Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Little Time With Booster Gold #1 SPOILERS


Right out of the pages of 52 (that good DC weekly book), comes Booster Gold's new Monthly series. The book is really well written, and shows Geoff Johns talent with yet another B-list character.

At first, we get a brief history about Booster and his time shenanigans, followed by his latest attempt to impress the Justice League.
The real meat of the story focuses on more of the time travel elements from 52, and why Booster Gold is still a very important element for the current DCU. Johns and his co-writer Jeff Katz, do a great job of mixing great story elements together in this one. I love the scene where Boosters roommate is playing Madden football on his xbox, while wearing the Supernova costume. The line "I am 38th in the nation at Madden right now; ask any fourteen year old...that's good!" was hilarious.
One thing that Geoff Johns is great at is leaving me craving the next issue. At the end of this book, I had 3 questions:
1. What is Boosters Role in Final Crisis?
2. Who is the mysterious figure that attacks his roommate?
3. WTF is going on with Hal Jordan and Sinestro, and what part will it play in The Sinestro Corps War?

If you loved the Geoff Johns continuity focus of Infinite Crisis, or the Rip Hunter action from 52, you'll like this book. It is everything I expected from Johns and a great monthly in a sea of questionable event titles.

THE ALL-NEW BOOSTER GOLD #1
Written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz; Art and Cover by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund

Exploding from the pages of 52 and exploring the timeline of the DC Universe comes a new monthly book featuring the greatest super-hero history will never know: Booster Gold!

Following the universe altering conclusion of 52, Booster Gold wants what's due to him — a spot on the Justice League of America! But the time stream's in trouble, and Booster Gold is in the center of it! Now he must make a choice: reclaim his former glory or do the right thing, forgoing the credit.

ALL-NEW Booster Gold will take you through time and space, to the greatest moments of the DCU that have happened and will happen.

"52 Pick-Up" begins in this extra-sized issue #1! Someone is exploiting the ravaged time stream, hoping to eliminate the world's greatest heroes — and only Booster Gold can stop them. But, really — Booster Gold? Why him? What does Rip Hunter truly want? And what shocking figure is behind it all?

And coming up in the months ahead in DC's time spanning monthly: the world's greatest Green Lantern — Sinestro, Jonah Hex, Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon, Flash and Kid Flash, and plenty more of DC's super stars from throughout its past and future!


DC Universe | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US

On Sale August 15, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Superman WAS Supernova; and why Conner Kent died


As I was shopping for some oldies yesterday, I ran across a 52 puzzle piece. For some time, my self and the other FBCers thought that perhaps Superman was Supernova during 52. While it turned out that Booster Gold was in fact the mysterious hero, Kal-el had in fact been Supernova, way back in 1968...

Behold Worlds Finest #178, from 1968.

Superman losses his powers, and becomes a "normal" superhero in this issue. Sound familiar? I guess Geoff Johns and company know a thing or two about continuity.

Another funny tidbit I picked up was on a local radio show in Aspen. They were talking about the Death's of Comic Heroes, when one of the hosts mentioned that Superboy had been killed off because of an estate dispute of one of the creators of Superman: Jerry Siegel.




Wikipedia has a section on this controversy, which is interesting. I hadn't heard this side of the story yet. So, sorry all of you Conner fans, blame the Siegel family for the disappearance of your Superboy.

GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS SPECIAL..is it good?? If you think AMAZING is good!


I WILL TRY TO TO SPOIL ANYTHING HERE!

WOW, just when I thought things had plateaued with DC, this graces me with it's omnipotence. This book is so good for a one shot, that I can't even sleep.


The Skinny:
Sinestro is forming his own corps to purge the universe of evil and set things straight. Wait till you read what he says to transform.

Something is happening at the sciencells. Guy Gardner has a hilarious moment.

John Stewart makes a GL sniper rifle-nuff said.

ION, ION, ION....

The art is incredible, the writing is superb. If you don't read this comic, don't ever talk to me again, because you are a philistine, and have no idea what you are missing.

-MORE TO FOLLOW!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

COUNTDOWN.....giant hands will kill you.


I know that many, many DCU geeks are scratching their heads right now, trying to wrap their minds around COUNTDOWN.

As far as this series is concerned, it's fun to read.. but that is all I can say about it, for the moment.

The PROS:
It is cool having the Monitors as the "Guardians" of the multi-verse. Thus far, they remind me of the "Agents" in THE MATRIX, with a conscience. Bad monitor, who I have named "Terminator", has begun to "Erase" the anomalies in the multiverse. Cool idea, but I need to see where it is going.


The BLEED
, and all of the other multi-verse gateways are an interesting concept, although I wish I would have read more "New Gods", so I could understand that aspect of the BLEED'S relevance.


The concept of characters jumping between universes that coexist on different vibrational frequencies is a little too Quantum Leap, but it opens up some doors for the Flash, and the Rouges.


Just getting to see some characters that we don't hear from alot is cool. Who doesn't love
Darkseid????

THE CONS:


I think DC is trying too hard to "fix" continuity. There is a point where leaving well enough alone is sound advice, and DC is getting mighty close. They really just need to answer the questions the last couple of years have raised, and then move on.


TOOOOOO MUCH!!!

Jimmy Olsen has crazy powers, Black Adam has his powers back, the Rouges, The Monitors, it is too much. I think the problem is that it is way too hard to keep tabs on everything week to week.

Basically, I like this series, simply because it is interesting. I like the bounty hunter that appears in issue 46. I think forerunner can play out to be something cool. My biggest concern is that DC will leave the series with more questions to be answered, thus starting a trend of crappy weekly books. If they can answer the questions we have had since Identity Crisis and move on, I think all will work out. Besides, there are way too many good books out from
DC currently for them to blow them all on COUNTDOWN.

O HAI MLTIVERZ!

Via LOLBOTS. O rly? Ya rly.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Batman: Icon or Big Dork?

