Friday, August 14, 2009

Reviews of the Week (RotW) by Phenompyrus

I decided it would be a good idea to utilize our blog by posting my weekly reviews here as much as I can. Let's get the ball rolling:

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1
I missed picking up the first series from the get go, but always heard that it was one of Marvel's best and most consistent books for years. So I was not going to pass this up, even though I still have a bad taste in my mouth with Ultimatum and the main continuity's One More Day. That said, the results of this one were not so bad. If there is one perfect match in comicdom for a writer and character, its Bendis and Spider-Man. He knows how to write the perfect Peter Parker, no matter what version it is. The art makes this seem like a non-television cartoon, part anime. I like the idea of new characters showing up so early too, so let's hope Marvel keeps things fresh with their new Ultimate Comics.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1
Since I missed Spider-Man and X-Men on the first go around with Ultimate Marvel, I made sure to be there to pick up The Ultimates. As it turned out, it and its sequel were some of the best comic stories I've ever read to this day. Let us forget the horror that was Ultimates 3. How Jeph Loeb still has a job is a wonder to me, but that's a story for a different day. This first issue is very similar to the first issues of Millar's first 2 volumes, and yet again features a focus on Captain America. The characters are back to form, to Hawkeye still being a badass, Cap not missing a beat even though he got his ass kicked by Red Skull, Fury still in charge even though he's not, and Tony being a casual and cool drinker. The art is superb too, capturing some each of Hitch and Mad! (the only good slightly good and redeemable thing about volume 3). The future looks and sounds promising too, with new versions of Wasp, Hulk, War Machine, and Black Widow coming, as well as seeing Ultimate versions of Punisher and Blade. Good start to a book that Marvel desperately needed to revive to its original form.

Uncanny X-Men #514
It is no secret around OKP that I am a huge X-Men fan. I love almost everything from Marvel that has to do with the team. The past few X events have been pretty great, and this one is still delivering. I'm not sure what to think of Emma's 'defection', and I really hope it doesn't cause any long term problems, b/c she might just be the best X-Man of the past few years. Her relationship with Cyclops is much better than that between he and Jean. Dodson lightens things up while keeping it pretty with his art, but the real star here is Matt, who absolutely understands how to write this book. He brings them up to date by also hooking them up with classic devices, such as the little character power profiles. I always think how I could make certain books better, and with this one, I don't know if I could. I hope this creative team (yes including Greg Land) sticks around for some time. Marvel promises big changes, but we all know that just means a lead in to something else. I just hope that it doesn't disappoint a la Secret Invasion.

Blackest Night #2
Let's get to some DC. I read more Marvel overall, but this, GL, the new Doom Patrol, and Batman & Robin are also in the rotation, and they are every bit as good as Marvel's bulk of my reading list. DC knows how to tell a crossover story with all the right points of continuity. This story found the perfect loophole to bring back all the dead characters they want without actually bringing them back. Will any of them stick around? I don't know, but it's a little trickery they have used to get to this point. Will Bruce Wayne come and save the day for his return? Next issue looks to be a doozy. If they bring anyone back, let's do another JLA with the big 7 and Jim Lee drawing.

Walking Dead #64
COTW. This one has been slacking until this issue, which re-established it as the best monthly title that I read. That last panel gave me goosebumps as I said to myself 'Hell yeah!' Part of me feels that it would be a good idea to tell how the plague came to be, but its lasted this long on its own 2 legs without, and that's how it should be. Rick, Carl, Abraham, and Michonne should never die, although with all the crazy stuff that has happened so far, it might be hard not for Kirkman.

Read More......

