kolmapäev, märts 21, 2007

What to Watch Tonight
Friday Night Lights. Watch or I will find you and kill you.

Bones. TV's most entertaining crime procedural series. If you somehow refuse to watch something as good as Friday Night Lights, this is pretty much the best you can do with anything else in the 8:00 hour.

Lost. Finally resolving the question of how Locke got paralyzed. And knowing this show, probably creating like 20 new questions. Still, the second best thing on TV tonight.

And I ask a moment of silence at 8:30 to observe the continued absence of The Knights of Prosperity. I mean, really, do TV audiences have such bad taste that a repeat of According to Jim is doing better than that did?

Yes. Yes, they do.

teisipäev, märts 20, 2007

Marvel June Solicitations
At Newsarama.

Given the amount of solicitations they previewed over the last week, there's really not much new to see here.

X-Men: Endangered Species--Funeral for an unnamed mutant. 2 years later, somebody finally gets around to addressing the consequences of House of M.
Mark Bagley's last full issue of Ultimate Spider-Man.
The Ultimate X-Men vs Nightcrawler--A fight get the impression I'm supposed to be a lot more excited about than I am.
Spider-Man "in his darkest hour"--Oh. Dark. Black. Black costume. I totally get this whole event now.
Sensational Spider-Man brings us the return of Eddie Brock nobody was really asking for. Still, an intriguing premise and I guess they gotta do something with the movie coming.
Mythos: Spider-Man finally reveals Spider-Man's shocking origin. Cause they've never told that story before.
Spider-Man Fairy Tales trying to trick us into buying, well, Spider-Man Fairy Tales by hiding it under beautiful Niko Henrichon art.
Spider-Man Family continues to be published for no particular reason.
Annihilation: Conquest has potential. They've apparently replaced Brian Denham with Mike Perkins on art.
The Initiative 3 has a great cover. I'm glad they made this an ongoing. The concept has pretty much endless possibilities and it's clear there are still a whole lot of things they need to explain.
Black Panther takes the pseudo-Fantastic Four to the zombie Skrull planet. Um, yeah. Okay.
Captain America 27 continues to explore the effects of Cap's death.
Fantastic Four deals the with aftermath of visiting the zombie Skrull planet. Still not feeling it.
World War Hulk kicks off a whole lot of people hitting each other for several months.
Blade vs Spider-Man? Didn't we already do this dance in issue 1? And did I just see the word "gun-arm"? I'm willing to give Guggenheim the benefit of the doubt here but, damn, that sounds stupid and it doesn't look any better on the cover.
Ant-Man fights Dragon Man. Because you demanded it.
Jonathan Hickman writes and draws a Legion of Monsters back-up. That's worth a look.
Mighty Avengers continues to look like a whole lot of crazy ass action.
New Avengers kills Elektra. I don't know why I should care. But Bendis and Yu might be able to make it work.
Nova 3 looks like an interesting peek at the emotional aftermath of Speedball becoming Penance. Too bad Nova's going straight back into Annihilation next issue.
Punisher War Journal--I've been loving this book so far but, Christ, that's an awful cover.
She-Hulk. Giant size Man-Thing. Heh. Like a big penis.
Thunderbolts ends its first arc, most likely with more violence, cynicism and entertainingly heavy handed satire.
Storm in Uncanny X-Men too? When did she start having more monthly titles than Wolverine?
David Finch's X-Men 200 cover kicks ass.
And in trade paperbacks, Marvel finishes jumbling all of those random Civil War specials into collections where they don't entirely fit.
Dr. Fate Cancelled?
Before it even ships. That can't be a good sign. Maybe leading into it with 5 really crappy one-shots featuring characters people care about even less than they care about Dr Fate wasn't such a good plan. They say it'll be resolicited eventually. Gotta wonder what happened there.

UPDATE: Apparently a change in artists is the cause of the delay. So we will eventually be seeing the series, which is good news because Steve Gerber does seem to have some interesting ideas.
Stuff for You to Get
Jesse Malin's Glitter in the Gutter.

Get on that shit.
What to Watch Tonight

If you have to watch something, The Unit is usually a decent hour. Not quite as edgy or exciting as you would expect from David Mamet and the creator of The Shield, but very competent television with a great cast. Tonight is the 8th or 9th time a unit member gets stuck behind enemy lines alone and has to get out.