“Whenever I read a Batman comic book, (the writers) always make a point of saying he dresses like a giant bat,” Van Sciver says. “He is clearly a man with pointy little ears on his head, and he wears bed sheets.”
from an Scripps Howard featurette on artist Ethan Van Sciver (via the Blog@Newsarama)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Absolutely did not see this coming... Mark Waid returns to The Flash!

So, Mark Waid is returning The Flash?

And they're killing the current series and picking up with the old numbering?

And Daniel Acuna will be drawing it?

Wow.

I for one totally did not see that one coming! Read all about it here!

Although I think things have improved since Guggenheim took over the book, this is probably a smart move on DC's part. This should get one of their flagship titles completely back on track with a writer generally beloved by fans of the character.

I've actually never read Waid's original run, but I was a huge fan of what Geoff Johns did on the book. I may have to pick up the Waid trades now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Planetary nearly done!

This little note from our friend Warren Ellis deserves a little comment here at FBC. Planetary is at least partially responsible for getting me interested in comics again after a long break. It's also one of the best series you will ever read. I mean, like, Watchmen good. Seriously. While it will be a while before this issue sees the light of day and even longer before we see a final collection, it's great to know that this is finally nearing completion

From the Bad Signal:

Almost ten years to the month that John Cassaday and I had our
first conversation at San Diego about creating a new series: I have
just completed and delivered the full script for PLANETARY #27,
the final issue of the series.

I am now going to get drunk and find something to have sex
with. I'm home alone, so the chinchilla has a right to look nervous.

Done. Never ask me anything about it again. DONE.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #30 Ramblings

First off, goodbye to Mark Waid and Barry Kitson, who overall did a great job on this current iteration of the Legion. This is actually the first time I've read a Legion book, and it was a blast.

It's too bad Waid and Kitson didn't get to work this story uninterrupted, but I thought the fill-in teams did a spectacular job of keeping a continuity of voice/style. My only real problem is that this issue has, at times, a "rush to pack everything we wanted to do in" feel to it. They could have almost used one more issue to wrap things up. I think I'm going to go back and read the whole story in one go and see how it all holds together.

Alright now, kids, spoilers ahead...


The resolution of the Wanderers/Dominators storyline completely works for me. Sure, the phantom zone is being used as a bit of a Deus Ex Machina here, but I thought it was well-played. And you just know there's no way Cos would kill a whole race outright. Plus, it keeps Mon-El out there to be used in the future.

But what I really wanted to talk about was the end. I'm sorry, but if you aren't geeking out about the Knights Tempus, Galactic Defenders Of The 41st Century, then you don't really care about the DC Universe, do you? :-)

Just how great is that? Of course there's more future in the DCU than just the 31st century, and this opens things up to more continuity/timeline insanity, which I'm growing to just embrace as part of being a DC fan. Here's hoping someone runs with this concept somewhere (the new Booster Gold series might be a good place to start).

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Countdown Continues

Oh, my. Nice.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Countdown 51 Quick Thoughts

Sadly my real job has kept me from contributing much here of late, but I wanted to post a lightning round of my quick impressions from Countdown #51, which I literally just read.

  1. This is NOT 52. No, it's a totally different beast, and that's likely for the best. Get over it folks.
  2. Man, I'm a sucker for all the cosmic mojo.
  3. Credit Geoff Johns' fantastic run on The Flash for actual making the Rogues readable despite their inherent goofiness. Paul Dini is a good choice for doing something decent with the rogues, which leads me to...
  4. You know, this comic is FUN. Dini is one of those people that can walk the line between goofy, mad fun and deep story (yeah, of course Darkseid has a cosmic chess set!). Let's hope the other writers follow his lead.
  5. The sequence with Red Hood and Duela Dent reads a little weird considering that Jason Todd has basically been a ruthless killer since he reappeared. Now he's worried about saving innocent lives? But still pulls his gun and shoots Duela out of the air? Unless of course....DUM DUM DUM....this is all happening on another earth! Okay, maybe that's t0o easy/goofy/stupid/whatever.

Friday, May 11, 2007

52 Skidoo: The 52 Exit Interviews


Newsarama's Matt Brady has put the capstone on DC's historic (and overall excellent) weekly thrill ride 52 with a comprehensive set of interviews with the key personnel. Each one is fun and pulls back the curtain just enough to let fans in on what it looked like behind the scenes. My personal favorite is the interview with Grant Morrison, but that's probably not a surprise to anyone that knows my reading habits.

If you haven't had a chance to check them all out yourself, here are links to the complete set of interviews:

Sunday, May 6, 2007

52 Weeks, 52 Works of Art...

Over at CBR, they've posted a gallery of all fifty-two covers created by J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair for 52. This serves as a nice visual companion to Jones' "52 Covers Blog" over at Wizard Universe.

Every damn one of them is a work of art in it's own right – I hope comics fandom and historians never forget the sheer magnitude of that achievement.

Have a look back and enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2007

FBC Worldwide Non-Exclusive: Warren Ellis talks "Doktor Sleepless"!

Warren Ellis, writer extraordinaire, has finally broken his silence on his top secret new project from Avatar Press, Doktor Sleepless! In a worldwide non-exclusive, Mr. Ellis answers three questions about it for FBC (and anyone else with a thing for comics and a website to prove it).

Following is the totally unedited transcript of our top secret correspondence:


Fanboy Corps: How did the idea of DOKTOR SLEEPLESS come to you?

Warren Ellis: The day I reanimated Abe Vigoda. Check his website. He's still going. I became a Mad Scientist on that day. See all those two-headed animals being born now? You think those are flukes?

FBC: What do you want readers to know about DOKTOR SLEEPLESS?

