Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And you thought Alex Ross was pushing it

So Alex Ross's rendition of Citizen Steel on the cover of a recent Justice Society caused a bit of a stir with his realistically portrayed nether regions. English comics > US comics in that regard though. 2000AD #1555 has this charming scene in the 'Stone Island' story:

Really so much more than I needed to see.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Beating a joke into the ground, lesson 3

Hey, I called it in a previous post. And I was right- in the final installment of Blackblood's story in the current ABC Warriors saga, he continues his quest for "General Public".

But not before he gets beaten to death by a goth chick with an axe.

Any final requests?

It's even less funny the third time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guest Appearances: Firestorm vs All-Star Squadron

I've been doing this for the Silver Surfer, now I'm going to start including appearances by Firestorm, since I'm a completist nut about both characters. Just to reiterate, the point of these "Guest Appearance" posts is not to review the comic as such, but to look at how the character in question is addressed. And so that others can be discouraged from the brilliant idea of buying comics sight-unseen because a checklist somewhere said it has an appearance by X character (not to be confused with the actual X character)

So we kick things off with All-Star Squadron #14. The rollcall on the cover has the JLA, JSA, and Squadron, and look, there's Firestorm.

Things open with a grim scene.

Hey, the Justice League would be really handy against Degaton, I hope they turn up soon!

*23 pages later*

Oh, there they are.

I'm glad they put that character list on the cover, because I would've been totally confused without it.

And with that, it's time for All-Star Squadron #15.

Will Firestorm actually do anything this issue?

I mean other than team up with Aquaman and bug PowerGirl.

Oh hey, he gets to fill in the assembled heroes on what's happened so far. That's pretty important. Dr Fate totally cuts him off though.

Then he has to spoil it all by being an idiot.

"Youngster"? Oh the insult!

Ronnie, you're in high school. Get over it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

1980. When men were men, and...

...there were some strange ads in comics. ROM: Spaceknight #3, starting on the inside cover:

"The trouble with most air guns is they're too big for smaller kids to handle"
Because little kids really really need to play with guns. Solution? Smaller guns! Brilliant!
"Part of being a kid is owning a Crosman"
Or put another way, "Part of being a kid is being able to blow the living shit out of birds, mice, and other small animals".

I get the impression that these guys will take your poetry and use it in their songs, charging you for the privellege ("Free examination"?). I guess it's a neat idea for those that aren't going to be writing their own songs, but it strikes me that the concept would be a copyright nightmare these days.

"Hey, are you skinny and feeling self concious about it? Well, just hop aboard our time machine and we'll transport you to 2007, where you'll fit right in and have masses of guys drooling over you!".
A weight gain ad. How times have changed (and not neccessarily for the better).

That's cool! I want some seahorses! That would be awesome, but getting posted airmail would've sucked for the seahorses.

$0.50 discount on first order. Lame by today's standards, but awesome back then, since the comic it was in was only 40 cents anyway.

Which brings us to the inside back cover:

"So you can just stick the fun in your pocket"
Do I really need to say anything?

It just occurred to me that I have the Batmobile in that ad, bought during a family visit to Hawaii when I was 4. Heh, cool. I didn't stick the fun in my pocket until I was much older though.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hey, it was funny once, right?

2000AD #1553 just came out. Blackblood continues his quest for General Public.

Hey, it was funny the first time. It must still be funny, right? Right?

Can I get a "WTF" ?

There we go.

OK, so yeah, I thought it was funny last time. This time?

Not so much.

No doubt the joke will be beaten to death completely next issue. Can't wait...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Japanese Anime Black Metal

I have just discovered the greatest thing ever. Black metal with Anime vocals. Yes, really.

The band is Gallhammer. A female trio from Japan who I, like many people I'm sure, discovered thanks to Nocturno Culto's recent dvd. I've really liked what I've heard of them since, and despite a handful of disbelieving critics who thought it could only be a joke (Black Metal from Japan? And women?), I took them seriously. Now I'm not so sure.

I decided to download the new album, which has the song "Blind My Eyes". A pretty cool song. Up until 1:31 into the song, at which point the backing vocals kick in. Psycho anime. I've tried unsuccessfully to find a free download of the full song for your viewing pleasure, but this will do in a pinch:

Blind My Eyes

Click on the preview of track 2, and you'll get a good 30 second dose of what I'm talking about. I encourage you to buy the track, it's cheap and well worth it.

I'm not sure if this is terrible or brilliant, but I can't stop listening to it.

How not to treat girls, featuring Firestorm

Hey look, it's Firehawk! How are you doing, Lorraine?

Mistake number one: don't try and change the subject when you're in trouble, right Firehawk?

Being all sheepish and embarrassed when you're getting told off can be a good thing. Don't forget your superhero etiquette though.

Of course he didn't think of that Lorraine. He's a moron.

Yes Ronnie, sometime your girlfriend will actually worry about you. I know it's strange and makes no sense, especially with your track record...

He wouldn't have the slightest idea why you're so angry, Firehawk.

Next lesson: after being told off, be like Firestorm and admit that you were a jerk. It can lead to this

Not a terrible outcome, all things considered.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Silver Surfer: The Avengers # 157

Well, it was 41 issues between drinks, but Marvel finally got around to having The Defenders meet up with The Avengers to discuss their battle with Dormamu. Yep, it's Avengers #157

Hey kids, bonus game! Can you spot the Silver Surfer in this panel?

Vision is still a little touchy about how things went down.

But hey, simple explanation:

"Honest, guys. We totally thought you were under a spell. I mean, why else would you oppose us? We were only trying to put together a powerful weapon with the word 'evil' in it's name. No big deal"

Hey guess what? That's it for old chrome dome in this issue. Two panels. As I've aluded to previously with these 'guest appearance' things, sometimes being a completist isn't all that great of an idea.

Silver Surfer: The Avengers #135

It's time for another look at the various appearances made by The Silver Surfer. This time, it's Avengers #135.

The issue opens with Ultron running into Quasimodo, The Living Computer!

Quasimodo isn't too bright for a computer, he thinks Ultron will help him. It is 1975 though, so we should cut him some slack I guess. It was hard to google someone in those days.

A compelling argument is made, but Ultron's not going for it. And with a face like that, who can blame him? So, Ultron zaps him instead

Hey, someone's coming. Who could it be?

Hang on a minute. What's that at the bottom of the panel? Yep, in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance of a whole one panels, we get told the story will continue in F4 Special #5.