Sunday, February 28, 2010

Top Ten Best Directors Of All Time

10. Walt Disney
He's one of the all time greats.  He made new innovations in animation that other animation studios could only dream of.  His animation style stemmed beyond family films.  He was a master of making cartoons terrifying.  His resume includes films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Bambi (1942), Fantasia (1940), Steamboat Willie (1928), and Sleeping Beauty (1959)

9. Alfred Hitchcock
When one thinks of suspenseful films, the first director that comes to mind is Hitchcock.  He was ahead of his time in film artistry.  Films under his belt are Psycho (1960), North By Northwest (1959), The Birds (1963), Rear Window (1954), and Shadow of a Doubt (1943).

8. Spike Lee
A very controversial director who knew how to spike (no pun intended) your hatred for the people who make stupid decisions. His resume includes films such as Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), 4 Little Girls (1997), Get On The bus (1996), Bamboozled (2000).

7. John Lasseter
Being a huge Pixar fan, I can't deny Mr. Lasseter a top ten spot.  Lasseter is nothing if not a good story teller. He takes the contemporary way of bring a story to the big screen and creates something new.  His most noted and famous films include The Brave Little Toaster (1987), Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Spirited Away (2001), Cars (2006), and Up! (2009)

6. Frank Miller
As Much as I hate Frank Miller as a writer, his directing skills make up for that.  He has brought film Noir back to the big screen and better than ever.  His short film resume includes Sin City (2005), 300 (2007), The Spirit (2008) and Sin City 2 set to hit theaters in 2011.

5. Terry Gilliam 
Monty Python was most definitely an inspiration for his work on the big screen.  He found new ways to tantalize the senses and invigorate the nerves with his widely diverse and not always popular film making style. Films he's made include The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkey's (1995), Time Bandits (1981), Tideland (2005), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

4. Quentin Tarantino
Who can say what twisted films will darken the box office when Tarantino is in command?  Being one of the more artsy film directors I've ever known, he has convinced me he is one of the better directors in film history. A few of his films are as follows...Death Proof (2007), Kill Bill (2003 - 2004), Pulp Fiction (1994), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Inglorious Bastards (2009).

3. Stanley Kubrick
One of the most dark and gothic minded directors to ever hit the big screen.  His ability to create dark, twisted tales was uncanny and unorthodox.  Truly, Mr. Kubrick was a cinematic perfectionist with deeply layered films which include Dr. Srangelove (1964), Lolita (1962), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), And The Shinning (1980).

2. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
These two brothers make the perfect film making team.  They have always taken a quite interesting approach to film making and have a huge cult following.  Their world renowned films such as The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Fargo (1996), O Brother Where Art Thou (2000), The Lady Killers (2004), The Big Lebowski (1998), and Burn After Reading (2008) have made an incredible mark on the film industry.

1. M. Knight Shyamalan
Without a doubt, Mr. Shyamalan takes the top spot with me.  With the exception to The Sixth Sense, every film he has made has been met with scrutiny and criticism.  Yet his innovative work as a story teller, a master of lighting and scenery, and his unmatched knowledge of different film making techniques puts him up there as the greatest film maker of all time.  His resume includes The Sixth Sense (1999), Signs (2002), Unbreakable (2000), Wide Awake (1998), Lady In The Water (2006), The Happening (2008), The Village (2004), And The Last Airbender (2010) set to hit theaters this summer.

Comic Book Review: Justice Society of America #36

Book Information
Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Jesus Merino

The attacks on Obsidian and Mr. Terrific weren’t just meaningless hits, they were apart of a much bigger plan that even the JSA will have trouble dealing with.  With a silver age aura to it, this issue deals with a super villain team that has been gone for some time, but still packs a punch!  With war quickly approaching, and three key members out of the picture, this wont be an easy task for the JSA.

My Thoughts
What makes the Justice Society so cool is its classic, silver age feel with every issue.  Geoff Johns did a wonderful job during his time on this title, but it always remained a little too contemporary for me.  Issue #36, with Bill Willingham at the helm, truly takes us back into the past of the silver age era.

Anyone in their mid to late 20’s can’t deny that the Nazi theme definitely takes us back to when our parents were kids; how every TV show, comic, and other related media was mainly focused on brain washing the youth to believe America was right, and every other country in the world was wrong.  By utilizing super heroes, comics were able to capture their readers with big booming adventures, while keeping the government happy and the Comics Code Authority off their backs.  Now while I’m glad comics have so much more room to expand and give us top notch story lines, Willingham’s approach was fun and exciting.

