Thursday, July 29, 2004

Quick Jabs

I get tired of using the same name all the time, and I still haven't come up with anything I like...on with the show!

Rogue #1  $2.99

I had no intention of picking this up, but when I saw Rodi's name on the cover I thought it might be worth a shot. I've disliked his Identity Disc mini, but his Loki has impressed me a great deal. Sadly, this book falls more on the side of Identity than Loki. It starts off strong, but by the end of the issue you really hate Rogue (if you didn't already) and Rodi's charatcerizations of the few X-Men in the series is so off base that I'm not exactly sure who the guy leading them is supposed to be, Havok maybe? He tries to give the book a sense of danger, making it even more goofy. Best avoided, although the cover looks damn pretty...oh and the art on the inside isn't anything to write home about either.

Venom/Carnage #1  $2.99

On the inside of the book it says Carnage/Venom...which one is it Marvel? That aside, this is quite weird, Milligan does a decent job on the script, and the characters feel right, but the concept seems a bit odd (Carnage is having a baby basically) and the art looks like some weird mix of CGI and pencils. It's worth a look, and it definitely has a butt-load of action in it, unlike most Marvel #1's. Not sure if I'll be picking up #2 though.

Caper #10  #2.95

The first two storyline in this book were very serious in tone, which makes this one seem out of place. The second arc of the book left me wanting tho, the end seemed forced, but this arc has had me rolling with laughter. When Winick is on, he's on, and he's one of the best new talents in the industry. The art fits the story nicely, and the dialogue is just great. I'm eagerly awaiting the next issue.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #9  $2.25

Holy crap this issue rocks. I went from doubting Ellis' ability to pull it off to loving him...of course this issue focus' entirely on the FF. No Doom in sight, besides mention of his name, which actually builds a little suspense. Immonen kills on the art, and is fast becoming one of my favorite FF artists (a list which only includes Kirby and 'Ringo, hehe). So, forget what I said previosly about Ellis, this is good stuff, I just hope he doesn't disappoint in the end.

Venom #17  $2.99

I still like this book, but this issue left me confused as hell. It will read better as a whole, definitely. It lacks the horror/suspens that it initially had though, which makes me sad.

Small Gods #1  $2.99

If you buy any floppy this week, it should be this one. Holy hell it's impressive. The art is crisp, the story is long, but never feels drawn out, it's got action and setup, it's got characters you can immediately relate too, and it's got a cliffhanger of an ending, and a back up story ta boot. I don'tknow where these guys came from, but this is hands down one of the best floppy books I've bought in a long time (excluding Eightball of course). It has an immediately recognizeable concept, but portrays it very realistically, and I mean very. People say books like Capes and Powers bring superheroes into the real world, but none of them do it this well...of course there aren't any superheroes in this book, but it has almost the same concept as those two. Actually, it's a bit of a modern take on Minority Report, for a more accurate description. Just buy this friggin' book, it's amazing.



Okay, so it seems back to normal for now, and it gives me the the chance to post about a few movies I've recently watched:

The Graduate

Yes, this would be the first time I've seen it, sue me. Dustin Hoffman is brilliant in this movie, playing Ben Braddock. He's shy, nervous, and scared to death about his future. It's a movie that really captures that point in everyone's life where they don't know what to do, where everything seems pointless. Of course most of us didn't have affairs with older women, but I bet you we'd have done so given the chance. A great flik, that I can only imagine being pretty taboo for its time.


Bought the DVD, and got a chance to watch one of the commentrak's, the one with the cast. I will say this movie looks beautiful on DVD, and honestly plays alot better the second time. I won't bore you with another review of it, but I will say the cast commentary is excellent. I had no idea Ron Perlman was so well informed. He knows the comic book backwards and forwards, as well as Del Toro's work. Selma Blair is every bit the two year old I imagine her to be, and at times is quite annoying, though everyone else seems to just roll with it. Jeffrey Tambor is as funny as you'd think, but his and Perlman's voices are so similar you can never be sure who's talking. As for Rupert Evans also joins them, and he's got nothing but praise for the film as well. The group feels very much like a family, which says alot, and they obviously love Del Toro, and this film.

Play It Again, Sam

An old Woody Allen film (his first with oft-times collaborator Diane Keaton) based on his play, and oddly enough, not Directed by him. Woody plays Alan, a nervous, twitchy wreck of a man (he found his niche early on obviously) who's distraught by his recent divorce. He's a huge movie buff, Casablanca being his favorite, and Bogart being his idol, so throughout the film he's constantly talking to Bogey, getting pointers and such. Honestly it's this bit of fantasy that saved the film for me, as Allen's reactions and imitations of Bogart's moves are hilarious. With the help of married friends Dick and Linda (Keaton) Alan tries to get back out in the datin pool, and fail miserably every time. Eventually he realizes he's fallen for Linda and the movie goes on to spoof Casablancas final seen, right down to the fog at the airport. Good, funny film if you can manage to track it down. Despite my dislike of Keaton, she's lovely here, and beautiful as well.


