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June 2005

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Tuesday June 28, 2005 7:06:46 AM #

It's Tuesday, time for another fun filled day of mirth and mayhem. I hope everyone out there on the internets is having a wonderful day!

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Sunday June 26, 2005 9:56:16 PM #

Random Non-Sequiters

» I saw Closer with Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Jude Law. Interesting movie. I think pretty much those 4 characters are the only ones with speaking lines in the entire film. Not a good date movie, but still an interesting character piece.
Overall[good] Story [good] Special Effects [n/a]
key: [awful] [poor] [ok] [good] [great]

» Also saw Star Wars Episode III again this weekend. For me, the movie really moved fast the second time and for some reason the dialog seems better on second viewing, maybe because the lines are pretty much expected(?). Anyway.... good Star Wars Film! Now I just need to plan myself a Zombie all-day-viewing of all 6 movies back-to-back (15 hours?)

» Last Night's Justice League, was excellent. Really great major arc episode. Very interesting how many heroes aren't quite exactly getting along now on that show. Excellent, excellent confrontations between several characters. Cliffhanger "to be continued" to-boot. Good Stuff.

» Very hot weather in Michigan this weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed my AC.

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Sunday June 26, 2005 2:35:09 PM #

Somments on Comics

Zatanna #2 Morrison, Sook, Gray
Nice art, interesting enough characterizations, but doesn't really seem to be going anywhere fast. Not sure where they are headed with the Zee, Jr. character either.

Aquaman #31 Guggenheim, Clarke
More or less a regualar hero/police procedural, except the city is sunken underwater. eh.

Villians United #2 Simone, Eaglesham, von Grawbadger
Not as gripping as the first issue. They should revamp that Catman costume. Given the characters involved, this story seems kindof dificult to orient with Rogue War that is happening at the same time in Flash. Good book still.

JLA #115 Johns, Heinberg, Batista, Farmer Geoff Johns begins his JLA Crisis arc. Very good stuff... so far it has a higher profile feel than the actual four crisis mini-series. Good Stuff.

Rann Thanagar War Gibbons, Reis, Campos
Fans of Kyle Rayner in Space will like this one. Not as strong a series as the Adam Strange Mini was however. Good Stuff still.

Green Arrow #51Peaty, Battle, Purcell
Nice stand alone issue co starring Anarky who is just one of those very late 90s anti hero looking guys. Nice art and non-computer looking coloring. Good Single issue pick-up.

Gotham Central #31 Rucka, Lieber
Poison Ivy on the cover, Good Stand alone story... nice Tales from the Crypt style ending. Good Stuff.

Nightwing #109 Grayson, Hester, Parks
I'm not a regular reader of this book. Seems that they have Nightwing pulled into a Soprannos style story/environment. The Villains United blurb on the cover over-hypes a bit in my opinion. The connections to the larger DCU arc in this book don't seem any stronger than any other DCU title at the moment. The surroundings and environment really didn't work for me with this characater, but again I'm not a regular reader. As a stand alone/introduction it doesn't work for me.

Action Comics #828 Simone, Byrne, Nelson
I really dislike how Byrne dcraws women and children. beyond that, this is very good art, some of the better stuff I've seen lately with Byrne's involvement. The villains who show up in the later half of the book after we move beyond Polaris are very interesting. Good Stuff.

Lex Luthor #4 Azzarello, Bermejo
Issue two and three were more interesting than this one. Probably because this issue focusses more strongly on just Luthor without the interesting Superman and Bruce Wayne moments the past two issues had. Interesting series so far, too bad it's release has it lost in all the Crisis hoopla.

Hawkman #41 Gray, Palmiotti, Bennett, Jose
And some one dies... fairly gruesomely too. Suprisxingly there seems to have been no outcry over this character's death. Interesting that Blue Beetle and Sue Dibny were so much more popular.

Birds of Prey #83 Simmone, Bennett, Jadson
I like that they have the Huntress back in a more "Gothamesk" costume. Interesting tie-in on the last page. OMAC Tie-in, but a more Prequelesk one I think. Good Stuff.

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Sunday June 26, 2005 12:08:48 AM #

Live Action Aquaman costume from the fictional "Aquaman" movie being developed within HBO's Entourage show as seen last week.

The character: Vincent Chase, didn't care for the costume... and wants final costume approval.

