Friday, October 28, 2011

My Week in Comics: October 28, 2011

Witches and ghosts and (dare)devils invade my comics this week! What did I get myself into? Read on to find out!

For a book with Zatanna and Constantine on the cover, Justice League Dark #2 is a Deadman-centric issue. Peter Milligan makes Deadman out as a dude who just wants some lovin' from his girlfriend Dawn Granger (aka the superhero Dove), even if it means going about it the wrong way. The very wrong way. Oh, and Zatanna and Constantine trance themselves out to battle Enchantress where it hurts. Slow day for JL Dark.

I was hoping it could pick up the pace a bit after a pretty eventful first issue. I didn't see what Deadman's intimacy problems had anything to do with the problem at hand, what with people currently being attacked by tornadoes of rotten witch's teeth and murderous hardcover books. I was ready for some heroics already, but alas I was denied.

At least the art was nice. Mikel Janin's work here is a slight improvement over the last issue. Add to that a shocking revelation that could turn this whole shindig inside out and we're looking at book that's a little below average, but not bad.. This gets a 2.5 out of 5.

With Drake Sinclair gone MIA, his friend Gord Cantrell takes the reigns in The Sixth Gun #16. Gord is reminded of his gruesome past, while Becky Montcrief discovers something not quite right about the Sword of Abraham! When you can trust no one, who do you trust?

This whole story arc is a bit subdued, and the history of the Six Guns isn't exactly clear yet, but given Cullen Bunn's stellar  track record with this book so far, I trust him to take this someplace interesting. There are a few interesting revelations, like Gord's ties with the big bad General Hume, and some newly-discovered powers of the Sixth Gun in Becky's possession, which I love. Brian Hurtt is back doing what he does best, which is drawing the world of The Sixth Gun the only way he can: splendidly. I adore his artwork, and here's hoping he sees this book till the end.

The Sixth Gun #16 is par for the course, but what a course it is. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Daredevil is sitting pretty again as my comic of the week, and for good reason. Daredevil #5 is awesome.

I can't reiterate how fun Daredevil is. You want intrigue? Here's a HYDRA conspiracy for you. Want danger? It's Matt Murdock (who is blind by the way, in case you forget) and his blind client Austin Cao versus a special ops team with guns in THE DARK! Want Daredevil go mano-a-mano with a supervillain? A big one is coming this way, and it's not looking good for the Man Without Fear!

This is a smart and fun book, hands down. Mark Waid is taking Daredevil to brand new directions without sacrificing or changing anything else about the Man Without Fear. It's also pretty educational. If you ever wanted to know how smuggling works and how supercrime organizations like HYDRA and AIM use it, read this book. If you ever wanted to know how to vividly recall memories you thought long lost, read this book. If you want to see Matt Murdock beat up spec-ops soldiers with a cane and a smile, read this freakin' book!

Marcos Martin's art is as amazing as ever. It's not everyday you get an artist that delivers as much, if not more, creativity as the story he's drawing for. His work is clean and fun to look at, and it meshes well with Waid's story, turning this issue into a one-two punch of comic book awesomeness you don't see in comic books very often.

If you're not buying Daredevil yet, consider yourself warned: you're missing out on some unadulterated comic book fun. This gets a 4 out of 5. Pick this up now!

BONUS CONTENT! Can't get enough of The Geek's reviews? Then head on over to The Outhousers, where I reviewed Wolverine and the X-Men #1, a new #1 straight outta Schism and into a new and exciting direction for Marvel's merriest mutants!

Wow! It's a pretty amazing week for comics so far! Got any comments? Suggestions? Want to ask yourself why you aren't picking up Daredevil or The Sixth Gun yet? Leave me a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Batman: Arkham Asylum Full-Size Costume!

A full-size Batman: Arkham Asylum costume exists right now. Your Halloween is invalid.

Check out batpiriss' insanely awesome project at TheEffectsLab.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dear Creature Review

I didn't know what I was getting into when I was emailed a PDF review copy of this quaint little graphic novel called Dear Creature, but I always love getting books to review.

I just didn't know how much I'll love this one.

Dear Creature is the debut graphic novel of one Jonathan Case, and to say that it's a love story unlike any other is a pretty big understatement. The hero of the story is Grue, a sea mutant whose taste for human flesh is outweighed by his love for the works of Shakespeare, which he finds stuffed inside cola bottles. Our Bard-quoting hero finds a kindred spirit in whoever is sending those bottles his way and decides to search for his mysterious benefactor. He finds her, a scared and lonely woman named Giulietta ("Mark the romance of that name," says Grue), and together they learn what it truly means to love and be loved for who you are.

