Friday, September 30, 2011

Rosscast Episode 240: Deaf Penalty

In this episode I talk about the Michael Jackson murder trial, what I don’t discuss with strangers, an update about a dude beating off in someone’s yogurt, a Bitches Be Crazy featuring sex being denied, and Only In Florida with lesbians throwing sex toys. Click here to download this episode and here for past episodes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"The Vitruvian Man" Part 1 of 5

“If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent Him.” - Voltaire

“What is your name?” I ask him. He just stares at me. A cold, icy stare. If I were a religious man I would say he appeared to have no soul. But alas, I am not a religious man. Though born Catholic I have long since renounced my faith. I have found it quite difficult to believe in God when I have done what he has.

Created man.

“Do you know where you are? How old you are?” He continues to just stare at me. As I pace the room his eyes follow me. He rarely blinks. His eyes have been engineered containing an overly adequate amount of tear ducts thereby eliminating the need to blink often. I find it creepy. “You are allowed to speak freely.”

His nostrils flare slightly. Someone must be approaching. Sure enough, my assistant Shane Rivers enters the lab. Lab. Amusing. This is as much a lab as an alley is an emergency room. This is not a lab. This is the Disneyworld of science. Floor Negative 18. Level 37 security clearance. Only fifteen know of its existence and just seven of them are allowed inside.

“Dr. Black” Rivers says. Its more of an acknowledgement of my existence in the room than a greeting. Rivers has always rubbed many of our colleagues the wrong way. Very self assured, arrogant, and attractive. “Has he spoken today?”

“Yes” I tell her flatly. She knows he has not spoken. In the four weeks he has existed he has yet to say a word. Multiple examinations have been completed and they all showed that he indeed has vocal cords that work perfectly. Beyond perfectly. I should know. I made them. “Just before you arrived he and I were discussing the current political climate. I am under the suspicion that he is a very right wing conservatist.”

“I see you have yet to solve the riddle of the humor gene” she says and sits down across from our “child.” Rivers picks up a clipboard and flips through a few pages. “How are you doing today?” she asks him. He just stares at her. I have suggested she flirt with him if for any reason that I would find it humorous. “When are we going to name him?” she asks me.

“Soon hopefully” I tell her. “I am tired of referring to him as ‘him’, ‘it’, and ‘patient.’ Have you heard what Jim has started calling him?” Jim is another one of the researchers for the project. It took five years before I was able to not call him Dr. Roberts. His name is James but he prefers Jim.

“Oh, what wonderful name has Jim come up with?” Rivers asks while rolling her eyes.“

"'The Vitruvian Man’” I say. She places the clipboard on the table and looks at me.

“That actually is not half bad” she says. “Can we call you Vitruvian Man?” she asks him.

“It sounds odd” I say. “Maybe Victor?”

“Fine” Rivers sighs. She removes a small recorder from her coat pocket and speaks. “Patient from this point forward is to be referred to as Victor and the suggestion of Dr. Black and myself, Dr. Rivers.” She places the recorder back into her pocket. “Good day, Victor.” He just stares at her. “Perhaps it is his hearing.”

“No, I have checked already” I tell her. “I am beginning to think he is just rude.” After another half hour of attempting to coax Victor into speaking, Dr. Rivers and I leave him alone with whatever thoughts he has.
Near my office I hear Jim whistling further down the corridor. I attempt to quickly gather my keys and enter before being spotted. I fumble my keys and they crash to the ground sounding unbelievably loud in the silence.

“Hey, Blackie!” Jim shouts. “Any word from the V-Man?”

“None” I tell him. “And he is now named Victor.”

“Victor?” Jim asks with an expression on his face as if he just walked into an unpleasant smell. “Yeah, no. No, I don’t like that. Sounds too Russian.”

“Isn’t your wife Russian?” I ask him.

“Exactly!” he says and bullies his way into my office. He sits at my desk and places his feet on my desk.

“Were you raised by animals?” I ask him.

“No” he says. “New Yorkers.”

“Same difference” I say as I dodge a paperclip he tosses my way. I sit on my couch and sigh.

“Aw, what’s wrong?” Jim asks me.

“It’s Victor” I tell him. “I just do not understand why he refuses to speak. At this point he should be speaking in eighteen different languages. But all he will do is just look at us.”

“Have you asked Shane to flash her boobs to him?” he asks. “That would get me talking!”

“To a divorce lawyer maybe” I say. “Perhaps he just doesn’t have anything to say” Jim says. “Or he finds the two of you horribly boring. Either way it doesn’t matter. We’ve created the perfect man! Next we’ll make the perfect woman and then I can get out of this dump!”

“The perfect woman has already been made” I tell him.

“If you say Bettie Page again I swear I will build the perfect foot and shove it up your…” Jim begins to say before Dr. Rivers enters the room. “Hey, speaking of perfect women! Hello, Shane.”

“Jim” she says and sits on my desk with her back to Jim. I am sure he is staring at her lab coat covered backside. “The Big Heads have decided that they are not willing to wait for Victor to decide to begin speaking. They want us to force him to speak.”

“Force?” Jim and I both say.

“Yes, twins” she says.

“And how are we supposed to do that?” Jim asks.

“Torture” she says.

Story Behind The Photo 1

This is the image of a very happy man. A very drunk happy man. A very, very drunk happy man. It all started when my cousin Mala invited me to a friends birthday party. Since I am a No Factory the idea of hanging out with a bunch of people that I don’t know isn’t terribly exciting to me. I was ready to drop the Nope Bomb when she said that we’d be going to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Yes, the place where there are fucking men in suits of armor and horses and weapons and you eat with your hands! Oh, don't act like the idea of holding a giant piece of meat in your hands doesn't excite you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Batman, Supergirl Issue 1

Mr. Soot did place that device under my bed. It played “Goodbye Horses” over and over again by Q Lazarus. He thought it was funny until I decided to walk around the house Buffalo Bill style. He just threw a bottle of lotion at my head and sighed. Now back in my cell with laptop its time to write some DC 52 reviews.

                                                     Batman 1

I love Batman so much. Seriously. This guy is the best character ever created and has the best rogue gallery. It doesn’t hurt that dude is a psycho. For reals. When was the last time you saw Superman, Green Lantern, or anyone walk into a room and challenge some of his most dangerous enemies to a fight? Not never. But Batman does. Batman don’t give a shit.
He walks into Arkham Asylum facing guys like Clayface, Killer Croc, and Two-Face and just starts whipping their asses. All of a sudden he is tossed into Joker’s cell. Suddenly the most unlikely team since Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan start fighting together and beating the inmates. I was like “Oh, this is just stupid. Why is this happening?!” Later you find out that it was a disguise and Nightwing aka Dick Grayson was playing him.

Later Bruce Wayne, his punk ass son Damian, Dick, and Tim all get dressed for a fundraiser. Bruce has decided to start rebuilding Gotham City and taking pledges. By reading Commissioner Gordon’s lips using a new program (he also has this cool eye contact that brings the Batcave’s technology with him) and finds out someone was murdered. Batman meets up with Bullock and they find a guy stabbed to a wall. Batman places a cigar to a weird substance on the wall and it says “Bruce Wayne Will Die Tomorrow.” He sends DNA samples from the dead guys nails and it comes back saying it belongs to Jason Todd aka Red Hood aka Robin 2. Zombie bastard!