Finally, I got to see it, and yes I was moved. I have a huge soft spot for sports films, I have no idea why. It's a great film, but I'd imagine it doesn't capture the excitiement of what it was really like. I wish I could have been there.

I'll be back later with a few reviews of the week's comics.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Sigh...again enter isn't working on my keyboard, even when I hold, yeah, no List this week either, sorry guys. I'm gong to start doing the posts in word and copying them to blogger, and see if that works. This is really pissing me off.  -L

Monday, July 26, 2004

Eightball #23  $7.00

No attempts at witty titles today folks! No, this books far to great for me to ruin it with an attempt to be funny. And, while I'd like to do a Cover 2 Cover review of it (haven't done one of those in awhile, have I?) I'm afraid I just don't have the time. Not to say this will be short, by no means, I plan on reviewing it best I can, at length. Hope you enjoy it.

Those who don't know what Eightball is, may be familiar with it's creator, Daniel Clowes, from his most mainstream work to date, the movie Ghost World. If you are and you haven't yet picked up the Ghost World collection which the movie is based on, hop on over to your local bookstore, odds are they'll have it, if not check in with, I know they have it. It's one of my favorite works in the medium, ever, and should be yours as well.

But, we're not here to talk about Ghost world are we? No, no, we're here to talk about the Death-Ray. Who or what is the Death-Ray you ask? Well, that's a question that has a lot of different answers. First, it's Daniel Clowes latest masterpiece, under the title of Eightball #23. Second, it's a gun, but not just any gun. A gun that removes anyone you shoot with it from reality. *POOF* just like that, they no longer exist.

Third, the Death-Ray is a boy/teen/man named Andy. Andy lives with his grandfather and is pretty much an outcast at school. His father was a scientist who died from lung cancer (the smokes will get you every time!) when Andy was a boy. However, before he died he treated his son with an experimental product that would somewhat counter the effects of nicotine. Instead of killing Andy, nicotine would make him stronger.

Those thinking "what a stupid origin" might to best to remember that (as Dorian pointed out on his blog) getting bitten by a radioactive spider wouldn't exactly leave one in the best of health. It's called suspension of disbelief, use it.

When he gets caught smoking, Andy is given a note from his father explaining what's happening to him, and why. Andy's friend Louie is let in on what's going on and they both discover that Andy's father also made the Death-Ray. Long story short, the two get the gun and use it to try and help people.

The story picks up from here (not that it isn't interesting before) so I won't ruin any details for anyone. Anyone who's familiar with comics will see some identifiable themes, most readily, With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.

But, Clowes never paints his characters in a completely noble light. Andy is naive to begin with, and his friend Louie is definitely a jerk, and while being naive isn't un-noble (is that a word?) it's his naivete that leads him to becoming the person he becomes.

If you look under the most obvious theme, one found in almost all superhero comics (or, at least a variation of that theme) I think the story is about choices. It's the choices we make in life that determine who we become. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're bad, and sometimes it's the choices we can't make.

No, we all don't have a Death-Ray to deal with, to decide if we should mete out our own justice, to try and right the wrongs. But we do decide our own fates, and the decisions we make not only effect our lives, but the lives of those around us. Yeah, it's not an epiffiny, anyone who's ever made a huge mistake will no doubt have learned that life lesson, but it is a life lesson, one that too many people don't get, or if they do it's far too late.

There are plenty of opinions about the issue on the web, and I'd imagine all of them differ vastly, but I think that's part of the work too. You can read it an infinite number of times and walk away with a different view each and every one of them. It's part of Clowes, it's what makes his work so special, and so important to the medium.

Eightball #23 is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, and will no doubt be on every top ten list of important books you're likely to find, at least for the year. As well it should be.


Friday, July 23, 2004

Good News or Bad? (among others) is reporting that Darren Aronofsky is signed to deirect the upcoming Watchmen movie. Now, most of you should know that Watchmen is based on the comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. If you haven't read it, what the hell is wrong with you? Considered by most (including me) to be one of the best works of fiction the world has ever seen, Watchmen has long been rumored to be making the leap to the big screen. Until now most had presumed it would be as hopeless as the other films based on Alan Moore works (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell). Meaning, it will have as little as possible in common with the source material. With this announcement there might be hope that Paramount is actually taking this as serious as possible. But, there's always the chance that it'll go up in flames. You never know.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Quick Hits-Finally!

