Thursday, June 30, 2011

PRO(test) or CON(vention)

In case you missed the story on Robot6 here there is going to be Protesters at SDCC... Oh, I'm not talking the Westboro Baptists, I'm talking nerds who are upset about the DCnU (is that what we are calling it?)

We aren't taking one side or the other in this "crisis," but we thought we'd lend a hand.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tracie's Pull List - Week of June 29, 2011


- I get angry at Green Lantern's scheduling problems again. But only because it's MILDLY ANNOYING.

- I rave about dudes that I like raving about. THEY ARE GOOD DUDES.

- Prelude to Schism stops wasting our time, maybe. (and by "wasting" I mean "giving us well-written character backgrounds while being annoyingly vague about the impending catastrophe")

ALSO Transformers Part 3: Turn Off The Dark Of The Moon 3D hits theatres and makes the bold claim that it does not suck as hard as the one that sucked really hard. SIGN ME THE HECK UP. (no seriously, who wants to go with me?)

Captain America/ Dunkin Donuts Commercial

Monday, June 27, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Trailer for the our favorite Super Soldier!

This just feels like it they got it right... and this is only a trailer. Where's Monty?
I need a grilled cheese and a high five!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friendly Fire -Audio Podcast - Episode 9

Tracie & Robb wrap up their long discussion on the
individual creative teams of the DC relaunch.

Monty's Green lantern

OK, as you might have seen HERE, I was very unimpressed by the Green Lantern movie.

I should note I am not a fan of GL in general. I don’t dislike Hal; I just have never been into him or his extended family. In other words, I am just like any of the millions of non-comic-book geeks out there that Hollywood is trying to lure in. That being said here’s what I, Monty Eich, would have done. It’s not complete, it’s vague and it’s not great, I do not claim to be a great writer, this is just the movie I would have made.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Friendly Fire -Audio Podcast - Episode 8

Even More DC Relaunch talk... when will it end??

Robb's Follow Up Green Lantern Movie Review

I’ve had some time to think... I can put it into proper words and express a more thoughtful reaction. Its not a horrible flick, but Green Lantern, the movie... just let me down. 
There are things Ryan Reynolds and company totally got right. There was some nice humor, the racetrack construct was pretty cool, and the ending action scene was really well done. It is a fun Summer, popcorn movie. I don’t really feel it was terrible and I guess I’m not saying skip it. Please don’t. But I’m going to be unfair in my expectations and voice what I’m really trying to get to. “Its not Ironman and it should have been.”

DC has had so much success and failure with the Superman and Batman franchises. For the most part they are considered sure-fire, bankable and profitable ventures that will be pursued in film for years. We know that DC can hang with Marvel as long as they make decent films using the “World’s Finest” characters. But why can’t DC break out of that mold? Why can’t Flash or Wonder Woman, Legion of Super-Heroes or The Secret Six get a break? 

MAUK TRIAL: Senioritis at DC? [UPDATED]

There are a couple odd moves from DC that I saw hitting the web today that I can't help but voice my opinion over.

(Though I feel a little bad that this post will be following Robb's Green Lantern review because it will seem like we're picking on DC today... But Comicbook Crossfire is here to opine and discuss and these are the things that're weighing on our minds)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tracie's Pull List - Week of June 22, 2011

So, if you haven't, please go check out our collective reviews of the Green Lantern movie, a couple posts back. I'd like to watch it again, just to see if I get any different perspective on it. There were definitely a number of things to like and it was sure nice looking. Definitely some of the best live-action 3D I've seen since probably Avatar. I keep suckering myself into these 3D movies when the only ones that seem to actually benefit from it are the animated films. But, anyway... More on that another time, perhaps.

I don't think you'll be getting any CBXF review of Cars 2, this weekend.

Today would mark the beginning of Ultimate Spider-Man Spoiler radio silence if I was smart. IF. But I'm just too plugged in to completely tear myself away from my RSS feeds and Twitter and the like. But the AP has already started running stories about tomorrow's (yeah, TOMORROW'S) final issue of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Well. I dunno how MUCH spoilage is going in the article. (I've managed to skip past them for the most part) I mean, the comic is called The Death of Spider-Man, so it's safe to say we're all pretty sure what happens in it. And the issues leading up to it certainly do spell which way this'll go and roughly how it's going down, which is not to say that any of that will stop me from being an emotional wreck after reading it.

