The Battle for Blüdhaven - DC (2006)

OK, I have a confession to make:

I have no idea where Blüdhaven is supposed to be. For a while, there, I was keeping up with the DC version of North America pretty well. I can still point to Gotham, Metropolis, Star City and Coast City (old and new) on a map. I'm a B-student of made-up geography.

I haven't really kept up with the Big Events in either mainstream universe. All the Crises and Wars have pretty much passed me by. I vaguely remember a reference to Blüdhaven a few years back in one of the Batman-related books but for all I knew it was a Swedish death-metal band.

Like many of the One Year Later issues, this issue does a decent job of catching me up on the past 52 weeks of story. It also tells me most of what I need to know about Blüdhaven. Well, except for why anyone would name an American city after something scrawled on the back of a 14-year-old boy's math notebook.

Blüdhaven is a pretty crappy place to live and all the government-sanctioned superheroes, radioactive freaks and that enormous wall haven't made things any better.

The characterizations are good and the dialogue manages to avoid being pure infodump which is nice. I almost always like Jimmy Palmiotti's writing (espeically in the last couple of years) and he and Justin Gray work well together. The art by Dan Jurgens and Palmiotti is well-executed and I've gotta give props to Javi Montes for the colors on this. They are appropriately dark without getting muddy. They really help convey how creepy and depressing this place is.

I'll pick up #2 to see where they're going with this. They're bound to mention it in relation to some other city at some point and then I can stick a pin in my mental DC map.

EDIT: A Google search reveals that Blüdhaven is next to Gotham City but has an even higher crime rate. That makes sense. Gotham is so fucked up that any town near it would have to call itself "Blüdhaven" just to keep from getting swallowed up by the weirdness that is Gotham.

The umlaut is for respect.


A quick note, bub

I really like beer

I've been re-reading some X-Men stories lately and one thing stands out:

No matter who the creative team, the Fastball Special comes up a lot.

A whole lot.

To the extent that it's not really that "special" anymore, is it?

BEAST: "Pardon me, Logan, could you pass me that beer?"

WOLVERINE: "Sure thing, fuzzy." [grabs beer] "Colossus! Fastball Special!"

BEAST: @#$%!!

In which I bitch about free stuff I didn't get

Insert witty alt text here

Free Comic Book Day has come and gone but most of you already knew that. Seriously, if you're reading my blog for "the latest in comics news" you are horribly, horribly misguided.

This year was really disappointing. Turns out that none of the comic stores in Nashville received any of the Silver Sponsor List comics. Those were the ones I was most looking forward to. Particularly Owly. Dammit! I loves me some Owly! I mean, shit, look at him:

Better than a nice tub of good things

I rest my case.

I picked up one each of the Gold offerings and so far, I've been pretty disappointed. The Runaways/X-Men book was horribly written and had the least appropriate art I've seen in months. It also had a bunch of other stuff from titles Marvel wants to push crammed in there. Image attempted to give readers a taste of their titles by chopping, like, a million of them up and giving us a tenth of a panel from each one with which to decide whether we want to spend our money on the full issues. I think they would have been better off giving us an actual full issue.

Tokyopop didn't just give us one full issue they gave us three! In a digest-sized book. And they were all good. Especially Kat and Mouse. I'm going to keep an eye out for that Manga.

The Conan story from Dark Horse was good as was the art. The Star Wars story on the other side was OK. I liked the art but the story was straight out of "Stock Badass Squad Tales vol. 3". Meh.

I haven't read the Transformers, Archie, Bongo or Donald Duck books yet but it says something about the quality of many of the others that I'm looking forward to those as breaths of fresh air.