Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten Comics of 2011

It's been a while since I've written, which is how I start every blog, but I haven't been ignoring comic books for the last several months. I am currently co-hosting a podcast the Weekly Longbox with my buddy Todd and lots of preparation goes into that, week in and week out.

So, for my top ten list, I have some self imposed guidelines. It must be a book that either told a complete story in 2011 or was published for at least half the year. This keeps any of the DC New 52 books of the list as with only four issues of any given book published, it would be unfair to judge against books that had twelve issue or a mini series with a beginning, middle and end. There are two cheats on my list, though not really and you will see why. Let's get to it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

DCnU Month One Review, part two

Here's the rest of the month one DC number ones. I keep the spoilers to a minimum, even though some of these books are three weeks old. The hammer comes down on a couple books and some surprise.

I will continue Tony's commentary as well as I'm really digging it. Unfortunately, do to his real life job (super secret scientist), Tony didn’t get a chance to read everything. He did threaten me not to make him look like a simpleton. That is not my goal. I value his opinion very much. Except when it comes to Batwoman. He can suck it on that one.

BATMAN #1: What can I say about Scott Snyder that I haven't said a million times before. Probably my favorite writer right now (behind Jason Aaron) on the name brand Bat book. This book is nearly perfect in addressing the past continuity and not being scary to new readers. And that cliffhanger? I dare you not to come back!
Tony's View: Maybe it's because it Bruce back as Batman. Maybe it's the art that reminds me a time when Spawn was awesome but these are the Batman stories I love to read!

BLUE BEETLE #1: A complete retelling of his origin with tweaks to not tie it to Infinite Crisis which apparently didn't happen now. One of the few books I wish was a bit more little kid friendly.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1: Does not do as good as job as Green Lantern as being new reader friendly (some of the John Stewart stuff was...strange) but a Guy Gardner lead book will at least warrant a second issue. I'm not as upset with the violence as the rest of the world.
Tony's View: Why does the Earth sector have FOUR Lanterns where others have one? Does the rest of the galaxy see Earth as the ghetto of the universe? I like the team up of Guy & John and the "Why don't we wear masks?" line was great. Why does Kilowog appear on the cover of this book and is not in the book?

NIGHTWING #1: The second Kyle Higgins book on the maybe pile making it to the full time roster. It certainly helps that this book ties close to Snyder's Batman. You don't have to read both to get a full story, but it certainly helps this book immensely.
Tony's View: I like Dick Grayson, not as Nightwing or Batman, but as a person. He's just more relatable than Bruce or any other Bat character. I would read a book of just his adventures out of costume.

ALL-STAR WESTERN #1: A maybe pile book that thanks to Jimmy Palmiotti's impassioned plea at Baltimore Comic Con (and Todd's prodding) I checked out. And glad that I did. Such an awesome book that is beautiful. I've never read a Jonah Hex book in my life but this makes me want to get the previous 70 issues.

AQUAMAN #1: The long awaited Geoff Johns relaunch of Aquaman. He's made the Flash and Green Lantern viable properties again! Could he do it with Aquaman? In my opinion (it IS my blog) the answer is yes! This first issue does a great job of positioning Arthur in the same league as the rest of the Justice League and addresses the jokes everyone makes about him. Can't wait for the next issue!

THE FLASH #1: One of the books I was most worried about as artist Francis Manapul was now writing the book. For me, this is usually met with poor result but not the case here. A very good introduction to the character's slightly changed status quo and one of the most beautiful books out there.

THE FURY OF FIRESTORM: THE NUCLEAR MEN #1: Gail Simone is one of my favorite writers. Her run on Birds of Prey is great and Secret Six is one of the best books published in the last 10 years. I've never read Firestorm or really carried about him, but her name attached to the book (with co-writer Ethan Van Sciver) was enough to check it out for one issue. In the effort to remain positive, it's one issue was not enough to get me to keep it longer than that. A wasted opportunity.

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #1: Many in the past have said the Green Lantern cash cow has gotten too fat. This may answer that question for me. A nice retelling of Kyle origin with a slight tweak but if you haven't read a Green Lantern book in the last four years, you could be very lost in what's going on. The second book to fall from the pull list.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

DCnU Month One Review, part one

I was going to write a week by week review about my thoughts about the DC Relaunch, however, things have been hectic on the home front. My wife has a baby due with days of this writing and about two weeks ago, I was evacuated from my house for three days due to a pending flood.