WE: DOKTOR SLEEPLESS knows which way the wind is blowing. DOKTOR SLEEPLESS feels real weird and has stars in his beard. Except he doesn't have a beard. DOKTOR SLEEPLESS is the smoke that banishes sleep in the night. DOKTOR SLEEPLESS has never raped a schoolgirl with his tentacles. DOKTOR SLEEPLESS does not go to the toilet.

FBC: Will DOKTOR SLEEPLESS eat our souls?

WE: DOKTOR SLEEPLESS hates empty calories. DOKTOR SLEEPLESS likes MAO inhibitors. DOKTOR SLEEPLESS drinks blood and milk in the Masai manner. DOKTOR SLEEPLESS invalidates all manufacturer's guarantees.

There you have it faithful readers: there is a God, and his name is Doktor Sleepless! More on this breaking story as it develops...

See Also:
Three words: "Future Science Jesus"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Favorite Comic Book....Ever!!!!

I thought long and hard about all the books I have ever read, and after lots of deliberation I have decided that my favorite comic of all time is.....Spectacular Spider-Man 200.

The great thing about this book is the dark tone and spooky feelings it gave me as a kid, and still does to this day. Harry Osborn has once again donned the mantle of the Green Goblin, and is out to destroy both Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Throughout the issue, Harry struggles with the madness of being the Green Goblin, (much like his father did), and with his twisted perception of Peter ruining his life. Harry gives up on his wife and son, and goes mad with thoughts of revenge. In the book, all to familiar scenes of pain and memories of the past haunt Peter, and Mary Jane, as Harry Osborn interferes with their lives. There is a great scene in which the Green Goblin kidnaps M.J. and confronts her at the place of Gwen Stacy's death. But instead of shattered Spidey's life by killing her, he pledges that no matter what happens between the Green Goblin and Spider-Man, she will never be harmed. and the Goblin, and the insanity and I guess the great thing about this book is you can really see the eternal struggle between Spidey bloodlust that consumes the Osborn family. In the end, the serum Harry takes to defeat Spider-Man kills him, but not before becoming a hero himself. I wish comics could be "remade" like they do with movies. It would be great to see this book drawn by an artist that could really add to the darkness of the story. Nothing against Sal Bushema, but the art is totally 90's.

If you get a chance, read this book. It is a great story about a character that can never find a balance between his normal life and his life behind the mask.

Spectacular Spider-Man 200
Marvel Comics 1993
J.M. DeMatteis
Sal Buscema

Awesome, just awesome!

Newsarama is reporting that soon, very soon, we will witness the first comic adaptation on Broadway......"Spider-Man: THE MUSICAL!" Apparently, there are some big names attached to this project, and it will get underway this July.

I would fly to New York to see this show, and to hear a chorus sing, "Spider-man, Spider-man, does whatever a spider can".

Check it!

Three words: "Future Science Jesus"


One look at this and I knew immediately that I'll be reading Doktor Sleepless.

More news on this one from FBC very soon...

FBC Wants To Know: Simonson's Orion?

So, I was reading this article all about Walt Simonson's Orion series for DC from the early 2000's, and, you know, it sounds really fun. As a general fan of all things New Gods-related and with the obvious importance of these characters in upcoming DC universe happenings, I got to wondering if I should track some of this run down. I see there's a collection of the early issues, but I'd have to scour the virtual back issue bins on the internet to get the rest.

So, good readers, FBC wants to know...what are your thoughts on this series? Post your thoughts and opinions to the comments section.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's gonna be a Black Summer

One of my favorite writers, Warren Ellis, is going to be messing with heads everywhere this August (well, more so than usual I guess). It all started with a dare from Avatar Press chief William Christensen:

"...[H]e bet me I couldn't come up with a high-concept superhero 'event' book that naturally featured all new characters and ideas, but also hit some of the notes of a standard Big Two event program. Huge technical challenge, and I like those, because they keep me sharp. It took me more than a year, mind you... Until I hit on the two ideas. What if a superhero killed the President? And the underpinning: where do you draw the line?"
And thus was born Black Summer.

With art from Juan Jose Ryp (he who draws like Geof Darrow on acid) and published by Avatar (they who are known for anything but superhero books), I don't think this is going to be quite like anything we've seen before. All of which totally guarantees I'll be buying it.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Wonder Woman #6: Gold or Garbage?

The new issue of Wonder Woman was a cool step in the right direction. Diana is at a point in her superhero career where a secret identity is needed. How to go about maintaining said identity is the theme for this latest run. Plus, she is ordered to do everything in her power to apprehend Wonder Woman. How do you catch yourself? Overall, I had fun with the issue, and I have high hopes for this run. We shall see if the new scribe, Jodi Picoult is the real deal or not. The interiors are not as consistent as I would like, but overall, a good book. So what do you think? Gold, or garbage?

Friday, April 6, 2007

The FBC Question: Who is Rip Hunter...Really?

With the announcement that Geoff Johns will be launching a Booster Gold series with Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund and comics newcomer Jeff Katz, we know that everyone's favorite super capitalist will survive 52. But what about his partner in time Rip Hunter? Do we even know who he really is?

Lots of hints have been dropped throughout the weekly series that Rip's hidden his true identity so that his time-traveling enemies can't find him before he grows up to become their biggest headache. So is he someone DC readers might already know, or a nobody that secretly rose to greatness? What's your theory? Better share it quick before the answers turn up in the last month of 52...or in Booster's new book!

Gail Simone to leave Birds of Prey

What?!?

Friend of mine just tipped me to this. Apparently it showed up in the DC Nation column for this week's books, but I won't get those until Monday. Newsarama has an interview here, though.

Simone has consistently impressed on this book. Any time I thought about maybe not reading it any longer, she's done something to bring me back and get me excited. Sorry to see her go. We'll have to see how her replacement, Sean McKeever, does on the book. I always hear great stuff about him, but I've never actually read any of his work.

