Friday, March 20, 2009

My Week in Comics: March 20, 2009

It's Friday, a payday, and I've got only a couple of minutes before work comes by to drag me off the depths of despair. Where's vacation when you need it? But I's time for the most verbose comic reviews around! Let's see what I've gotten myself into this week!

First up is Fathom #7, where writer J.T. Krul goes Independence Day on our asses and ups the simmering paranoia of Aspen's world now that it knows the existence of the Blue and Black. It's a bit wordy, but sides are being chosen (both on the good guys' and bad guys' sides...interesting.) and to see the look of stupid, paranoid, panicky humans being pwned by Aspen-generated tidal waves is worth at least half the cover price. The real storm is about to come next issue, so I guess we'll have to wait for that. This one's an easy 3.5 out of 5.

X-ForceX-Force #13 tries to do a hell of a lot of things with so little time to do it. It doesn't help that Cyclops is itching to save the first mutant baby born since M-Day (this here issue is a Messiah War tie-in) and the Leper Queen is making very messy waves in a Rube Goldberg-type of assisted suicide. Clayton Crain's art is the same bloody and detailed mess , but there is such a case as too detailed, leaving his characters with glossy skin or too many toes. The very tight tension and drama at the end was done great, and this issue's got a death so shocking that I don't know whether to applaud Marvel's balls for going through with it, or to wonder if they're running out of ideas. This one's a 3 out of 5.

Young X-Men #12 seems to be this title's final issue, and unfortunately it goes out in a confused whimper. The team is brooding over Dust's death, and are thinking of hanging up their capes but good. Ink wants to go out a hero and tries to ressurect Dust using his Phoenix tattoo. Ink succeeds, but is now stuck in a coma. Hearing that Dust is alive and Ink is in a coma, the team does a 180 and agrees to stay together as a very happy team. Nothing like a comatose team member to get your spirits up, right? The future scenes interspersed throughout the story provides a plot point but ultimately proves pointless, but at least the art is pretty. This is a sad 2.5 out of 5.

Spider-Man: NoirAnd so we come to Spider-Man Noir #4, the final book in Spidey's chapter of the Noir universe. Spidey finally faces off with Goblin once and for all. But who will walk away from this one in one piece?

It's a pretty good send-off for Spidey Noir. Nothing bad, but nothing mind-blowing either. This issue stays true to its noir roots though, presenting a raw, unapologetic portrayal of a victim who's had enough of the system and deciding to take justice in his own hands. Noir Spidey has his morality and sense of justice tested, and he comes out the better for it. Unfortunately, I feel the development of his character seemed forced into this particular genre that it's hard to reconcile the fact that this is the wall-crawler we're familiar with. Of course, I know that that's probably not the intention, and this isn't supposed to be the happy Spidey swingin' and giving J. Jonah Jameson wedgies or anything, but it's hard to distance the association with someone as fun-loving as the wall-crawler.

I guess it all just feels so convenient. I LOLd at Aunt May scolding Spidey for shooting an unarmed man (Toomes aka The Vulture) who was about to tear her apart with his fangs and claws. "They say you can shoot spider-webs? Why didn't you use those?" she barks at Spidey, and I just can't help but think "Should've let her be Vulture chow." But it's that uncompromising sense of right and wrong that jars Spidey to rethink his modus operandi. Unfortunately, it comes off as power-leveling his morality, making me wish this was one issue longer to let that development sink in more satisfyingly.

If anything can be found good in this issue, it's Carmine DiGiandomenico's gritty art. His style really gets me into that noir mood, and I gotta say he's become one of my favorite artists. In the end, everything's peachy keen, and writer David Hine sets up some threads for a sequel down the road. But for now, this issue is a 3.5 out of 5.

It's a not so big week for me, but nothing too bad either, so that's probably a blessing in disguise. Anwyay, if you agree or disagree with any of my statements (including whether Noir Aunt May should've been Vulture chow), the comment box is your best friend. My Week in Comics is up every Friday. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Webcomics I Love: Hereville

HerevilleI know nothing about Jewish people, and I don't claim to know anything about them...except that Orthodox Jewish girls with a penchant for killing dragons with sharp swords are awesome. Which brings us to one of the Webcomics I Love, Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword.

