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April 2005

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Saturday April 30, 2005 11:59pm #

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Saturday April 30, 2005 11:15am #

Random Non-Sequiters

Runaway bride story on CNN. The media is a formal organization of Busybodies. Some gal blows off her wedding and goes to Las Vegas instead, and it becomes a national manhunt and story on CNN over several days. Plus they are continually using the Big Breaking News Icon. Absolutely insane. There is no story but they are continually giving it coverage. They appear unable to stop covering it. In an effort to maintain face the network is also mischaracterizing the Bride's "story", pushing an understandable false allegation on her part farther up the timeline, in order to save face for themselves. Absolutely insane.

CNN needs to apoligize for elevating this story to a national level in the first place. But that is unlikely to happen as they are still voraciously justifing their coverage. Trust CNN? Hardly.

At the Movies

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Sci-Fi/Comedy [PG] 110min
In Theatres: 4/29/05 Date I saw it: 4/29/05 at Rivertown Cinemark

I haven't read the book. This movie was basically a 2 hour commercial for reading the book. Some parts were amusing, but about a quarter of the way though I grew tired of the baseless absurdity and silliness of it all. It seems that there is probably too much material tackled here for the time alotted and the "Bigger Picture" philosophy issues that are supposed to be inherent in the story don't come off very clearly. They pretty much completely lost me with the bar scene at the end after which I sort of felt the whole thing was kindof a wasted jaunt.

This mini-review is a little more negative than I actually intend... the movie is more silly than bad. Wait for DVD.

Overall[poor] Story [poor] Special Effects [good]
key: [awful] [poor] [ok] [good] [great]

Comments on Comics

Birds of Prey #81 - Gail Simone, Joe Bennett
Cat and the Canary. Issue read more like an international PI tv show. Very minimal Superhero in costume action but good stuff overall.

Manhunter #9 - Andreyko, Pina
Still enjoying this peripheral DCU arc tale. Whereas Your Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman titles have an A story feel. this book ranks more at the C story level. It's fun overall to have a book like this that fills in the details around the edges. Plus there is something that a book like this can do that the big 3 can't... Something drastic could change to the character. Bats, Supes and Wondy are generally going to get the reset button hit back to status quo, but with these C-Level books something permanent can happen, and that is part of the fun of these low level characters. Suspension of Disbelief once again covers this issue.

Aquaman #29 - Arcudi, Gleason
Another nice peripheral DCU book, albeit the title character has a little more prestige as the arguably lowest tier character of the Big 7. This issue appears to be laying some groundwork perhaps for whose side Aquaman will be on (or against) in the upcoming Crisis. "You must have alot of magic in that left hand of yours--".

I think they just pointed out the "gun on the shelf" to the audience on that one.

JLA #113 - Busiek, Garney
Crime Syndacate Part Seven. I agree with others on the net that this storyline has probably run too long. With the JLA I'm willing to cut them a little slack since the cast of characters is so large it's easy to see how that would be the case. There's some nice "Lighter moments" in this issue. Especially the Crime Syndicate in the Lawn Chairs. However, most of the book seems like lead up for Bats drop a very George W. point of view on the rest of the League. Wondy: "So you unilaterally made the decision to risk another planet's billions?". Bats: "Given the choice, I'd rather fight there then here."

Robin #137 - Willingham, Camuncoli
As a relative newcomer to this title, I have been enjoying the past few issues. The book has a unique tone. "If you imagine you can beat or torture information out of me--" "No we don't work that way, if you prove uncooperative I'll have to let you go, after all to my knowledge the only crimes you've committed were against me and it's not as if I can testify against you in open court." Good Stuff.

The OMAC Project #1 - Rucka, Saiz
Pretty slow moving for a first issue. Based off of this one issue, if I didn't know that the series was a future keystone of the DCU, I probably wouldn't pick-up the second issue. But of course it is a key book and I will pick-up the next issue. The POV character is completely unknown to me. (I read on Post Modern Barney that she has something to do with the recent Bat Title mega crossover, but since I skipped that and there is no information on that herein...)

Since very little happened in this issue, I'll just pick this one nit. Even if Booster didn't have his costume with him, don't you figure he'd always wear his flight ring? It's not that large, and something like that would seem too usefull not have on you at all times. Like I said, it's a nit.

