Clerks II is coming, and I'm fucking excited. I found some posters online (three teasers and the full one sheet), and figured I'd post them up here. You'll note that the three teasers and a banner below are all linked, with text and all (rather than using the Blogger image tool). Basically, it's for a competition to see how many I can get online. I have no chance of winning - the prizes are fucking cool, but I digress - but you've gotta be in it to win it.
And they are cool posters...!
The non-linked final poster:
The linked teaser posters (which blew up far bigger than I was expecting):
The linked banner (which is a little smaller, thankfully):
Before I call this post done, I'll just say that I have a newfound love for Rosario Dawson after seeing some clips of her....
So, it's taken me a week to get to writing about the comics... It's been pretty busy over the past few days, since I got done reading them all.
A decent week, though there wasn't a lot that blew me away. For this reason (and also me being fucking tired), I'm going to try and keep it fairly brief, with only a single comic mentioned as "the best".
I'll apologise now for any typos that will probably be littered through the following. I'm really struggling to keep my eyes open as I write this...
"My name is Peter Parker, and I've been Spider-Man since I was fifteen years old. Any questions?" Spider-Man's identity revealed, Civil War #2.
Best of the week: Captain Atom: Armageddon #9 DC Comics (Wildstorm) Written by Will Pfeifer Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Sandra Hope, with Jim Lee Cover by Guiseppe Camuncoli and Gabrielle Del'Otto
With DC's renewed focus on the Wildstorm universe, it's surprising that they didn't push Captain Atom: Armageddon harder. This title is the catalyst for the big shake up, and in some ways was Wildstorm's very own Infinite Crisis (which this actually ties into) cleaning up the WildStorm history and continuity, before relaunching their classic titles with A grade talent.
Will Pfeifer is one of the most underrated writers in comics. Aside from his run on Catwoman, the guy doesn't seem to be geting a huge volume of work, which is disappointing. He handles the characters well, as well as highlighting the differences between the DC and Wildstorm universes.
Towards the end of the issue, Jim Lee provides a few pages of art when the proverbial reset button's pressed. Very nice stuff, and it's great to see him tackling Wildstorm characters again.
Hey, there's a movie coming out:
Superman Returns Prequel #2 DC Comics Story by Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, and Dan Harris Written by Marc Andreyko Art by Karl Kerschl Cover by Adam Hughes
While the first Superman Returns Prequel focused on Jor-El on Krypton, this second issue focuses on Ma Kent.
Props have to go out to Marc Andreyko, writer of the critically acclaimed Manhunter for achieving something that's probably not the easists of tasks: Making a story about Martha Kent interesting.
The story is told predominantly in flashback sequences, which seems to be a recurring theme, as Martha deals with lonliness after Clark's five year trip in search of Krypton.
A nice, personal tale. And it's also cool to see how she covered for Clark's disappearance, as well!
That controversial issue: Something should probably be said about Spidey revealing his identity in Civil War #2. It's a good thing I did about a week ago.
Other bits and pieces:
52 ramps up nicely
Checkmate nearly qualified for "best of the week" ...
... as did Battle for Bludhaven. This book is really getting good!
Green Arrow is rocking pretty damn hard
Despite the revelation, Civil War continues to be the weakest of all the Civil War stuff
Extra curricular reading:
I grabbed Writing for Comics with Peter David, but haven't read any yet, aside from a quick flip-though. It looks like it'll be pretty solid, though!
An amusing bit on Batwoman being a gasp! lesbian right here. I was planning on chiming in about this tonight (amongst other things), before getting home from work late and not wanting to think. So I'm letting the writer of that article do my thinking for me.
The first of a few very quick posts. I still have a couple more comics to read before I get into th weekly comics bit, and should - hopefully - post it tomorrow night. And then there's this week's big shipment (which I mightn't be able to pick up for a few more days).
Comics have been hitting the news a lot, lately. Whether it's the lesbian Batwoman (which I've been meaning to post about for a while now, and eventually will), or Marvel's Civil War, the mass media has been all over them like a rash.
But on Wednesday morning, before the week's comics hit, the New York Post features an article about Spider-Man revealing his identity to the world in the pages of Civil War #2, released that day. Way to spoil it, guys!