The campy, over dramatic approach was humorous, yet serious at the same time.  When you have characters that call themselves Baroness Blitzkrieg, Captain Swastika, Baron Gestapo, Count Berlin, Shadow of War, and my all time favorite, Captain Nazi, you’re first reaction is to laugh.  The way the villains are integrated into the story, however, is no laughing matter.  Apart from the Black Lantern zombies, I don’t think I’ve been more freaked out by an evil villain than I have with Kid Karnevil.  Baroness Blitzkrieg may be a campy name, but she sure knocked Liberty Belle out of the park.  And the brute strength of Captain Nazi is nothing short of damned impressive.  The hokey approach to this book does not over shadow its dark demeanor.

The sudden death of Green Lantern was a huge upset for me.  Jesus Merino does a fantastic job with the explosive art, but I wonder how DC is going to play out this catastrophic occurrence.  Alan Scott is incredibly popular among fans, so to kill him off is a bold move where DC had better have a backup plan to help give his death some pretty heavy significance within the DC universe.  It was a nice touch on Willingham’s part.

I can’t complain about the art work, it’s probably the best stuff I’ve seen Merino do.  Again I say his one page panel of Alan Scott being blown to smithereens was a gorgeous piece of art work.  The body sculpting of every character was very well done.  My favorite thing about Merino is his proportional accuracy of the human figure.  No one’s biceps are bigger than their heads, none of the women’s boobs were so big that you wondered if it was their super powers or magic that was holding them up so perfectly, and the facial features specifically fit each individual character perfectly. 

This is a fantastic book!  My only problem is that it still has more to come, which drives me nuts!  Obsidian has been stuck in his egg-like state for a few months now and the JSA are still being attack, and no one ones why!  I certainly hope Willingham keeps this good work up because this story arc is off to a fantastic start!

Rating: 9.5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming March 24th, 2010
The war takes a turn for the worse for the JSA as the enemy fires up their super power-negating "Darkness Engine." But the terror rises when the team learns that the machine is powered by the black egg that used to be their colleague Obsidian!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Comic Book Reviews: Blackest Night #7 (of 8)

Book Information
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ivan Reis

Nekron takes the DC universe by storm as new revelations take shape that will change the DC Universe forever.  Not only has a secret that the Guardians have been keeping for centuries been revealed, and the mystery of the full colored spectrum discovered, a very unsuspecting character claims a new found power that may very well make him the world’s “Greatest Lantern.”   

My Thoughts
This issue truly does exemplify the deceptive demeanor of the Guardians of the Universe.  Just when you think the Guardians resume of secrets couldn’t get any longer, Geoff Johns pulls the coup de grace and hits us where it hurts.  This revealed secret won’t just impact DC, it will change it forever.  This issue confirms my notion that Geoff Johns truly was hired to remap the DC Universe.

The story takes us in the heat of battle, where the four newly inducted corps members are spending more time fighting off Lex Luthor than they are Nekron.  At first glance I was annoyed since the Avarice theme has been a tad bit overplayed.  But as soon as I realized this was a distraction that Nekron used to deliver his final blow, my annoyance weltered away.  What did take me by surprise, as I’m sure it did for everyone else, is who claimed the white light.  Now as I find it really interesting and cool, at the same time I feel weirded out by it.  It fits Sinestro’s character as he has always had this desire to become greater than every Lantern to exist, and the gorgeous final page where he bursts out wielding the white light and costume, it feels awkward.  But I’m sure as this is not the end, and the effects of Blackest Night will most definitely branch out for years in DC’s future, that some major changes will occur that will blow us away.

The personal vendetta that Black Hand has with the world is an amazing addition to the story.  In fact, this issue brings to life the fact that the Black Lantern corps is not just some mindless band of the undead, but a society with a definite purpose driven goal.  What’s weird to me, however, is that I’m beginning to feel that the Black Lantern Corps, while still the bad guys, seem to be out to stop what they feel is a greater evil.  Because of that fact, I have developed a greater sympathy for them.

Ivan Reis continues to amaze me with his brilliant mastery over everything he does.  However, this issue felt a little too colorful.  I understand that this is what would happen were Blackest Night a REAL event, but the array of colors was a tad overwhelming at times.  But Reis does manage to create the effect I’m sure he was going for as the color spectrum becomes chaotic and plethoric.  I begin to wonder if Johns intends to create some type of message where the depiction of working together is at the heart of the story.

