Monday, October 22, 2012

Beach Queens Anjo Naruko Review

Summer may long be over, but here at Behold the Geek!, we believe summer is as long as you make it! That’s why in the interest of keeping my office workstation in a sunny mood despite the smog-filled atmosphere, I got myself the perfect desk ornament: a Beach Queens figure! Specifically, a figure of a certain Naruko Anjo...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Soufflé Girl Says...

And oh yeah, Doctor Who is awesome. But you already know that.

Have a fantastic Monday!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Week in Comics: Godzilla: The Half Century War #1

I don't get why comic creators have a hard time with Big G here. His very existence demands bigger-than-life storytelling, and yet previous attempts have him guest-starring to badass normals, relegating Big G to half-veiled shots of foot or tail, if any. When I pick up a Godzilla comic, the last thing I want it to see is the book actually being "Everyday Joe (with special appearance by Godzilla)", ya know?

Enter Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1, IDW's latest foray into the Godzilla franchise. Written and drawn by James Stokoe, the first salvo of this miniseries opens up with Godzilla tearing Tokyo a new one, and it just gets better from there. Not only do we get to see Big G stomp his way through the entire comic, we also get a compelling human character in Lt. Ota Murakami, a Japanese soldier caught in Godzilla's rampage. And while he's not totally helpless in the face of all that wanton destruction (he gets in a few awesome moments, in fact), Ota knows he's way in over his head in this one, and it's that fine balance of heroism and helplessness and heaping doses of Godzilla action that makes this a fun and interesting read.

And man, this book is gorgeous. Stokoe renders the hell out of each and every panel of this book and then some. Every scale in his hide, every wisp of smoke, every destroyed building in Tokyo is done in amazing detail. You could pore through each page for days and you'd still miss something. I bow to Stokoe's mastery over both story AND art, a rare talent that rarely works...but when it does, you get THIS book.

Bottom line is, this is how you make a Godzilla comic. Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1 is glorious, a fitting addition to the Godzilla legacy. If you have to get a Godzilla book, get this one. This gets a 6 out of 5. Pick this up on sight at your friendly comic book shop today!

[SMILE WEEK] Smile Without Fear!

Daredevil #1 (2011). Cover art by Paolo Rivera.

Daredevil's impish smile says it all, and then some, in what probably is the most gorgeous cover in all of comicdom.

Thanks for looking! And thank you for joining us in SMILE WEEK!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

[SMILE WEEK] Say Cheesecake!

Power Girl vol.2 #1 (2009). Cover art by Amanda Conner.

Nothing like the always-perky Power Girl smiling to brighten up your day! I know it brightened mine!

It's SMILE WEEK at Behold the Geek! All smiles, all this week!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

[SMILE WEEK] Simply Sensational!

The Sensational She-Hulk #43 (1992). Cover art by John Byrne.

She-Hulk had a lot to smile about during her 60-issue run back in the 90s. Just looking at this cover, you can't help but smile back!

It's SMILE WEEK at Behold the Geek! All smiles, all this week!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

[SMILE WEEK] Best in Smile

Wolverine #1 (1982). Cover art by Frank Miller.

It's never a good sign when Wolverine flashes you that smile. But hey, at least the ol' Canuck's smiling!

It's SMILE WEEK at Behold the Geek! All smiles, all this week!

Monday, August 06, 2012

[SMILE WEEK] Golden Age Choppers

World's Finest Comics #2 (1941). Cover art by Fred Ray.

Ahh, the Golden Age of Comics. When men were super, women wore bulletproof bracelets, and Batman was allowed to smile! And the toothy, open-mouthed kind too!

It's SMILE WEEK at Behold the Geek! All smiles, all this week!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Webcomics I Love: Power Nap

There's nothing more important to the working man than a good night's sleep. Just ask Drew Spencer, the unfortunate star of this week's Webcomic I Love called Power Nap! (

From the mind of Maritza Campos (writer) and Bachan (artist), Power Nap is set in this futuristic world, where a supplement called Z-Sup lets people stay awake 24/7. Here, sleep is literally for the weak. Unfortunately for office drone Drew, he's allergic to Z-Sup...and this fast-paced world, coupled with little sleep, is taking a toll on his sanity. From monstrous hallucinations to panic attacks magnified a hundred-fold, Drew slowly sinks into madness...until he discovers a strange alien world in-between the cracks!

Admit it, we've all been there. The sleepless nights trying to finish that one project to make the quota. The overtime slips piling on your desk together with your medicine bills. It's a dog-eat-dog out there, and that's the beauty of Power shines a sick spotlight on our life habits, and you can't help but look, because more often than not they ain't pretty. 

That's not to say Power Nap is unpretty. Far from it. Bachan's art is amazing and dynamic, and his facial expressions are killer, making Maritza's punchlines all the more hilarious. I feel for this Drew guy, and I won't be surprised if you do too!

