Awesome Cover Friday: Now Braver and Bolder!

I am really enjoying Mark Waid and George Pérez's The Brave and the Bold reboot. In honor of the awesomeness of the first two issues and in anticipation of the awesomeness to come this week's Awesome Cover Friday is even more awesomer!

The title is best known for being a Batman team-up comic and for introducing new characters. I couldn't narrow the old-school B&B covers down to a mere three so here are four images made of pure awesome.



I did a micro-review of The Brave and the Bold #2 a few days ago but I ran across a beautiful scan of the title page. Behold George Pérez at the top of his game. I love it when comics work the credits into the image like this.

(Click on the image to embiggen it in a new window. Depending on your browser, you may need to click it again to get it out of "fit to screen" mode.)

Hard. Core. Comics. Fan.

Dude. Check this out:

Via ModBlog via this thread on Kevin Church's shiny, new forum.

Five Reasons Why I Blog

Heidi Meeley from Comics Fairplay answered a challenge by listing five reasons she blogs. She then tagged her entire sidebar. I now pick up the gauntlet.

1. It's Writing

I like to write. I've recently managed to get a job where I get paid for it. However, the stuff they pay me for is interesting to about 16 people. This blog gives me a chance to write about things which are interesting to at least 20 people! The more I write the better I will become at writing. That's the theory, anyway.

2. It's Fun

You know what's neat? Thinking stuff up and then seeing it on the internet. Also, thinking about comics and other forms of entertainment is really a blast.

3. I like talking about comics

I am lucky to have many geeky friends. We see each other two or three times a week and we spend most of our time together discussing role-playing games, movies and TV. Most of us read comics but we don't talk about them much. So, I write down what I think about funnybooks and I inflict those thoughts upon you.

4. I like reading about comics

I have discovered more comics blogs since starting Noetic Concordance than I had any idea existed. I enjoy the dialogues in the comments sections and I like the sense of community among the other bloggers I've met.

5. All the cool kids were doing it

Back in the day, Noetic Concordance's own Chuck W. sent me a link to Mike Sterling's blog. From there, I found out about Dave Campbell and Kevin Church. These three guys made me laugh out loud and annoy my friends by constantly emailing links to their posts. I wanted to do what they were doing. I have since discovered many other great blogs (look to the sidebar!) but these three were my gateway drugs.

I learned it from YOU, OK?!?

I won't tag anyone specifically but if you have (or are a member of) a blog of any kind and you want to list your reasons, please do so and leave a comment on this post to let me know about it.


Blogging the Crisis #4

So, the cover seems to indicate that the Monitor is gonna die in this issue. Of course, the Monitor himself also told us that along with the ending of issue #3. Compositionally, this is a great cover. Cool setting, lots of circles and excellent use of space. I especially like the arrow pointing at the corpse just in case we'd forgotten which one the Monitor was.

The "Next Issue" tag at the end of issue #3 said:

"This is the BIG ONE! The End Of The Multiverse!"

Nuh, uh! This is only the 4th issue. If everything's over, we're gonna have the most boring eight-issue run since the Official Handbook of the Desks of the Marvel Universe. You can't fool me, Wolfman!

The issue begins with Supergirl (now with totally-awesome headband action!).

Supergirl pays a visit to Batgirl on the top of a skyscraper 'cause that's how superheroes roll. Batgirl gets all mopey about the end of the world and Supergirl darts off to pull a pilot from a plane that's breaking up in mid air.

We then get a few panels of John Constantine talking to Steve Dayton. Dayton became Mento just to impress a chick. And it worked! He also adopted Changeling, the green, shapeshifting dude from the Teen Titans. When you're the fifth richest man in the world you can get away with that crap.

Back to Constantine. Dude! What is with that suit? It's 3-M green! Roadsign green! I'm used to the chain-smoking, trenchcoat-wearing Vertigo version of Constantine. At least this one has a cigarette:

Both of those scene-lets are lead-ins to a shot of Pariah looking like Bea Arthur and moaning yet again about how much his life sucks. Turns out his life is also endless. He shows up on an Earth which was made up just for Crisis as far as I can tell. Um, as opposed to the other ones which are real or something. Sigh.

