Saturday, July 27, 2013

Casting Goodness



Most people never have anything good to say about a studio casting decisions. Remember when Nolan cast that guy from 10 Things I Hate About You to play the Joker? What a disaster! Just go back and read the threads before Ledger even dawned the makeup and you'd think that by now the value of the Batman franchise would be less than that of Enron's stock!

Guess what? We were wrong. And we are wrong, a lot!

But one casting decision I think everyone can agree on is the casting of veteran actor Ed Asner to play Darkseid's henchwoman Granny Goodness, in not just the Justice League cartoon but also in the ensuing DC Direct releases.

Asner brings the scruffiness of his Lou Grant (The Mary tyler Moore Show) mixed with the devotion of a twisted Mrs. Garrett (Facts of Life, google it) to the role and FREAKIN' nails it with every line! Don't believe me? Take a look...



Thursday, July 25, 2013

12 Questions with Tony Isabella



I know it's been a while since I have consitantly posted here but I am very proud to present to you an interview I did with legendary comic book writer/editor and creator of the ground breaking hero Black Lightning, Tony Isabella! Tony pulled no punches during the interview, which makes for quite and interesting read!
After the interveiw be sure to check out his blog at:
TONY ISABELLA'S BLOGGY THING: http://tonyisabella.blogspot.com/


I was a longtime subscriber of Comics Buyer's Guide. You were a longtime contributor to CBG (which is infinitely cooler than subscriber by the way), so what is your fondest memory of your time there?
Probably when readers told me how much they liked something I had recommended and when comics creators told me my reviews had helped them in some way.  Of course, receiving literally hundreds of review copies every month didn't suck either.

Is there a character/concept that you created earlier in your career that didn't quite make the impact that you had hoped, that was possibly ahead of its time and you think would've succeeded in today's market?
War Is Hell predated Quantum Leap, so that would be one.  I was ahead of the curve with my original concept for the Champions as a super-hero buddy road trip starring just Iceman and the Angel.  But the one that hurts is Black Lightning, which has been adversely affected by DC's mismanagement of my creation since pretty near day one.  Not to mention DC's failure/refusal to honor their agreements with me.  Black Lightning was not a work-for-hire creation.

Would rather see Black Lightning get the Smallville/Arrow TV treatment or become part of DC's next push of film releases?
I would rather see Black Lightning entirely out of the hands of anyone from DC Entertainment.  I think it's pretty obvious DC does not understand or respect the character.

Do you see your controversial introduction of "The Friend" in your 70's Ghost Rider run opened the door for Miller's spin on Matt Murdoch's Catholic Guilt issues during Born Again arc?
I never considered that.  Guys of my comics industry generation who had been raised Roman Catholic often had issues and negative impressions of the Church.  I created "The Friend" because I felt there should be a Marvel Universe counterpart to Satan, but it was as much mythology as "religion."  Jim Starlin took a more satirical approach in Warlock.

What's the one character/issue/arc/idea you wish you could have a mulligan on?
Not really.  A writer's less-than-wonderful stories are part of the learning process.  That said, I wouldn't mind having another go at some earlier stories, mostly because I think I could write them better now than I did then.

What's the one idea you pushed for but were turned down that you still think should have been approved?
My afore-mentioned original concept for the Champions.

DC or Marvel, if you could only read one, who is it?
MARVEL

Is there any chance we'll see Justice Machine again?
An excellent chance...but not with me as the writer.  Some time back, JM creator Mike Gustovich sold the rights to the property to another writer who has his own and distinctly different vision of the characters.  I think the new owner is planning to relaunch the title in the near future.

Who is the most overrated character in all of comics? I mean I know it's Wolverine, but what do you think?
The Joker.  It defies logic that no one has put several bullets into his brain or otherwise dispatched him.  Since he always kills people whenever he's on the loose, every person who encounters him or who is in proximity to him could rightfully claim self-defense. And the person who killed him would never spend a day in jail for doing this.  Guaranteed.

I rank The Champions as one of my top three favorite team books ever. Where do you rank it personally in regards to your career?
Not as high as you, but I'm beginning to understand why so many fans love it.  It was not the book I pitched - Angel and Iceman as traveling heroes - and it wasn't the book I wanted it to be after the editors had their way with my original concept.  But there is some good stuff in the handful of issues I wrote and I may return to some of the core concepts in the future.

You're from the birth state of Superman. Did that have any impact on you at all when you decided to go into writing comic books?
 No. I didn't know I was from the birth state of Superman until after I had decided I wanted to write comic books when I grew up. That decision was inspired by Stan Lee.  I wanted to be Stan Lee.

If DC or Marvel gave you the keys to the kingdom and told you, you could write a mini or ongoing series for any character in their stable who would you pick and why?
At DC, it would be Black Lightning...if I could do it my way and without the editorial micro-managing in vogue there.  Just as I did in the 1990s, I would keep the essentials of the character and his history, but update him for the present.
At Marvel, it would be Ghost Rider Forever, a continuation of what I had been doing in the series when I left it and as if my finale hadn't been rewritten by Jim Shooter.  It wouldn't be a month-by-month continuation.  I'd do a few stories set in one period, then jump ahead to the next period in Johnny Blaze's life.
My second Marvel choice would be, believe it or not, the Mole Man.  I have an idea for something different with the character that I think would be fun.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Eisner Award...Best Splash Page

We interrupt the countdown for the best page yet in the New52...BRILLIANT! 



Go read Green Arrow #22 now!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spider-Film: The Clone Saga



Remember way back in 2008 when Sony announced that Spider-Man 4 was a go and Sam Raimi was back at the helm? Dylan Baker was finally going to transform from Doc Connors to The Lizard. John Malkovich was in talks to play the Vulture and Anne Hathoway was going to become Felicia Hardy's feline alter ego The Black Cat.

(Too bad she never got the chance to wear those black tights and seduce a hero with her...on second thought, never mind.)

Back to the lecture at hand.  I loved the 1st two Spider-Man flicks, still do! Hell I don't even hate 3! Is it great? No. But it's certainly not awful (see, Halle Berry's Catwoman). But after the poor reception of the 3rd film the future of the franchise was in question. That's why in 2008 when the news of a 4th film broke and it was also mentioned that films 5&6 would be extensions of one another and filmed simultaneously I was cautiously optimistic. Turns out my caution was warranted.

Sony, Raimi or maybe both had put the cart way before the horse. The studio and films creative team could not see eye to eye and in the end, Raimi and crew were essentially fired. Spider-Man on the big screen was DOA and I for one was more than disappointed. But just like death in comic books, didn't last long.

