Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Tuesday, February 28, 2006



Ghost Rider ongoing?

I'm somewhat excited about the new Ghost Rider ongoing (even though i'm not a huge Daniel Way fan) but probably the best news to come out of this Newsarama article is the new Ghost Rider mini (Trail of Tears) by Ennis and Crain (same guys who gave us the last one). I'm DEF looking forward to that... Too bad these guys aren't the ones signing onto the ongoing. They're a hell of a team for Johnny Blaze IMO.



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Oeming's "Blood River"

Blood River is essentially the story of a group of high-school age youngsters who discover a treasure map while camping in the woods (dopping acid, smoking doobies, and hooking up along the way).

The treasure (100 thousand bank-robbed dollars) is buried somewhere in the forest's nearby river. The recovered map to the booty seems simple enough, but no quality treasure-hunting adventure is without it's less-than-obvious pitfalls (as history can certainly atest). Our merry band of hop-heads are confronted along the way by a couple of would-be muggers and a ferocious monster - all while battling the dense forest, it's murky river, and a self-imposed drug haze.

Oeming does a pretty good job setting the tone and delivering the story (make no mistake this is a horror/thriller at heart). Blood River moves quickly but manages to keep interest and pay off pretty well at the end (especially when we find out it's loosely based on a rather fascinating historical event, which is neatly summarized in a text-only page at the back).

The artwork isn't spectacular (the characters have a bit of a cromagnon look, and it's hard to tell them apart at times), but grew on me as the pages turned... to the point where i was actually starting to appreciate it toward the end.

Overall Blood River was a pretty solid read. I was definitely entertained (even though i got through it in less than 30 minutes). B.



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3.1 Shopping List

Huge week... lot's of good stuff.

Work is lightening up again finally (after a brutal week last week) and my wife's birthday is behind us so i'm planning on getting back to comics w/ some of my now abundant (ha!) free time.

Did however get a chance to read Batman: The Long Halloween and Oeming's Blood River over the weekend (enjoyed and will review both here soon...).

DARK HORSE
HELLBOY MAKOMA #2 (OF 2) - Grand opening, grand closing. Gotta love 2 issue mini's. I'm HB starved though so i'm not complaining... These stories are better kept short anyways IMO.

DC
EX MACHINA #18 (MR) - Pull list. Feels like a long, long time since the last one of these (even though i don't think it was REALLY that long). Great title tho.
TEAM ZERO #4 (OF 6) - Hanging on...
Y THE LAST MAN #43 (MR) - Pull list (tiring).

IMAGE
BATTLE POPE COLOR #5 (MR) - Pull list.
FEAR AGENT #3 - Finally #3! Don't let this title die plz...
GODLAND #8 - Pull list. Love how this title reminds me of the old Silver Surfer cosmic adventures i enjoyed as a kid...

MARVEL
MARVEL TEAM-UP #18 - Pull list.
NEXT WAVE #2 - I really, really enjoyed the first issue of Next Wave. Been anxious for #2.
PUNISHER #31 (MR) - Pull list. New arc.
ULTIMATES 2 #10 - Pull list. Wish these came out more often... My favorite team book (by far) since i've been back into comics.
X-FACTOR #4 - One of my favorite new Marvel books of the year...

OTHER
None.

NEXT WEEK
EXTERMINATORS #3 (MR), FABLES #47 (MR), and POWERS #17 (MR).

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1 Comments:

28 February, 2006 14:38, Blogger Ryan X said...

Z, psyched for your review of The Long Halloween, I have considered picking that up a number of times in the last few weeks. FEAR AGENT makes this week a great week, love it. Oh, and I am back on the Godland bandwagon after reading the TP in one sitting, really digging it big time. Late.
p.s. Hope your wife doesn't read this: "...wife's birthday is behind us" :)

 

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Monday, February 27, 2006



2.27 Panel

The return of Astonishing X-Men helped me realize just how much i missed it (even though after however many months i can barely remember what's going on). Best X-Men book on the stands by far IMO. Whedon's got something interesting cookin' in this arc too.



1 Comments:

28 February, 2006 04:11, Blogger Christopher Green said...

That image made me go "!!" the first time I saw it.

I liked Astonishing #13, although I really don't like the idea of Emma being involved with the Hellfire Club again. I'm sure she'll probably end up turning on them in favour of the X-Men, but still, it feels like we're treading on familiar ground.

 

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Sunday, February 26, 2006



2.26 Panel

Today's my wife's birthday so (and i had a brutal week last week at work) so there's your excuse for the light week of posts ;)



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Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #2

This book continues to impress (and satiate my need for some good Hulk stories and artwork).

Yu is fantastic IMO, and this TV -> Comics writer (Lindelof?) has done a better than expected job for his first time out. Don't get me wrong, i love me some "Lost", but i wasn't really expecting a whole lot from the writing in this mini (i picked it up solely for the art at first), but shit - after 2 issues, it's pretty darn entertaining...

"Ultimate" Hulk is well more interesting than the 616 version at the moment; Millar and Hitch started it off (WELL) with Ultimates and Ultimates 2 then passed it over to Lindelof and Yu, but i can only hope for an ongoing Ultimate Hulk book (what are these guys doing for the next year or so?). B+.



2 Comments:

27 February, 2006 00:25, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Loved the references to the old Incredible Hulk TV show... The therapist calling Banner "David"; causing him to Hulk out and kill her yelling "HULK'S NAME NOT DAVID!" (voicing fan reaction to the name change). The following scene having Banner under the alias of "Bixby" (Bill Bixby played Banner on the old TV series).

 
27 February, 2006 13:56, Blogger zilla said...

yeah man... i caught the bixby nod and laughed.

 

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Saturday, February 25, 2006



2.25 Panel



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Wednesday, February 22, 2006



2.22 Panel



5 Comments:

23 February, 2006 12:19, Blogger Ryan X said...

You getting into Fables? I sort of bailed on it, but I did enjoy it.

 
25 February, 2006 13:53, Blogger zilla said...

i just finished the first trade and it was unique/interesting at least... not totally blown away but was entertained. how far did you get? did it start to fall apart or what? should i get the 2nd volume?

 
26 February, 2006 01:41, Blogger Peter Hensel said...

Fables Rocks! It picks up steam the more volumes you're into it, until about the Wooden Soldier/Battle in Fabletown trade (I'm not sure of the title or volume number, but it's a hefty 7 issue long one) but it remains an excellent book that consistently changes the status quo with a HUGE cast of characters. The first volume is a little too entrenched in Detective fiction to be as great as the rest of the volumes, and definitely get the rest

 
26 February, 2006 18:30, Blogger zilla said...

thanks peter... glad to hear that. i'll pick up volume 2 at some point and go from there. i love a lot of variety in my comics so this is keeping my interest so far (at least because it's unique). so fables doesn't keep to the detective style? i was under the impression after volume one that this was going to be the fables stee?

 
27 February, 2006 15:21, Blogger Ryan X said...

I stalled out on the third volume, but I think that is sort of like quitting Powers on Vol 3, not really fair to the rest of the trades (so to speak). Peter's comments have actually resparked my interest, I'll get back on the Fables train shortly. It is a very unique comic.

 

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006



2.22 Shopping List

Not much this week but i'll haul my ass over there for the new Astonishing X-Men and Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk alone. New issues of Ex Machina, Fear Agent, Ultimates, X-Factor, and Next Wave next week (now that's a week to look forward to if you're me!). Hype.

DARK HORSE
THE ART OF USAGI YOJIMBO TP - Every comic fan should have this on their coffee table...
USAGI YOJIMBO #91 - AND be reading this via the flops or the many, many great TPs.

DC
WARLORD #1 - Hmmmmm. I may not even buy this but the ads have caught my eye so i'll at least give it the 'ole flip through.

IMAGE
None.

MARVEL
ASTONISHING X-MEN #13 - The return of my favorite X-Men title (finally!). Here's to hoping they can pick back up the magic after such a long break.
SENTRY #6 (OF 8) - Pull list. Great, under-appreciated mini.
THING #4 - No idea why i'm buying this issue after issue... except that it's a simple, fun read.
ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK #2 (OF 6) - Cool. Love me some Yu.
WOLVERINE #39 - Pull list... Waiting for Ramos.

OTHER
None.

NEXT WEEK
HELLBOY MAKOMA #2 (OF 2), EX MACHINA #18 (MR), TEAM ZERO #4 (OF 6), Y THE LAST MAN #43 (MR), BATTLE POPE COLOR #5 (MR), FEAR AGENT #3, MARVEL TEAM-UP #18, NEXT WAVE #2, PUNISHER #31 (MR), ULTIMATES 2 #10, and X-FACTOR #4.

