It's beginning to look a lot like the holiday season is fast approaching, yet every day is a holiday on the internets.
If you were going to cast the Doctor Strange movie, and want to argue about it, you could do that at Longbox Graveyard where Paul O’Connor, Chris Ulm and I layout a scenario.
JT Lindroos at Bookgasm looks at a chunk of UK graphic novels to add to your holiday shopping list: Tank Girl, Rogue Trooper, and Torpedo.
The countdown to San Diego has begun. You can tell because Mark Evanier is starting to post his great stories about San Diego cons of the past.
I’ve really been enjoying his tales of the con that involve Ray Bradbury and Julie Schwartz (and MAD Magazine’s Al Feldstein). One of the things that’s being revealed is that Julie, a longtime DC Comics editor and later company ambassador, doesn’t come across as a likeable guy.
This will not come as a surprise to anyone who’s read about Evan Dorkin’s repeatedly unpleasant encounters with Schwartz.
Or to people who are familiar with Colleen Doran.
Speaking of Ray Bradbury, Frederik Pohl remembers his friend of 75 years.
There are those in the industry who track these kinds of things who believe that DC Comics has been making significant changes to the Superman character over the years in a continuing effort to thwart claims by the estates of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster about the character.
A good place to start with this story is at Comics Beat.
With DC’s newest relaunch/reboot/do-over of their universe this fall, they are making more changes to Superman, and it's not just his costume or his fresh L'il Abner look. A lot of the changes won't be clear until you actually read Action Comics #1, on sale September 7. I've read that first issue, and here are the Top Ten changes to Superman's mythology.
10. Able to leap Kim Kardashian’s butt in a single bound.
9. Fights for truth, justice and the Military/Industrial Complex’s way.
8. Bottle City of Kandahar.
With all the talk of DC’s big reboot, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at something Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Mark Millar, and Tom Peyer put together for DC back in 1998: Superman 2000. And it was. I would totally read these comics.
Now let's see what else can be read:
Euro: I always get a kick out of it when someone reads their first graphic novel. Karen at the Euro Crime blog (a terrific blog for crime fiction) read a Doctor Who graphic novel. Her verdict: “looks beautiful but doesn't take long to read!”
Halloween: It’s never too early to talk about The Halloween Legion, a new project from Martin Powell.
Bambi: It wasn’t always a classic of children’s literature as some might suspect. The Storyboard blog at the Walt Disney Family Museum breaks it down. Bonus: rabbit death.
Rating: *** 1/2*
The past two issues of Grant Morrison‘s Batman and Robin have left me scratching my head - but in a good way. We discovered that Dick Grayson the current Batman has been keeping the body of the former Batman Bruce Wayne hidden in a sarcophagus in the Wayne Foundation building. His mission is to resurrect his former mentor by using a newly discovered Lazarus pit. Our last issue ended with Dick, Batwoman, and Kinght and Squire witnessing the supposed resurrection of Bruce Wayne from the Lazarus pit. Is this how Bruce Wayne returns to the land of the living? Thankfully, no.
It seems that the body that Dick Grayson has is one of the replicas created by Darkseid during the Final Crisis. All of them had been destroyed except one as Darkseid stated he could use the deceased body of the cloned Batman for some future use. This is a bit confusing as how could Darkseid have known that he was going to kill Batman and that he could use this clone body for evil purposes? Am I missing something here? Whatever the case the Batman that comes out of the Lazarus pit is a raving lunatic and begins attacking everyone in the room.
The clone Batman is able to escape thanks to a cave in and uses a Bat-copter to escape and head back to the Wayne Foundation. There he beats up Alfred and confronts a wheel chair bound Damian who thinks his father has returned to him. And we end there.
It was announced a few days ago that Bruce Wayne would finally be coming back as Batman beginning in April 2010. The event will take place in a min-series entitled Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne and it will be written by Grant Morrison. I’m very happy that Bruce Wayne will be returning, but I’m curious as to why both he and Captain America are through the exact chain of events in their lives right now. Both characters saw their side kicks resurrected (Jason Todd and Buck); both were “killed off”; both characters saw side kicks take over the mantle for them (Dick Grayson and Bucky); both are stuck in the past; and both are now trying to make their ways back to the present. What gives? Who’s copying who?
