Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh my poor head

Last day of work yesterday, drank a lot of red wine, off to visit the family for the weekend and then start my new job next week.  Still got to pack as i'll be away from home for a week, still got to do some last minute shopping.  Won't have much internet access so my emails will be through the roof in a week, and I'll have a lot to catch up blogwise.  Write me lots of interesting things everybody!

And to give you something more interesting and on topic to read about, the government yesterday released their strategy on domestic and sexual violence.  In 2 years time, if all goes well, kids will be taught at school that it's wrong to abuse partners and family members.  Read about it here and here.

Wikileaks has published all the pager messages sent within America on 9/11.  Read about it here.  Or if you're American you may want to enjoy Thanksgiving first, and then read it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Flash: Rebirth (spoilers)

I tell you what, this series makes a whole lot more sense and is much more enjoyable when read in one go.

I’ve never been a Barry fan, I didn’t know too much about him until recently and in my head he was an old fashioned 1D character that represented the old guard with all their stuffy ideas and out of date thoughts.  Not that I knew who this old guard is, but in my head, there is one.

Then I picked up Rebirth, and for the first two or three issues I still didn’t care for Barry.  He seemed self involved, moody, ungrateful and with no awareness of anyone else’s feelings.  Then we found out that these weren’t actually Barry’s thoughts, he had become infected with the Reverse Flash’s peculiar version of the speed force.  A-ha, all of a sudden Barry became more likeable, more heroic.  I began to see what all these old Flash fans were harping on about.

Then he brings Max out of the speed force.  And at this point I wouldn’t have cared what the rest of the mini was like, they’ve just reunited Bart and Max and I couldn’t be happier. 

Then finally, in issue number 5 we get a new speedster.  We get little Iris West taking responsibility for her brother’s pain and taking steps to end it.  She’s all of 8 years old?  6?  She shows greater maturity than a lot of adults in this universe.  As a result, she passes out and Jesse Quick arrives.  Jesse, newly rejuvenated and part of the speed force once more.  She brings Irey West back to us and it becomes clear that Irey is the new speedster.  With little lightening grips in her hair.

Then, as if that wasn’t good enough, when all the speedsters are racing along in formation (for anyone else this would be a Bad Ass Power Walk, but as they’re speedsters, they are running for the sheer joy of it), Wally uses the speed force to give everyone new uniforms.

Jesse Quick gets some new threads.  Wally gets a shiny, darker, more modern version of the Flash uniform.  And little Iris is in Bart’s old gear.  Ladies and gentlemen, we have another Impulse!  And Bart doesn’t look non too happy about it.

Thank you DC.  You’ve made me one very happy fangirl.



(Although why is Linda Parks drawn more Caucasian than Asian?  Is it just me?  Have I forgotten what Asian people look like?)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Poll results!

8 votes received and thanks to all who took part!
The question was Which team should Supergirl join? and the results were:
1 for the Teen Titans
1 for the JSA
3 for the Birds of Prey
3 for her to stay solo

I think the Teen Titans are the obvious choice for her, and I would love to see Kara interact with Bombshell and Aquagirl.  Bombshell doesn't take kindly to anyone much, and I think she'd view Kara as a peppy cheerleader type and hate her on sight.  Plus Kara and Cassie are friends so that would probably set them apart before they'd even met.
As for Aquagirl, I just don't think she'd like Kara.  I think she'd view her as immature, inexperienced and a liability for the team.  We all know that Kara has moved on a lot since her stroppy days, but I don't think Aquagirl would acknowledge her newfoudn (semi) maturity, at least not at first.

I don't read the JSA, but I'm guessing that the person voting for this team was going for the mentoring young heroes aspects of it.  If I'm wrong, tell me in the comments.  I'm not convinced this is the right team for Kara, but as I said I don't read the title.  I wonder how Kara gets on with Power Girl now?  I reckon if Kara met Terra Kara would be very surprised by Terra's naeivty and would gently tease her and wind her up.  Peej probably wouldn't approve of this.

As for the BoP choice, well Kara would be ace in the Birds of Prey!  With Babs leading, Dinah as second in command, Helena, Zinda, Misfit, Steph and Kara all working together, we'd be for a fabulous book.  If anyone important at DC is reading this, (which I highly doubt, but if you are, Hi! Stay awhile!), please reform the Birds and put Kara in with them....pretty please.

As for the none choice, you're all spoilsports :p  Seriously, I think Kara would be good on a team.  She'd be fun to write and interact with.

I'm glad no one said JLA (I'm guessing this is partly to do with the new JLA team and the Cry for Justice fiasco), and the Outsiders (bunch of boring D listers).

Kara *could* work well on the Titans - it would reflect her powerhouse status and give her more respect and status than being on the Teen Titans (young people who still have a lot to learn) team.

