Friday, January 29, 2010


It has been a while since we did some of these.

To beat spam, turn its weapons against it

Lord knows how many messages my home computer must be pumping out. I notice my machine never enters into its screensaver, so I can only assume some sort of evil background program is operating. I also get bounce back messages saying my spam mail my comp is sending cant find certain addresses.

Necrosha X
X-Men Legacy 232

The elements of Necrosha remind me of the first X-Men story I really got into as a child, the Phalanx Covenant. Channeling a future that yet existed in the woe-be-gone days of the early 90s, a malignant technological virus infects people and turns them into borg like beings bent on...spreading their techno-organic virus. Necrosha brings back the virus, this time in the guise of returning dead X-Men characters under the service of an evil leather domme.

This book does nothing to address that story. It tangentially ties into it. It is the McGuffin by which a long dead X villain will make his return, surely to be handled by the end of next issue. Let me address my misgivings with this book, now. I am tired of event tie-ins never advancing the plot of the event. I understand in Blackest Night why that is so. There are actually about 16-24 issues of the thing you need to read. The main book, and the two Green lantern books. The rest is fine to be tangential. Who has enough power to drive story for the 60 some odd issues Blackest night has already worked its way through?

Necrosha X is nothing like this. It is 13 issues of comics. This is part of 3 comics that have nothing to do with the main story. This has no reason to be a tie in. Yet it is. When you have 13 issues of cross-over to explore a story over, you can advance the freaking plot in them all. Its fine. I'm sure 13 issues over 6 months is within anyone's budget of comics.

X Force 23

This is essentially the main story of Necrosha X. Sort of. Once again we get a book that is just retreading ground to stall. The truly meaningful advancement of the story in this is that the X-Men decide they need to take the fight to the previously mentioned leather domme. And by X-Men we mean X-Force, the black ops team. This happens after the 2nd time zombie ex-friends come to the X-Men home and wreck house. The 2nd time!

In general, this whole crossover has been frustrating. It feels as if its moving slower than Blackest night, which is quite a feat since BN had, about, a 4 month jump on this. I should not be bored reading my comics crossovers, and yet I am.

Did I mention the stories for either 2? No, because nothing substansive happens in them that is particularly critical to the plot of Necrosha X that could not have been done in 1/4 to 1/2 the pages. Essentially, this is part of the growing list of complaints against the practice of Decompression, extending a story far more than it needs to be to maximize story, gain a totality of events and provide more dialog, and profitability from the story, by making the issues necessary to purchase the whole story increase from 3 comics to about 6.

Here's the stories.

In X-Men Legacy 232, Professor X's son Proteus comes back to life thanks to the events of Necrosha X and proceeds to possess everyone of the X-Men on Muir Island who were led there by a blind woman with precognative abilities. Magneto has to save the day and begins to do so before the comics ends.

In X-Force 23 Rahne Sinclair is saved when her werewolf boyfriend barters his soul to Norse goddess Hel for X-Force's healer, Elixir, to be raised from near death so that he may heal everyone in the party. The party healer is raised so that the tanks and DPS can be healed. Meanwhile, the encounter goes badly as the CR 10 monsters lay into the PCs and then escape once they grab the item of power they are looking for, a +3 knife that does an extra d10 necrotic damage per hit, leaving X-Force to follow them and take back the magic item so that in the end it can be sold for gold since only Warpath is proficient in knives and he has a better one that does 1d12 damage.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Episode 3 and the News

Be sure to find Episode 3 for download after the show at

We had such a great time letting Fred van Lente and Greg Pak talk on the show that we could not address everything in the news that we wanted to. So here's an avalanche of the news we felt like sharing with the rest of the listenership.

First: The news for tonight, if you're curious to see our sources.

Now for the news we didn't cover.

Book publishers are taking a cue from the RIAA and blaming Pirates for the lack of books sales. Next, they'll go after libraries.

Need an audio copy of your last phone call? Talk to the FBI'll have a handy copy for you.

Google goes to war against China before the US ever would.

Androids move into China

The art of war is used a lot in business classes.

Brian Michael Bendis extends his evil empire.

Wait...Windows isn't secure?

Internet running out of room. Cyber space looks like a bachelor pad. Unkept, boxes everywhere, too much porn in plain sight.,1000000085,39994507,00.htm?tag=mncol;txt

Gamers aren't ugly, they just don't want girlfriends apparently.

FCC cant keep up with technology. Old experts retire and new experts aren't experienced enough.

New York Times to start charging for news over the Internet. What will the people do? Try reading the Popmedia Primecast blog.

AT&T 3G network needs 5B upgrade.

