Friday, 29 May 2009

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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Dude, Where's My Iron Man Armour?

When you're a playboy millionaire like Tony Stark going out on the razz and getting tanked every night is not just a lot of fun, it's expected behaviour, more than that - it's your sacred duty as a dashing, charming, goatee-sporting man about town.

Even when you're the designated driver pounding a few martinis is absolutely essential or the young, rich scoundrel society will kick you out of their club. Then where would you be? Sucking down hooch and choking on stogie smoke down at the local dive bar with hobos like Steve Rogers and Nick Fury.

When you've got a secret second life as an armoured Avenger though, knocking back the cocktails presents a slight problem. When it comes time to zoom off into action against the Mandarin or Crimson Dynamo or to foil another of the Melter's nefarious schemes it can be a right bugger to remember where you parked.

However Tony Stark isn't the world's most famous futurist/industrialist/philanthropist/facist for his good looks you know. Dude's been known to have a bright idea or two in his time.

So here is the Tony Stark patent-pending pissed parking spot finding solution:

'Simply park your BMW/Convertible/Iron Man Armour near to a unique, stand-out landmark. Then when you're staggering home just aim for that landmark and Bingo! You've found your parking spot.'

Okay the van's next to the mailbox on top of the hairy, Canadian mutant with the unbreakable skeleton - can't miss it.

Ingenious I'm sure you'll agree.

(Today's top tip was brought to you by the good people at Iron Man v4 #12 wherein Iron Man butchers a bunch of Argonauts. Jason and the Golden Fleece however are nowhere to be found.)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Only A Mother Could Love: Marvel Knights - Punisher #3

Yes, folks it's that time again. Time to continue our rose-tinted look back at comic-books that only a mother could love. We've made it all the way to issue 3 of the Marvel Knights Punisher revamp. We've already seen undead Punishers, chicken-gougon-looking demons, poncy angels and Daimon fricking Hellstrom! Things can only get better right?

Sadly D:ream lied to you.

After the giddy heights of last issue's Hellstorm appearance this issue is a bit of a come down. It doesn't deliver a single demon horse drawn chariot, not even one glowing trident and not a single devil's son sporting 80s new romantic fashion. A damn shame I'm sure you'll agree.

We have to cut our esteemed writers Christopher Golden & Tom Sniegoski some slack though, after the Son of Satan appears there's nowhere left to go but down. So in a heart-warming act of team solidarity Bernie Wrightson, Jimmy Palmotti and the rest of the art team step up. They take some of the load off our weary writers shoulders for an issue by dazzling us with some pretty awesome visuals. This issue has got a beautifully rendered flashback sequence that shows Frank crawling out of his grave and donning his mystical, uzi filled trench coat. Then they top it off with this bitchin' splash page:
Unfortunately Frank's magic trench coat doesn't contain a single mystical umbrella

That's just fantastic. Come to think of it there's a lot of fantastic art in all four issues of this series, I can't believe I've made it all the way to issue 3 without gushing about it. Wrightson and Palmotti make an incredible team on this book, every shadowy shot of Frank with his glowing head-symbol and guns is drool-inducing. Also putting the little head symbol on the skull in the Punisher logo on the cover - I loved that!

Anyway enough with the gushing, lets get down to the nitty gritty. This issue ties up all of the outstanding mysteries that have tantalised us for the past two issues with a neat little undead bow.

In the aforementioned flashback sequence we see how Frank came back to life after putting a bullet in his own head. We also see how he got hold of that snazzy, mystical trench coat of his., he found it in a dumpster apparently.

We also discover the deep, dark secret that ties Oliver, our chicken-gougony bad guy, to Frank and why all of Oliver's Matrix looking henchmen seem to know him. It's actually my favorite reveal of the issue. It's a cool idea and a hideous retcon all rolled into one. Check it out:
Oliver is...Mick Fleetwood! So that's how Rumours sold all those copies!

So before he looked like something you'd find in a KFC bargain bucket our man Oliver was in fact Frank Costa! Low down, dirty crime boss and the man responsible for the hit that resulted in the deaths of the Castle family. Not only that but he performed some magical, naked hocus pocus that turned all of Frank's Punisher kills into human sacrifices gorging him full of the demonic power that he is currently using in his attempt conquer the hell dimensions! Oh the humanity!

So that's why all of Oliver's badly dressed lackeys keep saying snarky, over-familiar things to Frank. It also why this half-naked reject from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome acts like everyone should know exactly who he is even though this is the first time Frank and we have ever clapped eyes on him:
Geez Frank, how many guys have you killed that you don't remember a big, bald guy with a ponytail?