A great issue.  One of the best comics to be published this month and quite possibly, this year.  But still, questions continually build up.  Which in turn means we are in for, no doubt a BIG ending come March.

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming March 31st, 2010
The extra-sized conclusion to the most talked-about event in comics is here, and the results will change the course of the DC Universe for years to come. Earth has become the final battleground for life versus death, but how will our heroes fight back against the darkness of sentient space itself? And what does the future hold for Green Lantern, The Flash and the rest of the world's greatest heroes and villains? Find out here as the stage is set for the next epic era of DC Comics!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Movie News: The Man Of Steel Gets A Writer

David Goyer will be writing the script for the new Superman film, Superman: The Man Of Steel.  David Goyer, known most recently for his work on The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan, will be taking audiences on a trip that will stray away from an origin tale.  The story will involve Lex Luthor and Brainiac as the main villians and assumes those watching the film already know about Superman's friendships and past. 

I'm glad to hear it's not an origin story.  I want to get right into a progressive tale that doesn't spend too much time boring us with regurgitated story material.  It will be interesting to see who is chosen to play the alien nemesis of the Man of Steel.  I currently can't think of anyone who would be chosen for the role but I'm sure time rolls on, I will have my picks.  I am worried about having two villians involved with the film, but Goyer brilliantly pluged two villains into both Batman films so my fears will most likely be relinquished.

No news however as to whose playing who for the new film.  I'm guessing the new film team will go with a whole new cast, but I have heard rumors of Brandon Routh resuming his role as the Man of Steel.  We'll have to wait and see.

Geeky Nostalgia: Wonder Woman From New Frontier

I don't know why, but I think this picture is great....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ice As A Black Lantern? Oh My Gosh!

This is the cover of Green Lantern Corps #46....This should be interesting!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Best Website Ever Created!!

I checked this out, this is definitely you geeks will love to check out.....
Click here to go to the site

Estenially you get on the website and you can suggest hottie to be placed on the site.  Don't let your wife or girlfriend catch you on this site though, she might get jelous.  There's no nudity, but definitely some great Superhero eye candy.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Movie News: Mark Strong IS Sinestro

Geoff Johns confirms Mark Strong as Sinestro!  I couldn't be happier with this choice.  Mark Strong is perfect for the role.  I had Jude Law picked for the role, but Strong will definitely fits the bill.  And to be honest, he really does look like Sinestro.  Just google Mark Strong and look at some of the images, it's a perfect match in my opinion!

Comic Book Review: Green Lantern Corps #45

Book Information
Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleeson and Randy Mayor

The pivotal turning point in the War of Light is at it’s highest as the battle to protect the Oa power Battery comes to an end.  Now all the Corps faces is a very angry Red Lantern Guy Gardner. 

My Thoughts
Peter J. Tomasi has always been up and down with me as far as his writing is concerned.  These past few months for the GL Corps however have been extraordinary.  With the literally ground breaking ending to last month’s issue, I was worried that Tomasi might not be able to keep up that pace.  But as I’m noticing more often than not (especially recently) my prediction proves faulty.

The story brings us into the path of a conflicted Guy Gardner who, in addition to fighting his fellow corpsmen, seems to be in a battle with his rage.  It’s as if two people are contained within the same body, which makes for an interesting read.  It’s obvious that Guy recognizes his friends and wishes them no harm, while still being compelled by the red ring to kill them all with no real grasp on why.  This situation makes me wonder a few things about how a ring chooses a candidate.  We’ve seen twice already that not every individual chosen to wear a ring is in complete compliance with the emotion tagged along with the ring.  In Blackest Night: Wonder Woman, Diana’s inner monologue showed she was fighting against the power of the black ring.  Likewise, Guy Gardner seemingly had no desire to show this amount of rage, especially against his friends.  So the question in my mind is, how much of a ring’s power controls the actions of the one wearing it vs. how much of an individuals choices are their own?

Gleeson, while not my favorite, is an impressive artist.  But what’s most impressive is the color schemes done by Randy Mayor.  With Guy’s rage fighting against his will, and the brilliant and appropriate usage of light, I sat there in awe of the clever way mayor used the green and red constructs.  I know it’s not the most difficult thing in the world to place certain constructs with the appropriate light, but it was still fun to see the plan made by Gleeson and Mayor.  Ice as a green construct and Guy’s father as a red was pretty climatic way of ending Guy’s Red Lantern faze.  This issue is also quite chaotic in its storyline, and the layout fits that chaotic feeling very well.

