Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tum-tum Troubles

I hate food as an impulse buy. I hate high calorie junk food as a meal option. I hate hate hate buffets. All you can eat... it's a challenge. I looooove a challenge. When people tell me I can't do something. I love to prove them wrong. I may not do it all that well... but tell me I cannot do something and it is an invitation I probably won't turn down.

But buffets... ugh. There is no reward for "saving money" for "beating the system". Mostly because it is all mediocre food to begin with. So, with time I have learned not to accept the challenge, I ate sensibly... for the most part. And what is my reward for that... a rather uncomfortable 4:30 am case of heartburn. And some added bonuses. Thank goodness I did not eat alot.

Mostly what I hate about buffets, is the people. Noone knows buffet etiquette (if it ever existed). And I am not talking gross etiquette, although I am sure that could well be the case too. I am talking placement ettiquette. Everyone runs around with the idea that they are heading one way... and everyone else is heading that same way. Look up from your spaghetti... concoction long enough to see that this ain't an obstacle course.

My everything hurts ... oh mac and cheese from the box... next time I am eating in with you. You're next Mr. Hamburger Helper.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Innocent Bystanding

From the site of Peter David: When "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man," the new Spidey series coming from Marvel late this summer, hits the stands, it will be launching with a different creative team than previously announced: Mike Wieringo as artist, and yours truly as writer.

This is a great thing to wake up to, this and an actual e-mail from a friend have made my day. (It is a wonder I still have e-mail. My least favorite thing is swimming through the junk). This news has me smiling from ear to ear. I am a huge Peter David fan, and honestly, it was a situation of being a fan well before I knew who he was. I have his first Spider-Man issue that he speaks about. And the follow up issues the absolute high quality "Death of Jean Dewolffe"

I don't like the Hulk, and I learned a long time ago. Don't buy what you won't like. But then I hate interstellar space stories. And here was Captain Marvel, and as with most Peter David stuff, it caught me well into the series... a month or so before cancellation. But finally, something I get my ultimate fanboy wish granted. (Well, not ultimate... but the one with the most realistic chance of happening -- Get back to bed, Natasha) Anyway keep your eyes peeled also, because Peter David does not disappoint. And after House of M... jumping into Spidey will be simpler then writing my name, backwards... in pig-latin. Heh, just kidding.

Well, I think the blog might be a little less this week, I got this wedding so I will get comics late. And really my blog is nothing without all that. So enjoy our time apart... and make sure to ask your lawyer to lift that restraining order. Or beyond that you could admit the electric fence is a bit much... no? The moat then... I mean honestly an electric fence surrounding a moat... there has to be a zoning law that prohibits that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

One Man's Trash

The comic book trance. I am glad I don't get out all that often. At least where books are. I have to buy something, every single time. Take for example Target. This store recently came to our town, and for months preceding it's arrival, I had been anxious for it. Having heard stories of cheap collections of various books. Something between a graphic novel and a comic book... a holy grail for the impulse shopper like me. So, we finally got our Target, and for the first few weeks I had gone there several times never concious that barely a couple of days had passed, until friends and family would say, "Weren't you just there?"

It is a lousy selection for me admittedly, everything is lousy when you pick up almost every recent issue of interest in your local comic shop. But it never fails I will always sit there... and study every displayed one... later going so far as to look behind the ones that were shown. It is a trance. I would sit there for nearly an hour if I could weighing the options. I did find Gus Beezer on the first trip, and that was delightful. Every trip that followed got worse and worse, until I finally decided it is best to wait until either some new material comes in... or this material becomes deeply discounted or gotten rid of entirely (the last two options happen quite often) I bought the last Marvel digest in town about a week ago.

So, I mean this always happens. Every store that I know that concievably might have comics... the trance occurs. And at least 8 out of 10 times something is bought. And there is a new huge bookstore coming to town. Worse yet, part of my honeymoon. A big city comic shop. Bring the shock collar, I have a feeling I will be hard to pull away.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Panel to Panel Reviews

What a weekend, I am glad I finally got around to reading these issues.

Runaways #3- An issue with two cliff-hangers! Loads of action. If you aren't getting this title... well I can't say I blame you. It does have a lot of book. But every character is so easily distinguishable. And let me just say, seek out any issue. That is what I did. And this book was delightful. Did you ever watch the cartoons where the bad guys would team up against the hero(s)... and they would inevitably get power hungry, and screw the plan up. Well there was a breach in the opposing team, and it was the most natural, yet still bizarre turn of events I have ever seen. It may be hard to start up but Runaways is well worth the effort.

Young Avengers #3- This one never fails to make me think. Mostly because it is the last title that I would have expected to. A few more mysteries are resolved. And a huge threat is exposed, and the grown-ups, may have hindered these upstarts from taking down what I can only assume is one of the nastier baddies in the MU. This title has heart, and I am quoting another reviewer in saying that this is one of the better things to come out of Avengers Disassembled... resolution.