But hey, let's take a look at what else I'll be buying tomorrow before the Associated Press decides to plaster spoiler headers all over my internets.

Monday, June 20, 2011

OCW - June Week 4 - DC's Arkkis Chummuck

In honor of the Green Lantern movie that came out last week, this week's OCW is Arkkis Chummuck. Honored Fallen Lantern of Space Sector 3014. Arkkis Chummuck gained his power ring after killing and eating his predecessor; however, he went on to become one of the more powerful members of the Green Lantern Corps. Arkkis died defeating Maaldor the Darklord.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Comic book Cartoon Franchises: Superman

I noticed a while ago... some of the greatest Cartoon Franchises have come from Comic Books. Now I'm not talking about one hit wonders like Cadillacs & Dinosaurs... I'm talking about cartoons that just seem to spawn a longevity and following that allows the animated versions to be reimagined and reanimated over and over. What comics just worked as animation?

Comic book Cartoon Franchises: Superman

Once again College Humor does the funny.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Comic book Cartoon Franchises: X-men

I noticed a while ago... some of the greatest Cartoon Franchises have come from Comic Books. Now I'm not talking about one hit wonders like Cadillacs & Dinosaurs... I'm talking about cartoons that just seem to spawn a longevity and following that allows the animated versions to be reimagined and reanimated over and over. What comics just worked as animation?

Part One: X-men

DCnU: It's Working, I Guess

Whether I felt underwhelmed or outright perplexed by a great number of the series and creator announcements coming out of DC's huge September relaunch, upon closer inspection, I suppose I could say that... it's working.

I decided to take a look at just how many DC monthlies I was buying currently. Not taking into account the plethora of Flashpoint tie-in minis, regular minis of interest, the Vertigo or Johnny DC books. (as those appear to be untouched by this initiative)

Taking those out of the picture, focusing solely on monthly, DC Universe-based ongoing series, I am currently buying 17 titles from DC.

Going into the September relaunch, it appears that number could grow to 30.

Now, financially, I'm a little wary of adding 13 new books to my monthly buys. Taking a closer look, at least 9 of those 30 books are ones I'm a little on the fence about. And I already whittled down a couple that I decided I was curious about, but not THAT curious and would be fine checking out a trade down the line or even taking advantage of a discounted digital copy in the future. Maybe that's an advantage to this new digital distribution for a fan like me. I still love my floppies (though I loathe calling them that) so of course I'm still gonna buy my copies of Action Comics off the shelf. But say a book like Voodoo catches my eye but I can't really rationalize it as a must-buy monthly read that I just HAVE to have the week/day it comes out. Surely I can be patient and wait it off until the digital copy gets marked down. I have boxes full of Superman comics but I've only ever owned a handful of Wildcats comics. I don't really feel any burning need to fill my closet (or, uh... floor) with copies of Voodoo. But it might be a nice book to read later on, on my phone or computer or that free iPad those banner ads and pop-ups keep promising me.

Still, September could be a pretty expensive month. But I envision myself being significantly more harsh on these new series than I've been in the past. Simply because DC is introducing 52 new books, all vying for my attention. Some of them receiving none of it whatsoever, a few demanding it, and the rest may come down to some harsh first issue scrutiny.

So let's say there are 21 DC books I will definitely be reading in September, baring the chance that one or more of them could surprise me by being terrible (or worse, boring). 11 of them are books I was already buying. 6 of those books have 1 or more creators still in place from before the relaunch. 8 of those 21 are books I've bought in the past. 9, if you count Jeff Lemire's Frankenstein, which I'm currently reading as a Flashpoint tie-in. And the Johns/Reis Aquaman and JH Williams III Batwoman are books I was already planning to buy as they were both announced long before this relaunch was revealed. So with that, DC has only convinced me to try out two new books: Swamp Thing and Animal Man.