Superman/Batman #19 Loeb, Churchill
Basically this is Supergirl #0 and it's interesting. I still have my petty fanboy issues that her costume is to spare, but with as dark as they are making this character (relative to my iconic view of the character, it's not like she's the Punisher or anything), it is bothering me less with each appearance. There is a point in this issue where Kara tells off Bat's and that isn't something that can generally be done in any believeable way. It works here. And howabout that fist on the last splash page? Good Stuff.

JLA Classified #6 Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire
"Lookin' Good, Bea!" and "Boostered" Such fun dialog. One question? (minor spoiler) where did Guy get that Yellow Power Ring? Overall Good stuff.

Young Avengers #3 Heinberg, Cheung
This book is so "Teen Titan's in the Marvel U". Liked the Patriot backstory, even if I find the math a bit of a stretch on how old that kid's mother might have been when he was born. With Marvel massively introducing a slew of Teen titles they seem to be setting themselves up for the same continuity problems as DC. It's the teen titles where you notice the non-aging issue stuff the most and now Marvel has them in bulk. Overall, not sure how much longer I'll hang with this title.

Day of Vengeance #1 Willingham, Justiniano
I enjoyed this 1st issue much more than OMAC's. Not familliar with Ragman, Enchantress or Detective Chimp, but this book does make them interesting characters. A very different looking Blue Devil also looks to figure prominently. (And howabout that Phantom Stranger bomshell?) There's a very Vertigo feel to this title... and with all the magic, it looks to be setting itself up to dance on that edge for the duration of the title. That's ok by me. Good Stuff.

Batgirl #63 - Gabrych, Graza
First time I ever picked up this book. I picked it up because it was highlighted on DC's Crisis Counceling site as a major tie-in. I'm totally unfamilliar with this incarnation of the asian non-Barbara Batgirl but the book brought me up to speed and I found it an enjoyable title. It's very similiar in tone to the recent Robin issues. The Deathstroke appearance is well handled and the last page does what a last page splash is supposed to do, it hooks me into looking forward to the next issue. Good Stuff.

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April April 29, 2005 8:15pm #

Random Non-Sequiters

Saw the new Batman Begins Trailer today. Looks better that I've been thinking. Two negatives... Gotham seems to have much more of a real city look, maybe too much. The Love story might be coming on abit strong. On the positive tip, they have downplayed the ninja's. (Rif on a previous nit: I still expect Liam Neelson to call Bruce "Padawan")

Let's Go Surfing

Donald Rumsfield to send Captain America and Spider-man to Iraq. No Not Really but that is a real photo...

Newarama interview with Dave Gibons on the new Green Lantern Corp book. Hal Jordan as Green Lantern and now a second book focussing on the Green Lantern Corp. It's a very good year to be a Green Lantern fan.

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Sunday April 24, 2005 11:02pm #

So I've got "back episodes" of various random television shows on VCR tape stacked up a year deep. I set the VCR to record, I fill up a tape, I put another one in etc. So today I just watched the first episode of Century City, from like a year ago, which apparently, after researching on the internet only ran three episodes before CBS killed it. The thing is I thought the first episode was fairly interesting. I was also suprised to see it stared Ioan Gruffudd (Horatio Hornblower and this summer's Mr. Fantastic.) who's acting I generally enjoy.

According to the internet they made nine episodes. I went to Amazon, and didn't find a DVD. I did find out that all the episodes were shown in Canada and the UK Sci-Fi Channel. Anyone know if it is likely to turn up on the US Sci-Fi channel or where I might find it online?

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Sunday April 24, 2005 12:25am #

Take a look at this great AP photo that ran in the Grand Rapids Press this past Thursday. Fantastic merger and headline combination. Hilarious!

New Justice League Episodes on May 21, 28 and June 4 (New Titans Episode 6/4)

I looked up Static Shock and DCU (Batman, Batman Beyond, Justice League) Crossover Episodes. According to TV Tome they are: the Big Leagues, Hard as Nails, League of their Own 1 & 2, Future Shock, and Fallen Hero. A Grown-up Static also appeared recently in Justice League Unlimit's: A Once and Future Thing.

I was having a problem with Firefox on a couple of machines, they would take forever to save an image form a web page. Memory usage was through the roof and the system slowed to a crawl. Turned out the solution was to go into preferences -->Privacy and change the clear downloads tab to "everytime Firefox quits" and then close and reopen the program. That solved the slow down issue. (The Clear list didn't do anything but lock the system up previous to that.)