This has given me time to split the review up in two blog posts and have an added feature: additional commentary from my brother, Tony. Tony is a comic book fan, but nowhere near to the extreme as I. No website research, no message board skewing, no nothing. He is reading a majority of these books for the first time and clean. His views are slightly edited by me for language and grammar only, as he just left random Post-It notes on the books as he returned them to me.

Now, I did not read all 26 new number ones released in the first two weeks, I only read eleven, which I feel is a pretty good sampling. All books listed below were on my initial pull list, except one, which was a maybe book. Also, since most of these books have been out for a bit, I will still try and keep the spoilers to a minimum. What stays for next month, what get's dropped, keep reading!

ACTION COMICS #1: It's Grant Morrison on Superman, with an origin story, kinda. Superman is taking down slum lords and corrupt business men, Clark works at a competing newspaper from Lois & Jimmy and Lex is helping the government try and take down Superman. There is enough in here for me to come back, with lots of nods to the history we already know. Good enough for me on issue two.
Tony's View: The 'Smallville' reference was lame. Want to see where it's going but Supes & Lex's new designs stink.

ANIMAL MAN #1: This is one that I flip flopped on for MONTHS before the actual relaunch. It was the preview pages on DC's blog that sold me on picking it up and I'm glad I did. Jeff Lemire does a great job with Buddy in both the super heroics and family stuff, Travel Foreman's art is beautiful and the ending is an awesome hook. A keeper!
Tony's View: AWESOME! Great story and art. Never thought I'd care about Animal Man

BATGIRL #1: One of the more controversial pre-relaunch books. Now, in the wake of such books as Catwoman and Red Hood & the Outlaws, the heat has died off this book. I for one am torn that Barbara is back as Batgirl, less for the loss of Oracle, but more of how awesome Stephanie Brown was as Batgirl. Nonetheless, this is Gail Simone writing, which I will check out regardless. I enjoy the new status quo and her mixing it up with a villain who is fixing mistakes of people who should have died (ala the Final Destination movies) will prove interesting.
Tony's View: Good story and explanation of Barbara's injury. Like idea of having roommate and secret identity stuff.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1: JLI is one of my favorite runs of any comic in the history of the world. The Giffen/DeMatties penned stories are an all American classic. This relaunch, starring Booster Gold written by Dan Jurgens, who has been writing Booster for some time, so this should be great, right? It wasn't. There is not enough depth to the characters provided in the first issue, there is no real good reason for Batman to be on the team and it just left me with no real reason to care. The first casualty.
Tony's View: Just don't care. I wish Ted Kord was back with this reboot nonsense.

SWAMP THING #1: Scott Snyder is quick becoming one of my favorite writers and the Alan Moore run on Swamp Thing is another classic. This goes back to Swampy and Alec Holland being separate entities and Yanick Paquette's art is killer. He even makes the new Superman armor look cool. Almost the best so far.
Tony's View: Really good. Great take on story of character and brings up questions you want to see answered.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #1: The almost perfect relaunch book. Batman & Green Lantern were the only two characters who didn't get shaken up too much in the relaunch. This is the Peter Tomasi/Patrick Gleason Bat book we were supposed to get months ago and it works. I liked the previous dynamic between Dick and Damien as more than Bruce and Damien, but this is a perfect "one and done" book with a nice hook at the end. Not perfect, but really good.
Tony's View: A little let down, not sure what I was expecting. Too much "I'm your father" and not enough "I'm Batman!"

BATWOMAN #1: My history with this book is storied in my own mind. Originally supposed to debut in "Summer 2010", then moved to "November 2010", then early 2011 and now finally, it arrives. Is it worth the wait? Well, the art is beautiful, but the story...the main issue is while part of the new 52, if you didn't read at the very least the zero issue published almost a year ago, you could be a bit lost. Still waiting to see how things pan out, but could be on thin ice.
Tony's View: Hated it! Don't know or car about the lead and the art makes her look like a goth vampire wanna be albino. Why does this book exist?