Equal parts funny and sobering, Power Nap is going places I can't wait to see. But enough of my yakking...go and read Power Nap, like, right now.

Monday, July 30, 2012

WonFes Reveals Plans for Figma AVENGERS!

Pic from this week's Wonder Festival 2012 courtesy of @GSC_GUMA.

To quote a certain WWE superstar...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One Collection is GLORIOUS

And they said I'd go blind...

MTV Splash Page got an exclusive firsthand glimpse of the 'Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One' Blu-Ray Collection, a 10-disc set collecting the complete library of Marvel Studios' movies: Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 1 and 2, and Marvel's The Avengers.

It's all well and good, but then COSMIC CUBE BRIEFCASE!!!

Seriously, I don't even have Blu-ray and I'm getting this.

Check out the description:

Immerse yourself in every aspect of Marvel’s elite Super Heroes with this limited-edition, 10-disc Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One Collection. Complete with glowing Tesseract, this exclusive replica of Nick Fury’s iconic briefcase includes stunning Blu-ray 3D™ and Blu-ray™ presentations of The Avengers; Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, as well as Blu-ray™ versions of Iron Man; Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk in exclusive collectible packaging. Plus, now that you possess the highest level of security clearance, you have been granted access to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most confidential files, including a top-secret bonus disc filled never before seen, classified information. Also featuring exquisitely detailed art, prop reproductions and artifacts from the motion pictures, the must-own Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One Collection will verify your status as the world’s greatest authority on the Marvel Super Hero mythos!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One' Blu-Ray Collection is pegged for a September 25, 2012 release and will run you for about $200. Now I know what I'm getting for my birthday!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man Movie Review

Two questions surrounded the new Spider-Man reboot: after two great movies (the third one doesn't exist to me!), do we really need a reboot? And do we really need a reboot this early? But those questions really never mattered, because The Amazing Spider-Man is real, it's done, and it's really here. The only question that matters right now is the most important one: is this new movie truly amazing?

Yes. Yes it is.

And here's why: The Amazing Spider-Man is director Marc Webb's attempt at doing for Spidey what Batman Begins did for Batman, and it works. By taking everything that made Spider-Man great and grounding it a little closer to reality, we get a flavor of Spidey that's less comic-book camp and more big-budget Hollywood blockbuster.

Here, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a social misfit, still reeling from the mysterious disappearance of his parents as a child, with nothing left but the love of his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field)  and his infatuation with schoolmate Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) His search for answers will lead him to Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), a brilliant scientist and his father's former colleague, who's searching for a way to regrow his right arm through cross-species genetics. After an accident with a spider, Peter gains the powers and proportionate strength of an arachnid, which he uses to fight crime. And just in time, because an experiment gone bad has turned Dr. Connors into a monstrous Lizard, who will stop at nothing to mutate the human race into his twisted idea of perfection!

If this all sounds like a retread, don't worry. Webb seems to know what the viewers really want to see, and so he opts to present the origin story in poignant bite-sized pieces, leaving out the superfluous parts and lingering over the important, more dramatic ones, making it easier to digest and lets Spider-Man swing into action faster.

And oh, does he swing. Anyone who felt short-changed of Spidey moments in the previous films can rest easy, because this in my opinion is the best and most graceful Spider-Man we've seen in years. Webb throws every signature Spider-Man move at the screen and then some, from the wall-climbing to his acrobatics to the web-swinging to webbing stuff up like a madman. And in copious amounts too. This is the Spider-Man we should have gotten years ago!

But it's not just the hero in the mask that's amazing...the man behind the mask had a lot to do with it. Whereas Tobey Maguire was the first to bring the comic book superhero to life, it was Andrew Garfield that made him human. Garfield (a BAFTA and Oscar nominee) brings a raw, more dramatic energy to his Peter Parker, making you feel for him on his journey from man to Spider-Man. And it's not just Garfield...Martin Sheen's Uncle Ben is funny and heartwarming, far from the walking plot point he was in the very first film, making Peter's legendary tragedy all the more tragic. And Emma Stone is feisty and cute as hell as Gwen Stacy, and I smiled when they made her wear the character's signature go-go boots whenever possible!

Amid the grit and grime and blood, this is a Spidey movie at heart. I hate to go X Y is X on you, but The Amazing Spider-Man is amazing. Different isn't always this case, different just made it better. Be prepared to involuntarily make web-shooting poses after you watch this. Highly recommended!

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Week in Comics: June 29, 2012

Fights, flights and feisty females invade this week's comics! What did I get myself into this week? Read on to find out!

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Wolverine and the X-Men #12 sees Rachel Summers on a mission from the Phoenix Five to capture Hope. Unfortunately, she runs into Wolverine and...the Avengers? What happens next is messy, loud, and ultimately...pointless.

