Nerd Word: More random quotes, quips and rage pulled out of the magic comic drawer.

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It’s been a while, so let’s get back on the nerd wagon with our favorite new game, Nerd Word where I give you random, probably meaningless thoughts that just appear in my mind.

  1. Why didn’t Darkwing Duck ever cross over with the cast of the Ducktales show?  We know it exists in the same Duck related universe.  After all, Launchpad McQuack is in both shows.  Didn’t Scrooge McDuck ever need the services of a ruthless Duck vigilante?  I bet Darkwing Duck would have mopped the floor with those bastard Beagle Boys.
What the?  Mad Madam Mim from Sword in the Stone crossed over with the Beagle Boys?  They're not even in the same anthropomorphic sort of Universe!

What the? Mad Madam Mim from Sword in the Stone crossed over with the Beagle Boys? They’re not even in the same anthropomorphic sort of Universe!

  1. I really liked the Flash Television series, that show was spot on the entire season. There were characters that NOBODY thought they would touch, such as Grodd, the talking, telepathic killer Gorilla.  But the show proved everyone wrong and they made characters like Grodd fun and appealing.  This also has to be the first show to have a spin off (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow….more on that in a moment) announced before the first season even ended.  Okay, so it is a spin-off of characters from the Arrow and the Flash, but it still counts as a Flash spin off.
  1. Speaking of the Flash, wasn’t that Season Finale freaking amazing? For all you comic “fans” who bash the Flash because it is on CW….shut the heck up.  The show had one of the coolest, most cinematic, comic book inspired cliff hangers to date and still managed to feature incredibly touching scenes where Barry Allen (The Flash, in case you didn’t know) finally had to make a choice on whether or not he will travel through time to save his mother…..I won’t give spoilers, but I cried.  Don’t judge me!
"Why is it that if you have to go to the bathroom really bad, the closer you get to the bathroom, the worse that feeling gets?"

“Why is it that if you have to go to the bathroom really bad, the closer you get to the bathroom, the worse that feeling gets?”

  1. Agents of SHIELD had an amazing season this year that blew last year’s hit and miss season away. This season had an ageless Nazi, a brainwashed Shield assassin with agent Mae’s face, The Absorbing Man, and the reveal of Skye’s father.  We also saw a SHIELD versus SHIELD rivalry introducing Edward James Olmos as a SHIELD operative eyeing for Director Coulson’s job.  At its core though, the season solved the mystery of Skye’s parents while at the same time introducing us to the concept of Inhumans, characters who are exposed to a mystical alien mist and transform into their “true potential”.  Sometimes that means becoming a prophetic hedgehog, other times that means being a teleporter without any eyes.  The season had really good, movie quality special effects and actually introduced dozens of real comic book inspired characters and concepts.
  2. How come Batman doesn’t dance anymore?
Pure West!

Pure West!

  1. I have a feeling my four year old daughter has a secret stash of Oreos hidden somewhere in the house. It’s sort of like the cookie equivalent of the Lost Dutchman’s Mine.
  1. I am trying to convince my teenage daughter to drop her current phone and be “retro” by getting one of those giant Motorola phones radio shack used to sell back in the 80s.
  2. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow looks like it will be the type of Justice League style show fans really want to watch.  Hell, it will probably be better than the Zack Snyder Justice League movie.  This is a time travel based team made up of Firestorm, Hawkgirl, the resurrected Orignal Black Canary, The Atom/Ray Palmer, The Flash, The Arrow, Captain Cold and Heatwave.  How could this not be amazing?  Seeing how well this creative team did the Flash, this seems to be an amazing show.
  3. I have been binge watching episodes of the Critic and have come to the conclusion that Duke Phillips is one of the greatest American heroes we will ever have….even if he is a fictional character.

The Pen is still Mightier than the sword!

On January 7th two masked gunman stormed the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris France.  The two cowards claimed to be on a mission from Allahu, citing the magazine’s cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammad as crimes against God.  These rats then killed 9 Charlie Hebdo employees and one visitor.  The two cowards killed two police officers in the shootout as they attempted to escape.

On January 8th, a third coward shot and killed Police woman Clarissa Jean-Philippe.  This rat, an associate of the Charlie Hebdo killers held several shoppers hostage at a Kosher deli on January 9th.  Simultaneously, French police cornered the Charlie Hebdo cowards and killed them in the resulting shoot out.  The Kosher Deli Coward was also killed, unfortunately he murdered four hostages.  The Kosher Deli Coward’s rat of a wife escaped from the police and as of this writing she is on the loose.

The names of these pigs is out there and anyone interested could look them up.  In my opinion they don’t deserve the fame the media grants them.  They should vanish in obscurity and only be known as cowards, rats, pigs and killers.  The names we should be remembering are:  Stephane Charbonnier, editor, Jean Cabut, cartoonist, Georges Wolinski, cartoonist, Bernard Verlhac, cartoonist, Philippe Honore, cartoonist, Bernard Maris, economist, Elsa Cayat, psychoanalyst and columnist, Mustapha Ourrad, copy editor, Michel Renaud, a man who was visiting the offices, Frederic Boisseau, caretaker, Police Officer Ahmed Merabet, Brigadier Franck Brinsolaro and the aforementioned Policewoman Clarissa Jean-Philippe.  

