Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Night Fights: The black eye of Agamotto!

That Mighty Devourer known as Bahlactus has once again rung his cosmic bell, and we all heed the call to battle! Fighting will be fierce, and when you're facing a full-on melee it's not a bad idea to have someone with the word "supreme" in their title.

With that in mind, I give you that master of the mystic arts, that goliath of Greenwich Village, the Sorcerer Supreme, DOCTOR STEEE-PHENNNN STA-RRRRAAAAANGE-AH!!!!

Sure, judging by classic depictions, it'd be easy to dismiss Doctor Strange as more of a bookworm than a fighter. And what's up with his ever-present manservant, Wong? It's no wonder people talk.

But I'll tell you what's up with Wong; he may be Doctor Strange's assistant, but he's also his teacher. What does he teach, you ask?

The ancient art of Whup Ass, that's what.

Panel from Doctor Strange: The Oath #4

Think you've got what it takes to go pro? Watch your step, sucka — and always bet on Bahlactus!

Following a link? Check out more of the Post here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WTF Wednesday: Smoochee Smoochee

Click to plant a big one!

Ben Templesmith is one of my favorite artists, combining drawing, painting and Photoshop skills to regularly create beautiful, often haunting, images. For proof of this you only need to pick up any comic featuring his work, whether it's 30 Days of Night, Fell, Hatter M or any of the fantastic covers he's done.

But it wasn't until he started doing Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse that I found out he's a pretty entertaining writer, too, coming up with stories that include things like horny, drunken, pit-fighting leprechauns with a particular somethin'-somethin' for sensitive clockwork men.

And there is a sentence I never thought I'd write. Thanks, Ben Templesmith!

Panel from Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse #5
Ben Templesmith; writer, artist

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Pull List: 9-26-07

I'm schizophrenic when it comes to Wednesdays. On one hand, it's the day of my weekly department meeting at work. On the other, it's also the day new comics come out. I'm no math guy, but I'm pretty sure it works out like this:

meeting = no fun

comics = big fun

Therefore, comics are mathematically superior to meetings. Hmm. I'm not sure we needed science to figure that one out, actually. Still, this week looks like it's packed with especially fun titles, so - to the list!

Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters #1 (of 8): This is the second mini-series starring the revamped Freedom Fighters, and I think it's the perfect way to keep this current version going. Tight, self-contained story-arcs which, hopefully, aren't too reliant on new readers having deep knowledge of what's gone before will help maintain interest better than an ongoing series featuring what many consider fringe characters. And believe me, it kills me to say that, but I actually had someone outright mock my love of the original Freedom Fighters (I never forget, Lisa - never). Maybe someone in the DC offices had the same problem, because these Fighters - with the exception of grandfatherly ass-kicker Uncle Sam - are definitely more grim-and-gritty than the originals. Returning writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti do a good job of giving the angst well-weighted context, though, as well as infusing each character with a distinct personality and motivation. The work of new artist Renato Arlem looks as if it will be a good fit, and look at that cover by Dave Johnson! The first mini-series certainly had some clunky spots, but all in all I'm looking forward to this.

The rest ...

Annihilation Conquest: Star-Lord #3

Blue Beetle #19

Crossing Midnight #11

Immortal Iron Fist #9

Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1

The Spirit #10

Maybe ...

I Killed Adolf Hitler (trade paperback): Contract killers, time-travel and waiting decades to catch up with a wiley Adolf Hitler puts this slim trade (48 pages) on the short-list. Also, it's supposed to be funny, so I'll be giving it a close look.

Justice League of America #13: The recent Wedding Special was OK, and I hear there are high-hopes that the JLA will be worth reading about again - we'll see. Can anyone give me a solid recommendation for this? Speaking of which ...

Recommended ...

Daredevil: Hell to Pay Vol. 1: It's Ed Brubaker, it's some of the best Daredevil writing in a long time, and if you haven't been reading it monthly you really should be getting this trade.

Madman Vol. 1 (Image edition): A caveat! If you've been reading the latest Madman series, or have read it in the past, and been amused, interested or intrigued - pick this up. If it only frustrated you with what can honestly be described as superhero navel-gazing and sometimes meandering plotting, then take a pass.

Showcase Presents: Metal Men Vol. 1: With another caveat that you must have a high-tolerance for comics that are so packed with awesome that there's no room left for logic. Bob Kanigher, who brought us The War That Time Forgot, was on a roll when he came up with these stories.

Fatal accident on Batman set

You always hate to hear about something like this. It's easy to forget there are real people who are pulling off a lot of the stunts that make us ooh and aah during our superhero movies, as well as technicians capturing the action, and it is often an incredibly dangerous job. The fact that this happened during what sounds like a dry-run is certainly proof of that.