The one thing that stands out for me is the sheer artistry of the entire thing. Jonathan Case is a witty writer and a solid comic book artist at the same time. It's insane. He's like the Swiss knife of comic books, and my jealousy knows no bounds!

For starters, his character work is aces. Grue as the monster with a beautiful heart is interesting and fun to read. He's charming, eloquent and morbid, and his love story with Giulietta is sad yet sweet. But they're not the only characters in this romantic play. The supporting characters like Giulietta's protective sister Zola, Henry the policeman and even the three crabs that hang around Grue who provide both crack wisdom and comedic relief have roles to play in this story. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded comic book than this.

The entire comic is in glorious black and white, and once again Case showcases his mastery of the medium here. His sequential storytelling skills are amazing, even more with Case's unique art style. Panels flow naturally and his pacing is perfect. I was grinning the whole time I was reading's like I'm watching a clinic on comic book storytelling!

Dear Creature is a solid book, whimsical, weird and wonderfully made. I'm a sucker for love stories like these, and if you like your romance a little bittersweet, you'll love this. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy, from your local comic shop or book store or online. I know I will!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Week in Comics: October 21, 2011

Superman is having a really, really, really rough week. But I's time for the most verbose comic reviews around! What did I get myself into this week? Read on to find out!

It was a pretty long wait, but Justice League #2 is finally here. You know what that means? Superman versus everyone! Victor Stone's dad being a total doucheasaurus! And The Flash finally shows up!

The big three-way between Supes, Batman and Green Lantern was an exciting mix of splash pages and posturing, and I loved the fact that the Flash is on GL's speed-dial (Get it? Ha-HA!) At the very least, Superman came out looking good here instead of jobbing to Batman or anyone else. He desperately needed that kind of push. And yes, I read it like a main-event PPV wrestling match. I'm funny that way.

A LOT of things happen in this issue, which is saying a lot, considering how boring the first issue was. The Justice League is finally looking more and more like a team, sprinkled with a little DCnU-style bickering, and Geoff Johns' build-up for the big, bombastic cliffhanger was great. Jim Lee is Jim Lee, but the added challenge of drawing the Flash made Lee's art more dynamic this time around. The result is just a better comic, and after its lackluster showing last issue, JL definitely needed it.

Justice League #2 is a huge improvement over the first issue, which isn't saying a lot, but it's a welcome change. Let's just hope it picks up some more after this. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

If you're Supergirl, how do you defuse a tense situation? By punching it repeatedly until it goes away, of course! At least, that's what I got out of Supergirl #2, where a confused Kara Zor-El comes face to face with Superman! But how will she handle the fact that her cousin is now a full-grown superhero?

I hope the cover doesn't give too much away.

Michael Green and Mike Johnson sets up the entire issue as a no-holds-barred brawl-for-all between Supergirl and Superman, filing in the blanks to Supergirl's past and present along the way. Unfortunately it all makes Kara look like a compulsive, trigger-happy teenager. I don't blame her, judging by what happened last issue, but Supergirl isn't doing anyone any favors by punching the next guy who tries to calm her down. At least all that punching made for a very action-packed comic, and Mahmoud Asrar's art rises up to the occasion. The art and the action is dynamic and raw and'd be hard-pressed to call this book boring-looking.

As it is, Supergirl #2 is a good comic that went to places the first issue didn't. It set up Kara and Superman's relationship, moved the story forward, and looked damn good to boot. This gets a 4 out of 5.

"Punch first, ask questions later" seems to be the order of the day for the DCnU! Let's hope these are just growing pains! Comments? Suggestions? Read anything interesting this week? Leave me a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Geek Visits: Mint Museum of Toys

 A toy collector? History buff? Going to Singapore? You owe it to yourself to visit this place.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jaded #1 Review

The question of "What happens when the world's greatest hero goes bad?" has been asked many times before, from Mark Waid's Irredeemable to the Justice Lords from the Justice League cartoon. Now the question is raised once again, this time in Iron Age Studios' Jaded #1.

"There's no such thing as super heroes," says writer/creator Jon Santana, and with that thought he set out to create a world where the world's greatest hero snaps, and someone has to pay the price. Jaded #1 is divided between the past and the present, with the first part recounting the moments leading up to the heel turn of a superhero called Sovereign, and the second part introducing the mysterious forces tasked with stopping Sovereign from destroying them all.

Part 1 is a pretty straightforward story. Sovereign stops a jumper from killing himself, and we get a glimpse into what makes Sovereign tick. I like that we immediately see that Sovereign is a pretty powerful guy, able to hold a conversation with a suicidal man while saving the city from muggings and fires at the same time. But there's a hint of a hero who's just about tired from dealing with all this, his fall from grace slowly creeping in but you can't help but watch.

