Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DC Comics Presents: The Flash/Green Lantern: Faster Friends

I was at Midtown Comics last Sunday, looking for some back issues, and I found this one-shot from 2010, DC Comics Presents: The Flash/Green Lantern: Faster Friends.

It was original published in two parts in 1997. Part one was written by Ron Marz and illustrated by Bart Sears, Andy Smith, Jeff Johnson, Ron Lim, and Tom Gringberg. Part two was written by Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn, and illustrated by Val Semeiks. The comic books focus on Green Lanterns Alan Scott and Kyle Rayner, and Flashes Jay Garrick and Wally West.
The story starts with a fun flashback that shows Jay and Alan in the good old days fighting side-by-side. From the looks of it, I'd say they hit the gym back then about 3 times a week, 20 minutes of light cardio per visit.

Together, Jay Garrick and Alan Scott saved the world from a creature, known as Alien-X, that descended upon earth in a flying saucer and crashed into Gotham City. Instead of killing it, or sending it back to where it came from, the U.S. decided to keep it and run experiments on it. Well, what they didn't realize is that Alien-X did not mean any harm when it came to earth, and their little experiments were actually killing the poor thing.

That pissed Alien-X off, big time. After a few decades, it broke free from the government's shackles and went directly to Alan Scott and Jay Garrick for some payback, and it's flying saucer. What that bastard Alien-X didn't know was that there was more than one Flash and Green Lantern now. Kyle Rayner and Wally West get word of their friends going missing and a crazy adventure of Flashes and Green Lanterns begins. Part one is about our heroes confronting Alien-X and part two is about them dealing with the fury that Alien-X unleashes upon the world.

It's a really great read with a lot of history and tons of action. There's a funny twist where Kyle and Wally's identities get mixed up, so you're sitting there watching a Green Lantern who can't use his ring and a Flash who can't run fast.

I encourage you to pick up DC Comics Presents: The Flash/Green Lantern: Faster Friends if you can find a copy. I'm a sucker for stories revolving around super heroes in their later years fighting alongside current, younger super heroes. I'm happy to have added it to my collection.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Let's Put A Smirk On That Face!

(From The Joker's Joke Book, DC Comics Inc., 1987)

What illness did The Joker catch from the martial arts expert?

Comment with what you think is the answer! I'll post the correct answer tomorrow morning in the comments section.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nice Batsuit...THOMAS WAYNE

I just re-read Flashpoint #1-5. I really think the design for the Thomas Wayne Batsuit is my favorite of all of the Batsuits. Andy Kubert did a fantastic job of having it look like Batman, but with enough differences that you know it isn't Bruce. Plus, the red eyes are creepy and fitting for the "Batman is going to scare the shit out of you" vibe.

Another Batsuit that I think is really cool-looking is from Batman: A Death in the Family, done by Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo. It's blue and gray, and looks like it would provide no protection whatsoever. What more can you ask for?

As a matter of fact, I like the Flashpoint Batman so much that this will be the next action Figure I purchase. I encourage you to comment with your favorite Batsuits.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boards and Bags: It's Never Too Late!

"This comic is old and looks like it was dragged through the street. Why would I put it in a bag with a board? It'll never be worth anything."

Who cares?

Who cares. Who cares. WHO CARES.

Is that all you think about? Money? You make me sick to my stomach. I'm vomiting from how disgusted you're making me. Not you. The hypothetical person in the fake scenario I just created.

It's all about preserving a great thing. I try to keep all of my comics in boards and bags. If I get a comic book that's roughed up and hasn't been stored properly, I still give it a good home. I'm not perfect though. Here are a few comic books that I found at my parent's last weekend:

Most of what I found was from Free Comic Book Day a few years back, but shame on me. This is more like it:

Thus proving, it's never too late to treat your comic books like a human being.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Fat Wolverine

I'm not great at drawing off the top of my head, but I've always enjoyed sketching things. This little gem to your right is a drawing I did back in High School.

I don't remember reading the X-men issues where Wolverine goes on a buffet rampage and gains 5 thousand pounds, but apparently that's what I drew here. And what's with his posture? He looks like he's carrying an invisible gallon of milk. Whole milk.

If I could go back and talk to High School Dominick, I'd give him a D for effort, and tell him to clean up his act because this drawing doesn't cut it. What grade would you give the 15 year old me?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Foster #1: I Won!

