Archive for the Comics Category

Cute!

Posted in Comics with tags , on January 12, 2009 by dialgforgerald

Haven’t posted in a while but I just had to post this cover which I got from CBR.

Heh. I’m a sucker for cute comics.

DC Editorial is a Mess

Posted in Comics with tags , , , on June 17, 2008 by dialgforgerald

DC editorial seems to be taking a lot of heat right now. First, it was Grant Morrison blasting them by revealing that the conflicting nature of Final Crisis #1 was a result of poor coordination between DC editorial.

NRAMA: Within a few pages of issue #1, you’ve shown us that you’re building upon the foundation that was laid by everything from Identity Crisis through Countdown. In regards to the more recent material, such as Countdown, did you have a hand in planning that out, did you tell editorial where you needed things to be for the start of your story, or did you modify Final Crisis to pick up from where things were?

GM: Well, the way it worked out was that I started writing Final Crisis #1 in early 2006, around the same time as the 52 series was starting to come out, so Final Crisis was more a continuation of plot threads from Seven Soldiers and 52 than anything else. Final Crisis was partly-written and broken down into rough issue-by-issue plots before Countdown was even conceived, let alone written. And J.G. was already working on designs and early layouts by the time Countdown started. There wasn’t really much opportunity, or desire, to modify our content at that stage.

Although the 52 writing team was asked to contribute to Countdown, we were all seriously burned-out by the demands of the weekly schedule and I think we all wanted to concentrate on our own monthly titles for a while, so whenCountdown was originally being discussed, it was just a case of me saying ‘Here’s issue 1 of Final Crisis and a rough breakdown of the following six issues. As long as you guys leave things off where Final Crisis begins, we‘ll be fine.’ Obviously, I would have preferred it if the New Gods hadn’’t been spotlighted at all, let alone quite so intensively before I got a chance to bring them back but I don’t run DC and don’t make the decisions as to how and where the characters are deployed.

NRAMA: So. So in essence, you were handed a plate where between Death of the New Gods and Countdown, Orion appeared to have died twice. Picking up with him here, did he wander to the docks from the battle in Countdown #1, or are his terminal injuries from something else?

GM: Again, bear in mind thatCountdown only finished last month so Final Crisis was already well underway long before Countdown and although I’ve tried to avoid contradicting much of the twists and turns of that book as I can with the current Final Crisis scripts, the truth is, we were too far down the road of our own book to reflect everything that went on in Countdown, hence the disconnects that online commentators, sadly, seem to find more fascinating than the stories themselves.

Orion’s appearance on the docks and the Guardians’ response in Final Crisis #1 was written and drawn first. Jim Starlin then created Orion’s death scene in Death Of The New Gods to lead into the War God’s appearance in Final Crisis #1, so we refer back to Jim’s scene in Final Crisis #3. When I wrote that scene, Orion’s terminal injuries were a result of the mysterious bolt of light which Jim hit him with in Death Of The New Gods #6. By the time Countdown #1 came out, I was working on Final Crisis #4 and #5 and JG was drawing #3, so we were already well into our own story and unable to change it to match Countdown.

NRAMA: And so you were left with a handful of continuity issues as result – – why didn’t the Guardians call a 1011 when all the other New Gods died? Why didn’t Superman recount his experiences in Death of the New Gods when he was talking about the New Gods to the JLA? How did the villains capture J’onn? Obviously, if you dealt in all the minutia of every storyline since Identity Crisis or earlier, you’d go nuts – so what was your personal line in the sand that you used in writing Final Crisis in regards to what “mattered” and what didn’t?

GM: What mattered to me was what had already been written, drawn or plotted in Final Crisis. The Guardians didn’t call 1011 when Lightray and the other gods died in Countdown because, again, Final Crisis was already underway before Countdown came out.

Why didn’t Superman recount his experiences from DOTNG ? Because those experiences hadn’t been thought up or written when I completed Final Crisis #1. If there was only me involved, Orion would have been the first dead New God we saw in a DC comic, starting off the chain of events that we see in Final Crisis. As it is, the best I can do is suggest that the somewhat contradictory depictions of Orion and Darkseid’s last-last-last battle that we witnessed in Countdown and DOTNG recently were apocryphal attempts to describe an indescribable cosmic event.

To reiterate, hopefully for the last time, when we started work on Final Crisis, J.G. and I had no idea what was going to happen in Countdown or Death Of The New Gods because neither of those books existed at that point. The Countdown writers were later asked to ‘seed’ material from Final Crisis and in some cases, probably due to the pressure of filling the pages of a weekly book, that seeding amounted to entire plotlines veering off in directions I had never envisaged, anticipated or planned for in Final Crisis.