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Saturday June 25, 2005 12:27:13 PM #

» DC Comics Solicitations and Previews for September 2005 • ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER #2 • BATMAN #645 kindof suprising that the Red Hood thing isn't wrapped up yet •BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #195 Seth Fischer Art • CATWOMAN #47 Captain Cold • NIGHTWING #112 Deathstroke • SUPERGIRL #2 vs Superboy and Wonder Girl • SUPERMAN/BATMAN #23 Supergirl and part 4of6 Maxiums • ACTION COMICS #831 Villains United tie-in Supes vs. Black Adam • ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #644 Zatanna Crisis Tie-in • SUPERMAN #221 Major Crisis Tie-in • CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS: THE ABSOLUTE EDITION HC very cool sounding oversized edition but pricey at $99 • AQUAMAN #34 vs. Aqualad • BLOOD OF THE DEMON #7 Day of Vengence tie-in, but the Demon by Byrne... don't know about that • BIRDS OF PREY #86 3 guest artists including Bruce Timm • DAY OF VENGEANCE #6 • FIRESTORM #17 also vs. Black Adam • GREEN LANTERN #5 Great new Shark Cover • GREEN LANTERN CORPS: RECHARGE #1 two count 'em two monthly Green Lantern books now... I'm so very happy • GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH HC nice but at $25 probably not • GREEN ARROW #54 vs. Doctor Light • HAWKMAN #44 Golden Eagle as Hawkman • JLA #118 and #119 Geoff Johns Crisis goodness and nice cover with Zee • JSA #77 Alan Scott feature issue guest starring Hal Jordan and Donna Troy - excellent cover • JSA CLASSIFIED #3 Power Girl and Huntress vs. Crime Syndicate • LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #10 • MANHUNTER #14 OMAC tie-in • OUTSIDERS #28 • THE OMAC PROJECT #6 • RANN-THANAGAR WAR #5 • SHOWCASE PRESENTS SUPERMAN VOL. 1 TP Essentials • SHOWCASE PRESENTS: GREEN LANTERN VOL. 1 TP Essentials • TEEN TITANS #28 • VILLAINS UNITED #5 • VIGILANTE #1 probably too dark for me but nice costume design • WONDER WOMAN #221 OMAC tie-in • ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE #4 • EX MACHINA #15 • JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED: JAM-PACKED ACTION Screen Capture adaption of Initiation and the Man who has Everything

DC Direct Previews Solicitations • Knightfall Batman Action Figure Assortment. The Catwoman and Bane figures are particularly nice. There's some other stuff too.

Marvel Comics solicitations and Previews for September 2005 • ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #23 end of the three part 616 crossover • ULTIMATE SECRET #3 Slow relasing book • ULTIMATES 2 #8 • NEW AVENGERS #11 • THE FANTASTIC FOUR PRESENTS FRANKLIN RICHARDS: SON OF A GENIUS If you missed these in Power Pack, nows your chance to read them as a collection. Very Calvin-and-Hobbes-like • DEFENDERS #3 Bwahaa Ha continues • MARVEL TEAM-UP #12 • OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE: ALTERNATE UNIVERSES 2005 New Universe stuff inside • SUPREME POWER: HYPERION #1 • SUPREME POWER: NIGHTHAWK #1

» Great behind the scenes footage of the making of the upcoming Superman Movie
via a guy at work via Ain't It Cool News

» Boing Boing linked to a blog that is featuring retro shopping mall photos Of the dozen or so entries so far, one is Westland Mall, the mall I grew up going too. The pictures are dated as in the "1960s", That was before my time, but I do remember it still looking mostly as pictured in the mid seventies. The internet is neat.

» I know this has been blogged to death other places, but I just read the Grant Morrison Dean of Revamping article, along with the earlier Geoff Johns Continuity Cop announcement, things really seem to be going into overdrive with DC. Coupled with the fact that DC recently (for the first time in quite awhile) outsold Marvel. The House of M has got to be getting a bit freaked out by now.

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Saturday June 18, 2005 10:21:11 PM #

» Saw tonight's episode of Justice League Unlimited: "Mystery in Space". First off with a title like that you would have thought the Adam Strage would have made an appearance, but nope. Anyway Shayera "Don't call her Hawkgirl" Hol in her adidas running suit, Vigilante and Vixen go off on a space rescue mission and fight some Thanagarians. Yawn. Anyway, there's some good character stuff with Vixen and there's Vigilante, who is one of those characters that I continually scratch my head trying to figure why he gets so much airtime. Overall though... not too much going on in this episode. If you missed it, you didn't miss much.