This is just ugly, and I'm not talking about Chris Bachalo's art here. Avengers vs. X-Men has turned the characters involved into lifeless automatons just being strung along by the plot, and it has never been more apparent than this ish. Friends attacking friends? Teachers attacking students? No one is coming out pretty here, with both sides being portrayed as petty and arrogant.

Jason Aaron writes this story with the same excitement and care he gave this series before AvX, but there's only so much he can do within the confines of this event.  Chris Bachalo picks up the slack through his amazing, dynamic art, but it's not enough to save this book. What results is a comic that's so loud yet so hollow.

Call me old-fashioned, but this just isn't superhero comics anymore. Aaron, Bachalo, and co. can do better than this. As much as it pains me, I'll be skipping the AvX-tied issues until this all blows over. This gets a 2 out of 5.

The saving grace of this week is Brian Clevinger's Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #1. The title may be long, but it isn't short of action, as we go back in time to see Robo get tangled up with Japanese flying deathbots and jetpack-wearing dames of action!

I've always liked Atomic Robo's offerings during Free Comic Book Day, but this is the first time I'm actually  reading a full adventure. Good thing it doesn't disappoint. Clevinger's Robo is witty and funny, even if it feels like he's playing second fiddle to the Flying She-Devils being introduced in this story. The only thing I could find fault in this is that it's pretty exposition-heavy (the Flying She-Devils have a pretty long history) and it feels like Clevinger and co. could have trimmed this five-book series to four.

What really pushed this over the top was Scott Wegener's art. Clevinger's action-packed intro was made even better with Wegener 's pencils making you feel every jetpack whoosh and the boom of explosions in every page!

Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #1 is good comics done right. Simple yet fun, and great-looking to boot. This gets a 4 out of 5.

Disappointing week saved by Atomic Robo! I knew that big robot would come to the rescue one day! What did you think of this week's comics? Drop a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Art Too Epic for Human Eyes Monday

Comic books have no shortage of epic imagery. I mean, it's got dudes who can run faster than the speed of light, push planets out of orbit, and  regularly tussle with anthropomorphic astral concepts. But one talented man somehow took all of that epicness, grabbed some pens and paints, and distilled it into imagery so awesome it would make Jack Kirby smile.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Webcomics I Love: Cucumber Quest

Are you a fan of cute and whimsical webcomics like me? Well, you better cuddle up because this week's Webcomic I Love has both cute and whimsical in dangerous amounts. I'm talking about the bunny-eared world of Cucumber Quest! (

Written and drawn by Gigi DG, Cucumber Quest is the story of Cucumber, the reluctant hero of Doughnut Kingdom. Together with his sister Almond, they're whisked away on a quest to save the world, fighting bad witches, nightmare knights and slimy sea creatures along the way!

Be warned: Cucumber Quest is adorable. It reads like the best children's book ever, thanks to Gigi DG's cute art and even cuter story. I'd be proud of having a physical copy of this on my shelf to read to my kids someday!

But why listen to me gush about it? Check out Cucumber Quest today!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DC Bishoujo Power Girl Statue is Pretty Kawaii

Welp, now I know what my first Kotobukiya Bishoujo statue will be!

A couple of months ago, Kotobukiya teased us with Shunya Yamashita's concept art of the newest addition to their DC Bishoujo Collection statue line: Power Girl! Needless to say, my excitement was off the charts. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait long, because now the pic of the actual statue is out...and it is glorious!

Power Girl here is from Kotobukiya's DC Bishoujo Collection, a line of bishoujo ("pretty girl" in Japanese)-inspired  statues of DC Comics' superheroines and supervillains, based on the art of renowned bishoujo illustrator Shunya Yamashita. Now, I'm not much of a DC Bishoujo statue fan, but I AM huge (pardon the pun) PeeGee fan, and seeing her playful yet powerful self drawn by Shunya Yamashita and captured in statue form is enough to make me cave in and buy into this statue line just for her. I cannot wait!

So, what do you think? Does Power Girl rock the bishoujo treatment?

You can preorder her, as well as check out the pic and more info, over at BigBadToyStore.

EDIT: Kotobukiya's Facebook page posted a 360 degree view and close-ups of Power Girl! Check it out!

Friday, May 18, 2012

AvX: Versus #2 Review

Now this is more like it. Avengers vs X-Men: Versus came off to a slow and disappointing start, but AvX: VS #2 hit all the right notes, literally and figuratively. The fight card itself promises a lot of hurt! Cap vs. Gambit! Spidey vs. Colossus! It's a two-fisted comic in the mighty Marvel manner!

The Cap vs Gambit fight was the highlight of the issue for me, thanks to Steve McNiven handling both the story and art. McNiven not only provides one of the better-drawn fights in the series so far, but also a much-needed decisive victory (as in someone gets to walk away AND leave his opponent unconscious on the dirty floor)! Ever wonder if Gambit's mutant powers work on Cap's shield? Or if Cap's reflexes can match the spry Cajun? This is where you find out.

