Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Candid Kandor: Thoughts on "New Krypton"

Sorry I haven’t been blogging very much lately. The library has been busy, and there hasn’t been much time with the whole “writing for fun thing.” But that’s just an excuse. And I promised long ago that I would stop making excuses. The truth is I’ve been playing way too much Star Trek Online and working on Pretty Little Recaps in my off-work time.

One thing I have been doing is reading up on The Man of Steel for a major annotated library blog I’d like to do at one point, so I have been reading comics on a regular basis again (or as regular as I get).

Over the past few weeks, I finished the New Krypton series. I didn’t realize Superman stories could engage me so much, or that this one would in particular, but I actually really liked it. The premise is this- Brainiac, who has appeared in the Superman cannon many times and in many forms (many of his non-Lex Luthor villains have this problem: they don’t just stick to the one thing) returns to Earth and starts some trouble. Superman stands up to him, but finds a much more physically opposing Brainiac than he’s used to. This happens in Superman: Brainiac. You find out Brainiac essentially never leaves his ship (or the information he’s obsessed with collecting), he sends out “probes” to collect it and bring it back to him - hence the many different Brainiacs that Superman has fought over the years.

But the real deal comes to Earth to f#$@ up humanity. And Superman has a tough time defeating him. But defeat him he does, and in the process, he reclaims the bottle city of Kandor. The shrunken capital city of his dead world.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Favorite Spider-Man Story - "Lifetheft"

With the release of the new Amazing Spider-Man movie, I’ve been thinking about one of my favorite storylines that ran through Amazing Spider-Man when I was in middle school. You might even call this my first monthly book since, in one of those door-to-door subscription offers, I had it shipped monthly to my house for over a year (my corner store also carried Classic X-Men which I bought on a regular basis and I read and bought any current issue of Uncanny X-Men I could get my hands on, but these were never super consistent as Amazing Spider-Man).

The first storyline I think I ever received ran just before the Clone Saga, so I think people might not remember it as fondly as I do. The issue featured the classic Spider-Man villain The Vulture. Adrian Toomes sounds much more like a villain from The X-Files than a credible threat for the wallcrawler. The fun of this story is: it kind of addresses that. Sure, Toomes is smart and built himself a flying harness to do major acts of crime, but he’s old and his original harness gave him cancer. He starts the story in jail, using a makeshift harness of mostly spare radio parts to escape (kind of an awesome jailbreak scene, actually). His master plan? Pilfer the research of a scientist working out of ESU (Empire State University, where Peter Parker attends natch) who is working on a way to reverse the aging process. Toomes gets to be young again, but more importantly cure his fatal cancer as well.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"Teen Wolf" Season 1 Recap

I wanted to like Teen Wolf. On paper, the idea sounded good: take the campy '80s Michael J. Fox movie and modernize slash serialize it. Substitute the comedy of the original with teen angst. And sometimes, just sometimes, Teen Wolf manages to surprisingly work, but more often than not it falls flat on its face. Let's blame that brat blowing on the dog whistle from the original movie. He obviously grew up and had a hand in the current show's derailing.

But, jokes aside, the main problem with Wolf is its star, the admittedly adorable Tyler Posey. You might remember him as J-Lo's sassy wise-beyond-his-years pre-teen son in Maid in Manhattan. Then again, you might not. Posey really hasn't had a big gig before this and it painfully shows. He's clumsy as Scott, the show's lead protagonist who is - you guessed it! - transformed into a werewolf in the series' first episode. One assumes Posey was cast because he spend his post-Maid years working out and never EVER touching carbs. And look good with his shirt off he does, but not nearly enough to save his terrible acting which is just so, so terrible.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Watch "Young Justice"

Have you been watching it? It's Teen Titans 2.0. But I still like Teen Titans (don't get me wrong).

The last clip I posted got 86'd, so enjoy Lobo beating the crap out of Wonder Girl and Batgirl.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on Teen Titans #7

I’m starting to have problems remembering what actually happens after I read issue of Teen Titans. There’s very little forward motion. I’m not sure that’s a problem, since the artwork and characterization are two things I enjoy more than the actual plot. But I can see why this might not be everybody’s favorite comic book.

