Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wonder Woman Renumbered At #600

The following comes from DC Comics blog site, written by Dan Didio.  Posted on December 8th or 2009....


The results are in!
The response to our call for Wonder Woman postcards was spectacular, and we got the message loud and clear. We asked for 600 and by the Oct 31st cut off, we had an overwhelming 712 postcards (nearly 800 by the time of this writing), so as a man of my word, starting in June 2010, DC’s Wonder Woman series will celebrate its 600th issue and continue on from there. And we promise that Diana’s anniversary issue will be one to remember! There are some big plans in place and big changes in store for our favorite amazon warrior, so keep an eye on The Source in the new year, because we will be breaking the news here first!
To be continued….

But that’s not all. We’ll be announcing some major news in relation to Wonder Woman early in 2010, including the roster of all-star artists contributing to the 600th issue. Until then, though, we’ll leave you with the issue’s cover, by none other than George Perez, who’s no stranger to the Amazon Princess.


- DD -



I for one am glad by this decision.  Now this never actually came to my attention in the least, but once it was brought out, I was all for it.  It was exceptionally encouraging that Dan Didio decided this was important enough for fans and met their demand.  Now one thing is for sure, Wonder Woman #600 will be a MAJOR collectors Item.

But now, as #600 comes closer as days draw nearer, what are the plans for Gail Simone continuing her work on Wonder Woman.  I was very sad to see Geoff Johns leave the JSA only to have a much lesser writer take on the task, How much longer will Simone continue writing for the Amazon Princess?  I can't imagine anyone else writing for Wonder Woman other than Simone.  She's the best writer of 2009 and should hold off leaving this title for as long as possible.  I hear she's on board for the a while yet, but who knows how long that could be?  And what would Secret Six be like with her as well?  Gail Simone, I tip my hat to you and hope you.  If you ever write a novel, I'll be the first to buy it!

Blakest Night - And Original Concept?

Posted by a friend of mine on Facebook.  Of course I'm joking, but it's just very ironic isn't it?  But you gotta wonder where Geoff Johns found his inspiration to write Blackest Night.

Movie Review: Precious


Directed by Lee Daniels
Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire

Plot
This film is based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire.
Born in Harlem, Claireece “Precious” Jones’ life is filled with neglect, sexually abusive parents, and misery beyond compare.  Carrying her second child by an absent father, Precious must live and care for her mother Mo’Nique, a violently angry woman who verbally, physically, mentally and sexually abuses her.  Living off of welfare, Precious is under constant pressure to do everything for her mother, and nothing for herself.

However, under the guidance of her new found special education teacher, Precious continues to live life under the impression that there are endless possibilities for her.  And now, with a second child on the way, she must make a decision to push forward and discover a life she could have her and her children, or continue in an abusive and unloving home.

My Thoughts

This is probably one of the harder films I’ve ever sat through in my life as a movie goer.  Hardly anything in this film made me feel good, happy, or even positive about the reality of life for families on the poverty end of the scale.  It’s hard to imagine anyone with the ability to handle the harsh and terrible conditions that Precious had to live with.  I walked out of this movie feeling dirty and unable to fathom this world of abuse and neglect.

The film begins with the disturbing scene of Precious’ father throwing her on a bed, raping her, unbuckling his belt and thrusting himself on the constrained body of the middle school girl.  If that visual is not vulgar enough, we have the father whispering grotesque things into her ear.

“Daddy loves you.”
“You’re so much better than you’re mother.”


But of course her dad leaves, with Precious living her days waiting hand and foot on her mother Mary who does nothing except lounge around in her recliner barking orders and insults at Precious in addition to physically abusing her.  Mary is a prime example of those who abuse the welfare system.  When Precious was kicked out of school, Mary would tell her only child, “If you ain’t going to school, you better get your ass to the welfare office and start bringing home a check.”  This and much more describe the life of Precious.  Even after Precious has her second child, Mary shows her disgust by dropping a TV from the top floor of the apartment stairwell with Precious (and her baby) just below. 


The film is spectacular at setting up the character of Precious played by Gabourney Sidibe in her film debut.  As an audience, we learn very early on that this is a girl unlike most people.  She has experienced the most traumatizing aspects of life before she’s moved on to high school.  She’s on the verge of giving birth to a second child by her father, has a mother who hates her, uneducated, obese and lives in the dangerous streets of Harlem.  Her life is, needless to say, difficult.  But what I found the most interesting is how well Precious dealt with everything that was thrown at her.  Thank God she was introduced to Ms. Rain, her new special education teacher, who helped Precious realize how special she truly was and gave her confidence to transcend beyond the life she grew up in.  And when she finally realized that no one could grasp the life she has had the misfortune of experiencing, she finally decided to break away from all that was holding her back and venture out on her own to provide the best possible life for her children.  While this story was inspiring and moving, it was all at the same time depressing and hard to watch.


Mary, played by Mo’Nique, delivered one of the most powerful performances by an actress I have seen all year.  The only one I can see rivaling Mo’Nique would be Meryl Streep with her performance of sister Aloysius Beauvier in “Doubt.”  How anyone can even play a part of a heartless, unloving mother who beats and sexually abuses her child is beyond me, but Mo’Nique delivers a performance unlike any I’ve seen in 2009.  It’s in the last scene where Mo’Nique delivers her Oscar worthy bit of oratory; love and hate is what caused Mary to hate her only daughter.  And it makes sense when she has a boyfriend who sexually wants their daughter more than he wants her.  It’s a powerful statement that makes you both hate and sympathize with Mary.  Mo’Nique will be busy come time for the Oscars.

