Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Updates for stuff I wanted done by now

My goal was to have the first chapter of BOOGITY BOOGITY CHEESE posted.  I have it partially done.  It is a fact of health issues bumming me out and the job being priority one that has dealt me this setback.  It will come sometime, just not sure when.

The poll ended and we have a tie.  I am trying to decide whether to go with She-Hulk or Spider-Woman.  I have more Spider-Woman issues, but start with Issue #5.  She-Hulk starts with Issue #2 in my collection.  I have two possibilities for purchases of these old series in the coming weeks, so I will not make a decision until then.  Both have similar issues that I have noticed about female heroes from this era.  I am sad Dazzler didn't rate at least a vote.  That series contrasts the other two very well.
I added this alternate cover image because it is so coll and to remind myself, "ALL WILL BE WELL."


Monday, August 29, 2011

Mantra Mondays: Mantra #11

Mantra Mondays makes a return.  I am slowly getting back into a schedule.  We are getting into the area of Mantra that I enjoy the most.  It is like some of the things I had hoped would be in the stories are at long last being represented.  All it takes is having Lukasz/Eden lose the armor, cloak, and mask.  Amazing.

We discover the original Archimage dealings with the artifacts.  I say that as a way of hinting a future aspect that we will learn.  For now know that Archimage is as scuzzy as we seem to be learning.  I wonder how someone who we are seeing as a manipulative sorcerer ever garnered devotion of the men that fought in his war with brother Boneyard.  The guy marries three young women and trains them in magic and gives each one part of what we know as the Mantra costume.

Now those older women who were taken by Boneyard when hubby Archimage left them to fend for themselves are back and have usurped the control of the armor, cloak, and mask.  Ungrateful harpies are ready to attack the woman who tried to help them when last they met.

The image of Lukasz nude and the smoke swirling around him is gratuitous, yet does advance the story.  Eden has magic naturally, now that gift is free of the crutch Lukasz has used in the form of the costume.  He will have to learn his limitations, but the main character still can fight and thrive.  The whining is there.  So, I place the art and thoughts of Lukasz here to help tell that part of the tale.

On the home front we get some domestic issues for Lukasz as Eden's mom decides to watch the kids but not do the laundry.  Lukasz is not really good at running a washing machine.  These moments are softening Lukasz and he is warming to the children.  I am glad to see him beginning to care about them.

In the end a major thing happens.  Boneyard is freed from his dimension.  It really is hard for me to separate his evil from Archimage's callous use of the warriors under him.  They both are willing to sacrifice others to get their way.  This time Lukasz ends up helping out.  Things get really cool as the issues move forward.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

War of the Green Lanterns The Conclusion & Aftermath

Green Lantern #67  Conclusion
Green Lantern Corps #61
War Of The Green Lanterns Aftermath #1
War Of The Green Lanterns Aftermath #2

( T H E R E  W I L L  B E  S P O I  L  E  R S  ! )

            I will ramble a bit because I want to make sure the Spoiler stuff is on down the frame some before I talk about it.  This was a long delay in discussing the Conclusion I know.  The thing is I wanted to really talk about some of what happened and didn't want to have to censor my comments for fear of spoiling someone's reading experience.  So be warned, from here on I will not be responsible if you read something you shouldn't.

            GREEN LANTERN #67 wraps up the War.  We open with a mentally freed Green Lantern Corps in pitched battle with the Entity controlled Guardians.  Knowing they need help from the other Corps leaders Hal turns to Kyle.  He is the key to freeing the others from the Book of the Black.  Kyle literally draws them free.  It is cool and validates suspicions about certain members of the different colors that have been hinted upon.  The rings of the other colors are almost free to go to their respective welders.  Krona overrides the rings and soon he and Hal are in battle.

            During this one of the big moments happen.  Sinestro attacks without a power ring, until one selects him, a green ring.  That is right, Sinestro is once again a chosen corps member.  BIG SHOCK.  Hal just screams for him to fight.  The second occurrence of big importance comes when Hal Jordan summons the will to use the lethal force and kill Krona, a Guardian of the Universe.  This will drive fear into the hearts of the Guardians and spur the last shock.  Hal Jordan is dismissed from the Corps and sent back to Earth.

            You read correctly, Hal once again saves the Universe and the Guardians strip him of his power ring.  Sinestro is a Green Lantern.  The destruction is just massive and terrible.  It all leads into an aftermath of strange proportions.