"That release was designed to draw people to comic shops, it was designed as the next wave of publicity enhancing retailers sales on Civil War. I can’t tell you how many letters and emails I’ve received from people reading their first comic and it’s Civil War."
So, it's okay to ruin a story if it's going to make you more money... Fair enough!
Newsarama went on to ask various creators about their thoughts about why Peter Parker revealed his identity (he was asked to do so in The Amazing Spider-Man, with the ramifications played out in Civil War), and their responses are below:
Axel Alonso: "This was Peter’s show of commitment to the cause. And a show of solidarity with his current mentor, Tony Stark. Peter went above and beyond the requirements of the Superhero Registration Act when he ousted himself to the world."
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: "For me, it was a question of loyalty, and a very, very personal choice (as opposed to an ideological one, which is what's driving Cap and Iron Man, I feel). Peter feels indebted to Tony for all he's done for him and his family; this is one way of repaying that.
Also, if Peter hadn't revealed his identity, in the new post-Civil War climate, he would've become an outlaw ... on the run. Which wouldn't have been so bad for him, Spidey's used to being reviled, but it would've cut him off from his family, or put them on the wrong side of the law.
Also, Peter's all about vows and ideals. 'With great power comes great responsibility.' He feels that burden tremendously, and when something is law - or something is made illegal - he takes it extremely seriously."
Peter David: "For a number of reasons: Out of loyalty to Tony, and because he had the support of his loved ones. But ultimately, I think what it comes down to is that people like Jameson have been declaring for years that Spider-Man has no regard for the law. If he openly defied the Registration Act, then he would have verified once and for all the worst things that had ever been said about him. I don't think he wanted that to happen."
Personally, I don't agree with all of these opinions. Which is cool - they're opinions.
The thing that really worries me is how much foresight went into this. It forever changes the status quo of Marvel's biggest character. Quesada has repeatedly stated that he hates the fact that Spider-Man and Mary Jane are married, as it's changed the status quo for the character from how he was originally presented.
I never agreed that that was necessarily a bad thing. But what the fuck does he think having Spider-Man reveal his identity to the world will do???
In the Newsarama interview, Peter David mentioned that this has forcibly changed the direction of Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man from what he was aiming for. When asked how it will affect the series, he responded with "Tremendously, particularly since - when it comes to the Peter Parker side of his life - I'd wanted to focus on his work as a teacher. So naturally, this entire development upends what I was planning, and sent matters into a totally different direction. It's really unexplored territory, and thus is both exciting and scary." While he sounds excited by the prospect, it doesn't lend much credibility to the decision being made for the purposes of storytelling, rather than making a quick buck...
Now, for anyone who'd been reading this, it probably comes off like I'm pissed off about it. Really, I'm not. We've had some great stuff from Civil War. Spider-Man revealing his identity to the world is a powerful moment.
But I'm just hoping Marvel's looked at this for more than the moment, and the character and storytelling well into the future....
There seems to be a mass exodus from work at the moment. A work colleague finished last Friday. Another one finished this Friday. So did another friend from work. Another friend's finishing on Tuesday.
Last night was a farewell for one of the people leaving. Both the girls showed up, funnily - I didn't even realise they knew each other. Drinks kicked off at about 4:30, and I was only expecting to hang around for a couple of hours, tops.
Fuck, I was wrong.
I was only expecting to have a couple of drinks.
Fuck, I was wrong.
It was a huge night. We met in Tuggers, and hit the drinks hard for a few hours. After which, we head out to Kingston, grab some food, and hit the drinks harder across various pubs. It was a fun night, and a great send off for the girls.
I was hoping for an early, quiet, night. I didn't get it. But it was still a great one.
So this post is a little late; the birthday was over a week ago. I've been meaning to write about it, but really, it was a non-event for me. So I'l be keeping it short.
Feeling old, not to mention worn out, of late, I declined to do a dinner and drinks with friends. I'd figure I'd just have a quiet meal with my family, and call it done. And I did that.
