Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poison Ivy cheescake and the She Hulk

First up, Poison Ivy in Worlds Finest - Superboy and Robin. Total cheesecake, but good cheesecake!

Gratuitous? Why yes, but also in keeping with Ivy’s character, so it works. I love that picture. very pin up style.
Also, this last picture with Metallo’s big threatening face makes me smile:

Both are cheesecakey, sure, but c’mon it’s Ivy! She exists to be sexy cheesecake. That's pretty much her point, she's a dangerous sexy femme fatale. So long as not all female characters are like this I have no problem with this.

EDIT: Bellatrys pointed out in the comments that this second picture isn't really cheesecake, I'm inclined to agree with her. I should think things through more.

Speaking of cheesecake I recently got a bundle of She Hulk comics from a friend. The Savage She Hulk - Vol1, numbers 1, 2 and 3, and the Sensational She Hulk Vol 2, number 11, 32 and 50. Very good fun, especially vol2, number 32 as Jen keeps making wise cracks about Marvel comics swimsuit issues and the laziness of her writer (John Byrne in this case).
I'm now keen on reading the rest of her adventures, which is just typical as they've gone and cancelled her bleedin' series. Grr.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Good womens superhero fancy dress costume!

Here:



Wow! Not sexual just awesome! And check out the measurements: Available in Teen/Adult (up to adult size 9 ) fits up to Bust: 36, Waist: 27, Hips: 38. That could actually fit an adult. Not me, (unless I stopped eating pies) but a slim adult. Although the waist to hips/bust measurements seem a little off, that's a tiny waist and a large bust. Also I'm confused why a British site is stating the size as being '9'. We don't have size 9s..

Nonetheless how cool!

Pre Christmas comic reviews

The new and the old.

Spoilers ahead for Buffy 20, Terra 4, Manhunter 37, DCU Holiday Special 2008, Christmas with the Superheroes #1 (1988) and #2 (1989), Supergirl 36, Hawk and Dove 6, JLE 7, 8 and 9.

So, first of all, the new stuff, bought the week before Christmas:
Supergirl #36
For some reason I really don’t like the cover on this. I don’t think she looks tense enough, there’s definition missing and not enough pain. I think the artist has tried really hard, but there’s just something missing that makes it not quite work for me.

But onto the issue. Kara sees her dad hurt and is (quite justifiably) overcome with a single mindedness and fury as she runs to her father’s side. Poor kid, she’s just got her folks back, her mother has turned out to be nuts and now her dad is fatally injured. Is she ever gonna feel like she has a space somewhere? I’m really curious as to how this New Krypton storyline is going to turn out. Given that we were granted a fabulous issue where Kara was given a secret identity which made all the fans squeal with delight, I’m really hoping they continue (back?) down that route. Now that her Dad is dead and her Mum is nuts she could quite conceivably refute all Kryptonian authority and go back to becoming Lana’s niece.

I am rather upset by the way that they killed off both Kal’s and Kara’s fathers. It’s a bit ridiculous. I also am completely unimpressed with yet another homage to the original Kara’s death in the first crisis. We’ve seen it used when Kon died, when Peter David’s pre crisis Kara died and now again when Zor-El dies. C’mon, the image is being robbed of it’s impact by overuse – it’s becoming too familiar and the sense of tragedy is lost.

I am very intrigued by this new Superwoman and have high hopes for her. I’m liking her costume too – the hooded cape is a nice touch.

Manhunter # 37
Oh I so did not understand this issue. After reading other blogger’s reviews I gather it must be set in the future as Kate’s son is all grown up (and gay now!), however Kate didn’t look like she’d aged at all. Do not understand.

Terra # 4

Doesn’t Power Girl look great on this cover? I found this kind of an unsatisfying end to the mini, but I suspect that viewpoint may change over time. I wasn’t blown away by the resolution of the crystal/diamond (?) guy’s sub plot. The evolution of the sub-terraneans seemed a bit shoehorned in and as much as I enjoyed Power Girl and Terra going shopping, I think the mini could have benefited from being extended by a few more issues and looking at all the different sub plots in more detail.

Of course this may be a ruse by my brain to justify wanting a permanent Terra series. She’s turning up next in Terror Titans so I’m rather pleased I’m already buying that mini. Rose and Terra in one book? That made my day.

Overall I think it is worth getting for the last half of the issue, because Terra trying on clothes and learning earth customs and Japanese food is very very funny.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer # 20
Cute. The cover is cute, the art is cute, the flashback to season 2 Buffy is cute. Portentous Giles is cute, Buffy’s forecasts are cute and her reunion with present day friends is cute. It’s cute.
Harmony is in the next issue, with what look like yappy little rat dogs. I suspect next issue will be annoying.