Comments on Comics

DC Comics Solicitations Previews for July 2005:
ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #1 BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #193 - Seth Fisher GOTHAM CENTRAL #32 ROBIN #140 WONDER WOMAN #219 - Ever Notice how many covers DC does with Superman fighting Wonder Woman? And when does she get her sight back? AQUAMAN #32 DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #2 GREEN ARROW #52 Doctor Light, Black Lighnting and the JLA THE FLASH #224 GREEN LANTERN #3 JLA #116 - Crisis tie-in JSA #75 - Vengence tie-in JSA CLASSIFIED #1 (Hughes Cover) Geoff Johns takes on the straightening out of Power Girl's Origin LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #8 THE OMAC PROJECT #4 - The Description makes all 3 Superman titles and the above WW #219 "Sacrifice Story seem integral to this book THE RANN/THANAGAR WAR #3 SEVEN SOLDIERS: ZATANNA #3 TEEN TITANS #26 VILLAINS UNITED #3 ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE #2 EX MACHINA #13 - Duo?

DC Direct Crisis Wave 2 - Flash, Earth 2 Superman, Anti- Monitor, Lex Luthor and Braniac

Marvel Comics Solicitations Previews for July 2005
Half the regualr Marvel Universe are House of M crossover this month ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #21 - Possibly a crossover with the regular Marvel Universe ULTIMATES 2 #7 - Why are there like 5 giant men on the cover? ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #79 and #80 - Ultimate Moon Knight SPIDER-GIRL #88 - Franklin Richards DEFENDERS #1 - Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, pencils and cover by Kevin Maguire Bwa Ha Haa? NEW AVENGERS #9 GIANT-SIZED SPIDER-WOMAN #1 (I don't think she's really giant in this book though) MARVEL TEAM-UP #10 RUNAWAYS #6 GRAVITY #2 YOUNG AVENGERS #6

Let's Go Surfing

Toothpaste for Dinner: Take Your Hamster to Work Day.

Hasbro, in May, will be selling Direct to the Consumer on the web.

There's an old design mantra: Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal. However, stealing doesn't always work out well.
via The Beat

Nice photoshop of the Movie Costume Batman and Superman.
via Julius Marx: Action Figure Insider

Wil Farrell to star in movie remake of Land of the Lost. I imagine we're in for alot of Dinosuar Dung jokes.
via Progressive Ruin

I know when I go to the Airport, one of my top concerns are terrorist penguins but now that I know that even penquins have to pass though airport metal detectors, I will feel much safer.
via Boing Boing

Fred Hembeck's interview with Countdown to Infinite Crisis' recently deceased Blue Beetle.

For those in Battle Star Galactica withdrawl, here's a rather lengthy update to Ron Moore's blog.

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Friday April 22, 2005 12:52pm #

The New Superman Costume is out on the web.

The Red is too dark, the leather cape not good, the chest emblem too small and is he a "Strange Visitor from the Planet Texas? because otherwise I don't get the belt buckle concept.

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Thursday April 21, 2005 11:26pm #

Random Non-Sequiters

Picked up DC Direct's Commisioner Gordon, Alfred and Ra's Ah Ghul this past week. Very nice figures overall. Good Stuff.

Time for another completely uninteresting installment of "What Comics has Chris been reading?"

Comments on Comics

Teen Titans #23 - Johns and McKone
Seems odd that this restarted title is approaching 2 years already. Time flys huh? Bunches of Teen Titans past and present square off against Dr. Light who is now a major DC powerhouse. Lots of little battle vignettes and a tale solidly set in the new hyperconnected Shared DCU. Good Stuff.

OMAC Project - Rucka Saiz
This one looks like it is definitely being written with an eye to the eventual trade paperback collection. Slow pacing, and almost entirely focused on "some" checkmate soldier at this point also not terribly involving so far. "*She* sent it" and a smile(?) from Batman at the end? What was that all about? Bats doesn't seem fully in character in this one. We'll see if it gets better.

Aquaman #22 Pfeiffer, Gleason
Older issue I just read. Aquaman vs. a revamped(?) Eel. Good stuff, although the Deux Ex Machina type expansion of Aquaman's telepathy seemed like a reach. Batman appearance in this one too. Also seemed a little out of character. ok stuff.