Soon after, it was announced that the franchise was to be rebooted under the Amazing Spider-Man tag line. The movie was released in 2012 and was a critical and commercial success, putting a different spin on the old familiar tale and it wasn't long before the sequel was anounced. Now, just weeks into shooting Sony has had casting problems (Woodely who was to play Mary Jane Watson will be recast and the character has even been cut from ASM 2 altogether) and has already announced ASM 3&4. Where have I heard this before?...Oh yeah, 5 years ago when Sony dropped the ball with the previous franchise!

I'm generally a positive person but this news is troubling at best. Spider-Man is my favorite Super Hero and the thought of his film franchise being bungled again just doesn't sit well with me. I hope Sony has learned from it's previous debacle and is not embarking on a "real life" Spider-Man Clone Saga because we all know that those do not end well!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Coming Attractions...

It has been a busy couple of days, so naturally my time to blog has been non existent. That being said I wanted to break my silence, and with the SMASHING success of the Man of Steel film I thought it only appropriate to bring you some Coming Attractions!

THE FOLLOWING PREVIEWS HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR ALL AGES

In the next couple of weeks I will be posting interviews with comic book legends Tony Isabella (creator of Black Panther and prolific Ghost Rider writer) and the writer of countless classics like the "BWAHAHA" JLI, Kraven's Last Hunt, as well as the newly announced Justice League 3000, JM DeMatteis. I am extremely honored to have had these opportunities and I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I did conducting them.

I'm also hoping to deliver some fresh art from a project that a friend and I are working on. We are super stoked about it and can't wait to update you as soon as it gets further underway.

Until then, enjoy one of my favorite covers of all time!

"KNEEL BEFORE SKEETS!"

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Steel's Audiences Silence Critics

For far to long the average movie goer has been under the tyrannical thumb of the all powerful movie critic! Critics force their opinions of what is good and what is pure garbage, letting us know that crime dramas with badges and pistols can be works of art, but throw a cape and cowl into the mix and it's no longer considered serious cinema. Well today that rule is over! The people have spoken and risen up against their overbearing overlords and simply told them, their wrong.

The movie going public has voted with both their wallets ($132 mil projected opening weekend) and their words. While the majority (of over 200 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes) of critics has panned Man of Steel, movie theaters were filled from wall to wall with audiences ready to take in the next cinematic chapter of Superman. Then, like most of us do in our current world of mobile media, took to the web to let their voices be heard. Over 81,000 members of the paying audience have ranked MOS as 82% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and the well regarded Cinemascore has audiences grading MOS as an A- film.

So why such contrast in opinion from critics to the paying public? I can't answer that question. but what I do know is that the weekend of June 14, 2013, the weekend we finally got Man of Steel, audiences gave critics the metaphorical and financial middle finger that they have deserved for oh, so long, and I loved every minute of it!


Friday, June 14, 2013

Lemire Hits the Mark With Green Arrow



To say that Green Arrow has had a bumpy road since the post -Flashpoint relaunch would be an understatement. Right out of the gate GA suffered from a severe case of inconsistency, being penned by 3 different writers by just the 7th issue. Ann Nocenti tried valiantly to establish a tone for Ollie but seemed to fell short and it never flowed organically, it felt forced at best. I attribute some of these issues to the handling of the 0 issue. In the middle of trying to establish her voice for Arrow, a one-shot written by Judd Winnick was thrown in the mix. The book was never able to regain its footing, but as a loyal GA reader never gave up hope. The books weren't bad, they just weren't Green Arrow.

Then, out of the shinning light stepped Jeff Lemire!

When Lemire started his run on Green Arrow with "The Kill Machine" there was an excitement that jumped off the page. The status quo was changed. People died, Oliver lost his company, a mysterious blind sage (Magus) was introduced to us along with a rival archer (Komodo) with skill to spare who turned Mr. Queens world upside down! Now this is a Green Arrow book! None of this at all compared to the pay off of the final chapter. Lemire gave a nod to the already established canon of his predecessors and swiftly moved forward with a new book that is now all his own. He in no way disrespected those that came before, but made it known that, that chapter of Arrow's history was just that, history. With the introduction of "The Outsiders", John Butcher and...wait for it...SHADO! Yes the Shado of Long Bow Hunters fame is back in GA next month!

So, if you've been Leary of the new52 Green Arrow but love the character, start with Lemire's "The Kill Machine" (issue #17) and don't look back. You'll thank me later.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

BOOM! Studios to Spin a "Charming" Tale


I did not see this one coming! This morning a teaser photo dropped announcing a Sons of Anarchy comic book adaptation courtesy of BOOM! Studios. For those not familiar, get familiar! Sons of Anarchy is the smash hit FX drama about a gang of outlaw bikers and their exploits in the fictitious town of Charming, CA. The show has a rabid fan base (including my wife and I) and this is a huge get for BOOM! that has massive crossover appeal. Hell my wife who has no use what so ever for funny books has even said she wants to read it.

Kudos, BOOM!, you continue to rewrite the blueprint on how to run an independent comic book company. You go big and it pays off time and time again. People in the industry are always asking, "how do we bring in new readers?". Look no further than this!

***UPDATE***
Comic Book Resources (www.comicbookresources.com) has released exclusive news about BOOM! Studios forth coming Sons of Anarchy series. It will be a 6 issue mini series written by Christopher Golden and illustrated by Damian Couceiro with covers by RM Guerra (Scalped). It will debut alongside the series 6 and presumably penultimate season in September.

Below is an exclusive image released today:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Comic Books, The Great Escape!




I finally realized why I love comic books..Granny Goodness  always wins.

Now it might not be instantaneous. It might not be in a traditional sense of word. And it may not even be seen as a win until a greater story unfolds. But they always do. This is a strange realization for me because I firmly believe that the protagonist can single handedly make or break a story. They fuel the fire and drive the plot home when done properly. But no matter how bleak it may appear, how much carnage and wreckage is caused and how much or many we lose in the process, in the end a hero will rise... ALWAYS!

Sometimes when it seems like only the truly ugly get ahead in the real world, I think to what fate would belay them in a four colored one. They may reap their benefits for while, but before long it would unravel, always does. It's what brings me back time and time again. It's hope, and it's never lost when I'm reading a comic book. When the Joker tore apart the Bat-family in "Death of the Family" I just new that someday, maybe not today, but someday the family would be whole again. That isn't the case in the real world. Sometimes seeds of mistrust ruin lives completely and the results are often tragic and always life changing. Every once in a while we all need an escape. Maybe just 20 mins a day to forget about our troubles and simply be entertained. Classic Literature has always had a way of transporting it's reader into far off lands, unimaginable adventures and whirlwind romances. Comic books are carrying that torch quite nicely!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Lex We Deserve

I know Action Comics has had it's share of controversy lately and hopefully Scott Lobdell can come in and calm the waters for a nice long entertaining run. sadly however, lost in the turmoil of the Morrison-Diggle-Daniel-DC paradox (Not sure how else to sum that 1 up) is a pretty damn good story being printed in Action Comics that has accomplished the 1 task that I have been patiently waiting for since the post Flashpoint relaunch.