DCU Holiday special 2008

Oh my this had some cracking stories in.
Aquaman – Somewhere Beyond the Sea, written by Dan Didio and art by Ian Churchill, was wonderful. Arthur (or is he still calling himself Orin? I forget) saves a pregnant lady and her husband from a kraken and a pirate. It turns out we are reading a modern day reimagination of Mary and Joseph’s travels.
Batman – Good King Wenceslas, featured some beautiful art by Dustin Nguyen. This guy needs to be used more. The pencils and the colouring were magnificent.
Gotham City – A Day Without Sirens was a really good counterpart to the Aquaman one, the main message being that of hope. If you can provide the good cops of Gotham City and Batman with hope then you’ve cracked it. And it turned out to be down to Kara and Babs! Kara, you did a good thing. This was written by Joe Kelly. I like Joe Kelly.
Huntress in An Angel Told Me was also a favourite. It’s good to see Helena out of costume. I appreciate the lessons and politics that were slipped in - how child abuse cases can take forever to get through court and the disability awareness dialogue from Helena.
Teen Titans – The Night Before Christmas has some lovely colours, they really suit he Christmas theme and look like fairy lights going off on the page. It turns out that Cassie is taller than Tim. That makes sense, what with her being the daughter of Zeus and because I’ve always pictured Tim as a short (5ft 6 or 8ish maybe?) slim guy. Bombshell is as stroppy as always, Eddie is central to the story and M’Gann turns up! I love that Cassie’s jacket matches her new costume and Tim namechecks all those people close to him who he’s lost, and includes Bart.

JLA - Party Animal. The point of a Secret Santa is that the gift buyer remains secret. Vixen doesn’t appear to know this.

Christmas with the Super Heroes #1 (1988)
Great secret presents for Ollie and Dick there.
I got this and the 1989 one from a friend who’s selling off his old comics. So I read both on Christmas day to keep in the festive spirit. I enjoyed this issue, sometimes in a pained way (Superman being rescued from certain death in the North Pole by Santa’s elves for instance, or the Legion of Superheroes story which was just corny as), but overall it was an innocent light hearted read.
It was also nice to see that 2008’s A Night Without Sirens wasn’t the first time Gotham had quit crime for a whole night. In this issue’s story, titled the Silent Night of the Batman, Batman is called to the police station for Commissioner Gordon thinks that ‘Christmas Eve is not a night to be out patrolling – (instead) Tis the season to be Jolly!’
Batman shows deep scepticism but is nonetheless persuaded to join the Gotham PD’s carol singing efforts for the night. Spliced between panels of Bats singing Jingle Bells, We 3 Kings of Orient Are and Santa Claus is coming to town we see that the petty criminals of Gotham are not so much overcome by the spirit of Christmas joy, as overcome by the spirit of Batman.
Some kids steal a lady’s newly bought presents, open them, find a Batman doll in and are moved to return the toy to her.
A tired looking man with a gun stumbles onto a Batman lookalike, but the lookalike turns round and we see he’s actually collecting for the Wayne Foundation Christmas Drive for the Blind. While dressed as Batman. With a Santa beard.
Lastly, we see a lady who is missing her husband so much, (he’s serving in the armed forces abroad), that she goes to possibly jump off a bridge. Until she sees a batman shaped shadow in the water. She hears a noise, turns round, and her husband has arrived back in a truck! What are the chances eh?
Back at Gotham PD, a ghostly representation of Gordon’s face asks Bats ‘But what is the Christmas spirit Batman -- Might it not be..you..or I?
I guess the theme of this one is not so much hope but fear. Less uplifting.

Christmas with the Super Heroes #2 (1989)
Man, that is one ugly cover. What the hell is wrong with Batman's cowl and Wonder Woman's..well just her really?
This one was better than #1, and a lot less odd. The first story, Ex-Machina, is a Superman one. A man’s car has broken down on the motorway (freeway?). 30 cars have gone past without stopping, it’s snowing heavily and the guy is freezing. He’s just about to give up and shoot himself when Supes turns up and thaws out the guy and his car. There follows a discussion about what the guy has to live for and why there is generally another explanation for people’s actions. Supes ends up directing him to Ma and Pa Kent’s place where they will put him up for Christmas. This was inspiring.
The Batman and Robins story was about the heroes growing up, finding their place amongst the darkness and the light and their relationship with each other and with Alfred. Very good.
The Wonder Woman story had Diana staying with a family for Christmas, who also had another friend, Sharon, staying. Sharon is Christian, Diana and Sharon compared theology and the similarities between their chosen paths. Sharon ends up comforted and resolves her crisis of faith.
The GL/Flash story was fun, if nonsensical. It featured Barry and Hal showing a depressed guy that Santa existed. They did this by dressing the guy up as Santa and having him deliver gifts to kids and do good deeds. Odd.
The last story was a Deadman one, where he slips into one man’s body and nearly stays in this body for the whole of the festivities, until he realises it’s unethical. Thing is, Deadman feels utterly alone. He has no one, and he just wanted to feel part of something again.

The Hawk and Dove and JLE books were fun, as you’d expect. But I’m out of energy and can’t be arsed to review them now. I will be reading the whole JLE run at some point though and I’m sure I’ll be gabbling enough then.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bad eyes, December shopping and plans for new posts

Over at Supergirl Comic Box Commentary the following picture was posted:

I was convinced that Babs was giving Matrix Alfred...Then I read the text to go with it and saw that it's actually Luthor. Which, while making far more sense isn't half as much fun as Matrix wanting Alfred for Christmas.

