Monday, June 30, 2008

Manic Monday--Meer Affen

It's been awhile since we checked out the oddball foreign comics in my collection, so how about Der Gewaltige Hulk??

Some enchanted evening...It's just a reprint of Tales To Astonish #88 & 89, so no big revelations here. But the real reason I wanted to share this with you: there are some things that are the same, no matter what country we're in:

Some things need no translationIt IS a small world, after all....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Me Am Too Stupid... appreciate Final Crisis.

At least, that seems to be the meme floating around of the blogs this weekend, where daring to disagree with the hagiography of Grant Morrison's latest opus will get you labeled as stupid.

Sims suggests that, if you aren't all jazzed by Final Crisis, "then comics just might not be for you."

Church opines, "I honestly wonder if these people bitching about the pacing in Final Crisis have ever read a non-tie-in novel or seen a film that didn’t feature talking robots."

Sterling dismisses those who question the storytelling and pacing of FC as "the usual suspects," a non-flattering reference to those who don't "get" Grant Morrison.

Can we call bullshit on this, please?

There's a lot of people who have legitimate gripes about FC, and to dismiss the people making them as somehow intellectually unworthy to scale the intellectual heights that Morrison aspires to is childish elitism. It's bad for's bad for the blogs, it's bad for the comics, bad for my blood pressure, and probably bad for Grant Morrison, too.

For the record, I'm not thrilled with FC. And before the cult of Morrison comes out with their pithy one-liner attacks on the size of my brain or my appreciation of comics, let me point out they're idiots, too.

Sims says that FC is "the antithesis of decompression," which has got to be the silliest damn thing I've ever read. FC #2 starts with an 8-page sequence, the point of which is to have Shlioh Norman recruit Sonny Sumo. 8 pages, over 1/4 of the book. That's not the antithesis of decompression, that's decompression pure and simple. Sure, he fills it up with pretty, shiny details to distract us, but none of those have a thing to do with what's going on. We're stuck reading about characters we'll never see again, while he hammers us with a trite point ("heroes today ain't like they was back in my day, you punks") that could have been made in 5 panels, not five pages. Ask yourself this--would Jack Kirby have wasted 8 pages doing the same set-up?

It's extra-ironic, because we spend far more time with our oh-so-subtle parody of those crazy Japanese than we do with, say, mourning J'onn J'onzz. But say what you will about Grant Morrison, he's never been comfortable with portraying actual characters and actual emotions. The last few years of his output has become more and more like scholarly treatises from Vulcan about superheroes. The Martian Manhunter is one of the founding fathers of the modern DC universe, and it's treated like just another crime statistic in the local paper. It's an emotionless shrug. And it's damned hard to get us to care about this colossal impending war, when the creators can't even muster up more than a shrug when a hero dies. Hell, DC even admits that, by having to publish Final Crisis: Requiem separately...isn't that an acknowledgement that Morrison's ignoring the very real, human (or Martian) facet of the story? That they have to do damage control and publish a stand-alone to show that people actually cared about J'onn? But Morrison couldn't be bothered with that, because it might get in the way of 8 pages of an irrelevant Japanese superhero club, or 3 dialogue-less pages of a meaningless caveman fight.

So when we complain about the pacing, we're called unsophisticated morons. When we complain that it's drier than the driest emotionless police procedural, we just "don't get it." When some of the storytelling borders on the incomprehensible (page 18 in FC #2, anybody?), well, that's our fault.

So here's the deal...stop the name-calling. Either answer the specific critiques, or just say "I disagree" without the name-calling and derision. And in return, I won't call anyone stupid for like a plodding, padded out. passionless exercise in name-dropping.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

He IS the Law

Now here's news to warm the darkest cockles of your heart:

Keep Stallone the f@#$ away from meDynamite will be publishing an all original Judge Dredd book. By Garth Ennis and John Wagner.

Start saving your pennies...

Damn It, I Was Right, Wasn't I?

A little while back I wrote a post commenting on the impending return of Barry Allen. This is part of what I had to say:
And if they want to bring back Barry Allen? I don't agree with that, but I can be one board for that without too much crying. But I fear that said resurrection, under the current regime, just means they're just going to flush away 20 years of character growth and supporting cast of Wally. He will lose his mag, lose his JLA position, lose his supporting cast, and be relegated to appearing in the Titans and an occasional Mark Waid written Brave and the Bold.

