Monday, September 29, 2008

Thoughts on HEROES, Season 3, Chapter 3 - One of Us, One of Them

Okay. So we already know from the commercials that Sylar and Bennet become partners. That seems to be the first of the big "unexpected alliances" that is supposed to come out of this episode. But who else is teaming up or switching sides?

8:03 - I still think Angela is screwing with Sylar's mind rather than really being his long-lost biological mother. She's evil either way though.

8:04 - Oh yeah. Peter going Donnie Brasco - deep, deep cover - to stop the bad guys.

8:06 - Yeah. We saw this coming even without the previews, but yeah... Noah don't look happy.

8:13 - "What kind of overconfident nemesis are you?" Heh.

8:14 - Yeah. Hiro and Ando are carrying the show again. And hey - there's a Haitian!

8:15 - "I wind up the victim." Well, you're being written by Jeph Loeb, sweetheart. That's pretty standard.

8:16 - Okay. DEFINITELY not Niki. And we're heading back to New Orleans. I see a big freak out for Micah and family.

8:19 - Yeah. Does it speak bad of Parkman that I care more about the African painter guy than I do him right now?

8:23 - "Is he really?" That is the question, isn't it?

8:25 - Funny how Hiro doesn't consider the real Bruce Wayne option. He has his dad's fortune. She's a mercenary. Make her a better offer.

8:26 - Cool. Fuege state painting again. And man - how much does it suck for him that he keeps having to paint some lame white guy half a world away? Wonder who the blonde was supposed to have been?

8:29 - Heh. Agent Hanson. Name of that blonde FBI chick who was partnered with Matt in Season 1. Classic.

8:33 - Yeah. Peter being a hero. An idiot, but a hero.

8:35 - That was a fast trip. Damn. Niki DID die, I guess. Remarkably good condition for someone who died in a fire though. I suppose we'll never get an answer to that medium question now.

8:36 - Heh. I love how nonchalant Micah is about the whole situation being weird. "Yeah, kinda". And for a genius, he sure is quick to trust a stranger with the secret of his powers.

8:37 - Damn. Guess she IS a long, lost twin. Lame...

8:39 - Nice bullet time effect. You'd think Peter would trust his future self. I mean, it's you, right? Still, it looks like we are building to a big explanation for "this is why you can't take your past self to the future to show why they are being stupid".

8:41 - The look on Noah's face? Priceless.

8:47 - Think Meredith was a Company Agent at some point? She sure seems to know a lot about psychological warfare for a welfare lady on the run.

8:48 - Huh. I guess Claire does need oxygen. Another possible way to kill her? Suffocate the brain?

8:50 - Yeah. Noah REALLY not happy about this. And the fear guy got away. Nice to know Sylar isn't changing though. I'd have to scissor kick a bitch if they turned him good.

8:54 - Heh. Claire actually doing normal girl stuff? Don't you believe it!

8:55 - Hmmm... Matt finds a woman and she dies. I just thought... blonde woman.... could that be Audrey Hanson from Season 1?

8:57 - Oh man... Boys in Brazil. Or Girls in Beverly Hills. So she's not a lost twin but... a clone? I guess it makes sense, Ali Larter being the perfect Aryan Uberwench and what not...

8:58 - Nice one, Hiro. *sighs* As if we had any doubt left that Angela was full blown evil. Ten to one she's the one employing Daphne.

8:59 - Yay, Noah! Kill that psycho!

Final Conclusions: Lot of questions answered, though I'd still like to know...

a) how is Future Peter putting other people - body and soul apparently - inside other people?
b) who is paying Daphne to get the formula?
c) is that a red herring re: people getting powers artificially? Or is this really all Mohinder's fault?

Speaking of which, no sign of Mohinder or Mays in this episode. And there is much rejoicing. Yay!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stephen Colbert, SHAME ON YOU!

How can you stand by and allow your name and image to be sullied by the godless heathens who did not respect the sanctity of the Spider-Marriage?!

SOURCE: Marvel Team-Up: Spider-Man And… Stephen Colbert?!