DEATHSTROKE #1: A maybe book, sold out at my shop, but was able to get a copy. The art was very nice and the initial premise was straightforward enough to hold my interest, let's see what Tony says:
Tony's View: Awesome! Never saw that ending coming. Would have liked a relationship with the Teen Titans. Or Ravager.

FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE #1: More from Jeff Lemire, spinning out of his Flashpoint mini series. There are literally 100 different things happening, all of them quirky and intriguing. Definitely worth keeping.
Tony's View: Interesting. New. Jaunty. Unorthodox. In short, I'm intrigued.

GREEN LANTERN #1: Essentially issue 68 of Geoff Johns' run on the book, with little change from the prior path the book was on. GL was one of my favorite books and Sinestro in the lead adds a whole new wrinkle that I love. But will this be difficult for someone who hasn't read the last six plus years of Johns' run on the book?
Tony's View: Might be the best of the New 52 books. If you saw that horrible Green Lantern movie and picked this up, you would know everything you needed to know. Quick story, great character descriptions.

RESURRECTION MAN #1: I dug the original Abnett & Lanning series from the 90's and was surprised to see this be one of the books chosen in the relaunch. While there is a complete story in this first issue with a good cliffhanger, but familiarity with the prior run makes the book much more enjoyable.
Tony's View: Saw the preview of this in other books and thought it looked like crap. Very surprised! Reads like a Dean Koontz novel. So many questions about him and his powers I want to know the answers too.

So after two weeks, we've lost one book (JLI) and Deathstroke has been added to the pull
list. One of the books I missed from week one, Men of War, may get a second look this weekend. Let me know what books you checked out and what ones you are looking forward to.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

DCnU - First Impressions

So here it is. The moment of truth for DC Comics. This past Wednesday was the launch of their newly revamped universe. The goal of which is to get more people buying comics and keeping them doing so.

I can't talk about Justice League #1 without talking about Flashpoint #5 first, the last chapter of the miniseries that was supposed to kick start the new DCU.

As you may know from prior blog entries, I'm am an unabashed DC apologist. I will defend the most widely regarded poor decisions with a "wait and see" attitude. But I really didn't like the Flashpoint miniseries as a whole. In that it, to me, it failed to tell an interesting story well and cleaarly link to the new universe. There is a good story in there, but at five issues, it felt padded. A reviewer on Comics Beat summed it up best in saying if you read issues #1 and #5, you lose absolutely nothing from the main story. That's a problem.

I'm going to limit spoilers but Flashpoint has some good character moments for Barry and Bruce (especially at the very end). It all wraps up with Barry, in trying to right the wrongs of the Flashpoint universe, joining the DC, Vertigo and Wildstorm universes. They were separated to keep them weak from an unknown pending threat. That's Flashpoint #5 in a nutshell.

Now, onto Justice League #1. The online community seems to be split on this, but for me, I can sum it up in one word: FUN. Which is what the majority of team comic books should be: FUN! I want to see what happens next. If you have never read these books or characters in print before, I feel this was a great primer for new fans. The problem is a larger number of people reading this book are people who have been comic fans for YEARS and are coming in very jaded.

Let me know what you thought if you read Justice League #1. And if you haven't, why not? You don't even need to leave your house to get it with DC's new day and date digital offerings.

Next week, I will try to have my thoughts on Action Comics #1, Animal Man #1, Batgirl #1, Justice League International #1 and Swamp Thing #1.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No DC Bias Here - Marvel

When I look at the company specific entries here, it seems as though I only read DC books, but alas, this is not the case. Marvel has tons of great books and creators you should all check out. Many of them have new number ones or storylines starting so it's easy to hop on:

- Avengers Academy: The best team book you are not reading. Written by Christos Gage, this follows a team of youngsters hand picked by Norman Osborn when he was in charge of the Marvel Universe during Dark Reign as the future of evil. Now, with Norman out, it's up to instructors Hank Pym, Tigra, Quicksilver, Justice and Speedball to make sure that doesn't happen. Their leg of the Fear Itself cross over just finished up so a new storyline will be starting soon.

