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The Game Has Changed

Jan. 1st, 2007 | 01:21 pm

Blogspot is my new home, for the time being.  I'm trying new things and seeing where I fit.  Anyway, I'll keep this one up as a showcase of my prior work and with the idea that I may come back to blogging here permanently.

See ya.


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Year 2006: I Hate Iron Man

Dec. 31st, 2006 | 12:28 am

There's a lot of things to look back on with gratitude and glee about 2006.  I participated in a taping of a comic book forum show a few weeks ago.  Morrison handled Batman properly.  Fabian Nicieza blended a companywide crossover into the storylines of two books seamlessly.  Power Boy.  Heart attacks.  The Rise of Brubaker at Marvel.  The Xbox 360 I got for Christmas.  Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters.  Joe Kelly making Supergirl likable.  The list goes on, and I may expound on it tomorrow.  For today, I will remember 2006 as the year I developed my hate for Iron Man.

It started slowly, this hatred.  All he did was choose to help the government regulate superhero activity.  Nick Fury did it all the time, and I thought he was the coolest one-eyed soldier since, well, maybe I shouldn't call him a 'one-eyed soldier'.  Anyway, while Cap was on the run taking out villains left and right, Mr. Stark was fighting suspiciously nondescript Doombots for photo ops with his SHIELD Avengers.  It was around this time that it started to seep in how much of an ass Stark had become.  In an effort to win support for the Registration, he basically coerced Spider-Man into revealing his identity on national television, thereby insuring that Peter would have to stick by him or have the Parker women as public targets.  Which they now are.  Then he enlisted Spidey into his army against Cap without telling Peter.  What a douche.

Then, he sets up a phony emergency to entrap Cap and the Secret Avengers, because, you know, having all the heroes confronting each other is the clearest symbol to villains that it's not safe to tear shit up.  He tags the black and gay guys and starts talking about pardons and joining forces.  Cap counters by harmlessly deactivating Iron Man's armor (and punching him a couple of times, whatever).  And how does Iron Man respond to this almost merciful takedown: by beating the holy shit out of Cap.   And gloating.  And while Reed probably holds most of the blame for Goliath's death , Mr. Stark did set up Goliath's completely disrespectful funeral .  You couldn't shrink him down, really?  Wrapped like the mummy of serial killer and dumped into a bare grave is the exact way I want to be buried.  And Heckle & Jeckle can come down and call me "a real piece of crap."  And, five months into making Stark the world's greatest jackass, we're supposed to be believe he feels bad about everything he has done.  It's hard to feel sorry for him while he's recruiting Bullseye and hanging out in his penthouse.

Really, the worst thing Iron Man has done in 2006 appears in New Avengers #23.  The rat bastard exposed Spider-woman while she was risking her ass to provide information on Hydra.    And had the nerve to be smug about it.  The woman is trusted by Captain America and Nick Fury, and instead of trusting her, hell, even trying to recruit her to the Pro-Reg side, he turns her over to SHIELD to be imprisoned.  For this and every other reason, Tony Stark is now the King of Assholes and I hope he gets his ass thoroughly handed to him before Civil War is over.  It is the only way justice will be done.

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Dec. 25th, 2006 | 09:41 am

I know it's been awhile since my last post (eleven days, to be exact) but I'm still the two-fisted battler of Claremont and discontinuity, and it's time to get back to work.  First off, Claremont is taking the reins of Exiles, meaning I will be taking leave of Exiles.  I know what you're saying.  "That's not fair.  You haven't even read it yet."  Bull.  I saw the cover and he's bringing in Psylocke, more than likely 616-Psylocke.  You know, the character he loved so much he brought her back to life, after having killed her in the first place.  And she's wearing the hooker-ninja outfit of the 90's.  Claremont sucks.  Hard.

Geoff Johns.  Oh, Geoff, what are you doing?  When you started Teen Titans, it was fresh and entertainingly awesome in every way Awesome Entertainment wasn't.  Then One Year Later kicks in, and what do we get.  Rehashed Titans storylines from the 80's.  A Titans traitor?  From the year we didn't see?  Having to choose from characters we don't care about?  Lame.  And with Kid Devil's revelation, we get a rehash of the Raven/Trigon storyline.  Ugh.  Johns!  Originality!  Please!  P.S. Justice Society of America kicked all the ass Justice League of America were to busy sitting down to get to.