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3 Comments:

22 February, 2006 02:51, Blogger Christopher Green said...

ASTONISHING X-MEN #13
SUPERGIRL #5
ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK #2
WILDCATS STREET SMART TP

Light week, but I'm intentionally cutting back so I can afford more trades.

 
22 February, 2006 16:17, Blogger Ryan X said...

Light week for me too. More time to catch up on Powers, ordering TP #5 in a few minutes, so friggin good. Bow down to the almighty Zilla and his recommendations :).

 
22 February, 2006 20:07, Blogger zilla said...

dude you guys have steered me to more good stuff than i've recommended for you... no doubt.

 

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2.21 Panel



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Monday, February 20, 2006



2.20 Panel



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Jenkins on "Civil War: Front Line"

Interesting indeed. Instead of having 1000 spin-offs to Marvel's next big event (Civil War), they've decided to enlist Jenkins to put out 64 pages a month (about 3 comics worth) in the form of 10 bi-weekly issues. Ambitious for sure...

I do love me some Jenkins though (usually) so i'm hoping he can pull this off. Personally i'm way more likely to follow this event in this format, so no beef from me as long as the creative team can keep up w/ it w/o watering it down (or filling space to meet deadlines). What do you guys think?

-- MORE HERE FROM NEWSARAMA --

PS There's a variety of artists working this w/ Jenkins... so let's hope we can get some consistency there too (even though that's not a deal breaker for me...).



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Sunday, February 19, 2006



Ultimate Fantastic Four #27

Written by: Mark Millar (The Authority, Wanted, The Ultimates)
Penciled by: Greg Land (Sojourn, X-Men: Phoenix Endsong)
Published by: Marvel
Release date: 02/15/06

“President Thor” Part 1 of 3

The issue opens at the site of the N-Zone teleportation accident that gave Reed, Sue, Johnny, Ben and Victor their powers. Reed is standing, discussing a plan to prevent the accident from happening with the Ultimate F4 from 24 hours in his future. Reed is comforted by the fact that he and the rest of the team reach the decision to prevent the accident so soon from now, and with that information, he heads back to the present. In the present; Reed phones Sue (who is at an archeological dig in Chilie), and discusses his plan with her, and the reason why he feels it needs to be. She disagrees, and we find out that the tomb her team is digging in has fossilized remains of a Super-Skrull. Meanwhile, Ben is seen being chastised by a police officer for unwittingly taking out a car full of undercover police. We learn that Ben is on his way to Johnny’s birthday party, and Johnny has told him that this is a costumed party, with an old movie star theme; “guys go as girls and girls go as guys”. Ben shows up dressed as Carmen Miranda, only to find out that Johnny has tricked him into humiliating himself; this causes Ben to walk away in tears, and makes Sue realize why Reed’s plan is necessary.

When I buy an individual comic book issue; I typically read it once, maybe twice, and put it away for god knows how long. You know how many times I’ve read this issue in the past four days? Five times; this is one of the best issues of any series I’ve read in a long time. This issue serves as merely build up; we don’t know why what happens in the end happens, how preventing the teleportation accident causes the “President Thor” outcome, but let me tell you, it doesn’t even matter at the moment.

I have no problems in saying that this title is easily better than it’s 616 counterpart(s), the characters feel more down to Earth (which is truly amazing, given the source material), the artwork is absolutely beautiful (I don’t give a rat’s ass if Greg Land uses photo-referencing), and the stories are fresh, exciting, and move at a perfect pace. Never, ever have I felt a strong emotional reaction to something I’ve seen in a comic book until I saw this issue; I swear, after Johnny’s prank against Ben at the party, and Ben’s eyes begin to tear, I almost began crying myself, shouting “You went too far this time, you little shit”. I felt a bit better though when Thor’s reply to a comment Johnny made to him afterwards was “Get away from me, you little weasel.”

Ultimate Fantastic Four is a great comic book; disregard the naysayers, this is something you truly don’t want to miss. It’s just unfortunate that Millar & Land will be departing after issue #32.

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****



3 Comments:

20 February, 2006 08:44, Blogger zilla said...

damn millar is leaving after #32? weak. i told you #27 rocked though - this is the first UFF i've read in a long time (after only giving it a one or 2 issue shot when i first got back into comics just over a year ago) and i'm kind of pissed i've been missing it... thanks for the heads up though Uncensored, i'll at least be following it now as long as Millar is around.

any clue who the next team will be?

 
20 February, 2006 16:10, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Hasn't been announced yet; and probably won't be for another couple of months. To be honest, I'm hoping Millar & Land will stay on the book, because they're doing great with it.

 
05 March, 2006 12:35, Anonymous cmoney said...

Mike Carey and Pasqual Ferry.

 

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2.19 Panel



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Potential nuggets from Image in May

EMISSARY #1
written by J.R. RAND
art & cover by JUAN E. FERREYRA
created & co-plotted by JIM VALENTINO
May 3 o 32 pg o FC o $3.50

"REVELATION1:4"
Messiah or Anti-Christ? Terrorist or savior? The world's first superhuman or alien invader? Who is the Emissary and what is his mission? When he reveals himself high over New York City, how will people react? And more importantly, what will he do when the government tries to kill him? Emissary is a re-examination of the superhero mythos, which asks the question: How would the world react to a real superhuman? With awe or with fear, with joy or with hatred?

THE LAST CHRISTMAS #1 (of 6)
written by GERRY DUGGAN & BRIAN POSEHN
art by RICK REMENDER & HILARY BARTA
cover by GEOF DARROW
May 24 o 32 pg o FC o $2.99

CHAPTER ONE: "TWAS THE FIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS"
After the apocalypse no one is safe - even at the North Pole. After tragedy strikes, Santa withdraws from life and turns his back on Christmas. When he finally emerges from seclusion, the old world is gone forever and as Santa struggles to find his way in a post-apocalyptic world, can he find a way to save Christmas too?

This true story of the last Christmas is action-packed, funny and sad. It stars Santa, the Elves, a good boy, lots of naughty marauders and of course, Gary the Snowman.



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Saturday, February 18, 2006



2.18 Panel



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Friday, February 17, 2006



Losers #32 (THE END)

I know we got at least a couple Losers fans around here; so what did you guys think about the last issue?

Personally i thought Diggle and Jock used the last few flops to wrap the series up nicely (seems like they gave them enough time to tie it off the way they wanted and didn't force them to come up w/ some corny one-issue closer at the 11th hour). Gotta love how they teased us at the end of this issue into thinking "wait it might not really be over!" and then... it is.

I have heard rumors that Diggle may give us a few more stories via mini's, but you got to wonder how well that will work out w/ about half of the team taking dirt naps at the moment (and this isn't exactly the world of superhero's where resurrection is just a "thing").

Anyways, i enjoyed the hell out of Losers while it lasted; it was always action packed, unique, often humorous, gritty, and well... cool. I have to admit thought that i got a bit bored w/ it from 26 or 27 to 30 (they seemed to have dragged out the whole new state/max thing a bit longer than necessary) and i was kind of looking forward to the next arc... before i found out there wasn't to be one that is ;) Small potato complaint though there.

Too bad this title didn't get more love, seems to me that Diggle could have written an unlimited number of these (even if the original plan was only 40 issues).

Ah well... All good things come to an end. If you missed this run you can pick it up from start to finish in what will be 5 skinny trades (i wonder what the chances are we get any compilations?). Hard for me to belive you wouldn't like losers if you're a comics fan whos ever enjoyed Lludlum, Clancy, Flynn, or Eisler (among others but you get the idea).

FINAL ISSUE: B+
FINAL OVERALL SERIES GRADE: A

It was all over when...



2 Comments:

17 February, 2006 16:45, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Bon voyage, Jensen and Pooch! It was a great run.

I really liked how Diggle handled the scene with Jensen leaving Cougar behind with the nuke. Couple of silent panels nailed everything I loved about this series. Despite the over-the-top action and stock character types, Diggle always managed to give each one of them distinct personalities that made you care about them; made them seem human. And Jock's art was perfect for the story. (As were, surprisingly enough, the couple of fill-in artists; especially Colin Wilson.) I think I'm going to buy the trades so I can read them straight through without digging into my longboxes for the first 24 issues.

With the right cast, this is going to be a kickass movie! Can't wait.