Even though Tomasi will never be one of my favorite writers, I will miss his unique and chaotic storytelling on this title.  It’s never been slow or half-assed with Tomasi.  It’s always some over the top, Charlton Heston end of the world type of story.  Despite the fact that Tomasi isn’t consistent enough for me to ever consider as one of comics best writers, he definitely took full advantage of this book, giving it everything he had.  Tomasi will be missed by me.

A great book!  A lot of action and emotional drama from one of comic’s moodiest characters. 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming March 10, 2010
Blackest Night comes to its epic and stunning conclusion in this over-sized issue as the Green Lantern Corps descends on Earth to make their final stand against Nekron and the Black Lanterns!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Comic Book Review: Batman #696

Book Information
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel and Sandra Florea

Batman is under the dictatorship of the Black Mask who is forcing him to seek out other innocent Gothamites and make them apart of Black Mask’s army.  However, Batman has a few tricks up his sleeve that the Black Mask hasn’t thought of.  But will the Dark Knight be able to escape his captor’s clutches in time to save Gotham from the evil toxin meant to enslave the city?  Also, will Batman discover the identity of the Black Mask?

My Thoughts
I’m always trying to determine my dream team for specific titles.  For Green Lantern, Geoff Johns and Ed Benes.  For Superman, Sterling Gates and Gary Frank.  For Wonder Woman, the already existing team of Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti.  My dream team for Batman however consists of one man, Tony Daniel.  Daniel has done enough Batman in the past to really bring it to life. 

This issue contains everything from a dark, twisted story to incredibly gothic art.  The story itself is nothing new.  It’s filled with the typical comic book plot devices associated with Batman.  Poisonous toxins, scientific resolutions, fist fights with idiotic goons in league with the main villain, some random dialogue, and of course Batman over coming the odds.  It’s the same old story that fills the pages of Batman on a monthly basis, but it’s still a lot of fun.  While this issue does not forget about the bigger mystery, this issue’s focus was geared towards minion hitting and brawling action.

Sandra Florea does an excellent job with the colors and complimenting Daniel’s new artistic direction.  I’ve always enjoyed Daniel’s art, but recently he seems to have grown as an artist as time progresses forward.  There seems to be a significant difference even between last month and this month’s issue.  The texture of the characters and the landscaping has a purity to them that creates for an even more engaging storyline.  And honestly, I think Daniel’s might be the best, or one of the best, creepy artists in comics today.  I don’t think I’ve ever been more terrified of the Penguin than I have with Daniel’s sketching.

A lot of fun and engaging with every page turn.  The story is nothing new so this issue doesn’t get any marks for originality, but the art sure gives it a boost in the rankings.  Now, I leave you the question of the month…Who is the Black Mask?  (Cause I can’t figure it out, and it’s driving me crazy!!!)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming March 17, 2010
Who wears the Black Mask? The true identity of Gotham City's new crimelord is finally revealed and that identity will surprise everybody – especially Batman! And after the final showdown between Black Mask and The Dark Knight, will things ever be the same for Kittyhawk and the Reaper?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Geeky Nostalgia: Superman VS. Doomsday

A great painting done by Dan Scott......

Calling Gail Simone, Calling Gail Simone...

So all I can do is hope, pray and dream that Gail Simone reads this blog enough to stumble upon this post.  Gail Simone, you are my hero and I would love to interview you!  I have loads of questions to ask you that I feel would be of great interest to your fans.  So please, do some internet searching for your name and find your way to my blog.  And if you do happen to stumble on this, please, allow me the honor of chatting with you!

But chances are you'll never read this or, if you do read it, disregard it and toss it out as another crazy fan who has no more sense than bird, still clinging onto the front of the end of a hummer wondering if it will stop anytime soon.  But one can hope!

Comic Book Review: Batman and Robin #8

Book Information
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart

Part 3 of Blackest Knight continues as Batman, Batwoman, Knight and Squire attempt the revival of Bruce Wayne.  Using the body found by Superman after the grueling battle with Darksied, The four heroes brace for the worst as the body begins to rise from the Lazarus Pit.  Is it Batman or an imposter?  Either way, strange things are definitely a foot in the United K!

My Thoughts
Apparently the body carried out by Superman after Darksied fell wasn’t Batman’s at all, but one of the many Batman clones meant to serve Darksied.  How Convenient, eh?  So will this become another Superman story, where after Superman’s death, clones of the last son of Krypton began to rise from the Earth?  Is Grant Morrison honestly trying to continue with his horrid Final Crisis story as a way of bringing Bruce Wayne back from the grave?  Currently Morrison is writing himself into a world filled with rehashed plot devices and poorly thought out conclusions.  I can accept the Lazarus Pit resurrection, but using clones in the story is pushing it for me.