Mystery In Space #1   $2.50

Unlike most, I didn't buy this for the Morrison story, I bought it for the cover. Despite what some thinks about Alex Ross (Dorian, for one), I love his work, and this cover definitely intrigued me. So, DC, mission accomplished, I bought a book because the cover looked interesting. Both storieson the inside are well done, and for a mere $2.50, this is well worth the price of admission.

District X #1   $2.99

On the recommendation of a few people (ADD, Dorian) I picked this book up (along with #2 & #3) and surprisingly enjoyed it. It has the mandatory "pre-story" Marvel seems intent on giving us these days, but it's still quite good.

Tales of the TMNT #4   $2.95

The "Worms of Madness" storyline finishes up this issue, and while longtime TMNT fans might enjoy it, I can't say that I have really loved it. The art was wonderful, but the story confused me a bit. However, the backup story in this ish was fantastic, as I've become a big Utrom fan.

Loki #2   $3.50

Rodi and Ribis continue the story of Loki's success. After finally defeating Thor Loki has taken control of Asgard. Well worth the cover for the art, but Rodi's story proves almost as wonderful, even if the dialogue can be a bit confusing.

Seaguy #3   $2.95

Seaguy's adventures comes to a close with the death of his best friend, meeting a mummy on the Moon, and having everything returned to status quo...I think. I got a bit confused in the last few pages, so I'm not exactly sure what was going on...but it was pretty.

Cable & Deadpool #5   $2.99

Sigh...Deadpool's dialogue was great, but this story is a bit ridiculous, and I still feel that Cable's character is a bit off...why couldn't the just have a Deadpool book?

That's it for now.

Some new links

They've been added to the right, of course. If you have a link to this blog, and I don't have one to yours, or you have a blog/website you think I'd be interested in linking to, email me or just leave a comment, I'll be happy to add it to the list.


Good News

Figured out what the hell I was doing wrong...or, what I wasn't doing actually...apparently I have to hold shift, then hit enter. Damn you Blogger! So, yeah, I'll be posting a batch of reviews tomorrow, and hopefully things will be back on track for now.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Oooookaaay.....well, got all my little doodads back, and then some, but now I cant seem to use the Enter button to seperate paragraphs and such, so I'm lost as to what I should do, hopefully it'll work itself out soon. In the meantime, check out the links to the right, especially Cinescape for their weekly DVD list. It's missing a few things, mostly because of trheir audience, but it's still pretty good. Hopefully I'll get to post soon!   -L 

Monday, July 19, 2004


Untitled is the movie that would eventually becom Almost Famous, one of the best films of the last decade, and probably my favorite, next to Shawshank Redemption. For those who don't know, it's the story of William, a 15 year old boy, who's given the chance to write for Rolling Stone. The catch being they don't know he's 15, and he has to get his mother to agree to let him tour with Stillwater, an up-and-coming 70's band. Now, while the plot sounds too ridiculous to believe, it's actually based on director Cameron Crowe's childhood. It has a "the names have been changed to protect the innocent (or the guilty even)" feel to it, but it works in its favor for the most part.

The movie is cast brilliantly, with all-but-unknown Patrick Fugit playing the sometimes over eager William Miller, Billy Crudup (Big Fish) playing lead guitarist Russel Hammond, Francis McDormand (Fargo, Wonder Boys) playin Ms. Miller (or, Elaine, his mother, if you like), Kate Hudson ( as Penny Lane, the object of everyone's affection, Jason Lee (Mallrats, Chasing Amy) as lead singer Jeff BeBe, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as real life rock journalist Lester Bangs. Not tomention bit players like Anna Paquin (X-Men, X2), Zooey Deschanel (Abandon, Elf), Fairuza Balk (The Waterboy, American History X), Noah Taylor (Max, Tomb Raider), and Jimmy Fallon (SNL). See?

Crowe handles directing duties like he never has before, making sure the movie is very true to its 1973 roots. You'd be hard pressed to find something that doesn't fit, if you could find anything at all, right down to the music of course. The music is where the movie really gets its soul, and basically it's Crowes love letter to the year that gave him so much, and it shows. I'm sure there are those out there who would argue that the movie basically looks at the time period through rose colored goggles, but in the end, when we choose to remember something, we always try to remember it fondly. Not to say that the movie doesn't have its moments of "badness," it does, at the end William is essentially screwed over by the people he's come to trust, if just for a moment. However, Crowes script and direction bring such likeability to them (them being the band, Stillwater) that it's really hard to hate them. Even William finds it hard, telling Penny at one point that he wants to like "him" referring to Russel. So, yeah, even in the bad situations the film seems to give you a peaceful, easy feeling...excuse the pun.