Story and art Scott Snyder and Greg Capaullo was great. This was one of my favorite issues so far from the DC Comics. The scene where Batman faces all those villains at the beginning looked so cool and the way Bruce Wayne is drawn he looks cool. He doesn’t look like an anonymous guy who happens to be Batman. Very well done.

Supergirl 1

Poor Supergirl has one of the most convoluted ass histories in the history of comics. Someone every few years comes along and changes her costume, clones her, makes her Superman’s cousin, the last Kryptonian. Just all over the place. So its no surprise that she wakes up in this issue not knowing where the hell she is. She hits Kansas and ends up in Siberia. I’m no gynecologist, someone that studies Earth, but that seems impossible. She is attacked by men in robot suits and whips their asses and discovers she has heat vision. She is about to kill a soldier until Superman shows up and stops her. If you pay attention you’ll see that some of the stuff she hears takes place in other issues.

I makes me a bit nervous that a lot of the heavy hitters are making appearances in these smaller comics. Its almost like they don’t think they have the ability to sale themselves. If I knew beforehand that Superman made an appearance at the end it wouldn’t have swayed me to get this issue. Supergirl, who is forever connected to the world’s most popular character, should be able to stand alone.

Story and art by Michael Green and Mike Johnson. The art is decent. The story could’ve been just half of the issue with the rest explaining more. Why does she already have a costume? Is she old enough for me to stare at her boobs? I don’t know and I’m not sure if I’m willing to stick around and find out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wonder Woman, Red Hood, Birds Of Prey Issue 1

Snuck into the kitchen to get something that I could trick my body into thinking was real food. Mr. Soot was sititng at the table with a device in front of him. “Did you know that the inventor of the lie detector was also the same man who created Wonder Woman?” he asked. I nodded yes. “Oh, this isn’t a lie detector. Just something I will place under your bed later.” And with that I ran back to my cell and started writing!

                                    Wonder Woman 1

I know all about Wonder Woman. Who doesn’t? She was once a little blob of clay. GUMBY!!! Wrong clay. The story starts with some god offering three hot chicks drinks and then scaring the hell out of them. In a barn in Virginia a hooded woman cuts a horses head clean off and then a demon something pops on out. The hell is going on?! Hermes, who is weird looking and blue, shows up at the woman who owns the barns home and tries to tell her that “they” have come for her child. He gets nailed with an arrow and tosses her a key that makes her vanish into panty wearing air.
This chick appears in Wonder Woman’s home while she is sleeping and nearly gets choked out. The girl gives her the key and they teleport back to the barn where Wonder Woman whips the demon horse things asses. She cuts one of their arms off. Hermes stumbles from the house dying and tells the women that the girl is pregnant by Zeus. Scandalous! Back with the guy and three chicks he hears what will happen with Zeus and a new child and promptly crisps the three dames.

Story and art by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. This issue wasn’t terrible but it didn’t exactly knock my socks off. I do like the fact that WW (that’s Wonder Woman for the cool kids) seems to fight more warrior-like and brutal. She doesn’t say a single word as she fights those horse demons. They try to hurt this girl and she just goes gorilla on them. Worth checking out but the next issue needs more story and less action.

Red Hood And The Outlaws 1

I think the guy at the beginning of the story is Red Arrow. He gets broken out of a prison overseas by Red Hood aka Jason Todd aka Robin 2 aka Zombie!!! A bloodbath issues and help shows up in the form of Starfire. She burns some tanks and they escape to an island.

This island stuff is apparently causing some controversy Mr. Soot said. Saying the character of Starfire is being used unfairly and as a sex object. What female character besides Granny Goodness isn’t?! On the flipside look at how men in comics look. How many guys you know so buff their muscles and veins show through their clothes? Men get the same if not more because there are more male characters. Guys don’t talk about it but they feel the pressure of looking a certain way. Not me. I have a god complex. So yeah Starfire is banging Red Hood and Red Arrow. Not at the same time. That's in issue three. Giggity.

This story was interesting but I’m not sure if I’m dying to read the next issue. I’m on the fence. I like the story by Scott Lobdell and the art by Kenneth Rocafort is fantastic. Maybe it’s the combination of these three characters or something.

Birds Of Prey 1

I really wanted to like this story. I like Black Canary. The Justice League cartoon made me really see that she was a badass character once you get past the fact that she ain’t wearing pants. I’m pissed that only two of the four people on the cover are actually in the comic. Lots of fighting and not much story really. I mean there is but this issue made it feel like there was so much story that had happened and I kinda fell into this not knowing what the hell was going on. I don’t even know what one of the characters Ev Starling does besides drive badly. I wanna like this more than I did but meh. Story and art by Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz.

Catwoman, Green Lantern Corps, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom Issue 1

I woke up in the middle of writing all these blogs for the DC 52 and Mr. Soot had a bottle of lotion and a poodle in his arms. I know when its time to get busy. And I am tired of being referred to as “It.” Lets get cracking on a bunch of comic books!

                                       Catwoman 1

Very first page is Catwoman putting clothes on. End of review! But seriously, that’s how this starts. Catwoman rushes out of her apartment just as some masked men shoot the place up before blowing it to bits. She ends up crashing at a friend/informants place and finishing out about some available work. She ends up in disguise as a bartender getting information from the Russian mob about some art.
She ends up hearing the voice of someone from her past who killed a woman right in front of her. Selina aka Catwoman is young in the flashback. She finds the guy in the bathroom and pretends to seduce him and ends up beating the piss out of him! She leaves the club whipping ass along the way before heading home (meaning a penthouse that’s unoccupied) and finding Batman waiting for her. They end up bumping uglies which was pretty cool to see for once instead of having it implied.

Story and art by Judd Winick and Gullem March. The art in this was pretty good. I have read Catwoman books in the past and thought they were okay. This was way better than those. She kicked ass, looked good, and they gave a glimpse into her past. Oh, and Batman and her got bizzay!!!

Green Lantern Corps 1

This issue starts off cool with two Lanterns and a criminal being sliced to death right off the start. Those rings these guys wear have absolutely no emotion. As soon as you die they’re like “Well, time to find someone else to wear me…” I don’t know who the killer is but one of the dying Lanterns did. Back on Earth Guy Gardner, also a Lantern, is applying for a job as a coach. They believe he is too dangerous and may endanger the students so he leaves.

John Stewart, another Lantern, is trying to get better and safer houses built for the city and exposing that City Hall is corrupt. Meanwhile something just killed an entire planet. Seriously, the entire planet. Guy and Stewart fly to the Green Lantern home world Oa and talk about how much their lives suck. They find out those alien have been killed and decide to take some more shields, er, Lanterns to find out what happened. They arrive and everything is dead including that planets Lanterns.

Okay story by Peter J. Tomasi and good art by Fernando Pasarin. I just cant relate to these Lanterns on any level though. Yeah, one is Black. So what? When guys who can create anything by thinking about it (Salma Hayek…!) have problems finding work I just shrug. It wasn’t bad or anything. Just…I don’t know. Worth a thumbing through.