Looks like the next episode is going to be alot more fun though: Question, Huntress, Superman and more.

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Saturday June 18, 2005 8:32:27 PM #

Media Musings

» Recently watched the first two episodes of HBO's Entourage second season. It's a good show, although I can't say that I'm as into it as I was last season. Probably mostly due to having watched the similiar HBO series: Unscripted which deals with similiar hollywood themes in a much more realistically feeling way. Still Entourage is a fun male version/replacement for Sex in the City. The fact that it follows four men instead of four women makes it a much simpiliar show however, since guys just ain't that complicated.

And for you superhero fans... one of the main plots is that the main character may be the lead in an imaginary "Aquaman" movie... Might be fun if they do the suit in future episodes. (I know the guy isn't blond... how could they cast a dark haired actor to play Aquaman? It's an imaginary movie within a TV show... I'm going to cut them some slack.)

I also watched the first episode of the HBO Lisa Kuddro show: The Comeback. Wow was that painfully boring. It's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" without the charm mixed with "Unscripted" minus the realism, with just a dash of "Larry Sanders Show" sans the the funny. Skip this one. I'd be suprized if Kuddro's Friends manage to sit though it. (I know, Ouch... but HBO's gone to this "behind the scenes of hollywood well one too many times at this point, and the well is dry.)

Still haven't watched the recent two airings of Six Feet Under. I'll probably do a back to back three episode mini-marathon next week sometime.

Recent Comic Round-up

Legion of Superheroes #6 Waid, Kitson, Thibert, Iwahashi
First issue of this new series that left me flat. But the back-up story with Braniac 5 and this Praetor Lemnos villain, well that's good stuff.

The Flash #222 Johns, Porter, Livesay
Big cast, lots of Rogues. With every issue, Johns seems to make Flash more and more a back-up character in his own book. It's good stuff though.

The Ultimates 2 #6 Millar, Hitch, Neary
The consistent quality on this book, is amazing. Good Ultimate "Defenders". I like the take on them that they are more or less a bunch of powerless fans. The Valkyrie cheesecake's not bad either. Smart "Grown-up" superhero play. Good Stuff.

Other World Jimenez, Lanning, Cox
Only buying this book because it's pretty to look at. The story is too dense for my tastes. If Jimenez brings this level of quality to Identity Crisis, with Johns' writing... wow, is that likely to be something.

Batgirl #64 Gabrych, Garza, Delperdang
Major DCU arc story. Ravager vs. Batgirl with Deathstroke looking on. Good stuff for a C Level book.

Young Avengers Heinberg, Cheung, Dell
Some nice twists and turns... So far this book would read much better as a trade, but it's good enough that it's hard to leave on the stand each month.

DC Special The Return of Donna Troy #1
A nice enough looking book, but I'm not really up on my Greek Titan mythology to follow this very well. It looks like the next issue may be a little more firmly rooted in the DCU proper. I hope so anyway. Eh.

Runaways #4 Vaughan, Alphona, Yeung, Strain
While this book doesn't really feel as solidly placed in the Marvel U (despite all it's nods) as Young Avengers, it's certainly handling similiar source material better overall. At some point, I'm really going to need to read the first trade of this. The dialog, the art, all top notch. And the last page reveal... well that's priceless comic bookery there. "I'm afraid your mother is unavailable at present, my child. but perhaps you could spare a moment for your dear old father...." a couple more lines I won't spoil and then splash page! Gold!

Power Pack #3 and #4 Sumerak, Gurihiru
Fun Nostaligic series. Although I'd much rather see these characters done a little more in Runaways' style. "CODENAMES!" That's-- fun.

JSA #74Johns, Kirk, Champagne
Day of Vengence Tie-In, Good Big Cast Super Hero Brawling. Nice stuff.

Superman #218 Verheiden, Benes
Omac Tie-In, Loved the "Disaster Week" Discovery Channel style "What if Superman were to go bad" Television show that is used as a background set-piece. And suprize... more of Superman and Lois in underwear and in bed! (at this point, I'm only pointing this out again to shamelessly generate a couple more Google hits. More pointedly-- it does seem like Lois only has one focus in every Superman issue these days, and it has little to do with reporting for the Daily Planet ;)

Superman/Batman #20 Loeb, McGuinness, Vines
Now here's something you don't read everyday... This book features a DCU ripoff of Marvel's Ultimates, called (wait for it...) "The Maximums" There's also some Bizzarro and "Batzarro" as well as a section with Bats, Supes and a bald Captain Atom. i can't say that I followed the book very easily... but then again, maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention... In anycase, maybe this will make more sense next issue. Still, it's a good DC pick-up for Ultimates fans. Good Stuff.