Who says you can't win anything on Twitter? I follow my favorite comic shop, Midtown Comics, and occasionally they'll have a giveaway where if you follow and retweet them, you can win any number of things (usually a signed copy of a comic book).

Last Thursday was their latest contest. Well, after trying for quite a while, I retweeted Midtown Comics and won! It's a copy of creator-owned comic book Foster #1 signed by the writer and creator, Brian Buccellato. For those of you who don't know, Brian Buccellato is currently co-writer for a little comic book, I don't know if you've ever heard of it, THE FLASH.

I just read Foster #1 last night, it's really good stuff. It's about Eddie Foster, a rundown, alcoholic war veteran trying to deal with his own emotional demons in a really eerie city. Scattered throughout the shadows of this city are creatures known as dwellers that terrorize humans.

Eddie Foster runs into a little boy named Ben and the events that follow test his will and make you wonder if he's strong enough to be a true hero. The story and setting make for a great combination of thriller, action, and drama that definitely keep you invested in the characters. The art, done by Noel Tuazon, really fits the plot and gives it kind of a rugged, creepy vibe. It's really well done and I encourage you to check it out.

I can't wait for issue #2.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I never really payed attention to The Big Bang Theory when it debuted. I knew it was a sitcom about scientists, but that's it. When it got syndicated on TBS, I finally sat down and watched it and I actually thought it was really funny. As a scientist and comic book lover myself, it wasn't that hard to fall in love with the show.

A lot of sitcoms have superhero references but it's always popular characters such as Batman and Superman, nothing too obscure. In the handful of episodes of The Big Bang Theory I initially watched, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) was wearing a few comic book-related t-shirts (Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash). However, in one episode I was watching, this is what Sheldon was wearing:

A Star Sapphire Corps t-shirt! The average non-comic reading person wouldn't recognize that like they would Batman or Spiderman. I was impressed, and officially hooked. Actually, last night I was watching an episode, "The Hofstadter Isotope", where Sheldon references Infinite Crisis, 52, and the multiverse all in one sentence. That's my kind of dialogue.

I think it's an overall great show, lots of comic book references, lots of geeky humor, and lots of non-geeky humor. The guys are all nerdy in their own way. Sheldon is kind of a weird fun sociopath, while Leonard (Johnny Galecki) is a shy, lovable dork. Howard (Simon Helberg) is a rambunctious ladies man (and hilarious), and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) is a goofy guy who can't talk to women unless he's intoxicated. Kaley Cuoco plays Penny, who is kind of the opposite character to the nerdy guys, but she does it in a way where she isn't just the cute blonde next door. In some instances she even joins them in their geekiness.

So I say, thumbs up to The Big Bang Theory. You keep it up, and I'll keep watching.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Top 5 Comic Book Movies

I love reading comics just as much as the next guy, whoever that asshole is. Sometimes, it's fun to watch comics. Here are my favorite comic book movies:

The Dark Knight (2008) - I consider this movie to be my favorite movie of all time. In terms of comics, I have always been a huge Batman fan. I think the reasons why I like the movie so much are why most people liked it: great action, amazing story, cool graphics, etc. The number 1 reason, however, is Heath Ledger as the Joker. He couldn't have captured the Joker's insanity better. When he's talking to Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and says, "Introduce a little anarchy" and hands Harvey the gun, I still get chills.

Green Lantern (2011) - In my opinion, this movie is just about as under-rated as a comic book movie can get. I'm a Green Lantern fanboy, I realize that. Disregarding that, I think that this movie was visually spectacular and told the story of Green Lantern very well. Peter Sarsgaard creeped me out big time, but that's what Hector Hammond is supposed to do. My favorite part of the movie was the sword fight between Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) and Sinestro (Mark Strong). My only hope is that the negative reviews for Green Lantern won't ruin the chances of a sequel.
Iron Man (2008) - I think the effects in the Iron Man movies are probably my favorite special effects in anything. I love when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is testing out the suit and the robots put the suit on him. Oh and the villain in this movie? Three words: Fat. Iron. Man. I of course am referring to Jeff Bridges as Iron Monger. I loved that guy.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) - When I was a kid, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles more than anything on earth. I'm not exaggerating. I had all of the clothes, toys, video games, action figures, coloring books, and anything else that was Turtles related. The movie perfectly encapsulated the entire essence of the Turtles. It doesn't take itself too seriously, while not being overly hokey. What more can you ask for? Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael eating pork rinds and whippin' some Shredder ass. Actually, Shredder gets brutally murdered by Casey Jones. COWABUNGA!
Batman (1989) - Let's face it, before the Christopher Nolan series, this was THE Batman movie. Michael Keaton was my favorite Bruce Wayne before Christian Bale. And, out of all of the Batman movies, I think Michael Keaton has the best voice for Batman. I don't even think we need to discuss how good Jack Nicholson was as the Joker. Is there anything funnier than when the Joker walks in wearing the beret and starts painting on all of the art with his goons?