Moving on, in the interview mentioned above, Gail says this:

But the truth of this matter is, I was simply offered a project I couldn't turn down. A dream book with a dream art team, and a real chance to reshape comics’ history. DC's always been great to me, but this is just...insane. It's unbelievably exciting.

And I want to pour everything I've got into it. I had to let something go, and for reasons that I think will make more sense as things are revealed, it meant letting go of some beloved bird friends of mine.
Let the speculation begin! I can't imagine what's she's talking about. A monthly like JLA or Wonder Woman? Or a big miniseries event? Maybe it's what's Countdown is Counting Down to?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Mrkvm's pick of the week for 03/28/07

This week was tough, as both 52 and Green Lantern were fantastic issues. However, my pick goes to Batman 664. Despite scheduling problems, Grant Morrison's run on this book is really shaping up to be phenomenal.

This issue is essentially broken into two parts. The first focuses on Bruce Wayne as a character, something Morrison has said he wanted to emphasize. The second shows Batman tracking down some leads no one else cares about, which in turn leads Batman to meet a frightening (and familiar?) foe. A new mystery brews with mentions of the black casebook, and there's also some nice references to earlier in Morrison's Batman run, which make me realize that he's slowly building a bigger story. I also think that this issue is the best so far drawn by Andy Kubert, who has been a little spotty for me on this book.

Ultimately, though, reading this comic reminded me of being in 7th grade, when I first became a more serious comics reader. Batman and Detective Comics were my favorites back then, even if some of those stories (Death in the Family, among others) seem a bit goofy now. Morrison's Batman seems to be mining the good parts of that era and others to build the post-Infinite Crisis Batverse. Can't wait to see where this goes next.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Comics to Film: 300

I saw 300 a few weeks back, and wanted to post a few quick thoughts about it before I forget...

First off, it was awesome! Much better than the original story from Frank Miller, in fact (IMHO). While director Zach Snyder only fiddled a little bit with the source material, it really worked brilliantly in the translation to the big screen. Never have I seen a more "manly" film, but whether in spite or because of the intense violence, it was absolutely beautiful to look at. Add to that amazing performances by Gerard Butler and Lena Headey that really sold the story at the human level, and you've got an outstanding film.

All this gives me a real hope that Snyder may actually do a respectable job with the upcoming Watchmen film.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Milligan's Infinity, Inc.

Just a quick note to mention Peter Milligan's upcoming Infinity, Inc. title for DC. There's a nice little write-up from CBR here that's definitely got me interested. I quite enjoyed the Steel/Natasha/Lex/Everyman storyline in 52, so it's nice to hear that he'll be working with some of that back story. Plus, Milligan is one of those writers who gets me interested just by being involved.

Lastly, I found the blog of the artist, Max Fiumara, who looks to have a really great style.

I'll be looking forward to seeing some previews from this in the upcoming months.

Thus We Enter the Crisis Age of Comics

I believe it started at the beginning of the 21st century. Comics were changing. The fallout from the a-bomb dropped on the industry in the 90's had subsided. In plain English, comics were good again.

In the 90's, we saw a lot change in the industry. DC and Marvel felt the sting of competition for the first time in the form of Image Comics. Everyone was on board. New superheroes in new situations peaked the interest of readers everywhere. Books like Spawn, The Maxx, and others began to catch the attention of readers everywhere. It was refreshing to see new faces and new stories after so many years. Other publishers pushed books that seemed like undiscovered frontier for readers. New and old readers alike shifted their focus from Superman and the X-Men to Valiant titles and other new "independent" comics. I believe that this is was caused the mass of crap-tacular horror that is 90's comics.

My belief is that, in response to this new demand for non-mainstream superhero books, Marvel and DC went to drastic measures and made some pretty bad decisions to compensate. Thus began "great tales" of Spider-clones, Magneto monsters, and dead Kryptonians.


The Four Horsemen of the 90's Comic Apocalypse

Famine
This beast came to us in the form on Marvel's "Onslaught" crossover. I call it Famine because it's universe expanding nature caused most Marvel fan's to go broke every month. You had to buy every issue of every title, just to understand what was happening in the particular books you actually read. You could fill a couple of long boxes with the crap you had to buy to get this crossover. It was so big, that I never really understood what was happening. And I was buying books that I never read. Hulk, Cable, and more crap than the inside of a Port-a-John. This disaster of a crossover was boring, expensive, and pointless. (For shame Mark Waid. We love you now Mark, but for shame.) At the end of this mentally handicapped crossover, came "Heroes Reborn", which really was "Heroes Need Money, Buy our Variants". This 'relaunch' of the Marvel U was a waste, and caused Famine in the industry during the 90's.

Death
"The Death of Superman" caused the greatest speculation boom in comics history. People that had never touched a comic book were buying cases of this book, thinking one day they would become rich off their resale. NOPE. Not only did the "Death of Supes" book flood the market with what seemed like 20 printings and variants, but it was complete garbage. The Man of Steel didn't fall to his arch nemesis Lex Luthor. He was killed by an illiterate grey monkey with a top knot and green Hulk pants. The story was so poorly written, that the only way Lois and Superman could have had less chemistry is if they were in two different comics.

This also spawned a demon child comeback. "Reign of the Supermen" haunts me to this day. Four variations of the DCU's most powerful hero, all with bad haircuts and die cut covers. To this day, every shop has back stock of these 'gems of crap', enough to inventory another store.

Pestilence
This highly infectious disease was brought by "The Clone Saga". Our friendly neighborhood Spidey was cloned, found his parents, died, and ruined Spider-man books for years. His clone, Ben Riley, was a hip hero, with a hooded sweatshirt for a costume. Not only did this story not make any sense, it was costly and pointless. We, as readers, needed this story about as much as we need the flu. It made me sick and want to puke, just like the flu.

War
This isn't a particular story of issue, but the state of comics in the 90's in general. Marvel and DC flooded the market in attempts to make more money, and when it becomes top priority to make as many books as possible, creativity and good writing go out the window. Variant covers and high sales numbers overpowered the need for good writers and good stories.

