Monday, June 29, 2009's JLA Scoop

Rich Johnston is reporting on DC planning to make Vixen the focus of one of the JLA titles, once they get to launch the Johns/Lee Justice League of America run (which will be the book boasting Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman).
My take, as posted in his comments section:
1. The previous times they had multiple JLA series, they were all filled with B Teams of heroes, for the most part. JL/JLI had Batman for a short time. They were successful despite having characters that generally couldn't keep their own series afloat (Booster, Beetle, Capt Atom, etc).
2. Other times when they have followed the "start with Big Seven, then begin diluting and replacing with minor characters", there was only one series and it became known to fans as JLDetroit. They had to add Batman back to the fold in a desperate move to boost sales, but it was too little too late.
3. This seems like, potentially, one of the best ways to try to popularize minor characters through the JLA brand. If Robinson stays on a JLA title after Johns gets his (or another writer that Johns has an excellent working relationship with), I can really see enough interweaving of stories and characters to help keep the B Team version from scraping the bottom of the sales barrel, much the same way that Johns/Robinson/Rucka/Gates have managed to have their tide raise all boats in the Superman titles.
I think this could work out really well, as I imagine even the title with the "Big Three" will have some "minor" characters peppered in. This bodes well for some underused characters that never really met their potential getting a chance to showcase in BOTH of the JLA titles. If Johns' run on JSA shows us anything, it is that he loves to reach back for old characters/legacies and reach forward for some, as well (Magog, Starman, etc). Robinson has shown a flair for the eclectic selection as well, given his Cry For Justice line up. Congorilla? C'mon...who can't get jazzed to see what off-the-wall pick either writer is going to strike gold with?

Friday, June 26, 2009

At Least Somebody's Lowering Prices...



Los Angeles, CA (June 29, 2009) – In a focused effort to give new readers an opportunity to discover Archaia’s unique library of titles, the publisher announced today a program to offer one new hardcover every quarter for the recession-friendly price of $9.95. Kicking off the venture will be the Vol. 1 hardcover collection of the acclaimed science-fiction thriller mini-series, The Engineer: Konstrukt, which will be available this August.

Keeping with Archaia’s tradition of publishing high-quality, high-concept titles, The Engineer: Konstrukt, co-created by Brian Churilla and Jeremy Shepherd, tells the story of a reluctant hero who frantically races to defeat an ancient creature eating away at the very fabric of space and time. To do so, he must travel across dimensions and put together the scattered pieces of the Konstrukt, an old-world technology that allows the user to manipulate reality itself.

Dave Baxter from Broken Frontier says, “The Engineer: Konstrukt is yet another out-of-the-park homerun hit for Archaia…the story is very, very fun [and] wholly entertaining.”

“In the great tradition that [Publisher] Mark [Smylie] started back in 2002, Archaia is still fully committed to bringing our fans the best quality product from cover to cover. And now with the $9.95 quarterly hardcovers, we are providing the best product for the best value,” boasted PJ Bickett, Archaia President. “We are very fortunate that scheduling allowed us to start this program with The Engineer. Churilla and Shepherd are an amazing team and the book is just pure entertainment from start to finish!”

Archaia plans to release the next $9.95 hardcover in the fourth quarter of 2009. That title will be announced at a later date.

The Engineer: Konstrukt Ordering Information

To see a preview of The Engineer: Konstrukt, visit
Diamond Item Code MAY090650
ISBN: 1932386548
ISBN-13: 9781932386547
The Engineer: Konstrukt contains mild violence and is recommended for ages 10 and up.

About Archaia

Founded in 2002, Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds. With a slate including such popular Eisner-Award winning titles as Mouse Guard and The Killer, as well as Awakening, Gunnerkrigg Court, Robotika, Killing Pickman, Artesia and the Publisher’s latest additions of Titanium Rain, God Machine,Roddenberry Productions’ Days Missing, and The Jim Henson Company library, Archaia has become synonymous with quality content. For more information on Archaia or any Archaia titles please visit

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

After hearing all the horrible reviews, I still wound up going to see it. Those reviews normally lead me to enjoy a movie more, due to setting expectations low. Since I was already not expecting much, those reviews dug out the basement to establish a new all-time low. That pretty much saved the movie for me.