Then there's Dirt. Yeah. Um...I want to support FX dramas in general and this is the build up to a theoretically intense season finale, but it's just not that good. It's gotten better as it goes along and it's not a total waste of an hour. It's pretty damn close, though.

esmaspäev, märts 19, 2007

Things to watch on TV tonight:
Prison Break--3 episodes left. Sure, it doesn't make any sense at all anymore, but you gotta admit it's pretty entertaining.
24--Jack deals with "devastating news." I really hope it's something more devastating than Charles Logan dying because as much as I love the character, I don't particularly care if he lives or dies at this point. Tonight's hour 14. This is around the point in the season where you stop and realize, damn, they've got 10 more hours to fill somehow. And you pray for the best.
The Riches--Who would have guessed Eddie Izzard could actually act? Like, really, really well. Minnie Driver is saddled with an unfortunately dull character, but especially given the current competition in the timeslot, Izzard alone is worth the hour of your time.

DC Comics June solicitations
That 3-D issue of Action Comics solicited for, what, the fourth time?
And more fill-in art on Batman. At least from a great artist this time. But still, what the hell happened to the Kuberts? They could meet deadlines when they were working the X-Men books. They're doing phenomenal work, but that doesn't matter so much if we never actually see any of it.
A new Superman/Batman arc with art by Dustin Nguyen.
4 weekly issues of Countdown with unsurprisingly vague descriptions.
Another 52 trade with enough extras that you feel kind of cheated for paying for the damn thing monthly.
The Brave and the Bold 4. Supergirl and Lobo. Heh.
Checkmate remains derailed by an Outsiders crossover I have no interest in picking up.
Sinestro Corps. Ethan van Sciver art. That's all I need to hear.
Another Green Arrow series dies and I imagine very few people still care. Looking forward to seeing where Scott McDaniel ends up next.
Jodi Picoult's Wonder Woman run ends, almost completely sucked into the Amazons Attack crossover that didn't sound like her original plan for the book. Seems kind of a waste.
Another intriguing Midnighter issue, this month by Christos Gage.
A Stormwatch PHD trade that I'm pretty sure cuts off in the middle of a 2-part story.
J.M. DeMatteis on Wetworks. Almost tempting enough to pick it up.
Is Marcelo Frusin ever going to draw the interiors of Loveless again? Because their fill-in artists both kind of suck and it's really dragging the book down.
Superman action figures based on Adam Kubert designs. If nothing else, that Bizarro deserves your money.

Possibly June solicitations from Marvel

reede, märts 16, 2007

Veronica Mars Not Canceled?

Somewhat good news.
World War Hulk Art

At Newsarama

Wow. That is one extraordinarily pissed off Hulk. Understandably, given the fairly ridiculous and horribly unjust decision by some of the supposedly smartest men in the Marvel Universe to exile him to space for life.

Tony Stark saw Civil War coming when he fought a bunch of zombies with King Arthur but he somehow didn't see how that plan could go wrong? If this is the characterization of the Hulk we're going to be seeing throughout the event, I've gotta wonder how this one ends without a whole lot of people getting killed. Or where the Hulk can go when it's over.

I realize this is just going to be five issues of people hitting each other but, damn, it looks pretty cool. When Greg Pak's on, he can do some great work (Phoenix: Endsong). When he's off...ugh (Phoenix: Warsong). But this is some of the best looking art Romita Jr's ever put out. So, for now at least, I'm going to hope for the best.
Veronica Mars canceled?

Hopefully this report is premature.

Come on, CW. Really, what else are you going to put on instead?



neljapäev, märts 15, 2007

Comic Book Reviews for March 14, 2007

I get most of my comics shipped to me through an online service a week or two after their release, but I still pick up a few things in stores. So then, some thoughts on a few of this week’s releases and a few older ones I’m just getting around to reading.