And compeletly off topic from this, London's Reclaim the Night march happened on Saturday and a female marcher was sexually assaulted whilst on the march.  How full of hate do you have to be to do that?  I went on last year's march and nothing like that happened, but then again it was the first march in a reaally long time.  I guess this time around more foks were prepared for it.

In betetr news, you can view pictures of the march and a short write up here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Comic reviews – week of 20th Nov 2009

I’m in something of a peculiar position this week.  I bought 6 comics, and have no desire to review any of them.  All but two were Blackest Night related, and overall, not particularly good.

Superman/Batman # 66 is a BN tie in, and by bringing it into current continuity it immediately lost it’s charm.  In addition to this, it centred on Man-Bat, Solomon Grundy and Bizzaro.  3 characters I loathe. Too bad we’ve got another issue of it.  The Outsiders #24 is also a BN tie in, and was utter crap.  D list characters I have no feelings for and a dull story.  But at least I got a ring.  REBELS #10 was interesting, but I haven’t been convinced into buying any more issues.  Again, I bought this to get a ring.  The last BN tie in is Adventure Comics #4, and at last!  A worthwhile issue!  It centres on Superboy Prime being his usual bratty self, back on earth prime, and is fun!  Alexander Luthor returns as a Black Lantern and breaks through the space-time barriers to torment and kill Superboy Prime, bringing a few other Black Lanterns with him.  I wonder how the regular folks of this earth, essentially our real world earth, will react?  Will they think it’s a reality TV show with good special effects?  Will they think it’s a film?  Will they run in fear?  Will they ignore it all?  What would you do?

As for the non BN ones, Supergirl # 47, the one with the Hamlet cover, was a good read and all, I just miss reading about Kara.  The last Kara centric issue was where she developed the Linda Lang identity, but since then it’s been all about New Krypton.  I want to read about Supergirl again.

For all that griping, the very final purchase was spectacular.  It was The Flash: Rebirth #5, and was so good I am going to re-read the mini and then do a special post dedicated to it.

I hope your comic weeks were better than mine.

On the plus side I expanded my ring collection.  This is a picture of what I like to call my tree o' stuff.  It's a candle holder, that isn't very secure for candles and now gets everything hung on it.  There are 6 rings hung there, although the Black one is sort of camouflaged.

The Wonder Woman circle (at the bottom) is made out of felt and was given to me by the lady in my comic shop last January - she made loads of them with varying hero symbols and hung them on their Christmas Tree in the window.  When I asked if she was selling them she made one specially and gave me one!

The rest of the stuff is mostly for my hair, although the lil witch was a Christmas prsent from a friend last year, and looks unannily like me.

Y'know, my tree o'stuff shouldn't be more interesting than my comics.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wonder Woman and Lois

I was re-reading the Wonder Woman trade Paradise Lost a while ago and came across the story at the end where Lois accompanies Diana on one of her day's work.  Lois starts off the day skeptical and uncomfortable because she feels inferior to Diana.  During the day Diana lets slip that she and Clark, (or Kal as Diana refers to him) spent 1000 years in Asgard together.  Here is the scene where this occurs:

I particularly enjoy this because it seems to me such an obvious thing to feature.  Of course Lois is threatened by Diana, she's Wonder Woman!  And of course Diana and Superman have adventures and fights that Lois will never ever be a part of, not in the same way.  There isn't a huge amount of (DC superhero) comics discussing female friendships (it was a hot topic a while ago) so it's really good to see something like this.

At the back fo the trade was also this cover from presumably the same issue:

Done by Adam Hughes and I just love it.  By Clark's expression you just know that Diana and Lois are swapping embarrassing stories and they aren't gonna finish for a really long time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

11th interntional Transgender day of remembrance

Is today.  For those who have been killed for being (or perceived to be) trans.

Memorializing 2009.

Other sites have said it better than me.  May I direct you to:

The F Word



Rebellious Jezebel

Ami Angelwings

Seeking Avalon

Thursday, November 19, 2009


All nicked from FWD/Forward.  Which is a great site that y'all should be reading.

“Feminism is the political theory and practice that struggles to free all women: women of color, working-class women, poor women, disabled women, Jewish women, lesbians, old women–as well as white, economically privileged heterosexual women. Anything less than this vision of total freedom is not feminism, but merely female self-aggrandizement.”
–Barbara Smith, “Racism and Women’s Studies,” 1979 (text is available at JSTOR; unfortunately, it’s subscription-only)

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”
- Paulo Freire, “Pedagogy of freedom: ethics, democracy, and civic courage” (1998).

"Being discriminated against or exploited because one is female may be painful and dehumanizing, but it may not necessarily be as painful, dehumanizing, or threatening as being without food or shelter, as starvation, as being deathly ill but unable to obtain medical care."
- bell hooks, Feminist Theory From Margin to Center

 "Definitions of disability affect people’s self-identity. Recognizing yourself as disabled and identifying with other people who are disabled and learning about their experiences can all contribute to understanding and interpreting your own experiences, and to knowing that you are not alone with problems you may have believed were unique to you. But being identified as disabled also carried a significant stigma in most societies and usually forces the person so identified to deal with stereotypes and unrealistic attitudes and expectations that are projected on to her/him as a member of this stigmatized group."