Another big change was how comic collecting snuck into the mainstream. Comics started to become more and more valuable. People wanted back issues and variant covers more than ever. For the first time, collecting became more important than actually reading the books themselves. This trend still continues today, (check out the value of early issues of Marvel and DC books in the first few issues of Wizard magazine, compared to today) although it isn't as bad with the multiple printings and so forth.

All of these events plague the "modern" age of comics. But out of the darkness, came a light....


The "Crisis" Age of Comic Books

As I stated above, I believe that comics took a turn for the better at the turn of the century. New writers and artists started to appear, and the stories and characters themselves once again became the reason we read and spend our hard earned money on comics.

New books, like the Ultimate line from Marvel, gave new twists on old characters, making the stories interesting again. Writers like Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Brian Michael Bendis, and Joss Whedon, started writing great stories that were not only creative, but driven by the characters themselves. The heroes we all know and love mattered to us once again. Creative teams actually researched their characters to make stories make sense. Enter now the new age of comics, where the past matters and we as fans can actually place stock and care for the heroes we love. And I am stating that this new age of comics officially started with Identity Crisis #1.

Written by Brad Meltzer, this dark and disturbing story is the beginning of continuity making sense and having a purpose in comics. In the mini-series, we find that someone has figured out the secret identities of our favorite DC heroes, and is killing their loved ones. Besides great story telling and wonderful art, we get to see a darker side (which is much more realistic) to the DCU.

We see continuity tie together really well for the first time, as well and the secrets to mind wiping, and the fact that you should never piss off a cheesy C-list villain like Doctor Light. (I know, Doctor Light!!!) I loved this book, and everything that followed it from DC.

Although the good stuff began before this issue and story, I am picking this as the beginning because I feel that this is where it became absolutely important to make a great story in every issue, at least for DC. Some other great things like Y: The Last Man, and others came before IC, but this is where I start the time line.

Marvel and Image have done some good things in the past few years too. The Ultimate books, Runaways, Astonishing X-Men, The Walking Dead, and others have all been great books that I really enjoy. I still think Marvel needs some work with the variants, and weird editorial ideas like Spider-Armor Spidey and "House of M". But they have well written books and great artists too. I think I like DC better because they made it important to have great books and stories across their universe, and chose not to put out meaningless stuff like Marvel Romance Redux and X-Men: Apocalypse/Dracula (for jgd3).

I know it isn't exactly perfect yet, for either of the big two, but it is better and a world apart from what we had in the 90's. I think it takes great minds like Dan Didio to understand what comics need, and great writers like the ones mentioned here, plus guys and gals like Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Ed Brubaker, and the countless others to make comics special and worth the $2.99 we pay for them. Books like 52, and many others, are great consistently. That has made comics so good again. I feel like we have only seen the beginning of the "Crisis" Age of comics, and the best is yet to come.

Peace

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mrkvm's pick of the week for 3/21/07

A new segment here at the Corps! Every week I'll do a quick post highlighting my favorite book from the most recent week of goodies. I know, I know, kind of an obvious thing to do, but maybe it will inspire my cohorts to do picks of their own.

If there's a better super hero book coming out right than Justice Society of America, I don't know what it is. Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham have blown my expectations out of the water with every issue. There's just so much to love here; from the development of the Cyclone character to the strange antics of the latest iteration of Starman and everything in between.

This week we get some tasty development for Damage as well as more for the new Wildcat. Plus, Power Girl rightfully claims the role of chairwoman (jeez, thanks Geoff Johns, you've made me a Power Girl fan...how much lower can I sink?).

Yeah, I'm pretty much completely invested in all the characters and their various storylines. Maybe it's too easy, but I'm also totally digging the incorporation of Kingdom Come-esque elements into the current DCU.

So, the first story arc has wrapped up nicely, and I'm completely floored for the JLA/JSA crossover (I really need to post some about Meltzer's excellent work on that other DCU team book too!).

Reading this one? Give me your thoughts, theories, etc.!

Not reading this one? Um, why not?

Monday, March 26, 2007

52 Week 46...perhaps this is also why we read comics?


Our esteemed colleague here, jgd3, was complaining to me a bit about the Full! On! Fight! Explosion! of last week's issue (week 45), but I didn't really have any problem with it. I thought it was appropriately intense and opened up another can worms in the overall story.

Anyway, there's more Black Adam smashing stuff in week 46, but what a genuinely fun read it is (and totally different from the grim destruction we saw last week). There's just nothing like the ridiculous awesomeness of the Oolong Island mad scientist enclave. I'm still convinced that this is all Grant Morrison, but I could, of course, be wrong.

Enough of me blabbing, though. Here's some downright zany (yes, I said zany!) quotes from the issue for our good readers to enjoy...

See? Super-flamable liquid plastic plus thermo-breath!

All you're doing is making him mad. And when he gets mad he makes you dead.

Time for Baron Bug to save us all! Oh God, Oh God----Where are my insectrons??
And, finally, the quote du jour:
I'll say it if no one else will...Feel free to cackle hysterically, Gentlemen!
How's that for some fine mad scientist...well, madness?!?

Loved it as always!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Superman 660....This is why we read Comic Books

Superman 660 is a prime example of why we read comics. Take a ridiculous villain (in this case, the Prankster), and put him in a self contained issue with him as the lead character.

In this ish, The Prankster has set up a racket where criminals can pay for his services when they are in need of a diversion. The Prankster masterminds this diversion in his CTU-like HQ, where he carefully plans the logistics of the operation down to the millisecond. Each plan he devises includes every contingency, including Superman.


The great turn in this story, is when The Prankster is double-crossed, and retaliates by allowing enough time for Superman to save the day.