Monday, April 06, 2009


Weapon Excreble

Cork Kneivel film rating: Kneivel wipes out after 2-1/2 school buses.A friend of a friend of a pal of a buddy of a friend of a mate of another guy’s cousin’s barber’s homey had it downloaded onto his laptop in about 10 different 10-minute segments. He plugged it into his big screen to show me, and since he knows I’m a comic book head and a fan of the first 2 X-Men flicks (the 3rd one never happened in my world), probably figured he was giving me something special. Well, he was…and he wasn’t.First off, I’ve never seen an unfinished bootleg version of a film about a month before its release date. I have no idea when this cut was actually downloaded, or what percent of the completed project it would be at, but I was really surprised to see just how much is handled with CGI and the like. Almost every scene had something still unpolished: Wolverine’s claws, the sky, wires on a guy who just did, like, a grllion kick flips through the air, etc. One scene had me chuckling as it was all low-budget 3d computer rendering of a jet screaming through dark sky, just greys and blacks and cylinders and boxes representing the jet and buildings, with a fancified scroll along the bottom reading “Atlanta, Georgia”.The movie though? The movie was…well, it just was. It’s biggest crime is how pedestrian it is. You take arguably the most unique and recognizable comic book character, easily the most popular X-Man, a character of nebulous and ever expanding backstory, and somehow make the thing uninteresting. The credit sequence is the exception here as it takes us from 1845 to the recent past (Vietnam era and after) and shows us how Wolverine and his half-brother (Live Schreiber as Victor aka Sabretooth) are the best they are at what they do. And what they do is fight in United States conflicts abroad. Sabretooth, both in the credits sequence as well as the first ¾ of the movie is the more interesting character here. His fighting style, his animalism, and the dark brooding is used better, as well as being a more recognizable rendering of Wolverine than the conflicted catch-phrasin’ pretty-boy Jackman plays him as.I’m not too up on the Weapon X storyline but you got:the guy who played Sam Adams in the HBO John Adams miniseries. He was also the lead vampire in 30 Days of Night as Colonel StrykerDominic Monaghan (Mery from LOTR/Charlie from LOST) – as a guy who can fiddle with electrical things??? as Agent Zero – a guy who’s very deadly with gunsWill.I.Am as a cowboy teleporter named JohnKevin Durand (the big Canadian guy in everything) as Frederick J. Dukes/The BlobAnd the best piece of casting was Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool – this one I would pay to see and there’s a well done scene with him taking on a room full of gunmen with his bladesGambit and Silver Fox also show up. Gambit for a lame 3-way fight with Logan and Victor. They also have Sabretooth chase down a teenaged Scott Summers. One of the better action sequences and one that will be a “wow” factor when its all finished is a scene with Logan taking on a helicopter carrying Agent Zero. Sorry if I spoiled anything, I don’t think I revealed anything important not easily available anywhere else. I don’t think this film will do too well, partly because I think the super-hero fad is dying out and partly because the film’s just not very good.

Read More......

Thursday, February 19, 2009


How many of us have them?!?

GEMS...ones we can depend on...

Now I’m sure all Posse members have their favorite stores, and that we all could probably rank them in order. I’m sure we all have our least favorites too (because ANY store w/ comics is still a “favorite”, right). But how many of us have a "GEM”?

I do. In true GEM fashion it’s not the place I keep my saver ((regular pull)) list. It’s not the super-duper glitzy comic-o-rama semi-chain that has more than one location in my city. It’s not even the place around the corner from my house that I hit up on days when I get some spare time and dough to waste. It’s none of those.

But I probably wouldn’t want to write about any of them.

As I define it: a GEM is a building in which I find the greatest deals in the history of the universe. Others may define GEM differently, and that’s their prerogative. Word to B. Brown.

I only tell two kinds of people about my GEM:

· Those whose collections, and collecting appetites, I respect but they DO NOT collect anything I might be after
· “Squares” ((People who have no use for comic books))
· My PTP brethren!!

My GEM is called GREAT ESCAPE GAMES, and is located at 1250 Howe Ave. here in Sacramento, CA. I shit you not, it is invisible from either of the two frontage roads you use to get to it and faces the back parking lot of an adjacent apartment complex. I am not kidding, still no shitting going on here, I once heard an employee describe to someone, over the phone, that in order to find the place once they got to the parking lot they should “pretend you’re going to go dump a couch”!!! I mean is that GEM material or not?

So what is so great about this place, aside from being utterly invisible to all who drive past it? Well, it’s not “really” a comic book shop. Nay. Nay I say. This store is probably about 10% comic book and 90% gamer. Not video-gamer, nay again, this place is for the serious “role player”. This place abounds with Worlds of Warcraft, Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, D&D, and HeroClix ((the one I’d ever consider getting into)). They also have a shit load of those kind of board games that you’ve never heard of, cost $69.99, and have a baker’s dozen or so stickers on the front proclaiming that this game swept each category of the 2002 European “Toy of the Year” Awards. The store is also unique in that only the front 25% or so is devoted to retail. Pass through the make-shift 4’X9’ hole in the wall and you find yourself in Gamer Tournament Paradise. Table after table of acne-riddled sexual frustration can be found there 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, tackle boxes and expansion pack decks at the ready. Some tables are devoid of people but are covered with “terra”, half demolished castles, miniature houseplants representing the forest, miniature cacti representing the desert, and brown and green painted Styrofoam. The people watching in here is choice **smuah**