- Wendell, Susan. The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability. New York: Routledge. 1996. pg 12.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Coming out in Comics: Runaways

It's another coming out post.  I have quite a few of these lined up and not a lot of energy to think of other topics.  I'm manically busy at work trying to finish everything before I leave and start my new job.  Arrggh!

Here are some scenes from Runaways where we see that Karolina is gay.

We have seen hints seeded throughout the previous 4 volumes that Karolina may be gay, however the first 2 scans are where she officially comes out.  We see Karolina, an alien, hitting on Nico, a witch:


It is unclear whether Karolina thinks she is a freak because she is gay or because she has just been turned down by Nico.  Note also that Nico is unconcerned as to Karolina's lesbian status.  Then think how this is a book aimed at teenagers and featuring teenagers!

Skip forward a few pages and we have a strange new visitor named Xavin.  He is a super skrull, but a good guy, who is betrothed to Karolina and has come to Earth to find her to arrange the marriage and start working on putting their worlds back together.  This could come off as really creepy and forced, but it doesn't.  Karolina is asked simply to join Xavin and to get to know her fiancee before any sort of romantic relationship is formed.  Before this can happen however, Karolina says she can't mary Xavin because she likes girls.  To which Xavin, as a shapeshifter, simply morphs into a female form:

Note Chase Stein's reaction and Gert's comlete lack of a reaction.  It is very cool that Xavin doesn't give a stuff about the gender s/he presents as, but then as an alien, presenting as human would probably be the main issue.  At any rate we have a gender swapping person added into the mix.  Later volumes look at what it means for Xavin's identity to present as female vs male and human vs skrull.  It is made clear that Xavin wishes to learn how to be human and that she identifies as female first, so she is not a male masquerading as female and therefore tricking Karolina.

Runaways is an awesome set of books.  How I wish I'd has these as a confused teenager!

Scans taken from Runaways Vol 5 Escape to New York.

[And don't forget about my poll!  More than 3 of you must know who Supergirl is and have an opinion, c'mon, make your voice heard!]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coming out in Comics - ordinary folks of the DCU

Check this out, from GA/BC 24:


So, what we have here, right,  is a couple who just happen to be out on a first date.  They could easily be a hetero couple, there is no big deal made about their lesbianism, there's no politics, there's no message, there's no punishment.  They just happen to be gay.  This is how it should be, in rl and in the media.  Representations of us as normal, as just like the other folks, representations where queerness is not an issue.

I am fully aware of why there has been, and there still needs to be political examinations of sexuality, privilege, et al.  Those kind of depictions did a hell of a lot for me when I was growing up.  they served as role models, they served to show me that you could be gay and proud.  You didn't have to be ashamed.  Course, the irony is that I'm not gay, but I can't think of a single sintance as a teenager where there was any sort of bisexual representation in the media.  Certainly nothing positive, at any rate.  Which probably explains why for years I veered between gay! straight! gay! straight! gay! straight! depending on who I crushed on at the time.  It took years to click that actually I could like both sexes.

Anyway, the more normalised, positive images there are in the media the more non heterosexuality will be accepted and not questioned.  Which is one the reasons why I'm doing this series.

Lastly - I know there's the tired old cliche of girl on girl action, but if you just look a lil deeper there, that's not how the couple is depicted, that's what Cupid is saying.  And y'know, she's tacky, she's a bit ridiculous, we're not meant to agree with or root for her.  She probably thinks she being really friendly and supportive.  We're meant to be laughing at her.  Ahh, Cupid, how I luff you and your endearing craziness!

(Hey! PS! I'm still after reviewers)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Calling all reviewers

An invitation to all comic book reviewers, actual or potential.

I am starting a new review blog intended to focus on books that could be read by people new to comics.  So, focusing on books that can be read as standalone pieces, and those that you don't need to know about the comics continuity to be able to understand and enjoy them.  Just good solid stories that read well.

I want the site and the books reviewed to be accessible to those people who have never read a comic before, or maybe not read one for a long time, and are interested in finding out more but don’t know where to start.

I want it to cover superheroes, manga, alternative and web comics, and to review only those books that are collected in trade format, or available online.

I want it to avoid avoid comics with sexist, racist, homophobic or ableist overtones or intent.  This means no books with Rob Liefield as an artist and nothing like the latest Booster Gold issue (#26), where Lady Vic's trousers mysteriously dissapeared for 3 panels.  I want it to be  as accessible as possible, and I hope that I can branch out into non-English versions.