This is WHY we read comics. The stories are fun, the writers can take a boring and lame villain, and turn out a cool story that is entertaining. I mean, who really cares about the Prankster???? If he disappeared from comics forever, I don't think I would notice. However, Kurt Busiek's tale in Supes 660 is one of my favorite books so far this year.

If you want a great read that is well written but want stories that don't require the last 3 years of continuity to make sense, pick up some DC titles. I recommend Detective Comics, Batman, Superman and Action Comics. If you pick up from the beginning of OYL on these titles, you don't have to go too far, and the stories are great. Bats and Detective have been pretty great, and they have been consistent.

Written by Kurt Busiek; Art by Mike Manley and Bret Blevins; Cover by James Fry and Rodney Ramos

This issue looks at someone who's popped in and out of SUPERMAN for months. Ever since "Up, Up and Away," he's made his presence known. Now, at long last, the story you demanded starring… The Prankster?!

Superman | 32pg. | Color | $ 2.99 US

On Sale March 14, 2007
http://www.dccomics.com/comics/?cm=6562

THE SCOOP

A lot has been great in the DCU for the last few years, which began with Identity Crisis. I believe that the new ERA of comics began with that story, and thus started what I am calling the "Crisis" age of comics. There will be more on this later, but I think it is safe to say that we have finally left the Spawn dominated, pointless crossover age of "Modern" comics, and moved into an age where superheroes have a personalities and character flaws that make them more believable, and make their failures and successes more tragic and uplifting.

From the fanboy corps, I will say a big "WE CARE ABOUT HEROES!". Check out Superman 660, it is why we read comics.

P.S. More on the "Crisis" age of comics soon!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rogers' Blue Beetle Pitch

Man, I should have just posted John Rogers' pitch for reading Blue Beetle in my last post. Tell me this doesn't make you want to read the book (from the same interview I just posted about):

Teenager Jaime Reyes has a spiffy, homicidal armored suit made by aliens who hate him. He has no instruction manual for the armor -- that's stuck in the brain of his mentor, who may soon shoot him in the face. His best friend's Mom is his nemesis, the other superheroes left him to die in space, and he has midterms and no date for the prom. He's El Paso's only superhero. He has no idea how to do that job, and El Paso has no idea how to have a superhero. Jokes are told, things blow up, New Gods and Batman and Green Lanterns and other superheroes visit to punch and wise-crack and occasionally weep over a bloody, tragic demise. It's old-school adventure comics drawn by an artist you can brag about discovering ten years from now. Come for the ride.
And, uh, here's a pretty picture to look at too:

Nice Blue Beetle Interview

Since I've taken it as my personal mission to pimp DC's Blue Beetle book at every possible chance, I thought I'd post a link to this fantastic interview with writer John Rogers.

Rogers frequently posts about writing techniques and process in his blog, and I always find that enlightening. In the interview he drops this bomb along those lines which grabbed my attention:

Blue Beetle is actually plotted out, both issue and arc, on a wiki page. The artists, writers and editors can all access and rewrite the page whenever they want. Joan will post a question, I'll rewrite one of the issue plotlines in response, she'll check and tell me if a villain's available or not ... and that all updates live online, so the latest version of the year-long breakdowns are always a click away. That software is idiot-proof and free for small projects (it's Backpack, if you're interested).
We use a wiki pretty heavily at my work, and I find the technology to be quite effective in enabling collaborative projects. So, I was fascinated to hear about it being used in developing a comic book. Plus, you know, I'm a huge geek, so this just set off all my usual geek alarm bells.

Anyway, this is one of the most fun and intriguing reads out there at the moment. I love the whole "outsider" perspective that's used to inform the character (go read the interview to see what I'm talking about), and it sounds like there's going to be a lot of great stuff coming up in "year two."

Read. This. Book.

Architecture & Morality

So, yeah, I've completely stopped reading the Spectre part of Tales Of The Unexpected. I've just kind of lost interest. However, how about those amazing Dr. 13 backup stories?!? This is some of the most fun comics I've read in quite some time. Who knew the master of 100 Bullets, Brian Azzarello, had such a gloriously twisted sense of humor. And Cliff Chiang might just be my new favorite artist (Anyone know what his next project is? Do tell!). I'm thrilled to hear they'll be collecting this. It deserves its own trade for sure.

Now, good readers, spoilers ahoy for issue 6...


The mystery of the Architects is revealed! Who are these mysterious fellows? Why it's a giant walking Mount Rushmore with, once their disguise is uncovered, the heads of (as far as I can tell) Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, and Greg Rucka. Actually, I'm a little unsure about the Geoff Johns part, but I'm almost positive about the others. And if Messrs. Morrison, Waid, and Rucka are there, the logical choice for the fourth head is Mr. Johns. The Architects are defeated in a most amusing away, but I'm sure they could be back. Or perhaps behind it all is the Didiosaur or the Levitzatron....be here next month to find out!

PS: Red Skies!

PPS: 11:52

Friday, March 16, 2007

"The Bottled Cities of Kandor"

This posting on Brad Meltzer's MySpace blog made me laugh out loud. Twice. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Arnold Drake 1924-2007

Arnold Drake, creator of Deadman, The Doom Patrol, The Guardians of the Galaxy and co-creator of maybe the first ever graphic novel, died on Monday of this week. Needless to say, the man's contributions to the comics medium have gone under-appreciated.

In his Lying In The Gutters column for March 12th, Rich Johnson reflects on meeting the man only two weeks prior at the New York Comic Con. This tidbit stood out for me:

We discussed his Doom Patrol and he told me that he believed only Grant Morrison ever saw in the team what he was trying to do.

High praise for what, to me, is the high water mark in the history of Drake's inspired team of misfits and outcasts. If you've never read any of Morrison's Doom Patrol run, you're really missing something totally unique to the superhero genre.

Photo © Dan Chusid '05.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

OMG Captain America is DEAD!!!!!!