Firestorm #14Moore, Igle, Stull
DC tossed a tricky big "#1" on this cover to help signify a new start for this book. I can't say that I particularly care for the new character, the inking, the writing or the coloring. I'm dropping this book until it's next Crisis tie-in. Skip it.

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Saturday June 18, 2005 9:51:12 AM #

» Batman Begins NASCAR Uh... No. (Unless the Batmobile was actually in the race, because I'd watch that... once.)

» Image Comic Previews Solicitations for October 2005: Invincible #27

» Dark Horse Comic Previews Solicitations for September 2005: The Art Of Comic-Book Inking 2nd Edition Tpb (Not new but it does combinre the first two volumes in one book) • SERENITY #3 written by Joss Whedon

» Firefly, including the unaired by FOX 3 Episodes will start running on the SciFi Channel Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m. (New Episodes of Battlestar Galactica also begin on that day at 10pm.

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Friday June 17, 2005 9:52:27 AM #

Let's Go Surfing

» $12.99 Personalized Superhero Capes for Kids. There are four sizes from 20" to 36" Neat.
via Progressive Ruin

» Now here's a Serious Collection of Plastic housed in Sauder. Take a look at the link and click on the thumbnails to check out Newsarama's Super-Articulate Column Writer's Action Figure Collection.
via Newsarama

» DC consolidates a little more continutity coordination into Geoff Johns Cool.
via Newsarama

» Cool Soundproof personal media room

» X-Men 3 Movie Teaser Poster
via Comics Continuum

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Thursday June 16, 2005 4:39:35 AM #

» Saw Batman Begins last night. Such a very good movie. Very Very Good. Joy!

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Wednesday June 15, 2005 6:30 AM #

Break-out your cape and cowl...
For now is the time to Bat-Dance!
Batman Begins Today!

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Tuesday June 14, 2005 7:06:49 AM #

» And I declare tomorrow to be:

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Monday June 13, 2005 6:44 PM #

» Red Barron Pizza and ice cream. MMMM Good!

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Monday June 13, 2005 7:35:05 AM #

» Toy Biz has a new smaller 3 3/4 scale Marvel Legends line coming out. Marvel Showdown features the same sculpts as the bigger line with some Heroclix style collectable game figure rules also thrown in. Julius Marx site has these pictures of Marvel Showdown Captain America fighting along side G.I. Joe. Now you know.

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Sunday June 12, 2005 11:31:09 PM #

» Watched USA's 4400 marathon over the course of the last 4 or 5 days (they ran it a week ago). There have only been about 8 episodes(?). I'd describe it as a cross between Taken and X-files (and it borrows heavily from X-Files, beyond the fact that there is a slightly rogure main male agent and a medical backgrounded female partner, it even has Lone Gunman analogs). The first 5 episode season (6 hours) is available on DVD at Amazon for $11.99. At that price it's Good Stuff. Reccomended.

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Sunday June 12, 2005 5:04:55 PM #

Slashdot had a link to this article on Microsoft China banning the words: democracy and freedom from their Chinese version of MSN Spaces.

The story itself is interesting to me because we think of Microsoft as a US company, and therefore it should reflect US morals. Banning "democracy" and "freedom" isn't something that a US corporation should do. The natural line of thinking is to figure that Bill Gates should take a stand on the issue (and at somepoint I imagine he very possibly could, if this blows up big enough.) The below post on the Slashdot article was even more interesting I think:

The unfortunate truth is that neither fanatics nor capitalists care much about the concepts "human liberty" and "dignity".

This has nothing to do with IBM or Microsoft. Both are publicly traded corporations. They are not human beings with the ability to be moral. To expect the end result of a collection of managers and paper shufflers to be concern for human liberty and dignity stretches the imagination. If Congress cannot do it, even though they're supposed to, how the heck can an artificial corporate entity ever possibly hope to?