Anyway, Pariah not only gets to watch another world die around him, this time the three remaining superheroes on the planet try to kill him. Pariah can't be killed 'cause that'd end his suffering. The cosmic sad sack finally does something kinda useful when he saves Lady Quark just before her Earth (with her family on it) is obliterated. Man, there sure are a lot of "last sons and daughters" of various planets running around. Good thing they all have superpowers.

The next couple of pages are devoted to Kimiyo Hoshi, the meanest astronomer ever. The Monitor rewards her antisocial behavior by turning her into the new Dr. Light. Complete with a costume exactly like the previous Dr. Light's:

The Monitor's got bigger things to worry about than designing new outfits, man! He's got a multiverse to save. At least he uses the best sound effect I've ever seen:


That, my friends, is the sound of someone becoming Dr. Light.

Then a bunch of nearly comprehensible stuff happens:

  • The still-faceless bad guy kidnaps Red Tornado for some damn reason.

  • Firestorm and Killer Frost go back to Arthurian times, freak out Vandal Savage and are nearly decapitated by the Shining Knight. Oh, for fun!

  • All the tuning-fork things get attacked by the combined might of all the shadow demons.

  • The new Dr. Light hurls invective at everyone in sight. Katana gets my favorite line of the issue: "Has everyone forgotten I speak Japanese?" Man, Katana can't catch a break. First, her sword is useless against impending Armageddon now she's upstaged by Superman who can not only fly, he swoops in and finishes translating before she can say another word. I bet his accent's better than hers, too.

Next, the Monitor teleports Pariah to his swanky extradimensional pad. Pariah then tells us about his tragedy-magnet powers, like, three more times. We know! Let it go, dude!

Then there's a really nice two-page spread where no new information is imparted but it's really pretty and it gives us an idea of the scale of the crisis. Literally everything is getting messed up. No one is having a good day and we're all doomed.

Then BOOM! Harbinger whacks the Monitor. She zaps him with an energy bolt and he blows up and falls a million stories. Just like The Emperor when Darth Vader tossed him down that shaft (what the hell was that doing in his throne room, anyway?).

Pariah's all, "Damn! I did not need to see that!"

He freaks out just as everything goes white and the next three pages show us many, many images of the multiverse getting eaten by the antimatter.


Huh. I guess the tagline at the end of #3 wasn't kidding. The next eight issues will just be a couple of guys remembering how cool it was back where there were things like "time" and "width".

Issue #4 felt like it was trying to do too many things simultaneously. It was all over the place and, therefore, didn't have the impact that each of the previous issues did. It was fun to read but it loses several points for a complete lack of talking apes.

'Til next week, true believers, make mine Marv Wolfman!

Previous Installments: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


Link Power Super Force Go!

Blogging the Crisis #4 will be a day late. Enjoy some links, my friends.

Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra are producing comic books now. The only thing that could make this weirder would be if Nicolas Cage were somehow involved. Oh...wait, he is.

This City of Heroes/City of Villains comic contest sounds kind of like a mess what with the software downloading but it's free to enter.

The Hero Initiative expands like a big, expanding thing. This is the only comics-related "initiative" I'm interested in these days. Seriously, though, these guys are made of awesome.

And finally, there's always room for Mogo!


So tired...here are some links

There's an R. Crumb retrospective at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Unscrewed begins its third week of auctions.

Back From The Con - Mark Waid!

MidSouthCon was even more fun this year than it was last year. I made it to all but one of the Mark Waid panels I wanted to see. He talked a bit about his upcoming John Doe series for Boom! Studios. He also discussed the future of The Brave and the Bold which looks like it's going to keep having the stuff I want to read. Issue 5 has the Legion of Super-Heroes in it!

