Friday, January 30, 2009

My Week in Comics: January 30, 2009

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.

Time flies so fast after Chinese New Year! It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the most verbose comic book reviews around! Let’s see what’s shaking in the world of comics this week!

Cyclops gives me the willies (not the one-eyed ones) in Young X-Men #10. Aside from his secret wetwork team X-Force, Scott has hidden from the YXM the fact that there’s another mutant in their team, capable of phasing and complete invisibility (even from psychics, natch), and they’re not very happy about it. But it turns out Cipher has been lending hands in all of the Young X-Men’s adventures so far, which makes it okay…I guess. It's gonna get real creepy in the X-household. Also, a Young X-Man desperately needs a second opinion. Say it ain't so, Doc!

All in all, an okay issue that answers some nagging questions and pushes the ongoing story in new and dangerous directions. An easy 7 out of 10.

Speaking of questions, X-Force #11 answers the question of “Who the hell is Eli Bard?” with an old-fashioned love story…one that involves a mutant vampire seducing a Roman senator to sacrifice millions of souls with the promise of sex. Ah, the things you do for love. So now we know who Eli Bard is, and what he plans to do, and it’s all a bit romantic…in a vampire fetish sort of way. New artist Alina Urusov drawing the flashback scenes was a nice touch, and I’m totally digging Clayton Crain’s moody and stylized art. This gets an 8.5 out of 10.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone hates a prick, and Worldmind’s been acting real prickish lately. In Nova #21, the sum total of all Xandarian knowledge decides to fasttrack the rebuilding of the Nova Corps, and lobotomizes Ego the Living Planet (!) to turn it into a new Xandar, without even ask politely first! And he made Rich look like a raving lunatic in front of the Fantastic Four! And he took Rich’s clothes! What a douchebag. This one’s an 8 out of 10.

You know what the most poignant part of Incredible Hercules #125 is? After having their hearts crushed by unrequited love, a sulking Cho asks one question: “Pizza?” The Prince of Power’s answer? “Yeah.” And so the best buddies of the Marvel U. walk away from a vicious battle of the sexes to drown their sorrows in Pizza Hut. I wish I had a friend like that. But for now, this gets an 8 out of 10.

On the DC side, Wonder Woman #28 decks the three Wonders (Cassie Sandsmark, Donna Troy and Diana herself) in matching gold, silver and bronze eagle armors to start the beatdown on Genocide. Make no mistake…this issue brings on the pain. The moment Diana says “We’ve learned that you feel pain, Genocide…let’s explore that, shall we? Let’s make it our mission.”, you just know someone’s going to get hurt in the worst way, and it ain’t our Wondy. But alas, the dastardly Cheetah has other plans…what could it be? Well, the gorgeous art of Aaron Lopresti and an 8.5 out of 10 score says let’s find out next issue!

I could totally imagine Grant Morrison sitting in a smoke-filled room wearing nothing but his underwear, pausing only to take a hit from his bong to write the next page of Final Crisis #7. You know ganja’s involved when you have people being shrunk down and put in ice-cube trays to protect them from the collapse of the Multiverse. But in the end, I guess it all sort of works.

The final issue of DC’s mega event is a mishmash of different concepts, heroes, dialogue and universes, but what works is that everything is working towards one single common goal: to stop evil from breaking life as we know it. Whereas Marvel’s Secret Invasion had so many agendas, so many bullet points to resolve apart from the big Skrull threat knocking on their door, the heroes of Final Crisis devoted every ounce of heroism to ensure that evil doesn’t win. And that singularity of purpose is what makes this story a shade above brilliant.

While some parts of this issue become brain-bleedingly confusing and wonky (the survivors of the Multiverse in ice-cube trays being transported from one universe to another, anyone?), I get the sort of feeling that the answer is in here somewhere, and I wasn’t paying attention enough. Which makes this some sort of warning…if you like your stories not needing your brain to function, this book, this event isn’t probably for you. Final Crisis #7 was bigger than the paper it was printed on, and it was one hell of a send-off to the Universe that was. I have lots more to say about this amazing issue (the last page was the most shocking of the year!) but for now this tops at a 9.5 out of 10.

That’s it for this week! As always, if you have anything to say about the books I reviewed, or just want to agree or disagree with me that Final Crisis is awesome (it is!), then the comment box below is your best friend. My Week in Comics is up every Friday! Thanks for reading!

Friday Night Fights: Kapow!

Spacebooger wants it loud, we give it to him! It's time for another Friday Night Fights: KaPow!