Our hero is the aforementioned Mirka, who is living a not-so-orthodox life in Hereville with her dad and stepmom. While she's kept busy knitting and slacking off after school, she daydreams about being, of all things, a dragon slayer (The girl dreams big, don't she? ).Unfortunately for her, the only available sword to kill them with is in the possession of a smart-mouthed troll in the mysterious woods! Will she live to slay dragons, or be troll fodder?

The story may be finished, but it's still a fun read. Not only that, but this is the only webcomic that's got me learning stuff. The comic is pretty steeped in Jewish lore and culture, as well as a few Yiddish terms that would make you talk like Brian Bendis in no time (not that anyone actually wants that...). I mean, where else can I find a webcomic that has me knowing what a behaimeh or machashaifeh is?

Take a few minutes off your day and read Hereville right now!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fury Files Review: Green Hulk!

It's a touch of sweet irony that we still don't have the second wave of Marvel Universe Fury Files on our shores despite being one of the first countries to release Wave 1 weeks ahead of the release date...le sigh...

Anyway, since I'm such a weak-willed bastard, I decided to give in and get an early taste of one of Wave 2's figs, the jolly green goliath, Hulk (courtesy of specialty stores in Greenhills) Let's see what I got myself into!

For starters, he's freakin' huge.

Hasbro Fury Files Green Hulk
I love that he looks like he's just about to burst out of the package! But though he looks good MOC, having him out in the open air is an entirely different matter.

Hasbro Fury Files Green HulkHasbro Fury Files Green Hulk
If you ignore the Michael Jackson similarities some of the more jaded toy collectors are ragging on this fig, Hulk is a half-decent representation of the Jade Giant. The sculpt is beefy without looking cartoony, and the paint job is better than expected, with a very welcome paint wash bringing out the details of the figure. What sucks a bit about ol' Hulk here is his very, very limited articulation.

Hasbro Fury Files Green HulkHasbro Fury Files Green Hulk

Hulk has a swivel neck, so he can't look left or right without looking absolutely retarded. His hip articulation is next to nonexistent, so say goodbye to any thoughts of having Hulk run or jump. His lower body artic is useless for things other than standing legs akimbo. His arms are pretty okay, though, and looks good punching other characters in the face with his meaty fist.

Hasbro Fury Files Green Hulk
Hulk comes with no accessories, save for the Top Secret file every Fury Files figure is enclosed with. Which is okay, since I honestly don't know if anything else can fit with Hulk in there. As for the price, I paid a bit more than usual, since it hasn't hit retail in the Philippines yet, but it's still within range of my capabilities so it's okay!

Hasbro Fury Files Green HulkHasbro Fury Files Green Hulk

But even with all that, the more I look at him, the more I'm growing to like Hulk. Sure he's got that ugly waist swivel and looks like the Gloved One, but he's a welcome addition to the growing Fury Files universe. Like I said, he's a pretty decent representation of Hulk, and kids (whom we shouldn't forget is the target market for these things after all) wouldn't probably mind the useless lower body articulation and would be more than happy to just see him beat up their smaller figs. Besides, seeing him pounding on my poor old Iron Man with a fist bigger than his chest just makes this toy a bit sweeter.

Hasbro Fury Files Green Hulk
Hulk comes with a variant, his Grey Hulk incarnation. They're practically the same sculpt save for having two hands in fists instead of just one. Some specialty stores in Shoppesville, Greenhills have these babies in short supply, so if you want to get into the second wave of Marvel Universe Fury Files early, now's the time to do it!

Friday, March 13, 2009

MOVIE NEWS: Who's Black Widow?

In what could be the most enlightened casting choice since Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man...

in IRON MAN 2!

That's right. We will soon have the mind-blowingly gorgeous ScarJo donning skintight leather and speaking in a stilted Russian accent and possibly dry humping Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark in the upcoming sequel to Iron Man. The comic book gods doth smile upon us geeks.