            I am adding GREEN LANTERN CORPS #61 to the final report because it is as much part of the aftermath as the two issues released as a special.  This deals with one of the Green Lanterns chosen during the craziness that overwhelmed Mogo and the Corps and the effects on John Stewart.  Most of the “newbies” are just discarding the rings and asking to be taken home.  They are shattered beings.  When the rings chose them the effect was to then have them killing anyone and everyone around them before being called to Oa to battle the Earth Lanterns.  Most feel guilt and shame and are not wanting to be a GL.

            One young woman named Qurina does not want to give up the ring.  She was a law enforcement officer on her planet and has the sense of duty others do not.  Feeling scorned by the other Lanterns and still wanting to atone for her part in the War she seeks out the other person on Oa that is being scorned, John Stewart.  He destroyed Mogo to stop the flow of Green Lantern Power Rings across the Universe.  He made a choice that killed the most beloved Lantern in existence.  Now he is hated.

            A distress call comes from Qurina's sector.  The other GL for that sector is dead.  She responds with John by her side.  What follows is John teaching her about seeing the big picture.  It is a story that displays how small attempts can lead to more chaos, but seeing beyond the small conflict to the reasons and roots of the conflict can have a managed solution.  It is a nice story from the reconstruction of the Corps.

            Now we get to the WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS AFTERMATH # 1 & 2 which is a very detailed story with a bunch of conflict and directions that will lead into the DCnU.  A shattered Corps is at odds with what has occurred and some of the new Lanterns, Sinestro being the focus.  Resignations fly and the Guardians act like their usual arrogant selves.  Ganthet has retreated because he feels he fits nowhere.  It is here in Issue #1 that Salaak is shown as an important part of the Lantern bureaucracy.  He deduces that they all are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress.  The thing is we also see him mistreated by the very Guardians he is loyal to and it is here we see a possible Corps where Salaak serves as a main leader instead of follower of the Guardians.

            Sinestro screams for the ring to get off.  He is taken away and later we see the Guardians trying to get the ring off.  It apparently is stuck on him.  Natu, his daughter is recruited to help some disgruntled Lanterns kill Sinestro.  This will lead to a neat confrontation starring Kyle Rayner later on.  Kyle and John face some Earth Lantern hatred.  Seems the rest of the Corps is not happy to once again be rescued by the foursome from Earth.  A seed is growing that will mark a change in the way Lanterns approach each other.  The Alpha Lanterns will become important as “the cops who police the cops.”  Things are changing.

            This has been one of the best stories I have ever read.  Shocks and drama galore.  It was fast and serious and at the core you knew no one was safe.  Each of your favorite Lanterns had singular parts that allow for them to stand out.  It was yet another tale of wonder from Geoff Johns.  He keeps raising the bar and then jumping over it just to raise that bar again.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Power Girl #27 Good-Bye Karen

 This week I lost the second book I have most enjoyed in the past two years.  Power Girl was not a character that I have ever really followed.  Mostly Fan Art bought and the Infinite Crisis was how I knew her.  Gray, Palmotti, and Conner began a humorous action filled adventure book that I ranked up there with Batgirl as my most anticipated read each month.  It was a book that I felt good reading.  I was sad as Winnick took over but hung around because I figured it was temporary.  I just didn't realize the temporary was a line wide revamp that would eliminate this title.

Matthew Sturges wrote the last story.  It would have been nice to have read his run on this title.  He brought back the Power Girl I fell in love with at the start.  She is smart and confident without arrogance.  This is a heroine that despite her impressive curves is to be admired.  I like that he included a character here that Power Girl knows well, but that I do not, Cyclone.  I kinda figured where Sturges was going with Cyclone, but how he did it was a neat twist.  It also displayed just how smart Power Girl really is here in this adventure.

I added the cover without the writing on it.  This is just an amazing work of art.  No, her chest is not what draws you in either, it is her eyes.  They are simple amazing in this artwork.  I also am amazed at how her outfit stands out on a white background.  It is just breath taking.  I read for the stories, but I can appreciate a great piece of art as well.

