Sunday, February 26, 2006

More on Spawn

Seems that I had a fair bit of traffic from my first mentioning of Spawn, so I feel it important to mention again. Also, I was drunk on Nyquil when I wrote it so it probably needs a more focused point.

I really don't know much about the character, beyond what the average comic book reader knows most likely. Most of what I know are from adaptations, so I'm pretty sure at least part of the story vanished in the conversion.

I like the concept of the character, and I'm drawn to the tragedy of his life as motivation for his actions. I think most of this is from the parallels with Batman. A lot of his poses and such that I have seen are very Batman like, down to his cape wraping around him in the wind.

I extend a question to the general public that may wander here: Is the comic worth reading? If it is, can I start from anywhere or is it best to start back with issue 1?

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Superhero teenage angst and their success

Superman has Smallville, and now they are putting together a teenage Aquaman show. Now, I write this without watching a single episode of Smallville, so try not to get too angry at me if I slip and bash it accidently. I've never watched it becuase it has no draw for me. I like Superman as a character, but angsty teenage drama doesn't appeal to me - I experienced enough in high school and college.

Aquaman, as random as it sounds, makes a bit of sense to be used as a basis for another show of this type. The big three - Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are the prime choices. Superman is taken already and has been a hit, and there's no rational reason to try to repeat the success of it by copying it with other people.

Wonder Woman is too focused of a story on her island as a kid. As far as I know, she didn't enounter any men until at least after her teenage years. There wouldn't be much potential for emotional stress of pains of heartbreak. Sure, a few episodes may be good at the start, but it would never last past a season.

Personally, I would have liked a show about Bruce Wayne. There is much potential there. Bruce is mortal, and we know he traveled around the world in his later teenage years. There is also a lot of angst and anger managment issues to play with, multiplied by his growing reputation as a ladies man. I know that a pilot was written and submitted, but eventually not produced - WB wanted to focus on Batman Begins, and I likes that they put so much work into that movie. However, I don't really agree that they should have chosen one in place of the other, becuase Batman Begins still didn't show his teenage years.

With Batman and Wonder Woman out of the picture, its up to the next popular ones on the slate - Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Flash. There are others with lesser over all popularity, but from what I know those three are basically the next set in popularity.

Green Lantern isn't a single hero, and the Green Lanterns didn't get their powers until they got the rings - meaning they can't have internal power struggles until they are older, so no teenage angst. That's not to say they don't have issues, just that they didn't get really important until they had their rings to bring them into important plot issues.

Originally the Flash didn't come into his powers until a science experament messed up and gave Barry Allen his super speed, as far as I know (forgive me if I have it wrong, I don't follow flash very well). Being an adult at that point, there is once again no teenage drama. Wally West is in the same boat I think. Kid Flash doesn't really have a reason to exist if the others are not already established, pretty much eliminating his chances. Besides, the Flash already had his shining moment as the short lived TV series (with Mark Hamill as the Trickster).

Leaving Aquaman, who aside from being the center of so many jokes, has the best chances. He's always had his powers, and more than likely felt ackward as a teenager becuase of them.

Now, I don't really have a feeling either way about the Aquaman show, just as I don't have an opinion about Smallville. I just felt like working through an observation. If the show is a success, more power to the execs at WB, but they shouldn't screw with continuity should they run into the chance to hit important plot points - or at least make sure its known it isn't canon.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Comic run 2-22-2006

Green Lantern #9
Wow...this was probably the best issue of this run I have read. I am a bit biased though, becuase I am a Batman fan. Batman talked a lot more than usual, but it seemed like he was trying to reach out to Hal. I personally felt that despite talking a lot, he was in character.

The dialogue between Hal and Bruce was great, as it showed the different outlooks to fighting crime and tactics. The moment when Batman used the ring was amazing, and the aftermath was pretty powerful. Very much a "Batman is so hardcore" moment for us Batman fans.

Also fun to note: Hal didn't trap the demoness tattoo when he was onslaughted by all the tattoos. That made me grin, just as Rayner butt-shots make fangirls grin.

Supergirl #5
As annoying as the title has been, this issue has probably been the least offensive to my brain. Finally Supergirl beat up Supergirl, instead of making the Justice League fight like fools.

The whole physical split thing didn't make a whole lot of sense, but it did serve as a plot device to give Supergirl a unified mind and knoweldge of what her place may be now. Also, as Kal point out in chat, Superman verbally smacked her down with why he is more powerful than her.

I'm still not sure if I like the title, mainly due to not really accepting Supergirl, yet. I'll still read it though, since Powergirl will begin appearing in it (I like her a lot better, so it will at least still be somewhat enjoyable).

