Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Truth and its aftermath: Introducing the Bradleys

Tonight I shall be discussing a topic that is near to the heart of legions white Captain America fanboys everywhere. Namely the 'Truth" miniseries and its introduction into the Marvel universe of the Bradleys, the black Captain America family.

Truth Issue 1


Now, this whole story begins with the cover you see above and Marvel's sudden announcement a few years ago that they were adding a new chapter to Cap's backstory. The idea was that the American government chose to test the super soldier serum that created him on a bunch of black soldiers and ended up with one black supersoldier who also wore the costume.

Predictably the wails of outrage from fanboys could be heard all across the internet. People objected to the series on pretty much any grounds they could come up with. The book was called a stab at political correctness and proof of Marvel's idiot leadership, and that was when people were being nice. As it is a lot of people like to treat it as not being in continuity. For reasons I shall get to later, they can't do that anymore. That makes me happy.

Anyway, the series ended up being about Isaiah Bradley, the only survivor from a group of black soldiers who were guinea pigs for the serum. Its a series I defended strongly online and wanted very much to like. In the end I came away with mixed feelings. There are spots where the writing is nothing short of brilliant but then there are also large patches where I found it uneven and badly paced. And then there's the art. Now I'm a big fan of Kyle Baker's work and I think his 'Nat Turner' series has a good chance of being one of those books you give to your comic hating friends to show what the medium is capable of. That said, for a large chunk of this series he dropped the ball in a huge way. The art and coloring rarely fit with what was actually happening. He ended up making a whole lot of serious, well written moments look cartoonish. That said, he also gave us this scene which was one of the most moving in the entire book.


Still, for all my issues with the series, it was a good story and it gave us Isaiah, who then begat the next person on our list, Josiah X

Elijah Bradley (Justice)

And now we come to Josiah X a.k.a. Justice. In case the name and the headgear had you wondering, yes he's Muslim. A black Muslim in the Captain America suit and carrying the shield. Josiah was the brainchild of Christopher Priest, the mind behind the best Black Panther stories ever written, among other things. Unsurprisingly The Crew, the book he was introduced in, barely made it to 7 issues before the weight of being a predominantly black team book written by Priest.

The idea behind Josiah was that the serum left Isaiah sterile and with the mental capacity of a child. However the military was able to collect genetic material from him before he went sterile and an egg from his wife. They used those to create an embryo which was implanted in a surrogate mother, creating Josiah. Unfortunately for them she had an attack of conscience and took him to his mother who hid the baby on a train in order to keep him safe. From there he grew up in an orphanage, ran away to fight in Vietnam, joined the Black Panthers, found his family, then worked as a mercenary before finding Islam and opening up a mission in one of the worst parts of New York. One of the things The Crew was supposed to explore was him becoming a hero, wearing the suit and becoming comfortable carrying his father's shield. Sadly we never got there and it was questionable for a while whether anything from the Crew was going to remain in continuity. Again that is now resolved because of this kid

Patriot

Elijah Bradley, a.k.a Patriot of the Young Avengers. Isaiah's grandson by way of his daughter. This, of course, is disclosed in classic angry black man fashion. Initially we are led to believe that he received a blood transfusion from his grandfather which gave him his powers. Later though we find out that he's been using MGH, a drug in the marvel universe that gives normal people powers for a limited time. Young Avengers has therefore given him two stereotypes. He's the angry black man who uses drugs. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Generally I like the writing on that book, but I am very wary about how he's being treated.

At the same time, by using him, and having him mention Josiah they've pretty much cemented all of the Bradleys in Marvel continuity probably much to the chagrin of certain fanboys who were hoping the entire thing would be disregarded and could quietly slip out of continuity.

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MARBLES’ TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER HEROES, VOL. 4, #2

What’s up, Legion heads? Here’s a link to the volume 4 covers. If I had enough computer savvy to do so, I’d put a pic of each cover with the corresponding story.

http://www.legiononline.net/volume5/covers1024.html

On to the show...

An Omnicom report lists 3 separate stories discussing the upcoming wedding of longtime Legion couple, Jo Nah (former Legionnaire, Ultra Boy) and Tinya Wazzo (former Legionnaire, Phantom Girl).

Science Police officers (the United Planets security & peacekeeping force) are tracking an unidentified girl on the planet of Rimbor (homeworld of Ultra Boy). A spy probe picks her up and she phases through a wall as the officers fire at her.

A Khund ambassador speaks with a Rimborian official. The Khund ambassador agrees to take out Rimborian smuggler Jo Nah in exchange for free reign to eradicate an unnamed Sklarian girl. The deal is accepted. The Science Police follow the girl into a strip club but lose her as she again phases through a wall.

On a Khund spaceship orbiting Rimbor, this girl is identified as Kono, a member of Jo Nah’s smuggling ring. The Khunds engage some sort of tracking device to locate her.