The second part fast forwards to the present, and we are introduced to a team of supers tasked with stopping Sovereign and his reign of terror. It doesn't help that the team is just as psychotic as the man they're tasked to stop, and it's interesting to see where Santana will take this.

Too bad the art takes it all down a notch. A comic book is a visual storytelling medium, and a good comic has the writing and art working together to tell a story clearly. Unfortunately, Part 1 (drawn by Kim Jacinto) is probably the most confusingly drawn story I've seen. Sure the art has that nice, cartoony style, but poor storytelling choices (you'd never know that speck in the city skyline was a person jumping to their death from a building) and boring and confusing panel compositions (characters appearing and disappearing on panel for no reason) kill the suspense quick. Jimbo Sagrado's work on Part 2 fares better, with art that has a lot of action and atmosphere, and the one that really feels like a superhero comic book.

As indie creators trying their hand at making a comic book, the Jaded team gets a pass. For a 1st issue indie, Jaded #1 is actually a pretty good effort. If the next issue gets better art and a cohesive story, it just might make it big. The book was launched at the New York Comic Con, with the full release set for Fall 2011. Visit the Iron Age website for more info. (A PDF copy of the comic was provided by the publisher)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Behold the Geek!

We've come a long, long way, baby!

On this day, exactly seven years ago, a dude with a dream and too much time on his hands created a blog. Seven years later, that blog is now the awesome comics and pop culture blog known as Behold the Geek!

It's been one heck of a ride, and I'm awfully proud of what I've accomplished all these years! Allow me to take a look back at all the things this little blog has accomplished. For posterity, of course.

Behold the Geek! since 2008 has had about 41,000+ pageviews from more than 25,000 visits from more than 140 countries. I've got dudes from Russia checking in, Brazil too. Hello guys!

I've reviewed more than 200 comics, both in random reviews and in 75 editions of My Week in Comics. That's a LOT of comics!

My reviews have been featured by the likes of Ron Marz and Jim Zubkavich and the guys from Super Real Graphics and Dynamite Entertainment. I've been quoted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (for my Tekken movie review)  and even got a quote in the back cover of Neko Ramen vol. 3!

My most popular posts so far have been Thor's Movie Mjolnir Papercraft, my Tekken movie review and my Transformers Cyberverse Ironhide toy review.

Wow. I've accomplished a LOT, haven't I? And it's only going to get better from here! Thank you for joining me in celebrating seven years of Behold the Geek!, and here's a toast for more awesome years of blogging to come!

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

7 Things I Learned to Do Because of Comic Blogging

You learn something new every day. For me, it took seven years.

Not because I'm slow, but because of this little blog you're now reading. Working on Behold the Geek! has been one big, long learning experience, and it's because of this blog that I learned to do and try new things. Let me tell you seven things I learned to do because of blogging...and maybe you might learn to do the same too!

I learned to try new things

I used to HATE trying out new comic books. I loved my routine pulls, content with the fact that I was reading stuff I love. But thanks to blogging, I was forced learned to take off these blinders and actively seek out new books to try. I discovered some of my new favorites this way, like The Sixth Gun and SF Legends: Ibuki, and it also diversified my reviews, giving much-needed relief for my readers who are about to go into a coma reading reviews of the same two books every month. More or less. :)

I learned to read bounce rates

It took me a while, but only through this blog did I learn that high bounce rate=bad, low bounce rate=good.

I learned to network

Now, I'm not exactly the shy type, but when it comes to networking, I sucked hard. Can you blame me? Established comic bloggers and creators aren't exactly the type of people you tap on the shoulder casually to say hi to. But thanks to this blog, I learned to reach out and touch people. Now I've got big-name people on my email list, and it still blows my mind to this day.

I learned to use Google Reader like a boss

If you've ever watched or read Watchmen, you might remember a scene where Adrian "Ozymadias" Veidt sits in front of a sea of TV monitors, watching and digesting information through all of them at the same time. That's kinda how I feel when I use Google Reader, and because of this hobby I learned to read and skim and digest my news feed of all the comics news and commentary sites like Ozymandias did!

I learned to save

Okay, so I haven't saved much, but Behold the Geek! is the reason why I can afford to buy comics and toys to review. A portion of my paycheck automatically goes to the BtG! fund the moment it lands in my hands. Good thing if I want to review the freshest comics, but not if I want to eat.

I learned to be patient

Growing a blog is like playing SimCity: it's slow, hard as heck, and aliens can come and wreck the place when you aren't looking. Okay, maybe not the last part, but thankfully if there's anything this blog taught me to do, it's to have the patience of Buddha and Jeff "The Dude" Bridges put together. Online popularity doesn't happen overnight, and I learned to just do what I gotta do. Sooner or later, the fangirls will come. I just gotta be patient!