Sidibe, this being her very first film role, delivers a realistic and satisfying portrayal of poverty children living in run down section of cities.  Along with her sweet and quiet nature, Precious showed signs of feisty and defensive attitudes which she undoubtedly developed in her early stages of life.  Sidibe is living proof that experience is not necessarily what makes an actress great.

Conclusion
A very hard film to watch.  As much as I enjoyed the film, I don’t think I’ll ever be seeing it again, it is too depressing and angry.  However, with that being said, it’s one of the better films of 2009.  I have no idea if the Oscar nominations were cut off when this film came out in early November, but if they weren’t, I would be very disappointed if I didn’t see this film in the running for best motion picture.  And in the same respect, I would be even more disappointed and probably angry to not see Mo’Nique nominated for best supporting actress.  It was also really nice to see a quite literally all female cast in truly remarkable film.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Comic News: No New Comics Today



Diamond Skip Week Advisory States: "No New Product Shipments Week of DECEMBER 28
In consideration of UPS’ holiday delivery schedule, and in consultation with retailers and publishers, Diamond will not be shipping product to customers the week of December 28.
“Most of our customers receive their shipments via 1-Day, 2-Day, or 3-Day UPS, with 3-Day shipments tendered to UPS on Friday,” explained Diamond Vice President of Operations Cindy Fournier. “With Christmas and New Year’s falling on Friday this year, we would not be able to tender product for 3-Day retailers until Monday, December 28. But because there will be no UPS service on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, product which could reach 1-Day and 2-Day retailers on December 30, would not reach our 3-Day UPS customers until January 4. In light of this, and based on conversations with our customers and suppliers, we agreed that a skip week was the fairest, most prudent way to proceed.”

As I'm sure you all know, there will be no comic book releases for this week.  Which means...I gotta find other stuff to write about!
Now for those of you lucky sons o' guns who have a store near them participating in the "Green Christmas Program," they will be happily enjoying Blackest Night #6.  The rest of us have to wait it out another week.  Let's just hope these guy don't give anything away in their online reviews.
But of course, it will be nice not to have to go to the comic book store today and have a week off to catch up on other reading that always gets put on hold for my comics.  But it's still frustrating all the same.  Stupid USPS.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Magneto Movie Is Cancelled


The following statement comes from IGN.com, which means it's damn reliable....

"Yeah, so that young Magneto movie that David Goyer was supposedly working on? It's dead. Not that this news comes as any great surprise to anyone who has even sorta been following the development of Fox's X-Men franchise lately.

Aside from the complete and utter lack of forward momentum on the project in recent months, word came last week that Bryan Singer was returning to the franchise he started to direct X-Men: First Class, an origin/prequel tale about Marvel's band of merry mutants. The thing is, part of that story is to involve the young Magneto and his relationship with the young Professor Xavier. That seemed to be the nail in the Magneto solo-film coffin, and now Singer has pretty much confirmed as much.

"This story would probably utilize some of the Magneto story because it deals with a young Magneto, so it might supersede that because this would explore that relationship between a young energetic professor and a disenfranchised victim of the Holocaust," the director tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But no, I don't see an exhaustion [of the franchise]. The X-Men universe is boundless. These are great characters. And as young characters, they are quite different than the characters we have seen in the contemporary movies."

Singer also says that in all likelihood his other project, Jack the Giant Killer, will go into production before First Class."





hhhmmmm, interesting.  I was actually looking forward to seeing the back story on the famed master of magnetism.  So I guess we will be on the look out for X-Men: First Class then eh?  At least Bryan Singer is directing it, we need an apology for the terrible 3rd X-Men film.  Thank you Mr. Singer!

Movie Review: Nine


Directed by Rob Marshall
Screenplay by Anthony Minghella
Broadway Musical by Arthur Kopit and Maury Yeston

Plot
Obsession, lust, and using the ones you care about are at the heart of the film “Nine.”  Rob Marshall brings to the big screen a story about a self-centered Italian movie director, Guido Contini, who finds himself in the face of an immovable writers road block.  With only a few weeks to write his script, Contini embarks on a desperate hunt for inspiration which he enlists [unwilling] help from his wife, assistant, mistress, muse and mother, all within the confines of his Broadway imagination.  With time running out, Guido must search for some way of creating his film and still give in to the demands that his art form commands of him.

My Thoughts
When this film had its first musical number, sung by Daniel Day-Lewis, I was worried that this would be a carbon copy of Chicago.  However, as the film rolled on, Rob Marshall creates something new an innovative with his presentation of “Nine.”  With the combined talents of exceptional actors and actresses, the story of Guido Contini becomes one of the more powerful stories about an obsessive man who never quite gets what’s wrong with him, until it’s too late.



I don’t believe any Broadway musical will ever be adapted to screen as well as Chicago was.  However, I would say Nine has a much more mature and stronger storyline to work with.  Marshall continually shows scenes of Contini’s desires and wishes.  This includes watching a prostitute display the erotic pleasures of life to a bunch of ten year olds, having a rather ‘heaty’ phone conversation with his mistress, and even sitting in a gentlemen’s club, watching his own wife strip for so many men while he sits there and only observes like a director would for his leading lady.  What makes this film so artful are the imaginative, yet disturbing Broadway interpretations of these fantasies. 


