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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Mighty Avengers Casting Call!

Because no one demanded it (except my geeky imagination), I present to you my totally unsolicited idea of an ideal cast for a Mighty Avengers movie!

Now, I know that Marvel plans to shake up their line up after Secret Invasion, but I say why bother? The line-up's pretty damn awesome as is. They've thrown down with Dr. Doom and Ultron, and have faced worldwide threats that would make a generic super wet their pants. Anyway, if you're into superhero action, or just want to geek out seeing your favorite comic characters on the big screen, The Mighty Avengers just might be the movie for you!


Yvonne Strahovski as MS. MARVEL
Carol Danvers is a soldier, a superhero, and a leader, so it’ll be a perfect fit for Yvonne Strahovski, who plays a sexy, tough-as-nails super spy in Chuck. And besides, there’s not a man in the world who wouldn’t want her to trade in her Wienerlicious outfit for Ms. Marvel’s superhero one-piece!



Robert Downey, Jr. as IRON MAN
‘Nuff said.










Batista as ARES
Ares is the God of War in the Marvel Universe, and his ruthlessness and thirst for battle knows no bounds. “The Animal” Batista is known for his aggression and godly physique in the WWE. Put two and two together and you get the perfect match for the Mighty Avengers’ resident god. And if your concerned on his acting chops, just remember that his job is to swing swords and axes and basically level the place…which if there was an award for it, Batista would get an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy. Hands down.

Liv Tyler as WASP
For the Wasp, we need someone who can play up her fun-loving socialite aspect as well as her superhero status. Liv Tyler’s got the looks down pat, and as proven in her role as Arwen in Lord of the Rings, she can pull her own weight and kick as much ass as the rest of the guys, even at wasp-size.


John Stamos as WONDER MAN
An actor and a superhero? Simon Williams juggles two of the hardest jobs in the world with ionic ease. John Stamos is not only a spitting, square-jawed image of Wonder Man, but he acts and sings! Fits like a glove, I tell you! Somebody sign him up quick!


Mariska Hargitay as BLACK WIDOW
Natasha Romanoff is a sexy Russian spy who’s equal parts sexy and deadly. We’d go with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Mariska Hargitay, who proves in the show that she looks good busting up the lowest criminal denominator.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Week in Comics: November 28, 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.
Also, *SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!*


That's the funny thing about mega-comic book event tie ins: when a comic book ties in with an event, and their part is over, but the event itself isn't 'over' (like the upcoming final issue of Secret Invasion), the adventures that follow are automatically dated as post, meaning after the fact. So now we're seeing post-Secret Invasion comics coming out, showing a peachy-keen world after all the Skrull hullabaloo. Funny, right? Right. Now that I got that tangent out of the way, let's look at the new comics I got this week, and what I think about them!


Incredible Hercules #123 is still good, but I find it a bit lacking compared to the last few issues since Pak and Van Lente are slowin' things down here and setting the board up for the final brouhaha. We do get a nicely done, Marvel-version of the history of Atlantis however, and making the gods literal CEOs of 'Olympus Group' is classic (Ares as a company shareholder? Stop making me love him more!). As for the art, Clayton Henry is a god among men...as long as you pair him up with decent inkers and colorists, as they do here. This one is a not-so-godly 7 out of 10.



Aside from Herc, Nova is one of the first guys out of the gate doing post-Secret Invasion stories already. In Nova #19, Abnett and Lanning are making the newly-discovered Nova Corpsmen look badass, but it comes off as cocky compared to the silent awesomeness of Richard Rider (which is kinda ironic, really). While I find rebuilding the Nova Corps to be interesting, I think its too early to tackle it seeing as we haven't really tested the limits of what the Nova Prime can do. That, and I want Rich bitch-slapping some cosmic dudes like Celestials and shit, dammit!

Anyhoo, Worldmind becoming a scheming snake deputizing left and right is an interesting turn of events. I guess he doesn't like being pushed around by Rich for the past dozen or so issues. The final few pages show just where Worldmind's plan is heading, and Rich isn't gonna like it. I don't have to either, but...yeah. I'll give this a 7 out of 10.