Note To Marvel: Sorry. Not even bringing Mark Waid in to write Spider-Man and teaming him up with Stephen Colbert will get me to spend money on one of your crummy comics.

Now, if you can pay my girlfriend's medical bills... THEN I might start reading Amazing Spider-Man again just because it would be rude not to after that kind of generous act of charity.

To Wizard Magazine: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means....

At the very least, we had different definitions of what is "Family Friendly".

First, earlier this year, Wizard World allowed a strip-club to have a booth at their convention in Chicago.

Now, I just had got this press-release in my e-mail. The full text is also posted at Wizard Universe. But for our purposes, we only need to look at the headline, part of the text and the tagline. The emphasis is mine.


On top of the impressive list of comic book talent already attending at this year’s Wizard World Texas convention, Corey Feldman (“The Lost Boys,” “Friday the 13th 4” & “5”), Danny Trejo (“From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Rob Zombie’s Halloween”) and cast members from “Friday the 13th: A New Beginning,” “Monster Squad” and “Halloween 4” will be on hand to meet and greet their fans. In addition to the guests, there will be special events, including screenings of “Friday the 13th: A New Beginning” and “Monster Squad” and Fear Jam, a concert featuring Michale Graves, formerly of The Misfits, FirstJason, and The Horrifics with special guest Eerie Von of Danzig and Samhain.

Wizard World, the largest family-friendly comics and pop culture convention in the United States, returns to Texas November 7-9 at the Arlington Convention Center.

Now... explain to me... how partnering with a convention devoted to violent and frequently misogynistic R-rated movies... which in turn attract a LOT of people in bloody, freaky and just plain gross costumes is "family friendly"?

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 9/24/08

AMBUSH BUG: YEAR ONE #3 - This is probably the most coherent issue of Ambush Bug ever. Mind you, that doesn't mean it's any less crazy or nonsensical. After all, how can you possibly apply the word sane to a story that features...

* Ambush Bug having a drunken Vegas wedding with Inferior Five member Dumb Bunny.
* Ambush Bug - in a scene that just might be a swipe at the MARVELous competition of DC Comics - attempting to make a deal with Neron to take his marriage out of continuity.

* Ambush Bug impersonating the Kryptonian God Rao while shouting into the Bottled City of Kandor.
* Darkseid singing Tom Jones in Karaoke! And an appearance of Darkseid's long-absent wife Tigra!

* Superman's pet Super-Turtle going mad and attempting to destroy the universe.
* The revelation that Arrowette was dating the Super-Turtle in an effort to get more screen time. (Say it ain't so, ! Say it ain't so!)

* Ambush Bug getting more face-time... with the severed head of Pantha!
* Ambush Bug teams up with Jerro The Merboy (He's one of Supergirl's ex-boyfriends. Seriously.)
* the introduction of the greatest new character in years: Major Spoiler of 27th Brigade Grenadiers

I demand a monthly Ambush Bug title. Because in these troubled times, we need more comics that are willing to mock the comics that need mocking.

FABLES #76 - Mike Allred artwork and Gepetto dealing with a normal day in Fabletown. Much much greatness.

JACK OF FABLES #26- For a book with Priscilla on the cover, she's barely in this issue. And considering that she's supposed to be the shy, not-popular sister... well, I guess that's meant to be ironic. But it's hard to say in a story where manifestations of literal concepts are rounding up and/or destroying manifestations of legends and the whole thing is narrated by The Fourth Wall what is ironic or not. Still... good book.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One More Reason To Boycott Marvel

SOURCE: Spider-Man writer equates hating "Brand New Day" to liking Gay Marriage as if both were outright evil.


There's so much wrongness here. Even ignoring the comic book guy angle and pointing out that the Brand New Day pretty much downplayed Peter and Mary Jane ever being serious in the new reality... this is wrongness incarnate.

I think a chart made by sums up the "logic" here best.

I don't have anything else to say. I'm already raged out over the Bail Out. I refuse to get annoyed about a comic book right now past reaffirming by refusal to buy Marvel.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thoughts on HEROES, Season 3, Chapter 1 - The Second Coming and Chapter2 - The Butterfly Effect

8:01 - Can you say Days of Future Past? I knew you could. We've seen this coming since the previews where we saw the Future Peter... but it's still neat to see them actually screwing with causality. This can't end well.