Fantastic Four #525- Well damn, I hope Karl Kesel is writing 526. He left me with a heck of a cliffhanger. I only hope that if he is, he ties things up nicely, I have little desire to continue this title without him. This was really fun, it's got the Kesel humor, and just enough twists and turns to make you smile in appreciation. It is not what he is about... but he does it well enough to tell a rather fantastic story. Pick it up if you are as much a fan of Kesel as I am.

Conan #15- This is the longest I have consistently read a Conan book. Which is strange to me now, as this book was readily available when I was a young teen at a local library for free. I was fickle then, I am only aware now that I have this great passion for comics and the only hinderance is a monetary one. This issue is a sort of vacation for the regular artist Cary Nord, and as such it was wonderful in execution. For the duration of the title every seven issues or so another installment into the life of Conan as a boy is told. This is part two. This issue was primal... it becomes exceedingly obvious how soft I am when I read something like this. I have been a boy in this story, the boy Conan crippled, who was content to be a scorekeeper in the children's games... but I yearn to be Conan. Let me just state that a part of this issue is violently graphic... and yet even at the most feral of moments what was the one thing to stop Conan in his tracks ... a woman. Oh sometimes the most classic of tales holds the most truth.

Wolverine #27- Wow, that cover is breathtaking, very much in the vein of Steranko. I will say this for Millar, his epic storylines do captivate. And it was probably the biggest spectacle Arkansas has ever seen (fictional or otherwise). This is another title that I did not start of buying. I jumped in when Millar and Romita Jr. did. I will probably exit the same way. I am not going to recommend this, you can find Wolverine anywhere... but if you are reading it, I hope you are still enjoying it. Non-stop, over-the-top, anxious for the claws to pop action.

Amazing Spider-Man #519- I owe J. Michael Strazynski some huge thank yous for this issue. Spider-Man feels fresh again. There are two things that JMS does exceedingly well, human emotion and realizing epic situations. A story that is both down-to-earth and out-of-this-world. The fact that maybe sometimes the super heroes dress up to razzle dazzle, and that behind all the goodness in people lies an even better people behind the curtains. I would recommend this issue. I also want to pay what I believe is a very big compliment. Mr. Deodato, your art felt like the evolution, of a person who I think is a master of the craft even now, Mr. Gene Colan. Excellent stuff.

Well, that looks to be it for today. See ya Tuesday.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Comics to Come

MARVEL PREVIEWS MAY 2005 EXTRAS- I used to be able to tell people to get this. It is a wealth of information pertaining to the comics that will be shipping in a future month. That was before I found out that you could apparently do that on the internet anyway. But wait... there was still a full issue inside this every month to boot. Then that switched to 7 page snippets, which you can find on the internet as well (but I don't go looking) Now there is very little that you cannot already find elsewhere for free... you can see some action figures and other merchandise that will be shipping, and you can hold it in your hand. This is sad, I went from convincing people to wondering why I even bother picking this up.

CONAN #15 $2.99- I have to be honest, the only thing holding me to this title is the writer and artist. I have enjoyed most everything that I have read from Kurt Busiek. And I absolutely love the work of Cary Nord... honestly love it. I can find more of Kurt's stuff... that is not always the case with Nord. And Nord is like watching a man constantly progressing. With Kurt it is watching a man already at the top of his game. Don't believe me, seek out Astro City (not in my library though, I still have their copies of the TPBs) I do enjoy the stories on occasion I thought issue 2 was phenominal, but I would rather read the artist on something else.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #519 $2.25- K, Strazynski... this is your chance to kick it into gear again. I am ready for you to knock my socks off. Give me a reason to love the fact that you have full control over this title. Show me that when I am reading Amazing it feels truly original. I remember upon your debut... you had one question "Did the powers come from the radioactivity of the spider... or did the spider have the powers... and wanted to release them before death." Did I care? No. But it rocked Peter Parker's world. So give Pete something to get a little flustered about.

FANTASTIC FOUR #525 $2.99 - What is this doing on my list? Oh right, somewhere between one writer's finale and another's debut sits a pretty little Karl Kesel issue waiting for my hands. I am also a fan of Kesel. And yes, yet again I would rather read his stuff elsewhere.

RUNAWAYS #3 $2.99- K, this is the summary. A group of youth who found out that their parents want to destroy the universe... made sure that never happened. They got betrayed in the process by one of their own. Now as they search the city looking for other runaways, they are suddenly given a new purpose. Find a Runaway who will destroy all the heroes in the future... Oh yeah and they got another group of former child superheroes... chasing after there happy asses for a sizeable sum. So this issue promises huge conflict... and never fails to deliver. The writer says this could be what a relaunch meant for the X-Men. I am not one to stand in the way of a man's dream. Unless your Hitler... seriously, stop calling me.