The second fight, between Colossus and Spider-Man, has its own charms. Kieron Gillen writes a fast-paced and explosive fight scene between a guy with the speed and reflexes of a spider and an unstoppable mass of metal, and it makes for very exciting reading. But the surprise for me here is Salvador Larroca, who ditches his photo-referenced style for something more fitting of a four-color funnybook.. It's the Larroca I haven't seen in a while, that clean, dynamic comic-y style that made me love him in X-Treme X-Men,  that gives justice to a fight this heavy-hitting. Fun to read, fun to look at, zero calories. Just the way I like it.

You promised punching, you better deliver punching, and AvX: VS #2 delivers just that. Let's just hope the fights down the road are more decisive, yeah? Stalemates aren't the stuff epic comics are made of. Still, more of this please. This gets a 4 out of 5.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jollibee's First Marvel Comic Appearance is Crazy and Amazing

Never thought I’d live to see the day when I could say “Jollibee’s first appearance in a Marvel comic was in...”

But here we are, one Jolli Spaghetti and regular Coke later, and we’ve got Avengers: Menace of the Mole Man #1, an 8-page comic made by Marvel specially for Jollibee as a Kiddie Meal giveaway, in celebration of Marvel’s The Avengers movie. Aside from the fact that Jollibee (the mascot itself!) makes his first appearance in a real Marvel comic, I’d like to let out the kid (or patriot) in me for a moment to say that this comic book is crazy amazing.

It starts off with Mole Man deciding out of the blue to target my hometown, Manila, Philippines, in one of his world domination schemes with an earthquake inducer...which just happens to land in front of a Jollibee store!

The people of Manila are scared, as I would have been too if a supervillain ever came here. But then, something amazing happens: the Jollibee store manager calmly walks up to Mole Man and asks him who he was and what the hell he’s doing there.

It’s insane. Ralph Macchio, the veteran comic book persona tasked to write this story, either gives a lot of credit to Jollibee store managers, or he knows something about them that we Filipinos can only dare imagine, because after Mole Man explains to us his back story, and why he does what he does, the manager brushes off the king of the Moloids and basically tells the man that he ain’t listening to any more of his shit.

Twelve-pound balls of steel.

Of course, the Avengers catch wind of what’s happening in Manila, and they’re sending in a team to help. Who do they send? Spider-Woman? Iron Fist? Nope...they send in Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow (who just happen to be the cast of Marvel’s The Avengers). In case you didn’t catch that...they’re sending in the biggest guns of the Marvel Manila...just to stop Mole Man. I don’t know who should be more honored, Mole Man or Manila!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say how much I love the dialogue. The book reads like those cheesy old Marvel cartoons from the sixties, and Macchio does his best to sell this stuff to the kids who are obviously the target market for this comic.

So the Avengers arrive, and the requisite superhero fight scene begins! I gotta say, the art is surprisingly high-quality for a free comic book, and it’s obvious that Jollibee pulled all the stops to give kids the genuine Marvel experience. Of course, the kids won’t care who drew this, but a long-time comic fan like me definitely noticed that a lot of big names are attached to this, like veteran inker/ artist Scott Koblish and colorist Veronica Gandini. They even got legendary artist Ron Lim (who penciled The Infinity Gauntlet, for goodness sakes!) to draw the cover!

Koblish draws the final battle with a pizazz you don’t see much in the main comic universe anymore, that no-holds-barred approach to superheroes being super AND heroic, and in no time, the monsters are defeated, and Manila even gets to see Thor bring the hammer down!

Hey, remember that Jollibee store manager who don't take no crap from no Mole Men? After the fight, when the Avengers are about to take Mole Man into custody, Mr. Manager pleads with Cap to have mercy on poor guy, and what happens next is another first in this already trail-blazing comic:

The man, who before all this was probably busy swiping his keycard when a cashier yells, "Sir, pa-void!" and making sure nobody burned the french fries, is now an honorary Avenger, joining the ranks of luminaries such as Jarvis and Captain Marvel in the annals of Avengers lore. Even the Triumph Division can't touch that!

This is amazing. I'm not kidding. I am seriously geeking out at all this. I now demand an in-universe issue where Jose is sent to the US for a courtesy call at the Avengers Mansion and have him bitch-slap Dr. Doom for talking too much about himself.

I know, I basically gave a 600-word essay for an 8-page comic, but the fact that this book exists is just exciting and unprecedented. It's like all those years of eating nothing but Jolli Spaghetti from Jollibee gave me fever dreams about a comic book where the Avengers saved Manila. Except it's not a dream. It's real, it IS a comic book, and you can get one while supplies last when you order a Jolli Kiddie Meal from any Jollibee store.

