Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Night Fights: Ladies Night!

If you haven't rocked out with Bahlactus, this is your last chance! Coz it's time for the 12th and final round of Friday Night Fights: Ladies Night!

And therefore, I end my stint in Bahlactus' great arena with a short but sweet exclamation point, courtesy of Star Wars Tales #10.

It all starts well enough...

...and really, is there any better way to go?

Thanks for all memories, Bahlactus! Till the next smackdown!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Top 5 Thursdays: DC Inventions

Here's another top 5 list because I feel like it! We've seen what the brain trust of Marvel has to offer, but what about the Distinguished Competition? While they may have a lack of real supergeniuses, they compensate by being the most practical motherfunkers around. Their specialty is making the most mundane things totally badass. Let's look at the top 5 most awesome inventions the DC Universe has to offer!

The Owl-ship of Night Owl from Watchmen5. OWL-SHIP
Before becoming a pasty has-been, Dan Dreiberg took a page from Batman’s modus operandi and worked the streets of 1985 New York under the name Night Owl. While he wouldn’t be a scaring goons shitless anytime soon with a name like Night Owl, he compensated by inventing what could possibly be the cutest-looking vehicle known to man: the Owl-Ship, which he code named Archie (after Archimedes, natch). Don’t let the cute owl eyes fool you…the Owl-ship packs serious heat. It’s got smoke screen emitters for stealth jobs, surface-to-surface missiles, flamethrowers…it’s even got a coffee dispenser for when you just need a bit of caffeine rush to beat bad guys senseless. It’s also quite a chick magnet, proving that you don’t need good looks to score with the ladies…you just need a mobile weapons platform shaped like a giant, bug-eyed owl.

Imagine having the power to become a super in the palm of your hands! That’s what Robby Reed had when he found the H-Dial, a device that granted the user amazing powers if you dialed in the right combination of letters. While some of us would just dial G-O-D for some total god-modding in life (or N-V-Z-B-L for the lonely types), Robby would rather dial H-E-R-O and save his town using over a dozen super identities. Years later, the H-Dial fell in the hands of people who would muck around with it and then face the consequences, which were pretty funny (and scary!) to watch. But in the end there would always be someone willing to use it to do the right thing.

One of the more wonky concepts of Jack “The King” Kirby, the Mother box is a wondrous device in the New Gods' disposal. It's capable of tons of amazing things, from healing serious injuries, energy manipulation, to creating a portal to anywhere you could imagine…all of it in something often as small as a Rubik’s cube, but a whole lot less frustrating. It was not just a machine, however. It was sentient in itself and was fiercely loyal to its owner, to the point of self-destructing when their owners died. So be thankful the next time you bang and slap the sides of your TVs that it doesn’t fry you where you stand!

Trust Barry Allen to retrofit a treadmill into one of the most insane time traveling devices known to man. The cosmic treadmill allows speedsters to precisely travel through time and go on all sorts of adventures. So unlike some of us who walk on treadmills and get nowhere fast, guys like Barry Allen actually get things done while on one! Since then, villains and other ne'er-do-well's have fought over this treadmill, much like some moms would do if it was on sale at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately it only works if you can run really fast (it needs some 'top speed' prerequisites like the DeLorean), and it was known to mess up people who tried to mess with it. Still, the very fact that Barry sees the potential of such mundane things like that gets my respect anytime.

While sitting in the Batcave, the Goddamn Batman mused about making the ultimate weapon, something that would identify him and kick tons of asses at the same time. And with that, the Batarang was born. Since then, Batman introduced the Batarang to many a goon’s hand, neck, nape and face, and the era of themed weapons has never been the same ever since. It’s so versatile that he could customize it anyway he wants. He could tie a batarang to the end of a cord and it becomes a grappling hook! Make them twice as big as his arm and use them as swords! Shit, he could hold a batarang in each hand and use it to climb sheer rock faces and glaciers! And even when Batman has access to more awesome weapons, he always packs some batarangs just in case he needs to remind criminals (from range!) who the hell they think he is.

That's my choice for top 5 awesome DC inventions! But if you think otherwise, or would like to add to this list, drop me a line at the comment box below and let's talk about it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Special: Aswangs Afoot!

Halloween may be just around the corner, but here in our little patch of heaven we call it All Saint's Day, when the parents start telling junior about all the things he can expect to be waiting for him in his sleep should he throw tantrums again. Ghosts in the closet, the old lady waiting outside your wonder my generation's so well-adjusted. And who can blame us? The Philippines has a rich history of ghouls and monstrous abominations that could rival Japanese kaidan. But we'd like to call it by its proper term of aswang. From kapre to manananggal, tikbalang to tiyanaks, there's enough nightmare fuel in our old folk stories to keep kids in line for life.

Speaking of nightmare fuel, it's interesting to know that some American comic books have already portrayed an aswang in one form or another, and we only have my fellow Filipino comic book stars to thank for it. So, in the spirit of All Hallow's Eve, we'll look at two of these comics with aswangs in them, starting with Whilce Portacio's Stone: The Awakening.

Stone was Whilce's big project in 1998, published under Avalon Studios, an imprint of Image Comics. Stone was hyped to high heaven, as it was the first internationally released comic book with Filipino characters, using Filipino folklore, and set entirely in the Philippines. Think about that for a sec. While Matt Fraction thought it trendy to showcase Filipinos in the pages of Marvel, Whilce sold it to the world like it ain't no thing...and he didn't even have to blow people up to do it!