Check back in a year and tell me I was wrong.

Well, it's substantially less than a year, but let's see what Dan DiDio had to say at Wizard World Chicago this weekend:

Question from the audience: With Barry Allen back, does DC have a better plan for what to do with Barry than "what you had for Wally?"

Ethan Van Sciver: "Oh of course."

DiDio: "Wally will be around. He's part of the Titans team right now, and he'll be part of that team for the foreseeable future."
Oooh. Foreseeable future. Part of the Titans team. No mention of his own mag, or his supporting characters, or his spot in the JLA. That's reassuring.

Sure sounds like I was right, doesn't it?

Maybe Wally and Kyle Rayner can go off and form their own team, The I Used To Be A Headliner Until DC Revived the Originals and Bumped Us to Second Banana Status.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Night Fights--Base Insolence Style!!

This week, a trip back to Lee and Kirby land, and another trip to Thorville.

Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, spent the previous issue kickin' the snot out of the God of Thunder, even knocking him out with a cheap sucka punch.Do you think that is gonna stand? Well, do you?!?!

Get ready for a cold dish...
OUCHUh oh, this isn't going to go well for Creel, is it?

MMA, 1965 styleAnd how, exactly, do you punish such base insolence?? Two words: BITCH SLAP!!

Dear JMS--this is how you stage a fight sceneThe result? Creel cries a little baby:

Thor: ball busterOf course, Bahlactus would have beat him down just as bad, only without the Shakespearean phraseology.

The Absorbing Man wishes his big strong girlfriend were there to protect him in Special Marvel Edition #2 (1971), reprinting Journey Into Mystery #122 (1965).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BEM Makes the Scene

From World's Finest #166, 1967 (please forgive the wretched condition):

As relevant today as it was 41 years agoThis is really important, so here's some close-ups:

Why the Professor never scored with Ginger or Mary Ann
I think that E stands for ecstacy...
Uh, shouldn't the moral be BEM rejects her for because demanding perfection is kinda wrong?
Damned commies...Lessons to be learned from this:

A) In the 60's, dating tips were considered a "public service."

B) "BEM Shows Up!" is kind of, well, lazy, isn't it? All he has to do is show up??

C) Dude, if you're not a perfect blend of brains, emotion and muscle, don't even try. Get used to being alone.

D) Girls are ultra-picky, but guys will take anything in a skirt (unless, of course, someone can find me another riff from the National Social Welfare Assembly where a fussy guy rejects 3 different women until they merge into one).

E) BEM is clearly a Carrgite.

F) Uhhh, I'm not sure, but is this cartoon implicitly condoning group sex?? Think about it, won't you?

Who said DC comics didn't swing in the 60's, baby??

Thank you, National Social Welfare Assembly, for making us love again...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I really really hate that most Wednesdays I have to work 12-9, so I can't get my comics until after work on Thursday. So I really, really hate those of you who can get your comics on Wednesday--especially Caleb, who not only gets them on Wednesday, but also manages to read them all AND post reviews on them in an inhumanly fast manner.

So excuse me while I pout today:

Me want comics TODAY, not tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

10 Questions... provide your own answers. You won't be graded. Except maybe in heaven.

1) We were assured again and again that Final Crisis wouldn't be crossing over into any ongoing series.

Pay no attention to the people named exactly the same as the evil New Gods...So what, exactly, do you call all those books with the "Dark Side Club" banner at the top, featuring pointless appearances by the evil New New Gods?

2) How stupid, exactly, are all the inhabitants of the DC Universe, when characters named Dark Side and Granny Goodness show up, and they don't have an inkling that something is up?

3) Issue #1 of the Fantastic Four was set in Central City. Yes, Central City.

Summon call the Justice League!!Did the Flash drive them out, or did the FF decide that they were movin' on up to the big city?

4) If you're a super-powered villain, why the hell are you robbing banks in cities with heroes?? Why not knock off a bank in Kalamazoo, or Hoboken, or Springfield??

5) Spoiler if you haven't seen Hulk yet--At the end of the movie, Tony Stark tells General Ross that "the super soldier program was put on ice for a reason." "ON ICE." Get it?!?!? GET IT?!?!

Stopp--collaborate and listen...Given that Stark has the shield in his lab...hmmm...

6) OK, spoilers done. What is the likelihood that the Thor movie is going to come over fire for promoting paganism?