Now, that's not a bad thing. I'm not saying that. I want you to consider that I am a person who already buys a LOT of comics and I've kept pretty steady at it most of my life. They don't exactly have to even work very hard to win me over. I'm already well invested. And they've taken a person who was already buying a good number of DC comics (even MORE, if we wanted to factor in all those Flashpoint minis and other peripherals) and gotten her to consider buying even MORE. So that's a win. What they're really going to want and, well, NEED is people who aren't buying DC books or aren't buying very many or don't buy comics AT ALL.

They can lure me into buying books I already have the inclination to buy because they've already got me. It's already in my veins. I'm the sort of fan who was just looking for an excuse to run back to Wonder Woman and all needed to say "Cliff Chiang."

They could've brought me back to Justice League by doing almost anything that seemed more interesting than what they were doing at the time. The fact that they're doing it with Geoff Johns and Jim Lee is actually shooting a bit higher than they needed to, for my purposes, but it's definitely the sort of move they needed to do to grab outsider attention. Which I hope the rest of these books are capable of doing. I have my doubts but I would love to be surprised.

So, look, skepticism or no, they've got me. Clearly there is already some small victory claimed with this fan and I'll be curious to see if it holds and how many other readers they can claim victory over come September.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

OCW - June Week 3 - Marvel's Maggott

Creepy and cool... This mutant was an ill child, who was unable to consume food. Feeling that he was nothing more than a burden on his poor South African family... Japheth wandered into the desert to die. There he encountered Magneto who activated his hidden mutation... which made 2 large slugs release from his body. These slugs would then consume food for him. This guy was just plain weird and visually awesome. Such a strange creation. I (Robb) was collecting X-men at the time this guy was introduced... and I will never forget just how odd he was! To read more... click here!

Tracie's Pull List - Week of June 15, 2011

So I know it's just licensing artwork and I typically hate the way that stuff looks because it's just goofy CG painted artwork of actor likenesses or whatever but great Odin's beard, I cannot stop staring at that Avengers licensing poster that hit the web last night. Seeing everyone together and in signature poses and it's that shot of those chairs in front of the S.H.E.I.L.D. logo all over again. THIS IS A REAL THING! THIS IS HAPPENING! Joss Whedon is filming all these dudes together and they're going to fight other dudes! And Cap looks great in the more streamlined costume and Hawkeye looks totally like Ultimate Hawkeye (with a little bit of purple even!) and they're all there! Together!

I can tell you right now that this is how I'm going to be for every bit of imagery that comes out for this thing. You've been warned.

Oh, also some glowing ring guy has a movie this week and it turns out Jack Black isn't in it.

Anyways, let's take a look at this weeks Pull List, shall we?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Avenging Spider-Man #1 > All 52 New DC Comics

DISCLAIMER: The following is the opinion of one Tracie L. Mauk and does not represent the beliefs or opinions of her fellow bloggers and friends at Comicbook Crossfire.

Today Marvel held one of their regular Next Big Thing conference calls breaking the news that November 2011 would see writer Zeb Wells would be joining superstar artist Joe Madureira on an unexpected new ongoing series, Avenging Spider-Man, an in-continuity Marvel Team-Up-like series featuring Spidey teaming up with various fellow avengers for large scale adventures.

This marks the first Marvel work for Madureira since 2008's Ultimates 3 and first "ongoing" since 1998's creator-owned series Battle Chasers. (I am, regrettably, using the term loosely, in that instance)

Your mileage will undoubtedly vary but for this blogger, whose comic fandom and own artistry was dramatically and fundamentally changed when Madureira hit the scene in 1994, the announcement of Wells and Madureira on Spider-Man is more exciting than any one of the 52 new books DC is rolling out in September.

Now, before you even begin to feel the itch to click "reply" and start snarking on how soon before delays start to plague the book or even type the words "video games," stop. I don't want to hear it. I've been listening to that stuff for over a decade and so has he. The creators have had TONS of lead time and I'm sure Joe, as much as anyone, would hate to see this dream gig suffer under delays.