So what did we learn today? One, the Avengers has got the Philippines' back. Two, we can be the target of US-based supervillains and we might want to prepare for it. And three, Jollibee store managers are some of the toughest, most fearless yet most merciful sonovaguns on the archipelago, and definitely someone I could vote for president.

And I know Jollibee did jack squat in the comic but he's my homie and that's just how he rolls. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dark Shadows Movie Review

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp return for another bizarre collaboration, this time with Dark Shadows, the movie based on the '70s TV show of the same name. I went and watched it out of morbid curiosity, having never even heard of the source series, with only the Depp and Burton angle to keep me interested. Surely there's something more I can scratch from the surface?

Dark Shadows is the story of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), a wealthy playboy from the 1700s, who loved and spurned a lot of women in his lifetime. Unfortunately, one of those spurn-ees is the witch Angelique Bouchard (played devilishly well by Eva Green), who curses him to live as a vampire and locks him in a box for all eternity. He is accidentally freed in the 1970s, and reunites with his dysfunctional descendants. Now it's up to him to protect his new-found family at all costs from Angelique, who lusts after him after all these years!

Visually, Dark Shadows is stylish and sexy, bringing to life the funky and carefree 70s to a tee. The costumes, sets and soundtrack are deliciously retro, and serves to underline how out of place Barnabas is in the flower power era. Burton's attention to detail is mesmerizing, and you're never pulled away from the story, especially with Depp at the center of it all.

Depp is the draw here, obviously, and he doesn't disappoint. His fish-out-of-water turn as Barnabas Collins is funny, oftentimes creepy, but ultimately noble. Depp tries his best to steer his Barnabas Collins into somewhere new and exciting, but I can't help but hear a little Jack Sparrow coming through every now and then. Still, it's a hoot to watch him bring Barnabas to (un)life, and seeing everybody else play off of him. That's what separates Depp from the rest of the rabble, the focus he gives to the characters he inhabits...a focus that Dark Shadows, unfortunately, lacks.

Ultimately, Dark Shadows suffers from not really being sure of what it wants to do. The tone shifts from comedic to frightening to dramatic, the emotional weight of each scene as fleeting and ethereal as the era it's set in. The Collins family is all but forgettable, the saving grace being Michelle Pfeiffer's turn as matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (whose world-weary yet sharp personality really resonated with me). Nothing really digs their hooks deep enough in you, except maybe for Barnabas' love-hate relationship with his nemesis Angelique, whose obsession with the man she turned into a vampire leads to some funny and sexy moments, some of the few moments in the film I actually liked.

It's strange, because you'd expect at least a little bit more quirkiness from Burton, but the film never fully embraces its fantastic, supernatural roots, always skirting the topic while Depp does his thing. And it's only during the last climactic minutes that Burton decides to go full Burton, filling the screen with all the supernatural elements the film desperately needed, and the audience is left to digest all of this, too much too late.

Bottom line, Dark Shadows is a movie for the hardcore Johnny Depp fans, who'll find lots to like in Johnny alone. Anybody else looking for something more are sadly left in the dark.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

5 Strangest Facts About Thanos

When that purple man smiled in the after-credits of Marvel's The Avengers movie, everybody knew they were in for a treat. Thanos is coming! Consort of Death herself! Master of the Infinity Gauntlet! The Mad Titan!

And I'm sure a lot of folks have scoured the 'Net for his info and history, and they probably found what they were looking for. But are you sure you know everything about Thanos?

To help you with that, I've compiled five of the strangest facts about Thanos, from the strange to the creepy to the downright hilarious. Are you ready to learn a little bit more about our big purple dude? Then read on!

Thanos is NOT a Skrull!

It's one of the popular misconceptions about Thanos. Skrulls have wrinkly chins. Thanos has a wrinkly chin. Therefore, Thanos is a Skrull! All those Logic classes in college weren't for naught!

While I do agree that the resemblance is uncanny, it's strange to know that he isn't actually a Skrull! The misconception probably stemmed when Alex Ross proposed the theory in his Earth X miniseries, where his mother Sui-San was secretly a Skrull all along (instead of an Eternal Titan). But in actuality, Thanos was merely born with an ugly Deviant gene, which is the reason why he's got that face only a mother could love.

Thanos owned a helicopter!

While other evil conquerors cruise around in battleships and planet-sized fortresses, Thanos in his early years chose to keep it simple. In Spidey Super-Stories #39, when Thanos fought Spider-Man and Patsy Walker/Hellcat over possession of the Cosmic Cube, the Mad Titan pestered the heroes while in a helicopter with his name emblazoned on the tail.

And this is why I love comics.

Thanos seduced Galactus!

