Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Switch ON!

 So no top pick review from last week. Red hood and the Outlaws left such a bad taste in my mouth that Superman Returns seems like high art and Batman and Robin seems like a comedic masterpiece by comparison.  So I thought I'd take a moment to do something different. I'm into tokusatstu, which are Japanese special effects shows.  There are lots of these shows but one of my favorite franchises is Kamen Rider. It started in 1971 and has been going strong since. In fact its 40th anniversary show just started introducing Kamen Rider Fourze:

Every series has varying amounts of seriousness and silliness. As a series set in high school; with a hammy, hot blooded, shonen action hero; a space addicted Genki Girl Four I don't think it could get sillier. Oh it was created by Ishinomori Shotaro creator of Cyborg 009; and head writer is Nakashima Kazuki, script writer for Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann? Well this series just went from delightfully quirky to Crazy Awesome.

Other than the Rider design (I like the function if not the look of the suit) I'm already hooked.  Granted the series is taking the High School cliche up to eleven, but its hilarious to watch and I can't wait to see how everyone in that title sequence becomes friend and fight evil IN SPACE.

UCHUU KIIIIITAAAA!!!!!(space is awesome!)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Its been fixed!

Someone fixed Red Hood and the Outlaws go check out how Starfire and Roy should have been written also makes Jason's issues make sense http://lusilly.tumblr.com/post/10600068405/how-red-hood-and-the-outlaws-should-have-gone

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Red Hood and the Outlaws

So after Lobdell's weak offering with superboy last week he needs to build up some steam with Red hood and the Outlaws. And he does! Just not in a good way. I am boiling STEAMING mad. what the X'hall Lobdell. Granted the amount of people who care about Jason Todd can be counted on... a finger maybe? But what did you do to Starfire and Roy? Granted Roy's been kinda messed up recently but shouldn't the reboot fix this? No seriously isn't that the point of a reboot get back to basics make things interesting again? What really bothered me about Roy though comes because of Starfire.

I can't express the pure loathing I have for what was done to her.  Lets run down what happened instead of having a sexually liberated character with depth and personality... we get a sexbot. Take a look at this:

Look at theeeeeese

No backs don't bend like this but look at my boobs.

The artist is blatantly objectifying Star here posing her in the most ridiculous ways. There is no logical reason for her to act this way other than to show off the goods. Which wouldn't be a problem if Star was actually taking charge of her sexuality instead of being used in a subplot that is quite obviously a fanfic gone wrong.

Someone out there is going to call me a prude or say that I'm slut shamming. Not true, Starfire has always been a sexual character, that has trouble with the concept of clothing, but this gets skeevy real quick. Take a look at Roys's face after Jason informs him about Kory's apparent problem telling humans apart and "short attention span," which by the way, is the dumbest crap ever, but back to Roy's creep face. Seriously your reaction to an old friend not remembering  her time being a hero with you and your friends is "I'm gonna tap that," Any concern that he does show a page later is thrown out the window as soon as Starfire asks "do you want to have sex with me"

The character assassination of Starfire completes itself however when she says the only thing you [Roy] needs to know about Tamaranean sex is that love has nothing to do with it.


Here let me show you what Starfire thinks about love:

 Yea thats a girl who cares nothing about love. Oh and look she was sexually open too what exactly was wrong with this? It seems to be everything you wanted only not creepy.

Oh and about forgetting her friends and Dick (Dick Grayson the love of her life, pervs) in particular :

Yea I don't buy that either.  Frankly this book confirms what been hinted at last week Scott Lobdell couldn't accurate write, create, or in any way represent a compelling, well rounded, engaging character if one jumped in front of him and "hey write about me"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top Pick: Fear Itself Book 6

Woo Boy was this a tough choice. It came down to two this week and I had to read each three times before I made my choice. The other contender by the way was Ultimate Comics Spiderman. At the end I had to give it to Fear itself book six. Despite how awesome and excited I am by the new Spiderman, Miles Morales (and Bendis has hooked me already);  It was Fear Itself and its awesome character moments that hooked me in the end. Quick recap: The world is gripped in fear as The Serpent lays waste to everything with his worthy. The Serpent, by the way, is Odin sealed away brother who may or may not be rightful king of the norse gods.  Oh and the serpent is winning big time.