8:06 - I'm not dead yet! I'm getting better! Only question is... residual affect from Adam Monroe's blood? Or something weirder? Maybe Sylar just showed up and is telekinetically moving the body to screw with Peter?

8:09 - Yeah. I try and do that at work too. But who doesn't? And who wouldn't if they were bored, at work and had phenomenal cosmic power over time and space?

8:11 - THERE'S a Sylar. "Detour from the career path." Heh.

8:13 - Yes, this is what I wanted to see. A remake of Friday the 13th. You'd think Claire would be smart enough to run to an open area rather than locking herself in with the psycho. Hope there's a plan here.

8:14 - Dammit! Maya didn't kill Mohinder by accident!

8:18 - I like the speedster chick.

8:22 - Nice to see that some things never change though and Matt Parkman: God's Punching Bag is one of them. Big question though... is that Peter the Future Peter, unscarred because he changed the future and doesn't have a place to go back to? Did Future Peter stop time so he could talk to his present self and explain things before going and that really IS Peter attempting to keep the secret safe? Curiouser and curiouser.

8:30 - Okay. Nice reversal here, even as I am nervous about Nathan becoming a flying Fundie. But Nathan being the one to talk about everyone being connected through hope and dreams as Peter, the Empath, is becoming more insulated and ruthless... Even money Nathan has to talk Peter down again later.

8:32 - Typical Mohinder. Pressed into finding a way to remove a person's super-powers (didn't the Shanti virus do that in a relatively non-lethal fashion with what Sylar had anyway?) and he finds - within hours - the way to do the exact opposite. Yep. He found a magical potion to give a person superpowers after having spent the better part of the last four months trying to CURE superpowers.

8:34 - Betcha anything that squeak noise was Noah opening the door and getting ready to unload six armor-piercers into Sylar. And I'm not just saying that because we know from the commercials that Claire doesn't die yet. :)

8:38 - Well, nice to see that my theory on the HOW of Sylar stealing powers was confirmed. And yay - not dead Claire. But wow... immortal Sylar. I guess this means we won't see him going after the guy with unbreakable skin from the unused Season 2 footage.

8:41 - Mohinder wants to become a superhero. I see no problem with this whatsoever. And I'm not just saying that because the odds of him getting killed are higher if he's out trying to fight Sylar. And yeah - I hate Maya even more with this self righteous "why can't you cure me?" and "It is EVIL!" talk.

8:42 - I know the Superheroes as Angels thing has been done before, but I can't think of where except for Rising Stars.

8:44 - Okay - I did NOT see that coming. Linderman survived getting his brain punched? Fuck! That means D.L. nearly got killed, recovered and then died for nothing!

8:45 - Hey, it's Captain Sheridan! And Ali Larter in a sexy outfit! And she has a new personality!

8:46 - Commercial Time... hey a comedy about a guy meeting a hot girl on-line. How unrealistic. (Just kidding Sierra baby! Love you!)

8:49 - Dune. Desert planet. Heh.

8:50 - Hiro is actually being kind of smart here. When has going to the past actually FIXED anything? Besides, it would be too boring if he popped back and told himself not to open the safe.

8:51 - Ando betrays Hiro? And Ando has red-lightning powers? Okay... that has me hooked if nothing else.

8:52 - Is it too much to hope Mohinder just ODed on the stuff and died?

8:53 - Ah. Angela. And she reveals her power here. Dreams the future. So THAT'S where he got the weird dream vision from. And that IS Future Peter. And Peter is now in another body?

8:54 - What the... I thought they let Noah loose? What was his deal with The Company then?

8:55 - Watch out for snakes! heh heh.

8:56 - Super Strength? Of course Mohinder would get the most boring power... and a world being ripped apart at the seams.

8:57 - Okay... new level to Claire here. No longer feeling pain... no longer feeling anything? Could explain cold remorseless killer in future.