In what I bought in December news, I suspect that it being Christmas helped me not buy crap for myself. Or that it'd true that I mostly just buy comics. Anyway, here goes:
  • Presents for family and friends - mostly new stuff but also containing edibles. Mostly bought form small independent local shops.
  • Wrapping paper - I've always thought this was a total waste but people get the hump if you present them gifts wrapped in newspaper or plastic bags. So I bought yellow wrapping paper with dinosaurs on, from a local independent department store. :D
  • 2 birthday cards for the same person as I lost (and then found) the first one. Doh.
  • 3 second hand comic trades for me
- JSA Presents Stars and Stripes, which I haven't actually finished yet.
- 52 the Companion, Great. The Black Adam, Steel, Renee, Animal Man and Booster stories are all worth reading.
- JSA Ghost Stories. Also very good. Lots of Power Girl, alternate universe Superman and Lois, an unenlightened Ma Hunkel, lots of Jay Garrick and some beautiful art showing the highwayman when he was young.
  • Underwear for me - definitely allowed as I can't buy that second hand.
  • Train tickets.
  • Many comics, both new ones and also old stuff bought from a friend.
  • Food and drink. So much spent on food and drink.
  • 2 new books bought for myself when I was getting my Dad's Christmas present. Books are a weakness of mine, and I didn't want to wait to get them out the library. Not really any excuses there. Especially when I finished them and saw how little space I have my book shelves. when did that happen? I haven't bought books regularly for months.
Anyway, the first book was the Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar, which was rubbish and will be heading to the charity shop very shortly. The second one was The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyenenko which was very very good. I saw the film a year or so ago, but didn't follow it very well, and I have been put off reading the book because my past experience with Russian novels is they are very difficult to read because of the style of writing and the translation. Not so with this one. The translation is excellent and I couldn't put it down. Highly highly recommended.

  • A comic book box. I have run out of space on my shelves. That box filled up very quickly with my oversized UK comics (original 1980s Thundercats run and some 1990s Superman titles). I need to get a second one now and all my minis and one shots will be put into that one, leaving shelf space free for the ongoing series. So I'm trying to convince myself that as these boxes will help with freeing up space and are practical they don't count as useless junk and so are allowed. And they are better than using any old box as they are the perfect size.
I think that's everything I bought. I think I didn't do too badly.

Plan for new posts include one but more likely two on Spoiler, also reviews of the last batch of new comics I bought plus the second hand ones bought off friends. It will be a long review list.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fire alarms

Not fun. The neighbours fire alarm has been going off since, ooh, 7pm, 6pm? It's now 2am. It's still going. An irregular high pitched beeping. They are away for the night. Aaarggh.

I'm going to read Robin till I can no longer keep my eyes open.

Is it legal to break into someone's house under extenuating circumstances?

Christmas time and catching up.

Topics discussed:
Christmas busy-ness, shoe throwing in Iraq, homophobia from the Pope, blog awards.

There has been so much I’ve wanted to post over the last few weeks, but due to Christmas and an extremely manic period at work I haven’t felt the inclination to write or post anything, and I haven’t had the time.

In personal news, work has now calmed down, at least for a short period, but I fully expect it to remain stressful until the end of January, at a minimum. I feel like I have to learn how to manage my superiors, which I feel uncomfortable doing, because I think they should know better. But it looks like I’ll have to get over that.

I spent a weekend visiting the family and friends 2 weeks before Christmas. 5 destinations in 5 days, all around Kent – between 1 and 4 hours travelling each day. I guess that may not seem a lot to my American readers, but it’s a long time to spend on a train or in a car for me! It was fun seeing friends and family so overall worth it.

In public news, I’ve had my ear and eyes bent by various incidents over the last month. Number 1, the shoe throwing episode in Iraq. Now I know on a mature level that stooping to violence is a bad thing. But on a personally aggrieved level I am supportive of the shoe thrower. I become more supportive when I heard Bush’s response of the facts being that the shoe was a size 10 (or whatever) when the newsreader then pointed out that throwing shoes in Iraq is a big deal – it’s a culturally recognised form of disapproval and dissidence. And for Bush to respond as he did shows a complete lack of understanding of Iraqi society and norms. In context, i.e. that America invaded Iraq under Bush’s say so, it appears that he just doesn’t care one jot about the country. Even in the middle of a speech stating what America’s future in Iraq will be.
I was also pissed off by the TV’s account of this. I really wish I could remember what channel I was watching, it would have been BBC1, 2 or channel 4. Anyway, they finished the article by talking about how under Saddam Hussein no one would have been able to throw a shoe. Well, yes, that might be true, but the implication of the article was that the Iraqis should now be grateful for their new found freedom (supplied by Westerners) and we should focus only on this capability, rather than what they are angry about. I could argue that this conveniently sidesteps the shoe throwers complaints and allows the Westerners to feel smug about liberating a dictatorial country. (Maybe I already have?) I wish I knew which channel it was so I could find a link to the article, so that you can all know I’m not making it up. Or at least, so that you could view it and decide for yourselves.

I heard bits about the hoo-ha from the Pope recently, where he says that homosexuality will be as much of a disaster as the destruction of the rainforests. Yes well, whatever (face). The first news article (on BBC Radio 4 no less), said gay rights groups were angry because of the Pope’s declaration on gender roles. Well, that’s awfully funny, thought I, because homosexuality/bisexuality has fuck all to do with gender. I know that gender issues cross over with gay/bi issues, but they do not define it.

