Up, up and away! A place for comic-book fans to gather.

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Rage of the Red Lanterns"

I confess, I didn't completely understand this week's "Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns." But I still enjoyed it, just as I continue to enjoy Geoff Johns' expansion of the Green Lantern mythology. (The Green Lantern Corps are kind of becoming the Rainbow Corps, what with the introduction of the Red Lanterns , Blue Lanterns and others.)

I also liked Shane Davis' art, but what I was really struck by was the coloring (appropriate, considering the title.) As a poster on Newsarama noted, it really pops off the page. I could do without the Red Lanterns constantly projectile-vomiting blood, though. Nasty business, there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"The Avengers," movie style

Well, it's a ways away (2011), but I'm already getting psyched about Marvel Studio's "The Avengers." That's cuz Marvel confirmed today that "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr. will indeed reprise his role not just in an "Iron Man" sequel or two, but for "The Avengers" as well. Don Cheadle, who is replacing Terrence Howard in "Iron Man 2," will also be around for "The Avengers," and "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau will executive produce.

Up, up and away

With Marvel's comics apparently headed for a standard $3.99 price point, rumor king Rich Johnston has an interesting look at the increase in comic book prices over the years compared to the rate of inflation in his latest Lying in the Gutters column. He starts with 1977, when the price was 30 cents. I perhaps shouldn't admit this, but I'm old enough that I can remember when comics went from 12 cents to 15 cents, and then a quarter.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Flashy "Funky"

Did you catch "Funky Winkerbean" in Sunday's comics section of The Gazette? It was a cool homage to a classic "Flash" cover by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Crisis" vs. "Invasion"

Issue No. 4 of DC's "Final Crisis" and issue No. 7 of Marvel's "Secret Invasion" both arrived in stores yesterday, offering the opportunity for sort of an instant head-to-head comparison of the two big events. I give the edge, at least as far as these issues, to "Final Crisis." For one thing, I'm more partial to the art by J.G. Jones and Carlos Pachecho than to Leinil Yu's work on "Secret Invasion." And while "Final Crisis" seemed disjointed for the first issue or two, it has gained traction and plunged us into a dark world where, as promised, evil has won. "Secret Invasion" has been intriguing from the start, but this issue was just one big fight scene.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Black Panther(ess)

Who's this? Marvel's got a new Black Panther in the works and this time he's a she.

We've already got a new Captain America running around in the Marvel U. Now a new Black Panther? I dunno. DC tried this before: a new Green Arrow, a new Green Lantern and so on. And it seems few have stuck over the years.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Y: The Last Man"

I spent my Sunday afternoon reading Volume One of "Y: The Last Man Deluxe Edition," a hardcover collection of the first 10 issues of "Y: The Last Man." The series came to an end earlier this year, and it was nice to revisit its beginnings. It's a riveting read by Brian K. Vaughan, and the end of each chapter will have you immediately zooming toward the next. It'll be a definite for this year's comic book gift guide.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


DC this week sent me a review copy of "Joker," a hardcover graphic novel written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Lee Bermejo and Mick Gray. It's a dark and disturbing street-level story, with the Joker more reminiscent of Heath Ledger's Joker in "The Dark Knight" than some past portrayals in the comics - a little darker perhaps and less madcap. Some other villains have had a bit of a makeover, too, most notably Killer Croc. And Gotham City has never looked seedier.

Batman makes only a cameo, pretty much. This is the Joker's story - or actually, Jonny Frost's story. Frost is a low-level thug who becomes the Joker's right-hand man, a job that becomes more than he bargained for. We see the Joker through his eyes - although we also learn a lot about the Joker's power and unpredictability by seeing how other bad guys, like the Penguin, fear him.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Howard out, Cheadle in?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Don Cheadle will be replacing Terrence Howard in "Iron Man 2." He'll be playing Tony Stark's buddy, Jim Rhodes, the future War Machine. Expect the role to be beefed up from the first movie, the article says.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Amazing no more

Mark and Bill, the self-professed comic book geeks on this season of "The Amazing Race," came in last at the end of last night's episode. Which means the race is over for them. They were doomed when they failed to read one of the clues completely, and took a taxi to one of the challenges rather than going by foot. Maybe if the instructions had been in comic book form. ....