The names of the four victims of the Kosher Deli attack have not yet been released.

The attack on Charlie Hebdo was an attack on democracy.  This was an attack on free speech.  Charlie Hebdo was and remains a satirical magazine, no one is safe from their lampooning and criticism.  From religious leaders to celebrities to politicians, everyone who is on the radar is mocked by the magazine, think of it as a much more political, much more vulgar version of Mad Magazine.

Here are some of their most famous/infamous cartoons.

This controversial cartoon where the Prophet Mohammed guest edits the magazine led to a firebomb attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in 2011.

This controversial cartoon where the Prophet Mohammed guest edits the magazine led to a firebomb attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in 2011.

The Charlie Hebdo response to the 2011 firebomb attack.  The caption reads "Love is stronger than hate."

The Charlie Hebdo response to the 2011 firebomb attack. The caption reads “Love is stronger than hate.”

Of course, being a comedy magazine, Islam and the Prophet Mohammed weren’t the only people and religions lampooned by Charlie Hebdo.  They also satirized Catholicism with this look at the Pedophile Priest scandal…

Translation:  Pedophile Bishops.  "Make a movie like Polanski."

Translation: Pedophile Bishops. “Make a movie like Polanski.”

Terrorists are cowards, pure and simple.  You do not win anything by killing people, even if you do not agree with their opinions.  Anyone who refuses to print controversial work is just as big a coward as the people killing those who create the work.  I pray that this is the last we see of this type of terrorism, but I doubt it. However, as long as we continue to express ourselves and fight back against the bullies, tyrants and fascists who fear the freedom of expression and creativity, we will preserver.  In honor of those who lost their lives, I created this cartoon.  Creativity and love will always outlast hate and ignorance.  Long Live Charlie Hebdo, Long Live Freedom!

Violence in the name of religion---any religion---is just plain stupid.

Violence in the name of religion—any religion—is just plain stupid.

Gems of the New 52: The Robin Rises Saga

I hate being a Nega-Nerd (A nerd who is super negative) however, I often complain about DC Comics’ New 52.  Trashing decades of established history, tradition and storytelling and transforming beloved characters into easy to market products just seems wrong to me.  When storytellers are beholden to the whims of corporate executives, share holders and focus groups, the end result rarely ever yields any creativity, originality or imagination.  The jokers in the business boardrooms know nothing beyond making money…screw storytelling.

"Did somebody call for Business Joker?  And what's wrong with making money?"

“Did somebody call for Business Joker? And what’s wrong with making money?”

 

However, even with the storytelling by committee model, there are a few great adventures that squeeze through the cracks.  Robin Rises has shaped up to be one of the coolest Batman stories since the confining New 52 project began.  Like everything else related to the New 52, Robin Rises is attached to a little unnecessary confusion.  As I mentioned in the previous post, the New 52 boiled down the careers of all the heroes to just 5 years.  So here are the stats for the first five years of New 52 Batman: In Five years: Batman is killed and resurected, has 4 Robins (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne) , 2 spin-off female allies (Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Batwoman/Kathy Kane), 2 Robins killed (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne), 2 Robins Resurrected (Jason Todd, Damian Wayne), 3 Robins take on other aliases (Grayson is Nightwing, Jason Todd is Red Hood and Tim Drake is Red Robin) 

That’s a lot in five years.  So here is the quick back up story for Robin Rises.  Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son and sidekick is murdered by his mother, Talia Al Ghul because he defected to his father’s side.

Batman butters his bread  Butter side up while the League of Assassins butters theirs butter side down....the sure sign of EVIL.

Batman butters his bread Butter side up while the League of Assassins butters theirs butter side down….the sure sign of EVIL.

Robin Rises sees Bruce Wayne go on an insane search for a way to bring his son back to life. Batman discovers that Damian’s body has been stolen by his arch foe, Ra’s Al Ghul (And Damian’s grandpapy).

 

My Grandpa just wanted to make us laugh...he never went on evil crusades...that we knew of.

My Grandpa just wanted to make us laugh…he never went on evil crusades…that we knew of.

Ra’s seeks to use his knowledge of Lazurus Pits and ancient resurrection techniques to bring Damian back and brainwash him. This leads to an awesome series of “Road Trip” Style of adventures pairing Batman with the likes of Batgirl, Red Hood, Aquaman, and even Frankenstein’s Monster as they try to stop Ra’s.  The adventure takes a crazy turn when Glorious Godfrey, the elite assassin of Darkseid, the alien from Apokolips whom had previously sent Batman’s consciousness on a trip through time shows up to steal Damian’s body.

The Batman/Frankenstein hour of power was sadly canceled in 1978.

The Batman/Frankenstein hour of power was sadly canceled in 1978.

This leads Batman to take on the Justice League and steal and experimental suit and the Boom Tube teleportation devices that can take him to Apokolips.

A fight like this breaks out every time the Justice League argues about what to order for dinner.

A fight like this breaks out every time the Justice League argues about what to order for dinner.

Eventually Batman and his whole crew end up on Apokolips where they go toe to toe with legions of aliens bent on death and destruction.   The whole story is just as fun and entertaining as the comics I grew up reading and never once does the story seem like it was dictated by share holders.  There is no way this sprawling mega epic (Spanning 23 issues in total if you count Damian’s death and the Road to Resurrection story line….and you should!)  could ever be made into a movie and that’s part of what makes it so great.  These are comics made for comics sake.  This story was designed for original fans, not just some schmuck who saw Dark Knight Rises and wants to see what all this Batman Comic Book fuss is all about.  Personally I would have tolerated the Nolan films more if they didn’t have Christian Bale in them….maybe Adam West.