Civil War: The Confession—Ah, yet another in the seemingly endless stream of books Marvel had to put out to provide the satisfaction that Civil War itself failed to give us and to explain the many, many, many extremely important story elements they just couldn’t fit in. Like, for example, what the fuck Tony Stark was thinking. Civil War: Frontline 11 took a step in that direction and Brian Michael Bendis finally makes some sense of it all. Admittedly, the “I realized this was coming while King Arthur and I were fighting zombies” logic is a bit flawed, but the emotional beats of the story are spectacular. As is the art. Structurally, it’s a bit shaky, with one powerful extended monologue taking up most of the issue and then a flashback to a bunch of shouting two days earlier. I see what Bendis was trying to do in terms of setting up the whole “was it worth it?” line but it comes across a bit disjointed. Maybe it’s partly the unnecessary “Marvel Comics Presents The Confession” title appearing for a second time at the start of the flashback. Also, while I realize part of the point was showing the extent of Stark’s reaction to Captain America’s death, he has a couple of horribly awkward, childish and arrogant lines (like the “Uh, yes” and the “You’re a sore loser” bits) that seem out of place. The first part of the story is far better than the second in that sense. Still, it’s a huge step toward rejuvenating the character and it’s probably the best single issue to come out of Civil War.

Up next, a five-part miniseries about characters reacting to the death of Captain America, the climax of Civil War that didn’t actually happen during Civil War. Can’t wait.

Moon Knight 8—Through the magic of Marvel scheduling, Steve Rogers makes his final living appearance here, the week after his death in a story that takes place before Civil War 6, which shipped in January. Not that the Civil War connection here is particularly relevant to Charlie Huston’s story. Though Marc Spector sums up the whole event better than pretty much anyone else has: “People being murdered while you and Stark and your pals play capture the fucking flag. You self-righteous son of a bitch. Coming in here acting like this is anything but your regularly scheduled grudge match to work out all of your differences. All of you. Trying to prove who has the biggest super power.” Always count on the crazy guy to make sense of the riduclous. And we now return to our regularly scheduled Moon Knight story arc, in which we get our obligatory moment of extreme violence and more hints about the return of the Midnight Man. All wonderfully drawn by David Finch in what sadly appears to be his final issue on the title. I read the first arc in the collected hardcover and I definitely get the sense this arc’s going to read better that way too. Hopefully Huston has more in mind for the upcoming Punisher and Iron Man guest appearances than a brief tangential cameo.

Grifter/Midnighter 1—Chuck Dixon wrote this? Really? This? I used to love Dixon’s work. His runs on Detective Comics and Robin were some of the most entertaining books of their time. Exciting, fun and extremely well-paced. The man was a master of the character-driven action story. And now there’s this. A few pages of the Authority fighting monsters inside Midnighter’s head, a whole bunch of melodramatic bickering between team members and six pages of Grifter literally doing nothing? I was oddly looking forward to this series. It sounded perfect for Dixon. But despite a few nice moments, this is pretty disappointing. Ryan Benjamin’s art has never looked better, though.

Wonder Woman 5—I really should have looked through this before I bought it. With Will Pfeifer taking over for an issue, I assumed this would be a lead-in to his Amazons Attack thing. Instead it’s a perfectly competent completely stereotypical fill-in issue. Bit of a letdown.

Coming soon: TV recommendations, music, maybe college basketball picks. Who knows?

Death of the Dream

Yeah…so…Captain America’s dead.

It’s not like that’s what suddenly inspired me to restart this blog after two years. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now and I just haven’t gotten around to it. Since nobody was actually reading this before—and most likely nobody’s going to reading it now either but that’s beside the point—I’ll just quickly say the focus of things is going to be shifting away from what it was to, well, something else. I reached a saturation point with disgust with politicians and I’m not terribly interested in digging into that grave as much anymore. We’re going to be swinging more toward the pop culture route here—TV, movies, music, comic books, basically whatever the hell I feel like. Part of a desperate effort to keep myself writing something of some sort every day.

Anyway, Captain America. It’s been a great book for two years now and it’s a little disappointing to hear that Civil War forced Ed Brubaker to change his plans on the series. Especially given that Civil War wasn’t all that good to begin with. And it seems more than a little silly that the biggest moment of the miniseries is happening here in another book two weeks after the last issue. Just another example of the sloppy planning and execution of the event. Regardless, Captain America 25 is a solid piece of storytelling, clearly geared toward new readers and setting up an arc that’s going to focus on Sharon Carter, Bucky and Sam Wilson. And the ending reveal of who fired the last shot is an extremely powerful moment. I have a lot of faith in Brubaker’s writing, so I’m looking forward to see where he goes with it.

Still, this is a man who in his time at Marvel has killed Foggy Nelson and the Red Skull, brought back Foggy Nelson and the Red Skull, brought back Bucky and brought back the third Summers brother we hardly knew anything about. I will be shocked if Steve Rogers isn’t back by issue 50.


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