Saturday, December 24, 2011

Justice League, the Dark and Dangerous Birds...

I was very doubtful about the whole New 52 thing from DC Comics when I heard about it. Over the past few years, since Dan Dido took over as editor in chief, there were so many different events going on that redefined the DCU and all the continuity, it seemed like DC just was trying too hard to stay relevant.
I think it's safe to say that this particular change, though it retcons everything again, will actually stick and make the DCU better as a whole.
The New 52 is basically taking DC back to a more simplified universe. All the characters are younger and are starting from scratch. All of the convoluted continuity and weight of the past has been jettisoned and the DCU is starting from Year One. They're able to compete with Marvel's regular universe and their Ultimate universe. It's refreshing and cool and we get to meet all the characters again for the first time.Which brings me to The Justice League.
The flagship title of the DCU is back with a vengance. Geoff Johns, who recently wrapped up "Blackest Night" and "Brightest Day" and Jim Lee, who's doing his best work since "Hush" and "All-Star Batman", are currently introducing the heavy hitters of the DCU to a new audience.
Batman and Green Lantern are on the trail of some mysterious creatures that are plauging Gotham and Coast City, respectively. As the story progresses, Superman joins the fray. The series is up to issue 4 and The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Cyborg have all shown up as well as a new iteration of a familiar DCU villan.
I've heard that it's the best-selling title for DC right now. With Mr. Messers Johns and Lee doing great work like this, it's no surprise.
Then there's Justice League Dark. This title focuses on the Supernatural aspects of the DCU with Zatanna, Shade, John Constantine, Deadman, Mindwarp and Madame Xanadu taking on the Enchantress who has been separated from June Moone and has propmptly gone a little mad.  Peter Milligan and Mike Janin are the creative team and they're both doing some top-notch work. The writing is solid and the artwork is dark, atmospheric and easy to follow. I also like the way the characters are being being brought together and the cool little twist is the darkness that they're facing is not only in the personage of the Enchantress, there's plenty of darkness and dysfunction inside of each of the characters for them to overcome.
Finally, we have the Birds of Prey. Just read the first issue, and it's a great read. Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz are doing some great work. Two of the main characters, Black Canary and Starling, are partners in a covert ops team based in Gotham City. They've been operating for some time, when the book first opens and have attracted the attention of an investigative reporter bent on uncovering their identities. This in turn have drawn out strange men in chameleon suits who are after the girls and the reporter. Action and general mayhem ensues. The series is up to number four, so I have a little bit of catching up to do, but I like the looks of it. And the first issue ends with a bang. Literally.
A Group Shot of the New Justice League

The cover for Issue 4

Justice League Dark Issue 1

Dangerous, and possibly angry, Birds

If you haven't checked out any of these titles, give 'em a try. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Been a While...

Hello again. It's been a while since I've blogged about anything, but something significant has happened...
I'm about to be a father.
On August 7th, my wife Kim called me into our room to talk to me about something. (She said the dreaded, "We need to talk." Usually, that's not good...) I'd just gotten off of work earlier that morning and went to church besides, so I was laying down in our bed and she'd left the room. She came back in, looking slightly apprehensive as she laid on the bed and asked me what I was doing in nine months.
I answered, "Having a baby with you."
At that point, she handed me a pregnancy test from Walgreens. There were two lines there.
Yeppity, Sir. We were pregnant.
The experience of watching Kim's stomach grow, seeing the pics from the ultrasound, going to the doctor, telling everyone about the impending birth has been like nothing else in my life. Ever. People have been telling me that when our little Sydney Giselle is born, (and all my facebook friends love her name) I will experience a love like no other. I don't doubt it. Though, I do have truck with the whole wrapping me around her little finger thing...I ain't John Goodman's character in The Princess and the Frog who fusses at his daughter that she can't go having everything she wants, then gives her a puppy...I got more steel than that...maybe.
Anyhew, I talk to her through Kim's stomach, play music for her, (She loves Stevie Wonder) and generally blush when I talk about her to people and how far along Kim is. 24 weeks as of yesterday, by the way.
All I know is that I will be a very happy man when Sydney comes and I'll at least be emotionally ready for all the changes that will come and love her and my older daughter, Mya, the best that I can and train them to be responsible and God fearing people. As Seal said, "Bring it on."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wonder Woman DOA

Sometimes, It's hard for a Themscyrian...especially if she's the Ambassador to Man's World...
I'm sure by now we've heard about the Wonder Woman pilot not being picked up by NBC, despite all the tweaking done and that David E. Kelley was in charge of the show. (That part could've possibly sealed it's fate, but i digress...)
The initial outfit was cool, I thought, but there was a major outcry, cuz it looked like a bad spandex/leather dominatrix costume or something of the sort. They tried to tweak it and make the leggings look less leather-like, but ultimately, it didn't work.
I would like to see Wonder Woman back on TV or in the Movies. The time is ripe for it, but it does need to be done right. The effort should be made to keep everything beloved about the character but ground it in reality as much as possible (a la Dark Knight and Heroes). As far as suggestions go:

-Reference Greg Rucka or Gail Simone's runs on the comic. Possibly even have one or both write on the show.

-Keep the original costume, but make it look more in keeping with a warrior culture. (See the attached pic.)

-Look for someone who can be beautiful, but strong and warrior-like. Like Angela Bassett in "Strange Days". She was beautiful, but you didn't wonder if she could kick your ass or not.

Well, that's my two cents. Prayerfully, Wonder Woman will be on the air or in a theatre really soon.

How Wonder Woman should look

The Doomed TV look

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Essntial X-Men and Future Foundations...

Johnny Storm is dead.
In Fantastic Four #587, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch went out in a blaze of glory. It marked the end of an era that began in 1964 when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby brought the Fantastic Four to life.
And now, from the ashes of that comes The Future Foundation. The book is helmed by Johnathan Hickman, Steve Epting and Rick Maygar. I've heard a lot of cries against the Torch getting, well, torched and call it just another publicity stunt.
Honestly, if they can get past that and just read the book, I think they'd really enjoy it.
Johnathan Hickman has done something no one has done with the Fantastic Four Since the glory days of Lee/Kirby or Byrne's run on the book-He breathed new life into it.  Admittedly, the Millar/Hitch run was awesome and stretched the boundaries, but he didn't take the book in any new or fresh direction. It's just the 2nd issue and Valeria Richards, the genius daughter of Reed and Susan Richards, made a deal with Victor Von Doom to get rid of her father if she helped him restore parts of his brain...and she used Reed to do it!
Say what you will, but this is a series I will be following as long as long as Mr. Hickman is on the book.

Other than that, I've been reading the Essential X-Men TPB's. I'm up to #8 which has Storm regaining her powers, Havok, Longshot, Dazzler and Psycloke forming the core of the team, The introduction of Mr. Sinister and the prelude to the Fall of the Mutants. This is some of the best stuff from the late 80's with Chris Claremont paving the way and Marc Silvestri making his debut as regular X-Men penciller.A lot of insiration for my art came from these issues and artists and it's great to revisit it. Heck, it gets me all inspired again.