With Joan Collins as Talia Al Ghul and Sammy Davis Jr. as Bane!

There is a lot to love here for Batman fans.  I highly recommend reading the whole saga as well as going back before the New 52 and checking out the Grant Morrison stories that brought the world Damian Wayne.  I hope that you enjoyed this installment.  I shall see you  Next time when we shall be checking out Grant Morrison’s Multiversity. 

Gems of the New 52. Part One: A quick Primer on the New 52

DC comics has a long, lavish history that any writer, artist and reader could dig into.  Since the DC comic book universe was established waaaaaay back in 1938 with the debut of Superman in Action Comics # 1, the Universe had just been expanding and expanding.  Then in 1985 DC had a company wide event called Crisis on Infinite Earths in which a cosmic villain wiped out almost all of DC’s alternate realities.  Wait, you’re not following all this?  Oh sorry.  Excuse me for one moment then while I issue a….

If you are not a nerd go watch a Kardashian or something then come back later.

If you are not a nerd go watch a Kardashian or something then come back later.

Why am I even issuing a warning?  You're the one reading a blog called "Nerds of Mass Distraction"

Why am I even issuing a warning? You’re the one reading a blog called “Nerds of Mass Distraction”

We now resume or regular scheduled Nerd Fest:  

Crisis on Infinite Earths was meant to clean up some of the inconsistencies in the story lines but it didn’t really do its job.  This led to the revamped Post-Crisis continuity where Superman never fought crime as Superboy.  Other clean up events such as Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis attempted to trim down the seemingly unwieldy continuity but nothing really stuck.  By 2009 DC actually embraced a lot of its past, Superman now fought crime as Superboy in the past (Sort of, he at least joined up with the Legion of Superheroes as a teen), Barry Allen (The Silver Age Flash, who was killed off in 85’s Crisis) returned as the Flash.  It looked as if the DCU was just going to expand on its large history and grow larger and larger.

Then in December of 2009, Disney bought Marvel.  As strange as it sounds, that one real life business deal managed to change the fictional DCU.  With a plan to take the already successful Marvel Studios films and expand upon them, Disney was set to build yet another entertainment empire.  Before the Disney buy out in December, the muckity mucks at AOL/Time-Warner already knew the move was going to happen, so in September the mega company announced that they would be folding DC Comics into the already established DC Entertainment division.  What does this all mean?  Soon the company ejected the well established leadership whom all been veterans in the comic book industry and announced that entertainment industry insider Diane Nelson would be the new President of DCE.

The next President of DC Entertainment...

The next President of DC Entertainment…

So the suits from the second largest entertainment company were now running one of the biggest comic book companies in order to compete with the other biggest comic company which was just taken over by the biggest entertainment company….confused?  The funny thing, so was AOL/Time Warner.  In their panic to compete, they didn’t realize that Disney was taking a hands off approach to running Marvel.  Their policy was to just allow Marvel to run itself and continue to prosper.  Yeah, there has been a lot of cross-pollination with the Marvel Studios films but other than that Disney has kept its eyes on the films….and toys and theme parks and shirts and cheap crap made in china….but they let the comic book company continue to run itself.

That meant keeping this guy as far away from the comics as possible by distracting him with cameo appearances in every Marvel Movie for the next century.

That meant keeping this guy as far away from the comics as possible by distracting him with cameo appearances in every Marvel Movie for the next century.

…The first order of business for Diane Nelson and the DCE?  To ditch the long established history and remold the 70+ year old characters into properties that would make great movies.  DC used the plot of the horrendous Flash Point Mini-Series to rewrite the company’s history.  The Flash’s arch foe, the Reverse Flash goes back in time all Marty McFly style to mess with the Flash and ends up changing history.  This creates a crazy ass tangent world where Biff Tannen now runs Hill Valley and Metropolis…or something like that.

 

"Do you think I gotta chance with Lois Lane?"

“Do you think I gotta chance with Lois Lane?”

When the Flash uses his super speed mystic mojo whama jamma powers to set things straight, there is some other crazy woman in the time stream (We find out she’s Pandora and she’s nothing special so just move along…) and she messes up the proper timeline.  So now from this point on (2011), all of the major DCU characters have only been around for 5 years. The company debut 52 brand new # 1 issues.  The cosmic reset button had been pressed and everything starts anew….except it didn’t.  A lot of writers and artists who had existing books and huge running storylines threatened to quit if their stories were scrapped for this reboot.  DC agreed that the writers could keep their stories intact when the reboot hit.  What we ended up with was a lot of weird inconsistencies.  Grant Morrison had been writing his mega Batman opus since 2006 and he drew a lot from the character’s past.  This was the story of a Batman who had 3 sidekicks named Robin over a long career.  He learns that he has a ten year old son, Damian with his arch foe Ra’s Al Ghul’s daughter Talia….Then he gets killed by a monomaniacal alien dictator named Darkseid and finds himself hopping through time like in Quantum Leap.  Batman’s first Robin, Dick Grayson (Who was also Nightwing) takes the mantle and Damian Wayne becomes Robin.  Then Bruce Wayne returns and announces to the world that he “finances” all of Batman’s tech and creates an international team of Bat themed super heroes.  That’s a big whopping story that took over six years to tell.  Well, once New 52 hit….all of that stuff I just mentioned still happened in Batman’s life, but in five years.