Blue Beetle 1

A Blue Beetle is jacking up an alien planet. Later a Green Lantern (Jesus, these guys are everywhere!) stops a beetle from crashing to Earth. But not really. Even later a kid, Joey, in school is invited to a party after being smacked with a soccer ball.

Let me just jump to the action because the set up for this kid isn’t all that interesting really. Some super villains are fighting other villians for one of those beetles when Joey and his friend stumble into the middle of it. Joey gets his hands on this beetle and when he is struck with a knife it opens up and transforms him into something that looks like a villain on The Power Rangers.

Story by Tony Bedard which isn’t all that awesome. The art by Ig Guara is pretty damned impressive though. I just wish he had more to work with. The jumping back and forth with Spanish and English is cute twice, but stop. I get it. They speak multiple languages. They’re better than me. All right. Enough. I don’t know much about Blue Beetle and this didn’t make me want to.

Captain Atom 1

The story starts off with captain Atom whipping some dude in a robot suit’s ass. As he’s fighting he starts feeling weird and suddenly he disintegrates the suit with a touch scaring the hell out of the guy. And himself. He looks at his hand and it appears to begin to fizzle away before reforming. He heads back to base and Dr. Megala breaks his powers down for him explaining that he is vanishing.

A volcano starts appearing in the middle of New York and a nuclear reactor is getting set to blow in India. He handles the one in India first since that would affect more people. In New York he transforms the lava into snow absorbing way too much energy in the process. He saves the day but the issue ends with him literally falling apart at a molecular level. Aah! Aah! Aah!!!

J.T Krul wrote this (who has been fired from Green Arrow) and amazing art from Freddie Williams II. Captain Atom looked like he was not solid and I liked that. Not sure if it makes me wanna get it pregnant but this was a good start for a character I know pretty much nothing about.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nightwing, Deadman, Legion Of Superheroes Issue 1

I woke up with Mr. Soot tapping his watch while standing in the doorway of my cell. “You’re sleeping. I don’t like that.” Just as I was about to protest he dropped a stack of comics on my lap. I asked him for more toilet paper. “Use Issue 1 of Static Shock” he said as he left. That’s not a bad idea.

                                       Nightwing 1

Most of what I know about Nightwing is from old ass Teen Titan comics and some of the Batman: The Animated Series. I know about him from when he was the original Robin, but I don’t know about his villains or anything. This issue starts off with Nightwing reminiscing about being Batman for the past year and how it changed him. He is also whipping some ass while doing this. He comes across a visiting circus. The same one that his parents died in. Dun-dun-duuuuuuun!!!

Meanwhile some guy walking through Gotham gets harassed by two thugs. He commences to break one of their necks and caves the other ones face in. Dick Grayson aka Nightwing finally decides to visit the circus and meets all of his old friends while there. A masked man is prowling the streets of Gotham (I assume it’s the same dude that just killed those other guys) sees Dick and attacks him saying he is the “most fiercest killer in Gotham.” While two cops distract this guy (meaning get gutted like fish!) Nightwing appears and fights the guy. This dude is faster and more dangerous than Nightwing and manages to cut him and knock him from a rooftop. The issue ends with Nightwing hurt and down about to be killed.

This was a kickass issue. I don’t know who this crazy ass guy is but I’m interested to find out. The art and story by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows is good and fit’s the story well. Nightwing looks proper when doing flips and turns. Some artists make characters seem strange when they contort but Barrows does not. Very good issue.

Deadman 1

Another guy I barely know anything about. Seen him on the Justice League cartoon once. Pretty sure he’s dead. Good thing this issue covers his entire history. He is shot while working at a circus (apparently working in a circus is second only to working at STAR Labs as being dangerous as hell). He was a selfish prick and is told by a god named Rama, who brings balance to…stuff. She tells Deadman that he has to help others before he can move on.

He gets into the body of a war veteran with no legs. Before that though he finds someone who knew him in life and has to convince her he is Boston Brand aka Deadman by jumping in different people’s bodies. He makes his way back to the vets body and puts a gun to his head. Rama shows up like “What the hezee?!” She doesn’t say that but I imagine she wanted to.

Nice issue and a very good job of introducing the character to people unfamiliar with Deadman. Not sure if I’m dying to read the next issue. This probably would’ve been better if it went more in the dirction of Animal Man or Swamp Thing. This seems too bright for such a dark character. Story and art by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang.

Legion Of Superheroes 1

I…I just cant. Too many characters. Too much happening. Too much history. I kept having to flip back and forth to remember which characters did what. Art by Francis Portela is adequate and an overly complicated group of characters Paul Levitz tries to focus on. How about two characters an issue? Unless you’re the Suicide Squad I think I might be having issues with DC’s 52 group comics.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Not An Animal!

(this is a blog I wrote years ago and was inspired to post it because I had to use a urinal this morning that wasn't flushed and one of my friends on Facebook suggested bringing back troughs which is a tool of the Devil)

I am not an animal. But judging from the way men’s rooms are created they’d have you think otherwise. Those damned things are built for maximum stank. Hot, sweaty, and wet! Now that’s good in certain situations (knowhatImsayin'?!) but when I gotta slay the dragon its horrible.

The first time I ever came across a trough was at the tender age of 9. While at the drive-in I had to pee like a pregnant woman. So my father takes me to the bathroom. Oh, how I'd live to regret that decision! A device so sinister that even Satan himself passed on its creation. This son of a bitch went from one side of the bathroom to the other. Nothing but a long line of wang that went as far as the eye could see! And what about the poor bastard at the end of the trough? Was he to be hit with a tsunami of urine that had gathered speed as it traveled? Fuck this. I told my father that I didn’t have to go anymore and we left. To this day I cant believe that these things still exist. To me it’d be like walking down the street and seeing someone on one of those bikes that has the 13-foot wheel in the front. Its wrong and silly and shouldn’t exist anymore. Even the dodo knew when to make an exit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oops Upside The Head!

When I was little I hit another kid in the head with a brick. Hmm. Maybe I should offer an explanation to this. That was a really bad way to start a story. Ahem! So one day I was hanging out at my Grandma’s house sitting outside pissed off because it was my brother’s graduation but my mother wouldn’t let me go. So off we went to 47th and Central to play in the dirt until they returned.

I should point out the difference between Grandma and Grandmama. Grandma was a sweet old lady that never yelled, got angry, or hit any of us no matter what we did (and we did a lot!). Grandmama wouldn’t waste a second laying hands on you and saying things like “Boy, you as slow as molasses!” I loved them both but one would lay the smack down and one wouldn’t. the one that didn’t, Grandma, probably should’ve though. Especially with sociopaths like me with access to bricks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Batwoman, Suicide Squad Issue 1

Mr. Soot must have been filled with the spirit of vengeance when he gave me these two kick ass issues. If 90% of the DC 52 comics were like this I would go insane with joy. But they’re not. Alas, lets not focus on the negatives! Just the positives. And I’m pretty positive Mr. Soot is practicing with nunchucks…

                                       Batwoman 1

Right off the “bat” (see what I did there?!) this issue grabs your attention with the art. Its amazing. This ghost lady shows up in the bedroom of these kids and weeps as she takes them away. Batwoman shows up and chases her away. Not really though because the kids are now missing. She promises the parents that she will rescue the kids. The police make no such promise. Other kids are missing and they have no leads or clues.

