Friday, May 15, 2015

Big Week for TV Comic Book Shows

I've read some comics. I've got more comics to read. When I finish the new ones from this week, I'll post a review.

Meanwhile, I'm buying the trades of Captain America that brought back Bucky. There are a lot more of them than I realized, so it'll take me a while to read 'em all. I've gotten a bit obsessed with Bucky and it might have to do with Sebastian Stan playing him in the movies. Maybe. Possibly.

I also loved the season finales of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (Wowzers!), Arrow (Nicely tied up a lot of plot points, and Thea as Speedy!), and we've got the Flash finale on Tuesday, which looks like it will be awesome, too.

Other TV items made me very happy this week. Not only did Supergirl get picked up by CBS for the fall, but the trailer was released and it looks fantastic. This is the Kara Zor-El I loved growing up in the '60s. I don't mind any changes they make. I just want the characterization to be right and from what I saw in the trailer, it's perfect. And since CBS owns the CW, there could possibly be crossovers with Flash and Arrow.

Another DC show is heading for the CW as a mid-season show, also from the makers of Flash and Arrow, using characters from those shows and more. The trailer has spoilers but it has me so jazzed, I can barely contain my excitement. Legends of Tomorrow features Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who (Rory!) as Rip Hunter (!!!). The DC TVU is expanding at a nice rate. I wish Constantine hadn't been canceled, but I'm pleased with all the DC we'll be getting on TV next season, because Gotham, though in a different part of the DCU TV 'verse, will also be back.

Also, Agent Carter will be back, along with Agents of SHIELD, so that's a relief. I really enjoyed Agent Carter.

Other news that made me happy this week is the promise of more crossovers between Flash and Arrow. While crossovers can be annoying in the comics because they're so overdone and involve too many titles/issues these days, they're so much fun on TV.

Also, a fan came up with a wonderful female Avengers team, with a token male, basically a gender reversal for the actual Avengers of the first movie.

And finally, after 33 minutes in NYCC's queue from hell, and another 70 minutes trying to actually buy tickets, I managed to get a 4-day pass. Which was a better outcome than last year when I missed out on the 4-day pass and had to buy dailies in order to get Thursday.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Friday, May 01, 2015

Comics Creators

Here are two articles that provide a lot of food for thought. In the first, Gerry Conway explains how DC Entertainment defines "derivative creations" and it is not pretty. It's not fair, either.

In the second, in an interview, Roy Thomas explains how he created Ultron and Vision and why he tried to not create many characters for Marvel.

I'm not a comic book writer or artist, nor am I otherwise involved in comic book publishing. I'm a reader and don't, therefore, have a stake in any of this. But I do believe fair is fair and creators should be fairly compensated. When many of the older writers and artists toiled at Marvel, DC, etc., there were few merchandising opportunities for their characters and while TV adaptations were a possibility, the blockbuster movie was not as likely, certainly not a big team-up movie with lots of characters. Work-for-hire contracts start off unfair. Most of the time, creating characters to be owned by the companies doesn't seem like a big deal. Unless the character hits big. And gets a movie franchise or is part of one. Or a hit TV show with action figures and the like. And then, the company that owns the character makes a fortune and the creators sit and watch others make money off what they created. And only the comic geeks know who they are.

It's fine that pretty much every Marvel fan knows who Stan Lee is. He sure has an impressive resume of cameos in Marvel Studios movies and TV shows. He even has his own action figure. But what about Roy Thomas?

Actually, I'm pretty impressed that Ed Brubaker, the man who brought Bucky Barnes back to life in the Captain America comic, as the Winter Soldier, got to appear in the movie. And how many people knew that? Or even what he looks like?

I understand the impulse of more and more comics creators to leave the big publishers to make their own comics where they can retain the rights to their creations. Creator-owned comics have made Image my favorite publisher. The variety of talent and stories in Image Comics is amazing, with truly something for everyone. But for anyone starting out, they need to make their rep first and that means toiling for Marvel or DC. And how many independent comics can the market support? The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, et al remain the characters people know. How many would be willing to try something new and different? I for one will continue to support creator-owned comics by buying all the ones that appeal to me. And now I'm hoping to convince you to do that, too.