"Batman" film technician dies in accident

A special effects technician involved in the filming of the new Batman movie has died in a car accident, the film's producers said on Tuesday.

An investigation has been launched after the man was killed when his 4x4 vehicle crashed into a tree during a dummy film run, Warner Brothers said in a statement.

The studio said that none of the cast, which includes several Hollywood stars, was involved in the accident that occurred at a special effects facility.

It added the fatal crash did not happen on the set or during filming for "Batman: The Dark Knight."

Media reports said the vehicle was following a stunt car, believed to be the Batmobile, at a property near Chertsey, Surrey.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WTF Wednesday: Taking his clothes was a precaution?

I promise to get off the Nick Fury kick - eventually - but you sharpies out there might recognize someone awfully familiar in this panel. No, not Col. Fury - look closer!

Holy shit - Don Caballero is the Supreme Hydra?!? Your eyes do not deceive you; that is indeed Don Caballero, world-famous bon vivant and renowned party-thrower, and he's got Fury right where he wants him!

That must be some potent jungle juice HYDRA mixes up - our favorite director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is waking up woozy and half-dressed. No means no, Caballero!

(I just realized this is the second WTF panel in a row featuring half-naked dudes. I'm sure my wife will find that interesting.)

Panel from Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Stan Lee, writer; Jim Steranko, artist

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Night Fights: My prediction? Pain.

Bahlactus, that mighty galactic head-cracker, has rung the final bell after 12 bruising rounds and called for a two-week training break until the next bout. I know I'm hitting the heavy bag - will you be ready?

If you'd like to relive the greatest jaw-breaking hits from Great Caesar's Post, click on the handy tag at the bottom of this post and treat yourself to a highlight reel of GCP-style savagery courtesy of Friday Night Fights, and remember to Always Bet On Bahlactus!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Don Caballero likes to rub your face in it

Panel from the-should-be-considered-essential Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

WTF Wednesday: Jimmy Olsen, Symbol of Change

We're doing something a little different with WTF Wednesdays here at the Post, expanding beyond our beloved The War That Time Forgot to include any comic producing a panel that's so nutty, so over the top, that you can't help but say, "What the ... ?"

The sheer weirdness of The War That Time Forgot has set the bar and I wouldn't be surprised if it still showed up now and then but, believe it or not, the stories tend to get a bit repetitive after a while. Which is amazing when you realize you're talking about dinosaurs in the middle of World War II, giant monsters and robots, but there you go.

Besides, if we didn't open WTF Wednesdays to other titles, we'd never have half-naked, cross-dressing Jimmy Olsen!

Click for a bigger Jimmy!

Got a favorite WTF panel? If you want to join in the fun, post it to your blog and drop me a line in the comments, and I'll link to it here.

Panel from All Star Superman #4
Grant Morrison, writer; Frank Quitely, artist

The Pull List: 9-12-07

There are a lot of interesting titles out this week, so let's get to it!

Cthulhu Tales: Tainted (one-shot): I should say right up front that Kevin Church, one of the contributing writers featured in Cthulhu Tales: Tainted (as well as this week's Cover Girl), is one of my favorite comics bloggers. Because of that, it's not a surprise that I tend to enjoy his scripts as well, which is one of the reasons I'm looking forward to this third installment in the Mythos-based anthology series from Boom Studios. While the second volume (Cthulhu Tales: The Rising) wasn't as strong as the first, it was still a solid offering with a couple of stand-outs, one of which was Church's "The Art of Noises." Church is back for Tainted, along with a bunch of writers I believe are new to the anthology, so I'm looking forward to another well-written, moodily drawn creepfest that gives the Great Old Ones some much deserved love. Pick this up and support Church's booze and Pet Shop Boys habit and get some quality horror stories as a bonus.

The rest ...

Booster Gold #2

BPRD: Killing Ground #2

Daredevil #100

Green Lantern #23

Justice Society of America #9

Maybe ...

Drafted #1: Aliens draft all of mankind into a battle against other aliens or they'll destroy Earth? Someone's been reading my wish-book.

Parade (With Fireworks): Once again, Image surprises me with what looks like a well-done, non-spandex title. I'm a sucker for post-World War I era settings and the art looks great, so this is almost a sure thing.

Poison Candy: It's a manga, but if you thought this was an emo-heavy romance story, you'd better think again since this is more along the lines of a worldwide pandemic giving teens telekinetic powers and then killing them sort of thing.