I'm going to go against the grain for a moment to bring you something nostalgic. I'm talking about Culture Crash comics, the late and lamented comics anthology that was a massive hit for teens in the Philippines during the early 2000s. Here's a hit from One Day, Isang Diwa #5.5, from their out-of-continuity issue.

Here, a guy is assaulted by a member of Samahan Para kay Clarissa, a fanatical group of students who worship the eponymous Clarissa, supposed the most beautiful girl on campus, and will do anything to protect her from scrapes to even suitors*! They didn't take kindly to this guy making a drawing of their precious Clarissa, and so...

One Day Isang Diwa
Oh no you didn't!

And what follows is probably the hardest hit ever heard in Culture Crash history.

One Day Isang Diwa
You just don't hurt girls in front of this guy. You just don't.

*Don't laugh. There are kids like this out there. Scary thought.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dark Lich's Linkblog: Papercraft edition!

These days, comics and toys are getting too expensive for my tastes. But I still want to get my fix of fun, comic-related stuff. Good thing I found something that's fun, creative, and made with nothing more than some of the most abundant and mundane things we have lying around: paper.

For starters, there are some pretty neat paper figures of comic book heroes like Thor and Spider-Man. So called "Ham Headz" because they got Spam can-shaped heads. Fun! All you need is paper, a pair of scissors, and some time to kill. They come out cute though, so it's worth it.

Don't worry, DC fans get some lovin' too. There are papercraft kits of Golden Age DC heroes out there, particularly the Justice Society of America. And from the looks of their joints, they got some damn articulation! How about that?

If you want something a little easier, there's CubeeCraft, a site for cubey, papercraft models of some of the most popular characters in TV, comics and anime. They got a good selection of comic-book related models like Spider-Man, Hellboy and Batman to even movie versions of Iron Man and Joker. I made Iron Man and Spidey already and I'm lovin' them to bits!

If you're the dexterous, high-difficulty making, kit-builder type, you'll love some of the more complex paper builds out there. Some really, really talented dude made a 3d paper model of the mutant-hunting Sentinel. But even that pales in comparison to this amazing paper model of the movie Iron Man's armor...I'm crying right now seeing how fucking awesome it is and how my shaky hands won't be able to make that gorgeous piece of art!

How about a 1:2 scale model of Thor's hammer Mjolnir? I saw the pic included and said to myself, "This shit needs to be life-sized."

So I made it that way.

And for the grand finale.. a choice between the 1960's Batmobile from the Batman TV show, and the Tumbler from Batman Begins. Totally buildable, totally awesome.

If these don't keep you busy, I don't know what will. Papercrafting is fun, and most of's totally free! So get printing and start 'crafting already!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Night Fights: Kapow!

What started with Bahlactus, SpaceBooger continues! It's Friday Night Fights: KaPOW!, and better late than never, I'd say! So let's throw down with a character near and dear to my heart!

So before he became a mutant shaman tripping balls all over the world, X-Man was a vagabond mutant psychic, trying to find his place in the world while trying to save everyone in it, as evidenced by X-Man #31, from the minds of guest creative team Mark Bernardo and Rick Leonardi.

The set up here is that our hero stumbles upon the offspring of the sick union of a human and a Dire Wraith...HYBRID! His dad was a Dire Wraith who got used to living on Earth and decided to live his life in peace. He bore a son, a mutant hybrid of Dire Wraith and human who discovered his evil nature, and saying "eff this!", offed his parents in a bit of hormonal rage!

Fortunately for Nate, the last vestige of innocence and purity was locked away in Hybrid's psyche! And so, with a bit of wonky power absorption and cheesy dialogue, we get this....

...the sweet, sweet sound of flambéed Dire Wraith.

Never mess with innocence and purity, or it will fuck you the hell up. Just ask Nate!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Webcomics I Love: Looking for Group

There are tons of video game-based webcomics out there, some of them are uber-popular like 8-Bit Theater or Penny Arcade. But while they may provide some slivers of entertainment now and then, they lose by virtue of not having an undead warlock character that nonchalantly rips people's faces off or burns down villages while singing Disney classics, which is what is expertly provided by my new fave webcomic, Looking for Group.

It's by the same guys who made Least I Could Do, and it's mighty fun. It basically reads like an extended Warcraft 3 skirmish, only with good night elves and undead warlocks who find it funny to see people walk around without their heads attached to their necks. Trust me when I say that Richard the undead warlock is probably the most hilarious webcomic character ever written!