Marvel has finally given us our Civil War fix, but Spencer Carnage has already done a pretty good job of reviewing them.  I would put up a link, but I have been unable to make it work on this thing and I refuse to put up a link again until I get it right.  Besides, bottom line?  Tony's a dick, Speedball's back, the French know how to adventure, and five bucks for the comic equivalent of a cheesy clip show is downright appalling.  Oh, and Kingpin is king.  Checkmate.

Brian Azzarello makes me happy I own the entire collection of Who's Who.  Tales of the Unexpected is worth the price for just the Dr. Thriteen backstory.  Just skip over the overly depressing Spectre story.

Just wanted to chime in on things and let everyone know I'm still in it, guns blazin'!  Till next time.

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Views From the Multiverse

Dec. 14th, 2006 | 09:06 pm


                                                               Tell us more.

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Not Liable For the Superheroing Done In This Rescue

Dec. 9th, 2006 | 11:20 pm

If I ever get hit by radioactive chemicals, find out I am really the last member of an extraterrestrial race, or spin myself around until I become supersmart, I know what kind of hero I would be.


I'd be the Phantom Stranger.

If I developed telepathy and heard people thinking about crimes they were going to or have commited, I would just show up at crime scenes, block out my presence for everyone but the lead cop and give him slightly vague, yet obvious clues, and disappear into the night.  No muss, no fuss.  

If I got superhuman prowess of some kind, yeah, I might do some of the legwork.  But ultimately, I'd pass info off cryptically, using my strength and speed to race off quickly and disappear before they can spot me.

Why the Stranger?

Because he basically does nothing.  Every time there's a global crisis, Stranger's either saying how he can't interfere or pointing out the obvious.  And that's exactly the kind of hero you need to be in this litigious world.  "Guy broke into your house trying to stop your abusive husband?  Hey, what's me, I just told him the woman looked a little roughed up."  Can't blame me for shite.

Plus, how many other heroes can pull off a medallion of that size?

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To All Crappy Things, A Crappy Ending

Dec. 9th, 2006 | 12:05 am

Previously in Lobdell's farewell to the X-Men, the recently cured mutants of Genosha united under the banner of Magneto declared war on humanity, and Magneto wanted Xavier up close and personal for the start.  The X-Men, consisting of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Wolverine, decide to get their professor back so Cyke and Logan go to infiltrate Genosha while Jean recruits help.  She grabs the first losers she can find including an invulnerable mobster, a dork with invisible skin and Sunfire's arrogant younger sister.  Others join them but it's not five minutes into Genosha when Magneto drags them down and kills Dazzler who came to the X-Men to find her maybe dead husband and save the kids in her care.  And wasn't she pregnant the last time she was in X-Men?  Why is she not worried about her kid?  Anyway, the conclusion...

After offing Dazzler, Magneto gets treated to Jean Grey's 'mean face'   but she does absolutely nothing for most of this book.  Mind you, she is hands down THE most powerful member of any team of X-Men she's on (which is probably why she dies so much) but Magneto really starts wrecking shop on her collection of goons and she does nothing.

He tries to pull Paulie apart, but he's invulnerable so that's out.  Northstar tries the old hit him as fast as he can trick, but Magneto incorrectly claims Quicksilver is faster than Northstar, who can go the speed of light while Pietro tops out at the speed of sound, then catches Northstar.  Still holding Paulie, Mags decides to kill two birds with one stone and    sends Paulie into orbit and frees Northstar to go after him.  That's not fair.  He obliterates Dazzler, but gives Paulie, freakin' Paulie, a break?  That's balls.  Anyway, Cargill steps up to get beat down and is not disappointed.  Wolverine and Cyclops gets to the doors of the coliseum, where again Wolverine and his damn special lettering starts worrying after Cyclops like a mother hen.  Back up, Logan.  Apparently, Logan was waiting for Cyclops to bitch about Logan taking out two guards while Cyclops's wife is facing down the X-Men's worst enemy.  Focus Logan!  It's the Eve of Destruction!