It’s clear that Marshall wants his audience to see that Contini lived his life as a Broadway musical filled with sex and sexual fantasies.  The opening scene shows all of the women in his life (past and present) dancing away on a stage in lingerie, all of which seemingly want Contini, his own mother was even included in all of these fantasies!  But when push came to shove, he found himself unable to write a script for the film to be shot in two months time.  With the anxiety and torment of failing as an artist, Contini uses the women in his life as inspirational vessels that ultimately fail him as well.  It isn’t until the end when Contini realizes that the way in which Contini uses these women has brought him nothing more than confusion and loneliness.  And it is that very thing which inhibits Contini from writing his script; his obsessive and self-centered nature made him so lonely that he had nothing to cling onto, not even his wife.


Now while I’m torn between hating Contini and feeling sorry for him and his idiocy, I still smiled throughout the majority of the film.  The musical performances by each and every character were inspiring and moving.  Marshall brings in a stellar cast of women who dominate the screen and give new meaning to a Broadway “Movie” musical.  With very well known voices such as Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, and some very surprising vocal talents from Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Judi Dench and Stacey Ferguson (Fergie), Nine is one of the more creative and musically gifted Broadway shows to hit movie theaters across America.

My favorite musical scene features Fergie, who has a set of pipes I would die to have!  The entire scene was disturbing and twisted, yet musical and choreographically brilliant in every way.  You would have had to get a crane to lift my jaw back onto its hinges with how awe-struck I was watching the entire sequence.  I think this is mainly by how shocking it was to see Fergie doing something that’s a complete 180 from her normal musical endeavors, having sung mainly with Hip Hop groups (Black Eyed Peas) and other fast paced, upbeat, Hip Hop related music.  The ending to her song “Be Italian” especially showed off her vocal talents along her finesse and versatility as a musician and I wonder if this will be a huge breaking out for her.  I certainly hope to hear more stuff from her that resembles the vocal genius she displayed in Nine.


Conclusion
I found no fault with this film in the least.  I loved the story involving a man so obsessed with his career and his drive to consistently be a master of his craft that he cannot see the reason why he is unable to write anything.  He allows himself to covet and sexualize every woman in his life, which in turn makes his life meaningless and empty.  And every woman, for some reason loves and hates him at the same time.  Truly, this is a film that speaks a lot of truth about what the men of today value, vs. what the women of today value.  It is the ultimate commentary on male and female relationships and how they can affect people when they are being used.

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Monday, December 28, 2009

Comic News: Top 100 Comic Book Storylines Masterlist

So I'm a little late in seeing this, but I had to post this.  According to comic book resources, a poll was taken (who the voters were I have no idea) of the greatest 100 comic book storylines ever written.  Now I wont be posting the ENTIRE list, I'll let you do that yourself by clicking here, but I will post the top ten from that list and summarize the conversation I had with two friends.  This list goes as follows...

10. Maus: A Survivors Tale. By Art Spiegelman.  723 points, 17 first place points
9. Kingdom Come, By Mark Waid and Alex Ross.  740 points, 19 first place points
8. Seasons of Mist, By Neil Gaiman. 752 points, 18 first place points
7. Crisis on Infinite Earths, By George Perez.  782 points, 24 first place points
6. All Star Superman, By Grant Morrison. 930 points, 34 first place points
5. Dark Knight Returns, By Frank Miller. 1112 point, 24 first place points.
4. Batman: Year One, By Frank Miller.  1149 points, 21 first place points
3. Daredevil: Born Again, By Frank Miller.  1349 point, 29 first place points
2. The Dark Pheonix Saga, By Chris Claremont and John Bryne.  1472 points with 59 first place
1. Watchmen, By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons.  2003 points, 78 first place points.


Now I for one am pleased to see Watchmen made the number one spot; rightly deserved.  Watchmen is and always will be the greatest graphic novel of all time.  Not just because of the strides it took as a new way of writing a Graphic Novel, but purely on the face of how intelligently written it is.  Alan Moore is a genius and is just as great of a writer as Neil Gaiman.

However, I am disappointed to see Grant Morrison making the top ten list with his piece of garbage storyline "All-Star Superman."  That series was the one of the biggest wastes of time that I wish I could get back.  For some reason, people like what he writes.

And of course, like always, Frank Miller gets more of the spotlight than he deserves.  If there's one writer whose worse than Morrison, it's Miller.  But even with that said, I love his Sin City series can't believe DKR made it higher than that!  It blows my mind by how much people seemed to love Millers work.

I'm glad to see Neil Gaiman made the top 100 list, as well as Maus.  I probably would have put Maus a little higher in the ten, but oh well.

Make sure you go to Comic Book Resources and check out the whole list.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Movie Review: Avatar


Directed by: James Cameron
Written by: James Cameron



Plot
Enter a world filled with exotic creatures that all hold a deep, emotional and physical bond with the planet they call home.  This planet, with all its beauty and wonder, contains a very important mineral which holds the key in solving the ever rising energy loss on Earth.  Now, Earth has established a military outpost where scientists are doing research to help find this valuable mineral and extract it.

However, with the toxic air on this planet, known as Pandora, scientists developed a biological program called the Avatar.  Humans, with extensive training and research, inhabit a remotely controlled, biological body that greatly resembles the “Indian-like” natives called the Na’vi.  This allows the scientists to research and be among the Na’vi without endangering themselves, breathing in the toxic air.

Jake Sully, an ex-marine now confined to a wheelchair, is brought out to link up with one of the Avatars and assist the science excursion.  However, the Colonel Miles Quaritch has bestowed upon Mr. Sully the task of infiltrating the Na’vi as to better prepare themselves to strike at the natives and drive them out of their homes.  Jake, agreeing to help the colonel, finds himself becoming emotionally attached to the Na’vi, and more importantly, to a beautiful Na’vi woman named Neytiri. 