Oh Wonder Woman, how the mighty have fallen! But before that, the gods have come back from some trip I haven't read about, and they're pissed at what seems to be Darkseid having destroyed their home (and apparently used the throne room as a loo.).

Wondy's sparring partner in this week's Wonder Woman #26 comes in the form of Genocide, who's kinda like Doomsday. You know...violent, one-dimensional and tunnel-visioned to kick the ass of the JLA. Talks like Doomsday too. In a word: lame. The Secret Society of Supervillains are scraping the bottom of the barrel with this idea, and saying Satan inspired her creation doesn't help at all. But at least Genocide proves how tough she is by trussing up Wondy (probably brought back memories, right?) like some two-bit turkey, and stealing her lasso afterwards because she's really, really mean! This one's an easy 6 out of 10.


So what's the verdict? The winners didn't win as much as I liked, and the loser wasn't so bad as it was a bit uninspired. But as it is with comics, there's always next issue! And that's the eternal optimist talking!

Got any questions, comments or violent reactions? Hit my comment box with it for all the world to see! My Week in Comics is now up every Friday. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Webcomics I Love: Nodwick

Man, if there was a surefire sign you're a roleplaying geek, it was owning a copy (or copies, for the hardcore ones) of Dragon magazine. My college bud had tons of them, and I read them all, if not for the RPG-related goodies inside, then for the Nodwick strips at the very end!

Nodwick is the brain child of cartoonist Aaron Williams, and it pokes fun at cliches and genre conventions of fantasy role playing games. The art is quirky, and Williams' RPG-gamer geek humor hits home every single time. The characters are hilariously lovable, most especially Piffany, who is probably the cutest, bespectacled cleric on the face of the earth!

Dragon has now gone the way of the dodo, but now you can catch Nodwick's adventures again in the official site, Nodwick.com, where Aaron Williams continues to pump out webcomics every week. Read the latest strip or check out the archives, but whatever you do, don't forget to enjoy it! It's what every roleplaying game session should be like: crazy fun!

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Week in Comics: November 21, 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.

Also, *SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!*


It's been pretty hectic for me these past few days, but not too hectic as to not enjoy New Comics Day! This week, we have Ink not being Ink at all, War Machine living up to his name, and Yeti fighting vampires...I think.


Yeti vs. Vampire Comic Book?!When a new comic called Yeti vs. Vampire offers its first issue for 99 cents, there’s just no excuse not to pick it up. With that said, the Yeti is here and so is the vampire, but there’s no versus happening here at all…well, unless you count werewolves eviscerated and snake-men ripped open alive (all in gory, cartoonish detail reminiscent of Mike Wieringo), but that’s not why you bought a comic called Yeti vs. Vampire in the first place.

From an interview with writer Miles Gunter, “Yeti vs Vampire is the story of Monda, a vampire fashion designer who sets out to capture the Yeti and use its exotic fur to create a line of ultra chic fur coats for her upcoming runway show in Milan.” A fashion designer? Wanting to kill Yeti to make fur coats? There’s just no way this could go wrong at all, except that you wouldn’t know this story was about a vampire going ala Cruela de Vil on the Yeti unless I told you so, which would have been helpful for such an accessible first issue. There's just not enough oomph to get me to read more about it, not even some freaking pencil sketches and character design extras. All in all, it’s an honest effort. But since you can get it for less than a dollar (55 pesos here), I really can’t complain. This is an easy 6 out of 10.

War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D.Christos Gage finally finds his pace in War Machine: Weapon of S.H.I.E.L.D. #35, having Rhodey and the Winter Guard (Russia’s super-team) kick loads of Skrull ass and having more explosions than all Secret Invasion tie-ins combined! But the real star here is Crimson Dynamo, showing a noble and heroic streak by ignoring orders from Mother Russia to help War Machine waste some Skrulls. Being Gage, it comes off as badass without laying the dramatics thick, and it’s better for it. As for the art, Sean Chen’s work has been stronger in other books (like the first few issues of Nova) but it’s more than adequate here, and besides, I like how he drew Crimson Dynamo in my favorite version of his armor! That, and another sweet Adi Granov cover gives this an explosive 8 out of 10.