Kate Kane aka Batwoman is at home with some chick named Bette aka Flamebird go out on a small crime fighting spree and Batwoman decides that she doesn’t want to do it again. She says she spent more time watching Flamebird’s back than she was. Black Mask is also sending an agent to Gotham to get Batwoman. Dude looks very cool by the way.

Back home Kate’s dad shows up unexpectedly and she airs all of their dirty laundry! In one splash page they show the characters entire history which is an amazing accomplishment. The issue ends with Batwoman investigating a lake where kids bodies were found when Batman shows up and says he has a proposition for her.

This issue was pretty damn cool and was written well by J.H Williams III and art by W. Haden Blackman. Every page looks like it took time and effort and was super amazing. I like this issue because they managed to cover so much, mostly because the way the pages were set up Blackman was able to convey so much emotion in such little space. I would so pick up the next issue.

Suicide Squad 1

How many times have you opened up a comic book and the first page is someone being tortured by having a bucket full of rats on their bare stomach with a blowtorch being used to make the rats attempt to chew their way free? That’s what I thought. Suicide Squad starts off with the entire team being tortured for information about who sent them.

Deathstroke is the one being tortured with rats. Some dude with fire powers named El Diablo is being beaten and having bags of salt poured on him. Harley Quinn has a jumper cable attached to her cheeks. King Shark is sitting in front of heat lamps. He bites someone’s arm off. Voltaic is being beaten. Some guy named Black Spider is laying on the floor dying. Some dude Savant ends up spilling the beans about their mission and thinks he will be safe. He’s not. He gets killed. The team has guns held to their head, with Deathstroke telling them they’re holding the gun at the wrong place, and it turns out…surprise! It was a test.

They are being held by their boss and it turns out that out of 37 candidates they are the six that made it. This was a great issue with story and art by Adam Glass and Federico Dallocchio. The different look of Harley Quinn and Deathstroke was cool and I’m not a fan of King Shark but I am now after that one shot of him biting that guys arm off and screaming “Meat! Meat! Meat!” I forgot to mention, but during the torture they also managed to explain each characters origin and how they got where they are.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Deathstroke, Grifter, Legion Lost Issue 1

I don’t know what mood Mr. Soot was in when he bought these books but they are very violence heavy. This batch is better than the last few that have been coming out which is cool. Oh, great. Now he’s stomping through the halls singing “Old Gray Mare” at the top of his lungs. I don’t have much time left to write these for now so lets get started.

                                      Deathstroke 1

This issue does not waste any damn time getting started. It begins with a mission that Deathstroke was on where faced against a group of armed soldiers still manages to cut the head off of his target and a few other unlucky bastards that are in the way. He’s now relegated to being an expensive bodyguard. A man named Christophe wants him to work with a new young team of assassins.

Deathstroke meets the team that I wont bother naming (you’ll see why) and they head on their mission where they have to rendezvous with a plane midair and take out their target which is a man dealing in nuclear weapons. When he gets on the plane he is met with some creatures mixed with Clayface DNA and starts kicking them out of the plane before being shown a briefcase. Deathstroke blows the plane up and heads back to base.

While the team celebrates a successful mission Deathstroke says “I think there is no ‘up and coming.’ There’s only competition. And I don’t work with it.” He then commences to shoot every single one of the poor bastards. Dude is hardcore! He is told by Christophe that the higher ups don’t think he’s got it anymore. I don’t know about you but he doesn’t seem like the kinda guy I would say stuff like that to.

This was a good fast paced issue. Story and art by Kyle Higgins and Joe Bennett really fit this character that I don’t know anything about other than he can fight well against Batman and has just one eye. I look forward to the next issue to see where they go with this.

Grifter 1

Wait. Grifter got his own comic? The guy from WildCATS?! How in the blue hell did this happen? Anyway, the story starts with him on an airplane (don’t take planes in the DC Universe!) and he starts hearing voices. A woman attacks him with a pick and he takes her out before fighting as he falls from the plane. We flashback to him ripping someone off who was trying to rip him off. He’s set to meet with this chick and leave the country. He ends up snatched by some ghost demon thing and wakes up tied to a table.

He escapes and beats someone to death, which freaks him right the hell out. He thinks he was unconscious for only seventeen minutes but it turns out it was for seventeen days. Flash forward to him surviving the fall from the plane and the government looking for him for murder. The story ends with him in a cemetery in New Orleans putting on his mask.

This was a fun little issue but something felt like it was missing. It felt like I walked into the middle of a story that had started a long time ago. This is a reoccurring problem with some of these DC 52 stories. Its supposed to be introducing readers to new stories but I shouldn’t be this puzzled by the first issue. Not puzzled by questions that can be answered later, but by answers I have to find online. Story by Nathan Edmondson and great art by Cafu.

Legion Lost 1

This is the epitome of what I was just talking about. Its like they said “Hey, lets throw a bunch of characters into one issue that involves time travel which is already confusing and see what happens!” This team full of people I don’t know and doubt I’d want to get stuck looking for someone who is spreading some disease in our timeline. They catch him, he breaks free, they crash and a couple people die and I don’t care. Maybe this is for fans of Power Pack or something. I don’t know. Story by Fabian Nicieza and inconsistent art by Pete Woods. I will pretend I didn’t read this.

Green Lantern, Red Lanterns Issue 1

Woke up with my cell door open. I got all happy until I saw a box at the end of the hallway with a stack of comics attacked to a stick and string. Apparently Mr. Soot has been watching too many cartoons lately. He got bored and ended up just dumping a bucket of nickels on my head and leaving me the next batch of DC 52 comics. In brightest day…

                                 Green Lantern Issue 1

From the start of this issue I was going “What the hell?!” It starts off with Sinestro becoming a Green Lantern once again. For anyone that doesn’t know for years he’s been a Yellow Lantern, enemy of the Green. The Guardians have forced him to join them once again after Hal Jordan, stripped of his ring, was chosen by the ring to become the newest member. The Guardians tell Sinestro that this is his chance at redemption to which he replies “Redemption? I need no redemption.

Back on Earth Hal Jordan is broke. He cant pay rent, the air force wont let him fly, and he is about to be evicted. He spots a man about to assault a woman across the way and he leaps from his balcony and crashes through their window and starts to whip the guys ass until he realizes a film is being made. Hey, it happens. You know how many false zombie apocalypses I accidentally attacked only to realize they were hobos in packs? A lot.

Carol Ferris bails him out of jail and tells him that she can get him a job. Not flying, but something. Meanwhile Sinestro goes back to his home world where his Yellow Lanterns have enslaved his planet. He strangles one of the members to death and destroys their ring. Hal is on a date with Carol when he pops the big question to her: can she co-sign on a car. She gets pissed and leaves. Hal heads home to find an eviction notice and Sinestro at his door with a deal for him. Aah! Aah! Aah!

This issue was cool and did a fantastic job of letting me know what Sinestro and Hal Jordan were at currently and what their issues were within this one comic. It also showed the shady ass side to the Guardians. Fun issue with decent art and a good story by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke.