Superman/Batman #16 Loeb and Pacheco
Another older issue I just read. This is the one with Kamandi on the cover with Supes and Bats in the cage. The whole time travel Absolute Power Supes and Bats story didn't really work for me past the first issue.

Robin #134, 135, and 136 Willingham, Scott (134, 135) Mhan (136)
I had been picking these up for awhile... and hadn't gotten around to reading them. I think I enjoyed them more for having had waited as they tie into the Vilians United/Countdown arc, which if I read them before Countdown, I might not have picked up on. Good Stuff.

Gotham Central #30 Rucka, Gaudiano
Great stuff with Dr. Alchemy in a Hanibal Lecter-like depiction. Very low super hero content, but great police drama type stuff.

Green Arrow #49 Winick and Battle
Drakon's return continues. Outsiders also make an appearance. As much as I like the tight shared universe... it may get tiresome if every book starts having 25 heroes show up everytime there is trouble. Just say'n is all. Other than that, a pretty solid superhero ish.

Adam Strange #7 Diggle, Ferry
Most of the book is exposition, but it's very nice art isn't it? Good Stuff.

Imaginaries #1 Ben Avery, Mike Miller & Greg Titus
Great concept in an Indian in the Cupboard sort of way but I'm not sure that I feel any need to follow it. Stylized art that's carried mostly by the Colorist. Not Bad.

Let's Go Surfing

19 days ago I mused in my blog that someone should start a blog recaping all the DC Continuity happenings each week. Turns out DC had the same idea with a site they call: Crisis Counseling.

Julius Marx now has his own site: Action Figure Insider

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Saturday April 16, 2005 11:11am #

Comments on Comics

Ultimates 2 #5 - Millar, Hitch
Good Stuff. The Thor story keeps getting better and better.

Action Comics #826 - Winick, Churchhill
The one with Supes and Shazam on the cover. Winick is getting better at this stuff, but being that this is a set-up issue, not much to report on until the next chapter. Overall, Ok.

Superman/Batman #18 - Loeb and Pancheco
What's with the last page in this issue? Crisis foreshadowing? Big things are afoot methinks.

Power Pack #1 Sumerak, Gurihiru
Great kids title. I'll pick-up the next 3 issues out of nostalgia, but they are entertaining as well.

Calvin and Hobbes fans will want to pick-up this issue for the very similiarly drawn, Franklin Richards back-up story which has H.E.R.B.I.E. in the Hobbes role.

Firestorm #12 Jolley, Igle
I'm curious as to how they are going to wrap-up the Ronnie Raymond plot here. They can't very well have Firestorm continually switching from Black to White can they? As far as switches go, they should switch to a glossy paper with this type of coloring style, it looks muddy on the matte. Not bad as a minor DC title.

Manhunter #8 Andreyko, Pina
Y'know, this is probably a first for me. I'm actually buying this comic now because I am enjoying Suspension of Disbelief's analysis of it. It's a situation similiar to a DVD that has a director's commentary that is more interesting than the movie itself. Of course, Suspension of Disbelief has nothing to do with the production of this comic, but I find myself buying Manhunter so that I can enjoy SoD's articles on it. The book itself, not bad as minor DC title.

Ex Machina #9 Vaughan, Harris
This would be a Perfect comic for Warner Brothers to turn into a TV Show. It's all storyboarded and ready to go.

Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1 Morrison, Sook
There is something about Morrison that is too dark, or too cynical or too, well I don't know, just *too* something. I feel his stuff is good, I just generally don't enjoy it. I like Zatanna as a character and a concept, however, and she's very recognizably written and rendered in this book, so I'll proabably still pick-up all four.

Marvel Team-Up #7 Kirkman, Kollins
Spider-man and Moon Knight. New arc, with some carry over from the last arc. I really like this book. If you're looking for a "fun" mainstream title. You need to pick-up this one regularly. It's Good Stuff.

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Friday April 15, 2005 11:57pm #

Post Modern Barney's Dorian just tackled the DC timeline issue. The same issues that he raises bug me from time to time as well.

The squashing in of the Young Justice Titans is what really distorts the DCU timeline for me. Time in comics isn't something that should be looked at too closely.

But let's take a stab at it anyway. ;)

What follows is my attempt to explain the realities of Superhero time distortion.