7) Scene we need to see filmed: General Ross and J. Jonah Jameson getting massively drunk in a bar and arguing over who's got the worse menace...OK, that's not a question. But still...

8) Whatever happened to Lobo? "The Main Man" just sorta dropped off the face of the DC Universe. Don't get me wrong, I HATED Lobo, so I'm glad, but for a while the guy was as hot as Wolverine. Wha happened?

9) Since the DC Universe has all of the "real" American cities in addition to all their fictional ones, does that mean they have really, really big sports leagues?

10) Why don't people talk more about Jonathan Hickman's books??

Monday, June 23, 2008

Manic Monday--Livin' on a Prayer

The back cover to Avengers #167, (1978):

...and please help the Avengers smite Korvac the Machine Man...O....K....You know, this comic has been in my collection for 30 years now, and you'd think I would remember a cover like this, but I had absolutely no memory of this. Let's take a closer look:

Ahh, the less scary version? Where's 'If I die before I wake?'
Bother John??Well, isn't that special??

Not to stereotype, but were 1978 Avengers readers really the audience they were looking for??

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Comics I Wish I Had--House of Mystery #149

Another comic I really, really need to find--House of Mystery #149, 1969:

12 Angry BugsNot just for that great cover, which elicits from me the following comments:

A)Too bad they won't be doing this cover story in the current House of Mystery...or will they??

B) I really want to see the insect Johnny Cochrane!!

C) I think I saw that one on a Law & Order once...

No, the reason I really, really need to read this issue is that the J'onn J'onzz story in it is titled, "The Man-Thing That Unearthed Secrets."

That title is so perfect on so many levels, my head is throbbing with joy.

The Man-Thing That Unearthed Secrets...geez, that is so cool...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Night Fights--Squisssshh Style!!

So what do you do, when the nefarious Mr. Mind... nestled in your evil dad's brain, and threatening to take over the multiverse??

First, you zap the hell out of him...

Futuristic earwax treatment...then you accidently blow off your dad's ear (oops)...

Ear's looking at you...sorry, sorry...then when Wormy tries to make his escape...

Inch worm, inch have your dead best friend put his foot down!!

Don't tread on me
Matter over Mind!!Oh, don't woory, kiddies...Mr. Mind just tranferred his intellect into one of his thousands of "children"...probably.

Bahlactus eats punks like Mr. Mind for breakfast every morning...Mmm, mmm squisssshhy!!

Bug-killin' from Booster Gold #10.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Great Leader Commands From The Rear

Hey, look, they've finally given Black Canary a scene showing her using her leadership skills as chairperson of the Justice League:

Makes an ass out of you and Black CanaryOh. My. God.

I mean, Jesus, Ed Benes, are you really that much of an arrested adolescent? If this were Superman or Batman in charge, you would never draw them like that, and you know it. Great googly moogly, you idiot, Dinah finally gets a good JLA moment and you demean it by turning into a gratuitous ass shot! Really, Benes, what are you, 12 years old or something??

Here's a challenge...before anyone tries to defend this idiot, take a look through his JLA run...can anyone find me a male ass shot like that? I'll be waiting...a long time.

Questions for DC: Dwayne McDuffie--do you feel dirty having your dialogue put on this art? DC editorial--since all this T&A apparently isn't doing much for your sales, what's the point of allowing this?

As my rage dissipates, the are some SPOILER QUESTIONS bail on the post if you haven't read JLA #22 yet. SPOILERS COMING...

Ok, #1--so the JLA Chairman has the power to unilaterally kick someone off the team? Really? Just askin'...

#2--Dwayne McD--I know you've been given crappy tie-in duties ever since taking over this mag (really, why did you leave the FF??). But I'm sorry, slack-cutting time is over. We're not even 2 years into this newest JLA incarnation, and we're already recycling stories. Red Tornado & Amazo...didn't we already do this story under Meltzer, less than 2 years ago?? What's the point of redoing it? Have you no fresher ideas?? We've seen the Secret Society of Injustice Gang twice, that damned Vixen's powers story has been going on frankly forever. C'mon, dude...this is the frakking JUSTICE LEAGUE. If we've already run out of story ideas before 2 years is up, well, maybe it's time to give the mag a rest. At this pace, you're making Bendis' Avengers mag seem like zippy serials...