8:58 - Hmm.. recycling the nightmare scene from what would have been Season 2: Episode 13, but they cut down on the footage of Claire struggling before being beheaded. Good call. Hard for that to play on the family hour unedited.

9:00 - Peter pulling a Hiro. Doing the string theory thing. Of course - in grand comic-book tradition - he probably is going to cause the future he is trying to prevent anyway.

9:03 - Oh hell... he just made the Super Soldier formula! And I really do NOT need to see this. Especially thinking about their freak babies.

9:05 - And... is he dead yet?

9:09 - Oh thank the gods! I thought Sylar was going to have a musical number watching down the street like in Spider-Man 3!

9:11 - Okay... how did Niki/Jessica/Whoever have time to become an advisor/whore for a Governor if it's only been a matter of days since Niki died! Unless... wait! She's not a medium! She's a cloner! Or Ali Larter is just playing some other woman who just happens to be the spitting image of Niki Sanders? Interesting...

9:13 - Hiro takes the fight to the thief. Should it be a bad sign that I care more about this than most anything else now?

9:14 - Peter being the nice guy. Been way too long since we've seen that. And hey - what ever happened to his Irish girlfriend in the alternate alternate future, now that I think of it?

9:16 - Commercial: Adam Sandler and Disney. Two bad tastes that go worse together!

9:18 - "I can heal but what kind of lame power is that? I'm still a victim!" - Nice anti-WiR speech there. And yeah. Peter just made things TOTALLY worse by going to talk to Claire, didn't he?

9:21 - Tracy Strauss eh? Huh. Yeah. Linderman is totally screwing around with things isn't he? Damned if I know how though...

9:23 - Oh gods... Sylar just got into Ward E. This is going to be very interesting or very... well, he may just barely get out alive at this point even with Claire's power.

9:25 - Okay... if Elle just took out Sylar in a very awesome fashion, I can totally live with us no longer having Kristen Bell on the show. Fair trade?

9:28 - Okay! Elle is still alive!

9:30 - I think Hiro just jumped to Chaotic Good...

9:31 - Hmmm... Peter absorbed a shape-shifter's powers at some point.

9:32 - Wow. Bad-ass Peter does have a heart. That's the Peter we know and love and missed.

9:34 - Huh. Did NOT see that coming! And just as soon as he entered the show, The Greatest American Hero is gone. Believe it or not! :) Ice Queen indeed.

9:38 - Nice. Noah is loose and Sylar is caught. Too bad all the other unseen baddies got loose in the process. Elle is free to move on and... oh gods... PLEASE don't tell me Angela is going to try and put Sylar to work!

9:40 - "Does Batman put Robin in danger when he sets a trap for Catwoman?" That may be line of the week.

9:43 - Oh hell... and this was so good without these two do gst...

9:44 - Umm... you injected yourself with an untested sample and NOW you're shocked that something bad and unexpected happened. (Comic Book Guy voice) Worst. Scientist. Ever!

9:47 - The one superpower worse than talking to fish? Talking to turtles.

9:48 - Ah! Nice fake-out. Turns out Matt is blessing the rains down in Africa. And another future painter... I like this guy already.

9:50 - Okay. Curiouser and curiouser.

9:52 - A fear-causer. A flame-thrower. A German magnetic-manipulator. And whoever Peter became... and that's just FOUR of them.

9:53 - Hey, Merideth the Flame-Throwing Mom is back.... huh. This isn't going to go well either, is it?

9:54 - Peter put his past self in someone else's body.... HOW?!?!?

9:55 - Wait... so Peter is now riding in the body of a dangerous criminal but it's the Quantum Leap thing where everybody sees the criminal instead of Peter and now Peter is going along with the escaped baddies to try and stop them? Okay... that is cool... assuming I understand all that.

9:56 - And... wait... how the heck is Angela mind-controlling Sylar if she's a pre-cog?

I've got more questions than answers but... wow. This is going to be a glorious train-wreck... or something special.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lynda Carter disapproves of Sarah Palin/Wonder Woman comparisons

SOURCE: Lynda Carter on Sarah Palin - "She’s the anti-Wonder Woman."