Rockband Network opens beta to public

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is like a comic, but more people read it than any actual comics

Zombies on the TV

Is Nintendo's cornering of the market on motion controllers threatened? That assumes you think Nointendo really developed a market for motion controllers.

Bill Gates is on Twitter for less time than the Primecast, and he's already lapped us :(

If you find video games a struggle, it may be because your brain is wired differently, like for social interaction.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Interview w/ Fred van Lente (written portion)

Thanks for the opportunity to interview you today. I hope you don' mind if I start by saying that this week's issue of Herc was, once again, great. With Herc's end approaching, though, and the cancellation of books like S.W.O.R.D., Doctor Voodoo, and last year's cancellation of Captain Britain, how much of an advantage do books like Herc and Captain Britain get of maintaining a long print run due to the fact they were tied into major events, Herc with World War Hulk's aftermath and Captain Britain with Secret Invasion?

Well, for one thing, Dom, there is a slight misconception in your question -- unlike those other books, Herc isn't ending. The title "Incredible Hercules" is ending, but we were just borrowing that from the Hulk in the first place. But the story contained in that book is continuing for the foreseeable future, just in a form I've got to be cagey about at this time--but see the May solicits!

I think Herc got a huge advantage from coming out WWH, no question about it. We never would have gotten the numbers and attention we did it if we hadn't. And while it's been a bummer to see our numbers slide, I think it was unrealistic to expect us to maintain that high level indefinitely -- which we did for the better part of a year. This is Herc's first on-going series ever, and in today's market to keep it going without the benefit of years of legacy fans built in behind us is something I think we can feel justly proud of.

I, personally, love being corrected on misconceptions. It keeps me informed. I know of the Hercules: Fall of An Avenger solicits, so I was happy for those, but sad to see it as a 2 part series. If it goes on beyond that, fantastic.

Lets say I want to look at Hercules through the lens of a literary scholar. What are some of the themes you were hoping to touch upon with the Incredible Hercules books up to this point?

It's exploring the nature of heroism and friendship in general, not just looking at Herc's original myths and how they're reflected in his adventures today, but of course in the evolution of Amadeus Cho and him learning how to become a hero by following -- or, in many instances, actively avoiding -- Herc's example.

My store is not the most diligent in picking up titles from alternative publishers. I never got a chance to read Action Philosophers as it came out, or Comic Book Comics. Comixology on my iPhone has done wonders in allowing me to read Action Philosophers. How important has digital distribution been to the book?

So far, no so much. Print is still where the money is. We're did pretty well in our launch on iTunes, and we've recently signed deals with new cell phone content providers, but we still make the vast amount of our revenue from the comics shops, and a bit less in bookstores and Amazon.

I would have personally found the answer regarding Action Philosophers to not be surprising, no matter which answer you provided. I could have honestly seen it falling either way. But it is good to get an honest opinion from one man on the impact online distribution has on his indepedently made books. Did you cover most of the philosophers you wanted to, or were there some you wish you could have included?

We ran fan voting on our web site to see who people were most interested in, and in addition to our picks, we used what the fans were telling us as a guide for people to choose. With the four brand-new stories in the COMPLETE ACTION PHILOSOPHERS trade -- available at finer comics shops and Amazon today -- we pretty much closed out that list. People are always coming up to us at conventions and saying "What about [INSERT NAME OF OBSCURE THINKER YOU READ IN COLLEGE]? He's crazy!" But we did pretty much all the A-listers in philosophy, and many of the B-listers. That's over 300 pages worth of philosophy comics! Which was enough for us. We've moved on to the history of comics. ;)

I did a Social Studies Fair Project on that back in Middle School. First Social Studies Fair I did not get 1st place in. I was able to get a hold of a copy of each issue of Comic Book Comics from a friend, eventually. I need to actually purchase them so my money gets in your hands. As I read about Walt Disney and his obsession with his "Disney World" I couldn't help but think of Doctor Doom and Latveria. How are you able to research this project when my middle school library and local public library did not have any information for me to use? Do you have your hands on some primary documents to help with the work, and, if so, where did you find them so that other enterprising comic book historians go pursue these sources themselves?

Well, a lot of the best books on comics history have come out fairly recently, like TEN-CENT PLAGUE. A lot of it also is that people who write histories of comics rarely do the whole field, they instead focus on things they're fans of, whether that's Batman or R. Crumb or MAD Magazine or what have you. That's part of me and Ryan's project, to unify comics history and show how all these different trends influenced each other.

But you can go to our web site and see all the Notes on Sources for the entire series:

Excellent. So, now, lets bring up something about you. Between Action Philosophers, Comic Book Comics, and Hercules there is a theme of history in your work. Are you a fan of history or just interested in these particular projects given their content or themes? Is there anything else you like learning more about besides comics history?