The way I see it readers can choose to spend the rest of the year fixating on the plot quirks of a series which has ended, or they can breathe a sight of relief, settle back and enjoy the shiny new DC universe status quo we’re setting up in the pages of Final Crisis and its satellite books. I’m sure both of these paths to enlightenment will find adherents of different temperaments.

And now Chuck Dixon reveals that he does not work in any capacity in DC anymore. Which is sad because his Robin was good.

I did not quit.
I do not believe it had anything to do with politics.
My involvement with Robin ends with issue 174.
I think my BATO run is over with #10.
My Booster two-parter will still be appearing.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Storming Paradise continues on schedule.
For those keep score, yes, I was way ahead on both of my monthlies. Down the road perhaps I’ll offer those scripts and you folks can help out Books for Soldiers as you so generously have before.

And while Dixon doesn’t blame DC editorial, he apparently has problems with the way DC is being run.

Don’t blame my editors.

DC, currently, is run from the top down in a way that makes Jim Shooter’s aegis at Marvel look like a hippie commune.

Ouch. I know Shooter’s run as Marvel EIC was infamous and being compared to that can’t be good. It’s like being compared to Tom Cruise, only you’re crazier.

Shooter was very dictatorial with strict rules for writing and drawing superheroes.

The difference between his reign at Marvel and the current one at DC is that Shooter was successful at raising circulation and longterm planning.

And just in case you still don’t know who he’s referring to (clue: his last name starts with a D and ends with an idio) Dixon makes it awfully clear.

Not at Paul.

Warners? The geniuses who merged with a company that was billions in the red? Trust me, most days they don’t even KNOW they own a comic company much less take an interest in running it.

On the Shooter front—

Though I saw Shooter in full fledge psychotic editorial rage a couple of times, he did provide leadership at Marvel and didn’t change the company’s direction five times in one day. And the company climbed out of the red and became vital again under his stewardship. I disagreed with many of his ideas when it came to continuity but he was at least consistant and you knew where you stood. And merit was rewarded back then. If you sold well and handed the stuff in on time you’d never go without work.

And I guess after his last comment we won’t be seeing him work for DC at least while the current regime is in place.

I’ve worked under tyrants and I can say that I’d prefer to work under a talented, knowledgeable tyrant with a successful plan than a directionless gladhander with a ouija board any day of the week.

For a company that exerts a lot of effort in streamlining continuity, DC seems to be really doing a bad job. I don’t care much for continuity as long as we get good stories but glaring mistakes like the ones in Final Crisis can really take you out of the story especially if the contradiction comes from a series that apparently has no idea what it was counting down to. And while I get a sense that DC comics isn’t as editorially controlled in some books (e.g. Action Comics, Green Lantern, Batman) I can see how peripheral books like Robin can be affected by forcing it to tie-in to Batman R.I.P (which is awesome by the way) and how it will affect a writer’s direction, especially a writer like Dixon who plots in advance.

And really, would it be so hard to coordinate with other editors so mistakes like the one in Final Crisis are avoided? Aren’t the general direction of books set well in advance, as we are lead to believe, so the writers can adjust their plots properly and not have their work go to waste? Isn’t it the editors’ job to coordinate between themselves so there would be no conflict with their respective books? Please DC, shape up.

Joss Whedon Should Write Spidey

Posted in Comics with tags , , , on June 14, 2008 by dialgforgerald

I’ve been reading the current Spider-man title and while some issues have been good it’s obvious that none of the current writers (well, maybe except Dan Slott) have the kind of handle that Joss Whedon has on the character. Whedon perfectly captured Spidey’s voice in Giant Size Astonishing X-men #1and it is the best Spidey I’ve read in a long while. Just check out these awesome panels. Click the images for bigger versions.

I love the expression on that last one the best. Physically impossible but awesome.

I know Joss Whedon’s comics come out ridiculously late and I would probably have children before it comes out but a Whedon-John Cassaday teamup on Amazing Spider-man would be awesome. Marvel you need to make this happen.

The Philippines’ Own Super Team: The Triumph Division

Posted in Comics with tags , , on June 5, 2008 by dialgforgerald

In Invincible Iron Man #2, the Philippines was revealed to have its own super team: The Triumph Division.

It’s bad enough that they were named after an underwear line or that the leader is patterned after cockfighting or that they have someone patterned after a mongoose when I had no idea there was any in the Philippines, but now they’re also…DUN DUN DUN DUN…

dead.

Filipino superheroes as cannon fodder? Nice. Sure, it was a good issue and Fraction’s writing is as good as ever and that Wishing Man concept is quite interesting, but I couldn’t help but feel that the heroes were created with very little research. Heck, there’s someone who looks like he uses Muay Thai to fight and only Robin Padilla’s children practice that sport in here.