He even autographed my Ruse trades despite the PTSD response that memories of Crossgen must have triggered.

In other news, I met a bunch of cool people, played a lot of games, helped throw an awesome party, and did a little networking for Hypericon, the one I work for.

I'm recovering from the con nicely and will resume regular content soon.


Awesome Cover Friday: Team-Up Style!

I have almost as many issues of Marvel Team-Up as I do of Fantastic Four. I looked forward to seeing who would imperil Spider-Man and his latest superfriend each month. There are a few stories and covers which stand out.

Machine Man has always been one of my favorite characters. The teamup is good. The cover is awesome! The split effect with the white-on-black in the Baron Brimstone section lets you know something seriously weird is going on.

A lot of the Marvel Team-Up covers were really busy as if they were trying to fit everything about the issue into a single picture. This cover conveys far more with a simple image. Also, this one wins the award for "Best Use of Logo". I really like the way the word "Vision" curves around Spidey's head.

My favorite cover of the entire 150-issue series. This was Karma's first appearance and it really made an impression on me. The cover combines simple, clean design with a sense of frenetic energy. Reed's head looks a little weird but that's my only complaint about this one.


Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (tp) - Dark Horse

I first ran across the word "Lankhmar" in the old-school Deities and Demigods supplement for D&D. The one with the cool-ass Erol Otus cover. From there, I sought out the novels by Fritz Leiber and all subsequent sword-and-sorcery tales I read paled in comparison.

It turns out Howard Chaykin and Mike Mignola produced a four-issue miniseries based on Leiber's tales. I just found out about this yesterday when I saw the issues collected in a trade paperback. I won't get a chance to read this until next week but Chaykin! Mignola! Leiber! It might as well have been called "Brian, Buy This Now! vol 1"

Enjoy page 4 (click on the image to embiggen it):

Two New Comics, Two Little Reviews

The Spirit #4 - DC (2007)

Darwyn Cooke groks The Spirit. He knows what makes it cool and he's able to put all that coolness into this book. #2 had my favorite cover until this one came along. I am simply blown away by how good this comic is.

Mexico, The Spirit, Octagon/Octopus, a CIA agent named Silk Satin and a dude named Hussein wearing a cowboy hat. Oh, and stuff blows up. Get it if you like fun.

The Brave and the Bold #2 - DC (2007)

This series is chugging along nicely. It's a real superhero tale with people flying all over the freakin' universe and fighting big crime. This one features Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Supergirl flying to a casino planet to get a future-predicting book out of the wrong hands. WooHoo! Some people are creeped out by Hal's reaction to Supergirl but I thought it was funny and that it addressed the Supergirl-as-sex-object issue well.

This is doing all the things a team-up book should do. It highlights the similarities and differences between the characters and gives each one a chance to shine. Mark Waid and George Pérez make an excellent team.

Linkin' Memorial

IGN.com gives us a retrospective of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on TV. Including an episode of Power Rangers In Space which I did not know about.

The question "When, precisely, did comics books [sic] get so, well, serious?" is asked for the millionth time.

The L.A. Times has a good article about Boom! Studios. Boom! is rapidly becoming my favorite comics publisher. They're putting out a good range of stuff and they seem to have a (gasp!) business plan so they won't disappear like some of their predecessors. See the "Creators and Studios" part of the sidebar for more of my favorites.

Also, not comics-related but R.I.P. Larry "Bud" Melman (Calvert DeForest).

Headed to Memphis

I'm going to be at MidSouthCon in Memphis this weekend. Mark Waid and Terry Pratchett will be there. WooHoo!

Posts may be slow or non-existent for the weekend but I've got some stuff I want to get out there before the con. We'll see what happens.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of Zzutak:


Doctorow and The Doctor

IDW will make comics out of several Cory Doctorow stories.

David Malki ! of Wondermark wrote an excellent installment of the Comic Strip Doctor about recontextualized comic strips such as the Dysfunctional Family Circus, The Garfield Randomizer and, my favorite, Nameless Dread.

