Sunday, June 27, 2010

From the CBXF Archives...

DC and Marvel Comics go to Washington:

It seems in these hard economic times, even superheroes are vulnerable. Representatives from America’s big two Comic Companies today were on Capitol Hill in the hopes of asking for a financial bail-out.Of late, both companies have struggled due to too many cross-overs and lack originality. Sources say that the two companies began hemorrhaging money and resources a couple of years ago. The costume clad heroes were pushed through a Civil War, a Secret Invasion, and a planet wide mutant take over, not to mention one Crisis after another.

A young and brash Firestorm was quoted as saying, “They could just say we earned this money, I mean we save you people everyday.” “I did invent a way to go back in time and fix these lousy stories,” said Fantastic Four leader, Reed Richards. “Just get the Flash on this new treadmill, and watch the money start coming back. If only the U.S. Government would give us a starter check.”The hearing went on before members of a special panel for hours as many heroes from both companies voiced their concerns about lack of money.

“How will I afford to buy a $2,500,000 car to fight crime with? How will I buy grappling hooks? Who’s going to pay for Yellow Belt paint?”, Said the Dark Knight. I mean, come on, its expensive out there.

The Special session lasted about 3 hours and no outcome was determined, but officials were disgusted and outraged to see many of the heroes leave from the Washington Airport in what was reported as many luxury, personal planes.

“I saw a Blackbird, a Quinn-Jet, a blue, four seated convertible jet, and even the Wayne Industry had one of their planes out here.” Reported one of the airport workers. “Shoot, I even saw what looked like an invisible plane. That sure is expensive travel in these tough times.”

Will tax payers pony up the funds to keep these companies going, or is the nation going to be stuck with independant heroes like Spawn, Hellboy and Witchblade ? Only time will tell.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Grounded, just won't fly

Disclaimer: The only part of Superman #700 I read was the free digital version of the Grounded prologue

Ahead there be Spoilers.

OK, first things first. The premise is good, Superman decided he needs to reconnect with the American People after abandoning them and running off with the Kryptonians. I am OK with this. It's a great angle for character development and any soul searching that doesn't end in a cape-toga works for me.

The part that first stuck in my craw though is the impetus of the story line. I woman slaps Supes cause he didn't save her husband and he died. Poor guy, was he killed my a rampaging Metallo? Oh was it Intergang? Hmm... Solomon Grundy? Earthquake? Damn? Nuclear Missile Land Grab scheme? Oh brain tumor... wait, WHAT? A brain tumor? She blames Supes because he didn't see the tumor with his x-ray vision, then didn't destroy it with his heat vision.

Did I miss something here? Is Supes in this ladies PPO network? Is it Blue Cross/ Red S in the DCU? That is why she was mad? Lady, don't blame Superman, blame House M.D.

Supes gets all melancholy because he didn't save a guy from a NATURAL CAUSE OF DEATH? Hey Supes, why are you around to keep my Grammy's heart pumping? J. Micheal Straczynski, that is STRIKE ONE.

Next, we find Supes and Dick Grayson up in the Ivory Tower... oh, I am sorry the Watchtower... I guess the metaphor was so see through I got confused. Next we find the Supes bothering the Flash, acting all Emo on him. I am going to assume the Flash was you know... doing something Heroic. So good idea stopping him like that, next time TEXT him the stupid question. STRIKIE TWO

Finally we got a good natured flashback to Pa Kent give some straight up home-spun. Remember folks the Kents are rural farmers from Kansas. I mean come on, you've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.

So Supes lands in front of some kids playing stick ball in the park, (unseen is the apple pie eating contest and the Sara Palin speech) he gets his hands in the dirt and then walks off. You how stupid you look walking in tights and a cape. REALLY Stupid. STRIKE THREE.

Fact is if the set up for a story is this lame how can the rest not be?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Digital comics

DC announces today that its catching up with Marvel and going digital. For the longest time, I've wanted to see comics go digital. Especially DC. DO NOT GET ME WRONG. I'm a purest of sorts. I love holding the comic in my hand and thumbing through art and reading on my back patio on a cool Saturday morning, with a cup of coffee… MORE THAN ANYTHING. But I'm running out of space! That is the bottom line. Space. Do you know how much room 35 Long Boxes take up? Do you know how expensive it is to have bags and boards for some 10,000 comics? Do you know how hard it is to want a specific issue. And have to dig and pull boxes apart and thumb through page after page, just to find a specific picture? For me the bottom line to my long term enjoyment of the medium. I don’t want to get rid of my collection. I don't want to stop buying books or visiting stores. I don't see me not getting my favorite titles in hard copy form. Like Neal Adams said in a report I read, "Comics will evolve!" They aren't going away. What do you think?