Looking For Group
Oh and don't forget to click on their Animation link, where they have some fully animated shorts of Richard singing Disney tunes while ravaging a peasant village. Check out Slaughter Your World and find yourself unable to breathe for about 6 minutes!

Good lord, all this time wasted talking and talking when you could be tasting all the gooey, undead goodness of Looking for Group right now!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If you STILL need a reason to buy Captain Britain and the MI:13...

...this is it.

Captain Britain and the MI:13 #10
I mean, Doom is awesome I know. Dracula coming back is all sorts of badass. Doom and Dracula working together just breaks the barrier of awesome and keeps on going.

But Doom AND Dracula, together on the fucking moon? There's hasn't even been a word invented yet that could describe the level of awesome this image is portraying!

I humbly suggest you get on the stick and pick this up on February in all good comic book shops everywhere. Our new lunar overlords demand it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The one where I think of cutting back...

So the solicited price of the upcoming Dark Avengers #1 is $3.99 (about P200 here in the Philippines), a dollar more than what any sane person would pay for a regular, non-event book. Now, none of us have any evidence that the price hike will spread to the other books, but the fact that big ol' Marvel plans on upping the price on an issue of what looks to be an ongoing title is naturally making some people nervous. Including me.

You see, I buy the monthly floppies to keep myself as up to date as possible, and to have something to talk about during the lulls of the week without having to resort to looking at spoilers and shit (and besides, I can't give an accurate review if I don't have the comic in hand, where I can peruse the subtle nuances of a comic that might otherwise be left off by any armchair review anywhere else). And while not having new comics to talk about ain't exactly the death knell of a comic book blog, it sure puts a dent on things.

Hell, I only have as much as $20 dollars (about P1,000) to spend on comics on any given month, and sometimes up to $30 when the big events or specials come rolling around, and I won't spend any more for it. If my P1,500 isn't even enough to buy 10 comics a month then I might have to cut back, and as a rabid comic book fan, that hurts like a mother. But if I had a choice between paying bills and buying comics with that kind of money, which one do you think I'll pick? I'll give ya three guesses, and the first two don't count.

That's too bad, though, coz I really don't want to go choosing between my love for the hobby and the need to survive. There's really a ton of good comics out there that I would love to try getting into if not for the price point keeping me away. But them's the breaks, and I have to make do with what I have. Which means that the measly amount of comics I do read (and review for my growing readership) will get even more measly, if this price hike pushes through. Which makes this Geek's job cut out for him.

I guess I have to find other ways to get my comic book waiting for trades (that could work), switching to DC or any other comic company (come on, Witchblade...let me in!), or buying old issues through bargain bins (could be a fun experiment at least), or praying fervently to God that the Philippine National Library would stock some graphic novels like most libraries do in teh States (yea...wait, who am I kidding? God may be awesome but he ain't no miracle worker!)

So, how's the economics of comics doing for you?

Friday, January 09, 2009

My Week in Comics: January 9, 2009

Well, well, well...the new year is upon us, and no thanks to the damn government sanctioned long holiday, I start the new year of My Week in Comics one week short. Oh well...there were lots of good stuff that came by anyway, with another two-fisted romp with Incredible Herc, the gorgeously fun X-Force, and more. But that was yesterday's news...let's see what shaking this week!

Invincible Iron Man #9 has Tony contemplating on basically reformatting his brain, erasing every single important information stuck in his noggin, lest Norman Osborn captures our hero. Suffice to say I've read it twice and I still don't get what's supposed to happen...did he delete everything or didn't he? He says the procedure would leave him brain dead...but after the procedure it seems he's still capable of quick reflexes. Call me stupid or whatever, I just didn't get it.

Anyway, it was a fun read regardless, with Norman and his H.A.M.M.E.R. guys (I hate all those periods!) being the most hate-able sons of bitches on comics today, and Maria Hill going all Daniel Craig on us and kicking ass CQB style. The art is a bit more tolerable now, which was a very welcome plus for me. As much as I hate how we got to this Dark Reign, Iron Man shows us how awesome it might be. This one is an 8 out of 10.

Listen...Black Bolt isn't someone you really like to piss off, as evidenced by Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1. I mean, you haven't even gotten to the first page yet and you have Black Bolt on the cover looking like he beat up a truckload of Skrulls to death with his Scepter of Beatdown!