History is definitely something that's always interested me as a subject. I love reading historical fiction, and one of my current projects is to do more historical fiction in comics, now that I feel like I've explored the superhero genre quite a bit. That's been one of the most rewarding aspects of Hercules, relearning and exploring the Greek myths that have had such a mammoth impact on Western culture.

I was actually never a big philosophy guy -- Ryan and I just did a funny Nietszche comic because we thought it was funny. It was encouragement from others that led to the creation of Action Philosophers as a series!

So if you're doing more historical fiction in comics, would you mind if I ask what topics you would like to cover?

Alas, that would be premature. But it involves a lot of reading. ;)

I promised myself never to fall into the speculation trap when talking about comics. I should have known what the answer would be. I can only hope it meets my interests in history.

Onto Spider-Man briefly. How well is "The Gauntlet" doing for the series?

My understanding is it's doing very well. I was very pleased with the response my Sandman story got, and having read future issues, like Joe Kelly's Rhino and Zeb Wells' Lizard and Dan Slott's Mysterio, I really think it's going to blow people away. I feel like everybody (myself included) are turning in their best work on the book so far, and it's hard not to think it has something to do with the return of these great villain characters.

The premise of "The Gauntlet" got me to actually buy into the books. Curse Marvel's marketing department. But the whole plan seems to be working out great for consumer like me. The idea of doing smaller contained event stories has already got me onboard Necrosha, Siege, Gauntlet, Doomwar, Realm of Kings, and Fall of the Hulks. I dont want to count how many more books that I'm going to end up buying because of these events.

The Sandman story was fabulous, by the way. It was a good emotional gut punch that doesn't feel too over-played. The ending was superb. The story, itself, while not full of action every page, was entertaining and engaging.

Now, moving to Marvel Zoombies. You've been the writer of the series since part 3, if I'm not mistaken. Part 5 is coming out. Your works began to seriously address the Zombie's world colliding with the "Core Marvel Universe" (A phrase I love since reading about it from Chris Sims) Was this the direction you wanted to originally take with the franchise or an editorial one? How big is the desire to continue to integrate the Zombie's with the greater Marvel Continuity?

Well, the challenge with MZ -- and hopefully I'm not shocking anyone by saying this -- is to keep the concept fresh and interesting. Spider-Man can only eat Mary Jane once. I really felt like crossing them over with the 616 was the best "high concept" to grab new readers, and it really seemed to resonate with people. I also consciously tried to get more of a, for lack of a better word, "Serious" feel, give it more of a action/horror to plot -- actual heroes who have to defeat the zombies to gain a specific goal.

But just the sheer ridiculousness of the concept, these cannibalistic undead guys in long underwear, eventually took over, and the whole thing got crazier and crazier. Humor is always a big part of my writing and I do enjoy combining it with the gore in MZ.

I must say I did a o.O when i read you wanted to make it more serious, considering the involvement of the Warren Ellis redefined Machine Man in part 3. With part 4, though, I can understand.

Thanks for the interview.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Firefox and Google : Dreams and Nightmare

Tangential ties to Haiti aside, Pat Robertson does mean something when he mentions deals with devils

I'm happy that it has taken what is essentially a free third party independent entity to show how to break the long forgotten nightmare scenario of total IE dominance predicted by the old master of Netscape Navigator. 25% of the market of internet browsers owned by Firefox is pretty good. However, as the article suggests, the features that set Firefox apart form IE is being copied and marginalized, in terms of individuality, by competitors such as Opera, Chrome, and increasingly, IE.

Of course, the article centers more on how the relationship has changed between Friefox and Google after Firefox gave them lots of money that Google probably used to help further develop Chrome.

Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural 3

On the same vein of Haiti, whoe Devils Pat Robertson alude to being, I assume, the Loa, we have Rick Remender's rebuttal. Haiti is helping to make sure the Unreal doesn't corrupt our world. If we want to address strange bedfellows and deals with the untrustworthy, too, this book certainly has its own examples.

I can only wish the High School motivational speakers I heard included grim warnings of Self Doubt causing the potential unraveling of the real world. I prefer to think my resolve is the extra weight upon which the world is raised above a harrowing abyss of insanity and callousness. If I just chose to step off the plank, I could send the world spiraling into chaos.

Anyway, how about a few claps for Dr. Doom, asserting himself not just in Black Panther this month, but in the fall of the Hulks series, a few upcoming guest spots in Siege,but also in this book as the Tyrant who ensures reality's existence in the face of unmitigated creativity allowed to flow to its worst entrophic extremes.