WOLVERINE #27 $2.25- Wow, the veils of one story are lifted, just to jolt us straight into a huge huge event. *Ahem* He took on the good guy's with only a brainwash and some adamantium blades. Now watch in awe as he takes on... loads and loads of bad guys. It is better than that, but I couldn't tell you why. Could be Jazzified John Romita Jr.

YOUNG AVENGERS #3 $2.99- I absolutely loved the final pages last issue. Great job by the artist. And the writing... well the guy knows how to keep me coming back. Unlike Gravity, this doesn't really have the new kid feel, so much as what the hell is that kid even doing here? Oh and Jessica Jones. She may well be the most frequent female supporting character over the past few years. Seriously, I think even Wolvie has been in fewer cross-over issues.

COMICS BUYERS GUIDE JUNE 2005 #1605 $5.99- Well, I had something cool to say, I really did. But that was all the way up there. And we are all the way down here. This is a great resource for everything to do with comics... a fan of the Silver age... DC or Marvel ... it's here. Want to know what currently are the hot issues to purchase? Here too. Plenty of Reviews? You guessed it. Loads of fun and well worth the money? Seriously, tell me you get the idea so I can stop typing to myself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Blind Justice

This has to be my favorite show, it is the only one I will stay up to watch, just so I can tape it commercial-free. There are a great many detractors to this show, and the funny thing is all of those detractors... whose complaints were reasonable before the show started. Have not gotten to see that each complaint was addressed, and handled in a competent manner. Dunbar has no powers... the special effects used to show what he "sees". That is what his mind puts together from the things people say, and truth be told it has either been exaggerated or flat out wrong.

He carries a gun. I am not sure if it is even loaded, though. The force is reluctant to let him have it, but even more surprising is that beneath his denial, the main character is even more reluctant. Past the instinct point, he almost seems shaken... do I think he could use it? In the circumstance he has mentioned... a belly fight. I think he is more than equipped. Could they give him a more effective weapon later on? Absolutely.

My one disappointment with last night's show... no therapist. I got to say the retired (former boss I guess?) Was nowhere near what I was looking for. Anyway, if you aren't watching now, you are missing out. Great character development, loads of inner and exterior conflict. I wish I could say something like, "Next week, is the perfect time to jump in on the series!" I have no idea, I do know that you won't regret it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Comics... of course

Wow, this is a great time of month. Not only do I get my weekly shipping list, but also all the comics expected to ship in July. Too say that Marvel dominates the list would be a huge understatement. Except for one comic... Marvel is the list. In July, Marvel does House of M(HoM)... a reality-altering (or could be alternate dimension) project that spans many many many Marvel titles.

For right now, I could care less. I want to get the main series because it is Bendis. And the main story is at least going to have some effect. And I am getting the Spider-Man:HoM series... because it is Mark Waid... great style... great feel for it. Other than that, I am not touching HoM unless it is already part of one of my regular titles. Just stop telling me that it will change the Marvel Universe as we know it...

A couple of new series have piqued my interest greatly. Gravity and Defenders... both look to be very good books. Gravity because it is a new kid on the block book... which means loads of cameos, intros, and misunderstandings. And Defenders because it looks to be a hilarious good time in the vien of GLA. (At least I hope so, the chance for humor is the only thing truly tying me to the title)

And my one DC book, well I had to make sure that it was going to be well worth it. Of course it is All-Star Batman and Robin. A fresh look at a character I have only watched from a distance, by a man that I would trust with any character in the world. Frank Miller. And with a combined price that is 10 dollars below my budget... I don't need any suggested comic additions for quite some time.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


What an exhausting weekend. Kids have entirely too much energy. And apparently have very little of an idea how to leave things alone. I was over at my mother's house this weekend. It is truly a wonder that the place has objects still standing in it. Actually, it might be better just to strip the house bare. Cute kids though, one is just as reckless and crazy as anyone I know... and the other well she can make you smile in the middle of lecturing her.

I love the simplistic and almost innate hierarchy these kids have. The bigger kid is the boss of the little kid... all the way up, and this is alot of kids. And despite your pointing out contrary it continues, and can be even worse then the behavior the older kids are scolding. And while I appreciate my older siblings help quite a bit. There is a consistency that was lost the whole weekend. They knew the rules... they were just not always applied. But like I said, when my soon to be wife collapsed midday from a night of playing Magic with my older brother till one, I was very glad my sister was there.

And I don't know why, but they really seem to be hard on the middle sibling imparticular. I will admit she is verbose, and that can be annoying. But I don't see anything terribly wrong with it. I did go a little easy on her (and probably usually do) this weekend, I think she sprained her arm. But honestly, she just reminds me ... of me. Granted she does tend to be over dramatic... and complain... and all sorts of other unflattering things. But everybody does at some point. Being a kid is hard enough today anyway, much less trying to be the kid everyone wants.