Back on Rimbor, the Science Police begin firing in the strip club, causing several casualties. They receive a transmission stating that certain specialists are being sent in to handle Kono. They are instructed to say that the shootings happened after they left the area. Kono seemingly escapes into some underground tunnels and heads toward her headquarters. Unknown to her, 2 shadowy figures follow her in hopes that she will lead them to their other target.

A commercial is shown for Silverale, a beverage strictly controlled by the Rimborian government and bootlegged by Jo Nah and his smuggling operation. Jo Nah is in his living quarters with a female associate named Ginny. He tells her that the government pressure on his operation is heating up. As Ginny leaves, Kono arrives. Outside, Ginny is pulled into a dark alley by the 2 figures following Kono. Ginny reveals Jo Nah’s location after being tortured and is subsequently killed.

Lydda Jath (Rokk Krinn’s pregnant wife) and his friend, Loomis, discuss the impending reorganization of the Legion, spearheaded by Rokk & Cham.

The shadowy 2 figures arrive at Jo Nah’s headquarters and set off an explosion in order to kill Jo nah, Kono and anyone else in the building. However, Jo Nah survives due to the fact that he does not drop his invulnerability. With some help from Kono, Jo Nah is able to defeat these foes.
On earth, Shvaughn Erin, Science Police Officer and former girlfriend of Jan Arrah (Legionnaire Element Lad) relaxes after a long day at work. She receives flowers with a card signed "Dirk." A woman identified as Circe is using her probe to scour for dirt on Shvaughn Erin but her record is spotless. Circe leaves the room and walks in on her lover, Dirk Morgna (former Legionnaire Sun Boy), as he is trying to contact Shvaughn Erin. Dirk quickly hangs up.

Jo Nah returns to the site of his now destroyed home and recovers a memento that reads, "L.L.L. (Long Live the Legion) Rokk."

In the dark room from last issue, a still unidentified man talks to himself using several different voices.

An OmniCom report from 2991 states that the Science Police officially declared Phantom Girl dead. She disappeared travelling back to Earth from her other-dimensional homeworld of Bgtzl.

Peace,

*** MARBLES ***

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Monday, January 23, 2006

The Greatest Cartoon Ever: The Beginning Of My Comic Addiction

Now a lot of people will disagree with me very strongly. That's okay. I know the truth, and that is the only opinion on this subject that really matters to me. The Simpsons is the original favorite. Family Guy is funny as all hell. Batman The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited are going to be called the best superhero cartoons ever. My favorite may not be on many people's lists. Well, that should change. What is it you ask? Well this is the part I love: X-Men: The Animated Series.

I watched the first episode after having only heard of them through my neighbor. He was a casual reader, and his small collection had me interested enough to watch this TV show he told me about. The first show premiered and I was stunned. I can still remember watching Rogue fly for the first time, Wolverine popping his claws, Morph dead, Beast taken out of the equation entirely for a long while, and the Sentinels chasing Jubilee. It was some of the coolest shit I have ever seen on television. Every week I could not miss this show. Comic books became a regular of mine, but I was pretty young, so my money and collection were limited. I started with the first five issues of X-Men and a few issues of Uncanny from the local comic book store. I still have the original copies of them all, and have read each of the issues dozens of times. The stories were better than the show. I have heard people say the show ruined a lot of what the X-Men stood for and ruined a lot of old stories by trying to retell them. Sure the retold animated shows were corny and didn't quite fit the mold of the originals, mainly because the characters were different, but I saw it as retelling them for the new audience to get involved. My first time hearing about Phoenix, Shi'ar, the Morlocks, Sabretooth, X-Factor, Cable, etc were all from the show. This got me interested to go and pick up the comic books, something that has come and gone many times. But I got back into for good with Grant's New X-Men. And boy did it ever start something.

Now my collection is probably not as impressive as you may think, but in some form or another, I own or have read all of the big stories, and am still learning things that I didn't really know much about, if only small plotlines. I am not completely on the jocks of these superheroes, as I recognize the low points very much so (Maggott? Jubilee? X-Babies? Bringing back dead characters... All for example...). Stan Lee is a genius for what he has done with Marvel. He created them. Chris owned them. Grant, Joss, and company are perfecting them. And the art has had some of the most impressive in the business: Alan Davis, Adam Kubert, Joe Madureira, Chris Bachelo, John Cassaday, Jim Lee, Frank Quitley, Salvodor Larocca, and many, many others have come along the long ride to lend their talents and visions of these mutants. And the X-Men was just a stepping stone to all else in the comic world to me: Batman (which was the first exposure I got thanks to the movies), Justice League, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Superman, Avengers, the Ulimate Marvel line, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Watchmen, Hulk, among others. What an inventive culture we have here.