This issue is all kinds of awesome, with the kings of Marvel cosmic Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning satisfyingly setting up the major players of the upcoming War of Kings event. Black Bolt comes off as a very determined king that's just about done taking crap from every corner of the galaxy, and it makes the inevitable showdown between him and Vulcan all the more sweeter. Medusa and the rest of the royal family are fun to read as either voices of reason (Crystal) or madness (Maximus, acting like the insane best friend). And the Inhumans using the energy of Black Bolt's voice on everything from weapons to armor to powering the Attilan Warship is just damn priceless (I'm out of ammo! Shout into this ammo bandolier, lord Black Bolt!)!

The art is just some of Paul Pelletier's best, and marks an improvement from him since his Annihilation: Conquest days. And Brandon Peterson just nails the cover on this one, making this my number one fave of the year until something else tops it. It's that awesome.

I've never read something that got me this excited about an upcoming event, which says a whole lot about this issue. I'm glad and even honored to have picked this up! A solid 10 out of 10.

Huwaw! the first perfect score comic of the year! This bodes well for my comic book reading, methinks. Hopefully this beginning streak keeps going for my sake and yours!

So, what's got you excited for this year? And does Black Bolt look badass on that cover or what? Whatever ya fancy, leave a comment if this week did you good! My Week in Comics is up every Friday. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Webcomics I Love: Ellie Connelly

I'm a big detective and mystery buff...I got the Hardy Boys, Three Investigators and the occasional Sherlock Holmes books to prove it. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a lot of mystery comics or webcomics out there. But I was pleasantly surprised to find the beginnings of what could be an excellent mystery story in The Adventures of Ellie Connelly.

Written and drawn by Indigo Kelleigh (a strapping lad, if you reckoned wrong), Ellie Connelly is one part Victorian humor, one part Scooby-Doo, and a scoopful of mystery and intrigue all in its first few strips alone. The eponymous heroine is a bright and inquisitive lady of the 1900's, and she's got her mystery hunting and bad-guy meddling down to a Scooby-science. The strips themselves are really fun to read, and the art has shades of Hergé that I find cute and easy on the eyes.

The story's just beginning to warm up, so now's the perfect time to jump in. So what are you all waiting for? Ellie's waiting for you on the other side of the image link below!

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Behold the Geek! Primer

I’ve actually been waiting for the brand-spankin’ New Year to roll around for quite some time now, and for good reason. With the new year, Behold the Geek! gets to start ‘from the ground floor’, so to speak…you’re just in time to hitch a ride! With that in mind, let me take this time to put you up to speed on what Behold the Geek! is all about.

Behold the Geek! is a comic book blog that deals with all things comic book-related and awesome, from here in the Philippines to everywhere else in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re a die-hard aficionado or you just like to look at the pretty pictures…if you’ve held, read, perused and otherwise enjoyed a comic book, this blog'll fit you like a glove. I created this blog to have a place to write about comic books, the driving force of my geeky life, and to interact and keep in touch with the millions (…aand MILLIONS!) of comic book fans around the world.

So what’s in it for you guys? We’ve got comic book news and reviews, the occasional comic book-related toy and movie review, and all sorts of fun stuff that can be found without and within the pages of funnybooks everywhere…all indescribably enunciated by yours truly.

Aside from the occasional rambling post, I’ve got some regular ‘columns’ you might want to check out. For reviews of the monthlies that come out each week, check back every Friday for My Week in Comics. I also shed light on some of the better and sometimes obscure webcomics (they’re comics too, you know) out there in Webcomics I Love, which is up on Wednesdays. If you want to see some Top 5 lists (there are lots of you out there, I heard) or just want to see me try my hand at horrible comedy, there’s Top 5 Thursdays, which is as self-explanatory as I can make it. :)

Oh, and if you think I wrote a funny or insightful or horrible or mind-numbingly wrong post, don’t be afraid to leave a comment! I appreciate every comment I get, for they tell me when I did a good job, where I totally messed up or where I need to improve. So if you wanna see some better stuff the next time you visit, leave me a comment and let’s talk about it!

So, I hope you enjoy what you see in this blog, and I hope you stick with me as we travel upon the road not-so-less travelled, where guys and girls in tights are the norm, and where you can leave the crummy reality we all live in and escape to the four-color world of comic books!

Or at least, the good ones anyway. :)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year! 2009 is here!

New header, new lease in life, new everything! It's 2009!

Before anything else, I would just like to give a toast to all the good and awesome things that 2008 brought us. So cheers to the old year...if it weren't for 2008, we wouldn't be here looking forward to 2009!


With that said, I would like to greet all the readers of Behold the Geek! a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Wherever you are, whatever you may be, whether you believe that One More Day was worth it or's to more insane, jaw-dropping, head asploding comic book merriment and's what we all deserve, right?

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