Red Lanterns Issue 1

This starts off with some blue lizards torturing another alien for pleasure but are bored with it. All of a sudden a friggin’ cat in a Red Lantern (Dex-Starr) outfit shows up with blood pouring from its mouth and starts cleaning house. Its not even a humanoid cat. It’s a crazy ass cat! They finally are able to get the upper hand against this hell cat until Atrocitus shows up and kills them all but feels nothing about it. During the issue he tells the story of what happened to his home world and how he didn’t get his revenge since Hal Jordan defeated the mad Guardian, Krona. He goes and finds his “team” and even they sense something is different about him. All they want to do is just fight. They are beating the hell out of each other and he tells them to stop and they’re like “Uh…no.

On Earth some old guy gets beaten up and killed and two other dudes are fighting each other because he was their grandfather. I don’t know anything about who they are so there’s that. Let me point out that one of the characters name is Bleez and she looks evil as all get out but she is way hot. Now consumed with new vengeance after a trip to remind himself why he is so pissed Atrocitus goes back to his team and they look like they’re ready to kick his ass.

This was a cool issue but I’m not sure where they can go from here in terms of a regular series. I mean, this would be a cool three part story but twelve whole issues? I don’t know. Story and cool ass art by Peter Milligan and Ed Benes.

View On DC 52

So after weeks of trying not to read any reviews that others have done of the DC 52 comics I decided to see what others had to say about it. A few people (Moyross and Pfax) who have read my stuff and Mr. Soot himself have said that its better that I am getting into these without knowing everyone’s full histories and haven’t read comics regularly in over a decade. By regularly I mean that I’ve purchased trade paper backs (TPB) since I’ve been burned by artists and writers coming out with three or four issues a year instead of the standard twelve.

After reading some of these reviews and even listening to one (only the issues I myself have read and covered) I agree with Mr. Soot and a few others. A lot of the people that are covering these never stopped reading and are having trouble seeing this stuff with new eyes. I am sorta guilty of this a bit with characters like Batman since even when I didn’t read them I knew some of what was going on. No matter what I still hate his son. Eff that kid.

                                      Smug bastard.

As some of you may know I review other things besides comic books (movies and TV shows at and and have questioned whether or not I have gone from being a fan to being a critic. I like to believe that I have managed to stay in the middle. I don’t watch movies and inspect every technical aspect of it but instead recognize when something like the music affects a mood or if a special effect is so bad it yanks me out of the picture. With these issues I am looking at the art first, the story second, and how I feel while and after reading it.

As I continue to write these I will be honest about my opinions and not do these and say things for the sake of being “the asshole” that doesn’t like anything and does things just to be different. I love art and I love comics and the fact that I am able to do so again for the first time on a weekly basis feels good to me. Thanks for reading.

- Dante

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Batman And Robin, Demon Knights, Resurrection Man Issue 1

Mr. Soot was standing over me when I woke from my nap. He smiled and said “You’re like the Robin to my Batman.” I stood to give him a hug and he started laughing. “You’re my Jason Todd.” I wanted to cry but he says that is a sign of weakness and my tears get on the laptop. So I will man up and soldier on.

                                Batman And Robin 1

I hate the new Robin. I want him to get the Jason Todd treatment and get beaten half to death and blown up. I’m getting ahead of myself. The story starts with an agent of Batman is Russia about to whip a villains ass when some guy pops a cap in his ass and fries him to death telling him “I’m nobody. And so are you.

While explaining some very important information to Damien, the new Robin and Batman’s son (don’t you dare ask me to explain!), they head out on a mission to stop some guys from starting a radiation disaster. During the mission Robin causes a few guys to die. Batman doesn’t do what I think he should and fire him or beat his monkey ass.

Batman tries to explain the importance of saving lives and not ending them but this little bastard just brushes him off talking about how much better he is than all the other Robin’s. In other news the guy who killed that dude in Russia just killed another Batman. And he says “This new global circus act of his had to end. Its time to pay Bruce Wayne a visit.” Aah! Aah! Aah!

This issue had great art by Patrick Gleason and some of the story by Peter J. Tomasi. I just don’t like the Damien character. He is worse than Jason Todd and reckless to the point of suicidal. I’m sure there are people out there that like the little jerk but he ruined this issue for me. I do love this dude with all the headlights on his face killing Batmen though. He is a cool looking villain. If it wasn’t for Robin I would have liked this story more.

Demon Knights 1

I like Etrigan! When I first saw him I asked “Whose the fish demon?” The story starts with how a unlucky guy happened to walk into the room where the demon Etrigan was being held and Merlin The Magician locked the demon away inside of him. He can be called out when needed by Jason O’ Th’ Blood. Coolest. Name. Ever.

They happen into a bar where this evil sorceress and her army are heading and get into a brawl. Wanna know how evil this lady is? She has one of her wizards use a baby to find out where to go and the baby explodes. After Etrigan is summoned and starts breathing fire and kicking ass dragons show up to wreck shit.

This was a cool issue but not heavy in terms of depth. A more action packed story of the character than I was expecting. I was thinking it would take place in present day but its totally hundreds of years ago. Fun story but not something I would look forward to monthly. Story and art by Paul Cornell and Diogenes Neves.

Resurrection Man 1

I love this story and character. Never heard of him until today though. Resurrection Man wakes up in a morgue and screams in pain from being brought back to life. Apparently each time he dies and comes back he has a new power. This time its electricity. For unknown reasons he has to get to Portlad. So after stealing some cash he hops on a plane where he meets this strange broad (yeah, I use the word broad) with a red teardrop on her cheek who knows all about the people on the plane and why they are there. She transforms into a demon and starts killing people and attempts to bring the plane down.

Mitch aka Resurrection man fights her off with his new powers and defeats her but not before she lets him know that the dead want him back. Bad. These two chicks show up at the morgue and start asking where “John Doe” went and kill the workers before figuring they should try asking questions without covering their mouths. He ends up getting sucked into the planes engine and all of the passengers die. He wakes up in the wreckage with the ability to turn into water, which he does and gets away before another demon agent arrives in the form of a fireman.

This was a cool story and art by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Like I mentioned, never heard of this character but now I want to know everything about him. The way this was done it felt like I was watching a series like Dexter or Dead Like Me. Very cool and I will be checking this one out again.

Superboy, Frankenstein Agent Of SHADE, Mr. Terrific Issue 1

I woke up in my cell with a note taped to my forehead that said “You Are Not Writing!” courtesy of Mr. Soot. I wanted to crumple the note but figured it could be used as evidence if I ever get out of here alive. On the bright side some new DC 52 comics were left next to my plate of rice and flies so I guess I’ll get to writing about them.

                                         Superboy 1

I have never been able to figure out the character of Superboy. Is it Superman as a child? Is it a clone? Is he from another reality altogether? I’m glad this is around to give me a fresh starting point because frankly I don’t have the patience to try and figure this out for myself. The issue starts with what is referred to as “the clone” floating in a tank and being observed. The experiment is being considered a failure since the clone does nothing but exist when in actuality it has no reason to do anything other than ponder.