Once the Bruce Wayne clone rises out of the pit, we the readers find ourselves observing a somewhat confusing fight sequence between Dick Grayson and Wayne’s clone.  I went back a number of times after finishing this issue trying to figure out which Batman was Grayson, but failed epically. I then came to the conclusion that it wasn’t something to get worried about seeing as how fight scenes in comics can always be confusing to look at, even when it’s between two very distinguishable characters.

Morrison does find a way to redeem this issue a little with his expansion on the Batwoman prophecy.  I haven’t done much research into the Batwoman character since I don’t pick up Detective comics.  However, what I do know of Batwoman is the mystical and prophetic shadow that follows her.  Her wish to die seemingly has something to do with the mystery surrounding her.  Morrison, while not truly revealing anything new, wrote this into the story very well and helped to amplify Batwoman’s character even further.

Cameron Stewart steps up his game with much more mature looking art.  Last issue had the aura of a children’s comic book, but containing very adult themes.  Dark Storylines written for kids have to be handled delicately or they become a huge mess of random, incoherent jargon.  (Take Twilight for example.)  But this issue feels so much more mature even with Stewart’s very round stylization, particularly in the faces.  I still find Stewart to be a little annoying as an artist, but it was a lot more tolerable with this issue.

Satisfactory, but not great.  Morrison is following his typical pattern of bad storytelling; starting off with a bang, but going off into “la la land” as the title progresses.  I’m cheering for Morrison to do well as this title is the best work in Grant Morrison’s writing repertoire, but this issue doesn’t bode well for him

Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming February 24, 2010
Part 3 of "Blackest Knight" guest-starring Batwoman, Knight and Squire! Only months into his new role as Batman, Dick Grayson faces perhaps the biggest threat of his life. In hopes of attaining his heart's desire, has Dick instead unleashed a terror the likes of which the world has never seen?
Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, Alfred and a recuperating Robin are at the mercy of someone both fearsome and familiar…

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Heretical Jargon: Superheros at the olympics

hhhmmmm, Maybe there are superheros living amongst us.  Are they just finding other way to use their powers?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comic Book Review: Secret Six #18

Book Information
Written by Gail Simone & John Ostrander
Art by Jim Calafiore

The Simone/Ostrander writing duo finishes their Blackest Night excursion with this issue.  The Six and the Squad have teamed up, much to their dismay, to escape to deadly clutches of the Black Lantern onslaught.  With little hope of success, Amanda Waller brings in a special surprise with explosive results.

My Thoughts
Writing team-ups are always my least favorite for any title.  I prefer having one writer take on a story as it allows for more focus and concentration on the plot.  Having more than one writer on a story can often cause conflict and confusion in my opinion.  This is the reason why I prefer Neil Gaiman’s solo novels to his collaborative books, there’s more focus on the plot and better writing.  However, Simone and Ostrander seem to have a handle on team writing as this issue is in control of the story and doesn’t go off to far over the deep end.

Amanda Waller takes over as the star of this issue with a few great surprises.  But as Simon and Ostrander have shown multiple times, they are more than capable writers and give some shining moments to our other stars.  The issue starts of as one big fight and progresses with no victory for either villainous team in sight.  Then, as one would expect, the twist in the story reveals itself as the hero dissecting laboratory is shown with Waller at the helm.  I really enjoyed this revelation as it shows the core of this comic and why it is one of the better titles being sold in comic book stores everywhere; The team is filled with bad guy with questionable moral codes, the government teams contain those same aspects, and it’s leaders (such as Amanda Waller) also have questionable motives as well.  No one in this title is completely trustworthy, all are conflicted and have misguided ways, and all have troubled pasts which have led them to be this way.  This title is so dark and twisted that is makes for the best stories, and this issue specifically makes you question the loyalties of each individual.

Calafiore, while still a very talented artist, doesn’t seem to fit well with Simone’s writing on Secret Six.  I have nothing to complain about with his art in and of itself, I think Nicola Scott just set a high benchmark in the way the title has been progressing.  There was something classy about Scott’s artistry that meshed so well with this title.  Calafiore isn’t doing it for me though.  Maybe I’m biased and just want Scott to return, but I honestly feel something is lacking in the Secret Six now with Nicola Scott gone.