Anyhoo, Stone was the story of Gerry Alan (a nod to his inker at the time and fellow artist Gerry Alanguilan), a self-absorbed movie star who becomes a reluctant hero when he discovers that he's a player in an ancient 'game' for the fate of the 'shadow dimensions'. Using powerful stones called agimats (another Filipino convention), Gerry defended the world and tried not to get himself killed by some of the scariest monsters in Filipino folklore.

One of these particular monsters was the tikbalang, a man-horse hybrid, that smacked Gerry around during his first appearance.

Stone battles the tikbalang from Issue 1
There was also an engkanto, a forest spirit who hunted Gerry around for an issue or two, only to get pwned in a single page.

And have I told you Gerry's guide to all this is a wise-cracking, crotchety duwende?

I love this dwende. But Gimli he ain't.
Gerry proceeded to fight more aswangs during the course of the series, including manananggals, kisapmatas and others, and it was awesome wicked fun while it lasted. Which was sad, since it looked like Whilce really had fun sharing some aswang love with everyone else, just like comic book artist Jinky Coronado and her eponymous and infamous creation, Banzai Girl.

While I admit that Jinky's adventures might be totally glossed over by her incessant need to pop a prerequisite upskirt and panty shot, Banzai Girl was notable for also bringing to the international stage more monsters from Filipino folklore to have smackdowns with.

In one issue, Jinky fought a manananggal to a blouse-tearing standstill, and they really captured the image of it quite well.

Banzai Girl fighting the Manananggal
The manananggal, I mean.

Jinky also ran into some very horny duwendes, who apparently have the power to tear outer clothing to shreds while leaving lingerie virtually untouched.

Duwendes finding out Banzai Girl's weakness
And of course, it wouldn't be complete without a cameo from a kapre, complete with smoky joint and propensity for chillin' in treetops.

Both Banzai Girl and Stone introduced aswangs to a wider audience, thanks to Whilce Portacio and Jinky Coronado, both proud Filipinos that wanted to share a bit of our culture to the world. And while it didn't spark any comic book aswang revolution, it showed the world that we have our own frighteningly unique monsters to piss our pants for.

So enjoy your Halloween, guys! And for our international friends out there, be thankful that it's not these monsters you have to worry about seeing anytime soon!

I hope. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008


My Week in Comics is a weekly look into my…uh…buying habits. Keep in mind that the reviews to be read here are not coming from a jaded, old comic book enthusiast but more of a wide-eyed fan of these monthly installments of yum or mush.

Man, what better way to start off the week than to pick up two of the most anticipated (and oftentimes most reviled) events of comics! So how do the events of both DC and Marvel fare this week? Read on to find out.


Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Mark Morales
Colors: Laura Martin, Emily Warren
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

What's in it: It's the prerequisite "brawl for all" issue that sees every single relevant character in the Marvel Universe today (including a certain big headed, bald guy!) trade fists and whatever else they're packing with the invading Skrulls for the fate of the planet! And yes, I tried to stick as much info as I can into just one sentence!

Why you might care: Bendis just throws everything he's got on the page with amazing action sequences...all of it amazingly rendered by Leinil Yu. It's like the Big Damn Heroes moment of the entire Marvel U., where Bendis injects just enough badass moments to make any fanboy crap their pants with glee. It's got Nick Fury and Norman Osborn exchanging verbal jabs, and Ronin picks up a bow and arrow(s!) just to show who's the total boss!

Why you might not: Again, the problem that I see these days with Bendis is he really doesn't know what to do with big superhero fights...or events for that matter. The action, while balls out awesome, does little to advance the plot. And the awesome one liners are oftentimes overshadowed by wince-inducing cliched ones like "Hit 'em high! Hit 'em low!" or "Head's up!". Even Thor himself wasn't saved from the eye rolling. Considering that this is the second to the last issue, I'm expecting the final issue to be hurried or worse.

Quote of the moment: It defintely goes to Osborne and Fury. Priceless.

"Norman. You should be in jail."
"So should you."

Overall: This issue, despite having tons of awesome action, falls short in the way of progress. But if it's action you're after, then this one has it in spades. 7/10


Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Jesus Merino
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover by: JG Jones

What's in it: The Anti-Life Equation has spread throughout the entire world, and the heroes of the DCU are either trapped in their respective headquarters or painfully holding the line elsewhere from the might of Darkseid's Justifiers! But all hope is not lost, as the remaining heroes are rallied by Alan Scott (!) to lay siege Darkseid's HQ at Bludhaven and end this madness once and for all!

Why you should care: Tons of stuff happens in this issue, people! I shall now bend over for Grant Morrison for doubting his ability to pull this off. He turns on the epic in this issue to staggering levels. You really feel that this is a big event, and the sheer urgency of the situation hits you like a tsunami. Dan Turpin's battle against Darkseid's influence, Green Arrow's touching sacrifice and Alan Scott's speech to the rest of the remaining heroes makes you really root for them, and makes you feel that they have a chance against all this hopelessness! Also, J.G. Jones' work is absolutely phenomenal in this issue, and his co-artist Carlos Pacheco blends so well in this that it's hard to tell them apart. I can't believe Carlos Pacheco can draw normal!

Why you might not: If you're really into wanting to understand the whole thing in one sitting, you're missing out. If you read it like any normal, badass comic, you'll do fine. With that said, however, there are still some disjointed scenes that would seem confusing. But it's minimal compared to the first issues.

Quote of the moment: A justifier barges in on Green Arrow, proclaiming "Anti-Life justifies our actions!" GA's answer? "Is that so? Well, my absolute hatred for dog ridin', totalitarian @$$#&%$ justifies this!" Cue awesome.