LEX LUTHOR IS A BAD ASS!

Morrison laid the groundwork for Lex early in his Action run by making him a full fledged holier than though greedy capitalist pig who knows better than anyone, even the Government. His seeds of mistrust in Metropolis' alien savior were not just planted, but firmly rooted from the start. Evil Lex was dangled in front of u s like a carrot, firmly planted in the scenery for us to wonder when he'd strike, but it was not until the current Diggle/Daniel arc (Hybrid) that Lex took true Action (pun intended)! Luthor unleashed a contagion that was not only designed to take out the Man of Steel, but would also effect the fine folks of the City of Tomorrow to show the world how dangerous their "savior" truly is. Of course, things don't work out exactly as planned for baldy. With help from a now, fully realized supporting cast (Lois, Jimmy & a guesting Doctor Veritas) Superman over comes the contagion and rushes to get the civilians to safety.

Here's where it gets good...

Finally, Lex takes matters into his own hands. He let's his ego get in the way, dawns his Battle suit,
and goes to work on Supes. You see, Lex truly believes only he can save this world and Superman has forced his hand to act. Naturally with an ego teh sized of the former Soviet Union, he lets loose that he doesn't care who dies as long as he rids the city of Kal-El (the ends justify the means) and that the contagion was of his design to do just that. Crack reporter Lois Lane heard it all and with the stroke of her key borad Lex Luthor will now become Metroplis' official Big Bad.

That is how you write Lex Luthor! Right down to the smallest syllable he was pitch perfect and even though he falls into police custody at the end of the issue we know that this was just the beginning. Hopefully Scott Lobdell has many more scenes like the one below in mind for Clark and Lex in the near future!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Who Will Be Who, in the Doctor Who U?



I will fully admit that I am more than fashionably late to the party. In fact I have only watched one series of Doctor Who in it's entirety, the current Matt Smith run that is coming to an end this Christmas. I have always wanted to give it a try but much like an outsider looking to get into comic books, the longevity of the series seemed far to daunting a task and I didn't know where to start. I had heard rave reviews for David Tennant's run but a man with a family and a full time job only has so much time to spare. So I finally made the exectutive decision to start a new with the current series and it's cast of characters. Turns out I made a solid decision as Smith's 3 seasons as the TARDIS wheeling Doctor are some of the most entertaining tales that I've witnessed on the small screen! And just as I went all in and got emotionally invested in MY Doctor, it's announced that he's leaving the show. I am finally at my last stage of grief (acceptance) and am ready for another chap (or dame?) to step in, grab a bow tie and flaunt his intergalactic PHD.

But who?

The interwebs almost immediately exploded with rumors about who (no pun intended) would take up Smiths mantle, from Christopher Plummer to Helen Mirren. While both are fine actors lets face it neither are happening. Nor do i think they would be good fits. Then the question arose, are we ready for a female Doctor Who? I don't see why not. After all, Doctor Who is an alien not a human being does the gender of the Doctor even matter? With the proper story and casting (Billie Piper?) it could work indeed.

My personal pick for the role would be Hugh Laurie. The British know Mr. Laurie form his days as a BBC funnyman along side comedic partner Stephen Fry (see: Fry and Laurie), while Americans know him best as curmudgeonly Doctor Gregory House, from the smash hit Fox medical drama, House. I believe if you meet somewhere in between the dry wit and borderline sociopathic natures of these roles we'd have a rather interesting new arch enemy of the Daleks on our hands.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Exclusive Action Packed Man of Steel Trailer Released Today!



If this doesn't get you excited for Man of Steel you hate movies! Plain and simple, you just hate cinema. Man of Steel opens EVERYWHERE June 14! 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

World's Finest, First


Man of Steel is about 10 days away and everyone is already trying to gage the films box office success and tie it into an eventual Justice League movie. Just today Newsarama broke a story reporting that the movie ticket website Fandango had pre-sale MOS tickets out selling Marvels May release Iron Man 3. The story even goes as far as to claim:

"Comic book readers know the at least immediate fate of a Justice League film is presumed to be hinge on Man of Steel being a box office success and a critical launching pad for a cinematic DC Universe the way the original Iron Man was for Marvel."
I don't actually agree with the statement above. Sure the future of Warner's big budget/big screen comic book releases hinge on the success of MOS, but I don't think that the Justice League should be correlated directly to it. My opinion (and I am not alone on this one, just ask current Clark Kent Henry Cavill) is that the film to spawn out of MOS should be a World's Finest type Batman/Superman film. Let me be very clear about this, I DO NOT WANT A BATMAN VS SUPERMAN FILM! I want a team up, plain and simple.

The main reason I believe this must come before a JL flick is because it serves as the perfect way to introduce Batman into the shared DCU. All indicators point to Bale being done with the cowl, so bringing in a "new" Bruce to fight side by side with an already established (Cavill) Superman, would be a great stamp of approval, and most likely diminish the comparisons to the DK trilogy.

The next reason I want this to happen is that it offers something Marvel can't. Marvel does not have 2 property's that carry the weight of Batman and Superman and in doing this would limit the detractors that will say that "DC just copied Marvel's formula, how unoriginal, blah, blah, blah". Well guess what? If World's Finest leads into Justice League, DC will have produced a cash cow of their own design and that alone in this day and age is a very big deal.

So be ballsy DC. Don't follow "the formula" and blaze your own trail! Billions of dollars await you.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Vintage Review: Captain America 287

To be completely honest, I am not a big Captain America fan. In fact I have barely even read more than a few complete arcs of Cap in his solo titles. That is why I get a kick out of my random long box diving sessions. It could be a stand alone issue or it could be mid-arc. Hell with the size of my collection there is a good chance that I could find a total dud that makes the reading process slow and painful. This time however, I had a good feeling. The month and year was Nov 1983, my exact birth month and year. Good start. The cover screams ACTION! No words necessary, just explosions, lasers and fisticuffs. And lastly this particular yarn was spun by J.M. DeMatteis, a personal favorite of mine. Let's see how I fared...

Right off the bat I found the 1st page intro to be a little odd. The title of the comic book is Captain America, so what was the very 1st thing I was informed of when i turned the cover over?


I know I lauded Marvel's recaps in an earlier blog entry(see: What Would Marvel Do?) but telling me that this month's issue of Captain America is featuring Captain America is a little overkill!