I was very happy to see Deadshot put a hole through Amanda Waller’s chest.  She is such a good character and has made so many comic book story arcs what they are, but I still hate her!  I don’t want her to die though, I want her to stick around and create more angst driven stories.  But man!  She needed someone putting her in her place, and Deadshot is the perfect man for the job!

A lot of fun and filled with insults and profanities that makes this book great.  The art brings it down for me, but does detract from the story as much as I imply. 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Comic March 10, 2010
Catman's past crawls back to haunt him as Cheshire returns! Could the secret she's carrying spell the end of the Secret Six?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Comic Book Review: Action Comics #886

Book Information
Written by Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann
Art by Pere Perez

Discover the mythological secrets of Krypton’s past as Chris learns of the origin of Krypton and the importance of his connection with Flamebird.  Krypton’s religious history is visualized for us in the most intriguing ways and brings to light some new realizations about Krypton and it’s relevance in the DC Universe.  Then, of course, Rucka makes some connections with the past and present that shockingly make sense.

My Thoughts
I actually disobeyed my number one rule and went around the internet looking at what others thought of this issue.  The general consensus?  Most thought it was boring, filled with unnecessary storyline.  Some readers weren’t fans of discovering that Jax-Ur was the breaker we’ve been wondering about this whole time, while some feel the art work is below the quality it needs to be.  It looks as if my review will be a complete 180 degree difference in comparison to everyone else because I loved every aspect of this issue!

Mythological stories appeal to me in such a way that is almost indescribable.  There’s something about the traditional and cultural stores of a culture that helps you to understand and relate to the people so much more.  Learning the Mythos of Krypton brought me closer to the heart of a planet long since departed.  This is why Star Wars and Lord of the Rings is such a good story, it digs deep into the mythos of a society that most other stories do not.  We love learning about different cultures, even if we say we don’t.  This issue is my gold at the end of the rainbow; a sociological gem.

The mystery in this story does take me by surprise.  Early on we know Jax-Ur holds some importance to the story, but never did I think it would be like this.  Now Rucka has me wondering who else of Rao’s sons and daughters could be out there, ready to save the world, or to destroy it?  Rucka does a really great job at setting up some climactic conclusions for the legendary Kryptonian heroes.

I am unsure why everyone hates the art so much, especially during the telling of the Book of Rao.  The clever usage of light and darks was fascinating.  I was most intrigued by the dragon-like forms of Nightwing and Flamebird and how the flames engulfed Nightwing’s black body, but without illuminating it.  It was fun to look at and appreciate.

Best of the month thus far.  I will say this however, during the Book of Rao sequence the literature becomes quite lengthy and wordy.  For me personally, I love that it took me much longer than normal to read through a comic book; justified paying $4 for it.  But if you don’t like reading long issues, you may not enjoy Action Comics #886.

Rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming March 10. 2010
In this corner – the already beaten, exhausted and bruised Nightwing and Flamebird! And in this corner – the reincarnation of the all-powerful Kryptonian sun god Rao! Place your bets! (Smart money's on the sun god.)
And in the co-feature, Captain Atom has to answer for his past sins by fighting the entire Justice League of America single-handedly!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Page Openers: Bred Meltzer To Write Season 8 Of Buffy!!!

Yes, Brad Meltzer has been hired to write the 3rd part of the Buffy story arc, Twilight.  Brad Meltzer, one of my favorite comic writers in history.  For him to take on Buffy is the equivalent of learning Ed Benes was doing the art for Green Lantern.  This is great!  The information below comes from Dark Horse Comics website.  Pay specific attention to the publication date, as you Buffy fans will want to know when it hits comic book stands. I might have to pick up this story arc!

Creators: Joss Whedon
Writer: Brad Meltzer
Penciller: Georges Jeanty
Inker: Andy Owens
Cover Artist: Jo Chen
Twilight has been unmasked. Buildings fall, oceans churn, and the earth moves as titans come together in a bizarre twist!

* Twilight part 3 (of 5)

Brad Meltzer's earth-shaking turn on Buffy Season Eight continues!
Publication Date: April 07, 2010
Format: FC, 40 pages
Price: $2.99
UPC: 7 61568 14111 5 03411

Comic Book Review: JSA All-Stars #3

Book Information
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art by Freddie Williams II

The All-Stars decide to start the search for their missing comrade, The Atom Smasher.  This will require some finite training and ingenuity to prepare for any battles they might face in completing their objective.  But as they train, a few problems arise between Power Girl and Magog.