In, conclusion, I hope that you have a story like this to tell or something like this in the back of your mind to look back and remember how great it was to discover and read your favorite comics. And I will forever stand by X-Men: The Animated Series as the greatest cartoon to ever grace a television, for it started a love for the greatest superheroes the world has ever seen.

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The Week In Review: Quantity Over Quality Edition

The Inevitable Iron Man #2
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Frazer Irving
Iron Man winds up fighting off The Ghost and The Spymaster as he has his assistant venture into the mind of the Living Laser, who’s been transformed into pure energy. Not the most compelling tale ever told but it’s fun.
My early, and recent, experiences with Joe Casey’s books have been marked by false expectations. Fellow PTP member AFKAP of Darkness described him as an American Grant Morrison (or more precisely an American trying to be Grant Morrison), leading me to believe he’d be into all kinds of high concept meta-weirdness. Turns out he’s not, well, not in the same way at least.
In reality he’s closer to Silver Age aficionados like Darwyn Cooke and Mike Allred. He gets his kicks creating light hearted and broadly appealing action filled comics and fortunately for us he seems to be matched with the perfect artists to communicate his vision.
Irving’s artwork is fantastic. He’s given much more to work with visually here than he did in Morrison’s Klarion series and he makes the high-tech craziness flashy as hell. Fantastic work.
This might not be as important in the grand scheme of the Marvel Universe as Ellis’s Iron Man series, but hey, it’s actually coming out and each issue has been filled to the brim with action.
***1/2/****

Infinite Crisis #4
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning, George Pérez and Jerry Ordway
What can be said about this comic without descending purely into fan boy predictions and pipedreams?
Big changes in the status quo to say the least, honestly I couldn’t even begin to describe the plot of this issue at all without revealing a million spoilers.
I will say that I love the usage of Chemo, a personal favorite, in the opening pages.

And that Superboy is one crazy son of a bitch. We’ll always remember you Crazy Mask Girl, Red Monster With Helmet, The Magnificent Green Shirt and Sword Guy.
****/****

All-Star Superman #2
Written by The Honorable Grant Morrison
Art by His Majesty Frank Quitely
Superman has The Titanic in his living room, a black hole for a house pet and he’s one hell of a seamstress.
Once again Morrison and Quitely take us beyond the constrictions of mere “wide screen” comic books. There’s really too much to rave about. So I’ll just point out how amazingly Quitely is able to make Superman’s world feel so intimate. There’s so much grace in the way Superman and holds himself and he manages to bring out incredible emotion from Lois.
This is one of the most beautiful and touching comics ever created.
****/****

Quick Words:

Conan #24
Written by Kurt Busiek
Art by Cary Nord
Conan’s got female troubles again. That happens when you’re an asshole of a barbarian I suppose. Pretty talky, but solid as usual. ***

Sgt. Rock #1
Written by and Art by Joe Kubert
Good old-fashioned hardboiled warfare filled with affable racial and class stereotypes. I’m not complaining.
Kudos to DC for respectfully saving the advertisements for the back pages. ***1/2

The Walking Dead #25
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard
The gang find a way to move outside of the prison gates and find something surprising. Hopefully big things will go down next issue. ***

The Green Lantern #7
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Carlos Pacheco
This series keeps on getting better, although Hal hasn’t gotten any more interesting as a character. It’s nice to see The Green Arrow involved and that Johns has brought in a classic Alan Moore conceived weapon. ***1/2

Ex Machina #17
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Tony Harris
Holy crap, a rivalry with the mayor of Baghdad? Yep, Vaughan is taking us into the early days of the second Gulf War and proves he’s the master of the last page cliffhanger. This series never lets me down. ****

Mister Miracle #3
Written by His Holiness Grant Morrison
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
This is the most confusing of the Seven Soldiers series. Maybe if I had some knowledge of the New Gods I’d be on firmer ground. But as confounding as it is Shilo is a compelling character, I imagine it’s impossible not to sympathize with the guy after what goes on here, it’s like The Passion of The Christ. I really dig the art as well. ***

Chicanos #3
Written by Carlos Trillo
Art by Eduardo Risso
How did this comic come to be? This is the strangest shit ever conceived by mankind. The stories are pretty dull, but add a protagonist and narrator who’s a naïve four-foot tall female P.I. facing down the mafia, the police and gigantic bodygaurds with the most ungainly cup size imaginable as drawn by Eduardo Risso and it becomes amazingly compelling. ****

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

A PSA FOR ALL THOSE EITHER NEW TO COMICS FROM HIP HOP OR NEW TO HIP HOP FROM COMICS...













-THIS IS NOT RICK RUBIN



AND THIS IS NOT ALAN MOORE -








ALAN MOORE

RICK RUBIN-



ROB ZOMBIE

THAT LAST ONE WAS THROWN IN FOR SOME OF YOU ROCK FUCKS THAT DON'T GET IT. nah seriously I have no beef with Zombie


THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT





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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Down With the King: Costello and Comics

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"I'm Elvis Costello, bitch."