For instance, I've heard the film dragged. For me, while I could see a lot that should have been left on the editing room floor, it never really made me want the film to pick up the pace. There have been complaints about not being able to differentiate between many of the Transformers, it was much improved over the last film and, where there would be confusion, there's really nothing that can be done to prevent the issues.

The one issue that there's no getting around, however, are the racially stereotyped "Twins". Two Autobots that could genuinely be considered the "Step & Fetchit" of modern day flicks. Gold teeth, slang and the whole nine yards. The problem, though, is the lack of an actually assigned race to machines. In many current movies, if you slap that particular set of characteristics on to a non-black character, you generally get a bunch of people laughing and no one crying foul. So we have "raceless" machines with these traits. That's where they obviously thought they'd be OK, but clearly where they cause their problems. Without an assigned race, interpretation will revert back to the race that the stereotype is about.

For what it's worth, though, the audience in this showing was of diverse ethnic backgrounds and the laughs at the antics of the Step & Fetchit twins were loudly coming from all over the theater. So whether actual mainstream America will make an issue of this or it will just stay with the critics and the talking heads remains to be seen.

The other noticeable bit was the generous helping of profane language. I'm not a prude, but you hear so many curse words coming from a flick that, from my understanding, is supposed to aiming for kids as well as adults, each time one pops up, it grabs your attention. Fuck, shit, asshole and pussy all wind up getting thrown around liberally.

One or both of those issues will be grabbed by a conservative values group to make hay over, I believe. I doubt that aspect will really have a negative effect on the film. I can respect the racial one being strongly objected to. But when it comes to the "I can't let my kid watch that" crowd, they generally need to realize that vetting stuff for their child's viewing is their job as a parent. On top of that, companies need to realize that those who protest on these sorts of things are often not the consumer it was made for to begin with, so they're not losing patronage of their product.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Alex Segura says, "Lovely Francis Manapul art always makes Monday go by faster, no?"


Knowing that Geoff Johns is writing something that teams Connor & Tim up in Adventure Comics #3 speeds it up even further. That's my new desktop wallpaper right there.

Bagley On JLA Part Dos

OK, the finished promo cover for the start of Bagley's run on JLA has increased by eagerness to see it start, similar to thinking more about Robinson being more plugged into the major moves in the DCU has gotten me geeked for it.

Jim Henson Company Forms Publishing Partnership with Archaia



Hollywood, CA (June 22, 2009) –The Jim Henson Company and Archaia announced today that they have entered into a partnership that will publish comic books and graphic novels based on popular Henson titles as well as new co-branded original properties.

The multi-year partnership will draw from The Jim Henson Company’s extensive film and television library, including Fraggle Rock,The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Mirrormask, The Storyteller and other titles. The agreement also allows The Jim Henson Company and Archaia to partner with talent in the comic book, television and film industries to create brand-new stories under a co-branded banner, building on the legacy of quality and creativity of The Jim Henson Company brand and strengthening Archaia’s relationships within the entertainment sector.

“Some of the best storytellers in the world are flocking to comic books and graphic novels, making them the foremost platform for innovative and imaginative storytelling,” said Joe LeFavi, Director of Publishing and Development at The Jim Henson Company and who will serve as story editor on all the books. “Archaia has always epitomized artistic integrity, and their passion and support for our brands ensure that fans will receive the very best from the properties they know and love as well as from the new stories we will tell.”

“This is a truly groundbreaking agreement, as it is not just a licensing deal but a partnership in every sense of the word,” said Stephen Christy, Archaia’s Director of Development. “To work with the entire Jim Henson Company and with new talent to create the next generation of Jim Henson Company fan favorites is an unprecedented opportunity, and a dream come true for all of us at Archaia. Creating comics that become a part of the incredibly rich Jim Henson Company legacy is an exciting challenge, and I think fans will share our excitement when they see the talent we’re bringing in to help make these comics a reality.”

Representatives from Archaia and Henson will announce creative teams and a release schedule for the initial slate at San Diego Comic-Con International, with the first title tentatively scheduled for winter 2009.