 
23 February, 2006 12:25, Blogger Ryan X said...

Finally read the final issue last night. I was less enthralled with it than you guys, but it did wrap up nicely. I loved this series and always looked forward to reading it when it hit my box. Oh well, better to go out on a high note I guess.

 

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2.17 Panel



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Thursday, February 16, 2006



2.16 Panel



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Sgt. Rock: The Prophecy #2

Much, much better than #1 IMO. The Prophecy gets quite a bit more interesting after this second issue, and Kubert seems to be settling into the story (it's feeling more and more familiar and Sgt. Rock-y).

Rock and his squad have been charged w/ delivering a Rabbi (the "Prophecy") from Lithuania to safety in Riga (on his way to the U.S.), through badland territory frought w/ Nazi and Russian guerillas. They encounter some Nazi brutality along the way designed i'm sure to get the blood boiling for some forth-coming Nazi ass whuppin'.

Everything about this (cast, writing, art) is pretty classic Joe Kubert. If you're a fan, you'll be reading this (and enjoying it). Personally i wasn't really feeling it after #1, but had a good time w/ #2 (and renewed hope for the mini as a whole). B.

It was all over when...



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Great TP/HC Resource

Def wanted to share this great online resource i stumbled across this morning (entirely by accident).

http://tplist.millarworld.net/

This guy (or crew) has put together a really solid listing of available collections (TPs, HCs, Masterworks, Omnibus, Essentials, Over-sized, Absolute, etc.) for just about every title i could think of. The list appears well maintained and up to date (even listing forthcoming stuff in most cases).

He's even thrown in a few cool index pages that list JUST the Marvel Masterworks or Over-Sized HCs (all together) for example. Hell you can even get an index to search by creator (though our author admits these to be a bit spotty).

Not exactly pretty (but who cares?!?). This is a bookmark we should all have... Cheers.



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Wednesday, February 15, 2006



New Avengers #16

Daaaaaaaamn. Great issue. And to think NA was teetering on the edge of falling off my pull list just a few issues ago...

An unknown blast of energy (from space somewhere) rockets to earth and incinerates the small Alaskan town of North Pole, delivering a mysterious bipedal payload. Earth's new resident (the Collective?) shakes off the dust from its landing and subsequently begins a rampage through Canada (on his way to the U.S. somewhere), easily destroying various S.H.I.E.L.D (man that acronym is a bitch to type) interceptors and effortlessly annihilating Canada's one-and-only super team - Alpha Flight. Time to call in the Avengers (though they make nary an appearance in this issue).

An entire issue w/o the Avengers (except a brief Tony Stark appearance)? Must suck right? Na. McNiven is at the top of his game here - i seriously cannot remember a time i was this impressed with his work. His panels/layouts are fantastic in this issue (the artwork flows/reads REALLY well IMO). Not that the guy isn't normally a beast, but he's really outdone himself this time me thinks. I especially liked his modernized depiction of the uber-boring Alpha Flight (even though they last all of 2 panels), and the surprising start to the issue, which includes about 5 full page panels (one of which is very cool and will get a day panel spot from me).

McNiven's not all that shines in NA #16 though, even Bendis seems to have come to play at the start of this new arc. I'm actually EXCITED about NA again for the first time in months... A

It was all over when...



5 Comments:

16 February, 2006 02:43, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did you read this? It's not supposed to be released until next week!

 
16 February, 2006 07:47, Blogger zilla said...

Nah friend - it came out this week and in my opinion if you're a fan of the series you need to track it down asap ;)

good luck.

 
16 February, 2006 20:29, Blogger Christopher Green said...

The "unknown blast of energy" is the mutant powers that collected in space at the end of House of M.

Or, at least that's what I've been lead to believe; I haven't read the NA#16 yet, it's basically my "make or break" issue.

 
16 February, 2006 20:46, Blogger zilla said...

if #16 is your make or break (i've been on that ledge w/ NA lately too) i think you're in luck.

 
16 February, 2006 20:47, Blogger zilla said...

ps thanks for the insight - considering what i have seen (in #16) i think you're right.

 

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Goon #15

Nothing spectacular here. The Goon, Frankie, Buzzard and gane (i love the cast in this book) have got the Zombie Priest on the ropes (they think) as the Labrazio family's piece of the proverbial pie continues to grow. Of course every other mobster (and/or family) around is trying to horn in on the Labrazio's good eatin' and so the Goon has to make some power moves to protect his stake (this issue's 90% ass-whuppin'). Meanwhile the Zombie Priest is secretly making some underworld power moves of his own... Stay tuned.

Also included in the back of #15 is a bonus Goon short drawn by Mike Oeming. Oem's style doesn't really work for the Goon IMO (even though i love Oeming as you know), but ended up being fun to look at never-the-less. Ultimately the short is missing Powell's midas touch that really makes the Goon work, but taken for what it's worth, its worth a read (and a chuckle or two).

Overall a bit of a space-filling issue (what are those called?) but since i'm a huge, huge Goon fan i won't complain (too much). C+.



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Updated "Futures" section around here...

I figured out a way to dynamically update my "Futures" section (down the left) so from now on it will be a lot more up-to-date (and w/ links to info about whatever's listed there to boot). Just an FYI.

PS Def send me any recs i may be forgetting about cool comics, TPs, or HCs coming out, i'm always missing tons but like to keep my want list phat. thx.



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Ultimate Avengers: The Review

1945; Hitler has been defeated. We begin on an air transport plane filled with paratroopers over Nazi Germany; one of those paratroopers is Steve Rogers, Captain America. The soldiers parachute down, and take the battle to what’s left of the Nazi forces, only for Captain America to discover aliens and a nuclear missile, which has been targeted at Washington. The missile is launched, but the Captain takes action; attaching himself to the missile to take it down, mid-air. He succeeds, but his heroic efforts have sent him falling down into the ocean, to be frozen in time…

Present day; General Nick Fury and Professor Betty Ross are aboard a submarine, searching for something in the arctic waters. As they find what they are looking for, we discover that it is the frozen body of Captain America. He is thawed out, and after battling his way out of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, he is surprised at just how much the world has changed. The discovery of Captain America is music to the ears of Dr. Bruce Banner, whom has been working on recreating the Super-Soldier Serum for many years now; but the true reason for his excitement remains to be seen… Meanwhile, the result of an impending alien invasion, General Fury is ordered to activate Project Avenger; to assemble a group of powerful individuals to defend humanity against immanent destruction.

The first thing I must point out is that, although I’ve read the first four (give or take) issues of The Ultimates; I was rather tired at the time, thus I don’t remember every little detail. I also (at the moment) am unable to re-read them, so just assume while reading this that I know nothing more than a basic synopsis of The Ultimates comic book.

With all the complaining about decompressed story telling in comic books these days, it is highly ironic that Ultimate Avengers main problem is too much compression. Here we have a (roughly) hour and ten minute long animated film, that clearly has more plot than is given time for. Things happen way too quickly in this film, and it really hurts ones ability to take the story seriously at times. It seems like Marvel and/or Lions Gate, despite supposedly wanting to make a PG-13 animated film (which, I have no idea why it got anything higher than a PG, save for some relationship drama between Bruce & Betty) felt the need to compress the story into a quick adventure for impatient, juvenile minds.

Another problem with the story is that far too much is mentioned with only a loose or no explanation at all; Bruce Banner’s rampages as the Hulk, how Steve Rogers became Captain America, and why he was the only person the Super Soldier Serum was used on. These are things that really should’ve been explained in one form or another. Sure, many comic book fans already know the answers to a lot of the questions raised in the film, but if they’re trying to market it for a general audience as well; it makes no sense to assume that every viewer automatically knows who’s who and what their story is.

Despite being compressed, the story at hand is rather interesting. The tragedy of Steve Roger’s awakening some 60 years later, with his family and nearly everyone he loves gone, is something that (if fleshed out more) could have really tugged on the heart-strings of the audience. Tony Stark is portrayed rather well in this story; I think he could have easily stolen the show if only his was featured more prominently. He’s an asshole billionaire, interested merely in wealth, women and booze (though the booze angle isn’t played up anywhere near as much as it is in the comics), seemingly not caring about anyone but himself. His snide comments and pompous attitude make him a hilarious character to see interact with the others.