Well, as CNN reported this morning, Steve Rogers, the once skinny super serum test subject for the army (AKA Capt. America) is dead. He was assassinated on the steps of a federal court house after the Marvel Civil War.

I have not yet read the book, but I am sure it will end up being as trivial and meaningless as Superman's Death in the 90's. Hey, Maybe Marvel can do a book called "Infinity Crisises", where Captain America from New York 2 can break free of the Negative Zone Prison and return Marvel to its normal balance. I am sure he is tired of hanging with Spidey, M.J., and Daily Bugle 2 Aunt May, who is still Galactus' herald, anyway. (Aunt May "forgets" her bathrobe in the morning.)

Anyway, I am sure that when the Cap movie comes out, there will be a revelation in the Marvel U, and all will be erased. Too bad Marvel was not cool enough to kill him in Civil War. I guess they didn't want to overshadow the death of Goliath or Giant Dude or whoever the hell he was.

Anyway, here is the tag from Marvel.com

RIP Steve Rogers 1941-2007

CAPTAIN AMERICA #25 The Story: Leaping from the final pages of Civil War, this is the *only place* readers can find out what happens next in the life of CAPTAIN AMERICA! Trust us, folks, this oversized 25th issue will stun readers and send shockwaves through the entire Marvel Universe for the next year! Rated T+ …$3.99 In Stores: 2007-03-07 - see details

Here is a spoiler link for Newsarama.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

DCU Sci-Fi Rundown

Isn't it a great time to be fan of science fiction in the DC Universe?

Why...yes!

Here's my rundown of some of the great sci-fi goodness we've seen in the DCU lately.

Green Lantern
Geoff Johns is bringing his A+ game to this book and he's clearly having a blast doing it. I love all the ideas he's throwing into this book and the GL mythos as a whole. Every issue and storyline just builds on the previous work in the same way that Johns' landmark run on The Flash did.

It also helps that Johns is paired with Ivan Reis, who is just a perfect fit for GL.

Plus, there's more great stuff to come with the Sinestro Corps on the horizon.

Green Lantern Corps
Complementing the main book is the Corps title. I've really enjoyed what Dave Gibbons is doing here, and the cast he's building is top-notch. However, my favorite moment on the book so far is the three issue "Corpse" story written by established inker/up-and-coming writer Keith Champagne (issues #7-#9). Any self-respecting GL fans owes it to themselves to read those three issues.

Ion
I'm absolutely surprised at how much this book is working for me. I'm your standard Hal Jordan fan, sure, but Ron Marz (who clearly is operating with a mandate from DC editorial) is really making this an interesting ride. Crazy cosmic madness with the multiverse and the monitors looming in the background. This one is another must for GL and DCU sci-fi fans.

Supergirl and The Legion of Super-Heroes
This is the first time I've ever read a monthly LSH title, and it has become one of my favorite books coming out at the moment. There's a huge, intriguing cast to explore and tons of downright fun concepts. Mark Waid has really hit on a great vibe with this book with the help of artist Barry Kitson (though with Kitson headed to Marvel, there's a rumored creative team change on the way).

At the moment the Legion is having a serious run-in with the Dominators, and there's even a link to 52 being hinted at. Get your Legion on!

Mystery In Space
Recommended to me by FBC's own Mike T., Jim Starlin's story of the new, improved Captain Comet penciled by the excellent Shane Davis has turned out to be a great ride. In a smart move, Starlin is using the classic space station setup to great effect. Plus it has a strange cult, clones, a talking dog sidekick, and the looming threat of current DC baddie du jour, Lady Styx. And, hey, the backup feature of The Weird has some interesting stuff as well (it certainly helps that the two stories are clearly on a collision course). Starlin's storytelling can feel a bit old-school at times, but this is still a most enjoyable read.

Omega Men
Wow, what can I say about this one? I freely admit to feeling a bit lost when I read this book, but it just has so much energy and style that I can't help but enjoy it. Looking back over it a bit today, I realize it's probably a book that will read better all in one sitting rather than month-to-month.

One of the things that's probably contributing to my own confusion is how writer Andersen Gabrych happily delves deeply into Omega Men lore without wasting any time spoon-feeding the reader. I have to admire him for that. It's nice to have a writer who assumes that I can figure out the history I don't know (what's Wikipedia for, after all?).

Finally, artist Henry Flint is in a class by himself. He's absolutely perfect for this book and completely unique. I hope we see more from him in the future.

Blue Beetle
You aren't reading this book? What's wrong with you? Quit whining about Ted Kord and see what a fun book Keith Giffen and John Rogers have crafted (Note: Rogers has recently taken over as the sole writer of the book without a blip). The series also has a new regular artist in Rafael Albuquerque who seems like a perfect fit so far

While it's not all sci-fi madness, there's been a good amount of cosmic strangeness lately. We've recently had appearances by the New Gods, and issue #12 kicks off a new storyline featuring the mysterious alien race, The Reach.

So, there it is, my not-as-quick-as-I-planned DCU sci-fi rundown. Phew! Look to the skies....or something.

"Justice League Through the Ages" cover for JLA #7

(click the thumbnail for the awesome full-sized version)

Over on his MySpace blog, fanboy done good Brad Meltzer has unveiled the cover for Justice League of America #7 and it's real a beauty. Designed by Eric Wight with artwork by Ed Benes and featuring George Pérez, Luke McDonnell, Kevin Maguire, Howard Porter, Gene Ha and Wight.

Looks like the issue will ship with two covers, one of the left half of the image and the other with the right half.

Totally amazing!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Matt Fraction Rocks!!! Punisher War Journal a Hit (For Now) SPOILERS!!!!

I have ever so desperately wanted to like the Punisher in mainstream Marvel, even though mainstream Marvel is not exactly working for me right now. Ask, and you shall receive. Enter Matt Fraction, the guy from Casanova, and The Immortal Iron Fist.