The theory is that the physics of time in the DC and Marvel universes is quite different than the physics of our "real" universe. Looked at overall, time actually takes 4 years longer in the superhero u's than in our own. Christmas in the superhero universes is celebrated 4 times a year, and there are 16 seasons and 48 months a year (although only the standard 12 names for them).

Time observed at an individual level in Superhero Universes is, however, different than the overall rate. This is not completely unheard of in our own Universe. You may have experienced this yourself as the "time flys when you are having fun" effect. For this very reason, most theorists believe that all the flying in these comic universes contributes to the time distortion on a quantum level.

In the Superhero U's, young people usually age at what we would consider a standard Earth rate, until time begins to slow in their late teens to early 20s. Upon reaching early 30s, especially if you are a hero, time actually starts to move exponentially slower (Although villians tend to actually age faster than heros, it's a bad karma/time correlation thing outside the scope of this article.)

Once in his or her 30s a person in the superhero U's, especially if that person is super or regularly surrounded by supers, will experience the "theory of relativity" which states that in the presence of those younger than yourself, you are actually "relatively" much older than you would be if surrounded by your contemporaries. If you recall your own youth you may realize how much older people in their thirtys were to your 8 year old self as oppossed to other 30 yearolds that you compare your 30 year old self too. Much like fantastic powers can, this time effect actually manifests itself and has an effect on the realities on the Superhero U's.

But it's not that straightforward, there are actually added levels of complexity.

All citizens in Superhero Universes also have days that actually repeat in what would be considered a "Groundhog Day"-like way to the outside observer. It's possible that the days will repeat entirely out of sequence and many many years apart as well. This is apparent to the outside observer when reading the various retellings and reimaginings of key events in a Superhero's life. Often these retellings have slightly different details and dialog. They may even be set in entirely different periods. This is the Superhero Universes' Groundhog day effect in full force. In the Superhero Universe, one week may have 7 Mondays, 8 Tuesdays, 4 Wednesdays, etc. Usually the residents of these universes will recall the most recent "repeat" as the "actual" true event as the way it actually happened. The citizens of these universes through a peculiar effect of Hypertime do not realize the distortion or repetition.

See that was the a-ha moment wasn't it? It all makes sense when you introduce Hypertime into the equation doesn't it?

If you're still not grasping the above differing Physics, it may help to realize that people in these universes can fly, fire laser beams from their eyes and turn invisible. Realizing that those things don't happen in our universe may help with accepting the concept of the differing Physics of time between our realities.

The above is the kind of thing that my non-comics reading blog audience, is going to read and totally miss the farce in. But such is life, no?

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Tuesday April 12, 2005 10:42pm #

Hope and Potential.

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Sunday April 10, 2005 1:31am #

Random Non-Sequiters

Marvel Legends 9 finds in my area this week. Put together most of Galactus, nice. Best pick-up of the wave: Doctor Strange - Very nice figure, Marvel Select series quality.

At the Movies

Earth vs. the Spider
Superhero [R] 90min
In Theatres: 10/7/2001 Date I saw it: 4/6/05 on DVR/HBO

B-Movie with decent special effects. A cross between Spider-man and the Fly. Dan Aykroyd headlines an otherwise starless cast(OK maybe two stars if you count the Asian MILF guy from American Pie who has a bit part as a comic book store manager).

If you're looking for a bad comic b-movie night this is a good pick-up. The territory is well worn by a dozen other movies and it's a little slow but the slow parts ofter plenty of time to think up good MSTK-style heckles. Watch it with a group of like-minded fans of the genre. For what it is, its decent.

Overall[ok] Story [ok] Special Effects [ok]
key: [awful] [poor] [ok] [good] [great]

Comments on Comics

GLA #1 Slott, Pelletier
Not sure I really got the joke on this book. I expected something along the lines of DC's Superbuddies, but that's not quite what this book is. Eh, I may or may not get any more of the series.

Lex Luthor Man of Steel #2 Azzarello, Bermejo
Interesting art, and so far, not really a superhero tale. I'd put it in the same general category as Ex Machina. Not bad.

Green Lantern Rebirth #5Johns and Van Sciver
This issue prompted my Green Lantern rambling a couple days ago, It's very good stuff.