Now for what I thought of the actual story...
The cover promised action and the interior delivered. The issue starts off with Cap and a cohort(who has just been shot) embroiled in a deadly battle with Deathlok along with some Brand Corporation thugs. Oh, by the way Cap'ns ally is Luther Manning, the clone of the man that Deathlok was before he was turned into the half cyborg killing machine he is today. Yes you read that right! Deathlok has be deprogrammed by The Brand Corporation into a killing machine, so a clone of his human self was made and Cap has been charged with helping Luther Manning 2.0 to restore Deathlok's humanity. During this excursion A LOT of people die and A LOT of things blow up!

Meanwhile on Long Island...
Steve Rogers is late for a dinner date to meet his girlfriend, Nancy Rosenthal's parents! Seriously, this was an actual page from the book.

And in Manhattan...
Nomad makes a 2 page appearance to heroically lay his life on the line and...break up a mugging? Yup, He distracted the fiends by throwing his chest plates at them and proceeds to kick them both in the face, all to save a lady's purse. Did I mention she was pretty?

And back to our heroes...
The issue wraps up as our adventurers move forward and are mysteriously zapped into Deahtlok's time and space by a long haired, bearded man in a loin cloth named Godwulf or Jesus, I couldn't really tell the difference.

Can Rogers help save Deathlok and restore his humanity? Why does Deathlok keep calling him "Mister Flag"? Will Steve Rogers ever meet Nancy Rosenthal's family for dinner? If Nomad is such a "SUPER" hero, why the hell is he chasing down muggers in an alley? and finally, how do I get my hands on the "Return of the Jedi Death Star Battle" Atari 2600 game they advertise for on the back of the comic?

I don't have any of those answers, but I did enjoy this issue with no background what so ever on the story and now feel compelled to dig deeper to find out what became of our Star Spangled Avenger and his Cyborg sidekick! I recommend you do the same.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've heard that all the stories have already been told. I respectfully disagree. Well, when it comes to comic book stories anyway. One of my goals is to write a comic book. I have never fully committed to it but it is on the bucket list and I do intend to follow through. With this lofty goal in mind I occasionally do research on characters, backgrounds and potential plot lines for my future magnum opus. I often spend more time investigating the possible antagonists for my story, because I believe that once you have the "bad guy" to move the story along, the hero that'll sweep in and save the day will fall in to place shortly there after.

Through all my research I still have not found in a comic book, a villain that does the one thing I find creepier than anything else...Play the piano!

No it's not torture, maiming, skinning someone alive or even lighting horses on fire and setting them free(well played Snyder). I find a classically trained pianist with a penchant for murder horrifying. Even the guy who kills that chick in Patch Adams creeped me out. Not because he was a lunatic who would rather have a girl dead than be with good ole Patch but because he played a classical tune right after he did it. Davey Jones in Pirates 2. Laughable! Until he played that damned pipe organ, after that all bets were off. I know that comics are a silent medium, but if you just put a maniac in front of a piano in the midst of his master plan, I don't need to hear it, I know what he's doing and I'm officially creeped out.

So if when I finally do write my comic book, you can bet your ass my villain will be playing a piano somewhere in there. And you can bet I'll creep myself out writing it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Aquaman and the Others


Go back about 20 years, read Peter David's Time and Tide and tell me that Aquaman isn't a legit power house in any 4 color Universe!

Now I will admit that in his mid-80's Justice League appearances he does come off as a bit of an asshole and can at times be whinny but we've all had bad days (decades) every now and then, so let's cut the Ruler of the 7 Seas some slack. I mean water covers about 70% of the Earth and he had marital issues that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger cringe, the guy had a lot on his plate. But much to my delight, in spite of his checkered past, post-Flashpoint Aquaman has been a runaway train of awesome, in not only in the 2 titles which he's featured (Aquaman and Justice League) but on the Diamond Sales charts as well.

So where does the blond bad ass of the Ocean go from here?

Here's my pitch. Aquaman is the King of Atlantis, by definition he is a leader! He was also, in his younger days, a part of a group called The Others (see Aquaman #8-#12). The Others and their relationship with AC are also fleshed out a bit more in Aquaman #0 and #20. DC has an opportunity here to add another "-verse" to their line-up. The Bat-verse has always had a book like Batman and the Outsiders or Batman Inc. to add a richer history and more depth to the Batfamily. DC could do the same Aquaman and add another cash cow franchise to their already burgeoning stable.The time is now to strike while the iron is hot with King Arthur and add a title that creates an "Aqua-verse". I want a new monthly book from DC, I want Aquaman and The Others!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Here Comes the BOOM! (Studios)



Talk about a get! The Fandroid Apocalypse proudly presents to you, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BOOM! Studios, Ross Richie. BOOM! Studios is my absolute favorite Independent Comic Book company, which is why it was such an honor for me to interview it's founding father. For those new to BOOM! I highly recommend you check out Keith Giffen's Hero Squared, Mark Waid's Irredeemable, current sci-fi epic The Hypernaturals and one of my personal faves, The Savage Brothers. Mr. Richie was gracious enough with his time to sit and answer 13 hard(ly) hitting questions from me and he absolutely nailed it!

Enjoy!