Sunfire's sister, having removed the mask she was wearing for some unknown reason, attacks Magneto by covering him in molten iron somehow.  I understand the fire she was projecting, but the iron came from nowhere.  He encases her in the iron he was held in, and though Jean still does nothing she thinks this little pre-Iraq gem.

"If you don't stop a problem at the source, tomorrow's battle is bound to be on your doorstep."

Next up is Hector, he of the invisible skin, and this should be a cakewalk.  But Hector has the ability to make other people's skin invisible as well, with the added side effect of an 'ice cream headache'.  That boy is dangerous, I swear.  Magneto doesn't think so and swats him away like a gnat.  Cyclops and Wolverine step in and we get    a helmet fight.  Lame.  Ass.  Mags was then going to reenact Fatal Attractions, this time with Logan taking a dirt nap, when    Xavier's was freed while Magneto went to town beating on the rookies and puts the kibosh on Magneto's powers.  And guess what else(though it shouldn't be surprising)?  Dazzler's alive   and has been using holograms to disguise herself as Xavier.  Then she says the most retarded, most obvious statement ever put to paper.  Of course you knew Magneto would use his magnetic power against you.  He uses it against EVERYONE!!!  And what was Jean doing this whole time?  Hiding Amelia while she freed Charles.  And Magneto's reaction to having his greatest moment stomped?    "No hard feelings, old friend."  Embarrassed me in front of my subjects and prevented me from starting my genetic cleansing of the vile humans, but what the hell?  Same time, next year?  

God!  And then Wolverine impales a defenseless man  and leaves him lying on the dirt for his followers to look after.  Man, the X-Men are lucky Cassandra Nova executed the Genoshans, because Logan just made a martyr out of Magneto.  And the X-Losers?    They all leave with way more baggage then they came in with, both literally and figuratively.  Hell, Sunfire's sister just showed up in costume, but she's leaving with two big suitcases.  And Dazzler just leaves, and the Age of Apocalypse Babes in Mojoworld is never mentioned again.  I think Lobdell literally phoned in this storyline.  Joe Q.:"Hey, Scott.  Well, we got Morrison to take over X-Men and well, let's just face it.  You're done."  Scott:"Okay, have Jean, Logan and Scott grab some losers and fight Magneto in Genosha, and uhh, have Logan gut Magneto in the end."  Joe Q.:"Thanks, Scott."  Scott:"Go to hell, Joe."

Thus ends the Dark Age of the X-Men.  Wait, Claremont was still active in this time.  But Morrison came in and there was actually a light to outshine the crap.

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How Not To Plan A Revolution

Dec. 7th, 2006 | 11:10 pm

We start today with a flashback.  In Fatal Attractions, Xavier, fed up with Magneto's endless machinations and pulling out Wolverine's adamantium, mindwipes Mags and Colossus decides to look after the Vegetable of Magnetism.  While spoon-feeding Mags his daily mush, Peter would talk with his new charge about the bond of commonality, having both lost their families and being powerless to stop it.  Peter bemoans, "I, who have the ability to move mountains, stood by powerless as my own sister died simply because she was a mutant."  Okay, I thought she died because she contracted the Legacy Virus created by the clone of Cyclops's son.  Even ignoring the intent of the virus, if she contracted cancer, would he still have lost faith in the Xavier's dream?  Moving a mountain can't fix diabetes, either.

Back to the present, Magneto spends panel after panel making his point about mutants having to strike back against the humans, but now adding how Colossus' idiotic sacrifice of his life to cure the Legacy gave him his army.  Voght, lurking in the shadows, wonders how it came to this.  Who could have forseen giving Magneto, the guy who debuted STEALING NUKES, an island nation of mutants after he tried to reverse the Earth's poles could lead to him threatening the world with an army of mutants?  It's unimaginable.

Back on the X-Jet, Northstar begins to realize Cargill, the former Acolyte, is helping because Jean warped her brain.  And you thought Zatanna was first.  Jean, after telepathically explaining to Paulie how being invulnerable works, decides to hold a telepathic Danger Room, to get the new kids battle ready without all the unnecessary experience.  Linking everyone to the obviously traumatized Dazzler, who still is pressed into service, we learn why she came to the mansion all haggardy.