The extras on the "Untitled" DVD make it worth whatever amount you need to spend on it. There are two cuts of the film, the complete Stillwater concert, a Stillwater CD (with songs written by Crowe and wife Nancy Wilson of Heart), deleted scenes (including an interactive one, which requires you to have a copy of Stairway to Heaven handy, directors commentary over the extended version (guest starring Crowe's mother), production notes, bios, a behind the scenes look, interviews with the real Lester Bangs, Crowe's original Rolling Stone articles, a music video, the screenplay, and of course, the trailer for the film. Whew.

I could drone on about the movie, and why I think it's one of the most important films ever made, but I won't. It's hands down Crowe's best effort as a writer/director, and lilely always will be. It's one of my favorite film of all time, and one of the best, and this DVD set makes it that much more. If you haven't seen it, you're truly missing out. Even if you don't buy the Untitled cut, the Almost Famous release is worth a look. Granted the special features aren't anywhere near this ones, but the film is there, and that's the most important part.

A few more comments if I may:

Billy Crudup is magnificent in this film, as are his band mates. Never do you feel like they are "pretending" to be a band. Every bit of tension and joy they feel, you feel too.

Hoffman as Lester Bangs is inspired. The man was channeling him perfectly. After watching the interviews its eerie how well Hoffman played the part.

Kate Hudson will make you fall in love with her in this film. The first time I saw it I thought she was just such a great actress, but after seeing a few other films I've come to believe it is Crowe's writing that brings her into your heart, and not the acting.

Francis McDormand all but steals the film. She's everyone's mother.

Like I said, it's Crowe's love letter to the year that gave him so much, and it shows.


(Note: I no longer have spellcheck either, apparently, so forgive any errors. Also, everything shows up in bold print now...not sure how that happened either. Sigh...)

Friday, July 16, 2004

Quick Hits

Guardians #1 $2.99

Marvels new offering of kids who are visited at a young age by an alien, only to grow up wondering if it really happened. The art is is "manga-ish" which means that Marvel is hoping to attract that crowd with it, and yet the entire issue is set up for the next, more like prologue than story (a fact that Dorian, who's blog is to the right, is loathing more and more, as am I) which means that anykid who does pick it up will likely feel he's wasted his three bucks. Which is a shame, because it's actually not that bad. You can connect with these characters, you actually want to read more about them, but it's likely that most kids can't afford it. Really, Marvel, this would have made a great "all-ages" type of promotion, maybe throwing the first issue out at even a .99 cent privce tag would've helped bring in some readers. Bottom line, it'll end up too expensive for kids, and most older readers won't buy it because it lacks that connection to the rest of the MU. Look for a cancellation inside of a year...hopefully I'll be wrong.

Freaks of the Heartland #3 $2.99

Niles and Ruth continue the story of a boy and his "freakish" brother as the run away from home. Fortunately this issue has an interesting twist that makes me want to read more, unfortunately there isn't more, at least until next month. This is proving to be quite a slow book, and although it's beautiful, that doesn't warrant the three bucks month after month. I trust Niles though, and assume he knows where he's going,. and I'll be along for the ride.

The Punisher #9 $2.99

Ah, as much as I love Ennis, this story has gotten out of hand, and hopefully it'll be over soon. Very soon.

Identity Disc #2 $2.99

This is where I recognized Rodi from, and I have to say, as much as I liked his Loki, I didn't care for the first issue of this series. This one isn't much better, worth it though for his Deadpool/Bullseye interaction, to me at least, unless you're a DP fan or completist, it's best avoided.

The Butterfly Effect

Yeah, I know, but I didn't feel like making another post. I'm lazy. However, this movie is damned good, but only in the Director's Cut version. After watching the original theatrical cut I see why it failed, it just doesn't work. If you saw it in theatres, it's worth another look for the new cut, and if you didn't, rent/but it and just watch the new version. It's a great movie, well cast, written, and directed. The plot is a bit obvious at times, but nothing's perfect.

Side note, Blogger no longer has a "bold" button for the posts (on my blog at least), and I know jack about HTML, so if anyone can help me figure out how to get it back, it'd be much appreciated.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

More Quickies

First up:

Family Reunion $?