Not to mention the nearly ten year Green Lantern saga Geoff Johns was crafting was still part of the New 52.  So a lot of the history was jettison and the stuff that stayed was all crammed into the amazingly unbelievable time frame of just five years.

Needless to say, The New 52 seemed like a construct for making money, not for honoring the fans of a lush history.  Most of the books in the initial New 52 line up were canned pretty quickly.  Of course, all the core heroes stayed but many of the other titles didn’t make it.  Overall, many of the stories read like safe, committee made tales that are afraid to push any kind of envelope out of fear of alienating someone who wants to read the comics when the movies are released.  However, with that said all of that said there have been some amazing gems in the new 52 Manure pile.

"Manure!  Why is it always Manure!"

“Manure! Why is it always Manure!”

 

Next time we will start off our Gems of the New 52 series with the Robin Rises saga!  

Why Ant Man won’t suck…

There are a lot of fans out there who like to be negative.  For some fans, negativity is all they know.  One time I was in a comic book shop digging through the dollar comic bin as I am want to do when this guy rushed through the door looking like Harold Green.

Canadians and anyone who was obsessed with PBS in the late 90's will get this reference.

Canadians and anyone who was obsessed with PBS in the late 90’s will get this reference.

Unlike Harold Green, this guy was the most negative nerd in the world.  Negative with a capital N.  The first thing he said to the clerk was “Hey do you have any Spiderman comics that don’t suck?”  How are you supposed to respond to that?  “Suck” is such an objective, personal thing.  One man’s gold could be another man’s “Suck”.  Just ask fans of Larry the Cable Guy.  He’s like a god to millions of Southerners but I think he’s annoying.  The clerk began to inform the guy about the new Superior Spiderman books (The storyline where Doctor Octopus had transferred his brain into Peter Parker’s body and took the mantle of Spiderman for a year.  It appeared to be a cheap gimmick but was incredibly well written and fleshed out Dock Ock as a flawed, very human individual who realized he wasn’t as superior as he thought)  This Nega-Nerd was not having any discussion of Superior Spider-Man.  “I said, books that don’t suck.  I don’t want to hear about Superior Doc Ock.”  The clerk just smiled and asked the guy “How many issues of Superior Spiderman have you read?”  That’s when the nerd just rolled his eyes and said “I’d never read such a lousy book.  I just read online that it wasn’t good and some of my friends on facebook thrashed it.”  The incredibly nice clerk continued to smile, impervious to the Nega-Nerd’s super negativity.  “Well how do you know it sucks if you’ve never read it?” The nerd sighed “My facebook friends have the same tastes as I do.  If they say it sucks then it sucks.  Why would I waste my time?”  That’s when the clerk reached under the counter and grabbed the Mjölnir, Thor’s Mighty hammer and used it to blow up the nerd’s head.

nerdexplode

Okay, this didn’t actually happen.

Why am I talking about negative nerds?  Because the new Ant-Man trailer is set to premier tonight during the 2 hour Agent Carter series premier.  The Ant-Sized trailer has already premiered.  It’s a great gimmick.

Already there are flocks of Nega-Nerds taking to the internet and complaining that Ant-Man will “Suck” and that he is a “Sucky” character.  I am here to dispel any rumors, myths or innuendo that Ant-Man is a bad character and that he will suck. First of all, I’ve always been a huge fan of Ant-Man.  Not so much the Hank Pym original Ant Man, but the funny, down to Earth wisecracking Scott Lang Ant-man.  Scott Lang was like Han-Solo with super powers.  He was a devil may care rouge that we all liked but he also had a soft side.  He was a single father trying to balance the life of dad and hero.  With that in mind….

Here now are 3 reasons why Ant-Man will be great:

1.  Ant-Man has a rich history to draw from.

Before he was a Super Hero Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man was just a science genius in a Marvel Horror comic.

Before he was a Super Hero Hank Pym, the first Ant-Man was just a science genius in a Marvel Horror comic.

The character has been around since before Spiderman and he was one of the original Avengers.  Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man was a super genius who discovered a process to shrink himself and grow giant sized using particles he called Pym Particles.  Apparently he had a giant ego too.  Pym and his fiancee Janet Van Dyne fought along side the Avengers  as Ant-Man and Wasp.  Later Ant-Man became Giant Man.

giantman and wasp

Despite the name Giant-Man and the Wasp was not a 70’s cop show.

Soon, the Super Hero game proved too much for Pym’s fractured genius psyche and he began to have a nervous breakdown, becoming the somewhat villainous Yellow Jacket.

Yellow Jacket vs. his arch foe Green Cardigan

Yellow Jacket vs. his arch foe Green Cardigan

Oh yeah and somewhere along the line Hank Pym became Goliath…

"Split personality disorder?  You're crazy man, We don't have split Personality disorder, do we guys?"

“Split personality disorder? You’re crazy man, We don’t have split Personality disorder, do we guys?”

And he invented the killer super intelligent robot Ultron…..

