Friday, June 30, 2006

Cable & Deadpool #28-29

Cable takes over a country. This feels like a rehash from previous storylines, specifically where Cable STARTS his own country. Next up is a Civil War tie-in. I find myself not caring at all. The book is still funny, which is primarily the reason I still buy it, but the plots are pretty stagnant. I did like the stuff with Domino though.

Civil War #1

Yeah, when I read Infinite Crisis #1 I was lost, not so much here. But, Crisis #1 at least felt important, this feels like wasted time.

Helios: In With the New #3

The team deals with the death of their mentor Jack, which hits Ashley the hardest. She abandons the compound the night before the team is sent on a mission to rescue some hostages. A misdsion the proves fatal to one member. But, in the wake of that fatality we found out not every "death" is final. Definitely the best issue of the series so far. Penny and Rand brilliantly pull the wool over your eyes, ending the story with a genuinely shocking surprise. Two actually. And Pena's art continues to get better, still making this the best superhero book out there.

Jeremiah Harm #3

Harm gets another accomplice and finally discovers the location of Dak Moira and Brune. Reading this makes me miss Trencher. Despite the fact that he's almost identical to all the other "bad-ass" characters out there (all of which are carbon copies of some other "bad-ass"), Harm has something most of them don't. He's fun. This weird mix of sci-fi, humor, action, and an ensemble cast just works. And Rael Lyra's art is just awesome.

Secret Six #1

The big build up is to the Mad Hatter? What the hell? Outside of that I pretty much enjoyed the issue. I've always been a villains person so it wasn't too hard to get into, add in Brad Walker's pencils and it made for an all around good read. Until the end. Sorry, but you lost me with the Hatter. He's a great character, but when your book is a build up to him, it's just a letdown. For me at least.

Shadowpact #1

I like Blue Devil. And the idea of that chimp in a series amused the hell out of me. But I just did not understand any of what the hell happened in this book.

Star Wars/Conan FCBD

Wow, I actually enjoyed both stories, the SW more than Conan oddly. Even more oddly, the art more than the actual story, for both. "The Spear" felt like just a lead in to a future Conan story, where as "Routine Valor" is much more of a one-off piece. One of my favorite FCBD books this year.

Star Wars: Legacy #0

Dammit, I thought this was going to be an actual story. Good thing it was only a quarter! Still, it's cool to see this future SW stuff, to see how good it can actually be outside of Lucas' hands. I might actually pick up the series.

X-Factor #7-8

More Civil War build up/tie-in stuff. David's juggling a bit too much with the series I think, not his fault I'm sure. There's so much going on in the MU right now and having to address them bogs the book down. The "what caused the decimation?" thing intrigues me though.

X-Men: Fairy Tales #1

I have no idea why I bought this. It's not bad, it's pretty good in fact. I just have no idea why I bought it, it's pretty pointless in the scheme of things. And it's such a bizaare idea.

X-Men/Runaways FCBD

Yeah, this is crap.

Y, the Last Man #45-46

Dr. Mann's girlfriend confesses to being a spy, she gets stabbed, Yorick and 355 find Ampersand and an army is on their way to Natalya's front door. Still slow-moving, stil enjoyable as hell.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Welcome to Earth...

Third Rock From the Sun

I just finished up the first season of this wonderful show. The extras on the disc are pretty much so-so, but the episodes are so damn funny, who cares. John Lithgow gives such a great performance as Dick Solomon that it really is difficult for the rest of the cast to keep up, but they manage. The one thing I wish they'd have paid closer attention to the show's continuity, but it's really a small complaint. I was surprised to see future Gilmore Girl Lauren Graham in an episode, and man was she smokin'. It's also one of the funnies episodes in the set. I'm hoping to be able to find the rest of the released sets for a pretty decent price in the future, I really had forgotten how funny this show could be.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Heavy Steam

Heavy Metal 2000

First, Heavy Metal didn't need a sequal. Second, this is hardly a sequal to Heavy Metal at all. Sure it has the sci-fi flavor, but one of the things that made the first film work was the multiple story format. No go here, just the one story, and it pretty much sucks. A warrior woman tracks down a crazy space pirate because he killed her people, and there's some ancient space mystery-thing they get involved in. Something about eternal life. Michael Ironside is decent as the baddie, Tyler, but Julie Strain is horrid as the heroine FAKK 2. Surprisingly Billy Idol steals the show with his voice over, not that it was incredibly hard to do. The animation is decent, but the story bogs everything down to the point where nothing can save it. Oh, and the music is pretty dull as well. All in all, a waste of time. Way to go Kevin Eastman!