Anyway, I need a break... might be on tomorrow I might not. If not... um... tell Scarlett I do give a damn.

Friday, April 15, 2005


I really should have saved yesterday's title for today. Nostalgia is a nasty nasty thing. I was in a video game store in town (well more of a city, but isn't that irrelevant to the point of the sentence?). Anyway, when I was there, I spotted this game, Time Traveler. I remember seeing this in St. Louis... in some little out of the way video game museum... Holograms...It was all 3-D and all really very cool. I was what in eighth grade I think, just beginning it so 13. Anyway... I didn't know the gameplay of it... I just saw this little cowboy walking around on this chessboard type surface.

First of all it should be stated... 99 percent of the novelty is lost by putting this on a TV screen.... now it feels like watching a movie. And a very low budget one at that. The gameplay is a bit jarring, but more than that you have a very limited amount of time to react. It is shoot them before they shoot you. Or in one case... drag you off to their cave/lovenest for a little-- well you are bedded by what appears to be a rather husky cavewoman... off-camera of course. Anyway, nostalgia is a lying she-devil...

I also bought Van Helsing for the PS2. So far this game is not bad... there is one factor that drops it down quite a bit for me. Lack of interactive camera. in other words I want to control what the character sees... not have the camera controlling me. I don't know what it is that makes a handful of games drop this capability, when they desperately need it. In Mario it was fine to have the one view... but if you are going to make any advanced fighting game with multiple enemies and a surrounding enviroment. You need to be able to focus on areas at a moment's notice. Luckily I only paid a bit for each game. But I tell you a camera locked game can make you feel like you paid too much quite quickly.

I got comics too. Ultimates met my expectations... Powers exceeded them. MK Spider-Man was ok... here's a tip, don't show your issues ending in Marvel Previews... it was a let down. Black Panther... it was a pretty good week so I will say that it also met expectations... which is good enough. And Mary Jane Homecoming, I really consider this the apple to my oranges. It was really very good. Expect a review on Tales from Riverdale #1 coming next week. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Unfulfilled Expectations

Okay, today is Thursday. The day I get my comics. So I thought yet again, I would speculate on the quality and expectations of my comics based on solicitations only. In other words, talk about what I am spending money on, so I can see how it correlates with my feelings on the issue after purchasing.

BATMAN YEAR ONE DELUXE EDITION HC - Ok, this one I won't be getting for quite sometime.(Remember, wedding) But I want to take this opportunity to plug away. This is the definition of a must-have. This is Miller... yes that Miller. Frank "fubugubu" Miller. This is "one of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever. In addition to telling the entire dramatic story of Batman's first year fighting crime, this collection includes new introductions by Miller and Mazzucchelli, loads of reproductions of original pencils, promotional art, unseen Mazzucchelli Batman art, Richmond Lewis' color samples, script pages and other surprises." (taken direct from solicit). I don't care if you don't like Batman... pretend it's DD and pretend the fledgling James Gordon, is now newly turned cop Ben Urich. This HC is 20 bucks... and believe me with all the extras it is worth it... at only ten bucks over the original.

BLACK PANTHER #3 $2.99- I support diversity in the MU, I support John Romita Jr. Beyond that this book has shown me previously that it is a good story. A bit simplistic in plot, (or maybe I am too used to Bendis plot) but that factor also makes it the type of book that you would know almost instantly it is not the book for you. So far I enjoy it quite a bit.

MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #13 $2.99- I enjoyed the last arc. While it was back and forth and jumbled and simplistic... love one issue dislike the next. It was fresh blood in the Spideyverse. Apparently Marvel is going for a new team a year on this book, it would be cool if they maintained that, but highly doubtful. Anyway this is the same writer for Black Panther, I don't know how pleased I will be, but I always give a new series at least two issues (introductions are tough) so I will treat issue 13 as a new issue and go from there.

MARY JANE HOMECOMING #2 (OF 4) $2.99 Um, I get this book for my sister.... what already you don't buy that... damn. I started off getting the first series for my sister, this one is for me. The big premise... a villian of the month? A meglomaniac with a world domination fetish? No... something so dire... so earthshattering-- I dare not say it. She has to try to make it to homecoming... with a date... or at the very least... a dress. Relationship woes, financial woes, and a serious super hero crush.

POWERS #10 (MR) $2.95- What can I say, the quality in this title is consistent month after month. And again it is one of those titles that you can have an almost instant vibe about liking or not. Try it... if you are an adult ;)

SHE HULK VOL 2 SUPERHUMAN LAW TP $14.99- Ladies and Gentlemen... boys and girls... comics fans of all ages. This is the Greatest Trade Paperback on earth! Ok, it is definetly up there... you don't have to be a fan of the main character to be a fan of the book, because this will make the character mean something so special to everyone. And this is the most fun I have had reading a book.