Supes comes to the Big O

From the DC announcement:

Starting in July 2010, coinciding with the 700th issue of Superman, DC Comics
will be celebrating this remarkable anniversary of America's greatest hero with a historic journey…not to alien worlds or distant galaxies, but through the streets, roads, highways, homes, farms, suburbs, and inner cities of America.
[...] And America itself, in the person of those very real places, is invited to the party.
Beginning with the city of Philadelphia, Superman will walk
across America, a journey that is expected to take most of a year. He will pass through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington. Along the way, Superman will be passing through real towns, real cities, real neighborhoods.
And your town, your city, your neighborhood
may be among those chosen for his historic journey. Superman will literally pass
through your town as visualized in the pages of his book. [...] If your town is
within 50 miles of the line marking Superman's journey, then you are eligible to

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Like Father, Like Ward

Having just re-read “Long Halloween” I had a realization on why I am enjoying Dick Grayson as Batman. Doubt.
Bruce Wayne in “Long Halloween” and “Year One” has doubt. He is new to the role of Batman, he hasn't seen it all and made countless contingency plans yet. So early in his career he is a man with a cape and a car... that and his wits and training. No OMAC, no Oracle for help. In the “Long Halloween” Batman is wrong. He makes mistakes, he falters. Bruce Wayne is very much human in those stories.

This brings me back to Dick. He has years more experience than Bruce had, plus he had Bruce. But slipping on the cowl is more than just making sure not to get hat-hair. Dick as Batman has his doubts too. He is finding himself. Much like Bruce in “Long Halloween” he is trying to get Jim Gordon to trust him.
Doubt isn't the only thing keeping Dick Grayson human. His lack of obsession helps. Dick is a return to a much more well rounded Batman, one that smiles but still doesn't have nipples or a dotting aunt.
That's my 2 cents at least.

Might Hastings Be Your New Comic Shop?

Reports from Bleeding Cool and other news/blog sites state that the chain of Hastings book/movie/music stores will be expanding their comic book operations and becoming members of the Direct Market. This is fantastic news for many who don't have a comic shop of their own but do have a local Hastings store.

Growing up in Norfolk, NE I had to rely on Hastings quite often for my comic fix, until we finally got our own comic shop shortly after I graduated high school. It was nice that Hastings was one of the few stores in town with a spinner rack but frustrating that they didn't get comics the same week they hit the direct market. Sometimes they'd be behind the direct market by a week, sometimes by 3 weeks. It was never consistent.

My Norfolk Hastings doesn't seem to be one of the launchpads for the new comics but folks who live in or near Kearney or Grand Island, NE will be delighted to find themselves with a convenient new way to buy comics or get introduced to them. I think a huge benefit here will be the fact that folks who may not even be aware of comic book specialty stores or who previously wouldn't be inclined to visit one may now have a book store atmosphere to investigate and explore comics that would require a little less cultureshock than some might experience in a specialty shop. I think this would be particularly helpful for women who are interested in comics but who may find themselves an awkward or unwanted presence in some comic stores.

I type that as a woman who was once told by a manager at an area comic store not to interact with one of the employees there becuase that man didn't believe that women belonged in comic shops. This revelation then led to me not attending that shop again for many years, out of discomfort. (for the record, that employee doesn't seem to work there anymore, so... good riddence)

I'm excited for this big move in making comic books more available to consumers. Particularly as the profile of the comic book industry seems to rise every year with blockbuster movies like Iron Man and The Dark Knight and the massive hype and intrigue around Scott Pilgrim. This could be very good for comics and, as such, very good for comic readers like us.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The real Avatar is coming this summer... I'm excited!

My wife and I saw The Last Airbender toys... No Katara, momo or uncle, yet... And Aang is very White, but I like Saaka and Zuko!! My 2 favorite characters. Saka's wit makes the cartoon for me!Crystal and I have flown through all 3 books of Avatar Air Bender- cartoons in the last few weeks in anticipation of the movie.

Again... My favorite action cartoon of all time. Its so well done on every level!

I'm currently halfway through Book 2 of Avatar. I'd *like* to finish all 3 books by the time the movie hits, but we'll see if I manage that.
Really enjoying the character development with Prince Zuko. He's not just some 2-dimensional villain. The "Zuko Alone" episode was one of the last one's I saw and I was surprised how captivated I was with an episode that had nothing to do with Aang and his journey. Zuko has a lot of redemptive qualities and a lot of pain and it makes for a much more interesting character than I thought he'd be through most of Book 1.

Oh, I think you've met Togh (spelling)? The Earth bender, who joins the team? Shes a great character too! Thats why i'm worried. its like the 'Lord of the rings' problem. There is so much that is good in these cartoons, there is no way they can shove it all in to the movie. I just hope they hit certain points. And for the record. Book 3 has the BEST character stories. The writers really cared about all of these kids. Villians included!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


As this art from the upcoming AVENGERS: THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE shows, Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung's YOUNG AVENGERS comics continue to be the best-looking comics to ever comic a comic. Just look at these preview pages at Comic Book Resources and tell me Cheung doesn't just make sweet pencil-love to everything you love about Marvel Comics. One of Marvel's best-kept secrets is returning this summer in a new mini-series featuring the long-awaited return of the Scarlet Witch (for better or worse). If you've not read Heinberg & Cheung's YOUNG AVENGERS, I highly implore you to seek out one of the very handy trade paperbacks or hardcover collections of the series. It's gorgeous, fun, surprising and, at parts, touching. Most of all, it just oozes with love for Marvel Comics past, present and future and is a sparkling addition to that universe. With THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE dropping July 8th, now is the time to get caught up on (and thereby fall in love with) all things YOUNG AVENGERS.