We open this issue with our heroes in retreat, Spiderman has left the field of battle, Captain America's shield has been broken, and Thor is down. His broken body carried by the Avengers through the destruction of New york to their asgard portal.

This is where the sheer weight of awesome character moments begin. On the other side of the portal Captain America calls Odin out. A mortal gets right into a god's face, basically calls him a coward, and demands he heal Thor so they can get back to fighting his war.
After being flustered for a while Odin gets tired of this and banish everyone but Thor back to earth.  Here we learn the bravado Steve just showed is because of his fear of loosing, things are so bad that he believes earth needs to be evacuated. Apparently even with the ridiculous amount of super science in comic books this is a daunting task.

While this is going on Peter is desperately searching for Aunt May giving us this touching page:

Back on Asgard  Odin is healing Thor and they have a Father son moment where Odin ask Thor to stand down and Thor tells Odin he wasn't raised to sacrifice a world for himself leading to this wonderful line of dialogue:

The elephant in the room about wither or not, Odin or the Serpent, is the real All-father comes up. Instead of Answering Odin gives Thor a Big honking sword.

We switch to Iron Man who has been working on weapons to fight off the serpent and his horde of worthy. In the forges of asgard he has made a godly weapon for each avenger... only to complete them he has to jump into molten lava?  Tony says it best

The getting ready wo stand against the serpent and his remaining Worthy alone.

So I don't know how Matt Fraction concentrates such pure awesomeness in 22 pages but he does it. In this issue we have a completely Bad Ass (yes with a capital B and A) Captain America, who even though knows that this is a hopeless situation, still fights to his last. We have a touching scene with May and peter that carries such weight even though the moment was so short and then we get the heart of the book and really the story itself with the relationship between Thor and Odin. Here we have a father and son who I feel understand each other but they want completely different things.  Odin is afraid of loosing everything he has and apparently Thor most of all. Thor is afraid of loosing his adopted world and willing to die for it (which if the prophesy comes true he will). 

52 round up

I knew this was coming. I had hoped that the DC reboot would stay either “I don’t care,” or really good, like it was lat week , but its here the week DC started to piss me off. I’ll start with the good and hopefully when I get to the actually small things that bugged me I won’t be as mad.

Even though it’s a reboot apparently most of Geoff Johns Green Lantern stuff is still in cannon I say apparently cause I checked out of Green Lantern for the last year so I’m lost. ( I thought the reboot was to avoid things like that) Anyway I brought this up because I find it ridiculously funny that Hal “ I have sex in space” Jordan is so down on his luck that he asks his girlfriend to co-sign the lease for his new car. Also Sinestro’s a GL again and hates it but whatever.

In Batman and Robin we find out Bruce is still a maladjusted man-child and Damian is a big a brat as ever. We get it their both 12. Note this is not a criticism it really made me smile, although I don’t think Bruce being all “my parents are dead but I’m getting over it” was supposed to be a Narmy as it was.

Batwoman #1. My god this book its one of my honorable mentions this week. For the art alone this book deserves all the awards. ALL OF THEM. Every line is gorgeous. Seriously I want to move to whichever state will allow me to marry the art, Massachusetts or Utah or somewhere.  The story was there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. Kate Kane still missing Rene, but putting herself back out there. Kate Training Bette to be her partner. The creepy Weeping Woman villain and I think most of all that she’s territorial with Batman. This book rocks and will be a top read in this reboot.