Overall: Simply echoing the sentiments of most...with great writing, great art, and that kickass cover by JG issue of the week. 10/10

So what's the verdict? It's not everyday you get to pit two simultaneous comic book events against each other...but clearly Secret Invasion is outclassed this week by an amazing Final Crisis. Still, with all the awesomeness being thrown around, it's win-win for all of us comic book geeks and fans!

Got any questions, comments or violent reactions? You are more than welcome to leave comments below and discuss anything that might have interested you in this blog post this week. My Week in Comics is now up every Friday. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Top 5 Thursdays: Marvel Inventions

Top 5 Thursdays (T5T) is a top 5 list of things I consider list-worthy. Expect anything!

The Marvel universe is home to some of the brightest minds the world has ever known: Reed Richards, Hank Pym, and even the villainous Doom to name a few. When they’re not saving the world or destroying it, you would probably find them in their respective labs, garages or dirty sheds tinkering and toiling to create amazing inventions. But which ones take first prize at the science fair, if said science fair awarded extra points for balls out, extreme awesomeness? Let’s look at the top 5 greatest Marvel universe inventions I have ever come across to find out!

SPECIAL MENTIONS: Cerebro, Professor Xavier’s mutant detecting invention, would have been cooler if it didn’t fry anybody that used it that wasn’t a level 10 psychic. And the Super Soldier Serum loses points for having lost its formula, and for having the last remaining person with the stuff inside him assassinated, much to fan backlash.

Wolverine is the best there is at what he does because of Dr. Myron MacLain’s most famous, indestructible invention: adamantium. It’s so indestructible, a strip of it can withstand a point blank nuclear explosion, and if sharpened it can cut through most anything. Both heroes and villains have fought over this substance, which makes it the most sought after invention after the IPod. Of course, this gives Wolverine problems with the metal detector at airport security, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Unfortunately, its awesomeness has been watered down by becoming as common as kryptonite at one point, and by having an origin as confusing as the first half of Final Crisis.

Henry Pym is not just known for pimp-slapping his wife once too often; he’s also known for creating Pym particles, the substance that can make things grow or shrink. He could have used said particles in fixing his marriage by, ehem, spicing things up in the bedroom, but instead he used it to become a hero whose identity depended on how he used it: Giant Man or Goliath when he Pym’d himself to go biggie size, Ant-Man when he had the sudden urge to ride on ants, and Yellowjacket if he wanted the best of both worlds. These days you can see Pym particles used with pleasing effect through Cassie Lang, the Young Avenger known as Stature. And by pleasing, I mean like this.

Tony Stark’s single greatest contribution to the human arms race, the Iron Man armor has gone through tons of changes, each more awesome than the last. It started as an unappealing silver suit with an old school radio antenna (probably to pick up his favorite 70’s radio tunes), now it’s sleek like a Porsche and has more weapons than a battleship. Today the armor is so advanced he’s got funny names for it like ‘collimated matrix armor’ or ‘ablative polymer honeycomb’ and other shit. In short, Tony Stark is his own shiny sports car or limo, but without the martini bar…much to his obvious regret.

One of Galactus’ biggest ‘duh’ moments was when he let an a-hole like Reed Richards gain possession of his invention and one of the most powerful devices in the galaxy, the Ultimate Nullifier. What it basically does is erase something from existence, which pretty much screams ‘flawless victory’ no matter how you look at it. In Reed’s hands, it was the ultimate equalizer, sort of like a timely thrown steel chair in the middle of the ring when the ref’s knocked out cold, and with the same satisfying results. Of course, it comes with the unfortunate side effect of destroying the users themselves, but there’s something to be said of an invention that could make even a being like Galactus sweat.

Silver Age science at its finest! While 3M were dragging their knuckles in the sand and learning how to make fire, high school student Peter Parker was able to invent a liquid substance that would harden once in contact with air, and have the same tensile strength and elasticity as spider silk. He then stuck that into a device that could shoot web lines like a spider, and thus Spider-Man’s web shooters were born! But while Spider-Man found many uses for this flexible invention (including web shields, web gloves, even damn web hammocks!), it was its use as Spidey’s main mode of transport that would endear it to geeks like me everywhere. Especially when the first Spider-Man movie came out…man, who wouldn’t want to swing around in high speeds all over the city like that? With such unlimited possibilities, Spidey’s web shooters would stand as a comic book geek’s wet dream.

That's the top five most amazing Marvel universe inventions according to me. But don't think that's the last of it! The other half of the Big Two, DC Comics, has its share of kickass inventions themselves! So expect me to tackle that next week! If you agree, disagree or want to suggest your own list, use the comment link below and tell us about it!

D&D Miniatures Changes for 2009...and beyond!


Wizards recently made an announcement regarding their plans for D&D Miniatures in 2009. See the article here.

They now plan to release two themed sets, D&D Heroes and D&D Monsters. D&D Heroes is the Wizards of the Coast's answer to all the fans who have been clamoring for more PC (player character) figures in D&D Minis. They'll come in 3 packs and with a clear plastic window so you'll know what you're getting. D&D Monsters is for the DMs wanting more monsters to use for their adventures. This set is going to be sold via 5-figure boosters, but is semi so:

Releasing in Spring 2009, the first D&D Monsters set is called Monster Manual: Dangerous Delves. This will be a 40-miniature set containing both medium and large sized figures. Each semi-randomized “booster” box contains 5 minis: 1 visible figure, 1 rare figure, 1 uncommon figure and 2 common figures, as well as full-color D&D Dungeon Delve stat cards for each miniature. MSRP $14.99.