"Whoa Whoa, hold up a second, I'm confused here. Wasn't Frank at the mercy of Oliver in that previous picture? Are we missing something?

Apologies my loyal readers, I kind of started at the end and went backwards there. You see Baldy McPonytail does the capturing. He nabs Frank and his poncy angel buddy Gadriel while they're paying a visit to the last of Gaddy's loser angel chums. The ones that Oliver hasn't yet smooched to death yet.

"Hold on, smooched to death?

Ah you must be new here. Check out the posts about the issues one and two. Dude's been smooching folks to death since this whole thing started!

Anyway as I was saying Gadriel takes Frank to meet the cast of 80s movie favorite School Ties:
At Smokey Joe's Cafe

Sadly our new buddies last all of four pages before a bunch of Oliver's goons led by Baldy McThunderdome show up and slice 'em up real nice. Despite being armed with mystical uzis and spiffy glowing angelic hands respectively Frank and Gadriel get thoroughly trounced and dragged off to Demon Headquarters.

Which leaves us where we came in. Frank and Gadriel in the evil clutches of Oliver a.k.a. Mick Fleetwood a.k.a. Frank Costa, reeling at the revelation that a chicken goujon is responsible for the deaths of his wife and children.

With all the mysteries unravelled and our questions answered the final issue can only promise much undead ass-kicking and death smooching. Is there any doubt about what you should do with that 3 bucks burning a hole in your pocket?

What do you mean you're going to KFC?

I made you hungry with all my chicken talk? Aw man!

Whatever. Go give your 3 bucks to the Colonel see if I care!

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Awesomosity of Jeff Parker...

Jeff Parker is awesome.

If you've been paying attention to any Marvel comics recently you'd know this already. He's the brains behind the fantastic Agents Of Atlas, not to mention the man who brought us Mini-M.O.D.O.K.-Avengers and Ego the Loving Planet.

Not yet exposed to Parker's potent brand of awesomosity? No problem YouAreComic is here to present:

Jeff Parker's Gallery of Awesomosity

1.) The Attack Of Sentinel City!
2.) The Beast Bites M.O.D.O.K.!
3.) Baby Hitler!
Would you believe all of those moments of comic-book glory came bundled up in one issue? Would you further believe that the issue in question was Jeff's first on the red-headed step-child title of the X-Family: Exiles? Has the world gone topsy turvy?

Yes, I agree whole-heatedly my loyal readers. From this moment onwards all Marvel titles should be written by Jeff Parker.

It'll mean a marked increase in explosive, mind-bending story lines, in mesmerized, drooling readers and best of all in the frequency of M.O.D.O.K. appearances.

M.O.D.O.K. could be the new Wolverine!

Make it happen Mr Quesada, you know it makes sense.

(As mentioned all of today's awesomosity comes from Exiles v2 #1 wherein the Black Panther and his buddy L-10, compare the pitfalls one can encounter when talking to women and when talking to robotic lions. Something we can all relate to.)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Hawkman On Religion...


(Today's bout of religious zealotry was brought to you by Justice Society Of America #7 wherein Alan Scott attacks a fighting mad Gog with a great big, green, glowing goat. Kingdom Come's Superman wishes he'd thought of that.)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Gail's Got Game...

Let's face it people, Gail Simone on Wonder Woman - that's a no-brainer. For one reason or another however it just never seemed to happen until just recently. When it did, unsurprisingly - it was fantastic.

I'm a Wonder Woman fan from way back. I'm one of the many who slogged through one bad interpretation after another in hopes that one day someone, somewhere would figure what made Diana so cool and manage to put it in her fricking book!

I'm also a fan of Gail Simone. Her Birds Of Prey, her Deadpool, her Villains United/Secret Six, her Superman - all delectable treats of the awesome variety. So when Gail got her mitts on DC's number one Themysciran import - I was prepared for fireworks.

I was not disappointed

Since Gail took over the book I've been enjoying it in a way I haven't experienced since George Perez's phenomenal post-Crisis revamp.

You want proof that Gail has got Wonder Woman game? All you need to do is check out her first issue - Wonder Woman #14. This issue in itself epitomises the quality, fun and all that other good stuff that Gail has brought to the book. It is undoubtedly one of the best books coming out of DC at the moment.

So what does Gail know that all those other Wonder Woman writers don't?