- Amazing Spider-Man: Dan Slott has been the primary writer of the bi-monthly Spidey book and has been great. Peter works for a big tech firm under the guise he's helping Spider-Man develop new tech as his cover and just in time for everyone in New York City to get spider powers thanks to the Jackal. It's called Spider-Island and it just kicked off two weeks ago.

- Daredevil: I've been reading DD since 1996, one of my favorite characters, and no one has more crap thrown at him month in and month out that Matt Murdock. Every writer since has just piled the grief higher and higher. Now, new writer Mark Waid is taking the approach to have Matt just ignore all of the prior horrible things done to him and that he has done and just live his life. But no every one shares his feelings. Issue #2 comes out this week, give it a whirl.

- Ed Brubaker: the next two will be a bit of a cheat as you are looking at my two favorite writers going today. I will read anything they write, even if it's a premise I usually wouldn't check out. The first being Ed Brubaker who currently has Captain America and Criminal out monthly. Cap just recently relaunched with a new number one last week to tie in with the movie with issue #2 out this week. While Criminal is half way through a story, all the past stories are collected and very easy to come by.

- Jason Aaron: my number one favorite writer today. Never in my life would I thought I would be looking forward to the Hulk, Wolverine, the X-Men or the Punisher every month. While Punisher had a resurgence with Garth Ennis some years ago, I've never cared much for these other characters. The Punisher and Wolverine books have new storylines starting in September but X-Men Schism is only two issues deep (issue #3 is out this week) leading to a new Wolverine led X-Book in October, the same month Aaron's Hulk book begins. And don't sleep on Scalped from Vertigo which is ending in the next year but can easily be tracked down in trades.

So before DC has their big relaunch in two weeks, head down to your local comic shop and check out something new from Marvel!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Three Month Window, Algorithm & the Fate of DCU

As we stand on the precipice of the scary DC Comics relaunch, I figured I would delve into things a bit more. It has been two months since I wrote the initial blog post about this, covering my thoughts on the 52 initial relaunch books. Since then, we have learned many things:

  • There will also be six additional mini-series to be launched later, starting in October featuring the Shade (from Starman), the Huntress, the Penguin, the Legion of Super-Heroes and more
  • More ongoings will be announced to begin in November, such as the return of Astro City
  • We have already seen additional artists come in on books such as Action Comics and Batman: the Dark Knight, assumingly to make sure they meet their advertised release dates
  • DC has said that when these stories get collected, their will be very few hardcovers and they will tier them out so there are not 52 new trade paperbacks on sale the same month.
  • DC has also said that all these books will be given the opportunity to succeed but every book has a sales number they must reach or beat to get that opportunity
And that's where this blog came to my mind. This past week at the comic chop and my retailer was stating when ordering the new DC number ones, it was fun seeing all these books but now that he is ordering the issue twos, some of the fun has gone away. DC is pushing many of their issue threes (which we should see the solicits for this Tuesday) with their new villain initiative, but he stated the issue two solicits feel like the same old, same old, just with lower numbers.

I'm still as excited for the new books, even adding a few new titles (Animal Man and Nightwing) to my pull list, but those comments got me thinking, if many people look at this as the same old stories, will the give them a try and will they keep reading them.

The September numbers will be big, that's almost a given. This could be the first month that DC wins the market share over Marvel in quite some time. They have even been closing that gap in the last three months, thanks in part to the buzz of the relaunch, but also the continued strength of the Green Lantern and Batman titles.

But what about October? And November? Especially December, a record low sales month for comic books with the holidays and all.

DC has many books currently published with what some may consider low sales. We are long past the days where X-Men #1 sells over a million copies, but where is the ceiling and where is the floor for many of my favorite characters.

In my mind, DC Corporate has a dry erase board in some office somewhere with all 52 books written on with the following algorithm for each book:

X (writer) + Y (artist) + Z (title or property) = minimum amount of sales

What I mean by this is Justice League is positioned to be the number one selling book. DC's top writer (Geoff Johns) plus one of the most popular artists in comics (Jim Lee) on the super team that has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern et al should sell like gang busters. But what is the lowest this book could sell before they have to cancel it?