I’ve read that Hank Pym (Giant Man) and Janet (Wasp) have a marriage that eventually turns violent, with Hank becoming abusive towards her. This isn’t portrayed at all in the film, however; Hank is shown as being extremely jealous, rude, and overall just a prick towards Janet. He’s very unlikable, and the abuse seeds have been planted, whether they do anything with it in the next film however remains to be seen. Janet is also shown to have an admiration for Captain America, which may lead to their eventual intimate relationship (as they apparently have now, in the comics). The real pivotal character moment comes from Dr. Banner, though. He is mostly presented through the film as being a tortured genius, but one who still seeks to set the wrongs he’s made right. Eventually, however, his true intentions start coming out, and a shocking discovery is made by Betty and Fury regarding Bruce’s research.

The animation in the film is so-so; it’s not terrible to look at, and it is generally better than your typical Saturday morning cartoon, but there was still room for improvement. Some moments look especially good, such as a scene where Black Widow is trying to comfort Captain America; there’s a minute or so where the camera is focused on her head, looking towards it, as she talks to Steve, the animation looks almost beautiful. There’s also a fair amount of CGI in the film, mostly aerial scenes with ships battling each other; the blend between traditional and computer animation is almost seamless. It certainly looks better than the last time Marvel attempted it (the 90’s Spider-Man cartoon, though in their defense; CGI was still relative new at the time), though it still is easy to spot the difference between the two. One major problem with the animation however is the lip-synching, which often varies from average to just plain horrible. It’s not as if the film is dubbed either (then, it would be excusable), so there’s really no reason (other than, rushed animation, perhaps, or a small budget) why it should be as poor as it is in some scenes.

Most of the voice work is nothing to write home about, but some of it stands out. The actor who voices Tony Stark does a top-notch job with the tone and line delivery of a snobbish playboy; it’s just sad that Stark doesn’t get a lot of screen time. The actress who voices Black Widow also handles the role well (despite the accent being blatantly acted); and the actor voicing Thor does a great job in his introduction scene, although he loses steam very quickly afterward. I’m also impressed with the voice work for Bruce Banner (who, is apparently voiced by Michael Massee a.k.a. “Funboy” from The Crow!), who seemed to fit right into the part of Ultimate Banner. By far the real stinker of the cast is, ironically, the star; Captain America. This was a horrible, horrible miscast. In the film, Cap has a very, timid, young, uninspiring voice. I think the voice director’s motivation for this casting choice was that the character of Steve Rogers (pre-super soldier serum) was a scrawny, weak private. However, as Captain America, he really should have a powerful, commanding, inspiring voice, which sadly here, he does not.

Overall this film is easily recommended to any comic book fan, if at least for curiosity’s sake. I was neither disappointed nor amazed by this film; I enjoyed it, but I recognize that it suffers from a lot of problems. It could have been something great—in fact, if Marvel hadn’t anxiously sold off the film rights to most of the characters in this years ago, I would suggest that Marvel just find a good Hollywood screen writer and director and just make an actual Ultimates movie.

Rating: ***1/2 out of *****



7 Comments:

15 February, 2006 08:08, Blogger zilla said...

dude this is a GREAT review man thanks (seriously). you should spread this around - i find it hard to believe we'll find a better, more thorough, or well written review of this short anywhere else (at any time). Cheers.

You really should read through the Ultimates comics, Ultimates and Ultimates 2 are worth the hype they've gotten.

PS i thought this DVD wasn't going to be released until the 21rst? is it a torrent already?

 
15 February, 2006 13:50, Blogger zilla said...

ps i picked up the new daredevil today - i'll be sure and review it... but let me know what trade you wanted me to pick up...

 
15 February, 2006 19:16, Blogger zilla said...

PS - i'm going to be pushing this review down the page w/ some of my flop reviews but i'll bring it back up at some point - it's too money to not get a ton of PT. thanks U.

 
16 February, 2006 01:26, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Good news, I bought Ultimates vol. 1: Superhuman today, with plans to buy the rest of the trades in the series before Ultimates 3 begins.

In terms of Daredevil trades, just start from volume 3 (Underboss) to the latest, it's one big long story arc.

 
16 February, 2006 01:33, Blogger Christopher Green said...

EDIT: Make sure you pick up Ultimate Fantastic Four #27!

"President Thor" Part 1 of 3

 
16 February, 2006 07:46, Blogger zilla said...

i'm going to grab that daredevil trade next order... one question though, it seems that vol 4 (not 3) was titled "underboss" is that what you meant (so start w/ v.4 not v.3?).

 
16 February, 2006 16:10, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Yeah, sorry. I had the number wrong. Start with volume 4 (Underboss) and work your way up.

 

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006



2.15 Shopping List

Conan and Goon are worth the trip alone tomorrow. I still can't believe Losers is done (this IS the last issue right Guy?). Next week Astonishing X-Men finally returns and i'm pretty hype about Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #2. I ordered a boat load of books off instocktrades.com this week too so i'll have a nice tall pile again (after finally starting to dwindle over the last month or so).

DARK HORSE
CONAN #25 (MR) - Pull list. Busiek is wrapping up his run w/ the book and making way for a 3 issue (i think 3 issue) Mignola and Nord arc.
GOON #16 - Pull list. I friggin' love Goon.

DC
LOSERS #32 (MR) - Supposedly this is the last Losers issue (correct me if i'm wrong here)... that just plain sucks.
LOVELESS #4 (MR) - Pull list.
SGT ROCK THE PROPHECY #2 (OF 6) - #1 wasn't all that for me but the 2 issue rule is in effect. Still have high hopes.

IMAGE
None.

MARVEL
NEW AVENGERS #16 - Pull list. Just when i started to think NA was in the toilet, the last few issues have rekindled my interest.

OTHER
None.

NEXT WEEK
USAGI YOJIMBO #91, ASTONISHING X-MEN #13, SENTRY #6 (OF 8), THING #4, ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS HULK #2 (OF 6), and WOLVERINE #39.

Filed in:



5 Comments:

14 February, 2006 16:14, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Sadly, yes, it's the end of the road for The Losers. :-(

 
14 February, 2006 17:45, Blogger Ryan X said...

That really blows! Sadly, I was right when I speculated on this a little while ago. Bummer.

 
14 February, 2006 19:04, Blogger Christopher Green said...

New arc, new creative team... Now is the perfect time to jump onto Daredevil!

 
15 February, 2006 09:07, Blogger zilla said...

Uncensored - who are we going from (and to) on Daredevil in terms of creative team? should i start here or go back and pick up a trade (if so which one... even though i know you've recommended me a starting spot once before).

thx boss.

 
15 February, 2006 09:08, Blogger zilla said...

ps i think i'm kind of hype on daredevil after reading yellow... that seriously might have been my frist daredevil comic ever (since i've been back for sure).

 

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Monday, February 13, 2006



Ghost Rider #6, DMZ #4, and Invincible #28

I can't believe it's already monday night again... I ran out of time to do individual reviews of some of the comics i read last week (next week i'm reviewing the good books first) so i'm just going to dump some quick thoughts here:

Ghost Rider #6 - This mini didn't seem to get as much love as i thought it should (i even read a thread or two trashing it) but i really, really enjoyed it. The story wasn't anything in particular to write home about but was plenty good enough for me (maybe it's because i've got no Ghost Rider history to compare to?), and the friggin' art man... fantabulous to say the least. Some of the best of the year (even for a guy like me who's not usually into the dark demon/hell artwork). I'll be buying the trade even if for the art alone.

As for #6, it wraps the story up tidy enough but i still can't figure out the purpose of the priest... seemed kind of like he was just thrown in there. No worries.



DMZ #4 - This title gets a little bit better with each issue IMO. #4 was the most interesting by far for me personally, and i'm liking where this book is headed. In #4, our hapless war-time photo journalist meets up with an underground "Ghost" militia who have staked their claim to central park zoo and made a self-sufficient home there (even growing bamboo in abundance for trade bait as an alternative energy source). These guys are willing to protect what little real wood is left of the once tree-filled central park (and their territory) at all costs.

Proof-pudding that even in times of overwhelming duress, and a breakdown of civility in wartime, society plods on (even if in small pockets). I like this book. A lot.



Invindible #28 - As we all know i'm a big Invincible fan but i gotta admit i'm kind of looking forward to the next arc already. This whole Mark meeting back up with his dad business was cool at first, but the preying mantis wife and hybrid kid got a little weird. Luckily Mark's new step-mom has a ridiculously short lifespan so she won't be around long... and his new little brother could very well turn into a cool character if played right (i'm assuming he will have some accelerated growth so prob grow up real fast).