Ok to the bad this week. Well the first one wasn’t that bad. Suicide Squad #1 was actually good except for one thing. Unexpectedly it wasn’t Harley Quinn’s new Stripper look. The character redesign that just came out of WTF left field was Amanda “the Wall” Waller. In DC’s need to create diversity they seemed to forget that diversity means more than Black people. It’s non-heteronormal people, its people with disabilities, and people of different body types. What possessed DC to change Large and in charge Waller to another cookie cutter impossible body type? I really want to know DC how was changing Amanda Relevant in any way?
This is not

This is Amanda Waller 

Superboy #1. I f you’re a close friend of mine you know the love I hold for Kon-el. In a short a sentence I can say he is my favorite comic book character. I jumped into the DC universe because of this character, so I knew was going to be extra critical about this book. Itried my best not to prejudge it and I think I was successful because my original thought was that it would aspire to be crap. I give Scott Lobdell this he came up with a decent enough plot the problem is he didn’t write a character I give a damn about.  Superboy was boring and despite everything told from his point of view I didn’t connect to him at all. Its actually the opposite problem of the last Superboy series where there were great characters but weak storylines.  Maybe once he has to deal with Titans and he actually makes something of a connection maybe a personality will develop. (that’s how these stories work right robot develops a heart through the powers of FRIENDS!) Damn I’m so disappointed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The New 52

Please note these reviews are not in depth and any history contained is extremely abridged. If you want more detailed information use Wikipedia like a normal person.

Two weeks ago DC re-launched there universe with Justice League #1. With a story by Geoff Johns and art by the fantastic Jim Lee this book that was to be the backbone to DC's new universe was sure to be amazing. Unfortunately it wasn't...at all. Don't get me wrong it’s not that the story was bad; the problem was it was average…painfully average. For something that had a lot of hype and two of the best creators DC has to offer working on it, I should have been wowed and I wasn’t. After all the trash and whining and moaning about what DC was doing I had hoped they would prove me wrong and they didn’t.

Honestly I didn’t want to be right I want the best from my comics. Then came last week and everything became …brighter. The first comic I read was Static Shock #1 and Scott McDaniel knocks it out the park.  I was worried about this book because Static means a lot to me. There are few African American heroes, fewer still that I actually truly become invested in. So as a kid when we get a young African American hero, one who is a bit of a science dork I was sold. I learned to use a VCR (what we used before DVD and DVR) to record episodes of Static Shock. So it was good to not only have Virgil back, but being completely awesome, lets just say I was smiling all through this book. 

Next up was Hawk and Dove, which I promptly dropped like it was on fire and sending anthrax through my system. I have no idea what went on in this book or if the story was good because as soon as I saw Rob Liefeld’s art I went into a seizure. Talking about Liefeld is not something I want to get into but I don’t understand how he still gets work. He can’t still be coasting by because of Cable and Deadpool can he? Whenever I see Liefeld’s art only one thing comes to mind:

Batgirl. This is probably the most controversial book in DC’s new 52. They took Barbra Gordon who had been in a wheelchair and acting as Oracle for years, and gave her back the ability to walk and put her back in the cape and cowl. Putting aside the fact that DC just lowered their diversity level again; I think Barbara was a better character as Oracle. Good thing for us the writer wading through this quagmire is Gail Simone. Thinks to Ms Simone’s excellent writing we pull through this, and while the reason for Barbara Walking again is glossed over as a miracle; the sharp writing, excellent characterization, and accurate portrayal of someone who has suffered a trauma made this something I will continue to pick up.

Batwing #1 By Judd Winnack was excellent. It really felt good to follow relatively new hero David Zavimbe as he fights corruption as a cop and  finds his way as Batman’s agent in Tinasha (which is a City in the democratic Republic of Congo). David is fierce and intuitive but also soft spoken. I don’t have the best grip on his character at the moment but I am guaranteed to find out more, because if this were a normal top pick post, this would be at the top. I’m can’t wait for this to continue.

As this new universe continues and we get more and more triumph (and occasional stumbles) I know that I still have excellent stories in front of me. Its too bad the flagship wasn’t better but I think it suffers from the fact that just about everything coming from this new universe is being built up from that book. I hope that once it catches up to the rest of the new universe (everything in Justice League happens 5 years before everything else) that it will start being awesome.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Journey to Mystery 626.1

Before I get into the review check out below this post for my honorable mentions.