Now, let's take Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, which is spinning out of the 13 Flashpoint miniseries, written by Jeff Lamire (Sweet Tooth, Superboy) with art by Alberto Ponticelli (Unknown Soldier, Godzilla for IDW). I choose this book as one of the Flashpoint miniseries, it was the one that had the biggest drop off from issue one to issue two. What is the lowest this book can sell and still be "safe"?

As mentioned before, it will be several months, possibly early 2012, before we see the real effects of the relaunch. What book do you think will be the first to fall?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

No Lame Puns About "52"

So, the 52 books for the DC Relaunch (not calling it DCnU) have been announced and the world still exists. It's still going to be another 2 1/2 months before we get the first book from this group but let's look at each one. I'm doing this as listing of what my pull list will look like come September. As it stands, on an average month, I get 14 DC books, not including Vertigo books. Let's see how things shake up.

Justice League Geoff Johns (W) Jim Lee (A): A book nearly five years in the making. We've heard the rumblings for some time about this due bringing the big seven (Cyborg replacing Martian Manhunter) back to the Justice League. Now, will the book be on time?
Wonder Woman Brian Azzarello (W) Cliff Chiang (A): The creators behind the critically acclaimed Doctor Thirteen book but try as I may, I just can't get into Wonder Woman.
Aquaman Geoff Johns (W) Ivan Reis (A): Another book rumored for some time, again, Johns is pretty much in my top five of writers and will check out anything he writes.
the Flash Francis Manapul (W) Brian Buccellato (A): The loss of Geoff Johns and Manapul's first stint as a writer on my favorite DC character will definitely consider a look.
the Fury of Firestorm Ethan Van Sciver & Gail Simone (W) Yildiray Cinar (A): A book I would normally never check out, but I will read anything by Gail Simone!
Hawkman Tony Daniel (W) Philip Tan (A): Daniel has been primarily an artist, but over the last year or so, has cemented himself as a writer as well. But, not too confident about this pairing.
Green Arrow JT Krul (W) Dan Jurgens (A): I love Oliver Queen but am not a fan of Krul's writing. He and Jurgens on art is a strange pairing.
Justice League International Dan Jurgens (W) Aaron Lopresti (A): Taking the place of Booster Gold and Justice League: Generation Lost, definitely one to check out!
Mr. Terrific Eric Wallace (W) Roger Robinson (A): The sting of no other Justice Society of America book in the relaunch makes this one painful to pass up.
Captain Atom JT Krul (W) Freddie Williams III (A): Krul paired with the good captain is not something that fills me with hope.
DC Universe Presents #1 Paul Jenkins (W) Bernard Chang (A): An anthology title, starting with a five parter featuring Deadman, spinning out of Brightest Day. Haven't been too keen on Jenkins work as of late, maybe after the first acr is done.
Green Lantern Geoff Johns (W) Doug Mahnke (A): Keeping this course, I have a feeling the lead of this book will be Sinestro, which would be AWESOME!
Green Lantern Corps Peter Tomasi (W) Fernando Pasarin (A): Swapping the creative teams from Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors starring Guy Gardner & John Stewart. I'll take it!
Green Lantern: the New Guardians Tony Bedard (W) Tyler Kirkham (A): Previously featured on Green Lantern Corps, Kyle Rayner will be leading a team of rainbow lanterns. Keeping on, keeping on.
Red Lanterns Peter Milligan (W) Ed Benes (A): To me, a DC apologist, sees this as a very short sided concept.
Batman Scott Snyder (W) Greg Capullo (A): Snyder has been one of my favorite writers of late with American Vampire, moving over from Detective Comics. I fear Capullo, who's art is amazing, may cause delays on this one.
Detective Comics Tony Daniel (W & A): Taking over from his previous run on Batman. Again as mentioned, not a fan.
Batman & Robin Peter Tomasi (W) Pat Gleason (A): This creative team will hopefully be able to get this book out without any hiccups, as before.
Batman: the Dark Knight David Fitch (W & A): Another artist trying his hand as writing as well. A second launch for this book since November. Don't count on this one.
Batwoman JH Williams III (W & A): Speaking of not counting on things. This is a funny looking "Summer 2010" when this book was supposed to come out. Writer Greg Rucka's take on the character in Detective Comics was so strong, I have faith in this book, if it ever sees the light of day.

