Friday, December 28, 2007

The Pull List (12-28-07): A holiday update

The holidays are still wreaking havoc on the schedule here at Great Caesar's Post, but just to let you know comics haven't been lost in the shuffle, here are the books I picked up this week:

Blue Beetle #22

The Brave and The Bold #9

Captain America #33: This issue has one of the greatest, funniest and most outright awesome fight scenes I've seen in a long time. Calling it unarmed combat seems to be both an incredibly accurate statement and an irresistible pun.

Los 4 Fantasticos: Isla de la Muerte (one-shot): Was it a pretty clever idea for Marvel to release the Spanish-language version of this issue, and did I manage to snag the last copy at my comic shop? Si, buey! (Also, Juan Doe's retro-animated art style is gorgeous to look at, and nicely complements the all-ages story — read the six-page preview and see for yourself.)

Daredevil #103

Green Lantern #26

A couple of titles were bumped to "wait-for-the-trade" status (man, there's got to be an easier way to say that), including Conan and Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters. Conan has been consistently excellent, but with a relaunch planned for April 2008 and a steady stream of overlapping limited series, it's just become a little too unwieldy. I'm replacing the individual issues with the trades anyway, so consider this a case of cutting out the middle man.

And Uncle Sam? This limited series has some keen-o concepts, but somehow it's just not providing enough oomph to keep me interested. If it turns out that the book pulls it all together in the end, I might pick it up in trade. As it stands, though, it's time to drop it.

Finally, if you've got a few spare bucks be sure to grab yourself copies of the Queen and Country Definitive Edition Vol. 1 and Wasteland Book 2: Shades of God. Queen and Country should be considered essential reading, especially if you have any love of the spy genre, Brits or strong female characters. This is one of my favorite series ever, and I can't recommend it enough.

is well-written, drawn in a style that is both sketchy and richly rendered, and hints at a back-story that's been obviously well thought-out. It takes the tired idea of a post-apocalyptic world and somehow makes it fresh all over again — you won't go wrong picking it up.

Have a happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007

And now, a holiday reminder from Ragman and GCP

The holidays are going to slow things down here at the Post, but I'll be updating as I can. On Sunday keep an eye out for what will hopefully become a new feature, a round-up of my favorite posts from my fellow bloggers for that week. In the meantime, enjoy yourselves, stay safe and have a happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WTF Wednesday: The company insurance plan included vision ...

Panel from Essential Marvel Team-Up Vol. 1
Originally published as "If An Eye Offend Thee ..." in Marvel Team-Up #15
Len Wein, writer; Ross Andru, penciller

The Pull List (12-19-07): Don't forget your Umbrella

This Wednesday's list looks as if it will start out small but could end up growing like Santa's bowl-full-of-jelly once I'm actually at the shop. It may not be as flashy as the Perfect Storm of November '07, but it's a solid week for comics. Satire, action and philosophy are all out for the picking, so if there's someone you know who's been wondering why you're still into this "kids' stuff," this would be a good time to take something from the rack, roll it up real tight and smack 'em in the melon with it. Then when you're done, let them read some of the smarter and more imaginative titles on the market right now.

Got your thinking caps on? Then on to the list!

Umbrella Academy #4: A lot has been made about Umbrella writer Gerard Way being the lead singer for My Chemical Romance, a band I've got to admit I'd heard of but didn't know much about. And you know what? It doesn't matter. Whether Way's band is your cup of tea or not, he's a hell of a comic book writer and Umbrella Academy is easily one of my favorite current titles. A rich, dark history of the dysfunctional "family" gathered together for study is caught in glimpses, while those same characters slug it out in action-packed battles with homicidal magicians and Zombie-Robot Gustav Eiffel. As if that wasn't enough, it's all illustrated by Gabriel Ba, one of the best comic book artists working today and who brings a genuine sense of moody tension and heartbreak to the book. Pick up Umbrella Academy — it's easily one of the best superhero team books out there, if not one of the best comic books, period. There's a preview of the first issue available, as well as previews for #2 and #3, so give it a look.

The rest...

Army @ Love #10

Immortal Iron Fist #11

Special Forces #2

Maybe ...