They don’t know it but the clone knows and hears everything they are doing. When they decide to kill it with cyanide it feels pain for the first time and lashes out killing people before a researcher calms him down. It doesn’t understand most of what is going on and even the feeling of air on its skin is strange. A month later it is enrolled in school and answering questions he knows he should not know. He meets a girl and walks her home, meanwhile ignoring a woman screaming for help as the house burns down with her inside. Wait. What?!

It turns out to be a virtual reality simulator and he is aware of it. The researcher wants to know why he did not save the woman saying “…its clear Superman is obsessed with helping people. So unless Superboy’s human cells originated from in a deeply pathological, megalomaniacal narcissist, the likes of which the world has never known…it means we did something wrong.

In the end Superboy is released by someone high on the food chain and lets him know what he has to do. There are some young heroes behind him and I recognize one as Kid Flash or whatever he goes by nowadays. This was a cool issue and they introduced who Superboy is and what he can do pretty well. Funny how easily some of these 52 stories handle origins so well while others confuse you more than when you began. His costume kicks ass too. This was done by Scott Lobdell and R.B Silva.

Frankenstein Agent Of S.H.A.D.E 1

I didn’t know what too expect going into this one but was pleasantly surprised. It starts with a dog getting skinned. Yeah. That happened by page two. Monsters are loose and its up to Frankenstein to stop them. Seriously, bear with me. Monsters are destroying a small town and its up to Frankenstein, his creator who has taken the form of a little girl, and some creatures to stop them.

Their base of operations is a 3-inch globe that has an entire city in it called The Ant Farm. You can only enter by being shrunk using technology created by Ant Man. Its pretty cool. Frankenstein’s wife was last seen fighting the monsters before disappearing and with the help of a mer-woman, a wolf man, a mummy, and a vampire, they hope to succeed.

This was a pretty fun issue. I love that whenever Frankenstein had a question a little computer would answer his question, especially since I had the same ones. I don’t know what amount of drugs one would have to take to think to give Frankenstein a big ass gun and fight monsters but I’m glad they did it. Cool story by Jeff Lemire and very fitting art by Alberto Ponticelli.

Mister Terrific 1

I just love that name. I’m not sure why. It sounds super cheesy but it fit’s the character. Mister Terrific is chasing some nut job in a powered suit (why are Black heroes always chasing crazy White folks in powers suits?) in England. After capturing him it goes into his origin story which is pretty damn depressing and reminiscent of The Joker’s from The Killing Joke. In an effort to destroy himself he ends up becoming powerful and using his power for good.

In a diner parking lot a normal guy on his lunch break goes ape-shit and kills a homeless man after a strange sound rang in his head. Later while at a fundraiser with some very powerful people that strange sound strikes again this time affecting Mr. Terrific. He reprograms a system that is meant to safeguard against seismic activity to shake the building and kill someone who could be president one day.

I don’t know much about Mr. Terrific besides the fact that he is Black, has a big ass “T” on his face, and watched the Justice League’s base when they were on missions in the cartoon. Oh, and he rides balls. Don’t laugh. This issue wasn’t bad but it didn’t exactly want to take it out on a second date. This issue was done by Eric Wallace and Gianluca Gugliotta.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Batman Detective Comics Issue 1

Mr. Soot has come back and he bought something big. I don’t know what it is for sure but the words laser, death, and/or ray will likely be involved. So while he curses the planet and all who were born before him I’ll whip out another blog covering the DC 52. This is the one I have been waiting for!

The story begins with Batman counting the amount of deaths The Joker has caused and commited over the last six years (114 if you’re interested) and believes that tonight is the night he will finally catch him. That is if he gets there in time to stop the big guy wearing a human skullcap with a large knife from killing him first!

While a nude Joker “signs” his name into the man’s body after ripping his throat out with his bare teeth, Batman arrives. Just as he is about to capture The Joker a small child gets Batman’s attention and he gets away. Soon Gotham PD show up and Batman has to put his boots up their asses before taking off. Back in The Batcave his trusty butler Alfred lets him know that Master Wayne has blown off another date. Batman ain’t got time for no lovin’!

After finding out where The Joker is through Commissioner Gordon Batman arrives in time to see a bunch of SWAT members get blown to bits by a fake Joker bomb. The real Joker escapes to a train before Batman finds him and they start fighting. Sometimes we have to be reminded of how crazy and dangerous the Joker is. After a whiff of his deadly gas Batman is stabbed twice and almost shot before getting electrocuted. He manages to fight back and beats the piss out of The Joker. Happy ending!


The Joker is locked away in Arkham Asylum where while in his cell someone comes into his cell and carves his face off. Not cuts him up. Cuts his face off and nails it to a wall. Oh, and The Joker asked for this. Yeah. This was an awesome first issue and had me gripped from the very first page to the last. The art and story were amazing and done by the same person, Tony S. Daniel. Batman’s outfit is more realistic than previous versions where it was just tights and good luck and skill that kept him alive. There are slight bits of armor, real boots, and shorter bat ears. Great first issue of one of the best characters ever created in comics.

Animal Man, Static Shock, Hawk & Dove, Green Arrow Issue 1

While Mr. Soot is away doing whatever it is that super villains do when they’re not busy being super villainy I decided to use the available light in my cell and write some more reviews. This whole DC 52 thing is making me quickly see that not everyone needs a reboot and should’ve stayed gone and that just because someone was good in the 90’s doesn’t mean they can still hack it now.

                                      Animal Man 1

I had heard that this was a good one and I’ll be damned if its not one of the best of the 52 stories so far. I didn’t think Animal Man could be a cool character. He just seemed like a more powerful Bravestarr (you make me sad for not knowing who he is). The very first page is an interview by a magazine asking what Buddy Baker aka Animal Man has been up to lately. Boom. History taken care of.

While at home with his wife and kids his daughter is screeching for a new puppy while his son rushes in and tells him that there’s a hostage situation at the hospital. A man whose daughter died from cancer is trying to take one of the kids and believes his daughter is still alive. Animal man takes him out by using the skin of a rhino, reflexes of a fly, speed of a cheetah, and the bark of a dog. He calls it his “action hero” cocktail.

A policeman mentions that something is wrong with his eyes. They are pouring blood but the doctors find nothing wrong and he admits that he hasn’t felt better in a long time. Back home while sleeping he has a disturbing dream. And by disturbing I mean “if you don’t believe in God now you will in a moment!” In his dream he sees the types of creatures you’d imagine after trying to reenact Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. He rushes downstairs after his wife screams for him to find his daughter playing with the reanimated corpses of animals. Aah! Aah! Aah!

Written and drawn by Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman this is by far one of my favorites in the 52 series. They managed to cover the characters history, his civilian life, his heroic life, and set up a threat that he has to face. Great job all around and I cant wait to read issue two! Fun, dark, and great pacing.

Static Shock 1

Virgil Dawkins is Static Shock, a smart ass kid (figuratively and literally) that has the power to manipulate electricity in all its form. While chasing a villain away that has stolen a powered suit from STAR Labs (which is apparently the most dangerous place on Earth to work besides The Daily Planet). After stopping him he is immediately executed. If someone says they are about to die, just believe them and raise a shield or something. But nope. Dude gets killed and in the process Static Shock manages to piss off New York City by frying a bunch of folks electric items.