Gotham Central #29 Rucka, Gaudiano
This issue has the big Flash logo on the cover as Gotham PD's finest visit Keystone's cops (heh heh). After reading this issue, I feel I should probably be reading more of this book. I especially liked the art and coloring style, it suits the material. Good look at the non-superpowered side of the DCU. There's also a Batman cameo that segways into a tasteful lesbian scene, so how can you go wrong with that?

Seven Soldiers Shining Knight #1 Morrison, Bianchi
Don't care for the Shining Knight appearnce redesign and the book itself didn't do much for me, but then again I'm not a big Fantasy fan so that probably has more to do with it than anything else.

Other World #1 Jimenez
Fantastic art by Phil Jimenez. Interesting mixture of Contemporary characters, Sci-fi and fantasy elements. I'm very interested to see where this one is going. Good Stuff.

Let's Go Surfing

How to Blog Safely

Star Wars Parody Fan Film: Sith Apprentice

Toothpaste for Dinner: Work Club

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Thursday April 7, 2005 10:10pm #

Comments on Comics

These two panel groups are from the now two week old DC Countdown to Infinite Crisis. Geoff John's seems to be taking Hal Jordan's characterization back to its roots: Honesty, Fearlesness, Confidence and Will Power. This is a pretty good line: "Guy's Misunderstood. Everyone here... They have opinions, Ted. And they're not always right." Very few words, but with the history of the character there is alot of good stuff that can be interpreted out of that.

As much as I hate to think it, the whole crazy murderer period is probably going to make the character more interesting. The writers are going to get to take this "perfect" character and continually subtlety assault him on the whole "killing spree" thing and yet have him rise above it, which should be that much more infuriating for the vilians that they'll put him up against. Instead of the apology and regret phase they stuck him in over the last half decade, we appear to be in for a much more character appropriate dynamic where Jordan's written to move past the issue without dwelling on it.

Some characters, like Batman, they'll have hold onto the issue. And that should make for some very good story conflict.

I'm looking forward to seeing where Johns takes this interplay between the two. Batman, a character that hasn't moved past or let go of an event that happened in his childhood, that wasn't his fault, facing off against Jordan, a character that's moved past a tragedy infinitely worse, that even though he was under Paralax's influence, he was responsible for.

These two panels are from the middle of a flashback scene from Green Lantern Rebirth #5 out this week. It's a good scene. I am a little disapointed that they are keeping the Emerald Dawn version of Sinestro's rivalry with Hal Jordan. I have always thought that having Sinestro be Hal Jordan's teacher, go rogue and then be brought to justice by his student is much too cliche. It happens a little too much in fiction and not very often in reality.

The original orgin of their rivalry is much more natural and goes something like this: The Weaponers of Qward from the Anti-matter universe had already had run-ins with and been defeated by Hal Jordan. Sinestro a Renegade Green Lantern stripped of his ring was banished to the anti-matter universe by the Green Lantern's masters, the Guardians. Sinestro ends up on Qward. Sinestro, in an attempt to gain favor with the Qwardians, offers to use his knowledge of the Green Lanterns to defeat their enemy, Hal Jordan. Hal Jordan of course defeats Sinestro, after which the rivalry is mostly fueled by Sinestro's ego's desire to seek revenge on the Green Lantern Corp which rebuffed, rejected and banished him. Hal Jordan becomes the personification of Sinestro's desire to defeat those that defeated him and subconsciously regain his own dignity.

Of course you have to remember that having been created in the 60s, even though the motivations were well worked out and the dynamic described above is acurate. The presentation itself was a little more straight forward. Sinestro has also always been a little, how should we say? 'Over the top'. For three original Sinestro appearances, get your hands on Green Lantern Archive Volume 2.

While from the above it's obvious that I'm digging this return to Hal Jordan basics. And although it wouldn't have been how I'd have done it, I can live with parts of Emerald Dawn staying in continuity. I do think that as a fan you could call Johns out on this bit of pandering to avoid a reverse Ron Marz fate. (You could spin it more positively that that I suppose. But even then, the section that this scene is in could be subtitled: "Stroking the Kyle fans.")

There is a scene after this where Kyle sort of downplays his own accomplishments and character in comparrison with the "Greatest Green Lantern" after which, in an exchange very similiar to the one above with Blue Beetle, Hal takes a moment to encourage Kyle, with the same 'don't worry about it, move past it' tone. It's good stuff.