ULTIMATES 2 #5 $2.99- Oh man, this is going to be.... just trust me. Knock down drag out... The Good vs the "Could be Delusional but still Good" Good. This book has done for Thor what the new She-Hulk did. I love a character I had no previous interest in. Consider this an Avengers for people who don't really like the Avengers. Anyway, can't wait for this one.

See ya tomorrow, folks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tuesday Again?

Feels like it comes around at least once a week, honestly. Ok I was at Line of Fire reviews ( and I have to say, these guys are good, a nice selection of reviews. And more than one review of the same comic sometimes. May seem redundant to some, but I might agree with Ray Tate one day, and Dave Wallace the next. I did learn though, that I make alot of excuses for my books. Secret War comes to mind. Every review you find on the site is an honest critique of the work presented. Unlike my excuse, which was well it was confusing when it started. Bendis will tie it up in the end.

Anyway, I just wanted to tip my hat, to a great group of reviewers for what I am sure is a mostly thankless job. That being said, I love comics. So I will still do my thing. Which is praise until mediocrity is staring me in the face (like Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #2). Blind Justice tonight, this one looks to be very good. The second Vol of She-Hulk comes out tomorrow, this is your chance to own the full phenominal 12 issue run before the Hardcover comes out (I wish).

See ya later.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Weddings are not meant for men. Honestly. I can't look at the great big scheme of things, I certainly can't look at the cost of things. But instead of having one day taken out of my life... one day and then wedded bliss. I have had months... of back and forth... and this instead of that. I have had months of my bride to be frazzled to no end. And this is from the outside looking in.

This is not even our wedding. This is insanely fast planning, and all for what? So, that we can live as we have for the past 3 years? I don't care about cakes and candles and dresses and flowers and seating and such. I care about my family... I wonder how it would be if I were the first cryogenically frozen husband. I would be a joy to live with. "What the in-laws are coming over? Oh, Justin won't care... he is cool with that. Hahaahheehehee."

A friend of mine told me, I will wake up and it will be over. God, I hope he is right, I would like nothing more than to have this done with. I need my family back... I could actually toast to that.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Anything and Everything

What a tame weekend... honestly. I am not saying it wasn't fun, or anything like that. Just that I could have used some friendly conversation or visiting distraction. Yesterday was pretty great, I hit that local comic show and spent only a bit more than I had allowed myself, but with the wedding approaching ever faster it felt like too much.

I have a pile of appearances now that are at least half the size of DD Vol 1... at least. And that is not counting his appearances in my recent collection of ongoings. I am seriously considering selling quite a few of my now finished series. Marvel Knights Spider-Man. My runs of Amazing. Things like that. If anybody has any advice for me, let me know, I want to get both a fair price for me first, whatever the buyer pays after that is fine.

My Dad and the twins came by to help me adapt my new excercise bike. Should not be too long and I will be peddling during commercial breaks. Hey one has to start somewhere. right? They were quite pleased that my house was pretty clean. Only two rooms that practically have mountains of clutter... and one of them has a door. My sister actually enjoyed reading a comic... this was really something for me to see. How do I know she was enjoying it? She would not leave until she was done. Problem is, this is one series that is on the cancellation block. At least it got her attention. Now if I could just find a series for each member of my immediate family.

Well, I hope somebody out there had a more exciting Sunday then I did.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Comments on Comics

Amazing Fantasy #7- This is a comic that starts off cliche with the intent of wanting to do so. At least that is what it states more or less. After that though, I find myself in the frame of mind of been there done that. It is hard not to do in a medium so dependent on characters lasting decades upon decades. A young girl caught between two warring covert entities. The first is A.I.M (the bad guys) S.H.I.E.L.D. (the good guys). Now the thing about this sort of story is that it depends on mystery...spies... agents. It is all part and parcel. So, I cannot really fully display my confusion until after I am sure questions are not answered. There are a few straggling aspects though, that leave me bewildered. This first issue is coated in and out with plenty of references to the MU, but no mention of the previous Scorpion? And also for fans of Dan Slott's recent She-Hulk run, this Scorpion will remind you of his Southpaw a great deal. And I couldn't help but feel that there stories could be inter-related somehow. But it is doubtful.

GLA #1: Thank god I read an interview with Dan Slott about this first. While I know Dan has done some darker series. I had not yet read any. It was always, "I will pick it up if I see it type of thing". Well, I have found it. Let me just say that if you are a fan of She-Hulk, or an adult fan of Batman Adventures there is plenty in here for you. In fact, it was one of the only problems I had was reminding myself that I had to keep a relaxed but serious frame of mind. (Nothing a second reading wouldn't fix) Pelletier shows his flexibility as an artist 100 fold here. And the main character well, you know how depressed Peter Parker can get... well think if Peter Parker took it one step further... tried to end his life... and then couldn't even do that. One of the things that amazed me, was that one of the characters who I grew the closest too, I knew nothing about beforehand, and she actually had the least to say, but I am in love.