So long Power Girl.  No more reading of you dealing with the stinky cat, neighbor fanboys, or cosmic gigolos.  I loved reading and collecting your adventures.  Hope they use you soon and in a way that lives up to this run of your adventures.  Up, Up. and Away!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rachel Rising #1 -- Mature Reader Warning


The great sci-fi read of ECHO by Terry Moore ended and I was going to let it just fade away as a nice series that I enjoyed, but seeing the end of an over $3 comic eased my woes.  Then I get my pull box contents handed to me last week and the thing I had forgotten about was in the stack.  RACHEL RISING was staring at me.  It is $3.99.  It is another investment I had to decide upon.  

I decided to take another chance.  Besides, it is good to read some grown up comic books every now and then.  I do not place this as a MATURE READER comic more for the potential for heavy duty language and themes that are for a more fully developed mind.  It is different from when I would give this type of warning to an issue of The Darkness, which might have fetish, violence, gore, and just way too much of the things young minds are not ready for.  ECHO had a fair amount of gore, but it was a purposeful part of the story.  The "bad words" were plentiful, but again, in terms of fitting the story and not just being used.

What is this about?  From what I can tell RACHEL RISING is about a young woman that climbs out of a shallow grave and returns to her life.  Is she alive?  Is she a zombie?  Why are her eyes different?  The story is given by flashback after we get the creepy crawling from the grave thing.  The characters seem neat.  There is a creepy perv who works with Rachel's cool mechanic female friend who is also in a band.  Jet promises to be an interesting character.  The memory Rachel seems to have of a creepy guy prepared to strangle her is telegraphing something for the reader to pick up on.  Like ECHO, we get a small dose and wonderful art.  So, I am here to see where the story goes.

Terry Moore is one of those creators who have earned to right to ask $3.99 for his single issues.  He has proven he will deliver the goods and you are really not gambling with what you are buying.  There will also be no switch in writer or artist mid-stream.  He is the writer and the artist and guides his creation.  If you want a nice suspense story to sink your teeth into, then now is the time to pick up RACHEL RISING #1.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Batgirl #24 You will be missed Stephanie Brown.

Batgirl #24
It all ends here, for now.  Someday Stephanie Brown will return as Batgirl I believe.  Like her I have hope.  The cancellation of this Batgirl is a sad event.  This has been a bright spot in the DC Comics line of books.  I fell in love with this title because of the humor and light-hearted banter that was so well done in the book.  It was funny without losing the action and excellent story-telling I want in my reading.

The history of Stephanie is and always will be part of the ongoing struggle between DC (and the comicbook industry as a whole) and the segment of our group of readers known as Fangirls.  The issue of why she didn't have a memorial case in the Batcave after her death made heads ache at DC.  The character was the first in a long line of Batman's sidekicks to be a female.  She lead a long character life as Tim Drake's love interest as the Spoiler.  Then Bryan Q. Miller brought us Stephanie Brown, Batgirl.

DCnU is eliminating all this of course.  But, what Miller did here was some of the best story-telling from any comicbook producer in years.  He took years of Bat-history and boiled it down to one lone girl and her journey to become the hero she was destined to be all along.  We have a character that we can see grow and struggle with her past as she stepped into a future of helping others.  He allowed us to fall in love with her as we watched her make friends across the DCU.  Her older sister vibe with Damien was brought to a nice close here in a simple act on the annoying boy wonder's part.  We had a slumber party with Supergirl that ended up being a monster movie night.  Klarion the Witch Boy was even overcome by the magical personality.

The use of the Mercy Flower to give Stephanie and us a glimpse of what might have been was a nice way to end the series.  It also allowed Pere Perez to have seven pages to give us some wonderful images through his art telling a decades worth of Batgirl stories.  It is a nice farewell.  I have lost many a title to cancellation or company implosion (CrossGen) and I can say that even though I am sad, I am satisfied with the good-bye the creative team gave me.

So long for now Purple Gal.  I will miss your bright and shining stories in a dark and grim world of comicbooks.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Falshback Friday: Fantastic Four #217

Fantastic Four #217
Someone turned 50 this week.  Yes, fantastic Four matched the President and reached the big five-oh.  In honor of this milestone I decided to do this week's Flashback Friday looking at one of my favorite stories of the FF.  It is the death of a member of the Fantastic Four.  When this member passed by sacrificing their life there was no fanfare and news reports.

Instead, this character made news when he premiered in the NBC Saturday Morning Cartoon Series of the Fantastic Four.  H.E.R.B.I.E. was the mechanical replacement for the Human Torch.  The big fear was that small boys would see the Human Torch, douse themselves with gasoline and set themselves on fire to imitate the hero.  Just like the numerous boys that wrapped a blanket around their necks and jumped off buildings to be Superman.  (Still, wearing a cape on the swing set slide was a bit dangerous as mine got caught once and jerked my head back a bit.)  The suits decided that the robot would be better as a cartoon character.