Through a series of tests and tribulations, Jake Sully must now decide where his loyalties lie.  Will he help the colonel and continually feed information to the military, or will he betray his own race and side with the Na’vi and fight the invasion of humans?  

My Thoughts

How does one measure the quality of a film?  What standards must a person expect from films in order to judge their film making quality and ingenuity?  I used to think that a film could not be judge on two separate playing fields.  If the story is great, but the other aspects of the film are terrible, then I typically throw the baby out with the bath water and dub the film as garbage.  My film critiquing philosophy is to take all the aspects of the movie, analyze them, and come to a conclusion on the quality of the film as a whole.  However, director James Cameron has defied all boundaries and forced me to stray away from my mode of thinking for one night; for never have I been so torn between hating and loving a film than I have with Avatar.

First, let me just point out that this script is nothing new.  I’m sure even our most ignorant intellectuals in America can see the Pocahontas resemblance, especially when Neytiri hovers over Jake Sully’s Avatar body right before the coup de grace.  But of course, the entire script screams Native Americans fighting against the oppressive English Colonists trying to take land that isn’t theirs, right?  Of course, how can we not also give credit to Avatar’s other film inspirations such as Fern-Gully, Dances with Wolves, The Postman, Remember The Titans, Radio, and many other films where the main character develops a new realization about him or herself by accidentally being introduced into a “savage” community.  How many films have done this in the past, and how many more times are we going to continue to see this pattern of story telling in the future of American cinema?


But to make matters worse, the story is so incredibly predictable that it’s on the verge of being embarrassing.  I couldn’t help but wonder why this film wasn’t made by Disney Entertainment or some other type of family oriented film company where the stories follow a certain set of rules in telling a simple narrative.  I literally slapped myself in the face when the hordes of animals came charging in, attacking the humans towards the end.  In that moment, my exact words were “how Hollywood of them.”  There are no decisions or actions made by any character that comes as a surprise and truly is a disappointment on the literary side of things.  I’m not trying to imply that the message of the film isn’t incredibly moralistic and powerful, I only wish James Cameron hadn’t of used an easy and unoriginal way of telling a truly moving story.


On the other hand, what an incredible piece of visual artistry!  James Cameron was right when he said this will be the film in which all other CGI based films will be judged.  If it hadn’t of been for the brilliant special effects, animation, and acting, I would have been bored out of my mind.  The creatures of the planet Pandora had the same affect that Spielberg’s dinosaurs had in his adaptation of Jurassic Park.  The disconnect between what was real and what was animated was virtually non-existent.  The intricate detailing of the air crafts all the way down to the native clothing was perfect and undeniably superior to anything that has hit the big screen in the history of film making. 

The world of Pandora in and of itself is enough of a sight to see, let alone all of its creatures and inhabitants.  The animation team hired to put this world together should be given an Oscar for their undoubtedly tiresome work.  Every blade of grass, every flower, tree, grain of said, leaf, etc, were all perfected down to its tiniest detail.  How some people can say it’s immensely cheaper to make an animated film rather than a live action film have no idea what kind of work it takes to recreate the world on an animated level.  Avatar is a landmark in innovative and remarkable CGI technology.
  
Conclusion
I can honestly say this is FAR from being the best film I’ve ever seen.  With its absolutely horrid and predictable plot, along side all of the recycled movie themes and unoriginality within the script; I just can’t justly say this film was good.  In fact, as far as the script is concerned, I would say it’s downright awful!  But everything else that encompasses this film, especially it’s visual aspects, I would say it’s definitely worth going to see. I will never own this movie, but might rent it or watch it via Netflix, purely to gaze on its visual mastery.  But even then, it won’t compare to seeing it on the big screen.

Rating: 5 out of 10 stars.

Comic News: Kevin Smith's "Green Hornet" Comic and Flim

Kevin Smith's newest creative stride is going to hit comic book stores very soon.  As to when, I'm not sure.  But I might have to stray away from my loyalty to DC for this 10 issue mini series.  I like what Kevin Smith does over all, and this should be a fun mini series to read in preparation for the movie.  Here's what Kevin Smith says about his upcoming project...

"It’s not a straight-up adaptation of the Green Hornet movie script I wrote some years back, it’s definitely gonna take its cues from that script - just as that script took its cues from all the source material available (radio, TV, comics). So this is about as close as I’ll get to making that Green Hornet flick I walked away from directing all those years ago."


Here are some of the covers that will be coming out for the first issue.  And I must say, John Cassaday is amazing....



















Saturday, December 26, 2009

Marvel/DC Zero Hour #1 - Season 3

This will only make sense if you've seen the other seasons.....

Friday, December 25, 2009

Comic Book Movie News: Flash Gordon, Spider-Man 4 and Mortal Engines

Flash Gordon.  According to comicbookmovie.com, a remake of Flash Gordon is currently underway with two actors in mind to play the Earth football legend, Sam Worthington (Terminator: Salvation, Avatar) and Ryan Reynolds (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Green Lantern).  This is a tough call to make on my end of things, seeing as how the Flash Gordon everyone knows and loves is from the movie and classic cartoon serial.  Flash Gordon, in the 80's film, was a dumb, cheesy, over the top, All-American hero who had the vocabulary of a 6th grade middle school student.  So to have two actors that have shown top notch acting abilities in the running for Flash Gordon, I tilt my head wondering whose the best pick.