If there's one thing Thanos loves other than genocide, it's power. And in Thanos #3, the titular villain decided to get it from one who has it in spades: Galactus, Devourer of Worlds. It started out simply enough...Thanos setting the mood, lulling Galactus into a false sense of security, and then BAM! Thanos got a little too hands-on for comfort. And Galactus' next few words will stay with me to the end of my days:

Talk about a date gone bad.

Thanos was once a Galactus!

Continuing his weird relationship with Galactus...did you know that during 2002's Infinity Abyss mini-series, Thanos once created a clone of himself using his own DNA and patterned after a certain Devourer of Worlds?

The clone was called Omega, and he was one of the Thanosi, powerful doppelgangers created by Thanos for use as allies/bodyguards in his everyday conquering. Omega here was obviously patterned after Galactus, with all the power that entails. Unfortunately, like all the other Thanosi, Omega was bred to think like Thanos (i.e., loving nothing else but the end of all life in the universe). Couple that with near-limitless power and you've got a recipe for a cosmic-level disaster so horrible, Thanos himself thought it was the worst idea ever.

Thanos was defeated by...Squirrel Girl?!

Not exactly Thanos' greatest moment. In 2005's GLX-Mas Special #1, Thanos went toe-to-toe with the cutesy, squirrel-empowered Squirrel Girl while empowered by the life-force of the entire planet...

...and Thanos lost.

Crazy, isn't it? To add salt to this festering wound of indignities, Uatu the Watcher came and straight-up confirmed that it was indeed Thanos ("...and not a robot, clone or simulacrum!"), in case anyone had any doubt that a D-lister got a clean win against the being who once killed half the population of the universe.


There you have it! Five off-the-wall facts about the next big Avengers villain in Marvel's The Avengers sequel! I hope you learned a lot about our Mad Titan, I know I did! And I'm still trying to scrub it from my brain! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Dark Lich's Linkblog: Avenger-y Edition!

Marvel's The Avengers is, in my humble opinion, freakin' awesome. And a lot of people are feeling the same way! The 'Net is abuzz with news about this cinematic juggernaut, and here are just some of the mind-blowing news that's out there right now!

-Just a day before its US release and Marvel's The Avengers has already earned $260.5M in overseas markets, breaking international opening week records left and right. And most of the US hasn't even seen it yet!

-In the Philippines alone, it's made P281M (about $6.6M) in just five days. FIVE DAYS!

-To celebrate, Scarlett Johansson got her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

-But to be honest, Mark Ruffalo, who played the Hulk, should be celebrating too. He practically stole the show from RDJ, in my opinion! Check out what he has to say about playing Hulk and how fun it is.

-In quirkier (and in some ways, sadder) news, there's news of an additional after-credits scene (right after all the rolling credits) for The Avengers that's apparently only available in the US release. A screencap of the scene is making the rounds, and it's glorious. A price to pay for getting to see the movie early, I guess. :(

-If you're a Marvel: Avengers Alliance player (like me), and can't get enough of The Avengers (like me!), you're in luck, because the movie costumes are now available as alternate costumes/skins in the game! Jawesome!

Enjoy the links! As for me, I just gotta watch it a second time!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Marvel's The Avengers Movie Review

Marvel's The Avengers is, pardon the rhetoric, a historic feat. Bringing together characters from four different movies into one super-film has never been done before. There's no precedent, no measuring stick to compare to, save for the fact that its got big names like Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man to carry it. So what can we expect from a movie like this?

Three words: Pure. Distilled. Awesome.

When Loki (Tom Hiddleston in his usually devious best) comes back to earth to wage war, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles a team of super-powered proportions: Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Steve Rogers aka Captain America (played to a T by Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth, godly as usual) and Bruce Banner aka Hulk (Mark Ruffalo in what probably is the best Hulk we've seen so far), supported by Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson) and Hawkeye (just Jeremy Renner being badass). But they're not just bringing their considerable skills to the party...they've got some major egos and some ugly baggage as well. Will they be able to work together as a team before Loki turns Earth into his own little playground?

It's a silly question, though...of course they will. It's the ride that'll blow your mind.

Director Joss Whedon single-handedly silenced ever hater he had (including me!) by showing he knows the material, knows what to do with it, and knows when to let it loose. And let it loose he did...The Avengers is, simply put, a comic book realized on the big screen. The constraints of gritty realism has no place here. The colors are brighter, more hopeful. The heroes jump higher and punch harder. The villains are deliciously smarmy and like to monologue a lot. The dialogue is pitch-perfect with just the right amount of camp. And the entire movie makes you feel that anything can happen...and does! And I'm not just being my lovable huckster self here...if you ever wanted to see Hulk take down a giant alien spaceship with his bare hands or wanted to see Cap and Iron Man team up to beat up bad alien dudes, your dreams come true right now.