Well the idea of resurrecting Jason Todd began during the Hush storyline in 2002, but we didn’t see Jason return until 2005. The return of Bucky began around the same time in 2005 as well. Steve was killed in early 2007 and Bruce was killed in late 2008. It was revealed a few months ago that Steve was stuck in time, but Bruce was revealed to be stuck in the past at the end of Final Crisis at the beginning of the year. Since we are fans, we are not privy to which company came up with which idea first, but if it were me, I would try to do something a bit different with my company’s character. Also, what good is it for the fans? They will buy it nonetheless, but is it really that interesting to have the same exact thing happen to two iconic characters? What happens when they return?
Another amazing issue that will have everyone’s jaw drop by the time people reach the end. Sometimes the conclusion to a comic book story does not live up to the way it started - that is not the case here. Grant Morrison hits a big home run with the conclusion to his Red Hood story arc. The only drawback for me once again is Philip Tan’s artwork. Some of the artwork in the panels seemed rushed and murky, but Morrison saves the day for me with this amazing story. I read the preview that was released and I couldn’t wait to read this issue. After reading this issue, I’m now salivating for more.
Eduardo Flamingo proves to be a very dangerous character. When we last left off in the story, Flamingo had taken a shot at the Red Hood. The shot doesn’t kill him, which causes Flamingo to try harder to finish the job by shooting the side of Jason’s face off. He also tries to pull the mask off of Scarlet’s face (if you’ve been reading the title you know her face is attached to the mask).
Batman and Robin escape from the trap that the Red Hood put them in and they try to assist Hood and Scarlet in taking down Flamingo. Morrison writes a great line for Robin when they confront Flamingo, “I was expecting scary, not gay.” Very funny. The character appears to die at the hands of the Red Hood, but this is the comic book world, and we know that he probably isn’t dead.
has had its share of ups and downs over the years.
The Justice League has had its share of ups and downs over the years. Over the past ten years we’ve seen the resurrection of the JLA under the guidance of Grant Morrison with great success. That title went the way of the dodo a few years ago and was relaunched under the helm of writer Brad Meltzer. His year run on the title was okay, but not as good as I would hope it would have been. I haven’t collected the title since Meltzer left, but I decided to pick this issue up as I’ve been reading James Robinson’s Justice League: Cry for Justice. This series has also had its share of ups and downs, but I wanted to give Robinson a shot and see what he could do with the regular series. I’m glad I did.
The Justice League is falling apart. Batman, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter are dead. Superman is on New Krypton and Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash are off doing their own thing. The League consists now of mostly second-tier characters with Vixen at the helm. Our story begins with the character Blue Jay being chased by an unknown assailant. He’s looking to warn the Justice League of impending danger. Unfortunately he doesn’t make it and he’s killed.
Rating: *** 1/2*
Another great issue in Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin. The issue picks up right where we left off in the previous issue with Red Hood and Scarlet confronting the new Batman and Robin. Some very cool dialogue between the current Robin Damian Wayne and the second one The Red Hood Jason Todd. It’s funny. Even though I’m on the side of Batman and what he stands for, the Red Hood makes a good point when he says that after killing all of these criminals, they will think twice before setting foot in Gotham.
Damian is being his normal arrogant self here, and decides to try and take Jason out, but Jason proceeds to catch him and ram his face into the ground. Batman not being too happy about that, returns the favor. Scarlet grabs Damian in retaliation and holds him at knife point. Batman backs off of the Red Hood and allows them to escape as they need to turn the Penguin over to police.
Rating: *** 1/2
A little bit of a letdown with this issue relative to the three previous ones, but it was still very good. I think the letdown for me came more with the artwork by Philip Tan. The previous issues with artist Frank Quitely were very good because he tells a good story visually with his artwork. Tan’s, however, doesn’t do much for me in the issue. Some parts of the story are too dark and I didn’t enjoy the panel-to-panel storytelling. Quitely’s artwork gave me a grand epic feeling. Tan’s work seems cramped and jumbled. However, the story of this opening arc is still very good.
We open with a villain by the name of Lightning Bug collecting some money from a club owner. Just as he’s about to pop this guy, the Batmobile swoops in and hovers right behind him. Lightning Bug makes a break for it and crashes through an apartment window. He makes his way out of the apartment into the hallway and meets up with who he thinks is Batman and Robin, but is instead the Red Hood and his new partner Scarlett. The Red Hood has decided to go a different route to fight crime and instead of handing this guy over to the police, the Red Hood cuts his throat and kills him. “Let the punishment fit the crime” is his new slogan for punishing criminals.
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