I lean more towards Sam Worthington since he has most of his movie commitments out of the way.  He's finished filming Clash of the Titans and only has a possible remake of Mad Max on his plate.  Ryan Reynolds is currently in the process of much anticipated Green Lantern Film, as well as having a contract with Marvel Entertainment To shoot a Deadpool film, which only means Marvel will be keeping Reynolds busy.  Sam Worthington seems to be the best viable option.

According to Hollywoodscoop.com, "Right now it's between Sam, Ryan Reynolds and one or two others for the lead role should the project actually get off the ground.  If Worthington gets the role, it would be quite a big deal as Flash is an all-American hero."




Spider-Man 4: Dunst Written Out Of 4th Spidey Installment

It seems rumors are spreading that Kirsten Dunst will be written out of the 4th Spidey film, and Anne Hathaway will be taking over as the newest love interest in the web-crawlers life. The rumors of Dunst being taken out of the picture I tend to throw out as rumor.  I've read from other online sources that she has made a statement of her involvement with Spider-Man 4, it's simple this..."I'm In."

Now, if this rumor is true, and Ms. Dunst is actually OUT for film number 4, I will be very heartbroken.  I've always been a huge fan of Kirsten Dunst and her acting abilities, and having her play Mary Jane Watson was a dream come true for me.  Of course it did hurt me to know she is now apart of the Marvel Universe and has some connection to the evil that is Marvel Comics, but not everyone is perfect right?  So for all you haters who believe Kirsten Dunst isn't worthy of the role of MJ, you all can jump off the edge of the world and make more room for us fans of Kirsten Dunst.

With Black Cat only rumored as a possibility of being the next villain for Spider-Man, I tend to not believe the rumors of Anne Hathaway coming in as a replacement for Dunst.  I'm not even sure I like the idea of having Hathoway in a Spider-Man film to begin with!




Mortal Engines Adaptation Project

Peter Jackson is working on another "book to film" project.  This time, the story is not set in a fantasy world filled with wizards and hobbits and ruled by kings and queens, but set in a post apocalyptic society where cities have become huge, mobile machines that must consume each other in order to survive.  Written by Phillip Reeve, the books have won many awards including the Nestle Smarties book prize.  The series consists of four books and fits Peter Jackson's style of film making.

No word on when filming will begin, but according to theonering.net Peter Jackson HAS signed for the project and has certain actors and actresses in mind for the movie.  One thing I wonder about is, if the series consists of four novels, will Jackson make four separate films or are their other methods he will be approaching?



And just as a teaser.......Yes, this is real...not fan made. I'll probably go and see this.  However, this poster does remind me of a popular Kevin Costner poster....



Comic Book Review: Blackest Night JSA #1


Book Information
Written by James Robinson; Art by Eddy Barrows and Ruy José; Cover by Eddy Barrows; Variant cover by Gene Ha

Plot
Mr. Terrific does what he does best and studies the bodies of the now inactive Black Lanterns Superman and Psycho-Pirate in an attempt to figure why the Black Lanterns exist.  However, dark events are happening as the original Sandman, Mr. Terrific and Dr. Midnight have risen as zombie lanterns.  And as their first task, they lead a horde of Black Lanterns from New York to the JSA Brownstone.  Will the JSA be able to overpower the oncoming evil, or will they fall to their predecessors?

My Thoughts
Robinson finally delivered a stellar issue with Justice League #40.  That was the issue that told me he finally found his stride once again and was out of the “bad story-telling” outfit.  But this issue just proves that, when it comes to James Robinson, the quality of his writing will always be a toss-up. 

Keep in mind, the concept of this issue is great.  Having the JSA predecessors come back to hunt down and murder the JSA is just as much of an emotional train wreck as anything else that’s happened in the Blackest Night series.  I don’t doubt Robinson’s ability to create wonderfully creative concepts and ideas in his work, but I recently have been unable to invest myself into his stories.  BL: JSA #1 takes advantage of some great moments, but does not come out well from page to page. 

However, I will give Robinson two thumbs up when it comes to Power Girl.  As a reader, I could feel just from the writing itself how angry and vengeful Power Girl became upon learning of Superman’s (of her Earth) death.  Her reasoning for being so angry is not because Superman (of our Earth) or Superboy killed him, nor was it due to Wildcat’s ill-timed comment; rather it was because Kara’s Superman was dead and (in her own mind) at peace.  Kara feels the one responsible for raising these dead Lanterns are now being disturbed from their tombs and tortured by some force controlling the black rings.  This is a powerful moment in the book and Robinson does deserve credit for writing it so well.

The art is amazing.  Eddy Barrows is truly making himself known in the DCU with his clearly defined and intricate art work.  Pages six and seven have to be one of the best two paged spreads I’ve seen in a while; very dark, bloody and sinister all at the same time.  I think we are going to see a lot more of Eddy Barrows in the future.

Overall
Some moments of brilliance, but mostly not worth its weight in gold.  This had so much potential flowing through it and Robinson didn’t take advantage of what he was given.  Now it could be that this is just the beginning and maybe I need to wait it out and see what Robinson has in store for us.  However, this issue can’t stand on its own and wasn’t worth the time it took to read it.  However, if you just like comics foe the art work, then I would definitely recommend this book.