In order to showcase a diverse range of books and to reflect a wide range of views and opinions I would like to invite people to be reviewers for the site, particularly women, trans people,disabled people, people of colour, UK comics fans and people for whom English is not their first language.  As I mostly read DC comics, I am also keen on Marvel fans and Manga fans getting involved.

If you would like to be involved with this project, (or if you would like to find out more) please can you email me at paicomics [@] and submit an example of your writing, or point me towards your website/blog.  Some indication of where you stand on feminist/race/ablist/trans issues in comics would also be nice, and some idea of what you would consider suitabel for review would also be helpful.

If anyone would like to take on translating duties that would also be great.

I can't pay anyone, this will very much be a labour of love.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wow! I don't think I've ever OMG'ed so much over one book

It's review time.  Spoilers ahead for Green Lantern Corps #42, Booster Gold #26, Action Comics #883, Titans #19, Red Robin #6 and Green Arrow/Black Canary #26.
Green Lantern Corps #42
Oh my starry nights.  I did not expect that.  Pretty much like everyone else I was somewhat stunned.  I then decided to re-read the GLC Blackest Night issues and now the whole thing makes a lot more sense.  GLC is not an ideal book to just pick up and dive into.  But back to #42..
All the threads from issues 39 to 41 have now converged with horrific results.  Dead children attacking the Corps!  Indigo Lantern Munk joining the Green Lanterns to fiht off the dead!  I particularly like that the Indigo Corps are not sappy and friendly to everyone.  They may be the colour of compassion but they have a solid core to them and are quite capable of being angry.
The panel with the children demanding 'Feed us' made me chuckle.
Poor Kilowog - he's taken the reappearence of his mentor and the death of his recruits rather badly.
Soranik's hand was stuck in dead Lantern Jade's head - Kyle blasting her out was a veyr nice bit of team work.
Then, the double page spread of the Black Lanterns descending on the Green Power Battery!  Oh my.  Oh that is a powerful image.  The cropping of the scene, with the black blocks across the top and bottom reinforces the cinematic aspect of the story, and criminy, it does work well.
The Black Lanterns form a dark construct to lift and break into the power battery..a red lantern is released and goes apeshit on the black lanterns..and this is where I got a bit lost.  Not knowing Green Lantern lore all that well I don't understand why an alpha lantern has a power battery inside them.
At any rate, this uber power battery is compromised and is set to explode..and then..oh Kyle!

What a heroic death.  My favourite kind of death.  Some wonderful panels showing the event itself - these artists are really very good - and no qualms or questions from Kyle.  He knows what he's got to do and he does it with a little knowing grin on his face.  I know he'll be back - and that doens't diminish the quality of his death.

Oh Kyle.  I may not know you very well but I am greatly saddened and shocked by your death.

Booster Gold #26
Bought for the return of (Black Lantern) Ted Kord.  I shall get next issue but this won't be put back on my pull list.  It was good readings, and it was nice to see Ted's funeral and to get an insight into Booster's feelings at the time.  I particularly liked Booster calling out the other heroes for their ill treatment of Ted, even if it was only his head.

Ted is (most) excellent as a Black Lantern.  I feel a little aggrieved that there is no Blue Beetle back up this issue though.  I could have done without the JSA All Stars preview.

I didn;t get a ring this week.  Apparently the rings don't hit the UK till next week.  Does DC think we are the ugly ginger stepchild or something?  I didn't pick up REBELS but i'm really hopeful I'll be given an orange and indigo ring next week.

Action Comics #883
I'm very glad I haven't dropped this.  What an uplifting cover.  Chris and Thara's relationship is lovely to behold.  Chris is so damn proud of Thara, well they are both equally proud of each other.  I'm enjoying seeing the little tricks they are using with their powers - Thara 'kissing' the firey being and putting out his flames with ice breath.  I'm relaly enjoying getting to know Chris an Thara.

Back at the Planet, Jimmy Olsen's sort of girlfriend goes looking for him and admits to Perry that she hasn't seen him for ages and is worried.  Am I correct in thinking that Jimmy is siupposedly dead?

This sleeper agent, Jax-Ur, is an interesting one.  I've no idea if we are supposed to know who he is but he's got my attention.

Captain Atom's backup feature was ok.

Titans #19
Bought because the cover intrigued me.  Not a bad read.  Lian is quite adorable - I'm a fan of parent-child relationships in comics.  I don't understand what happened to Lady Vic's trousers.  One page she's fighting Speedy and is clothed, the next page her trews have magically disspeared and she's wearing a thong.  Next page she's dressed again.  WTF?

The teachers at the school are rather rubbish aren't they?  Thankfully Mia arrives to save the day and pick up Lian.  Roy eventually arrives home and starts painting Lian's bedroom, as he promised at the start of the book.

All in all a nice snapshot into Arrow family life but I won't be buying this regularly.