Batman #650
I don't think it can get much more twisted than this issue. Finally Jason's motives make sense, kind of. Everything has boiled down to a very worst-case-senario type situation. Joker makes a great hostage, and the outcome is very much something Joker would manage to do.

Bruce will get even more nutty after this issue, I'm positive.

Catwoman #52
Selina is slipping off the deep end, and now there's no going back for her. Don't want to spoil the issue so I'm not going to talk much more about it since it is a pivitol issue.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Non-DC characters I really like, but know little about

There isn't any particular order to the order I'll list the characters other than how they come up in my head. I'll start out with the one I originally planned to write out before I considered turning it into a series of writings.
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I have never read a single issue of the comic, and have only flipped through a collected graphic novel a few random times. I have seen the live action movie a handful of times and think it is fairly decent for an adaptation based on what I know. I have watched a number of the HBO animated series episodes, but most were out of order I think. I consider Dark Saga as one of the best cds Iced Earth has produced.

I think it is the cd that really makes me like the series. Much of what I've seen isn't enough to really form a solid opinion, and it has also been a long time since I have seen anything of the other media.

Spawn's design is a little wacky for, well, spawn of Hell. The mask itself doesn't work for me, but that cape makes up for everything else. Probably it is a bleed off from my love for Batman, who also has shots of a giant windswept cape - except Batman's cape doesn't seem to have a mind of its own. The chains also make him look cool, but that is probably the whole idea behind his design.

What really hits me about the character is his story/origin. As dark and tragic it is, it is also really romantic to me. Simply put, the man who became Spawn was betrayed and killed. He then sold his soul to see his wife again. While he was dead, fate was twisted around to have his best friend and wife fall in love and move on without him, and become happy without him. The man gave up everything to see his wife, and that which he gave everything up to spoiled it all for him. Now he is cursed into the slavery of evil and tries his best to remain in control.

Like I said, most of what I feel about the character and story is based on Dark Saga, which is a heavy metal cd devoted entirely to Spawn. Out of all the cds by Iced Earth it is probably the most rounded and I can listen to the entire cd without much pain from disharmony. It also plays up the tragedy of the main character, and that is what I connect with the most.

If you're the least bit curious about the cd you can see it here, with samples.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

More on Batgirl

I seem to stuck on a tangent of Batgirl. Yes, I like her character a lot becuase she is so dynamic, and she has faults that really appeal to me.. So what am I going to ramble on about today? I just read a handful of back issues of Batgirl, and something stood out.

Cassandra can't enjoy a vacation, despite what Barbara treats her to. The male audience was treated as well, as Barbara forces her to wear a bikini. It's funny, but it matches her well style wise. Also, I don't know if it was intentional, but the color they chose to use for skin while out in the sun in the bathing suit made her look rather pale - and I liked that, but that's just my opinion.

It also made for some good moments of her looking evil thanks to her dislike of the situations (though part of that was Superboy, and his 'posturing' around her.). I really liked the shadows under her eyes when she handed the beachball over, as well as other similar moments.

Also was nice touch of her ripping her dress to provide a disguise. It stayed true to her mentality of operating firstly by resourcefulness. Though the dress looked good on her, and was no doubt expensive, she was more interested in keeping her fighting-persona a secret.

Didn't care too much for Superboy's part in the short plot arch. I'm used to the more sobered version in the comics now, and he just didn't serve a large purpose other than to spin off the short-lived romantic interest for Cassandra.

So in the end the image of Cassandra in the twopiece has been burned into my brain. If it weren't for my modesty I would have said it was sexy, but that's not my style. I liked that they didn't exploit her in her little outfit, and the chance to see her on vacation.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Finally updated

So yeah, figured I should post now that so much craziness had come to pass and I have the time. Now that I'm posting, here's the run down of this week's comic run.

Birds of Prey #91
Good stand alone issue. Wasn't outstanding in anyway, but it flowed well and told a good story - and that's good for me. The ending where Barb hands down her ultimatum was a good ending.

Gotham Knights #74
Last issue, huh? Too bad since I liked this title for the most part. The story was jumpy and hard to tell what was going on chonologically. While I was reading I briefly thought there were two Jokers, and somehow one was going to be killed by Hush (being blackmailed person to play the part by the joker using the pacemaker plot). The flow was garbled by this lack of consistancy, which bothered me since this was supposed to be the explosive finale.

Still, as much as DC hyped the "all out battle" between Hush and Joker, I enjoyed the tension between them and Bats around the end. Though it was a good ending in my's a cliffhanger....and that's very annoying in a last issue...

