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.

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.