That said, this issue did have a real clear point. If you also read issues of Superboy (and you know I do!), he was captured at the end of his last issue by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Which, despite being a “nefarious organization” is also … super not fun to type. I hope the Titans stomp them out soon! But I’m getting ahead of myself. So Superboy is captured, and we see Wonder Girl at the end of that issue breaking in to rescue him. This issue fleshes out that revelation, with Tim (ahem) I mean, Red Robin convincing the rest of the team to go in after him. Only everyone remembers two issues back when he tried to kill all of them. Even Skitter who doesn’t have a normal brain isn’t in a big rush to leap to action. So Tim is all, well... I’m going anyway. See you jerks later. Then everybody feels bad and follows him. Putting aside the ridiculousness of that situation, it does give it a distinct teen feel to this book. Tim is obviously the one in charge who’s got his crap together. Why wouldn’t the rest of them go wherever he goes?

Monday, March 26, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on X-Factor #233

We're back to Peter David's X-Factor this week. Honestly!? This issue kind of exemplifies why I always champion X-Factor as one of my favorite comics. They can change things up in an organic, interesting way and somehow make me not only like it, but like it even more.

After Jamie Madrox is resurrected after his night of 1,000 deaths, him and Layla Miller embrace in a way that might make you blush. That was last issue. In this issue? It becomes apparent that Layla has become Jamie's new slam piece. And no, there's no nicer way I could have put that. As Madrox often does, he's having a whole internal debate about how wrong the whole thing was and blah, blah, blah. Jamie has been attracted to Layla ever since he went to the future and she was older babe. He needs to get over himself about this, and finally deal with his gross emotional problems. To her credit, Layla is having kind of the same thoughts re: regret. But she's a little bit more honest here, admits the whole Guido-no soul thing, and ... yeah, I'll admit it. I kind of want them to get together. And let's give it up to Peter David who somehow made me feel not icky about that. It's weird how Layla is becoming my favorite.

Where's the team? Madrox asks. This is when Layla alludes to a change in leadership.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on Superboy #7

I have something kind of dirty to admit this week... I actually kind of enjoyed reading “Superboy.” When I read the initial solicitations, I had a feeling like it might play out this way. I also think since this might be the only time such an event happens, I should probably review this issue.

When last we left The Superboy, he was barreling his way to a secret N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility. He beat the snot out of the new combined forces of the Teen Titans, then confronted Rose Wilson and a bunch of the agents on his way to deliver a smackdown to his current handlers slash creators. Why it has suddenly occurred to him to attack the evil organization, I can’t tell you. I think it would have been a better idea to trash the place when you first woke up or when you’re red headed doctor hottie became super strong and went berserk. But I guess The Superboy isn’t very bright. Or we can blame it on his newly cloned brain still learning how things work. I don’t really know (or care?) but Superboy’s motivations should be clearly established so we as readers can get behind him. It’s pretty hard to relate to a character who seems very resistant to establishing emotional connections and has no clearly established purpose. I feel a little bit like I’m reading about a teenage version of The Hulk who hasn’t turned green yet.

I’m getting off topic. Let’s talk about The Superboy’s progress. He’s finally inside the facility now. The director of security guy - he reminds me a lot of The Guardian from Project Cadmus from the “Death of Superman” era - tries to stop him with a crapload of security dudes. They have guns that can down a tank (really!? Because even in comic book terms, I kind of don’t believe them) and they have the element of surprise. They blast him, but Superboy tosses them around like ragdolls anyway. It’s interesting to note that he gets hurt here. He also doesn’t immediately recover; it seems to really have a negative impact on him. There’s also this really strange moment where reality shifts, I guess because another character is in N.O.W.H.E.R.E. either manipulating the enviornment or altering The Superboy’s perceptions. Still, it’s a weird few panels that don’t really go with the rest of the issues. Dear editors at DC Comics: If you’re not going to show this character who is doing this thing or explain why he’s doing, I don’t really care.