It looks like they took off from the idea of Wizkids' Heroclix Batman: Alpha line, what with the figure visible through a clear plastic window. From what I understand, WOTC is shifting focus from skirmishers (the ones who play D&D Minis for skirmish battles) to the pen and paper RPGers, who have been the biggest supporters of the game from the start and apparently the ones who spend the most on this hobby.

This line, however, floored me:

Upon the release of D&D Monsters and D&D Heroes, we will no longer package the D&D Miniatures line in its current configuration (fully randomized booster packs and huge packs). This means that November’s set -- D&D Miniatures: Demonweb -- will be the final release sold in fully randomized booster packs.

Talk about major, major changes! Demonweb will be the final set to be fully randomized. Meaning from that point on, the next D&D Minis sets will be sold via 'visible figure' boosters! Shoulda kept my Dungeons of Dread boosters in mint condition...

However, my only major pique is that all the sets after Demonweb will be in 5-figure boosters...but with the same price tag as the current 8-figure ones! It's insane, but I'm hoping this equates to better looking paintjobs and sculpts. Hoping. Either way I'm already having some second and third thoughts about continuing to purchase this game based on that point.

The ramifications of these decisions are too big to dwell upon on just one blog post, so I'll just let you guys discuss what you want about it in the newly embedded comment box that Blogger has graciously installed for us blogger folk.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Webcomics I Love: One Swoop Fell

A young - shall we say - aviatically challenged bird falls one afternoon from a great height into the paws of a friendly bear named Topo. Over a rather shaky introduction, we learn the bird’s name is Swoop, and that he’s fallen from a mysteriously large tree — a tree that Topo has somehow overlooked despite its size.

The seemingly simple task of helping Swoop get back home will undoubtedly lead the two on a series of grand adventures, meeting friends and making rivals along the way.

And with those two sentences, we are introduced to another Webcomic I Love, One Swoop Fell.

I just discovered this on the weekend and I've been enjoying it ever since. Swoop is probably the cutest bird to ever grace the Web, and right now I'm starting to notice my propensity for enjoying comics with bears in them. It's kind of hard to resist, given that the quality of the art is really top notch. The writing is great, oftentimes poignant, oftentimes silly, and it just breathes so much life into the characters. It's an ongoing story, so you will find yourself coming back over and over just to see what happens next. And since I post these sorts of things on a Wednesday, you just might catch the latest installment in their adventures.

Don't make me tell you twice, guys. Start enjoying an awesome webcomic right now by clicking on the link below!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lovin' me some Marvel Essentials!

I just had a revelation.

I will never find anything with the level of value for money that the Marvel Essentials has.

For those not in the know, Essentials are trade paperback collections of Marvel Comics reprints printed in black and white (I was a bit skeptical by this, but then realized I still get my money's worth in stories!). They range from 450-600 pages and they're a veritable study in comics history.

Marvel Essentials: Avengers vol. 4, contains 28 stories including the much maligned Kree-Skrull War being described in today's comics via Secret Invasion.

I've largely ignored those phonebook sized...well, books on the top of shelves of Fully Booked or Powerbooks, but they also had me curious. As a big comic book fan, I was interested in reading the classics I missed just for being born in the wrong generation. I also thought they were hella expensive (which experience taught me that thick=expensive) given the sheer size of them. But when I found out I'm getting as good as 30-40 comics/stories at the price of what I could only get 6-7 comic pamphlets for these days, I quickly changed my mind and decided to snap one up. I got the Marvel Essentials: Avengers vol. 4, simply because it was the thickest one I saw and was the Avengers! Now every day I can't wait to get home early because I still have one more unread story waiting for me there!

I mean, with more than 500 pages, a ton of stories, at a price that's basically a steal? Full runs of classic comics? I don't care who you are, don't tell me this doesn't make your mouth water at the slightest?

It's cheap, it's accessible, it's fun. More than I could say about most comics (not all though, but they're certainly trying!). Now for me to save up some more to buy another one. But which one?

BEHOLD....the new header!

Oh yeah.

I'm testing out my new header, which looks pretty good.

I'm changing my header because apparently some might be confused as to what my blog is really about*, hence a nice little comic book-based header using my favorite shot of my favorite hero of the moment, Nova.

Oh, and just a heads up...I will continue to change the header whenever I feel like changing it. I'm also quite a bit of a graphic artist myself, so I consider it a good exercise to constantly update that little graphic up top.

Enjoy reading folks!

*It's about comic books, graphic novels, games, miniature games, video games, movies, anything geeky that catches my eye or is worth talking about and any keyword that search engines just love to gobble up.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Research: A comic book newbie's best friend!

Okay, so we've recently tackled in depth the most important thing to do before diving head-first into the comic book reading habit (especially if you've got a bit of a tight budget like mine). You've thought about what sorts of stories interest you...but if you've never read or seen a comic book before, where do you really start?

Like all good and thrifty people, research goes a long way into ensuring that you know what you're getting into.

Of course, there are a lot of ways to go about researching comics you want to try out, but for the purposes of this article I will only use probably the easiest method...which is the internets!

So what are the best places to check out which titles fit the genres that interest you? For starters, you could always check the official sites of the publishing companies that...uh...publish the comics you might be looking for. Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics and Dynamite Entertainment are some of the mainstream comic book companies out there and they have listings of ever comic book they publish, and they're good places to start if you just want a general idea of what to look for. Marvel in particular offers free digital comics, which are free online versions of the comics they publish. A nice way to check out some of their stuff before jumping in.