Blogging the Crisis #3

This is the cover I most associate with Crisis on Infinite Earths. It really sums up all the chaos that's going on throughout the multiverse.

We begin with the Luthor kid who has grown to adolescense in just a few days. Oh, and the Monitor is keeping him in a big glass sphere. Fortunately, Luthor Jr. has developed cognitively as well as physically so he can speak English (or whatever language they speak in Monitorland). Harbinger reminds us via internal monologue that she's working for the Monitor's adversary and then she goes off to report to said bad guy.

Harbinger meets Psycho Pirate who was obviously picked on a lot when he was in school. I love it whenever anyone calls Psycho Pirate by his villain name because it always sounds like a rude insult. "Nice going, Psycho Pirate!"

Unnamed bad guy shows himself to be as tired of Psycho Pirate as the rest of us are. He also shows himself to be a bit off the mark when he claims to know what the Monitor is up to "as he thinks it". Um, so, are you aware he knows about the Harbinger-bot who's been programmed to kill him? Huh? Huh?

Bad Guy apparently doesn't have access to comic books in the negaverse, either, because he says, "The dead can present no threat". Dude, the dead show up and threaten things all the time. Oh, well, your funeral.

Now I begin to show my ignorance of DC history. The Flash was exiled to the future? Fair enough. I was just unaware of that. Anyway, Flash is living in Central City in the future of Earth-1 and things are breaking up there, too. He relaxes his internal vibrations to return himself to his proper time. This is why I love the Flash. Hell, this is why I love comics. The Flash is living in the future because he has changed his vibrational patterns!!!! Damn. That is awesome. All he has to do is stop the "future vibrations" and he snaps back to the 20th century.

Flash shows up in the middle of The Teen Titans and The Outsiders who are trying to keep everything from being erased. Here's another scene which reminds me that I was not reading DC in '85. I don't recognize several of the combatants. I know Nightwing, Changeling and Metamorpho, of course but Katana, Kole and Captain Sideburns (Jericho) must not have stuck around much past the turn of the decade.

I'm serious about the sideburns:

I mean, dang! Look at those things. He's like Super-Lemmy Kilmister. Even the animated Teen Titans version has them:

The assembled heroes are trying to save people and keep the world from crumbling while explaining their powers and relationsips in as much detail as possible. Oh, and we meet another hero I'd never heard of, Halo, who seems to have stolen Lightspeed's schtick. Also, Black Lightning saves an elderly couple. Actually, he may have blown them up. The events of that last panel are kind of unclear.

Superman and Batman show up just in time to see the Flash die. Again. This time his component atoms are spread out until he disappears in a bolt of lightning. Sucks to be Flash.

Quick one-page interlude of Brainiac (the big robot one) observing the encroaching anti-matter. He speeds off to pick up Lex Luthor. Yeah, that's gonna end well.

Now we move into the meat of the story. This is the kind of stuff I was hoping to see! The crazy-quilt cover has not misled me. Wolfman has thrown every World War II comic together in order to dump Geo Force, Dr. Polaris and Blue Beetle into the middle of it. The Monitor has placed one of his ginormous tuning forks on a Markovian battlefield. So, there's Nazis and superheroes and soldiers and tanks and Eastern European peasants all over the place! Hijinks ensue.

I know my way around Sgt. Rock but The Losers and Haunted Tank are not in my active comics vocabulary. I learned most of what I needed to know about them from the clunky exposition, though. This scene is awesome. It's a veritable cliche gumbo what with the WWII-isms and the superhero declarations not to mention Dr. Polaris practically wringing his hands with maniacal glee. It all ends tragically when one of the squads gets eaten by the anti-matter. Guess which one:

"They were called The Losers. But they were winners to the end."

Um, no they weren't. They got eaten by anti-matter. Also, the War Office had obviously run out of tough-guy nicknames when The Losers joined up. Gunner, Sarge, Navajo Ace and Captain Storm are descriptions, not monikers.