A group of multi colored villains are seen recording and watching the action. These Power Rangers report back to some guy what happened and he is pissed off so he sends in Virule. Just picture Killer Croc 2099 or something. By the end of the issue Static gets new stuff for his hover craft from Hardware (who knew he still existed?) and is instantly shot by Virule who ends up slicing the kids arm off.

The was the definition of “meh.” The story by Scott McDaniel seems to not pick a tone and stick with it. You cant go from smart mouthed kid watching someone get murdered one foot from him to asking for a new car from his parents the next. The art by John Rozum is mediocre. This reboot would’ve been the perfect chance to get rid of Static’s goofy ass dreads. I mean, its funny when a character looks almost exactly like their alter ego. This didn’t get my panties wet at all.

Hawk & Dove 1

Hawk & Dove have a long and uninteresting history in comics and for some reason they decided to keep that trend going. Hawk is strong and powerful. Dove, who is now a chick, is the same but she has stronger emotions. I guess in case of a robbery they can slip on her tears. The two of them manage to stop a plane heading towards the Washington Monument. It still hits it but just a little.

Back at home Hawk is bitching about his brother the former Dove being dead (this reboot would’ve been a good way to fix that…) and Dove is hanging out with her boyfriend Deadman talking about stuff. She is hiding a secret from Hawk that she wishes to never tell. Hawk feels like beating some stuff up. The also show the origin of how they got their powers and it is so lame. They just asked for them. That’s it. “Hey, I wanna be powerful.” “Okay!” some gods say and there you are. At the end some dude that looks like a brown version of the deceased Dove shows up and kills a zombie. Wait. Huh?!

What a waste of paper this one was. The story by Sterling Gates was super rushed and felt like a throwaway issue. And the art? Rob Liefeld has been doing this since I was a child and has managed not to grow as an artist. Look at that cover! Tell me that doesn’t look like the same shit he was doing back in the 90’s. He does not have the ability to draw emotions other than rage, anger, pissedoffness, and rage. In a normal conversation people look like they are in the middle of taking the most painful bowel movement in the history of Earth. Boo this comic. Boo!!!

Green Arrow 1

Green Arrow fights crime while having business meetings. This is something that even Batman hasn’t mastered. He finds a team of wannabe villains who get off on taping their crimes and posting them online and takes them down. He also has a team that helps him on his missions and I assume one of them trimmed his goatee. He looks like Speedy wearing Green Arrow’s outfit. Kinda weird.

While the villains are locked up they are rescued by some dude that looks like the type of guy that doesn’t wear underwear. Yeah. You know the type. I love the splash page at the end of these guys (and dwarf, and wolf chick, and karate master) posing while the smoke clears. Seriously, if the smoke cleared and these guys were standing there like that I would crack up laughing. They don’t look threatening. Pass by a club on a Friday night. Do they scare you? Exactly.

I would have liked for this to be more of an origin story. It feels like I am jumping in the middle of something and I felt lost while reading it. Still it was an okay read but if the evil guys being used are the jump off point I am worried. Hipsters don’t scare me. Story by J.T Krul and art by the always dependable Dan Jurgens.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Batwing, OMAC, Men Of War, Justice League International Issue 1

Mr. Soot has slid the food hole open long enough for me to get some light and write up another batch of DC 52 reviews. Already I am starting to see some chinks in the armor but hopefully this is for a few lackluster stories and not a trend that will continue.

                                         Batwing 1

Africa just got Batman’d! Trained to instill fear in the heart of criminals that are a bit harder to scare, Batwing dons a suit of armor and the ability to fly. Crazy how Batman can make this stuff but is like “I don’t need that nonsense. Don’t you know who I am?” This is an origin story mixed with an introduction to a Batwing's villain named Massacre.

This issue shows Batwing as he fights corruption at night and during the day as a police officer. Someone has been beheading criminals and even one of Africa’s first superheroes and Batwing is depending on the help of one of his colleagues to help investigate.

When arriving at work Batwing (not in costume) discovers the entire police force dead and beheaded with the words “Stay Away” written on the wall in their blood. A moment later a large machete is thrust through his back as Massacre says “You are late for work.

A cool first issue by Judd Winick with beautiful art by Ben Oliver. If the story and art can keep up this pace for twelve issues I would be shocked.

Men Of War 1

Corporal Rock just wants to fight. He has the experience and the credentials to be more than what he is but has no desire to. When forced to go on a mission he and his team land in the middle of not just a war zone but a battle between two unseen superheroes who are doing as much damage to the city as the weapons being used by soldiers.

Rock is given a promotion in the form of their squad leader being impaled as the two superpowers battle one another. This was an okay story. There is an extra story inside which is like a scene taken right out of Full Metal Jacket with a Pepsi Twist. So far probably the first in the DC 52 that I have no strong interest in checking out the next issue. Decent story and art by Ivan Brandon and Tom Derenick but it didn’t jump out at me like a first issue should.


This one didn’t blow my skirt up. It stank of “Kill! Destroy! I am a crazed machine! Argh!” The art at times appeared to be Kirby-Lite and featured characters that seemed very generic and flimsy. And look at that damned cover. Really? This is the reboot of an entire company and this is the best you can come up with? Lazy writing and lazy art equals I wont even bother reading issue two.

At one point Keith Giffen was the man in terms of art. I don’t know what was happening or if he was rushed but this should not have come out until some more work was done. The cover is the entire issue. Big Rob Liefeld reject standing on top of a bunch of wreckage with an ending that isn’t even “Oh!” worthy. I hope this doesn’t tie into any other comics because I would hate to have to keep up with this just to know the whole story of what’s going on. And writer Dan Didio knows better than to write this 1992 seeming garbage. When your characters opening line is shouting his name with dramatic pauses you know you’re in trouble.

Justice League International 1

Okay, now this is more like it. The world government knows that superheroes are going nowhere anytime soon and decide to gather a bunch of them from around the world (ex. Booster Gold, Guy Gardner, Ice, Vixen, August General In Iron, Rocket Red) to make a team lead by Booster but under the governments thumb.

Their first meeting goes to hell when Guy Gardner leaves after learning that Booster is really their leader. Booster is insulted that he is not in the Justice League. Meanwhile everyone else is busy bickering with each other and Batman decides to help out on their first mission, reminding Booster that as a leader he should actually, oh I don’t know, lead the team! And he does lead them.

Right into a trap!

These weird rock lava creature things start attacking and they are putting up an okay, if guideless, fight until a ginormous ass robot comes out of the ground. I know I should know this robots name but I don’t. This was a good action packed issue but I’m not sure that even with the help of Batman it can be great. More time should have been spent on introducing these characters to people or the shadowy going’s on’s involving the governments that are controlling the team. I’m pretty much waiting to see who betrays the team. This was by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti.

Superman, Swamp Thing, Batgirl, Stormwatch Issue 1

Mr. Soot in his never-ending quest to ensure that I do not see the light of day handed me a stack of new DC Comics featuring the new 52. The next series of blogs will feature more than one comic so as to not bombard you all with a dozen links. Might as well start off with the Boy Scout.

                             Superman Action Comics 1

I will be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of Superman. My biggest complaint is that he spends so much time with all these cool powers but he doesn’t do anything unless its some massive event or invasion. With the help of Grant Morrison and Rags Morales this has been fixed! Introducing a Superman that actually does something for the little man!