This is the other mini I had spoken of a few days ago. This one's written by Sean Stewart, based on characters he's (apparently, I haven't read it) created for his book Perfect Circle. It's the story of a kid, Will who can see ghosts. Yeah, it's not an original idea (what is?) but it's a great take on an established one. Now, it's known, though not discussed by his family, which makes it far more interesting. As the title suggests Will is at a family reunion, and while listening to his Great Aunt Ginny-Mae tell the same tired story of her son and how he died a hero in Vietnam he discovers that the ghost of her son is still here, at the reunion. We go on to learn how he'd been drafted, along with a few bits about his personality. Will is determined to find out just why he's still around, to the point that he'll ask him himself. The answer will surprise you, not in a shocking way, but in a heartwarming way. Stewart's script is excellent, and like Mike over at Progressive Ruin, it has me wanting to read the book. You instantly like Will, and despite seeing little of his family, like them as well. Once again it's odd to read such short material and come out satisfied that you've read something from beginning to end, even if it doesleave you wanting. As for the art, it's excellent as well, far better than Me and Edith Head, in both story and art. The art here has more detail, and instantly drew me in. Even the characters in the background interested me, due to both plot and art. This is definitely one of those "perfect marriages" you hear about, where the two seem to compliment each other, yet neither overpowers. This one's a definite must have, so go get it.

Unknown Soldier TPB $12.95

More of my Garth Ennis-a-thon. After reading Goddess I was a bit weary on starting another TPB. While I thought it was a great read, it did prove to be a rather long one, and not just in pages. Bah. What I'm getting at is that this book hooked me in like nothing Ennis has done since Preacher. From the first page I was had. I could not put it down. Yeah, all the cliche's in the book, but they're true. It's not long at all (half as long as Goddess) which might account for it's quick pace. The art was fantastic, by Kilian Plunkett, who I'm not sure I'd ever seen before now. Add in the Bradstreet covers and it's a winner. Ennis once again proves why he is hands down my favorite writer.

Also on the list was Sam Keith's Scratch #2 $2.95 and all I have to say about it is: I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, but it sure is pretty to look at.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Another Light Week

Against The Ropes

It's based on a true story, which leave me weary, but I like the cast, and I'm a sucker for sports fliks.

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

Better than Spy Kids, I'm sure. Make of that what you will.

The Barbarian Invasions

This is getting some great reviews, so it may be worth a rent.

The Bourne Identity

Obligatory least it includes a free movie ticket.

Justice League: Star Crossed

For those of us who missed watching it for free on Cartoon Network.

The reviews are coming, I swear!


Monday, July 12, 2004

Afternoon Delights

I hope someone's getting that idiotic joke. That said, here's some thoughts on some stuff:

Thanos #12 $2.99

Either I'm an idiot, or this is supposed to be part six of six in this storyline. Yet, on the cover it says four...and I'm pretty sure I'm not an idiot. Especially sind it say END on the last page of the damned book. How are fans supposed to care about the book if the company that publishes it doesn't? That aside, it was a decent wrap up, with a bit of a cliffhanger at the end.

Loki #1 $3.50

Wow. I've never been a Thor fan, but this books kicks ass. In what I'm sure is a "What If?" take on things, Loki has apparently defeated the God of thunder once and for all, and is now ruling Asgard with an iron fist. Call it Marvel's version of Mark Waid's excellent Empire series (with many obvious differences of course), but it is damned good. I'm not sure who the writer is, Robert Rodi, but the name strikes a chord somewhere in my brain. I do know who Esad Ribic is though, and I gotta say this is some of his best work ever, if not his best. So, if you're missing Empire, give this a look, and if not, pick it up anyway, it's one of the most promising things I've seen at Marvel in awhile.

Y, the Last Man #24 $2.95

Well, seems like Yorick is starting off his third year pretty much the way he spent his second...getting people killed. After wandering form his self appointed guardian, Yorick finds a church and desperately wants to confess his sins to someone. Fortunately there's a flight attendant iside willing to listen...and to jump his bones. I was hoping the book would really pick up with all the recent revelations in it, but it really hasnt. Still, it's damn well written and illustrated, and Vaughn is pretty consistent pace wise.

Superman/Savage Dragon: Chicago $5.95

Typical superhero far that definitely could've been better. The plot felt rushed and confusing for the most part, and the end seems as simple as anything. Done, I presume, just for "hype" purposes. Best avoided, unless you're like me and like the pretty Larsen/Ross cover. Mmmmmm.......

Me and Edith Head $2.00

Right now most of you are saying "Huh?" This is a mini-comic sent to me my the uber-talented Steve Lieber (one of two actually) for reviewing purposes. Let me start off by saying that it was a weird feeling being asked by someone I admire to review something they've done. Hell, it would be a weird feeling from someone i hated too, but there is a sense of "wow" to it that I haven't gotten over. Call it fanboyishness, I don't care. It still amazes me that ANYONE would care about my opinion (this blog is an exercise of inflating the ego, but I never thought anyone would really read it...suckers!) much less specifically ask for it. So to Steve I say thanks man, you've done wonders for my self esteem. Now, on to the thrashing!!!!