I've yet to totally buy into the forgiveness Mark seems to have exercised towards his dad (came a little too easily IMO after all the shit he pulled on Earth), but i've got no problem looking past that really. Seems like things may pick up here w/ #29 though as Dad (and Mark?) seek to whup some ass in revenge for the destruction of step-mom's homeworld by the nefarious Viltrumites (Mark's dad's folk for the uninformed).



5 Comments:

14 February, 2006 02:36, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Why in god's name would you buy a trade for a series you already own in serial format?

 
14 February, 2006 09:18, Blogger zilla said...

ha... i don't really keep any floppies (when i buy the TP i sell the flop run on ebay for usually about 2/3s+ of what the TP cost me), the only comics i keep are HCs or TPs (bookshelf)... so if i plan on reading it again (or several times in the coming years possibly) i get a TP - plus it's easier to grab a trade to go (i travel a lot) than a stack of bagged and/or boarded flops.

 
14 February, 2006 17:36, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Hmmm... Not much of a collector then eh? ;-)

 
14 February, 2006 17:50, Blogger Ryan X said...

Zilla, stop trying to defend yourself, you are getting no love from Uncensored! Ha ha. Keep it up Uncensored, someday the Z will be sorry he doesn't have that flop that is now going for $15000000 on eBay right? Love it.

 
14 February, 2006 19:01, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Ha. With the high publication numbers of serial format comic books; they'll never reach the value of many golden and silver age books. I just like to keep comic books for collecting purposes, not because of what they "might be worth someday".

 

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Sunday, February 12, 2006



Savage Dragon Vol. 1: Baptism of Fire

I've just recently been introduced to Eric Larsen and Savage Dragon (for shame i know) a few weeks ago. It gets SO much love around the comics community that i picked up the first trade in my last instocktrades.com order on hype alone. Glad i did.

There's a couple big plusses with Savage Dragon (for me) right off the bat: First of all, i love creator owned and operated books, and i'm always impressed when the same guy does the writing AND artwork (you just get a feeling you're getting everything as intended that way no?). Larsen obviously handles both chores w/ SD, and does a great job w/ each IMO. Second, i love "superhero" books set in different, less mainstream universes (like Planetary, Authority, Invincible, Powers, Battle Hymn, etc.) - Universes filled w/ characters ALL created by the mind of one or two dudes. Something very cool about that for me.

Larsen's SD story is bigger than life, action packed, and dosed w/ enough well-placed humor to have me chuckling (if not belly laughing) just often enough. I'm a huge sucker for amnesia stories for some reason, and SD's tale certainly fits the mold. I'm actually pretty anxious to get on w/ the second trade just to find out more about who he was before becoming the flatfooted "Mr. Dragon" (so don't tell me).

Larsen's artwork is much like his writing; big (often huge) and action packed w/ gernerous use of killer 2-page action spreads. Just about every hero, villian and side-character in here has a pro-wrestlers build - which would normally turn me off but for some reason works just fine in SD. The layouts def lend to the overall sense of action (i kind of felt like i was watching some huge budget action flick as i read this), and Larsen's put together a seriously wild cast of good and bad guys.

Savage Dragon is one of those comics i totally missed while i was gone (obviously there was no hint of it when i was a kid) though i'm def glad to be turned onto it now. My next challenge is finding out how many of these 100+ SD issues are really worth reading (there has to have been a let down or 2 TP in there somewhere). A lot bigger challenge than trying to catch up with something that's only got a few trades to read (like i did w/ Losers, 100 Bullets, Y the Last, etc.).

I'm on to #2 at least though... B+.



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Moon Knight preview...

I'm sure *most* of us have already seen this (or one of the other previews floating around) but wanted to share JIC. This is one of my my anticipated Marvel books in a long while (even though i'm not huge on MK's costume, they should have revamped that a bit IMO).

Moon Knight preview @ Buzzscope...



2 Comments:

12 February, 2006 11:24, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

...they should have revamped that a bit IMO.

Blasphemy!

Though I don't love Finch's interpretation of it. There's a weird texture to the cowl that's just...weird. And the hyper-steroidal physique is a real turnoff. I have faith in Huston, though, and figure Finch'll bail after the second arc anyway, so I'm still psyched.

 
12 February, 2006 11:43, Blogger zilla said...

HA! i don't mean change it totally (like the new spidey costume), just slightly update :) yeah the super muscle physique is a bit much for me too Guy... regardless the preview seems to have hooked me.

 

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2.12 Panel



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Saturday, February 11, 2006



Ares #2

Ok see here's exactly why i have a 2 issue rule. Ares #1 was a whole lot of "meh" for me but #2 picked this title up by its bootstraps and handily changed my opinion. Oeming's strength really shines through in all the mythological elements of Ares, and to be honest he could have gone a lot lighter on the "earth" influences (guns, etc.) and not lost much overall. This guy has a real talent for mythology (greek, norse, or roman it seems) and i can only hope he continues to pen books in this vein (Hammer of the Gods, Thor: Blood Oath, and Stormbreaker (Beta Ray Bill) all kick ass IMO).

So what's happening? The Gods are on the verge of being wiped out by a mysterious horde, and turn to Ares (the God of war) for aid. Unfortunately, Ares is pretty bitter at all the snubbing he's gotten over the years from his "better than thou" family (who thought him too violent and uncontrollable to welcome) and refuses to cooperate. And so what is the time-tested method for forcing cooperation upon the reluctant? Kidnap a father, mother, son, sister, cousin, or valued friend and force compliance with blackmail of course!

Ares son is taken from earth, and he flies into a rage (as only the God of war truly can), setting off to Mt. Olympus to whup some familial ass (he even punches Zeus in the face in this issue and that has GOT to be a comic first). Unfortunately for Ares, his family no longer has custody of his son (who has been conveniently kidnapped from the kidnappers by none other than the evil hordes that threaten Olympus).

Ares teams w/ Achilles (who has taken one hell of a nasty wound to the head during battles w/ the horde) and sets off to find his son, and reluctantly help his back-stabbing family as an added bonus. The horde has other ideas though - starting w/ the brainwashing of Ares' son (w/ the help of some magic coolaid) into taking killing his father and taking his place as heir to the God of war title? Interesting... B.

It was all over when...



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Friday, February 10, 2006



2.10 Panel



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Battle Hymn: Farewell to the Golden Age (TP)

Picked up this TP on wednesday and really enjoyed it (me thinks this will be right up your alley if you like Ex Machina). A unique story complete w/ solid narration and dialogue (albeit a bit fast paced) and perfectly matched, outstanding artwork.

Battle Hymn is the "behind the scenes" tale of a misfit band of WWII era "heroes" (even though that term is very hard to stretch here) assembled and run by the U.S. government and dubbed the "Watch Guard". The Watch Guard initially consists of a promiscuous poster-girl "betty" (included for PR), a fleet-footed speedster (ala the Flash but considerably slower), a couple uber-patriots (think warped versions of Captain America), a Brit w/ unknown powers/abilities (included to appease our allies across the pond), a mer-man (yeah), and an "intelligent" battle ready robot (click to enlarge the image below).

This is not your typical team book though... the dynamics between this group are gritty, raw, and a bit more like a super hero team may have been "really" had it existed back in the 40s. These people have "real" issues, believable interactions with each other, the public, and their employers. The government's motives behind the creation and funding of Watch Guard prove to be one of the coolest (even if a bit predictable) twists i've read in a while.

Overall a great book w/ an interesting cast, gritty atmosphere, and a story that wraps up nicely (and completely) in this one mini, complete w/ a thinking man's message. Great read. Cheers.

It was all over when...



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Thursday, February 09, 2006



Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

- Frederick Douglas, 1857



2 Comments:

09 February, 2006 14:51, Blogger Ryan X said...

Great quote and so relevant to today's global-political climate. I guess there is more to life than comics, ha ha.

 
09 February, 2006 16:50, Blogger zilla said...

picked up "Battle Hymn: End of the Golden Age" wed on a whim and have been reading (and really enjoying) it. that's where i got this ;)

 

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MillarWorld loves me!!! (finally)

You're not going to believe this but MillarWorld finally accepted my registration after about a year of trying (10+ attempts easy). I have no idea why any of you would care, but i'm stoked ;)

UPDATE: Wait a minute i can't post and/or reply. Maybe i got too excited too fast. Anyone know if there is a waiting period to post?



2 Comments:

09 February, 2006 14:53, Blogger Ryan X said...

You're way too wrapped up in the whole Millarworld deal...ha! Good luck with it dude.