About The Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include “Sid the Science Kid”, and “Pajanimals”. Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables.” Television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.” With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot, complete with soundstage and postproduction facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson's Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state of the art and vintage equipment. The Company is currently in production on 40 episodes of “Dinosaur Train,” an animated preschool series teaching concepts of natural science and history, set to debut on PBS KIDS in fall 2009. The Company’s Henson Alternative brand continues to produce “Puppet Up! - Uncensored,” a live puppet improvisational show that runs monthly at the Avalon Hollywood. The Company has also announced the creation of Jim Henson Designs, a merchandise collection inspired by Jim Henson’s earliest sketches, and The Jim Henson Company: Discoveries, an acquisitions banner that celebrates outstanding third party produced independent film, television and video productions from around the globe embodying the Company’s enduring

About Archaia

Founded in 2002, Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds. With a slate including such popular Eisner-Award winning titles as Mouse Guard and The Killer, as well as Awakening, Gunnerkrigg Court, Robotika, Killing Pickman, Artesia and the Publisher’s latest additions Titanium Rain, God Machine and Gene Roddenberry Productions’ Days Missing, Archaia has become synonymous with quality content. For more information on Archaia or any Archaia titles please visit

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Robinson On JLA Part Deux

The more I think about this, the more I like his being on the book. Sure, Geoff Johns would have hyped me up a little more...and I'm sad at the revelation that Rucka was going to do a second JLA series but it seems dead.

But what was one of the worst things that happened to McDuffie? He had to keep changing his stories because of what other writers were planning for rather big events.

Robinson is in that inner circle. Changes won't be taking him by surprise as much. The product, therefore, will suffer less.

I will say, though, that what McDuffie went through seemed to be some old concerns coming home to roost. When the 52 writers were being given the reigns of DC with new status and titles, some said that anyone not up on the pedestal with them might find things unbearably restrictive. Look at a lot of the books out there and you can see where writers not in the clique are dropping off projects to some extent.

And look at Sean McKeever back at Marvel. McKeever had the misfortune of being tied to the anti-52, COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS. Certainly not a part of the in-crowd at DC, he's recently parted ways with the main TEEN TITANS book, gone off exclusive (which he claims was repeatedly offered to be extended) and is placed on a Marvel title that seems to be part of the constant event cycle over there. He, also, seems well suited to write it, given both his success with SPIDERMAN LOVES MARY JANE and GRAVITY.

I think one of the biggest mistakes DC has made in recent years is hiring talented writers and then pressing them into writing stuff that doesn't play to their strengths. McKeever on Teen Titans? Seemed like a no-brainer...until it turned out it had to take a darker turn for what management had planned. McDuffie on JLA, after his great work on JLU? Self-contained single episode stories from JLU meet only telling partial bits related to someone else's story and not being able to set a tone to stick to consistently.

One way or another, I think their recent moves will lead to better books. I can't tell you whether it is that the writers are being matched to their strengths or if DC is giving them more of a say in where the stories go, but the end result will be the same: general improvement. Shame they had to piss away and make miserable a handful of other writers before coming to this point, though.

The Real Captain America #600 Hype

The alternate universe Bucky (albeit of the wrong gender) is leading the US Open. Obviously, the big promotion was about the soon-to-be new Nomad appearing in the comic and being publicized by rigging events at Bethpage Black to have Ricky Barnes in the lead all weekend.

Spotted On Twitter...

One comic book company that Rich Johnston had previously reported on having difficulty paying their creators held a party at Wizard World Philly. This led to a few artists on Twitter wondering how ethical it is to throw an unnecessary party while leaving very necessary creators unpaid.

When it was later revealed that said company was having a contest where the hottest girl at the party would get a trip to San Diego Comic Con on "their dime", one of the artists stated that he was pretty sure the company had "negative 6000000 dimes".

My crystal ball says that Rich Johnston will be getting a pile of new e-mails from ticked off creators owed money by zee company.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Schwapp Book Review: PACIFY ME

Those of you who have followed the blog since its launch might remember a review I did on a collection of shorts by comedian/writer/director/etc Chris Mancini. It was a very positive review. That experience led me to receive a review copy of his new book about impending doom and the aspects of fatherhood that take place after the doom has settled in. I've really wanted to get a review up on this weeks ago, but all of a sudden found myself having much less time to read than expected. So it is with apologies that I'm just getting to this now.

In reading this book, despite not having children or anticipating any news of some on the way, I immediately felt that I was smack dab in the middle of the audience it was targeted towards. There are so many references to genres I follow (sci-fi, comics, etc) that it I swear I could see the red dot of a laser sight right on my chest. The sex talk, jokes, jokes about sex and assorted other "guy talk" stuff casts a wider net that I just so happen to fall into, as well.