Now this is quality animation. Set in the 1860's, it follows a yung boy named Ray as he discovers the secret invention his father and grandfather have been working on and the evil means it will be used to achieve. Almost a decade in the making, it's the most expensive Japanise animated film ever made ($20 mil), and it's directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira). The animation is absolutely stunning and it might be the best American dub of an anime I've ever seen. Yes I watch it dubbed, no subtitles for me, thank you. There's really not much I can say about it, if you've seen Akira you know what to expect from an Otomo film, and if you haven't, well, you've got yourself an instant film festival right there. Oh, and that's Anna Paquin as the voice of Ray, who was amazing, I had no idea until the credits, add in Patrick Stewart and Alfred Molina, and you just can't miss. It's been awhile since I watched a traditionally animated film that was enjoyable, and this one ranks with the best of all time.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hexes, Virgins and a Bong(o)

Jonah Hex #7-8

#7 Sees Hex chasing a killer into a town full of more killers. When they kill his bounty and refuse to give him back a valued rifle he proceeds to kill every damn one of 'em. #8 has him taking a bountythat turns out to be bogus. When the scam's up he leave's the coward to his deserving fate.

Both very solid entries into what has been an on-again/off-again series. The Clint-inspired look still bothers the piss out of me but otherwise I enjoyed both of these stories. It's nice to have a book on the reading list that is just out and out story. No worries about continuity of character development. If Hex has proven anything it's that the more consistent a character he is, the better off the stories are.Ther art in issue * suffers a bit, with two fill in artists for one story, after Luke Ross' departure in issue #7, but hopefully that is a temporary problem. We'll see with the coming issues though. I'm definitely curious as to Marvel's recent Western offerings, seeing as I've mostly enjoyed this series, but nothing has looked enticing enough to get me to bite.

American Virgin #3-4

The conclusion of the first arc, Head, sees Adam going to Swaziland to confront his girlfriends killers and discovering she wasn't as pure and honest as she'd led him to believe. Still on the fence about this one. I'm definitely enjoying the story, I just can't imagine it continuing to be enjoyable. Where Y the Last man has its various mysteries to carry it when it drags, AV really only has the characters to fall back on. But, if anyone can continue to develop a book like this it's Steven Seagle. During its rather farfetched moments it's definitely the characters that keep you reading. Adam's crisis of faith, despite being take to such an extreme, is so relatable that as you keep reading you find yourself asking the same questions. Do you kill the men that destroyed your life? Even when you find out that that life (or at least a major part of it) is a lie? Cloonan's art is great, getting better with every issue I think. Due in part to Jimm Rugg's excellent inking I think, something I don't mention enough. But, Rugg deserves it, his work here is out ant out excellent. I'll likely be buying the next arc, I'm curious as to where it's going, I just hope I won't be disappointed.

Bongo Comics Free-For-All

An FCBD offering, yeah I'm a little late with the review, sue me. I know I'll be getting lynched, but I've never read any of the Bongo comics line. I've even got the first Futurama trade and haven't really gotten into it, though I've tried a few times I think. So, consider this my first real exposure. There are some great parodies here, but overall I just didn't love it. The Archie Dissassembled joke was pretty damn funny though. But, hey, it was free so I really can't complain too much. I'm sick of the friggin comic book guy though.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Daniel Way+Steve Dillon (and Tex)=Wolverine is actually an interesting character

I've been hooked on Daniel Way since his short lived Venom series a few years ago. As much as I loved his Venom (and everything else since), his Wolverine tops it all.

Wolverine: Origins and Endings HC

Setting up his new "ongoing" series, Way also ties up some loose ends from the Winter Soldier storyline in Cap. A storyline I had completely spoiled for me. Well, to be honest I hadn't planned on reading it anyway. So, apparently Bucky is back from the dead. I guess that just leaves Gwen Stacy. Anyway, Wolverine knows who he is now, Bucky's still alive, the Marvel Universe as we knew it is no more. I think Mike might be closer to the truth than even he thinks. But, it's a great story, regardless of whether or not it will all be negated in a few months.

It doesn't begin to touch on what BWS accomplished with his Weapon X story, but you can really see that Way is only skimming the surface of things, he clearly has some major events in store. The art by Javier Saltares and Mark Texiera kicks uber ass. It's nice to see a writer that can handle Logan the way he deserves, and even with parts of the mystery already unfolded there's plenty of secrets left to uncover.

Wolverine: Origins #1-3

Like here for example. The fact that Way not only is tackling maybe the toughest character in mainstream comics (and succeeding), but he's showing us just how bad a guy Wolvie used to be just blows my mind. Here we find out that Logan was a pivitol part of Nuke's origin, killing (well, kind of) his father and babysitter after having him practically brainwashed into killing his own mother. Not such a great guy, eh? Add in Steve Dillon on art and it's like a new golden age for the clawed one. I'm absolutely enthralled with what Way is doing with the character and I cannot wait to see what comes next.


Monday, June 19, 2006

A History of Violence

Sorry, no witty titles today.

I watched this a few days ago, and unlike most movies I've seen recently (coughX3cough) it managed to really stay with me. Probably because it's a good movie.. (coughX3cough). Heh.

I've never been the biggest Cronenberg fan, in fact I'm certain this is the only film I own that he's made. But, I'm not a newcomer to his style of filmmaking. After reading the graphic novel (which I reviewed here) I was pretty certain he'd be able to do justice to the story and definitely make it more visually appealing (nothing against Vince Locke, his art just looked kind of sloppy and rushed in the novel). I was right, but I definitely didn't expect the changes that were made in the script.