Forget about the rumors about this movie being basically Iron Man 3...everyone gets their Crowning Moment of Awesome here. Everyone. Even Black Widow. Even Hawkeye. Even Agent-freaking-Coulson. Never thought I would see a well-rounded superhero movie in my lifetime, but here we are, seeing all these heroes together in one movie like they've always meant to be, and it is glorious.

I laughed, I cried, I screamed "Awesome!" together with the people in the theater. No words can describe, short of the clichéd epic, what kind of experience this movie actually is. For me, Marvel's The Avengers is a wow-a-minute thrill ride that proves that a movie with superHEROES is definitely possible AND bankable. You owe it to yourself as a comic book fan to experience this. Watch it with your folks, with your friends, with anyone. Watch it twice. Buy the DVD. Watch it. Highly recommended!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Avengers Assemble @ Serangoon Nex, Singapore!

I was fortunate enough to be in Singapore during the Avengers Assemble event at the Serangoon Nex Mall last Saturday, April 28. The comic book geek in me got excited, as I'm sure there will be tons of neat stuff to do over there.

But you know what's even neater? Hot Toys will be at the event!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Avengers Mjolnir Papercraft

For hawk-eyed (!) fans out there, you would have noticed that Thor's mighty hammer Mjolnir gets a facelift in Marvel's The Avengers movie, sporting a new handle design and other little details. To celebrate the launch of the movie, I've now distilled the new look into a new Mjolnir papercraft!

My last papercraft design required large-format printing, but this new version can be printed out in 8.5" by 11" sheets! Now you too can run around with an up-to-date, bigger and meaner version of Thor's hammer! Totally safe to throw at your friends! But I don't guarantee you can call it back to you.

Here's the download links to the PDF file:

(Both links contain the same file, so you only need to download from one!) 

As always, the papercraft design was based on Tektonten's amazing Thor hammer design. Any comments and suggestions about this template can be directed via my email (beholdthegeek[dot]gmail[dot]com). Enjoy! And thanks for reading!

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Week in Comics: April 20, 2012

It's a week full of loud fisticuffs and silent but deadly escape artistry here at Behold the Geek! What did I get myself into this week? Read on to find out!

Wolverine and the X-Men #9 is a sorta unofficial tie-in to Marvel's AvX event, going into greater detail about Wolverine's dillemma concerning Hope, the Phoenix Force and his allegiances (being both an X-Man and an Avenger). Jason Aaron avoids the pitfalls of most tie-ins, blending AvX's plot points seamlessly into a day-in-the-life at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, and I love it. Aaron taps into something emotional and deep here, and you feel for Wolvie as he's once again asked to do what any lesser person in his position would fear to do.

But the book's not all heavy...there are lots of cute and unexpectedly heroic moments here that makes it all interesting. And man, Chris Bachalo's art is a welcome sight in this book. Nobody draws crazy action like he does, and he's surprisingly apt at the slow and steady moments as well. All in all it's a decent issue that touches upon a major crossover event like AvX, but doesn't forget its own voice. This gets a 4 out of 5.

Speaking of AvX, Avengers vs X-Men #2 is what the first issue should have been. The floodgates of pain have been opened, with both the X-Men and the Avengers going at it with gusto, one-upping each other in strength, wits, preptime and caption boxes that make the action seem more dire than it actually is!

The issue is bursting with action, and I'll forgive you if you miss some decent character moments from Jason Aaron's scripts, but what we mostly get is setup and stuff we already know. It's fun to watch it all go down, though, even if it sometimes gets a little WTF-inducing (can anyone say microscopic telepath tasers?). John Romita, Jr.'s art is surprisingly good. His action scenes are less scritch-scratchy and easier to follow, even if some moments that needed more oomph were missing them. I want to FEEL every punch in a book full of punching, you dig? I didn't sign up for Red Hulk giving Colossus what seems to be a back massage (though some of you out there might have?)!

The event is starting off in the right direction, at least. Action out the wazoo and decent art make for a decent comic. But like I said in an earlier post, if you want your fill of superhero throwdowns, you're better off just getting AvX: Versus. This gets a 3.5 out of 5.

Supergirl #8 sees the aftermath of Kara's battle with the Worldkillers. Escaping from the police with the help of the mysterious Siobahn Smythe, our Maid of Might lies low and goes on a night out of town. But there's more to Siobahn than she's letting on...

Let's start with the good: the legendary George Perez on art. The dude's still got it, and I love how he lends a classic feel to one of my favorite books. Speaking of classic, Michael Green and Mike Johnson reintroduces the classic villain Silver Banshee into the DCnU this ish, but less villain-y and more well-meaning punk rebel who doesn't want to live in her father's shadow. It's fun to note that Siobahn is the first person Kara's gotten really close to since coming to the DCnU, and their similar circumstances will make for some interesting interplay down the road.

Good story with great art, more than I could ask for in comic books these days. Supergirl #8 gets a 4 out of 5. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.