However, as fun as all of that may be for a couple of minutes, the true beauty to this GEM is to be found in the long boxes. For it is there, my fellow POSSE members, that you will find laminated 8.5X11 sheets of paper stating:

Dollar Boxes – Buy 5 get 1 FREE, Buy 10 get 3 FREE

“So what?” You may say out loud to noon in particular as you read that. Or you might scream it at some unsuspecting neighbor, and if you did you should now apologize. I’ll wait. Well, Mr./Mrs. So What, I’ll tell you “so what”:

In the 25 or so long boxes, stacked in such a way that there’s 10 on a table top ((2 rows of 5 back-to-back)) and 10 below, with another 5 set off in the corner, that comprise this discount comic book bonanza…you can find last week's books!! That’s right…that’s how they do around GREAT ESCAPE GAMES…they have the smallest shelf set up for the books that come out that week only. Anything older than that gets moved straight to the dollar bin section. I am still crapping you negative. Negatory are the B.M.s here, my friends. Not only is it possible to stumble upon that long sought after Action or Detective Comics you’ve been looking for since ’03, but its highly probable that you’ll stumble upon that long sought after LAST. WEEK’S. BOOK. And won’t that have been well worth the hunt?

It has been tres lovely, folks.

And I do mean tres.

For example: I only recently discovered that the current Ultimate Spider-man team is Bendis and Immonen, both guys whose works I find I tend to appreciate above most others. I had about 20 or so issues to back track and collect if I wanted the entire body of work. It’s a pricey situation, but that’s the way I have to have things. Well, thanks to the GEM known as G.E.G., I found 10 of those 20 for $10, and then got an additional 3 books for free…just on G.P.!

Here’s my haul from Feb. 17th, 2009, now mind, I paid $12.83 for this little bundle:

JLA - #29
JSA - #12, 14, 15
Punisher MAX - #24, 29, 55, 62
New Avengers - #1 (3 copies – Imma see if I can peddle them elsewhere and for what value. There’s still 3 more #1s in the bin)
Amazing Spider-Man - #585
Ultimate Spider-man - #130
Daredevil - #115

EYE POOP EWE NON. (All palindrome style on that ass).

That’s just a little taste of how I feel about it, a little taste of why this place deserves to be written about.

What about you? Any GEMs in your area? Give ‘em some shine. What do you like about them?

Read More......

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Love Is No Longer Blind

The following statement has been very hard for me to come to terms with, let alone for me to write down as my current formal position on the matter, but I must speak the truth. Prep Time Posse brethren:

DARDEVIL is no longer my top comic book.

Whew. Gotta take a personal moment and compose myself. …3…2…and…1…okay, I’m ready to continue.

I don’t like saying it, but the quality of the book has steadily deteriorated since Brubaker and Lark took over from the HOF run of Bendis and Maleev (the run that made me fall in love with the blind Irishman). It kinda started when Matt went on his grand tour of Europe, North Africa, French Guyana, and Khazikstan. It festered for a bit and really became just blatantly obvious with the last 8 issues: the Cruel & Unusual and Lady Bullseye storylines.

For evidence of which I speak, one need look no farther than issue #110. This issue, which was a culmination of a 4-issue storyline ((and what issue of what comic ISN’T currently part of a multi-issue, soon-to-be-traded storyline)), was co-written, as weer the previous 3 installments, by Greg Rucka. Now, Rucka is another one of my faves, his Q&C and CHECKMATE street cred is gold plated with me, but even his sheen couldn’t polish this turd. I can only assume he was aboard to answer legal and/or black co-ops questions for Brubaker because there’s lots of both in this storyline. The problem is neither of those elements are wrapped up quite clearly, or interestingly for that matter, and we need a 3 page expository conversation between two minor characters, one of whom we’ve never seen before, to make sense of how everything went down.

The biggest peanut in this turd, however, is the pacing of the action. Now I loves me some DAREDEVIL ass whoopin and I am certainly one who’ll bend the rules of reality for the sake of a well-told super-hero fight, but this was ridiculoid. At the beginning of 110, a continuation of the conclusion of 109, Matt’s about to throw-down with a penthouse full of oncoming SWAT team members who are all armed and ready to rock with their sub-machine guns. Not only that, but there’s a sniper in a heliocopter just outside the penthouse repeatedly being told to “take the shot”. The sniper opens up, the SWAT guys open up, Matt’s focusing on heartbeats and doing donkey kicks…bada boom, bada bing, he’s got the SWAT dudes subdues and decides to make for daylight through the window towards the flying sniper’s roost. More SWAT guys unload towards the fleeing crimson crusader who, amidst a hail of sub-machine fire opening up not 10 feet behind him, dives blindly (HAH!) through the window. He DOES take care to tuck his head in both hands so as to protect his lady-killer face.