"Don’t get me started. She’s the anti-Wonder Woman. She’s judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they’ve got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness … that’s just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn’t she?

No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace — religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That’s the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don’t be telling me what I want to do with mine."

And that's why she's still Wonder Woman to us all 30 years later...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 9/03/08 & 9/10/08

EX MACHINA #38 - We finally have a name for my new crush - Trouble.

I like it.

Apart from that, not much happens except that we find out that Kremlin has nothing to do with Trouble and we get the most appropriate quote of the week given what is coming tomorrow.

"9/11 doesn't belong to the Republicans, no matter what the out-of-towners they're busing into Madison Square Garden think."

FABLES #75 - This would have been the perfect ending for the series.

How fortunate for us then that Willingham and Buckingham have elected to keep it going. And fitting as well, for this series has proven that there really isn't any such thing as a pat, perfect "happily-ever-after" ending. So I'm glad to see that this comic about what comes after the end of the most famous stories in the world isn't ending itself either.

GREEN LANTERN #34 - This is Geoff Johns doing what he does best.

No, not coming up with disturbing images of innocent people being killed to create new characters. I was referring to his ability to take the broken fragments of other writers works and reforge them into a stronger mythology. He did it in JSA and later in Hawkman when he rebuilt the Hawkman/Hawkgirl mythos. And now, in Green Lantern, he is doing it again by explaining away some of the countless unbelievable aspects of the classic Green Lantern days.

*considers how Johns' explanation of the Green Lantern's yellow weakness involves beings of living fear and an entire spectrum where emotions are manifested as light energy*

Well, RELATIVELY unbelievable by the standards of DC Comics science. Things such as Hector Hammond's exposure to an intelligence-enhancing radiation are made more plausable as is William "Black Hand" Hand's creation of a device that drains the energy of Green Lantern rings. It turns out he stole it from an alien. But more importantly than that, we are given our first glimpse of a plausable student/mentor relationship (to say nothing of a friendship) between Hal Jordan and Sinestro as well as the first inkling that Sinestro - rather than being a bad egg who somehow slipped through The Guardians screening process - is a tragic hero brought down by hubris.

Which somehow makes him a much cooler enemy than "that putz who looks like a pink Vincent Price who really hates Green Lanterns".

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #28 - Two cool things from past issues that go even better together. The serial killer striking against the families of rookie Green Lanterns returns as does the Green Lantern who has the power to talk to the dead. All this and Ice shows up on Oa to surprise Guy... just before he gets the call to duty.

Call me a sentimental ol' wag, but I'm glad to see that someone is using Tora now that she's been resurrected by Gail Simone... especially if it's to ground that greatest of Green Lanterns. God knows Guy deserves it after all the abuse he's suffered in the last 20 years.

HELLBLAZER PRESENTS CHAS: THE KNOWLEDGE - I wonder how this series got green-lighted. Out of all the characters in John's life who deserve a mini, Chas is... well, probably not a bad choice. He is the only one of John's long-term friends to have survived the relationship and he did suffer some major personal losses at John's hand during the Mike Carey run on the series. A mini exploring what Chas has done with his life and his family since he told-off John would be entertaining in a Garth Ennis' Heartland way.

The problem is that Chas has always been - in most stories - the comic-relief with the stereotypical evil wife. They're about as deep and complicated as Andy and Flo Capp. So while the broad concept of this series (Chas takes on a new job working for an attractive American woman without telling his wife and then gets dragged into a supernatural mystery) could be funny or powerful, the execution is woefully lacking. Add in the fact that the only reason John isn't getting involved in this particular madness is that because he spends the entire issue raving it up somewhere else and wakes up on a beach somewhere with some kind poking him in the face with a small plastic spade.

It doesn't speak well of this series that I'd rather see how John spent an evening getting wasted rather than watching his sidekick fight demons. The only way I can picture this being worse is if it were centered upon the Chas from the film Constantine universe and I had to pay three bucks to watch Shia LeBeouf mince around for 32 pages.

KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #142 - Even in an issue where Brian gets his comeuppance and Jo Jo Zeke is fired in what will hopefully become known as the biggest mistake in Heidi Jackson's career... this issue still seems less than complete.