If you've seen the comics that are out there, but still want to know a little bit more about them (wow, we're bordering on obsessive/compulsive here) like, what's the art like? Is the ongoing story anything interesting? Then you can go to comic book news sites. Some of the more popular sites include Newsarama and Comic Book Resources. They have company, artist and writer interviews, comic industry news, and 5-6 page previews of upcoming comic books coming out that month. For a first-time yet discerning comic book reader, they're wonderful resources (hee!) to look into.

But what if you know what you want, and you have some inkling on the comic books you want to buy, but the previews and reviews aren't doing it for you? Then you should ask real (well, as real as the faceless Internet can allow) people to give you suggestions on where to start! As you may well know, official previews can only give you so much, but more often than not they're going to say they're awesome even if oftentimes they aren't. And what better way to know if a comic is good or not than to ask the real people who've read them?

You could start by registering to online forums/message boards that specifically cater to comic books. The aforementioned Newsarama and Comic Book Resources have their own message boards (as well as some of the official websites I mentioned above) and the people there more often than not are nice and knowledgeable and willing to help newbies who want to start reading comics.

With the advent of the internet, these days it's now easier and to know more about comic books for the comic book newbie. And if you want to start reading comics but want to get your money's worth, there's no excuse not be informed. Who knows? Somewhere out there waits the right comic book for you!

So you know what you want, and you've researched about the potential comics that interest you...but where do you go with all that information? Why, to a comic book shop of course! But is it as scary as you think it is? We'll tackle that bit next time! For now, if you have any questions or want to add anything to this post, the comment link below is your friend and mine! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Behold the Geek!

This is it! After four years of stops, skids and speeding tickets, we have finally come to the day of days!

Yes, people! On this very hour of October 16, 2004 a guy came up with a brilliant idea of putting up a blog to post his Happy Thoughts, only to be a sissy about it and change his mind four years later and turn it into a comic book-slash-pop culture blog! Since then it's been growing fast and I'm loving every minute of it! I've reached the 101st mark, made many people laugh, cry or asplode their heads, had more than 100 page views the last few months alone, and basically turn this shoddy afterthought into a rising force (?) for comic geekdom!

I want to thank first the following: God, my parents, my sweetie, Stan Lee, Whilce Portacio, the creative team of X-Man, Joe Madureira, Frank Cho, my best friends who logged in and checked out the site out of pity (you've done wonders for my analytics!), all the comic book/gaming forums and blogs out there for giving me blog ideas, Jolibee's 2-piece Burger Steak meal and the Jolly Spaghetti for when I just don't know what to do anymore, my office's blazing internet speeds and unfirewalled access for obvious reasons, Maria Ozawa, Hayden Panettiere, David Cook, David Soul, Michael Cretu, Michael Turner (miss ya, Mike) and everybody/thing else that contributed to the growth of this blog.

And with that, let's give the dawg a cheer!

Happy 4th Anniversary


And yes, it is the start of a beautiful friendship.

*Yes I'm totally aware that I've just switched names a couple of months ago so I shouldn't consider this the anniversary of Behold the Geek, but in my defense I probably just misnamed my blog and it was really Behold the Geek to begin with but it didn't know its true destiny until now, so yeah technically it's been Behold the Geek all this time but we didn't know it so I can celebrate in peace. Word!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Webcomics I love: Truck Bearing Kibble

If you remember last week, I wholeheartedly recommended the up-and-coming webcomic Daisy Owl, since it rocks all kinds of awesome. Today I'm going to share with you a web strip so random and wry you'll be coming back again and again just to give your sense of humor a stretch of the legs!

I'm talking about Truck Bearing Kibble ( , the mind-baby of Jeremy Kramer & Eric Vaughn. It takes some truly twisted stabs at pop culture and common sense. And if I may say so myself, it's one of the most intricately rendered web strips out there that I know of right now. It's almost bordering on art, though I wouldn't want to hang some of the stuff on the wall if I were you.

Visual gags, twisted humor, and more twisted yet terrific art, Truck Bearing Kibble is a webcomic I'm sure you'll want to make a daily habit out of!

But of course, don't take my measly word for it. See it for yourself!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Batman: Filipino?

This is what not getting enough sleep (in your office of all places) can make you do...

The goddamn Batman is all over the place, and here I am milking that comic meme for all its worth, in a piece I'd like to call...

(or, what would Batman say if he were Filipino?)

Click to see the un-Comics Code version!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sneak Peeks into the Present (and Future!) of Heroclix

Some folks at HCRealms (notably babloid and Glen Quagmire, with some help from the people at the Wizkids boards..whew!) got some neat first looks into what us plastic crack addicts can look forward to in the next Marvel Heroclix set, dubbed Hammer of Thor!

Molly: duck protector!
There's a shot of Molly, one of the Runaways, finally getting a clix made of her. The sculpt is absolutely adorable and I sincerely hope the figure looks as good in hand.

Super Skrull: X-Men is climbing up in the world.
The centerpiece of the Marvel set is this ginormous Thor figure riding his two steeds to battle! This figure is part of their Buy it by the Brick program, wherein if you buy a ClixBrick (a ten-booster package), you can send off a coupon to get one of these babies for free! For those of you Heroclix laypersons who want to know more, check out their program here.

Honestly, I agree with my money to screw the next DC set for now.... Hammer of Thor is giving me all the good sorts of goosebumps I never had.