Mancini still manages to keep the focus on the many stages of fatherhood he's experienced thus far. All of the above references and angles I mentioned occur naturally within the course of relating his story to the reader. While there are a few times where you can clearly see an attempt to go for the funny, it never distracts from the topic at hand. In fact, there are relatively few times where you can see effort being made as much as you can just get the laugh.

But it is, also, a refreshingly open and honest book. Mancini talks about how the anxiety over having a child can stem from it being a lifestyle change that you're committed to for life. He shares how much time passed after his daughter's birth before he was struck with the love that many others describe manifesting the first moment you see your child.

I have to be honest: as Chris Mancini is a stand-up and comic writer, I really didn't expect the book to be this revelatory or sage; I just expected the funny. But I'll be damned if it didn't eventually sneak up on me that I was reading an actual practical handbook for new dads disguised as a humor book. Well, it actually says "a handbook for the freaked-out new dad" on the front cover, but that could have just been part of the gag...

Another bit of a confession: I had expected that the book would lose me a bit after it got out of the pre-birth anxiety chapters. My thinking was that us non-parents can definitely understand the panic of a child coming into your life, but not so much the day-to-day stuff that comes after their arrival. I don't know if I underestimated myself or the author, but everything from daycare selection to baby-proofing still managed to draw me in.

Now, I'd love to say that this would be a great Father's Day gift for a father that has actually seen his first child enter the world. Problem is: I'm not quite qualified to make that judgement. I strongly believe that that established dads will enjoy the book for its humor, wisdom and common sense as much as I enjoyed the opening chapters that dealt with how childless man tends to see parenthood. I didn't need Mancini to tell me that the panic about fatherhood is it being the ultimate commitment, but I sure enjoyed reading his take on it. So, I'd imagine, a father with several years under his belt will still enjoy all the parts warning about how hormonal the mother will be, even if they've been there and done that.

As often is said regarding many forms of entertainment: it's all in the execution. PACIFY ME is meant to entertain and advise. It does this job perfectly and would highly recommend it to a lot of guys out there, especially ones that are taking time out of their day to read a blog that mainly covers comic books and movies as, if you'll look down slowly, there's the red beam of a laser sight...

(blurry cell phone photos as an answer to a concern the author had regarding his book being displayed at book stores; indeed, it was out as part of a "Dads & Grads" display at Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago)

I Wish I Still Lived In Los Angeles

The comics legend is signing
Batman and Robin and his new book, Final Crisis!

Los Angeles – June 17th, 2009 - It is time to break brains and separate souls!

It is time to weave wonder and leave mouths agape in the wake of impenetrable accents and extraordinary ideas! It is time for YOU to return to MELTDOWN, because the Scottish swami Grant Morrison is returning to grace us with his presence and give us mere cave dwellers our first bouts of intellectual fire! Are you going to allow the microphone to be dominated with the weeping milk-tears of egg-handed fools who will simply rehash old discussions of the Talmud of Mr. Tawky Tawny or shall we look towards a brighter day to come and inquire after new scripts, songs, fashions and fabulations?

If you consider yourself a worthwhile nerd, a good geek, a fascinating fan of freak fiction, then do us a favor and start formulating your questions now so that we can extract as much information about our favorite characters and series, old and new, and even if for a moment transcend our mortal coil to a dream world of comical capes and quizzical chimpanzees. Come complete the circle and revel in the impossible.

CLIVE BARKER will hold a brief conversation with GRANT MORRISON before the signing. Copies of Mr. Morrison’s latest literary luncheons, Final Crisis HC + Batman and Robin #1, will be on sale. That same day is the release of Batman and Robin # 2. Buy one (or 3) of these 3 books and get into the event in the Meltdown Gallery.

Sadly, no outside items will be allowed due to time constrain on the talent. But don’t despair! Refreshments and music will also be provided.


WHY: Signing Batman and Robin and his latest Hard Cover Book, Final Crisis!

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, JULY 1st, 2009 - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

WHERE: Meltdown Comics, 7522 SUNSET BLVD, L.A., CA, 90046



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Robinson/Bagley On JLA

The Source blog announced that James Robinson and Mark Bagley will be working on Justice League of America starting in August. While not my dream team, I can definitely see some great advantages in their pairing on the book.