Batgirl Gail Simone (W) Ardian Syaf (A): A book causing much uproar on the interwebs. Barbara Gordon, one of my favorite characters, has been Oracle for many years after being shot and crippled by the Joker in the famed story The Killing Joke. Allegedly, this story was never supposed to be "cannon" but many writers took to it, so it became law, if you will. Everyone, including myself, came to love Barbara in her new role, which makes this return as Batgirl bittersweet to some. One thing instills me with hope with this drastic change, Gail Simone.
Catwoman Judd Winick (W) Guillem March (A): Not a fan of Selina as a solo character or Winick as a writer.
Birds of Prey Duane Swierczynski (W) Jesus Saiz (A): Duane comes with a high pedigree, but not enough for me to care.
Nightwing Kyle Higgins (W) Eddy Barrows (A): Like that Dick is back in the role of Nightwing, but even if Superman got to be Batman, even for a little while, going back is a step down.
Red Hood & the Outlaws Scott Lobdell (W) Kenneth Rocafort (A): An interesting concept with a cool team (Jason Todd, Starfire & Roy Harper) but Lobdell is a bit of a wild card in writing comics in 2011.
Batwing by Judd Winick (W) and Ben Oliver (A): The Africian Batman from Grant Morrision's Batman, Inc. book (to be relaunched 2012) in the hands of Winick is not something I want to read.
Animal Man Jeff Lemire (W) Travel Foreman & Dan Green (A): Lemire is hit or miss for me but Buddy Baker is a great fit for him!

Swamp Thing Scott Snyder (W) Yannick Paquette (A): A HUGE fan of the Alan Moore Swamp Thing run and in the hands of Snyder, I'm very excited for this one!
Justice League Dark Peter Milligan (W) Mikel Janin (A): Milligan is another writer who has fallen off a bit for me, but this is another cool concept.
Demon Knights Paul Cornell (W) Diogenes Neves & Oclair Albert (A): Etrigan leading a book is nifty, but I just can't bring myself to care.
Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE Jeff Lamire (W) Alberto Ponticelli (A): I might try this one in trade.
Resurrection Man Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (W) Fernando Dagnino (A): A HUGE fan of Abnett & Lanning, wished they'd be on a LEGION book, but I'll take this instead.
I, Vampire Josh Fialkov (W) Andrea Sorrentino (A): No clue how/why this book exists...
Voodoo Ron Marz (W) Sami Basri (A): The first of several Wildstorm (the formerly Image universe of characters that Jim Lee brought with him to DC) being woven into the relaunch. Pass.
Legion Lost Fabian Nicieza (W) Pete Woods (A): Was a fan of Nicieza's work at Marvel in the past, but he's always been an also ran writer to me.
Legion of Superheroes Paul Levitz (W) Francis Portela (A): One of the few books keeping the same writer in the relaunch. To me, this could have used a shake up.
Teen Titans Scott Lobdell (W) Brett Booth (A): I didn't want to include the art on this book, but these are the silliest redesigns of the relaunch.
Static Shock John Rozum & Scott McDaniel (W) Scott McDaniel & Jonathan Glapion (A): From the Milestone Universe that DC tried to integrate into the main universe a few years back with little success.
Hawk & Dove Sterling Gates (W) Rob Liefield (A): I like Sterling Gates, but these characters on their own do not appeall to me one bit. And no comment on the art.
Stormwatch Paul Cornell (W) Miguel Sepulveda (A): The second of the Wildstorm books being added into the DCU. This time, Martian Manhunter is the leader. Probably has the best chance of being good and lasting.
Blackhawks Mike Costa (W) Ken Lashley (A): Another book that makes me long for JSA.
Sgt Rock & the Men of War Ivan Brandon (W) Tom Derenick (A): I've never been able to really get into straight war comics, this is no different.
All-Star Western Justin Grey & Jimmy Palmiotti (W) Moritat (A): The relaunch of Jonah Hex, glad this is getting incorporated into the main DCU.
Deathstroke Kyle Higgins (W) Joe Bennett & Art Thibert (A): A favorite character of mine, giving a shot based on the strength of the lead.
Grifter Nathan Edmondson (W) CAFU & BIT (A): The final of the Wildstorm cross overs. Again, seems like a very 90's concept to me.
OMAC Dan DiDio & Keith Giffen (W) Keith Giffen & Scott Koblish (A): A big DiDio supporter, but not as a writer. Love Giffen, but I can see his name disappearing from the co-writer credit very quickly.