Now here’s where it gets my dander up. In the very next panel Matt Murdock, aka DAREDEVIL, aka The Man Without Fear, is flying. Above him and seemingly about 50 feet away or so, the sniper stands at the opened helicopter door saying “SON OF A—“ as either the chopper or one of the baker’s dozen automatic weapons that are firing at him says CHAKCHAKCHAKCHAKCHAK”. Now…one could interpret this as Matt simply leaping out the whatever-storyeth window and plummeting gracefully while people shoot at him. One could…until the very next panel which shows, I shit you not, DAREDEVIL clinging to the roof of the chopper and doing a swingin-double kick right into the moosh of the baddy who was snipin’ at him. SOMEHOW THIS FUCKER JUMPED OUT THE WINDOW BELOW AND AWAY FROM THE HELICOPTER, THEN ROSE ABOVE IT AND GRABBED IT, NADIA COMENICI’D THE BAD GUY WITHOUT TAKING SO MUCH AS A HANGNAIL, and then!! Then!! He jumps out the OTHER side of the helicopter, once again plummeting gracefully. We don’t se the ffects of this though, as the bad guy in the chopper tells us, “…we lost him…” The next time we see Matt, he isn’t lost, no he is in his kitchen removing his mask to wash his face. Breaking the laws of physics and falling from several hundred feet to the pavement below can really dirty up a guy. DD needed a refresher.

Am I being nit-picky?

Perhaps. But whoever’s fault that whole action sequence was, whether it was the illustrator or the writer, and the incredibly sloppy conclusion to it, as well as to the whole storyline, is indicative of why I no longer find DAREDEVIL my absolute favoritest book.

P.S. I’ve never been crazy about Marko Djurdjevic’s covers either.

Read More......

Monday, February 09, 2009

How To Cast Comic-Book Flix

Who as Who in What?!

Instead of thinking about it like “Who is right actor to play Wolverine” ((fuck the dumb shit, Huge Gackman was NOT the right person for the role)), I usually catch myself thinking about it like “What super-hero would Leonardo di Caprio be the guy right for???!”.

Anyone else do this? What have you come up with?

Clint Walker circa 1967 as The Punisher – Anyone who has seen The Dirty Dozen ((and if you are a heterosexual American male who hasn’t then you either need to move to Canada or blow the first guy you see)) and seen the character “Posey” knows who I’m talking of. 6’6” and a muscled 260, they could have shown the movie on this guy’s chest. He was BORN to play Frank castle, only if the space-time continuum and the laws of physics didn’t exist.

Leonardo di Caprio as Gambit – I hate that Remy Etienne LaBeau is the one name that keeps coming to mind for him because he’s too good of an actor and Gambit sucks anyway. Still, tho….
Josh Brolin as Deadshot – something about him SCREAMS Floyd Lawton!

Scott Caan as Wolverine – The neck. Just…the neck. Plus he’s short and stocky. Then, the Alchemist could show up and they could double team the guys from Ugly Duckling in what could only be described as "A 1997 Backpacker's Wet Dream".

Matt Damon as Daredevil – This is NOT stuntcasting just because Ben Whoffleck? Was so horribly miscast as Matthew Murdock back in the first pic. Its because everywhere Ben was wrong for the role, Matt is right. He’s shown in the Bourne trilogy that he can do some good hand-to-hand, and that was the worst thing about watching Daredevil: seeing this big gawky, stiff and slow guy supposedly be a master martial artist. I’ve seen where Jason Statham is supposed to be DD, w/ Frank Miller’s blessing ((as if he’s the go-to guy for what makes a good movie)), but I don’t think he can lose that innder-city London accent. He’s not THAT good of an actor.

Daniel Craig as Oliver Queen – Maybe it’s because he’s British and Ollie reminds me of Robin Hood…I dunno.

Dennis Haysbert as Gen. Nicholas Fury (Marvel Ultimates universe) – I know the character was originally created to be Sam jJack but I’d like to see Fury be less “street” and Haysbert has that presidential cache

James Carville as Scarecrow ((DC)) – Screw Cillian Murphy. Carville wouldn’t even need makeup.

“Randall from SCRUBS” as UATU The Watcher – some are so easy I should get a finder’s fee.

Vincent D’Onofrio as Thor – He knows the character already!!Paul Walker as Speedball –

Because I would LOVE to see a whole film of him getting tortured mercilessly as Pennance.

Read More......