Red Robin #6
I have a feeling that the Red Robin books will read better collected as a trade.  At the moment each issue is a bit slow going.  I am enjoying them , but I am a big Tim Drake fan.  I don't know what the more casual reader would make of this series.  I am intrigued by this Spider faction and I have a feeling that in the long run this will be an aborsbing and engrossing read.
We get some reference to continuity as we learn that the Batman: Blackest Night events took place between RR issues 5 and 6.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #26
Well, that was an odd setup. The back up section came first and we get about 5 pages of Oliver daydreaming he's meeting himself back on the island he was shipwrecked on, then a prompt stating ' Not the end! Turn the page for what goes down next!'
You know, after just 5 or 6 pages of a book that's clearly at least 22 pages long, I hadn't thought I'd got to the end.
The art in this first section is great, with the parts on the island being the best.  The colours really work well in these panels, and really complement the scratchy feel of the pencils.

Back to the main section and the art has changed, but still works.  This time I see it's Renato Guedes doing the pencils, with Jose Wilson Magalhaes.  That would explain why I like it so much!  Guedes is a great penciller.  His gives his characters builds and faces, you can see their personality in their bodies.  He draws Mia very aquiline.  My only complaint is Dinah's costume is unzipped to below her breasts.  Shame on you Guedes.  You did so well at making Supergirl look like a normal humanoid being, without sexualising her, I cannot see why you are involved with this.  On the plus side, her costume does at least cover her arse.

The story itself is fine.  Everyman is somehow back from the dead and he thinks he's Olliver Queen.  Dinah knew, without needing a test, which one is her real husband, which is as it should be.  I'm sure we'll find out in time how Everyman survived Bat's exhaustive autopsy.

DC's editorial said that there would be a Super addition to the Teen Titans.  As much as I expect it will be Superboy I've used it as an excuse to set up a poll (on the right, below the about me box).  Which team do you reckon Kara should join?

Currently listening to: Patti Smith - Gone Again and Morcheeba - Big Calm

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday the 13th

Did you know that it has not always been considered unlucky?

The name, Friday, comes from the Norse goddess Freya.  (Wednesday comes from Odin - Odin's Day -> Wodin's Day -> Wednesday).  Freya is a goddess of love, passion and self care for women.

13 is a scared number because it is the number of moon cycles within a solar year.  It used to be thought that the moon governed women's menstrual cycles and that we would sync up with the phases of the moon.  I have no idea if women's bodies ever did this, nowadays with so many on the pill veyr few women will be in their 'natural' cycle.  As 13 is the number of moon cycles, it is linked with the power by which all life grows - plants, people etc.

So, Friday the 13th really shouldn't be considered unlucky.  To those with Pagan tendancies it should be considered a holy day for women, sexual health and love.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Superman memorabilia - nostalgia for Christopher Reeve

Today, I'm in a very good mood and just generally pleased to be alive.  Happy Friday everybody!  Enjoy your weekend, and enjoy this post that's been lingering for a few days or so.

I first saw the Superman movies as a child and I remember being absolutely blown away.  I was certain this was the coolest thing I have ever seen and that nothing would ever top it.  I loved the first film so much I even liked all the sequels, even number 4, with Nuclear Man.

Watching the movies again as an adult, I'm struck by how long the title sequences are, but also by how good the films still are and how much they evoke the same feelings I had for them as a child.  Yes, even movie number 4.

Some films just have an immeasurable effect on you, and for me, the Christopher Reeve Superman movies did just that.  So, when I saw a commemorative booklet for the first movie on sale at an indoor flea market type place, I bought it.  Here is the cover:

First up we have a list of the credites for the movie:

This list goes over 4 pages, but another picture would be kind of boring.  Then there's pictures and short biography's of each of the major characters.  Interestingly enough, first up is Marlon Brando, than Gene Hackman, and then Christopher Reeve:

Here's the text piece about Reeve, hopefully if you click on the photo you can read it:


 Next set of info is is a 2 page spread of the general cast  :

I personally think Margot Kiddo deserves a bigger piece than  she's given.  She *is* Lois and without her the movie would have been very different.  I wouldn't say bad, because I've also seen some of Stockard Channing's audition tape for the rol of Lois (I think it was included on one the DVD releases), and she would have made an ace Lois, but not as good as Ms Kidder.

Next 4 pages detail the Presenter, Director, Producers, Composer-Conducter (also did the themes for Star Wars and Jaws), Production Designer, Costume Designer and Cinematographer.

Next page is a still from the Zod/Ursa/Non trial:


I don't think I can express how much I loved the Zod/Ursa/Non stuff.  I am so glad Non has been brought into the DCU proper and I love seeing key bits from the movies referenced both in the comics and Smallville.

Next up is stills and info on the destruction of Krypton and baby Kal El's journey to and arrival on earth, and  other key bits and action shots from the film.

The mending the train line sequence!  My FAVOURITE part of the film.

And the villains.