A private corporation might be able to, only because it has one or two actual leaders at the top. But public corporations do not. They might have figureheads like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but the inertia created by several layers of management prevent them from doing much more than giving speeches and approving of the quarterly report. And even if they did try to step in and take hands-on control, they're still employees able to be fired by the board of directors. And the board of directors can get replaced. The entire company can get sold. Ultimately no one is accountable at a public corporation. [emphasis mine]

Do you really expect every moral employee at Microsoft to quit their jobs over this? To you really expect every Microsoft stockholder to dump their shares over this? Do you know how many millions of shareholders there actually are? Have YOU checked that your pension or retirement fund doesn't have any Microsoft stock in it? And if it does, are you willing to dump all of it today?

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Sunday June 12, 2005 2:47:13 PM #

Surfing hither and yon looking at some various freeware sites, I came across a blog of a freeware maker. I thought the begining of the following page was interesting. At the link he talks about a management conference he went to where they discussed a concept of aligning your "circle of concern" with your "circle of influence".

Imagine if you will, two circles one inside the other. The inner circle is our circle of concern, the outer circle is our circle of influence. During the course of the day these circles grow and shrink according to events happening around us and how we react to them. When we become worried about something our circle of concern gets bigger, when we find ourselves in a position to take action our circle of influence gets bigger. Misaligned circles is what introduces stress into our lives. One of the paths to personal happiness is to align these two circles as closely as possible. Sounds very Buddhist but stay with me.

If our circle of concern grows too big and becomes greater than our circle of influence then stress sets in because we find ourselves worrying about things we can do nothing about. If our circle of concern shrinks to be much smaller than our circle of influence then we feel guilty (whether we admit it or not) and therefore stressed for failing to do things we know we should do. Therefore the goal is to align our two circles such that we only worry about things over which we have some control. This is the ability to modify our circle of concern according to our environment.

Like stated earlier, the begining is interesting. The end degenerates into a thereapy session on the emotional economics of Christmas gift giving.

Checkout the guys freeware too.

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Sunday June 12, 2005 12:01am #

» Captain Marvel, SHAZAM on tonight's JLU, Batman: "We like him, he's sunny." Good stuff. Nice ending too.

» Hottie Storm Trooper Uniform. More reasons to join the dark side.
via More than Games

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Sunday June 6, 2005 10:10pm #

» Good Justice League this weekend (Double Date). How about that opening scene with Martian Manhunter? Has that guy been cranky the last several episodes or what? Ouch.

Let's Go Surfing

» No reboot, but post Crisis, in February 2006, every DCU book will skip ahead One Year Later. Very cool concept.

» There will be a DC "Essentials" style 500 page black and White Volumes: Showcase Presents. Different volumes featuring Superman, GREEN LANTERN, Metamorpho and Justice League. Cool.

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Saturday June 4, 2005 1:50pm #

...and now to catch-up on alot of comics I've been reading over the past few weeks:

JSA #73 - Johns, Kramer
Day of Vengence Tie-in. A couple pages each for a whole host of characters. Very a much a get on board, but the train hasn't left yet issue. Good Stuff.

Aquaman #30 - Guggenheim and Clarke
As much as I think it would be great for DC to continue to have a monthly Aquaman title, I think they should drop it. Sinking Sub Diego seemed like a very interesting idea at first but in practice they've just created a city playground that gives Aquaman more of a Superman vibe. Sure they draw bubbles everywhere, but it might as weel be Aquaman flying around instead of swimming. Plus Arthur is one of the big seven, it just doesn't see he should be so preoccupied with one submerged half-city. They do a great attempt at tryijng to make it work and it's not a bad book, but the concept itself doesn't seem suited to the monthly format. Maybe yearly mini's when they have a story to tell would work better?

Gotham Central #31 - Rucka, Stefano Gaudiano
I've been picking this one up for awhile now. Very much still enjoying the more traditional non-computer-interfered look to the art. Other than the "permanent" branding of the lead detective, very well done issue I think.

Wonder Woman #216 - Rucka, Rags
Shares similiarities at least in venue with last week's Wondy focussed Justice League Unlimited Animated Episode. Paring Wonder Girl and Wonder Woman up in this kind of setting puts a strong Zena Warrior Princess vibe out there. It's an ok issue, but I'm really only getting this one to keep up with the overall explosion of DCU interconnectivity happening of late. Ok.

Action Comics #827 - Simone, Byrne, Nelson
The inker and colorist must really be pulling out the stops on this book, because this is some of the better Byrne looking art I've seen in a long time. Green Lantern Villain Polaris is featured, in what appears to be a very odd character turn. Eh, Ok.