The issue starts with a young and reckless Superman wearing a cape and jeans with loafers threatening to drop a dirty city employee that has people on his payroll off a balcony if he doesn’t confess. The city has heard of Superman and are afraid of him. What I like is that he isn’t taking himself too seriously.

After escaping the police and being hit with bullets and eventually a missile from a tank he makes it back to his apartment and pays rent. Meanwhile (you have no idea how hard it is for me to not say “At the Hall Of Justice!” right now…) Lex Luthor, hired by Lois Lane’s military father, is gathering footage of Superman and comparing him to various infestations that threw the eco-system off kilter.

In this version of Superman he can be hurt and still does not know the limit of his abilities. A rocket does hurt him. And a runaway train pins him against a wall where he is trapped unconscious at the end. For someone like me to say that a Superman comic is worth getting that is high praise. I have never in my life wanted to read a Superman comic (except when he died and I hoped that Batman had something to do with it). This is a fantastic start to the series.

Swamp Thing 1

I have to say that I do not know much about Swamp Thing. I saw a movie when I was little and maybe a cartoon but that’s about it. This issue is a great introduction to the character and almost immediately establishes the fact that he is a big player when Superman arrives to check in on him.

In Metropolis birds are falling from the skies. In The Batcave bats are dropping from the ceiling. In the sea fish are rotting and dying. Dr. Alan Holland, he who is Swamp Thing, knows all of this. He can feel and hear plant life and wants to ignore it. An excavation site is desecrated and a team ends up walking into a living mammoth man covered in flies that when they get in your body, uh, make your head turn around owl-style. They use very few frames to show this but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look painful!

Back at his hotel Holland tries to sleep but is having nightmares of his “death” and transformation into Swamp Thing. He awakens in his room which is now covered with plant life. In a rage he takes the chemical that helped transform him and threatens to throw it into a lake when suddenly Swamp Thing appears and says “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” At the very least I hoped to be interested in this comic. I am. I actually want to read a damned Swamp Thing comic. Way to go Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette.

Batgirl 1

Quick: what do you know about Batgirl? If your answer was that she was played by that chubby girl from Clueless than I pity you. Years ago Batgirl aka Barbara Gordon aka Commissioner Gordon’s daughter was shot and paralyzed by The Joker in The Killing Joke. She is now able to walk and under the training of Batman is fighting crime.

While Batgirl is fighting crime and stopping a gang or bored teens who have been murdering families and sometimes leaving a survivor someone called The Mirror is killing people. He has a list of names and Barbara Gordon is one of them.

She moves out of her father’s home and into a new apartment with a roommate and immediately has to spring into action. One of the boys she captured is in a hospital that is being attacked by the Mirror. After arriving she comes face to face with him and he aims his gun exactly where she was shot before. And she freezes from fear. An officer screams at her “You let him kill that man. You just watched him die. Murderer!” The issue ends with her between the barrels of a psychopath and a cop.

This was a cool story and a good introduction to the Batgirl character as they managed to cover a hell of a lot in one issue. The art is kinda strange at times and I would’ve loved if they got rid of her long, loud red hair, but that’s my only complaint. Still a good first issue by Gail Simone and Adrian Syaf.

Stormwatch 1

This is my shit right here! I am a huge fan of The Authority and Stormwatch and seeing them in the DC Universe being used properly gets me pregnant. The fact that Martian Manhunter is there as well just pushes it into shart yourself territory.

The Engineer watches as the team (including Jack Hawksmoor who can manipulate cities) try and recruit Apollo to help out. He has been busy fighting small crimes and they want him to help on a universal level which he wants no part of. The people running the show didn’t even think to recruit him until a fan fiction image of him beating Superman appeared. Jenny Sparks is here as well which rules since she is a very underrated heavy hitter in comics in general.

Meanwhile the moon is growing a giant clawed hand out of its surface. Team member Harry Tanner is taken over by a giant eye in the moons center that says that it prepares weaker planets for fights or as it puts it “I am here to make your world stronger through devastation. You should be afraid.” To which Tanner replies “Oh. I think I rather am.

After teleporting to confront Apollo once again Martian Manhunter takes on his natural form to convince him to join the team. Suddenly the entire team is unconscious and standing over them is The Midnighter. Don’t know who The Midnighter is? Oh, nobody. Just one of the coolest characters ever created. The issue ends with him saying “I’m the Midnighter. With your help I can kill every evil bastard on the planet. Interested?

Awesome first issue and I will so be waiting for the next! There are so many places this story can go that I can barely begin to think of where it might. The addition of Martian Manhunter and the appearance of The Midnight have me so hyper. Paul Cornell and Miguel Sepulveda made characters I haven’t cared about in ten years relevant again.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rosscast Episode 239: I'm Going To Eat You

In this episode I discuss the recent blackouts and talk about some from my childhood, an Only In Florida story involving a vampire, We Going To Hell with a murder involving a neighbors trashcan, and a story about a guy who has to pay his ex wife because they didn’t have sex. Click here to download this episode and here for past Rosscasts.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Justice League Issue 1

Mr. Soot asked me to write a blog for each issue of DC’s new re-launch of all of their comics starting with Justice League #1. He didn’t so much as ask me as demand me. The conversation went a little something like this.

Him: “DC is relaunching their comics.”

Me: “I heard.”

Him: “You’re gonna write about it.”

Me: “Um…”

Him: “Every issue.”

Me: “But I have eight other blogs.”

Him: “That’s funny.”

Me: “What’s funny?”

Him: “That you think I care.”

I may be paraphrasing but that was pretty damned close to how it went down. But with more cursing and weeping. Forget everything you know about Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman. Seriously. Forget it. This is a starting point for new fans and old fans who have tired of the convoluted history in DC Comics.

The story begins with an armed team trying to take down Batman and some creature that spits fire. Green Lantern shows up and is surprised that Batman is real. Testament to the fact that Batman is so awesome that a guy that whose job it is to protect our universe is amazed by him.

                       “Flattery will get you punched.”

Green Lantern is super cocky and pretty much tells Batman to cool his jets because he has everything under control. Batman does not like how bright Green Lantern is. There is an exchange between the two of them that actually made me laugh out loud.

Green Lantern: “What are your powers anyway? You cant fly.”

Batman: “No.”

Green Lantern: “Super strength?”

Batman: “No.”

Green Lantern: “Hold on a second…You’re not just some guy in a bat costume are you? Are you freaking kidding me?!

They make their way to a high school where Vic Stone aka Cyborg is playing football and wowing the crowd while his father disappoints him by not showing up. They arrive in a bright green plane which scares everyone and pisses Batman off and trace alien in the air by GPS. Green Lantern locks Batman in a box and tells him “I can handle this” before being punched across the field by a surprisingly awesome looking Superman who sees Batman and asks…

“So…what can you do?”

This was a great first start by Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, and Scott Williams. I am actually anxious to see how the characters I am so familiar with behave in this new DC Universe. The combination of Batman and Green Lantern was surprisingly fun and exciting due to their personalities being so different. Cant wait for the next issue. Mr. Soot has locked me in a cage with my laptop and told me that each issue should be fashioned to make a blanket for warmth.

And he said he didn’t like me.