For 8 pounds, I'm very happy.  Now if I could just find one of these for the Supergirl film I'd be over the moon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A quiet week, this was

Featuring spoilers for Superman World of New Krypton #9, Buffy #30 and my new ring.
Superman World of New Krypton #9
Following directly on from last month’s action packed issue, we cut to Jemm, the Son of Saturn, who is rather pissed off that New Krypton stole his moon.  I can empathise.  An agreement is reached between the Saturnians and the Kryptonians.  As Jemm leaves he bows to the voice of Rao.  I’m hopeful that this means that the Flamebird will show up on New Krypton before the close of this maxi series.

Next we see arguments in the council chambers and Red Shard speculating on whether Ursa is falling for Kal.  This I highly doubt.  We then move to see a scene or two from military guild training and then some scenes from the Labour Guild wherein they discuss a new disease and the makeup of the council.

The last few pages are of Kal visiting Zod, who is getting stronger.  They discuss Non and the strength of the Kryptonian army.  Finally Ursa bursts in to announce a disturbance in the high sector.  This turns out to be none other than Adam Strange!  This tickled me, it feels like we are getting a who’s who of space faring races.

This was an issue that served to remind us of key players on the planet as well as the stratifications and layes in their society.  I thought it was good to go back and revisit some people and problems we haven’t seen in a while.  I figure this is being used to bring together some ideas that will converge in the final 3 issues.

Buffy #30
Ah! My Goddess! sess!  I’d forgotten about the delights of last issue so this was a welcome read.  The colours were fantastic as the Goddesses went on the rampage.
Buffy et al realise that the Goddesses aren’t on their side, they just plan to destroy everything.  In addition to this the slayers gave away too much power and can’t get it back.  The dialogue between Warren, Amy and the masked man was great – it felt like I was watching the show again.  It turns out Riley was undercover in the army so Buffy went to rescue him (shame).

Buffy realises they will lose this battle and despite this she still rallies her troops and commands them to bring all the injured, both slayers, wolves and army guys to the temple so that they can defend it and try to save as many people as possible.   Now that’s a hero.

5 hours after the battle the army has captured all the slayers and Buffy is alone in a snowdrift.  Then she somehow rises into the air and is flying.  This is much better than when Willow was flying.  It executed in a more pleasing manner, it makes more sense (even without an explanation as to how she does it) and Buffy’s surprise at this development works.  When Willow flew it felt too easy and contrived.  Like it was put in because they could, because there was no special effects budget to be concerned about.

Lastly, I got another Corps ring.  A yellow one, to be specific.  As you can see they haven’t been made for delicate girl fingers, (or even stubby girl fingers).  Nonetheless I intend to collect them all and photograph them along the way.

(Can you point and say NEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRDDDD!!)

Listening to: [spunge] - pedigree chump

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Telly update, spendings and Taken

I watched the last 2 episodes of Smallville season 8, and holy macaroni!  if you don't like spoilers look way now..
They killed Jimmy?  Jimmy Olsen?  Central figure to the Superman mythos?   He didn't even have a signal watch!  Did they take the Countdown ad campaign seriously?  I liked this Jimmy.  Sure, him and Chloe has fuck all chemistry, but Mr Olsen himself was quite charming.  I guess it made sense with the storyline, and it certainly was very tragic.  I was convinced Chloe was gonna bring him back with her magic tears.

Apart from that, the rest of the final 2 episodes were good.  I can cope with Ollie being all dark and vengeful.  It doesn't suit him, but it doesn't suit him in the comics either.  I am not convinced about Smallville's Bart being in agreement, it seems somewhat out of character.  Or maybe I just want him to be the regular DCU's Bart.  I don't know enough about this universe's Dinah to comment on her.

While we're talking about Bart , head on over to Crimson Lightning and check out this adorable kid dressed up as Bart.  He's perfect!

Back on Smallville, the Doomsday defeat was quite good, even if we didn't see much of it.

It looks like Lois has been transported to the Legion in the 31st century.  This should make for all sorts of interesting shenanigans.  Even with the use of magic time travelling Legion rings.  Which is ridiculous.  

I am very excited about season 9.   I haven't had a chance to watch any yet and probably won't for the foreseeable future.  Meanwhile, I will just go giddy over the inclusion of the JSA (with a winged, maced and hairy chested [i hope] Hawkman!) .

I also saw another episode of BSG, from season 2.  Starbuck is shot on Caprica, taken to the hospital, tended by Cylons and discovers the farms.  A well done episode.


So, way back when, I decided to try and make an effort and seriously cut down on the amoount of stuff I bought.  If you click on the consumerism tag you'll see my other posts on this matter.

Well, I think I lasted til August and then somehow it all went to pot.  The net result is, I haven't stuck to my resolution, but I'm not buying random crap either.  I have bought new clothes - dresses (some new, some second hand), socks, pants, etc, I have bought quite a few books, I have continued buying gifts for people and I have bought some utterly useless crap.  Well, it's useless only if you consider memorabilia from the first Christoper Reeve Superman movie to be crap.  I say if it makes your heart sing then it's not crap.  But more on that later, because there's a post in there somewhere.  I still consider my main spendings to be on lunches, dinners out, and beer.