The scene ends with another "SKRAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" sound effect (#2 so far) and we move on to the only talking-ape appearance of the issue. Not a good trend. Not only that, King Solovar dies! Damn you all to hell!!

Next a bunch of superheroes show up in the old west. Jonah Hex is there along with Bat Lash, Nighthawk, Scalphunter and Johnny Thunder. It's a shorter version of the WWII scene above with an even weirder collection of superheroes. The Monitor really should have done a little more research before sending John Stewart, Cyborg, Psimon and Firebrand to the Wild West. It ends the same as the previous timewarp, though, with nearly everyone getting eaten by anti-matter. #3 isn't the happiest of issues.

Continuing with the "not happy" vibe, the Legion of Super-Heroes gets its ass kicked by the anti-matter. Namely, Kid Psycho gets anti-matterized. Maybe "Kid Psycho" has different connotations in the 30th century but that doesn't seem like a particularly heroic name to me. But then, I liked Dazzler's '80s costume so who am I to talk?

We end the story with the Monitor watching everything get zapped out of existence only to have Harbinger tell him it's time to DIE! Uh, oh.

#3 is my favorite issue so far. Wolfman and Pérez outdo themselves by cramming an absurd number of characters into it. There's even room for the story to advance! The dialogue is pretty silly throughout but it does its job. Crossovers like this suffer from self-introduction syndrome worse than any other type of comic and this issue has it in spades. Still, it's a lot of fun and it ends on a classic cliffhanger. Although, we know Monitor won't get out of it, the ending doesn't lose its punch.

Previous Installments: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2

If blogs had bumpers, that is

Diesel Sweeties provides The Official Internet Bumper Sticker:

What's your 20, good buddy?

It's like an ironic hat for your blog!

A soupçon of links

Animation Magazine reports that Platinum Studios is gearing up for a 2nd Comic Book Challenge. New and unpublished comic creators are encouraged to submit their ideas for a chance to have their property developed for print, online, film and television. Go to ComicBookChallenge.com

Holy Monster Pockets! Check out this essay by Greg Burgas! When the words "Moore" and "Morrison" are mentioned in the same article the author is contractually obligated to include "deconstruction" and/or "postmodernism". Burgas does both! It's a long, well-written piece which covers literary elements in comics and why screwing with the status quo is a good thing.

Added to the sidebar: Inside Joke Theatre


From the mouths of webcomics

Shortpacked echoes my feelings about Darwyn Cooke's The Spirit and Frank "Testosterone" Miller's involvement in the proposed movie.

What I said about it wasn't as funny but it does have a keen scan of an old-school Spirit cover.

Dynamo 5 #1 - Image (2007)

This title is starting with a bang!

Premise: What if a dude with all of Martian Manhunter's powers slept with every woman he possibly could? And then died.

Well, he'd have a bunch of children and his bitter widow would collect them, activate their latent powers and guilt them into defending The City now that the dad they never knew is gone.

Truly, a tale as old as time.

The writing by Jay Faerber is compelling and entertaining. The art by Mahmud A. Asrar is perfect for the story. He balances between heavy and light just as the tone of the story does. The layouts are simple yet dynamic and the character design is clean and nice to look at.

This is a good, solid book with an ending that could have come from Warren Ellis.

I won't say anything more other than to show you an example of the art:

EDIT: If you're reading this straight from the blogger site the image below will be truncated. Click on the RSS Feed to see the full page or click on the image itself to bring it up in a separate window.


New Comics Day: Parade of Mediocrity

Three of the mainstream titles in my holdbox were disappointing. Only one of them was bad enough to make me drop the book. Let's start with that one:

Moon Knight #8 - Marvel (2007)

I'm a big Moon Knight fan. He was the first inductee into the Badass Files. I've been enjoying this revival of the character by Charlie Huston and David Finch enough to keep it in my holdbox but no longer.