Young X-Men #8: I've got an Ink-lingFinally, there’s Young X-Men #8, the one where we find out that Ink isn’t a mutant at all, and the reason why his tattoos give him powers is revealed. I didn’t think having a tattoo artist that can give powers to people via tattoos was a big deal at first, but Marc Guggenheim makes the implications of it so painfully clear now that I’m kicking myself for not realizing it sooner. It’s those sorts of twists that get me hooked, and it works. Rafa Sandoval’s pencils are okay to work with, but for me Yanick Paquette owned this book from issue one. I don’t know if he’s just filler or the regular penciler now, so I’ll give him a couple of issues more to work that out. This one is an 8 out of 10.

So what’s the verdict? Well, too bad Yeti vs. Vampire didn’t even try to live up to the hype associated with the ‘awesome thing versus awesome thing’ trope, even at such an accessible price. Fortunately, two solid reads from War Machine and Young X-Men saved this week.

Got any questions, comments or violent reactions? Then give it to me straight by leaving a comment below. My Week in Comics is now up every Friday. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Webcomics I love: VGCats

You know you found a freakishly hilarious webcomic when you can describe it in just one word:


Okay, so that's not exactly a word, but how else can I describe the twisted humor only the sick marriage of cats and videogames can give? That's what Scott Ramsoomair did with VGCats (http://www.vgcats.com), another webcomic that's had me trippin' balls and busting my gut for weeks on end.

It's got sharp jabs at video games and video game culture that's too obscene and funny to describe here, so just visit Scott's site...but you better be sure you're not drinking, eating or otherwise doing anything with liquids in front of your keyboard, because it's funny as hell, and milk will squirt out an orifice, whether you like it or not.

That, and Leo's my favorite kind of moron.

Autograph

There are probably three things I want to happen before I die. One is to make my own mini-comic, two is to go to an American comic book convention, and three is to have my autograph taken.

It just so happens that one of these things already happened yesterday.

I was voicing scripts for a TV special, and we had to use someone else's dubbing time to do it. I was kind of embarrassed having to do my nominally half-assed voicing job in front of professionals, but I just went with it.

After I finished, this cute dubber came up to me exclaiming that I was the voice behind the TV...and asked for my autograph! My mind was too blown and star struck to react as I picked up her notebook and wrote my name on it and signed it. I made a fool of myself making small talk while signing her notebook when I should have been the one asking for her autograph in the first place! I don't know about you, but that's probably the most insane thing that has ever happened to me since beating high school seniors in essay writing when I was a froshie.

Man, does this mean I'm really meant for greater things?

*crickets*

Guess not. At least, not yet...but it's a start!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Lazy Toy Fair Saturday

Just got back from the Glorietta Midnight Toys and Collectibles Madness Fair in Makati and I have two words to describe it: cuh-raaazy!

There were toys from almost every toy manufacturer out there. There were NECA stuff, McFarlane Toys, Barbies, anime figurines and the ubiquitous Marvel Legends figs, all of them at pretty good deals. Every toy collector from the Philippines was probably there, as I had to shove my way through some sweaty toy geeks (and some geeks with smokin'-hot girlfriends...who knew?) to get to some of the booths!

Some booths were selling the hard-to-find Target Exclusive Ares and Red Hulk Marvel Legends waves, but my jaws sank to the ground when I found out they only sold them as sets, and at (in my humble, financially incapable opinion) astronomic prices! I guess I have to wait till they go further down in price, which is probably when 'Legends are, like, obsolete.

I didn't go home empty-handed, though! I found some Marvel figs I liked, though they're loose figs from the bargain bins. I got Jean Grey (from Hasbro Series 2), Captain Marvel (from the MODOK wave) and a Hulkbuster Iron Man (who I plan to give to my best friend as a Christmas present), all in pretty good shape!

Jean Grey, Captain Marvel and, behind them, Hulkbuster Iron Man
going, "Marvel Legendz in the hizzouuuuuusse!"