 
10 February, 2006 20:37, Blogger zilla said...

from what i can tell it's the best comics conversation on the web (well there and CBR). not that i have much time for forums but you know... every now and again it's cool. thing is - after trying so long it became this weird personal thing to get "in" hahahah - i feel like some dweeb trying to sneak into skybar in L.A.

 

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The Incredible Hulk #92

I finally ditched the Hulk a few months ago after loyally sticking by it through what seemed like months and months of horrible issues, one after the other. I've got such a thing for the big green though (dating back to my childhood comic days) that i inevitably pick up each new issue and thumb through it - subconsciously looking for any reason to start buying it again.

To my surprise, i picked up #92 today and noticed that the guy who's artwork all but drove me away when he started a few issues ago (along w/ writer Greg Pak) seems to have disappeared and been replaced by Carlo Pagulayan (sp?). Pagulayan's pencils are the best i've seen associated w/ this book since i've been back (about a year now). His Hulk adaptation is much more my style, and even though there's nothing spectacular about his artwork overall, it's refreshingly better than some of the dreg we've been shoveled on this title lately. I'm really hoping Carlo is the new "guy" and not just a fill in (anyone know the answer to that?).

Anyways, this issue kicks off the new (and much balyhooed) "Planet Hulk" storyline, which Pak describes as a 14-part epic in the letters pages. Yeah FOURTEEN part. Wow. Hulk has been rocketed off into space by his pals on earth, who had planned to exile him to some garden of eden utopia planet devoid of any life that he can "smash", but wouldn't you know the ships navigation system crunks and he ends up somewhere way off course (and nowhere near as pleasant)?

We'll have to see where this one goes - Greg's promising us to introduce some new races and characters that will impact the MU (the new alien races he promised are pretty boring and "been there done that" IMO however), and throw in cameo's from a familiar space-farer or three (Surfer?). This first issue was a pleasant surprise for me (tho not great), and if Pak keeps things rolling, and this new guy Pagulayan keeps holding pencil, i might be back w/ The Incredible Hulk before anyone even know i was gone (or cared). B.

It was all over when...



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Wednesday, February 08, 2006



2.8 Panel 'o the Day



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Tuesday, February 07, 2006



Selling Some TPs

Guys - I've got auctions up at Ebay for the following TPs:

Kirkman's The Walking Dead TPs #2 and #3 - LIKE NEW

Kirkman's Invincible TPs #1, #2, and #3 - LIKE NEW

Kirkman's Invincible TP #5 - Facts of Life - LIKE NEW

Bendis/Oeming Powers TPs #1 and #2 - LIKE NEW

If anyone here is interested in any of these i'll happily end the auction(s) early and work out a price (incl shipping) by email. Let me know...

Cellardoor - Powers #1 and #2 TPs ;)



3 Comments:

06 February, 2006 16:06, Blogger joncormier said...

Zilla,
I'm definately interested in the Powers and the first 3 Invincible trades. I can be e-mailed: joniscold-at-hotmail-dot-com. I can't find your e-mail so...

I'd like to work something out. I've been putting off getting these for a while now - no excuses now!

 
06 February, 2006 18:04, Blogger zilla said...

just sent you an email bud. thx.

 
07 February, 2006 16:44, Blogger zilla said...

ok Invincible 1-3 and Powers 1 and 2 are no longer for sale (thanks to my pal jon from canada). anyone want TWD 2 and 3 or Invincible 5?

 

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2.8 Shopping List

DMZ, Invincible, and the final issue to what's been one of my favorite mini's of the year; Ghost Rider. For once i may actually get to the LCS on book day tomorrow (and not Thursday or Friday). Hype!

PS If anyone has anything to add to these lists every week - def comment. I'd like to strike up a conversation about what's being released so i'm not missing any gems... thx.

DARK HORSE
None.

DC
100 BULLETS #69 (MR) - Pull list.
DMZ #4 (MR) - Pull list.
JONAH HEX #4 - Not sure about this one... I'll have to thumb through it i guess. Not that JH is bad really, just isn't quite doing it for me.

IMAGE
INVINCIBLE #28 - Pull list. Seems like its been a while... Looking forward to this.

MARVEL
ARES #2 (OF 5) - 2 issue rule in effect.
GHOST RIDER #6 (OF 6) - Looking for a great ending to a GREAT mini. Can't wait for the trade.
POWERS VOL 9 PSYCHOTIC TP (MR) - Pull list.
ULTIMATE X-MEN #67 - Now that RK is on board i'm back w/ Ultimate X-Men (after just ditching it). Hope it's worth the comeback.

OTHER
None.

NEXT WEEK
LOSERS #32 (MR), LOVELESS #4, SGT ROCK THE PROPHECY #2 (OF 6), and NEW AVENGERS #16.

Filed in:



4 Comments:

08 February, 2006 13:37, Blogger Ryan X said...

Is Losers about to end in the next issue? On the Vertigo website they typically show cover art for the next 3-4 issues. Losers stops with the Feb issue. If you have heard anything, let me know. Late.

 
08 February, 2006 21:11, Blogger zilla said...

i hadn't heard that... but i'd be pissed. say it ain't so!

 
10 February, 2006 09:58, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Yes, The Losers is done with #32. Always was a finite series, though despite Diggle's comments to the contrary, I think it ended up being shortened by a few issues due to pathetically low sales of the floppies. I'm guessing it was a few of those side story one-shots that got cut out while they allowed him to wrap up the main story.

It's been one of my favorites from its first issue, and I'm looking forward to the movie!

 
10 February, 2006 10:16, Blogger zilla said...

well that blows... i've really enjoyed this title from the first issue and to be honest i've been looking forward to the next arc (after we finish this current business w/ max) but in vain i guess...

 

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Ultimate Avengers DVD?

Reviews have started to crop up for the new Marvel DVD, Ultimate Avengers. Michael San Giacomo for one thinks they got the spirit of this one spot on and managed to capture at least some of the magic of Millar and Hitch's Ultimates and Ultimates 2 (the best superhero team book i've read since i've been back BY FAR) - even going so far as to eloquently call the new DVD "pretty close to great".

Read Giacomo's review over at Newsarama HERE. i'm def going to be picking up this DVD on the 21st (or netflix-ing it at the very least). Hopefully this is just the start of some "new level" cartoon interpretations from Marvel.

PS - Ultimates is one of those books that i referred to in my post yesterday that is about to shuffle creative teams even though the current guys are at the top of their game with the title... sad, sad, sad (and so uncessary).



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2.7 Panel 'o the Day



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Monday, February 06, 2006



Powers #16

Ever since picking up the Powers Vol.1 HC i've been a bit rejuvinated about the title (not to say i was ever waning) and #16 couldn't have come at a better time for me personally. This was a PHENOMENAL issue.

Bendis and Oeming are seemingly on the verge of taking this already incredible book to new, greater, and unexpected heights. I literally read this entire issue w/ my mouth hanging open - i was that shocked/floored by it (many hardcore fans may have seen this coming via leaks/previews etc. but i deliberately try and stay away from that stuff so that i get my jolts as the writer/artist intended).

A wild twist unfolds and Christian Walker's life is changed forever (that's about as much as i'm willing to let out of the bag at the moment since i know i've got pals around here still trying to catch up). And as if this life-altering "event" isn't uber-cool enough, Bendis and Oeming's execution here is excellent. The writing and dialogue are as good in this issue as anywhere i've read (from Bendis), and the artwork is the best i've ever seen from this title (by far). You can just tell both Bendis and Oeming had a hell of a time putting this issue together... and it shows.

This may very well be the best issue of Powers i've ever read (and i've read them all), and quite possibly the best single issue of any comic i've read ALL YEAR.

Just when we thought Powers "is what it is" Bendis and Oeming have thrown us a mighty curve ball. This is exactly what is SO good about creator controlled books. These guys can take this title in any direction they want, and they've all but proven their willingness to do so with this issue (above all others). Shake it up... don't be scared. I love it.

Gotta love how there are some comics out there that just feel worth every penny (unfortunately they have to level out the "rest"). I can't remember the last time i've been this excited about the next few issues (and beyond?) of any comic on my current pull list. A+

It was all over when...

PS - Sorry to spend so much energy gushing. seriously. i just had to get that off my chest... this issue right here is why i love comics ;)



5 Comments:

07 February, 2006 14:24, Blogger Michael said...

I agree that the plot was exciting and a dramatic change (and that Oeming was on top of his game here) but unfortunately this change seems to take it in a direction that is significantly away from the original premise. And that's why I liked Powers - it was something a little different and this potentially makes it very much like everything else.