Dammit, I hate hating comics I'm supposed to like...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Get This All the Time From Former Girlfriends

Next, 'Can we still be friends?'I have no idea what that even means, Crystal. Then again, I usually don't understand the reasons I'm given for being dumped, either.

From Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #2. And to everyone who thinks I'm always too negative, I actually love this little mini-series, and I LOVE this issue, especially...well, I won't spoil it. But this is by FAR the best thing to come from Skrullapalooza...See? I can do the love!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Digital Comics Update--Marvel brings Back DVDs

Well, Sunday I did an extensive comparison of the GIT Corp DVD-ROM collections of Marvel comics, and Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited online service.

So of course, two days later Marvel decides to change the equation.

As the GIT DVD's are discontinued and disappearing from shelves, Marvel has decided to publish its own DVDs. From September's solicits:

You saw the movie--buy the DVD!IRON MAN: DVD DIGITAL COMIC BOOK ARCHIVES 1 Written by STAN LEE, LARRY LIEBER, ROY THOMAS, ROBERT BERNSTEIN, DON RICO & AL HARTLEY Penciled by DON HECK, GENE COLAN, JACK KIRBY & STEVE DITKO Slipcase Art by ADI GRANOV DVD Case Art by JACK KIRBY CONTAINS THE FIRST FIFTY ISSUES OF IRON MAN COMICS! As the Marvel Age of Comics exploded on the pop-culture scene, super hero after super hero that redefined the genre leaped forth from the imagination of the Marvel Bullpen. Adventurers and innovators, scientists and high-school bookworms, they were amazing men and women with all the failings and foibles of you and me. And there are none that touch both that adventurer ideal and human reality as Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man. A jet-setter, playboy and brilliant scientist, Tony is cut down to Earth when a battlefield explosion rips into his heart. Only by creating the amazing Iron Man armor can he stay alive! Packed with the debonair and debutantes, Cold War monsters and sultry super-spies, this DVD-ROM collection presents the stories of one of comics’ most intriguing characters from the very beginning! Featuring the first appearances of such classic Marvel characters as the Mandarin, the Black Widow, Hawkeye, the Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man in lushly-illustrated stories by “Dazzling” Don Heck, Gene “The Dean” Colan and scripted by no less than Stan “The Man” Lee himself, this is go-to volume for the Iron Man fan. Including the exclusive Marvel Digital Comics Reader versions of TALES OF SUSPENSE #39-88 and TALES TO ASTONISH #82, plus bonuses galore! ALL AGES...$29.99

Answer: Monster
HULK: DVD DIGITAL COMIC BOOK ARCHIVES 1 Written by STAN LEE & GARY FRIEDRICH Penciled by JACK KIRBY, STEVE DITKO, MARIE SEVERIN, GIL KANE, BILL EVERETT, JOHN BUSCEMA, JOHN ROMITA, DICK AYERS, MIKE ESPOSITO & BOB POWELL Slipcase Art by ALEX ROSS DVD Case Art by JACK KIBRY CONTAINS THE FIRST FIFTY ISSUES OF HULK COMICS! Dr. Robert Bruce Banner may have the appearance of a mild-mannered scientist, but after being caught in gamma bomb explosion, he became the unstoppable engine of destruction know as the Incredible Hulk! Marvel is proud to present the tales of the everyone’s favorite man-monster from the very beginning: From the earliest Stan Lee and Jack Kirby issues that put an irradiated angle on the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde complex to the Steve Ditko’s psychological slobbernockers in TALES TO ASTONISH and the Jade Giant’s return to his solo series, this DVD-ROM collection is the foundation for every purple-pants’d adventure ever! Featuring artwork by a who’s who of Marvel Age luminaries and scripts by Stan “The Man” Lee, they’ll introduce to you to General Thunderbolt Ross; the tortured woman who loves both the man and the monster, Betty Ross; the Leader; the Abomination; and a series of earth-shaking fights between the Hulk and the Silver Surfer, Thor, Giant-Man, Namor, Hercules and more! Including the exclusive Marvel Digital Comics Reader versions of INCREDIBLE HULK #1-6, TALES TO ASTONISH #59-101 and INCREDIBLE HULK #102 — plus bonuses galore! ALL AGES...$29.99

Well, well, well.