There are some movies I haven't seen in a long time, and some I haven't seen at all. So this list is subject to change. I encourage you to comment with your top 5 comic book movies and maybe even some suggestions for me!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Expendables (TPB)

As a movie, The Expendables is a kick-ass, in your face, action packed adventure with an ensemble of pretty tough dudes. As a matter of fact, you don't get much tougher than these animals. The comics, published by Dynamite, are no different.

Written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Esteve Polls, this 4-issue movie prequel features Barney Ross (Stallone), Lee Christmas (Statham), Yin Yang (Li), Gunner Jensen (Lundgren), Toll Road (Couture), Hale Caesar (Crews), and Tool (Rourke).

It's great, lots of explosions, tons of guns, fist fights, one liners, everything you need in a good old fashioned action comic. In terms of a prequel, it really establishes each character's personality. Barney is the smart, clear-headed leader. Lee is Barney's "consigliere" who is skilled in combat and always keeps his head on straight. Yin, Toll, and Hale each have their own fighting style and are always there to whoop someone's ass. Gunner is, of course, a hot-headed asshole who's more interested in women and himself than getting the job done. Tool, as opposed to the movie, mixes it up a little (and by a little, I mean a lot).

Issue #1 is about a mission in Nigeria where the Expendables are hired by a software firm to stop a money scam. In issues #2-4, we find the Expendables in Russia, hired to catch a murderer with diplomatic immunity. Not the most in depth stories, but the intensity is where Expendables shine.

One little tidbit that you find out is that Gunner is fluent in Russian. No shit:
If there's one point that these comics demonstrate, it is that the Expendables really only care about one thing: money. These guys are traveling the world, beating some slimeballs within an inch of their life while just flat out killing others. They're brutal, but hey, it's business, and they could always use more money.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mace to the Face

Barry Allen, a.k.a. The Flash. One of the most beloved, respectable, courageous heroes of all time. He's also a tragic hero, losing his wife Iris, being put on trial for the murder of Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. The Reverse Flash, and dying in Crisis on Infinite Earths, ultimately becoming part of the Speed Force.

Nothing, however, was as catastrophic as when Big Sir, a man whose body was considerably more powerful than his brain, bashed Barry's face in with a mace. He smashed Barry Allen so hard that his face looked like Mr. Potato Head. I don't know if I have ever felt as bad for a comic book character as I did when I saw this:

-The Flash #341 (1985)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Laundry Room Finds

Laundry day. The worst day of my life, every time I have to do it. You know what helps? Finding a stack of comics in mint condition when you go to throw in your dirty whites. That's what happened to me last month.

I live in an apartment building with a number of tenants. In the laundry room, there is an area where people leave books for other tenants to take when they don't want them anymore. I think it's great. Why waste a good book?

Here's what I found:

  • Avengers Disassembled
  • The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk
  • Spiderman: Back in Black (hardcover)
  • Spiderman, Peter Parker: Back in Black (hardcover)
  • Ultimate Galactus Trilogy
The biggest advantage of finding these specific titles is that they're all Marvel, and I don't buy a lot of Marvel these days. Not for any specific reason. Some of my favorite characters and stories come from Marvel. There is just so much DC history that I've been reading, I haven't really been focusing on Marvel. I am NOT one of these "Marvel sucks" guys. The last thing I'd ever do is pledge allegiance to one comic book publisher.

Now I have a nice tall stack of Marvel comics to occupy my time with. I'm pretty excited to read the Spiderman trades. I was subscribing to The Amazing Spiderman and The Sensational Spiderman during the Marvel Civil War, which I thought was well done at least on the Spiderman side of things. The Back in Black series takes place right after that so I can't wait to catch up.