Doom certainly stands as a metaphor for control over the self.

By the way, those things I said yesterday about Rick Remender needing to just be given the same deal that DnA has with the Marvel Cosmis world? That still stands. Great book.

Brave and the Bold 31
I really hoped JMS would have told a good tale of the Atom having to team up with the Joker for something. Instead we got a pretty predictable story of the Atom having to choose whether or not to save the Joker and how if the Atom doesn't do what a hero does, he's no worse than the Joker. So he must help the Joker to show the Joker he's better than than the Joker.

JMS did a nice job crib noting The Dark Knight for why the Joker does what he does.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Final Comics Rundown

Amazing Spider-Man 617
Probably the best book I read last week. I don't know how good Joe Kelly has been since he left "Deadpool" many years ago, but he seems to be finding his sweet spot again after reading his last two issues of Spider-Man work.

It has some of those annoyances in there. The congenialty of the Robo-Rhino's creator is broken suddenly when she remarks on her own work, "...Damn. I'm Fantastic." Parker's co-worker/strumpet isn't much help either. I at to black her out of every page she appears in. Whats worse is she's comic relief in Spider-man's fight against Rhino. Repeating, SHE IS COMIC RELIEF IN A SPIDER-MAN FIGHT! Isn't that Spider-man's job? Doe she need the help? Luckily, though, those parts don't completely detract from a good story. I'm only worried at how long Robo-Rhino will continue to be the "real" Rhino or if Alexsei will eventually be Rhino again in some ret-con/non-acknowledgment of the events of Gauntlet in the coming years.

Strange 3
The world needs more Dr. Strange comics. However, he must be one of the hardest characters to nail down for a writer, only because it must be work to make the man entertaining at all. It seems as if his schtick is that nothing really surprises him and he has to eternally clean up someone else's mess. So, it presents you a case of a man who has no true character flaws. He's always in control. While that particular set up makes him great as Deus ex Machina in any story, as a lead character, it kind of makes him uninteresting because you know he'll pull it out in the end.

Invincible Iron Man 22
Exhibit B of the point above. Now Strange is in that comfortable Deus ex Machina role and he truly excels in it. It helps when Fraction's wit has a chance to show itself, without it feeling as if the characters are using forced speech. Maybe Dr. Strange just needs to have a team up book.

Oh yeah, reviews. Strange 3 is amusing. Strange knows it all, the girl doesn't, things get wacky. He'll have to clean it up in issue 4. In Iron Man, Tony Stark is just moving forward towards waking up to help in Siege.

Finally, a brief asid eont he state of Marvel's Supernatural line. They desperately need an event or somehting to put some attention to the books to give them a chance beyond issue 5. At least Captain Britain was able to pull 13 or so issues out of starting as a tie-in to "Secret Invasion" Ghost Rider essentially lives on as a network of Mini-series since the character's book never really interacted in any other parts of the Core Marvel Universe outside of World War Hulk. Doctor Voodoo got 5 issues out of relatively little fanfare to its creation. These books need something to make people want to buy them. Maybe the supernatural line of Marvel needs someone to run it like the cosmic line of titles is being run. A series of major events books built around two solid on-going titles. The ongoings become established during/after the major event titles publication, not before.

Stick Rick Remender on this. Tell him he has complete run of the Marvel Supernatural line, give him Ghost Rider, Strange, Brother Voodoo, Mephisto, Man Thing, Morbius, et al. and let him go to town on the thing.

Batman 695
I honestly can't say if anything memorable happened in this book.
Nope, just set up for the next. Batman is investigating who is in control of the false faces of Black Mask, Robin is being a douche.

RIDDLER ALERT! Oh man, we are at code green, for my cash leaving my pocket, because I <3 the Riddler

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The 2nd show and the X-Books

For those who want to listen, episode two is found here

The show went fine. Probably a bit too long, but considering Dusty is a radio noob and I'm a noob at being a lead host, I'd say we did fine. Comment on what needs to change in the show, besides the hosts, and then we'll have an idea on what to do for the future.

Nation X was a dissapointment. However, I don't think people were expecting much from it anyway. This month featured 4 stories in the anthology.

"Wish you were here" makes me wish I wasn't. I get it. Jubilee isn't a mutant anymore and she is sad and she feels she can't be accepted by her friends because she isn't a mutant. After she gets this acceptance from the young mutants on the team, she says she can't be with them. So she's preventing her own self from being happy. Kthnxbye.