Sexuality is to do with who you crush on. No more no less. Gender is to do with femininity, masculinity, identification with male and female roles and all those in between. I recognise that historically (and in the present) many gay men and women (fuck knows about the bi contingent) have blurred and mixed up the gender roles, but that is not an inevitable part or being outside the heterosexual mainstream. The two issues are separate, but can conflate.
After having listened to two more news broadcasts and reading stuff online I gather that it may have been the news broadcaster confusing the two areas, rather than the gay rights groups.

Lastly, Chris at ComicsAllTooReal gave me an award a few weeks ago! :D I would like to formally say thank you to Chris, I was very touched by it and pleased to hear that you value my ramblings. J
Now, this award is sort of a meme, and I’m meant to nominate my favourite 7 blogs as well and publicise them here, so that we can expand the reading pool and awareness of the blogosphere.

Eeeek! Who do I choose? Who indeed. As you can see from my link list and also the blogs I follow section I read a lot of stuff on the web. The internet forms of a large part of my weekday evening social life and I thoroughly enjoy the social interactions formulated within. Where else can I gleefully exclaim (with appreciative peers) about my comics and the recent events contained within etc?

But what criteria would I choose to nominate just 7 blogs? Initially I thought I’d focus on the ones providing social commentary. So I came up with Willow at Seeking Avalon, for her scathing dissections of race in popular culture, comics, movies, and well anything really. Also check out her post on why feminism isn’t for her. I also thought of maybe Ami Angelwings super cute rants of doom. Ami talks about lots of personal and public issues, often around - racism, transphobia, sexism and homophobia. I know some people don’t like her writing style, lots of internet speak, but if that bothers you I would urge you to get past that and focus on what she’s saying as she’s very bright and eloquent and honest. I value honesty. Oh and Digital Femme. Amongst other things she covers comics and racism. She's a very good writer.

Maybe I should be focusing on blogs that are updated regularly? The above two aren’t updated uber regularly. So lets look at others. Do I want comic based bogs? Or fun blogs? Or innovative ones? Or specialist ones?
For comic based blogs I recommend Green Lantern’s Butts Forever (75% due to the name and the devotion to the cause of locating a good GL ass), Hoosier Journal of Inanity (because it’s a fun light hearted read), Comics Fairplay (because of the Is this Gratutitous? feature, which admittedly hasn’t run in a long time but was very much welcomed and generated interesting debate when Heidi did run it), Supergirl Comic Box Commentary (because it’s a nice clean layout, what posts I have seen look good, and it’s a Supergirl blog. There cannot be too many of these. Ever). Lastly I’d like to mention When Fangirls Attack – not a typical commentary style blog, but a link blog. I’m not sure if this counts, as the contributor’s own views aren’t included, but it’s a wonderful and reasonably detailed resource to all posts concerning women and comics on the web.

I’ve recently found this DC Elseworlds fan videos blog . The costumes are pretty cool and I love the fact that people dedicate all this time and effort into producing this stuff.* Yes, it’s cheesy and clich├ęd in places, but the acting, direction and effects are no worse than say, oh I don’t know Smallville. It’s essentially cosplay on a larger scale and I feel that should always be encouraged.

For feminism, I recommend The F Word blog (for being the probable number one catch all daily resource for issues affecting women in Britain, and for stimulating good arguments in the discussions), and also Feminist SF – the blog! (does what it says on the tin).

For innovation I think ComicsAllTooReal Chris’ own blog deserves a mention, because it’s quite clearly a project utilising blog technology to get it’s voice and aims out there. I haven’t seen anything like it elsewhere.

For specialist stuff one of my friend’s has a progress blog about his model soldiers and imperial armies. I don’t understand most of it, but I appreciate his enthusiasm, and I think some of my readers may also appreciate it. Plus Drax plays a mean game of Scrabble. And Carcassonne. Kicking my ass every time.

For fanfiction Like Scratches in the Sand writes some beautiful one sentence fanfics.

So that’s 14 of gthe very best. I knew I couldn’t pick just seven. (Sorry Chris I broke the rules!) If you want more recommendations look at my linked blogs and the blogs I follow, on my profile page. I think they’re all worth taking a peek at, otherwise I wouldn’t have linked them.
Hell, if you want more recommendations, read other bloggers linked sites, follow the comments bakc to bloggers own sites, mooch around. In my experience active commenters equal (fairly) regular bloggers.


*If you like the idea of that you should also check out Gotham Public Works. Fucking wonderful.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas everybody!

I am having a great Christmas eve with the boyfriend, Drax and Kate, enjoying beer and very very good port and creepy ghost stories. What more could you want?

Happy holidays everyone! Hope everything goes as you would wish it!

Ps: Sorry to put a dampener on things, but did Russia really have to announce that they are raising the nuclear missile output fourfold?? Yeah, wonderful festive announcement there, thanks.
(and yet I point it out, sorry guys).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Good stuff

Possibly rendered less good by my inebriated state..it's been the office Christmas party. Red wine + rose wine + I'm sure I ordered something else results in me going huh?