Marvel Team-Up #7- This series grows on me every month... more and more. First off there are too few Moon Knight appearances, and too few done this well. I am not a huge Moon Knight fan, I have a passing knowledge of the character, but just based on this issue I would give a solo series a try. Spidey's reference of Batman was priceless. And what an upgrade for Ringmaster. He is silly and an odd ball. But it just goes to show you, give the delusional enough power, and you could still be in for a world of hurt. And what an awesome ending.

Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #2: Ok, first I want to praise Marvel. These covers have been real attention grabbers, and the consistency of such pleasant looking art is going to be a plus. Now for the bad news. Are you not wanting new readers? Because one would be hard pressed to tell going from the first issue to this one. We are introduced to six rogues... six. That at least from the perspective of a new reader of this series... none of them Spidey has met. None of them have met each other... Why would they team up? Why would they care about a guy they have never met? The next is that a proper display of the threat of five of the six villians is never shown. Doc Ock takes center stage more than once, but that is it. How does Ock automatically know Jameson? And why oh why are we introduced to the Daily Bugle as if Peter has been working there a long time? If we are going from the start of the series... we never even saw him go into ask for the job. This is a case of getting a Stan/ Ditko issue and hoping it would just work. This kind of thinking tore down Marvel Age, and will tear down this new attempt, at least do a little grunt work. This comic looks good... just make it read the same or better.

Power Pack #1: While I don't think this is officially Marvel Adventures, it is geared towards those readers. The beginning is a great way to start the story I think, it lets you know that you are going into something that is not going to be the same old story, a let down might be that on the surface it is. But it is still highly enjoyable. One of the best aspects is that little Katie Powers (the youngest) seems to be the most powerful. The kids feel cliche but I think that is ok, kids are a somewhat universal aspect of humanity. Still young enough to adapt and be fun. One aspect that I thought needed a bit more work was the depiction of the villian to me he seemed far too lackluster and boring in appearance. The real treat of this issue. Was a seperate back story about Franklin Richards a son of two members of the FF... and one of his adventures at home. In the words of Marty Mcfly "You may not like it, but your kids... are going to love it."

Strange #5- It is almost over... well probably not, it says nothing about being a Limited Series, but with any luck the price is almost over. The main character Stephan Strange, takes leaps as a character this issue. Last issue he saw finally the supernatural, the bad, and the ugly. And this week he has more than willingly taken on a more prominent role to prepare in battling. There is still some reluctance as to how he will be fighting, but only because he questions he is role as essentially an ultimate guardian from evil. There is great conflict here, and truly horrific visuals from Brandon Peterson. One imparticular, of a dark force entering the home of Strange's family has a sickening creepiness. This is truly still a series that is a treat for Strange fans and newcomers (like me) alike.

Okay, I have now typed all this for a second time. Have a good Friday, and hopefully I will be back tomorrow to tell you of my finds at a local card and comic show.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

To Each Their Own

I am chasing my Thursday. Amazing how a few subtle changes can make an otherwise intended easy-going day go into some sort of bogged down reflection. Today was literally a battle just to get a moment to do this blog. Right now I have the simultaneous music of my fiancee's video game, and my son's children's show playing havoc even a room away. Today. is the day I go for comics, I am crossing my fingers that my comic shop guy shows up for more than a half an hour.

I managed to catch 3/4s of "Eyes". It really is too hard to tell if this show will stay on my viewing list. It jumps all over the place, and yet that is what makes it fun. The main character is enough for me to like. It is the supporting cast I find myself wanting to find out about. A diverse group to be sure, and it seems a new cast member was added. There is a character that I am excited to watch next week. A mousy girl who has been given the chance to be a vital member to this group of private eyes. I get the feeling by the end of the season she will be the one to surprise me, or pull the rug out from under as it were.

I watched Blind Justice again. It is better than most other shows, I will give it that. But this episode still seemed to be missing something for me. And there are alot of things being danced around... lightly touched on and then pulled away from. While I appreciate this as a story telling device, as a viewer it is frustrating. At least pick something and bring it out in the open, that is why next week is going to be better for me I think, this thing between Dunbar and Russo can be taken to another level. I want them to keep fighting, but there is a progression that needs to be made at the same time. It is probably why I liked the preceding episode with Dunbar's ex-partner. Granted I do seem to enjoy the character moments far more than the cases. But if I love 90% of the shows I am okay with that.

