Tuesday, October 31, 2006

12 Days of Halloween: Day 1

The Twelve Days of Christmas start on the day after Christmas (December 26th) and conclude on Epiphany (January 6th), at least according to Wikipedia. In keeping with that (though I'm fudging a little), I'm pretending that Halloween goes for twelve days, too, commencing on Halloween night (October 31), and culminating on the anniversary of Typhoid Mary's death (November 11th.) How is that for timing, right? Also, the term "old comics" is loosely defined here as "comics from a few months ago and beyond." Poetic license. So! On with Halloween!

On the First day of Halloween old comics gave to me:

A giant Swarm of Nazi killer bees.

(Cover scan from Grand Comics Database)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Heroes -- A Quick Look at Eden

So, like every other good little American comic book geek, I have been watching NBC's Heroes. And there's one character I truly hope to see more of in the weeks to come. Besides Hiro, I mean. (Does anybody not want to see more Hiro? Should Hiro eventually get his own spin-off series, all in Japanese, with subtitles? Okay, maybe that's pushing it.)

No, the character I'm intrigued by at the moment is an unknown quantity: Eden McCain. Eden may not have special powers, but she is the real connection between Mohinder and his father's knowledge. The book, the map, and the algorithm all need interpretation, and Eden could still be the key to that. Forget the cheerleader, let's figure out what did Chandra Suresh knew. It's not just knowledge, though. Through Eden, Mohinder could potentially come to know, on a more personal level, an estranged loved one.

Let's see. What else can Eden do? Well, she helps make Mohinder feel more at home in a foreign country. That's huge. She encourages him to keep searching for answers without losing his capacity for skepticism. She makes him comfort food... Okay, okay, so Eden is a catalyst who has had, as yet, little opportunity to kick butt or anything. We don't really know who she is, or what she does for a living. She's a mystery. And I'm more than okay with that because, right now, Eden McCain is a potential Sue to Mohinder's Reed. Maybe she is already. She could be the most powerful woman on Heroes.

Or she could be cannon fodder. Who knows? I'll try not to get too attached.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

On 4 October, 2006

I bought a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Overcoming Procrastination about five years ago, and it's been collecting dust on my bookshelf ever since. (Clearly, it hasn't helped.) Well, this blog is starting to collect dust, too, but it's a beautiful new month, and a good time for a fresh start. Stale reviews can come later...*

Reading music: KT Tunstall: Eye to the Telescope

--Warning: Spoilers ahead--


The All-New Atom #4: Dr. Ryan Choi is growing. Not literally so much, because apparently abrupt size-changing is difficult for him even though mass, weight, and density changing are easy. But he's growing just the same as he continues to learn the art of superheroics. Much of that learning this issue occurs in the mouth and, later, stomach of a 30-foot naked woman. Anyway, Ryan escapes, makes with the banter, and sees his reflection in the mirror. Well, he sees his reflection, but I think he's also starting to see some of his predecessor in himself. And he starts to learn about the sacrifices a superhero has to make. He also kicks butt. Gotta love seeing an effective size-changer!

I really wanted to go all A.P. English on this one, but, well, the procrastination thing. Maybe next month...

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? Yes!


Amazing Spider-Girl #0: Adjectiveless Spider-Girl is a series I didn't follow, but here's a nifty scrapbook/diary that tells me the trades are something to add to the ol' Amazon wishlist. If it's any indication, anyway. Meanwhile, I won't be totally lost when I try the first issue of Amazing in a couple weeks. I shouldn't be lost anyway, with a #1, but references can still come in handy.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? The jury's out 'til the actual story starts.

Dr. Strange: The Oath #1: I don't know much about Dr. Strange, but Vaughan introduces him in a way that touches upon all aspects of Strange's name. Most of what I've read of the character seems to focus the "Strange" aspect, and of course there's still an emphasis on that in The Oath, but Stephen is also trained as a medical doctor. That's not lost here. As a wounded Dr. Strange watches the Night Nurse patch up his body, he watches her work with a critical eye and proves once again that doctors make the worst patients. (To be fair, he also praises her suturing skills.)

Of course, while he's lying on the table he's also floating above it in astral form. Both Dr. Strange and Wong relate how Dr. Strange came by his gunshot wound. Wong, the faithful assistant, has been hiding a medical illness from his master: An inoperable brain cancer. Of course, the good doctor finds out about this and isn't about to lose Wong to some terrestrial disease. Can't cure it scientifically? Well, if you're Dr. Strange, you try to cure it metaphysically, even if that means stealing magical elixer from an extra-dimensional demon. And if that elixer happens to be the cure for cancer, people will come after it. This series plays on a fantasy I can totally get behind, and it's well-written, too.

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes
Do I Care? Yes

Fantastic Four #540: Sue leaves Reed. She also leaves Reed with an estimated $789,000 of damages as she slams the figurative door on the way out, and it's surprisingly hard to blame her. Better that she takes her wrath out on an innocent building than her (soon-to-be ex?) husband, right? Well, maybe. Reed continues to be a twit, telling himself to "focus on the numbers" and wondering whether if that isn't what he's always done.

I don't think it is. Isn't one of Reed's past strengths the ability to look at the big picture? To create a big picture out of disparate concepts, to link things? If so then, no, he hasn't always had numerical tunnel vision. I'm sorry. No. Sue's right, he's not the man she married. And she's probably right to leave at this point, but jeez. (Also, is she the woman he married? Leaving the kids like that? Sue, what is wrong with you?) It's still kind of sad. *sigh*

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes.
Do I Care? Yes. *wistful sigh*

The Irredeemable Ant-Man #1: This is a slow read with lots of little panels and lots of dialogue. I'd be okay with that, but it doesn't do much for the humor. I guess I just expected more of the bad heroism and less of the low-level SHIELD agent sitcom. I want to love Ant-Man, but this just isn't doing it.

Do I Know What I Just Read? For the most part.
Do I Care? Not really.

Marvel Team-Up #25: This is not a series I've been following, though I did pick up three key Titannus issues some months back, so I wasn't totally lost. In fact, this was a nifty conclusion to that story. Dr. Strange summons a whole bunch of heroes to tackle the problem of a mindless Titannus who is trashing Baltimore. Warbird is playing pool with Luke Cage when Strange's astral form appears. Captain America is playing solitaire. Spider-Man is out being nostalgic about his old costume. Wolverine is fighting with Deadpool. And She-Hulk is in bed with her husband. Dr. Strange doesn't even give her time to get dressed. (Jerk.)

So, anyway, they team up, (sort of) help defeat Titannus, and conclude the series. Also, there's a gag involving Speedball being an idiot in the future. Not the Stamford future, an alternate future. Guess I might pick this up in trades...

Do I Know What I Just Read? Yes
Do I Care? Yeah

Week's most memorable moment: Dr. Strange and Night Nurse discuss fetishes in Dr. Strange: The Oath #1.

Tentative checklist for 11 October, 2006
(**Indicates a title I've preordered.)
**Civil War: Front Line #7
Gen 13 #1
Ultimate Power #1 -- Hmm... On the one hand, this involves the Ultimate Fantastic Four (Yay!), but on the other, it's pencilled by Greg Land (Nay!). Decisions, decisions...

*Later: A procrastinator's favorite word.