Actually, this book is great. If you buy it (you should, over at Mr. Lieber's sight...look to the right dummy!) you'l see the heaps of praise from all the many different folks on the back, so I'm gonna avoid that and tell you a bit about it. It's the story of a girl, Katrina, with big dreams (to be in a play) who gets stuck doing costumes instead. When she's introduced to a pair of books by designer Edith Head she begins to understand how to make the best of situations, and that even the pretty faces of the world have someone standing behind them. It's a rare treat to actually see a storyfrom beginning to end in a comic book, especially one this short, and this good. Sara Ryan's script is great, and the dialogue is very witty, it feels alive. Then there's Steve's art, which I've always liked, though I'm ashamed to admit, don't always finacially support. Here it takes almost a back seat to the story (sorry Steve) but once you reread it and just concentrate on it, you'll really see what a fine jobe Steve's done. If you removed all of the captions and dialogue, you'd still have a story here. That's the biggest compliment I can think to give an artist, it conveys the message of the story with or without the words. All the praise on the back is well deserved, and you should definitely track this down. (Look to the right!)

More later.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Quick Hits

Capes #1 $3.50

Robert Kirkman is quite the heralded writer lately, and the praise is well deserved. This book was good, well written, good dialogue, the charcters were distinct in personality. It's got all the makings of a great "capes" book. But, here's the problem...It's been done. In fact, at this point I'd say it's been done to death. The "realistic" approach to superheroics in it's many forms is becoming almost as bad as the pointless books that have inspired them. Still, like I said, it's a great read, and if nothing else it's damn pretty to look at. Mark Englert invokes thoughts of Erik Larsen with his pencils, who in turn has an almost Kirby-esque approach to his art. So, the book does have alot going for it, it just seems the idea is becoming stale. At least to me, if it's not for you, then by all means buy this damn book.

Fantastic Four #515 $2.25

I was loving Waid on this book, but this storyline is doing almost nothing for me. His Ben Grimm is still the best I've ever seen. Just think if I'd said Thing instead of Ben Grimm there. That's funnier than anything in this book.

Starjammers #1 $2.99

Kevin Anderson and Ale Garza attempt to tackle Marvel's space pirates, and a sense. The book is good, really, not great, but not everything can be great. The problem is that, like everything lately, it's a prologue for the second issue. The pirates don't even show up until the last quarter of the book. Just like "realistic approaches", this is another approach that is getting old fast. Garza's art is serviceable, and Anderson's script does a good job of making you feel for the people being hijacked, but it was disappointing that we didn't really see the Starjammers as characters, just as plot points. I'm gonna give this another issue and see if it picks up, one can only hope.

Supreme Power #11 $2.99

JMS seems determined to make this the slowest moving book in the history of comics. Every issue seems like a prologue for the next one, not to mention he's taking that "realistic" approach I've been bitching about. Still, it's damn well written, and Gary Frank draws like nobody's business. In fact, it's probably his pencils mare than JMS's writing that keeps bringing me back. If you are going to read this book, may I suggest it in TPB form, as I'm sure it's far better that way.

Star Wars Tales #20 $5.99

I had hoped to do an in-depth review of this, bit I'm afraid I don't have the time. So, here goes...It's wonderful. It's brilliant. It's hilarious. It's quirky. It's bizarre. Pick an adjective, or at least a positive one. This book is one of the best reads of the year. Buy the damn thing. For more, see postmodernbarney, to the right, Dorian agrees, as does Mike over at Progressive Ruin. BUY IT!


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Oh My Goddess!

Just finished Garth Ennis and Phil Winslade's Goddes TPB from DC/Vertigo, and here's a few words about it. First, the art took a bit getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's brilliant. I've never been the biggest Winslade fan (Though his painted covers and such are always nice, especially here) but this book may have changed that, at least a little. The story, of course, is where the book truly shines though. I will say this, Ennis is almost predictable with his supporting characters, especially when he's creating them. That could be a bad thing, but usually it's great, because he breaths so much life into them that you almost hate to see them go (most of them die violent bloody deaths, don't believe me, pick up an Ennis book.) So when you see bits and pieces of their personality show up in other characters it's like seeing and old friend, if even for just a moment. That said, Ennis puts so much into his main characters that they do take on a life of their own, and truly become unforgettable (ask anyone that's read Preacher, or hell, go read it yourself.)