  Age of Apocalypse Babies!  And they killed Longshot!  And Baby Apocalypse has the most delightful lisp!

Dazzler breaks down crying, explaining that she came to Xavier's for help, wanting to find out if Longshot and the X-Babies are really dead.  But before they can turn the ship around and fight in Mojoworld, the X-Jet is taken out of the sky and they fall right into the middle of Genosha's new coliseum, where Magneto awaits, "Mutants Must Kill Humans" speech already prepared.  He's nothing if not focused.

Cyclops and Wolverine notice the roar of the mutant army and run to what they think is the arrival of Jean and real X-Men.  Which I guess excuses Wolverine's dismissal of Polaris's help, saying she should "use your magnetic powers to make sure these people get to Wakanda safely."  Then he promptly gives her the 'finger'

Back in the coliseum, Jean finds Xavier slightly crucified with his eyes kept open and his mind 'blank'.  Dazzler, so hurt after seeing Xavier the man who has done so much for them (well, not her personally since he was gone by the time she joined the X-Men) strung up and well, he has not blood or bruises on him, but he must be uncomfortable, absorbs the crowds cheers and shoots a photon barrage at Mags, which he then uses to   incinerate Dazzler.  And the best part?  Northstar summing up this clusterfuck.  "You all know I am not one to criticize but perhaps we might have spent a little more time discussing strategy before our arrival?"  It skirts that fine line of callousness, snarkiness, and truthfulness.  How can this possibly end well?

It doesn't.

To Be Concluded....

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Where Were We?

Dec. 7th, 2006 | 12:49 am

Oh, that's right 

When last we checked, Alison Blaire, Dazzler as she's known by mutant villains and sexually confused teenagers, stops by the Xavier Mansion, uniform torn, and possibly in need of help.  Remember that, it comes up later.  Anyway, that doesn't come up in this issue, instead we see what the two other established X-Men have been up to infiltrating Genosha.

While Magneto gloats and makes almost the same speech as last issue, but with Xavier as a prop, we get the side story of Amelia Voght conflict at being at Magneto's right, but having to go against her former lover, Charles Xavier.  Apparently Amelia "didn't want to get involved," "didn't want to choose sides," or "want there to be sides."  But now, "the war has come to her doorstep."  Say wha?  Unless I'm mistaken, this is not even Amelia's third appearance and has fought in the name of Magneto many times, but she never wanted to choose sides?  And all of a sudden, she's surprised the repeatedly violent would-be dictator declared war on humans, which he has done in 89% of his reappearances?  Lobdell, you intrigue with your insane logic.  What's next?

  Wolverine's slightly lovestruck musings about the "new" Cyclops.  See, Cyclops is fresh from shaking off possession by the spirit of Apocalypse of the mangling of The Twelve storyline.  Apparently Logan is so caught up with the changes in Scott, he feels the need to work out his feelings in his head.  Now mind you, Cyclops has only been back for three issues, but Wolverine has already noticed "Scott ain't the boy scout he's been in the past," and  he's "charging through the world with his eyes wide open."  The only thing Cyclops has done in this issue and last?  Hold a baby.  That's reckless, Scott!  I'll have your badge!

After a lame attempt at political debate, Cyclops shows off his new 'tude by bank shooting two guards in the sewers under Genosha him and Wolverine have been running through.  The two guards?    I can see Cyke's shot taking out Random.  If you're not familiar with the character, he was a mutant from the Havok era X-Factor who had the ability to not only change his arms to guns but also make himself look like a meth-addicted biker.  But Blob?  The shot would have been weakened not only from having to rebound off the wall, but from the simple fact it was not powerful enough to blow through the wall.  And he should be able to shrug that off with no problem.  And I like how Wolverine is surprised Random, who was last seen working for the Dark Beast, and Blob, card-carrying member of the Brotherhood of EVIL Mutants joined up with Magneto, who founded the Brotherhood.  Way to be a dumbass, Logan.