Rating: 3 out of 10 stars


Next Issue Coming January 27, 2010
BLACKEST NIGHT continues! Black Lantern Lois Lane tracks down her undead husband, but their reunion could mean Power Girl's funeral! Don't miss this terrifying tie-in from James Robinson and Eddy Barrows!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Comic Book Store Review: The Gaming Dungeon

So I'm in Washington PA right now visiting my parents and sister.  My wife and I took a flight from Denver CO and arrived in Pittsburg a few hours later, in which I had Tom Strong to keep me company.  Upon arriving, I new I would need to pick up the weeks comics so I went online looking for comic book stores in the area.  Sure enough, there is one store right next door to my parents house!  I decided to go there and check it out.  In addition to picking up the JSA and Blackest Night: JSA #1, I found some interesting things to add to my ever growing collection.


Comic Retrival
The store is having a 50% off sale on all there back issues.  I immidiately scolded myself for not bringing my list with me of what I need for my comic retrival project, but decided I could figure out what I did need and didn't need.  Which included Wonder Woman (1987 run) #10, 11, and 207...Power Girl #98 from 1978...Batman Adventures #9 from 2004....And Superman Adventures #28 from 1999.  I know for a fact I don't have any of these issues.  The only ones I'm unsure about are the Wonder Woman comics, but I'm 95% positive I'm ok.  And at 50% off, I think I'll be ok.  The other amazing thing was, the store had this deal where you could choose from a certain selection of trades at $4 per book!  And too my amazment, The Eternals by Neil Gaiman was on sale!  I totally nabbed it!

Store Review
The store itself is decent enough.  It's definitely more of a gaming store than a comic book store, even though it's collections are pretty large.  Now I wasn't able to find a lot of the comics I need for my comic retrival project, but that's going to get harder not that I have a huge chunk of what I need.  But it does have a great back issue selection at decent prices.  (either cover price or reduced.)  If I lived here, It's definitely the store I'd go to for my comic retrival.

Now, I do have some gripes about this store.  Firstly, the organization is pretty low.  Oh yeah, you can certainly find where the new comics are and graphic novels, but I find laying the new comics out on a fold-in table is a little strange.  I went to the new comics sections and could find what I wanted.  I went to ask for help and the guy walked me over to a s medium sized stack of comics and started flipping through them.  Now it seems this guy keeps comics stashed away for certain customers, which is pretty normal for a comic book store.  But these saved comics are kept in little brown bags and catolog along another fold-in table, with the customers names written in the bag in black sharpie.  I find these poorly managed and very lacking in the security side of things.

The people that run the store are very akward.  The guy who was working the store on the day I came in was very "out there" and in a daze, and seemed to be loosing his hair.  I went to ask him a few questions and his responses never went further than "yeah" or "sure."  Like wise, the next day, the girl (whom I believe is the wife of the man that helped me the previous day) who was working the store today had the same demeanor and attitude, although she was a tad nicer.

I would like to see a little more decorations in the store as well.  The store is very dull and plain on the inside and doesn't have the excitment which comic books stores like Mayhem Comics and Games in Des Moines Iowa or Acme Comics in Sioux City has.  I felt like I was walking into a bum's apartment and had a dirty, nasty feeling running through me.

I'll probably go back there next week to get next weeks comics as well as take advantage of their huge sale the store is having after Christmas, but I wont pay any more visits to that place again while I'm here.

5 out of 10 stars

Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #34


Book Information
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Travis Moore and Dan Green
Cover by Jesus Merino

Plot
As the Justice Society resets themselves with the most current spilt-up, a mysterious figure hovers above the Earth, monologuing to himself, claiming he is free once again. The figure descends upon the unsuspecting JSA to possess the body of the newly appointed Dr. Fate who now walks about the headquarters acting strangely. With plans to kill every member of the JSA, time is running short! Will the Society discover their phantom invader in time to stop his evil plans, or will they fall to an enemy they can’t see?

My Thoughts
Bill Willingham has not been overly impressive these few months he’s been working on this title, and this issue is far from impressive. My initial reaction to the story probably mirrors what most fans thought as well; this plot had been used before and Willingham sucks because of it and I’m totally on board with this sentiment. I believe it’s a cop out and Willingham needs to re-evaluate his writing techniques for future issues. However, there are a few aspects of the issue I did enjoy.

This is definitely one of the “funnier” issues to come around for this run of the JSA, maybe even TOO funny. Jesse’s pissed at everyone’s assumptions, Fate wants cookies, A lot of unexpected whip lashing power, and much much more. To the typical fan, this way of using humor can be annoying, especially since this is the most respected superhero team in the DCU. However, let us think back to issue #26 when our esteemed writer, Geoff Johns, was still on board. That was an issue about going deeper into the private lives of the JSA. What would it be like to see a day of rest for the entire team? Willingham takes this same approach and puts a different twist in it than Johns did. I’m sure everyone on the team, even Mr. Terrific, will say or do something stupid that causes people to laugh or feel silly. I appreciate Willingham’s willingness to expand his horizons and write a story with some normal, realistic humor.

I’m not sure how much of a fan I am of Travis Moore and Dan Green’s artwork. I felt like I could have seen this art in an issue of DC kids. Now granted, there are some moments of brilliance. The next to last page, with the team charging at Fate was impressive and emotional, but as a whole, I would say this was less than acceptable. But maybe that’s what Willingham was going for, so he enlisted the help of a more comedic artist to compliment his writing of this issue.

Overall
Definitely not my pick of the month, but there still enjoyable. I would think most DC fans will enjoy this issue, but forget about it next month.

Rating: 4 out of 10 stars


Next Issue Coming January 27, 2010
It's all-out war as the leaner, meaner Justice Society of America confront another intruder in their midst! But this time it's bad news for their enemy, as he's facing a team that has learned from its past mistakes! The new incarnation of the Justice Society is more together than ever!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Blog Annoucement...thewomenofdc.blogspot.com

So there is now an official affiliate of The Heretic's Blog dedicated to the women of DC Comics.  the man and woman in charge of this extension have taken upon themselves to dedicate certain days to individual DC women, mainly by posting photos, but hopefully with news and updates as well.  Please go check it out by clicking here....