Why? I put it to one factor and one factor alone - the dismissal of Noah Antwiler as KODT's film critic.

It seems some people - most of whom apparently have nothing better to do than to sit on KenzerCo's forums and grouse about how they weren't buying another issue until Noah was fired (yet still kept writing about how bad the latest reviews were) - finally convinced The Powers That Be to give Noah the boot on a temporary basis after a frankly flawed poll that only consulted people who visited the KenzerCo website and not... oh... say... all of the people who were actively buying the magazine week after week.

Well, I hope those people are happy. The new film column is a rather dull and lifeless piece about how to adapt old sci-fi/fantasy movies for your campaign; something most GMs I know are already fairly adept at and hardly need any help with now since D&D became WoW. Then again, these people who weren't satisfied with KODT printing a helpful dotted line as well as instructions on how to remove Noah's columns from the magazine (perhaps because they aren't allowed to handle sharp objects in the institutions they live in), so I doubt they'll be happy with anything other than Noah's head on a spike and a letter from Dane Cook nailed to the spike assuring them that he is the true god of comedy.

Still, KODT's loss is The Internet's gain as Noah's website - The Spoony Experiment - has been updated with more and more fresh video-based content, including a review of Yor: The Hunter From The Future that is easily funnier than most things Mike Nelson has done with RiffTrax in that last two years. Check it out.

And continue to enjoy the comic parts of Knights of the Dinner Table... which are, for the moment, the only parts worth reading in this author's humble opinion.

RED SONJA #37 - All the fuss over how this comic involves a reincarnation of Sonja and I had failed to notice that Osin - Sonja's old (now old before his time it seems) bard companion and new trainer - has two hands. This issue explains that as well as how Osin was able to track Sonja down and how he got his hand back. Bad news for Osin - he apparently cut a deal with the god Jullah (aka The Black Gorilla God) to do all this which can't possibly end well. There's worse news on the way though, as it seems that Sonja's beloved sister (in this life, anyway) has turned traitor and is sleeping with the enemy in every since of the word.

I'll give Brian Reed credit - he's got me hooked now to see where he is going with this.

SAVAGE TALES #9 - I honestly skipped most of the stories in this anthology, having little interest in Alan Quartermain or the Battle for Atlantis. The rest more than make up for my need to skip half the book.

The first comic - Valaka - centers upon a sorceress who offers a young warrior help in fighting the wizard who has destroyed his village and taken his love. Of course, as always in these Hyborian lands, the help of a magic-user is rarely helpful.

The final tale tells a story of the young Osin, proving that anyone who says bards are useless in a fight don't know how to play one properly, as Osin uses his natural gifts with a sword, with magic and persuasion to turn an entire village against an evil wizard.

SECRET SIX #1 - It just figures. Not a few weeks after I struggle to find the perfect Deadshot quote for my Neutral Evil comic book character alignment poster, Gail Simone comes along and gives me the perfect one.

All you need to know about the rest of the comic is... more Ragdoll, more Nicola Scott/Doug Hazlewood artwork and Deadshot stopping a robbery only to decide to rob the place himself, all while giving the original group of robbers pointers on "how to do it right".

WONDER WOMAN #24 - Speak of Gail Simone books...

Am I the only one who didn't find much funny in Nemesis (now Sir Tom of Cleveland) being taken to meet Wonder Woman's mother? Maybe I've just had too many weird mom/daughter encounters to be unbiased.

On the other hand, this is more than made-up for by the idea of Diana having to deal with an unauthorized Hollywood blockbuster biography based on her and her mother... and Diana's albino gorilla bodyguards reaction to the contract negotations after being offered a snack and a drink.

"We would like to hear more about this fresh fruit portion of the negotiations."

Still...After seeing Gail's take on the Wonder Woman movie in this issue... I really want to see Gail write a Red Sonja special of some kind more than ever. I can't help but wonder if this is in reference to some meeting that Gail had...

I can dream, can't it?

Please do not reveal the secret behind the villain at the end of the issue.