However, I went out with work colleagues for lunch. It was cool, I had a few drinks, and a good meal. A girl I knew a while back was working the bar, and I got her number. The kicker: she's 19. I'm not going to go there with the age difference, but I'm trying to figure out whether that should make me feel older or younger.
I went back to work for a couple of hours, before heading back to the pub for a couple more drinks with a mate. Was cool, was relaxed.
Thursday wasn't quite so relaxing, though. I had a call from a friend who wanted to head out with me to celebrate both our birthdays. It was a pretty fucked up night in quite a few ways, but on the whole, it was enjoyable.
On Saturday, a couple of the guys from cards and I headed out for a couple of drinks for my birthday. Again, it was cool. Reserved, but cool.
So I ended up doing a little more than I intended. I was hoping the entire birthday thing would slip under the radar unnoticed, but that wasn't the way in panned out. Thursday was a pretty big night, but the rest of it was relaxed... Which is nice.
"If you do nothin', Knox croaks, and you're back in with the filly in there" - Spike gives Wesley sage-like advice about love in Angel Spotlight: Wesley
This week's best:
Civil War: Front Line #1 Marvel Comics Written by Paul Jenkins Art by Roman Bachs, Steve Lieber, and John Watson Cover by Steve Lieber
Wow. This is the second week in a row where I've had a Civil War book listed with the week's best... Quite an achievement considering I wasn't a big fan of Civil War #1, and I'm not a huge fan of Paul Jenkins' writing. That said, out of all the stuff with this big crossover, my hopes for Front Line were the highest of the lot.
This is partly due to my thoughts about Generation M being by far the best thing to come out of the entire House of M fiasco. The story of Sally Floyd telling the story of mutants who lost their powers, was amazing.
And Civil War: Front Line #1 takes a similar approach, and does it fantastically. The series is comprised 32 page issues, with no ads. It has two major storylines, as well as a back-up piece, all written by Jenkins, and all fantastic. The man's almost - but not completely - forgiven for his recent Sentry miniseries.
The first story features Sally Floyd and Ben Urich covering the "civil war" and hero registration from the press' perspective - Sally, disagreeing with the act, and Ben agreeing with it. The second story is a little weaker, but still good, dealing with the ramifications of the Stamford Disaster, which was the catalyst for all the problems. The back-up feature is wonderful, about a Japanese family being put in an internment camp during World War II. It's narrated by a poem written anaonimously, and circulated at the Posten War Relocation Camp. Amazing, powerful stuff.
Wonder Woman #1 DC Comics Written by Allan Heinberg Art by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson Cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
Interestingly, while Civil War: Front Line marks two weeks in a row that a Civil War book is up here, Wonder Woman #1 marks the second week in a row that I've featured a comic with a cover by the Dodsons. Though, the "two weeks in a row" thing is all these books have in common, aside from being great reads.
Wonder Woman #1 succeeds for being pure escapist fun, something that you don't see enough in comics. Yes, the fact that Donna Troy has the Wonder Woman mantle may upset a couple of fans - not a great spoiler either, it's about the worst kept secret in comics - but it's beside the point.
This issue jumps straight into the action, with rejuvinated versions of Cheetah, Giganta, and Dr Psycho - all of whom are scripted brilliantly by Heinberg, and drawn beautifully by Mr and Mrs Dodson. The issue has a funky twist at the end, which acts as a lovely homage to a certain era of the comic back in the 70's. Fun stuff.
Hey, there's a movie coming out:
Superman Returns Prequel #1 DC Comics Story by Bryan Singer, Michael Dougherty, and Dan Harris Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray Art by Ariel Olivetti Cover by Adam Hughes
With mini-reviews for the recent press screening of Superman Returns press screening hitting the web left and right, I figure I'll write up a bit about the weekly Superman Returns Prequel "miniseries", which serves to fill in the gaps between Superman II and the upcoing Superman Returns.
These are four standalone issues, the first of which is Krypton to Earth. While one may assume it's handling Supes' return from "New Krypton" from the upcoming movie, it's more an expansion on his Kryptonian origin from Richard Donner's original Superman. The story is handled nicely by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, from a story outline from Superman Returns director Bryan Singer and writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Fairly basic, but a nice take.