Batman Retruns T-Shirt

I found this on the internet today.  Apparently someone is trying to sell their Batman Returns t-shirt online and decided the best way to sell it would be this way.....





































































Sex sells huh?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Delays.....

Hey everyone, with the holidays coming up, blogging updates probably wont be as frequent as usual.  I will still have access to the internet, but I'll be spending a lot of the time with family and friends for about two weeks.  I'm still planning on blogging, just dont expect it to be a daily thing for me.

But here's a Christmas greetings from the Heretic's Blog, Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

OH MY GOSH! GUY TURNS RED!!!!


Now don't get all excited yet guys and gals, you may be disapointed.  How many times in the GL corps have we gotten really excited and we find ourselves disapointed?  Isn't this a common thread, not just for the GL Corps, but for a lot of storylines in the DCU?

And example: Abin Sur rose from the dead in Green Lantern Corps #47, and at the end of that issue we got all excited and couldn't wait for next months issue to see how the utilize that plot device.  It was a huge deal on the DC Comics facebook group and everyone was wondering how the heck this was going to pan out.  But then, when the next issue came out the following month, we only find Abin in a few pages and defeated as quickly as he came.  WHAT A DISAPOINTMENT!! 

This type of thing happens so often in the DCU, yet we as fans continually get excited about something that has the possibility of letting us down!  It's ok to get excited about something in a storyline, but let's not get so excited that the eventual outcome is going to be a let down because it didn't meet our expectations.  Yeah, guy turning into a Red Lantern is a great idea, but how long will it last?  I mean come on, how long did Hal Jordan have the orange ring?  Maybe a few panels?  Don't let this news of Guy build up to much, otherwise you might be disapointed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Do You Remember.....Thunder Cats?

The Thunder Cats?  I certainly do!  They kick major ass, and I just got the frst disc of season 1 from Netflix.  I'm so pumped to get started on this and relive my childhood.  of course, after I get done with that, I'll be hitting Bravestar!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Top Ten Comics For November


10. Batman #693
I'm so glad to have Judd Winick off this title, it made such a difference.  He does very well on some things, but Batman is not his forte.  It had some flaws, but this issue certainly made some leaps in establishing Dick as a confident Batman.














9. Green Lantern #48
This issue was amazing.  I can see why Spike TV named it the best comic book series of 2009.  When I put out my "Best of 2009" list, I wont have Green Lantern up so high, but it will definitely be up there.

8. Justice Society of America: 80 Paged Giant
This was such a better issue then the crappy Justice League 80 pager.  It kept continuity in check and gave us a good teaser as to what may come.















7. Batman and Robin #6
Grant Morrison continues to dazzle me with great storylines.  I'm continually keep my fingers crossed that he will not go his normal route of building up great stuff, and then falling flat on his face later.

6. Justice League #39
This issue certainly took me by surprise as to how well it was written.  Robinson hasn't been doing a good job as of late what with "Cry for Justice" and the earlier issues of JLA.  But this was a pleasant surprise and worthy of top ten status.  Which is good, JLA is MY book and it makes me sad to see the title have poor stories.

5. Supergirl #47
It's those emotionally packed issues that truly make me get so invested into the story.  Supergirl is such a good title with Sterling Gates at the wheel.















4. Superman: Secret Origin #3
Itr's funny to think of Metropolis as Superman-less.  Geoff Johns truly is a master at putting a new twist on the Superman "stereotype."

3. Blackest Night #5
Wow, I certainly wasn't seeing that ending coming.  Way to go Johns!

















2. Wonder Woman #38
Gail Simone, if I wasn't married I'd propose to her right now!  She has done something with Wonder Woman that I didn't think possible, given her more heart and humanity than any other hero in comics today.  You'll be seeing Simone on my "best writers" list in a few months.

1. Secret Six #15
There's nothing more emtionally vigorating than witnessing a person come to terms with him or herself.  Ostrander brings Deadshot down to a human level, while at the same time maintaining that evil, sadistic side that fans all know and love.

Just when I thought nothing could beat out my top five comics for 2009 that I currently have, this issue comes around and knocks my socks off.  If you haven't read this issue, please do!  It is worth reading for any comic book fan.



















My list for "The Best of 2009" will be coming out shortly after the second week in January.  If you have suggestions for what you think is the best, please write it down in a comment.  Here are the categories...

1. Best Comic Book
2. Best Title
3. Best Mini-Series (must end in december of 2009 to qualify)
4. Best Writer
5. Best Artist
6. Best Hero
7. Best Villain
8. Best Story-Arc (must end in 2009 to qualify)

Comic Book Review: Supergirl #47



Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Matt Camp
Cover by Joshua Middleton

Plot
Supergirl has brought Reactron to New Krypton to be held accountable for his murderous ways.  Now the question is, what is a suitable punishment?  As the citizens of New Krypton want justice for the family members who have been murdered by Reactron’s hands, Alura must decide to do what’s right and seek legal punishment, or to take her revenge on Reactron for murdering her husband.

My Thoughts
The food I eat the least at family and holiday dinners is the corn.  I don’t know why but I just don’t like it.  So when I read the first couple of pages in this book and saw how “corny” it was, I rolled my eyes and thought to myself “are you serious?”  But as I progressed in this issue, I became a little less hesitant and more engaged in the story.