Funny-man David Lee Roth supposedly once quipped that the reason rock critics loved Elvis Costello (and Van Halen not so much) was because rock critics looked like Elvis Costello.

One can only assume the same goes for comic book writers.

You see, some of my Prep-Time cohorts and I were talking all things Costello not too long ago; The subject, as it so often does when we get together, turned to comic books. I mentioned that it was actually Peter Parker who had gotten me into his music in the first place, and next thing you know we had ourselves a nice little laundry list of Costello references from our respective longboxes.

So without further ado, in the following paragraphs I will highlight a few of my favorite Costello comic references, and maybe even take a wild stab at explaining this curious phenomenon. As both a Costello and comic book nut, this may all come off as a little self-indulgent... But if I can't be self-indulgent on a goddamn comic book blog, then where the hell can I be? It's not like my wife wants to hear this crap.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Fan

He had the merch...
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He knew the lyrics...
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(This one is particularly strange when taken out of context, isn't it?)

He had the tickets
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(Well, almost)
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Hell, he even had the look!!
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Pound for pound, no one is really seeing Peter Parker's Costello game. In fact, I should probably just end this entry right here and now. I mean, really, who loves Elvis Costello more than Spider-Man?

The British Love Elvis Costello More Than Spider-Man.

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Let's get meta: Throughout the 80s, Alan Moore peppered his works with Costello references. During the 90s, Costello began to look like Alan Moore! ...Coincidence?

Okay, so no fictional character is touching Spidey; But what about real-life creators? Alan Moore, who by most accounts is an actual person, has referenced the man and his music numerous times. Why, here's one from a little book he did called Watchmen (maybe you've heard of it?)
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Or how about when myriad legal woes forced Moore to re-name the Marvel Man character? Luckily, his aim was true:
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Not one to be outwitted (or out-Britted, even) Neil Gaiman has also been known to toss a Costello nod here and there. In fact, Sandman is practically drenched in them, generally incorporating song lyrics into the story titles a la Sandman #37:
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Miscellaneous Sightings
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I should point out that this phenomenon isn't exclusive to old musty comics from yesteryear. Comedian of Comedy Patton Oswalt's 'JLA: Welcome to the Working Week' owes its title to an early Costello track, and just months ago in Action Comics #830, Gail Simone contributed to the tapestry with a Lois Lane subplot that interpolated "Everyday I Write the Book."

Speaking of writing a book, that's kind of what I feel like I'm doing right now, so how about I wrap it up?

I think that if there is an explanation for this phenomenon, it's a pretty simple one: Nerds love Elvis Costello. I should know. I'm a nerd.

There's a certain quality to his song writing that appeals to literary types. I can imagine that many writers who came up in the 70s and 80s would have been heavily influenced by his wordplay. Meanwhile, the music itself has just enough aggression to sound almost dangerous. But make no mistake about it: While Costello may rock, he most certainly does not rawk. Frat guys do not do keg stands to "Moods For Moderns." Bikers are not thrown out of bar windows to "Allison." No one has ever crowdsurfed to "Veronica."

It's rock music for those of us genetically predisposed to not rocking. And what are superhero comics, if not rock 'n' roll power fantasies for guys who look like Elvis Costello?

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Week in Review

DMZ #3
Writer: Brian Wood

Artists: Brian Wood & Riccardo Burchielli
Oh the horrors of being a hipster in the midst of an ambiguous civil war, and no coffee shops in The Village left in operation? It truly is hell on earth.

This issue begins with the United States beginning an invasion of Manhattan, reclaiming it into a world in which there are people over 26 years old (totally lame, old people, they’re such fascists with their suburbs and carwashes and responsibility to their families). Matty, our hero, finds himself plunged into the role of an actual reporter and in the middle of a shootout between American and rebel forces. It plays out in the same way Vin Diesel’s final scene in Saving Private Ryan does, trapped by sniper fire, except the American soldiers swear a lot and act hardboiled because they’re bad and stuff.

Anyways, since Matty has apparently becomes loosely affiliated with the fascist American bastards when he’s forced at knifepoint to help one of their numbers out of a jam. Zee, his tour guide/love interest/white-girl-with-dreadlocks decides she’s had enough of him and takes off. She does so despite her volunteering to help the American soldier herself, arty chicks are a fickle breed.

By the end of the story Matty is alone, wandering the city and covering the war unaccredited for this worlds equivalent of FOX NEWS. You may have noticed I’ve recapped most everything in the comic, I’d feel like I was spoiling a story if I thought there was one.