While I'm a fan of Ariel Olivetti's art, I must say that I was disappointed by his work here. His pencil and ink stuff doesn't work quite as well as his painted work. But he does draw a phenomenal Krypton. All in all, this issue was a little disappointing, but I'm looking forward to the next three issues to hopefully add to Superman Returns.
Other bits and pieces:
Thank God Batman: Journey into Knight is almost over... this is getting painful to read!
On the flip side, Batman: Secrets is still awesome, as is Detectove Comics
Paul Levitz's JSA arc is finally getting coherent and readable
Outsiders is odd, but great
Archenemies is a funny read
Star Wars: Legacy provides a nice introduction to the series
You know, there's a bit of stuff that I want to write up , but really can't be bothered tonight. I'll get to it in the next couple of days (long weekend, and I took today too!), but I'll leave you with this video.
For anyone, who - like me - has a thing for Natalie Portman...!
Okay, due to Memorial Day in the States, I had to wait 'til Friday to pick up this week's load of comics. It was a pretty damn awesome week, with three comics that blew me away, which I'll write up about; and one more that I'll write up separately.
"I can hear the cancer spreading" The cat in My Inner Bimbo, complaining incessantly about his cancer
This week's best:
Action Comics #839 DC Comics Written by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek Art by Pete Woods Cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what Superman's all about! Action! Adventure! Romance!
In part six of the eight part "Up, Up and Away!" Johns and Busiek give us the strongest issue of the arc yet, capturing the essence of Superman. All is revealed about Lex's plan as he takes control of Kryptonian crystals, which he uses to create a giant construct in Metropolis.
Granted, Pete Woods' art featuring a raised S-shield on Superman's costume is a little distracting, and it looks like the Kryptonian crystals are being incorporated into the comic for the sake of the upcoming movie. Regardless of these niggling little things, this is a great issue of a great arc, which is reestablishing Superman as the premiere hero of the DC Universe. Awesome stuff.
Amazing Spider-Man #532 Marvel Comics Written by J Michael Straczynski Art by Ron Garney and Bill Reinhold Cover by Ron Garney
Okay, let's get this out of the way: Spider-Man's new costume sucks.
And while I'm at it, let's also get this out of the way: I was quite disappointed with Civil War #1. It wasn't bd, but it wasn't great.
However, part one of "The War at Home", tying into Civil War is great. This issue takes place as the Superhero Registration Act is imminent, and Spidey - now Iron Man's bitch, for lack of a better term - is asked to publically unmask.
This issue looks at the Registration Act the way I hoped Civil War #1 would, and the impact it will have on Marvel's heroes. Furthermore, it was an incredibly heartfelt issue, as Spidey needs to decide what to do, and discusses the consequences of unmasking - and the consequences of not unmasking - to Mary Jane and Aunt May. The cliffhanger at the end is also great stuff; giving us a powerful issue. If the rest of the Civil War stuff is half as good as this, fans will be in for a treat.
My Inner Bimbo Oni Press Written by Sam Keith Art by Sam Keith Cover Sam Keith
Note: It looks like this is the cover to #2... I couldn't find a decent sized image of #1's cover online.
My Inner Bimbo tells the story of a 60 year old man, married to a woman 17 years his senior. The lead character's disillusioned with life, feels threatened by women, and masturbates chronically to porn. And he's neglected his feminine side for far too long.
But what happens when that feminine side - or his inner bimbo - become real; or at the very least, figments of his imagination? Well, with Sam Keith writing and drawing this series, much wackiness ensues.
This series looks at getting old, as well as sexual and gender issues. It's a smart read. It's a funny read. And it's very poignant. Sam Keith is a rare talent who brings some wonderful themes to this issue. It's definitely a must read if you can appreciate comics that aren't about superheroes. Hell, it's a must read for people who don't read comics.