Anyway. Have a Half Man Half Biscuit Song:

They've got the whole world in their house
They've got the whole wide world in their house
They've got the whole world in their house
To see their new conservatory

They go ten pin bowling after work
They go ten pin bowling after work
They go ten pin bowling after work
They're getting married on a Carribean beach

They've got a german shephard dog called 'Prince'
They've got a german shephard dog called 'Prince'
They've got a german shephard dog called 'Prince'
The one called 'Sheba' died

They know where things are in B&Q
They know where things are in B&Q
They know where things are in B&Q
They've got the joy of sex video

They were due on 'The Crystal Maze'
Yeah, they were due to go on 'The Crystal Maze'
Yeah, they were due on 'The Crystal Maze'
But they'd a month in Florida

They went tour in a hot air balloon
They declared their love in a hot air balloon
They drank champagne in a hot air balloon
And had a row on New Years Eve

They've got nothing but total respect for
They've got nothing but total respect for
They've got nothing but total respect for
Annie Lennox

And if I'd have known they were coming I'd have slashed me wrists

----------------------------

Very British. Very typically annoying couple. One of my favourite Biscuit songs.


EDIT: Well I can't have been as drunk as I thought, I spelled (spelt? or is that just in reference to flour?) inebriated right. Amazing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

late, tired, snappy

I worked from 9am until 7.40pm today. I'm knackered. And today could be characterised by fuck up - meeting - meeting- fuck up - fuck up - meeting - fuck up- meeting. Roll on next week when I've got leave.

Currently listening to Marlene Dietrich - Falling in love Again. I like her.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

9 comics to look at today

I was shocked when I arrived at my local comic shop and found I had 9 books to pick up this week. Given that since Thursday I have spent between 1 hour and 4 hours travelling each day, and have visited 5 different, quite far apart, towns in Kent it's worked out pretty well. Plus, getting to read comics at breakfast when I'm not at home is a lovely experience, and one I should repeat. One last 4 hour journey to go and I will be back home tomorrow. Thank the Gods.

Herein follows mini reviews on Action Comics 872, Superman & Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves 5, Final Crisis 5, FC Revelations 4, JLA 27, Booster Gold 15, Superman/Batman 54, Supergirl cosmic adventures in the 8th grade 1, Green Arrow/Black Canary 15.
Also I include some thoughts on the DC Nation Super centric column.

Spoilers ahead
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Supergirl cosmic adventures in the 8th grade #1
Brand spanking new line. I'd pretty much read all of it on Scans Daily before I got the comic so all my squeeing was pretty much over and done with. I very much like this, it is adorable. Everyone should go and buy it.
tell you what, one thing SD didn't prepare me for was the paper used. Very nice!! A rougher grade than usual and a different type of printing maybe. I guess all the kids comics are like this, and I like it!
4 stars for the story 5 stars for the unexpected textural feel.

Superman/Batman 54
Hot damn super powered Bats is creepy. I hadn't realised how much we rely on Kal's colours to make him palatable to us and not fucking terrifying. And vice versa. I enjoyed Kal training Bruce, (in the fortress, where strictly speaking a depowered Kal should be wearing a fur lined coat, much like Zatanna, instead of just his normal suit).
Bruce hanging like a bat is just proving to me that he's mental. His new permanent gotta save everyone gotta be on duty 24/7 outlook? Nuts.
And Clark, oh Clark, keeping the duds on under your shirt. Oh a hero to the very end. Oh Clark.
Oh Lois.
I didn't realise that was Bane on the cover until, well, just now actually. :/ That's cos I'm not a bat fan.

Booster Gold 15
Hehehe. Still good. Sibling fights. Booster meets the Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny) much earlier in Ralph's timeline than expected, and chooses not to tell him about his wife Sue's future (raped and murdered in Identity Crisis). Oh my.

JLA 27
Dinah provides a verbal beatdown to the big 3. That is why I love her. Odd that message being conveyed in the book, yet she's not featured on the cover. Do you reckon the artist got her confused with Zatanna? Hey, one fishnet clad girl is much the same as another right? Grrr.
Waah? Hawkgirl and Roy (Red Arrow? Speedy?) are together? Wha'?
I enjoyed Dr Kimiyo (the good one) Light's appearance, and the bad woman's refreshing honesty. I might continue buying this book on a monthly basis now.
(PS. i bought this book due to notintheface's review, here and have since noticed the ass shot.).

Superman & Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves 5
Nothing I say about this will make anyone buy or not buy it. You know what's like, the clue is in the title. In case you need to know anymore, this issue features Man-bat and hot totty being sucked for her sveet sveeeet blood by the lead vampire guy.

Action Comics 872
So I think I can read art, right. Why did I assume that the cover was Supes battling the Creature Commandos and that they were the bad guys? I'm stupid sometimes.
A good solid book within the New Krypton storyline. Alura is insane and not too bright. Kryptonian trained soldiers are scary. And please god don't say they've actually killed off Zor-El.

Grenn Arrow/Black Canary 15
This book has both their names in the title. So why is this issue all a retrospective of Ollie's life? In fact, it seems that all the issues up to now have been led by Ollie and focused around him. Dinah seems to be a supporting character in her own title. Not impressed.
I am choosing to believe that Dinah allowed herself to be caught by Dregz and was just humouring him and Ollie, and demonstrating that they work as a team. Despite the fact it was a very inefficient way (if cool looking) way to do so. And I suppose it scared the crap out of Dregz.
That said, the dialogue was very enjoyable and from their conversations it is clear Ollie and Dinah dote on each other and they seem like a real couple, which is good. But please, can we get Dinah more action focused please?
I loved Mia in this :D I find it surprising Ollie and Dinah are shocked that she is planning to have sex with Dodge and am sad this means she won't be around for a while.