Read the rest of the good news via ICv2.

In other news, we might have to wait a little (but more like a LOT) longer to see the God of Thunder, the Sentinel of Liberty and Earth's Mightiest Heroes hit the big screen. Read more about it here.

But the more I think about it, Scarlett in leather seems like a fair trade-off.

My Week in Comics: March 13, 2009

Holy shit. My previous Charice Pempengco post made my analytics go through the roof, making it the most viewed post ever in the history of Behold the Geek! I guess that's the power of the internet at work...though I feel awfully bad for the people who went to my site expecting more Charice pictures and articles and seeing instead poorly written dissertations on comic book collecting and semi-funny, out-of-context comic panels...

But I digress. It's time for the most verbose comic book reviews around! Let's see what got my baton twirling this week!

Okay, that didn't come out right.

NOTE: I will now be using the 5-score rating (with 5 being the highest), to reflect my maturing, more confident ability to review comics!

Captain Britain and the MI:13Captain Britain and the MI:13, wow.

I don't even know what to say about the back of my mind I just know that nothing I will type will do justice to the sheer storytelling craft of this issue, which sees the aftermath of Dracula's first salvo against the United Kingdom. This is absolutely intelligent writing from Paul Cornell here, making no bones about just how fucked they are now that Dracula has declared war on the UK, and at the same time making you feel that our heroes (or what's left of them!) aren't going to take this sitting down. Honestly, I'm not exaggerating when I say that I've never felt respected by a comic book before, not pandering to gross exposition or fucked up logic but raising the bar and telling the story in the most realistic and awesome way possible.

This isn't the Mighty Avengers going, "OMG, What are we gonna do? Who's in charge? Are you in charge? OMG, it's the end of the world! Let's all sound alike! *Insert thought balloons here*" No, none of that shit. This is a group of superheroes with the capabilities, the resources, and the damn professionalism it takes to save the world. The moment Pete Wisdom has his shades handed to him, puts them on, and says "Council of war.", you just know the shit is definitely on. Suffice to say that heads will be exploding all over the world once issue 12 comes out.

Trust me when I say this, but this book is a literal Crowning Moment of Awesome highlight reel know what? I don't even know what else to say that this book can't say by itself, so I'll just go and give it a 6 out of 5. Yeah, you heard me. One point more than the highest rating, and I'll give it more but that would look stupid.

Buy this book NOW.

Invincible Iron ManInvincible Iron Man #11 gives us Pepper as Iron Potts, Maria Hill on a ninja mission to Futurepharm, a fight between War machine and Tony Stark, and a neat e-mail trick all your friends can try! Who says you can't learn from comics?

Matt Fraction may be just giving Tony something to do after Secret Invasion, but already he's been doing a whole damn lot. Lots of small but exciting moments from his supporting cast, but the real star here is Tony's violent dance with his former bodyguard and now one-man-army, War Machine. It's always a pleasure to see Iron Man in action, and the art team of Salvador Larocca and Frank D'Armata are giving the browns a much needed vacation to render this awesome fight the way it was intended. Repulsors flaring, rockets flying...Top Gun never looked this good.

A surprisingly well-written issue with some fun twists that's sure to get some feathers ruffled. Tony's been fighting ever since Secret Invasion, and if he's hoping for a breather anytime soon, next issue will have him disappointed...and us fanboys happy. It's a heavy metal 4 out of 5.

It's a surprisingly awesome week, right? If you think Captain Britain and the MI:13 is the shiznit, or you'd like to point out comics that are just as awesome, leave a comment in my dear old comment box and let's discuss! My Week in Comics is up every Friday. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Charice Pempengco Post (part 1)

Okay, let me get this straight...

Charice Pempengco is so goshdarn cute...

charice pempengco
...she can blow Celine Dion out of the water by the power of her voice alone...

charice pempengco
...and she was also a MAJORETTE.

(check the heartbreakingly cute at 4:20)

I can take some cuteness now and then, and I can even handle a bit of singing. But the moment Charice started marching and twirling batons, she just went straight to the absurdly cute territory. I mean, how can someone be this absolutely adorable?!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Movie Review: Watchmen

So I've already seen Watchmen last week, and I know some of you guys will fucking kill me for what I'm about to say.