Now we’re three issues deep and I have no clue what writer Brian Wood is trying to accomplish with this book. If it’s some sort of political allegory it’s terribly broad and un-focused. We still don’t know what the conflict between Manhattan and America is about and frankly the post-apocalyptic world he’s constructed doesn’t ring true in any way. It seems to be filled only with apolitical twenty-something peaceniks that use the opportunity to live out some Mad Max fantasies, well maybe more like The Postman fantasies.

Now that the first story arc has concluded I think I’ll be dropping this book. Despite solid artwork by Riccardo Burchelli and the few fantastic pages illustrated by Wood in every issue the series feels too aimless. And let’s not forget the concerns of the books main character. Granted it’s a book featuring a guy in his early twenties, but in the middle of such a bizarre and tragic conflict your primary concern should not be trying to turn it into a career opportunity. That’s not something I give a damn about reading. I’m not saying that this story can’t be used to communicate anxieties about finding a place for yourself in the world but it’s all we hear about from Matty and he comes off as self involved to an irredeemable fault. Too much emo in a time of war.
**/****

Desolation Jones #5
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: J.H. Williams III
Now here’s a book that knows how to maintain a sense of mystery. We finally get a glimpse at the procedure that transformed our hero into the emaciated, sun fearing, super (?) agent (?) Desolation Jones.

Why the question marks you ask, well he certainly comes off as more of a lab rat than anything else in this flashback. The scientists treat him as a worthless guinea pig and Jones seems to have no clue what he’s in for. It’s all fantastically creepy.

The only problem with the book is that it’s almost completely impossible to follow without reviewing the previous issues first. Entire pages are filled to the brim with plot information containing more names than your local phonebook. But, with J.H. Williams III’s absolutely breathtaking artwork and Ellis’s hardboiled style it avoids becoming a chore to get through, but just barely. It helps that it begins with the flashback to the experiments and ends with some uber-stylish violence.

Seriously, the artwork in this book is absolutely amazing. Williams is capable of switching up styles like almost nobody else. This book is a masterpiece of visual storytelling.
****/****

Daughters of The Dragon #1
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Artist: Khari Evans
This is a fun one: Dual female bail-bondsmen with a very open aversion to bras.

There are big action scenes, lots of jokes at the expense of C-list super villains and loads and loads of well-drawn T&A. What else can I say? Nothing much, I really have no familiarity with the two leads, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing, but it’s a kick to look at them.
***/****

Ultimate Extinction #1
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Brandon Peterson
Finally, the climactic series of Ellis’s Ultimate Galactus storyline begins.

This is one hell of a set-up issue, first we get a glimpse of what Gah Lak Tus is capable of (via hologram) and we’re introduced to a couple of new characters: Misty Knight (hey, she’s from the last book!) and the Ultimate Silver Surfer.

Ellis once again proves himself to be greatest sci-fi writers in comics. Turns out that massive figure on the cover isn’t the big guy at all, it’s a “Gah Lak Tus bullet”. A gigantic machine that drains the energy stored within the earths core while Gah Lak Tus drives the world insane with psychic frequencies and throws off our gravitational pull, he’s “some one hundred miles across” you see. Vanilla Galactus is such a pussy.

Misty Knight, meanwhile, has been hired to track down the errant wife of a mysterious Edward Schaffer who has run off and joined a cult, a cult that worships one Ultimate Silver Surfer (sans surfboard but he rocks some modernist wings that resemble details seen on cars of the fifties, they work well).

Now that’s how you kick off a story arc.

It’s also nice to see the series being graced by a solid artist, Brandon Peterson. His work is nothing flashy but it nicely fits the grittier, realist Ultimate universe. It beats Trevor Hairsine's weak and murky work on Ultimate Nightmare and I'm betting Peterson will be more reliable than the great Steve McNiven was on Ultimate Secret.
***1/2/****

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Marvel Whore of Babylon or should I say hooker with a heart is none other than this woman... Storm.

I've been a reader of comics since the tender age of 6 when I got my first Batman comic and now I'm 25 years old and all I can say is that I've never seen a woman that has had as many a lover as Houston (and not the singer or city, think adults films) in a comic book.

In this two part series I'm going to start as far back as I can and show the many loves of Ororo "Storm" Munroe. Her "one" true love she met as a young girl in Africa and it was a young T'Challa now known as The Black Panther and ruler of Wakanda she help save the boys life and they started to get along oonly for her to bounce on him cause she was "needed" as the Goddess to a tribe. She left T'Challa sprung until this day where the brotha is still out looking for "the One" but only thinks about her. This is the first sign that she had "sunshine" in those wind goddess legs

Her next lover came on a bit later on in life as she met Dr. Doom when battling Arcade didn't last long as her taste for Euro trash dictators was bland (Plus he tried to use her to kill some folks) a small instant but I bet she gave up head...... Ok on to the next one folks.