Robinson is basically immersed in all the big events going on at DC through his collaborations with Geoff Johns on the Superman books and Blackest Night: Superman, not to mention always having the potential to put together something great.

Bagley is fast and still manages to turn out some of the better artwork out there. I wonder what his work would be like if allowed more time to breathe and grow, but I'll definitely take it as is.

It isn't a pairing that made my jaw drop the second I heard about it. But it is a pairing that my excitement for is growing as it sinks in.

Whiteout Teaser Trailer

Friday, June 12, 2009

Football Friday

Just a few quick statements and links to stories I'm following during the NFL's neverending season of rumors and news.
Regardless of how the team plays this year, I'm confident that the Jets picked the right head coach from the options they had. I'll take Rex Ryan over some guy trying to do a Bill Belicheck impersonation without nearly the same resume.
Brett Favre lied to the Jets about retiring for good. No, I don't mean he changed his mind. I mean he was already working with the Vikings to become their new quarterback while he was still officially on the Jets roster. Tampering charges should be filed and might lead to the Jets getting a pick from the Vikings.
Michael Vick...sigh...the only player who has seen their off-season coverage rival and sometimes dwarf Favre's. Looks like he has so few potential suitors in the NFL that he might need to go play in the UFL for a season before making it back to the bigs.
ESPN has the player ratings for Madden 10. This link is for the top-rated by position, but searching the site can get you your whole favorite team's stats. I still lament the NFL lettin EA have an exclusive. The ESPN 2K NFL was a superior game.
There are so many other little things going on that I'm, also, following. As you can tell, I pretty much just go to the ESPN NFL Nation blogs for my updates. They have someone covering every division in the NFL daily, even during the off-season.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So, I Thought I'd Pass, But Then...

DC Comics announced a Red Tornado mini-series. Put me even more in the "because no one demanded it" crowd than most people have been on Magog.
I bought the Red Tornado mini-series back in the 80s, largely because he was a Super Powers action figure (if I recall correctly). I remember it looking real nice, but boring me to tears. Which is basically the way I've felt about every other sustained appearance by Red Tornado since.
No way I'd buy this one.
Then I saw that JG Jones has designed at least one of the new "android family" characters being introduced and, well, I'm probably buying it. Even if it looks like JG used MS Paint to add the cracks to Red Volcano.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Complaints About Comic Book Adaptations

Seeing some of the reaction to the Whiplash/Rourke pic elsewhere (not you, LangerLord), it has become clear to me that I'm more forgiving of a few changes made here and there than a large chunk of the comic book fan population. And that chunk? Clearly has lost touch with reality.
They can't understand why Hollywood can't leave things the way they were in the comic book. Why amalgamate villain A and villain B into one character? Couldn't they just spend more time making villain A a compelling character on their own rather than mushing it with villain B? Why couldn't they keep the costume?
Why combine two characters? Because it's quicker and easier, usually, in the cases where it's done. Movies don't always have enough time to completely build up a character the same way they were in the books. If merging two characters makes for a more appealing product for the masses, they're going to do it.
Little shortcuts like that have been used for decades with prose novels. Somehow, a majority of readers have been able to come to terms with it in that area.
Is it really a crime against comics if Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo are mixed together in this movie? Are you kidding me? In Spike Lee's X, at least three REAL PEOPLE were amalgamated into one character in the film. REAL LIFE, PEOPLE! Fictional characters deserve better? Give me a break.
As for costumes...have you really tried to picture what some of those costumes would actually look like on film? None of Whiplash's costumes would be a good thing to see on the big screen.
With everything else Favreau and company have gotten right with Iron Man (read: all the more important elements), you'd think the fanboy sharks wouldn't be circling in the water like this...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Iron Man 2: Mickey Rourke As Whiplash

Found on USA Today.

Speaking Of Hilarious

Forgive me if you don't like Olbermann, but the repeated slow-mo of the Brett Michaels Exit Stage Epic Fail is the best version I could find.

Monday, June 08, 2009

You Got Served

Summer Movies Thus Far

Lately, I haven't been able to get to preview screenings due to my schedule being filled at night these days. That doesn't mean I have failed to see the newest movies...just that I haven't felt the urge to blog about them right away since they'd only go up after they debut now. I have some time, so I thought I'd give my opinion on what I've seen.