Q. This is a comic book blog so, what book hooked you?
A. Fantastic Four 178 by Roy Thomas and George Perez. One guy was made of fire, the other from rock. I never looked back!
When?
1977. The comic was in my Easter basket.
And Why? (and yes I am counting all this as 1 question!)
One guy was made of fire, the other from rock! I was a Star Wars kid and loved the sci-fi elements. I was too young to read sf novels, so comics hooked me!
Q. It’s the comic book draft and BOOM! has the#1 pick who’s your hero/villain/team? (in the interest of being interesting no BOOM! books allowed)
A. Magneto. He can do anything with his power. C'mon, magnetism is one of the unifying forces of reality itself...
Q. You’re a Texas guy, what Lone Star State son would make for the best comic book adventures?
A. This is where I get to plug a BOOM! book -- we did a series called Galveston that starred Jean LaFitte teaming up with David Bowie. You gotta love the cowboy/pirate comic! The fact that it was based on an historical BFF relationship is just gravy...
Q. I’m still not over the cancellation of Eureka (Damn you SyFy…), will BOOM! ever publish more mini’s based on the show?
A. No, sorry.
Q. The Hypernaturals is a clinic on how to do a sci-fi comic book. Why are all the best writers British?
A. They didn't grow up on US superheroes. Many of the British writers grew up on a steady diet of comics of different genres published in the UK so when they do superheroes they have a more fresh approach.
 Q. The 1990’s really seemed to be the Golden Age of Indie comic books. Did your time at Malibu serve more as a what to or what NOT to do when you started BOOM! Studios?
 A. Definitely was a huge advantage. It was a different market back then in every way -- sales were massive, the material wasn't as sophisticated as it is now. Many things changed in the ten years between me leaving Malibu and starting BOOM! but there's no question I couldn't have done it without my time at The 'Bu!
 Q. You’ve published a Die Hard book by Chaykin and are about to release Robocop by Frank Miller. Any chance of a Rambo series by Alan Moore to round out a 1980’s action movie tri-fecta?
 A. I am a huge Alan Moore fan since I bought Saga of the Swamp Thing #21 off the rack. If he's in, I'm all about it.
 Q. Seriously though, I know that Frank Miller has a long history with Robocop, but how did a series of all new material for the character with BOOM! come about?
 A. It's not all new. It's Frank's screenplay for Robocop 3 taken from screenplay form by Steven Grant and turned into a comic.
 Q. I read that you are a producer on The Mage feature film adaptation. Is that still in production?
 A. No, that project fell out of development.
 Q. What’s your thoughts on real life “Vigilantes” i.e. Phoenix Jones?
 A. Seems dangerous to me.
 Q. If DC is so dead set against bringing back Ted Kord, can BOOM!? Please? I mean no one ever stays dead in comics…EXCEPT Ted Kord! I think Dan Didio has a personal vendetta against me.
A.  If DC is willing to grant BOOM! the rights to Ted Kord I'm all about it...
 Q. Who is YOUR Batman? West, Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, Bale or Conroy?
 A. Adam West, but I not because of the 1960s show. I loved The New Adventures of Batman cartoon from 1977, which took itself far more seriously than the classic 60s show.
 Q. Are you sure it's not George Clooney?
 A. George Clooney is always Danny Ocean to me and one of our greatest directors and actors.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Marvel On Marvel Crime


The Internet was set ablaze this week with what I have deemed Marvel on Marvel crime. Just a week or so after Joss Whedon announced the addition of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to the Avengers 2 line-up, Bryan Singer and Fox confirmed that Quicksilver would be making his big screen debut 1st in the already in production sequel to 2011's X-Men First Class, X-Men First Class: Days of Future Past.

Because the Interwebs have turned us all into raving lunatics that act like religious extremists when it comes to pop culture likes and dislikes, sides were immediately chosen. To the right we had the X-Men faithful that will forever pledge allegiance to Mr. Singer for restoring the franchise to it's once prominent glory with First Class and removing the bitter taste that "The Last Stand" still left in their mouths. To the left you have equal parts Singer haters (some people can't move on from Superman Returns), Whedonites and Avengers apologists. Both groups spent the better part of this week laying down an anonymous verbal Jihad on the other, claiming proper rights to Pietro.

I just don't get it! In this time of great comic book movies why must we hate one to like another? I liked both First Class and Avengers, A LOT! Each film brought something different to the table and for that I have an equal appreciation for both. I loved the story telling and character study that First Class dove into. It was a period film that absolutely nailed the turmoil and strife that these Mutants would have went through in 1960's America. The parallel to the Civil Rights movement was done beautifully. I saw the Avengers as the film version of a company wide crossover. The previous films were the tie in issues that helped craft the main event. It wasn't a political statement, it was action and adventure. They were each exactly what they should have been.

So, here is my solution. Both films should use Quicksilver. There doesn't have to be any overlap in story or explanation of his dual appearances. More than likely he won't even be used in anywhere close to the same way in either movie respectively. Just tell great stories with both, that treat the character right and everybody wins!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Best of 2006



2006 was a memorable year in comics.

DC's Infinite Crisis ended in '06 (as ironic as that may sound) and Marvel was torn apart by Civil War. These 2 events signaled the return of the company wide crossover that had been absent since the economic downturn the industry suffered a decade earlier. It's hard to believe now, but Marvel actually declared bankruptcy less than 20 years ago!

We also saw a new Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) and a new Robin (Damian Wayne) emerge in '06. Both would amass a faithful following but the new Boy Wonder would meet his demise earlier this year to the dismay of his legion of fans. Think of him as the anti-Jason Todd.

Another huge story that crossed over into the mainstream was the unmasking of Spider-Man. Talk about a story that shook the foundation of comics! That single arc warped Spidey stories for the rest of the decade, even calling on the Devil himself to set things straight again!

When I look back on it, I did a ton of good reading 7 years ago, but what do I remember most about 2006?

The birth of my 1st child Savannah. Nothing changed my world they way she has and I suppose nothing ever will. As each year passes she still helps make me into the best father, teacher and mentor I can be for her and her baby sister. I love you Savanny, Happy Birthday!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We Want More, We Want More!

From the Golden Age of radio to modern day big screen blockbuster, comic strip and book characters have always found a way off of the 4 color page and into other forms of media. I think this fact above all is the reason for the survival of the comic book industry amid various scandals, witch hunts and periods of financial struggle it has seen over the last 80 or so years. The characters hold value even if some of the books they are featured in do not.
Hollywood and comics have always shared a symbiotic relationship. Some characters can seamlessly transition from the page to the radio to the big screen without pause, like Dick Tracy. Other times a character is created for the sole purpose of adding a story telling element to the TV show or movie that is not offered in the source material. The Batman family has most benefited from Tinsel-Towns contribution of characters.
If not for the Adam West Batman show (love it or hate it that show launched The Caped Crusader into the pop culture immortality!) we never would have received the “Girl Wonder”, Batgirl herself, Barbara Gordon. As the story goes, network execs were terrified that Bruce and Dick were being perceived as more than “chums”, so to quell the comments on their relationship status they brought in the Auburn haired angle Barbara Gordon. 50 years later Babs is still a pivotal part of the Bat-family and has been a part of some of Gotham City’s most important tales (see, Killing Joke).
You can add characters like Harley Quinn to the list of TV’s great contributions to comic book canon as well. Now while not all the media “crossovers” have ended well, I think we can all agree that every medium that touches comics and its characters benefit greatly. I love the fact that shows that may not have a big enough fan base to sustain a large budget TV show have been saved from the scrap heap and carried on in comics. Buffy, Angel, (just about every iteration of) Star Trek and Smallville are just a few of the shows given life after cancellation in print. More recently DC has been publishing a weekly digital release that acts as a companion to the freshman breakout hit Arrow.
But there is more that can be done! And this is what I see as the next step in the Print/Film relationship.
Network shows routinely run from September to May and then take a 2-3 month break in the summer. I would love to see more shows take to comics to act as a bridge in between seasons. Let’s get a miniseries of OGN (original graphic novel) that fleshes out the characters and back story in a way that TV just doesn’t have the time to do. You can beef up subplots and even lead in to next season! Obviously certain genre shows would get better results than others but this can work. I know that Once Upon a Time is doing an OGN to be released this fall that deals with backstory of a fallen character (The Huntsman), but I want a something that will bridge the gaps season to season! Give me a little inside info on what really went down in season 1 and a hit to what is to come in 2! It seems like a no brainer to me, but I’m only the guy who would gladly fork over my cash to have a more time with my favorite fictional people, my opinion doesn’t count.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Save Us Lex, You're Our Only Hope


With all the titles that are crashing and burning in the new52, the time has never been better for DC to think outside the box, take a chance and trust Lex Luthor. Yes you read that right. I want Dan, Jim and Geoff to walk across that invisible bridge Indiana Jones style and know that what lay on the other side, while potentially dangerous may also hold riches untold! Basically, I want a Lex Luthor ongoing series.