Action Comics #836
The "This was your life" story is getting good bit by bit, and I eagerly await the 3rd part of it. The covers themselves should sell the issues - well, at least this issue (I kept thinking I had sat on the first one). This story has the fractured timeline narritive laid out well, and it really held the idea through the issue. I liked the touching on Doomsday and the Death of Superman just enough to make the point it was trying to make, and not giving multiple accounts of what different Superman did. I enjoyed the string about how Superman turning dark, but I usually like watching characters slip against their nature into something worse (that's a thought for another day). I'm a little lost on the reason for having Jimmy Olsen tumbling through multiple realities, but I'm assuming it's part of the whole shifting aspect since Lois Lane was last time and Jimmy is Superman's pal afterall.

Other things to note, is that Transformers #2 came out last week and the series may be turning around. Might post tomorrow again after I get my Nightwing and Batgirl issues - screw up at the comic shop and I was unaware they came out.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Future of Batman (wild idea)

Here's an insane idea that came to me at work. As crazy as it sounds, imagine the possiblities...

Remember how there's the rumor of Bruce giving up Batman for a while, and someone replacing him in the suit? Most people talk about how either Dick or Tim will have the cowl passed down to them. It's straight forward and has been the grand assumption for years.

Here's the twist I came up with, partially out of hope and partially out of the potential for maing myself giddy. Yes, I've talked earlier about Cassandra Cain, but imagine if she lives, she recovers, and Bruce hands her the cowl.

Tim has said he doesn't want to live in the shadow of the bat, as much as he has been led into the path and suggested in Teen Titans. He's the logical choice for many, to the point of it being nearly obvious.

Dick more than likely will have it offered to him and he'll turn it down. It's one of the reasons why he became Nightwing and became his own. Again, issues with staying in the shadow of the bat.

I don't see Cassandra as someone who would try to work her way out from under the shadow of batman. She easily has the skill to take over, and has the "spook" factor. He biggest problem, other than being unable to read, is that she isn't as strong of a detective.

Probably won't happen, but just imagine the possibilities...

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Costumes and Insignia

Its funny how comic book characters are usually designed with something specific refering to their name built into their costume. Superman has a big S on his chest, Batman has a bat on his chest. If I remember right Wonder Woman has a double W arching across the top of her "armor". From what I can tell, Marvel is just as bad as DC in the designs. Spiderman has a spider on his chest and the X-Men wear Xs. Even Galactus had a big G on his chest at one point, but I digress.

As much of a fan of iconic symbolism for heros, aside from marketablity, I can't help but wish more characters were designed as a reaction to function. Batman has his utility belt, and wears black. I like batman, but he is human and needs these things to be able to do his things. He can stand on his own in a fight, but he can't survive the fall off a skyscraper very easily.

Superman can wear whatever he wants, it doesn't matter so much as he can do nearly anything. However, to hide among the rest of the world he needs a "normal" costume - a suit and glasses. A disguise for his normal life.

Green Lantern is a different story considering that they try to keep a secret identity, but not very well. From what I can tell John Stewert does it best, but that's not the point. The outfits they wear are basically police uniforms of their own design. Basically, green and black with a lanternish figure as a member of the corps.

Now I arrive at the point I was trying to get to. Ion, mask aside, could have gone with a radical new look considering his potential power. Instead he chose to stick with basically the same look, except for one thing - he knocked off the top part of the glowing lantern on his chest.

It seems even Kyle Rayner with his newfound abilities can't escape conventional costume design. Clever, since this creates a lowercase i which clearly strands for Ion.

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Newest Green Lantern Opinions

I have to admit, so far I have been very impressed with the Green Lantern title so far. I know some of you out there will be saying "duh" - remember I have just begun reading the series, and have been a heavy Bat-centric reader for a long time. What impresses me so far has been the cohesion in the story. I know last issue I had a bit of confusion with the shift in the story (thanks, IC, for forcing all titles to comply with the metaplot). This issue brought the arch back around to what I had been used to.

Spinning from that is Rann-Thanagar War Special. A lot has been said about it already from more "informed" sources, so I'll just point out a few things I noticed. First, I still don't feel that interested in this area of the IC story, but the forensics on Superboy I enjoyed. Ion will be interesting, I'm sure, hopefully more than this miniseries.

I like the mask with the stars, because I see it as more or less like a visual metaphor for something vanishing from Kyle. He lost his face and is now missing what made him unique. At least that's how I read it, and maybe that's what the Ion miniseries will focus on...or not. I also think DC is using the star pattern a bit much, afterall Donna Troy's outfit is nearly all that pattern.

Also, kudos to Ragnell for predicting Jade's death. I only know about her through Kalinara, which means I don't have a balanced opinion at all from her. It also doesn't help that she died off basically right as I was introduced to her, so I really felt nothing for her death. I thought it was fairly well pulled off since those who cared for her were near.

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