Wednesday, March 31, 2010
While the boy's life was unimportant in the grand scheme of things, Rex knew that the tow-headed brat was only one who could lead him to the last outpost of El Dorado. And Rex needed that ancient Atlantean gold if he wanted the next phase of his plan to succeed...WONDER-DOG!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Interesting, provocatively titled little article over here at CBR, which makes some interesting points on the ol' 'nostalgia pillow' (something I've talked about before). I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of the whole deal, neither wallowing in the past nor truly wanting things to move on...I mean, I like Dick Grayson as Batman, but I like Bruce Wayne better. Then, I don't really need to see yet another rehash of the Justice Society of America giving HUAC the proverbial finger again in this lifetime, Geoff Johns, thank you. Nobody tells the Greatest Generation how to roll, I get the point.
Also, when do commies become the new nazis? Or is that not going to be a thing? Is it just terrorists and nazis now? I hate being out of the loop. Also again, what about ninjas? Are they played out yet? Or is Daredevil making them awesome again? Thoughts?
But, back to my point, as I've said, I put a premium on consistency. Continuity is great in small doses, but when you've reached a saturation point (which, lets face it, shouldn't happen because, hey, ongoing story!) it's time to just get moving on down the road, y'know? New good guys, new bad guys, new secondary characters with new subplots. Cut back on the overexposure, give some of the promotional budget to the new guys, build some new brands as opposed to just piling more weight onto the existing ones.
We don't need a Batman: Year Five miniseries anymore than we need Wolverine: Origins. Just plain ol' Wolverine and Batman will do. Look forward not backward, up not down, coming not going!
Now, back to the ninjas...who hates 'em, raise your hand?
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
So, unless you've been in a hole lately, you've probably heard about Mysterius the Unfathomable by Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler, right? Well good, because it's awesome. Anywhich, Tom Fowler has gotten himself a spot on John Scalzi's Big Idea segment, where he discusses what it was like to add the purty pitchers to Jeff Parker's fancy wordamabobs. Go give it a read.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Neat article on CBR dealing with Mike Mignola's expanded (and ever-expanding) Hellboy 'universe'. It's an interesting look at how Mignola and his crew went about building one of the more entertaining continuities. Plus, it's only the first article in a series! Go give it a look.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wolverine is, to my mind, at his most interesting when he's at his most basic...Joss Whedon boiled it down nicely with the amusing "I like beer" panel.
At heart, Wolverine is a guy who likes beer and stabbing people. Or vice versa. But, over the years, we've witnessed a-I hesitate to call it growth-a 'gentrification', if you will of that core concept at the heart of the character.
Layers were added, then peeled back. Wolverine became more and more complex-a walking timeline, as I said in an earlier post-a universe unto himself. The whole of a company's continuity bound up into one character's continued evolution.
What's interesting is that recently we've begun to see a reduction in said evolution. Fewer stories dealing with Wolverine's past, more dealing with his present. Wolverine: Origins aside, the Wolverine we're seeing these days is less the failed samurai-berserk ninja-former aristocrat-mercenary-Sentinel-tormented hero and more like that original guy who likes beer and stabbing things. The excesses of over-indulgent narrowly-focused world-building are slowly being boiled off by a new generation of writers for reasons as yet unexplained. Maybe it's finally reached that saturation point where there are literally no more interesting stories to tell about the character beyond him being the best there is at what he does.
I wonder what will happen with the end of Wolverine: Origins? Will the whole Romulus/evolved wolf-people/blatant rip-off of Earth-X deal be revealed as a sham? Just another example of the routine head-screwery we've come to expect with the character? Or will it conclude in the normal fashion (Stabbing. Then beer.) and be quietly swept under the rug of the dawning 'Heroic Age'? In five years, will we get another attempt at codifying Wolverine's origins?
I think, in the end, that there are certain characters for whom a starting point is an essential facet of their continuing characterization. It's the springboard from which they leap into adventure. We need to know that Uncle Ben died and that Krypton blew up and that the Waynes walked into the wrong alley. But for other characters, who they were is less important than who they are. Wolverine is one of those.
He's already gone off the springboard...his characterization isn't reliant on a motivating factor the way some others are-Spider-Man feels guilty about Uncle Ben, Batman's parents were murdered, Superman is the foreign national trying to make good-Wolverine is Wolverine because he's Wolverine. And bear in mind that I say this as the guy who loved the original Weapon-X series from Marvel Comics Presents back in the day. That point, to me, is the earliest you can go back in Wolverine's past because who he is now is based solely on that experience. The trauma of the adamantium implantation and wandering naked in the wilderness? That's his origin, insomuch as he requires one to be a super-hero.