I learned to write, write, WRITE!

Writing is a passion of mine that didn't really have any sort of focus before. An unfinished story here, a short article there, poetry that are better served lining the floors of bird cages...I was all over the place. Now that I've got this blog, I've got the one place I can channel my writing powers into, and I get to write about stuff I love! How's that for a hobby? 

Learning is fun! And blogging at Behold the Geek! just made learning double fun! So what did you learn during your blogging days? Let me know in the comments below! You're celebrating with me as we count down to the seventh anniversary of Behold the Geek! Watch out for more goodness as we come ever closer to October 16! Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Seven Years of Behold the Geek!


After dealing with dinosaurs, taking a vacation and getting extreme, it's time to formally count down to the seventh anniversary of this little blog I'd like to call Behold the Geek!

Join me in a week of madness, mayhem, and maybe a little bit of blogging too as both clock and calendar wind ever so slowly down to October 16! Get excited! No, scratch that...get SUPER excited!

And sorry for the posting hiccup...I was reminded that my awesome geeky body is fragile and prone to un-awesome flu. But now I'm back! Let's do this!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

First Impressions: Innistrad!

Wizards of the Coast just released a new Magic: The Gathering expansion called Innistrad. From the spoilers and set pictures, it's filled with ghosts, demons, werewolves and undead.

They had me at undead.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

90s Trading Cards are Awesome! [90s Week]

 You ain't a 90s kid unless you had one of these.

They're comics trading cards, a staple of 90s memorabilia that's as much a symbol of the decade as pouches. In celebration of 90s Week, let's shine a spotlight on the trading cards that defined my childhood...and maybe yours!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Stunning Steampunk Lady Monday

Steampunk ain't your cup of tea? Let cosplayer lady_wolf_star change your mind in this beautifully vintage cosplay shoot. Steampunk never looked this good! Check out the rest of her gallery over at Flickr.

From Pouches to Prophet: Why the 90s was Awesome [90s Week]

What do you remember about the 90s?

Ask any comic book fan about the 90s and they'll probably mention at least one of three things: big guns, Wolverine and Punisher knock-offs, and pouches. Lots and lots of pouches.

But no one remembers that the 90s was awesome.

It's a controversial view, for sure, but dig deeper into the pouches and the rubble and you get an era of comics that might never be seen or experienced again.

Maybe I'm biased. I got into comics during the early 90s, when my tita bought comics in the States and brought them as pasalubong when they came home for Christmas vacation. As a kid I poured over every single one, from 'roided-up freaks like Cable to badass clawed guys like Wolverine and his slew of knockoffs. I saw Superman die, Batman get his back broken, and Image unleash their creations onto the world. I collected those free trading cards that came in those comics and bartered most of my stamp collection for a copy of Marvel's Swimsuit Special. I loved every single moment of it.

I didn't notice the proliferation of pouches, or the incessant need for comic characters to have the words blood, kill or death in their names, or even the speculator market that saw the rise of gimmicks like lenticular covers and publicity 'deaths' and tacky merchandise. I didn't care that I was witnessing everything wrong with comic books during that time. All I saw was that comics were huge, and I could talk about the latest adventures of WildC.A.T.s and Generation X with anyone at my school. Anyone.

Can you say that about comics right now?

Despite the 90s being called The Dark Age of Comics, to me it wasn't as dark as they make it out to be. In fact, in the face of all the shiny chrome comic book covers and its explosively action-packed contents, it was probably the brightest it could be.

Sure it all eventually crashed when the speculator bubble popped, and it suddenly became hip to rag on Rob Liefeld and Spawn, but I will look at my stacks of X-Man, my copies of Heroes Reborn, and my Marvel Masterpieces trading card binder and be reminded that I wouldn't be the geek I am today without that little decade called the 90s.

Were you a 90s kid? What's the most awesome thing you remember about the 90s?


It's the age of gatefold chrome covers and impossibly huge guns, of Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee. It's the most explosive, bloody and eye-bleedingly shiny era in comic book history, and it's time someone stood up to take notice!

I'm talking about the Dark Age of the 90s, and I'm here to say it's not as dark as people make it out to be! Hold on to your butts, coz I'm about to shed a light on all the awesome stuff that little decade gave us, with the most EXTREEEEEME theme week you'll ever see in your blog-reading existence!

It's 90's Week here at Behold the Geek! Get excited!

Check back here for updates of the most extreme week in the blogosphere!

From Pouches to Prophet: Why the 90s Was Awesome

90s Trading Cards are Awesome!
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