I thought Watchmen was...just alright.

Before you lynch me, I'll have you know I've read the graphic novel...thrice, and even then my expectations were set as low as I can manage. I'm just glad something as popular as Watchmen got its chance in the spotlight. But in the end, Watchmen was just...alright. Watching scenes lifted directly from the comic book come to life on the big screen got me cringing sometimes...which made me think if all this hype is just morbid curiosity to see if director Zack Snyder can pull it off.

Soaking in all the broken fingers and compound, open fractures and blue penises, I concede that Watchmen is an almost perfect adaptation of a comic book anyone could possibly see. Snyder was very faithful to the book to a fault, you see. I don't think anyone can complain about the effort they made just to bring this to life.

But as a movie that stands on its own, without any connection to the comic book and any way, Watchmen falls flat, lacking any sort of gravitas that could have helped sell the dreary, pre-apocalyptic world these poor people live in. Comedian's line in the Vietnam bar was stilted and flat at best, and Laurie's lines could have used more...I dunno...verve or something. It's as if adapting Watchmen on the big screen was Really Serious Business, and god forbid you should laugh while Laurie and Dan make sweet, sweet love in Nite Owl's ship to the tune of Hallelujah.

The cast, however, definitely shine on this one. Jackie Earle Haley's totally owned the character of Rorschach, and Patrick Wilson's journey back into the Nite Owl persona deserved some raging fanboy applause. The weak link here unfortunately is Malin Akerman, who despite giving us fanboys heaping shots of her tight T & A, underwhelmed with her wooden and uninspired delivery of almost every line she had.

I guess this is a textbook case of relying too much on the source material, having no discernable 'hook' of its own besides being based on a famous comic book. In the end, Watchmen is a somewhat generic superhero movie cosplaying as one of the most influential pieces of literature of our time. Nobody said it couldn't be done, but nobody was really sure it was gonna look awesome if it was.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Webcomics I Love: Rob and Elliot

It's another Wednesday here at Behold the Geek!, and you my loyal readers know what that means! It's time for another webcomic to love, and right now I'm loving a buddy comic that's been hitting the right notes to get a laugh out of me every time I read it: Rob and Elliot.

Rob and Elliot
It's got a smart guy (Elliot) and a dumb guy (Rob) who happens to be friends, with Elliot having to live with (and occasionally try to survive) Rob's shenanigans. But the fun lies in them still coming together to face such obstacles as office romance, inept burglars and drinking contests with a bunch of jocks. And have I mentioned they have an iMonkey with a playlist I'd actually agree with?

If all that sounds good to you, then click on the link and start loving Rob and Elliot already!

Monday, March 02, 2009

3rd TAGCOM Megapost: Day 2

Day 2 of the 3rd TAGCOM Convention just got drastically different from yesterday, as this is the official day of the Cosplay Competition (if there is any convention without one, I haven't been in it). So it was obvious from the start that my day was about to get a bit colorful.

Coming in at the ungodly hour of 1pm, I began to scan the crowd to see what I was about to get myself into. Good timing, then, to see my good friends from Raika performing at the stage in front of a packed audience!

Rakuen Science
And if these guys are here, then it's a good chance that my members/'children' from the former HERO TV Forums are here too. And I was right, of course, because the moment I saw them, it just spiraled into an impromptu photoshoot that clogged the aisles for a good 10 minutes.

HERO TV/Hangyaku no Otaku forumers
I'm not really famous, I just look the part. :)

So the kids have other things better to do than to hang out with me, so I cruise around looking for reasons to spend my well-earned dough. The action figure/statue/trading card booths were still there, as well as the good people of Comic Odyssey, who warmly welcomed me into their booth.

Comic Odyssey
I didn't help them sell a thing, though. But they love me anyway!

The TAGCOM convention didn't just attract the comic-collecting, anime-loving, geeky crowd. It also brought out the cosplayers, who came out in droves to either join the competition or to just walk around in funny costumes, much to the delight of the general public and the people with cameras. Including me!