Seeing Magneto's army, Wolverine makes ready to leap into action and tells Scott to cover him, which Scott poises ready to do, and Wolverine admits he's kidding.  Scott does as well, but seeing as he obviously never made a joke EVER, something must be wrong with him in Wolvie's mind.  Ahh, it's so sweet he's concerned.  Anyway, the duo run into Genosha's human resistance and Scott decides to embarrass the freedom fighters by handing them their asses without moving from the spot he was spotted in.  This act of expert marksmanship and carefulness(he hits only the weapons) is also seen as proof Cyke's different.  You're a loose cannon, Scott!  No one was hurt!

We end with Jean and her group of substitutes   flying towards Genosha to fight an army of mutants and the world's deadliest mutant, with no training whatsoever and no plan of action.  This is the kind of thinking that leads to Iraq being invaded.

Till tomorrow.

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Dec. 6th, 2006 | 01:07 am

Now I only have like four issues of the Bloodlines Annuals and less of the Marvel equivalent that I think came out in the same year.  And I have no idea where they are, but I can say with 99.896% certainty that 99% of them sucked.  That's what comes from creating a character for no other purpose than creating a new one.  Wish I did but more of them, just to have blogging material, but there were no blogs back then, which was like thirteen years ago.  Damn, I feel old.  NFL SuperPro, take me away.

Speaking of loads of crap, I have here the worst pant load ever in X-Men history, and that's counting the Return of Claremont and Chuck Austen's lapse of continuity.  I'm talking about     Whoa, whoa, Charles.  I didn't write.  And I'm just getting started.

As our story begins, the world is reacting to the news that, with the Legacy Virus cured, Magneto has the most powerful army ever assembled.  Way to forward think, U.N.!  As everyone's opinions are broadcast over national television, Xavier over-emotes as Magneto has done absolutely nothing so far.  It ends with a veiled threat by Magneto via pre-recorded tape (mutant terrorism, pre-9/11!) and Xavier ripped out of the mansion, with absolutely no alarm or X-Men intervention, whatsoever.  All the makings of a classic, Lobdell.

For the first part of this little drama, we get Jean Grey recruiting the lamest team of mutants, ever.  And I'm counting the Great Lakes Avengers.  In an effort to prevent "World War III", Jean has the bright idea to go out and recruit rookie mutants to go up against Magneto's army of mutants.  Guys more than likely well trained and ready to start some shit.  And who do we have on deck:

Hector Rendoza    A newly minted mutant with see through skin and bad taste in music.

Paulie Provenzano    a former Marine recruited while trying to take over a mob family.  Desperate times and all that.

Leyu Yashida    Sunfire's unmentioned and unreasonably hostile sister, answering a summons her jerk brother apparently couldn't be bothered to answer.

And before you think it all just surly Japanese schoolgirls and Italian-American stereotypes, we get some established players as well.

Like, Northstar, who graces the cover of this issue with no background context.  As an aside, though mostly having to do with Northstar's book signing, I never bought into Northstar being gay.  It reeked of attention grabbing and is only played up for dramatic effect.  And he seems to have never had a boyfriend, but pines for Iceman and has the obligatory weird relationship with his twin sister, Aurora.

Johanna Cargill    formerly known as Frenzy and Acolyte of Magneto.  Funny thing, Johanna is seen in the beginning of the story being held in an undisclosed room by the government, about to be tortured for information on Magneto.  Before Jean springs her, Johanna declares her undying loyalty to Magneto, but then later thanks Jean for the second chance.  Say wha?  And wouldn't that be a third chance, seeing as she led the Alliance for Apocalypse?

And making a surprise appearance, Alison Blaire   Dazzler, which prompts Hector to exclaim, "I have both of your albums."  Why?  She hasn't performed since joining the X-Men and somehow this kid is into her music.

With this lineup, you know it's going to be memorable.  Memorable or horrible, one or the other.

Part two tomorrow.

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Dec. 4th, 2006 | 11:46 pm

If I have to see on more scene of    people assembling    thier teams using    weird ass head shots of superhumans, I am going to rip up everything I bought that Brad Meltzer has done.

Where the hell are these pictures coming from?  Why is Deathstroke looking to recruit a guy named "Kind Crusader"?  When did Match start looking like Bizarro Superboy?  He was just albino, and SMARTER than Superboy.

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