Lex Luthor, Man of Steel #3 - Azzarello, Bermejo
It's too bad there is so much else going on in the DCU with Lex Luthor front and center, because if it weren't for everything else swirling around, this would be the lex luthor series to get. The book seems firmly set in a non-continuity neverland, even though it doesn't particularly contridict anything that should rankle fanboy ire. It is very very well done. Azzarello has a great take on Bruce Wayne from Lex's point of view in this ish. Very well done indeed. They're over halfway through at this point, so if your not onboard, get the inevitable tradebaperback when it hits. Good Stuff.

Power Pack #2 (of 4) - Sumerak, Gurihiru
This would be a very good comic for kids if a kid was actually interested in something like this (my guess is they would gravitate toward more television centric characters first). This is just a nostalgia series for me, I very much enjoyed the Packs original run. Calvin and Hobbes fans should at minimum flip though the issues for the back-up "Franklin Richards Son of A Genius" featurettes which appear in each issue, heavily riffing of Waterson's creation.

Marvel Team-up #8 - Kirkman, Johnson
The entire issue is mostly Blade talking at Punisher. It's good stuff still. DC only fans, you should be picking up this book as a window into the Marvel U each month. Good Stuff.

Green Lantern Secret Files and Origins 2005 - Various
A fantastic Darwyn Cooke story in the same style as New Frontiers focussed on a young Hal Jordan, as well as a reprint of the previously Wizard-only Green Lantern Rebirth Prequel. Good Stuff.

Birds of Prey #82 - Simone, Bennett
More adventure than superhero, but still fun. There's a toss-away Booster Gold call to Oracle enlisting her help on the search for Blue Beetle bringing in just a touch of OMAC to the proceedings but Simone doesn't let that in anyway derail the story whe's already telling. Generally a solid read, this ones no exception (Some nice Wildcat pges in here too).

Day of Vengence #2 - Willingham, Justiniano, Wong, Livesay
I'm really suprized that I'm enjoying this one. Of the Four big DC crossovers happening right now, this was the one I most thought I wouldn't follow at the onset, but there's a quirkyness to it. Notne of the characters are major players and the story so far is happening in the more neglected corners of DC's playground, but instead of that making the tale boring, it's made it one of the more interesting of the Four, in that I have no idea where they are necessarily going to take these heroes by the end of it. Good Stuff.

Hawkman #40 - Palmiotti, Gray, Bennett, Jose
Not a bad issue. Some of JSA's major players show up in their civilian identies, the art is very well done. Not bad overall, but not a DC must pick-up.

Manhunter #10 Andreyke, Pina, Palmiotti
Half this book continues to milk the Identity Crisis tie-in, the other half launches into a much more Manhunter-mythos centered tale. The question is, Is there any audience for hardcore fans of the historical Manhunter stable of rogues and villains? I've only been picking up this book since the Identity Crisis tie-in, and I've been continually suprized to enjoy the adventures of this DCU fourth stringer. I would like to see this book continue down a path much like Gotham Central, but giving the readers a low level look at some of the other first tier characters and situations out there. If the book turns inward toward itself to "build-up" Manhunter into a more featured player, I'll probably drop it since there's so many titles out there and it seems very much like that inward turn will be a plan destined for failure.

Robin #138 - Willingham, Scott, Hope
Firmly set within the bounds of Villains United, so it's a very good pick-up for fans of the larger arcs. But the real fun seems set to come next issue as Robin seems to have been caught being qauite less than honest with Bats on some weighty issues. Good Drama.

Superman #217 - Verheiden, Benes
Supes builds a new Fortress in the jungle instead of Antarctica. Not a very strong OMAC tie-in beyond the fact that Supes fights one (although he doesn't know what it is). But there is more Lois Lane in various stages of dress and "Meanwhiles" of Supersex. Is anybody else a little weirded out by DC's constant banging on the Superman and Lois "having-sex" drum? There's something a little creepy about it, and it just doesn't seem right. 'course that's probably just me...

Teen Titans #24 - Johns, Clark Thibert and Outsiders #24 - Winick, D'anda
These two books should best be read together. Very tightly integrated into Villains United. Each Team experiences an Order 66 of sorts with Superboy and Indigo both joining the "dark side". Good Stuff.