My Thoughts
So I read the Justice Society annual last week a tad bit confused by the sudden rush to stop Magog from destroying a prison.  It was nice to realize that the annual came out two weeks too early in reading All-Stars #3.  I’m not sure whose fault it was for this BIG mistake but someone needs to be put on probation or fired!

Aside from this major distraction, the story itself is a fun read.  Magog’s intentions are admirable, but to be perfectly frank, they suck.  However, it is nice to see the new team finally trying to behave like a team, even though the outcome is quite unsuccessful.  I can see why having the elderly division of the JSA is a much needed commodity.  If the All-Stars continue down this path of hatred and disunity, I don’t see this title sticking it out for the long haul.  #3 is fun to read, but I can’t keep going with the chaos that defines this team (or lack there of) if it doesn’t start to clear up in issue #4.  Hopefully, with Magog gone, things will get better.

Freddie Williams II has the potential of being one of the best artists working for DC right now, however there are multiple inconsistencies in his art that keep him from reaching that level.  Being an artist myself who prides himself on creating quality artwork in the superhero realm this is something I can speak to wholeheartedly.  One thing I do appreciate with Williams II is his attempt at being original and different artistically.  Apart from Frank Quietly, Williams’ art might be the most distinguishable of any artist in comic book history.  With that being said, many aspects of his art are huge distractions for me.

Taking in consideration that muscle definition is an important feature of the superhero, I would much prefer to see heroes that don’t look like shriveled up prunes.  The page of the Atom Smasher lying on the ground, shackled and unconscious while the mysterious, hooded figured hovered over him was gorgeously done, but made him look like a young man in an old man’s body.  Stylizing is important, but there can be a point of no return.

A side note…Did anyone else notice that Power Girl seemed to be a little less weighty in the front and zipped up as well?  I wonder if Williams was reading people’s reviews about the “boobage” and decided to make some changes.

Fun to read, but really doesn’t go beyond the typical comics book.  Williams’ art needs tweeking, and hopefully Sturges gives this team a new direction which gives them focus.

Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heretical Jargon: Who would win, Batman or God?

Wow...That's all I can say.....

Comic Book Review: Superman #696

Book Information
Written by James Robinson
Art by Bernard Chang

Things are beginning to make sense as the mystery revolving around Zod’s sleeper agent begins its path towards successfully concluding.  Nightwing, Flamebird, and Mon-El, after freeing themselves from a pile of rubble, and avoiding a confrontation with General Lane, fly out in search for Zod’s phantom player.  But what they find instead is so much more devastating.

My Thoughts
James Robinson!  You continually amaze me at your inconsistent story telling abilities!  You’re up, then you’re down, then you’re up again, then back down.  I can’t make up my mind about you!  I think I’m going to give up and say that you have more talent coming out of your pinky than most other writers, but sometimes that talent gets stuck there.  This issue was fantastic in comparison to your past recent work.  I’ve despised the Superman title almost the whole way through since you came on board, but every once in a while you’ll produce a gem that entices me to read on with anticipation.

The story is slow to the punch and doesn’t contain much substance, but fits in nicely with the book in and of itself.  The first half spends most of it’s time with Flamebird and Nightwing flying away from Lane’s army while the second half exposes Mon-El’s chest hair as he tears the General a new hole.  It was a great bit of dialogue that was nice to see come out of Mon-El’s mouth.  I was wondering when he was truly going to live up to the Superman legacy and put evil men in their place.  There were moments where it even felt as if Mon-El was in fact Kal-El, but that is probably more to the improved talents of Bernard Chang on art.

With the Improvement that Robinson displayed with his writing in this issue, Chang did that, plus more with his art.  It seems he has thrown out his timid, babyish art style and adopted a much more rough and messy artistic direction, much like Superman: The Man of Steel had in its first few years of publication.  One exceptionally breathtaking example of this artistic change is the two paged spread where Mon-El pushes himself out from underneath the fallen rock from a smoking hole punched through the side of a building.  The muscle definition in Mon-El’s figure, and the posture in which Chang positioned him, and the brilliant use of color is gorgeous.  Along with that, every face, body, and detail with the surrounding building wreckage is flawless.  Bernard Chang has given himself a definite boost in the comic book world with this issue.

While being James Robinson’s best piece of work in a while, the issue still lacks something.  However, with the spectacular art and the pleasant change in writing quality, this issue definitely qualifies as one of the better comics for the month of January.