Back to the topic at hand...Goddess is the story of a young girl named Rosie and her realization that she is in fact Mother Earth. Somwhere in there she manages to seriously piss of CIA operative Harry Hooks, who in turn pisses off a British Constable named Dixon. She also gets best friend Mud, his ex Sam, and innocent bystander Jeff in the middle of everything as well. See, Hooks is after her to find out the source of her power, Dixon is after Hooks for a murder he comitted to get to Rosie (and ironically will do anything, even kill, to get to Hooks). Jeff is in love with Rosie (and is a complete screw up as well, Gilligan has nothing on this guy), Mud lives for excitement, and Sam is in love with Mud (though she'd be hard pressed to admit it). Rosie has to make it as far North as possible, all the while caght between Dixon and his quest for Hooks, and Hooks and his quest for recognition (for lack of a better word). In the end though, Goddes is a books about loyalty, to your friends, your country, your planet. It doesn't matter which. Every character in the book, including the bad guys, is driven by their loyalty to something, and in some cases it's completely misguided, but it doesn't change the fact.

It's a great piece of fiction, Ennis blends brilliant characterization with a unique plot and manages to throw in a few morals along with a bit of "mythology" as well. My only complaint would be that his Americans sound a bit too British at times, but its a minor one, and probably fueled by ego more than anything. Definitely one to buy for anyone who's an Ennis fan, or anyone who likes obscure tales. I found it difficult to track down in store, but ordering on the internet is always an option. Great stuff.

Light Week

Not alot headed to the shelves this week, at least, not alot worth mentioning.

Batman The Animated Series: Volume 1

If anytrhing, this proves God does exist, he loves me, and wants me to be happy.

The Butterfly Effect

Still haven't gotten around to seeing this, but I will make time, possibly tomorrow!

Challenge Of The Super Friends: Season One

This just proves God has a sense of humor.

Star Trek Voyager: Season Three

And apperently he likes Star Trek as well.

And, no, I haven't forgotten about the reviews, I swear.


Monday, July 05, 2004

And Away We Go!

As promised, I'm about to hit you up with my thoughts on that spider-Man 2 flik. So, yeah, definite spoiler warning, right here.

Hope you saw that, cuz I'm gonna ruin the movie for you.

Okay, to start with, the entire main cast from the first film returns. Yes, the ENTIRE main cast, including the two people we thought we'd never see again. To some that's great, but there are those out there who dislike Tobey (Dorian is one, over at postmodernbarney) and I can see their point, but personally I think he's pretty good. James Franco still doesn't get enough screen time (that may change come Spidey 3) and, IMO Kirsten Dunst gets far too much. Her MJ doesn't do anything for me, and while I think she's a talented actress, her portrayal of this role is just all wrong (See Dino P's blog, tho you may have to scroll down a bit, he tends to agree with me, or maybe I agree with him!) Aunt May is great, except that Raimi has her playing her character a bit over the top at times (moreso in the first film than this one). Simmons returns as Daily Bugle publisher Jameson, and gets even more screen time, thankfully. He's probably the most perfectly cast role I've ever seen. He takes over any scene he's a part of immediately, including an important MJ moment at the end of the film Campbell makes another cameo, this time as an usher, and turns in another hilarious performance. Bill Nunn returns to the role of Robbie Robertson, one of Pete's few friends at the Bugle, and still doesn't get enough screen time. I'm hoping his role becomes much bigger in the next film. Ted Raimi returns as well, playing great off of simmons Jameson, just like in the first film. Also we have Elizabeth Banks returning as Miss Brant. We even have the return (of sorts) of Spidey's future nemesis in Dr. Conners, his one arm and all. The big surprises were Cliff Robertson returning as Uncle Ben, albeit in a dream sequence, but it becomes a pivotal point in the film, as does Norman Osbournes appearance. Yeah, that one shocked me. Unlike Norman's portrayal of madness, it seems Harry's will be played a bit more seriously, for that I'm grateful. So, like I said, the entire main cast makes return appearances, and I for one think it's probably more a testament to Raimi's directing, and his likeableness (is that a word?)anything else. Now, for the new guy on the block, Dr. Octavius, played brilliantly by Alfred Molina. Next to JJ Jameson's scenes, Doc's are hands down the best. His few moments with Peter were great, his relationship with his wife, the few exchanges he has with Harry, his eventual turn as a villain, the fight scenes, his decent into madness, his realization that he is in fact mad. All of it, great, perfect. This is perfect casting, and Molina proves why he is definitely the best actor in the film. He rarely comes off as campy, and brings life to a character that I've always hated.