Most characters in comics wallow in some sort of self doubt these days. Will they be able to defeat their villians, will they save the day, will their girlfriends/wives leave them. Alot of superheroes have become very whiney, self absorbed and full of self doubt. It seems that DC intends to again publish stories about a hero that will defeat his villians, will save the day, and (although this has yet to be seen, hopefully) won't worry about his girlfriend's fidelity. And best of all he'll do it through: Honesty, Fearlessness, Confidence and Will Power.

Personally, I can't wait for the upcoming issues.

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Monday April 4, 2005 10:10pm #

Random Non-Sequiters

Just noticed that the Elektra movie comes out on DVD tomorrow. That's only about 2 1/2 months after the premiere. Wow... that's some fast turn-around time. Any faster and they'll be selling copies as you walk out of the theatre.

Comments on Comics

Ultimate Galactus/Ultimate Nightmare - Ellis, Hairsine
Just read this story in Tradepaperback for the first time. I can't imagine how disapointing it probably was spread over the sourse of months instead of one sitting. The story was heavilly decompressed and frankly nothing really happened at all in it. A supposeded crossover between the Ultimate X-Men and the Ultimates, there were maybe seven out of a hundred pages that the characters appear together in. If you are a fan of the Falcon, then you'll like this as it debuts (to my knowledge) a costumeless Ultimate version of the character. All told, not an unpleassant read, but just a fairly pointless one, go into your local Barnes and Noble and read the last 5 pages, you'll be up to speed and won't have missed anything. Eh.

Ultimate Secret #1 - Ellis, McNiven
This book opens up like a Marvel movie version of Captain Marvel, and that's about as close to a compliment as I would give it. If this was a Marvel movie, then you'd be getting about 10 minutes worth of footage in this book. Again very little happens in the issue other than the brief intorduction of a Captain Marvel transformation sequence that would be right at home in a Power Rangers episode. Better than the first chapter of Ulitmate Nightmare, but not by much. Eh.

Legion of Super-heroes #4 - Waid, Kirk
If you've read my comments about other DC Books, you know that I love DC's increased use of their interconnected continuity. Legion is the opposite of that, and I'm really digging it too. I like the extra length self contained stories, I like the back-up story concept. I really like this take on the Legion and this is from someone that has never been a particularly big fan of the series. Very Good Stuff.

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Saturday April 2, 2005 6:04pm #

At the Movies

Sin City
Pulp/Comic [R] 126min
In Theatres: 4/1/05 Date I saw it: 4/1/05 at Studio 28

A very good movie that I don't reccomend anyone see. The movie is composed of 3 stories, lightly interwoven. The only one of the three stories that I am familiar with is the Marv storyline, which I haven't reread in almost a decade. With that said, the movie seemed extremely faithful to the source material and as a work of art it is very impressive. But it's also very very dark story-wise, and although much of the violence is abstracted into Frank Miller's high contrast style, the violence doesn't lose any of it's impact because of that.

This is a very gruesome movie, without a single reedemable or "good" character. But they are interesting characters. The movie follows a very pulp noir narration style, with all the sillniess and awkwardness that implies. Still, the naration is is often very entertaining in it's absurdness. There are also some truly delightful vignettes with various background characters. One henchman that gets shot with an arrow, has nothing less than a brilliant fun screen moment. But overall, the good stuff in the film is probably not worth it to put the rest of this movie's macabre imagery in your head. If you must see it however, go to an early matinee. You don't want this flick too top of mind right before you go to bed, it contains visualizations that you won't want your subconscious fresh to play with all night.

Overall[good] Story [good] Special Effects [great]
key: [awful] [poor] [ok] [good] [great]

Talking TV

Watched the Season Finale of Battlestar Galactica this morning (have not listened to the podcast yet). Good Stuff. Very excited that we only have to wait until July for more episodes, as I'm anxious to see how this storyline plays out.

Without spoiling too much, I really enjoyed the inside of the Basestar (And of course wish the shadows weren't in place during the Sharons scene ;) and I am most interested in seeing how the Adama/President political conflict plays out. Good Stuff.

Looks like Teen Titans and Justice League are reruns again tonight, but they do appear to have sandwiched in the the new Cartoon Network replay of Kid WB's Batman show between them. Three different DC cartoons in a row in primetime on Saturday night. Kindof cool.