Not soon after the Doom episode Storm returns to this place called Ptolemaeus to "save" the Fantastic 4 and Akron Ptolemaeus' ruler. Well all know this was false she was going back by for an inter-dimensional booty call. Leaving my boy high and dry and prolly with a nasty rash.

The party doesn't stop there folks next she meets Dracula and he gave her the ole one two "bite" and then she became his "slave". Yea right He pulled a Marv Albert on her ass and then tried to keep her in is stable but she out freaked his ass, Probably wanted to Fuck in the Sunlight for thrills. She then was broken free from his "hold" and Had a chance for a death strike but she could be a killer. Hmph She just couldn't let one of her hoes die now could she? Might need that midnight Vampire cock.
Well folks that's it for now. In our next update I will go into the one that got away the one man able to break Storm's strangle hold on the Marvel Universe..... His Name is Forge

Also when we return I will show how the Ho ish image of Storm has transferred into the media as well. Of course I'm talking the X-Men films and the choice of Halle "I Got Beast Fucked For and Oscar" Berry.
Well that's it for now folks. Enjoy and good night.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

MARBLES’ TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER HEROES, VOL. 4, #1

W’sup? I guess I can go ahead and get it started…

LSH v4 #1 opens up 5 years after the end of the Magic Wars.

A commercial plays on television advertising a special program chronicling the rise and fall of the Legion of Super Heroes, narrated by Dirk Morgna (former Legionnaire, Sun Boy). The channel changes to a news program detailing the arrest of anti-government terrorists believed to be in league with the Khunds (a warlike race often at odds with the United Planets). The raid was aimed at capturing Universo (an old Legion foe).

The channel changes again to an interview with the aforementioned Dirk Morgna. He’s mentions his pleasure at serving as EarthGov liaison (EarthGov is the planetary government entity for Earth in the 30th century). However, he points out Brek Bannin (former longtime Legion sub & short term Legionnaire, Polar Boy) as an example of how the Legion has outlived its usefulness.
The television turns off and a hooded figure states that its time to tend to his father’s other dream. Speaking to his probe (a blue humanoid construct that serves as a long distance communicator/information source/assistant), he asks for a connection to Marla and reveals himself to be Reep Daggle (former Legionnaire Chameleon Boy). Marla’s probe informs him that Mr. Daggle is re-embarking on his quest.

Rokk Krinn (Legion founding member, Cosmic Boy) wakes from a nightmare in which he and a friend are caught in some sort of vicious attack. He greets his pregnant wife (Lydda Jath, former Legion sub, Night Girl) and asks her about leaving his homeworld of Braal, where they are currently located. She refuses and comforts him in the wake of the Legion collapse.
Rokk leaves home to visit an old war buddy named Loomis. As he heads towards Loomis’ place, Rokk laments the poor conditions on Braal. He approaches a military checkpoint and on a nearby wall are scrawled the words "Venado Bay" in what Rokk realizes is human blood. This triggers a flashback to the same vicious attack from his nightmare. The guard breaks Rokk’s concentration and notes that Rokk’s papers give him the run of the whole planet.

The scene shifts to a detention shuttle docking with another ship. The prisoner is identified as Salu Digby (former Legionnaire Shrinking Violet), a field commander of the Imsk Occupational Army (Imsk is her home planet, where everyone has the ability to shrink to microscopic levels). She meets with a general who offers her an honorable discharge id she agrees to keep quiet about Venado Bay. She refuses to do so but is freed anyway with a dishonorable discharge. She sends a message to Ayla Ranzz (former Legionnaire (Light Lass/Lightning Lass) and tells her that she’s heading to the Ranzz plantation on the planet Winath (home planet of Light Lass & her brother Lightning Lad).

On Braal, Rokk & Loomis discuss the dangers of living on Braal and Rokk’s wife’s refusal to leave. Loomis wanders off to grab some food and Rokk is approached by Chameloen Boy. Loomis converses with Chameleon’s probe and mentions that Rokk no longer has his magnetic abilities (which are native to the people of Braal). Chameleon Boy tells Rokk that there are Braalians with as much skill in their magnetic abilities as Rokk ever had. What Chameleon needs is for Rokk to return as the heart & soul of the Legion. Rokk has a flashback to day when Rokk, Garth Ranzz (former Legionnaire Lightning Lad) and Imra Ardeen, (former Legionnaire, Saturn Girl) saved galactic entrepreneur R.J. Brande from assassination, leading to the formation of the Legion. Rokk asks Cham how he plans on getting him off Braal since he has such a high profile. Cham mentions that not all Imskians are above bribery and that Rokk’s wife will settle on her home world of Kathoon with Loomis watching her.

In a dark room, 2 voices converse. One voice tells the other that he and his organization are ready to assist the other voice in resuming his mission.

Marbles’ Note - The McCauley Omnicom is what I would refer to as the 30th century internet. It provides information & news to its readers. LSH vol. 4 often ended its issues with various articles of note from the Omnicoms.