Plus I'm fed up with the unnecessary vulgarity in the book especially in the comedian bookends of the last few issues. I rant on about it some more at my own space, but that's the gist of why I'm not liking Powers so much lately. (The whole Icon relaunch has, to me, been something of a slide down for the title, despite having some good issues).

 
07 February, 2006 16:39, Blogger zilla said...

Michael - i can def feel where you're coming from but i got to think that Bendis and Oeming know where they're going w/ this and won't change the book into some duplicative superhero rag. To be honest i see this whole Walker w/ powers thing as a temporary storyline (even though who really knows). Bendis made it clear in this issue that Walker will hide his Powers from everyone and kind of "use them as necessary" w/ potentially long lapses in between "necessaries". So hopefully we'll still get our chrime book w/ only occasional cosmic defense story arcs? We'll def have to wait and see how this plays out... but for now i'm feeling it pretty well.

 
07 February, 2006 16:40, Blogger zilla said...

ps i'm also feeling you on the extra crass stand up routines in the beginning and ends of Powers issues these days... i could probably do w/o those.

 
10 February, 2006 10:02, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I've got a love/hate thing with those stand-up bookends. They're simultaneously poignant and self-indulgent, and I'm on the fence whether or not the help or hinder the individual issues.

While I enjoyed this issue and it recharged my up-and-down interest in the series, if Bendis focuses too heavily on the cosmic superheroics, I'll likely drop it for good.

 
10 February, 2006 10:19, Blogger zilla said...

Honestly Guy, i really think that Bendis will control this properly (i hope). I expect to see much of the same crime stories that have made Powers what it is, w/ the "occasional" story where he has to use his powers and or engage in some cosmic this or that. Reading between the lines in some of the dialogue in #16, Bendis seems to allude to this... let's def hope. i loved this issue because it's showing Bendis and Oeming are willing to take this book anywhere, but they def need to make sure they stick to what got them... well... here.

 

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Sunday, February 05, 2006



V for Vendetta Trailor During the Super Bowl

Just saw the V for Vendetta preview here during the super bowl and got to admit it looks pretty damn good. I can see why the GN gets all the love it does, even if i wasn't particularly floored by it (don't flame me plz!). Not to say i didn't enjoy it, or that it didn't get me really thinking (Moore certainly paints a wild picture of the future), i was just a victim of the over-hype machine for this particular book i think... regardless he movie looks like a big winner.

Anyone else around here got an opinion of that trailor??



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Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #2 Preview

Couple pages from the second issue of this much-hyped mini. Yu is a beast (one of my favorite artists this year). Just thought i'd share in case any of you missed this over at the Pulse.



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2.5 Panel 'o the Day



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Saturday, February 04, 2006



2.4 Panel 'o the Day



3 Comments:

06 February, 2006 10:39, Blogger Ryan X said...

I don't have it my greedy little hands yet, but that is def Exterminators! I am going the LCS today if I have to risk being fired! Thanks for the panel!

 
06 February, 2006 10:51, Blogger zilla said...

damn i might have just ruined something for you... hopefully you A) didn't recognize the dude in the picture and B) didn't read any of the narration boxes in the panel :)

 
06 February, 2006 15:32, Blogger Ryan X said...

I hate spoilers so you know I only glanced at this long enough to know where it was from. No sweat, you didn't ruin anything for me...ha ha

 

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Nextwave #1

Elsa: So what made you want to be a super hero? Was it the clothes?

Captain: The mask, I guess.

Elsa: Why?

Captain: So i could hit people in the face really hard and run away and no one would know it was me.

Elsa: What was your super hero name?

Captain: Captain !@#%^?

Elsa:
You're kidding me.

Captain: Nope, I was Captain !@#%^?

Elsa: Why, for God's sake?

Captain: Hey, I'm from Brooklyn, I'm going to call myself Mr. Friendly? Hell, no, Captain !@#%^?. I met Captain America once, He asked me what my name was.

Elsa: And you said Captain !@#%^?

Captain: Man, he beat seven shades of it out of me. Left me in a dumpster with a bar of soap shoved in my mouth.

I'm way late to the party reviewing Ellis' Nextwave but i couldn't resist at least posting to recommend it. Nextwave is a bit hard to describe, but i can tell you it's got a solid cast (including Captain Marvel of Avengers fame, a butt-kicking female from a line of "near-immortal monster hunters", a nick-fury esque hard-ass, and a cynical cyborg).

The first issue is pretty much jam packed w/ action and laughs - though i wouldn't say Nextwave is easily wholely classified as hanging its hat on either.

Our interesting band of heroes (together forming the crack anti-terrorism squad Nextwave) are rogue agents of a parent anti-terrorist organization called H.A.T.E. (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort). The Nextwave crew discovered that their employer has been accepting funding from the Beyond Corporation, which sits as a front for terrorists attempting to product-test "unusual" weapons of mass destruction on the public.

"Meh" right? well i've yet to mention that the first said WMD is of the biological variety: A towering purple dragon (Fing Fam Foom?) with purple drawers that all but erupts out of the earth to terrorize a nearby town. Wild.

I missed this on initial release but couldn't stop hearing about it so thought i'd give it a try... turns out Nextwave is intersting, funny, and a bit of a break from what we'd normally expect from Warren Ellis (to say the least). I'm actually pretty damn surprised that Marvel came out with this book. It's got that creater-owned indie feel that we rarely (if ever IMO) get from the big MU.

I have no idea whether or not this title is ongoing, but i hope so. The cast is solid (if not unique), and Immonen's art is right up my alley. At the end of the day it's a fun book w/ a lot of personality. A.

Check out this dialogue:



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Friday, February 03, 2006



Larsen's Latest Column @ CBR

Erik Larsen's latest "One Fan's Opinion" over at CBR is worth a read. He makes some interesting comparisons between the modern-day and back-in-the-day comics industry, commenting on how all change is not necessarily good.

(you may want to go ahead and read the article to put my thoughts below into context)

I've got to admit i'm kind of a loyal guy down to the core, so i've always been a fan of long runs by the same creative team on my favorite titles (even if they have crappy stretches)... You know, like the olden days. It's definitely taken some getting used to the revolving door of writers/artists per title since i've been back into comics. You never really get a chance to settle into a book it seems because of the fear that this creative team you love might be "moving on" here in the next arc.

Larsen makes a good point that, in today's comics industry, where individual flops are $3 an issue, writers/artists don't have the same leeway (from their publishers) to write a shitty arc, which could end up costing us $15 to $18 bucks. Publishers see that drop in sales (even if over a few months) and start looking for a replacement team. I guess i can understand that... comics are so damn expensive these days that i'm inclined to start thinking about dropping a title myself after even the first let-down issue, and certainly by the second or third in a row.

Another of Larsen's resonating points is that writers and artists these days have such an incentive (to much of one?) to stay in the headlines - and jumping from publisher to publisher and/or title to title is a sure-fire way to get your name in articles at Newsarama and posted all over the blogosphere. Does Stan Sakai's new issue of UY (or Larsen's new issue of Savage Dragon) ever get any press? Luckily they've got established fan-bases right? Seems like a lot of forced change (and for all the wrong reasons).

When i got back into comics last year things in the industry had changed mightily. Some things for the better, some for the worse. Creative teams short runs is one for sure, and the idea of a trade paperback or HC collection was completely foreign to me... I don't remember there being many comic "collections" back when i was a kid; my comic collections were short and long boxes full of flops.

Don't get me wrong, i LOVE the idea of collecting flops into TPs (and HCs are a collectors dream), but along the way, the simple idea of collecting a few issues into one "book" seemed to have morphed the entire industry. Everything from the length of our arcs (which often feel either stretched OR compressed to meet the 5-6 issue mark) to the planned stays of our creative teams seem neatly tied back to the marketing experts determination of how many issues will fit into the next TP.

Read Larsen's article (esp if you're a comeback kid like me). It will get you thinking (and probably a lot more eloquently than i).



2 Comments:

03 February, 2006 16:05, Blogger joncormier said...

I came to a lot of similar conclusions as Larson did a little while ago. I too returned about a year or so ago - whenever Identity Crisis happened.

I didn't articulate it the same way Larson does because I'm not as plugged into the whole business side of the, well, business. The conclusion I came to was - no book loyalty. I want to be, but I'm not really rewarded for being loyal. If I like creator I'll read his or her stuff. IF they lose me on a few issues I'm off to something else.