My top pick this week was Journey into Mystery #626.1.  If you're confused by the the weird numbering its because Marvel wanted to give readers a chance to jump onto a series they haven't been reading. The .1 usually aren't part of the current storyline or is separated in some way to catch readers up on what the story is about. For the most prat this works and this issue just does it well it gives us exposition of the story, but does so as a character study of who Loki is now and it doesn't talk down to us gives us some nuance and lets us make our decisions about Loki.

A little back story  first, yes these are the Norse gods from mythology, only difference is their is more history now thanks to being a comic icon since 1949. Recently Loki died trying to protect Asgard from a calamity of his own making. Because of a deal he made with Hela to strike his name from the book of the dead breaking his cycle of death and rebirth. Thor found his brothers soul and brought him to life only now he is a child without out his years of villainy weighing him down. A child that does not understand why everyone seems to hate him. 

So in an attempt to understand every one's thoughts about him he summons a eldritch creature called a teller.  And one by one he listen in to the whispered conversations about him. From the warriors three who had celebrated Loki's downfall and lament Thor's decision to return Asgard's bane among them especially when Thor has suffered at his hands more than anyone. It is the conversation between lady Sif and Brunhilde (also known as Valkyrie) that raises the question about Loki we all should be asking:
Why is Loki still here? It is what bothers readers we're wondering if this is all one big scheme of Loki's another of his manipulations. Rodi, the writer of this comic, has kept things ambiguous about Loki.  We do not know his motivations. The fact that he is a kid now gnaws at my heart strings (I love Kid Loki) and I want to believe that he really has good intentions, he's still Loki mater of the long game (unless of course he's not anymore). Coming up he hears a conversation between Odin and Heimdall on what to do with Loki when Odin insists that he will not abandon any of his children despite Loki is not of his blood.

The teller now asks Loki if he wishes to hear what Thor says about him and Loki replies:

I love this scene look at Loki's face everyone has been talking bad about him bad his back and he's afraid of what Thor actually thinks about him. After this things quickly degenerate as the Teller seeks his payment some complicated metaphysics crap about taking Loki's story before it comes to pass. As the Teller attacks him Loki calls out for Thor who quickly arrives (he was on his way already) and banishes the creature. The comic ends with a touching scene between the two siblings where Thor tells Loki that he has to be patient, that trust and even affection will come from the rest of Asgard and that he'll protect him till it does.

This really was the top comic this week, I really love child Loki and the direction they are taking with the character and the question of can you trust someone who has lied their entire life? Can you really get a second chance to be better than you were? I think the panel were Loki is worrying over what Thor thinks of him is very telling and I love how the artist makes it clear that Loki isn't speaking the truth. The adult Loki would have spun a silver tale that we would only figure out at the last moment. This Loki doesn't have that experience he isn't a liar and a villain. Clever? yes. A trickster? yes. Is he hiding things from us? Oh yea. However that's in his nature as the kind of god he is I don't think he can help being secretive, but there is uncertainty there and so much love for his brother and I fear the time when adult Loki comes back because I love the dynamics of this character. So till next time this is the geeksplorer signing off.

This weeks honorable mentions

Before I get to the review proper this week let me give out some Honorable mentions first goes to Amazing Spider-Man #688. Dan Slott is continuing to rock his run on spider-man with this event. Basically everyone in Manhattan is developing spider powers and every two-bit street criminal is donning a spider-man costume and causing havoc. Since Peter can't be spider-man at the moment without running the risk of his Avenger teammates knocking him out he puts out the call to his fellow New Yorkers to be heroes and boy do they respond.

The next honorable mention goes to New Mutants #30. Theres no nice way to put this the new mutants have gone to hell. This was a good issue especially for a comic that I resented for existing when it first started. One of the new mutants teammates Danni Moonstar went to Hel (note the one L its important)  to seek the help of the Death Goddess Hela because of stuff happening in another comic. The reason I giving this a good rating is because of Mephisto. 

Seriously I like that he is so Affably Evil (or is that Evilly Affable) instead of a Complete Monster that I laughed every time he was the focus this comic is worth the price of admission. Next up the winner for my top pic this week  Journey to Mystery 626.1