Final Crisis 5
Guy Gardener is wonderful in this! I love how he seems to view Hal being framed as a personal slight against him (And we aint having it!). I'm still enjoying this Crisis. It's complex and it's detailed and it's long winded. And I don't think Wondie, who used be the Goddess of Truth, should have succumbed to the anti life equation. because of what she stands for. Anyway. It will play out well.

Final Crisis Revelations 4
Epic, religious, lots of Renee, the Huntress and disaster coming to the world via Cain. Great. Moved slower than previous issues I thought, but like Final Crisis, I think this will bear up well when read in one go at the end of the series.

Some thoughts on the DC Nation Super centric column
- A new dynamic duo in Metropolis means Nightwing and Flamebird
- Supes will be leaving earth and his title in the hands of some of his closet friends. This will mean the JLA, Lois and Jimmy, or new Kryptonians. I vote for the new Kryptonians.
- A new Adventure in front of us means the relaunched Adventure Comics right?
- The super threat to a girl is a woman - yus, Superwoman, we've already seen her.
- New Krypton is not a frame of mind but a new home for 100,001 Kryptonians. So what, it's not going away? It will stay?
- Following Infinite Crisis, Supe's origin is secret no more and will be delivered by Johns and Frank. Ok, a new mini? Actually I don't know what the IC reference is so can't relaly guess the specific of the last one. But the others? C'mon, actually tell us something the readers of the books won't already know! Give us a proper hint not obvious statements! Pointless column.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Addicted

Well I'm at my Dad's and it turns out I am truly addicted to the internets. So hello all.

Whilst looking for the Hal Jordan/Star Sapphire DC minimates (he's got his own lantern!) as mentioned by Sea of Green I found this:

Black Canary Ami Comi
Oh dear god that is ugly. I mean, really truly, bad. On the whole, this line sucks. The Huntress one, ok, actually not *too* bad looking, if you ignore or accept the huge perky boobs. Harley is playful and fun, could be improved with the removal of the fishnets, but is perfectly good with, and I have a total soft spot for the Diana figure.
The rest make me shudder or at the very least wonder why they bothered, (Zatanna and Cheetah, for instance).

Still, Huntress vs Batgirl, looks pretty special, would be better if Huntress had more clothes, but I can easily get over that gripe, cos it's so lovely anyway, and at least is in line with some depictions of her costume. :-)

I'm also hoping for Wonder Woman: Amazonia but I know I'm not going to get it.
Christmas makes me not buying stuff easier, I think. Except i spent £19 on comcis today and bought two books for me on Tuesday...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I should really be packing...

Instead I'm fucking about on facebook uploading photos and commenting here. So, without further ado, here's some cool stuff I found in my files:

From the window of a barber shop in the city.

Wonderful wonderful ASBAR universe Babs. Check out the freckles and the sigils on her belt!


And again, this time with Kara-Flamebird, Dinah, Linda and Karen Nightwing.

My minimates from the kitchen:

For some reason the Flash (Wally West version) came with a car....
I'm really hoping the boyfriend gets me the Question/Batwoman minimates for Christmas.

Holiday leavings

I'm off to Kent to see the folks and friends for an early Christmas get together tomorrow. So no updates from me for a whiles. I aim to get completely up to date with Robin over the weekend, barring a few annuals and specials, and want to write about Spoiler when I'm back.
Spoiler has become one of my favourite characters, nearly as loved as Bart Allen. How surprising. Does she cropped up a lot in the main Batman titles? Is she worth checking out in those ones?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Robin run through

In which I discuss the Goddamn Batman, instances of Batdickery, the sexualisation of women in comics, Bats’ belief in science, Connor Hawke, and Robin recommendations.

It’s been about 2 weeks and I’ve read 162 issues of Robin.
What have I learned?
Well, when I’ve got to issue 174 I shall be going back to the comic shop and purchasing issues 175 onwards, and putting the book on standing order until it’s cancellation date.
I know that I’ll be really unimpressed if the book doesn’t get relaunched, cos I’m really enjoying it. Chuck Dixon had a realllly long run on this (10 years?) and he is gooood. I may not agree with his politics (more on that in another post) but at least he includes them and manages to write a damn good story at the same time.

It appears that the Goddamn Batman actually debuted in Robin # 131

Connor Hawke is a metahuman. Allegedly. So how does this contradict the recent development in GA/BC where I’m sure it’s stated that he’s just developed meta powers? I preferred it when he as just an elite ninja-archer.

Batman really does believe in science and hard facts over everything else, to the extent where he refers to his toys as ‘state of the science’, not state of the art (issue 86, when Spoiler is first taken to the cave).

Batman is a dick and should never be allowed responsibility over children. He treated Cassandra Cain like a tool, like a utility in his war against crime, forgetting that she was a human being and he treats Tim really really badly. Tim spends so much time guilting over his perceived lack of skill and worrying that he is letting Batman down, and Bruce gives him fuck all encouragement.
Bruce decides to set Tim a test, (issue # forgotten I’m afraid), in which Tim receives a mystery gift for his birthday. Once opened a hologram of future Alfred is produced saying that one of Tim’s colleagues is responsible for fucking up Gotham 30 years in the future and Tim is the only one who can save them all. This drives Tim mad with worry and sleeplessness as he’s tries to figure out if it’s real, and if so, who the colleague turned evil will be.

