Monday, February 27, 2006

On 22 February, 2006

This week, between four publishers (Marvel, DC, IDW, and Boom! Studios), five first issues, and about four genres (super-hero, fantasy, horror, and mystery if my classifications are correct), I think I set a personal record for variety in comic book reading.

But before I get into all of those, I have to report the second (by my count) Great Wave sighting of 2006. The first was the cover of NEXTWAVE #1. The second is a panel out of SUPERMARKET #1. Please feel free to report any other sightings as you see them.

Hint: It's the three-panel number on the left-hand side.

--Warning: Possible Spoilers--


Cole at Mountain of Judgement recommended ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #1 (among other things), and needless to say, I took him at his word and gave it a shot.

Apart from Kingdom Come, this was my first real comic-book introduction to Superman. I read this thing slowly (being new to DCU), not really feeling it until the very end, when Clark reveals his secret identity to Lois. Didn't catch any references beyond that which any American layreader might know, but that's really to be expected. I'll see if the store has the second issue on its shelves, yet, and will probably give the series until the third, but really, I don't have my hopes up.

My other foray into DC this week came in the form of WILD GIRL #1. This was one of two comics I chose from the dollar bin this week, and being in a bit of a hurry to get to work, I didn't give either of my choices a great deal of thought. And the guys at the shop were not overly enthusiastic about WILD GIRL.

Me, I thought it was cute. The art was a bit too cartoony, maybe, and maybe the whole "Girl who Talks to Animals" theme is a bit overdone, but the urban setting made it interesting. Probably not worth back-issue hunting for, though, and it doesn't seem to be in trades. Oh well.

Boom! Studios

IN THE BLOOD #1 is a dark study in grays, reds, and sepias. The origin story of a teenaged werewolf, I'd somehow expected something lighter. But, no matter, I'm a sucker for a decent werewolf story. The werewolf imagery itself reminds me of those Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books I read as a child (albeit more detailed). There is nothing light-hearted about this. Be warned.

IDW Publishing

Last week, the shop was out of SUPERMARKET #1, but this week, they had it. Not sure what I can really say about it, other than the fact that it's an excellent blend of murder mystery and social commentary. Truly excellent. It's now on my pre-order list.


This week, on Earth-616, FANTASTIC FOUR #535 saw two major story arcs resolved, and lent an interesting angle to the Planet Hulk storyline that's been going on. Franklin and Valeria are not going into foster care after all (not a huge shock); and Ben calmed the Hulk down; and Ben suggested to Reed that the only way to really solve the Hulk problem would be to send him (the Hulk) into space. I'm not nearly jaded enough to not think this is nifty.

Meanwhile, in THING #4, the Inhumans' dog, Lockjaw, joined the cast, and Ben learned the value of family. Dan Slott provided a huge "aww" factor without being completely sappy. My favorite issue of THING, yet!

GRAVITY #1 (OF 5) didn't happen this week (it was my other Dollar Bin pick), but it did happen. And it was a whole lot of fun. Since this coming Wednesday is slow, I might pick up the trade.

Earth-1610 was in flashback mode, as ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK #2 (OF 6) followed the "adventures" of Bruce Banner/Hulk, from his escape from execution to his current weird womanizing status in Tibet. Next issue promises to be a slugfest, but this one was oddly quiet. Aside from the requisite Hulk-kills-and-eats-people mayhem, anyway. Needless to say, I added the series to my preorders.

Notes and Rankings (Best to Worst)

*I first read all of these Wednesday evening, cloistered in my bedroom whilst listening to Celtic Twilight 2 (Hearts of Space), except for ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK #2, which I read without background music. Loreena McKennitt kinda clashes with gory slugfests.

1. THING #4


Panel of the Week: An extremely cool two-page spread from WILD GIRL #1.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

On 15 February, 2006

--Warning: Possible spoilers--

This week in Marvel U (our Earth time), SHE-HULK 2 #5. marked the introduction proper of Two-Gun Kid to current Marvel continuity; said introduction was wrought with both peril and humour, though laughter came easier earlier in the series. Juan Bobillo's depiction of events wasn't quite as jarring this go-round, but he will be on hiatus for at least issues 6 and 7, a revelation shared on this issue's fan page and welcomed by those tired of seeing a waifish Jen Walters.

Molly Hayes stubbornly reclaimed the moniker "Princess Powerful, and took the spotlight in Runaways #13. Everyone's favorite little Bruiser teamed up with a totally different set of runaways in order to defeat a mystical Fagan.