Thor #3: This is real close to getting cut off completely. First, there's so much decompression I'm getting the bends. Then I read the preview pages that featured full-on Katrina exploitation and another scenery-chewing portrayal of Iron Man, and it managed to suck my interest almost completely dry. I really didn't mean for that last part to sound as dirty as it did.

Recommended ...

Action Philosophers #9: The Lightning Round: If you've been curious what all the fuss has been about, this is your last chance to pick up an issue of Action Philosophers before it closes up shop. OK, there'll still be the trades (which you should also be grabbing), but if you want to satisfy your craving for knowledge and smart-assery in a floppy format, you'd better do it now.

Groo 25th Anniversary Special: I'm not even going to explain why. I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO explain why.

Monday, September 10, 2007

And so, it begins

I got this in my fortune cookie the other day, and I can only take it as a sign that the time is finally right to launch my plans for super-villainy and world domination. What else could it mean?

And it beats instant baldness or horrible disfigurement, so I'll take it.

Lucky numbers: 12, 31, 8, 36, 2

Friday, September 7, 2007

Friday Night Fights: Lights out!

It's been a grueling brawl, an all-out fisticuffs free-for-all that saw head-cracking blows and punches that rattled teeth like dice in a bloody cup. I'll admit - there were times I didn't think I'd make it. Times when I doubted. Times when I was shaken. Times when I felt fear ... and possibly my own spleen.

But now I can stand here proudly, grabbing the mic and shouting:


The mighty Bahlactus has declared there will be a two-week break until the next bout, but in the meantime there's still one last thing to take care of; I think I'll ask The Ray to do the honors.

Ray, are ya feelin' me?

Panel from Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters #7 (of 8)

Bahlactus rings your head like he's ringing the bell!

Following a link? Check out more of the Post here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

W.T.F. Wednesday: Everything's better with robots (plus, a declaration!)

No one could be blamed for thinking that once you've got a robot fighting a dinosaur, you've pretty much reached the pinnacle for war-time wackiness.

But then your name wouldn't be Bob Kanigher, and you wouldn't be writing The War That Time Forgot. Because if you were, then you would see a story-telling challenge that could only be met by pitting Joe the G.I. Robot against a giant enemy robot on Dinosaur Island!

Click to Gigantorize

You ran out of crack? For some reason, I find that hard to believe.


While reading this latest story about Joe the G.I. Robot, I came across an interesting panel and what might be a hazy glimpse into the creative mind of Bob Kanigher. Check out this scene with Joe and his human buddy, Mac:

OK, let's try to ignore the fact Mac can't seem to remember that Joe is a robot that usually only reacts to direct orders. (Seriously, Mac has to remind himself on almost every page - if Joe could act on his own, he would've pimp-slapped him bald-headed by now.) The part that caught my eye was one word - "responsometer."

What with their re-emergence in 52 and now in their own limited series, you might recognize the responsometer as the same device that gives the Metal Men their personalities and abilities. And the Metal Men were created by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito - the same team that brought us The War That Time Forgot!

So which came first? It's close enough to say G.I. Joe-bot and the Metal Men probably percolated out of Kanigher's melon around the same time, with the Metal Men first seeing print in Showcase #37, the March/April 1962 issue. But - surprise! - Joe beat them to it, making his first appearance in Star Spangled War Stories #101 - the February/March 1962 issue!

OK, so the "responsometer" reference didn't show up in The War That Time Forgot until two months later in Star Spangled War Stories #103 - meaning the concept first came up in Metal Men - but screw it, I'm making a declaration:


Panels from Showcase Presents: The War That Time Forgot
Originally published as "Doom at Dinosaur Island!" in Star Spangled War Stories #103
Robert Kanigher, writer; Ross Andru, penciller; Mike Esposito, inker

Dr. Nikken?!?

I'm not really sure how to take the latest news concerning genetic research and human/animal hybrid embryos. One one hand, the term "human chimera" alone is a little unsettling, while on the other hand ... man, that's kind of awesome.

But if one of these companies decides to rename themselves "Mappo," don't say you weren't warned.

Britain approves human-animal embryo research

LONDON (Reuters) - British regulators decided on Wednesday to permit in principle the creation of hybrid human-animal embryos for research into illnesses such as Parkinson's, Motor Neuron Disease and Alzheimer's.

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) agreed to allow a specific kind of inter-species hybrid, where human DNA is injected into a hollowed out animal egg cell, a spokeswoman for the regulator said.

The resulting "cytoplastic hybrid" embryo, or "cybrid" would be 99.9 percent human and 0.1 percent animal.

And if it turns out to be Hip Flask, it would be all heart. Let's keep our fingers crossed, big guy!