Four issues into the series, Matt has made good on the new book. The first three issues are all Civil War tie-ins. The story is somewhat self-contained, but it would help understanding if you have been reading Civil War.

But the issue I want to talk about is #4. Entitled "Small Wake for a Tall Man", issue four opens up with a crew a C-list villains meeting up at a bar, to mourn Stilt Man, an old 60's Daredevil Villain that was killed by the Punisher during the Civil War. The villains gather and reflect about the "good old days", when no one really got hurt, and any guy with powers or a fancy suit could be an evil-doer. Some of the more notable present are: The Rhino, Shocker, The Prowler, and the Departed, Stilt Man, who lies atop a pool table. The villains drink, alot, and eventually, all hell breaks lose. The Rhino starts running wild and picking fights, the whole thing becomes a disaster. Towards the end of the story, Spider-man shows up and gives the villains a friendly reality check. ( I don't want to give too much away).

This book is great for two reasons. The Punisher's sense of humor in the book is crude and twisted, exactly what you would expect from the guy. Also, Frank Castle is ACTUALLY KILLING MARVEL VILLAINS, not just fat mobsters. This is what the Punisher needed in my opinion, and it is believable that Frank would go after these baddies in masks, because they are everywhere. Fraction has brought new life into the Punisher, which I am shocked to hear myself say, because I do not really care about the Punisher, or Marvel really at this point in time.

If you want to read a cool book, you should pick this up, as long as Fraction is on it. I think you will enjoy it.

PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #4
The Story: “Small Wake for a Tall Man”
In the ashes of CIVIL WAR comes this modest service for its tallest victim -- the stainless steel sultan of stretch, Stilt Man!
In a sleazy pub, Frank Castle's first super-victim is laid out on the tables, his life and legacy celebrated by a veritable who's who of Marvel villains that come to pay their respects, not just for a fallen friend, but for a lost way of life. Raise a glass, friends, and join us in this year's MUST SEE funeral! Even Spider-Man’s gonna be there!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

The FBC Question: Millar & Hitch's Next Big Thing?

(Hey Kids! I just invented a regular Fanboy Corps feature: The FBC Question!)

Over at Newsarama, they've cornered Mark Millar to discuss damn near everything you ever wanted to know about what went on behind the scenes of Civil War. That's all cool enough, but among the "what next?" questions, this tease really caught my interest:

MM: I'm writing issue six of the big series Hitchy and I take over late summer and details of this will be available one week after Ultimates 13 ships. He's already making good progress on it and I'm having a great time. After Civil War, it feels incredibly easy and just kind of fun.
NRAMA: What else can you tell readers?
MM: An established title. Household name. One of these characters was created in the sixties and another in the forties. Three sexy girls. The opening line in the first issue is “Once Upon A Time”. The villain in the third and fourth issues has been known as Cap. Bruce Banner has some involvement in this series. Likewise, two of Marvel's most popular and famous villains. Hitchy prefers it to Ultimates. Oh, and we're out in September.


Okay, that's a lot of hints to work with but I still can't put it together with only my stale Marvel U knowledge alone. Anybody want to take a guess?

All I know is that Mark Millar and Brian Hitch, separately but in particular together, have made some of the best comics in my lifetime. I just want to know the name of this comic of theirs that I'll be buying!

The Brave And The Bold #1

It's the return of The Brave And The Bold, the original team-up book, and I loved it. Mark Waid has managed to pen an intriguing and fun story wherein it actually makes sense to have two of my favorite DC characters (that would be Batman and Hal Jordan) team up. It doesn't hurt that the book is drawn by one of my all-time favorite comics artists, George Pérez. Pérez still has some of the greatest layouts you'll ever see and although he's still using a lot of the same tricks that made him famous, it doesn't feel stale or too old-school.

Speaking of old-school, I have to admit that this comic managed to make me feel a bit like a kid again (I love when that happens). It may be cliché, but this book really reminded of some of those old DC books I'd randomly pick out of the back issue bin back when I first got into comics. It just had that fun vibe where you get to see what happens when these characters team up. What if Bruce Wayne took Hal Jordan to a high-end casino? And, hey, who would win the blackjack game? A little silly, sure, but it worked. I felt a little bit like I was getting to watch Mark Waid live out his own fanboy fantasy team-up, which I figure is a good thing.

All that said, I also made a mental note to myself to save these comics for my young nephew when he gets old enough for these stories. It just kind of felt like the perfect book for someone exploring the DCU for the first time. We'll see if I still feel that way after a few more issues.

The one thing I'm curious about here is how they'll tie this book into continuity. Waid has said that these won't be throwaway stories and that they'll impact the DCU in the same way that Superman/Batman did when Loeb was writing it. That certainly raises my interest level even more.

Can't wait for more of this one (let's just hope it can stay on schedule).

We have the ability to indulge in great geekiness...

Welcome to the Fanboy Corps.

I'm creating this blog without my future team members' knowledge, but I'm betting they'll accept their missions. Afterall, all of us have the ability to indulge in great geekiness.

And, frankly, they don't have much of a choice!

Anyway, here's how I'm hoping this will work:

I'd like the Fanboy Corps to be a place where we can just spout about the comics we love, freeform style, and generate some fun discussion among the corps itself and any potential readers we might get (ha, we'll see!). It really might not be that different from some of the email and chat discussions we already have. We'll just be doing it in public.

What I'd like NOT to do is go into fanboy gripe mode. I'm sure we'll occasionally post some complaints about stuff that irks us, but there's enough of that going on on various forums, blogs, etc., already. So, let's focus on the stuff we think is fun and exciting.

I guess I should mention that the corps is made up of major DC Comics geeks, so that will dominate the disucssion here. Although all of us have forays into Marvel and the indies as well.

One final note about the corps: all of us currently get our comics a little later than the rest of the internet, so we'll always be a few days behind.