Meanwhile, on a more serious side of town, Sally Floyd's saga continued in Generation M #4. The troubled reporter and columnist continued to encounter death at every turn, from the suicide of a former mutant to deaths of yet more former mutants at the hand of the Ghoul, who continued to make his presence felt. On the bright side, Beak made it quite clear that he was very happy to have become human.

In flashback this week, Spider-Woman: Origin #3 continued the strangely disjointed story of Jessica Drew, a tale peppered with large chunks of missing time. Nick Fury, a gruff yet oddly kind (You don't expect a guy named Fury to be particularly nice, but ol' Nick sure can be.) came into Jessica's life as almost a father figure, or maybe an uncle, showing her the truth of Hydra, and his own respect for her.

The Feast of St. Valentine continued with I (Heart) Marvel: Marvel Ai #1. Pre-Crazy Wanda Maximoff shared with her gushing friends (Natasha Romanova and Janet van Dyne?) a story of her romantic outing with an intact Vision. Her tale was cute, but saccharine enough to floor a diabetic. Meanwhile, Medusa of the Inhumans poetically lamented Black Bolt's perpetual (but necessary) silence. After her bittersweet musings, comic relief came in the form of a cat fight between Electra and Black Widow, who dueled over Daredevil's unrequited love. Pictures and punctuation, but no dialogue, was exchanged during the highly visual display.

And finally, in a totally different universe, (Earth-1610, according to Wikipedia, if you're keeping track), Ultimate Fantastic Four #27 had the Four attempting to go back in time and prevent the origin accident, curing an extremely depressed Ben Grimm of his monstrous condition. Of course, in the world of comic books, manipulating the time stream tends to be an extremely bad idea. And this go-round, it turned Earth-1610's USA into a nation of super-people, with Thor at the helm and Reed Richards as second in command.

Notes and rankings (best to worst)

1. She-Hulk 2 #5 [First read hastily during a quick work break, Wednesday]
2. Runaways #13 [Cloistered in bedroom, Wednesday evening, no music]
3. I (Heart) Marvel: Marvel Ai -- Medusa/Blackbolt vignette [In cube before work Thursday, over a cheese quesidilla, no music.]
4. Spider-Woman: Origin #3 (of 5) [Most in cube after work Thursday, the rest cloistered in bedroom, same evening. No music.]
5. Son of M #4 (of 5) [Cloistered in bedroom, Wednesday evening, no music]
6. I (Heart) Marvel: Marvel Ai -- Electra/Black Widow/Daredevil vignette [In cube before work Thursday, over quesidilla, no music.]
7. Ultimate Fantastic Four #27 [Cloistered in bedroom Thursday evening. No music.]
8. I (Heart) Marvel: Marvel Ai -- Scarlet Witch/Vision vignette [Thursday morning, French class, during respite between a test and the introduction of new vocabulary. Mildly self-conscious.]

Panel of the week: Jessica Drew takes out Taskmaster and dozens of AIM soldiers in SPIDER-WOMAN: ORIGIN #3.

Dollar bin

FIREBIRDS: Image Comics. Published November, 2004; created by Jay Faerber and Andres Ponte; colored by Nestor Pereyra; lettered and designed by Ed Dukeshire.

When I saw this in the dollar bin, I knew I had to pick it up. The elder Firebird, Rebecca, has been used in this ongoing fanfiction series (one of the best fanfics I've ever read), and it was nice to get a kosher introduction to her.

It's a great story on its own. Emily finds out her mother is the super-hero known as Firebird, and that she's has powers just like her mother. And they're starting to manifest. Rebecca takes Emily out of boarding school in order to teach Emily how to fly and control her pyrokinesis, among other things. And in turn, Emily gets to teach Rebecca how to be a mother. Nothing like a hands-on learning experience! It's a story that manages to be sweet without getting trapped in resin, fossilized and turned into jewelry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

On Silly Personality Quizzes

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Moya (Farscape)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with

Hmm. Nope. Not at all surprised. I swear I answered the questions honestly! Found the quiz here. Thanks, Dave!

Monday, February 13, 2006

On 8 February, 2006...


MARVEL KNIGHTS 4 #27: Note to self. Never drink the tea of sorcerers. Unless, of course, it's a life or death situation. But really. Stick with the Tazo.

This was a fun story, worth a reread on Halloween. Or Day of the Dead, maybe.

[First read Wednesday. First half after work, in cube; second half cloistered in bedroom. No music.]


SON OF M #3: Wow. Pietro really does take after his dad, doesn't he? And not in a good way. Great cliffhanger. The time-travel theme is really confusing here, though, and, really, the TVA could have a field day with it. That... I would love to see. Worth a reread or two once the mini is completed.

[First read Wednesday evening, cloistered in bedroom, fighting a migraine. No music.]