"Hey kids, I'm Ultron!  Be sure to watch for me in my new movie Avengers 2:  Let's Make more money!"

“Hey kids, I’m Ultron! Be sure to watch for me in my new movie Avengers 2: Let’s Make more money!”

Of course there were two other men to don the Ant-Man mantle which brings me to…

2.  Scott Lang is a character you will care about.

Unlike Hank Pym, the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang does not have an illustrious career.  Scott starts out as a promising young electronics genius who falls on hard times and turns to burglary.  He becomes a wise cracking, Han Solo-esque rogue but lands himself in jail several times.  Once released from Prison Scott attempts to lead a legitimate life, but his daughter becomes terminally ill.  A company known as Cross Technical Enterprises has a way to cure his daughter but it is next to impossible to break in…so like any rational person, Scott Lang breaks into Hank Pym’s lab and steals his Ant-Man tech in order to break into Cross Technical Enterprises.  During the attempted robbery of Cross Tech, Lang stumbles upon a terrorist plot and saves the doctor who can heal his daughter.  Hank Pym learns about Lang’s heroism and allows him to remain Ant-Man only if he uses his new found abilities for good.  See, it’s the set up for the movie!  Wise ass Scott Lang strays toward the dark side, steals super hero tech, saves the day and is guided by the original super hero.  Paul Rudd can deliver as the charming, pain in the ass Scott Lang, just as much as Chris Pratt delivered as Peter Quill/Star Lord.  This was a role made for him.

3.  The film has a cast and crew that is destined to make a great movie.

Beyond the development hell that the movie found itself in while it was being developed by the amazing Edgar Wright (Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, World’s End), the Ant-Man movie has all the right factors to be as good as Guardians of the Galaxy.  The script still has elements of the Edgar Wright Draft as well as the draft by Adam McKay (Talladega Nights, Anchorman, Stepbrothers) Together with Director Peyton Reed (Yes Man, The Break Up, Down With Love and most importantly the Back to the Future Animated Series) and a brilliant cast this movie will be fun and amazing.  Who doesn’t want to see the World wise older hero Hank Pym (Played by Michael Douglas) mentoring Scott Lang as he tries to redeem himself and make up for his criminal past.  With Evenglyne Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, the daughter of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, the movie is already promising to expand on the comic book mythology.  How cool would it be to see the second generation of a super hero family fighting alongside her father’s protegee?  Actor Corey Stoll fills out the cast as the Villainous Darren Cross, the owner of Cross Tech.  Darren Cross will eventually steal the mantle of Yellow Jacket and fight the new Ant-man.

With a funny, action packed script, a cast of diverse and well adept actors and a proven director this is sure to be one of the best Marvel movies.  So stop being a Nega-Nerd and wait for the film to come out before you thrash it!

Review Time! Marvel books

I haven’t done any comic book reviews in a long time, so I’ve decided to (Try really, really hard) and keep up with the newest releases from the big two….and sometimes the big three and four and five…..

Here are the books that dropped from the House of Ideas on 9/17/14

All New X-Factor 14: This was my first time reading this book and I was dropped into the start of a new storyline, but I have to admit, I really liked the book. Peter David proves that he is still, some twenty years later one of the best writers to ever grace the pages of X-Factor. Here we find a new, corporate owned version of X-Factor. David gives us a Girl’s day out in Colonial Williamsburg and showcases his trademark wit. Pop Mhan and Scott Hanna handle the art chores and deliver some inconsistently good work. There is some good depictions of the lead characters here, especially during the hilarious conversation between Polaris and Danger but overall the art could use some improvement.

I would look past the choppy art and certainly read this book again.

8/10….A smooth moving book that quickly builds a rapport with its main characters but is held back a little by the inconsistent artwork.

All New X-Men 32: It has been a long while since I’ve read this book and now I really think I’ll have to go back and play some catch up. Our team of time displaced Original X-Men encountered a young mutant in the previous issue and she sent them all to the Ultimate universe. If you loved the Ultimate books as much as I used to than you’ll like the concept of seeing a young an inexperienced team of X-Men in a strange new world. As usual Brian Michael Bendis is on his A game with his dialogue and witty banter. I have to read the rest of the storyline, but so far Bendis has done a good job crafting an engaging story. The art by Mahmud Asrar does a great job of balancing the look of the All-New X-Men and the classic Ultimate Universe. His art really reminded me of Mark Bagley which is not a bad thing.

9/10….Engaging story coupled with excellent art usually makes for an amazing book and I would recommend this….but it doesn’t get the 10 because it is not an easy jumping on point for new readers (Or old ones who took a break on the book)

Avengers 35: What this book is seriously lacking is a “Previously…..” prose page. Yes, each issue starts with a cinematic “Previously…” section made up of a few panels, but it never gives new readers enough info. Johnathan Hickman has been building a very interesting, long form story but new readers coming into this are going to be very lost. What did Tony Stark do? Why is SHIELD after him and the rest of the Illuminati? That’s not really explained here. We do get some awesome scenes with Amadeus Cho, Marvel’s resident young super genius. The art is inconsistent, a major pet peeve of mine. This is due to the fact that there are four artists working on one issue. Jim Cheung, Paco Medina, Nick Bradshaw and Dustin Weaver all provide the art making for a constantly shifting look in the issue. I could understand the multiple artists if this was an anthology of stories, but this is too much for one single issue, especially if that single issue is part of a much larger story.