Now, onto the plot! If you've seen the trailer, I'm sure you know pretty much what the film is about, which is sad really, because it probably would've had a greater emotional effect had you not known going into the film. So, Peter gives up his life as Spider-Man, essentially turning his back on those in need (and even does so on screen at one point, which was hard to watch) for a chance at a normal life. What he doesn't realize is that the people around him have basically moved on with their lives, Harry has become a brooding alcoholic, and MJ has found another love, while Autn May is becoming homeless. I did like the fact that it seemed no matter which life he chose, someone was going to suffer because of it. He neglected his friends and family as Spider-Man, and neglects the people of the city with his choice to be Peter Parker. Makes for an interesting dilemma. Ock's motivations are pretty simple (maybe a bit too simple) but Molina's so great you almost forget about them. Somewhat like the first X-Men film, where Magneto wants to turn everyone into a mutant, not exactly a great plot there, but the performance is good enough that you can forgive the lack of real motivation for the character. Still, it's better than the stuff they gave DaFoe in the first film, a lot better. MJ seems almost pointless, I would've much rather seen Peter interested in a new girl, trying to move on past her maybe. Harry's perfectly written and acted, I just wish he'd gotten more screen time. Like all comic based films, it's sure to have a few moments of hokeyness, and this one does. Fortunately they aren't drawn out, and when the action picks up you tend to forget them, if even for a moment. I did have my problems with the subway scene, seeing as a bunch of people now know what the hell Spidey looks like. Raimi seems to insist on keeping moments like this (like the scene towards the end of the first film) in the picture, and they are hokey. Somewhat touching, but still hokey as hell. All in all though, the script is great, and in some cases it's saved by the acting.

The special effects are leaps and bounds over the first film, and the fight scenes look dynamic. The puppeteering and CGI mix on Doc Ock's arms blend flawlessly. Speaking of, the tentacle operators and Molina worked well together. That may sound stupid, but when you watch the film you never feel like Molina is uncomfortable with the fact that he's working with puppets. He helps bring the tentacles to life, and the puppeteers did a damn good job.

That about sums up the basic stuff. Overall this is a damn good superhero film, far, far, better than the original. All things considered, when compared to the first film it might just be the best sequel ever made. However, much like the material (and characters) that inspired the film, it has its flaws, but if you can accept that, and just say that the flaws are part of the films character, then you should come out of the theatre smiling. If nothing else, your kids (if you have them) will love it.


Saturday, July 03, 2004


I didn't get many free comics today (3, yeah, just 3) but I did pick up some reading material, none of which I've actually gotten around to reading.

I'm currently in the middle of Garth Ennis' Goddess TPB, which I picked up for 8 bucks two weeks ago in Atlanta. Next on the list is Ennis' Unknown Soldier, then Ennis' Pride & Joy. Yeah, it's an Ennis fest, sue me, the guy rocks. The it's the first 9 issues of The Losers (picked up today fro a mere fifty cents a piece, take that stupid trades!!!!!) Also on the cheap as dirt list are the last two issues of Marvel's Truth mini from awhile back (I'm a completist, bite me) along with the remainder (I think) of DC's Batgirl: Year One. I remember liking that a bit, but not having the cash to follow it least I hope that was it. Also, the latest issue of Star Wars Tales, recommended by that Mike Sterling fellow (It better be good Mike!!!!), the first issue of Robert Kirkman's Capes book, and Superman/Savage Dragon, cuz it's got a Ross cover!!

Reviews later!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, July 01, 2004

Quick Hits

Ultimate Fantastic Four #8 $2.25

Ellis does a good job with the FF, but his Doom is a complete mystery. Much better than the previous issue, but still nothing to write home about.

Powerless #1 $2.99

Huh? I picked this up on a whim, and I still don't know what to think about it. It tries to be intriguing, but comes off more convoluted. The fact that you seem to have to know Marvel historypretty damned good to keep up with it didn't really help matters either.

The Punisher #8 #2.99

Not sure what it is, but this doesn't seem to be as strong as Ennis previous storyline. The man can't be perfect all the time I suppose. Still, well written, and good art.

Batman: Harley & Ivey #3 $2.50

I was wondering if the fact that they put Bats' name on the cover actually helped sales of this book any, because I'm sure that's why it was done. That aside, the three issues of this book have probably been the most fun-to-read comics in the last few years or so. Well written, well drawn, maybe a bit too "mature" for some younger readers, but nothing that's seriously harmful. I'm dying for them to give Dini and Timm a regular assignment, hell I'd even pay a $5 cover price. Don't miss out on a book that actually puts the "comic" back in comic book, best of all, you don't need to have read the other issues!

Spider-Man 2

Saw it yesterday and loved it. I'll wait a few days or so before I post anything major about it, so as not to spoil it. If you haven't seen it by Monday, there will be spoilers here, so beware.