And for the DC people out there (I'm one of you guys, but my financial abilities these days say otherwise), here are some pics of the Super Rares from the upcoming DC Heroclix set, named Arkham Asylum (set to release near Halloween, I believe?)

Joker's wild...
Prime looks...smashed.
That's some nightmare fuel right there.
And guess what? The other thing the good people at HCRealms found out during the retailer summit where they found these pics? Something the DC guys can look forward to for the next DC set after Arkham Asylum...

God. Damn. Batmobile.The goddamn Batmobile.

Know what you want out of Comic Books!

If you recall I posted a nice, little article about starting a comic book reading habit on a tight budget. I outlined some steps to get you started, but for the benefit of the genre-shy out there, I'd like to delve a bit deeper into the most important step of all, which is knowing what you want.

Why is it that important? Well, the obvious reason would be to stop you from freaking out upon realizing that there are literally thousands of comic book titles out there! (Okay, so I did freak you out right there) And while you can trust comics these days to deliver the goods when it comes to good stories, you have to find out what interests you first so you would want to keep reading. What sort of stories interest you? What would make you come back for more? Answering these questions would help you avoid unfortunate situations involving you subsisting on cup noodles with piles of comics you paid good money for but didn't like at all.

So knowing what kinds of stories or genres interest you can help you make informed decisions and hopefully make you enjoy your new found interest in comics in the long run.

Now, to give you a nudge in the right direction let's look at some of the different comic book genres offered these days and see which ones give you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

If you're into modern mythology, or just like the concept of super powered people flying around in tight spandex and capes, then the super hero genre will save your day. It's the bread and butter of most American comic book companies, and a great entry point into comics. Think Superman or Batman or Captain America or Iron Man and you think super heroes.

How about swords and sorcery? Brutes with bastard swords or mead-laden wenches? Maybe a dragon here and there? If that sounds like an interesting place to be then you can't go wrong with fantasy. Some of the more recent titles that came out representing this genre include the Dragonlance Chronicles, Red Sonja, Fables, adaptations of R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt saga, etc.

Maybe your partial to spine-chilling stories or just love the idea of zombies, chainsaw killers and the supernatural? The horror genre is home to some of these, with titles like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hack/Slash, and the current Marvel Zombies 3.

And when it comes to action/adventure, comics simply cannot be beat. Heck, most movies can't hold a candle to what comics are capable of when it comes to breakneck, pulse-pounding thrills! Stuff like 100 Bullets, The Goon and Hellboy are great examples of this genre.

Bear in mind that most comics dip into two or more genres at once (Hellboy's roots are mostly in horror but has enough action in it to qualify as action/adventure) and the examples I gave above are simply good starting points in your quest to find the kinds of comic books you'd want to start reading about.

So, now that you're armed with the knowledge about yourself and the genres you might enjoy, it's time to go out and start hunting for those comics!

But...for those who already know what they want, but want to know a little bit more about them before spending a single peso, then join me again next time when I talk about the oft-dreaded...*gasp!* RESEARCH!

For now, thanks for reading! And if I missed anything or just want to vent, the comment box is at your disposal. Now to make up my own genre...anything that involves pizza...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

4 ON THE FLOOR Week 13: 'Nuff Said!

4 ON THE FLOOR is a weekly look at the history, the passion, and the puzzle that is the Dark Lich's blog. All of it in celebration of it's 4th anniversary.

We're way in the homestretch already towards the 4th anniversary of this blog, and I just can't wait to see what happens next! Who knew that what started off as an afterthought is slowly becoming one of the up and coming acts of the comic book blogosphere?! least, I'd like to think so.

Now hark, true believers! As you may recall, I have reveled you with tall tales concerning this blithesome blog, but now we turn our attention elsewhere...and elsewhen!

For unbeknownst to the colorful comic book 'blogoshpere' of lore, a mysterious force awakens from its self-induced slumber all those moons ago (specifically, May 4 of 2008, natch.)! It all started simply enough---and negatively!---when the being first known as the Dark Lich 'blogged' about his unfortunate adventures during the day known as Free Comic Book Day!

From then on, the Dark Lich continued to compose his thoughts in daily, almost clock-like fashion, as he realized the true potential his hitherto dying blog had! Some say he simply heeded the words of a wise apparition he met during a self-induced dream, others simply conceded that he finally had broken free from the bonds of writer's block! But what these so-called 'others' did not know what that the Dark Lich simply followed the single golden rule for maintaining successful 'blogs': "write about what you know!"

And write about what he knew indeed! For since time immemorial, the Dark Lich has and always been the lover of these 22-page pamphlets called comic books! And with his love for this very medium guiding his every key stroke, he strove to continue 'blogging' about comic books and the culture of pop in general...all in the mightily marvelous tradition of those that came before him!

And the rest, as they say, is history! Just as history will soon go verily down, for we now count down to the final days, the final hours leading up to the 4th anniversary of this very blog! Join us again on Thursday for the stunning conclusion, and raucous celebration of 4 ON THE FLOOR!

Till then, face front, true believer!

Okay, so maybe I got hung up on Roy Thomas' mirthful speech from reading my newly acquired Marvel Essentials: Avengers vol. 4. Still, there's no better person to ape than the protege of Stan "The Man" himself! See you in 4 days, people! 4 years don't just bloom out of nowhere, you know!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Week in Comics: October 10, 2008

My Week in Comics is a weekly look into my…uh…buying habits. Keep in mind that the reviews to be read here are not coming from a jaded, old comic book enthusiast but more of a wide-eyed fan of these monthly installments of yum or mush.