5/10…..While there are some cool super spy scenes with Amadeus Cho taking on SHIELD and an interesting last page reveal, take a pass on this one. Wait for the trade paperback collection and get the story as a whole. As a single issue this is too confusing.

Avengers World 13: What a mess. Avoid this issue. While there I usually like Nick Spencer’s team books this is just flat out ridiculous. Unlike the previous Avengers book, this one does have a good recap for new readers, but it doesn’t help much because the story is just so silly even for comic book standards. Raffaele Ienco produces some quality artwork and moves the story along, even amazing art can’t save such a silly, silly story. The idea that the dark and dangerous city of Madripoor has been a major feature of countless Marvel adventures and has been used as a great setting in the first Wolverine limited series. This plot puts that once realistic backdrop on top of the head of an ancient dragon. There’s a lot more too the plot than that, but even for a comic book it just comes out as silly. Many of the heroes featured in the book are written out of character and I get the feeling that they’re also wondering what the heck they’re doing in such a stupid story.

2/10…..Flip through this book at the store for the artwork, but keep it on the shelf for the ridiculous storyline. Maybe Nick Spencer will have something better worked up for another time. This one was a real letdown.

Daredevil 8: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are hands down one of the best creative teams to work on Daredevil in decades. This issue has the feel of an episode of a well written tv drama. We have an eerie crime happening in the beginning and unveiling the ruthless villain behind it then our hero is introduced and he gives us just enough back story to keep us up to date. Matt Murdock is publicly known as Daredevil, he lost his law license in New York and now has a practice in San Francisco. Meanwhile, an old mind controlling villain has his sights set on building a family and will do anything and kill anyone to achieve that….when his plan backfires there are some sinister results and the beginnings of some very cool new villains. He is out of his element, but thriving in his new life. It’s a great build up and Samnee’s very fluid, animated style of art surprisingly fits the dark tones in the story. If the Netflix Daredevil show is half as good as this book,they’ll have a hit on their hands.

10/10….This one is a winner. The art and plot work hand in hand to bring us a great Daredevil story and bring a really fresh take on the character, proving that he can work outside of New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Highly recommended.

Deadpool Bi-Annual 1: While the usual writing chores are taken over by Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, Deadpool is still in good hands. In fact a SHIELD agent tells Deadpool just that when he realizes the writers are different. This issue brings us the return of the absurd 90s heroes Brute Force, a super team consisting of animals in cyborg suits. While the whole concept of these super animals attacking a Sea World type theme park is just silly, unlike the stupidity of Avengers World 13, this is played purely for laughs and it is a truly funny book. The cartoonish, madcap artwork by Salva Espin works well to drive the nutty story home. We still get to see the blood, guts and humor of a regular Deadpool book, just by a different creative team. This is a perfect jumping on point for new readers.

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

10/10….One of the funniest books to roll out in a while. I’ve always liked weird 90s characters so seeing Deadpool team with oddities like Brute Force is a plus. And there’s some really funny Phil Coulson related jokes in here as well.

The Edge of the Spiderverse 2: In case you didn’t know there is a large event weaving (See what I did there?) through all of the Spider-Man books in which some force is killing various incarnations of Spider-Man throughout the multi-verse…in this case, the Spiderverse. It’s a really cool idea and this book, is showcasing new, unestablished Spiderpeople. Here we see an alternate world where Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider and became Spider Woman….Peter tried to gain super powers and became the lizard, dying in a rampage. Now Gwen must juggle her super hero career with her punk band as an assassin stalks her father for the Kingpin. It’s a fun story in the vein of classic Spider-Man. Written by Jason Latour with art by Robbi Rodriguez.

9/10…..If it were a stand alone and not connected to a big mega epic, I’d give it the full 10. It’s worth your comic buying dollar. As a whole, it really interested me in the entire Spiderverse saga and I will pick up the collection once it hits stores.

Elektra 6: Elektra takes on a mission in the ancient spot where the Inhumans once called home. She has a rag tag team of assassins and hired guns as she is being hunted by the Guild of Assassins. It’s a pretty good jumping on point for the book, but it didn’t really hold my interest all that much. It reads like a typical summer blockbuster and it would be far better to see on screen than the Elektra movie. The art by Alex Sanchez was incredibly engaging and depicted some very solid action sequences. W. Haden Blackman provides a journeyman’s effort with the plot but doesn’t lure me in. If I didn’t write reviews, I’d probably skip the next issue…

7/10….A solid issue, but not really intriguing enough to warrant continuous reading.

Hulk 6 The new direction for the Hulk sees the Green Goliath taking on yet another incarnation, this time calling himself Doc Green. Doc Green sports a spiffy green mohawk and is a no holds barred, ruthless scientist. Seeing gamma based weapons as a threat to society, Doc Green begins a campaign to take Gamma powered beings off the table with a cure he devised. With this cure, he takes on A-bomb, his friend Rick Jones. The story by Gerry Duggan is very fun and left me wanting more, especially at the cliff hanger ending. The end hinted at an awesome battle yet to come. The art by Mark Bagley is magnificent as always. Bagley is a present day craftsman and his art will certainly be called classic once he’s retired. Hopefully that won’t be for a long time.