Cartoon Network has added four weekend showings of Krypto the Superdog to its schedule beginning Saturday, April 9.
Kypto will air on Saturdays at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Sundays at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Upcoming episodes will include "Krypto's Scrypto," parts 1 and 2, and "Super Flea" and "A Bug's Strike" on Saturday, April 9.
After a sneak peek last week, Krypto has its official premiere on Monday.
Cartoon Network also announced that Teen Titans will air on Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. beginning April 9.

The above is from Comics Continuum I haven't seen this show yet... Anybody catch the Sneak peek mentioned above? How bad was it?

Comments on Comics

With DC kicking their shared universe into high gear, are there any blog sites out there that are covering the high level happenings on how it is all tie-ing together? It would be great to find a monthly recap on the significant shared universe happenings. A comic highlight reel akin to those pre-episode recaps television drama's have... something along the lines of "Last month in the DCU..."

Hawkman #38 Palmiotti, Gray and Eaglesham
I don't really follow this book, just thought the cover with Golden Eagle, looked somewhat interesting and that I would pick up an issue and "check-in" on this character. Can't really say it involved me too much. I might check back in with it in another couple months if they do any tie-in with the Rann-Thanagar war. I like the character, but I've yet to read anything interesting with him as the lead as opposed to a supporting role.

Let's Go Surfing

Best Buy to eliminate Rebates within two years Can I get a Hallelujah? Can I hear an Amen!
via Slashdot

Nice HCRealms article that summarizes the three phases: Positioning, Attack and Clean-up, of Heroclix play.
via HCRealms

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Friday April 1, 2005 11:35am #

Comments on Comics

A lot of readers fall into the category of wanting a story, but hating conflict. They love the characters, but hate when things happen to them."

Quote from Winick in a Newsramma aricle. Link and quote via Postmodern Barney or was it Progressive Ruin ;) So confusing today.

In anycase, Great Quote.

On the same topic, here's some of my thoughts (bordering on a "get a life" rant) on the fanboy madness that is begining to bubble-up on the internet over the death of the Blue Beetle character.

I thought Countdown was one of the best Blue Beetle stories I've ever read, they really told a story that showed why he was an interesting character, and that's what made his death at the end work so well for me.

But he's not really dead. He's a comic book character, He wasn't alive in the first place. Sue Dibney didn't really die in Identity Crisis either. She also was a fictional character. They killed off Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths 20 years ago. Can anyone even count how many Barry stories they've read since "his death?". When they killed off Hal Jordan, did Hal Jordan stories over the past 10 years stop?

As far as Superhero death's go, this was a good one. I think Blue Beetle's story "ended" well. However, there will be more Blue Beetle stories. They'll probably be even more interesting stories because of the "importance" the character now has in DC mythology. So buck-up fanboys, everything is going to be allright. If you like a little unpredicatablility, if you like a large mythos, if you like getting into the niches of continuity, it looks like DC has some tales to tell us over the next couple years. Good Stuff.

DC Countdown to Infinite Crisis - uncredited.
Good Stuff.

Batman #638
There is alot of story potential in the return of Jason Todd, I'm looking forward to seeing where they take him.

I'm suprized I've picked up two Batman issues in a row. I like the direction this title is taking putting Batman in the larger DCU for a change. I think I'll probably be picking up more of this title.

On a different note, I noticed that they have glossy pages on this title, instead of the matte pages in most books. I wonder how much glossy vs. matte effects the tone of the read. There's almost something more "television" or "animated" about the glossy paper approach but Matte paper is a little "warmer" and tends to draw you in a little bit more. I don't really have an opinion on which I'd prefer, both are valid options depending on what you're doing with the story.

Flash #220 Johns, Porter
Rogue War starts with this issue and of course this issue is also tied in to Identity Crisis and Countdown. You don't have to know anything about those to read it, but if you do, you'll get even more out of it beyond the surface story. Good stuff.

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I don't spell check! Most of the time the Quotes of the Day are by someone else, and sometimes I misremember them abit... and they are taken out of context. I often state my opinions as facts. I'm aware that can be annoying? Occasionally I edit content on these pages after initially posting them. Sometimes I type the word "Fnck". Flip the "n" over... I don't have a problem with the word myself, I just type it that way to slip it past overzealous work censorship programs. I'm also aware that I spend too much time on the internet.

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4/1 Sin City

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