Well first and foremost Gail knows that if you want your Wonder Woman series to succeed - you always have to remember that Diana kicks ass like an Amazonian warrior princess! That means swords, shields, bracelets, lassos and tiara slinging is the order of the day. Faces should get mashed, asses should get kicked and names should get taken. Whether your fighting Circe, the Cheetah, the Silver Swan or a bunch of heavily armed monkeys from Gorilla City.
Primatism - the scourge of human/monkey relations

This sequence shows what a great handle Gail has on the character. We've seen stuff like Diana taking on a whole battalion of armoured Gorillas without breaking a sweat before. But how often does Diana stop in the throes of aerobatic ass-kickery to broker a peaceful solution with her monkey foes? Who, as it turns out, are just dumb, young, monkey punks duped by the anti-human propaganda of Gorilla Grodd. That's great stuff - not to mention good super-heroing.
It's great moments like this, where Diana gets to show the inherent, regal nobility which should be an essential part of the whole "princess" side of her character that make Gail's take of WW so terrific.

This sequence also shows that Gail has a keen grasp on one of the fundamental truths of comic-book writing. 'You want your book to be awesome - throw in some monkeys'. Being a seasoned veteran though Gail doesn't just follow the rules she bends them, taking us into unexpected and shocking realms of awesomeness to give us:
Monkey Room-mates!

Do you remember that mystical period back in the 60s when Mike Sekowsky totally revamped the Wonder Woman series turning it into Diana Prince - International Woman Of Mystery? Remember the white jump-suited Diana and her racially offensive buddy I-Ching jumping out of helicopters, jump-kicking spies on skis and packing machine guns?

Well recent WW writers have hearkened back to those halcyon days by bringing back white jump-suited, aviator-wearing 'Diana Prince - Secret Agent' as Wondy's shiny, new secret identity. They'll also teamed her up with the most bad-ass, non-powered, professional ass-kicker(who doesn't dress like a flying Rodent) in all the DC-verse -Nemesis. It's all been good stuff but Gail has taken over and raised the bar. She's skillfully working this new status quo to ramp up the delicious sexual tension between the two.
Is that a golden lariet in your jumpsuit or are you just happy to see me?

It's always a treat to see Nemesis showcased anywhere - dude is awesome. I loved him under John Ostrander back in his Suicide Squad days and I'm love Gail's cocky, swaggering take on him.

Of course bringing back the 'Diana Prince - Secret Agent' identity means you've got to give her something secret agenty to do. She can't just stand around doing nothing but looking pretty in her snazzy white jumpsuit. But she can't be going around beating up spear-chucking, super-intelligent monkey warriors with her bare hands while out of her star-spangled underoos. That would blow her cover and totally emasculate poor Nemesis who likes to act all tough and badass to impress the chicas.
So Gail provides Diana's secret agent identity with a foe of her own to tackle. It's someone dangerous, someone formidable, someone Diana can properly get her secret agent on against. It's someone from that handy stockpile of ready-made, already loathsome bad guys known as 'The Nazis'.
That's right folks Diana and Nemesis versus a Nazi badguy. But Gail doesn't saddle us with some run of the mill Nazi-no-mark? She gives us something better! She gives us a Nazi....who is also a captain!
Holy Himmler - it's Captain Nazi

Captain Nazi - can you believe it? Oh the joy, the sheer unbridled joy of glorious comic-book wackiness. Is there a comic-book fan in existence who doesn't love Captain Nazi? I think not.

What more do you want from your monthly comics people? You've got Amazon ass-kickings, secret agent chicanery, sexy jumpsuits, monkey room-mates and a superhuman Nazi captain named Albrecht.

Wonder Woman #14 is the mother lode and there's much more goodness to follow. I advise all the WW fans out there who've been burned by previous writers to jump on and enjoy the ride. You won't regret it.

Before I go I'll leave you with this life lesson. If you move in with five homeless albino monkey warriors from Gorilla city and your boyfriend comes a-calling just remember...
Monkey Warriors Gossip

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Shameless Self Promotion: Futurequake #13

That's right folks it's time for a bit of shameless self promotion. Feast your eyes on the delectable cover art above. You're looking at Futurequake #13. For those who don't know Futurequake is the jewel of the UK small press crown. They even won an Eagle award to prove it, just in case you don't believe me.

This most recent issue, in case you haven't guessed by the title of this post, features a three-page strip written by yours truly! It's got scrumptious art by the very talented Mr James Feist and letters from the ultra-prolific Bolt-01.

I encourage any and all to rush over and buy this baby from the Futurequake HQ shop at your earliest convenience.

Just to whet your appetitie here's a little bit of what to expect from my contribution which is enticingly titled 'The Problem With Pornstars':Look there's a half naked chick in it! How can you resist?