What have I learnt from all this?
1) If you want to monitor your spending and keep track of it, you have to write down absolutely everything you buy.  Including newspapers and 10pence fortune cookies.
2) I have a pretty low attention span and not much resolve.


Consider the movie 'Taken'.  It's got Liam Neeson in it, fucking shit up.  By action movie standards it's a pretty good watch, and like most action movies, the actual plot is somewhat incidental.  But nonetheless go and read a synopsis here.  Unless you've already seen it.

Ready? OK.

First of all, the one line plot summary on the IMDB says Neeson's daughter has been sold into the slave trade.  Actually, she's been kidnapped and sold to a prostitution ring.  She is shipped around various places while Neeson is trying to catch up with her.  She doesn't get raped but that's because she's a virgin.  Her sexually active friend dies of a drug overdose - the drugs are forcibly given to her in order to break her in.

The movie makes a fairly good attempt at not glamourising or sexualising Neeson's daughter's plight, but it's not so good at race stuff.
As she's getting shipped around we see lots of asian women being pimped out.  The movie does nothing for these women, Neeson completley ignores them and we see nothing put in place to save them.  The end message seems to be that if you're a young, pretty and white virgin you deserve to be saved.  If you're anyone else you can rot in your hell.  The movie does portray the other victims situation as vile and desperate.  It demonstrates how horrific it is.

Towards the end of the movie Neeson's daughter is finally sold to her new owner. Guess who he is?  A rich. fat, oil dealing Arab man.  Not that they're trading in stereotypes at all here.  No siree.

The point at which this surprised me was that they'd tried to deal with the women's issues, the horribleness of the forced sex trade etc, which is impressive for Hollywood, but they'd failed so hard at the race stuff.  Especially as it wouldn't have needed much to rectify this.

Clouds Moving In also has a review of the film.  She focuses on the sexism but doesn't touch the race issues,

Monday, November 09, 2009

Help requested - what colourists/pencillers/inkers/letterers do

In 1994 DC ran a series of features at the back of it's books about the creative process in comics.  One was called 'what exactly does an inker do?' (I've posted a scan of it here. Look at the bottom of the entry.  It was featured in an Extreme Justice comic).

There's another one in the back of Guy Gardener Warrior # 25 called Comics Colouring demystifed, which I have scanned here:

Basically I'm looking for the ones that deal with the pencils and letters (I'm assuming these were done).

Does anyone have a scan they can send me, or can anyone put a scan on their site that I can steal, or can anyone let me know the names of some comics these how to's have appeared in?

Thanks for the help all!

And cos you're all so nice, have a lovely picture of some daffs:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I'm being overrun by tie in and minis

After 5 days of being ill and then having a visit from a friend all weekend I'm finally ready to get back to blogging.  Before I go any further however, I'd like to say a massive congratulations to my friends Admiral and Mrs Drax on the birth of their little Draxette!  Congratulations guys!  And so you're warned well in advance, I *will* be stockpiling suitable comics for her for when she can read. ;)

Back on topic, this post will be a comcis review post, for books released 2 weeks ago.  Review also written about a week ago, in prepartion for posting, but then the dreaded germs attacked.
This is the last time I buy into an event, I swear.  I’m running out of shelf space, it’s not good.  Spoilers ahead for Worlds Finest #1, Teen Titans #76, Gotham City Sirens #5, Green Lantern Blackest Night #47, Blackest Night: Titans #3 (my absolute favourite this week) and Blackest Night #4 and a picture of the nifty promotional giveaway I got.  And a few thoughts on Flash: the fastest Man Alive - Full Throttle.

Worlds Finest #1
I got a choice of covers when I went in and selected the Nightwing version.  The colours are so lovely and I figure I was in more of a blue peaceful mood than a red mood when I was in the shop.  This was not a setting up issue, it dived right into the story and action. An excellent, character driven story.

Teen Titans #76
Much better than issue 50.  A good battle, some mysterious villainous creatures and fully fleshed believable conflict between team members.  I felt that M’Gann M’orzz was the star of this show, despite the fact she was captured and had to be rescued by the rest of the Titans.  Something about her just resonated with me.

The Ravager back up saw Rose moving in to destroy a human-slave ring.  She has lost some of her precog abilities which is causing problems when in the midst of a fight and the issue ends with her enemy intending to use her as a super soldier.  After reading this I realised that the Ravager story in the Halloween special last week has greatly impacted on my reading of Rose and has served to make all her other stories that much richer.  Now, that’s impressive for a one page story!

Gotham City Sirens #5
Another favourite and one that spares no opportunity for gratuitous bum and breast shots - make of that that you will.  I love these three as a team and Paul Dini is writing their relationship with each other really well.  The art remains great and the I enjoyed the twist at the end.