Just think of the buzz that would surround a monthly book that takes readers inside the mind of DC's Gold Standard of Truth, Justice and The American Way's greatest foe. Marvel has sort of done this with Superior Spider-Man but it is Otto in the guise of Spidey, so it is still technically a "Spider-Man" comic. DC also sort of did this with Lex Luthor in Action Comics a few years back, making Mr. Luthor the focus of the title briefly. Those two books are great, but I want more...I want a commitment DAMN IT! I want a book that is all Lex, all the time.

I truly believe that Lex Luthor is the only villain in comics that can carry his own title without ever compromising who the character is at the core. Everybody in the entire Universe thinks that Lex Luthor is a bad guy...except LEX LUTHOR! To Luthor he is humanity's, NO!, the Universes only hope at salvation. Lex is the smartest man on the planet and the only person who sees these vigilantes for what they really are. Criminals.

He's also the only person who sees past the facade that is Superman. When it comes to Big Blue, Luthor Corps. Head Honcho knows the truth. The Man of Steel is an alien invader, who is here to rule Earth and all the powerless humans that inhabit it. Supes may preach truth, justice and the American Way, but Luthor knows all to well what lies behind such false promises. He knows the greed and power that festers deep down in Superman's Exta-Terrestrial soul and when it all comes to a head (and it will!) Alexander Luthor will be our only hope.

Seeing the world from Lex's point of view would be a fascinating thrill ride through the DCU the likes of which we have never seen before and I want to go along for the ride while he schemes to mold Metropolis and then the World in his perfect image. Don't you?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vintage Review


I had an hour to kill before work so I decided to dig in a long box and read the first book I pulled out. Luckily I pulled out a one-shot! I grabbed Amazing Spider-Man 362 from Oct 93 written by David Micheline and illustrated by Mark Bagley. The issue is titled "Emerald Rage" and guest stars Hulk and Doc Samson.

Right up front I will tell you that early 90's Spidey, X-Men and Image books captured my imagination like nothing else could as a kid, so there may be some nostalgic bias in my review.

First some background on Marvel circa fall of 93. Mary Jane became a chain smoker which inexplicably immediately sent her life in a downward spiral. (Marvel was a little preachy with this one) Richard and Mary Parker came back from the dead! (Or did they?) And Hulk was infected with a NEW Gamma virus that turned him, as Doc Samson put it, into Ultra Hulk. (How cool would an Ultra Hulk book be?)
The issue starts with off balls to the wall action and in true 90's fashion never really let's up. Spidey and Samsom are no match for this "Ultra Hulk" physically, he even ripped through 2 full containers of webbing in a matter of moments! So they decide to switch gears and out smart him. Now if I remember correctly Banner is a freakin' genius, even in Hulk form in the 90's he brilliant!

Plot holes be damned we carry on.
.
Next up, subplot # 1. I like to call it, "Hey, I thought you 2 were dead?"

Aunt May is talking to Richard and Mary Parker...wait, what? Yes good old Dick and Mary P are back but May ain't buying it so which leads us directly to the introduction of...Bernard Scudder, Private Eye! Will May get to the bottom of their reappearance? Not in this issue, sorry.

Meanwhile, Doc Samson searches for a cure while Spidey lures Hulk away from the masses to an already damaged ESU (Empire State University) site (courtesy of the Human Torch) to limit civilian and property loses. Spider-Man continues to take a beating at the hands of the Green Goliath until Docs Samson rejoins the fray with a NEW plan in hand.

Duh-Duh-Duh-Dah! Subplot # 2, "Smoking is evil and will ruin your promising soap opera career"

I mean I kinda just gave it away but, MJ becomes a soap star, starts smoking and is now suddenly getting her scenes cut and is super depressed. I wonder if smoking cigarettes is to blame? The director even yells at her for smoking on set. Like I said before, it gets a little preachy.

Back to our HEROES!

Doc and Web head are still in a brutal battle with "Ultra Hulk" but have decided the best course of action is to try and appeal to the Banner trapped inside and not bait the animal that Hulk has become because of the NEW Gamma virus he's be infected with! Now that the a fore mentioned plot hole has been filled, will our champions cure Hulk and save New York City?

I gotta say this book was fun pure and simple. It called back to my childhood with beautiful artwork and lots of action. Both sub plots were woven in and out of the action packed frames evenly and helped lay the groundwork for upcoming arcs. While this issue never won an Eisner and has probably been forgotten by many as a throw away transitional floppy it has good solid storytelling that is worth a second or first look depending on your history with 1990's ASM. So if you want to know how it ends go back bin diving, drop a quarter to the clerk and get ready for a true blast from the past!


Monday, May 13, 2013

You Don't Know Dick


No this blog hasn't taken a turn for the salacious, I am of course referring to Dick Grayson.

Dick Grayson, the original "Boy Wonder" and the guy who has single handedly made male gymnasts manly! I'm not claiming to be an expert on all things Nightwing but I do have a fondness for the character and am in someways familiar with all his iterations. From Robin to Nightwing to Batman to Nightwing back to Batman and now (Finally?) Nightwing again.

Some of these eras I've only read the glancing single issue  or 2. Others I have read whole arcs and even complete runs! So I have enough background on the subject to tell the WB, they don't know Dick.

 For the most part I believe Master Richard has been handled wonderfully. Wolfman and Dixon immediately come to mind as 2 of his Seminole writers. With great pacing and respect Dick has gone from sidekick to Titans team leader and was elevated to full time Top-Tier hero. I am especially impressed with current writer, Kyle Higgins run. Higgins is a Rock-Star-Writer in the making and he has not just helped Nightwing come into his own in DC's new52, he has helped him step completely out of the shadow of his one time mentor and adoptive father Batman. Nightwing is a cash cow on the verge thanks to the fine minds at DC comics.

So who is it then that doesn't know Dick?