Basically if I'm expected to follow someone around and be led by the nose I just won't take kindly to it. I'll go where my time and money are appreciated. AS long as companies are treating their creators like their readers - constantly trying to shuffle it up, then that's how my buying habits will go in return. Don't expect me to be brand loyal if the brand itself isn't acting that way.

 
04 February, 2006 11:08, Blogger zilla said...

i gotta agree w/ you jon... book loyalty is a huge issue. when i was a kid i was FIERCLY loyal to certain books (so much so that when i got back into comics after 15 years i started w/ essentially the same list of books i left with) and these days... not so much. Writer and/or artist loyalty trumps any feelings i have for any title (or character even).

 

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Panel of the Day



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Thursday, February 02, 2006



RK's Ultimate X-Men?

I missed the first Robert Kirkman written Ultimate X-Men issue... anyone around here read that willing to give me the poop on it? Should i put that title back into my bag?



3 Comments:

02 February, 2006 17:28, Anonymous CellarDoor said...

I picked up RK's first issue, figuring I enjoy everything else he writes so why not. I thought this first issue was pretty good, but I'm not a regular reader of Ultimate X-men. However, I do read X-Men and Uncanny, and I have to say even with little to no action this issue was entertaining. I have been contemplating dropping the other two titles, so I may just switch to Ultimate. The only reason I was reading those two titles was when I first came back to reading comics about a year ago, they were the only thing I was familiar with. They really haven't impressed me at all.

 
02 February, 2006 21:00, Blogger zilla said...

dude we have a lot in common man... i started back into comics about a year ago too and went about it the same way (bought up all the old titles i used to dig on - many of which seem to be no good anymore unfortunately).

i was reading ultimate x-men for a while but i ditched it just a few issues ago... but i'm a HUGE kirkmaniac so i was figuring i'd be back on when he started w/ it... does it seem promising at all?

 
03 February, 2006 09:47, Blogger Pat said...

I'd recommend it - I grew up reading Uncanny (btw - I am enjoying Deadly Genesis - sort of feels like the old stuff). Don't read it anymore. I love Invincible and Walking Dead, and I read Ultimate X-Men for awhile, so I picked this one up. Felt like a Kirkman comic to me (that is to say, I enjoyed it). The only thing I worry about is that he can't really seriously mess with the characters like he does in his own books. I guess that means his skill as a writer (without the shock value) will have to take over.

 

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Humberto Ramos on Wolverine?

Yeah, yeah, i know that Ramos is one of those guys you either love or hate (his style is a bit cartoony for some) but personally i love the guy. Marvel's putting him on Wolverine w/ a little known writer (to me at least) named Marc Guggenheim. Ramos is 1/2 of a great team w/ Jenkins (Spectacular Spider-Man and more recently Revelations) and i gotta say it's too bad they didn't pull Jenk onto Wolverine w/ Ramos instead of this other guy (no offense - really!)... Those two together are just kick-ass IMO.

Hmmmm. i just ditched Wolvie a few issues ago - i guess i'll have to give the title another shot, hoping Ramos can work some of that old Spec Spidey magic w/ Wolverine. What do you guys think?

--- LINK ---



5 Comments:

02 February, 2006 11:41, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

Well, I'm still reading Wolverine, so it doesn't make a huge difference to me.

Ramos' artowrk is ok, I'm not sure if i feel like it fits for what i think a Wolverine book should be. I do agree that I'd like to have Paul jenkins on at least one of the Wolverine books, preferably Wolverine:Origins.

 
02 February, 2006 15:57, Blogger zilla said...

yeah i'm not 100% about him on Wolverine (even though i'm a HUGE Ramos fan) but his work on Spec Spidey gives me some confidence (didn't seem right for that either but it was a GREAT run w/ Jenkins IMO). And his recent work on Revelations shows he can put his style to a dark, brooding, thriller type story and make it work...

 
03 February, 2006 01:46, Anonymous Comicfreak said...

This will be my first Wolverine comics ever.
I'm buying most of Ramos' comics, so i'm buying this.

 
03 February, 2006 08:43, Blogger zilla said...

i'm w/ you man... i own all of Ramos' Spec Spidey books, and can't wait to get my hands on the Revelation trade (anyone heard anything about that yet?).

 
06 February, 2006 01:51, Anonymous Comicfreak said...

Zilla,

The last issue af Revelation has just been released. I'm thinking that there will be a trade but that it's gonna take a few months.

 

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Hellboy: Makoma #1

I wish Mike Mignola had more time (assuming that's the problem). There just aren't enough Hellboy stories these days, and when the DO come out, he's usually only partially involved (writing a bit, drawing a bit). Not to say that Corben's work in this latest mini gives me any heartburn really - i'm just a big (huge) fan of Mike Mignola as single creator for Hellboy (his writing, his art).

Regardless, Hellboy: Makoma rolls out like a classic Hellboy tale. Mignola draws the first 1/3 or so, as our story opens up in the New York Explorer's Club back on August 16, 1993. While cavorting w/ some Arcaheologists fresh home from a dig, Hellboy runs into a recently exhumed mummy who just can't wait to tell him a story (the dead are a talkative bunch aren't they?).

The mummy's tale begins (accompanied by Corben's drawn pages) as he recounts the story of a demon(?) born intelligent enough from day 1 to name himself Makota which means: "He who is greatest and without fear". Makota begins his life at the bottom of an alligator infested pool, eventually emerging full grown and on a mission to save a nearby tribe, africa, or the world (the scope of his "saving" isn't really clear) from a nasty crew of giants and demons.

At the start of his mission, Makota (who looks ever so strangely like Hellboy if i haven't mentioned it) is confronted by a gypsy who offers him a magical bag to fill w/ the bones of his enemies and orders to return the fallen enemy filled sack her at the end of days. He takes it of course, and sets off on a wandering quest to smote some giants, pummeling through such renowned figures as "The Builder of Mountains", "The Digger of Riverbeds", and the "Planter of Forests", trapping each in turn in his magical burlap trash bag.

The story moves along at a crisp pace (i enjoyed it), and despite all my complaining about Mignola only drawing the first few pages, Corben actually does a decent job w/ the art through the second 2/3s even though he doesn't capture the dark Hellboy "feel" that Miggs is famous for IMO. The story is interesting enough (and laced w/ some familiar HB tongue-in-cheek humor) and certainly worth a read for any HB fanboy. B+.

It was all over when...

And then...



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Wednesday, February 01, 2006



2.1 Panel of The Day




This is normally Zilla's thing, but I thought this scene was just too hillarious not to share. Plus it's just adds more proof to the notion that Mark Millar is a genius.



5 Comments:

01 February, 2006 22:02, Blogger zilla said...

zilla thing my ass - i'd LOVE if you posted some panels every once in a while... i love doing them but can't get to them every day... this one is great BTW (i love me some Millar). thanks partner.

 
01 February, 2006 22:03, Blogger zilla said...

ps that chick is hot.

 
02 February, 2006 02:29, Blogger Christopher Green said...

It's Johnny & Sue Storm's mom from Ultimate Fantastic Four. You really should check the book out, this month's issue coming up (#27) is the begining of a new arc, so it's perfect to jump on!

 
02 February, 2006 07:52, Blogger zilla said...

I'll def check it out (#27). i can't remember why i ditched it now so the bad taste is gone... who draws it?

 
02 February, 2006 17:58, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Greg Land.

 

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Supermarket from IDW


I recently read a few preview pages of this book in Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty #3 and was instantly hooked. So I thought I’d share some info on the upcoming mini Supermarket by Brian Wood and Krisitan Donaldson from IDW.

From newsarama:
In a society ruled by money, the divide between the haves and the have-nots is a treacherous one. Businesses, both legitimate and criminal, rule the city come to be known as the Supermarket by its denizens, with the Yakuza and Porno Swede crime organizations. With such big money and bigger egos pitching back and forth, the life of a convenience store clerkette, wise-ass she might be, wouldn't seem to matter much. But when Pella Suzuki discovers her true family tree has roots in both crime families, she realizes how valuable and deadly she can be to the powers-that-be.

Go here to read an interview with Kristian Donaldson on the upcoming series, and here for an 11 page preview of issue one!





2 Comments:

01 February, 2006 22:04, Blogger zilla said...

damn... the short description (and cover) you posted here have already got my attention... when's this dropping?

 
02 February, 2006 02:31, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Sometime this month, knowing IDW, probably the 22nd.

 

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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.



Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel