Thursday, July 29, 2010
Interesting essay on the art of the retcon (or 'retroactive continuity', for those unfamiliar with the term) over here at CBR's Robot6 blog. For myself, I think retcons are, while annoying, fundamentally necessary given the nature of the ongoing serial in mainstream superhero comics.
Spider-Man, Batman, whoever, they all have to be somewhat relevant to the modern audience in order to sell. That means the dial gets slid back on characters' ages, their military services, their time in college, etc., and that the storytelling engine propelling them gets a tune-up every ten years or so. The pop psychology of the day gets added to the painful origin story, the pop science gets threaded into the super-power. It's the way of the beast.
A lot of writers probably see the retcon as a way of keeping characters fresh, or to make them palatable to the target audience. For others, a good retcon gives them the opportunity to tell the story they want (or are contracted) to tell. That said, I have to wonder how many times a concept can bet retcon'd before the original substance is completely lost in the shuffle...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
(click to embiggen)
Self-aware? Just a touch, but still it works. I like a bit of banter between the good guys and bad guys in my mainstream super-hero books, y'know? Just a bit of a shared revelation of the inherent ridiculousness of the overall situation. Spider-Man is usually good for that. Then, it might explain the odd surge in popularity for Deadpool, who's basically a basket of banter dressed up as a supervillain.
I suppose that's why I've always had a soft spot for the more blue collar baddies. The guys for whom going to jail is tantamount to a vacation, and who don't actually have a mad-on for anyone in particular. Let the Jokers and the Luthors and the Fisks monologue and cackle. Gimme a Shocker or a Captain Cold, someone who can crack a joke or hold his own in an insult contest. I want a villain who knows the score and doesn't take it personal, but who'll settle for giving a bit of lip if the occasion warrants.
Even if it's not very funny (Captain Cold used to be fond of temperature-related puns, for instance), at least it shows that they have some autonomy from their opponents. They're thinking characters in their own right, and not just two-dimensional nemesis number five.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Seriously, have you been by Pulp Sunday yet? Francesco Francavilla is one of the best artists working today, especially if you're into the pulps. Hot damn, can that man draw Zorro! Just go check it out and take an hour or two to just click 'older posts' again and again and so on and so forth.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Ahem. I would like to apologize in advance for any shrill cries of glee that result from the linked article. Not mine. Yours. Because I don't emit shrill cries of glee. I'm more dignified than that.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Though Rex's first instinct was to leave Patricia Savage to the mercy of Thurn the Living Inferno, he knew that having the Man of Bronze in his debt was worth the effort. Ham Brooks, however, Rex left to his fate. The enmity between lawyer and WONDER-DOG was as strong as ever...
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
So, he's back.
That's the reason I'm doing this one, because the original is back, and regardless of what you thought of the storyline in question, this Kraven is a much, much different animal when compared to Kraven Jr., Baby Kraven, Kraven-Sue, Mamma Kraven or any other extraneous Kraven-lite.
However, I'll be handing the bulk of today's discussion off to the ever-entertaining Mindless Ones, as they've said pretty much what should be said about the gentleman in question. Read it first.
Back? Good. That is what Kraven should be, in a nutshell. The ultimate hunter, the ultimate predator. He stalks deities, demons, devils and do-gooders for fun. He's wealthy, influential and ruthless to the core. Built to kill.
He should tangle with the X-Men (I hear Wolverine has some spare time), with Thor (Trolls, eh? Intriguing...), the Hand (Ninjas make good eatin'...) and the Thunderbolts (Welcome to my super-villain game preserve. At the count of 3, run...). He should hunt the Legion of Monsters and the Panther-God of Wakanda. He should trail Mindless Ones through the Dark Dimension and prowl the discordant reaches of Nightmare's realm.
With his feud with Spider-Man upped to new levels, let Kraven have some room to run. He's been dead for awhile. He needs his edge back. He needs to sharpen his claws on less challenging prey, say, for instance, the remaining Skrulls on Earth, or a certain wily space-raccoon.
Basically, let Kraven hunt.
Friday, July 16, 2010
So. To be clear on things. The Thanos Imperative, the latest in Marvel's cosmic thrillologies will feature these guys...
Versus this thing (that's the 616 Galactus standing in front of it, by the by...y'know, for scale)...
Bad joke, I know. I'm sorry. Not really though, because seriously now, if there is ONE occasion where it is okay to use the phrase 'sh*t just got real' in relation to comic books, the above grouping (plus Thanos!) taking on HR Giger's Little Engine That Could is probably the one to go with.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
So, really? Is this what it's come to?
I understand the other protests that this group indulges in. I mean, those protests are insensitive, ill-informed, just plain ol' pig-ignorant godmongering of the worst kind, but I get the reasoning. God cries about teh gayz, not exactly a new play out of the fundie whackjob playbook, right? I mean, it's not surprising. And the related protests are understandable on a given line of relation, but idolatry? Really? That's the best you have?
That's really kind of sad. Funny, but sad. Like a toothless lion gnawing hopelessly on the back-flubber of a mature hippo. There's no reason for either animal to be engaged in the struggle, yet there they are. And there's Westboro, trying to get some attention amongst the carnival cavalcade of Comic-con. Even if they do provoke a response, it'll doubtless not be the lawsuit-worthy one they're hoping for.
In the comments, there's the suggestion that someone dress up as Superman and give the protesters a big ol' hug. Personally, I say go for it. It worked for Superman.
Then, he's a false idol, so what do I know, right? Right.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Is wise-cracking really a hobby though? Or is it more a quirk of personality? I mean, does he practice wise-cracking in front of a mirror? Does he read Crackin' Wise Weekly, the magazine with all the wise of the week, every week? Does he collect jokes, witticisms and trendy bon mots like stamps? If so, does he put them in a book? Or am I over-thinking this?
I wonder if I could get a-hold of that book. I bet it's got calligraphy and everything.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
God almighty, if you are a kind and loving God, you will let this exist in some reality and you will deliver it unto me. Because, unlike many things, this is something too awesome not to exist!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Nice little article and preview on/of the upcoming miniseries, Baltimore: The Plague Ships from Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden and Ben Stenbeck over here at CBR. Having read Baltimore, or the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, and enjoyed it immensely I'm really looking forward to this. As alternate worlds go, one where WWI was called early on account of vampires ranks up there with the coolest.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
I was going to talk about the Wonder Woman revamp in an attempt to be topical, but, frankly, I don't care. The revamp will get the reboot as soon as the initial surge in sales dwindles, and Wonder Woman will, unfortunately lose her trousers. That said, here are some costumes that might be an improvement over the ol' one-piece. For my part, I'd prefer her to be dressed in her Kingdom Come outfit-keeps with the whole Amazon deal, but with better hardware.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
First off, this is the kind of sculpture I can get behind. The link is courtesy of the sculptor, Steve Funnell, who also has a rockin' (pun intended) Thing gallery, with numerous artists' renditions of Aunt Petunia's favourite nephew. Including the piece below, by Scott Godlewski, which I think is a pretty good slice of all right.
Do yourself a favour and go check it out, maybe leave some feedback.
Do yourself a favour and go check it out, maybe leave some feedback.