So H.E.R.B.I.E. joined the FF and eventually made it into the comics.  Here in this issue we see a frantic Reed and Sue differing on where Franklin should be to be safe.  Reed is beefing up security with H.E.R.B.I.E.'s help after Blastaar escaped from the Negative Zone and caused havoc.  So the Building needs work.  While this is going on, Johnny meets the lovely Dazzler and is disco dancing the night away while a maniacal H.E.R.B.I.E. attacks.  Seeing Sue easily dispatched reminded me how many times writers just got the female out of the way.  Sad as I feel she is the strongest member of the FF.

H.E.R.B.I.E. takes out all the FF and is soon on the verge of winning.  Well, not H.E.R.B.I.E., but the evil Dr. Sun The Living Brain.  He had possessed H.E.R.B.I.E. after being downloaded as part of the information from the computers of the planet Xander.  The Doctor slips into the Baxter Building itself as he attacks The Torch and leaves H.E.R.B.I.E. in a stand by phase.  Reed begins switching circuits in the main computer and soon only one place is left for Sun to return, H.E.R.B.I.E.

The little robot commits suicide by smashing into and exploding the main computer and himself to make sure he is not used to attack the FF again.  All the banter and stuff from Ben to H.E.R.B.I.E. is boiled down to this quote from the Thing, "Mebbe ya built him better than you knew Reed!  I think H.E.R.B.I.E. sacrificed himself to save us.  I - I hate to say it, but the little squirt was all right in the end."  That says it all.  A misguided attempt to "Think Of The Children" gave us a simple story of one small robot showing what it means to love.

Happy 50TH Fantastic Four!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

POLL: Which Character Gets A Weekly Look Next?

So I am letting you decide.  The Poll is on the side bar over to the right of your screen.  I have almost complete runs of these characters, plus some extra issues of minis and other things I can use.  I will be doing this like the Mantra Mondays.  I have long wanted to do looks at the old Marvel series of the first three.  I have collected almost the complete runs of them over the years.  As for Huntress, I have the series done by Denny O'Neil where she comes to New York and is a great read.  Plus the more modern year one look DC just recently did.  So here is your chance to pick the next book I am going to focus on and try to write about an issue each week.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I've Got Issues

These pics are from my organizing the other week.  I thought since I had them all spread out they would be a nice picture.  I am working to get more stuff posted, but I also have to deal with work and life and all that stuff as well.  I did decide to put down 52 dollars for all the first issues of the DCnU books.  My local shop had this deal that ends Wednesday, August 3rd at 5:52 PM.  You get each book for $1.  Big savings if you look at the fact that they would be $156 dollars otherwise for all the books.  Now I have to decide if I will try to do a review of every book as they come into my hands.  

If you want to check out my shop go to 


Monday, August 1, 2011

Mantra Mondays: Mantra #10

Mantra #10
I am continuing with the Mantra Monday posts.  Just so happens that one of the two I found at HeroesCon was the next in line for the series as I am progressing forward.  This is a double-sized issue but not a double-sized story.  It contains the same amount of Mantra with a flip-book inclusion that has teaser panels for a new batch of series that were being produced at the time.

This does have the start of The Archimage Quest.  It opens with Strauss being attacked by a Hippie, and Pilgrim looking dude, and a reject from bald magician's school.  They force him to get Mantra to enter a trap and soon she is meeting Archimage's Son.  Like always they want her body, for its magic of course.  There is a twist at the end that is HUGE.  You will have to wait until I talk about issue #11 for details.

What is great about this issue is that we get more of Lukasz living Eden Blake's life.  He worries about weight gain and how his appearance will affect his job.  He deals with a pesky co-worker while snooping about Ultras at work.  Has to go buy feminine hygiene products and is so funny when a older lady asks his opinion on a product.  It is really what the book needed more of in terms of character.  Watching him deal with the kids is just sweet at times now.  You see a shift into a caring parent, even if he knows he isn't.  Working for the Ultra hunting Aladdin is something that should have been played up more, but always seems more plot device than character development.

The action is great and we get a better but still whiny Lukasz.  What is neat is seeing him adjusting to life as a female.