X-Men: Origins: Wolverine

Stepping away from it as a comic fan, it wasn't a half-bad summer-popcorn-action flick. There are several things that have been changed from comic continuity, but you have to go in expecting that these days. Not because it NEEDS to be changed, but because Hollywood ALWAYS feels compelled to make changes. The movie has moments of comic relief and quite a bit of action. I was personally happy that they included Wolverine's being nearly immortal (as in he's been stuck in his 30s since at least WWI or WWII, from the looks of it). What we saw of Deadpool towards the end of the movie was a bastardization of the existing character, but 1) it's a summer-popcorn-action flick, not the latest issue of a Marvel comic and b) there are questions as to whether that's actually Deadpool. It's by no means a perfect movie, but it isn't the steaming pile that so many myopic comic readers have accused it of being.

Star Trek

Hands down, the best summer action movie at this point in the release schedule. The characters pull you right into the story and the action keeps you from breaking your attention away. I understand that there are a number of old school Trek fans that are livid about the reboot, despite the fact that it is treated as an alternate history. If you follow science regarding the possibilities of time travel, the most dominant theory is that any change in the past creates a fork in the river of time. The two branches go forward: one being history as we knew it and the other being the left turn we forced it to take. So the new can co-exist with the old.
Yikes, for wanting to really just address the quality of the movies, I sure am dealing with fanboy complaints too much.


What a beautiful movie. I don't get the people that say this succeeds where WALL-E failed, because a) I saw no failure in that flick and 2) there's no reason to tear one down to praise the other. If you watch this movie and don't feel your eyes well up a time or two, you have no heart. It's a love story and not just of the romantic kind. See the movie and you'll get what I mean.

Land of the Lost

I wasn't some great fan of the TV show. I caught a few episodes as a kid and didn't find myself moved to change the channel away from it. So I went into this flick with far fewer expectations and demands than someone who spent many Saturdays glued to the set watching it. For what it's worth, I enjoyed the flick on a purely "Will Ferrell and Danny McBride riffing" level. It worked on East Bound & Down and it entertains here. While not being worthy of box office blockbuster numbers, it isn't a waste of the price of admission, either.

The Hangover

Hilarious. Deserving of the R rating and it's very successful weekend. Bradley "That Guy From Wedding Crashers" Cooper leads the cast, but Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis (I spelled that without looking it up) match him at every step. The cringe humor involving Zach's character really helped bring the funny. A few of the bigger laughs are actually in a credit sequence that the cast frames at the end of the flick. I'm going to give some thought to catching this a second time.

Angels & Demons

I wasn't a huge fan of DaVinci Code, but decided to give this a shot anyway. Less Audrey Tautou makes a film less good. In many ways, the plot was better and you felt more tension in their race to decode all of the clues, but it wound up being predictable at the same time. Ron Howard is a much better director than Dan Brown is a writer, it would appear...because it is clear his touches are what made either of the films enjoyable.

Terminator Salvation

While I felt the flick disappointed, dragging on in parts and found lacking in the tried & true chase formula of previous installments, I didn't feel any regret for spending my money on a ticket. It was enjoyable, despite not living up to expectations. I became a little more frustrated with it when I found that Christian Bale diva'd his way into screwing up the flick, though. But's a good, not great, film that continues the Terminator mythos. It succeeds when the Terminator hybrid is on screen and flounders when he is not.

Night at the Museum II

I felt this suffered from being more of the same we encountered in the first flick. Whereas the original had the benefit of being a fresh idea, this one didn't really seem to get past being a retread. There's only so many big man jokes Owen Wilson can make about Ben Stiller before you hope he dies gasping for air under a mountain of sand. This is where it clearly embraces being a family film: kids can watch the same schtick over and over and over without necessarily getting bored.

Still hoping to get out to see Drag Me To Hell soon. I'll probably see the latest Potter, but there's nothing left this summer that I can really say I'm looking forward to.
How about you?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

DC Comics: Blackest Night In August

I've been slacking on the blog, lately. I can't really blame it on work getting in the way, because I've done more blogging with a much more hectic schedule. Regardless, I'm planning on making this a daily thing again starting now.