Everyone at Warner who doesn't work on the 4 color side of things it seems! In their minds Dick Grayson's destiny as a non-comic book exclusive property is still intertwined with Batman's. The problem with this is the TV and movie going audience doesn't like Robin and the Dubya-B can't separate Dick from the red, green and yellow even 30 years after he ditched those threads for a black and blue leisure suited costume.
Dick Grayson/Nightwing should from here on out stand on his own. I'm not suggesting you ignore his history or even rewrite his origin but there must be a way to bring him to the masses not as a former Robin, but as a superhero that just so happened to be Robin a LOOOOONG time ago.

This is what I propose...

Nightwing is ripe for the small screen. He has teeny bopper appeal with his youth and good looks and also is bad ass enough for the 18-40 crowd to rally around and adopt as they have Ollie Queen in CW's Arrow.

(Which brings me to my next point)

My suggestion to distance the boy wonder from the main event hero Dick Grayson has become, is for a guest-spot on Arrow to see gage the reception and monitor Nightwing's prime time presence. We know that fanboys would mark out for it, but how will the other half of the shows audience react? This would be my litmus test. From there on out respond accordingly. Does he recur? Get a spin-off? or does he forever get tied to Batman in which this experiment would fail miserably. The hints have been dropped, Bludhaven has been mentioned during season 1 and his style (no powers) fits the tone of Arrow perfectly.

But what do I know?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Snyder the Great and Powerful

I bet DC Comics thought they were done working with Magicians when Alan Moore unceremoniously took his ball and ran home sometime early last decade.

DC was wrong!

They now have a mystic in their midst with even greater power than the Merlin of 1980's comic book creations. Where Moore had to tip toe around characters true identities to produce his magnum opus, Watchmen, our new wizardly wordsmith reached far beyond time and television for his latest trick.

Scott Snyder, in Whovian fashion reached 20 years into the future, grabbed a character created for television 14 years in the past and slammed him smack dab into current Batman canon!

Now that's magic!

Words do not do it justice, so if you haven't read Batman #20 STOP RIGHT HERE!

But if you've already enjoyed the spell that Snyder the Great and Powerful cast upon this week, gaze upon it 1 more time.



Monday, May 6, 2013

Can You Give Someone an A & an F at the Same Time?


I'm not picking on Marvel here, quite the opposite actually. When I first saw that they were doing info-crawls on the bottom of the screen during episodes of Spider-Man, Avengers, etc. I was thrilled! Another example of how Marvel can push the creative envelope while educating their target demo, future members of the Merry Marvel Marching Society (M.M.M.S. for short). That is until I read my very first Marvel Universe info-crawl.

They botched it!

If you haven't yet, look at the clip above. It says that Spider-Man's 1st appeared in Amazing Fantasy #16.

So that means all these years I have been searching for the wrong comics Holy Grail (not that I can afford it, but that's neither here, nor there)? Because my answer to the, "If you could have any comic book in the world" question had always been Amazing Fantasy #15.

This error becomes even more egregious when you consider the source. The actual Marvel Entertainment Co.! Marvel is owned by Disney and this programming is on a Disney channel (Disney XD) that aims solely at a key Marvel audience and you still screw this up?  Apparently they are in need of a fact checker or 2, well I officially volunteer.

While I give The House of Ideas an A for attempting to flex some creative muscle here and slip in a Marvel Comics history lesson during their TV programming, I have to give them a resounding Fin their  execution of that task. Spider-Man's 1st appearance issue is basic, common comic book knowledge, unless of course, you happen to work for the company he was created by.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How To Judge A Book By It's Cover


Take a look at the picture above. That my friends, is the image that hooked me on comics. In November of 1989 I took my birthday money the the local smoke shop to buy a deck of baseball cards. Little did I know that I'd be leaving there with an addiction and 1 less dollar in my piggy bank.

Like any 6 year old I loved cartoons, but I had not yet discovered my four color destiny. My brother was 6 years older than me and like any younger brother, what he liked I liked and he loved baseball. So on that fateful Saturday morning after my favorite 'toons were over of course, my mother drove me to Sandy's Smoke and News (Sadly no longer in business), where my cousin Mike worked, birthday money in hand to hunt for the baseball card that was going to put me through college (remember when baseball cards actually held some value?)!

As I strolled past the cigars and magazines toward my future trust fund in the guise of an Upper Deck trading card, it hit me. Smack in the face like a runaway train. At first I noticed the Spider-Man mask on the white background that looked awkwardly out of place in comparison to the rest of the image. From there my eyes had a hard time figuring out how a picture with such lively shades of purple, blue and green could be so dark. Then I see it, boy did I see it. It was a man (Wolverine I would come to find out) crucified on an X! Being the son of a choir directory I knew what the Crucifixion was and if this summoned that image it must be BIG! And as I finally held this copy of Uncanny X-Men 251 in my very own hands I can make out the skulls laid at the feet of this man who was obviously in a tremendous amount of peril.

WOW! I mean WOW!

My mind was officially blown.

I abandoned all notions of trying to score my riches in cards and I had to have this book! I even left the shop with the rest of my money in hand because I had to have it and the sooner I purchased it the sooner I could get home and Marvel (no pun intend) at my birthday plunder. My mom being the supportive mother she was, looked upon it in horror (at the blasphemy before her I imagine) but let me buy it because it was my money and it's what I wanted. I should probably thank her for that next time I see her.

To this day I still have that book. And to this day I still couldn't tell you what it's about, I just can't get past that goddamn cover!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Set It, And Forget It

It was the 1980's and women had hit the workforce full steam ahead! Once and future Batman Michael Keaton swapped places with his stay-at-home wife in Mr. Mom and Dustin Hoffman dragged through the streets of NYC as Tootsie just to get a job! But with mom and dad both at work, WHO WAS GOING TO COOK DINNER?

Through the power of the early 80's infomercial, a hero would rise!

Inventor Ron Popeil came up with the often imitated, never duplicated Showtime Rotisserie. It would revolutionize meal time, as well as the modern TV infomercial. The slogan "Set it, and forget it" became a household phrase and the overwhelming acclaim for the Showtime Rotisserie became a part of the fabric if American pop culture.

"But isn't this blog about comic books?" You may be asking yourselves right about now. Fret not loyal reader! It's all about to some full circle...

As great as "set it, and forget" was in the 80's, when applied to comics it's quite the opposite. Every week I am going to bring you a column titled, you guessed it, 'Set It And Forget It'. I'll focus on books that were promised, and promoted but never delivered, while also taking a look at incomplete mini-series and story arcs.

First up we'll take a look at the infamous Daredevil/Bullseye: Target.

In the fairness of full disclosure, this entry pains me a little bit because the writer, Kevin Smith holds a spot on my very own Mt. Rushmore of coolness. But as an unbiased blogger I cannot fall into the trap of protecting Sacred Cows (no that is not a fat joke).