While it disappointed me I couldn't really find any fault with them. In fact with the exception of the "wrapped up too neatly" ending I couldn't find fault with anything in the film. Hurt rightly deserved his supporting actor nod (and definitely deserved the win) and I honestly can't believe it wasn't at least nominated for best picture. Viggo Mortensen is wonderful as Tom, bringing subtle nuances, like the flashes of enjoyment during his moments of violence, that you can't really get on an illustrated page. You really can see the beast that's been dormant in this guy for so many years. Peter MacNeill give an excellent, overlooked performance as the town sheriff and Maria Bello is just beautifully tragic. When she discovers Tom's true identity, the flood of emotions that she exhibits is just astounding. And Ed Harris just kicks ass.

I love that Cronenberg didn't try to make Richie and his boys out to be these type of superhuman hitmen, from the get go you realize Tom is definitely the smartest man in the room. Of course as he's walking into Richie's house you also know that he's going to be the only one walking out, but I got the feeling that it's more or less an intentional feeling. It's not really about settling the past it's about trying to save the future, his future with his family, no matter what it costs.

As I said, the ending seemed a bit too "look, he got his life back" for me, I'd have preferred leaving it more or less open to interpretation. But really outside of that it's a brilliant film. However, the DVD leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps we'll see a Criterion release in the future (I can only hope) a la Videodrome. If any movie in the last year needs it, A History of Violence is it.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Tim Hildebrandt

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



Tag the Tyger

Tag #i

If (God forbid) Boom! Studios went out of business tomorrow they'd probably be best remembered for their off-beat zombie tales. In their short history they've probably published more on that subject than any other publisher in the last ten years, and very few of those stories have been disappointing (well, the ones I've read...), and Tag is no exception.

Written by Keith Giffen and drawn by Kody Chamberlain (unheard of by me until now), it's the story of a guy named Mitch, who's sure his girl wants to break up with him, and in the middle of a date no less. As they stand on a street corner arguing a man "tags" Mitch. When he wakes up from the bizaare incident he discovers he's got no pulse, isn't breathing, and his flesh is decomposing. With no place to go he crashes at his girlfriend's, hoping to discover exactly what is happening to him, through the internet (and its two most popular "tools" at the moment, Google and blogging).

Giffen delivers a solid story, something you can pretty much bank on, but Chamberlain's art took a bit of getting used to. It's not bad, just not all that impressive, like looking at a movie story board, just in color and more refined. Hopefully that's something that will improve as the story continues, but it's passable as it is. Giffen's unique story keeps your eyes on the page, the way he's able to weave a scientific mystery with the tragic/hilarious situation these two people find themselves in. The fact that Mitch and Izumi refuse to believe what's happening, even as they slowly come to accept it draws you in with them. It's a unique idea in a genre that's been done to death, which seems to be Boom!'s calling card. Definitely looking forward to this series.

The Punisher: The Tyger

Ennis and the Punisher, two great tastes that taste great together, usually... Yeah, there have been some misses, but when it's right it's never been better. Unfortunately The Tyger walks the line between the two. Ennis already gave us the "origin" of The Punisher in Born, a look at Vietnam and what it did to the mind of Frank Castle, but here we learn it started even sooner than that.

It's probably the most personal story Ennis has ever told with the character, and telling it in first person adds a ton of humanity to a character he's written pretty coldly over the last several years. That humanity is also what drags the story down unfortunately. I'm not sure why but Frank doesn't really work in that way, you find yourself drawing away from him as he comes closer to being human. For some reason it's that cold, calculating killing machine that you can identify with. Turn him into a child and you lose that relatability. Very odd. John Severin's art is okay, seems to be an aping of Frank Quitley's style a bit too much for my taste, but he tells the story well enough.

A look into the childhood of Frank Castle isn't the worst idea, and it's a well told, decently illustrated story, it's just not a part of his past that we really needed to see. Really, how much crap can you pile on this guy? It's amazing he wasn't killing people at ten years old.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Geez, a whole month without a single post? Man I've dropped the ball on everything.

So, just what the hell have I been doing?

Well, if you've been reading the blog for any length of time (well, except for the last month I guess) then you know I am currently working two jobs and only have one off day a week, Sundays, which I spend with my girlfriend and family.

But, I'm redidicating myself to writing, since I haven't actually done any in quite awhile I may be a bit rusty. But I'm going to at least try and get in ten minutes a day on the ol' blog. I've got a ton of reviews to catch up on, a few of them I'll have to re-read I think. So you can expect one or two a day at least. I've also got more stuff to read than I'll ever have time for. And don't get me started on the friggin' movies.

For the curious: Yes, I did see X3, no I wasn't impressed.

And no I'm not gonna go back and do a months worth of DVD lists. So, you're all safe. I won't even bore you with this week's.

I will say Coach Season 1 came out, which I bought for my Dad for Father's Day. I do hope they continue the releases because it's one of the rare shows that continued to be funny even after it "jumped the shark".

Also, to anyone it Pittsburg: No helmet law for motorcycles? What the hell is wrong with you people? I know it wasn't Big Ben's fault, but it should still be a law.

So, expect a few reviews later tonight, including one of Keith Giffen's latest from Boom! Studios, Tag.