But I don't even want to talk about that, much less think about it. I learned long ago not to worry about that sort of thing and just enjoy what I'm given, when I'm given it. For my money, Joe's artistry is the type that, as long as he is enjoying what he is doing (and you can absolutely tell when he is), he can take as much time as he needs to give us a product he is proud of.

But back to my title remark, this is exactly the kind of move I wanted to see DC roll out when they announced they were going to wipe clean their entire publishing schedule and start fresh with 52 new #1 issues in September. They started strong with the initial announcement that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee would be launching a new Justice League #1. It was an expected move (and something that's been in the rumor mill for around 2 years now), but it was a team book featuring their most popular characters, written and drawn by two of the biggest names in comics. (and chief architects at the company today)

As further announcements started rolling out, they were largely more of the same or sometimes downright perplexing. Why was DC pushing a huge relaunch, grabbing all kinds of headlines and attention, but pulling so many of their punches creatively?

The most startling announcement I can think of offhand was Rob Liefeld returning to Hawk & Dove. And it was startling in a sense that I don't imagine DC was aiming for.

Sure, we get books from top creators like Gail Simone, Grant Morrison, Brian Azzarello, Judd Winick and newer stars like Scott Snyder, Francis Manapul (but can he write?), Cliff Chiang and Jeff Lemire. But they were already doing regular work for DC. Outside of Liefeld, Greg Capullo and Paul Jenkins, where are the big scores from other publishers? (do Ig Gurara and Travel Foreman count?) Where are the hot new indie darlings like Jonathan Hickman or Nick Spencer? You have Josh Fialkov on a shirtless vampire comic but is that going to do it? Nathan Edmondson's getting some great press for Who Is Jake Ellis? but is bringing Grifter into the DC Universe going to raise his star?

Marvel's pairing a talented young writer like Zeb Wells with an artist who was one of the biggest things in comics when he was with the company and whose creator owned series held strong in the Diamond Top 10, despite long delays.

Where's the star power, DC? You seem to be rewarding a lot of, shall we say, underwhelming creators who were delivering the same underwhelming work BEFORE the relaunch, but there have got to be big name creators out there dying to handle some of the most popular and well known characters in the world or those extremely talented writers and artists who're just needing their one shot at the big time to really explode on the scene. (oh--and the women--WHERE ARE THE WOMEN?) Is it too much to want Wednesday Comics quality line-ups tackling these classic comic characters?

It's puzzling to me. Sure there are plenty of DC books I'm going to end up buying or pensively taste testing (I am kind of a slave to the medium) but as much as I hope Grant Morrison gives us All-Star Superman 2.0, that Geoff and Jim make the League feel big and important again, and that Azzarello gives us a Wonder Woman as compelling as Chiang's gorgeous artwork, I can't say that I'm more excited for any of those books than I am to see Wells and Madureira on Spider-Man. And it has nothing to do with being more of a Marvel girl than DC, if they had announced Wells and Mad doing a Bat-book or Teen Titans or even Metamorpho, I'd be just as pumped. (well, okay, I'd probably way more psyched for Spider-Man than Metamorpho, but it'd still be danged cool to see)

Though Madureira at DC would certainly do nothing to shift the I Love the 90's feel and resulting snark directed at these September launches and new DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras.

Ah well. Bring me gorgeous double-page spreads of moloids attacking marathon runners while Spider-Man fights alongside Wolverine, Spider-Woman, Hawkeye, and (a) Hulk.

Friendly Fire -Audio Podcast - Episode 7

Tracie & Robb continue their break down and opinion of
each title and team for DC's new relaunch!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Issue 30: Contagion: Outbreak!

Contagion: Outbreak! ... is here.

Some Pictures from Saturday at Contagion! Lack of Monty in these 2... lets see if we can't get more today.
Tracie & Robb draw sketches for ???

Tracie & Robb... recruited for the Avengers with Party Machine

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

DC Comics Animated scores again! (Spoilers)

Emerald Knights keeps the DC Animated tradition alive and has pure success as it sets up the Live Action Green Lantern Movie, about to release next week.