Conan #47: OK, so is this coming out or what? Dark Horse says it is, but every shipping list has a Frost Giant's Daughter one-shot scheduled for release. If it's the one-shot, consider it a good way to sample the series without having to commit to a whole story arc; if it's the regular title, I'll probably be picking it up (though this title has been edging toward the "wait-for-trade" list).

Incredible Hulk #112: Marvel's lunkheaded version of Hercules taking over for the Hulk? Pretty tempting, especially after reading the preview.

Long Count #1: An interesting mash-up of the cyberpunk and Latino magical-realism genres, with what looks like a strong female protagonist and art that blends gritty, photo-realistic backgrounds with character designs that make me think of Heavy Metal — yeah, I think I've pretty much talked myself into this one. Read the preview and see what you think.

Recommended ...

Action Philosopher's Giant-Size Thing Vol. 3: True story — I once started dozing in a philosophy class and did that falling-asleep-sudden-jerk thing and shot all my books right down the aisle; I have the exact opposite reaction when I read Action Philosophers, so give this smart and funny comic a try.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Why I was slightly late to work today

This episode of Scooby-Doo really should count as a valid excuse, right?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Night Fights: The fists of Fury!











I think we all know who does things hungrily!

Following a link? You can read more of the Post here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A spoiler for Stephanie?

Like most comic readers who hacked their way through the weekly jungle that was DC's 52, I've gotten into the habit of reading what's scribbled on the blackboards planted in Rip Hunter's time lab, which are now now making regular appearances in Booster Gold.

Most of the time they're filled with things that get glossed over — I usually like watching a story unfold instead of trying to map out the details in advance. But sometimes there's something that gets my eyebrow to go all Spocky and makes me mutter a scholarly, "Whuh?" That's what happened when I was reading this week's Booster Gold #5 and squinting at the chalkboards in this panel.

Didja see it? Let's take a closer look:

Dun dun DUNNN!

It'll be interesting to see what some of the feminist comic readers make of this; I know I'm wondering whether this is hinting a long-sought after memorial case might be added to the Batcave, or if this is just a mean-spirited tease.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WTF Wednesday: Darth Shadow - rise!

The Shadow has been fighting villainy and inspiring generations of heroes for almost 80 years, but even a pulp hero with such an impressive resume takes some knocks once in a while. Of course, some injuries are a little more "emergency room" than others, and after a devastating battle with a poison gas-spitting doctor named Flax, The Shadow is taken to the mystic city of Shambala to recuperate.

It might take a while.

Luckily, there's no need to panic. The Shadow may have been reduced to just a head, but the scientists of Shambala are working on a clone that should be ready in, oh, about three weeks. In the meantime, why not go clothes shopping?

Hm. Everyone knows that hat is part of your whole "look," Shadow, but without the cloak and ... well, the rest of your body ... it's not really coming together. Maybe you should try again — think tasteful, understated, nothing too flashy or over-the-t ...


Panel from The Shadow #19
Andy Helfer, writer; Kyle Baker, artist

Friday, December 7, 2007

Friday Night Fights: Punked by Parasite?

Ever have one of those days? Even if you're Superman — turning charcoal into diamonds, pushing the moon into a new orbit and whatnot — there are times when you wish you'd just stayed in bed.

How else could you feel if the power-draining Parasite showed up at your office and started kicking your ass?

Panels from Action Comics #555

Oh man! Parasite would not only hit a man with glasses, he'll knock 'em right off your face! And even after a change of clothes, Superman's bad day just gets worse as Parasite decides to play a little Kryptonian chin-music.

Eesh. It's not looking good for the Man of Steel. Maybe this is the day the bad guys win! Maybe this is the day Superman goes down! Maybe his powers are gone for good and ...

... maybe Parasite should call a dentist! What a comeback for the Kid from Kansas!

Suddenly, this day doesn't seem so bad after all.

It's always a good day to be Bahlactus!

Following a link? You can read more of the Post here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

WTF Wednesday: A nightmare before Christmas

During this holiday season, it's good to remember that Santa ain't the only one who knows when you've been sleeping ...

... they know when you're awake ...

... they know when you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake!