Alura, who takes over as the main character for this issue of Supergirl, is haunted by the absence of her husband, which is driving her to seek justice against Reactron.  She’s very stern and cold-hearted as the trial commences; you get a sense that Alura, while doing all she can to see that Reactron is getting a fair trial, truly wants her husbands murderer to suffer and is hesitant to entertain any arguments that would contradict Reactron’s guilt.  This is portrayed in her reaction towards counselor Dyn-Xe’s rebuttal. 

Alura is portraying the greatest emotional conflict that humans must endure, the decision of choosing what is right or allowing your hatred to dictate you actions.  Alura seems to be having the most difficult time dealing with her husband’s murder.  But there is one flashback, which, for a moment at least, leads me to assume that I understand why she refuses to allow Reactron to be put to death.  With her husband’s ability to never seek out vengeance, Alura was acting out of respect to her husband’s moral code of conduct.  But then, as we learn on the last page, this is clearly not the case.  But it does show why Alura was at a constant struggle with herself during this issue, she felt awful because she knew her husband would not approve with what she was about to do.

Matt Camp brings a clear-cut way of visually defining Alura’s emotions in this story.  Alura’s flashbacks are very brightly painted portraying a sense of happiness in Alura’s past; the reason why she loved Zor-El.  But when we cut to the present, Alura’s stature became dark and cold, like all the life had been sucked out of her, as if she had not even an ounce of happiness left in her.  Along with the clean lines and intricate details of each character’s face, Camp truly does create superb art in comic books.

Overall
Stellar issue.  I would say one of November’s top five comics.

8 out of 10 stars



Next Issue Coming December 16, 2009
Uh-oh! The Silver Banshee is back in Metropolis! This time she's after an artifact that could finally break her family's eternal curse. When Inspector Mike Henderson gets involved, Supergirl is pulled into the conflict! Meanwhile, Lana Lang's mysterious condition takes a turn for the worse. Will the Girl of Steel be able to save her only two human friends? Join fan-favorite writer Sterling Gates and guest artist Matt Camp (SUPERMAN: SECRET FILES 2009, Zero Killer) to find out!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kevin Smith on Superman Returns and Star Trek

 I love Kevin Smith.

Movie News: Sandman film Possibility, New Star Wars Film, and The Hobbit



Sam Liu on "The Sandman" Film Possibility
Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths director Sam Liu mentioned he would love to make an animated feature film of The Sandman.

"I'd love to do Sandman from the Vertigo line. I don't know what kind of story that would be, but I'd love to work with Neil Gaiman because I really loved those comics." 

Sam Liu, who worked on animated films such as Green Lantern: First Flight, Wonder Woman, Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, any many more as director and as animator, (shuffling back and forth as each) seems to show great enthusiasm for said animated project.


I've enjoyed most of the films Liu has been a part of, even the poorly written animated film "Superman/Batman: Public enemies, and highly respect his urge to bring the Sandman to life on the animated realm.  However, I wonder how daunting of a task this would be as an animated feature.


First off, as all fans know, Sandman is not for the squeamish or who have weak constitutions.  It's an incredibly violent and intelligently written series of graphic novels.  By making in animated, would the story have to be dumbed down for a younger audience, or would Liu keep it exactly like it is to please the adult crowds and make it as accurate as possible?  I personally think it could work as an animated film, but I wouldn't want it to be done by the Japanese animation studios or by the Warner Bros. animation studios.  Yeah they put out good work, but Sandman needs to be handled by a different group of people.  Yeah, Warner Bros. wont let it go, but I hope they could hire a different studio to take care of the animation quality.  And of course, I would hope Neil Gaiman would be consulted, like Liu said, in creating a GOOD Sandman film.



New Star Wars Films
According to comicbookmovie.com, some certain people have been leaking out the possibility of a new Star Wars film in the making...


"..My host is friend and former collaborator Paul Sebastien, who over the years has worked for Xbox, Playstation, and now LucasArts. Last night he was telling me a little about the forthcoming Star Wars-related TV show, movie and online games—very cool indeed.
...it sounds like Mr Lucas has got his head into a good place. I met him several times when I was working on a movie in the 80s called [name suppressed to protect credibility!] and he’s a decent chap, but I could have done without the last three SW movies."


 Now who knows how reliable this source is seeing as how the quot comes from a personal blog of someone who knows the people high up on the food chain, and some fan who writes blog on comicbookmovie.com just embedded it into his section of the site, but there is potential.  The animated film was a success and cartoon series is doing quite well.  Maybe Lucas has changed his mind about making more films.  I personally would love to see another film as long as it is a step away from the crappy last three films.



More News on The Hobbit
Casting for The Hobbit will begin his coming Monday (12/14) and it looks as if Andy Serkis will be getting ready to return as the famed Gollum.  Del Torro, who is directing the film, has stated he can't see anyone else returning as Gollum.  If you wish to audition as a mainline actor or an extra for the film, the following information will help you...
Principal Actor Casting:
Liz Mullane Casting
17 Taipakupaku Road
Karaka Bay
Wellington, New Zealand 6022


Extras Casting:
Miranda Rivers
PO Box 6479
Marion Square
Wellington, New Zealand 6022


Yes, Casting is in New Zealand, so you'll have to do some traveling.


The film is planned in coming out in two installments, much like the LOTR trilogy was done, where all three movies were filmed at the same time but distributed to theaters in a three year time span.


To find out more on what Director Guillermo del Toro says on the latest development of the film, go to theonering.net and read his blub.