Hopefully, there will be some reviews on comics tomorrow. Maybe I can actually stay a reasonable pace behind my Friday.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Here comes the rain

It has been pretty much a constant since I woke up at close to five this morning. I would say it has tended to make me melancholy. But that is just me. I feel like I am just a day behind.... every day. Anyway, on to bigger and better things... cabbages and kings. Blind Justice, okay I am going to be honest, plot wise to me this was the weakest episode. I will give it a repeated viewing today, last night I could not really sit and watch it. Constant interruptions.

One thing I did like and always will like is the characterizations of the main players. I liked seeing a breech in Dunbar's super cop persona. It is fascinating to watch these characters become more real with each passing episode. If I have one complaint on the whole, I want to see the two female characters explored... and Russo's partner... these three people most of all seem to be on the fence. We know where Dunbar stands... Russo... even the Lt.

I will be watching the second episode of Eyes on ABC. It is the only thing I watch on Wednesdays. I will definetly not be sad to let it go, but at the same time, it did have an intriguing first episode. I am a sucker for the thinks on his toes main character, who either lacks a moral compass or is goes beyond the social limits of everyone else's to do the right thing. It is what draws me to Alan Shore on Boston Legal. The seemingly bastard with a heart of gold as it were.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Comics to Come

This is the point where I discuss the comics to come, I enjoyed this so much last week, that I decided to try it again.

AMAZING FANTASY #7 $2.99 - This is Marvel's attempt at showcasing something new. Consider it a series of minis, the first was the story of Arana... a latino teen given some armor and a sudden desire to fight a secret society. This most recent story begininning with #7 is the story of a new Scorpion (The old one is now Venom) anyway, yet again a young girl, this story is set to be laced with espionage, and traitors, and all the signs of at least something fun. I will let you know on Thursday.

GLA #1 (OF 4) $2.99- Perhaps one of the more anticipated comics for me in recent months, could end up pretty controverisial too. At least among the fan community. These rejects of the Marvel Universe have gathered in the absence of the Avengers to fill a void. If they don't all get killed. This promises to be a very humorous... kind of dark tale. For any of you who want an alternative to Identity Crisises and Avengers: Disassembled, this might well be it.

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #2 $2.50- This is the newest attempt at what could be a seemingly endless changes to the kids line at Marvel. Although, I had said even before it was concieved that Adventures had always been an easy way to make the distinction that you have stepped into a younger comic. Anyway, fingers crossed that this one gets some originality and staying power, kids need more options.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #7 $2.25- This is quickly becoming one of my favorite titles. While it has alot of faults, it also has a great bit of heart. We are only 7 issues in and already I cannot count the number of Spidey appearances. This time it is Spidey and Moon Knight (mostly) see the great thing about this title is that it is not confined. Kirkman gets the chance to take a ride around the Marvel U, and he grabs the keys and bolts. The worst thing... watching the main villian hide in the shadows... he will be what ties the seperate issues together. But they are more than good enough to read on their own. I know a few of my friends are waiting for #9 DD and Luke Cage, and I of course will be here to catch them up.

POWER PACK #1 (OF 4) $2.99- This was apparently a fan favorite from the late 70s early 80s. I don't remember it, but my main reason for picking this one up (if in fact my comic shop guy got it) is for the kids. At the very least my son and his soon to be sibling(s). Anyway from the preview I have seen, it looks very promising.

STRANGE #5 (OF 6) $3.50- Okay, this series has been very pretty, I will give Marvel that. A more mainstream introduction to the character of Dr. Strange? Yep, it has a modern feel and kind of got rid of the sillyness. Sara Barnes tells a much better story than she did with her arc on Spectacular Spider-Man. And Brandon Peterson has to be one of the best talents I have seen. In fact, upon reflection the only thing that bothers me is the price tag, oh and the fact that it had to bother me six times. For the rest of you not buying this mini, let me just say a trade would be well worth it.

TALES FROM RIVERDALE DIGEST #1 $2.39- You might call Riverdale and it's patrons my guilty pleasure. It's not really nostalgia... when I was a kid to say read Archie, was like saying watch Leave it to Beaver or the Brady Bunch for a minute. I got into them, I think through some relative passing along older comics. I love these books, Digests imparticular, because when I have the need to just read something, get my fill for my money, I can never go wrong. Tales from Riverdale is a compilation of the supporting cast, with of course appearances by Archie, Betty and Veronica. I can't blame Archie Entertainment for wanting to put a couple of #1 s out there, it has drawn me in. More on another Archie Digest in a few weeks.

VERTIGO FIRST TASTE TP (MR) $4.99- I missed the Vertigo craze the first time around. Not surprising since it was ten years ago, and I had an innate hatred for DC. Anyway, this is some of the #1 s from the hit line of comics, 6 of them to be exact. It is most definetly getting picked up. (Although the follow up review might be sometime, as I will have to get this one online

SUPERMAN BATMAN #18 $2.95- This is on the chopping block for me, I have a fondness for both stars of the series. A passing knowledge, but I just could not find myself caring, the recent storyline feels like a jumbled alternate reality, time traveling mess. I am dropping this in favor of the Frank Miller/Jim Lee revamp Ultimate Batm... oops All-Star Batman and Robin.

ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #17 $2.25- This is another one that has lost me. I am not a fan of the FF. But I thought a fresh take, and a fresh start might allow me to become a fan. The first 8 issues had me... I could see what all the fuss is about. I mean I always kind of liked the characters. You know, when Spidey guest starred in their title. I never liked Reed Richards, while in guest shots he may seem like the answer man, in the FF itself, he was a self-involved bore, and heaven help us if Doom was the villian that month... those two could lull a tropical storm. Which is why I have been a bit disappointed with this title. Ellis is a good storyteller, no denying that, last months cliffhanger blew me away, but in preceding months... taking an entire issue to get from finding out about Doctor Doom a whole issue to talk about going to fight him. and then to finally fight him... well they can just keep pulling the die-hard fans along. It was a hell of a fight when they got there though.

K, that ends a rather long list of comics, although nothing like the last week of September in 2004 that will forever be known as the week I slept on the couch. Oh and let me give another quick plug, for previews of these and many other Marvel Comics go to: some of the earlier previews are actually full comics... for free.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

For Better Or Worse

What is your biggest goal in life? In what way do you want to be remembered? I was watching something on television. Little House on the Prairie, this recently released one that is being shown on Saturdays for the next few weeks. And it has really gotten me thinking, have we truly progressed? These people don't just work to provide, they work to survive. Now, some of you are saying, "I work to survive, I earn the money that keeps me secure." But, the option is there not to... and people take it. I take it. And truthfully, how many of us have the skills to survive if dollars meant nothing?

It is not just that, but in watching there was this... troubling sense of danger being around every corner. I almost want to scream at the television. "Don't stop to help the stranded wagon... move along. You could get mugged" What do they do, they say, "Hop in the wagon, oh yes that is a rather large carving knife..." Okay, so the people turned down the offer to hitch a ride with them, but the offer was made. And then, they get settled they find a piece of land... and there is this really squirrely fellow (cute in a sitcom) fodder for an institution nowadays. And they just say, "Hey, come on help us build our house... hang out with the girls. You got a little bit of drool there... oh what's that you want to use that noose to wipe it off... go right ahead"

Honestly, where the hell does it say you have to treat people like they exist? I mean really isn't it hurt them before they hurt us... don't trust them as far as you can throw them? I mean here was this nice family sitting in new territory.... a nice bit of isolation if you will. And they go and screw it up. Although to be fair, once some Indians came around they had the gun ready, good ol' American ingenuity there.

Okay, if you can't tell I am joking. If you want to take away something... anything from this. Let it be that: We all strive to be better, and sometimes we are too fearful... to see that we are walking backwards, but it does not mean we shouldn't keep trying, does it?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Another Pleasant Valley... Friday

Actually it isn't pleasant at all... um... April Fool's. Not much I want to talk about to end the week. My comics were all pretty good. Even got a bonus... DC's 80 page $1 giant... Countdown To Infinite Crisis. One thing that I will mention even though I have not read it, I love the fact that they went a little retro on the pages. It's been a long time since my hands touched comic pages that weren't glossed over. I noticed they had the same approach to the Fallen Angel and Hard Time trades. Makes for a cheaper package I assume, and I won't hide my feelings in saying that if Marvel did this, and it meant lower prices, I would be ecstatic.

I want to praise issue 8 of the Pulse. It helped me out quite a bit... it was as if the veil had been lifted... and for some of it tossed aside. Michael Lark (What if Karen Page...) yet again proves to be a quick budding talent at Marvel, and while I can't credit the colorist by name as of right now. I do want to give them a pat on the back. And Bendis, well you gave me an accessibly fresh take on things thanks to the mysterious agent on the phone.

DD: Redemption #3 ... wow. This issues ending still has me in disbelief. Truly a sick example of just what someone is capable of. This is a bold take on a true story, and it safe to say it was kicked up a notch. And I have to give credit to writer and artist here... the depiction was that much more believable because of a concerted effort.

Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #12 - The end of a great arc. Spidey and the Goblin face off again... traces of been there done that. But I think Millar wrote this for just that reason. The Goblin needed to be... the cream of the crop in Spidey's rogue gallery, and this proved what a sick *** he really is. It puts alot of questions into play, is Spidey not really doing anything all that great being Spidey? Is he just allowing himself to avoid the real world? It cements for Peter Parker the fact that Black Cat has never stopped loving him... something he has seemingly been oblivious too. And while kidnappings are a dime a dozen, I really felt for May... Millar paints a disturbing picture of what it is like on the other side of the battles. I can't wait for the new arc... and the new team.

Spectacular... I am just glad this arc is over....

Well, my friend just got on ... so later days.