I read this issue twice and I have no idea what the hell was going on. The dick-swinging contest between MK and Captain America was boring and everything else was just confusing. I'm tired of this demon hallucination thing, I'm tired of the poorly-executed gritty tone and I'm tired of Finch's little-faces-on-big-heads art.

Jonah Hex #17 - DC (2007)

The Tallulah storyline gets wrapped up in a nearly-satisfactory manner. I would have preferred more meat to the story but it hit all its marks. The art is excellent but I liked the visuals from the earlier issues better.

The only big complaint I have about this title is the dialects. Just write actual English words. We get that they're in the old west. We're not going to mistake this for a P. G. Wodehouse story! Drop the occasional "g" but stop with the "yore" and "caint" stuff. You aren't even using them properly half the time.

Green Lantern Corps #10 - DC (2007)

First, the cover. Nothing even remotely like this happens in this issue. I know, I know, it's a comic book. I shouldn't expect a scene from the story but this one doesn't even reflect the tone or theme of the comic.

Speaking of tone and theme, this issue barely had one. It was a disjointed combination of two-and-a-half storylines which will probably get fleshed out in future issues. This wasn't a bad issue it's just that not much happened. The stuff that did happen involved my favorite Lantern, Dr. Natu! The cover of #11 features Natu and her new partner. Looks like fun.


Top O' The Mornin' To Ya

Shamrock says Happy St. Patrick's Day! And she's brought some friends.


Linkin' Ain't Easy

I finally saw 300. It's good. You can read actual reviews of it all over the web. All I'll say is that 300 was exactly faithful enough to the original material (both the visuals and the story) to still be an enjoyable movie. Sin City, on the other hand, was fanatically faithful and the movie suffered.

Here's something I didn't know about: Stan Lee Media (no longer associated with Stan) sues Marvel for ownership of many characters.

Comics Should Be Good continues its Comic-Book Urban Legends series with one related to Captain America #25, sort of.

Added to the sidebar: Comic Pants. Randy Lander and a veritable Spartan army of other dudes post here. And there's a podcast! Do I have to click the link for you?!?

The Internet's Dave Campbell speaks the magic words and posts about Lame-Ass Villain #18.

And now: Rot Lop Fan

The World's Greatest Awesome Cover Friday!

I have a lot of issues...of Fantastic Four! My mom bought me subscriptions to FF and Marvel Team-Up back in the late '70s and I kept them up until the mid '80s. In going through the issues, I realized that FF covers generally fall into two catagories:

1. The FF fight something huge.
2. The FF are dead.

The covers below stand out for me because they break the pattern.

The little, floating FF heads kind of dilute the impact of this image but it says something that when I dredge it from my memory all I see is the awesome split Galactus/Death visage.

Oh, and because this is a Marvel comic book, the Death's head on the cover isn't a metaphor. Death actually shows up in the issue. Wotta revoltin' development!

I remember taking the brown paper off this one and thinking "Wow!" It still has that effect on me. This simple, striking composition combined with the narrowest of palettes conveys the level of power our heroes are up against. Also, the title's awesome.

This is my favorite FF cover of all time. It's also my favorite FF story. You know how Attilan, the Inhuman's home city, is on the Blue Area of the Moon? No? Is it just me? Anyway, this is the issue where they moved there! That's a whole, freakin' city they're levitating! Fantastic Four is best when the stories are big and this is one of their biggest.

It showed off the Inhumans kewl powerz along with developing them as people. Awesome stuff. Also, Black Bolt actually shouts! I bet he enjoyed that.

That Yellow Bastard

The image above makes me happy. You know how much Tegan likes Aquaman? That's how much I like the Green Lantern Corps. There's a review of the latest GLC issue on the way but until then enjoy Sinestro Triumphant!

Click here for a bigger version from Newsarama.


Comic Dichotomy

Comics can be used for good as well as for evil.

Also, check out Wondermark.