These aren't out yet, I haven't seen the contents, but a couple of points:
  • These issues all ALL already available online at MDCU. $60 for a one year, all-you-can-eat subscription, the same as you'd pay for both DVD's.
  • Since Marvel already has these cleaned up and digitized, I presume that you'll be getting the same versions as are on MDCU, which means cleaner and brighter that the GIT DVDs, but without ads, letter columns, etc. Although the solicit promises "bonuses galore..."? And it will use the same interface as MDCU online, as opposed to the Adobe Reader version GIT used.
  • Holy shit, Marvel, you greedy bastards! What's with that price point? $30 for 50 issues? Hell, you can get 500+ issues on the GIT discs for only $50 list (although given that they're out of print, prices have started going up--Iron Man is $90, if you can find it...but still, it's a FAR better per issue deal than the new Marvel DVD's). Given that Marvel already did all the work to clean these up and digitize them for MDCU, there's really no justification for limiting each disc to an arbitrary 50 issues and charging an outrageous amount for them. Assuming Marvel sticks to 50 issues per disc, you'll end up paying over $300 for the same issues GIT gave you on one disc for 1/6 of the price. Granted, it's cleaner and brighter...but is it worth 6 times the price?!?
Again, you've got a choice of formats...but Marvel's new DVD's seem to give you so much less for so much more money, I've got to ask if it's at all a good deal, especially as compared to the MDCU versions, or even the still-available-for-now GIT DVDs.

And yet again, the question remains: WHERE THE HELL IS DC???? I recently saw an interview with Paul Levitz admitting that DC was far behind marvel on the digital issues, and that they would have something coming soon. Well????

Monday, June 16, 2008

Manic Monday--Monkeys By Mail

From an ad in Tales of Suspense #59, 1964:

Everything was cooler in 1964Really??

You could order monkeys by mail in 1964?? With a free monkey toy?? Live delivery guaranteed?? And they like lollipops?!?!


Damn, once again I was born too late....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Digital Comics Shopping Guide

UPDATE: When Marvel solicits were announced Tuesdays, it was revealed that they will be releasing their own DVD-ROM collections. So after you read this, hop over to Tuesadys post for the full story. We now return you to the regularly scheduled post...

Sorry for the inconvenience. Because I love you, my readers, and because all these darned "give gifts to other people" holidays are finally past us, I'm going to talk about things that you can buy for yourselves. Namely, comic books for your computer.

First, a note to DC Comics--where the hell are you on this? Marvel is eating your lunch, Paul Levitz!! Even if Marvel's products aren't perfect, they're still much better than NOTHING!

Anyhoo, for Marvel-heads, there are two options available, and one of those is fast becoming unavailable.

The latter are the DVD-ROM sets put together by GIT Inc, covering the entire runs of such classics as Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Captain America, Incredible Hulk, etc. Marvel did not renew GIT Corp's license, so they could push their own online digital comics, and the sets are no longer in print. You can still most most of the readily enough on Amazon or EBay, and even at your local comics store. But you'd best act fast if you're interested in this option, because they won't be around forever. Already the Iron Man set is almost impossible to find for less than $90 (list is $49.99 for most), and I imagine that as the other sets sell down, they'll also get more expensive.

The other method, of course, is Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, the online subscription service that gives you access to tens of thousands of Marvel's comics in an all-you-can-eat style, for $4.99/month if you pay annually, or $9.99 one month at a time.

So what are the differences? The DVD-ROMs give you depth, while MDCU gives you breadth.
When GIT Corp promised you a complete collection, well, they mostly mean it. The Fantastic Four collection has every single issue and Annual for the Fantastic Four from #1 all the way up to the first couple of issues of 2007. Captain America has his complete run from Tales of Suspense (including the Iron Man stories from those issues!!) and all the various volumes of Captain America, up until the death of Cap in Volume 5 #25. Let me emphasize, though, that it's not 100% of everything...while they have all of the Annuals, they don't have the Giant-Sizes that Marvel published in the 1970s, many of which contained important stories (especially the Avengers!). Stories that cross over into other titles can be frustrating, because you won't get the part that appeared in some other title. Also, spin-offs, mini-series, one-offs, and oddballs aren't included. Still, you get a lot of bang for your buck: over 500 comics in the Cap set, 750 (!) in the FF/Silver Surfer set, for a hell of a lot less than it would cost to get those things in trades/ Essentials/Omnibi.