Blue Beetle Tony Bedard (W) Ig Guara (A): Glad to see this character get a solo title and not lost in the shuffle.
Suicide Squad Adam Glass (W) Marco Rudy (A): King Shark & Deadshot should be in a Secret Six book written by Gail Simone. Accept nothing else!
Action Comics Grant Morrison (W) Rags Morales (A): Morrison's lone book in the relaunch. If this is half as good as All-Star Superman it will be unreal!
Superman George Perez (W) Jesus Merino (A): Glad to see Perez is just handling the writing chores as if he was doing both, this book would never see the light of day.
Supergirl Michael Green & Mike Johnson (W) Mahmud Asrar (A): Writers from Smallville taking the reigns of a book that hasn't had a steady creative team (longer than 12 issues) in nearly six years. Good luck!
Superboy Scott Lobdell (W) RB Siilva & Rob Lean (A): Lobdell on a third book in the relaunch?

So there you have it. My pull list has changed from 14 DC titles to 16 DC titles and two maybes. I'm a DC loyalist and this isn't going to send me running to the hills like so many others. If you are not a regular comic book reader, this is as great a time to give something new a try!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Comics Rapture

Hunker down, this is going to be a long one!

August 31st is the day it all changes. Or was that June 1st?

Anywho, the news has begun to officially trickle out that come September, DC Comics is relaunching 52 of their super hero titles with new number ones. Currently, DC publishes 56 super hero books which includes 20 Flashpoint tie ins, the impetus for this change.

Quickie for Flashpoint: Professor Zoom does something that changes the entire world as we know it! Only Barry Allen (the Silver Age Flash) knows our world existed. When he mentions the Flash or Superman to the other heroes, they have never heard of these people. When he confronts Batman about what's going on, Batman is now Thomas Wayne, Bruce's father? Essentially, it's the DC version of Age of Apocalypse, a Marvel Comics X-Men storyline from the late 90’s. And I'm quite alright with that.

Once this storyline is said and done on August 31st, the DC Universe will change as we know it forever! People are going to be younger! Men will have collars and women will have pants! The comic book reading world will be in an uproar! For a variety of reasons:

- By restarting everything, all my old comics mean nothing! Such a silly statement. My comics mean a lot to me, especially the good ones. If I read an out of continuity story like Thor: the Mighty Avenger, does that make it any less valuable than his in continuity appearances in Avengers? If it stinks it does! Is there a chance that some of these relaunches could stink? Certainly. That will have no bearing on the past stories I have read.

- Renumbering everything from one is a cheap stunt! Everything in comics is a cheap stunt and has been since the mid-80's. In this day and age, just having a great story is not enough. If it was, Secret Six would sell over 100,000 issue a month. Renumbering happens quite a bit with all companies and, as sad as it is, a number one issue sells better than a number twenty-one. The true test will be how the following issues sell and if they just go back to the old numbering in four months, a year or whenever. You ask me, do away with issue numbers all together, just include a cover date and the storyline title on the cover and call it a day.

- Digital comics will kill the Local Comic Book Shops! Another part of this big relaunch by DC is going "day and date" will all these books as well. That means, the same day you can purchase Justice League #1 in your local comic shop, you can also purchase it online through comixology, iTunes, or however people get comics online. While this is a huge move, the easier it is for people to get the most of your product is a no-brainer, but the death of the brick and mortar stores? Probably not in my lifetime.

I freely admit I am a DC apologist (but not a Marvel hater) and when it boils down to it, I follow a creator more than a character in most cases than not. However, every form of entertainment is constantly changing, for better or for worse. At this point, it seems the majority of people are already calling for impending doom. This is before we've even read one since issue from the relaunch and only seen one fifth of the creative teams.

