Monday, June 30, 2008

Four-color Fiend: What the...?!

Somebody want to explain to me what the hell is going on in FINAL CRISIS? For the past year I've been reading COUNTDOWN and various tie-ins, the INFINITE CRISIS and OMAC PROJECT stuff, plus the TPB collections of 52. In spite of all this I find that I'm clueless about a lot of the things going on. I'm not even going to mention SPOILERS because I don't know if I'm giving anything away at this point.

The cop/detective that has been narrating part of the story is apparently Darkseid and some of the Green Lantern Corps are actually his former flunkies. He doesn't know who he is, at least not until the end of the second issue of FI, and even there he seems unsure.

Oh and it looks like Barry Allen is back from or forward into the past of whatever time or world we are viewing. Don't even bother to ask about all that crap happening in Japan with some guy calling himself Mister Miracle, who has changed his race.

And the new Black Racer (who I have to assume is the scary guy on long blades) is just too creepy. Of course, folks made light of Kirby's version, so I guess DC decided he had to be more extra-worldly.

The thing is it is well-drawn and nicely, written, but I still don't know that I like it or where it is going. I mean there is some point, isn't there?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Giant Pile of Comics Attack! Part One.

She does this much better than I ever could!

Hail Eris!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

very creepy, disturbing children's cartoon, banned from TV

This is from Will Vinton's ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN, made back in 1985. There's a reason you don't see it much.

A quick Four-Color Fiend

Real quick F-CF for stuff I picked up last week. There may be a few SPOILERS.

Why did I stick it out through SALVATION RUN? I guess I expected something to happen of note and after four issues I figured I might as well get the final three. It was a bad mistake & a waste of money. It really resolves nothing, and the two of the deaths are of characters certainly more interesting than the dozens of third-raters that escape. Monsieur Mallah and The Brain were fascinating, if sometimes badly used villains created for the original DOOM PATROL. Their relationship was odd, but when handled well quite lovely. I’m going to miss them. Some of the last issue dialogue, plus a ‘house ad’ indicates that this was a lead in to one of the FINAL CRISIS books, none of which I’m going to be buying. I have been suckered too many times the past year by DC. Time to drop most of their titles.

On the other hand, I haven’t been disappointed by any of Marvel’s SECRET INVASION books. From the central title to the books featuring Captains Marvel & Britain and Ms. Marvel, the two main Avenger titles and surprisingly INCREDIBLE HERCULES I have enjoyed each issue. I have hopes for the FANTASTIC FOUR tie-in and may be buying some of the other one-shots along the way. For me the Marvel books have been consistently fun, unlike many of the COUNTDOWN books which seemed to be out only go nowhere.

As for some plot points, I don’t really think that Tony Stark is a Skrull, but rather that the Skull queen is playing with his head as she impersonates Spider-Woman. I didn’t read the Civil War events, but think it would really be a kick in the balls of the fans to suddenly pull a switch. Of course, it would make old time Iron Man fans happy since they could ignore the illegal and immoral stuff Stark did, since it wasn’t really him. It remains to be seen, of course. I’m a bit confused on some books as to whom some minor characters may be, but the writers and/or editors are giving me enough information for the most part so I’m not totally lost. In the case of the Hercules book, I think I’m going to go back and pick up the half dozen prior issues, maybe at San Diego. I also plan on purchasing some of the Civil War books or TPBs so I can try to catch up a bit.

I may have a bit more to say on other books later tonight.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Review: The Bribe by William P. Wood

This is the latest Joe Bob Briggs review. They aren't posting them, or much of anything else on the site, but I want to finish off the final batch of titles they sent along.
The Bribe by William P. Wood
Published by Leisure Books; ISBN - 0843957034

When a controversial California Congressman and a cab driver are killed in front of an apartment building, where the Representative lives with his mistress, things may not be as simple as initially thought. After a possible robbery or car-jacking gone wrong are ruled out rumors begin circulating. Finally, Homeland Security and the White House announce that this may be a terrorist act. Things quickly become more difficult for two Sacramento homicide detectives and the Deputy District Attorney.

As the investigation continues, Detective Terry Nye and his partner, Rose Tafoya discovers that the FBI is not being totally forthcoming with certain information. They find on their own that the Congressman has been taking bribes and that his announcement that he was calling for legislation to stop this type of thing may have led to his murder. From the Congressman’s greedy wife, who may have political ambitions of her own, to his secretive head of staff and a shady, lobbyist with ties to the current D.A. there is no shortage of suspects.

Wood alternates the narrative from that of the detectives to that of Deputy D.A. Cooper as each begins looking into the career and private life of the dead Congressman. The trail leads from the former haunts of the one-time military hero turned politician to the halls of Congress in D.C. and back again. His mistress fears for her own life and everybody from the wife to the Congressman’s ‘business associates’ are hiding things from the police. Barred by the FBI from investigating certain aspects of the case, Cooper, Nye & Tafoya must follow the limited leads they do have before things spiral out of control and the case is taken out of their hands.