A very special issue:
Superman/Batman #26 DC Comics Written by Sam Loeb, featuring: Joe Casey, Geoff Johns, Allan Heinberg, Joe Kelly, Paul Levitz, Audrey Loeb, Jeph Loeb, Brad Meltzer, Brian K Vaughan, Mark Verheiden, and Joss Whedon Art by Arthur Adams, John Cassaday, Joyce Chin, Ian Churchill, Mike Kunkel, Jim Lee, Pat Lee, Rob Leifeld, Joe Madureira, Jeff Matsuda, Ed McGuinness, Carlos Pachecho, Duncan Rouleau, Tim Sale, and Michael Turner Cover by Michael Turner
I was originally going to include this issue under "This week's best", but it feels somewhat wrong to critique it. Granted, Rob Leifeld's art sucks, but as far as this issue's concerned, that's beyond the point.
This issue is a dedication to Jeph Loeb's son, Sam, who passed away last year from cancer. Sam, a writer in his own right, who had previously written a story for the anthology Tales of the Vampire, was writing this issue before he passed away. Enter "the 26", 26 creators, including Sam's sister Audrey who came in to finish the issue, in an issue dedicated to his memory.
The main story is simple enough, with Robin remembering the late Superboy, after giving his life in Infinite Crisis; and features an adventure where the two try and find a missing Toyman, featured in previous issues of Superman/Batman.
The issue features a wonderful back-up entitled "Sam's Story" by Jeph Loeb, and Tim Sale; telling the story of a childhood friend of Clark's dying of terminal cancer. It's sad, yet uplifting. Also included is Pat Lee's original cover from when it was just going to be Sam and himself.
Pick this issue up; it's a homage to a 17 year old who lost his battle with cancer at far too young an age.
Other bits and pieces:
52 continues it's streak of greatness, with Steel hallucinating after being poisoned
Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre introduces the new Spectre in a strong first issue
JLA: Classified wraps up the weakest story Gail Simone has ever written, but its not without it's moments
Son of M finishes with a bang, and almost makes me forget how hit and miss the miniseries was
Army of Darkness was the best it's been in a long time
It's a trifecta for Mouse Guard with a fantastic third issue
Transformers is the best it's ever been - I may have to reconsider cancelling it
I read the originals:
The Seven Soldiers of Victory, volume 3 trade paperback hit, collecting the third quarter of Grant Morrison's epic storyline through seven miniseries: Zatanna, Klarion the Witch Boy, The Manhattan Guardian, Mr Miracle, Frankenstein, The Bulleteer and Shining Knight. Great stuff, even if the concluding issues still haven't hit, which will delay volume 4 for an age.
I picked up Superman: Cover to Cover (a nice birthday present!) a hardcover collection of Superman's top 250 covers, as chosen by industry professionals, as well as people involved with Superman in other forms of media. I haven't had a chance to look at it properly yet, though the quality looks comparable to last year's amazing Batman: Cover to Cover.
We all know Dilbert rocks. It's an absolutely hilarious comic strip about the foibles of offices. The following quotes were apparently published in a magazine running a competition for Dilbert quotes (from in-duh-viduals, if you read Scott Adams' newsletter). Dunno if that is actually where these came from, but they're damned amusing.
"As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday, and employees will receive their cards in two weeks."(Microsoft Corp)
"What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter."(Lykes Lines Shipping)
"E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business."(Electric Boat Company)
"This project is so important we can't let things that are more important interfere with it."(United Parcel Service)
"Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule." (Delco Corporation)
"No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them."(Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp)
Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."(Citrix Corporation)
My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me."(FTD Florists)
"We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees."(AT&T Long Lines Division)
I got the following joke emailed to me at work today.
A man walking along a Gold Coast beach in Queensland was deep in prayer.
Suddenly, the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said, "Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish."
The man said, "Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can drive over anytime I want."
The Lord said, "Your request is very materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports to the bottom of the Pacific! The concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that would honour and glorify me."
The man thought about it for a long time. Finally he said, "Lord, I want a fair and reasonable industrial relations system in Australia, where workers would have no issues with OH&S, be paid appropriate wages, not be jerked around by their employers, and have the right to have their say against an absolute joke of a Government."
The Lord replied, "You want two lanes or four on that bridge?"
Sadly, there's a lot of truth to the joke, especially in the wake of the IR changes that the Government's imposed.