Panel from Mnemovore #4
Hans Rodionoff & Ray Fawkes, writers; Mike Huddleston, artist

The Pull List (12-5-07): Whoops

A couple of busy days at work (and Becket on TCM last night — holy crap, what a great movie) means a bare-bones version of the Pull List this week. If you have questions, think I overlooked something that shouldn't be missed or just want to throw something out for discussion, hit me in the comments. For now — to the list!

This week ...

Atomic Robo #3 (of 6)

Justice Society of America #11

Lobster Johnson: Iron Prometheus #4 (of 5)

Vinyl Underground #3

Maybe ...

Infinite Horizon #1: This modern-day retelling of The Odyssey looks as if it could work, and I particularly like the characterization of the Odysseus character (The Captain) as a pragmatic soldier who decides he's no longer fighting an honorable war. And the art is fantastic, making a surprising choice in color palette work. If the preview is any indication, I think this is one I'm going to enjoy.

The Overman #1: I don't know much about it except it has something to do with the end of the world (I think), the art's not bad and it's been getting decent reviews; go to the title's site and download the preview. All in all, it could be interesting.

Recommended ...

The Brave and The Bold Vol. 1: Lords of Luck (hardcover): A pitch-perfect series so far, and the art of George Perez alone makes this worth the hardcover treatment.

The Escapists (hardcover): This was a mini-series I liked even more than I thought I would, with each issue moving organically — and seemingly inevitably — to its conclusion. Who knew a comic book about people trying to create a comic book would be as engaging as this? Genuine surprises, real emotion and even actual suspense surrounding characters you care about makes this a keeper.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What the hell, Midtown?

Midtown Comics has changed the way it publishes its weekly online shipping list, and all I can say is, "Bleagh."

Yes, this is an outrageous sense of entitlement coming from someone who mostly uses the Web site to get an idea of what he's going to buy at his own local comic shop. But even so, I don't understand why Midtown would want to go from an aesthetically boring, but completely functional, listing style to something that seems convoluted and annoyingly hungry for bandwidth. Books, DVDs and every other piece of merchandising are thrown in there with the comic titles, with alphabetization being the only nod to order. A list that was a quick and handy reference is now a slog.

Of course, the easy thing to say is, "Well, find another list, you self-important jerk." And I probably will, even though any other listing I look at is nowhere near as complete or as early. Mostly, it's just a drag to lose something so reliable.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who considers Midtown as having the go-to shipping list, so I'm curious to know if anyone else was put off by the new format. Or is it just me?

Still, again — bleagh.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

You're a wonder, Wonder Woman

Pointed out by sharp-eyed reader Kyle, and as reported in various other sources, the role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming Justice League of America movie has apparently been filled by the statuesque Megan Gale.

Now, all I could find was Web sites referring to each other, and a quick Google search didn't turn up the Australian magazine that supposedly confirmed the news, so take it for what it's worth. Personally, it looks like Megan Gale might not be a bad choice it it's true.

Yeah, not a bad choice at all. Even my wife said, "She's pretty, and not like Jessica Alba with blond hair." I've never heard of the Australian supermodel, and I've got no idea whether or not she can act, but she's certainly got the right look for an ass-kicking Amazon.

According to IMDb, Gale played "Dr. Orbit's secretary" in Stealth and also had a role in what looks like an Italian movie; it's not what you'd call a lot of acting experience, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Christopher Reeve was a little-known soap actor, as we all know, and he put in a performance that made him THE Superman for an entire generation.

In the case of superhero movies, it's all about the commitment to the character — if the actor can get over themselves and get into playing a superhero without hanging on to all the baggage that can come with it, then it can work. Playing a superhero isn't just about representing a character, it's also about representing an icon.

And there are few comic book characters as iconic as Wonder Woman, so let's hope Gale is more than just a pretty face.

A really, really pretty face, but still ...


Gosh, I wonder what she'll look like in the costume? (I can already hear fanboys warming up Photoshop.)

Oh, and some guy named Armie Hammer has reportedly been tapped as Justice League's Batman. He's got a bit more acting experience, but he might be hamstrung by the same thing that's a plus for Gale's role — he's just too pretty. And since when is Batman barely legal? (Helloooo Google searchers!)

Like a lot of things, this movie could end up being pretty great or pretty awful. Where do you guys think it's going to end up?