"7.5" was the best story fo the bunch. John Barber picks out 2 figures from Grant Morrison's X-Men run and decides to do a story about them. One is an atypical Quentin Quire. The other is Martha, the brain the jar. Now, I only posit that this is atypical of Quentin only because his plan comes at you like a blunt force object. But considering hes doing this to engage in a game with a brain in the jar, subtlety isn't a necessity and it gets the story up and away in no time. What follows is a race against time as two physically handicapped beings match wits with the remainder of mutant kind hanging in the balance.

*sigh* "LDR"
I like Northstar. And far be it from me to talk about mischarcaterization of fictional beings, the last part of the Anthology being a prime example, I don't remember Northstar being this ditzy. Is that even the right word? He's definitly more in the range of being love sick/preoccupied with his love interest, and definitely panicky over the whole thing. Now, the qualifier here, Northstar is gay. He's been gay since 1992. This book will make sure you know he's gay. Now, I lived in quite possibly one of the gayest houses in Louisiana. The only straght guy with 4 other gay people, men and women, and they weren't as in your face as this story is. Its not obnoxious about the lifestyle, it just wants to constantly remind you, like a slow moving sugar cane truck. It is in front of you, you can't pass it by, and it is throwing wood in your face.

The last one is "Cajun Justice". It is a Gambit story. Once again hes torn over his horrible past and his devotion to his team. He just does not know is he can belong, etc. Then he does something to redeem his soul and show he is a good guy. Paint by numbers Gambit story.

The second book is Dark X-Men #3. I LOVE this book. No, wait, I <3 this book.First, it has Nate Grey, the X-Man in it. I've been waiting to get excited by X-Man since his Age of Apocalypse series. Plus, he has the pimpest jacket ever. Chris Sims already addressed that. Perhaps what I enjoy most is how I identify with the team. You have what can best be described as a group of 4 people that have to learn to get along becuase their boss, Norman Osborn, can't really be bothered with them anymore. He has more important things to worry about than his flagging X-Men team. So Mystique, the beleaguered leader, has to coordinate a semblance of teamwork from Weapon Omega and his addiction issues, the completely non team oriented, amoral, and analog to my personality Dark Beast, and the clinically depressed Mimic. Has no one else experienced this in the work place? You and your team of misfits: the sad guy, the lazy guy, and the hyper guy that breaks stuff, have to find your own niche in the office as you find yourself drifting from your boss' attention? This team is every corporate team/department in the country. It is Dilbert with nuclear weaons and spandex. Buy this.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Contacting Authors and R.E.B.E.L.S. #12

I cannot tell a lie, 'tis I that does this

I need to mention Jeff from And Books Too, though, for clueing me in on how to properly contact an author, or any famous person. I was just doing what came naturally, trying to let my written charm do the talking for me. So far that has netted me:

1) Chris Sims, whom I may have promtly gotten pissed off at me due to my behavior on the show. Comment and let me know how I did.
2) A representative for SEGA of America to talk about Bayonetta.
3) Fred van Lente
4) Kind of a reveal, Brian Clevinger
5) Also, another potential reveal, Tom Tomorrow

More to come, but I can say that i understand the wariness of answering random messages from unknown emails. Thankfully, not everyone wear tin foil on their head like me or else we would never be able to put up this kind of murderers row of guests through the first month of the show.

However, I can say my outreach to potential guests does meet a 80%, or so, failure rate. There are many more messages that have elicited no response compared to messages that have one.

This situation shall be rectified.

Tony Bedard is another of these authors that I really want to have on the show, though. I didn't jump on REBELS because of the Blackest Night tie-ins. I hopped on board thanks to the REBELS Annual, with the secret origin of the new Starro the Conqueror. What got me to buy that annual was the backup previews in DC comics about a month before the book actualyl hit stands.

REBELS 12 does not dissapoint. I have not had the chance of knowing of Vril Dox prior to reading REBELS, but I am glad I'm gettign to know him now. I find it curious that I am taking an active interest in the affairs of DC space, as anyone who knows me can attest to my visceral hatred of space sci-fi, but I won't turn down good charcaters only because of the perils of the black void.

For real, though. Vril Dox is my kind of guy. I aspire to be this Inimical.

The Omega Men plot thread doe snothing for me, though. it feels too Deus ex machinan. I prefer Vril's plan of attack. It feels almost as machnie god like but at least its part of a risky gamble Dox is attempting to do, whereas the Omegas seems to be wandering around mildly aimlessly into their ultimate nullifying weapon.