With a dozen different suspects and the personal lives of the lead characters to follow Wood doesn’t make it easy for the reader. Some aspects of the case go back several decades and it becomes obvious that, just as the detectives, we aren’t privy to every angle. As Joe Bob used to say in his video reviews, there’s way too much plot getting in the way of the story. I don’t want to accuse writer Wood of padding, but I think the tale could have been told in a swifter fashion.

Overall a good book with a successful outcome, and I enjoyed the digs along the way at the current political climate and jabs at the ‘war on terror.’ While I liked the main characters and would like to see them return in another book, I think the author might want to pare things down the next time around. I believe that choosing to focus on either Cooper or the two detectives would help things along.

Two and a half stars.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A few more Four Color thoughts!

This is just a quick follow-up on my post yesterday on comics.

In FINAL CRISIS #1 we see some heroes (that I either don’t know or remember) ambushed and seemingly killed by Mirror Master & Doctor Light. During this we have what I think is supposed to be joking banter between the two hinting at MM procuring some ‘erectile dysfunction’ drugs for the Doctor. This takes place while the villains stand over and further abuse the bodies of the fallen heroes, which would seem bad enough. However, given the fact that DL has been shown to be an abusive and unrepentant rapist & murderer, why are ED jokes supposed to be funny or even appropriate? I was taken aback at the time, but forgot to mention it yesterday while trying to cover several books. Probably another reason why FC may not be on my ‘buy list’ for more than one more issue.

I don’t seem to be the only one who feels this way, although perhaps not for the same reasons. In the reviews I’ve read and seen over on YouTube the general consensus appears to be negative towards FC. If this is what we can expect from DC then I’ll be spending my money on more Marvel and independent titles.

I picked up the hardcover edition of SECRET WARS at the library this past weekend and am really enjoying it. Besides being a good book on its own merits it explains why some of the heroes feel the way they do towards Nick Fury in the current SECRET INVASION storyline. I also really like how Bendis writes Peter Parker and Matt Murdock in the series, but wasn’t thrilled by his Logan, at least in the first couple of issues.

That’s it for now!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Four Color and More!

Those five days in Brooklyn and doing extra-help work in another library threw me off a bit. I’m way behind on reviews and other things so I’m going to try to catch up, with minor SPOILERS. Let’s face it, almost nobody reads my reviews anyway and I generally do it for my own amusement. Don’t mind me I’m not in the best of moods to begin with.

After all the money and time I invested in COUNTDOWN and related titles, I didn’t expect that DC was going to flip me the bird with the first issue of FINAL CRISIS. What the hell is going on? Is that Tor? That sure as heck is Kamandi running up on him later. I’m assuming that The Question and others do not see the armored guy on skis hanging over the crime scene, right? Seems at least some of the New Gods are not dead, simply hanging out here kidnapping kids and turning them into red-eyed fanged little creeps. I really don’t have a clue and am only going to give FC one more issue to make me believe. I’m also going to keep my promise to myself and not buy a single ‘Sightings’ tie-in.

On the other hand, the latest issues of NEW AVENGERS and MS. MARVEL keep the heat on with SECRET INVASION. We still don’t know who all the Skrulls may be, but do learn some things about those ‘70s Avengers who were held captive. Some folks aren’t too happy with a certain ‘dead’ hero showing up, but I don’t believe that is really him. On the other hand, it looks like we will be seeing the some familiar characters showing up in the MARVEL 1985 series. Wow! Talk about fanboy fantasy come true? What would you do if you found out that Doctor Doom & the Red Skull had moved in down the street? Have to thank writer Mark Millar and artist Tommy Lee Edwards for bringing us a wonderful fantasy for those of us who did believe in such things as kids.

Finally, I want to recommend DEAD, SHE SAID from IDW. Writer Steve Niles knows his dead folks, as the creator of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, and here he’s teamed with artist Bernie Wrightson . Low rent P.I. Coogan has had a bad night. He doesn’t remember much about it, except that somewhere along the line he got killed and he’s not happy. When he is found over the torn apart body of the person who may have been responsible he has a lot of explaining to do to the cops. Wrightson inks his own pencils here and it shows. Damn, he’s good!

On the TV watching front, I caught promos for two new summer replacement shows that caught my interest. ABC’s WIPEOUT is a total rip-off of a Japanese game show, the name of which escapes me. One of the cable networks was showing an English-dubbed version, along the lines of IRON CHEF, where you really didn’t know how accurate the translation may have been. Of course that wasn’t the point. The goal of the show, as is that of the American rip-off, is to have folks attempt to get across this enormous water bound obstacle course. The ABC site calls it a ‘reality show’, but that term has long ago stopped really meaning anything of the sort.

Also from ABC is “I Survived a Japanese Game Show”, where a group of ten Americans are flown over to do exactly that. Or rather, they must compete in the stunts and competitions that are actually used in those shows, but they won’t actually compete against Japanese, but each other.

Hard to believe that the game show concept was created here, isn’t it? The first, “Uncle Jim's Question Bee", was broadcast in 1941, unless the British beat us to it. It seems that the ‘successful’ shows of the past few years are all adaptations of shows from Europe and now Japan.
I think it’s time for Donna and I to breakdown and get that DVR from Cox.