More pics of my hauls. As always, click the pics to enlarge!

I also saw the good people at Comic Odyssey and found at their booth a copy of Civil War #1, the only issue I missed, and at cover price too! "Mahirap na ma-complete 'yan!" (It's already hard to complete that [mini-series]!) Sir Comic Odyssey told me, and I absolutely believe him, that's why I was happy to get the copy I needed to complete my Civil War comics.

All in all it was pretty fun, as I got figs I wanted and as I write it's probably still full of people looking around and bargaining and stuff, as the fair goes all the way till midnight. Makes me wanna come back tomorrow!

But I can't.

Oh well, till the next convention then! If you're anywhere near Glorietta tomorrow, I suggest you get there!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Week in Comics: November 14, 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.
Also, *SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!*



It's pretty rare for comics to be emotionally engaging these days, unless you have an unhealthy fixation for fictional characters or something. This week we have two comics that prove that while comics are a cheap form of entertainment, they still pack a whole lot more than they look.

Captain Britain and the MI:13 #7First up is Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk's Captain Britain and the MI:13 #7, which sees the team either fighting each other or fighting for survival, all the while being in the thick of demonic hellfire courtesy of Doctor Plotka. Cornell and co. totally owned this issue, as they give the cast some great character moments while keeping it snappy, coherent and engaging. Cornell is making writing a team book look so easy it borders on retarded, and Kirk matches it with his A-game material art. I mean, check out Spitfire in this issue. That's one hot grandma!

While the whole 'British' speech effect still needs some getting used to (try reading it with a British accent...its more fun to read that way!), it would be nitpicking compared to all the kinds of awesome contained this issue. And with the shocking reveal at the end, this book has you hooked and ready to see what happens next. This is a real page-turner, so I have to give this one a 9 out of 10.


JSA Kingdom Come Special: SupermanThen we have another gorgeous book in the form of JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman by Alex Ross. This is the first time Ross has written, penciled and inked a comic book all by himself (think about it for a sec), and he still manages to blow you away with it! In this one-shot, Ross explores the fears and doubts that burden KC (Kingdom Come) Superman as he tries to make sure the events of Kingdom Come doesn't take place in this Earth.

Story-wise, I've never read anything quite as powerful. Ross makes us care about KC Superman...the man who can survive in a Kryptonite gas cloud without batting an eyelash, but is visibly shaken when the Lois Lane of this Earth tries to talk to him that he can't even bear to look at her. We also get to look back at a touching yet tragic moment between KC Superman and the Lois of his Earth, moments after Joker's attack on the Daily Planet (as described in Kingdom Come). Her dying words to him literally made me choke back some tears reading it in the mall. Seriously. This comic almost made me cry.

As for the art, it's Ross' best to date, if not his best ever. The detail is amazing, and for a guy who's inking his work for the first time, he just makes it look easy. Alex Sinclair's colors only served to highlight the great art on this issue, making this one of the most gorgeous books out there this week. There's also a 'behind-the-scenes' feature after the story, showing Ross' insanely detailed thumbnails and before-and-after shots of his pencil work to inked ones, which caps off this truly great comic book. I can't put into words just how awesome this issue is, so I gotta give this one 10 out of 10.


So what's the verdict? Two highly recommended comics in a single week! That's gotta be some sort of record for me. Another two comics for the 'awesome' bin!

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!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wizkids is No More!

It’s been a bad year for gaming, and another piece of the sky fell yesterday.

I’m talking about Topps Company shutting down Wizkids, owner of the popular Heroclix game line. The announcement can be found here, and speculations and reactions to the news is here.

The short gist of it:

The Topps Company is announcing today that it is closing down WizKids, its core hobby gaming business, and temporarily discontinuing the WizKids product lines. Topps CEO Scott Silverstein commented, “This was an extremely difficult decision. But in light of the current economic conditions, we feel it is necessary to align our gaming initiatives more closely with Topps current sports and entertainment offerings which are already being developed within our New York office.”

Right now the Wizkids site and its forums are virtually nonexistent, and as of this writing, the HCRealms site is offline, probably driven to total server meltdown from all the traffic they’re getting. It’s that crazy.

I decided to hold back posting about it as I’m still trying to process the situation, ‘coz going batshit crazy isn’t really going to help this piece get any better. For now, all we have is Topps saying that they will pursue “strategic alternatives so that viable brands and properties, including HeroClix, can continue without any noticeable disruption.” But that won’t ease any fears about the fate of their future plans, including Heroclix’s next, Thor-centric line, Hammer of Thor.

One wonders, how could Topps let this happen? They say it was a very hard decision to make (and I agree…probably hundreds of people are now out of work as we speak), but I can’t help but think how hard it actually is to decide to let go of a company that put CMG’s (collectible miniatures games) on the map. Heroclix just sold out its last two sets like crazy, and the buzz for the game has never been higher. It’s even been injected fresh, new blood in the form of new Brand Manager Jake Theis, whose excitement and obvious love for the game (as evidenced by his blog posts) is making people giddy as schoolgirls with the promise of a better game for everyone under his guidance.

Then again, Heroclix is just one game, and while Wizkids had a stable of game lines including Pirates, Star Wars Pocketmodels and others, I don't think they survived with just Clix as the moneymaker. But judging from the last word from ICv2, Topps seems to want their brands to have homes as quickly as possible, to preserve brand value. I guess that's as good of a news as any.

All we could do right now is speculate, wait or pray until another press release gives us the full lowdown on what happens next in regards to all of their game lines. The guys at my Heroclix player group are nervous but hopeful, and will continue to play the game until then. I want to know what’s next, Wizkids or no Wizkids.

Here’s hoping it’s the former.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vicki Vale just wants one thing....


...and she absolutely can't help herself.





It's a virgin Dick Grayson in Batman #351, courtesy of DC heavyweights Gerry Conway and Gene Colan. Where were girls like that when I was 20? Anyway, context (and thanks) can be found here, and though it's twice as awesome, it isn't as funny.


Friday, November 07, 2008

My Week in Comics: November 7, 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.


This week, I'm just glad my comics got here at all. Stupid airline delays rassum frassum.

Anyhoo, we've got some new comics to review, including stuff we haven't reviewed yet during all this hullabaloo that is My Week in Comics. This week, we've got Iron Man mucking around with your favorite neighborhood devil-dealer, a Jungle Girl returns for another season, and Ms. Marvel plays a wench!

For a few pages, anyway.


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #7

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

$2.99/P165.00




What's in it: Iron Man begins rebuilding his shattered empire (due to Stane's involvement last issue), but first thing's first, he has to plug up some black market tech connections. Also, Spider-Man comes to visit in a team up for the ages, as they help each other take stolen tech off of villains' (and non-villains'!) hands!

Why you might care: When you've got Iron Man and Spider-Man teaming up to throw down with the Terrible Tinkerer and Big Wheel, there's not a lot else to say. But I'll say it anyway...writer Matt Fraction's Spider-Man is brilliant here, like the annoying best bud who likes to ride shotgun whether you like it or not. His approach to Spider-Man and Iron Man's relationship post-Civil War/One More Day is good, not letting the story get bogged down by all the devil-deals and the double-crosses, but touches upon those events just so and leaving just enough for the readers to figure out.

More importantly, you also get a glimpse on the state of Tony Stark's mind, what with all the Civil Wars and the Deaths and all the labels being heaped on his shoulders these days. This is a man who's tired and world-weary, but still trying his best to be the superhero he wishes to be.

Why you might not: Colorist Frank D'Armata is dipping into the browns too much again, as if just to spite the guys who give him a hard time with his coloring. Other than that, it's a solid issue.

Quote of the moment: "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. And I just fought the Big Wheel in Teaneck. I know from stupid."--Spider-Man on stupid things.