It is a mild nit to pick, even if the aliens in the book do appear to be rather hairless and unable to acquire nits, anyway. But really, it like where it is going. The flow is smooth. The voices are developed. The characters are a unique cross of good, bastard, and unlikeable that it is interesting to see what could happen after the Starro story is finished, but, alas, it appears this book may be jettisoned into the void once the story is complete, as it is a low seller among DC's titles.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Attack of the China and Blackest Night

Some kudos to Google for taking a stand. However, the reasoning is a bit too selfish. They're not exactly too concerned with the actual plight of the offended oppressed Chinese more so than the fact the Chinese government is breaking into Google's house in order to do this.

I gues its like taking a stand against domestic violence because the noise is too loud. Its good that it is stopped, but the reasoning isn't quite up to the level one would like to consider moral.

Segueing into thousands of attacks against the righteous...

Secret 6 #17 finally weaves the black lanterns into the story which is fine. Still, the focus of everything is on the individual battles between the Six and the Squad, while the black lanterns are only on the outlier waiting to pick off the stragglers and weakened in the conflict. The best of the 3 books this week.

Power of Shazam #48 gets me caught up on the Shazam side of the DCU. Too bad we never got a chance to see more of zombie prince Osiris. Good glimpse and characterizations of the rings themselves. Second best of the three books.

Gotham City Sirens got renamed this week to Catwoman # 83 as the original Black Mask returns to menace Selena Kyle through her deranged sister. I really enjoy how Selena was able to deal with the tragedy of her sister by completely ignoring her in the mental institution. Great momemt of characterization. I can't believe I actually find Harley to be the more likeable of the whole group. And I demand more Riddler. Worst of the 3 books, but still enjoyable in its own right if you do want to see the women of gotham city violate the dead.

At least none of the women in this book showed up as the emotion of "love" like it seems 90% of them do in the rest of the DCU. That puts them int he category of rageful Mera and @^#%$ Dove.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Problems with America's youth and Cinderella #3

First off, lets start with the supposition, backed by science.
Does this in anyway have anythign to do with technology? One of the factors mentioned deals with students now being concerned with material gains and one could argue consumer do-dads are increasingly becoming status symbols more than handy things that ease life. From the perspectiv eof the show, Collectable card games increase anxiety as that one golden ticket prize in the card pack can't be acquired. In video games, anxiety increases as frustration in the game increases, obviously. With blogs, facebook, myspace, twitter, et al. we find youth are less private than ever and thus placing themselve sunder more scrutiny than ever, and possibly more pressure to conform.

Perhaps children need to seclude themselves, like the comics readers of old, under the covers with aflashlight, and read this book. Well, if they are above the age of 15.
Cinderella proves that anything under the "Fables" banner is made of pure joy and squeezability. I would say the paper is like charmin to my skin, but against my fingertips, only. I would not dare wipe my keister with this book. It doesnt deserve such a fate.
Cinderella continues to expand upon her own mythos withint he fables world, and so we get introduced to all the ancillary characters in her world, thus expanding the Fable sworld as a whole.
The reveal isn't special, sicne it was forecasted in Issue 2, and some questions do possibly linger too much between the events of three issues, but it is a spy thriller than hits the right notes and portrays Cindy as a strong female lead. She doesnt rely on her sexuality. She isn't helpless. Its as if she were a capable human being. Whereas Alladin is a nice flip. He's the eye candy in this equation.

Monday, January 11, 2010

News and Nation X: X Factor

I used to be a school teacher, so I'm enjoying this

That's at least how I can best sum up that meme. If anyone knows the words from, correct me and give me a fail at the internet.

Tangentially tied to this topic is this article from the New York Times

While through time the rules of the English Language have become increasingly optional, a loss of words to articulate the ideas our minds form can't be acceptable, can it? How many words does the average person need to convey the basic of survival we nee din this world? It seems our culture is bombarded by the need tpo use buzzwords and to sound relevant to our listeners. It sounds to me the first article bemoans that today's youth refuses to adopt the language of the entrenched society. For youth today, as it was yesterday, language is another way to rebel against authority.

The problem becomes when the teens of this country decide to ignore meaning behind the language they u se. Havign a limited vocabulary is not as detrimental as having a limited understabnding of the meaning of the words you are using.

Now, for another rebellion, more familiar to our nation's history.

In the recent months, the X-Men of the written word have seceded from the United States to establish their own Mutant government and country. The entire subtext of the story can be vaguely analogous to the formation of our own country. Read them if you want to catch up. Matt Fraction is a great writer.

However, not all mutants, like colonial Americans, wish to seperate form the country. X Factor, the equivalents of tories, find it is not proper to isolate oneself form a more powerful, domineering enemy. Norman Osborn is a nice stand in for George III.