MDCU, by contrast, is not nearly as complete. Right now, you really can't get complete runs of titles. As opposed to 543 issues and 32 Annuals for the FF from GIT Corp, MDCU offers fewer than 200 issues of the main FF series, and only 4 annuals. More comics are being added every week, but if you're interested in complete runs, this may not be the way to go for you.

But, oh, the breadth!! MDCU does give you most of those mini-series or Specials. And whereas each GIT Corp set is focused on one mag, while you subscribe you have EVERY MDCU comic available to you...over 2,700 at last count. Virtually every title Marvel has ever published has at least some issues represented. And as I's all you can eat, so if you want to read thousands of comics a month, well, I envy your free time, but more power to you.

So, completists should look at the DVD-ROMs, browsers the MGDC.

Permanence and accessibility is another factor to consider. Once you own the GIT Corp sets, they're yours forever, obviously. But with MDCU, you can't actually download them. You have to view them online through your browser, so obviously you need an internet connection going for the service to be useful. If you want to access these on the road, you might have some trouble, whereas you could just pop in the DVD with the other option (or burn it straight to your hard drive if you have room...the FF disc is less than 8GB). Also, once you let your subscription lapse, you can no longer access the issues. So, if you're a read-it-once-and-done type, MDCU might be your best option. If you want it forever, GIT Corp is the way to go (unless, of course, you plan to subscribe to MDCU forever...).

The quality of the comics on screen has a big difference. GIT Corp took actual copies of all the comics and scanned them. So, especially with older titles, the quality was limited by the condition of the mags available to them. Note, for example the first page of FF#1 below, complete with fading, somebody's stamp inside the cover (!), and other deterioration. MDCU, by contrast, went back to "the original files" to create their online offerings, which means clean, clean, clean. I've presented their version of that same page below, as well.

FF #1, GIT Corp DVD
FF #1, Marvel Digital ComicsThat difference in procedure does lead to one more difference in product, as you saw. GIT Corp scanned the entire comic, so you get EVERY single ad, every single letter column, every single Bullpen Bulletin, every back get the entire published book. MDCU only gives you the story pages, nothing else. Do you find that kind of thing a nostalgia trip, or do they just get in the way of your enjoyment of reading the book? Decide how much those type of things matter to you before you decide which to invest in.

Printing? GIT Corp does allow you to print out pages, but a (not terribly intrusive) Marvel watermark will turn up on each page. MDCU doesn't allow printing, but of course you can do screen caps and print those...but that's a lot of work. Who wants to print out whole comics, anyway??

The interfaces are different, but both come from Adobe. (Info note: I'm looking at these on a 19" monitor with 1280X1024 resolution...please take your own screen into account when reading the next bit) GIT Corp uses a straight Adobe Reader format, which most of you are plenty familiar with. You cannot alter the two-pages-at-a-time format, which can be a drag. My screen is big enough to show the pages at 100% size...if yours isn't, you have the standard Adobe Reader magnify tools, but that can make panel navigation very tricky. It's a very functional interface, but very basic, and no bells and whistles. Also very annoying...each menu choice opens a new Adobe window, so by the time I choose Fantastic Four, decade, year, and issue number, I've got 5 seperate Adobe windows open...very sloppy.

MDCU uses Adobe Flash to view the books within your browser. One drawback--the entire comics can take 30 seconds to a minute to load completely, depending on your internet connection. You have a choice of two page or one page mode, but if you do one page you will have to greatly reduce your magnification to fit it on your screen, and the stupid application will NOT remember your magnification settings from page to page!! Yuck. Fortunately, one more option is provided: "smart panels," which essentially blows up one panel or row of panels at a time, and you can you use your arrow keys to navigate back and forth. Pretty nifty, but unusual panel structures will confuse it, and sometimes it just acts herky-jerky and clunkity. See screen caps of Captain America #100 in both formats below. Oh, yeah, and MDCU gives you freakin' ads! I hope that's only on the free samples, and not when you subscribe, because giving us crap ads for crap movies when we've already paid our bills is crap, Marvel!

Cap #100, GIT DVD
Cap #100, Marvel Digital ComicsSo you've got 2 formats, neither perfect, each with pluses and minuses, each of which fits the needs of some users and not others. For those who are interested, hopefully I've given you the info to help you make an informed decision, if you're interested.

And DC, where the hell are you guys? It's the 21st century!! Do you know how much I would pay for a Legion of Super-Heroes DVD-ROM??