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming February 24, 2010
"Man of Valor" Part 4! With the Legion of Super-Hero members in the 21st century now revealed to Mon-El, the Man of Valor learns of a greater destiny he and Superboy share; one that ties directly in to the fate of New Krypton and Kal-El! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Geeky Nostalgia: Old School Nintendo System Sells For $13,105

From Yahoo News....

Everyday folk discovering colossally valuable collectors' items amid everyday junk has been the lifeblood of antiques shows for years, but it's not every day you see a real-life gold-in-the-attic tale play out on eBay.
Last week, North Carolina eBay user lace_thongs35 thought she was putting up an everyday, 80s-era Nintendo Entertainment System (together with five games) up on the popular auction site. But less than an hour after the first bid, the price was over $6,000 -- and on Wednesday, when the auction closed, the final selling price topped $13,000.
Why? Not the console itself, but one of the games bundled with it -- a deeply obscure 1987 release called Stadium Events, a highly sought-after collectors' item. But it wasn't even the game itself that was worth the bulk of the money -- it was the original cardboard box, which collectors value at a breathtaking $10,000. Fewer than 10 complete copies of the game are thought to exist, and retro gaming aficionados consider it one of the hardest-to-find NES games ever made.
Bet you're wishing you hadn't let Mom throw out your Nintendo collection now, eh?

I'm not surprised in the least!  I remember selling my old school Nintendo system with 50 games back in college.  I received 100 e-mails about it from 100 different college students.  It came with the power pad which is what everyone wanted the most.  Finally, someone came to me with a check of $2,000 for the system, all the games and the Power Pad.  People want this shit and they will find ways of making it theirs.

Top Ten Comics For January 2010

10. Batman & Robin # 7 (7/10)
Written By Grant Morrison
Art By Cameron Stewart

Reason For Rating
I felt there was a lot of bad reasoning behind putting Dick Grayson in the UK.  Yes the Lazarus Pit is there, but it was a poor reintroduction to the British versions of Batman and Robin.  I also thought the artwork could have been found on a Saturday morning cartoon; very immature art with a mediocre storyline.
9. Superman # 696 (7/10)
Written By James Robinson
Art By Bernard Chang

Reason For Rating
The artwork was the main reason for this top ten placing, however James Robinson sure steps up his writing game with this issue.  However, Robinson still isn't the writer he needs to be to make a good Superman story
8. Secret Six #17 (8/10)
Written By Gail Simone & John Ostrander
Art By J. Calafiore

Reason For Rating
Simone's writing is the reason why this book has been placed so high.  However, Calafiore's artwork dumbs it down a bit.  If the artwork had matched Simone's writing better, this book could have been a lot higher.
7. Justice League: A Cry For Justice #6 (8.5/10)
Written By James Robinson
Art By Scott Clark

Reason For Rating
Robinson's shockingly good storytelling and Scott Clark's above average art work.  In a lot of ways, I like Clark's art work better in this title.
6. Batman #695 (9/10)
Written By Tony Daniel
Art By Sandu Florea

Reason For Rating
Daniel's wrote a true Batman story, that's all there is to it.
5. Green Lantern Corps #44 (9/10)
Written By Peter J. Tomasi
Art By Patrick Gleeson & Rebecca Buchman

Reason For Rating
I think shock was what did it for me with this issue.  I'm not surprised that so many have named this book "Best Comic of 2009."
4. Weird Western Tales #71 (9/10)
Written By Dan Didio
Art By Renato Arlem 

Reason For Rating
Dan Didio is just a good writer and can tell fantastic stories. 
3. The Phantom Stranger #42 (9.5/10)
Written By Peter J. Tomasi
Art By Ardian Syaf & Vicente Cifuentes 

Reason For Rating
No reason other than the fact that, like Weird Western Tales, this was a fun detective/mysterious fantasy story.  Bringing the silver age back to comics was a genius idea.
2. Supergirl #49 (9.5/10)
Written By Sterling Gates
Art By Matt Camp

Reason For Rating
If you write a good terrifying tale, you're going to get at least one!
1. Wonder Woman #40 (10/10)
Written By Gail Simone
Art By Aaron Lopresti

Reason For Rating
Gail Simone...Nothing more needs to be said.  She is the best writer in comics right now.

Everything she writes is personal, meaningful, educated, fun, artistic, etc etc.

Aaron Lopresti, arguable the best artist in comics.  While still remaining in the comic book style, Lopresti's attention to detail is never something one should question.

Wonder Woman, if it continues down this path of pure awesomness, will once again be in the running for Best Comic Of The Year for 2010.