Subtext aside, its a fairly normal Peter David work. He leaves threads hanging to be tied at a later date that make X Factor the best book to be collected as a graphic novel, but as a serialized book it can be frustrating since it seems that plots never become resolved over long periods of time. The series keeps as many stories floating around as protagonist Jamie Madrox keeps duplicates around.

This builds up to me stating that Nation X: X Factor is a fine book, but not easy for someone to jump into. It keeps X Factor present in the X Men part of the Marvel Universe but resolves only to state that X Factor doesnt want to be involved in the X Universe. X Factor fans dont need this story since it accomplshes nothing, for now, which is why they should pick it up in case Peter David builds on the introduced antagonist, a Vampiric Elderly Immortal Fate. Nation X fans don't need this book since it does nothing to forward the story and only explains why one group of X Mutants won't be bothering to involve themselve sin the current X-Men setting arc.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deadpool Team Up #3

Deadpool Team has potential. Deadpool is a true neutral character who can team up with Captain America or The Mole Man. The multiple voices inside his head has potential for new story/plot hooks. Issue 1 was a great example of that use. this issue also has a novel use of 'Pool's schizophrenia. Throw in two flaming skeletons in Ghost Rider and Ghoster(?) Rider (I didn't have the chance to read Jason Aaron's run on Ghost Rider or Ghost Rider's latest mini series) attacking a circus freak town in Florida to stop a demonic infestation of the most physically maligned of our society and it should be a good romp. However, the comedy falls flat like Joe Buck doing standup. The book doesn't, and shouldn't, take itself seriously. But when that lack of seriousness is coupled with a lack of actual comedy then you end up with a story flatter than Matzo, and just as bland.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First Episode

Our first episode is available for download, now, at

Friday, January 8, 2010

The first show

Show went off fantastically! We'll will do a breakdown of how we excelled at blowing your minds during the week. In the meantime, we'll get a podcast up Saturday once we edit. SDadly, the first 10 minutes are lost to the Aether so we have no conversation about Wonder Woman vs. Bayonetta.

The Blackest Night Books

Overall, out of these 3 books, 1 is actually worth a damn, 1 is vaguely interesting, and another is utterly useless and makes me Hulk angry.

First, lets start with the big one, Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2. This story takes place between the page sof Blackest Night 6 as everyone in the story was wondering just what is up with Black Lantern Diana? Well here's the answer. This issue puts he rin a fever dream where she slaughters her friends and fellow black lanterns to her hearts content until batman descends form the mountain top, not on fire, and kisses her, thus putting I suppose some part of Wonder Woman's body in heat. All of this was orchestrated by Aphrodite who is assiting Wonder Woman in joining the Star Sapphire corps, which occurs back in Blackest night 6.

The negatives are: Wonder woman is essentially dependent on people to help her overcome this Green lantern menace, its dissapointing that Greg Rucka, who writes a great female lead character in Detective Comics, wrote Wonder Woman so incapable of defeating this ring that is possessing her body until she has a vision of being caught in Batman's hunky arms, she dresses like a tart, etc.

I'm in no way dismissing these arguments, its just that they have been discussed and elaborated on ad nauseum alreadty, so I do not need to further elaborate on these. Chris Sims does a better job of dismantling this thing like an Edsel over at

I'll just say that, yes, it is a shame how Wonder Woman is easily brushed aside under the power of a Green Lantern villain and depends on outside assistance (externally and internally) to help her overcome this condition she finds herself in. Its sad that she has to get the love ring when she really sometimes has compassion for most of the world. Of course, that's the BIG inconsistency of Geoff John's technicolor emotion rangers is that what represents compassion and love when the two inevitably blur?

My real anger is reserved for Weird Western Tales. By itself it is a good story. better than Wonder Woman's, but for me it does not meet expectations of enjoyment that it could have capitalized on. I do not think I'm lying when i say people would have prefered more zombie Johna Hex in this book. Hell, I'm certain people buy this book to see zombie Hex in it, besides jst collecting EVERY tie-in to Blackest night (ME!), but still, why does Didio have to hold back Hex so long? Really? He has to build suspense to reveal Hex in a book people know he's going to be in? Why not reward readers for spending their money by giving them Hex right from the start? Where are these charcaters from this one off even going to matter in the grand scheme of the whole event? I've seen the played out scene of "Oh noes! Zombies! How will people survive them!" This book, in my opinion, should have been the way to shine a light on a Black Lantern as the central figure and Didio blew it. I dont care about the Ray. Hell, I think the Ray is the only guy still alive after the attacks. Will the Ray come back at some point? Will he be the key to some other tie-in?