This animated movie is an anthology of sorts... which we get a larger "crisis" of a story that allows Hal to tell the newest Lantern recruit, Arisia about some history and tradition of the Green Lantern Corps.

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to have an "original" Green Lantern story, depicting the first recruits to put on the rings. This was actually my favorite short. I had never heard of any of these characters and I doubt they existed in comics form. Yet they were riveting. 4 new Lanterns and I totally loved this original tale.

The writing talent was impressive as well... Big DC names like Johns, Tomasi, Guggenheim, and Gibbons... to name a few. Talent that are known for their expertise in Green Lantern lore.  And if this doesn't add creditability, we have Nate Fillion as Hal Jordan. My first pick to play Hal in the live action role.

Needless to say, DC does one thing really well... make animated movies. While this isn't as good as All Star Superman... I'd say it was better than Green Lantern First Flight... and I loved First Flight. Also, I feel its a perfect primer for the Live Action Green Lantern. Helping to dive us into the world of the Corp and its many cosmic characters. Oh oh oh... to add one last cherry on top... the tease of DC next big Animated Movie... Batman: Year One... worth the price of the DVD alone!
Hal shows Arisia the ropes

CBXF at Contagion Outbreak, this Saturday!

Come and see the Weisenheimer's gang and the CBXF gang at Contagion! To learn more... check out this link!

Tracie's Pull List - Week of June 8, 2011

Boy howdy, X-Men: First Class sure done alright by me. It's a shame that the last two made so much stinking money while being largely mediocre (or downright disappointing). Here we have a quality script under a fine director and critics and fans actually agreeing on it, but the larger audience seems to be suffering from "fool me twice, shame on me."

I'm sure positive word of mouth will help stretch the box office dollars but it's a rough summer with some extremely heavy competition and it's gotta go up against J.J. Abrams' Super 8 and the positive early reviews and post-Star Trek good fortune this weekend.

I'm sure I'll still try to squeeze in a second viewing of First Class somewhere, either before or after I get around to seeing Super 8. I'll be a busy weekend for us at CBXF, as we'll be present at the inaugural Contagion convention here in Omaha. We're pretty excited as it promises to be the biggest sci-fi/fantasy convention this area has seen. We'll be sharing booth space with The Weisenheimers, America's favorite improv comedy troupe from Omaha, NE who happen to count our own Monty Eich as one of their founding members. Attendees of Contagion will have the pleasure of seeing a free show performed by The Weisenheimers, Saturday night, while you can find Robb and I doing free sketches at the booth during the day.

You really couldn't ask for more fun out of your weekend unless you're actually fortunate enough to get one of those V.I.P. passes to spend time with Jewel Staite at Contagion. Sigh.

Anyway, I'm buying comics tomorrow. Let's talk about them.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gail Simone defends the DC Changes

Everyone will vary in their opinion on DC's newest reveal. I'm no different. I'm optimistic yet cynical... a kind of been there, done that attitude. But I was on and saw Gail Simone's new article... and she made me look at this with a new angle. You may not change your opinion, but I think you'll respect what DC is trying to do. Or maybe not. Check it out here.

I just re-read that article again... I love you, Gail. You are an incredible ambassador for comic readers everywhere! Please check out her stuff!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

OCW - May - Week 4: Our Own Characters


This is one of the first images I drew of XLR8R, Vengeance, and Nightcap, once Kevin and I agreed on what their costumes would look like.

Still, my take on these characters changed a bit once I actually sat down and drew the first page and it continues to change as I grow and get the urge to try different things out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

OCW - June Week 1 - Marvel's Spirit of '76

The Spirit of '76 first came to prominence during the early 1940's as a costumed adventurer who fought against Nazi espionage in the United States. Presumably he adopted his patriotic costume and name in imitation of the original Captain America. Check out more about him here. 

Tracie's Pull List - Week of June 1, 2011

I've been sick since Friday, what did I miss?

Did I miss anything?

Is anything happening, comics?

Good ol' reliable, neverchanging world of comics...

Let's just see what my 4-color security blankets are up to this week, shall we?