Anyway if they are ever serious with this Triumph Division and are planning a return I hope they could do a little more research and try to mine Philippine mythology or history because there are a lot of gems in there. Or they could acquire all of Mars Ravelos’ creation and stop networks from butchering them.

Best X-Men News of the Week

Posted in Comics with tags , , , on June 2, 2008 by dialgforgerald

You know how sometimes you are just attached to a certain character and nobody knows why? Well, that character would be Iceman for me. Heck, whenever I played X-Men: Children of the Atom, I only chose Iceman. Maybe it’s because of the Spider-man and Friends cartoon which I always watched as a kid but Iceman always had a special place in my heart.

And now looks like Marvel is finally loving him back.

NRAMA: Fair enough. Nick, who will be some of the key players featured in the X-Men: Manifest Destiny mini-series?

Nick Lowe: X-Men: Manifest Destiny will be structured somewhat like X-Men: Divided We Stand with one key difference—There will be one story that has chapters in each issue. That story centers around one of the first X-Men, Iceman. Other characters are Karma, Colossus, Mercury…

NRAMA: What information can you release in regards to creators involved with the mini-series?

NL: Mike Carey is writing the Iceman portions. There are many artists, but Humberto Ramos is going to do the covers.

NRAMA: Is Iceman a neglected character? Bobby Drake has always been this guy on the verge of breaking out of an ancillary role–then a regime change occurs and he falls back down a rung or two on the ladder of importance. Care to discuss?

NL: A lot of it has to do with his character. He’s never been the guy to stand up and take the reins. He’s the wiseacre. A lot of the reasons for him not taking center stage is that, I don’t think he wants it. Will that change? Well, he has been going through a lot in the last year.

You mean Iceman is the lead in Manifest Destiny? Sweet. Mike Carey writing it? Nice. Looks like I’m going to get hooked on X-Men again.

Final Crisis #1

Posted in Comics with tags , , on May 31, 2008 by dialgforgerald

So it’s finally here but does it live up to the hype? For the most part, yes. As far as opening issues go, this is as good as it gets.

Let’s get the easy things out of the way first. J.G. Jones’ art is awesome. There’s no other way to describe it. Imagine the 52 covers only every panel is like that. Awesome. Whether it’s a multiversal orrery or some dark street alley Jones’ art shines.

On to the writing. The are only two problems I really have with this issue. First, it’s not very accessible to readers who are not very familiar with the DCU. I mean it’s nothing a little googling cannot fix but for an event trying to get new readers on board that’s not really the way to go. Second, characters seem to have forgotten stuff that happened in Countdown (which may not be that bad. I want to forget Countdown happened too). Everybody saw Orion fight Darkseid and now everybody’s surprised he’s dead?

Otherwise this issue is very well-written, original and compelling, setting up various plots and giving the reader the feeling that something big is about to happen (And if you’ve read most of Morrison’s comics he actually starts slow then bombards you with so much awesome. Seriously, read his JLA run). I also like how Grant Morrison really captures each character’s voice. Here is someone getting angry and somehow before you even proceed to the next panel, you know that it’s Green Arrow.

Speaking of which..

J’onn. 😦

Scott Pilgrim is Going to be a Movie

Posted in Comics, Movies with tags , , , on May 29, 2008 by dialgforgerald

In continuation of the current trend of Hollywood mining comic books for stories, Scott Pilgrim is going to make its way to the big screen. Scott Pilgrim starts like any teenage love story, with Scott falling in love with Ramon Flowers. But to date Ramona he must battle her seven evil ex-boyfriends. So yeah, it’s just like any teenage love story, only with a whole lot more fighting and leveling up.

So I decided to finally get to reading the comic book after I heard of the movie. Needless to say the comic kicked ass. The only think people might complain about is the lack of colors and the childlike drawing but even that worked quite well and it looked like a conscious choice by the creator to utilize the technique and not as a result of lack of talent. It kinda reminds me of Blankets which also lacked colors but made up for it with awesome characterization and emotion. Scott Pilgrim is more over the top though so don’t expect the clean line work and dramatic moments from Blankets. If anything, the line work in Scott Pilgrim is representative of the kind of balls to the wall action you can expect from this comic. There are also lots of tidbits and references which geeks will enjoy.

Also, in a bit of inspired casting Michael Cera will play Scott Pilgrim. Nice.

Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim

Michael Cera has proven that he can play awkward in Juno and I have seen him in some over the top moments in Arrested Development so I think he’ll do a good job.

And now for some even better news, Die Hard hottie Mary Elizabeth Winstead is playing Ramona. She even looks a little like the character.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers

She played quite a rebel in Die Hard but I have my doubts if she can pull off the fighting because all she did in Die Hard is get captured. At least we’re sure that she can play hostage and she’s hot.

Watch out for this movie. If it’s half as good as the comic, it’s going to be awesome.