(now where's my comission, Heinberg?)

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Number One Reason to own a Sony PS3

DC Comics online... is coming.

Oracle - New Thread

Tracie started this - "The Killing Joke" is an interesting one to add, particularly with the recent debate amongst Gail Simone and other creators on Twitter this past week about that story and the "fridging" of Barbara Gordon that took place in that story. You can't deny it's impact, though. I hadn't heard this before but apparently Alan Moore is not a fan of that story or the fact that it was made into canon. Thank goodness guys like John Ostrander stepped up to raise Barbara to be such a great character as Oracle, in what could've otherwise resulted in her disappearing into obscurity. (but that may be a discussion for another thread)


Updated origins... annoying or Essential in Modern Comic Culture?

In anticipation of next Summer's Thor movie... We are getting a retelling, year one for the God of Thunder!

Thor: First Thunder from Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar) and artist Tan Eng Huat (Ghost Rider). My question to the general public... Are origins and year-ones overdone. In the last couple of years, we've had a Nightwing Year one, A retelling of Metal Men, Flash's Origin has been tweeked, Hell Wolverine has an Origin comicbook title. My favorite, Superman had Secret Origins come out over the last year.
I think telling and retelling heroic stories is part of American culture... if not HUMAN culture. We love knowing how things came to be. And with the landscape of comics in constant flux and characters getting deeper and richer stories, its only natural for writers and publishers to want to add some of that richness to their origin.
Sometimes the retelling is just a modernization. When Geoff Johns took over Green Lantern, the same basic story stayed, but we it took place in a more modern setting and allowed Johns to add some pieces of history that he'd later tap into in current comic timelines. Johns has been re-telling Superman's Origin and I'm sure this can be tricky. John's seems to be merging a few "origins" and adding bits of relevance to what is currently going on in his the Man of Steel's stories.
Thor is a mainstay Marvel character, that has been around since 1963. And in all honesty, is a really a flat personality. I think some of my favorite Thor stories have been out of the Main "Thor" title. "Thor, Son of Odin was the last time I really felt someone tried to go into the Thunder God's personality. His interaction with his friends and Loki are so well done. I think its what brought me back to Thor after the luke warm Dan Jurgen's years.
Ok, I've ranting and babbled enough... Needless to say, I'm a Thor fan, and I'm excited to see a modern re-telling of the Norse God!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I found where Bruce Wayne was sent after Darkseid hit him with the Omega Beam

Either Alfred is a fan of the CWS, and Omaha Baseball, or Dick Grayson has stock in Birkshire Hathaway... why else would the "World's Greatest Detective" be staying in the Big O? I also saw the Riddler and Jim Gordon sharing an omlet at the Perkin in the Hotel Lobby.

Brightest Day... opinions so far?

Tracie and myself have begun the debate. What's your take? How are Johns and Tomasi doing bringing back a handful of DC mainstays, and introducing some new friends. This discussion was sparked by this picture on the cover of next months previews. Thoughts?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tiny Tracie Reviews

I'm actually regular-sized Tracie, but these are some tiny reviews I thought should find a home on our blog, rather than just being e-mailed between Robb and I as we giggle like schoolgirls.

RED HOOD: THE LOST DAYS #1 (DC) This mini's off to a great start! Judd Winick does a great job of getting me emotinally invested in the story and particularly with Talia Al Ghul. Also, spectacular art. I really miss seeing Pablo Raimondi on X-FACTOR but hopefully he gets some good exposure with this.

SERENITY: FLOAT OUT (Dark Horse) A decent read, though I expected more from Patton Oswalt. The ending made up for it a bit.

DARKSTAR AND THE WINTER GUARD #1 (Marvel) For having no prior interest in the "Russian Avengers," David Gallaher has done an excellent job in filling me in on just who these characters are and, most importantly, making me care about them. He also deserves huge kudos for introducing a female Crimson Dynamo in the preceeding HULK: WINTERGUARD one-shot, as she and the new Darkstar have become my favorite characters on the team. Also must mention the excellent art by Steve Ellis and the fact that Russia's Avengers have a giant bear, so... Suck it, America.

DEMO vol. 2 #5 (Vertigo) I am going to miss this series deeply once it concludes next issue. From Becky Cloonan's constant reinvention to Brian Wood's heart-wrenching stories involving the extra-ordinary, this Vertigo revival stands right up with the spectacular original series. I wish there were more comics as experimental as this.