It's been a while since I've seen X-Force on a good old-fashioned kill mission, so in Uncanny X-Force #24 they do just that, tying up loose ends from some of their previous adventures...namely, the Age of Apocalypse (AoA) version of Iceman!

This is mostly AoA Nightcrawler-centric issue, and Rick Remender paints him as a soul tortured with the prospect of killing AoA Iceman, one of his truest friends in their home dimension. But something happened between them that drives him to complete this mission, and seeing it all unfold is a treat in itself. Lots of funny, awesome and heart-wrenching moments here, made better with Phil Noto's surprisingly nuanced and detailed art. Once you get to the last few pages, you're sad, happy, shocked and appalled, and it feels good. After that boring Otherworld storyline, Remender and co. really needed this return to form, and they just delivered splendidly. This gets a 5 out of 5. Pick this up on sight!

Finally, we get to The Sixth Gun #21, which is a 'silent issue' (meaning, no word balloons whatsoever). And boy, did Cullen Bunn choose the right time to attempt this...this is Becky's one-woman mission to rescue Drake Sinclair from the lair of the Knights of Solomon!

The silent issue, IMO, separates the best comic creators from the mediocre. With some comics relying heavily on dialogue and written descriptions to clearly describe what's happening, taking all that away and relying only on the visuals to help the story along is the greatest test of both comic book writer and artist. It's a good thing then that it's Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree doing the test, and they not only pass, they graduate summa cum laude on their first day. Bunn's deft direction and Hurt's choice of panel layout and camera angles are pitch perfect. Even with only the visuals guiding us through, Becky and Drake's daring escape still reads like the most exciting and epically cinematic thing you'll see on the comic book racks this week.

No words needed to be said. And that's awesome. This gets a 5 out of 5. If you want to know what a perfect silent issue looks like, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

A great week in comics if I ever had one! The Sixth Gun is still awesome, and I'm glad Uncanny X-Force is back to stabbing threats to mutantkind! Got any comments? Suggestions? Violent reactions? Drop me a line via the comment box below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

5 Best Summer Vacation Spots in Comic Books

Take out the frisbees and the sunscreen lotion...summer is here! And where summer is, the itch to go on a summer road trip ain't far behind! There are a lot of great real-world locales to get your tan on, but did you know that comic books have their share of sweet summer vacation spots too? You're in luck, because today I'll list five comic book locations that would make good summer getaways...provided you survive the experience!

Savage Land (Marvel Comics)

If your tastes in vacation spots run along the exotic and dangerous, the Savage Land is the place to be this summer! A prehistoric tropical haven in the middle of Antarctica, the Savage Land is home to real dinosaurs and other Marvel oddities, and your summer itinerary here will usually involve running from T-Rexes and mutates or going on safari tours with bikini-clad jungle adventuresses like Shanna the She-Devil (or buff dudes like Ka-Zar, for the ladies in the audience). Can't beat that!

Atlantis (DC Comics)

Diving's a great summer pastime, and if you're lucky, you'll dive deep enough to discover Atlantis, the undersea kingdom! Guys like Aquaman have lived and ruled this fantastic place, and it's home to a myriad of undersea wonders that would make good summer vacation scrapbook photos. Just don't ask Aquaman to talk to fishes!

Gen13 Base, La Jolla, California (Wildstorm)

During Gen13's heyday, their base of operations was one of the most happening places in the Wildstorm universe, and an ideal, low-cost summer getaway. Its teenaged members spent most of their off-days lounging around in bikinis either by the beach or their own swimming pool, and for some reason bad guys come knocking on their door right about that same time. Coincidence? But hey, if the idea of watching a swimsuit slugfest doesn't interest you in the slightest, there's something very, very wrong here.

The Fathom universe (Aspen Comics)

One way to beat the summer heat is to go for a good swim, and there's no better place to do that than in the vast oceans of Aspen Comics' Fathom. The Fathom comics define 'wet and wild', with its heroine Aspen Matthews and her friends spending a good deal of time in the oceans, fighting bad guys either underwater or over them. Swimming with one of the sexiest women in comics? That's a good summer vacation right there.

Any beach during a summer episode (most manga)

Even mecha pilots and magical girls aren't too busy to go to the beach. The beach episode is a staple of most manga and anime, and for this geek, one of the best places to spend your summer. It's got the ingredients of a perfect vacation: sun, sand, and catgirls in bikinis playing beach volleyball or eating watermelon. We all know it's just a reason to put the main characters in skimpy swimwear, but who are we to argue with that logic?

Man, how I wish I could be in the beach with the Fathom or the K-On girls right now! I hope you enjoyed my list of the best summer vacation spots in comics, and I hope it inspires your next summer trip! Got more great summer vacation spots? Leave me a comment below and let's talk about it! Thanks for reading!
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