Blogging The Crisis #2

I really liked the first issue's cover but this one is confusing. It's hard to see what's going on and the perspective is weird. Still, it's got that cool Statue of Liberty way in the background and an ape in the foreground. "You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

On to the issue:

First off, we take a trip to "The Dawn of Man" to meet Anthro. I suppose his brothers "Psych" and "Poli-sci" are back at the village. The Dawn of Man bit is for real. Anthro's dawning all over the place. He gets three full pages all to himself which, given how much stuff Wolfman and Pérez had to cram into this issue, is a lot of real estate.

Anthro is the first Cro-Magnon and he's surrounded by Neanderthals. I know how he feels; I used to work for the government.

Anthro tries to stop a stampeding herd of wooly mammoths from squashing his village. Y'know like the anti-matter is doing to EVERYTHING ELSE! Man, where do I come up with these parallells? Genuis! Anyway, hijinks ensue. It's a regular prehistoric sitcom even after Anthro gets a vision of 30th-century Metropolis.

Which is where the mammoths end up. That's right, due to the multiversal freakout, a herd of raging proto-pachyderms goes tearing through the Legion of Super-Heroes HQ. This is all a setup for Brainiac-5 to use his enormous thinkin' powers to determine that everything's gonna go away real soon.

Cut to Batman interrupting one of The Joker's lamest schemes ever. Joker has killed this rich dude in order to get the rights to colorized silent movies. However, the caption just before this revelation states clearly that the dead dude has heirs. Maybe Joker's gonna kill them, too. He is totally batshit.

Anyway, Batman has enormous thinkin' powers along with enormous ass-kickin' powers. Before he can completely kick The Joker's ass, though, The Flash shows up and dies horribly. He just withers and turns to dust. "WTF?" says Batman. This scene is seriously creepy and Pérez really sells it.

Pérez is not just a good artist, he's one of the best visual storytellers in the business. This whole Joker-Batman-Flash sequence is a masterpiece of panel arrangement. Things are placed in an unconventional manner but it all works so well that I didn't notice any of it until my second readthrough. Pages 13 & 18 of this issue should be included in textbooks about sequential art.

The pace picks up at this point, which is saying something. The fifteen super-beings recruited by the Monitor in issue #1 are sent around the multiverse to protect these big-ass tuning forks which are supposed to mitigate the anti-matter energies. Man, I love comic-book physics!

The Guardians of the Galaxy get their collective ass handed to them by the still-unseen bad guy and Kal-El Baby Luthor (remember the one from Earth-3 in the first issue?) starts growing faster than a soap-opera baby. I don't have a good scan of the Luthorbaby so I'll substitue this image of Pip the Troll.

He looks just like that. Trust me. Cigar and everything.

Next Pariah shows up near the Atlantis tuning fork and proves that his only powers are super-uselessness and ultra-buzzkilling. Psycho Pirate nearly takes Pariah out by making him happy because joy is Pariah's kryptonite. Before Psycho Pirate can finish the job he is teleported into the presence of the Big Bad. It's really dark where the evil dude lives. Also, he can take people's faces away. Don't mess with him.

The issue wraps up with a stunning final page which contains voiceovers from both of Harbinger's controlling forces.

Another good issue. The story moved forward quickly and the art is some of the best I've seen in any comic. There was exactly the right amount of talking-ape content. There was even a sound effect that went "SKRAAAAAAAAA!" How cool is that?

See you in a week with Issue #3 and there better be apes!

Previous Installments: Introduction, Part 1


Ded Linkin' Office

Quick note: House of the Ded is back online. Pudge Heffelfinger commands you to click the link!

But wait! There's more!

I found another really good "Nameless Dread" to share with you:

Making fun of Family Circus is always a good thing but adding Lovecraft lines to it is G-E-N-I-U-S.

By the way, if you want to screw with some Bill Keane drawings, yourself, go here and try it. It's fun for the whole fungoid family!

Linkin' Nebraska

No, really! This one has a story about Nebraska in it.