The OMAC Project #2 - Rucka, Saiz
If this second issue is any indication, you may not need to read this book if you are reading alot of other DC books. Way too much focus on Checkmate for my tastes. Overall it is reading like a recap for it's particular thread of DC's current Four Arcs. The first 5 or so pages are the most integral as you can see the strings being pulled behind the scenes to seperate the big three, but beyond that, less exciting than I expected it. Of the Four, this one will be the least satisfying when collected as a trade, so if you DO want to follow it, don't wait unil then. The expiration date is going to be very visible on this particular tale. Ok.

Green Lantern #1 - Johns, Pacheco, Van Sciver, Merino
Hal Jordan's taken back to his character roots of the 60s. This is really GOOD STUFF. It's the Ice Cream of the DCU. But like Ice Cream, I'm not sure it's something the public at large is going to want a steady diet of on a regular basis. The few character flaws that the newly reconstituted Hal Jordan has may not be enough to sustain interest in the character for the general public. He's more or less the perfect hero, even more so than Superman. Perfect is very hard to take as a constant monthly diet.

When you think about it, however, that's how the character should be, he was chosen over the billion's of other citizens of Earth, by the universe's most ancient and wisest race, to weld the ulitmate weapon in the service of good. If you've got billions to pick from, you should be able to find one perfect hero right? The problem is, it can be very difficult to make a perfect character relate to an imperfect auidence.

Johns seems to have what Jordan's character should be, nailed down. But unlike a protagonist like Peter Parker, who we can all "aspire to be", we can only be "inspired by" Hal Jordan, to "aspire" to be this character, without any of the greater human foibles, is beyond all but the reach of a few. There are some human sides to Hal Jordan (As seen in the clip at right) but can Johns find enough drama in them to pen his scripts month in and month out?

Most people will look at Hal Jordan's actions and try to break them down and find the insecurities and less than pure motives that drive them. But if Johns writes Jordan right, those motivations won't be there, and that's going to frustrate alot of readers in the long run because it's human nature to want to deconstruct our heroes, to find their flaws, but you shouldn't be able to do that with Jordan, by his very nature he's not really supposed to have any. And that may be Jordan's problem, he shouldn't have any and you can't necessarilly write engaging stories about characters without flaws or problems

Beyond all the above pseudo analytical what-not --- from this Fanboy's perspective, for the time-being, this book is FUN Fanboy ICE Cream with Chocolate Syrup and Sprinkles!

JLA #7 Classified - Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire, Rubinstein
Another book (like Lex Luthor) with a disapointing feeling of displacement due to the greater going-ons in the DCU. What doesn't fit? Sue Dibney alive, Maxwell Lord a good guy, Guy Gardner with a Yellow Ring, Blue Beetle alive, Power Girl (Well you just know that they are going to be changing her around an in another couple months). Still Giffen and Dematteis and Maguire can be enjoyed just for the superb way they combine to flex dialog and facial expressions. Continuity be damned, you just want to hang-out with their characters if only to hear what gets said next. The Seinfeld's of the Four Color Cape and Tights world, this is Good Stuff.

Adventures of Superman #640 Rucka and Kerschl
If you picked up any of the stories leading up to this, you knew who the villain Ruin was going to be unmasked as, but besides that, this is a Spectacularly illustraded and layed-out issue. There's some really top notch graphic design going on in the construction of these pages. Very Very creative, yet completely in service to the story panel contruction. Beyond the story, beyond the draftsmanship, this is a very well crafted issue. If you like the medium of comics, I'd go pick this one up if only to study how each page was built. I'd scan a page, but it's really the totality of them that make it shine and it would be a disservice to Kerschl to scan them all :) I Highly Reccomend giving this one a look.

Batman #640 Winick and Lee
This book is getting very interesting. I'm starting to get a little uneasy and queasy with the direction that Winick is taking Batman on the topic of death these past couple issues. But it's a good uneasy... it's a fun queasy feeling. You would think that Bats would be focussed on what appears to be Jason's return from the dead but Winick has Batman believably focusing on the larger issue and also just as believably doubting science and fact and that can't possibly not be an interesting direction to explore.

JLA #114 Busiek and Garney
What can be said other than this story arc lasted too long. the CSA owes the JLA a favor. Power Ring is now Black. With that said, you can probably skip the trade. (In it's defense, it was a pretty book) Next issue promises to be very very good however as Johns takes the helm for a Crisis tie-in.

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