Green Lantern Blackest Night #47
I think that the GL and GL Corps Blackest Night stories are the weakest of the bunch so far. L  Please don’t shoot me anyone..  They aren’t bad stories but I think my disinterest may be because they are both focusing on big fights and involving characters that on the whole I know little about, and only marginally care about.  So, as a new reader to the GL canon Blackest Night may not have been the best time to come in.  However, they are pretty vital to the whole event so I’m not about to drop them, but I don’t think I’ll be converted to a regular GL reader when BN is finished.
Having said that, I did very much enjoy the last couple of pages of Agent Orange running away. :)

Blackest Night: Titans #3
Now this features characters I know and love!  I especially love Dove’s role in this event.  Avatar’s of peace, love compassion and hope please me, and I have liked every incarnation of Hawk & Dove that I have come across.  After all, the idea behind them is a pretty enduring (and timeless?) one.

I have this horrible feeling that some fans will whinge about Donna snapping her (revenant) baby’s neck, a la Diana with Maxwell Lord, and that her story and life history is likely to become more complicated – she was bitten by her dead baby in issue #2 and now the poison is spreading and she is seeing people with a Black Lantern’s eyes. I persoanlly like the Donna/Diana comparison – can this suggest that Maxwell Lord was, in a sense, already dead when Diana killed him?  Or am I being just a bit wanky thinking that?

Blackest Night #4
Oh my, oh my!  First, look at the cover:


Inside, Mera is tough and nails, the Atom is actually heroic and not torture happy, Scarecrow’s cameo just makes me like him more.  I wonder if his comments are foreshadowing for Bruce’s role in BN?  The WW/Supes/Flash comment was a great moment, Dinah and Ollie got a cameo (and instructions not to get hotheaded) and the rings get fully charged!  The Black Lantern power battery is transported to Coast City and the whole of Coast City is commanded to rise!  Holy fuck, this won’t be good.

The art on the final splash page is fabulous, as is the scythe (which I would like, please), but I can’t help feeling I’d be getting more out of this if I knew who Nekron was.

Before I head off and read Flash: Lightning in a Bottle: Full Throttle* (contender for longest trade name ever) I shall supply you with this picture of the promo bag I got with my books today:

 Cool huh?

*Now read and of course loved.  Poor Bart.  Poor Tim, and Jesse.  The two pages with them are really affecting.  This was a series which made me love the Rigues even more. they really aren't your average comic book villains.  They really are 3 dimensional and you can sympathise with them.  They have a code of honour and ethics and aren't through and through bad.  When Libra comes to them to persuade them to join Darkseid because evil will win, I get the sense that that is a stupid thing to fofer the Rogues, because they aren't evil.  They aren't interested in causing evil, they just want to get on with their lives.  They may do this be being petty criminals but it's done in the same way that used car salesman break the law, you know?  Their primary objective isn't to cause pain, or to hurt people or maim them for the fun of it.

I then re-read Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge which just made me love them even more, and hate Inertia.

Both the Flash book and Rogues Revenge should be essential reading for any Flash fan.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sick as a dog

I've had flu since Monday.  Bleurgh.  So for the last two days I've been re watching Smallville Season 6 - inbetween naps, shivering, aching and being unable to eat, that is.  God I hate being ill.

Anyway.  Now I'm able to sort of function and type things again, here's a few thoughts for you:
Anyone else think it's bizzare that Lex and Lana don't share a bed the whole time she's living in his mansion, even when they are engaged?  Maybe it's meant to highlight the cold and sad relationship they have.  As opposed to each time she gets powers and her and Clark are seen sharing a bed.

OK no more thoughts, brain has ceased to function now.

I didn't even make it to the comic shop today.  I forgot it was new comic day until looking at my blogroll feed, and haven't even checked the solicits for this week.

God I hate being ill. 

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bad girls go breil

Is this advert for real?

I cut this out of a magazine a year or so ago.   The fridge poetry obviously didn't come with the advert, but i feel it fits in rather well.

Anyway, just look at that there advert.  It's a heavily made up woman, in bra, gloves and jewellery, seductively eating spaghetti.  Or doing her best to eat it it seductively anyway. this turning anyone on?  Does spaghetti make you want to go buy expensive jewellery?  Does the sucking of spaghetti give you the horn?  Is spaghetti linked with being a bad girl, or is it just the lip action that makes her bad?


Up until half an hour ago I half suspected it was a joke, a mocked up advert poking at fun at other adverts.  then I googled it and found out that it is a real brand.

This advert truly makes my head spin.  It is sublimely ridiculous, which is why it is stuck on my fridge.

If anyone can explain how they think this advert will succeed in making you buy the jewellerry, please let me know.
Maybe it was created as a joke, a spoof for red nose day, or eat more 'ghetti day or somrthing.