X-MEN: THE 198 #2: Damn. It was great to see the mutant Spider-Man saved back in SON OF M #1. He (the mutant) seemed so... tragic and sympathetic. And this X-MEN issue establishes that he's recovered. But he's not all that innocent, either. Or maybe he is and the abdominal entity isn't. I don't know. Still. Creepy. Worth a reread when the mini is completed.

[First read Wednesday evening, cloistered in bedroom, fighting a migraine. No music.]

I (HEART) MARVEL: WEB OF ROMANCE #1: Yes. I am female, and I bought a romance comic. It's not like I'm into Rogue and Gambit or anything.

Dragon Man makes an appearance, Tony Stark likes Cheez-Its so much that Jarvis has to hide them, and Mary Jane gets web shooters for Valentine's Day (a perfect resolution for Spider Man's "What to get MJ for Valentine's Day" problem). And Johnny Storm gets Punk'd. Awesome. Worth rereads for many Februaries to come.

[First read Wednesday the 8th, in cube, during work break. Riverdance.]

Dollar bin

FAR FROM SAINTS: Published November, 2002; story by Myatt Murphy; art by Scott Dalrymple; letters by Comicraft's Jason Levine; colors (on the cover, I assume) by Tanya and Richard Horie. One-shot special.

Dorian, a down-and-out man driving in the middle of nowhere finds a copy shop. And it's a bad location for a copy shop. Curious, he enters, and is taken in by an eclectic group of people charged with extending the life of the human race by preventing (or at least postponing) the apocalypse. And Dorian's the new guy.

This is a cool black-and-white indie comic, and eventually I hope to read the other titles Second to Some Studios has to offer.

[First read before French class, Thursday. No music.]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

On 1 February, 2006...


FANTASTIC FOUR #534: The Incredible Hulk versus... his own insanity (as usual). And The Thing and the Human Torch. But they're sort of secondary here; right now, it's all about the Hulk. Not a bad story, all in all, but I'm really wondering what's going on with the other half of the Four. The married half. And their child custody issues. Maybe next ish.

[Read Wednesday, February 1st, cloistered in bedroom, late in the evening after watching a performance of The Lion King. The musical, not the movie. As in, on stage. It was pretty cool.]

DOC SAMSON #2: So a living, sentient totem pole is teamed up with Doc Samson ('natch), a female tech geek, and Dr. Strange's apprentice (a sorcerer-in-training who, in the world of J. K. Rowling, might have been sorted into Hufflepuff and kicked out within a year.) to fight against a cult. Fun. Worth a reread or two once I have the whole mini-series to read straight through.

[Read cloistered in bedroom, listening to... the Serenity soundtrack, maybe? I really should write these things down...]


NEW EXCALIBUR #4: Okay, I'll admit I wouldn't have picked this one up if it weren't for the fact that my favorite Marvel heroine has a cameo. And now I'm wondering if she shows up in any of the first three issues.

Eh. Anyway, that aside, this is probably the first non-Decimation X-book I've ever read. Strange, how I've been avoiding the comics that correspond to cartoons I used to watch on an irregular basis as a child. X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman... Don't know what that's about. This may also be the last non-Decimation X-book I read, too. I am not hooked. This was fun and all, but I can only handle so many subplots at a time. And this had, what, half a dozen? I wasn't counting. Not back-issue hunting on this one. Maybe, maybe, I'll look into the trade, but for now, I can do without. Only reread worthy for the purposes of subplot counting, or maybe in the context of a trade, if it gets published that way.

Highlight of the issue: Cheesed of Kelsey Leigh take on Captain Britain. Can't really blame her. What ever became of her children, anyway?

[Read after work Tuesday the 7th, in cube, to Riverdance.]

THE EXTERMINATORS #2: New revelations about Draxx, the company that makes Draxx, Henry James, AJ, and the scientist guy whose name I can't remember. I read through this fairly quickly, mostly because I was trying to eat lunch, and really, this book is very graphic on all levels. And by graphic, I mean... disgusting. The story is great, but it's probably best on an empty stomach. Needless to say, I didn't spend time on the imagery. Worth a reread, eventually, in the context of the inevitable trade.

[Read Tuesday the 7th, in cube before work, whilst eating Chinese food.]

Always remember...

I didn't want to have a relapse, but, well, Tommy here was really begging for it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

On Dentists and Browncoats

I really, honestly wasn't planning on doing any more of these things. But the thing is, I had a routine dental checkup yesterday, and while I was lying there enduring a teeth-cleaning, my mind couldn't help but wander to this guy:

Always remember...

Later that evening, I decided to reread the Serenity mini-series. So, for the Browncoats:

Always remember...

Can't stop the meme.