Greg Rucka's Lazarus is in development for a TV show. Rucka is a well-established writer of both novels and comics. He and artist Michael Lark created the realm of Lazarus and its characters and own the rights. They will be adequately compensated for their creation. As it should be. Apparently, that's not true for the creative people at DC and Marvel, and that's a shame.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Belated Reviews as Usual

Belated and brief. So, here's what I read in the past couple of weeks.

Legenderry Red Sonja 3
I really like this steampunk realm and I prefer steampunk Sonja to the actual Red Sonja. In this chapter, she meets mad scientist Victor Frankenstein, who's taken her prisoner, and things don't go well. Breezy and enjoyable.

Black Widow 17
Natasha is given a vision of the perfect life she could have, if she takes Chaos's offer. Is there any doubt what her answer is? Let's just say Chaos doesn't like being turned down. Far from my favorite book, but still, an enjoyable one.

Ms. Marvel 14
Poor Kamala. The perfect boy isn't all that perfect, after all, as Kamala learns that there are nasty Inhumans as well as nice ones. This book continues to be awesome.

Legendary Star-Lord 11
Chapter 12 of the Black Vortex. This follows, it seems, the Captain Marvel chapter, which I read, so it sorta made sense to me. Kitty makes a sacrifice that probably will end her budding love affair with Peter. *sniff* I'll be glad when this Black Vortex storyline is over, but I don't know if this book will still be around.

Shutter 11
The weirdness of this weird book keeps getting, uh, weirder. After a lot of weirdness, Kate is finally going to learn about/meet? her mother? I'm not sure why I'm still reading this. It's not bad and somehow, I'm hooked, but it's so not the kind of comic I usually enjoy.

The Big Con Job 2
This saga/caper tale of down-on-their-luck cult actors working the con circuit continues, with the group considering an agent's offer for them to pull a heist at SDCC. There's something so sad about this, with pathos mixed in with the humor. I really feel for these aging actors. In a short time, they've become very real to me. The book is a delight.

Choronauts 2
Danny's rescue of Corbin takes an unexpected turn as it turns out, trapped in the past, Corbin doesn't want rescuing. Having fixed his time transporter device, he's been zipping around time, amassing a fortune and sleeping around in a wide variety of time periods, while the folks in the present try to find both and bring them home before anything gets irrevocably damaged. I'm actually surprised he hasn't actually changed the present yet by having altered history, so I hope that issue is addressed at some point. But the book is a romp.

Lazarus 16
One thing I love about this book is that it lets us see aspects of its fictional future realm by focusing on characters not previously seen or only briefly seen. THis issue features a nun who acts as a spy for Carlyle in return for free travel through the territories. Her current mission is to retrieve a virus sample and antidote, but things... you guessed it .... don't go as planned. Topnotch science fiction that focuses on the people.

Velvet 10
As the final act of the first story arc gets underway, or is about to, the plot twists start coming fast and furious. I've always loved good spy stories, and this Cold War-era story featuring a kickass female agent is perfection. I know Velvet will triumph, but it's the how and the why of the story, as well as Velvet's tenacity that keeps me hooked. One of my all-time favorite comics.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

So Many Comics

I'm still not caught up with all the comics I bought in the last two weeks, and I'll be getting more tomorrow. Oy vey! Let's just get to the (albeit brief) reviews.

Astro City 22
A done-in-one issue story follows the last multi-issue story and it's very sweet, about an aging superhero who is now an author and facing a life of retirement. This book always hits me in, as the younger generations say, the feels.

Copperhead 6
A new story begins, but first, the sheriff takes a night off. albeit reluctantly. This is a comic I enjoy, but not enough to buy the trade collections. It's entertaining, but not a keeper for me.

Descender 2
This compelling new book doesn't disappoint as TIM-21's early days are revealed while his continued existence is very much in jeopardy.

Legenderry Green Hornet 2-3
In their investigation of what seems to be a mob war, the Green Hornet and Kato find an unexpected ally and learn a bit more about the enemy behind it all. I prefer steampunk Green Hornet to the original version of the character.

Harley Quinn 16
Harley puts together her Harley team. This can't end well. And anyone who thinks this book should be taken seriously is missing the point. It's a wild, crazy ride with nice art.

I read the Convergence Harley Quinn, too, but it was a more serious version, presumably the original version which I never read. It didn't do much for me.