Overall: It's another solid issue of Invincible Iron Man, and this issue just makes you want to know what's in store for the most powerful man in the Marvel U . 7/10


JUNGLE GIRL SEASON 2 #1

Writer: Frank Cho, Doug Murray
Artist: Adriano Batista
Colors: Frank Martin
Letters: Zachary Matheny
Cover by: Frank Cho
$3.50/P195.00



What's in it: Frank Cho's busty blonde heroine is back for another season, as Jana and friends trek towards God-Mountain and deal with more dangerous (and prehistoric) flora and fauna!

Why you should care: It's Frank Cho and Adriano Batista doing what they do best: putting a busty, half-naked woman through the most dangerous and sexiest situations possible. If you're into jungle girls fighting and slaughtering indigenous wildlife in various stages of undress, this is totally your book (and mine).

Why you might not: Come on, it's Frank F'n Cho! What more do you want?

Oh yeah, coherent plot. Cho dives Jana and co. straight to the wild bush without nary a pause, save for commenting on instances and things that have absolutely no relation to the story, and telling readers they have to go to God-Mountain because lord knows why. It's comparable to the most boring parts of Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring, where you feel like you wanna skip the geography lessons and skip to the naughty bits. And the script is stuttered at best.

Quote of the moment: When a girl as hot as Jana the Jungle Girl says "We go down.", with accompanying motion of fingers doing unnatural things, you can't help but not think straight!

Overall: It's cheesecake as only Frank Cho knows how. But a well-rounded comic has to have hot art and story, and this issue is missing one. 6/10


MS. MARVEL: STORYTELLER #1

Writer: Brian Reed
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Lorenzo Ruggiero
Colors: Andres Mossa
Letters: Blambot's Nate Piekos
Cover by: Giuseppe Camuncoli
$2.99/P165.00



What's in it: Ms. Marvel searches for Gavin, a boy whose reality-bending powers rival that of the Scarlet Witch herself! But the kid wants nothing more than to play pirates with reality, and Ms. Marvel gets caught in the middle of it!

Why you should care: This story brings back Gavin, a wildly imaginative boy who has reality-bending powers, and this issue sets him up as a future power player in the ranks of the Marvel Universe. However...

Why you might not: Aside from the cover and a few pages at best, the story has nothing to do with pirates whatsoever, much to my disappointment. Any hope of seeing Ms. Marvel scrubbing the decks with pirate versions of the Marvel U. was out the window by the end of the issue. Which is a shame, considering a story about Ms. Marvel the pirate wench would have opened big.

I know, I was expecting something different, special, anything, from a one-shot. Instead we got a Ms. Marvel adventure disguised as something altogether different.

Quote of the moment: In the pirate-filled climax, we at least get to hear Pirate Hulk roar, "Pirate Hulk crush scurvy Ms. Marvel!". Golden.

Overall: Storyteller is a done-in-one that does what it has to do, but not much else. 6/10


I'm one-for-three this week, with one solid read and two middling ones. Maybe I was spoiled by the awesomeness of last week's Incredible Hercules and Nova? We'll never know...but I guess you have to keep reading to find out!

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, November 06, 2008

The Skrull is in the Details...

With Secret Invasion coming to an end (the event anyway) next month, I looked back at all the books that came out just before 'Skrulls' became the buzzword of the year. New Avengers gutted a Skrull impostor, Mighty Avengers had Tony going paranoid on his teammates, and the feel of the universe generally became more shady, more untrustworthy than usual. Was it all just coincidence?

It made me think about the stories found in my Marvel Essentials, and how creators approached storytelling back then. Stories were more...robust so to speak. Roy Thomas and co. would debut a new, interesting villain every other issue, and any matter was urgent as hell. If Paste Pot Pete was mucking around in the middle of Times Square, you can be sure the heroes would come at him like the world was coming to an end. Of course, Roy's pompous propensity for bombast may have something to do with it, but regardless of how much happened in an issue, it was more or less self-contained, and able to stand on its own. Which is something that can't be said much with the modern Marvel U..

Nowadays it feels as if every issue is just a stepping stone towards the 'next big event'. Each story becomes the 'brick' to build the next comic book event with. While it isn't necessarily wrong to do it that way, the stories feel manufactured and artificial somehow. The fun goes out the window once you see the 'strings' that control it.