This move by DC is very. very risky. The pay off could be huge. Or it could be a monumental failure. I highly doubt any critic, pundit, expert or otherwise can say as of this point, it's just too soon to tell. My feeling on this is their will be no middle ground, this is the definition of "all in" by DC.

As of June 14th, we will know the creative teams on all fifty-two new books. Eleven have already been announced, many other are purely speculation at this point. Once all are announced, I will have another blog entry with my thoughts.

I'm hoping on the side of success.

Or at the very least awesome stories.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Three Months Later....

I felt obligated to do a blog post since I didn't want this to be a ghost blog, or whatever that is called. I do visit everyday as a hub for all the other blogs I go to.

Quite a bit has been going on in the last three months, but the ease of expressing my thoughts through Twitter has made this blog almost obsolete. But here's what's been going down:

- My wife is pregnant! This has been mostly kept private just because I'm weird like that but many, many people know. This has been long coming as we've been together eleven years this July and married five years this October, which is when the baby is due. I'm looking forward to fatherhood but from friends who are already parents, you are never ready.

- Due to the impending baby's arrival, the plan was made to cut back on many of my outside duties by the end of the year, but it appears that decision has been made sooner than I expected for me. Is that cryptic enough?

- The other main things in my life, comic book and wrestling are still running hot and heavy. As in I read a lot of comics and commentate a lot of wrestling. It's crazy to me how much these two things encompass so much of my life. Just the other day, Jerry and I spent HOURS pitching to each other an idea for a promotion THAT JUST MIGHT WORK but frustrates me as it may never see the light of day.

- Speaking of wrestling, after over six years of involvement, it's almost like I'm being accepted by fans and others. My favorite connection has been Mike Falcone and Tom Green of the exploding sensation Mike and Tom Present. I'm sure this mention will get them at least two more readers.

- Summer movie season is right around the corner and it's gonna be a big one! There is SEVEN movies I just have to see (Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Super 8, Green Lantern, Cars 2, Captain America and Cowboys & Aliens) and one I will be forced to see, the last Harry Potter film, which I refer to as a $13.00 3-D nap for me. This is the biggest movie season for me in a while and it breaks my heart that Green Lantern might be a huge disappointment. But I think I covered my thoughts on this here about a year and half ago. My casting predictions were WAY off!

That's enough for now. Maybe I'll talk about Super or some of the other movies I plan on seeing. Or something.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Three Guys Hiatus and More

There hasn't been an episode of Three Guys from Nowhere in quite some time (almost a month). And there probably won't be another until February. I just saw a special someone's birthday is February 4th, so that may be scrapped too. But things have been going on!

The holidays and other family related nonsense ate up a ton of time, preventing shows from being recorded and wrestling season picks up this weekend (visit CHIKARA Pro for more details) and continues the following weekend (see Dragon Gate USA for even more details). I love my wrestling just as much as comic books, but comics very rarely have me out of my house longer than a few hours on a Wednesday.

In my life, I've been a huge fan of comic books and wrestling. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have any direct involvement in any of these, especially wrestling, the one that takes the most physical ability, of which I have none.

This weekend marks the beginning of my seventh year of direct involvement with wrestling (more on that later). Last year I did commentary for 34 shows and set to do more this coming year. A great man before me once stated (I'm paraphrasing here) "Just because you had 100 over 10 years, doesn't mean you've been in the business for 10 years."

There is not a day or show that goes by or direct involvement with wrestling that I do not pinch myself. That may be the wrong feeling to have and I usually get over it fairly quickly, however, every show, I recognize how lucky I am to have the opportunities afforded to me.

Something else on the horizon is my involvement in a pending documentary on the hay day of VCW, "Ghosts of the Valley" or something to that effect. VCW is where I got my start in participating in the wrestling business some 10 plus years ago. This documentary is something I have thought about doing myself but am very lazy and several people from those days I wouldn't know how to reach are not too keen on me. I can see this fact painting me in a poor light once the documentary is done. As long as old VCW matches get on YouTube, I will be a happy man.

As for the podcast, Todd (I think) and I enjoy doing the show, but sometimes I feel like we are just spinning our wheels. We get very little feedback and have even fewer listeners. It's frustrating at times. Who knows, the end may be near. It was a fun ride while it lasted, regardless. Let me know if you care.