But this hologram turns out to be a ploy by Bruce to test Tim, his skills and his abilities to see whether he is ready to take it to the next level. Rather a fucked up selfish thing to do, and made worse by Bruce ridiculing Tim for considering the possibility that Time Travel exists. This is in itself a daft point given that Bruce knows the Flash and the Legion of Superheroes. Additionally, the Teen titans are always getting themselves hurled into the future.
Presumably Bruce thinks that these people are all lying.
However, props to Tim, as he throws his cloak into Batman’s face:

WHAP! So satisfying.

The other thing that gets my goat? Bruce knows damn well that Tim is smart, he states in issue 136 that Tim is ‘…smart, smarter than me and maybe even smarter than you (Alfred). Take my word Alfred, we’ll end up working for him someday, once he does a bit of growing up’.
If Bruce really believes that, then he should show the kid some fucking respect and let Tim know how highly he thinks of him.
Gaaah. This all meant that I was horrified when Bruce formally adopted Tim. Batman as your legal guardian? *shudders*

Issue 132. Who says women aren’t sexualised in comics?

Look at the difference between how Batgirl and Robin are depicted. Look at the way Cass is posed – she looks like a bleedin’ Oscar statue or something. Arms behind her, boobs out, body at an angle, belt sat at such a level as to accentuate her hips, leg bent, looking up away from the viewer. No one stands like that unless they know someone is watching and they want to look hot! Or they are a model whose job is to look pretty. She looks dainty and passive. Unthreatening.

Robin on the other hand is crouched, looks dark and menacing, his body is obscured and like he’s about to leap off the page and take your head off. With his teeth.

Now who looks more dangerous here? Because I’m pretty sure Cass is the far more deadly one.

On a more positive note, if you want to pick up any Robin issues, may I recommend:
Robin # 85 – Robin on the Brain!. Told from the Joker’s point of view and expressing his hatred for all Robins. Very very very good.

The War Games trades – Stephanie Brown, as a sacked Robin, starts a gang war in Gotham and everything goes to hell. I’ve read the Catwoman, Robin, Nightwing and BoP (if there were BoP?) issues, but not the Batman own title ones. Nevertheless, this is a really good story arc.

Robin # 36 and 37 – Ulysees Hadrian Armstrong (if the boyfriend ever convinces me to have kids I will name them Ulysees Hadrian. Or Penfold) teams up with the Toymaster and they try and rob a toy collector. The collector’s relationship with his toys is dealt with sensitively and humanely, with the last panel of # 37 showing his loss (after they’ve been destroyed in the fight.)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Supergirls' cosmic adventures in the fourth grade

had sold out by the time I got to the shop on Friday :( So they've ordered me a copy and it will be on Thursday. I've just seen this on Scans daily and it looks like so much fun :D
Anyone get it? what did you think?

Sunday evening Edit
Meep! More scans up here!!! I'm gonna love this Kara :D

It's probably a good thing I'm so easily pleased right?

It’s been a while but I’ve been busy

So here’s two weeks of comics reviews. Spoilers ahead for:
Buffy #19
Teen Titans #65
Superman & Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves (try typing that with a bad W key)
Superman # 682
Terror Titans #3
Terra #3
Superman/Supergirl Maelstrom #3
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer #19
Evil future Willow has set up Buffy and Faith to fight each other. Also features Fray’s cop sister.
This has lots of Fray future speak, which I like, and can’t quite see why Buffy had such a problem with when she first arrived. It’s perfectly understandable to me. Willow has been lying to Fray, Fray’s brother and Buffy about what will happen when Buffy both arrives in future land and when she leaves for our present day. This turns out to be a long winded ploy to get Buffy to kill Willow. And she does. She murders her best friend, and she does it easily and swiftly because she knows it is what is needed. It’s a clear cut decision. This doesn’t mean she isn’t sorry about it, she is, but she’s a warrior and she’s tough as nails and she does what needs to be done.
This reminds me of Wonder Woman killing Max Lord. Same reasons, carried out in a similar fashion.
Poor Buffy.

Teen Titans #65
Cassie kicks back and beats her crazy nephew (Lycus). I’m not quite sure how she did this. We saw crazy nephew choking her and then her eyes went starry, next thing we know, she’s got a new costume, she’s awake, she’s found her own power and she’s winning. I hope how this happened will be explored satisfactorily later. Her new costume looks pretty darn good, and mature, except….the gold W looks like it’s made of metal, so how’s she moving her arms? They should be clamped to her side..
Bombshell blows up the dog from inside him! Way to go. Violent, icky and messy but she keeps her cool and is hard as. Loving her. But I hope they are not gonna try and make her a Rose substitute, what with the snarking at Cassie. There’s room for two tough as hardcore morally wobbly super powered teenage women on the Teen Titans.
(And despite the previous sentence they aren't clones of each other, but they do have similarities)

Superman & Batman vs Vampires and Werewolves # 4
It’s got Ollie in it. J I like this issue. Far better than the last one. We see a kid turned vampire who hasn’t descended to drinking blood yet and we learn where the Vampires & Werewolves came from. Then Etrigan is summoned and starts rhyming, in a non annoying way. The art is lovely and murky too.
So far so good.