 Issue number 1 was released in November of 2002 to coincide with the Ben Affleck Daredevil flick (which I enjoyed even if no one else did). Solid marketing plan, Smith had a small role in the movie, and had also previously written and revived Matt Murdoch to a top tier hero in DD: Reborn. So far, so good.

And that's where the good stops...completely.

Smith started filming Jersey Girl and writing Spider-Man: The Evil That Men Do (which had a multi-year delay of it's own) and left DD in the dust. In 2005 Smith revealed panels for 'Target' number 2 and claimed that it would hit the shelves in mid-2006. Was this the ray of hope 'Target' fans had been waiting for since the fall of '02? I'll save you the suspense, the answer is NO!

Things had gotten so bad that earlier this year the Jersey boy himself revealed that the 'Target' that had been alluded to in issue number 1 was Captain America, putting the proverbial nail in Daredevil/Bullseye: Target's coffin.

Next week we look at Batman: The Widening...I KID, I KID. This one hurt to much!

If you have any ideas for my next "Set It, And Forget It" let me know.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Speed Dating Superman

Tell any basketball coach, that they can start a new team with any player they want and most will pic Michael Jordan. Ask a football coach what clutch Quarterback they'd want leading their team down the field on a Super Bowl winning drive and 9 times out of 10 you'll hear the name Tom Brady. So which Superhero would most of today's four color wordsmiths resoundingly choose to steer themselves toward the fame and notoriety of comic book royalty?

Easy, it's gotta be Superman. I mean, he's the cream of the crop, the gold standard of modern American mythology...he's...HE'S FREAKING SUPERMAN!

Right?

Well, not exactly...

Since the dawn of the New52 it seems that comics most talented penmen have been merely speed dating Cleveland's greatest export since, well, EVER. How can this be? It's Superman! The entire genre, not just DC Comics has at one time or another owed a debt of gratitude to one Clark Kent. If Superman never hits new stands 75 years ago, Marvel never becomes big enough to the point where the largest entertainment company this world has ever seen, Disney, purchases it for over 4 BILLIONS dollars. That's billion with a B! Supes simply broke all barriers and misconceptions so that everyone else's figments of their imaginations could suddenly be realized in the form of billion dollar properties. Superman was first.

Take a look at this list:

George Perez
Grant Morrison
Keith Giffen
Dan Jurgens
Andy Diggle
Tony Daniel

No, that's not a list of who would make the Comic Book writers all-star team, that is a list of people who have walked out on the Man of Tomorrow in under 2 years time.

Some of these writers have just finished up long standing arcs. Some have left because of editorial differences of which I have no inside information or knowledge about so I will not half-assedly expound upon them. The others I would assume were called to fill in due to the untimely departures of certain talent and have done a fine job, but shouldn't your Universe's center piece have consistency?

Look at Batman (whom some would argue has overtaken DC's mantle as top dog, but maybe that will be another entry some time down the road). Scott Snyder has been a rock for the lead title of Bat books, Batman. He just finished up two long standing arcs and is about to release another year long title reign that has us all waiting with baited breath! Why do we yearn for Snyder's next 12 month epic crusade? Consistency in his previous work. We know what he brings to the table and we will gladly shill out our bucks for more.

It seems that DC editorial has given Snyder the keys to the Porsche and trusts that he won't leave it a twisted heap of metal and steel. Like I said earlier I don't know the reasons for some of Superman's recent breakups, but the creative direction behind both Action Comics and Superman needs to become more of a marathon and much less of a sprint.

Maybe Scott Lobdell, who will shortly be writing both Action and Superman is just what Dr. Mensa (a Lois & Clark reference) ordered. Perhaps DC has thrown Mr. Lobdell the keys to the Bentley and have simply told him to, "bring it back in one piece". Only time will tell, but I for one am rooting for him.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Can You Keep A Secret?

I am gonna get killed for this. I almost don't even want to post it for fear of losing any and all credibility I have as a comic book fan, let alone someone who is attempting to entertain the masses as a comic book blogger!

I, Scott Edward do not like Batman: Arkham Asylum. (In the interest of laziness I will be referring to Batman: Arkham Asylum as B:AA from here on out) Now I am strictly speaking about the comic book or OGN (Original Graphic Novel, again laziness) if you will. I have not played the video game so I can't speak to it's merits as good old fashion fun. I can however state that without hesitation I do not enjoy any aspect of B:AA the comic book. This is not an indictment on the author. I am a huge fan of Grant Morrison! His Animal Man is my single favorite run of any comic book ever, hand down! There is just nothing about B:AA that speaks to me the reader.

**DISCLAIMER** Let me assure you that this is in no way an attempt to go against the grain and pan a not only critically acclaimed, but fan favorite piece of comic book history. I have been accused of such actions in the past. (It drives my wife mad that I hate everything about the movie Titanic. Which I will admit is a bit of me just being an ass and refusing to follow the lemmings off of the ledge, but don't tell her that!).

No, from the artwork (that I can only describe as sloppy at best), to the basic plot and tone of the story (which I find neither shocking or groundbreaking) I do not have much good to say about B:AA. As a child I was taught that if I had nothing nice to say I should just shit the hell up, but this is my blog so I'll say whatever the hell I feel like!

It is not as if I did not want to like the book, quite the opposite is true. I had wanted to read B:AA for years! I had read so much bluster and heard it spoken about with such regard that I was ready to sit it up on my mantle next to Watchmen, Long Bow Hunters and the aforementioned Grant Morrison's Animal Man my favorite comic book stories ever! Then it happened, in 2010 I finally won a copy on eBay and patiently awaited delivery. When it arrived it was a, "honey take care of the baby I'm going upstairs to read see you in an hour, I am taking my time with this"situation. An hour later I appeared in the living room feeling like Nick Lachey after a premarital date with Jessica Simpson, unfulfilled.

Years later I was listening to the Kevin Smith podcast Fatman on Batman and his guest was Grant Morrison. The passion of which Smith spoke about his experience reading B:AA actually made me feel guilty for not liking it! I thought that if someone who shared a similar passion for both Batman and Grant Morrison's craft felt this way about this story maybe I was wrong! Maybe I just went into the situation all wrong! So I did the only thing I could do, I reread B:AA.

This time I grabbed a glass of Diet Mountain Dew, kicked everyone out of the house and read in perfect silence truly taking it all in. You know what? I still hated it. So I did what any good fanboy would do, I admitted to myself that I could not stand a classic, NEIGH, legendary piece of comic book history. I then decided to never, eeeeeeever tell anyone about my new found deep dark secret. Because...

Who doesn't like Batman: Arkham Asylum?