The next installment of "Blogging the Crisis" will be up tomorrow. Until then, here are a couple more links:

The Freemont Nebraska Tribune has an article about a stolen comic book worth $4,000 - $5,000. It was recovered, which is good, but the article left out the most important bit of information. What was the comic?!? Was it that super-hot-hot-hot Captain America #25?

In non-Nebraska news, IF Magazine has an interview with Scott Allie, editor of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 8. Man, there sure is a lot of space between each paragraph. It's like those papers I did in high school which had to be a certain page count so I pushed the margins in and triple-spaced all the text.

Also, in honor of Boom! Studios' excellent Cthulhu Comics, here's one of my favorite "Nameless Dreads" -

The Linkin' Bedroom

Oh, Jeez! Comics Oughta Be Fun brings us the adventures of The Mighty Clor.

There was a lot of stuff wrong with comics in the '90s. Comics Should Be Good highlights an issue which exemplifies all of it.

Jonah Hex is one of my favorite comic characters. I even kinda liked it when he was in that cyberpunk setting. Anyway, Scott from Polite Dissent discusses What's up with that freakin' scar. Also, there's a picture of a disfigured Britney Spears. Bonus!

Y'know something else I like? Jimmy Olsen's wacky adventures. Jake from Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge does too. The difference between us is that Jake got a bunch of comic artists to sketch Jimmy for him.


Awesome Cover Friday - Yo, Joe!

I like GI Joe. I like the animated series, I like the action figures and I really like the comic books. Below are some of the covers that stand out in the nostalgic sludge I call a memory.

The first cover is much more recent than the second two but it's a cover that seriously did it's job. I bought it because I had to know the story behind that image. Also, the style and composition just scream "Comic Book!".

#27 possesses the platonic form of a GI Joe cover. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes kicking each others asses in the middle of a city isn't enough for the Joe team! No, we've got to throw in a gunship! "Clearance be damned, sir, there's a ninja on that train!".

I'm cheating a bit by posting the cover for #21 because, while it is an awesome cover it's actually the contents of the issue that stand out. This was the Silent Issue. The story was told with nothing but pictures. No word balloons, no captions, nothing. It blew my little comic-reading mind at the time and it still holds up as an excellent story.

And here's a bonus cover 'cause it's got dudes with chainsaws attacking a freakin' plane! Man!

While I'm at it, here's an installment of Comic-Book Urban Legends from a while back about the Joes.

Shot of Rorschach?

More Watchmen news here...apparently a test shot, not a Production still.


Fall of Cthulhu #0 - Boom Studios (2007)

I'm a big Lovecraft fan. I also like a lot of the Cthulhu Mythos writings by other authors over the years. This comic goes in my "like" list. It also goes in my hold box. Here's why:

First off, the art. A good Mythos tale is about atmosphere. Cthulhu stories aren't always scary, as such, but they should always be eldritch and creepy. Jean Dzialowski's art conveys the proper atmosphere. There were a couple of frames where it was difficult to figure out what was going on but nothing that ruined the story.

Dzialowski switches styles a couple of times to show that the action has literally moved into a different realm. The majority of the book has a painterly, stylized look to it which is enhanced by the dark, narrow palette. The art in the Dreamlands sequence is more traditionally comicky and reminds me of Watchmen-era Dave Gibbons.

One of the advantages of writing a Cthulhu story is that there are libraries full evocative, creepy lines from earlier stories in the Mythos. Michael Alan Nelson uses these previous writings to great effect. The story features Abdul Alhazred, the Mad Arab who wrote the Necronomicon. When your main character is the batshit-craziest dude who ever lived you've gotta try hard not to get a good story out of him.

Some knowledge of the Cthulhu Mythos is useful for full enjoyment of this sequential-art product but not essential. Nelson does a good job of filling in the blank spots and Dzialowski draws the hell out of it.

In a time where Cthulhu is the punchline of jokes made by people who have never actually read Lovecraft, it's nice to see someone bringing the creepy back to it.