It doesn't matter who he was prior to this, prior to donning the yellow and blue tights, because all of the things that make him interesting as a character are right there. Claws, mutant, government connections. That's all you need to tell an entertaining Wolverine story. Or, rather, it's all you should need.
Then, your mileage may vary.
*The Worst There Is*
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Glommed from MARCH MODOK MADNESS, where such glories appear regularly. If you haven't stopped by yet, I recommend you do so. Especially if you, like myself, are a fan of the gent with the ever-so-tiny hands and the ever-so-massive head.
Monday, March 15, 2010
It's all about the franchise with this one. The original bearer of the Scorpion mantle, Mac Gargan, is now playing host to the Venom symbiote. The second bearer-Carmilla Black-is off the radar for all intents and purposes, leaving the field of popular villainy wide open for an enterprising type such as our new Scorpion.
See, the Scorpion has pedigree. A unique look, a movie in the works (remember that? Gargan signed a deal to get a movie of his life filmed...) and a certain history in the business. Granted, that history mostly involved seeing the opposite end of Spider-Man's fist, but still, history.
Really, who wouldn't jump at the chance to slap on the green and black and pick up where Gargan left off?
Smart people, that's who.
But, the key to our boy here is this-he ain't smart. Ruthless, brave, stubborn and nigh-unkillable, yes. Smart? No. Dumb as the proverbial post. But he doesn't have to be smart when he's wearing the skin-tight equivalent of a Panzer tank. And that's what he is-a tank. A walking, talking engine of destruction who hires himself out as a one-man wrecking crew to every guy planning a bankjob or armored car heist on the East Coast. He's versatile-use him to crack a vault, or provide a distraction. He comes cheaper than the Rhino and he's still naive enough to think the phrase 'honor among thieves' isn't intended ironically.
Not every villain needs to have a scintillating personality or plan to be entertaining. The Scorpion's job is to get kicked in the head as often as possible by as many different heroes as possible, all while spouting hoodlum proverbs learned from watching too many crime movies. He has an extremely high opinion of himself and the bullishness to put it to the test against most anyone. And, as such, he will get the ever-living snot kicked out of him again and again.
But here's the twist-he never sees the inside of a jail. The Scorpion, this Scorpion, will escape every damn time. You can't crack the armor to get him out, and he's nigh-invulnerable inside it. Short of Iron-Man vaporizing a city block, or someone hitting him with Wolverine a dozen or so times, he's safe. One step removed from the havoc he causes-a jittery high on caffeine ADD addled punk inside one of the world's most dangerous weapons-he just keeps coming back for more. The three-dimensional version of an internet troll with nary a moderator in sight.
So he gets thrown off a bridge, or buried under a building, or dropped into a raging inferno. He'll always come back, grinning that same stupid, cocky grin and rearranging reality to fit his view, to make-believe he won that last tussle. Again and again and again.
Until, of course, Mac Gargan finds him. And won't that be interesting?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Seriously, you can never have too many Things. I like all my Things, and couldn't live without them. EveryThing is a useful Thing for someThing. Even giant-size Man-Things which are truly strange Things to behold.
I did a bad bad Thing...
Wild Thing, you make my heart sing. Wild Thing!
I'll stop now. But if you'd like to add anyThing, feel free.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
And now I'm officially interested in this book. The Thing, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Wolverine make for an interesting mix, I have to say. With Stuart Immonen on the art, it may just turn out to be a winner. Fingers crossed.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Unbeknownst to the hapless beach-goers, Rex had completed the first step in his plan to seal an alliance with the Deep Ones by securing the services of Snorky the Devil-Dolphin. As Rex and Snorky led the armies of R'yleh towards the undefended coastal towns of the Eastern Seaboard, the Wonder-Dog could but dream of the confrontation to come, when Cthulhu finally discovered the co-opting of his servants. Who would triumph then...demon-god or WONDER-DOG?
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
So, as those of you who read this blog may or may not know, I write for a living. And one of the books I have a story in has cover art by Jim Rugg, the creator of Afrodisiac and Street Angel, who has a nice interview here at CBR. Check out Jim's site, and maybe buy the book. Y'know, for the kids.
Seriously. You should check it out. My story has what might possibly be an Aztec vampire-mummy in it. It's available to read for free, if you're interested.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Quite an offering from Diversions of the Groovy Kind today, as the Groovy Agent gives us a look at an awesome rendition of Doctor Fate as done by Martin Pasko and Walt Simonson, with a snazzy Kubert cover! Go check it out!