3 Omnicom reports detail the fall of the United Planets economy in 2989, the efforts of Earth President Wellington to disband the Legion in 2990 and Polar Boy’s letter disbanding the Legion in 2992.

A commercial is shown for Flight Ring Village. It’s the latest in state-of-the-art living for downtown Metropolis. The former Legion headquarters has been remade into condominiums.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

What if there was a Watchmen cereal?



The above image is a humor piece I created after wondering what a Watchmen cereal would look like. Of course, Watchmen is one of the most critically-acclaimed and artistically respected comics ever written. But what if DC had taken it into mass-licensing territories? After all, the '80s had some of the most blatant commercialization we've ever seen. Anyone and anything had it's own cereal (Urkel-Os, anyone?)
On the flipside, what if DC was to release this today as a 20th anniversary celebration? Would people complain on message boards until there was no longer any bandwith? Would Alan Moore use his magic to wipe AOL/Time Warner off the face of the earth? Would dealers buy boxes by the caseload and sell them for $20 a pop at WizardWorld?
So in closing, remember that THE ABOVE IMAGE IS JUST A PARODY! Please don't go back to the DC boards and tell everyone about this yummy new Watchmen cereal!!!!

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MARBLES’ TALES OF THE LEGION OF SUPER HEROES

What’s happenin’, gang?

With another reboot of the Legion and my re-entry into the world of comics, I figured that I’d get a bit more in-depth with the history of the team and some of the issues that led to the various reboots.

I’m not going to get into a complete, detailed history of the team. What I aim to do is to drop a general background of the Legion up to what is referred to as the 5 Year Gap (5YG). Then, I’ll get a little bit more in-depth with the 5YG and take it up into the Zero Hour reboot. In my opinion, this timeframe is where all of the trouble started snowballing, leading to the mess we have today.

My aim is to get folks interested in the book and get questions, ideas, comments, additions, feedback, suggestions and opinions from everyone. I’m a relatively long-time reader but my LSH knowledge isn’t infinite. I invite corrections or opposing viewpoints.

Thanks to AFKAP for providing this Legion Chronology link.

http://www.mykey3000.com/cosmicteams/legion/index.html

Check it out and if anyone wants to know anything more specific, please don’t hesitate to ask. I don’t know everything but there are other Legion fans around here that can help.

So in the words of the immortal Al Bundy, "Let’s rock."

OVERVIEW

The original Legion of Super Heroes was a group of teenagers in the 30th century who banded together to protect the universe and fight for good. They came from many different planets but Earth was their headquarters. In the 30th century, the United Planets is a confederation of worlds that joined together for progress and protection.

While each Legionnaire has a specific ability, not all of them were unique to their race or homeworld. For example, Chameleon Boy was from the planet Durla, where all of the Durlans had the ability to change shape. Shrinking Violet was from Imsk, a planet of people who could shrink to super-small size (or a super-small planet whose citizens could grow to normal size…I’m not sure which one). Triplicate Girl was from the planet Carggg, where everyone could split into 3 identical versions of themselves. Other Legionanaires gained abilities that weren’t held by all of the other members of their race.

As decades went by, the Legion gained members and lost members. 3 members who are crucial to note are Superboy, Supergirl and Mon-El. Superboy actually served as the inspiration for this group of teenagers to become costumed adventurers. Superboy and Supergirl would travel back & forth between the 20th & 30th centuries to meet with the Legion and share adventures. Mon-El was actually from the planet Daxam, whose citizens were similar to Superboy & Supegirl’s race, the Kryptonians. They received the same super-powers under a yellow sun. But Daxamites had a weakness for the element lead instead of Kryptonite. Superboy encountered Mon-El on Earth in the 20th century. In order to save Mon-El from lead poisoning, Superboy was forced to trap Mon-El in the Phantom Zone until he could find a cure. Upon joining the Legion, Superboy travelled to the 30th century, used their advanced technology to find a cure and released Mon-El into the 30th century. Please note, that Mon-El was trapped in the Phantom Zone for 1,000 years.

When the Crisis on Infinite Earths came along, big changes came to pass for a lot of DC’s heroes. The Superman creative teams wanted to adjust Superman’s origin to fit their vision and convinced the bigwigs at DC to allow for some changes. The most important change for the Legion was that Superman was retconned into never having been Superboy. The first time Clark Kent donned a costume to fight for truth, justice and the American Way was as the adult Superman. That creates several fundamental problems within the Legion. One of their most important members now never existed and therefore couldn’t have served as their inspiration.

The Legion creators came up with a solution. The Legion’s Superboy was discovered to be a creation of the Time Trapper, one of the Legion’s deadliest enemies. The Time Trapper created a pocket-universe so that whenever the Legion travelled back into time, the Trapper would manipulate the timestream and force them into his pocket universe where a Superboy existed. The Time Trapper wanted the Legion to come into existance so that he could one day take control of them and harness their powers for his own twisted purposes. In the subsequent battle with the Time Trapper, the pocket universe Superboy sacrificed himself to save the Legion.