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hulk Movie Question--Non-Spoilery

Keep him shaodwed, because nobody knows what the Hulk looks like by now? SheeshI have some other thoughts on the movie, but I'll wait until more folks have seen it (except to say--BEST STAN LEE CAMEO EVER!!).

But here's a question that won't spoil anything.

In three distinct TV/film incarnations, we haven't had anything resembling the Hulk's comic book origin. In fact, even though all three versions were fairly explicitly independent of each other, they all 3 use essentially the same origin story.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those fanboys who whines whenever an adaptation varies even a scintilla from my beloved comics books. I'm all for creators telling the story in their own way. So this is more out of curiosity than objection.

But I had always felt that this classic shot...

Not good enough for movies......was one of the more iconic in comics history, yet it's been routinely passed over 3 times.

Are bomb tests too old-fashioned? Is Bruce Banner being transformed because of sacrificing himself for another no longer an interesting message (as opposed to being a victim of experimenting on himself)? Is the "unbridled science = bad" meme more relevant these days?

And, just because I'm rambling here, whither Rick Jones?? Three incarnations, and not even a mention?? We can bring in characters who must be ridiculously obscure to the general public like Glenn Talbot. The new movie even name-checks Jack McGee, for crying out loud! Rick Jones was there at the founding of the flipping Marvel Universe--where's the love?

Of course, part of it is that there are whole generations whose only memories of the Hulk are from the 1970's TV series. So that's what they're going to give us. And we'll get references to that show, instead of the comics. And again, there's nothing wrong with that.

But I've got to say, I miss Rick Jones and the trench...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Night Fights--PLAATHRAWHRAM Style!!

Oh, I can do Friday Night Fights in black & white..but thank heavens it's not silent...because tonight, it's sound effects theater.

The scene: we're in deep space, it's 30 years in the future, and for reasons too complicated to explain on the fly, we've got one of those superheroes meet & fight because of a misunderstanding scenarios going. Take it away, Thor and Gladiator:

KERTHAACKKKK!!Sadly, someone acts as the voice of reason and stops the brawl. But damn, those are some nice sound effects eh?

Of course, they're nothing next to the sound of Bahlactus putting you down, fool!!

Ear-wrecking carnage thanks to Walt Simonson in Fantastic Four #339, 1990. Yup, I said FF...even though you don't see them in these panels. Why have a Thor/Gladiator slugfest in the FF, of all places? Because that's just how Walt Simonson rolls, bro.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Comics I Wish I Had--Jimmy Olsen #88

A comic I really, really need to find and read--Jimmy Olsen #88, 1965:

This cover makes my head explode in all the right ways!I HAVE to read this story. Bonus...according to GCD, Jor-El and Lara also appear in that same story. Whaa?!?!

Hat tip to Fred Hembeck...his version of the cover is shown in the awesomely delicious Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus. Please go buy a copy, because I think it will make you happy, and I like happy people.

Quote of the Week--

From Invincible #50--

Ah, eloquent yet so evil!!Too small? Let me blow it up:

The most glorious sentence of the week!!"Don't make me question your intelligence, Science Dog!" Let's everyone vow to say that to someone tomorrow, shall we?

Sigh...Science Dog just makes me realize how much I miss Dalgoda...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Great and Powerful Morrison

My impression of Grant Morrison answering the questions from the Newsarama interviewer regarding why Final Crisis #1 didn't sync up at all with Countdown or Death of the New Gods:

Newsarama: 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?


Newsarama: 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?


I'm just sayin'.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Manic Monday--Yet Another Geography Lesson

From Secret Invasion #1, we see the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, after all Stark tech is zapped, going down over Manhattan:

Going down, Mr. Tyler??From where the thread picks up again, in Secret Invasion #3:

Bendis just had to be cool by sticking that 'Bermuda Triangle' tag there, didn't he?The Bermuda Triangle?" Really?

A map, for reference:

Not all that close to Manhattan...
Hmmmm...sometimes they make it too easy...

Special bonus crankiness:

Haha, it's not a cliche if I call attention to the fact that it's a cliche!!You know, calling attention to the fact that you're using a cliche with a smart-ass remark mocking the cliche doesn't excuse you actually re-using that just means you're a hack trying to use irony and post-modern cynicism to distract your headers while you put out hack work. I'm just sayin'...