Superman #682
Ok so I do like this New Krypton cover.
Bizzarro mourns Pa Kent. Kryptonians are idiots, and as some other astute blogger observed, (who exactly I can’t remember, if anyone knows please tell me and I’ll credit them) if they are going to go to the trouble of locking up Supe’s enemies, they really should have put Lex out of action first.
I’m surprised Kara went along with her folks requests. I thought she had more mind than that. Renato Guedes draws an awesome Silver Banshee.
That page is just so colourful, so sunny and bright, (and Kara's wearing pants!)

Superman/Supergirl Maelstrom #3
God Superman is a dick. I am completely with Kara here. He is acting like her father, and a very short tempered dictatorial father at that. They’re cousins, she should be treated as an equal human being, not as someone of lower status who should be deferential to the mighty Kal.
Teaching her not to be reliant on her powers is a good thing, but taking them to a hostile planet with a red sun where they could be killed by all the aggressive attacking wildlife is not a good thing. It’s a stupid stupid thing. And arrogant. What if they were to die? What would their loved ones back home do? What would it do to Lois if they were to die off planet where (presumably) no one knows where they are?
And Kara's origin? Rocketed from Krypton as it exploded? I thought her last issue fixed it so she rocketed from a bubblised Argo City after a rampaging Brainiac was set on destroying it? And I got the impression this was Argo City after it had separated from Krypton and Krypton had exploded? Did I misunderstand?

The cover is beautiful though, especially Kara.

Terror Titans # 3
Well Rose won her match against Aquagirl, and I’m sure she’ll win against Static. Whoever the hell he is. I’m still appreciating the art (women with muscles!). Terry (a bad guy whose code name I’ve forgotten) fused his Dad into a wall. You can see the horror and the anger.

Terra #3
Still good fun. I’m loving the under earth civilisations. It seems that Terra, or Atlea, is not a simple clone of the previous Terra and I think it works. No Peej in this issue, sadly. The art is still looking gorgeous though, and Terra’s outfit is brilliant.

JSA: Ghost Stories
Trade paperback, incorporating ‘Ghost in the House’ and then the first 5 issues from 1 year later. I did enjoy this - the Gentleman Ghost flashback sequences are beautifully rendered. The rest of the art, pencilled by George Perez, Rags Morales and Jerry Ordway, I did not like. The story was fun, but I think may have bored me if I’d read it as a floppy monthly title.
Finding out Wildcat comes from English nobility tickled me. I was cringing through the fight sequences in London, at Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and possibly Westminster Cathedral, cringing because I was thinking you can’t fight there, you’ll destroy our national treasures!
That’ll be the first patriotic thought I’ve ever had.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Robin is mean and shock horror, letter writers are wrong

Currently listening to: Tori Amos - Under the Pink.

Batman has sure taught him how to fight dirty. The scene takes place in a park, a production of Macbeth has been put on and Tim and his school mates are attending to gain extra credits, (does that really happen? You get points just for attending a show?), and Tim spots a crime in progress. So he changes to his Robin getup and starts giving the criminals a beat down. One gets away.

That’s a portaloo, the grossest things ever. Ever been to a music festival? I’m not entirely sure the criminal deserved that.

On another note, the first letter from a Nicole resulted in a facepalm for me (click on the picture and it should enlarge):

Can you guess what part I’m talking about?

The subplot Nicole is referring to is Ariana bleaching her hair and changing her clothes to look hotter, (presumably because she thinks Tim will like her more this way). Anyway, she gets in a car with Jake the jerkwad who then attempts to assault her – apparently he can read the signals(!). She clocks him with 4 cans of beer (or possibly lager as this is America and I don’t think you have real ale there ;) ) and legs it.

Nicole thinks Ariana’a reaction was over the top and thinks that this incident gave Ari the opportunity to think long and hard about what she wanted to do with her life.

*headdesk*
At least the editor of the letter column has got a clue.

In other Robin thoughts, the poor kid really carries a massive guilt complex over his ability doesn't he? Poor sod. Bruce is a crap surrogate father.

I am enjoying Alfred, a very likeable sardonic (?) chap. I haven't seen much of him before, he didn't feature heavily in Nightwing or Batgirl and I've only read very odd (as in not read very often, not as in weird) issues of Batman. On a gender related front, I'm choosing to believe that this panel shows that Alfred thinks Batgirl is an unfair and inappropriate name for a woman, especially when the male sidekicks don't get called Batboy:

Go Alfred! Can anyone tell me the difference between a valet and a butler? Alfred has recently stated (around about issue 60 or thereabouts) that he is most definitely a valet, not a butler.

Oh mygod, I so want this little toy:

TURBO POWERED SKATEBOARD! That Tim made from scratch. It is official, everyone needs a Tim. or failing that, lots of money, time brains, resources and equipment with which to build similar things.

Last image, thrown in for fun:

It made me laugh.

And lastly, Stephanie Brown AKA the Spoiler is wonderful! She rocks! So extra double sized yay for her being brought back earlier this year.

Due to an imminent possibly traumatic Dr's appt to be attended this afternoon, I bought Shadowpact trade and two JSA ones. The Shadowpact one - Cursed, is very very good.