The Superman team also wanted Supergirl written out of the picture. They wanted Superman to truly be the last survivor of Krypton. Supergirl was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, again creating big holes in the Legion’s history and roster that were never truly filled at that point.

In order to exact revenge for the death of Superboy, a group of Legionnaires tracked down the Time Trapper in an effort to punish him. In the battle that followed, the Legionnaires instigated a fight between the Trapper and another time-manipulating villain, the Infinite Man. As a result, the two villains were sent violently hurtling through the timestream, trying to keep the other from gaining control. But the battle took its toll. Mon-El was seriously injured and Duo Damsel (formerly Triplicate Girl) lost the second of her three bodies. Her ability to split into 3 versions of herself made her a Legionnaire but now, she was down to one single body.

Time moved on and the Legion faced another threat. In what’s referred to as "The Magic Wars", science began losing its hold on the universe. Magic was causing things to go inexplicably crazy. The Legion battled a magically-powered enemy who was attempting to destroy all Magic except for his own and bring an end to science's riegn. Upon destroying the Sorcerer’s Homeworld, he ultimately vanquished himself because he was so closely tied to that planet. This fight was not without consequences as the Legion lost Mon-El and Magnetic Lad. Magic had been severely decimated in the 30th century but not totally destroyed. The Legion stood victorious once again and vowed to continue battling any threats to their homeworlds in the 30th century.

And that was the beginning of the 5 Year Gap.

Next time…Legion of Super Heroes, (volume 4), begins…

Peace,

*** MARBLES ***

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dear TV Bigwigs...........

You are fucking up. Avi Arad, this goes for you, too. As a matter of fact, I'll go ahead and say that Marvel in general is screwing the pooch.

Let's take a moment, fellas, and examine DC and Warner Brothers. Are they not notorious for fucking up? Yeah, well, we can sit around and talk about all the botched ideas and missed oppurtunities that DC and Warner Brothers (and The WB in particular) have on their records.....but when it comes to it, they both have done something that nobody else has done.

They created legitimately good, commercially successful and critically acclaimed television series based on their properties.

Between Smallville, (yeah, but it didn't USED TO suck) Batman:The Animated Series, and Justice League Unlimited DC has stomped the batshit out of Marvel in this arena. Marvel has had the X-men cartoon (which was mostly cool), they Spider-Man CGI series on MTV, and.....uh......that crappy Fantastic Four cartoon. Yeah. Exactly.

I'm not saying that you need to be as prolific as DC on TV, Mr. Arad. All it takes is a spark to start a fire. You need to grab that TV money, homey. Not every Marvel movie is gonna do Spider-man numbers, and Jessica Alba will only save you one or two crappy movies, TOPS. No, you need something MORE. You just aren't SEEEEEEING it.

YOU NEED A FUCKING DAREDEVIL TV SERIES.

The thing about comics on TV is that the money to be lost (as well as the reputation) can be very intimidating. Animation can cost, and live action superheroes on TV? SHEEIT. You'll end up with another Birds of Prey or The Flash trying to stay in budget. You gotta take a page from Smallville and somehow build a great superhero story around a tight budget.

Daredevil is the perfect vehicle for this, and hopefully you didn't already shoot yourself in the foot with the movie. The best part about making Daredevil a TV series is that the fights aren't on a Superman or Batman or Spider-man level of destruction, and nor all the heroes and villains very costly from a production standpoint.

Wait....

No, the BEST part about making a Daredevil TV series would be that IT'S ALREADY FREAKIN WRITTEN FOR YOU. Bendis's run is paced, written, FRIGGIN EVERYTHING-ED like a television series already! The breaks between most issues are very close to how shows like 24 and Alias are done...with a continuing story broken up by smaller arcs. Everyone vouches for the quality of the book and Bendis's run already. What's the holdup?

Anyone reading this inaugural Prep Time Posse please respond with comments. Tell me I'm not crazy.

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Monday, January 02, 2006

How to get down with the PTP blog

#1 Register with Blogger @ www.blogger.com. You can create your own personal blog if you like, but it wont be necessary once you're registered if you just wanna do this blog.

#2 Email me at invisiblist@gmail.com, tell me that you wanna get down with the blog, tell me where you found out about the blog, tell me your OKP name if you have one, and tell me the email address that you registered at blogger so that I can try and get you in here.

Hopefully this will work for our purposes, folks. If not, we'll look into other options. There are gonna be a lot of ideas flying regarding this thing, but let's know the basics out first, and keep in mind that the Prep Time Posse blog is for talking about comics, and not for talking about the actual blog.

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