10/10…Go back and get Hulk 5 and keep reading this excellent take on the book. Waid did an amazing job on his run and Duggan is taking the ball and running with it in his own unique direction. It appears like the whole point of this storyline is to clear the playing field of all the Hulk-ish characters running around the Marvel-U….that’s not such a bad thing.

Hulk Annual 1…What a drastically different and pretty disapointing follow up to the previous Hulk book. This issue still features the Doc Green Hulk, but in an adventure that could be suited for any Hulk, any super hero for that matter. A woman is caught in a lab accident and becomes some sort of plant creature that can control plants. The dialouge is stiff and the pacing is clunky and slow. Even the artwork by is just flat out boring.

0/10…. This is pure filler, skip it.

Miles Morales Ultimate Spider-man 5 With a Bendis story, the dialogue is always strong and this is obviously no exception to that rule. The plot, Miles encounters the supposedly resurrected Peter Parker (Ultimate Peter Parker died and Morales became the new Spider-Man.) is very intriguing and hooks the reader. The artwork by David Marquez reflects his unique style yet harkens back to the days of the classic Ultimate Universe. While I recommend this issue, I think you should do yourself a favor and journey to your local comic shop and pick up the collected edition when it arrives.

9/10…Excellent story, great concepts but yet another small piece in a big yummy pie.

Nova 21 Gerry Duggan is now on my watch list for the next great Marvel writer. I had no idea who the guy was until he started writing Hulk and now he’s really nailing it with Nova as well. This is a fun issue that sees Sam, the new Nova using his powers to help his family move while looking for his father, a drunk who was once a former Nova himself. The story is accompanied by David Baldeon who provides cartoony and fun art that suits the tone of the adventure.

10/10….This is a really fun book and I would recommend it to anyone trying to get a young reader interested in comics.

Original Sin Thor & Loki 5 A letter to Original Sin Thor and Loki: Dear book, you look good and you have a borderline interesting concept but get to the damn point already. This damn book does not need to be six issues. The idea of Thor and Loki having a secret sister is interesting and could have been done in three issues and expanded on in the upcoming Angela: Asgard’s Assassin series.

This story is just dragged out and ends up feeling like a money grabbing tactic. It is good to look at though. 1/10….Just pass this one up. If you’ve seen the solicits for Asgard’s Assassin you know what happens in this book. Don’t bother, even if it is good to look at.

Savage Hulk 4 Go out to your friendly comic book retailer and purchase the Essential Incredible Hulk by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and skip this book. This is an homage to the classic stories but it just misses the fun and excitement of those early tales. I love Alan Davis 99% of the time but this book just doesn’t do the job it was meant to do.

5/10….Davis’ art is always fun but the story falls flat.

Superior Spider-Man 33 Before you read this make sure you’re caught up with all the other Spiderverse books otherwise you’re going to yell “WTF” and everyone will ignore you because you are obviously a crazy guy just yelling at his comic books. Stop that nonsense. Anyway, in this here issue we find the Spider-Man with Doc Ock’s brain lost in time and space and he is forced to team up with multiple Spider-Men from other universes to fight an otherworldly assassin. The story is heavy but entertaining and the art by Guiseppe Camuncoli and John Dell is amazingly inspired, looking like a fusion between Marvel and Castlevania. 10/10…While it may be a portion of an even bigger story this is stylish and fun and you should just start following the whole Spiderverse storyline.

Thor God Of Thunder 25 Sadly this is the end of this amazing title as writer Jason Aaron takes Thor in a new direction next month with Thor issue 1. This issue starts in a wraparound story in which the Grand daughters of Future Thor are reading various stories of characters throughout the Thor Universe. These tales include a really in depth origin of the dark elf Maleketh which explains where he got his facial scars and shows us the disgusting dietary habits of the Dark Elves. The second story is a Young Thor Adventure with art by the always awesome Simon Bisley. Mr. Bisley really evokes his classic Heavy Metal work here to deliver a swashbuckling viking adventure. The final tale gives us a sneak peek at the new female god of Thunder who is shrouded in mystery. It is a good farewell to an excellent title and a great teaser of what is to come.

10/10…Buy it and save it, it’s a final issue after all and a very good one at that!

Uncanny Avengers 24 Writer Rick Reminder and artist Salvador Larroca bring us another story arc featuring the Unity team of Avengers. The story picks up where the war with Kang left off and we see Havock is badly disfigured. The Red Skull’s crew kidnaps him, Scarlet Witch and Rouge in another attempt to utilize the the power of Charles Xavier’s stolen brain. We are treated to an eerie trip into Rouge’s psyche where a ghostly professor X (with the top of his head missing in gory fashion.) tells her that she can defeat the Red Skull once and for all because Wonderman is trapped in her subconcious from the previous issue. You get all that? Well of course not because this is a cool issue but a horrible, horrible place to start. 7/10…Pick up the collection at your local comic book dealer.

Uncanny X-men 26 How many times can “Professor X has a dark secret that has come back to haunt the X-Men” be used as a damn plot. This is the continuation of that same tired concept and it is just not that interesting. 3/10…The art is serviceable but the story is just stale and tired.

Wolverine and the X-Men 9 Jason Latour and Jorge Fornes bring us the conclusion of a pretty boring tale with spotty, inconsistent artwork. While Latour was able to really craft an amazing story with Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman, this is going in all the wrong directions. The whole idea of making Quinten Quire more nefarious has great potential Latour butchers the good name of every character around him. The art does the same thing the writing does, making Wolverine and company just flat out ridiculous looking. Maybe the new story arc in issue 10 will be better.