With that out of the way, I' work. Waiting for the project to get under way, I figured I'd compose an entry via e-mail. Stupid internet filters keeping me from Blogger. Images will follow the text entry and be corrected to go with each proper entry later this evening.

In August, DC is dominated by Blackest Night. This brings no complaints from me, as I've been looking forward to it for a long time. As we're discussing solicitations, you don't want to read further if you want to remain completely unspoiled. Nothing outside of what is in the solicitations will be stated.

Blackest Night: Superman #1

The Shane Davis cover is a striking image and a bit unexpected for me. Jonathan Kent isn't THIS Superman's dad, so I wouldn't necessarily expect that would be a target of his. The interiors are going to be by Eddy Barrows, which isn't everyone's favorite choice, but I think he'll exceed expectations. For all the grief I've given James Robinson for his writing since returning, I've been converted to a believer again. The World of Krypton stuff is reading very nicely. I'll give him a mulligan on that Atlas arc from this point on and try not to bring it up again.

Blackest Night: Titans #1

While I'm not thrilled with the proliferation of tie-in mini-series for this event, JT Krul has supposedly been consulting Geoff Johns on this (meaning it may avoid being a completely unnecessary riff) and has shown a lot of enthusiasm in his interviews. I would have to say I'm more concerned about Ed Benes on the book. His habit of posing characters for excessive T&A shots can be very distracting. I'm hoping he'll avoid doing that with a Black Lantern Terra.

Blackest Night: Batman #1

This mini screams of cash-in more than the other two, despite it being Peter Tomasi handling the scripts. I've been very impressed by his past work and he's obviously deep into the Blackest Night plans, having handled the run-up on the Green Lantern Corps series. But Deadman, "cries of the dead rising" and Black Lantern Flying Graysons, while possibly making for a good story, don't seem like they'll handle an intregal plot point for the event or move it forward in any noticeable way. I've yet to encounter any Adrian Saef artwork that I'm aware of, so that's a completely unknown quantity. I'd like to assume that putting him on a Blackest Night AND Batman book means he's a great talent...but I've been burned by that sort of thinking before. I'll still pick this up on the strength of Tomasi's previous work.

Blackest Night #2

Yeah...vague solicitation. Almost no point in having one: it has nothing to sell the issue in it and, honestly, doesn't need to anyway. At this time, retailers are aware this is going to be something big and their existing customers have already communicated in some way what their level of interest is in the book. The only thing that would necessitate a solicitation would be to express that some Spider-Man unmasking or Captain America catching a bullet with his chest level stuff is going to happen. Maybe if this was Marvel, it would have just read "Nuff Said!" and been done with it.

Green Lantern #45

While the idea of seeing the non-green factions go at each other (rather than this being driven completely by the Guardians' gang) piques my interest, zombie Sinestro Corps cannon fodder doesn't. I'm not complaining, because we've certainly known that not every Black Lantern was going to be a marquee character. Just saying it does nothing to amp my excitement to see the issue. Then again, with Geoff Johns & Doug Mahnke on it...I didn't really need to be amped further. The John Stewart/Katma Tui bit is worth looking forward to, assuming they can give it the space it needs to be effective.

Green Lantern Corps #39

In what may seem contradictory, I am excited by the idea of Green Lanterns being revived in Black to go at their former colleagues. The reason is this: we know and care about many of the living Lanterns and even a few of the dead ones. There's not nearly as much emotional weight to a fallen Sinestro Corps member fighting against a live one, since we don't know them or their relationships nearly as well. I know some of them have been given personalities as Mongul was establishing his control of the group, but that's still far from where we stand with the GLC and its diseased members. I think Tomasi and Gleason tend to do "all hell breaking loose" pretty well, on top of that.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I Miss The Old Days

Used to be that you might find out about some new release way before most people, because Amazon had it posted up in advance by months.
Has Walking Dead Vol. 10 already been announced?
People knew about the Black Lightning Year One collection having a street date already, right?
The softcover version of All Star Superman Vol 2 being released isn't exactly news.
Everyone knew that a Legion of Three Worlds hardcover would follow not long after the mini completed.
Only the schiesty seller trying to get a sucker to buy Powers Vol 13 for $999.99 doesn't seem to know it will be shipping at the end of the year. Sadly, this seems to prevent people from pre-ordering.
I miss the old days.