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Smallville" vs. "Survivor"

I found myself watching "Survivor" last night and tuning to "Smallville" only during the "Survivor" commercial breaks. So with Lex and Lana and Lionel gone from "Smallville," I guess I may be, too, though I'm still curious about the new Doomsday. Looks like last night's episode featured Maxima and her kiss of death, and a new understanding of their relationship between Clark and Chloe. If you "Smallville" fans out there think I'm bailing out too soon, let me know.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"The Avengers: Earth's Mighiest Heroes"

More Marvel heroes are headed for the small screen in cartoon form. Here's the press release from Marvel:

Further strengthening its robust animation slate, Marvel Animation, a division of Marvel Entertainment, announced today the production of an all new animated series, THE AVENGERS: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Production on 26 half-hour episodes is already underway using the production services of Film Roman, producer of the Simpsons and King of the Hill.

The new series, expected to be available for broadcast in 2011, continues on Marvel’s already impressive television line-up which includes the all-new Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures series that will both debut on Nicktoons in 2009. Marvel Animation will also debut the all-new series Marvel Super Hero Squad and The Black Panther next year.

THE AVENGERS: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is an all-new property featuring some of Marvel’s all-time favorite characters including Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Giant Man and Wasp. When the planet is threatened by Super Villains, time traveling conquerors, alien invaders, mythical monsters and mad robots bent on the total destruction of humanity, when forces of evil are so overwhelming that no single hero has the power to save the world, when there is no hope left…the Avengers assemble!

The Avengers are the best of the best in the Marvel Universe and the greatest heroes who take on the most unbeatable foes. These are the heroes who hold back the storm, and the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

"The addition of THE AVENGERS: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to our quickly expanding animation slate continues our plan to complement each of our tentpole live action features with an animated series," said Eric Rollman, President of Animation. "This new ensemble series tracks perfectly with our highly anticipated ‘road to the Avengers’ strategy which includes some of Marvel’s biggest and most beloved characters, and which kicks off with two Avengers’ themed feature films in summer 2011.”

"Action" No. 870

A major development in Superman's life in "Action Comics" No. 870, out today. I won't spoil it, but you can head over to Newsarama or, surprisingly, the New York Daily News, which broke the news. The development, though, probably isn't much of a surprise for long-time fans, and the cover offers a pretty strong clue.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A super "Supergirl"

I haven't read "Supergirl" in some time, but I picked up last week's issue No. 34 in anticipation of the upcoming "New Krypton" story line, which will encompass "Supergirl" as well as "Superman" and "Action Comics."

This issue also introduced the new creative team of writer Sterling Gates and artist Jamai Igle. It was a fun issue, with Kara coping with a scathing article titled "Why the World Does Not Need a Supergirl" and establishing a new civilian identity with a connection to a long-lived Superman supporting character. And, as a newspaper guy, I loved the cover, showing Supergirl ripping through the front page of The Daily Planet.

Friday, October 03, 2008

"Batman R.I.P" - Chapter Five

After waiting til Friday to get the week's new comics, there wasn't much there: Just two titles in my hold file at Bargain Comics. But at least one was "Batman" No. 680, the latest chapter in Grant Morrison's "Batman R.I.P." story line. It continues to be a feverish, nightmarish story; I've never seen the Joker as creepy as he is in this chapter. Still not quite sure what's going on, other than Batman's mind is basically being ground into dust. I suppose it's a little silly to expect a happy ending out of a story titled "Batman R.I.P.," but I don't want to see our favorite caped crusader sent out to pasture, or worse, with his mind destroyed.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Hello from Bargain Comics,
Unfortunately we are not recieving any new books today. There was shipping delay and as a result we did not receive any books today.
We expect some items tomorrow and we will have everything in stock by Friday.
We apologize for the inconvenience.

"The Graysons"

Variety reports that the CW is considering a series based on Robin the boy wonder's "pre-Caped Crusader days."

"Just as 'Smallville' focused on Clark Kent in the years before he became Superman, 'The Graysons' will follow the world of Dick 'DJ' Grayson before he takes on the iconic Robin identity and aligns himself with Batman," Variety writes.

Two of the executive producers of "Smallville" (including Kelly Souders, who I interviewed recently about the latest season of "Smallville) are among those behind the show.

The show promises a modern "original take" on the character of Dick Grayson. So does that mean he won't be part of The Flying Graysons circus family? At any rate, I'm curious but dubious. Clark Kent before he became Superman is special because he's from another world and he's learning about his powers. What's going to set Dick, oh, I mean, DJ, apart? I could see a miniseries on the origin of Robin - that'd be cool - but a whole series that's set even BEFORE the origin?