Pretty great, huh? Well, this wasn't the only time I found comic related items in the laundry room...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Caption Figures #1

"Batman, don't be a dick. This is a perfectly good silver dollar, now give me some candy."

Please comment with your own captions!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Green Lantern: Agent Orange

One of my favorite comic book series is Green Lantern: Agent Orange, a story that leads up to Blackest Night. It collects Green Lantern #38-42 (2009). Here's why I think Agent Orange is a fun read:
  • It's written by Geoff Johns.
  • At the end of Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Hal Jordan ends up with a Blue Power Ring (Believe me, read it. It's amazing). Agent Orange takes place directly after that and starts off with Hal Jordan as Blue/Green Lantern. The Blue Power Ring alone isn't effective, but when paired with the Green Power Ring, it makes you wonder "when and how will these two rings react with each other?"
  • In a flashback, Larfleeze and another of his kind find the Orange Lantern and struggle over who has the right to it. The Guardians come in and make a real sleazy deal, letting the two thieves keep the Orange Lantern in exchange for a relic. The only catch is that they have to battle to the death to see who will be the sole bearer of the Orange Lantern. Why? Because those stinking Guardians are full of fear, that's why. Bastards.
  • The power of the blue light of hope is demonstrated perfectly. Throughout the story, Hal is constantly being asked by the blue ring "what do you hope for?". When he finally answers sincerely, the ring detects it, powers up, and unleashes a powerful blue force on Larfleeze's ugly face.
  • The story focuses on the Orange Lantern Corps which is made up of constructs, with the exception of Larfleeze, the possessor of the ring who's greed prevents him from sharing the power of the ring. How cool is that? Whoever wears the orange ring is so overcome with greed that they can't even tolerate anyone else on their side.
  • The trade paperback includes the explanation of all of the different colored Lanterns from Blackest Night #0. I highly recommend you pick it up if you haven't yet.
This story is full of a whole spectrum of colors and shows how much more to the series there is than green.
Don't forget to vote for your favorite Lantern Corps on the left!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

3 of The New 52

Here is my current comic subscription:

Justice League- My favorite comic book writer, Geoff Johns, and amazing illustrator, Jim Lee, collaborate on the greatest super hero team ever, The Justice League. Survey says? That's one more, for the good guys.

Green Lantern- I'd say I'm more of a Green Lantern fan than anything else. Again, Geoff Johns writing just sweetens the pot. I'm loving what he's doing with Sinestro. I'm on the edge of my seat to see how this is going to unfold.

Green Lantern: New Guardians- I couldn't pass up on a title that's focused on integrating the entire emotional spectrum. Plus, my favorite Lantern:

I'm sure you're thinking, "How can you not be reading Action Comics, Superman, The Flash, Batman, Teen Titans...?" Look, I wanna buy every comic. I really do. Don't tempt me. I'll do it, I'll do it right now. I'll go to Midtown Comics right now and clean house!

I just can't. There is just too much good stuff out there. But that's what trades are for. I've decided to only subscribe to 3 comics for the time being, but I'm always buying, finding, and getting trade paperbacks. As soon as some stuff from The New 52 comes out in trade form, I promise I'll read more current DC. Just give me a chance, guys. All I'm asking for is a chance. And maybe a jillion dollars to buy more comics.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Green Arrow: Year One

I started my journey into the history of Green Arrow right at the beginning, and oh boy, are those comics outdated...Moving on, I didn't want to be fully submerged in the silver age (as fun as it is), so I read Green Arrow: Year One. I went from reading this:
to this:
Green Arrow: Year One is a great retelling of the origins of Green Arrow. Not to mention the fact that the art is awe, sommmmmme. Six issues jam packed with rich jerk Oliver Queen becoming one of the biggest badassholes in the DC universe. Ever wonder "why in the world would someone choose bows and arrows over guns?". Well, this collection answers that question AND shows you why.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Issue #1

I don't know everything about comics. But, I want to. Thats where this blog comes in. While I'm busy reading every comic I can get my grubby little hands on, I want you to help me make this a forum for discussion, suggestions, arguments, and anything else you can throw at me.

Let's kick things off with my favorite comic book characters:

  • Green Lantern
  • Batman
  • Nightwing
  • The Flash
  • Conan
  • Spider-man

Until next time, tell your friends, and I'll talk to you later.