Well, that was two weeks without My Week in Comics, and I totally apologize. I didn't get to say what I thought of last week's Nova #17 (though given how much I love this title and how consistently awesome it's been, the verdict is obvious) and Secret Six #1. Still, water under the bridge. Time to review the comics I did get this week!


Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larocca
Colors: Frank D'Armata
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos

What's in it: I totally called it! Tony punks Stane with his remote-controlled armor trick, and now its just Stark, Stane and a smattering of handy debris for the fate of millions!

Why you should care: Writer Matt Fraction caps off this storyarc with a brawl-for-all that ends with Stark stripping to his undies and giving Stane a curbstomping he won't soon forget! It's a badass scene that shows Stark doesn't need no high-tech, fancy-schmancy armor to beat villains seven ways to Sunday! Larocca and the creative team step up their game (minimal chocolatey characters, at least.) with great visuals, and the fact that I love the different Iron Man armors in this issue.

Why you might not: Anything short of nitpicking? Not that I know of. It's that good

Quote of the moment: Tony's "Your dad was smarter than you. And harder to beat." Stane couldn't even think of a comeback for that one!

Overall: A solid read all throughout. Guess I won't be dropping this anytime soon. And neither should you. 9/10


Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Bernard Chang
Colors: Kanila Tripp
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover by: Aaron Lopresti

What's in it: Wonder Woman's visit to the set of her own movie goes downhill as the Queen of Fables (mistaking Wondy as the legendary Snow White...maybe) takes sweet, sweet revenge on our hero. Can Diana survive bad rewrites, hammy acting, and the Queen's deadly machinations?

Why you should care: It's got Wonder Woman commenting on the woefully apparent awefulness of her would-be movie! It also has her kicking copious ass and taking names! Makes you wonder what exactly the Queen of Fables was smoking to think she can go head to head with someone trained in 'ambidextrous dual axe technique'!

Why you might not: The movie parody scenes, while hilarious, didn't do much in the way of story, save for giving Diana a migraine. And the Queen of Fables comes off as a laughable villain using cheap tricks for no reason than to pique.

Quote of the moment: It's a tie between Wondy's "This thing is going to be the biggest bomb in film history" and everything else she says in this issue. Writer Gail Simone really knows how to quip, doesn't she?

Overall: This issue reminds me of those 'monster of the week' formats some TV shows have. But nonetheless, a done-in-one issue that's a shade above good. 8/10

So what's the verdict? Two great comics this surprise there given the track record of the titles in question. At least its an enjoyable week despite the price increase!

Got any questions, comments or violent reactions? You are more than welcome to leave comments below and discuss anything that might have interested you in this blog post this week. My Week in Comics is now up every Friday. Thanks for reading!

101st POST!

Wow. Time does fly when you're having fun.

And I totally just noticed now that I've past the 100-post mark. This post being the 101st. AND It took 4 years to get to this, and I totally miss it?

Now, most blogs celebrate their 100's, but I guess this makes me different now. Ha!

Anyways, I'll just leave the 'looking back' schtick to the other guys for now since I already got the 'looking back to the history of Think Happy Thoughts/Behold the Geek!' going in my weekly 4 ON THE FLOOR. So I'll just say Happy 101st Post to this blog and here's to a hundred and one more!


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Mighty Avengers? You mean MyAvengers!

As proof that I have way too much time on my hands...

I present to you, the all-new, all-different...

click to enlarge, as always.

And yes, I know that this line-up is as fanboy as it can get. But then again, if Marvel decided to form an Avengers group consisting of every single Marvel character I like* **, that would be the time to drop everything else and just buy it religiously till I can't afford to even eat cup noodles anymore.

More on this team's story at another time. Meanwhile, if you want to make up your own superteam in the same manner, you can check out this site that has literally hundreds of .gif's of characters from Marvel to DC to Movies to the extremely bizaare. And maybe you can share with everyone just how awesome you think superteams should be!

Now, off to make a DC version!

*I wanted to put Hercules in there, but I decided that he's more awesome alone on his own book, in the consistently great Incredible Hercules.

**And yes, that is Galactus in the background. And yes, he's part of the team. Let's see who wants to mess with earth now!

COMICS NEWS: Daily News Spoils all-new Action

*SPOILER ALERT!* This post contains spoilers to Action Comics #870, which should probably be out on the Philippines today (Thursday)*SPOILER ALERT!*

Talk about major spoilage.

I'm betting there will be lots of backlash for this, both for the early spoilage of a major event and for what was done to the character in question.

Personally, I've never read Superman comics aside from "Death of..." and a couple of annuals here and there, so this development is little news to me. From what I've gathered, this character has died like twice already. I guess the time when he accompanied Superman through the realm of the dead isn't considered a death. I do like what the writer had to say about the man, though.

"If baby Kal-El had fallen in the hands of a lesser man, the world would be a lesser place."

Feel free to discuss this story, ye courageous spoiled soul, by clicking on the comments link below.

Thanks to Comic Book Resources for the head's up on this story.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Webcomics I love: Daisy Owl

Last week I introduced you to some of the webcomics I found and loved, which are Sinfest and Dork Tower. Today I'm going to talk about a fresh, new webcomic, barely past its 50th strip, but is already gaining a following for its sweet home truths and cute art.

I'm talking about Daisy Owl (, the webcomic that has the makings of a classic. It stars the weirdest bunch of characters you could possibly find in a webcomic. There's Daisy, a little girl who, along with her brother Cooper, happens to have a real live owl as a dad.