0/10…I was never a fan of Jason Aaron’s “Wooohoo we have jetpacks and crazy adventures” style of storytelling on the first volume of this book, Jason Latour doesn’t do much better here and his art partner needs some improvement.

The new Apple/Dell/Toshiba/Samsung of her Father’s eye.

The release of yet another damn I-Phone had me thinking a lot about children.  I know it sounds weird at first but bear with me.  Consumer electronics change so constantly by the time you buy something, leave the store and bring it to your car, it’s already obsolete.  Try buying an I-phone and see how long it takes the money hungry parasites at Apple before they churn out a new version.  3.2 seconds.  Before you even pay for your I-Pod 34, the company has already created a superior version that not only has GPS, but it will fly you to your destination…..or it just has a new Silver and Gold cover.  “It’s the Malibu Stacy I-Phone with a new hat!”

The "Malibu Stacy New Hat Effect".  Same product, one superficial new feature.

The “Malibu Stacy New Hat Effect”. Same product, one superficial new feature

To Parents, children are not too different from technology.  They are constantly changing and evolving and it is at such a rapid speed, each new variation is slightly more improved than the previous.

Baby 1.0:  Zero to Four Months

 

"Dad fell asleep, I was on his chest and his nipples do nothing!  NOTHING!"

“Dad fell asleep, I was on his chest and his nipples do nothing! NOTHING!”

The first version of the baby to premier.  The company i.e. Parents/God are all very proud of what they’ve made and show him or her off to everyone.  I mean everyone.  Even the custodial team at the hospital has seen this baby.  However, like most consumer products the Baby 1.0 is primarily aesthetic.  The features are very minimal.  The Baby 1.0 can gurgle, vomit, eat, sleep, poop/pee, vomit, cry, sleep, cry, eat, poop/pee and sleep and that’s pretty much it.  A baby’s sleep cycle in this stage is not unlike charging a brand new smart phone.  The baby sleeps for about 19 hours a day and you’re just sitting in the room, paranoid that something’s going to happen.  While the Baby 1.0 isn’t doing much of anything besides improving his/her sonic screech of a howl that is emitted right as your head hits the pillow, you are still showing him/her off to everyone.  While you see this amazing new addition to your life, your friends just see a bald, slobbering, completely dependent life form and it scares the hell out of them.  You see the greatest thing that has ever happened to you.

Baby 2.0:  Four to Eight Months

This second version of the baby has a hell of a lot more features.  Besides the pooping, peeing, vomiting that comes standard with the all models, the Baby 2.0 can communicate through coos and jibber jabber.  They can crawl, stand and even chew on its own feet.  With the addition of more independence and mobility the Baby 2.0 begins the trend that all babies have from this point on….an uncanny ability to find new and exciting ways to almost kill themselves.  From eating change, hair and various floor debris there will never be a moment of rest while the baby is awake….enjoy!

"Look, I was doing Yoga before it was cool...now change me."

“Look, I was doing Yoga before it was cool…now change me.”

Baby 3.0:  Eight months to a year.

This is when babies start walking, talking and building their own individual identities.  Sentience.  Like in any good science fiction movie, once sentience is gained, world domination is not too far off.  Like Terminator in a diaper the Baby 3.0 will begin to enslave your entire life.  Fun!

"DAH THIS MACH-INE IS MORE UNSTOPPABLE THAN ME AHHHH"

“DAH THIS MACH-INE IS MORE UNSTOPPABLE THAN ME AHHHH”

Baby 4.0:  The first two years….

Total domination has been achieved.   Apple products are everywhere we look now, from the I-Phone to the I-pad to the I-Toaster and I-Toilet….the Apple product has just become an omni-present factor in our daily lives.  But…..even that took awhile.  Total baby domination is much, much faster.  At first you don’t really see it coming.  The baby shower gave you a lot of gifts but at least all of those can be contained in the baby’s room….but rapidly the baby’s possessions begin to outnumber yours.  By the time the baby has reached the Baby 4.0 phase, there is no place in your house that has not been conquered by the baby.  Like a tiny explorer planting his/her flag in a newly discovered land the baby’s presence can be felt EVERYWHERE.  Want to chill out in the living room and watch some T.V.?  You might just sit on a Elmo who has taken over the couch.  Do you want to take a shower….watch out!  Ariel and like 40 of her aquatic friends are occupying your bathtub floor and that bastard Sebastian is just waiting for you to slip on him and break your coccyx.  (That’s your tail bone…get your head out of the gutter.)

Before you know it your house looks like this....but messier....a lot messier.

Before you know it your house looks like this….but messier….a lot messier.

 

Baby and Beyond:

While an I-phone is nice and the galaxy tablet is sort of cool, nothing beats knowing you have a little person who loves you unconditionally.  Yeah, I guess one day the I-phone will have a Siri program that will awkwardly tell you it loves you in that dead robot voice, your child will actually mean it.  At the end of the day that makes stepping on a deadly Lego in the middle of the night while heading to the bathroom worthwhile…..sort of.

Gummy legos....the only non deadly Lego known to mankind.

Gummy legos….the only non deadly Lego known to mankind.