that last issue...

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Monday, May 19, 2014

The Spokane Comicon is a couple weeks away--if you're there, look for me, I'm the guy buying all the comics. It also means maybe I should consider putting away some of the comics I picked up last con, but I have been working at rebuilding my stack of random comics for blogging purposes. Like today's book! From 2007, Thunderbolts #114, "Faith in Monsters, part five" Written by Warren Ellis, art by Mike Deodato.

Even though it still had some of the same characters like Moonstone and Songbird, this would've been in the middle of the book's third or fourth reinvention: this time, the villains were working for the government, bringing in unlicensed and unregistered heroes. This month, the T-Bolts are circling Sepulchre, American Eagle, and Steel Spider. Wow, that's pretty deep into the character roster: I'm pretty sure the editors give Ellis a list of characters and he picks the ones he can work with.

Somewhat unusually for the title, there were characters actively not seeking any sort of redemption, including Bullseye and the Mac Gargan Venom. Gargan was a bold choice for Venom, since it means taking away his Scorpion identity, but it made Venom an outright villain again rather than an anti-hero or "Lethal Protector." But there was a masked character who identity was hidden from readers for some time, a trope Thunderbolts used a lot: this time, with their new Swordsman. I had to look up who he was, and I had forgotten, it was kind of gross; but a nice touch from Ellis.

Later this week, we'll probably look at another government sponsored super-hero villain team...

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