Now, the same could be aid to "Suicide Squad". Really, how will these figures matter? The key to this, though, is that we expect this book to be about Deadshot, and Simone and Ostrander are delivering a slow boiling story on Black Lanterns looking to exact revenge against Deadshot, with the Secret Six and Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad along for the ride. This book does what Western couldn't, deliver us a story with the expected main character being front and center, and Simone is also able to provide characterization for the rest of the six for the continuing book. Western was a one off. We dont need in depth characetizationw hen we want Hex roaming the desert using Black Lanter powers to tear some poor schlub's heart out. In Squad we need that charcaterizaton because when Blackest Night is over, the book goes right on.

So, how do I like the Blackest Night offering for this week? 1 great book (Squad), 1 "meh" book (Wonder Woman) and 1 F U Lemons! (Western Tales)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Siege #1 and Siege: Embedded #1

This I really want to see succeed.

After reading both Siege comics for this week, I can say that one of them was good, the other I want to see improved before four months are over.

Siege is a great premise. It's almost as if it is the anti Final Crisis. It is shorter. It has fewer tie-ins. Gods from a far away realm have invaded Earth. The villains are in charge of the world, yes, but this time the villains are the normal people and the Gods are the heroes. Most importantly, for me, it is written in a straight forward style hat is hardly confusing, which i something I I designate about 80% of what Grant Morrison writes.

Basics out of the way. This story is supposed to be the culmination of the stories Brian Bendis has been telling since Avengers: Disassembled. After that. we had the start of New Avengers, then House of M and Decimation, then Civil War, then World War Hulk, then Secret Invasion (which was so secret I missed it until Issue 6), then Dark Reign (The Countdown to Siege), and now we end up here. Asgard, the Viking one, ends up in the middle of Oklahoma. Loki continuously schemes to gain control of the land and National Security Commander Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, has to fall over himself to help his only friend left in the original Cabal of Super Evil, outside of the Hood. Loki convinces Norman to stage a Siege on US soil of Asgard. That's the gist. Man vs. God.

However, Brian Bendis does a horrible, horrible thing. He features a beat down of Marvel's Thor and instead has a reporter tell us instead of showing us. I think I get why. He's used to decompression. He wants to keep a secret member of Norman's Cabal hidden from us. I have a feeling it is the guy that looks like an orange Vincente from Age of Apocalypse's "Generation Next". I feel like he didn't want to reveal this big gun yet until a later issue, but because he only has 4 to work with instead of 6-8 he can't reveal the guy on issue 2 or 3 like he wants without having to edit out the fight scenes where ths secret member can be of value.

It's no excuse. The book is a normal Marvel 3.99 book, but instead of the scene where we get Norman being told by everyone in his Dark Avengers that he is a nut job and that this cannot go anyway other than bad, he coudl use those three pages to show a potentially awesome fight scene.

What's a worse kick to the junk is then he practically prints the extended edition of the planning scene in script in the back of the comic. Really? What was int he comic par tof the book couldn't be put back there so that I could get more Thor fighting in this book? Hawk(Bulls)eye's witty banter is just more important than Asgardian environment smashing?

Actually, that's just one piece of what makes this book frustrating. The other part is that the events in this book are after the current stories of half the solo books for all involved. Ironman is still in Tony Stark: Disassembled being revived from lobotomizing himself. In Siege we can tell he's fine. Great Job! I don't need to spend my money now to read the story. Thor apparently got Asgard back into Oklahoma, because in his solo book the Asgardians moved the place to Latveria to shack up with Doom. So, I guess its good to know what happens in Thor before it does. Thanks Bendis! And, well, we already knew what happened to bring back Steve Rogers since EVERY book is ahead of Captain America: Reborn in terms of the publishing schedule. Nice cohesive universe going on there Quesada.

I want Siege to work. I do. As a plot, I think its great. However, the execution was off on this first issue.

Now, for Siege: Embedded, I liked that one. I knew what I was getting into with that one and I got what was delivered. Brian Reed weaves the tale of Volstagg after he accidentally obliterated Soldier field with a Bears Game going on into a story on how orman Osborn is using the press to manipulate the American Public to go along with this scheme to assault Asgard. Okay, the references to government politics and the manipulation of the media, especially harkening back to the Bush Administration, are pretty evident. Of course, that whole concept has been a good standby to use since 1776.

I'm just happy to see a book that glorifies good journalism. It is nice to see a book that gives us a protagonist that is antagonistic to his government. That's what a journalist needs to be. The Glenn Beck/Sean Hannity analog is a nice touch too, and shows just what can happen to a journalist who doesn't believe in ethics anymore.

So, Embedded was good because it told a nice untold story within Siege 1, got a good theme across, and introduced us to some characters that play their roles on the stage perfectly.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First post

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