Haruhi cosplayer
Yes, I know I only took pics of the cute cosplayers. But I know you guys won't look at any other kind anyway. ;)

Wait a minute...there's a commotion at the Maxicollector booth!

Maxicollector booth
What could possibly be up with...oh wait...

Alodia in TAGCOM's just Alodia.

Anyway, after having walked a country mile and not having sat down for 5 hours, I had time to chat with some of my forumers some more before going home. We took pictures of more cosplayers (there was one dressed like Kane and, get this, a Barack freakin' Obama cosplayer!) As with yesterday, I didn't go home empty handed (only empty-walleted) because I scored a Batista action figure with the world heavyweight championship belt (I actually just needed the belt, but oh well) and another awesome shirt from the guy(s) at Geekerie, their new Dr. Manhattan shirt! Now I know what to wear on the premiere this Thursday!

Hope you enjoyed this Geek's coverage of the 3rd TAGCOM Convention! If you have any questions or comments, or just want to ask the names of the cute girls in this post (hint: I'm not telling!), leave a comment in the comment box below! Thanks for reading!

3rd TAGCOM Megapost: Day 1

Ahh...toy conventions. Never has a place been both nirvana and torture chamber to the countless people who are into this little hobby of ours. I mean, where else can you find a grown man weeping openly in front of an MOC Darth Vader figure he just bought?

But there wasn't just weeping during the the first day of the 3rd TAGCOM Convention. There were also singing, laughing and people...lots and lots of people.

3rd Tagcom
That was the scene at 2pm, and the day just got started. My wallet was not exactly bursting with disposable income, but it knew all of a sudden that it had to be disposed of fast. So where do I start?

Well, if you went in via the widest entrance of the con, two options were already laid out in front of you:

3rd Tagcom Maxicollector Booth
The Maxicollector booth specialized in hard-to-find comic book and fantasy related statues and replicas, most of which are un-affordable to 75% of the con-going populace, as evidenced by its museum-like atmosphere (look but don't...and can't...touch!)

Comic book statues
But hey, at least they're pretty looking.

3rd Tagcom 2Rats booth
And 2Rats, a staple in conventions, was busy doing their thing, with action figs lined in every nook and cranny. Oh what that feeling would be to be surrounded by all that stuff!

Aside from the booths, there were also exhibits of tons of different stuff related to collecting. Die-cast cars, action figs, statues, Transformers and even freaking Gormiti (!) toys were on display. Just looking at all that eye candy is giving me cavities.

Iron Man statuesHulk action figuresTransformers ClassicsDie-cast LamborghiniRocketeer statue
Of course, not all the action were confined to the glass cases scattered throughout the venue. The stage was pretty busy too, especially when that cute chick in cosplay jumped onto the stage to sing and dance. I LOL'd when afterwards, she was asked if she was still available, and she said the big 'NO' with a giggle. You could practically hear the hearts of dejected geeks shattering all over the mall!

If walking around looking at toys and statues or having your heart broken by a green-haired cutie isn't the be-all, end-all of your con-going day, there were also some contests going on. There were some crazy RC car drifting contests (the sight of little cars drifting on roads laid out on the floor freaked me out in a good way!), Gundam kit building and custom figure making. Speaking of which, check out this crazy detailed custom samurai-themed Gundam on display!

Samurai Gundam
But at this point, I haven't found anything worth spending on yet! And the day's closing fast! With most of my wants being way beyond my spending power that day, what else could I possibly get?

And then it hit me... the hammer of an angry god.

Macy from Geekerie
Thankfully the good people (or girl, as the case with Macy here) of Geekerie were on hand to provide yet another addition to my growing geeky wardrobe, their special 'A Clockwork Orange' shirt. I guess I won't be going home empty handed after all!

So that ends Day 1 of my 3rd TAGCOM experience. But trust me, folks...things are just about to go kuh-raaazy from here!

Thanos statue
Up next, cosplayers, chokeslams and championship belts! Stay tuned for Day 2!

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