Take Secret Invasion, for instance. The seeds of the story stretched as far back as the Kree-Skrull War, and any book with the Avengers name on it was written to lead up to it. Retcons were made, deals were done, and stories were decompressed like hell so as to prepare for the day the first issue of Secret Invasion hit the shelves. There's nothing wrong with planning ahead with a universe this vast, but to have storylines become no more than 'bullet points' in a Powerpoint presentation makes suspension of disbelief hard to pull off.

Don't get me wrong, I'm liking Secret Invasion right now (as seen in my reviews), but it makes me think how different this event would have been if the universe was made to react to the events around them, instead of twisting and contorting the universe to fit into the story.

I guess that's the price to pay to have just one guy (Brian Bendis, for instance) become the sole 'architect' of your universe.

Anyway, here's a thought for ya: Do you think the Marvel books these days feel and read like they're written to 'set up' the next big idea/event down the line?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Start Trying out those Comic Books!


It’s part three of my quest to get people to start reading comic books on a budget! So now you know what you want, and you are now ready to make an informed decision by way of research...and this step in particular might demand a bit from you…as you now need to go out and look for the comic books that interest you!

Comic book shops for looking for comic books!There are loads of places to go and get comic books, but I’ll focus on the easily accessible ones. Lets start with the most obvious place to look: your local comic shop, or LCS.

For the comic book newbie, it’s probably quite intimidating to step into a comic book shop for the first time. What would you say to the guys or girls behind the counter? Are they going to gnaw you out for asking about comics you don’t know much about? Far from it! In fact, you are the kind of person they really want to see in there! One more comic book reader means one more fan, one more person to talk to about comics, and that's always a good thing!

Once you’re inside, you can ask the people in the shop about the comics you’re interested in reading, and they can even suggest to you some stuff you might want to try. Some of the better LCS’ out there have some of the most passionate and most informed people working behind the counter so don’t be afraid to ask.

Start by trying out two or three comics in your list, or depending on your budget. You might not want to try a ‘grab bag’ approach if you’re trying comics out for the first time, though if you really want to try out more comics, that’s fine too. Hopefully what you got today would make you come back for more tomorrow (or at least, every Wednesday which is new comics day!).

Another place you can get comic books is pretty obvious in itself: your local library. ButComic books can be found in a library too! whereas you can get comic book singles in an LCS, your local library might stock graphic novels or trade paperbacks instead. A graphic novel is a type of comic book, usually collected in a bound volume, but usually focuses on a single, lengthy storyline…like a novel. A trade paperback is a term for a collected edition of stories originally published in comic book pamphlet form, usually collecting a story arc from the comics. Both are a great way of getting into comic books, and best of all, it's free! Meaning you can freely browse for titles at the comfort of your library desk or cozy chair! Some local libraries have started stocking comic books, but if you're not sure if they do, it's better to call ahead and ask.

Trying comics out for the first time needn't be traumatizing for the newbies out there. Thankfully, the places I mentioned are your rich resources for comic books, easily accessible, and newbie friendly to boot. But what’s more important is you enjoy your purchases and hopefully they will make you come back for more of these four-color funnybooks!

Hopefully these little suggestions helped you get started on those comic books! As always, if you have some stuff you’d like to add, point out, or simply discuss, the comment box below is anyone’s friend. We'll tackle another important step in this guide to starting comic book reading, so be sure to catch it next time. Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why, Ares, Why?!!!!

I know Halloween was just this weekend, and Christmas is about 50 days away...but man...

Mighty Avengers' Ares about to lay some god-like smackdown.
...I have to own this.

That's Ares (of Mighty Avengers fame), the latest Build-A-Figure (or BAF) from the latest Marvel Legends wave, and quite possibly the most badass action figure I have ever laid eyes on. Dude looks like he could kick everyone's asses up and down the aisles of toy stores everywhere!

But that figure is a Wal-Mart exclusive.

And we do not have Wal-Marts here in the Philippines.

Which makes me a very, very, very angry blogger.

I swear, on the life of my Heroclix, I will own this figure. You have my word.

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