Captain Marvel 14: Black Vortex
Since I'm reading only the chapters in this title and the Star-Lord book, the whole thing is a disjointed mess for me.  I assume other titles are involved, too. Anyway, this was kinda meh.

Saga 27
Marko, having tried drugs, spends most of the issue in a hallucination that leads to an epiphany of sorts, giving Fiona Staples a lot of fun stuff to draw, including full front nudity for Marko! Seriously, I was reading this on the subway on my way home for Forbidden Planet NY and for the first time since my teen years was self-conscious about reading comics in public. But a great issue as usual.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Quick Reviews

I had such a great chat with one of the gals who works at Forbidden Planet NY this past week. We chatted about Roy Harper and Donna Troy and all sorts of other stuff. It was nice to find someone who shares my love of Roy and Donna, and understands how devastated I was when the original Supergirl was killed off. It was just really, really nice.

Ah well, on with the reviews.

Black Widow 16
Some flashback scenes fill in background info on Natasha that adds to our understanding of her personality. Even as a child being trained as an assassin, she showed an independent streak. At the issue's end, she receives an unexpected offer. I'm intrigued by this plot twist.

Chrononauts 1
This new book by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy gets off to a strong start as two intrepid explorers test out a time machine. When the scientist heading into the past goes off course, his adventurer friend rushes through the time portal to rescue him. A lot of time and setup is pushed at the reader with time jumps, giving us just enough to follow the premise and get us to the actual story. Now with the follow-up issues, the book needs to really deliver the goods, but judging by this first issue, that shouldn't be difficult. The pace is good and the art is sketchy and fun.

This political take on superheroing continues to fascinate me, with the few female characters starting to make their presence felt. If you want something different than the usual superhero book, this is definitely worth trying.

Dream Police 6
Thank goodness they put a summary of what's already happened in this book because with so much time between issues, I forget where things were left off. Dream Police Joe and Kate make their move, heading for the Verge to seek answers to what the dream realm truly is and why Joe had a partner he can't really remember. Not much happens to further the story, just Joe and Kate making their move and their Captain sending the troops after them. Hopefully, next issue, we'll really get more actual plot developments.

Gotham Academy 6
Olive is saved by Croc, learns a bit more about her mother and the connection between the Academy and Arkham, and it looks like Damian Wayne will soon be a classmate. Such a fun book.

Legendary Star-Lord 10
Since I'm not reading the other Black Vortex issues, this made little sense, but it featured a nice scene between Peter and Kitty.

Legenderry Red Sonja 2
The next chapter of this steampunk Red Sonja story finds Sonja helping the Bride of Frankenstein. I like this version of Red Sonja more than the original version.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


I just deleted a whole lot of comic blogs from Feedly, the place I read blogs. They hadn't been updated in at least a year. For some, they hadn't been updated in years. Yikes! I really should check my blogroll annually. But it was sad, to formally say goodbye to blogs I'd loved, from their comics-y titles to the insightful, funny, thought-provoking posts. I miss them.

As for reading, the only thing I've read was Red Hood and the Outlaws 40 -- yeah, yeah, I bought more this week, but I got new action figures to play with: Hot Toys 12-inch-ish Star-Lord and Tony Stark, so well, I've been busy playing.

As for RHATO 40, it was okay, clearly a setup for the post-Convergence Red Hood and Arsenal title, maybe even the Starfire title. But I'll miss Kori and Roy as a couple. They really were cute together. I am glad Jason and Roy will stay friends, though, and share a book. Roy and Dick were always friends who were close as brothers, and yet, Roy and Jason are a better fit as friends. Both are pretty screwed up but rise above it, especially when they support and are supported by each other. So, I'm looking forward, not backward. This far removed from the end of the old DC and the start of the New 52, I can leave my obsession with the past, and continuity, behind. Reading a wider variety of comics can do that for a person. Every title in Image books is its own universe, after all, and I'm okay with that. I can be okay reading a few DC titles and a few Marvel titles, and the Image titles I love and some Dynamite and.... well, you get the idea. Variety is good. Good comics is better.

Here are the new toys, Star-Lord and Tony Stark, both from Hot Toys.
Peter Quill, Star-Lord

Tony Stark, ARC Reactor Creation Figure