There's also Steve, a bear who lost touch with his bear roots and tries really hard to study bear talk, with hilarious results.

Did I mention Steve is one of the most dapper-looking bears in webcomics today?

Daisy Owl's creator Ben Driscoll has managed to make a fan out of me, mainly because of his hilarious dialogue, fantastic art, and the fact that this strip is comedy gold and the most awesome creation ever.

Oh, and Daisy is like the smartest girl in the playground. Go ahead, ask her!

Visit the site! I myself promise you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

4 ON THE FLOOR Week 12: I've fallen and I can't get up!

4 ON THE FLOOR is a weekly look at the history, the passion, and the puzzle that is the Dark Lich's blog. All of it in celebration of it's 4th anniversary.

For months I've been doing 4 ON THE FLOOR, taking you on a scary, sordid and scintillating-ly exciting ride through the different years this blog has been through. Now we go back to the Dark Ages of my blog...the time when posts were virtually non-existent, where this poor blog went to production hell. We now know that age as 2007.

After my great American bash of 2006, I all but forgotten this blog for reasons...uh, forgotten. My first post of 2007 was 4 months in the making, and even then it was just a sarcastic joke of a post for a video project we were doing at work. From there it became a sporadic game of "Guess when I'll post next!" that saw me write a scathing (albeit well written) Harry Potter movie review and an out of context rant that I'd just rather forget. That's a textbook example of killing your blog and whatever's left of your reading public if I ever saw one!

This blog would not see another useful post until mid-2008, seven months later, but from there germinated the seeds of what would become BEHOLD THE GEEK.

But fear not, my growing fanbase! Now that this blog has a definite, defined direction, the seven month waiting period for new material to read will be all but nonexistent! Now aren't you glad you started reading now instead of maybe never?

We're nearing the last leg of our celebration of 4 ON THE FLOOR, so stay glued to that keyboard! The air is crackling with excitement as we speak, so excuse me while I start patting the hairs down on my body from all the static! While I do that, leave a comment if you have something to say about today's blog post by clicking the comment link below!

And yes, I'm totally going to start ending sentences with exclamation points now!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Webcomics I Love (and you will too!)

It seems that these days, webcomics are a dime a dozen. Anyone with a pencil, a scanner, Photoshop and a dream can cook one up for all the world to see. Maybe that's why I never got around to reading, much less searching for the stuff during my free time. You just never know the good ones from the bad.

Sometimes, though, I stumble upon a webcomic or two using my mad internet 'research skillz' that make me go, "That's awesome!" and that changed things forever.

And so, every week starting today, I will try to share with you some of the good webcomics I found in the internets. They're funny, they're weird, they're outrageous, and they just might make your list of webcomics worth your time. Because they sure as hell are worth mine!


I first stumbled on this gem on Tom Spurgeon's side of the fence, and I've been smiling ever since. The hero Slick is a fast-talking, self-proclaimed 'pimp' that's too short for his own good. He also sold his soul to the devil, who's both enigmatic and adorable. God here is, as always, the penultimate jester and sometimes sounding board for everybody. Oh and did I mention Monique, who's the epitome of cuteness and the antithesis of fidelity?

The strip, created by Tatsuya Ishida, may use the cutesy, 'manga' style art and clean lines, but don't let that fool you for one bit. Ishida uses his cute art style to tackle issues like politics, sexuality and religion without making the strip feel all heavy like. It's equal parts of funny and shocking, and some of the stuff is borderline offensive, but when you've got all these cute characters running around commenting on serious issues, who has time to be serious?

Dork Tower

God, I just remembered reading this from my friend's old Dragon magazines! But here we have the web version of their comic, which is about gaming and comic book geeks who take their hobbies way too seriously. Way, way too seriously.

I love John Kovalic's quirky art, and his stories really hit home to me, being the big flaming geek that I am. Whether it's debating about 3.5 or 4th ed., or proving teh borkenness of the Galactus Heroclix, I laugh at the gags because it's just so true! But not to worry if you're not into the geek lifestyle (which I sorta doubt since you're reading my blog), you can pick up on the themes very quickly, and you'll find yourself laughing at the jokes with us, your once-removed gaming brethren! Mwahaha!

There you go! Two awesome webcomics just waiting to become your daily habit! Irreverent and hits a little too close to home...and I bet you woudn't have it any other way.

Next week I'll be sharing more webcomics with you guys so be sure to come back! If you have anything to say about the two webcomics I shared, or just want to suggest some other sites, drop me a comment below and let's discuss!

Meanwhile, I'll just drool over Monique for a little longer...

Friday Night Fights...She-Hulk Style!

Another Friday Night Fight, and it's She-Hulk's last hurrah, so what better way to go out than with a BIG BANG?!

So the story goes that She-Hulk's dad pays her a surprise visit, and while she wonders what to do with him, a knock is heard...

...and H.R. Giger-rejects come a-acrawlin' outside her front door! What's a gamma-radiated girl to do?

Pack heat, that's what!

In a get-up that would make Rob Liefeld proud, Shulkie decides to take the fight to these Alien knockoffs in true Liefeld/Byrne/Kirby-inspired fashion!

That crackling, burning sound you hear is the sound of how awesome She-Hulk with a BFG is.



Bahlactus eats cosmic dots for breakfast. And a little bit after lunch to calm his heartburn.

A funny, furious fight from Sensational She-Hulk #60, courtesy of Scott Benson and Len Kaminski, and artist Pat Olliffe. Scans courtesy of scans_daily!

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